Monthly Archives: September 2013

Dress of the Month ~ September 2013

Is it weird that when I sat down to write about my favourite dress this month, the first dress that came to mind wasn’t a wedding dress?! My absolute favourite dress right now is a stunning bridesmaid gown in chiffon and lace by JLM Couture.

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Apparently inspired by Pippa Middleton’s famous bridesmaid gown – this dress is a stunner! It features a lovely curved, yet floaty fit that so far has suited every girl who has tried her on. It defines the waist, curves around the hips and bum and glides down into a fabulous sweep train. But what is so unique about this dress is the lace sleeve and enclosed back detail!

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Very few bridesmaid dresses feature this amount of stunning lace detail. To me this is the sexiest of all bridesmaid dresses, very glamourous and red-carpet but still demure and classy enough to be worn in church. Don’t you just love her?!

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This dress is the perfect accompaniment to a lace bridal gown, but could actually be worn as a bridal gown itself! The dress can be ordered in various shades of ivory and blush that would make a stunning and fabulously priced wedding dress!

For more information about this dress or to try it for yourself, please contact Catherine at Cathedral Gowns (Tel: 028 4461 2532)

Tanning your face need not be terrifying with Clarins Liquid Bronze.

Now we all know that lovely post holiday feeling, when our faces have a gorgeous golden glow! When the need for makeup is minimal and even leaving the house ‘au natural’ isn’t so terrifying!

Sadly, these tans fade, and as we all know, it is not wise to cling onto it by constant visits to the sun bed shop! So, this is when a good facial fake tan becomes your best friend.

10aA lot of people worry about applying tan to their faces at the risk of clogging pores, breaking out in spots, the product clinging to any facial hair and generally making the skin oilier.

 Now, let’s be honest…there is a risk of all of the above happening. But there are tricks and tips to avoid as much as possible. You do not need to moisturise the entire face before applying fake tan. The tan will act as a moisturiser,  this will lessen the risk of an oily complexion and blocked pores.  However, you will want to put a small bit of thin moisturizer on your eyebrows to avoid the tan clinging to them and making them orange (same goes for beards, moustaches, side burns…etc). The best idea is to avoid any hair on your face and your hair line altogether.

10bNext, only use a 10p size amount, you do not need much, and any excess will begin to clog your pores. Use a tanning mitt or cotton pad, blend evenly across your face. This is the same concept as using a foundation brush or pad to apply your foundation, and use the same method to blend the product in.

So, you’re ready to go. Now you just need a helpful suggestion of which product to go for.

Might I suggest Clarins Liquid Bronze Tanning – For Face.  

10cThis is a fantastic product which will even out your skin tone and create a gorgeous, natural looking glow. If you apply as directed above each night before bed, to let develop over night, you can have the enviable post holiday hue all year round. In fact, although I am a religious fake tanner and will always follow the ‘rules of fakery’ – with this product, you do not need to worry too much about avoiding your hairline or facial hair as the product develops so beautifully, with such a natural, olive finish. So if you are a first time tanner, this product would be ideal for you, as well as all you pro’s out there.

 When applying a fake tan to your face (which is going to remain near your nose throughout your night’s sleep)…it is extremely important that the smell is non offensive! So thankfully, this product really does have it all. The smell is faint and anything you do pick up is pleasant and similar to that of a night time moisturizer.

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It goes on smoothly and will not leave your face feeling sticky or oily. If you stick to the 10p sized amount rule, it absorbs quickly and you do not feel like 10eyou’re wearing a face mask while you sleep! I have very oily skin and have struggled with facial fake tans in the past, but this product has been fantastic for me. I have never had a break out after using it, and it does not make my skin any oiler.

 Considering that this is such a life changing and impressive product, I feel the price is extremely generous. Usually around £18 per 125 ml’s, and taking into account that you only need a small amount each time, the tan will last much longer than you think!

Get your bottle here!

Top Choices at the MTV VMA’s 2013

I’ve been taking a stroll down Memory Lane in regards to catwalk and Award Shows, when I came across the MTV Video Music Awards 2013 and I thought it would be great to do a review on some of the looks on the night.  There were some truly dreadful garments on how show but here on The Beauty Cloud we like to go with the positive so here are our favourite looks from  the night!

First up is the lovely Taylor Swift.  I’ve heard a lot of people saying that the dress she wore was aging and that she has  lots of time when she is older to wear such respectable clothing but for me I find it very refreshing to see someone her age dressing classy and elegant.  To me the navy well tailored dress was very Marilyn Monroe which of course is a big ‘yes’ for me.  This stunning piece is by Herve Leger.  The extremely talented Taylor Swift walked away with the award for best video on the night!

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Emma Watson has become some what of a fashion icon the last while so it is expected of her to look great on the red carpet.  Again, just like Taylor I love to see someone her age dressing appropriately and tastefully.  She wore this adorable blended digital print dress which was uniquely tailored.  It’s a great length on her showing just enough leg paired with matching black heels to compliment the dress perfectly. Definitely a winner for us!

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To me Selena Gomez was just perfection.  She wore a simply beautiful Versace dress with corset detailing covered in matching beading.  I’ve heard a few people say it was too sexy etc but her arms are covered and her legs aren’t out so I would say its it is definitely appropriate attire for the event.

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Thats my low down for the best dressed at the awards!  Tune in next time when we will be looking at A/W 2013 Key Trends!

Feel Fresh Every Morning with this Age Defying Moisturiser!

I am always on the search for products which up-the-game in the cosmetics market. I came across FoM Cosmetics, which is short for Freshness of the Morning Cosmetics. I know the name comes across a little different from your usual Brand name, but when you try their products you will understand why.

All of their products are made up of 100% natural plant-based ingredients. I had a little read of their philosophy and commitments as a brand and it is very refreshing to hear their ethical approach to cosmetics, from how they are so dedicated to the safe sourcing of their ingredients to making sure their packaging is made from 100% recyclable English glass.

Freshness of the morning age defying moisturiserI have been trying out the FoM Age Defying Facial Moisturiser for a number of weeks now on myself and on a wide variety of my clients. I really do love it. I wish I could capture the smell of it and post it up here for you…. well, you may all end up on a shopping spree of their products if I did that! It’s smells so beautiful and is full of gorgeous essential oils.

The product name markets this moisturiser as ‘age defying’ and I would agree. Since using the moisturiser my skin is noticably smoother, brighter and firmer. My fine lines which have been making a featured appearance the past while are no longer. This is down to their selection of wonderful ingredients which contain Essential Fatty Acids, Key Amino Acids, natural proteins, vitamins, antioxidants and mineral. Yet all of this is achieved without the use of harsh chemicals!

As a Professional Makeup Artist, I want products which are effective and easy to incorporate in my routine and kit. I find so many moisturisers need time to settle and absorb into the skin before applying makeup and some even after 10-15 minutes wait can still adversely affect your makeup application. I am happy to say that you are safe to apply this moisturiser right before your makeup with no waiting time. In fact, it actually enhances your makeup as it leaves you with  a gorgeous dewy glow without being too shiny or over the top.

This moisturiser is suitable for all skin types. I have tried this out on friends and family who suffer really badly with sensitive skin and there was no bad reactions. It’s fantastic!

So if you are on the look-out for a natural, ethical and effective premium moisturiser, it is well worth your while to invest in this product. I know I will definitely be keeping it in my kit from now on. It is priced at £25.00 and is available online at www.FoMCosmetics.co.uk.

Belfast Fashion Week returns for its sixteenth season in the city!

The change of season from summer to winter is never a welcomed one, but there is one silver lining – the return of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK of course, which brings all the cosy winter fashion must-haves to help see fashionistas through the cold and miserable winter months. 

Belfast Fashion Week BFW

Enthusiastic fashion fans were out in force at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast last month, for the launch of the city’s sixteenth FASHIONWEEK event. The brunch event showcased a selection of looks from participant retailers and designers while director Cathy Martin outlined key looks for the season ahead from Ireland’s favourite fashion event.

This season’s events will run over four days from 10-13 October across various venues in Belfast but with the key catwalk shows returning to the iconic Ulster Museum in Botanic Gardens.  Following on the success of spring/summer shows, the contemporary and minimalist atrium at the historic building will once again be transformed into a fashion haven as hundreds of fashion fans gather to celebrate winter style.

Cathy Martin, director of FASHIONWEEK added: “We have a very busy schedule this season – and we have teamed up with Belfast City Council’s Restaurant Week to share some events, which is great for the city as a whole – but ideal for foodies and fashionistas”.

“In terms of trends to look out for this season, the key colours and patterns include deep reds and burgundy, pale pink hues, plaid and leopard print.  Texture is important too and we can expect to see leather, velvet, lace and chiffon as well as lots of embellishments.  As for shapes, design and cut – the turtleneck and poloneck are both back, and new this season are sexy thigh high splits on skirts and dresses as well as large oversized coats and capes.”

The city’s independent retailers and boutiques will kick off FASHIONWEEK on Thursday 10 October with CRUISE, Liberty Blue, Blush, Helen McAlinden and Diamond Dolls in Banbridge all confirmed to take part. In a move off the runway this season, leading designer Una Rodden will also host an exclusive and intimate fashion installation that evening, where her fashion will become art, in an alluring display of fabric, textile and texture.

Then for the ever popular High Street catwalk show, which sees the return of Next, Jigsaw, Mexx, CastleCourt, M&S, Oasis, Heaton’s and George at Asda – among others.

Saturday 12 October sees a busy, jam packed itinerary of chic events.  The popular Fashion Souk at Spire’s Mall will be selling vintage and previously owned pieces from 10am – 2pm, swiftly followed by a delicious Fashion Tea at the Merchant Hotel where designer emporium CRUISE will showcase their high end collections from Victoria Beckham, Armani, Vivienne Westwood and Marchesa, among others. This up-close-and-personal look at the season’s top end designer collections is an intimate and indulgent way to enjoy fashion at its most elegant.

Saturday evening will play host to some unique creations from our local talent with the popular designer night.  This season Nor Lisa, Goddess and Swift, Ruedi Maguire and Grainne Maher, among others, will all take part; dazzling crowds with their creative and quirky designs which never fail to impress the crowd. Lucky students from across Northern Ireland will also feature on the catwalk with selected outfits from the secondary school competition Junk Kouture, which challenges students to create fashion art from junk and recycled materials.

Also on the Saturday schedule is the ever popular highlight of the Diet Coke Design Award, which is back for the fourth year running. The award seeks to reward aspiring design talent – from design students to style fans with a passion for fashion.  Three stylistas will be shortlisted to have their ideas and sketches made up by designer Una Rodden and showcased on the catwalk at the finale night’s show on Saturday 12 October, where judges will decide which lucky fashionista will go on to win a mini scholarship to the London College of Fashion plus a shoot with photographer Khara Pringle.

Last but by no means least is Style Sunday, which will take place this season at SHU restaurant on Sunday 13 October from 1-5pm in association with Mencap.  This glamorous four course gourmet luncheon accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and seasonal style tips from some of the country’s top style experts. It is very often sold out within days of being launched.  Tickets cost £45.00 per person. Places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 028 9038 1655.

Once again, hair partner Andrew Mulvenna and his team will be tending to the tresses of all the models throughout the week and if previous seasons are anything to go by, we can expect to be blown away by his creativity.  Andrew said, “This autumn/winter I’ll be focusing on four key looks for women. 

“‘The Lady Undone’ is a quirky asymmetric version of Dusty Springfield but with a fresher look; ‘The Woman Warrior’ is all about volume – high at the sides, with hair pulled back from the face, channelling the power blow-dry which was really popular in the 90s; ‘Church Girl’ is a sweet angelic centre parted look in the style of grace Kelly only sleeker and more modern.  Lastly, we’ll be exploring with ‘The Tuck In’ which is the practice of creating a shorter look by tucking length into collars as well as making use of braids to create necklaces and collars.”

Throughout the week, breast cancer charity Pretty‘n’Pink will collect funds at all shows to support women who need to feel better about themselves after undergoing debilitating breast cancer surgery or treatment.

The full show schedule and design competition details are all available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Catwalk tickets, which cost £20 (or £25 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats), are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the website. Ticket price includes a fabulous goodie bag and a refreshing West Coast Cooler.

Schedule of shows:

  • Thursday 10 October 8pm, Designer Boutiques show
  • Friday 11 October – Fashion Friday Lunch demo – James Street South Restaurant
  • Friday 11 October 6-8pm Fashionweek at the Fitz! Private cocktail party with prizes up for grabs
  • Friday 11 October 8pm High Street Fashion Show, Ulster Museum
  • Saturday 12 October 10am – 2pm –  Fashion Souk at Spire’s Mall
  • Saturday 12 October 2pm – Fashion Tea, CRUISE designer emporium at The Merchant, showcasing Victoria Beckham, Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Marchesa etc 
  • Saturday 12 October 8pm NI Designers show and winner announcement of the Diet Coke Design Award, Ulster Museum
  • Sunday 13 October 1pm – 5pm Style Sunday, SHU Belfast

Tanning Friday Tip: – Righting your Wrongs!

9aWe’ve all been there…if you’re in a rush, in a dimly lit room, feeling tired or get interrupted during tan application, you can make a fatal tanning mistake which leaves you with streaks and/or patches.

As I always say, no need to worry! A lot of non fake tanners avoid moving over to the bronzed side because of horror stories like these, when in actual fact, it is very easy to right any wrongs!

7eIf you are applying instant tan (that develops straight away and can be washed off immediately) and notice streaks, simply get a pea sized amount of a thin moisturiser (I use E45) and rub into the tan with your finger tips to even out any problems.

The more difficult mistakes to correct are ones from gradual tans, as once you notice the streaks the tan will have already developed and is there to stay for a few days. In these situations you can have a go at adding more tan to the disaster areas to even it out, but then you will have to wait another 4 – 8 hours to see the result. You can also try to use a foundation or bronzer to cover the patchy areas, but you will need to be careful to match the colour of the tan to the colour of the makeup.

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The best solution is to remove the tan completely. Removing a fully developed tan is not as tricky as some people will have you believe. Relax in the bath for 20 minutes, and steadily exfoliate with an exfoliating mitt and soap whilst also soaking off the tan. Better still, chlorine. Chlorine will take that tan straight off (also useful to know if you have just had a fabulous fake tan and want to maintain it – do not go swimming)! So if you pop to your local pool, the chlorine will completely strip the tan.

The main thing to remember is – with all the great tanning and application products available now, streaks are not a common problem. But if like everyone, you are occasionally faced with the dreaded orange lines, it isn’t something that cannot be corrected; and it certainly is not a reason to avoid trying fake tan altogether.

The ‘7 Day Juice Diet’…. Does it really work?

I hate hate hate fad diets. They went out of the window at university, however I am always very conscious of eating well and have to if I want to fit into my jeans. I haven’t ‘dieted’ per-se in years, but since coming back from holiday I have suffered with severe abdominal cramps when eating solid meals. Most of last week was spent eating yoghurts from breakfast and lunch, and forcing down a meal in the evening – only to suffer in bed afterwards.

I was starting to lose my mind over it, when I came across the ‘7lb in 7 days juice diet’. Aside from the obvious weight loss side of it, there are great testimonials for the health benefits. I’m based at home at the minute finishing off my thesis so it’s perfect timing, and in fear of living on yoghurt for the rest of the summer I thought I’d give it a go….

7 Day juice diet

The juices are bit faffy to make, but less hassle than putting together a meal! They even taste pretty good (some better than others!). I also found it wasn’t too expensive compared to what I normally spend daily on food.

The weather was pretty miserable on Day 1, which didn’t help, as I just wanted warm comfort food.  I only found myself hungry around 4pm but I stuck too it, and LOVED the night time ‘Hot ‘n’ Spicy’ recipe, made up of hot juiced apples and cinnamon.

Each day starts with ‘Hot Water With a Kick’. This is hot –but not boiling – water, infused with mint, lemon or fennel. I decided to go with fresh mint from the garden and a squeeze of lemon, and actually found myself waking up looking forward to starting my day with this, rather than my usual breakfast brew.

The juices actually seem to taste nicer as the days went on…or perhaps I was just adjusting to them! On day 2 I woke up with plenty of energy but crashed mid afternoon and needed a nap. I’ve heard caffeine and sugar cravings hit people hard on the second day with headaches but I got off lightly.

By Day 3 they say you should have this great surge of energy and be feeling great. Well…they lied. I played tennis in morning but felt like I was dragging

myself around the court the whole time and only lasted half an hour.

You’re meant to include plenty of exercise…most of mine involved trekking backwards and forwards to the shops to buy another 50 bags of apples. I’d

My Juicing Trolley

My Juicing Trolley

seriously recommend doing this juice plan at a time when bags of apples are buy one get one free! By the afternoon of Day 3 I really wanted to nap but resisted. I was a bit more spurred on by the fact we had a new juice to try which involved banana and a lot of yoghurt….it’s sad the things you’ll get excited for after a few days without food!

By the evening I was noticing food EVERYWHERE….is that all they advertise on TV?!

On Day 4 I had no hunger at all….I actually only had 2 juices (they recommend 6 a day) but by the evening, after a stressful day of working I finally cracked. I needed a solid meal. I want to emphasise that at no point did I feel like it was because my body NEEDED the food, I’m just have very little will power; tell me I can’t eat solid food and that is all I’ll want to do! I had a small piece of fresh fish and a plate full of veggies and loved it! Still managed to keep healthy.

I’m not sure if it was the fact I had very little sustenance the day before, but I woke up on Day 5 feeling very dizzy and sick – I can only assume it was low blood sugar. With so much I needed to get done, we decided it was time to go part-time on juice week. For the remaining days, I had at least 2 or 3 juices a day, but dispersed it with super healthy meals, where I did my best to make sure that the plate was filled with fresh fruit and veg, lean meat or fish and a small portion of wholegrain carbs such as brown rice or pasta.

So did it work?

I wasn’t too bothered about the weight side, but at the end of the week weighed in with a 4lb loss. On the health side, I  feel 100 times better. My skin is glowing, my hair is shinier, my tummy is flatter, I don’t have any bloating and my whole body feels tighter. Getting up in the morning is still hard (I think it always will be!) but I felt awake and energetic much quicker.

But best of all, the main aim was to stop my stomach cramps and this definitely worked! I’m definitely excited to integrate juicing into my normal life…it’s the easiest way to up my veg nutrient count and when they’re so yummy, why wouldn’t I!