Monthly Archives: October 2013

Whoever said that exercise was boring, really haven’t tried Adult Gymnastics!

Recently I was having a sort through old stuff at my mum’s house, and came across my old gymnastics club sweater. It felt so sentimental, however it’s so small it probably wouldn’t even fit my pre-school niece. Unfortunately, my years as a gymnast were few, and I haven’t donned a lycra leotard since 4 years old.

Since then I’ve always kept an interest in all things bendy and flippy – it’s my absolute favourite sport to watch at the Olympics, and I always envy those who can move with such grace and control.

Adult Gymnastics Class, Hand Stand, Head Stand

As a pole dancer I’m quite happy upside down, but since growing up I’ve always had a distinct fear of handstands – let alone anything more fancy. This year in classes we’ve been working on them and I can finally hold myself happily in a handstand against a wall or a pole, but the thought of doing that in the middle of a room sends shivers down my spine. So I thought it was about time to sort this out.

I recently joined a Crossfit gym (which I’ll save for another post!) and was excited to see that they run Adult Gymnastic classes twice a week. My excitement lasted until around 2 hours before the class, when I nearly bottled it terrified. I made it to the beginner class though, and was surprised to see that a whole range of ages and abilities – with 4 men and only 1 other girl!

backward roll, Adult Gymnastics Class, Hand Stand, Head Stand

The class lasted an hour but within 10 mins of working my way backwards and forwards along the mat in various handstand drills, I’d broken a sweat! My heart rate increased more when she said we were going to kick up as if we were going to handstand (what if I went straight over?!) but to my surprise, I found myself  hovering in the air, if only for a split second.

Then my heart really DID skip a beat. We were going to handstand and then come out into a forward roll. I had visions of broken bones and tears – but the instructor was lovely. We started out in an easy version, assisted and pushing off a high mat, and if anyone was unsure at any point she’d support us right over. I couldn’t believe it but within a few goes I was actually doing it on my own!

backward roll, Adult Gymnastics Class, Hand Stand, Head Stand

We spent the rest of the class in cartwheels, forward rolls, back rolls and various combinations of all 3. Everyone had different strengths and weaknesses  (co-ordination vs. strength!) and it was a lovely and supportive group to spend time with. By the end of the class I was exhausted but buzzing, feeling like I’d relived a little bit of my childhood. Can’t wait until my class next week!

Dress of the Month ~ October 2013

My current favourite dress is a beautiful fitted lace gown called ‘Ava’.

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I like to think she is named after the sultry silver screen siren Ava Gardner, since this gown just oozes glamour and sexiness! With a deep plunging V neckline and deep V back, this is definitely for the bride not afraid to showcase her curves. Lots of girls might look at this dress and fear showing too much cleavage, but I promise it is gorgeous and really flattering on both small and generous busts. The deep V and the fact that the straps are sheer make this dress very grown up and sexy, as is the curve enhancing figure hugging shape.

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The fabric and detail on this dress is just gorgeous! It is essentially a tulle gown with lace appliqués, but the lace detail is close enough together to give an overall ‘lace’ effect. The most unusual aspect though is that within the lace it features a floral detail that is made up of twisted ribbon, which looks stunning. Another stunning feature of this dress is the fabulous scalloped lace hem.

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I absolutely love seeing this dress with a fishtail petticoat underneath as it really exaggerates the silhouette and shows off the hem too. I also love pairing this dress with a sparkly beaded belt to really exaggerate your waist and adding a delicate lace edged veil really completes the look.

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

Upcoming Bridal Trends for the New Season

It’s that time of year again! Time for us to go shopping and select the gowns that will be gracing our rails next year! I absolutely love the opportunity to see literally thousands of beautiful dresses, and I adore the challenge of picking out which ones we want to buy for our boutique.

high neck, wedding dress, bridal, trends, 2014, lace,

As I mentioned in previous blogs, bridal gowns don’t go through massive transformations from season to season, the styles simply evolve. So from seeing the introduction of sleeves and necklines at the last collection launches, this time high necks and sleeves were everywhere!

Last time the ‘new thing’ was the peplum, and as expected a lot more designers had picked up on this trend, and to be honest while I really disliked them before, this time I was tempted. I’ve ordered a pretty satin number with a lace bodice and peplum, we shall see! I’m still not convinced that it’s a very bridal appropriate look, but I’m sure on the right girl it will look absolutely amazing.

I also predicted a proliferation of the ‘Gatsby’ look, and I’m delighted to say I was right! The 1920’s influence was everywhere! As a history of Art geek I am fascinated by the 1920’s and the Art Deco aesthetic, so I have to say I got very excited when I saw the variety of Deco inspired pieces by our accessory designer Richard Designs.  I swear I could have bought everything!

1920, gatsby, wedding, bridal, gown, dress, sleeves, headpiece

On the Gatsby theme, my favourite dress of the show was a little number by Sottero & Midgley called ‘Lyla’. As the model sashayed down the catwalk towards me, I was open-mouthed!  From the fully beaded column silhouette to the fluttery little sleeves this dress epitomised the new collections for me, and whilst the price point is a smidge higher than we usually go, I fell in love with this dress and absolutely had to have her!

wedding, bridal, dress, sleeves, beaded, sottero & midgley, 2014, trends

But the ‘Roaring Twenties’ weren’t the only period of fashion history showing their influence, as is usually the case the 1950’s Dior silhouette was being reinvented by lots of bridal designers. Some of the most beautiful dresses we bought featured gorgeous tulle circle skirts, with nipped in waists and fabulous bodice detail. This is a silhouette that we love at Cathedral Gowns, and luckily so do our brides, and I hope they continue to love them since we somehow ordered five of this silhouette! But whereas the ones we currently have in stock are mostly strapless styles, these ones all feature either built up necklines, bateau necklines and even some with sleeves.

Following on from this look we’ve also ordered a few more short bridal gowns. This is a look we’ve only ever dabbled in, but our girls are loving them right now, so we had to buy more. My favourite is a cute little textured corded lace number with sweet little cap sleeves called ‘Kitty’ – I cannot wait to see what kind of bride finds her!

A lot of the newest looks feature a lot of sleeves and some of our designers are even making them detachable. So clever! I love that the designers are getting creative and flexible with their designs. I love the notion of having a sleeved more demure look for your ceremony and then removing them for the party.

wedding, bridal, dress, gown,  lace, 2014, trends, headpiece

In terms of silhouette I noticed that the designers were showing either very full or very fitted dresses with very little in between. I searched for a-lines and they were hard to find! But it was worth the search since I found some real gems, I even found some pretty lace a-line gowns too that I am majorly excited about.

There were still a lot of designers showing very fitted lace gowns, but their new take on this was an emphasis on texture instead of sparkle. The one I am most excited about is ‘Paula’ by Sottero & Midgley! This dress is lush and features a gorgeous scattering of textured flowers as well as a stunning veil to match.

If there was an overall theme to the new season dresses, it would be detail! I think out of more than thirty dresses we ordered, only three could be described as plain, and even then they did have unusual design features that made them stand out. So I hope the brides whose weddings are Autumn 2014 onwards are ready for detail!

Limited-Edition Gift sets AND a new Luxury Boutique?? Benefit Cosmetics are SPOILING us this Christmas!

I love Benefit Cosmetics, as a company, as a brand, as a whole! So to be invited to the special VIP Grand Opening of their first Boutique in Ireland, I was perhaps a little too excited!

New Benefit Cosmetics Boutique, 17 south william street, Dublin

This is not only our first stand alone store in  the whole of Ireland but it is also now the new base for their regional office and training academy!

Nestled in the heart of Dublin, Benefit Cosmetics have created a one stop shop for all your beauty needs. Now there is no need to run from the beauty salon for your waxing… then over to your hairdresser and then to your trusty store to have your makeup done. Now you can have it all done in the one place. The new Benefit Boutique hosts a Beauty Bar to have your makeup done, a Blowout bar to have your hair styled to perfection, a Nail artist to perfect those lovely tips and then to top it all off they have a tanning booth and two cosy beauty rooms for all your waxing needs! Save yourself hours of running around and have everything done in the one place!

New Benefit Cosmetics Boutique, 17 south william street, Dublin

The boutique itself is set in a gorgeous listed building, converted into a bright and beautiful haven packed full of everything girls love! One of the main things I look at when I am at a beauty salon or off having my own make up done for a change, is the light in which you are being worked on with. A big problem with popping into department store makeup counters is that you are having your makeup done in totally artificial light, so as soon as you step outside into the natural light, BAM! Your makeup is no longer that perfect, flawless face you seen in the department store. But the light throughout the Benefit Boutique is like nothing I have ever seen before. It is flooded with such bright natural looking light, so you will have no nasty shocks when you walk outside, what you see is what you get.

New Benefit Cosmetics Boutique, 17 south william street, Dublin

While I was there on Friday night, I took advantage of the opportunity to play with all the new gift sets which are launched for Christmas every year. They make the perfect gift for any female so you need not be stuck for picking gifts this year!

You can view all the new limited edition Christmas sets available here on their website.

New Benefit Cosmetics Boutique, 17 south william street, DublinMy favourite, definitely has to be ‘Little Love Potions’ – It’s very similar to last years ‘Sexy Little Stowaways’. Which speaking from experience, sells out LIGHTENING FAST! This set is perfect for a gift for that girlfriend who hasn’t been able to try out Benefit Cosmetics Makeup, perhaps for financial reasons, this set is perfect because you get mini’s of all their best selling products. It is also amazing for the girl who travels a lot and can’t take all her full size products with her.

No VIP bash is complete without an awesome goodie bag, and boy oh boy my goodie bags was just that! I was treated to a super cool Gimme some lovin’ Gift box with lots of their best selling products.Gimme Some Lovin, Christmas Gift Sets, Benefit Cosmetics

But not only that, I was given the new ‘Bathina – Body Oil Mist’, oh my goodness I am in love! I have to say, I am a cult follower of the original ‘Bathina – Body Balm’, but I think it may be possible to convert me to the mist. It is scrumptious! Here is what Benefit Cosmetics have to say about the mist:

“Silky, sexy skin is impossible to resist. This super-fine body oil mist absorbs instantly for immediate hydration. It includes sweet almond, olive and avocado oils to leave skin feeling soft & moisturized…and vitamin E known to help keep it firm. With a seductive sheen and a hint of tempting fragrance, it’s lust at first touch!”

New Bathina Body Oil Mist by Benefit Cosmetics

What is not to love about that! It’s not only for the skin though, you can also massage into cuticles to instantly soften them and to leave nails with a subtle sheen.

So there we have it, not only have Benefit Cosmetics brought you yet another year of hassle free, guaranteed-to-please Christmas gifts, but they have also brought you all a brand spanking new Luxury and super cute Boutique in the heart of Dublin City!

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If you are in the Dublin area, pop in to see the lovely team at 17 South William Street.

The 3-Part Series of: Is She Letting Herself Go?

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PART 1 :

“I don’t need to buy an expensive underwear to feel pretty”…

As you all know, the beauty industry is dictating new fashion trends, products that “should” be used by all of us and explaining, “what beauty should look like”. But we all are aware of how the marketing works and how it affects our perception of beauty.

Every morning when we wake up, we spend hours getting ready in order to look “perfect”.  We stand impatiently in 7bfront of the wardrobe to chose the right outfit for the day; our arms are tired from keeping them up for so long whilst doing make up and hair; and when we are done, we still do not feel as good as we should.

Let’s then take a step back and have a think: why do I need so many cosmetics, clothes, shoes, bags, etc. Is it because I like collecting things? Or maybe because I am a shopaholic? Or maybe I need a different outfit for different body weight throughout the year? Or maybe I just want to make other girls jealous?

Now, let’s think further: do I wear all that in a year? Do I have space for all these things? Do I put all that make up on my face every single day? How does it affect my skin?

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Well, let me tell you this: as far as you feel good in your own skin, you look good!

In this series of posts I would like to teach you all girls, that beauty starts from us standing naked in front of the mirror and smiling. We do not need anything else, except nice, comfortable underwear to feel pretty. What we need is the “happy attitude”. In one of the blogs that I have been reading recently, men have complained not about the size of their girlfriends, but about them not looking after themselves!

And here we are, starting to build the fundamentals to a “feel good mode”.

Lingerie… do I need to go to Anne Summers, Roxbury, Calvin Klein and other 7dexpensive outlets to look great in underwear? No, you do not! If you do not feel happy, you will not look good in anything. So take a “happy pill” and focus on your shape, comfort and variety of products available to you for as little as you can get. Believe me, Triumph panties wear off quicker and wash the same in the washing machine as panties from Primark.

All women’s lingerie is widely accessible on the market where the big pound does 7enot play the main role anymore. It does not matter anymore what size you are and what shape your curves are; what matters is the right choice of your lingerie and if you simply feel good in it.

When thinking about the choice of your piece, you should stop thinking so much fashion, but focus more on comfort. It is not that easy to find the right design and quality, but it is important to spend as much time as possible exploring your body shape with various patterns and fabrics. And please ladies, do not look at magazines and how those girls look! It is not real! You are real! Just you and the mirror… smile 🙂 and let me know what your partner said about the “new” naked you..

Tanning Friday’s Product Review: Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion – Light to Medium

I am a huge fan of Clinique products!

As one of many, who unfortunately am not blessed with the best skin, Clinque has been my knight in shining armour over the last decade. As a sufferer of oily 11askin, prone to break outs, their 3 step skin care system is quite simply, magnificent and I don’t know what I would do without it. So when I realised they also do fake tan, I could not have been more excited to try it out.

Much like the rest of their range, this tinted lotion is a must have product as it is extremely kind to your skin. It is non-acnegenic and dermatologically tested. With an oil free gel formula, the lotion goes on smoothly but with no sticky residue. It is instantly absorbed, so all that remains is an instant bronzed appearance.

11bHowever, this is not an instant tan, it develops into an even darker, rich, natural looking tan which lasts several days. As it is ‘light – medium’, the colour is very subtle and therefore is perfect for the winter months that are drawing in. If you prefer a darker colour then simply apply 2 – 3 times a week, rather than just the once.

Like all Clinique products, nothing has been over-looked! Which means the smell is very faint and is  nothing like what you would normally associate with a fake tan product. In fact, my partner actually LIKED the faint aroma this tan contains.

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I would allow this tan to develop for 5 – 6 hours before showering, so the best time to apply is before you go to bed, and remember…sleep in dark loose fitting clothing (despite what this may do to the romantic element of your relationship…your partner will thank you in the morning when you wake up as a bronzed, sun-kissed goddess) and always follow the basic skin prep rules (as below).

This product is fakery at it’s very best! If like me and many others, you struggle with your skin but want to trick the world into thinking you have effortlessly 11cperfect skin, with a natural olive tone all year round, you need Clinque!

I strongly recommend this product, especially for the next few months. As the weather turns, it is important to look after your skin and help it against those harsh winter elements. This lotion also has the perfect colour and tone for this time of year and it’s easy application is just another bonus.

11eDon’t you deserve the best!? I think you do! So at just £18 per 125ml this product is excellent value for money.

Buy it here!

Try now, and thank me later!

Capture the Light with Vita Liberata!

Soft, Dewy skin is at the top of everyone Christmas list. But, with so many highlighters and illuminators on the market, how do you know which are best? Which  are worth the investment and which  are a waste of money.

Let me start by saying that we rarely get highlighter or illuminators which are tailored to different skin tones etc. Yes, you do get them, but rarely in the same range and from the same brand. You may have to go to the likes of Smash Box for Halo Lighting for Fair Skin, Benefit Cosmetics – Sun Beam for Golden skin or maybe Illamasqua – Super Natural Gleam Cream for Dark Skin. However, there is no need to run around collecting all different products from different brands for your kit, as Vita Liberata do the most amazing Highligter / Illuminators in a range of 5 different colours and finishes. I have been trying out the Translucent Gold and Opaque Light Latte for a while now. Both of which are some of the most gorgeous products I’ve tried.

Vita Liberata Capture the Light LatteThey have a sort of air whipped consistency when they come out of the bottle. This product really packs a punch, you need such a small amount to go a long way. The product is intensely moisturising, it has extract of Aloe Leaf to soothe irritation, Shea Butter to repair and Hyaluronic Acid to help replenish lost moisture.

These products work beautifully under, over and mixed with your foundation. When used under your makeup as an illuminator, you can create a very subtle effect. Apply on the upper cheek bones, bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow and on your brow bones to catch the light. When applied over your makeup as a highlighter, this product is stunning. If you are looking for a dewy flawless finish to you makeup you can even mix it in with your foundation.

Vita Liberata Capture the Light Buttermilk OpaqueWhen applying this product directly over or under your makeup, I recommend using a brush like the C404 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush by Crown for an even, flawless and blended finish.

Capture the Light is well on its way to becoming a cult product with its popularity growing after being featured on the runways of London Fashion Week.

This product does not just stop at your face! It can be used all over the body, on the face, arms, legs, neck and décolletage. It can be used on clean skin, over or under makeup, over your false tan. It is so versatile it can be used almost everywhere.

Vita Liberata Capture the Light Buttermilk Translucent GoldTIP: If you are like me and are plagued with blue/purple circles under the eyes, dab a little Translucent Gold around the inner darkest area of the under eye and then apply your makeup per usual and you will notice great improvements in the appearance of your circles, they automatically appear lighter, without looking shiny.

Below will tell you which product is best suited for you:

Use Latte Light for a flawless, light bronzing to legs, arms, décolletage and face.  Can be used on its own or to finish and perfect already tanned skin following application of Vita Liberata self tan.

Use Gold for a luminescent skin finish and to enhance tanned skin. Perfect for sallow skin, this can be used on the legs, arms, décolletage and face.

Use Rose for a luminescent skin finish. Perfect for pale skin, this can be used on the legs, arms, décolletage and face.

Use Buttermilk on pale skin to neutralise flushing and soften freckles and blemishes without creating a tanned effect. Perfect for the legs, arms, décolletage and face.

Use Latte for a flawless, medium bronzing to legs, arms, décolletage and face. Can be used on its own or to deepen and perfect already tanned skin.

Vita Liberata Capture the Light Translucent RoseCapture the Light also helps protect your skin, with its SPF 25. It is non-toxic and almost completely organic. It is 100% free from Paraben, Perfume and Alcohol.

This product comes in a beautiful 30ml bottle and is priced at £29.95. When you take into account how versatile this product is and how such a small amount of product goes a very long way, I think it is priced well for an upmarket highlighter. Obviously you can go for a highlighter at £15, but you won’t get the same level of standard from the product.  If you buy from their website now you even get Free Delivery and Free Mini Tanning Mitt AND a free travel size surprise! What is not to love about that!

So whether you are a makeup artist or just an enthusiast, if you want to invest in a GREAT highlighter / illuminator, I would definitely recommend this product. I love it, it is used every single day in my kit.