Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dress of the Month ~ November 2013

My current favourite dress is the amazing Leonora by Charlotte Balbier. I love her! It features a gorgeous dropped waist silhouette with a full aline skirt, which is so flattering on lots of figures, but especially on curvier girls.

Charlotte Balbier Wedding Dress Lace

The bodice features amazing corsetry which really pulls in the waist and flattens a tummy, and holds a fuller bust in place. The benefit of the lace up back really helps to achieve a gorgeous fit. It does a really good job of lifting your bust and really showcasing your waist, so it is the perfect dress choice if you are heavy in the bust department. Another reason this dress is perfect for bustier ladies is the fact the beautiful scalloped lace detail offers extra cleavage coverage.

Charlotte Balbier Wedding Dress Lace

The skirt of the dress is a soft full aline in tulle with a beautiful lace hem detail which definitely edges towards princessy. I feel like this dress is super girlie as well as super flattering.

I love pairing her with a beaded belt at the waist and a lace edged veil.

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

Fake Tanning Tip – Secret Ingredient

false tan, preparation, perfect, blotch freeAs I always say, fake tan preparation is essential! Your tan is only as perfect as the skin it’s applied to. I regularly remind readers of the perfect skin prep routine; however, there is one secret ingredient that many tanners find extremely useful.

There are areas of the body that fake tan clings to more and can make very orange. To avoid this happening, you can apply moisturiser to dryer areas of your body such as elbows, hands, feet, knees etc to stop the tan grabbing. However, sometimes if these areas are very dry, this is still not quite effective enough. For other areas such as the hair line and eyebrows, moisturisers are just never enough.

false tan, preparation, perfect, blotch free, vaselineSo say hello to your new best friend, Vaseline. Simply dot a small amount along your eye brows and next to your hair line. Dotting the Vaseline means that it will only stick to the hair and not the skin around it, therefore avoiding large, pale tide marks on the skin where there should be tan, but isn’t.

You can rub in as much Vaseline as you want to any of the dry areas of your body, this will ensure you do not get dark or cracked orange looking patches! 

A Christmas Discount Treat from SEACRETSPA.COM

In my last blog post, I spoke about the brilliant Age Defying RESTORE Face Serum from Continue reading

Anti-Aging products – Do they really work?

Anti-Aging products –  Do they really work? Although I have always loved to believe they did, I was yet to come across one which actually gave me real noticeable results.

A couple months back, the lovely ladies at sent me a bottle of their Age Defying RESTORE Face Serum. At first when researching this product, I noticed that it was directed at restoring the effects of aging and Seacret RESTORE Age Defying Face Serum Dead Sea Mineralsenvironmental damage. It does not claim to prevent it. It was exactly what I was looking for. For the past decade, I was subjected to a disease which meant that I had to take lots of pain medication and that pain was displayed visibly on my face. Due to constantly screwing up my face in pain, I had developed premature lines and wrinkles (and deep ones at that). The frown lines I had in between my eyes were so prominent and were there as a constant reminder of what I had been going through in previous years. So when this product promised to restore my skin back to its youthful state, I was practically jumping and the postman to snap it out of his hands!


A)  OK Postman, less of the chit-chat! Give me the bottle! 😉  

B) Oh…. this is a small bottle! it might last about a month for the amount my face will need!

C)  Hmmm…. I’ve felt this lovely velvety texture before, this is going to just sit on my skin and pretend to be a smooth complexion!

What I have learned is this – I am so quick to judge!

Thankfully, I do tell companies that when testing their products, I will do so over a number of weeks and months to ensure my opinions are well thought out and their products are well tested.

So my next impressions weren’t far behind! When applying the serum to my face and neck, I noticed that a little went a very long way, so two little squirts was enough product to do my entire face and neck. That put my ‘Small Bottle’ judgement put to rest – in fact I have been using this product twice daily for months and I can barely see the bottle go down.

Fast-forward by 10 minutes >>> I felt my face to see if the velvety texture was standing the test of time and it was gone! Completely absorbed. I was really quite shocked. My skin practically drinks this product! So my original quick-response judgements were completely worthless (except the one about the postman talking too much!)

Throughout my time using this product, I have noticed that it doesn’t try to impress you with immediate and short-lived results. A lot of Anti Aging products fool you with firing lots of moisture at you, so most people will feel like their skin has been adequately moisturised. I didn’t get this result from the face serum, what I got was long-term hydration. There is a difference you know!

Seacret RESTORE Age Defying Face Serum Dead Sea Minerals

My skin began to look more hydrated and developed a healthy glow again. Those pesky frown lines which were so deep rooted between my eyes started to fill out again. The multiple lines across my forehead started to hydrate and lost the dry, flaky appearance and eventually over time have completely gone. Now I don’t mean that they have all reduced by a tiny amount which requires the slightly blurred glance through crossed eyes, I mean they are gone!

I have never got such dramatic results from an Anti-Aging product. I am in love! I have to say, that even though my skin drinks this product up, I still do like a bit of immediate hydration too, so I always follow up with my ‘Freshness of the Morning – Age Defying Facial Moisturiser’.

When I started to see such great results, I wanted to know more about what was in the product. I was worried that maybe my face was absorbing some horrible chemicals that were making my skin swell in some way, but thankfully, I was wrong and very pleasantly surprised. The serum contains a special complex blend of vitamins and proteins to promotes younger, more radiant, healthier looking skin while Dead Sea Minerals and essential oils nourish and re-hydrate.

The main ingredients in the serum are: Seacret RESTORE Age Defying Face Serum Dead Sea Minerals  

1) Collagen

2) Dead Sea Minerals

3) Elastin

4) Evening Primrose Oil

5) Grape seed Oil

6) Jojoba Oil

7) PeptidesSeacret RESTORE Age Defying Face Serum Dead Sea Minerals

8) Vitamin A

9) Vitamin C

10) Vitamin E

11) Wheat Germ Oil


Now, I am not one who is easily convinced by cosmetics companies, so I always make sure to look at the full ingredient list. The first ingredient on their list is ‘Cyclopentasiloxane’. This product is a type of silicone, which is probably what lends the velvety silk feeling you get when you first apply it. It tends to be used in skin care products as it has quite a watery consistency, meaning that it helps spread the other ingredients really well. On a short-term basis ‘Cyclopentasiloxane’ can fill in lines and help the skin appear more plump. So when I saw this as their number one ingredient, I knew that it would be amazing under makeup and it is! It creates a smooth and even base for foundation.

Seacret RESTORE Age Defying Face Serum Dead Sea MineralsSeacret recommend following up this serum with their REFRESH Vitamin-Rich Moisturizer, which I am really interested in trying out. So there you have it, a Age-Defying skin care product which actually delivers noticeable results!. You can buy the Age-Defying RESTORE Face Serum directly from

When to shop for your wedding dress?

The one question that I am asked the most by brides to be is ‘How soon should I start shopping for my wedding dress?’ And my answer is always the same – that you should shop for your dress as soon as you are ready!

So… what do I mean by ready?

1. You should have your wedding date and venue booked.

The time of year and location as well as the timescales for ordering will all be things that your bridal consultant will need to consider while helping you to find your wedding dress. The kind of dress you could wear for a beach wedding could be miles away from a dress suitable for castle wedding.

 2. You should have the money to buy the dress.

Sounds obvious but in speaking with other bridal boutiques, it seems a lot of girls hit the shops months before they have the money ready to be spent. Most girls seem to visit bridal boutiques with a ‘just looking’ attitude, but this is such a dangerous thing to do. Bridal gowns can be discontinued or sold from stock at any time, so you might find a gown you love and plan to return to buy it in just a few weeks, but you could be sorely disappointed to discover that ‘your dress’ is no longer available. Can you imagine how gutted you’d be?! I’ve had to deliver that bad news on more occasions than I care to remember, and I always feel like such a baddie, and it’s horrible to see that kind of disappointment on someone’s face. So definitely be prepared to buy the dress as soon as you find it.

 3. You should know what your budget is and how far you are willing to compromise.

Most bridal boutiques are very upfront about their price range, so check the websites of the shops you want to visit before you book appointments. If you are willing to spend up to £1000 then there is no point in teasing and torturing yourself with couture gowns of £2000 plus in high end boutiques. You’ll only end up either blowing the budget or absolutely gutted at having to walk away from your dream dress. Most bridal boutiques have collections that start from £700, but don’t despair if you can’t spend that much – check out their sales where gowns might start from just £295 instead.

 4. You should be aware of delivery timescales.

Most bridal gown manufacturers need between 16 and 24 weeks to create and deliver your bridal gown. This means that most bridal boutiques like you to have placed your gown order a minimum of 7 months prior to your wedding day. Some designers require much longer, even up to a year! My philosophy is earlier is always better, as having the dress at home with you months in advance is definitely better than stressing about not having enough time for alterations.

 5. You should know whether you’d prefer an exclusive one-off gown or a more widely available style.

I meet girls all the time who expect to be the only girl in the county to wear a particular wedding dress, but when you are shopping in a mainstream bridal boutique with a £1500 budget, this expectation is completely unrealistic. However, if you have £3000 plus to spend, and commission a couture creation from a high end designer, you can pretty much guarantee exclusivity. The only way to make sure your dress is different from other local brides whilst shopping mainstream is to customise. Lots of mainstream designers such as White Rose offer the option to change things about your dress, to really make it unique to you. Independent bridal boutiques might be able to control who buys their dresses, so if you know your cousin has bought her wedding dress already, let the bridal stylist know before you start trying on, so that she can make sure you don’t fall in love with the same dress. But it’s very important to understand that the same dresses can be sold in lots of different locations across the province. Popular designers such as Ronald Joyce, Ellis or Benjamin Roberts can be found in lots of bridal boutiques, so be aware that a workmate could buy her wedding dress in a shop 40 miles from the one you shopped in, but you could end up with the same dress.

 6. You should have decided if you are prepared to purchase an ‘in stock’ gown or if you’d prefer a ‘special order’ gown made just for you and never tried on before.

Buying ‘off the rail’, especially at sale time, can mean you can get a lot more gown for your money. Chances are it might have a few marks and maybe some missing beads, but these things are easily fixed. If you are limited on time you might already be limited to the in-stock selection, but keep in mind that gowns can be altered to fit , so if the gown you love is a 14 and you are a 16, a good seamstress can usually make it work.

7. You should be close to the weight you want to be on your big day.

I’m not saying to start starving yourself prior to dress shopping, but there is little point shopping for and buying your wedding dress two years before your wedding at a size 20 with a plan to be a size 12 on your wedding day. Most bridal boutiques have a policy of ordering your dress according to your measurements at the time, not your ideal measurements. So if you are planning to join slimming world, weight watchers or the gym, then I’d recommend leaving dress shopping until 7-9 months before your big day. That way you’ll have an idea of the pace of your weight loss and can gauge better what size you are likely to be on your wedding day.

So if you’re reading this and think you are prepared to find your dream dress, my last piece of advice is to be organised and book your appointments as far in advance as possible. Popular boutiques such as ours are already getting bookings as far ahead as March 2014, and our next available late night slot is early February! So if you know already that 7pm on a Tuesday suits you and your entourage the best, then get your appointments booked!

Hair Styles To Complement Your Dress This Christmas Party Season!

As the Christmas party season fast approaches, finding the perfect look to WOW your work colleagues and celebrate in style can be a difficult challenge. But the dilemma doesn’t end once you have chosen your dress – selecting a great hair style to complement your outfit is just as important.

Whether you’re wearing a strapless, one shouldered or backless dress, we’ve put together our top tips to styling your hair to truly complement your outfit for this year’s event, from up-dos to glamorous curls, take your pick and make an entrance at this year’s Christmas do!

If you’re wearing a One Shouldered Dress…
Pauls Hair World, hair extensions, clip in, human hairClassic hair styling is necessary to complement a one shouldered dress. We recommend styling your hair into an updo so that the focus remains on the classic shoulder detailing. For an simple updo you can do at home, why not try using a hair piece, this super chic Ballerina Style Bun Hair Piece from Beauty Works is ideal. Simply clip your hair into a bun, attach the bun hairpiece by clipping it into place over the top of your own hair bun. The plaited detailing around the hair piece makes this a winning hair look for any occasion!

Pauls Hair World, hair extensions, clip in, human hair

If you’re wearing a Strapless Dress…
With strapless dresses, your shoulders, neck and chest can feel very exposed so why not go for gorgeous loose curls to soften the look. To get gorgeous curls fit for the red carpet, simply wash and dry your hair, then using a curling wand simply tong sections of hair into loose curls. Don’t forget to finish the look with a spritz of hairspray to hold hair into place. Add length and thickness to your hair with gorgeous high quality Remy Hair extensions, available online from Pauls Hair World.

If you’re wearing a backless dress…
Pauls Hair World, hair extensions, clip in, human hair
Backless dresses are truly glamorous, therefore you need an equally elegant hair do to complement your dress. To avoid drawing attention away from the backless detailing, why no sleek your hair in to a pony tail, a favourite style with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Beyonce. A simple style to do at home, first blow dry your hair straight and use a comb to slick back your hair into a hair tie. Use shine spray and hairspray to hold in place, wrapping a small piece of hair around the hair tie to disguise and secure with hair grips. To finish, straighten over your pony tail to give your hair that pin straight celebrity look! If you feel your hair is too short for this style, why not try clip in human hair extensions to give your hair some extra length this party season.

Product Review: Natural Hero Hot Ginger Muscle Rub

Rarely a week goes by where I’m not hanging upside down off one leg in a pole class, or bending myself in knots in yoga. Whilst the effects of these classes on my body are generally good, the downside that I end up in a constant state of aches and pains.

The people I went to college with were all very active and injuries were rife – this resulted in a constant and rather potent aroma of Deep Heat at every turn. Not the most pleasant of smells, I’ve always generally tried to avoid using it whenever possible – which is why I was excited to discover the new, far fresher Hot Ginger Muscle Rub by Natural Hero.

Natural Hero hot ginger muscle rub fitness advice

This was recommended to me from a fellow poler, based on the wonders of warmth for stiff muscle recovery.  I ordered directly from their website online. Delivery was free and quick, and they threw in a couple of extra sample sachets, which were handy to take to the gym!

Natural Hero describe the product as a”sports massage in at tube” which ‘helps ease fatigued muscles with its blend of premium grade ginger root, rosemary, starflower and sweet fennel essential oils’.

After a few uses – I’m a convert. Generally I’ll apply it to my constantly aching hamstrings when I’ve showered after a class.  A little goes a long way, and it spreads and absorbs easily so you don’t end up with a mess all over your clothes. The smell of the lotion itself is quite strong, however it doesn’t have the same ‘disinfectant’ smell of Deep Heat and seems much more natural – this is probably explained by the bonus fact that it’s made from 98% natural ingredients!  And much cheaper than a sports massage.

Natural Hero hot ginger muscle rub fitness advice

Once applied, the scent doesn’t linger. After a few minutes, you can definitely feel it working and warming your muscles – as I’m such an impatient person I love that you can physically feel it kicking in! It can be quite tingly and I’d recommend washing your hands straight after using it else they will be getting toasty too.

At £9.99 for 100ml it’s not the cheapest of muscle rubs available, but it definitely relieves the post-exercise agony the day after a workout. As you only need to apply a small amount at a time, my current bottle has lasted a long time and I won’t hesitate to replace it once it’s empty!

Available to order online at or you can use their website to find your nearest stockist.