Monthly Archives: December 2013

Bridal Dilemma (Part Two) – How To Find ‘The Dress’!

Too much choice can be confusing, so try to narrow down. The way we work at Cathedral Gowns is that each bride is forced to compare each dress to the last one she tried on. They can’t all be in the running, my job is to help you eliminate and go from the choice of a store full of 100+ dresses to that one ideal dream dress. It really is a process of elimination! My aim for each bride leaving the boutique is to find your perfect dress! And if we haven’t found the exact one, we need to at least have established which silhouette, fabric, detail and neckline you like the most.

How to find your perfect wedding dress

Try on as many as you feel you need to, but don’t fall into the trap of trying on too many. I’ve met many girls who have tried on more than 100 dresses and dozens of boutiques. If you get to that point you should be asking yourself some serious questions. Are you selecting dresses to try on that you don’t suit/ like etc. Or does what you like keep changing? Don’t worry if you can’t find one that ticks all the boxes – alterations and design changes can be done to most dresses to make them perfect. Aline skirts can be made more fitted, straps can be added, necklines can be changed. When you are in the hands of a good bridal boutique with great designers anything is possible!

The only pressure you should ever feel when trying to decide should either be time scale related or if the dress is likely to sell from stock or be discontinued anytime soon. It shouldn’t be a stressful situation.

How to pick your wedding dress

The trick is to know when to stop shopping, which can be hard for a lot of girls since shopping for wedding dresses is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning, and choosing for it to be over is hard to do.

I am asked all the time how do I really know it’s the ‘one’ – these are the questions you should be asking yourself!

  1. Can you picture yourself wearing it on the day?
  2. Do you like how your body looks in the dress?
  3. Do you like how the dress itself looks?
  4. Do you smile when you see your reflection?
  5. Do you feel excited?
  6. Do you feel confident?
  7. Do you feel happy?
  8. Do you feel beautiful?
  9. Do you keep comparing every dress to it?
  10. Do you feel like you’ve tried on enough dresses?
  11. Would you be gutted if you weren’t allowed to buy it?
  12. Do you like it?
  13. Do you love it?

If you’ve answered yes to four or more of these questions, I’d be pretty certain that you’ve found your wedding dress! But I can usually tell before you’ve even looked in the mirror yourself! The dress can totally change your demeanour and some girls faces just light up when they are in the right dress! At the end it’s all about how it makes you feel! If you feel good in it, buy it and don’t look back!

Bridal Dilemma (Part One) – Is It The One??

Having been a bridal stylist for eight and a half years, I have helped thousands of girls find their wedding dress. Some lucky ladies find it super easy and choose the very first gown they ever try on, some have to try on thirty before they find one that ticks all the boxes, but some poor girls never really find one that they really really like, and end up choosing a dress just because they have to.

Finding the perfect wedding dress, the one

I have noticed and sometimes worry that the pressure to find ‘the one’ is a bit ridiculous. There is never another instance in a girls life where she is forced to stand on a podium in front of her nearest and dearest (and a random stranger in the form of a bridal stylist) and really have to analyse her body and decide what looks good or bad. How surreal must that be? And to then have to try on dress after dress, comparing each to the last in the hope that one will be magic and transform you into a ‘bride’! It’s a very strange process when you think about it!

I witness girls torment themselves in their wedding dress search! Some girls I’ve met have visited every bridal shop in the country and tried on easily 200 dresses, and yet still haven’t found a dress that they want to wear on their wedding day. And really that makes me feel very sad for them, that the pressure to find that elusive perfect dress has occupied their spare time (and their mum’s) for months on end and she is still no nearer to finding perfection. I worry that a lot of girls feel like this extended process is normal and that it’s just part of wedding planning, but the reality is that whilst a wedding dress is a very important dress that deserves more care and attention than your Sunday best, it is still JUST A DRESS!

Finding the perfect wedding dress, the one

There definitely seems to be a lot of pressure on finding the one and having that magical moment when you look in the mirror and love what you see. But be realistic, don’t expect the heavens to open and the angels to sing!

If you are one of the girls who tries on a dress and instantly falls in love, jumps up and down in glee and maybe even sheds a tear, count yourself lucky! A physical or emotional reaction to a wedding dress is a brilliant thing! Don’t panic if you love the very first dress, you haven’t been short-changed in your shopping experience, but do try on one or two more just to be certain.

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I have noticed that some girls don’t have much of a reaction at all to a wedding dress and that is okay too. Some of my customers are definitely more rational than emotional when it comes to choosing the dress they’ll wear on their big day. If the dress ticks all the boxes and you would be happy to wear it and feel ready to commit to it then go for it!

I often say that it’s the ‘Head decision versus heart decision’, and neither is better than the other, some of us are just less emotional when it comes to wedding dress shopping, whereas some of us are nearly in tears before we even get near the dresses!

Come back tomorrow for ‘Bridal Dilemma (Part Two) – How To Find The Dress!

Are you staying on track this Christmas?

As we’re coming up to Christmas and right in the midst of the festive season, I know as well as anybody that this time of the year is a health and fitness nightmare. With all the mince pies, mulled wine, party drinks and buffets – not to mention Christmas dinner itself – our waistlines don’t stand a chance!

Christmas-Feast-Wallpapers-8

A few days ago someone told me that apparently we eat an average of 8000 calories on Christmas day! However accurate this number is, I don’t know, but I can imagine it isn’t too far off the truth. While this is a crazy amount of food, for one day a year it won’t do too much harm. The important thing is just to keep it to that single day! The festivities last a whole season, and I’m the first in line at Starbucks when they bring out their seasonal drinks and mince pies, but my message to you this Christmas is this – enjoy yourself….but all in moderation!

It’s a fine balance, don’t gorge yourself on every calorie in sight and I promise that you’ll enjoy what you have more. Life is far too short to deny yourself those little treats all the time, but just think now about how you’ll feel in January. Too many of us use it as the perfect excuse ‘oh well it’s Christmas after all, I’ll start the diet in the New Year’. A healthy lifestyle isn’t about bingeing and dieting, it’s about making the right choices all year. You want to wake up on New Years Day already feeling fresh and healthy (well…maybe by January 2nd after the hangovers worn off…) and ready to kick start 2014. I can guarantee you don’t want to wake up and immediately have to think about all that salad you have to eat to work off that extra December dress size!

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I for one will be taking it easy over the next few weeks, and I suggest if that’s what makes you happy then you do the same. Equally – if you’re one of these hard-core fitties out for a run on Christmas morning, I salute you! However, that certainly won’t be me. But don’t let it go completely. Wrap up warm and go for a winter walk, make that latte skinny where it normally would have been full fat, add a few extra veg to your dinner plate instead of those extra potatoes that you don’t really even want! My aim is to squeeze in a couple of online yoga classes back home (my favourite site is www.doyogawithme.com for videos of all levels!). 

It’s the little things that make the difference and your body will thank you afterwards.

Merry Christmas

Tanning Friday! Fake Tanning Tip – Problems ‘at hand’

I always recommend using a tanning mitt to apply fake tan, but we don’t always have one to hand! Therefore, if you must use your own mitts, then always wash your hands very well, immediately after application. Sometimes though, maybe we didn’t scrub hard enough, maybe the product was just too strong, for whatever reason,sometimes we get orange palms.

St Tropez Self Tan RemoverEven the most experienced tanners have this problem from time to time.

St Tropez, experts in everything tanning, have come up with a solution! As great as they are at making us sun kissed gods and goddesses, it would now seem that they are just as good at reversing the effects!

St Tropez Self Tan remover

Simply rub this product into your hands like a hand wash and as if by magic, 

Thank you St Tropez!those embarrassing stains are removed!

You can pick up this little emergency helper from BeautyBay.com for only £9.45 with Free Delivery!

A Product Review for the Fitness Fanatics among us: Total Charge Sports Recovery Set by Natural Hero

Following my last review of their Hot Ginger Muscle Rub, the lovely people at Natural Hero sent me their Total Charge Sports Recovery Set to review!

original_total-recharge-eco-bag

The set is available online on www.notonthehighstreet.com, and claims to be ‘the ultimate bundle for the preparation, recovery and training needs of active people’. Containing their Hot Ginger Muscle Rub, Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz and Hot Ginger Muscle Soak, it all comes nicely packed in an Eco Draw String Bag. It all looks very lovely, and I couldn’t wait to try out the new additional products I hadn’t used before!

original_total-recharge-recovery-bundle1Firstly, I tried the Cool Peppermint Spritz. Cooling treatments are useful immediately following exercise to speed up muscle recovery and reduce inflammation – it was recommended to me for use while I was recovering from a torn hamstring but still training. As it says, this is a spritz rather than a cream like the heat cream, however after spraying it still needs rubbing in. When applied, I found that the peppermint scent wasn’t overwhelming (in fact it had more of an initial ‘alcoholy’ smell) but the mint came through more afterwards. It dried quickly which was very useful, and a few minutes after use, the cooling sensation definitely kicked in – I’d used it on my neck and it felt like I was outside in the wind without a scarf! It was really refreshing to use and helped with muscle relief. I can imagine it’s much nicer to use in summer though! My only gripe would be that because it’s a spray rather than an aerosol, it’s hard to use when the bottle is tipped at too much of an angle (trying to reach my hamstrings or lower back).

The next item in the pack is the Hot Ginger Muscle Rub. This is a firm favourite of mine, and you can read my past review of this product here http://thebeautycloud.co.uk/2013/11/08/product-review-natural-hero-hot-ginger-muscle-rub/.

original_total-recharge-recovery-bundleThe final product is the Hot Ginger Muscle Soak. With a busy few weeks, it’s taken me a while to get the time out to be able to have a bath to try this – but it was well worth the wait! I’d had a few days off exercise, and after going back to a yoga class, I thought that evening was the perfect chance to try it out. The soak comes in a box as 6 individual 18ml oil to be poured in a running bath. I’ve used various bath soaks in the past, but the scent of this one immediately filled the room (and even the rest of my flat!). It’s a non-bubble product, so if you want to this, you’ll need to add extra bubble bath (as I did!). It was as relaxing as any other bath I’ve had, but I could feel my skin was soft (the oil contains sweet almond and starflower essential oils also condition your skin). This was a lovely bonus, especially with my skin drying out in the cold weather. Where I normally wake up with immediate aches the day after a yoga class, I felt pleasantly relaxed and hope this is something to do with the bath soak. It’s a great addition to use once a week or so if your body needs that extra recovery boost.

All in all, it’s a great set of products – it would make the perfect gift and I think anyone active would be lucky to get this under the tree at on Christmas day!

Find out more about Natural Hero and their products online at www.naturalhero.co.uk

25% off at Beauty-Boxes.com exclusively for our followers!

Admit it – This is the discount you have been waiting for all year! As you know, in the run up to Christmas, we secure exclusive discount from our favourite brands who we’ve been working with all year, just for you at Christmas time!

You will remember I reviewed an amazing set of brushes by Beauty-Boxes.com back in July. If you need to refresh your memory, you can read my review by clicking the following link:

‘Finally a professional brush set to meet all your needs!’

10 piece professional makeup brush set by beauty boxes

This brush set sells all year round for a very reasonable £71.45 which I believe is well worth the money for a quality set of 10 brushes.

But now the beautiful people over at beauty-boxes.com have given our followers and exclusive discount of 25% this set of brushes, meaning that you pay only £53.59! 

To get a set of 10 high quality brushes for that price is amazing!!

Now, because this discount is available only for you gorgeous little followers, you must simply give them a call to order, making sure you mention that you are a follower of The Beauty Cloud. The number to call is 01892 538862.

This discount is available until 20th December 2014, meaning you have only two weeks to avail of this offer. Make sure to order by the 20th to get your discount and ensure they arrive in time for Christmas.

Happy Shopping my lovelies!

Another Christmas Treat just for our followers!

We are really spoiling you this year. Behind the scenes I have been negotiating special discount from some of our favourite brands we’ve worked with this year.

FOM Pink Age Defying Facial MoisturiserYou will recall our previous product reviews recently from ‘Freshness of the Morning’ (FoM Cosmetics) firstly was my article on the Age Defying Facial Moisuriser. Such a gorgeous moisturiser pack full of yummy vitamins and essential oils. It fast became my go-to moisturiser.

Then the lovely Gillian Douglas-Rea got to try out and review their extremely aromatic Revitalising Hair Serum, and what a review that was! She loved it!

Without discount this products are very reasonably priced so to get these with some special added discount, it really is a Christmas Treat.

The lovely team at FoM Cosmetics have agreed to offer The Beauty Cloud followers a limited 15% off all orders. Not only that, they will also give you FREE DELIVERY! Thats quite a treat, right?! Well thats not all! If you spend more that £45 you will also receive a FREE GIFT! You will receive a Revitalising Eye Care Balm (worth £28) absolutely FREE!

All you have to do is go to www.fomcosmetics.co.uk and enter the code ‘FRESH‘ at the checkout.

Happy shopping my lovelies!