Monthly Archives: March 2014

Laser Lipo – Does it really work? Join me on my 4-Week Journey with Bellaze Inch-Loss Clinic and we can find out together.

I recently received an invite to a brand new, non-invasive inch loss clinic – the first of its kind in Northern Ireland – which has arrived in Belfast with ambitions to give the city a leaner, more svelte silhouette. Bellaze, situated on Donegall Street in the city centre, uses the renowned Body Sculpting system from inch loss expert Tina O’Doherty’s clinics in Scotland. Since opening her first clinic in Scotland ten years ago, a total of over 500,000 treatments have been completed on over 40,000 clients, with each losing an average number of 8-12 inches.

bellaze inch weightloss clinic

So needless to say, I was offered the chance to try out their Body Sculpting System, I jumped at the chance. I had a trial today and really loved it, but when I was told that they are treating me to the 4-week Gold Plan, I was absolutely delighted!

The Bellaze Body Sculpting System uses 3 main methods:

Lipo Sculpting – A laser beam is targeted on the area of the body identified to be treated.  The cold laser beams penetrate the skin just deep enough to reach the layers of fat. When the light hits the fat cells, a rapid chain of events take place. Firstly pores form on the cells and this causes the water, Glycerol and Fatty Acids contained within the cells to spill out.

This is then removed from your body through the lymphatic system and processed in the same way as fatty foods are digested. The remaining fat cells are significantly reduced in size. This process does not affect any other part of your body such as skin, blood vessels or nerves.

Electrolite – Used originally for healing of muscles and surrounding tissues, it became apparent that the visual effect of this treatment was the improvement of the body contours. It was also noted that this was happening quickly and comfortably to the patient.
The equipment has since been modified enabling therapists to use it in the Beauty industry. It has replaced the original muscle stimulation treatments (commonly known as Faradic) that although were effective, took longer to achieve goals and were limited in use. However, there is Microcurrent equipment that incorporates Faradic type current. This is the choice of each individual manufacturer.

Microcurrent offers quick results in lifting and contouring. Cellulite conditions will improve as the cells become healthier and waste products are eliminated. After a course of treatments, (normally recommended are courses of 10 or 12 treatments), a maintenance programme will be followed to carry on the effects achieved.

Thermoshape – This treatment is carried out at the same time as the Electrolite treatment and uses relaxing therapeutic heat. Heating the muscles produces an increased blood flow similar to that seen during exercise.

My 4-week treatment plan starts on Tuesday 1st April, I am going to share my journey over the month with you to let you know the answer to the all important question you are asking, does it actually work? Follow me over the next 4 weeks to find out.

In the meantime, why not check Bellaze out on Facebook or Twitter ‘@Bellaze’

Built to withstand the challenges of the Professional Makeup Artist – Life is a breeze with Beauty-Boxes

I am often asked by Makeup Artist, Hairdressers and students, where I get my makeup trolleys? Which are the best to get? How much to pay? What do I look for when shopping for cases and trolleys.

monaco3

I have tried trolleys from a few different companies (whose names I won’t mention) which I really wasn’t impressed with. They are overweight, extremely bulky and go out of shape very easily, meaning their lids don’t close properly, which then in turn means that it is extremely risky lifting the cases by the lid with your kit tucked inside.

A company who I would highly recommend for great quality and affordable cases and trolleys is Beauty Boxes. You may recognise them from my previous post about their great Professional Make-up Brush sets.

I am often asked by Makeup Artist, Hairdressers and students, where I get my makeup trolleys? Which are the best to get? How much to pay? What do I look for when shopping for cases and trolleys. I have tried trolleys from a few different companies (whose names I won't mention) which I really wasn't impressed with. They are overweight, extremely bulky and go out of shape very easily, meaning their lids don't close properly, which then in turn means that it is extremely risky lifting the cases by the lid with your kit tucked inside.  A company who I would highly recommend for great quality and affordable cases and trolleys is Beauty Boxes. You may recognise them from my previous post about their great Professional Make-up Brush sets. They offer a wide range of cases and trolleys suitable for all uses and kit sizes. They are perfect for Nail Artists, Hairdressers, Make-up Artist, Beauty Therapists and even just beauty enthusiasts. They are the only trolleys that seem to withstand the abuse that my multiple kits get. As a freelance artist, these cases are packed full, they are up and down stairs plus in and out of my car on a daily basis. The have been dropped, bashed and bruised and still work perfectly.  A big deciding factor for me is the weight. I once had my heart set on a set of trolleys, they looked amazing. I was sold (foolishly!). However, when the cases arrived, they weight 15KG empty! .... Yes! You're eyes are not misleading you, 15kg EMPTY! So you can just imagine by the time you put your kit in, I couldn't even lift them. Then when you take into account that you lift your case by the lid, the handle and locking hinges is what takes all the weight. I ended up having to buy another set just to split my kit up so that I could actually lift them. I still get constant compliments on how gorgeous they are, but let's face it, they break my back every single day, so I am not their biggest fan anymore. I have a few of the trolley's from Beauty Boxes for a couple of months now and they are brilliant. They have to be the most solid and sturdy trolleys I've ever had, they are super lightweight, they lock perfectly every time and haven't changed in shape at all. Another thing I love about them is that they inside of the cases are easy to wipe clean, which any professional in the beauty trade can tell you is a much needed aspect. So if you are wanting to invest in trolleys or cases that will last you a long time, make sure to check out www.beauty-boxes.com.

They offer a wide range of cases and trolleys suitable for all uses and kit sizes. They are perfect for Nail Artists, Hairdressers, Make-up Artist, Beauty Therapists and even just beauty enthusiasts.

They are the only trolleys that seem to withstand the abuse that my multiple kits get. As a freelance artist, these cases are packed full, they are up and down stairs plus in and out of my car on a daily basis. The have been dropped, bashed and bruised and still work perfectly.

monaco trolley makeup artist

A big deciding factor for me is the weight. I once had my heart set on a set of trolleys, they looked amazing. I was sold (foolishly!). However, when the cases arrived, they weight 15KG empty! …. Yes! You’re eyes are not misleading you, 15kg EMPTY! So you can just imagine by the time you put your kit in, I couldn’t even lift them. Then when you take into account that you lift your case by the lid, the handle and locking hinges is what takes all the weight. I ended up having to buy another set just to split my kit up so that I could actually lift them. I still get constant compliments on how gorgeous they are, but let’s face it, they break my back every single day, so I am not their biggest fan anymore.

monaco2

I have a few of the trolley’s from Beauty Boxes for a couple of months now and they are brilliant. They have to be the most solid and sturdy trolleys I’ve ever had, they are super lightweight, they lock perfectly every time and haven’t changed in shape at all. Another thing I love about them is that they inside of the cases are easy to wipe clean, which any professional in the beauty trade can tell you is a much needed aspect.

So if you are wanting to invest in trolleys or cases that will last you a long time, make sure to check out www.beauty-boxes.com.

 

 

Dress of the Month ~ March 2014

Right now I am slightly obsessed with our beautiful Boadicea gown from Charlotte Balbier! This is definitely not a typical wedding dress – this dress is super glamorous, sophisticated and very very sexy.

Boadacea

 

She features a very pretty sheer lace bateau neckline which lots of our brides are loving right now.  However, instead of being a full lace look this gown features a fluid and luxurious satin skirt.

Boadicea

 

She is simply beautiful. But the most surprising part of this dress is the stunning sheer lace back! It makes a statement and is definitely a fabulous choice for a confident bride.

Boadicea

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of Your Day

My last post was about how important your sleep is – hope you’ve all slept a little better after reading it.  This articles is going to focus on one of the first things we do after we wake up in the morning – breakfast.

Breakfast 1All my life I’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and studies show that there is growing evidence that this is true. Unfortunately, when I was little my mother never had time to make breakfast for me so often my breakfast consisted of 4 home made donuts filled with huge amounts of jam and washed down with a glass of milk  – I must admit it was bliss.

Now I know what you’re thinking – gosh, that sounds very unhealthy.  Well… it might have been but I loved it. These food memories come from one of the best times of my life – donuts, 2 school dinners in the canteen and sports all afternoon – both during school and after.  This was my thing.

Throughout my life, I’ve never had a regular time set aside to eat breakfast or had something in particular that I’ve always eaten for breakfast.  My eating habits have generally varied depending on the type of job I’ve been doing, the weather and my appetite. Sometimes I found that that if I ate a heavy breakfast I would feel sluggish all day.

Increasingly, I’ve found that it’s crucial that I make time for a breakfast that consists of high energy, slow release foods and that it’s tailored to the day I will be having.  There are also some high protein, big staying power breakfasts out there that have been designed for those of you, like me, who are leading crazy, fast paced lives, always on the go.

Many of us grab breakfast on the run – a pot of porridge for the chain coffee shop near work, or get a pancake as we pass our favorite bakery or have got used to team breakfasts at work.  There’s nothing wrong with getting breakfast on the move but it’s important to make smart choices so that we are set up for the rest of the day.

These are my top five breakfasts for every occasion:

  •   1.   The Lazy Bliss: a home made Ulster fry: 2 steak sausages, 1 potato bread, 1 pancake, 2 fried eggs, fried scallions with vine small tomatoes and chili and jalapeno relish – the perfect weekend brekkie
  •   2.   The Early Riser: a pot of muesli filled with fresh fruit, drowned in hot milk and honey – something to put a spring back in your step during the early hours
  •   3. Sweet Memories: toasted pancakes with cheese and jam accompanied by glass of cold milk – a comforting breakfast
  •   4. The Energy Booster: a fruit smoothie made with special polish yoghurt (kefir or maslanka) or natural Greek yoghurt, fresh fruits (bananas, blue berries, black berries, straw berries, etc.) – this is a breakfast to help those little grey cells kick into action – to make it sweeter you can add small spoon of sugar or honey
  •   5. A Scrambled Adventure: as the name suggests, the main part of this breakfast is scrambled eggs but with a twist – I make them either with some of the following: fresh cream and onions; fresh tomatoes; polish ham, sausage, peppers, scallions and parsley; parmesan cheese, peppers, pumpkin seeds and onion.

Hungry?  I know I am! Remember, the most important thing is to be happy and to see a healthy breakfast as an essential part of your daily eating schedule.

 

To Gel Polish or Not to Gel Polish? It Shouldn’t Even Be a Question!

OK Ladies, if you haven’t ever had a Gel Polish manicure go now and get one – you can thank me later. 

What is Gel polish?
Gel polish is applied just like a regular polish from a regular bottle except it will not air dry and must be cured under a UV or LED lamp. It lasts up to 3 weeks with no cracking, peeling or chipping.

Won’t it damage my own nails?
No, not if it is applied and removed by a trained professional who will apply a base coat first to eliminate any staining to the natural nail.  When the Gel Polish is removed, the nail will be soaked in acetone so that polish will easily peel off with an orange wood stick.

I would even say that Gel Polish has actually protected my nails – when I have it on they never peel or split which they always did before. My nails also seem to grow longer now than they did without it.

Aren’t they expensive?
Prices will vary but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. A Gel polish manicure, applied by a trained professional, will last up to 3 weeks.  For the approx £20 you spend it ends up working out at less than £1 a day.  Bargain!

But, I’ve heard some horror stories.  This girl I know…she said that…
We’ve all heard the stories.  We humans love nothing better than focusing on graphic gory details like bleeding nail beds and infected fingers. Unsurprisingly, these are the stories that make the news.

What you don’t hear about is the other side of things (my end) – all the happy clients who have had their nails maintained and manicured regularly by professionals and have had wonderful experiences of Gel Polish. I could talk all day about the potential danger of going to an amateur ‘Nail Tech’ but that’s a whole other article.  I’ll just say this: PLEASE go to a professional and expect to pay at least £30 for extensions with polish. You get what you pay for!

Amateur vs. Professional? You decide…

Nailed It

If you’re trying to work out what Gel Polish to buy next…here’s what I’m getting – Artistic Colour Gloss Spring 2014 collection.

Colour Inspires

Kylie’s Secret to Hair Success

After my little bundle of joy arrived this year my Saturday nights took on the official title of ‘relaxed night in’.  As a result, I’ve found myself increasingly hooked on a bit of Saturday Night TV with The Voice becoming a main attraction in my tele-viewing schedule. Why? Well, it’s mostly due to a certain pint-sized Australian who never fails to add a touch of glamour and interest.

In homage, I thought I’d take this opportunity to take a look at some key Kylie looks.

Kylie Minogue

Our first look is the ponytail.  This isn’t the ponytail of the playground.  This is a trendsetting sophisticated ponytail which has a Bridget Bardon feel to it.  With that little bit of extra height and its soft feminine edge this simple style has been transformed and oozes sex appeal! Ponytails are the little black dress of the hair style world – a classic that never goes out of fashion – and Kylie shows us exactly why.

Kylie Minogue

The second style I’ve picked out is Kylies’ effortless looking tousled curls. Again, a simple and effective style statement with curls created so that they go in different directions, giving that natural undemanding look.  Finished with a centre parting this hair style has a distinctly youthful feel.

Kylie Minogue

The final Kylie look I’ve chosen is her groomed voluminous blow dry.  It’s smooth but has bags of volume and body.  It retains a soft natural feel through the ends with a gentle bend – bringing in that key element of femininity that is key to Kylie’s look.

Kylie is proof that at 45 you can easily rock looks that are bang on trend – her secret, incorporating in a soft feminine feel! 

Waking Up With the Rooster’s Call

RoostersWaking up at the crack of dawn, as the Rooster calls, is not my favorite time of the day. New research suggests that roosters don’t need the light of new day to know when its dawn – rather, their internal clocks alert them to the time.  I often wish humans also had an inner alarm, finding it difficult enough to get to sleep let alone get up.

Our relationship with sleep is a fascinating area of study.  Why is sleep important?  How does it affect our behavior? How does aging affect our sleep?

Along with the physical changes that occur as we get older, changes to our sleep patterns are also a part of the normal aging process.  As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger.   It is a common misconception that you need less sleep as you get older. In fact, research shows that our sleep needs remain constant throughout adulthood.  This is because sleep has so many  benefits to our health and well-being.

  • Sleep improves memory.  During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake.
  • Sleep helps you to live longer.  Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan, and it affects the quality of life.
  • Sleep helps to curb inflammation. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more sleep.
  • Sleep can spur creativity. In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.
  • Sleep can help you to be a winner. If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep.
  • Sleep can improve your grades.  Children between the ages of 10 and 16 who have sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and other types of interrupted breathing during sleep, are more likely to have problems with attention and learning.
  • Sleep can sharpen your attention.  A lack of sleep can result in ADHD – like symptoms in kids.
  • Sleep can help you to achieve a healthy weight.  If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too.
  • Sleep adviceSleep can lower stress.  When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same – and both can affect cardiovascular health.
  • Sleep can help you to avoid accidents.  Being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance—even more than alcohol!
  • Sleep can help you steer clear of depression.  Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.

So, cut out late night caffeine, make sure your bedroom is dark and cozy, avoid scary movies and late night work and personal to-do-lists right before bed and get yourself a good night’s sleep so you’re ready and raring to wake up at the same time as your local Rooster.

“Even a soul submerged in sleep
is hard at work and helps
make something of the world.”
Heraclitus, Fragments