Category Archives: How-to

The Beauty Cloud’s Guide to Festival Hair

Fesitval Season can be a tricky one for us ladies when it comes to keeping those tresses tamed, so I’ve come up with an easy 4-Day guide to easy-to-manage hairstyles to ensure you stay looking gorgeous the whole time.


Festival Hair says one thing to me Bohemian Glamour!!

4 Day Festival Hair Guide, House of Fraser, Hair Care, Products Aveda, Tierry Mugler, Chloe Anderson, JW Anderson, Belfast, Ireland, Hair, Beauty, Style

Curls and waves created by spritzing on AVEDA ‘BE CURLY’ ENHANCING SPRAY, then curling by patting GHD‘s over pin-curls formed by wrapping hair around 3-4 fingers giving unique curls and waves of all sizes and shapes. By using the ‘Be Curly’ and GHD’s this will give curls that will last and drop into soft waves in 3-4 days.


4 Day Festival Hair Guide, House of Fraser, Hair Care, Products Aveda, Tierry Mugler, Chloe Anderson, JW Anderson, Belfast, Ireland, Hair, Beauty, Style
Curls have dropped and dressed through naturally giving tousled informal curls and waves. If you have any frizzing, 2-3 spritz of Be Curly Spray again will tame it down.

Lift the front of your brow with a plait creating a practical but kooky twist to the look.


4 Day Festival Hair Guide, House of Fraser, Hair Care, Products Aveda, Tierry Mugler, Chloe Anderson, JW Anderson, Belfast, Ireland, Hair, Beauty, Style

By now the curls have relaxed into irregular waves. Scoop the hair back off your face with two effortless plaits joining into one creating some boho chic.

If our festival babes are feeling a tad un-fresh a mist of TIERRY MULGER ANGEL PERFUMING HAIR MIST will have you feeling as fresh as a daisy!


4 Day Festival Hair Guide, House of Fraser, Hair Care, Products Aveda, Tierry Mugler, Chloe Anderson, JW Anderson, Belfast, Ireland, Hair, Beauty, Style

Continuing on with some bang on-trend plaits simply just pull hair all to one side, letting shorter layers drop softly then plait loosely into a two-strand plait creating a fishtail, giving a Boho finale to our festival style!!

Hair by: Gillian Douglas-Rea / Make-up by: Nuala Campbell

Article by Gillian Douglas-Rea
Gillian has been writing for The Beauty Cloud since way back at 25th April 2012! You can follow more of Gillian’s work on Facebook. Any questions, email

Making that Manicure last… The Perfect Polish Preparation

Before I begin reviewing any new products or showing you any step by step nail art tutorials, I should really let you all in on the secret to making any of your manicures last that little bit longer!  We all know how hard it is to keep your polish from chipping for more than 48hours and that’s if you are lucky!

Chipped, cracked, nails, smudged, long lasting, perfect manicure, top tips,

We have all been that girl (or guy, we don’t mind here) who has spent over an hour gingerly painting our nails in the hottest new colour, being careful to keep it inside the lines.  We then go through that frustrating ritual of sitting still for the next hour, not touching anything, being careful not to smudge your pretty new polish job.  You think the coast is clear… you make yourself a cup of tea or in my case pour yourself a glass of Prosecco and before you know it you have smudged or chipped a nail. Sometimes if you’re lucky you get a whole 24 hours out of your manicure but those chips, smudges & cracks are never too far away.  Well fear not my fellow nail addicts; allow me to fill you in on how you can keep you nails looking beautiful for that bit longer…


1. Before you do anything lay out all the necessary tools & polishes you are going to need.  This prevents any mid-mani rummaging about & smudging.  Then I always begin with clean paws.  Remove any old polish & thoroughly wash your hands so you have a totally blank canvas to work on.

 Chipped, cracked, nails, smudged, long lasting, perfect manicure, top tips, bio sculpture, file, buff polish

2. Start the process by filing your nails into the desired shape, using long even strokes moving from the outside edge towards the centre of the free edge of the nail.  DO NOT SCRUB the nail file on your nails, this will cause damage. 

3. Once your nails are perfectly shaped, use a polishing block or buffer (you can buy these from most chemists or Sally’s for only 49p) lightly buff off any dead cells from the nail’s surface – your nails should no longer be shiny & but now look matte, don’t panic this is what you want!

Chipped, cracked, nails, smudged, long lasting, perfect manicure, top tips, bio sculpture, file, buff polish4. Cleanse the nail’s surface with your nail polish remover and a piece of cotton wool or a lint free wipe & you are now ready to begin!

5. The most important part of a manicure is the base coat – this creates the foundation for the polish to be applied to.  I normally use Bio Sculpture ‘Executive Base’ as it is also a great strengthener for weak and brittle nails.  However Rimmel, Nails Inc. & Maval also sell great base coats.

Chipped, cracked, nails, smudged, long lasting, perfect manicure, top tips, bio sculpture, file, buff polish, executive base, base coat

6. Allow the base coat to dry & apply 2 layers of your favourite polish – I chose Bio Sculpture #166 Blazing Lacquer.  (I feel like I am cheating on my massive collection of OPI polishes!!)  Leave 5-10mins between each layer & be careful not to get any on your cuticle area or surrounding skin – this will prevent the polish from chipping!

Chipped, cracked, nails, smudged, long lasting, perfect manicure, top tips, bio sculpture, file, buff polish, executive base, base coat, 166 blazing


7. After you have finished your 2nd layer of polish seal it up with a layer of top coat – make sure to seal the very tip of your nail as well as the top surface. This protects the polish below & keeps your mani shiny for longer!  Most major brands sell top coats, I like ‘Beauty Secrets’ top coat available from Sally’s for only £3.60 or Bio Sculpture’s top coat which is available from most salons that stock the Bio Sculpture brand.

Chipped, cracked, nails, smudged, long lasting, perfect manicure, top tips, bio sculpture, file, buff polish, executive base, base coat, top coat, beauty secrets, sally's salon services8. Your hands get a lot of abuse during everyday life, drying them out & preventing them from looking their best.  This is why I always finish any of my manicures with a generous slathering of cuticle oil  & hand cream.  Being careful that I have given the polish enough time to dry before massaging it all in.

Chipped, cracked, nails, smudged, long lasting, perfect manicure, top tips, bio sculpture, file, buff polish, executive base, base coat, top coat, beauty secrets, sally's salon services, cuticle oil, hand cream

Expert tip

Apply a drop of cuticle oil to each of your nails 10mins after applying your final top coat or put your fingers into a basin of icy cold water – both these methods help your polish dry in a flash!

So there you have it, the easy method to a perfect home manicure… what are you waiting for?  Find a polish that tickles your fancy and spend a little well deserved time pampering yourself.

 I’d love to hear any feedback you may have on prolonging your manicures or if any of you might have some secret, nifty tips that I haven’t heard of before!

Article by Louise Henry

Louise joined The Beauty Cloud team in May 2014 as our Nail expert.  She is a fully trained & qualified Nail Technician running her own little nail bar in Bangor, The Nail Room at Salon75. 

Any questions, email or find her on Facebook

Can you Rock a Red Lip this Valentines?

Red lips valentines day makeupAs  much as we all would love to pull off a gorgeous deep red lipstick to seduce anyone whose eyes fall upon us, the truth is, it’s just not that easy and if we aren’t careful, we will more than likely scare away all of those wandering eyes if we pick the wrong colour.

So here is the rule of thumb, I’m not saying that you MUST stick to these rules, there are a few who can break the rule depending on the balance they can create with their eye makeup and even their eye colour.

Red lips valentines day makeup penelope-cruz-red-lipstickIf you have darker skin, you firstly need to work out if you have warm or cool undertones.  If you decide you have warm undertones, you will find an orange-red lippy will work best to compliment your skin. Penelope Cruz is a great example of warm dark skin rocking an orange-red.

If you have cool undertones to your dark skin, you will rock a true red.

Fair skinned women are going to be best suited with Blue-Red Lipsticks, this is because they are less bright than that of an orange-red or a true-red. Saying that, ombre lips, valentines day, makeup, beautybecause you are wearing a dark lip, you need to make sure to balance your eye makeup. It is a must that you wear some dark eyeliner and plentiful layers of mascara. Otherwise, you lips will steal the show and your eyes will disappear.

You can always be brave and mix the depth of the reds you choose to wear. I love this image of Ombré-Style red lips.

Megan fox red lips valentines day makeup beauty blue red liptstick

With all of this being said, be careful not to wear too much eye-makeup. Yes, you will need plenty of Eyeliner and Mascara (or some luscious falsies), but be careful to keep your eyeshadow in neutral tones. There are few who can carry off dramatic eyes and lips.

So remember as much as we love the thought of having dramatic red lips, make sure you are using the correct colour for your skin-tone so your lips can stand out for all the right reasons. Here are a few examples of people wearing a a Red Lipstick which is wrong for their skin-tone.

celebrity-red-lips-megan-fox-Red lips valentines day makeup red-lipstick how-to-apply-Red-lipstick

Styling your Bridesmaids

Your choice of bridesmaid dress can really set the tone and say so much about your wedding day style. The colour establishes the entire scheme, the fabric suggests how formal or casual your day will be, and the style choice will demonstrate your style sensibilities for eternity. So a whole lot of pressure then!


Finding a dress that ticks all the boxes for you is the easy part, getting your bridesmaids to agree can be one of the most difficult tasks of styling your wedding. Negotiating varying body types, skin tone and hair colour can be tricky enough, but your bridesmaids aren’t mute! They will tell you what they do and don’t like, which areas of their body they are unhappy with (invisible pot bellies, flat chests and so on), some will insist they must wear a proper bra, others will tell you they must wear full length as they don’t like their legs, that she wore purple to Sarah’s wedding so cannot possibly wear purple again. You get the picture!

So I am here with some hints and tips on how to get what you want – you are the bride after all!

One of my best pieces of advice is to take control from the very beginning. I’m not saying to be a bossy bridezilla, but let your bridesmaids know that since you are buying the dresses that you get the final say. You’ll let them direct you towards their favourites, but the choice of colour, shape, colour and fabric are ultimately up to you.


I find the best plan of action is to go shopping for the dresses without your bridesmaids! Usually at the end of a bridal styling appointment I will make recommendations on what kind of bridesmaid dress would best suit your chosen wedding dress, and I find that this is the perfect opportunity to narrow down the selection available yourself.

If you have a particular colour in mind then the best starting point is to sift through the colour charts to identify which dresses are available in your chosen colour. There is no point finding a dress you love only to discover that the colour choice is limited and having to compromise.

Your wedding dress will dictate your bridesmaid dress choice to a certain extent. I strongly believe that they shouldn’t be too similar as it will look like you opted for a ‘set’, like you were told what to have! I feel like there should be one similar element, such as a similar neckline, skirt shape or fabric that ties you all together. It’s more important that the ‘feel’ is similar, for example if your wedding dress is lace the overall ‘feel’ will be a softness that is best mimicked in a chiffon bridesmaid style, as chiffon hangs well and flows in a similar way to most laces, whereas a taffeta dress will have a much more structured and severe look.


If you have a theme in mind this will really help to narrow down the choices. If your theme is red carpet glamour then a satin jewel toned dress will work really well. A vintage floral theme will be best reflected in a chiffon gown in a soft muted shade. A retro fifties theme generally works best with a shorter fuller skirt and a summery colour such as daisy yellow.

So armed with the knowledge of what will suit your dress and your theme, along with your preferences, I suggest having a good look at all the options available and to try to narrow it down to five to ten contenders.

Then it is time to bring in the bridesmaids! It’s a good idea to explain to them prior to their appointment that you have narrowed it down to these options and their job is to help you decide which one is best. Make sure that they understand that you’ve already done the legwork and eliminated all the ‘bad’ styles, they just have to give you their input on which one of these is the best.

Bridesmaid dresses are far from the frumpy dresses of past years, today’s styles are more elegant, sexy and sophisticated, and above all flattering! You are lucky to have so many options! But still you might have one bridesmaid who throws a strop or gives you grief over your chosen style. It’s worth keeping in mind, and maybe even mentioning to your girls that being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honour, and that were she just a guest at your wedding she could easily spend £200+ on your outfit. So getting rigged out in an outfit chosen by the bride shouldn’t be such a hardship.


Whilst you do have to take control and be borderline manipulative in order to get what you want, you still need to be kind to your girls and choose dresses that are kind to them. I always find that if you focus on finding a style that suits your most awkward maid the most (in personality or body type), then it will work out perfectly. Obviously your tall thin bridesmaid will look fab in most dresses so don’t let her choice dictate, especially if the style won’t flatter your curvier bridesmaid.

I have all kinds of tips on what style will work on each particular figure type, but that’s a whole other blog!  But a bit of pre-emptive advice especially for the bridesmaid whose double g’s threaten to crush your choice of bridesmaid dresses is to suggest that all your girls get fitted for really good strapless bras before they come shopping, that way you won’t have to guess how a dress would look if their boobs were in the right position. In my opinion the best strapless bra around is by Wonderbra, which fits up to a 38g.

It can be difficult to find a style that fits and flatters everyone’s style, personality and skin-tone, but remember that a bridesmaid dress doesn’t have to be a uniform – straps can be added, necklines tweaked, skirt shapes tailored. You can customise and tailor the dresses to be the best possible match for each of your bridesmaids!