Category Archives: Product Reviews

Garden of Colour, Perfect for Summer!

Much to my delight I was sent some lovely products from a new up & coming brand from Poland, called Silcare.

I’m not going to lie, I had never heard of this brand before but it’s always super exciting to try out some fresh new products!  The products produced by Silcare are directed towards not only professional nail technicians but also people with just a love of nails & beauty, so the quality is actually amazing.  Something that really impressed me about this brand is that absolutely none of their items are tested on animals and they are trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible – this is something I feel quite strongly about.  I always try to make sure that none of the products I offer to my clients have been tested on animals and that they contain no harmful chemicals that may harm their health.  So after reading all these great things I was incredibly surprised to see how cheap all of their products are!  Their nail polishes are roughly £2 & their cuticle oils are about £1.70, these are the products I will be reviewing today.  Buying the products directly from the Silcare website http://nails.silcare.com/ is your most cost effective option.

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The website supplies literally everything you need to either open up your own little nail salon or just keep your own nails in tip-top shape at home.  From cuticle pushers, nail files & nail conditioners to UV lamps, hand rests & beautifully pigmented gel polishes, Silcare have got you covered.  I was sent two lovely Nail Polishes & two of their new Cuticle Oils, all from their Garden of Colour range.  Along with a few of their Gel Polishes but I will review these separately at a later date!

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The packaging is very similar to OPI or China Glaze which instantly gives the illusion of a luxury brand.

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The bronze polish reminds me of Galaxy chocolate, yummy! – A beautiful shimmering colour containing fine metallic glitter as well as larger pieces of iridescent glitter.  It was quite a thin consistency which was super easy to apply.  I applied my normal two coats however I think it would actually take three coats of this polish to get the desired glittering effect.  I really love the colour of this polish, it would be perfect with a holiday tan on your toes!

silicare, Silcare website http://nails.silcare.com/, nail varnish, polish, poland, new

silicare, Silcare website http://nails.silcare.com/, nail varnish, polish, poland, new

I really wasn’t sure about the green polish, I am normally quite traditional (boring) when it comes to my nail polish colour choices.  But upon applying this polish I was very pleasantly surprised.  It had a much more concentrated amount of the finer glitter than the brown polish but was the same thin consistency.  It applied like a total dream & I actually really liked the sparkling end result!  It still isn’t a polish I would wear every day but I can totally see myself rocking it on an evening out!

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Both of the polishes were pretty chip resistant & durable.  I will definitely be ordering more of these little beauties!

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After I painted my nails with the polishes I slathered on some cuticle oil.  I absolutely love the packaging of these cuticle oils, they look really luxurious.  The little pipette function in the lid ensures that the application is extremely easy & mess free.  I just popped a little droplet of oil on each of my nails and gave each cuticle a wee 20 second massage.

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Some cuticle oils can be quite heavy & greasy but these oils are light in texture & just the right amount of ‘greasy’ to ensure your cuticles are sufficiently conditioned.  I found the oil soaked into my cuticles & left them feeling wonderfully moisturised without leaving a slimy residue.  I wasn’t a fan of the ‘Deep Blue Jasmine’ scented oil as it was just too floral for me but the ‘Red Apple’ smelled good enough to eat!  There is a Coconut fragranced cuticle oil that I imagine would be ideal for the summer… Anything that smells like coconut always reminds me of lounging on a sunny beach, applying my sun cream whilst sipping on a Pina Colada!

All in all I am super impressed with these products.  They tick all my boxes!  Great quality, packaging & durability, with an even better price range!  At only a couple of pounds per polish you could afford to totally overhaul your nail polish collection for the new summer season & throw in a few extra little treats for good measure.  I will definitely be ordering more of the cuticle oils for myself & also my clients!

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 louise@thebeautycloud.co.uk or find her on Facebook

No Need for Shampoo!

I’m a big lover of dry shampoo, but I have two major hang-ups about them. They are the smell and the dusty residue left behind on the hair.

When Lush’s No Drought came into my hands I thought ‘Here we go again’, but I can’t contain it anymore No Drought is AMAZZZZZZING!!

It absorbs all moisture and natural oils all while leaving no dusty remains, in-fact a lot of times leaving the hair looking shiny and healthy, which we all know lush-no-drought-dry-shampoo, fesitval, fun, party, summer, pick, hairdoesn’t usually happen with regular Dry Shampoo’s.

Lime and Grapefruit extracts not only make the powder smell fresh but also deodorise the hair at the same time – What more would you need from a dry shampoo?

So I know my session bag will now only have Lush’s No Drought Dry Shampoo in it.

Who needs water and shampoo everyday we got No Drought !!

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 gillian@thebeautycloud.co.uk

Daily Vitamin Shots – Performance Boosting or a Caffeine Kick?

Energy is big business…and I’m not just talking the kind that flows through power cables. The likes of Red Bull, Monster and Relentless are multi-million pound industries now, with us looking to get that instant ‘pick-me-up’ to get through the day. The next step in the energy drink market was efficiency. We don’t want to have to sit and drink a whole can of energy, we want it in one teeny tiny bottle.

Hence the birth of the ‘energy shot’. These have since gone on to appeal to an even wider marker, by claiming not only to give us enough of a buzz to want to run a marathon – twice- but to ALSO meet a plethora of nutritional needs in one 60ml swoop!

How demanding are we?!  

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingA few weeks ago, I was sent 6 bottles of the new ‘6vitaminshot’…the latest brand to produce one of these energy shots, designed to provide the consumer with their ‘recommended vitamin allowance and more’. The shelves are now saturated with competing brands trying to get in on the action, but does this one stand out from the rest?

 What is it?

6vitaminshot is marketed as an energy boosting supplement and having never heard of the brand before, I was excited to give them a go! The ingredients are listed on the side of the bottle, and directions just tell me that for maximum effect I should drink between meals. The front of the bottle claims that is has 6 key benefits:

        – Sustained energy

               – No jitters

               – Mental clarity

              – Increased endurance

              – Enhanced performance

              – Sugar free

How does it taste?

Regardless of the content, the flavour of the shot itself is probably one of its most important features – it may well be able to work miracles, but if it tastes awful, no-one is going to want to drink it! The liquid is ‘Acai Berry’ flavour….not too thick and a pinkish colour; the smell reminded me of artificial sweet drinks from when I was a kid, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fruity flavour! It went down easily, but I did find chilling them in the fridge made them a bit more enjoyable.

But what’s actually in it?

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingA fair old bit actually. A ton of ingredients are listed are listed on the packet, with details of the benefits of each on their website (reduced fatigue, antioxidants, athletic performance, metal alertness, a boost during exercise…the list goes on). ‘Sugar free’ is always a bonus, compared to many of the full sized cans of energy drink which are laced with the sweet stuff – though this does have artificial sweetener in it instead.

Taking a closer look at the vitamins contained themselves, the amount per serving is given alongside the % Daily Values recommended. The website says…

‘6vitaminshot contains ingredients which have proven benefits to enhance sporting performance whereas Berocca just contains low dose vitamins and minerals for more general use’

A quick look at the B vitamins shows that many of them are over the recommended allowance anyway (B12 is 8333% – necessary?) and are actually comparable in amount – if not less in some cases – to those in Berocca. The other ingredients further down the list are those that ‘enhance sporting performance’ (Betaine, Taurine, L-Tyrosine). Unfortunately I don’t know enough science behind these to pass accurate judgment, but there are studies available into the effects of them on performance and mood – many of which have proved to be positive. I did quick bit of research into recommended dosage for improved performance – Betaine is 2.5g daily, L-Carnitine is 3-4g daily, L-Tyrosine suggests 0.5-1g 3 times daily). The levels in 6vitamin shot are 0.5g, 0.3g and 0.5g respectively – these low amounts probably aren’t going to make much of a noticeable difference to performance in a single dose.

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingOne of the most important features that caught my eye in the listed ingredients was caffeine. Each shot contains 120mg, which is the equivalent to 2 cups of instant coffee. Obviously depending on individual sensitivity, this is enough to perk anyone up! The FAQ section of their website explains the supplemental benefits of caffeine, but says that 300mg is regarded as the safe upper limit for daily, so make sure to factor in any other drinks you’re having that day.

How much will it set me back?

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingI’ve not seen these for sale in shops yet, but you can buy directly from their website (www.6vitaminshot.co.uk) priced at £2.50 a bottle or a tray of 12 for £24.99 – if it’s the B vitamins you need, I’d say that you can get a cheap multivitamin tablet to do the same job.

Marketed as a daily supplement, this price is too high for me – while it’s pleasant enough to drink, this could soon add up if you’re drinking one everyday!

And do I feel on top of the world?

Vitamin-wise, I only had a small supply to try, and as I have a fairly healthy diet anyway I don’t think I’ll have been lacking in B-vitamins, so taking extra wouldn’t really make a difference. Sport-wise, it was good to have before the gym for the energy boost (which I definitely need at times!), however, I do think this may have been more from the caffeine and I didn’t notice any marked improvement in performance.

 

The Perfect Wedding Companion for any Bride – ‘Agent Zero Shine’

Benefit Cosmetics never stop improving and developing their products. They have recently released a new ‘The Porefessional – Agent Zero Shine‘.

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This product has been designed to minimise the appearance of shine and pores. What I love about it is, that it’s a ‘complete product’. By that mean, you don’t need to carry around separate brushes or accessories to apply it. Everything you need is right there. It packs a very handy sized brush in the bottom of the bottle.

Sweep on moisturised skin or over makeup to instantly mattify your complexion. Touch up over makeup during the day…or whenever shine dares to return.

I think this product is great for anyone to top-up or set your makeup, but also how amazing is this for Brides! One of the biggest problems faced by brides is the ability to stay shine-free when you are running about in a Cinderella gown all day and night. This handy little bottle is small enough to fit into the smallest of clutch bags and easy enough to whip out and use in seconds.

It really is a very smart new product by Benefit Cosmetics and honestly, I expect nothing less from them.

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This gorgeous product is priced at £23.50 (or $30.00). I would like to add that a little of this product goes a long way. This would last for months on end in my opinion. A great investment for girls-on-the-go!

Available at any Benefit Cosmetics store or counter, or online at www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk or www.benefitcosmetics.com

Have you tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below.

Nuala x

Crunch-Time – Does Lipo-Sculpting really work?

Can you believe how quickly the last four weeks have gone? It seems like yesterday I was writing to tell you about being offered a revolutionary inch-loss treatment at Bellaze in Belfast, and suddenly my four weeks of treatments are up and I am being measured up for that all important inch count.

When the treatment first began, I was having the Lipo-Sculpting Laser work and lay thinking to myself, wow! This is easy! I don’t feel anything and I can expect to lose lots of inches. Well obviously that was only part of the treatment. Not that the other parts weren’t easy. Basically all you have to do is lie on a treatment bed and pick which channel you want to watch, the rest is done for you.

bellaze inch weightloss clinic

After the Lipo Laser comes the Electrolite and Thermoshape. These are done simultaneously. You have the electrodes placed on your muscles (in my case I was having them on my abdomen region), followed by the Thermoshape wrap. The only way I can think of to describe this is that it’s like having a really strong electric blanket wrapped around the area you are having the treatment on. This in itself was so relaxing. I am a little bit of a heat-junkie, I find it so comforting.

In my first session, I must say I felt like a bit of a wuss. The Electrolite system goes up to level 8 and I managed to get to about 1.5 – See! Told you I was a wuss!  I am happy to say that you definitely build up muscle strength and the ability to go to higher levels each time you go. I think I managed to get to number 6 or 7 by the end. I may have only got to number 7 for 5 seconds, but hey! I still did it.

In all seriousness though, the treatment has had an even more positive effect for me than just the inch-loss. Due to numerous open surgeries on my abdomen, I had lost all muscle tone in my tummy area. I have been attending physio for a couple of months trying to build up core strength in my abdomen to lessen the sciatic pain I have been experiencing caused by over compensation of my back muscles. Even after two treatments (one week), I attended my physiotherapist and she was able to feel a very noticeable improvement in the muscle tone in my abdomen. In fact, my sciatic pain has reduced from being an ‘every-minute-of-every-day’ type of pain to an ‘occasional-pain-when-I’m-bold-and-do-too-much’ type of pain. It has had a remarkably positive effect on my sciatica, which for me is a wonderful result in itself.

laser lip sculpting inch weight lossOkay! Okay! I can feel you urging me to get to the actual nitty-gritty of the situation. Does it actually work? and I can safely say YES! It most definitely works. I was noticing changes the whole way through my 4-week treatment. I have received a lot of comments about how flat my stomach and waist is looking. I would like to add for the record that I have been healthy eating for months now, so although this may work if you continue with a so-so diet, you are best looking at your eating plan to get the best possible outcome.

Over the 4-week treatment plan, I am VERY pleased to say that I have lost a huge 11-Inches in total!

My specific loss was in the following areas:

  • Hips – 5 Inch Loss
  • Waist – 4 Inch Loss
  • Diaphragm – 2 Inch Loss

This is not to be confused with mud wraps etc which draw out the water from your body to make you appear thinner, I have genuinely moved in 4 notches in my belt in 4 weeks.

The staff at Bellaze are really professional and friendly – They make the treatments so personal and I really did look forward to going. I was so sad when I realised that today was my last session.  The clinic itself is extremely clean, hygienic and has a very welcoming feel. There is always ample on-street parking every time I was there.

So whether you have a wedding coming up, have trouble shifting inches off stubborn problem areas or need to fit into that little black dress for an occasion, Bellaze’s Inch-Loss system is guaranteed to help you drop down the sizes. They even have special Bridal and Beach Body packages available.

It was a total pleasure having my treatments at Bellaze and I would definitely consider using them again should my belt notches ever start expanding again. I will write again in another 4 weeks to let you know if the inches have stayed away for good.

To find out more, visit www.Bellaze.com

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Product Review: Bronze Leaf Tanning Mist

Bronze Leaf Tanning Mist

Bronze Leaf Tanning Mist

This product is quite simply, brilliant. It is the best tan I have tried in a long while, and the list of reasons why is pretty much endless. 

Even before application I was already very impressed with what this tan had to offer. Firstly, this is not only a tan but a built in body treatment. It contains organic ingredients, the effects of which will make sure that it’s not just your new sun kissed glow that gets you noticed!

Tan Woman

The lemon peel extract used helps to improve the look of cellulite whilst the incorporation of hyaluronic acid and aloe vera acts to tone your skin and tighten any problem areas.  As if that’s not enough, they’ve also treated their tanners to a handful of natural moisturisers such as: macadamia nut oil to help protect the skin; bergamot essential oil to relieve dry patches; and centipeda cunninghamii to help maintain a youthful complexion.

Another fantastic ground breaking feature which I must discuss is their tanning mitts. We all know how beneficial it is to apply fake tan with a tanning mitt, but these are not your normal tanning mitts…oh no! Bronze Leaf tanning mitts are velvety to the touch but when I first examined them I was slightly concerned about whether it would ensure a streak free, smooth application. I still used the new mitt because, to be completely honest, it felt wonderful! And it turns out these velvety mitts work wonders. The application was smooth, controlled, quick and completely streak free.

I used the dark tan, but light tan and medium tan are also available. I have olive skin and love a noticeable tan all year round.  If you’re like me then definitely treat yourself to a darker shade. You have absolutely nothing to fear if you do go dark as the result is a beautiful natural look – not a hint of orange in sight. 

This tan takes about 8 – 12 hours to fully develop, so I recommend applying before bed and sleeping in loose fitting dark clothing to ensure your bed sheets are protected. Simply shower off in the morning and you will be left with a stunning result. 

Tan Shower

When applying this tan, with your amazing velvety mitt, you will notice how quickly it absorbs into the skin. Instead of being left with a sticky residue, like many fake tans, you will be left with soft smooth skin almost immediately.  In fact, the tan was so quickly absorbed into my skin that I was slightly concerned that the mitt was absorbing all of the product. However, I was proven wrong by the amazing results the following day. 

Streaks!? What streaks!? No need to worry about streaks as Bronze Leaf have it covered – quick absorption and the velvety partner lead to a perfect application partnership. The product is also free from paragons and alcohol which helps to ensure a streak free, soft finish.

I don’t know how they’ve done it, but they’ve even nailed the smell!

Tea

One of the most off putting things about fake tan is the smell. The common scent of biscuits or even burning is something that a religious tanner has to learn to live with – sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your art. However, occasionally you come across a fake tan that smells so nice it stops you in your tracks during application and this is one of those tans. Even my partner, when applying the tan to my back (bless him) commented on how nice this smelt, and compared it to the refreshing, calming smell of Chai tea!

I loved this tan so much, and because of the amazing organic ingredients included, had no problem applying it to my face either! I have very oily skin and this did not increase any oil build up as other fake tans have in the past. I recommend this fake tan to everyone. Religious tanners will have their tanning passions reawakened and non-tanners will find this product will get them hooked! 

Happy animals

All Bronze Leaf’s products can be found here – http://www.bronze-leaf.com – The prices are extremely reasonable, especially considering what an amazing product you will be getting, and you also get the added benefit of knowing that none of their products are tested on animals.

This fantastic product now has a permanent position in my fake tan favourites!

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!