Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

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!

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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

Make-up of the Day (31-5-2014)

Hi all! A few people have been asking me to share what Make-up products I use on a regular basis, so I thought I would start sharing on here as well as my Facebook & Instagram etc.

Nuala Campbell - Makeup Artist - Make-up of the Day (MOTD)

Nuala Campbell – Makeup Artist – Make-up of the Day (MOTD)

These posts will be generally quite short with a list of products I used on each day. All products are hyperlinked to the Brand Product pages for quick buying.

If you want separate how-to’s for anything just leave me a comment below.

FACE:

MAC Prime & Prep Skin

MAC Strobe Cream

MAC Studio Sculpt (NC20)

Benefit Cosmetics – Hoola Bronzer

Estee Lauder – Bronze Goddess (Medium)

Benefit Cosmetics – Rockateur

Benefit Cosmetics – Boi-ing Concealer (01 Light)

BROWS:

Benefit Cosmetics – Gimme Brow (Medium/Deep)

Anastasia Beverly Hills – DipBrow Pomade (Dark Brown)

EYES:

MAC Eyeshadow (Vanilla)

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette (Naked 2)

MAC Eyeshadow (Rule)

Liz Earle – Eyeliner Pencil (Black)

MAC Zoom Lash Mascara (Zoom Black)

LIPS:

L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipliner (Mauve)

MAC Lipstick (Half n Half)

 

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

Dress of the Month ~ May 2014

My favourite dress in May only arrived a few weeks ago and already has me so distracted! The stunning Rosa is an exquisite beaded lace fishtail gown with a beautiful neckline and capped sleeves.

Allure-Bridals-C207-Wedding-Dresses_2 (1), DOTM, beaded lace fishtail gown , Dress of the month, capped sleeves, Swarovski crystals , gold, rosa, cathedral gowns, downpatrick, northern ireland

Every element of this dress is gorgeous and of such amazing quality, it really is a beautifully made dress – the inner corset ensures the fit of the dress is fabulous, the Swarovski crystals twinkle, and the lace detailing is impeccably finished. But what makes this dress stand out so much for me is the amazing pale gold colour!

Allure-Bridals-C207-Wedding-Dresses_2 (1), DOTM, beaded lace fishtail gown , Dress of the month, capped sleeves, Swarovski crystals , gold, rosa, cathedral gowns, downpatrick, northern ireland

In a shop full of ivory gowns, of course it’s going to stand out, but there is something just delicious about this shade – it is mega flattering against Irish skin! Somehow it works as well on dark haired girls as it does on blondes. I cannot wait to see which bride buys her first!

Allure-Bridals-C207-Wedding-Dresses_2 (1), DOTM, beaded lace fishtail gown , Dress of the month, capped sleeves, Swarovski crystals , gold, rosa, cathedral gowns, downpatrick, northern ireland

Allure-Bridals-C207-Wedding-Dresses_2 (1), DOTM, beaded lace fishtail gown , Dress of the month, capped sleeves, Swarovski crystals , gold, rosa, cathedral gowns, downpatrick, northern ireland

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

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.

Belfast Fashion Week returns for its sixteenth season in the city!

The change of season from summer to winter is never a welcomed one, but there is one silver lining – the return of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK of course, which brings all the cosy winter fashion must-haves to help see fashionistas through the cold and miserable winter months. 

Belfast Fashion Week BFW

Enthusiastic fashion fans were out in force at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast last month, for the launch of the city’s sixteenth FASHIONWEEK event. The brunch event showcased a selection of looks from participant retailers and designers while director Cathy Martin outlined key looks for the season ahead from Ireland’s favourite fashion event.

This season’s events will run over four days from 10-13 October across various venues in Belfast but with the key catwalk shows returning to the iconic Ulster Museum in Botanic Gardens.  Following on the success of spring/summer shows, the contemporary and minimalist atrium at the historic building will once again be transformed into a fashion haven as hundreds of fashion fans gather to celebrate winter style.

Cathy Martin, director of FASHIONWEEK added: “We have a very busy schedule this season – and we have teamed up with Belfast City Council’s Restaurant Week to share some events, which is great for the city as a whole – but ideal for foodies and fashionistas”.

“In terms of trends to look out for this season, the key colours and patterns include deep reds and burgundy, pale pink hues, plaid and leopard print.  Texture is important too and we can expect to see leather, velvet, lace and chiffon as well as lots of embellishments.  As for shapes, design and cut – the turtleneck and poloneck are both back, and new this season are sexy thigh high splits on skirts and dresses as well as large oversized coats and capes.”

The city’s independent retailers and boutiques will kick off FASHIONWEEK on Thursday 10 October with CRUISE, Liberty Blue, Blush, Helen McAlinden and Diamond Dolls in Banbridge all confirmed to take part. In a move off the runway this season, leading designer Una Rodden will also host an exclusive and intimate fashion installation that evening, where her fashion will become art, in an alluring display of fabric, textile and texture.

Then for the ever popular High Street catwalk show, which sees the return of Next, Jigsaw, Mexx, CastleCourt, M&S, Oasis, Heaton’s and George at Asda – among others.

Saturday 12 October sees a busy, jam packed itinerary of chic events.  The popular Fashion Souk at Spire’s Mall will be selling vintage and previously owned pieces from 10am – 2pm, swiftly followed by a delicious Fashion Tea at the Merchant Hotel where designer emporium CRUISE will showcase their high end collections from Victoria Beckham, Armani, Vivienne Westwood and Marchesa, among others. This up-close-and-personal look at the season’s top end designer collections is an intimate and indulgent way to enjoy fashion at its most elegant.

Saturday evening will play host to some unique creations from our local talent with the popular designer night.  This season Nor Lisa, Goddess and Swift, Ruedi Maguire and Grainne Maher, among others, will all take part; dazzling crowds with their creative and quirky designs which never fail to impress the crowd. Lucky students from across Northern Ireland will also feature on the catwalk with selected outfits from the secondary school competition Junk Kouture, which challenges students to create fashion art from junk and recycled materials.

Also on the Saturday schedule is the ever popular highlight of the Diet Coke Design Award, which is back for the fourth year running. The award seeks to reward aspiring design talent – from design students to style fans with a passion for fashion.  Three stylistas will be shortlisted to have their ideas and sketches made up by designer Una Rodden and showcased on the catwalk at the finale night’s show on Saturday 12 October, where judges will decide which lucky fashionista will go on to win a mini scholarship to the London College of Fashion plus a shoot with photographer Khara Pringle.

Last but by no means least is Style Sunday, which will take place this season at SHU restaurant on Sunday 13 October from 1-5pm in association with Mencap.  This glamorous four course gourmet luncheon accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and seasonal style tips from some of the country’s top style experts. It is very often sold out within days of being launched.  Tickets cost £45.00 per person. Places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 028 9038 1655.

Once again, hair partner Andrew Mulvenna and his team will be tending to the tresses of all the models throughout the week and if previous seasons are anything to go by, we can expect to be blown away by his creativity.  Andrew said, “This autumn/winter I’ll be focusing on four key looks for women. 

“‘The Lady Undone’ is a quirky asymmetric version of Dusty Springfield but with a fresher look; ‘The Woman Warrior’ is all about volume – high at the sides, with hair pulled back from the face, channelling the power blow-dry which was really popular in the 90s; ‘Church Girl’ is a sweet angelic centre parted look in the style of grace Kelly only sleeker and more modern.  Lastly, we’ll be exploring with ‘The Tuck In’ which is the practice of creating a shorter look by tucking length into collars as well as making use of braids to create necklaces and collars.”

Throughout the week, breast cancer charity Pretty‘n’Pink will collect funds at all shows to support women who need to feel better about themselves after undergoing debilitating breast cancer surgery or treatment.

The full show schedule and design competition details are all available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Catwalk tickets, which cost £20 (or £25 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats), are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the website. Ticket price includes a fabulous goodie bag and a refreshing West Coast Cooler.

Schedule of shows:

  • Thursday 10 October 8pm, Designer Boutiques show
  • Friday 11 October – Fashion Friday Lunch demo – James Street South Restaurant
  • Friday 11 October 6-8pm Fashionweek at the Fitz! Private cocktail party with prizes up for grabs
  • Friday 11 October 8pm High Street Fashion Show, Ulster Museum
  • Saturday 12 October 10am – 2pm –  Fashion Souk at Spire’s Mall
  • Saturday 12 October 2pm – Fashion Tea, CRUISE designer emporium at The Merchant, showcasing Victoria Beckham, Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Marchesa etc 
  • Saturday 12 October 8pm NI Designers show and winner announcement of the Diet Coke Design Award, Ulster Museum
  • Sunday 13 October 1pm – 5pm Style Sunday, SHU Belfast