Tag Archives: technique

Women’s Boxing: Eye of the Tiger, Thrill of the Fight

There are a few sports that are historically male dominated – and boxing is one of them.  However… times are a changing!

Olympic Gold Boxing Nicola Adams


Women’s boxing was first seen in the Olympics in 1904 as part of a demonstration but was banned/saw little support in many countries. Attitudes towards women’s boxing started to change around 20 years ago and, in the 2012 Olympics, we saw Nicola Adams take home gold for the UK.  Women were finally represented in every sport in the games!

Some people see boxing as being too violent but it isn’t all about knocking seven bells out of each other! It takes immense fitness, coordination and stamina to box – it’s not just about who can hit the hardest.  Boxing requires a combination of footwork, technique, skill and power.

Woman boxing and exercising. Boxfit, Boxercise.

Boxing-related sport is growing in popularity.  With classes like Boxfit and Boxercise you can access some of the benefits boxing can bring. It’s a great way to to get quick on your feet and super toned!  Many gyms run boxing-related sessions as part of their timetables.  Alternatively, you can choose to go to a specialised boxing gym. The benefit of the latter is that you’ll often find classes taken by current or past boxers and professional trainers – you also get access to a wider variety of equipment.  Sessions often include a warm ups, running, shadow boxing, bag or pad work and circuit exercises.

Hanging Boxing Gloves

If you want a super fast way to get an all over workout, this is it. Short sharp bursts of intense interval training, impact work with the bags and pads to strengthen and shape your upper body, and always moving on your toes and toning your legs- a perfect all round workout! It’s also a great way to vent any excess energy you have – I guarantee you won’t have any left by the end.

If you’re thinking of starting to box, take it slowly – arrive early and explain you’re a beginner and you’ll get shown a few of the basics. Most sessions will require you to have your own hand wraps – these protect all the tiny bones inside your hands – but can be picked up for under a fiver from your local sports store, or just bandages from the chemist. Most other equipment can generally be borrowed, and if you decide you love it, there’s always the option to advance into more technical sessions and training with an amateur club.

Despite its increasing popularity with women, it is still a male dominated environment but don’t let this put you off – I’ve not tried a boxing gym yet that hasn’t been welcoming to everybody. If you’re still a bit daunted by the thought of a boxing gym then look out for female-only sessions, many places run at least one a week.

It might not be for everyone, but it’s a great sport to try.  Let’s help to continue it’s recognition in the wider the sporting community!

By Courtney Pipkin

Courtney is our Health and Fitness writer.  She lives in London and is always trying new and different ways of getting a good workout.

You can follow Courtney on Facebook and Twitter.  If you have any questions for Courtney, email courtenay@thebeautycloud.co.uk.

Full moon, Half-moon… Total Eclipse!

It has always been my go-to nail art.  It’s so quick & easy, yet the end result always oozes high maintenance chic!  The half-moon manicure has been around since the 1920’s, along with a blood red lipstick the ladies of fashion back in those days also loved some foxy red nails.  The style has varied throughout the years; the first half moon manicure was painted with only one nail polish, leaving the half-moon blank with no polish at all.  This style eventually evolved in the 1940’s & it then became fashionable to also leave a French tip blank at the free edge of the nail as well as the half moon.  As seen below in an amazingly retro Cutex advert.

Cutex Polish

As with all fashion and style nail art has not been left behind, our techniques and products are continually progressing along with the style of nail art we are choosing to apply.  However, this manicure has held its position as one of the top dogs and most popular styles to date.

Nowadays we are spoilt for choice and we can now mix things up a bit; using more than one colour of polish for the body of the nail and also the half-moon/French tip detailing and we also have the luxury of thousands of different shades of nail polish, picking a colour according to our mood or what the weather is like outside.  This is why this manicure is so versatile, once you have ‘nailed’ painting the half-moon shape (pardon the pun) you can go crazy and mix ’ n ’ match lots of different colours and polishes to create nails for all different occasions!

This is where I let you all in on a little shortcut to the perfect half-moon shape.  This technique doesn’t need a steady hand or even a talent for painting nails.  Just slap the polish on and away you go!  I even found this amazing tutorial online that walks you through the manicure step by step.

Half Moon Manicure

So begin by choosing your two colours of polish.  You can opt for a metallic and coral combo… or a red and fuchsia colour blocking combo… or a monochrome black and white combo… the possibilities are literally endless!

  1. Once the difficult task of picking your colour scheme is complete, start by preparing your nails as I explained in my previous post & apply your base coat.
  2. On top of your base coat apply the colour you want your half-moon to be – only apply one layer of this polish.  Allow it to dry for 5 minutes…

…This is where things get interesting!

  1. You know those little annoying white circular sticker things you always had kicking about at the bottom of your school bag but never really had a use for? (I think their technical term is actually ‘hole reinforcements’… naughty!) Well these are the key to the perfect half-moon! Stick one of these little stickers on each of your nails, just below your cuticle at whatever depth you want your half-moon to be & make sure the edges are all stuck down tight to your nail plate.
  2. Now apply your second colour of polish.  Getting right up to the edge of the sticker on your nail, making sure the whole nail plate is evenly covered – don’t be afraid to paint over the edge of the sticker!  Depending on the consistency of your nail polish this may require two coats.  Leave your nails for 10 to 15 minutes… relax, maybe watch a bit of E! Fashion Police or have a cuppa… just be careful not to smudge!
  3. Once you are sure the polish is adequately dried you can now begin the delicate procedure of ever so slowly peeling off the little stickers from each of your nails.
  4. Et Voila! The perfect half-moon manicure is now complete & you did it all by yourself!!  All you need to do now is apply a super shiny topcoat & treat your cuticles to a slathering of oil.

Half Moon Manicure

It really couldn’t be any easier and it looks fabulous.  One of my all-time favourites!  I hope you all enjoy recreating your own 1920’s inspired half-moon manicures at home, be sure to let me know how it goes.

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