NY Fashion Week Catwalk Nails

We have now officially entered into autumn, my favourite season. I love the transition from summer dresses and denim shorts to snuggly knitwear and oodles and oodles of layers along with beautiful soft leather boots teamed with cosy snoods as the weather begins to get colder and colder.

As the colours of the leaves on the trees change so then must the colour of our beloved manicures.  Time to say goodbye to the pops of neon, pastel tones and my favourite white manicures – it is time to make way for some new deeper and richer shades of polish and gel.

NY Fashion Week Nail Trends: Rodarte & Helmut Lang

New York Fashion Week is a trustworthy source to look to when deciding what colours to revamp your nails with.  This year we saw an influx of barely there pinks and nudes on many runways from Oscar De La Renta and Carolina Herrera to Kate Spade – super chic.  No matter what the season I always have a few nudes in stock for my clients to choose from as they are always in demand.

NY Fashion Week Nail Trends: Zimmerman, Alexandre Herchcovitch and Kenneth Cole

As always Reds and Burgundys featured heavily on the catwalks in true autumn style.  I think the deep reds are my favourite colours for autumn especially on almond shaped nails – It is just such a classic style along with the fact it matches all skin tones, what’s not to love?!

NY Fashion Week Nail Trends: DKNY

A very welcome addition to my wardrobe of nail polishes and gels for autumn 2014 will be Grey. Obviously the designers showcasing at New York Fashion Week share my love for all things grey – every shade was seen on the runways. 

NY Fashion Week Nail Trends: Vera Wang and Badgley Mischka

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer metallic or matte shades of grey, everything goes!  Grey is a lovely alternative to summer white manicures or black winter manicures, it’s somewhere just in between.

NY Fashion Week Nail Trends: Tadashi Shoji

The final major colour scheme seen on the catwalks in New York was full throttle heavy metal – from silver tips to all out rose gold, every shade and tone was being showcased. 

For those of you who like something a little bit quirky on your nails this is the style for you. Get creative and paint a natural nude on your nail plate and finish the look off with a slick of gold along the tips – perfect for a night out with the girls. 

The best bit about this look is when the tip of your nails begin to chip you can simply patch it up with a dot of the metallic polish you used and due to the nature of the metallic shades you won’t be able to see where it has been repaired once your top coat has been applied.

NY Fashion Week Nail Trends: Mara Hoffman and Dannijo

I have currently got a Bio Sculpture gel overlay on my nails in one of their most popular colours – #74 Real Red – but now I can’t wait to get inventive and make some metallic creations! It’s all about having fun with your style, so don’t be afraid to have a play with your nail polishes to create something new.

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

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.

Celebrity Nail Watch – Lily Allen

I have been LOVING watching Lily Allen play around with her fresh new style.  She is looking amazing (particularly considering she has recent had 2 children) and I love that she is fearless when it comes to colour.  She’s been experimenting with some wacky nail art on some super long extensions and, once again, I have been creeping about on Instagram taking notes on her latest manicures to share with you guys!

Lilly Allen Nails

These bad boys are neon hippy crazy and I absolutely love them!  I’m sure they took a few hours to complete!  The tie dye nail art is really effective in these neon colours and, believe it or not, it’s actually really easy to do at home!  To Copy the design on Lily’s thumb first you need to pick the 3 or 4 colours you want to use and draw some vertical lines on the nail using these polishes – make sure you use quite a lot of product when drawing these lines as you don’t want them to dry straight away!  Once you have drawn the lines take a cocktail stick and drag horizontally straight through the lines of polish – this will mix the colours together and create the tie dye effect.

When you have mastered the technique you can start experimenting and move away from vertical lines… give some horizontal lines a try!  You can also use more colours or, alternatively, use only 2 colours to create a similar swirling pattern design like the one on Lily’s ring finger.  You can even add some glitter to the finish design to add a bit of extra sparkle!

Lilly Allen, Embellished NailsEmbellished nails, see above, are also quite easy to replicate using a steady hand, some nail art studs/crystals/pearls, a splash of nail glue and a bit of imagination.  Prep your nails, apply your chosen base colour and allow it to dry, then go crazy with the nail art studs!!  Remember to finish with a slick of top coat.

Lilly Allen, Ombre Fade NailsIf you aren’t a massive fan of intense nail art designs then an ombre fade pattern, shown in the picture above, is a great choice – especially for shorter nails.  If you’re feeling adventurous you can add some glitter or a few studs to complete your ombre fade look.

LA4Unfortunately there is absolutely no point in me giving you a step by step tutorial for the nails above.  The truth is, there is no easy way to complete a nail art design like this!  You just need to have the patience to play with some nail art pens and polishes for a few hours and still have enough patience left over to embellish the set of nails with some studs and crystals!

 

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 ~ September 2014

My current favourite dress this month is a recent arrival – the incredible Francine by Sottero and Midgley.  This dress is ultra glam and totally glitzy.  Think old Hollywood glamour, the kind Greta Garbo exuded!

Sottero and Midgley, Bridal Gown, Francine

The gown actually comes in two parts, a slinky satin slip and a lace layer that goes over it. The slip has two options, one with a super low back and another with a higher version.  This is a fabulous idea, allowing those girls who want to show off their backs to do so but also letting girls with heavier busts, who need more support or coverage for their bra, to wear this style too.

Sottero and Midgley, Bridal Gown, Francine

Monroe slip dress with dramatic low back

Sottero and Midgley, bridal gown, Francine

Raised back satin slip dress

I absolutely adore the twinkle and gleam of this dress – unfortunately the designers photography shows only the light gold version where ours is the ivory, and I genuinely think the image doesn’t convey the intricacy of detail and sparkle.  This is one of those dresses that has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

Article by Catherine Massey

Catherine has been writing Bi-Weekly Article for us since the 8th May 2012 and is our very talented Bridal Specialist. Catherine is a Bridal Stylist for their family Bridal Boutique, Cathedral Gowns. Find them onlineat http://www.cathedralgowns.com or on Facebook.

Any questions, email catherine@thebeautycloud.co.uk

Gloanna Yoga Run

Last month, my friend and I took part in London’s 2nd annual Gloanna Yoga Run.  With a morning promising to offer yoga, sushi and Prosecco I could never say no! Even if it did involve running…

Gloanna Yoga Run, London

The event was a 5km run with a shot of Prosecco on the start line (!), followed by a 45min yoga session and sushi and fruit lunch. Having chosen the slightly later 10am run start (the first was 9am – far too keen for a Saturday morning) I was a little bleary eyed turning up at Battersea Park after a few drinks the night before. After some crazy storms the preceding nights, I wasn’t overly convinced the event would be running but fortunately the rain held off.

Gloanna Fun Run Map, Battersea Park

It wasn’t that obvious what was going on and where we needed to be, but after generally following the large crowds and checking our bags and yoga mats in, we were poised at the start line! A cheery warm up took place, and then we were off for 2 laps around Battersea Park lake.

I’m not running regularly at the moment so plodded along at an average pace; some chose to race it and others just walked in their own time! There was no pressure to push yourself to your limit, and marshals along the way cheered you on. The run was over within half an hour, and we were provided with water, coconut water and a glass or 2 of Prosecco, depending on the entry package you had bought – much needed in the insane humidity!

Outdoor Yoga

There was then a choice of yoga classes – a more serious session, which was busier, or the smaller starter class which was more about having a stretch and a laugh. Hula hoops were available and it was lovely to chill out on the grass afterwards. We got lucky with the weather….it might even have been too hot as it was super sunny, and I’m not sure what they’d have done about the classes if it had rained?! It definitely wouldn’t have been quite as enjoyable in the wet.

The day was mainly made up of women and it was a really fun atmosphere. As an open event, partners and children were there to cheer family on, and one cute little girl was even getting involved in the yoga class! With free stands from Sushirolls, Bounce and Whey Icecream there were plenty of treats to indulge in.

Sushi Rolls

The event was sponsored by Sweaty Betty and we got a fab goodie bag at the end with a neon race vest, water bottle and pair of running socks! For a non-runner, this is a great introduction into a structured running event, particularly as it wasn’t competitive at all! I’m not sure I’ll be taking part in many longer races, but it was a really fun morning.

By Courtney Pipkin

Courtney is our Health and Fitness wirter.  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.

Becoming a Bridal Consultant

I’ve been writing this blog for two years now, but I’ve only just realised that I’ve barely introduced myself! I reckon it is about time that I told you about myself, my background and explain why I’m qualified to write all these articles about wedding dresses! My name is Catherine Massey, and I am 32 years old.  I have been running the family bridal boutique for the last nine years, and just so you know ‘bridal’ was never my plan!

Catherine Massey, Cathedral Gowns

My mum and aunt decided to open the boutique when I was 18 and in the midst of my A-level exams.  To tell you the truth, I barely even noticed. I took myself off to university in England and four years later, after completing my degree (BSc Hons Communications & Society from the University of Leicester), I moved home with the plan to get a job in PR in Belfast. It was the middle of August aka bridal mad season, and mum was run off her feet and needed a hand, so I went to work with her. That was 9 years ago!

Cathedral Gowns, shop front

Somehow I got the bug for bridal and it turned out that I was actually pretty good at it. It’s bizarre to think how this all came about by pure accident, but somehow everything I had studied had somehow led me to be doing this.

My favourite subject at school was history of art and I can hardly believe now how much that prepared me for what I am doing – I reference something I learned there nearly every day. And as for my degree… I use it all the time, especially my marketing and PR skills.  However, more than anything, it was the film studies portion of my degree that informs my decisions regarding looks, details and accessories the most. If you’ve ever had an appointment with me you’ve probably heard me get excitedly geeky about ‘old hollywood’ and the imagery of ‘film noir’. Even just today I told a girl how her look in a particular dress was very ‘Veronica Lake’ and described the kind of way she should wear her hair.

Cathedral Gowns, wedding dresses on a rack

Sometimes it feels like fate brought me here. One of my first bridal clients was a girl I went to primary school with, her name is Katrina. During her time visiting us she told me how she’d always known that this is what I would be doing when I grew up.  Apparently all I ever did at school was draw dresses – if I wasn’t going to be a designer she was sure I was at least going to be doing something in the fashion realm!

I started out as a bridal consultant, but as time has progressed, mum passed on more and more responsibility on to me and now I am running the boutique and take care of everything except the accounts. I get to go to trade shows, meet the designers and buy our dresses.  Whilst I enjoy all those adventures the part I love the most is meeting brides and introducing them to their dream dress!  There is nothing quite like the buzz of suggesting a dress to a girl, and watching her fall in love with it. I never thought a job could be so fulfilling but I genuinely leave the boutique every day with a smile on my face, and I never dread having to go to work!

Article by Catherine Massey

Catherine has been writing Bi-Weekly Article for us since the 8th May 2012 and is our very talented Bridal Specialist. Catherine is a Bridal Stylist for their family Bridal Boutique, Cathedral Gowns. Find them onlineat http://www.cathedralgowns.com or on Facebook.

Any questions, email catherine@thebeautycloud.co.uk

Precious Metals: A Hair Hit

Precious metal hair is very on trend  and it doesn’t look set to be disappearing anytime soon.  So here’s my heads up on Gold!
Sienna Miller Rose Gold Hair
Rose gold has been a rising look since Sienna Miller hit the red carpet with her stunning pinkish blonde tresses in December 2013.
Molly Sims Rose Gold Hair
The likes of Victoria Secret’s model Molly Sims and actress Rachel McAdams were hot on her heels and it looks like this stunning tone is quickly becoming a firm favourite in celeb world and has taken a firm place on the runways too, with models flaunting this fabulous look whilst wearing the latest collections for A/W 14.
Rachel McAdams Rose Gold Hair
Pinky Bronze tones are also destined to be hot for this coming season.  This look can be achieved by fusing together some rich butterscotch tones with glowing honey tints and hues of soft baby pink to give a softer but trend setting edge to this look.  What a perfect way to add warm tones to your hair and warm up your skin for the long cold nights ahead!
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 gillian@thebeautycloud.co.uk