‘The Charlotte’: Charlotte Balbier’s Wedding Dress

I’m just back from viewing the new bridal collection from Charlotte Balbier.  Not only was this a fantastic buying trip but it was also a fantastic opportunity to catch up with her about her recent wedding!

Charlotte was married in December 2013 but last time we chatted in July 2013 she told me about the difficulties of selecting her wedding dress.  Charlotte is one of the best UK bridal designers and we love her.  Not only does she create lovely and super girlie dresses, but she is also an absolute honey.

Her wedding was a super mega top secret.  We had to wait months to see even a glimpse of her big day on Instagram.  However, all was finally revealed a few weeks ago in the current issue of You and Your Wedding magazine.  I scoured the shops to track down a copy and oh my how it was worth the wait! The images of Charlotte’s perfect day were breathtaking and needless to say her dress was perfection.

The Charlotte

Combining good taste with a list of the best industry contacts made sure that every last detail of her wedding day wowed. Her wedding day supplier list is pretty much a who’s who of the wedding world, but I’m sure she would have had a hard time selecting who to use.  I dread the day I have to decide which professionals to use for different elements at my wedding as I have great relationships with so many in the industry – I am bound to offend someone! I imagine that for someone like Charlotte Balbier this problem is magnified.

However, narrowing down and selecting suppliers couldn’t have been as difficult as selecting ‘The Dress’. Can you imagine the pressure as one of the most important bridal designers in the UK?  She was reluctant to wear a dress that lots of other brides had chosen – she felt she had to create something new and unique just for her.  With the whole bridal industry eagerly awaiting her dress choice the pressure was on.

Charlotte Balbier 2


In the end, she chose to wear two very different dresses.  Her ceremony gown was everything I had hoped it would be.  It was a proper princess dress, with an amazing full skirt, lace detailing, demure neckline and beautiful sleeves. As soon as I saw the picture in the magazine I knew Cathedral Gowns had to have it, and luckily for us ‘The Charlotte’ is part of her 2015 collection.

Charlotte Balbier 1

Charlotte also chose a lighter gown for the wedding party and it was not what I was expecting at all. She opted for a soft slinky golden lace gown with beautiful fluttery sleeves. It wouldn’t have looked out of place on a 1930s movie set and gave off old Hollywood glamour! This dress is named after her wedding venue ‘Iscoyd Park’.  It goes without saying that we have this dress on order too.

I am delighted that she went for two gowns to showcase two different sides of her personality and style.  She told me that she had a third dress on stand-by in case she changed her mind but I think just made the perfect choices.

For more images see:

Charlotte’s Blog http://www.lovemydress.net/blog/charlotte-balbier/
You and Your Wedding http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/
Charlotte’s Instagram http://instagram.com/balbierbrides#



Let’s Talk Brows!

Let’s talk brows! I am all for them – In fact, it would be safe to say I am PRO-BROW! So when I was asked to actually be involved in the naming of a Pro-Brow Kit for Superdrug’s B. Range, naturally I jumped at the chance.

Introducing….. ‘B.Defined‘ – I know, I know, I’m a literary genius! You don’t have to tell me, I already know it’s the best named product EVER!

B. Defined Dark B. Defined Light, superdrug, b. range, brow kit, brow gel, highlighter B. Defined Light, superdrug, b. range, brow kit, brow gel, highlighter

But in all seriousness, I totally love this product and that is not me being biased. As a Makeup Artist, I won’t say a product is great if it actually isn’t.

B. Defined is part of Superdrug’s ‘B.’ Range. I have reviewed a number of their products in the past and have been very impressed with them. Read some of them here:

- Product Review: B. Naked Foundation

- B. Quick and Be Clean!

- Your Summer would not B. Complete without these Eye Palettes!

Available in two shades (light and dark) and containing a wax to set, two brow shades and a creamy highlighter as well as double-ended applicator, the kit has everything required for beautifully defined eyebrows.

coleen-rooneyIf there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s 1-Dimensional Eyebrows. You should be shaping your eyebrows with multiple colours to create depth and definition. So unlike many other brow kits which only give you one colour to work with, B. Defined actually gives you 2! Allowing you to create the perfect 3D brows in your own home.

Just look how crazy Angelina Jolie would look if she opted for the one dimensional scouse brow!


Praise the heavens for Makeup Artists who actually give their clients the 3D megan-fox-giorgio-armani-beauty-01treatment. I have to say, I have a little bit of brow envy for Megan Foxes perfectly pruned brows, they are perfect!

I really love the wax in this product, it is soft enough to let you mould and shape your brows without them appearing stuck to the skin.

The highlighter is super creamy and very subtle. It really is an all-round great kit.

At the moment the kit is available in 2 shades, but I would love to see kits for ash/blonde or red heads aswell.

I do have some Good News and some Bad News for you though! I’ll give you the good news first – The B. Defined Brow Kit will be priced at a tiny £9.99. If you compare what you get in this kit against what you get in other leading brands kits, you are getting massive value for money. It will be available both on www.superdrug.com on in your local Superdrug store.

…. and the Bad News – The B. Defined kit I was sent is a pre-launch product – B. Defined isn’t actually released until May meaning you will have to wait a bit longer for it.

Here is a little #Selfie of my brows today using the B. Defined ‘Dark’ Kit

Nuala Campbell, Makeup Artist, B. Defined, superdrug, brow kit, eyebrows

For a Brand which is only 1 year old – They are making massive headway with their products.

Like everything in the B. makeup and skincare collection, the B. Defined eyebrow kit is certified cruelty free, and vegan.

You are going to love this kit! It is well worth it for under a tenner!


Nuala x


Bronze Leaf Spray Tan? Yes Please!

I’ve learnt to embrace my porcelain skin.  However, as we move from spring towards summer more and more flesh is slowly being uncovered and this year I have decided to join the ranks of the bronzed brigade. Why?  Well, in May, whether rain or shine, I’m dancing down an aisle in a white dress with my pins out – and my current white cloth on white skin look has me worried our guests will mistake me for a zombie bride.

I’m not a fake tan virgin but I’ve never had a spray tan.  It’s not because of being prudish or lacking in body confidence… it’s because of Friends – the one where Ross get a tan.  Putting the Friends episode to the back on my mind, I decided to jump at the chance to try out the acclaimed Bronze Leaf spray tan courtesy of Beauty Cloud’s friends at Vamp Beauty Salon on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.  I had heard so many good things about this product that I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself.

Vamp Beauty Salon

I was greeted by the fantastic Vamp staff and instantly put at ease with a cup of tea then shown up to a private room, told where to store my clothes and handed sticky paper pads to pop on my bare feet, a shower cap to protect my hair and a paper thong for a little bit of modesty.  I was left to get undressed and got ready for crunch time as I entered the spray tent.

My Vamp spray tan specialist was professional, friendly and fun which made all the difference as it doesn’t matter how confident you are, it’s never easy getting your boobs and body out in front of a starnger – especially when you’re asked to do ‘tanning tai chi’ by placing your legs and arms in lots of different positions.

The spray tan was different to what I was expecting.  I thought it might be cold and wet but instead, as it was being applied with what looked like a spray gun, it felt a little like someone using a hair drier but without the heat – just a slight tickling sensation.  Once the spraying was finished I popped on my clothes with no fear of damaging them or my new tan as Bronze leaf absorbs in a flash!

Bronze Leaf


The spray was used for both general coverage and to give contours – both gave incredible results.  The tan gave a subtle sun kissed glow – a perfect step up in colour for my pale skin.  The contouring had me and my other half convinced I’d lost weight as it gave the impression of a more toned body.  The results were worth a day of walking around smelling like a digestive biscuit – a small sacrifice to make.  Needless to say, I will definitely be going back for more.

One final word of advice to any other spray tan novices out there – roll down your paper thong a little or this might happen:

Spray tan accident

Essential Hair Guide for Brides

Spring has officially sprung and to me that acknowledges the start of wedding season.  Ooooohhhh I love it – what woman doesn’t!

So for my latest blog I thought I would share some of my bridal hair knowledge in my essential hair guide for every bride to be.

1. A bride should look effortlessly beautiful. Yes we all want to look stunning on our wedding day but you also want it to be naturally breathtaking so my advice is less is more, you still want to look like yourself in your album but just at your very best!

Effortlessly beautiful hair
2 . When selecting a style for your hair make sure it compliments the style of your dress & make up. When consulting with a bride I always request a picture of the dress so we can design the hair to be an extension of the dress for that total look.

Hair to reflect the dress and makeup
3 . Remember the limitations of your hair, during my bridal consultations I explain to my bride that the hair has to hold its style all day as every bride wants to look as fabulous for her evening guests arriving as she did when she glided down the aisle.

Bridal Hair
4 . Be comfortable. The bride is the centre of all the attention on her wedding day (and all the photos) so she needs to be comfortable, to feel confident with all eyes on her as she basks in all the attention. With this in mind, select a style that you feel good with. Don’t just jump for style that looks amazing in a bridal magazine – remember you’ve to wear it all day in the spotlight.

Hair 5
With these tips you’re sure to have a good wedding hair day!

Facing Fake Tan

Sometimes fake tan can be scary. Even the most experienced fake tanners can make a mistake here and there. So when it comes to tanning your face, a lot of people just simply opt out and don’t bother at all. In my opinion, if you’re already beautifully bronzing up your body then why shouldn’t you treat your face as well?

There are a lot of fake tans out there designed solely with your face in mind.  Ensure you use a facial fake tan, not one intended for your body as your face has different needs in order to achieve a natural even glow.

Fake Bake Face Self-Tan

One of the best facial fake tans out there is Fake Bake’s Face Platinum. This product is not just a fake tan, but also an anti-aging lotion. It combines Fake Bake’s signature triple tanning agents with the latest anti-ageing ingredient – PhytoCellTecTM Malus Domestica, created from stem cells extracted from the rare Swiss apple Uttwiler Spätlauber.  This is the kind of 2 for 1 combination we can’t say no to as your skin is left with a beautiful golden glow, added vitality and a more youthful complexion.

I adore this product. It develops over a few hours so I applied it before I went to sleep and rinsed it off with water the following morning to discover a gorgeous bronzed look. It is the most natural looking facial tan that I have tried – it doesn’t sit in your pores, so it isn’t obvious that you have been fake tanning.

For those of you, like me, who like a very dark tan you will need to apply the Fake Bake facial tan a couple of nights in a row to get your desired look but you won’t be hearing any complaints from me as the option to build up this facial tan is exactly what I was looking for as it allows you to tailor the depth of your tan.  This is a facial tan that caters for everyone!

I have quite oily skin.  This can make me a little nervous about tanning my face.  However, once this product is applied it is absorbed quickly, without any oily residue or shine.  This matt finish is an added bonus and it means you could consider applying this product in the morning and allow it to sit underneath your make up, or even use it as your base if you don’t mind having to wait a few hours for it to develop. It doesn’t dry out your skin either.  Instead, the anti-aging ingredients have a moisturising effect which ensures your skin is left soft and balanced.

Fak Bake Face Polish

Fake Bake also have an excellent Bamboo Buffering Face Polish. This gently, but effectively exfoliates your face, removing impurities and dead skin cells. This ensures a more even application. All you need to do is apply to wet skin, gently rub in, and rinse away. Trust me when I say it’s worth it. The sunflower seed oil and avocado fruit oil moisturises your skin, leaving it soft and fresh, creating the perfect base for your tan application.

I think everyone should give these great products a try. Don’t be afraid of facial fake tanning anymore, Fake Bake have made it very easy for you!

For more information about Fake Bake’s amazing range of products see their website http://www.fakebake.co.uk

Secret Eater? Try the My Fitness Pal App

Channel 4 is well into series 3 of Secret Eaters – for those of you who haven’t seen it, each episode is pretty much the same as the last:

1. Very overweight families go on the show, with no apparent idea of how they got to the size they are.
2. They are monitored for a week, with PI’s watching and counting every calorie.
3. At the end of the week, the calories they think they have eaten (around 1500) are compared to the calories they have actually eaten (something in the region of 4000).
4. They then proceed to act shocked when shown clips of them demolishing numerous packs of Maryland cookies in the middle of the night.

Binge Eating

Admittedly, these generally seem to be quite extreme cases, but the principal of food logging makes sense (for the short term at least!). For the last couple of weeks I’ve been monitoring my food intake using the app ‘My Fitness Pal’. This allows you to enter all the food and drink you’ve consumed, and even allows you to scan the barcodes on packaging to make life much easier!

It’s a great tool to accurately monitor your calories – it lets you input calories burned through exercise too. Even if this isn’t something you need, I’d recommend everyone do it for a day or two just to take a check on what you’re consuming.

The recommended balanced diet is 50% carbohydrates, 20% fat and 30% protein. A food tracking app like this will show you the split, and help your tailor your diet if you find that it’s too heavy in one area (mine was a bit carb happy!). It’s also handy to track your sugars and other vitamin areas in case you are lacking in anything.

Food Portions

I’m always very conscious of the nutritional labels of what I buy at the supermarket, but it’s hard to keep track of food when you’re eating out. You might be surprised at the nutrition of some big brands; we were shocked at the amount of sugars in apparently ‘healthy’ breakfast cereals!  America is pushing for labels to show the food data of ‘average’ portion sizes rather than what is recommended (who ever just eats 30g of cereal?!) and I hope that comes into place over here. It’s important to monitor portions as well as what you’re actually eating – often you don’t need as much as you think, and we get into the habit of filling our plates and feeling compelled to finish what’s in front of us.

It’s a handy tool to try, ESPECIALLY if you think you know what you’re consuming every day. Compare it to what you’re actually having and maybe you’ll even come out of it with some positive changes to make.

Laser Lipo – Does it really work? Join me on my 4-Week Journey with Bellaze Inch-Loss Clinic and we can find out together.

I recently received an invite to a brand new, non-invasive inch loss clinic – the first of its kind in Northern Ireland – which has arrived in Belfast with ambitions to give the city a leaner, more svelte silhouette. Bellaze, situated on Donegall Street in the city centre, uses the renowned Body Sculpting system from inch loss expert Tina O’Doherty’s clinics in Scotland. Since opening her first clinic in Scotland ten years ago, a total of over 500,000 treatments have been completed on over 40,000 clients, with each losing an average number of 8-12 inches.

bellaze inch weightloss clinic

So needless to say, I was offered the chance to try out their Body Sculpting System, I jumped at the chance. I had a trial today and really loved it, but when I was told that they are treating me to the 4-week Gold Plan, I was absolutely delighted!

The Bellaze Body Sculpting System uses 3 main methods:

Lipo Sculpting – A laser beam is targeted on the area of the body identified to be treated.  The cold laser beams penetrate the skin just deep enough to reach the layers of fat. When the light hits the fat cells, a rapid chain of events take place. Firstly pores form on the cells and this causes the water, Glycerol and Fatty Acids contained within the cells to spill out.

This is then removed from your body through the lymphatic system and processed in the same way as fatty foods are digested. The remaining fat cells are significantly reduced in size. This process does not affect any other part of your body such as skin, blood vessels or nerves.

Electrolite - Used originally for healing of muscles and surrounding tissues, it became apparent that the visual effect of this treatment was the improvement of the body contours. It was also noted that this was happening quickly and comfortably to the patient.
The equipment has since been modified enabling therapists to use it in the Beauty industry. It has replaced the original muscle stimulation treatments (commonly known as Faradic) that although were effective, took longer to achieve goals and were limited in use. However, there is Microcurrent equipment that incorporates Faradic type current. This is the choice of each individual manufacturer.

Microcurrent offers quick results in lifting and contouring. Cellulite conditions will improve as the cells become healthier and waste products are eliminated. After a course of treatments, (normally recommended are courses of 10 or 12 treatments), a maintenance programme will be followed to carry on the effects achieved.

Thermoshape - This treatment is carried out at the same time as the Electrolite treatment and uses relaxing therapeutic heat. Heating the muscles produces an increased blood flow similar to that seen during exercise.

My 4-week treatment plan starts on Tuesday 1st April, I am going to share my journey over the month with you to let you know the answer to the all important question you are asking, does it actually work? Follow me over the next 4 weeks to find out.

In the meantime, why not check Bellaze out on Facebook or Twitter ‘@Bellaze’