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Summer's Here!

Blog - 16th Jun 2010 - Comments 19 - Read →

Now that the brilliant Shellacs are off I was looking for colour inspiration...I need a change from the red! It has come in the shape of Ciates new collection, Festival Fever, which arrived at the house of Eldridge today.

I love Ciate polishes because they are so richly pigmented, definitely more of a paint than a polish. I also love the cute 1950's bows. I'm torn between the green (always love a green) and the lilacy pink. What do you think?

For more colours info about Ciate go to

Shellac Nail Polish - The Verdict

Blog - 6th Jun 2010 - Comments 94 - Read →

So its day 15 of the Shellac nails and I asked my husband to take this picture so you can see we are nails wise. I’m still in Austria on my spa (kind of) break, which has been amazing but ill post about that another time. For those who asked...all the new videos I've had on here during this past week were filmed BEFORE I had my Shellac manicure.

Nail Diary

The first change in the nails happened at the end of day 11 when I noticed a slight wearing at the end of the index finger of my right hand, now when I say slight I mean slight. Most ‘normal’ people would have needed a microscope to see it, friends certainly couldn’t see anything but I was being extra vigilant.

The next change was on day 13 when the wearing on the right index finger turned into a small chip and, at the same time, the middle finger on the same hand started to wear resulting in a thin white strip along the tip.  I must say at this point that I had been in the steam and sauna that morning and again for a mega long session in the evening so this may very well have had something to do with the sudden change. I need to ask David, the nail tech, when I get home whether extreme heat affects their longevity.

Day 14 (granted after another overly zealous detoxing sesh in the steam and sauna), and the thumb of my right hand developed a tiny chip. At this point the left hand was still absolutely perfect.

Today, as you can see from the photo there is a new chip on the right thumb and the first chip on the left hand, also on the thumb and of course quite a bit of  ‘grow down’ at the cuticle.



Considering I have never managed to keep red nail polish for longer than 48 hours without chipping I’m totally thrilled with the Shellac system.I’ve also never had so many nail compliments; I put this down to the incredibly shiny, eye-catching finish – which never fades. I got 13 perfect days which may or may not have been longer had I avoided the heat therapy marathons…. who knows.

In the last day or two I have started to get sick of the colour as I’m used to chopping and changing but having said that, I’ve saved myself HOURS not having to remove and paint, remove and paint etc.Another positive is that my nails, which normally split and flake, have grown long and strong underneath the protective shield.

I’ll definitely have it done again, I’d like to have my toes done too.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this system to anyone who loves nail polish but is sick to death of it chipping and smudging – you will find this life changing and the constant mirror finish shine really is out of this world!

To find a Shellac salon in the UK contact Sweet Squared who are the distributors. You can call them on 0845 210 6060 or email them from their website

Watch this video

A Classic Bridal Look

Another simple, classic and natural bridal make-up with the emphasis on a 'classic 4 toned eye.' Giving maximum definition and emphasis, its perfect for making the most of your eyes whilst still giving an elegant and soft overall effect. The shades and strength of the look can be adapted to suit you and your skin tone. I've used warmer, slightly peachy tones for this look which works really well on all skins with a predominantly yellow base tone. From the palest warm toned skin through to olives and darker skin tones, tweak the shades accordingly. If you need more definition, add individual lashes and gel eyeliner along the upper lash line. I will post some stronger bridal looks later in the year. Btw, I made this video before the Shellac nails went on, I still have them and I'll post a review and picture this Sunday.

My Top Tips For Bridal Make-Up

Blog - 3rd Jun 2010 - Comments 4 - Read →

Women often make a real departure from their usual look on their wedding day because of the desire to achieve something extra special with their hair and make-up. However, extra special and dramatically different are not the same thing. We all put everything (time, money, dreams) into this one day and normally pragmatic women can become slightly unhinged with all good judgement going out of the window. Take a step back. Look through lots of pictures of yourself….chances are you looked your best on holiday when you hadn't tried too hard with your hair and make-up...bear that in mind. Your fiancée fell in love with your beautiful blue eyes, don't drown them in bright purple eye shadow just to be different!

Don’t go all out for a definite 'look', much better to aim to make yourself look as beautiful as possible. For example, weddings have long been associated with pastel make-up but it suits few, doesn't give enough definition and tends to look washed out in the photographs. Also it can look very old fashioned and a bit ‘mother of the bride’ circa 1975. Instead always stick to a classic 'beauty' make-up...a better, more flawless but natural version of yourself. I'd say avoid white-based pastels completely unless you are going to combine them with neutral pencil or shadows to bring the definition back.

Changing your look dramatically is never a good idea. Chances are you won't look your absolute best. Stick to what you know really suits you. Your guests (and the groom) need to be able to recognise you immediately.

Don't be be swayed by catwalk trends. For example if 1980’s make-up or particular colour combinations are being featured in all the magazines don't be tempted to follow. It's guaranteed you will look back at the photos years later and cringe.

Despite all advice to keep it simple, pretty, natural etc it's important to remember that it is also possible to 'under do' wedding make-up. White dresses can be very draining against the face so a peachy or rosy blush is a must. Remember you’ll also need some definition in your make-up for the photographs. Define your eyes with beautiful dark thick lashes, good brows and a nicely shaped eye socket. Stick to neutral shades.

Overdoing the fake tan will result in an overly orange skin and against a white dress this will look cheap and nasty. Extremely tanned faces don't photograph or take make-up well. Why do you think all the Hollywood A-listers keep themselves pale? They know this only too well.

Keep tans (real and fake) soft, subtle and chic.

High maintenance make-up like very painterly glossy red lips or false eyelashes etc can result in stress if you are not used to wearing and maintaining them. A few tears and a lot of kissing and you could end up looking like coco the clown!

Take advantage of advances in technology like long lasting formulations as these can really help, especially when it comes to lipstick and foundation. The main thing is to make your skin look amazing, after that everything else just falls into place. It's not unusual to have a sleepless night before the wedding so good concealing, highlighting and evening out works wonders. Always use waterproof mascara (and eyelash glue if you use lashes) even if you end up not needing it, it's better to be safe than sorry.

High def cameras and flash photography mean that you need to avoid too much light reflection. This is especially important around the eyes as none of us want to suffer from ‘reverse panda syndrome’ on our big day. Set your make-up with non-shimmery powders that don’t contain titanium dioxide or any kind of light reflective particles – particularly under the eyes. A little shimmer on the high points of the cheeks, apples of the cheeks, collar bones and shoulders can look lovely but keep it subtle and chic.

Ask your bridesmaid to keep a few things for you in her bag for touch ups throughout the day and into the night.

The essentials I suggest...

1. A small powder compact and brush or Blotting papers (these are especially good if you are in a hot country).

2. The lipstick or gloss (or both) you are wearing – for touching up in-between all the kisses.

3. Some Q-tips for any smudges under the eyes (or anywhere else) – dry ones and some soaked in a little make-up remover and wrapped in a tissue. These are a godsend if you need to refresh your under eye area, remove any mascara or liner which has moved and generally clean things up as the night wears on.

4. A little concealer palette – fab for repairing or refreshing under eye area, touching up any blemishes which start to peep through as time goes on and for covering any red patches that develop on you face, neck or body.

Watch this video

A Summer Rose Bridal Look

A fresh and flawless Rose look for anyone getting married this summer, especially if you are in a hot country (we all know humidity can play havoc with your make-up!). The emphasis is very much on HEAT and HUMIDITY RESISTANCE. This make-up is all about long lasting, smudge proof staying power. I've selected some high performance products to help prevent your make-up from slipping and shining... particularly a problem if your skin is oily or combination. This quintessentially 'Rose' look traditionally suits paler, cool toned skin but adapt it to suit different skin shades by tweaking the richness and base tones of the pinks and it can look equally beautiful. You can add a simple gel eyeliner for more strength around the eyes if you need to.

Both of the bridal looks I'm doing this week are going to be very natural. I'm planning on doing stronger bridal looks (smoky eyes, classic liquid liner, looks for different cultures etc) later on in the summer and later this year). For now its very much about simple and natural spring/early summer bridal looks. Hope its helpful x

Inspiration - Grace Kelly - Wedding Day Beauty

Blog - 1st Jun 2010 - Comments 9 - Read →

Ooo how much do I love this picture of Grace Kelly on her wedding day.

I particularly love (well I guess I would!) how her make-up is so timelessly beautiful.

Looking through the photographs taken throughout her life I noticed that although it was sometimes easy to date her clothes and hairstyles the same could not be said of her make-up. This seems to be because she never followed beauty fads. For example, the perfect brows of her earlier films, seen here on her wedding day, were never subjected to over plucking - even in the 70’s when it was highly fashionable.

Always favoring a fuller brow, flawlessly natural looking skin, well defined lips and flattering, simply made up eyes (usually just pencil and mascara) it is always her astonishing ‘beauty’ you see not her make up.

Watch this video

Bridal Make-Up Tips

Video - 31st May 2010 - Views - Comments - Watch →

This video features some of my thoughts and ideas about bridal make-up and kicks off my first bridal week on There will be more ideas and tips posted as blog entries throughout the week. In addition to more tricks and tips, I’ll be posting two classic bridal make-up tutorials this week. There are many looks you can do for a wedding but for now I’m keeping it simple and elegant. Both of the looks can be taken further with the addition of eyeliner, individual lashes or more emphasis on either eyes or lips to suit the bride and wedding.

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