Every so often, a new brand steps into my life and I fall in love. I love really cute accessories but as with my fashion, I love to have things that are just that little bit different.  I recently met girl boss Brenda who works in tech by day but runs Six for Gold Boutique by night. Her story really struck a chord with me, as like myself with this very blog, it is a real passion project. More than that, she runs it out of her Belfast home and ships across the globe! The jewellery she stocks is stunning pieces, hand picked by Brenda. I've been rocking my Native Gem piece which she kindly gave me and I know this will be the start of a very long addiction with Six for Gold! 

I sat down with Brenda to discuss

What inspired you to start Six for Gold Boutique?
I’ve always loved jewellery and accessories and I’m a bit of a magpie (the name sixforgold comes from the magpie rhyme), anything sparkly catches my eye. I’ve always travelled a lot; for work and holidays and jewellery was something I always picked up along the way. I’ve never been a fan of mass-produced jewellery and I love discovering less well known indie brands. People often stopped to ask me where I found a particular piece of jewellery (often in airports for some reason). Over the years many people had commented that I should leave software and source jewellery for a living! Well I’m not living the dream just yet but when an opportunity to take some time out from the corporate game appeared I grabbed it with both hands. I took a few months out and created sixforgold. I’m back to working in software for my day job now but my free time is spent building sixforgold and discovering new designers.  

Where does your jewellery obsession come from?
I really have no idea! My Mom rarely wears any jewellery so I didn’t pick it up from her! I really love all accessories but for me it’s the little details that make an outfit. The right jewellery can transform your outfit and I love that is often tells a story. 

Tell us about the brands you stock and why?
I seek out independent designers whose pieces can’t be found on the high street. Everything has to be handmade and in some cases pieces are made to order. I really look for affordable luxury when I source new pieces. I want the jewellery I stock to be a ‘treat’ but I also want it be affordable. I love to stock designers that have no other outlets in Europe too as I think women today want that little bit of exclusivity, Native Gem and Leighelena are a great example. The best jewellery comes from designers with an amazing passion for what they are doing; I love to meet the designers face to face so I can learn about what inspires them.

Do you have a favourite brand that you stock?
Right now I am loving the Native Gem collection – I have a real thing for druzies and the pieces are so unique. They look so much more expensive than they are. I discovered the line when I was in New York earlier this year and it was a moth to a flame moment! I just knew that my customers would love it and it’s been my best-selling line this year.  I also adore the SVP Bonbon rings and every so often I treat myself to a new stone, the blue chalcedony is next on my list!

Is there a jewellery brand that you wish you owned?
I do a like a little high end jewellery too! I’d love a gold Tiffany key pendant and I’m loving the new Dior fine jewellery collection!

What is your own favourite piece of jewellery that you own?
I’d have to say it’s my engagement ring – it’s art deco in style with a yellow diamond.

Who is your dream celeb/style icon to wear a Six for Gold piece?
From a sales perspective I’d say Kate Middleton as everything she wears is sold out in seconds! Her style is classy but I think she could use a little edge! Failing that I’d say Jennifer Anniston; she really can do no wrong in the style stakes. She has her off duty look down to a T! I can see her wearing the Australian Chrysophase pendant from Native Gem with a white T-shirt (one of my current favourite summer looks). 

Brenda has so kindly given me the code thattbelfastgirl15 which will allow you have an amazing 15% off everything on

Happy shopping!

New daily essentials

I feel like I'm still waiting for summer to come... apart from that one week of sunshine that we had, this wall to wall rain has me feeling a little down! Despite that, the weather is definitely warmer and I've tried to brighten up my daily makeup with three products that I know are going to stay in my daily collection long after summer leaves.

I got this bronzer a few months ago as part of the Urban Decay summer collection. It sat in my collection for a while with the odd use. I used it for a night out glam makeup look and I haven't put it down since. It's a stunning texture with just the right amount of warmth in it. Something about it reminds me of Benefit Hoola, only with a much warmer and less grey tone. This looks great across the high points of my face but also in my eye socket (a old trick!) for low key makeup days. The packaging of this product is beautiful and sturdy - the mirror makes it perfect for travelling and on the  go touch ups. 

I'm so pleased that Inglot is back in Belfast. They have a store in CastleCourt outside Debenhams which is great for all of you makeup junkies! Their new Summer Lovin' Palette is a great mix of shades. The two lightest colours are great for the brow bone and all across the eye and the other three look stunning blended in. The orange copper shade is my favourite and I've loved rocking it with the brown shade underneath my bottom lash line. The pink shade also doubles as a fab blusher!

I have tried so many highlighters this year - 2016 has been all about highlighters. By far, this is the BEST one I have tried all year. Not only does this gorgeous palette only cost £9.99, the highlighter shades are so gorgeous! I usually mix the bottom two shades for my perfect highlight combo for the tops of my cheeks but if I want even more glow, I use the cream product from the palette, layered with the powder products. This is a MUST BUY and something I know I will continue to use for years to come. 

*PR Sample

Beauty maintenance

A post has been circulating in blog land all about beauty maintenance. My friends see me as someone who has quite a lot of beauty appointments so I thought I would detail all of the places I visit to get my treatments on a regular basis. All of the businesses are linked via their names and are mostly in the Belfast or Greater Belfast area. 

I absolutely adore long nails.... see the picture attached if you don't believe me! I have naturally long nail beds but my own nails can break easily. I love getting acrylics at The Dolly Rooms. I usually go to Erin or Kerri. I usually would get 3-4 weeks before they need infilled again. I do however go through little phases where I decided to just deal with my natural nails. For that, I love gel polish. I find I need a double layer of base coat or a layer of hard base gel to make gel polish last on me. At the minute I'm rocking an orange red (see pictured) from Ora Beauty. They use the Cuccio brand which I love. I'm almost 2 weeks in with my gel manicure so I'm ready to probably get it changed soon!

I am so OCD about my feet and I actually think it's really hard to find good pedicures in Northern Ireland. The best salon one I have found is at Charcoal Essential Therapy. They have a big American style pedi chair and ironically, also use the Cuccio brand for their pedicures. I have had gel polish on my toes which I like for holidays etc but I find normal polish is fine as it seems to last just as well. I also visit Active Feet a few times a year. They are a podiatry clinic and I think it's important to keep a check on your hard skin etc. The owner of Active Feet, Nicola, is an absolute hoot. I love going just to have a yarn with her! 

In terms of body waxing, Charcoal Essential Therapy are my ultimate favourite. They use the Adam & Eve brand of wax that seems to leave a smoother finish than any other brand I've had used on me. Roberta who own Charcoal & does my waxing, is an expert in her field in terms of technique. 

Hair is an interesting topic for me. I have hair that grows back grey so I have to get my hair coloured every four weeks (five at a real push but I have a huge mallen streak up the parting of my hair!). In the course of the past five years, I'd say I've probably been to 20 different hair dressers. I've done lots of brand collaborations with hairdressers and found some great ones along the way. If you have thick hair, Caroline at Jason Shankey is one of the best cutters I've ever met. She is fantastic at giving hair great shape. If I decided to cut my hair into a bob again, I'd definitely head back to her.

Shannon at Paula McCourt Hairdressing is who I am currently going to. I'm in the process of growing my hair as I'm going to Dubai next year and want to be able to put it up. Shannon colours my hair a dark brown every four weeks and also uses an Olaplex treatment to help keep it healthy. Paula who owns Paula McCourt is also a gold certified Great Lengths extensions specialist. I've had Great Lengths before and loved them. I feel like another set could happen pretty quickly as I've fallen in love with all of the heads I see Paula do when I'm at my appointment with Shannon!

If you want unique colour, Aidan at Stafford Hairdressing does the most bomb balayage in the business (pictured with my auburn balayage). 

I'm not a great lover of lash extensions but I do love a strip lash for a night out! However, my one addiction is LVL Lashes. This is a lash lift using your own lashes to give them a curl and make your eyes look more open. It's hard to find people who do LVL in Northern Ireland but I have recently started to go to Medi-Cosmetic which is close to were I live. LVL costs £50 and lasts between 6-8 weeks but to be honest, I usually get about 10-12 weeks out of it!

I adore Yon-Ka brand facials and the Queen of these is Deborah at Deborah Harper in Helen's Bay. I've talked about her so much on this blog but her facials (and her salon) are truly the best. I've actually fallen asleep during one before! I try to go twice a year to Deborah at least - usually as a wee treat if I'm stressed. Deborah recommends a facial once a season with the changing weather which is a great way to schedule in some "you" time. 

I'm quite fickle with my brows. I've been loads of places over the years but I only get my brows done about every 6 weeks. I usually prefer to tint them myself as tint doesn't last long but I prefer a simple wax more than anything just to tidy them up and keep them clean. I had them done recently at Ora Beauty and I was impressed. I like my brows to be kept quite big and I've had some serious situations over the years with threading where so much hair has been taken away. My one lesson? Give better instructions and go with your natural shape! 

Like brows, makeup is something I am funny about. There's a handful of people I would let touch my face. Clare at Laura Mercier in House of Fraser is one of them, Paddy McGurgan is another and my good faithful friend Megan Donaldson is the last. Anytime I have something big to go to, I head to Megan as she does my hair & makeup in an hour (see pictured). She's the loveliest girl & my makeup always lasts all night when she does it.

That's all my regular beauty maintenance for now.... however I'm always on the lookout for things to try out. SnapChat me on @gemmalouisebond to tell me your recommendations!