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!