Grey Blusher: Yay or Nay?

“Pointy cheekbones can be yours with just one cosmetic readjustment” with grey blusher says Stylist Beauty Director Joanna McGarthy. Although you might not have considered it before, grey cosmetics in the form of eye shadow and blush might just be what you need. If you have ever had any issue with your cheek bones and considered plastic surgery, perhaps you don’t have to anymore. With grey being the colour of natural shadows, it gives a natural effect when applied around the eyes or on the cheeks. You can adapt different shades to suit your skin tone, “warmer greys for warmer skin tones” says Joanna. The ball is in your court, you can play around with this new trend of mixing colours.

You can purchase your own collection of grey cosmetics from well-known brands such as Clinique, No7, Chanel and Elizabeth Arden at affordable prices. There is quite a large range of products so you can choose whatever you feel will go well with your skin tone. You can either get powder blush or loose powder for that perfect look that you have always wanted. Why not experiment with different shades of grey this autumn to get a new look that will not only make you look natural but will also accentuate your facial features, and create your very own 50 shades of Grey!


Paralympics 2012!

Tonight’s opening ceremony will commence the London 2012 Paralympic Games!

Just two weeks ago our small nation was completely engrossed in the Olympic Games following and supporting our heroes who did us proud, with an unbelievable 65 medals…….29 of which were GOLD!

It didn’t matter what country you were supporting everyone was in high spirits and good moods.

This has set the perfect back drop for what is set to be the best Paralympic Games since its creation in 1960 (Fact – these games took place in Rome and was only open to war veterans). For the first time ever a Paralympics has been completely sold out; the Olympic Park is expecting over 200,000 visitors each day. I think this is largely a result of changing attitudes, where people are now recognizing and appreciating the high standards of the events. The man nicknamed “Blade Runner”, Olympic and Paralympic competitor Oscar Pistorius has called for people to “Focus not on our disability, but our ability”.

GB have one of the best Paralympic teams finishing second in Bejjing (ahead of the USA). Therefore unsurprisingly, there are number of super talented athletes on show, including, but by no means limited to, Liz Johnson, cerebral palsy sufferer from Wales. She sadly lost her mum whilst in Bejjing and took the Gold in breaststroke 11 days after. In Athens she won Silver and we’re predicting another medal in London. So don’t forget to check out her medal race Wednesday 5th September!

Cobalt Cadenza!

Cobalt Blue is a new trend for Autumn. This would make a subtle change from the recent reprise of Denim, because Cobalt blue is far brighter and bolder than its cotton counterpart (although we do love  a denim jacket!).

Most designers have either coupled cobalt with dark or understated colours, black or simply as a full dress, since the bright blue is eye catching enough without the need for any other brash contrasts.

The perks of cobalt are that it will compliment any hair colour, from black to blonde and everything in between, making an especially attractive contrast against ladies with desert sunset copper hair, but in this case try to stick to one colour without mixing too many clashing accessories!

If you want to add some brightness and colour to your outfit more subtly, go for a cobalt coloured accessory which would go well with blacks, dark, faded purples and bright reds.

Finally, if you want a more decorative look, why not go for a mixture of cobalt background dresses with a floral if only to hold on to what is left of summer for a few weeks more!


“What we are seeing is catastrophic market failure”. These were the resounding words of Patrick Collinson, editor at the Guardian to describe the state of the construction industry in the UK. The market failure is attributed to demand for houses not meeting supply. It was recorded that only 21,540 new homes were built at the start of the second quarter which is the lowest figure in the past three years. This leads us to question what exactly the causes were. Is the industry facing massive challenges and if so what can be done to combat the situation? It is paramount that action is taken immediately because the population is rising rapidly and rent prices are soaring.

The average rent price recorded in London was an alarming £725 in July. Faced with fewer houses being built, huge deposits being required by the banks, it is no wonder that renting is the trending thing in England and Wales at the moment. First time buyers have been hit badly, due to the increase in the amount required to purchase a property. With many of these first time buyers being young people who cannot afford it, is inevitable that rent prices will go up.

Should we continue to look whilst house prices have increased three times the rate of wage inflation?  Certainly not. More attention should be paid to the construction industry; more houses should be built and offered at prices that are affordable to more people. Unless action is taken immediately, first time buyers and indeed those renting will not have a fairy tale ending.

The Cake and Bake Show

The British are embracing baking like never before and it is the biggest growing trend of the year. To celebrate this, the UK’s first baking exhibition is launching at Earls Court in September, and will appeal to home bakers and professionals alike.

The biggest names in baking will be in attendance at the exhibition including the Great British Bake Show judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry as well as winners Edd Kimber and Jo Wheatley along with Eric Lanlard, Richard Bertinet, Fabulous Baker Brother Tom Herbert and renowned chocolatier Paul A Young.

The highlights of the show will include a cake demonstration, a dedicated bread area supported by the Real Bread Campaign, a food market and workshops. And for sugarcraft fans there will be expert led classes and demonstrations, so the event will be packed full of eating, education and entertainment.



The Traditional Apprenticeships

With A levels and GCSE’s being the hot topic of August, but when presented with limited options and a double dip recession how can the younger generation ensure that these hard earned grades are worth it.

It is becoming clear that the modern route to success maybe in the traditional apprenticeship.

Carl Bennett, Managing Director of Britain’s Premier Electrical Training Company Trade Skills 4U, says: “Whether you are interested in working in nursing, engineering, or for a large company like the BBC, apprenticeships are a sure fire way to equip yourself with the right skills and experience for the job in hand. As apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes there is one bound to suit everyone’s needs and this summer alone has seen apprenticeship vacancies rise to a staggering 15,000”.

Modern apprenticeships allow people to get hands on experience, extensive training and a recognised qualification all the while placing them in their preferred career industry, allowing them to build contacts from the outset.

Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers; people of all ages are able to access a training scheme. Many people are now taking the courses to better themselves and expand their options.

Tom Ward, currently on Trade Skills 4U’s City and Guilds apprenticeship outlines his experience with the programme; “a lot of guys on my course are a lot older than me. We have a 45 year old, a 38 year old and 39 year old amongst a range of twenty something’s all taking the course.”


Wednesday 29th August 2012. 4:00pm at the Moscone Centre will feature Splunk Inc, the leading provider of software for real-time operational intelligence, and CloudShare, the leading provider of pre-production cloud for dev and test, demos and POC’s.

There will be a session discussing how the Splunk App for VMware helps CloudShare better understand it’s infrastructure performance trends amongst customers and business metrics.

Titled “How a Cloud Computing Provider Reached the Holy Grail of Visibility”, this session reveals the benefits of Splunk for businesses. With more than 4,000 organisations using Splunk world-wide to gain operational intelligence, the world is searching for more information about this software.

Splunk software is used in organisations such as CloudShare to monitor, troubleshoot and solve customer service issues. It collects, harnesses and indexes masses of data making trends more easily identifiable. With the knowledge that customer feedback is essential for any business, analysing and responding to customer trends is another way to obtain such feedback. After all, actions do speak louder than words. The versatility of Splunk and its ability to monitor the dynamic nature of virtualisation makes it a perfect partner for CloudShare.

VMworld 2012 looks be be an interesting one this year providing support and ideas to business and IT professionals. If you’re looking to incorporate a few new IT skills to your business leading the way to expansion or you simply love to tinkle with software, the Moscone Center in San Francisco is the place to be next Wednesday. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area while you’re there!