Archive: November 2012

ABSOLUT Success For Dynamic Duo Paddy & Khara

30 November 2012
Ireland's leading make up artist Paddy McGurgan and multi award winning photographer Kara Pringle are joined by models Zara Shaw, Ciara McStravick and Nicole Sutton at an ABSOLUTely unique event last night - the launch of their new premises on Royal Avenue, hosted by ABSOLUT Vodka NI

A winning combination


Professional Make Up Artist of the Year Paddy McGurgan and multi-award winning photographer Khara Pringle last night (29 November) celebrated an exciting collaboration as they moved into adjacent premises at a fabulous new city centre studio. 


The pair welcomed clients, friends and family who turned out in style at the launch event, with sponsors Absolut Unique clearly present as an array of vibrantly coloured models embraced the floor space resembling the limited edition collection, one- of-a- kind bottles from the brand. Guests also gained a first glimpse of the sleek new space which combines a ground floor cosmetic heaven in the form of Paddy’s Make Up Pro store as well as a top floor professional photographic studio where Khara is based, allowing both Paddy and Khara to work together effortlessly and do what they do best – produce stunning and striking images.


The talented pair are offering various feel good packages including ’Face Forward’ the ultimate makeover package which not only aims to make people look good but feel good too, as well as the ‘Model Me’ package which is designed for aspiring or established models to achieve creative and unique shots to develop their portfolio.


With an eye shadow bar sporting more than 40 wearable colours, an array of stunning eyelashes and stock of Paddy’s own make­ up collection, Paddy McGurgan Make Up Pro, you can expect all the latest must have professional brands including some exciting new brands from overseas. 


American pharmaceutical skin care brand Embryolisse and tanning products from Au Courant, colour products by Make up Atelier and T.LeClerc and skincare brand BalanceMe are just some of the hotly anticipated brands available, not to mention a wide range of home candles and essential natural oil products from Lucy Annabella Organics.


Speaking at the launch Paddy said: “I’m beyond thrilled to be opening up a new store in Belfast as it will not only provide a greater opportunity for me and my team to increase personal rapport with clients by offering a more in depth individual make up and skincare consultation but it also means helping clients achieve the professional look at all times.  In addition, I will be working more closely with Khara who is as passionate as I am when it comes to making people look their best.”


Photographer Khara is already well known for her commercial, fashion and editorial work not to mention her unique cutting edge style and remarkable ability to create beautiful and imaginative images and she is equally as excited about the new premises.  She explained that the city centre studio will also allow her to do more corporate portfolios too: “The new studio provides the perfect space to accommodate all clients, whether that be for models during fashion or editorial shoots or for senior managers and business owners looking to create the right image that reflects their business, it provides the perfect backdrop for all.”


She continued: “Paddy and I are both passionate about delivering a service which will ensure people are relaxed, happy and most importantly, look amazing.  With the right angle, lighting, equipment and make up application, everyone has the ability to really shine.”



For more information on Paddy visit  or call 028 9043 4007


For more information on Khara visit or call 07979218456 or 028 9182 6000


Visit the store at 108-112 Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1DL.

It's all coming up roses for Justine's most recent exhibition

26 November 2012

Northern Irish artist Justine Simpson, well-known for her series of oil paintings featuring pints of Guinness and lovebirds, will be re-emerging with a rejuvenated style and new stories to tell in her twenty-eighth art exhibition on Sunday, 02 December.  ‘Serendipity’ will be hosted at the Boat House Restaurant in Bangor and will feature a new series of work inspired by the happy things that occur along life’s journey.


‘Serendipity’ will display some of Justine’s newest works, including a series of roses, a symbol of the blossoming of the spirit, love, and friendship and an image that speaks to Justine at this stage of her life.  “After having my third child, I was commissioned by another new mum to create a rose painting for her daughter,” explains Justine.  “I was inspired to continue on with the theme, as it fits perfectly with the new beginnings of both being a mum and continuing with my solo career.  From this project, I began to incorporate cobalt violet hues into my palette and onto my other works- a shade I rarely worked with before.”


Justine’s newest works are made in her trademark style using oil paint, intuition, colour, subject, and instinct to create art.  “With my new roses series, I’ve created a take on ‘associated painting.  Not only is the rose symbolic in itself, but I also associate the medium itself with another object.  Examples of this association can be seen in my ‘Lipstick Roses’ and my ‘Cheesecake Roses,’ explains Justine. ‘Coincidentally, a theme of food emerged, which was perfect for this occasion, as my works will be on display in a restaurant.’


She has also returned to working en plein air, taking inspiration from her surroundings outdoors. “By working outdoors you can capture the element of atmosphere and translate it into your paint with thickness and colour, accentuating things that jump out at you, unlike if I were to copy a photo in a studio,” Justine says. The element of serendipity came into play when many passers-by expressed interest in purchasing her works as she created them outdoors.


‘Serendipity’ will also see Justine continue her well-established relationship with drinks brand DIAGEO, who will supply drinks at the event, after having created a successful collection of Guinness pints in past years.  These works are among some of Justine’s most well-received pieces; some of which will feature in this exhibition.


A native of South Belfast, Justine has spent time working in England and resides in Holywood.  She has studied National University of Ireland in Maynooth, where she obtained a Certificate in Youth Arts with First Class honours.  She has exhibited her work both as a part of collaborations and as a solo artist, and is enjoying her re-emergence into the solo world with her most recent collection of vibrant yet personal paintings.  The topics of these works, both local landscapes and the much talked about roses, make her a local artist with international appeal.


The ‘Serendipity’ event will begin at 2.30 at The Boat House, Bangor, with guests encouraged to RSVP to or  Bidding will occur through a sealed bid system, with each potential buyer submitting a sealed blind bid on their favourite work.  Sealed bids will be opened at 6.30 and winners will be announced on the night.  In the case of duplicate bids, the person submitting the earliest bid will be successful.  Sheldon Gallery will also be on-site providing a bespoke framing service for purchasers.

Appletiser StyleFIX sparkles at Quayside for finale show of 2012 tour

14 November 2012

Appletiser StyleFIX took to the roads throughout 2012 visiting shopping centres right across the island of Ireland with a fabulous runway show and beauty stations which offered stylistas a fantastic one-stop fashion-fix as they shopped.  Lightly sparkling, natural fruit juice Appletiser once again teamed up with Ireland’s top shopping destinations bringing StyleFIX to Quayside Shopping Centre, Sligo for the finale show of the 2012 all-Ireland tour.


Audience members at Quayside enjoyed high-impact fashion shows throughout their shopping Saturday where models showcased a whole host of hot-to-trot winter trends on the catwalk.  With a super selection of stylish high street stores, Appletiser StyleFIX had something to set every style aficionado’s heart racing.  From dramatic dresses for evening glamour to luxe layered looks, fancy fabrics and pretty prints; no style fix was left unsolved.  Those attending were also able to sample delicious complimentary Appletiser while receiving free beauty advice and pampering mini makeovers.


This year’s shows also marked the launch of the Appletiser’s new handbag-sized bottle. Now lighter and more practical, Appletiser can fit into every girl’s lifestyle and bag when on the go.  Denise Farrell, Brand Manager for Appletiser comments: “Appletiser is a unique lightly sparkling drink, made from 100% fruit juice and has no added sugars or colours.  And winter afternoons just became all the more refreshing with our new, lightweight bright green bottle now available for ladies who are rushing from one meeting to another or are lucky enough to lunch al fresco, making it even easier to enjoy that magical fruit burst of Appletiser while still getting in one of their five a day.”


Stylist and show organiser Cathy Martin says fashionistas had a lot to be tempted by while shopping this year.  “Through spring, summer and fall, we were ready to get out there and don the season’s latest trends.  Winter has now brought us a palette of jacquard, brocade and leather along with colour bursts of royal blue, punchy purple and cherry red.  Team up your look with this season’s hottest accessories and you’re good to go!”

Log on to facebook at for more information.


Carnival Queens - The boys are back in town!

06 November 2012
The beautiful and outrageous Lady Boys of Bangkok

The Lady Boys of Bangkok are back to Belfast with a bang with their stellar new show ‘Carnival Queens’ and this time they’ve packed more glitz, more glamour and giggles into 105-minutes than probably any other cabaret show in the UK.
Returning to Belfast for their third year the Lady Boys have firmly established themselves as Northern Irish cabaret royalty and due to huge public demand will enjoy a fortnight long residency in Custom House Square.
Artistic Director, Phillip Gandey, said the Lady Boys love performing in Belfast and it seems that the feeling is mutual as 350 people packed out the Sabai Pavilion last night to welcome back sixteen of Bangkok’s most entrancing beauties.
Their hugely popular shows have in the past proven to be one of the most fun-filled events of the autumn and if last night’s anything to go by it’s sure to do the same again. Singing hits by Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Shirley Bassey and Queen and sporting more than 300 elaborate handmade costumes during the show the crowd enjoyed a colourful and musical performance like no other.
Artistic director Phillip Gandey said: “‘Carnival Queens’ is infused with the comedy, surprises and satire that only the Lady Boys can deliver and it resounds to the timeless Latin beats of fiesta and pulsates to the chart topping sounds of today. The result is the unique comedy cabaret experience ‘Carnival Queens’ which marks a new high for the spectacle that is The Lady Boys of Bangkok.
“Although The Lady Boys show started out at the Edinburgh Fringe, the people of Belfast have really taken the show to their hearts.
“We say the further north we go the more the crowd respond to the show. We get an amazing reaction from the crowd in Belfast so while we might bring the carnival music and costumes, the audience here almost guarantees a carnival atmosphere.”
As well as being a feast for the eyes there’s fresh Thai food on offer at the Lady Boys’ shows from their resident Master Chef Miss Khanittha Pornngarm and two fully stocked bars.
‘Carnival Queens’ could well be the Lady Boys’ crowning glory.
Come enjoy the party like no other party…
The show like no other show…
The girls like no other girls.

Tickets are available  from the Belfast Welcome Centre or by calling 0871 7050705 (10p BT per min) or to book online, visit

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