I have officially moved away from Manchester!

So it’s official! I have moved away from Manchester! Don’t get me wrong, Manchester will always be my home… I love the city, the people, the night-life, the culture, the Mancunian accent and the wicked northern sense of humour! However, it’s time for a new chapter in my life.

I have never lived away from Manchester so I’m delighted to be moving to Essex, so many of my loved ones have lived away from home, my brother lived in America for a while and one of my best friends lives in Oman.. OK Essex isn’t Oman, but my new home is amazing and I am very, very happy getting things organised and choosing fixtures and fittings for our first home together… everyone keeps asking me will I miss my family and friends, but they are all organising to come down and stay, so I really do think I will actually see more of them!

Aside from this rather massive event in my life I have been basically catching up with myself after all the travelling about over the last few months. And also I have started back at the DREADED gym. Yes that right, I have fished out my trainers and reluctantly started working out again!

It’s only because I can feel when I have had a bit of a blow out and after the last few weeks spent in Magaluf, Palma, Alicante etc etc… I thought I needed to get back into it. I hate going, but once I have been for an hour I feel so much better and can cross it off my ‘to do’ list for the day.

I have been also drinking protein shakes like these from My Protein www.myprotein.com and supplements like Super Omega Fish Oil and a Anti-oxidant tablet (need it after Magaluf!) with Vitamins A C E , Zinc, Selenium and Green T Extract to name a few key ingredients. It’s important to give your body these extra supplements when training.

mkblog22

At the gym I have been training myself and concentrating on low impact weights, squats, walking lunges, jack knifes and a bit of cardio. Not running though – I can’t bear it!

 

mkblogprotein

michelleblogmy

As well as the gym and eating (a bit) healthier I have been looking after my feet as my heels are looking a bit dry, I think its all the sunbathing and walking in flip flops! I have been using this Soap And Glory ‘Heel Genius’ cream which is pretty impressive – in just three days the skin on and around my heels looks less dry and feels silkier. I have to say I love these new flip flops that were sent to me recently Gandys- http://www.gandysflipflops.com.

image2

Gandys is a social enterprise, and was founded on a commitment to using a portion of all profits to help disadvantaged children through the Gandys Foundation.

image

10% of all Gandys profits go directly into the Gandys Foundation whose sole purpose is to support children in need of basic essentials such as shelter, nutrition, medication and education.

With all my recent travelling about I feel like I am a lot better at packing than I ever used to be. I’m not going to lie I was pretty rubbish at it… I tended to over pack with things I would never wear or use, and always forget my toothbrush, hairbrush or towel. Nowadays I’m slightly more organised, especially for short trips of 1-3 days.

Here’s some of my handy hints for packing light on short trips away.

1. Invest in decent hand luggage. Mine is one of those wheeley bags that you don’t have to drag behind you.

2. Try on your outfits beforehand and take 1 full extra (smart casual) outfit, just in case you need it. Resist the temptation to throw as much as possible into your case as its pointless and leaves no room for impulse shopping purchases :-)

3. So many decent beauty brands now do travel sizes – I always take a small moisturiser (Dr Weils Mega Brightening Serum in 30ml), lip balm, shampoo & conditioner (Kevin Murphy do travel sized and are paraben free so are good to your hair) travel sized Simple eye make-up cleansing pads and face wipes, travel hairspray, travel tooth paste, and my favourite Giorgio Armani foundation (I put it in a little pot so that I have enough for 2/3 days and don’t have to try and squeeze the full bottle into the little clear plastic bag you have to use at the airport!).

 

mkblog1010

If you have all of these things in your clear bag, then you should be OK for a mascara, a great liquid blusher like Benefit Benetint or Soap And Glory’s Sexy Mother Blusher (these are perfect for the pool or beach), eye liner and a 30ml perfume too.

image1

4. I know this sounds silly, but I still take my security blanket with me where ever I go too. I lost it on a train last year and thanks to the power of Twitter, someone found it and handed it in. Yeah I’m 27 and still have a comfort blanket… its a bit cringe ha ha, but I guess it reminds me of home and I know LOTS of other women who still have them and some are older than me ! (you know who you are!)

5. A swimming costume (if your not going abroad – there may still be a pool where you are staying and its nice to go on a spur of the moment swim, bit harder to do that when you don’t have anything to swim in!) and your own beach towel (need to reserve your spot at the pool somehow!)

6. There is no point taking more than 3 pairs of shoes including the ones you are wearing. Take smart flip flops or sandals in your handbag, wear some comfy day shoes for the flight and pack a pair of heeled shoes for going out.

7. invest in some good sunglasses. You need them to protect your eyes, and they can finish an outfit off… I LOVE sunglasses and can spend all that dead time between checking in for a flight and getting on the plane, trying loads of pairs on. Here’s me trying on some Miu Miu sunglasses on Sunday ( they are a bit wacky!). I actually sat on my Michael Kors glasses on holiday in Magaluf and broke them ( gutted) so I’m on the lookout for some new ones – I really liked these mirrored Tiffany ones so will grab them next time I’m away…

 

image3

 

image5

image4

Hope this helps some of you to travel a bit lighter !

Until next week,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

Holidaying in Majorca with my girlfriends

My feet have barely touched UK soil this week… More of my girlfriends joined me in Spain mid week, and I’m not gonna lie – we had a BALL!

Can I just say – how amazing is this hotel we stayed in? We stayed at the ME Mallorca hotel http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain/majorca/me-mallorca/index.html TWITTER: @MEMallorca

It looks like it could be in Palma, Barcelona or St Tropez but NO! Can you believe it is slap bang in the middle of Magaluf! Yes Magaluf – the resort with all the bad press!!! Well, can I just say that I love Mallorca – and that includes Magaluf- especially because of this gorgeous hotel.

 

Shots on our veranda of the @MEMallorca. How ladylike!!

Shots on our veranda of the @MEMallorca. How ladylike!!

The rooms are really modern and elegant, and the staff are warm and professional. Me and my girls (there were 7 of us) spent the days relaxing by the pool or at the beach, and at night we either went out in Magaluf, or took a cab (15mins) to Puerto Portals or Palma for dinner and dancing!

Here’s some snaps from our trip :

 

In the reception of the ME. This lime green kaftan is from River Island (Pacha) from last year.

In the reception of the ME. This lime green kaftan is from River Island (Pacha) from last year.

 

Yummy ice cream in Palma

Yummy ice cream in Palma

Jet skiing with ma gals!

Jet skiing with ma gals!

 

Mark being slightly outnumbered!! We were at Abaco it's a cool bar in Palma that does amazing cocktails.

Mark being slightly outnumbered!! We were at Abaco it’s a cool bar in Palma that does amazing cocktails.

 

 

Abaco flowers

Abaco flowers

 

So from Tuesday to Friday it was a proper girls holiday. On the Friday Mark flew back over to Mallorca with his pal because he had a PA there on the Saturday, and it was my friend Liz’s birthday so we needed somewhere loud and fun to celebrate this – we decided to watch the world famous Pirates show which is about 10 mins walk from our hotel.

Me and the cast

Me and the cast

I went a couple of months ago to the family show (and told you about it in this very blog!) but this one was the late night *aherm* adult version. It’s basically a bit racier, pumping music and lots of scantily clad acrobatic & breakdancing pirates.

The girls and all of the Pirates

The girls and all of the Pirates

We all LOVED it, it’s a very slick show and you can tell the cast love doing it! For more info go to their website http://www.piratesadventure.com .

 

 Mark and the HOT female cast (Mark looks quite pleased with himself ha ha!)


Mark and the HOT female cast (Mark looks quite pleased with himself ha ha!)

Sadly on Sunday we had to say goodbye to Mallorca because I had a business meeting in London on Monday. It was SO special to be able to spend a week with some of my closest friends.

Now on a slightly different note – whenever I am on shoots I always ask the creatives I work with for handy hints, cheats, products they recommend and and ones they don’t. I’ve decided to start sharing their expert hints and tricks with my HELLO! Blog readers – because they are the ones with the expert know how and help me look A LOT better than I ever do when I first sit down in that makeup chair in the morning…

Or when I arrive at a hotel for a red carpet event in my trackie and greasy hair! Anyway, first thing I asked them was – tricks to take a good picture – be it a selfie snap or a red carpet moment – and here’s what they said:

One of my favourite make-up artists Collette Casey, said her fail safe tricks for looking good in front of a camera are:

Collette and I on a recent Lipsy campaign shoot

Collette and I on a recent Lipsy campaign shoot

1.Lightening your foundation /concealer under eyes and “T” zone area only by a shade or two with flatter your face.

2. Bare in mind the direction of the light you will be in, especially if it’s side lit as it can cast shadows on the face so if you have a side parting – it’s more flattering on the face if it’s got less hair on that side.

3. Taking photos from slightly higher is more flattering on the face.

4. Don’t fake a smile – you can tell when it’s faked! – real smiles make your eyes sparkle.

5. It is more flattering on the arms if they are softly placed sometimes with a soft bend and not squashed to the sides of your body.

Collette doing my make-up on a HELLO! shoot in Spain

Collette doing my make-up on a HELLO! shoot in Spain

And the brilliant Kelvin Barron – red carpet and fashion stylist extraordinaire, gave me these gems to share with you all:

 

image-hello

1. For the best results in pictures it’s firstly important that you look after your skin which will lead to a healthy glow. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of pounds investing on expensive treatments, you can buy products such as ‘Simple’ which are great for cleansing, toning and moisturising. For a little treat I advise Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream.

2. Feel good in not only your clothes, but by being yourself. Confidence will transcend into amazing imagery and also help your posture. You will generally have better poise when your feeling amazing, rolling the shoulders back is key to avoid looking slouched. Be proud of the skin your in.

3. Draw attention to your unique features and your strong points rather that worry about the areas you don’t like. Whether you want to show off some killer cleavage (always tasteful), you have amazing legs or maybe even a facial feature like a beauty spot – embrace beauty, femininity and what makes you – you!

4. Match your mood and your facial expressions to your clothes. I love working with actresses as they can play more of a role in pictures. So if your wearing an outfit that’s a little sexy – you can play a little more moody, pouty and vampy. It’s all about playing a character in the clothes your in. Actresses like Blake Lively, Emma Stone and Nicola Peltz are my red carpet pros for this and artists like Rihanna really know when to play and vamp it up.

I will have more expert secrets next week – and I will share a few of mine too!

Until then,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

My relaxing week – a holiday with the girls and how to treat your body

It’s now July and over half the year is over. 5 months till Christmas??!! Seriously where has the time gone? It feels like only a couple of weeks ago I was saying my goodbyes to my friends on Corrie and doing my final scenes, however it was nearly 3 months ago now! Time really does fly…

This week I have decided to take it easy because it’s been a bit of whirlwind the last few weeks with lots of shoots, the Lipsy launch, and acting auditions taking me here, there and everywhere.

I have eaten lots of delicious food, had a few good nights sleep (so important!) and treated myself to getting my nails done. All nine of them!

image(13)

(Update: Fingernailgate – it looks all scabby but it’s healing quite well. I didn’t want to put you off your dinner so I have covered it up on this picture ha ha!)

I love bright gel nail colours for summer – and this one looks great – it’s really eye catching and as it’s Shellac it doesn’t peel off after 5 mins like some of the other brands do. My cousin Katie did my nails for me and I love the results.

Her mobile beauty company is called Beyoutiful By Katie. She’s based in Manchester and you can find her on Twitter @BeyoutifulByKf.

I have also been taking care of my skin and did a bath night where I used Origins Ginger Soufflé body cream and Ginger Gloss oil. This contains Jojoba oil and it makes your skin silky soft without being greasy . But the best thing is the smell. It’s AMAZING. You smell like an exotic gingerbread woman! Sounds odd but trust me, it’s dee-lish!!

image(15)

I have been away quite a lot this last month or two done a fair bit of sun worshipping, so in turn it’s important to care for your skin – and plenty of exfoliation and moisterising is key.

One of the best products on the market I think for hydrating your skin is Kiehls Creme De Corps. It’s one of their biggest sellers and it’s easy to see why when you try it. It contains sesame oil, beta carotene and lots of cocoa butter. It’s by no means cheap – at £45 a bottle you want to make it last (or stick it on your Christmas list – only 5 months away!!)

image(14)

If you need something a little more modest in price then I would suggest Sanctuary 7day Miracle Moisture Balm for your face, elbows, hands, and knees, and their 5 day Moisture Creamy Body oil for the rest of your bod.

On the Sanctuary website you can get both for a very reasonable £12. Bargain!!

image(17)

Over the weekend I did a few personal appearances which was fun because I love getting out and about and visiting new people and places, plus my dad took me so it was lovely to spend some quality time with him. Thanks Dad!

After that, myself and my girlfriends all got together and had a lovely mini break in Spain. It’s such a rarity for us all to be under one roof and it’s been such a fun time! Mark and some of his pals stayed with us for a couple of nights too and we hit the town on the Saturday night.

Here’s me, Mark and all the ladies:-) My summery stripey dress is from TopShop Boutique.

image(9)

We have done lots of sunbathing, shopping, swimming, had the *aherm* odd cocktail and just generally lazed about. BLISS!!!!!!!

Here’s me on a girls night in one of my very own creations with Lipsy London – I love this dress you can buy it here

image(11) image(12) image(10)

Oh, on the subject of my Lipsy range – please keep posting your pictures in the clothes.

I love seeing them and it’s great to hear your feedback so keep the tweets coming @michkeegan and feel free to message me here too :-)

Until next week

Love from
Michelle xx

My Lipsy London collection has finally launched!

Hurray!!! My first ever collection with Lipsy London has finally launched! At the time I am typing this (now back in Manchester and having a very lazy night in with Phoebe and Pip) the feedback so far has been really positive and the range is selling well. In fact, some of the pieces have even sold out already! Thank you to everyone who has supported me, and like the clothes! It means ALOT!

image7

This week has been a real whirlwind. I was already down in Essex and had my third photoshoot with Lipsy on the Tuesday. It was a beautifully decorated home in Maida Vale and I got a lot of style inspiration for my own (new) home from it.

 

image6

It was for the third wave of the Autumn/Winter collection and this one contains lots of party dresses, knits and coats. My favourite piece is a floor length black dress. Perfect for a Christmas ball or works do! As soon as I can show you a sneaky piccy I will!

image3

I worked with two new creatives on this shoot: the lovely Caroline Barnes for my make-up and Ben Cooke for hair.

 

They have worked with a lot of great ladies like Cheryl Cole, Victoria Beckham and Nicole Scherzinger so it was fab to have them on board. Ben introduced me to these fab hair products which are Tamara Ecclestone’s new venture.

image5

I LOVED the style of packaging, the bottles were suprsingly heavy, and the actual product was great on my hair – these I loved the best : SHOW Divine Thickening Lotion and the SHOW Finishing Spray. It’s not a cheap brand by any means (around £30-£40 a bottle, so maybe best if you are a professional or it’s a present for someone?), but you pay for the feminine and luxury bottles, and the product.

 

tam

Caroline used these products on me and I was very impressed with them, so I begged her to give them to me after for my own make-up bag (thanks Caroline!) Max Factor Black False Lash effect (and as I had taken my lash extensions off, I really needed this for extra oomph!) and this Bobbi Brown eyeliner. It’s great for a precise, smooth eyeline and it goes on really easily.

 

image4

The following morning I had some hair extensions fitted (I was really missing the thickness in my hair so decided to get some for summer) at the great Inanch in London.

michelle-new

Then later on that day I went to Ben’s salon across the city to get some sun kissed highlights in my hair. I had been thinking about it for a while, and have never had my hair lightened before so I’m not gonna lie I did feel a bit apprehensive, but I love it and think it’s very subtle and gives my hair a bit more texture and shine :-)

 

image10

Here’s me in the salon with Sophie the colourist and Ben …

 

image8

I have got some of this Philip Kinglsey to look after my hair and keep it in good condition. It’s extra important when you colour your hair or get extensions.

image11

I also use this supplement from www.myvitamins.com – the thicker, fuller hair bundle which contains Vit B complex Vit C Zinc and a combination of minerals that concentrate on hair growth and strength. Nioxin Diaboost is also a quality product when you have or have had hair extensions. It contains Panthenol and other good stuff which makes your hair feel thicker, especially at the roots.

 

nioxindia

After my morning of pampering, I hot footed it over to the very swanky Sanderson Hotel for a catch up with my pal Sandy – of Sandy Bay London fame – if you don’t know – she makes THE MOST amazing luxury candles. www.sandybaylondon.com. She gave me some for my new home as a moving in present – they smell so amazing and the candles last for a long time. (Oriental Jasmine is my new fave)

 

image1

It wasn’t long until it was time to get ready for the launch of my Lipsy London collection. The event was held in the boutique style Rosewood Hotel across London. I did one to one interviews with some very aspirational and cool fashion bloggers, mingled with buyers and the press and had a really good time aside. Some lovely ladies actually came wearing my dresses which was SUCH a proud moment for me as they all looked GORGEOUS!

The following morning the collection launched round the country so my team and I had an early start, I must admit I didn’t find it easy getting up in that morning! We visited various radio stations – here’s me with Lucie Cave from Heat, she’s so much fun and I loved our chat, and I also did a fashion based ‘ask Michelle’ on Twitter later on in the day, which went really well too.

 

image2

After this is was back up to Manchester on the train, where I slept the whole train journey! What can I say, a girl needs her beauty sleep :-)

Until next week

Lots of love Michelle xxx

My wedding worry and Mark Wright to the rescue

This week I have mostly been…… nursing my very sad and sore finger!

On Tuesday I accidentally shut my finger in a door and my nail has actually ripped off. It was SO painful I nearly fainted with the pain! It all happened so quickly and there was a fair bit of blood but Mark was able to patch me up a bit and stop the bleeding. Two days on and it is still making me wince with pain if someone brushes even just brushes my hand. It is also the middle my ring hand, so I’m hoping my nail will grow back in time for the wedding. Major major ouch!

I’m not going to post a pic of it (because it’s rank!!!) but here is my plastered up finger…

image4

Before #nailgate I was in Spain (again!) on a personal appearance and and took my cousin Kate and one of my bestest pals Rachel. We had a great time. During the Saturday afternoon we were chilling out by the hotel pool and having a girly gossip when I looked up and Mark was stood there!

He had told me he was playing golf with the boys so I had a lovely surprise when he and his pal were right in front of me! We all went on to have a fab night in Magaluf.

 

image6

I made sure I sprayed my hair with loads of this stuff – Mark Hill Work it Girl and Kevin Murphy Staying Alive leave in conditioner to stop the sun from drying it out.

Control spray

Control spray

 

Here’s me and the girls on our Saturday night out and one of me getting ready for dinner – my top is from Mango and the pants are from TopShop – love them – they are great for warm nights out on your holidays.

 

image9

When I got back on Monday I spent time with my mummy and then went home to unpack and then re pack as it was straight off to London on the Tuesday for auditions and meetings (and to trap my finger in a door but I didn’t know that yet!) …

Look at Phoebe my sausage doggy, she’s so not wanting me to leave for London is she? I think she’s thinking “she won’t notice me in here!”

 

image7

Mark and I went it the ITV summer party at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday which was really lovely especially because I bumped into Helen Worth. She was such a mentor to me when I started on Corrie, my pretty summer dress is from Zara.

image8

On Wednesday, the following morning (with my finger still throbbing) I went with Mark to This Morning as he was presenting on The Hub (here’s a cheeky selfie on set!).

image5

Then I had a fab lunch meeting at The Ivy following by another at The Sanderson look at the afternoon tea I had – it has a Alice in Wonderland theme – so cute!…

 

alive

 

The rest of the week will be spent doing fittings and interviews for my Lipsy collection – it launches next Thursday by the way – so exciting!

Me at Lipsy HQ this week, going through my look books ...

Me at Lipsy HQ this week, going through my look books …

Bear Grylls rumours and returning from sunny Spain

Hasn’t it been good weather in England the past couple of days?! So nice to get back from Spain and enjoy the sunshine in Blighty too!

So picking up from last week, a little bit more about my stay in this amazzzzzzing villa.

Amazing villa

View from the lounge

The website address is http://www.coolrentalguide.com/property/las-tortugas/16828 and I found the Cool Rental Guide via a recommendation from a mate It’s great for finding unusual and luxurious properties to rent for a holiday.

Resting in the sun

Resting in the sun

The villa is in the pretty town of Pollensa around 40/50 mins from Palma airport on the land of a private golf course. It is 6 bed, modern Villa with two lounges a huge kitchen, the master bedroom had a steam room and double baths in it which was amazing and the villa even had a lift to get up and down all the floors!

The villa

Beautiful pool

There was outside dining for 16 (there was only 7 of us so loads of space!) and a gorgeous deep green tiled pool with huge Buddha figures decorating it. When I wasn’t shooting the calendar with the team I relaxed on the sun loungers, ate lots of yummy Spanish food, hung out with my mum, who came over for a few days, and just generally chilled out! It was bliss.

I love staying in villas, as it’s a home away from home and you can have all your nearest and dearest with you all under one roof!

On the weekend Mark had a PA nearby so we left the villa on the Saturday afternoon (sob!) and then after the PA we flew back to London.

On the way back on the flight I started learning my lines for an audition I had this week for a really good part. I can’t say what it was for – only that it was for a TV drama, but I am keeping everything crossed!

Speaking of work, I read on Twitter this week that apparently I’m signed up to do a new Bear Grylls series?! Sounds like a great show but it’s news to me!!! I’m deffo not doing it, but good luck to the brave bods that are.

I also keep reading rumours that I’m doing Strictly? I love the show, it’s got such a feel good factor to it, and it would be great to learn to dance properly one day, but I’m not doing it , sorry! I’m going to concentrate on my acting for now.

Me with Phoebe and Pip

Me with Phoebe and Pip

I didn’t end up going to Ascot because it clashed with my audition but didn’t everyone look fabulous? I love the big dramatic hats but I don’t think I would have had the guts to wear one, I would go for something a little more refined I think!

When I got back to Manchester I couldn’t wait to pick up the dogs from my mum’s and get home. I’ve missed them so much!! We went for a long walk in a park near mine. Here are my babies:

My babies

She knows how cool she looks

michelle5

After the mountain of washing I had to do I sorted through my make-up bag because some of the products were a bit worn and past their use by date. I didn’t know this until a year ago but make-up has a shelf life and you should (for example) change your mascara every 6 months!

Georgio Armani foundation

Georgio Armani foundation

 

I had treated myself to some new Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation, MAC Blot Powder Medium for anti-shine at Duty Free, and also these beauties were waiting for me from Benefit when I got home! Perfect for dark circles, covering spots and evening out skin tone…

Benefit cosmetics

Treats from Benefit (thank you)

My retail therapy has been a bit sparse the last couple of weeks with me being away but I did go to Zara for a last minute shop (how great are all the stores in Gatwick airport?!) here’s my new leather jacket. Not exactly summery but I think it will last me for agessss! I’m well pleased with it because this kind of jacket is a classic piece and it was only £52 – BARGAIN!

Zara jacket

Zara jacket

I’m away again this weekend for another PA, and am going to start thinking about sorting through my home in Manchester when I get back, as I think I will (finally) be moving to down to Essex soon! I have SO much stuff to sort through, I genuinely don’t know where to start! Anyone got any good advice on packing/moving home? Tweet me at @michkeegan.

Until next week,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

‘Rome with Mark and my first ever calendar!’

I’ve spent most of the last week or so abroad, my feet have barely touched UK soil!

Firstly I will pick up from last week and my surprise trip to Rome. Mark knows I have always wanted to visit Rome.

Mark and I in Rome (with sore feet!)

Mark and I in Rome (with sore feet!)

I love a bit of culture and history! We left England VERY early in the morning, Mark checked us in so that I didn’t know where we were headed, I was convinced it was Paris and there was a flight leaving around the same time as the Rome one so it wasn’t until we had to go to the aeroplane that I sussed where we were going.

The actual Coliseum!

The actual Coliseum!

We ate lots, especially Italian ice cream (yum), visited the Vatican which was absolutely stunning and went to the Coliseum the following day.

English tourist in Rome

English tourist in Rome

We must have walked for hours in our flip flops (which are not the most comfortable of footwear for sightseeing by the way!) My toes were pretty sore by the end of our trip but it was so worth it.

Possibly the best ice cream ever !!!!!

Possibly the best ice cream ever !!!!!

Even though we only had about 36 hours away in Rome it was really special :-)

Where many had walked

Where many had walked

Mark flew back to London as he had a TV job and I arrived in Manchester to do a personal appearance in Manchester, here’s a pic of Reuben my hairdresser and Emily my MUA getting me ready in the Great John Street hotel which is a cute boutique hotel in the city centre (which used to be an old infants school), and then it was straight down to London with a group of my best friends for my birthday night out in the capital (yes that’s right – I celebrated it over a whollllllleeeeee week!)

Emily and Reuben working their magic

Emily and Reuben working their magic

We stayed at the London Malmaison, I’ve stayed here before and think it’s a really nice hotel especially the cool restaurant downstairs called ‘Strip Club’ (in reference to steaks by the way!).

Just arrived at Malmaison London with ma girlies

Just arrived at Malmaison London with ma girlies

For our night out we went to Shaka Zulu in Camden. The music is really good, a mix of old and new RnB and we all got up dancing. My dress is one of my faves from my new Lipsy range (out 3rd July) and the shoes are also Lipsy. We all had such a good time, we have all known each other since school and whenever we get together we have a lot of fun and banter :-) here are some pics from our night out …

All the girls  (and strange tribal statue)  in Shaka Zulu!

All the girls (and strange tribal statue) in Shaka Zulu!

I couldn’t stay too late partying because Laura my Publicist and I were off to Spain the following morning for a very special photo shoot. I’m happy to tell all my HELLO! readers… I have shot my first ever official calendar!

Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu

We flew to Mallorca and stayed in a huge, modern villa in Pollensa, up in the hills of the island. My team (Alan, Fay, Lorraine, Collette, Laura and I) shot for 3 days at the villa and at various places around the beautiful island.

Laura and I after our swim in the sea

Laura and I after our swim in the sea

I also invited my mum along because I haven’t spent much quality time with her so we had lots of lovely catching up in the sunshine…

I’m not going to reveal any pictures just yet, but it looks amazing and I can’t wait for you all to see the calendar – it’s out later in the year!

Stunning coastline around Mallorca

Stunning coastline around Mallorca

I love Mallorca, it’s such a pretty place, the weather is fab (it was around 28′c every day) and it’s so convenient to get to & from the UK, I would love to have a holiday home there one day. On our day off we chartered a boat and went sailing which was such a treat and very relaxing..s Here are a couple of pictures from our day out .. I wore a cut out dress from topshop, my havanos flip flops and lots of sun cream! We swam in the sea, had a picnic and checked out the super yachts in Palma. One even had a helicopter on it…

Feeding the fishes off the side of the boat

Feeding the fishes off the side of the boat

My hair was getting pretty dry with all the extra sunshine it’s been having, so I used this hair masque Masquintense by Kerastase every day to keep it soft and shiny. I’ve also been hammering the after sun and my favourite Origins Dr Weil face serum & eye cream, and my Kiehls Midnight Recovery concentrate to make sure my skin stays hydrated. Years ago I used to sit out in the sun for hours on end with oil on but now I wear a decent factor (usually between a 15-25 ) and limit my sunbathing as it’s important to look after your skin. All my older friends tell me you will thank yourself in 10 years time, so I have taken this on board.

Much needed moisture for my hair

Much needed moisture for my hair

On our last evening we went down to Magaluf to watch the brilliant Pirates show. I was in awe of the performers from start to finish, I would describe it as a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and Cirque de Soleil and well worth watching.

Loved the Pirates Adventure show in Mallorca

Loved the Pirates Adventure show in Mallorca

Next week I have more castings and meetings which I am really looking forward to, oh and I’m off to Ascot, so I need to find a new hat ! Will let you know more about my Spanish trip next week too as there’s lots more to share with you !!!!!!! ;-)

More Pirates!!

More Pirates!!

Until next time,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

A birthday surprise from Mark… and my Lipsy Launch!

Hi everyone! It’s been another big week for me, lots of travelling here and there and plenty of interesting things!

First of all here’s a new outfit I wore on holiday – this kaftan is by BCBG and I love it. It was very comfortable and cool, and I wore it with my Pearlescence anklet, of course. I only really like wearing minimal jewellery on the beach because it’s best to keep it simple.

holiday-z

When we got back from Spain on the Saturday, Mark and I did a quick change, I curled my hair with my new Mark Hill wand (decided to go curly for a change), and then we hotfooted it to Wembley for the Froch vs Groves boxing match!

jeremy-z

I’ve always thought boxing was a bit of a man’s sport, and I went to the first match in Manchester in November and I didn’t like it if I’m honest… but this one I really enjoyed. We had great seats and the atmosphere was electric – there was 80,000 people there! Amazing for boxing!! I also got to meet Mr Selfridge /Ari Gold himself, Jeremy Piven.

Here’s us with the winner!!

boxing-z

My outfit is Zara. I love this trench coat, it’s my new favourite coat – good for typical British weather because it’s a lightweight but keeps you warm (and dry) if you need it!

boxing2-z

In other news, my Lipsy collection has finally launched ! Hurrayyyyyy!

It was such a long but fulfilling day. Here’s me doing the press call in and outside the London ME hotel.

lipsy2-z

I really like this play suit, it’s great for nights out because it’s high at the front but you don’t have to worry about your skirt riding up because it’s shorts so (for me) it’s really comfortable. I would team it with a oversized clutch in a bright colour and these Lipsy heels.

I am so brown because that’s the colour I go when I’m on holiday but I keep my tan up with lots of body moisturiser.

At the Lipsy press call I was wearing this one by Kiehls, Superbly Restorative Argan dry oil (bit of a mouthful but it’s lovely, moisterising, and gives you a subtle sheen) and finished with a vERY light rub of Bathina by Benefit on top.

kiehls-z

I started at about 6am and finished about 10pm but it was so worth it. The only problem really on the day was that we ended up running quite behind schedule because the car that was taking me from a studio to the launch was blocked in by a delivery van and we couldn’t find the owner of said van for a good 30mins… Booooo!

lipsy3-z

lipsy4-z

Anyway, aside from that it was a brilliant day – especially because it was also my BIRTHDAY!

Soooo I got some lovely gifts: a shopper handbag, champagne, perfume, a mulberry key ring, real pearl earrings, a designer passport holder, loads of beautiful flowers, clothes…

Also, Mark surprised me with a trip to Rome. It was so unexpected. I knew we were going away just didn’t know where … Will show you some pics of me there next week…

Until then,
Lots of love

Michelle xxx

Shopping for the Soap Awards and saying bye to Tina

It’s been such a memorable week for me, mostly because it’s the most bizarre experience watching yourself fall off the top of a building, then get whacked round the head with a blunt object!

I filmed those scenes beginning of April and it’s come around so quick, I must say thank you to all the lovely people who have tweeted me about the storyline, the scripts were written by Simon Crother and direction by Duncan Foster was so spot on, and to do such dramatic scenes with Chris and Mark was an brilliant experience for me. Thanks guys – you were ledges!

I won’t lie, I found it hard watching those scenes back, I felt so sad for Tina, what a difficult and traumatic life she had, and to end up being murdered like that – tragic!

In other Corrie related news I was chuffed to bits with my Soap Award for Sexiest Female. I truly don’t have a clue why I have won it so many times, but as I won’t be going back to Corrie – it will deffo be the last time!

I always get asked in interviews what do I think ‘sexy’ is and I think it’s down to being comfortable and happy in your own skin and SMILING! Whenever I do photoshoots and a photographer says “pout” or “look sexy” I cringe! I much prefer smiling as I feel silly and awkward pouting away. It’s not very me. Smile girls!

I feel silly and awkward pouting away on photoshoots

I feel silly and awkward pouting away on photoshoots

I’m also really happy for Corrie’s other awards and of course to Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson. They are both such natural and talented actors, their awards are very deserved.

My outfit seemed to create a bit of talking point because I didn’t wear a dress! The reason for this was because I wasn’t going to go to the awards as I was going to be going on holiday with Mark and some pals, but I changed flights (on the Thursday night) to attend, which meant I had nowt to wear and hardly any time to shop….

 

On Friday A.M I razzed it into town and found this suit in Selfridges pretty quickly, I had to get it altered slightly at my local tailors but felt great in it and I wanted to do something a bit different.

I also got these lush boots from Top Shop on my power shop round Manchester – how cute are they?

New boots

New boots

My suit was by BCBG and the black and gold shoes are from Lipsy London. It was so good wearing a suit on the red carpet as I didn’t have to worry about VPLs, low necklines, bra straps or bad weather/gusts of wind that can reveal your underwear! The other good thing about the suit is that I will get loads of wear out of it too, just with the jacket or as a two-piece.

My suit was from Lipsy

My suit was from Lipsy

There was some seriously wow dresses on the red carpet – my favourite look of the night was Catherine Tyldesley. @Cath_Tyldesley who wore one of my favourite designers Philip Armstrong Atelier and I loved her jewellery too as it was subtle, and like me she wore delicate gold stacking and knuckle rings.

I also loved Brooke’s Mark Melia two piece in gold and white and Tisha Merry’s elegant cocktail dress by Zeynep Kartal. Best thing about all these outfits – the designers are all based in the North West!

My hairdresser Reuben Wood blow dried my hair quite straight, but full with loads of volume with Kevin Murphy ‘Full Again’ and some ‘Powder Puff’ dust to keep it in place and used Mark Hill’s ‘MiracOILicious Moroccan Argan Oil’ to keep it shiny and smooth (this stuff smells GORGEOUS).

By the way, have you tried hair dust before? You sprinkle it on the top if your hair and believe me it doesn’t move. Admittedly your hair feels ermmm not very nice, a bit like putting talc on your head, but at least you still have plenty of oomph after a few hours!

Have you tried hair dust before?

Have you tried hair dust before?

For makeup my makeup artist Colette used Benefit ‘Porefessional’ as a good long lasting primer and base and Benefit Stay Don’t Stray eye concealer as an eye shadow primer.

michelle-new

You need primer if you want your makeup to last all night, and if you’re on a red carpet all the lights and flashbulbs can melt your makeup.

Shu Uemura lashes

Shu Uemura lashes

Colette applied some Shu Uemura lashes (double layered with extra voom!) and did some subtle contouring with my new Giorgio Armani foundations in two different colours, she also used Benefit’s new ‘Lollitint’ for a subtle and healthy blush, and used this fab Naked Flush Palette for bronzer and highlighting, and I took it with me to touch up my makeup, as it’s such a handy bit of kit to have in my clutch.

Benefit

Benefit

Once the awards were all done and dusted, Mark and I went to one of our fave restaurants Sushi Samba and had fish and champagne.

When we got back to our hotel we were going to stay up with everyone for a few drinks but I was so tired so I hit the hay pretty early!

At Sushi Samba

At Sushi Samba

I made sure I took off my makeup first though and put on lashings of Kiehls ‘Clearly Corrective Dark Spot ‘serum. This stuff is great to minimise dark under eye circles and uneven skin tone which I tend to get if I have a heavy night, it isn’t oily or heavy on my skin (which I don’t like) and I think I look a lot fresher in the morning if I use it before I go to sleep.

Great after a night out

Great after a night out

 

Anyway, I’m currently sunning myself on holiday and finally getting some wind down time. Hurrayyyyyyyyyyyyy! It’s so nice to relax!

Sunning myself in Spain

Sunning myself in Spain

Here’s a snap of me and my girls Katie and Liz, about to hit the town in Spain.

I’m back next week for the press launch of my first Lipsy London collection on Tuesday which I’m SO excited about! Can’t wait for you all to see it, here’s a few pics of me on the first fashion shoot on location we did a little while ago. It’s also the small matter of my birthday next week (Wednesday!) and on Friday I’m back in London having a night out with my gals. Can’t wait!!

Lipsy collection

Lipsy collection

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

‘Corrie deserves the 2014 Soap Award’

It’s been another busy week which has been mostly taken up with me fighting a bug! I have had tonsillitis which unfortunately meant I didn’t attend the BAFTA TV Awards which I was gutted about, I really did want to go, but I needed to rest because I had a press conference in Manchester on the Monday lunchtime for Corrie, the High Street Fashion Awards and appearances on This Morning and on Lorraine this week.

image13

As well as taking antibiotics to combat the lurgy, I have been taking Berocca and these ‘complete immune’ supplements from My Vitamins. they contain immune boosting nutrients such as Vitamin D3, Beta Glucans, Zinc, Resveratrol, Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin C.

image12

I’m feeling better already, and will keep my gorgeous black Philip Armstrong dress for another special red carpet occasion.

The press day back in Manchester went really well, and I’m so excited to see my final scenes play out, I’m going to watch them with my family, which I guess might be a bit weird us all sat round watching Tina die!
image

:-( Once the press day was finished I got my dogs from my mums (thanks mum!) then went home to pack and get ready for 3 days work in London.

My skin always goes dull and patchy when I’m rundown, plus wearing makeup doesn’t help, so if I’m not working I don’t tend wear any so that my skin can breathe.

I needed to give my skin some love, so I used Darphin Age Defying Dermabrasion first to exfoliate my face and neck to get rid of the dead skin and clean pores (and wake me up a bit!).
image6

Then I slapped on the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate on my face, and loads of Sanctuary Comforting Night Butter on my body especially my feet and elbows.
image5

This smells of Frankincense and Shea butter and I think for less than a tenner, a little goes a long way. After some chicken soup, hot choc and cuddles with the terrible twosome Phoebe &Pip, I had a really good nights sleep.

The following day I had to do a few interviews, then hop on the train for This Morning. I got to catch up with some of my friends on the show especially lil BV!

image7

I loved her outfit, Brooke has great style, not to mention beautiful thick hair (that’s all hers by the way, no extensions!). Her powder blue trousers are by Pretty Little Thing, shoes Matalan (bargain!) and top is Zara.

My top was French Connection and the skirt was by a really cute online label called Uncut.

We were on to big up Corrie’s fantastic year and why the show deserves the 2014 Soap Award. I know I’m biased but VOTE CORRIE! Corrie has the best stories, played out by the best actors. Julie Hesmondhalgh’s portray of Hayley dying of cancer was so so moving, and you have all the brilliant comedy from Sue Cleaver (Eileen), Simon Gregson (Steve), and Malcolm Hebden (Norris) . Website to vote is : http://www.britishsoapawards.tv

Then straight after chatting to Phil and Holly (who is looking blooming lovely by the way!) it was off to Vinopolis for the HSFA with Lorraine Kelly.

I was lucky enough to have a couple of hours to detour to River Island with Lorraine’s stylist Sarah Tankel and get this gorgeous pastel pink skirt, cool bluey grey top and lilac heels. Here’s me with Sarah at the awards.

image10

I also managed to get a quick look in TopShop, I’m loving this tropical jumpsuit (£69) which I will be buying for my summer holidays, and I bought this statement necklace to jazz up a little black dress I will be wearing on a night out soon.

image11

Mark was presenting an award and we both laughed when we saw each other, because we were both wearing pastels. We keep doing this and it’s sheer fluke I promise you!

image8

My favourite outfits from the night were Sarah Jane Crawford, Kimberley Walsh and Patsy Kensit who were all wearing high St.

split-style

After the awards I headed back to my hotel early as I had another early start with Lorraine (7am pick up!), and then did my final appearance on the couch. I really enjoyed being involved with HSFA and Lorraine is so warm and good to work with. She makes presenting on live television look so easy and effortless & that’s because she’s good at it… :-)

I have also been sent some really good scripts for a couple of dramas that are casting at the moment, so on my way back to Manchester today I have been reading them through. One in particular has really stood out to me, so I’m hoping to get an audition for one of the parts soon..

Fingers crossed!!

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer