My time in South Africa

Hey everyone !!! I’m back!!!

First of all, an apology – Sorry I haven’t been able to do my blog for the past few weeks, but I was basically filming every day, plus with being on set in the country a lot of the time, the wifi wasn’t the best….

Anyway, South Africa…. WOW! What an amazing experience.

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Not only was I lucky enough to be working in such a magical place, I was lucky enough to experience it for a few days with my family.

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My mum Jackie and brother Andrew came out for a week, and when they went home Mark and his parents Carol and Mark came out.

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Unfortunately I was working most of the time, so I was unable to spend every day with them but we always managed to go out for dinner in the evenings which I loved because the food is out of this world.

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One night we had dinner in Fork which was a Tapas restaurant, and I absolutely loved the Codfather which had no menu, you just had to go to the counter and pick your own, very fresh seafood!

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There’s so much to experience in Cape Town, my mum and brother went on a safari, and went to see the penguins on Boulders beach.

Mark and his parents went paragliding off Lions Head mountain, plus the weather was delightful the entire time everyone stayed which was a big bonus.

My experience working over there was incredible, I loved every second of it, although it was hard work sometimes, and long days, the production team and crew were so positive they kept everyone going. I have learned so much from this project and from the people I have been working with.

Not forgetting all the actors… We bonded straight away, the cast are SO talented and fun to work with, and in the past 6 weeks we have all become great friends.

I’ve only been back a day and already I’m missing not seeing them.

I have a couple of weeks to unwind before filming starts up again for another 6 weeks. The second phase of filming will be in England though, so we are now around half way there to finishing the series.

So, during the rare bit of down time I did get I enjoyed visiting a lot of wineries. Now I’m not a massive winey as such, but since my spell in South Africa I have to say, I enjoy it far more…

One day we went wine tasting for the day in Franschhoek.

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Franschhoek is a traditional vineyard town in the Western Cape famously known as the French Corner of the Cape, and is considered to be the food and wine capital of South Africa. Believe me, it didn’t disappoint!

We visited lots of different wineries but my favourite was Mont Rochelle, which is owned by Richard Branson. The scenery was just breathtaking, a beautiful part of the world. http://www.virginlimitededition.com/en/mont-rochelle

I did manage to go out and have a bit of a shop too, only once or twice, and and in the department store I walked passed a Lipsy concession, I had to take a picture and send it to my mum, pahahah!I know, I am a bit of a geek, but I still love seeing my collection in the stores, and even more so when its in a shop far away from where I live.

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So, since being back, I haven’t really done much of anything, it is so lovely to be back at home, my dogs won’t leave my side they are following me around into every room in case I leave them again ha ha!

I am going to be going to the BAFTA awards which I am looking forward to, I always enjoy this event and it’s a good excuse to wear something really special. I haven’t a clue what that will be yet, I am booked in for fittings this week so I will have a much better idea by this time next week. Some of the outfits from the Met Gala in New York were another level of wow. This seems to be the event that designers really throw the boat out and do something truly artistic and eye-catching . Kendall Jenner’s Versace dress was stunning, and I also loved Emily Ratajkowski’s black and white asymmetrical backless dress. Wow! What a body!

I nipped out yesterday for some new foundation, and decided to go with the MAC face and body. It’s more like a tinted moisturiser, as it’s so light, but last time I had a bottle of it, it lasted nearly a year! If you you need more coverage then you can apply more without it becoming cakey. It’s also good on shoots, because you can cover things like bruises or scars easily.

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http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk

I can never go into MAC and get just one thing, so I bought this matt nude lippy too. It’s called ‘Velvet Teddy’ and glides on like a dream!

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Until next week,

All my love

Michelle xxx

Settling in South Africa

Hello everyone and greeting from stunning South Africa!

I have been here a good couple of weeks now and have settled into the filming schedule.

View from my apartment

Apologies for not writing my blog sooner, but it has been pretty intense some days with filming and I haven’t really done much other than work – and relax in between working!

This is how I learned some of my scenes the other night – in a big ol bubble bath!

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So because of my busy schedule I’ve not really had any time to get to a gym. However every personal trainer who knows their stuff – tells me getting fit and healthy is 70% nutrition and 30% exercise. As a lot of my scenes are physical I am counting this as my 30% for now and instead I am applying myself in the kitchen and experimenting making healthy and delicious meals for when I get back to the apartment.

Here is a chicken with feta and tomato meal I rustled up, but my favourite is this pesto chicken salad was so tasty…..

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It’s pretty hot over here at the moment, so the products I have been using over here have reflected the weather a lot – as both my skin and my hair can get very dry.

The Philip Kingsley and the Unite have been great for my hair because I’m having to wash it everyday, because of the smoke and dust so they keep my hair nourished and feeling really healthy.

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The serum leaves a non greasy seal on my hair so it doesn’t get sun damaged too.

This Darphin sun protection cream is a factor 30 and the consistency is quite thick, so once its rubbed in it stays firm on my skin all day. I have used it on my face under my make-up, my arms and shoulders and my back. I am pretty covered up most of the time on clothing but it’s really important I don’t get red from the sun and this cream works really well.

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We had Easter off over the weekend which was a nice treat.

The whole cast went out for dinner and drinks… Cape Town is very cool but quite casual as far as dressing for nights out, so rather than get dolled up I kept it quite simple, and I wore I black strapless top from ASOS, jeans from TopShop and accessories (rings) from Accessorize.

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My hair is naturally quite wavy but I added a few more defined curls by using my Babyliss wand curler… It’s so easy to use and you get great results – serious curls!

I tried using this really nifty blending sponge from B (Superdrugs brand) to apply my make-up. Normally I use a brush so I wasn’tt sure if I would rate it but my Nars Tinted moisturiserr glided on.

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It’s good at giving you an even coverage and really handy if you are going to try some subtle contouring with different shades of liquid foundation.

If you need your foundation to last on all day, then I always recommend using a good primer. This Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is a make-up artist must have and I like it a lot, but a heavy duty moisturiser like the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré can work just as well and really value for money as a tube starts from just £12.99.

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It is a rich creamy lotion that is really three products in one: make-up artists use it as a primer, moisturiser, and make-up remover.

I love these two Revlon HD Matt lip colours and have been my only lippy of choice since I arrived in Cape Town.

I have been using the B Confident Moisture Gel too. It feels really light on my skin , but it keeps it hydrated all day.

http://www.superdrug.com/B-Skin/B-Skin-Phase-1/c/bs-bphase1

At night I have been slavering on my Kiehls Ultra Facial Balm. You have to warm up the balm in your hands first and then apply liberally to face and neck . It smells wonderful and fresh , and then I sleep in it. Overnight the balm works its magic and any dry patches are gone by morning. Its not cheap – its £52 a tub , but I think its a good investment buy as my tub has lasted 6 months already and I have about ¼ of the balm left.

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www.kiehls.co.uk

Before I sign off from this blog I must say a huge congrats to one of my friends Hayley Moynihan! Her lovely boyfriend Dan proposed to her while they were away on a trip in Vietnam. I am so happy for the both of them and cant wait to catch up and hear all about the wedding plans . Congrats guys :-)

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I may not be able to write a blog for a couple of weeks now as filming is pretty intense, with longs days of around 12 hours on set, but I will be back reviewing products very soon!

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

Preparing for South Africa and getting ready to film

Greetings to you all from very sunny South Africa!

I shall recap over the last week for you and bring you up to speed with going ons so far!

The night before I flew out to South Africa, both mine and Mark’s family, and some of our friends, went for a delicious meal at the The Bridge, in Essex.

 

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It was lovely getting to see everyone in one go before I went away for filming.

I wore a khaki shirt from my Lipsy collection, which is out now, jeans from Zara and a black belt from Topshop.

However, typical me left my packing ’til last minute.

Yes I know I said you all in my January blog that my New Year’s resolution was to be more organised!

To be fair I think in general I have been, but maybe not so on the ol’ packing front (whoops).

It took me all the next day – just before my flight – to pack…. 

 

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Luckily my mum was there to lend a helping hand, which I was very grateful for because I wasn’t sure quite what to pack as I am away for a good couple of months.

Here are the results of my packing.

Looks pretty organised really doesn’t it? (thanks again mummy!)

As total coincidence would have it – Mark was due to get a flight to Belfast from the same terminal I was flying out of so we got a car to the airport together, which was really nice.

 

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Anyway…after a 14 hour flight, I arrived in Cape Town after a short stop off in Johannesburg.

 

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Here is a handy travelling tip that I swear by….I always take my make-up off on long-haul flights. ALWAYS!

For this flight I used B Pure Sensitive Cleansing Wipes, they have a pH balanced formula that keep your skin soft and lift away impurities leaving your skin ultra clean and fresh.

They work a treat and are only £1 a pack, or if you can’t get them – then use Simple wipes or just a hot flannel or two to steam off your make-up and clean your pores.

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After wiping my make-up off, I used lashings of Sisley facial moisturiser and for my lips I popped on some Sisley Nutritive lip balm, and then put my eye mask on and went to sleep.

When I woke up my skin felt fresh and nourished.

 

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So, what have I been doing for the last few days? Well…more training really !

I’ve been back at army boot camp, but this time – NO MUD! This boot camp is in 32degree heat.

One word to describe it…Hardcore!

I have been learning so much about army like and I have been embracing it all. I’ve learnt how to hold and fire a gun which felt amazing- serious adrenaline rush, and by the way, they are really loud!

I have also learned to pack a medical kit and how to extract a casualty to safety.

We have started all our costume fittings, here’s my rack!

 

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We have also had a full read through of all the scripts so far, with all the cast in front of the writer, producers and director.  

The scripts are FANTASTIC, everyone was so excited after and we can’t wait to start filming – which is next week.

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We have also been doing hair and make-up trials for our characters.

 

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Products I am glad I have brought with me:

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

 

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I’m using this every other night on my face and neck.

You literally need one tiny drop and it goes a long way on your face!

It soaks into my skin while and sleep and in the morning my skin looks and feels so much more hydrated. Perfect for dry skin, or if you are working in air-conditioning.

Embryolisse BB crème Complexion Illuminating Veil
It illuminates the skin, blurs pores and fine lines, and conceals imperfections with its matifying, light-reflecting powders.

I’m not really wearing any make-up over here when I have some downtime, but this gives my skin a healthy glow. I love it!

 

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Before I sign off, I must wish my wonderful husband ‘good luck’ on his 14 mile walk tomorrow in aid of the Royal Marsden Hospital.

His Uncle Eddie is fighting cancer there, and there is a group of them walking to raise money for this fantastic cause.

If you want to donate a couple of pounds towards his challenge, there is still time, please click on this link.

https://www.justgiving.com/EddieWrightfamily/?utm_id=5

 

Until next week

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

 

 

 

My latest beauty must haves and getting ready for South Africa

So , this week has mostly been about preparing and packing for South Africa to start filming for Our Girl.

I have been training with @Tercelmedicalgroup for the last few days to really get a feel of what it is like to be an army medic and to improve my fitness levels. I will talk more about this later, firstly it’s all about beauty!tops

After my shoot with Revlon last week where I used Revlon Colour Stay foundation, I thought it worked really well on my skin and it stayed on from the morning to the end of the day… So this week I’m wearing it day to day and I love it!

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It give great coverage but doesn’t look like your wearing lots. My skin feels like it can breathe and it isn’t greasy.

I have also been trying out the make-up from Topshop.

image10Of course good old Toppers is better known for clothing but their make-up range is getting more and more popular too, especially because it is so affordable.

I love this blusher colour it really suits me – its called Do It Again and its £7!!

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And I have been playing around with this concealer palette which is the bargain price of £12.

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Mix and match three colours to build customised coverage, counteract discolouration and hide imperfections.

It also has translucent finishing powder to set and finish for skin. I like the fact that mixing the colours will get you the exact tone you need, as your skin is not all the same colour all over your face. The consistency of the concealer is good too – I would say a medium coverage. You can get the palette in two tones – medium and light.

I love a bit of highlighter, especially on a night out and this one works a treat. It is a silky golden powder highlighter called Horizon and very good value at £10.

When I go to South Africa I wont be wearing a lot of make-up so I have stocked up on lots of my favourite products and make-up items that give a barely there look . Top of the list are my Origins ‘Pinch Your cheeks cheek tint in Raspberry

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And the Benefit Benetint cheek stain. I love these products for a natural blush and they withstand a bit of water so you can use it if you are sunbathing (of course I wont be doing any of that, but I will be in the sun a fair bit)

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I also stocked up on my favourite Dr Weil Mega Bright range by Origins – the foaming face wash, overnight mask and treatment lotion are all my must haves.

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The overnight mask is perfect to give your skin replenishment while you sleep Dr. Weil’s potent skin-brightening blend of Vitamin-C rich Rosa,Mulberry, White Peony, Chestnut Seed Extract and powerful hydrators dramatically helps boost resilience, visibly reverse skin tone damage, revive translucency and fade dark spots. My skin always looks clear and bright and feels silky smooth by morning.

My essential product of the week are my ever faithful Simple wipes… I always have a packet in my handbag… I’m taking lots to South Africa with me… LOTS!

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I went to Bluewater Mall last week and I couldn’t help take piccies of the Lipsy store it was a proud moment!

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The new collection landed last week and I’ve had great feedback from customers! Please keep sending me your pictures of you in my pieces and telling me what you think, I love reading the reasons for the outfits too – birthdays and weddings seem a very popular reason for one of my frocks!

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Speaking of clothes, I wore denim on denim this week which I love. My new shirt was from Mango and my jeans were from Topshop. I have worn double (and sometimes even triple) denim for a few years now…

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So, as I was saying earlier, I have been spending time training. I have been in Aldershot for 4 days at an army barracks. This was no picnic! I did dabbing (fast walking) patrolling, drills, some medical training, and combat control.

By the end (and the begining) of every day I was aching in places I never knew could ache. I lost count of the amount of press ups I have done.

If we answered a question wrong or we wasn’t listening properly we’d have to get down and give 10/20 at a time. I answered a few wrong :-(

We went for fast walks that turned into running for a couple of miles with the full army kit on and crawled through LOTS of very cold mud.

Even though the weather was bad – and by bad I mean hale stones kind of bad, we still had to do it!

Even though it was hard and pushed me physically and mentally, I feel a sense of achiement and alot of respect for anyone who has gone through this kind of training.

Thank you @tercelmedgroup for your fantastic training.
I am very excited to get started with filming now.

Lots of love from

Michelle xxx

 

My Revlon shoot and new trainers!

I’ve had a busy week this week working alongside Revlon. I had a Photoshoot for the next campaign which is out in Autumn. It was really exciting because I was able to try out new looks and products that aren’t out yet.

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The pictures look great and I can’t wait for you guys to see them! If you haven’t seen my Instagram there’s a picture of me blowing a kiss to the camera using the hashtag #chooselove it’s all about ‘spreading the love’ so please send me all your kissing selfies (add @revlon_uk) and I’ll share as many as I can.

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A few days after my shoot I was with the Revlon team again for my press launch! We had a room in the very beautiful Rosewood Hotel in London, all the products were on display for the journalists to see and even try a few out!

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I wore a floral boho dress from my Lipsy collection with ankle boots… Which all the girls raved about…(Thank you ladies!)

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The top product that everyone was talking about (no surprise) was the Revlon’s All in One Mascara… It does exactly what it says it does, it lifts, defines and volumizes. It’s defo a make-up bag essential!!

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I had my family down this weekend and I was thrilled when I was able to take them with me to film a pilot for a Friday night chat show with Gino D’Acampo and Dermot O’Leary. We had such a fun night and both hosts made them all feel so comfortable and welcome!

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I loved my casual outfit that I wore to, my floral shirt was from Topshop and my jeans and Khaki green drapped jacket are from my NEW Lipsy collection! You can get it now online Lipsy.co.uk or go into stores.

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My friend Sandy, who’s behind the beautiful Sandy Bay candles, sent me over some of her new scents… I’m obsessed with her candles! They last ages and the fragrance fills my whole house. Try the White Orchid, Vintage Champagne or the luxurious White Tea Lilly & Wisteria room spray.

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Sandy’s candles are perfect for gifts esp as Mother’s Day is coming up. Www.sandybaylondon.com for more info .

My purchase of the week are my NEW Balenciga trainers!!!! I’m so excited about them I’ve been trying to get my hands on a pair for so long… I follow an Instagram page called @xclusivesneaks and if you email him or DM him tell him what trainers your looking for and then his job is to go out and find you a pair.

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It’s so easy and it takes the pressure off you. I’m always on his website looking at the up and coming styles. Give him a follow or check out his website… www.xclusivesneaks.co.uk

Until next week,

Lots of love,

Michelle xxx

Valentine’s Day treats and a personal shopping experience in London

So the last week has been all about love because it was Valentine’s Day on Sunday.

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And I was very excited because it was the first time I was able to Instagram and Tweet the picture from my campaign with Revlon.

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We the got idea of me lying on the floor surrounded by Revlon lipsticks in the shape of a heart from Kendall Jenner’s Instagram post of her lying on the floor with her hair shaped like love hearts – we were all big fans of the picture, so we wanted to recreate it but with our own spin on it!

Plus the campaign that we’re doing is called ‘Choose Love’ so it tied in perfectly!

Like I said last week in my blog, I’m a big fan of sheet masks…So I’ll be trying lots of different ones and seeing which ones worked the best…

This week I used ‘Masque B.A.R Brightening Mask’ – It did what it said on the packet…

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My face afterwards felt fresh and radiant without the greasy residue, and the next day it certainly made my skin look more even…

My make up glided on and looked really smooth!

Loved this product. You can buy it online at Amazon or Boots for around £9.99 and you get three sheets.

So, where was I?

Oh yes…Valentine’s Day…

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Mark took me to one of our fave restaurants in London, Sushi Samba…It was perfect.

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We could definitely feel the love in London that night…The building, which was directly in our eye line while we were sat at the table, was decorated in gigantic love hearts with red lights.

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The restaurant treated us to their signature Valentine’s Day cocktail, that not only tasted amazing but they were also so pretty….Too pretty to drink!

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We ate lots of tasty sushi and we even tried caviar although Mark wasn’t much of a fan! Hahaha we had a lovely night, it was very special.

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I haven’t been out shopping for a while so this week I wanted to treat myself esp as Spring is only round the corner…

I nipped to the personal shopping in Topshop on Oxford Street and a shop assistant called Lauren really helped me pick out a few good bits!

My fave buys were my new denim bomber jacket with the sheepskin fur lining.

I’ve been after a bomber for a while but I never knew what to put it with.

Lauren was very helpful and told me if you keep everything else neutral and wear the jacket and a cool pair of boots they become the key pieces.

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So I treated myself to two pairs of boots, both very different; the red patent boots looked great with black jeans and a shirt and the grey suede boots looked great with the bomber and a t-shirt underneath or the stripe jumper and a pair of the navy high-waisted shorts!

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The most practical item I bought was the stripe jumper I could put it with everything, ripped jeans, shorts and dungarees.

If you hadn’t already noticed stripes are everywhere at the moment and are a key trend for this season.

They also come in and out of fashion so much that your stripey purchases are worth keeping for years to come!

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Until next week,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

Photo shoot trip to South Africa for my next Lipsy collection

Hi all,

So I’m back on UK soil again after working away last week in Cape Town.

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I’ve posted a few pictures from the trip and some of the press have said that that I went over to South Africa to start filming for the BBC’s Our Girl, which is not correct, as I don’t actually start filming ’til next month!

I have a few more weeks here before I start my exciting new role!

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Anyhow, I was in the stunning city of Cape Town for just under a week. I took my dad with me which was lovely as I don’t spend as much time with him as I’d like because I live down south and he is back up in my home town of Manchester.

I always say this but I feel so lucky to be able to visit all these beautiful places around the world with work, and I never get bored of travelling as I love meeting new people and exploring new places.

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The best bit about this trip though was the quality father and daughter time we had and experiencing a bit of South Africa in between me working.

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I was fortunate with the fact I had a couple of days off before the shoots started so we had a great time exploring the countryside; we went to different beaches, went wine tasting in the South African vineyards and ate in great seafood and sushi restaurants.

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I was shooting my next Summer/Autumn collection for Lipsy. The range features more knits, which look great on camera, but it was a tad uncomfortable to shoot because of the 36 degree African heat (it’s actually summer out there right now).

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There are also more parka jackets as these were really popular last year, and some gorgeous staple long dresses!

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Can’t wait for you to see shoot in all its glory, I think it will be released end of Spring :-)

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This wine was my favourite from the wine tasting afternoon.

My dad bought it for me as a surprise and gave me it while we were leaving, thanks Daddy! Such a treat!

It’s a delicious Shiraz, quite spicy and with hints of blackberries. Check me out ha ha ha, I am a wine geek!

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I am not sure you can get it in supermarkets but I think you can get it from specialist online wine stores.

After being away, early mornings, sun, and long spells of travelling, I needed to rejuvenate my skin so I have been hammering these products:

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I also loved this mask – skin felt smoother and plumper after just 20 mins…

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http://whenmask.com

I used the ‘When’ mask the night after I got back and the travel mate is a bio cellulose sheet mask which contains moisturising ingredients to help skin recover from sun, wind and the drying effect that air conditioning can have…Perfect!

Sooooo…is love in the air for any of you this Valentine’s Day?

A few people have asked me what I am doing this weekend and the answer is – I don’t know yet!
Would be nice to have some quality time with my husband and go for a meal in London or Essex.

Until next week,

Lots of Valentines love!

Michelle xxx

My first ski trip!

Hello to you all – hope you all had a great weekend!

I have had an adventure packed time of late…. Let me explain!

Mark, myself and a big group of friends went skiing… Thanks to Crystal Ski, we went to one of the best skiing resorts around called Le Lac in Tignes.

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It was my first ever skiing trip, most of the people that was with us have either done it on a school trip when they were younger, or been on a skiing holiday with family.

Not meeeeeee! I was a complete snow virgin, and yes everyone, I think it did show hahaahahah…

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Before I continue I must say a big thank you to Dare 2 B www.dare2b.com – who kitted me out with all the best skiing gear – I literally was a walking advert for the saying ‘all the gear no idea’ hahaha.

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Although I didn’t know what a ‘plough’ was or a ‘turn’ I picked it up quite quickly and I managed to keep making it down the mountains in one piece that’s after stopping for a hot chocolate or a refreshing glass of wine along the way of course!

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We had such a fun week – I had no idea just how much of a party the resorts have in the evening! It was a great getaway for a group of friends, we didn’t stop laughing and we never got tired of the breathtaking views. We already started to plan when we are next going back!

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Because I’ve been skiing in -16 weather my lips were SO dry to the point they were hurting every time I spoke… However after exfoliating and using nourishing lip balms like Vaseline of these great tubes from Kiehls, my lips were healed in literally a day or so… Here are my tips if you suffer with chapped or dry lips… I guarantee they work:

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*when your lip are dry take a soft brush toothbrush or an electric toothbrush with warm water gently brush over your lips for a minute

*try not to lick your lips no matter how much you want to, because it actually dries them out more

*Before you go to bed apply a generous amount of lip balm so it can soak in throughout the night

*in the morning instead of using your normal lipstick or lip gloss, line your lips using a lip liner then fill in with your favourite lip balm.

If you keep topping up throughout the day you will notice the difference within a few hours

My fashion tip of the week is the fashionable backpack bag… I wore one everyday this week while I was away.

It was so comfy and easy especially when you have a busy lifestyle, you just pack up your belongings and throw it on, you forget your wearing it most of the time.

I have also been told by my girl friends who are also mothers, that these bags are ultra practical for mums on the go – especially because you have both hands free at all time!

My favourite high street picks are….

Brown leather £24.99 from Zara – it also comes in black. I love the pocket details on this one.

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Black leather with gold zip detail… £35.99 from Zara loving the tassels. Tassels are still a big trend this season.

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Bargain buy is definitely the black leather tassel bag from Boohoo.com for a very reasonable price of £14

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I’m keeping a look out for other eye catching ones – please tweet me pictures of any really nice backpack bags for sale on the high street and I will note them down …

So after our skiing trip I was back for a very short time, and then jetted off for a Lipsy shoot in South Africa,which is where I am currently writing this blog for you all.

I’ve gone from minus 16 and snow, to about 30 degrees and baking hot!!

My dad is over here with me and we are having a really lovely time when I have a break in work. I am over here shooting my next collection. Can’t wait for you all to see it, I’m so excited for this one!

Until next week,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

NTAs, Revlon shoot and prepping my next Lipsy campaign

Hey everyone.

How are you all?

We are nearly finished now with January. I actually think it’s gone quite quickly…mainly because I have been so busy!

First of all, I am super happy with my skin right now; after it went all dry and patchy over Christmas, it’s now a lot more even, with no dry skin patches and more healthy looking.

I am sticking to the brands and products that I know work well on my skin and I think all the healthy food and water I am drinking helps too.

For my face I use Origins and Kiehls, and I have also been using lots of Darphin recently. This isn’t a new brand, it’s been around for a while and you find it in a lot of spas.

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I rate Darphin’s silky ‘Fibrogene’ serum which acts as a barrier against the elements and protects against very fine lines.

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I have also been trying out their body creams and this one is my favourite – ‘Crème Velours’ nourishing and firming velvet cream.

This was so rich and smelt of almonds ( I love almonds anyway so smelling of them is a bonus!)

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For more information on Darphin , visit their website http://www.darphin.co.uk

It’s been a very busy time for me – with work and with my life in general I am still training and am hitting my home gym most days .

I was sent some gorgeous new gym gear from a new company based in my home town of Manchester – the brand is called Adanola.

http://www.adanola.com

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Their first collection is only small but they are apparently releasing more very soon.

The detail on the back of this matching sports bra is pretty nice – it’s £27.00

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Last week I had an amazing photo shoot with Revlon, I love working with them!

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I did lots of different looks just in time for Valentine’s Day.

I used my favourite products the ‘All In One Mascara’ and the ‘Ultra HD Matt Lip colour’

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Hopefully the photos will be out very soon and you will also see them on Revlon packaging!! How exciting!

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www.revlon.com for their whole range.

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I also have a photo shoot coming up in South Africa with Lipsy very soon, so I went to the Lipsy head offices to see my next collection taking shape.

We fire a lot of design ideas around and I do a lot of try-ons too. I never like anything too low cut on the chest or too revealing on the leg, it just isn’t me.

I love brainstorming ideas with my design team and we are super excited about this next collection, I think it could be my fave one yet!

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A lot of the buyers have been in LA and China to see the next up and coming trends for summer 2016 apparently pretty florals are going to be big with flute shape sleeves and placed lace.

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Nude and pale blue have influenced this collection, esp within the day wear pieces.

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Like I’ve said many times, and I’m on a mission to eat more healthily in 2016, so I made a tuna nicoise salad this week using fresh tuna and free range eggs, it was great for a post gym lunch and went down a treat with my friends..

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They all commented on how delicious it was. I do like preparing food, I think I must get that from my mum Jackie as she is a dab hand in the kitchen.

As I am sure you know, It was also the NTAs this week and it was the 1st time going where I haven’t been representing Coronation Street or sat with them watching the show.

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I was sat with some of my Ordinary Lies co-stars and production.

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We were up from an award for ‘Best New Drama’ which was wonderful to have been nominated for, but, unfortunately we didn’t win! It was a really strong category though!

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I feel very honoured to have been a part of such a fantastic, well-written drama and it was lovely to catch up with some of the cast and have a goss with them.

I also saw a lot of my Corrie co-stars, I have missed them a lot! We have vowed to catch up soon, so before I go to shoot Our Girl at the end of Feb I will head up to Manchester for a few days to see everyone.

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Also – here is a run down of my outfit from the night –

Top by@orkailaofficial
Jewelry: @w.salamoon
Clutch: @leivankash
Nails: @sohdubai
Shoes: @arunaseth
Skirt: @ainystyle

Until next week.

Lots of love,
Michelle
xxx

Healthy food, my friends’ charity challenge, and new beauty must haves!

Hi everyone,

How are you all doing with your health and fitness kicks? Have you got through the first two weeks without many slip ups?

I have to say I am doing well! I have been exercising nearly every day and eating VERY healthy.

Even when I go out for meals I am looking at the healthy options.

Normally I will just order whatever I want, but there is no point in eating food that is really bad for you when you have put all the hard work in hours before in the gym!

I went to a restaurant the other day called Roka which is on Charlotte Street in London.

http://www.rokarestaurant.com

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They serve Sushi and authentic Japanese dishes in a really cool and contemporary space. I was very impressed! I had lots of fresh fish and greens like broccoli and asparagus.

I even went for a dessert and instead of going for the chocolate cake ( like I usually do) I went for the colourful selection of sorbets instead. How pretty is this for a pud?

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Due to the COLD weather I have been living in my Lipsy green parka

http://www.lipsy.co.uk/store/jackets/lipsy-fluro-trim-parka/product-is-ou01181_091

 

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and over the shoulder grey Chloe satchel ( a rather lovely Christmas pressie!)

Now I am all for challenges, I try and set myself a couple every year, so when I heard what a few of my old Coronation Street friends are doing later this year , I have got to say – fair play!

Cath Tyldesley, Tisha Merry (she played Steph – Tina’s old flatmate) and Katie McGlynn are trekking about 35 miles cross country later this year for a charity challenge.

They are doing this on June 4th and 5th, where the SAS train in Wales so I can imagine it will be really tough.

I’m well proud of the girls for doing this – their chosen charities are Parkinsons UK and Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity which is a small charity, local to Manchester.

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You can sponsor them here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Vital or if you are really brave, you can sign up and join them for the trek www.trekfest.org.uk

Well done ladies, I hope you raise loads of money for these great causes.

They have inspired me to take part in some kind of charity challenge this year. I’m not sure quite what though as I hate running and am no good with very long distances as I get so bored. Any ideas, please tweet me!

Here I am supporting the team – in the ‘Super Josh’ Josh Wilson charity hoodie , which I have also been wearing to the gym a lot this week.

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Gym update: I still can’t do more than around 2 ½ pull ups by the way. I’m pushing myself to be able to get to three! My cardio has improved a lot though already in the space of a couple of weeks.

While my head was in the zone for eating healthy food I took myself to a health food shop and bought lots of goodies. Gone are the days of healthy food looking and tasting like cardboard.

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I always go to one near me in Essex called Red23 – it has so much variety, and everything in the shop is organic. They do an online store too http://www.red23.co.uk/

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These Raw Chocolate Raisins from the Raw Chocolate Company taste so rich and full of flavour.
http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/


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I love these cookies too – they are very moreish.

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Now onto the pampering!

I have been testing out some of the Decleor range recently and some of their products, I really like. In particular, as my skin has been really dry over winter – this has been a godsend.

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Aromessence Encens Nourishing Body Balm

This body balm is perfect for dry feeling skin. It contains luxurious ingredients like Frankincense essential oil, Shea butter, Tamanu and Macadamia oils which makes it smell amazzzzing too. It’s £35 a tub, but a little goes a long way.

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I have also been using their Harmonie Calm Soothing Milky Cream on my face for a day moisturiser over the past week, and although it takes a while to absorb it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth.

Check out http://www.decleor.co.uk for more info.

My lips are also pretty dry too so lip balm has been an essential!

I use the effective and totally inexpensive Carmex at £2 a tube,

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but if you want to treat yourself or give some lip balm as a gift then Chanel do a very glam lip balm at £30

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and Aveda a very moisturising one for £15.

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Before I sign off, I must tell you all about a VERY COOL bit of kit I have just ordered for my phone .

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It’s from www.lumee.com and it’s basically a phone case with LED lighting on both sides of the case to give you a soft and flattering light for your phone pics and selfies. Great idea and yes my pictures look loads better.

Here I am trying out my friend’s one.

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Right I am off now, I need to sort out my outfit for the National Television Awards. See – I am doing my new years’ resolution!

Normally I leave it till last minute but I have at least 5 days to go before the awards which to me isn’t last minute at all, pahaahah!

Until next week

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

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