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15 September
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Spending time with family and the TV Choice Awards

I want to start off this blog by saying how pleased I was that Corrie won best storyline at the TV Choice Awards this year. Hayley’s cancer storyline was moving and beautifully written. I was surprisedd that Julie Hesmondhaulgh didn’t win best actress though because she was amazing during Hayley’s final months.

It was so good to catch up with my old friends on the show. Mark and I went together which was lovely . My dress was the same one I wore to the Jonathan Ross show earlier in the year that my pal – fashion stylist Kelvin Barron got for me .

It’s by a cute brand called Blonde and Ginger http://www.blondeandginger.com/ and they have some other really nice tailored pieces on their website.

My shoes were Kurt Geiger but they look like Jimmy Choo! Here’s a nice pic of myself and Mark on the red carpet :-)

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We sat with Richard Arnold, Mary Berry amongst others and had had a fun evening.

I really liked what my friend Brooke Vincent was wearing at the awards , I thought she looked really stylish and cool in her Forever Unique black and gold two piece and slick pony tail. She was actually wearing real Jimmy Choos as opposed to my similar KG ones !

My make-up artist Colette gave me a smokier eye than normal (we decided to go a lil crazy , ha ha) using the HD Brow Palette , Charlotte Tilbury eye shadow palette in Dolce Vita and Shu Uemura individual eyelashes which I loved, and my hairdresser Reuben Wood did a really natural blow dry on my hair to give it a bit of bounce. Thanks team!!

Over the weekend I had spent a lovely time with my mummy who came down to London to help me start making a very important decision – yep – its time to start thinking about my wedding dress! No pictures or clues I’m afraid !! It’s top top secret! Instead, here’s a picture of us enjoying afternoon tea at Claridges which was a super treat and SO delicious.

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Speaking of food I have been a bit of a masterchef this week , having put together a tapas evening at my house for my cousin Katie who visited , and the following night I made a mean and lean spaghetti bolognaise for myself and Mark. I’m not gonna lie I was pretty impressed with myself ha!

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I have been trying to get to the gym a bit more but guys, I’m struggling ! I dislike it SO MUCH and have been finding much more important things to do this week instead (eg the dishes , sorting my wardrobe, anything really that doesn’t involve excersises!) I’m going to try and be good next week instead. Here’s me in the gym last week in my http://www.peaceloveworlduk.com/tracksuit bottoms, not actually doing very much, but hey I was there which is an improvement on this week!

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Now, one of the perks of having this blog is being sent products to try every now and again… This week I have been treated !

First of all, actress , presenter and all round fashionista Patsy Kensit is launching her own beauty and skincare range. Now, this is a bit of an exclusive because these are only samples, and I have been told the packaging will be changing a bit( I do actually quite like the girly pink and white though?) but I have to say I am REALLY impressed. My favourite products from the range are the ‘Gentle Pearl Face Exfoliator and the Refreshing Face Spritzer which is now my new must have for your handbag. You spray it all over your face if your skin feels dehydrated and in need of a pick me up, and it smells floral and fresh.

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The range isnt on sale anywhere just yet, but I think it will be very reasonable price point when it is . Well done Patsy!!!

Secondly I need to thank the lovely people at Dermalogica for sending me loads of their amazing products to try out . My skin is playing up at the moment , so I’m going to see how it fairs out next week when I use some of this. I have already tried the Daily Microfoliant and it’s very very good – my skin was soft clean and silky smooth afterwards… here’s me at home – mid scrub! I will report back on some of the other products soon..

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This week I also shot the first of 4 spring fashion campaigns for Lipsy. Can’t reveal the actual clothes but here’s where we spent the day- in a stunning home in leafy Middlesex . The house was on beautiful land and was surrounded by a private lake . I spent my lunch break feeding the huge fish !

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This week Lipsy and I decided to release 3 new dresses – you can buy these gorgeous LBD’s now from the website www.lipsy.co.uk and they are available to buy in stores nationwide next Wednesday .

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This weekend I’m spending some quality time with by daddy Mike and then I’m up in Manchester for a couple of meetings early next week. It’s not long till I start my new acting job either. So excited!!

Until next week

Michelle xxx

08 September
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London, Manchester and the latest on Strictly!

It’s been a busy old week for me – first of all, I met a lovely girl called Ellie through the Ray of Sunshine charity. Ellie wanted to be a model for a day so she joined me on a photoshoot in London. She’s only 11 years old – what a natural she was in front of the camera! Here’s the two of us together:

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Mark and I went for a day out in London this week because we love our trips out together and haven’t had one for a while with us being so busy. It was loads of fun, we went to Harrods – check out these amazing chocolates (yes I DID enjoy farrrrrrrrr too many!)

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We also had oysters and champagne which was deeeelish! We stayed in one of our favourite hotels in London- the Malmaison @TheLondonMal. The service is always very good and I really love their cool bar called ‘Stripbar’ downstairs (no it’s not an actual strip bar!)

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I managed to get a bit of shopping in too and have treated myself to some new bits – thus as follows: new NARS foundation. I have never used their foundations before but this Sheer Glow Foundation is very impressive. Gives a lovely satin/glowy finish. Very JLo!

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Also got some of this which I ADORE from Laura Mercier – Almond Coconut Milk Soufflé Body Cream. It smells good enough to eat (don’t try to though, I’m fairly sure you would get ill!)

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This 4 day moisture body oil spray from Sanctuary is also really lovely. It’s very moisturising and luxurious but isn’t greasy at all. It’s only £6.99 and a little goes a long way. Well worth a purchase!

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I’ve also got this from Kiehl’s for my face – my skin is better than it was a couple of weeks ago, but not entirely cleared up – the mask is very impressive indeed. Your skin feels so soft and smooth when you wake up in the morning!

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I was lucky enough to be invited to another wedding last weekend – this one was my stepdad’s sister’s wedding, and I went with my mum, brother and stepdad Dave, here’s a pic of us all dressed up!

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We had a great time – here’s a typical picture of me and Andrew mucking about :-)

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I wore a red dress from Zara to the day do (my bag is Reiss), then changed into one of my favourite dresses from my Lipsy Love Michelle range for the night.

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It’s cut to give you the illusion of curves and I think the length is very flattering too. This dress is great for so many occasions and is £65.

While I was up in Manchester I also popped into Annie’s for afternoon tea and a good catch up with my Corrie friends, Paula Lane and Jennie Mcalpine. They are both pregnant and looking blooming lovely :-))) It was so lovely to see them and we had LOADS to catch up on. Annie’s is Jennie’s tea/dining rooms in the centre of town, and she’s done so well with it. Such a gem of a place in Manchester, with delicious northern hearty food: click here to visit their website.

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Now that it’s going to start getting a bit colder, I am on the hunt for some key autumn pieces. I’m getting more and more fond of hats, I wore my old Mango one on my day out in London with Mark and I think it really helped finish the outfit off. Please tweet me if you spy any cool baker boy or fedora hats on the high street over the next couple of months so that I can add to my growing collection!

I think it’s always good to invest in a few good quality sweaters as it starts to get colder, and I have spied this beaut from Juicy Couture which they do in 3 colours – pink, grey and black. It’s a cashmere poncho and looks so classy and will last a few years. It’s £206 but I think it’s worth it for a good quality wool like this.

michellekeegan1Juicy Couture are best known for their tracksuits but having had a good look on the website, they have got some really nice smart/casual clothing too. I love this candy pink shirt and think it would look great with a pencil skirt or dark blue jeans and blazer. Click here to visit their website.

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I went to watch Mark in rehearsals for Strictly. I’m so excited and proud of him, his dancing has already improved so much in just a few days. Can’t wait to watch the first show! Here we are backstage. My dress is from Uniquo in Bluewater and Mark’s outfit is from ermm, the costume department at Strictly!

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Next week I am off to the TV Choice Awards in London.

I’m looking forward to it very much because I’m presenting an award – Best Drama Series – and I’m looking forward to seeing all my old pals from Weatherfield, especially Cath and Brooke!

And finally, don’t forget you can get a copy of my first official calendar from Monday!!!

It’s available to buy in HMV, Clinton Cards and from Calendar Club, Play.com, Amazon as well as www.danilo.com.

See you soon girlies!

Until next week,

Love from
Michelle xxx

29 August
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Loved ones getting hitched and congrats to Cath!

First of all I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to my dear friend (and fellow HELLO! blogger) Catherine Tyldesley on her wonderful news! She is going to be an amazing mummy! We are going to catch up over the next few days because it’s been a while since we last saw each other and I can’t wait to see her and and give her and her bump a big hug :-)

I’ve spent another lovely week chilling out at my new home and just going to the gym occasionally, and getting to know my new neighbourhood.

My new acting job starts next month so I am enjoying this down time as much as possible because it’s going to get very busy for me again in about 4-5weeks.

First of all here’s a picture from a recent shoot I did with the British Heart Foundation.

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It was in conjunction with DFS about a great initiative they have – if you buy a new couch from them they will arrange for your old one to be picked up and sold in one of the British Heart Foundation stores nationwide wide to help raise funds for this worthy cause. I didn’t need this couch anymore when I moved to Essex, so that’s exactly what I did! For more info go t …

http://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/how-your-company-can-help/dfs.aspx

I was invited to two weddings over the bank holiday weekend and they were both such lovely days. First of all Mark was an usher at his friend Nick’s wedding to partner Ella, this was on the Saturday – here’s Mark (looking very dapper) and I.

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Then we drove up to Manchester late on Saturday night to attend my stepbrother Craig’s wedding to Stacie on the Sunday…

Here’s me in a summery Lipsy dress giving my daddy Mike a hug, and one of me with one of the guests who happened to be wearing one of my Lipsy Love Michelle dresses! I was so chuffed and thought she looked gorgeous in it!

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You can still get it for £60 from www.lipsy.co.uk

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And here’s me with Mark :-) I’m really looking forward to him doing Strictly and will be so proud of him. He’s going to train really hard, I bet the competition will be fierce this series!

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Before both weddings I enjoyed some much needed pamper time. First of all I had LVL lashes done by a great beauty therapist called Lisa Kempley. This is one of my favourite beauty treatments because it curls your lashes and really opens your eyes up. If you have your eyelashes tinted too then there’s no need to wear mascara. It takes about 30 mins and although it’s not that comfortable sat there with your eyes closed with weird pads over them, you can just daydream a bit and listen to music. LVL lasts about 6 weeks for me and I really recommend it.

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With the beautician

I also enjoyed playing with my new Cloud 9 Waving wand and used it to style my hair for both weddings, decided for both to leave it down with some volume and some very subtle waves.

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I used a decent heat protector first – it’s SO important to use one! Kevin Murphy do a great smelling one called Damage Manager. p

I’ve still not quite got rid of the patchy skin on my forehead, I’m starting to wonder if it could be the Southern water affecting my skin?! Anyone else get it too? I have just bought some Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehls to see if that helps. It’s the dogs doodahs! blue bottle 0001

I went for a bit of a scour in the shops too this week and got myself a fab new fedora from Zara and some cute chunky knits. Yes it’s that time of year again – you may assume my favourite season is Summer but it’s not – it’s Winter and it’s not that far away! h

I love it when the weather turns and you an start to layer up your looks, wear chunky knits and big warm coats, get the knee high boots out from the back of the wardrobe, and dress an outfit up with a big statement scarf or cool hat.

I’ve also started looking for a dress for the TV Choice Awards which is Sep 8 in London. Not made my mind up yet what I will be wearing for it, I think it will probably be a suit or a cocktail dress.

I really like Sandro at the moment. Some really strong pieces in store now. Lots of tailoring sheet panels, monochrome and LBD’s …

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Will be keeping my eyes peeled for a great dress!

Until next week,

Lots of love
Michelle xxx

23 August
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Official 2015 calendar cover , moving dogs and chilling out down south !

It’s been a lovely lazy (and rare) week spent in Essex with my mum, brother and Mark. I was in Manchester on Sunday and then we drove down with some more things from my house and set about buying lots more nice things like bedding , utensils and glasses..

It’s definitely starting to feel a lot more like home now – and that’s because the best thing that happened this week… my babies have moved in!! Yes!

Phoebe and Pip have arrived! They are so excited about their new residence and spent hours looking around and sniffing everything ha ha. It feels like I have really moved now that they are here!
Here’s me with Pip (She’s the naughty one) who looks very settled doesn’t she!
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And here she keeping guard by the door – in her little bed of course!
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Here they both are together! Phoebe is so patient with Pip, who is so cheeky and barks at everyone (except me!) Phoebe is very well behaved and even does tricks but Pip doesn’t do any, she does exactly what she wants to do ..
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Here’s me and my amazing mummy Jackie, she has helped me loads with the new place ( thanks mum!)… we treated ourselves to a Dominos takeaway with champagne on Wednesday night…

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In this piccy I’m wearing some of my new lovely lounge wear from Peace Love Clothing – the company I told you about last week. I love it – so comfy! www.peaceloveworld.com
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Seeing as this week was a chill out week, I have spent a bit of time enjoying my beauty products and catching up on my sleep. Haven’t been to the gym, it’s actually been nice not doing much at all.  I recently got a new wand for my hair -’from a company called Cloud 9 and have been having a play around with that. It’s very good and heats up in about 7 seconds… This one is great for creating loose curls – The Waving Wand . www.cloudninehair.com… A good beauty investment !
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Also tried out this 3d mascara – from Younique which you apply after putting on one coat of normal mascara. You put the gel on and  then coat your lashes in the teeny tiny fibres after . It certainly gave the illusion if my lashes being fuller and a bit longer, but  some of the fibres did come off under my eyes after a while. It’s good if you need a bit of oompf though and dont like wearing false lashes!

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I’ve also been trying out some new face masks as my skin has gone a bit dry and patchy recently (maybe I’m allergic to the British sun ? After all it’s been a full 2 weeks since I was abroad last ha ha)
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I tried this one by Kiehls – it’s an Algae Mask! Yes Algae as in green gungy seaweed type stuff. It smelt a bit fresh, but wow my skin felt smooth afterwards. It’s not the cheapest but the tub is big and a little goes a long way… Also tried No Puffery by Origins , it was quite sticky but there was a decent improvement and my skin looked a lot clearer afterwards.
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For a bargain face mask that will give you instant results I would suggest Soap & Glory – No Clogs Allowed . It’s a tenner and well worth it because it does refine your pores and leave your skin with a healthy glow. It goes on a bit like a mud mask and heats up as you apply it but soon cools down. I really like it – it’s a good one to use before a big night out , and he Morning after the night before for that matter!!
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Before I sign off I can FINALLY show you the front page of my first ever official calendar. I’m SO happy with the pictures! You can pre order it from www.danilo.com and it’s available to buy from HMV, Clintons, Play.com and Calendar Club from Sep 8th…
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If you remember – I went to Pollensa Majorca back in April to shoot it with my creative team of Alan, Laura, Fay, Lorraine and Collette. We worked hard on the images, and deciding which ones made the calendar was VERY tough. Hope you like it!!!!
Until next week
Love
Michelle xx

15 August
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Partying with Brooke Vincent in Ibiza

So I’m back on UK soil, after having a fab break in sunny Ibiza. I was over there for a photoshoot and luckily got the chance to relax with my friends, including my cousin Katie who celebrated her birthday there and one of my best pals from Corrie, the one and only Brooke Vincent.

Brooke and I used to share a dressing room and we have a similar sense of humour. She’s huge fun to be around and I’ve missed her since I left in April so it was lovely to have some QPT (quality party time) together!

Here’s us in Ushuwia and us at the Lipsy Ocean Beach pool party.

 

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We also went to Pacha which was amazing. The nightlife over there is really something.

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Once back in Essex my mummy Jackie and my stepdad Dave came down to stay with me in the new house. We did some serious homeware retail therapy, I also managed to get my hands on this gorgeous new pair of new look shoes – perfect for a LBD or trouser suit at the absolute bargain price of £34.99. No, they are not home wear, but I could wear them in the house??!!

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I also got this really cute necklace from @sparklingrings, I haven’t taken it off!

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I have been searching for some new lounge/chill wear and spent ages wandering around Westfield some some comfy clothing… but couldn’t really find anything that caught my eye – so it was a sheer fluke this week, when I got sent this gorgeous new range from Miami.

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It’s starting up in the UK via www.bestfriendshowroom.co.uk (the website isn’t live yet so if you want to get some of the range now – go to www.peaceloveworld.com) and the clothing is really soft and feels quality, fits really well and I love the slogans on the tracksuit tops and t shirts.

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Reminds me a bit of the ‘Wildfox’ Brand but the cost is a little less.

Look at these! Really cute, perfect for travelling, yoga or just snuggling on the couch with a brew and a mag!!

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This week I stood in for Mark Heyes who is the fashion expert on Lorraine. I really like working with Lorraine Kelly and Kate Garraway… They make presenting look so easy, and if I’m being honest – it really isn’t! You have people talking into your ear while you are talking to the camera and it’s very fast paced but the show is very professional and I always enjoy going on.

While I am on the subject of TV it won’t be long now till I can let you know what me next acting role will be!! I’m SO excited about it, it’s a serious drama and can’t wait to get started on filming which will be later next month… As soon as I can tell you more I will :-)

The second phase of my Lipsy collection was out nationwide on Wednesday. I love the campaign images, we shot it at the very cool London ME hotel here’s a few of my favourite pieces :-)

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You can get the new phase on www.lipsy.co.uk on ASOS.com in Bank and Lipsy stores too.

Until next week
Lots of love

Michelle xxx

08 August
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Adjusting to our new home and my trip to Ibiza

I’m writing this while sunning myself on the White Island. Yes, I’m in Ibiza for a few days for a photoshoot… It’s over 100°f today … Hot hot HOT!!!

This last week has gone in a flash! On Saturday I was in Scotland doing personal appearance with my dad (Mike). He enjoys taking me to the Scottish ones in particular because he has scottish heritage, plus it’s nice for us to get some quality time together. I’m not going to lie though, the weather was SHOCKING! It rained practically the whole time we were there. There’s not much to report on the fashion front from that trip only that I kept warm in one in one of my own Lipsy designed navy blue parka jackets, blue jeans and Wellington boots…

On the Sunday I flew into London for Mark’s sister Natalia’s birthday which was so much fun and it was nice to get back to the house in Essex again too. We are really enjoying making it our home. Here’s Mark looking very pleased with himself, hosing the garden!

 

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I had to have a relatively early night because I had a campaign shoot for Lipsy on the Monday. It was in Surrey in a hugeeeee mansion. Look at this! It was like a hotel! We did some investigating and found out that it was on sale for a modest £12million… Wowsers. Here’s a few sneaky pictures for you :-)

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The shoot was for my last Winter collection with Lipsy. It’s going to be out mid October and it’s all party dresses and winter warming coats and wraps. We have started working on designs for Spring now, yes I know it’s August but that’s how it works in the world of fashion. After finishing the shoot I had to go to the Sanderson for a PR morning to release the new phase of my Lipsy collection. It’s a little more Autumnal with darker colours of Ox blood, black, monochrome, deep blue and fiery red. I have kept cuts and style simple, with more cocktail dresses, jump suits, a gorgeous tux shorts and jacket with black PU lining. It’s on sale in shops on August 13th and also on www.Lipsy.co.uk. This is me wearing one of my favourite pieces- a black jumpsuit with lace panelling – I’m with top fashion blogger Danielle Peazer (@daniellepeazer www.idlelane.com ) and she is wearing another one of my dresses a nude knee length one shoulder piece which is perfect for a date night :-)

 

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HELLO! Online at my PR morning !

With Ainhoa Barcelona from HELLO! Online

Look at #nailgate !!! It's got polish on it for the first time !!

Look at #nailgate !!! It’s got polish on it for the first time !!

That evening Mark and I enjoyed a date night at one of our favourite restaurants in Nobu, Mayfair. My dress is from my new Lipsy phase. Here’s us at the table.

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So now I’m gonna fast forward a bit to today! It’s Friday morning in beautiful Ibiza and I am loving it here.

Laura my publicist and I in Ibiza!!

Laura my publicist and I in Ibiza!!

Managed to get a little trek out to some of the cool little clothes shops. I do love picking up gems from local boutiques. Here’s some hippy beachy dresses I spotted.

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My team am I went to a really quiet part of the island for a photoshoot. The location was a ultra modern villa set into the hills. It was really something.

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Not sure if I could ever live in a place like that, felt more like a set than a home- here’s a few sneaky pictures from the shoot – just look at that view!!!

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Until next week,

Love

Michelle xxx

01 August
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My nail drama and spending time with family…

Sooooooooo, let’s start this next blog with the ongoing drama that is #nailgate ! Yes people, I have an update for you …. My nail is growing back!!!!
Look at this!! I think it’s only been 4 weeks till I trapped it in the front door (still makes me wince when I think about it) and luckily Mother Nature has decided to bless me with a new nail. So relieved!!! It’s still a way to go till it’s looking more normal but I’m very happy about this…
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Aside from #nailgate it’s been quite a quiet week in the grand scheme of things…
Still settling into my new home. My mum and brother came down to Essex at the weekend to help me unpack and settle in. Mark was working away so it was so lovely they joined me…
After a day spent cleaning and shopping I took them both to one of my favourite restaurants in Essex- Alec’s Fish Restaurant  http://alecsrestaurant.co.uk
It’s delish!!! Here’s us sat on the balcony …
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And here’s a pic of my mum enjoying a couple of cheeky cocktails. Go on Jackie!!
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I headed back up to Manchester on the Monday night for a shoot on the Tuesday in nearby Whitefield. I can’t say too much about it but it was extra fun because my two dogs were in one of the pictures!
Andrew (my brother) brought Pip and Phoebe along and it was so entertaining watching them in front of the camera. Phoebe (sausage dog) is as good as gold but Pip (chihuahua with proper small dog complex) on the other hand, is a total scallywag and wouldn’t sit still and kept running round barking at the crew. Here’s a pic of her milling about near Andrews legs ha ha…
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On Wednesday I went to a Lipsy fitting in Manchester Malmaison. The team came up to meet us to discuss the next photoshoot which is next week… The theme is called ‘Starburst’ and this is making me very excited!! It’s a really Christmassy one – lots of fab party dresses, long and short, an amazing play suit and some snugly jumpers and warm coats too.
We are shooting in a top secret location (it’s in the country…. In the south…. In a huge mansion …Yep, that’s all I’m giving away!)
I promise I will sneak a few pics from behind the scenes and show you next week… My Lipsy Love Michelle  range is selling really well, so thank you to everyone who has bought pieces… The next wave is hitting shops and the www.Lipsy.co.uk website on August 13th.
This one has more monochrome  pieces, body sculpting dresses, a statement jumpsuit and much more more… I hope you like it! Please keep sending me in pictures of you in your #LipsyLoveMichelle outfits . I love seeing you all in them.
To round off the week I visited a couple of Lipsy stores to meet some competition winners and see my collection in the shops.
Here’s me in the Manchester Trafford centre store with some lovely ladies who were buying dresses for special occasions.  Hope you like them Georgia, Ruby, and Lily!!
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After Manchester we went to Liverpool to the launch of the Bank store there. It’s a high street store that house lots of great UK based labels including mine and I couldn’t believe the amount of people that turned up to see me. Thank you so much to everyone who to came to see me it meant so much!
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Until next week,
Lots of love
Michelle xxx
25 July
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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.

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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!

 

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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.

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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.

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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!).

 

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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.

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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…

 

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

Until next week,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

18 July
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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:

 

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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

11 July
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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!

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(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!!

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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!!)

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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!!

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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.

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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

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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

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