Posts Tagged: fashion

24 November
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Leather skirts and getting festive

Brrrr! It’s getting colder now ! Here I was last week getting some rays in the beautiful sunshine, and now it’s proper wrap-up-warm weather!

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This week I am loving leather skirts. I had the chance to pop out and do some shopping and picked up this beaut from Zara. It’s a STEAL at just £25.99.

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I haven’t worn it out yet, but rest assured  I will do!

I have also spied these ones from Mango and from Espirit (you can get it from ASOS. I think the leather has to be good quality, and not too shiny for this look to work well, and the skirt to be just on the knee.)

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I would team it with a oversized or long clutch, and either over knee black boots or these MUST have shoes I have seen from Dune which I LOVE!

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I’ve also bought this lovely coat from Almost Famous. It’s not the cheapest at £229 but I think it will last a few years, it’s timeless in style and it’s very good quality.

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http://aflondon.com/uk/jackets-coats/oversized-lapel-coat.html

This week was a bit of a prep week for me, so I went to Essex and caught up with myself after filming away and also hit the gym a bit too. I had a meeting with Lipsy up in Manchester about my Spring/Summer collection and I’m very excited about it. The first wave will hit the shops just before Christmas! I’m hoping to be able to give my Hello! blog readers a sneak preview too.

On Saturday I went up to Solihull to launch the big Touchwood shopping centre festive celebrations. I’ve never been there before and I have to say – the people who turned up to meet me were all so lovely.

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Thank you Solihull for giving me such a good welcome! I wore my Lipsy poncho – you can’t buy it on the Lipsy website anymore but you CAN get it from the Next website. It’s very snuggly and perfect for this time of year.

I teamed it with a polo neck jumper, black jeans that I have had for years (I think they are Topshop) and some Zara cream boots. Here I am arriving:

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Thanks to everyone who brought calendars and posters for me to sign too!

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I had a lovely morning and came away feeling even more festive. I can’t wait to put my tree up. In fact I might just do it this week!!!

Straight after my PA in Solihull I had to jump in a car to take me to Elstree to watch Mark tango on Strictly. I loved his performance I thought him and Karen did incredibly well. He’s so tired at the moment bless him, he’s working so hard!

I used this mascara by Benefit – ‘Beyond Mascara – They’re Real’ on Saturday, and I’m not sure if its waterproof or not but it didnt move or even smudge all day . Very impressed.

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I also wore my favourite pearl studs from Pearlescence.

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http://www.pearlescence.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/104_176/products_id/601

and these very cute and delicate bracelets from Chlobo

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http://www.chlobo.co.uk/

This week I will be mostly up in Manchester filming, and hopefully I will get some time to start planning my hen party! It’s all top secret I’m afraid. I mean, I don’t even know half of what my gals are planning for me… all I know is the dates and the location so who knows what will be going on!

Until next week

All my love

Michelle xxx

17 November
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Winter skin – advice and recommendations, and a sunny filming trip abroad!

Hi everyone!

Have you had a good week? I have been out of the country on a top secret filming project for Ordinary Lies. It went very well, and I am not going to lie – it was lovely to be in the sunshiiiiiiinnnnneeee! and to get a few hours of downtime on a sun lounger, was very much enjoyed.

Here’s some pictures of me and some of the cast/crew – this is me with Gemma & Fiona our two fantastic make-up artists, and Charelle who is my co-star on the series.

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Here’s myself and Charelle on a scooter – my playsuit is from Primark! Love the bright colours and it fitted really well too.

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We had SUCH a good time and all got on very well.

I made sure I watched Mark’s performance on Saturday night – I thought his and Karen’s charleston was SO GOOD and my dad Mike and stepmum Lynne went down to support him in Blackpool too, so that was nice. I’m very proud of how well he is doing, he’s been so dedicated, and I think he’s really starting to shine on Strictly.

Anyway its back to errrrr not so sunny Manchester now, and yes, I AM feeling the chill! I have kept up with my training over the last week though and have been working out in my new Lipsy Sportswear.
My favourite pieces are these slogan T’s :

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http://www.lipsy.co.uk/store/sportswear/lipsy-sport-oversized-tee/product-is-LG00909_011

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http://www.lipsy.co.uk/store/sportswear/lipsy-sport-strappy-statement-cami/product-is-LG00910_001

Also, this week I have changed my healthy eating plan to the Paleo eating plan with http://soulmatefood.com/

The Paleo plan is a different way of eating, a nutrient dense plan… lots of protein! The Paleo Diet is based on how humans used to eat as cavemen, WAY back in the day, before processed foods etc. the philosophy is this – If a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you.

My ex Corrie co-star and friend Cath Tyldesley swears by Paleo for good health, so I thought I would give it a whirl. Will let you know my thoughts soon and will tell you if I am honestly missing carbs or not!

To find out more go to:

http://www.soulmatefood.com/MenuPlans

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Now with Winter now well and truly here, it’s so important too look after your skin. Mine does get quite dry during the cold months so I change my skin routine a bit. I tend to go for cream based moisturizers instead of serums, and make sure I put on plenty of eye cream in the morning and the night time.

My favourite eye creams are Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Dark Circle minimizer which has a goldy tint to it to help with brightening your skin under the eyes.

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And Dermalogica’s Intensive Eye Repair which contains Vitamin A and Pro Vitamin b5 to help with fine lines and improve elasticity.

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Before I moisturize at night I make sure my make-up is all off by using this Kiehls Deep Pore Cleansing Mask which foams a bit when you add water and gives your face a really decent clean without drying out your skin and making it feel taut.

mkblognewa It contains Amazonian clay apparently too (not sure what that does but it sounds good!), the cleanser claims to help reduce the appearance of pores. I have been using it for a couple of weeks both in hot and cold weather and I definitely see an improvement.

Rich moisturizers I am loving at the moment are Dermalogica Skin Smoothing crème during the day and their Super Rich Repair moisturiser at night.

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This is the Don of face creams that I have tried – it contains powerful peptides help stimulate collagen production while an acid-free smoothing complex helps improve elasticity and tone. It’s by no means the cheapest product on the market though – (its £62 but a little does go a long way!) and if you are looking for something more affordable then I would suggest The Sanctuary Moisture Miracle Balm ( absolute BARGAIN at £7.50) or the Laura Mercier Mega Moisturiser £42.50 which really hydrates your skin and contains lots of Vit A + E too.

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I also asked one of my favourite make up artists Emily Clarkson @EmmyClarkson1 http://emilyclarkson.co.uk/ for her tips on Winter skincare – her comments below:

“With the winter season fast approaching, it’s time to start preparing your skin for the cold weather. I always start firstly by using a great cleanser. I first used this Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm years ago when my skin was extremely sensitive and prone to breakouts and it completely changed my skin! It’s perfect for removing make up at night and I also use it in the morning to clean and cleanse the skin before moisturizer.

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http://www.emmahardie.com

“A great moisturizer is key to keeping you hydrated throughout the day, if you have read Michelle’s blog on radiant skin you’ll know we love the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre, it is amazing and perfect before applying make up- you’ll really see the difference! My clients love it! (http://www.embryolisse.co.uk)

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“If you have extremely dry or flakey skin and need a moisturizer that is thicker and more intense- Origins ‘Make A Difference Plus +’ is instantly effective and is incredible for targeting extremely dry areas.

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http://www.origins.co.uk

“It’s really important to keep your lips protected against the cold weather, we all know how frustrating chapped lips can be! This Dermalogica climate control lip treatment- is perfect for repairing any damaged skin and really helps protect against the coldest of days! http://www.dermalogica.co.uk

“Lastly but still just as important, don’t forget to keep your body moisturised! This Soap & Glory body butter lotion smells unbelievable and keeps your skin silky smooth and smelling great all day! Double up on your elbows and knees for the best result! “

Thanks Emily for your expert advice!

Before I sign off this week, I must let you know about my official posters that are now on sale in HMV, Poster Lounge and GB Posters – http://www.gbposters.com/michelle-keegan-brand

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The pictures used were some extra images from my 2015 Calendar. I LOVE these pictures and hope you do too… if you go to the GB website you will see a competition to win a signed one from me too! :-)

All my love

from

Michelle

xxx

10 November
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Winter party hair and birthday celebrations in Essex

Have you all had a good week ? I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of days off filming, so I headed back to Essex to have some quality down time.

First of all this week I want to wish my friend Reuben Wood congratulations for 10 years in business in Manchester.

Myself and Mark with Reuben at his 2nd salon launch party earlier this year

Myself and Mark with Reuben at his 2nd salon launch party earlier this year

He is a fantastic hairdresser and owns two busy salons, one of which also doubles as a photo studio. He had a big knees up in Manchester but I couldn’t be there as I was in Essex, but I imagine there were some sore heads afterwards pahahaah! I asked Reuben’s advice on key looks for winter hair, basically because I needed some hair-spiration for party season! and this is what he said:

“This season I am loving the the new not so up do! One of my favourite looks from the catwalk this season was with Amanda Wakeley, I assisted Tina Outen to create the beautiful swept back look for her latest runway show.

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“I particularly love this look as it is so easy to wear, and looks great on most face shapes. It’s also a great way to get longevity out of a salon blow dry, so if you get your hair done for one party then you could do this look for day two or three and really make your blow dry last.

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“This look was also seen on Rosie Huntingdon Whitley on the red carpet. Think sleek modern almost sculptured hair with a architectural feel!

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“Still rocking this Winter season is the braid..See here on Kristen Stewart for Chanel it is almost a little punk inspired and looks really cool for party hair.

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“You could use clip in hair to make the braids ( I would suggest www.beautyworksonline.com as they have a really wide selection of shades and styles) and grip them into your hairdo or use your own if its long enough!

Great products to achieve these looks, are the Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray, his shimmer shine for the sleek modern look and a pair good old GHD big irons!”

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www.reubenwoodcreatives.co.uk/ or @reubenwood

I will definitely be taking his advice on the AmandaWakeley/Prada look I think its really stylish and elegant, hopefully I will the opportunity soon as there’s so many invites coming in for Christmas do’s!

Speaking of party season, I did actually get to one this weekend! It was for Mark’s brother Josh who was celebrating his birthday. My dress is my new season Lipsy range and I love it and got loads of compliments on it which was very nice :-) You can get it here -

http://www.lipsy.co.uk/store/michelle-keegan/michelle-keegan-lace-panel-maxi-dress/product-is-JD03238_011

Here I am with Eddie Mark’s granddad, my cousin Katie (who was rocking a similar dress!) and Josh, his gorgeous girlfriend Hollie & of course Mark looking very handsome in his tux. It was a fantastic party!

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My friend Krystal did my make-up for me, I really like how she did my eyes, and she used one of my fave products on my face – the Charlotte Tilbury contouring pallet. This useful compact is a must have for any handbag!

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Finally I’m chuffed to bits about the sales of my 2015 calenda. Apparently its doing really well and I have had so many tweets about the pictures – so thank you to everyone who has bought it and has tweeted me, I am so pleased you like it, because I really do too!

Here is a link to the website that you can buy it at :

https://www.danilo.com/Shop/Calendars/Glamour-Calendars/Michelle-Keegan-2015-Calendar

You can also get it from Amazon, Play, HMV and Calendar Club.

This is one of my favourite pics – the top is like a back to front waistcoat made by a Liverpool based designer called Mark Melia. I love this look, its not something you can wear round the pool though, I would look a bit OTT! But it works for this kind of shoot :-)

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http://www.markmeliafashions.com/ for more info on his creations..

Until next week,

Lots of love

Michelle xxx

03 November
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Getting back into the gym, fright night and Strictly Come Dancing

I’ve been filming all week again in Manchester, but despite the early starts I have managed to get my ass to the gym a few times so I’m feeling pleased about that, I try and do a mix of cardio and squats, lunges and press ups using weights for about 45 mins to an hour. I still hate the thought of going but once I have been I feel so much better!

I invested in some new gym gear to motivate me to go a bit more, this kit is all by Nike . The trainers are really comfy and I like the neon pink colour too.

 

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I’m still doing the SoulMate healthy eating food plan too and love their smoothies in particular, as they are filling and taste really good. Even the green ones!

This one is carrot and ginger and was delish.

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www.soulmatefood.com for more info.

On Halloween I finished work around tea time and managed to get down south in time to go to ‘fright night’ at Thorpe Park with Mark, his sister, brother and our friends. It was a bit chilly – I’m wearing one of my favourite #lipsylovemichelle coats , you can’t buy it on the Lipsy website any more but you can get it from Next still I think?

We had a fab night, here we all are together :-)

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And here’s me (looking slightly paler than usual) with my cousin Katie !

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On Saturday day I went to the gym (third time this week! ……I’m in the ZONE!) and got ready to go to watch Strictly and support Mark. My dad Mike came down for the weekend, I love it when he comes to visit.

Marks uncle Eddie and aunty Debra also came with us to sit in the audience , and Debra looked lovely in one of my Lipsy creations!

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I had a bit of a play around with some of the new make-up before we set off for the studio.. I think this hydrating primer by Laura Mercier is one of the best on the market. I did my make-up at 2pm and it was still fresh at 11pm after sitting under studio lights for 4 hours.

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I also love this ‘Boing’ concealer by Benefit . I use colour shades 2 & 3 for a bit of subtle contouring on my face and I like the consistency of this concealer as it’s not too heavy on your skin but it glides on and gives very smooth and even coverage.

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Anyway , back to Strictly – Mark was amazing on Saturday night! Karen choreographed such a fun, and slick routine …. Their jive was awesome!

I’m so proud of him, he’s doing so well :-))))))

These pics are taken backstage at Strictly, I’m wearing my new season #lipsylovemichelle blue and black blouse, I love the lace detail on it , you can get it now from:

http://www.lipsy.co.uk/store/michelle-keegan/michelle-keegan-drape-blouse/product-is-TP02802_135

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I like wearing a blouse or shirt on a night out, and there are some great ones on the high St at the moment.

Check these out!

Here’s a couple I like from All Saints

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And these from TopShop

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And these are from ASOS :

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I love this white blouse maxi from ASOS !! Really cool and a snip at £30…

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Until next week

Love from

Michelle xxx

19 October
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Making a house a home, cheeky night in London, and top tips for healthy hair

This week has been a mixture of filming up in Manchester and getting my home all nice and organised in Essex.

We are so settled in our new home, it’s like a real sanctuary now, and I have to thank Laura and Sarah who run an interior design/furniture shop business in Essex called ‘Stripes of Essex’.

They are sisters and have a sharp eye for detail, and have helped make the house into a home :-) can’t recommend them enough – thank you talented ladies!! To contact them please tweet @stripesofessex or here’s the website http://www.stripesofessex.com

Here are some pictures:

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In other news, I’ve finally taken out the hair extensions I had in over the summer, and it feels goooooood!

Instead for volume and thickness, I just pop in some Beauty Works clip in’s ( http://beautyworksonline.com ) and they do the trick. They do them in lots of different lengths and colours and the quality of hair is very good.

It’s so important to look after your hair , and keep it in tip top condition. This week I asked one of my favourite hairdressers Reuben Wood, what his expert tips are on keeping your tresses shiny and lush :-)

Reuben said :
1 Try not to wash your hair every day, as this can strip your hair of natural oils!
When you wash your hair try using silicon free shampoo, massage you scalp, as this increases circulation and prevents dandruff. Repeat and rinse. Then use a good conditioner using stroking motions and try to avoid the roots, just mid length to ends! (For a bouncy blow dry) and try using the coolest temp, so that you don’t overheat your hair .

2 Avoid combing your hair when wet, as the hair is stretchy and can snap.

3 Always good to use a soft bristle brush, as this also helps spread natural oils through the hair!

4 When blow drying point the dryer down the shaft of the hair to smooth the cuticle, avoid pointing the hair dryer to the scalp.

5 Once a week use a good treatment (such as Kerastase Masquintense ) have a glass of wine and chill for a hour!!!!!

www.reubenwoodcreatives.co.uk

Pahaahaha, not sure what relevance the glass of wine has in keeping your hair in good condition, but who cares!

I’ve been continuing on my healthy (ish) eating mission with my SoulMate food plan www.soulmatefood.com

As I said the other week, I’m not on a ‘diet’ (I have spotted a couple of magazines suggesting this, and it’s not true). I have no desire to loose weight, healthy eating is just that- eating balanced and nutritious meals. I’m having three meals and three snacks a day!!!

I’m still enjoying Bootea too and have these tasty herbal teas instead of coffee, because they are much healthier.

 

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Bootea teatox is from www.bootea.com or Holland and Barrett nationwide.

Speaking of food, I went to London end of the week to see Mark , he was on ‘it takes two’ (here’s some sneaky lil piccies backstage).

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Then we went to the INCREDIBLE Sushi Samba. It’s a mixture of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food.

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Wow this was food heaven!! We had steak cooked on stones, delicious sushi and these ice cream parcel cake things (can’t remember what they were called) …. here’s me – wearing my new gorgeous faux fur pink #lipsylovemichelle coat, top is Zara and skirt Topshop. Gorgeous night!

 

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My Winter collection for Lipsy London went on sale nationwide this week. Hurray!!! www.lipsylondon.co.uk to check it out. Here’s some of my favourite pieces …tweet me @michkeegan and let me know which ones are your faves!

 

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Until next week

All my love

Michelle xxx

12 October
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Doing my bit for charity and catching up with my best friends

This week I was officially made a patron of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity. I’m both honoured and touched that they asked me, I have been a supporter of the charity for a few years now and being Mancunian born and bred, I know the excellent work the hospital does and couldn’t think of a better local charity to support than RMCH Charity.

Having visited the hospital myself, and spoken to so many families of poorly children in their care, I have seen first-hand the difference that the charity makes.

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Charitable funds ensure that the hospital environment is as child-friendly and as comforting as possible. They also support vital clinical research and provide state of the art equipment for diagnosis and treatment.

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On Friday I met with the Chairman of the charity Maurice Watkins and we did a tour round some of the children’s wards. It was a very moving experience, and I will be doing what I can to raise money so that the children and families get the best possible care.

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To find out more about the brilliant work they do go to : http://www.rmchcharity.org.uk

Also this week I caught up with my best friends. We tend to all get together a few times a year and have a big ol night out and catch up!michelle6

 

We have all known each other since high school and our friendships are as strong as ever. We all headed to my favourite restaurant in Manchester: Australasia http://australasia.uk.com .

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The food and service is unreal, if you go you MUST try their Lychee Martinis. FITTTTTT!! We all got different dishes such tempura prawns, sushi, blackened cod and, aherm.. More Martinis!! We were celebrating one of our gals – Robyn’s birthday.

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Happy Birthday Robyn!!

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I had to do some work for Lipsy on Saturday and met up with the design team to start work on the Summer collection for 2015, so I couldn’t go to the audience of Strictly (you have to be there quite early on) but I watched it live from home. I’m SO proud of Mark! I’ve seen him practice the Paso Doble all week and he was getting into this one more that the previous two as it’s quite theatrical, serious and masculine. I loved his ‘super-mark’ costume too haahah!! We have a couple of days together before I’m back up to Manchester for Ordinary Lies so we plan to just relax and spend time with the dogs :-)

Speaking of Ordinary Lies it’s been a busy week filming, I’m loving it so much. Here’s me getting my make up done on location.

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I’ve started on a bit of a health kick. Please note – I’m NOT ON A DIET. I don’t need to be! I don’t need to loose any weight, I just like to eat healthy and I’m going back to the gym again because it makes me feel good inside and out. Therefore I have started on a healthy eating plan with the rather delish http://soulmatefood.com …. very handy if your on the go a lot (as I am!) as they prepare healthy and nutritious gourmet food – and deliver it weekly, straight to your door.

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I’ve been getting more organised thanks to this very handy diary I was sent. It’s from a really cute company called www.fullstopstationery.co.uk . It’s got lots of positive and inspirational quotes in it and loads of sections for diaries, notes, planning, lists etc… Especially handy for anyone organising a wedding!!

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Next week the main Winter phase of my Lipsy Collection is released. Its bursting with gorgeous glam pieces perfect for the festive season. There are some luxurious faux fur coats, cosy knits, beautifully embellished kimonos, tops and some show stopping maxi dresses!

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The response and feedback about each range has been truly amazing, and I still get a huge sense of excitement when I see girls wearing pieces from my collections.

After a hugely successful Autumn Winter I cannot wait to unveil my Spring Summer 2015 to you all :-))))

Until next week

Love Michelle xxx

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

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

04 July
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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!

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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 :-)

 

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

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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)

 

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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.

 

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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

13 June
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‘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

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