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  • View Beauty Lounge London: Review


    When your nails look fabulous – polished, long and sleek – it takes your confidence to a new level. It doesn’t matter if your hair’s perfectly coiffed and you like your outfit. If you have all that and bad nails then you just don’t feel dressed up enough.

    The smile on the face on the picture below that was taken at a birthday meal in London’s Buddha Bar came from knowing that I had magnificent nails.

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    As I clutched the following day’s coffee curing hangover, I couldn’t stop admiring my nails so I took a close-up photo:

     

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    The man responsible for this fine work on my nails is Jason Tran from View Beauty Lounge in Brentford. When I first visited them in the summer of 2016, I was a new mum who hadn’t had a professional manicure for weeks, maybe even months.

    As my nails weren’t that strong due to all the hormones in my body still crazy after having a baby, I wasn’t sure if I could have acrylics straight away so I booked in for a shellac appointment. While I was having that appointment, I got talking to Jason and I have never met someone so knowledgeable about nails in my life! A’list celebs like Adele visited the salon in South Kensington where he worked previously and now he’s bringing that celebrity buzz to Brentford. And the shellac looked very pretty too…

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    What’s different about View Beauty Lounge to other salons is that they make you feel special. They greet you with a warm welcome, the place is clean and comfortable and you feel relaxed and calm when you’re sitting inside. I’ve visited salons where you’re crammed inside with lots of others and have to wait ages for an appointment and I’ve been to salons where the manicurist couldn’t speak English which made the hour in the nail chair very boring indeed. At View Beauty  Lounge you can book appointments online and you’re guaranteed a good chat while you’re having your nails done. If you don’t believe me, then look at all the positive reviews on Treatwell.

    It’s a gorgeous-looking salon – light, airy and with views over a luscious park.

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    But what else would you expect from a beauty salon of such a high standard? I’m constantly impressed when I look at Jason Tran’s Instagram account – Jastra91 Here’s a selection of some of his most fabulous work:

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    What Jason doesn’t know about nails isn’t worth knowing so if you’re going to trust your hands to anyone then it should be him!

    Another benefit of the View Beauty Lounge is that they offer waxing and hair treatments in the same place – it’s a one-stop shop for all your beauty needs.

    Check out the View Beauty Lounge website for full details – location, pricing and services offered etc

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    WIN David Bowie Walking Tour Tickets

    For many, January will always be remembered as both the anniversary of David Bowie’s birth and death.  When the musician died after an 18 month battle with liver cancer on 10 January  2016 (two days after his 69th birthday), there was a huge outpouring of grief around the world. Thousands and thousands made a pilgrimage to Brixton to visit a mural of his face, which became a huge shrine with flowers piling the streets and spilling onto the road. Bowie changed the world culturally!

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    That’s why I’m excited to report that on what would have been his 70th birthday (8th January 2017), Nick Stephenson is launching the David Bowie Musical Walking Tour in London. This isn’t your average walking tour where you visit key points in Bowie’s life to a factual commentary. You do get the facts, but you get Bowie’s music too, expertly played by Stephenson. This makes it more suitable for those who don’t speak much English and also for those of us who get bored easily. Facts are good, but we all love Bowie’s music more than facts about his life.

    The tour, which will run regularly on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays will be a 2-hour guided experience through David Bowie’s early life in Brixton, encompassing many rarely celebrated landmarks in one of the most vibrant, independent and striving areas of London.

    For just £10 a ticket, you will be treated to various sites that relate to the legendary singer’s life and death with funny, moving and often surprising anecdotes enthusiastically told throughout the tour by the friendly, charismatic and super knowledgeable Nick Stephenson.

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    The songs performed en route include:

    Space Oddity, Suffragette City, Ashes to ashes, The man who sold the world, Rebel Rebel, Life on Mars? Starman, Drive in Saturday, Heroes

    Landmark areas of the tour include:

    David Bowie Mural – Discover the story behind the mural

    Bowie’s Birthplace and Primary School – School days and family life for the young David Robert Jones

    Pop Brixton – Exciting Community project in the heart of Brixton

    The Ritzy Cinema – Where hundreds of fans gathered to pay their respects on the 11th of Jan 2016

    The Brixton Academy – discover what happened when David Bowie returned to Brixton for a homecoming show!

    Photofusion Gallery – The very best in social photography from around Britain including a recent David Bowie exhibition.

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    Nick (above) is a very talented and experienced musician. I would attempt to describe what he’s done, but you can find all the info on his website.

    Want to join a tour? Win a pair of tickets to an 11am or 2pm show on the date of your choice by answering this question. The answer can be found above:

    What date (day and month) is David Bowie’s birthday?

    Email your answer to livelikeavip@gmail.com before 2359 on Saturday 7 January. Usual LLAVIP competition T&Cs apply. Good luck!

    TO BOOK TICKETS (IF YOU DON’T WIN)

    Call +44 (0)7894 550 184 or book via the website https://bowietourlondon.co.uk/tickets/

    Tickets are £10.00 and tours commence outside Brixton tube station. We recommend guests arrive at least 10 minutes early. Tour guide will be by the tourist information map holding a guitar.

     

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    BBC Earth magazine launch party

    The Sea Life London Aquarium played host to the launch of BBC Earth Magazine last night, with drinks flowing to the back drop of sea turtles and shoals of fish.

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    Copies of the new monthly magazine, priced at £3.99, could even been seen inside the aquarium’s tanks: in the hands of underwater divers positioned to answer guests’ questions.

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    With an underwater slate and a pencil in hand, the divers communicated with guests – which included actress and model Camilla Rutherford; fashion journalist Henry Conway; and model and businesswoman Caprice – answering questions which were written down and held up against the aquarium’s glass.

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    Sharon Kirby, group publisher for The River Group, gave me a whistle-stop tour of the content of the new monthly mag, which is out today and features incredible photography; the kind we’re used to seeing from the BBC Earth brand (under which the corporation sells documentaries such as Planet Earth and Frozen Planet).

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    Editor Celia Woolfrey said the publication, which covers science and nature, has been created to be enjoyed by the whole family and even includes articles from a 10-year-old columnist, sharing his view on the natural world.

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    Leaving the event with my new mag and a gorgeous cuddly polar bear in hand, it dawned on me how unusual it was, to leave a party with the sight of sharks swimming below my feet!

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    Currently, there’s an offer where you can get the first 3 issues for a total of £3. Visit the BBC Earth Magazine’s website to find out more.

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    VIP Beauty: Grace Fodor & Studio 10

    Grace Fodor is a make-up artist to the stars, a businesswoman, a mother and the founder of the incredible Studio 10 make-up range. The Live Like a VIP team are big fans of Studio 10 as it applies so easily, there’s a palette designed to make contouring simple and it leaves our skin looking and feeling so fresh.

    The Studio 10 range  is designed to make us all look younger by correcting the signs of ageing with makeup essentials, problem solvers and professional fixes for results that make us look 10 years younger in an instant. It’s a bit like having an instant ‘facelift without the surgery’.

    We’re so inspired that Grace managed to launch this range while being a mum as since Zoe’s had a baby she’s realised just how difficult it can be to mix work and family time. In this interview, she shares her secrets:

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    Q: Tell us about yourself and your business?

    STUDIO  10 is my passion. I’d reached a point in my life where I was looking for a makeup range designed for women as they age. I needed more than products with just added anti-ageing ingredients, but that specifically correct, cover and combat the signs of ageing.

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    Q: What inspired you to start?

     I’d been working in the beauty industry for over a decade and I had become increasingly frustrated with the approach of the cosmetic industry to the makeup needs of older women. I felt that cosmetics weren’t changing with women’s skin, or tackling the issues that older women face and that we needed a new generation of tailor-made products.  I wanted a range that did a ‘job of work’ for me!

     

    Q: My greatest challenge has been?

     Managing how fast we’ve grown! Studio 10 isn’t even two years old and in that time we have expanded massively, in terms of our product range, stockists and across the world. Managing that process has meant a lot of adjustments and a need to be really pro-active in dealing with each challenge as they arise. It’s a pretty amazing place to be though, so I can’t say I’m complaining!

     

    Q: Achievements in the past 12 months:

    Launching into Sephora Australia has been a huge milestone for Studio 10. Sephora is the ‘go-to’ makeup destination for women who love beauty, so to see a range designed for mature women get such great support was a real watershed moment. I’m also incredibly proud of our work with cancer charity Look Good Feel Better.

     We’ve been running the #raise1brow project to raise much needed awareness, funds and product. This wonderful charity helps raise the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing treatment for cancer. Their aim is to improve their self-image and appearance through complimentary group and self-help skincare and makeup sessions, creating a real sense of support, confidence, strength and community.

     

    Q: What are the biggest challenges you think facing Mum-preneurs

    Honestly, I think confidence? So many women have fantastic skills, or great ideas but don’t ever do anything with them because they worry about what they’ll get wrong. I always say ‘write down what you’ll get right and build out from there’. If you need better computer skills for example, do a night course, but don’t let it stop you!

     

    Q:One key piece of advice for aspiring Mum-preneurs

    Don’t let anyone else define what you can achieve. I’ve faced failures in business and had to pick myself back up so I know it isn’t easy, but the failure is never what defines you – it’s how you handle it that makes the big difference.

    If you look at any successful individual, they’ve all faced setbacks and just refused to give in. Be tenacious and decide what you want to do, then do it. The only limits you have are the ones you set on yourself.

     

    Q: I love being a Mumpreneur because?

     With three daughters I really want to set the example that you absolutely can have a family and a career – you just need to be flexible in how you handle it. So many of my friends saw their careers stall in their thirties – mine has just gone from strength to strength because I could alter my life to suit my work and vice versa.

    I want my girls to never limit themselves because of their life choices or gender – being a ‘Mumpreneur’ proves that your brain and ambition don’t stop because you have kids, and you can still create an extraordinary business.

     

    Find out more about that business – Studio 10 – on the Studio 10 website.

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    VIP Lifestyle: Find That Work-Life Balance

    Have you ever felt stressed about your To Do list? Do you feel like you’re always working and not having enough fun? Or is fun getting in the way of your work life? Being unhappy with your life is not living like a VIP so if you feel like life’s getting out of control then maybe it’s time to stop and reassess things?Sarah Jones is UK’s leading holistic and lifestyle expert.

    Sarah Jones is UK’s leading holistic and lifestyle expert. People online are raving about her TOUCH treatments, in which she treats the root causes of symptoms to restore the natural balance of the mind, body and soul through the art of giving renewed clarity of thought. For example, your skin says a lot about you and you can change certain things about your lifestyle to get a glowing look without spending lots of money. It’s fascinating!

    We asked her for some tips about how to start changing things to make ourselves better. We’re all on a journey but what should we do first? Over to Sarah…

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    “When living a busy life, like mine, it’s important to seek balance. It’s easy to lose yourself in too much work, social events, or playing mum the taxi. Balance in life doesn’t come without thought. So how do we decide what to do and what to ignore? Sometimes it’s hard to take care of your own needs when you have work, family, friends, charities, extracurricular events, and any number of other things to take up your time. So, how do we order our to-do lists so that balance is achieved? I’ve found it is all about what’s most important.

    When I search for balance, I seek first for an inner knowledge of what’s most important. This would be different for every person as no two people have the exact same priorities.

    1. Family Time – Personally, family time comes first for me, but this might not be true for everyone. If you are not a parent, your extended family probably won’t need as much attention from you. Dropping in on your mother takes less time than raising a toddler. If you have sick or aging parents, they may need more attention than they once did.
    2. Work – I have a job and probably most of you do, as well. The demands of your particular job will dictate how much of your time goes to working, but it’s still necessary to consider how important your job is. Is it just a way to make money? Maybe it’s time to trim some excess. Is it what defines you? Then cutting back might not be the best choice for you too.
    3. Society and Activities – In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to avoid extending yourself far beyond what’s comfortable. What are you gaining from giving all your time to others? It’s important to consider the world around you, but if your needs are being lost in the endless needs of others, it may be time to reprioritise.

    It can be difficult to take a good hard look at your own life, and see where you give too much or too little, but it’s the only way to take the first steps towards a life of balance.

    Letting Go of the Excess

    Once you know what’s really important, it’s time to let go of the excess. So how do you start?

    1. One at a Time – I find it works best for me to cut down on one activity at a time until I find balance, because going completely cold turkey on a couple of things at once can be very overwhelming.
    2. Remember What’s Important – It can be panic inducing to let go of all the things you’ve done that have kept your life out of balance. If you need to, return to your list of priorities for reaffirmation.
    3. Don’t Forget Yourself – If you are searching for balance, don’t let your own personal needs be the ones that you release.

    It can be a struggle to achieve balance in your life, but with a little time and effort you can begin to return to a well-balanced, well-lived, life.”

     

    For details about Sarah’s TOUCH treatments, visit her website.

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  • VIP Interiors: How To Be Tidier

    Do you ever look at your home and wish it was bigger? It could be if you just got rid of a few things! We’re learning that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a big MTV Cribs style pad if you make more of what you’ve got.

    Anouska Lancaster is the UK’s leading interior expert and has been billed by VOGUE as the leader in this field. She’s been telling us how to create celebrity style and high spec looks at a fraction of the price.

    Over to Anouska…

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    “(1) Throw Things Away

    Regularly de-clutter and discard. It’s such an obvious tip but it’s so much easier said than done. The easiest way of removing clutter from your life is to simply ask yourself these two simple questions – Do I need it? Does it fill me with joy? If the answer to one or more of these questions is ‘no’, then immediately discard.

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    It is impossible to have a tidy home if it is full of endless piles of ‘stuff’. This ‘stuff’ may be bills, broken objects, or clothes that no longer fit. You may have cleverly found a hiding place for this ‘stuff’ (such as under a bed or in the spare kitchen cupboard) but unfortunately that doesn’t count.

    (2) Make The Beds

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    I always make the beds in my house if nothing else. Making the bed and having the cushions displayed as if they’re in a show home, regardless of what is all over the floor, gives me a feeling of control and contentment.  Making the bed sends a message of order and self care to the subconscious, and more often than not, leads you to tidying the rest of that particular room. That is because the thrill of tidiness is somewhat of an addiction.

    (3) Storage

    Storage is key to having a tidy house. However, more often than not, storage solutions are unattractive as they are simply built for practicality. That’s why in my house; I decided to convert stunning pieces of vintage furniture and repurpose them so that they have the ability to be practical. I have an old wardrobe in my office that I have remodelled by removing the rails and by adding shelves for all my box files. The wardrobe is stunning and practical, and most importantly; doesn’t look like a piece of office furniture in any shape or form.

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    My children have raised cabin beds which allows the space underneath to be utilised for storage. I have bought vintage suitcases and placed them under the beds; and covered them with stickers. This way the bedroom looks tidy and dressed, and the children have the storage they need for all their toys and sports equipment.

    (4) Allow yourself a ‘messy area’

    If you have a mad house like me, full of children and pets, then it will inevitably get messy. It’s simply unavoidable with constant streams of washing, school bags and shoes. That is why as a family; we have allocated one area as ‘a holding area’ for mess. For us, this area is the boot room/utility room. It’s an area where anything which is yet to be tidied, discarded, washed or repaired goes. The best thing about the ‘holding area’ is that it has a door. This door remains closed until a time whereby a time whereby we are ready (or inclined) the sort the mess. The best thing about this area is that it allows the rest of the house to look tidy and in order. I am a firm believer that a tidy house is a tidy mind. If you are constantly surrounded by chaos, then it’s more than likely that your life will feel ever so slightly out of control.”

     

    Find out more on Anouska’s website and follow Noushka_Design on Instagram

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  • VIP Art: Louise Dear’s Selfie Art

    If you like looking at pretty things, enjoy celebrity culture, taking selfies and want something else that nobody else has then we have happy news for you thanks to artist Louise Dear.

    Her hot new project #loveyourselfie has created waves in the industry and has a host of celebrity fans including Gemma Oaten, Ampika Pickston and Jane Felstead. It involves making gorgeous original paintings from social media images – you send a selfie in and Louise will create a delicious mini portrait of you.

    These paintings are all 1 of 1 meaning that from £250 you are taking home a piece of art that is priceless as no other person will have the same as you!

    The project has gone down a storm and Louise has been sent hundreds of selfies into glittering works of art! For more information head to www.LouiseDear.com.

    We interviewed Louise recently to find out more about her art and her personality. She’s as interesting as her art!

    QS: Who (or what) are your biggest role models and inspirations?

     My Mother is my main role model. She has lived a very full and colourful life. We are great friends and she continues to inspire me. Artistically, Takashi Murakami and his factory of super flat imagery. The photographer David LaChappelle’s plastic hypereal scenario’s and the trussed up, big bottomed beauties of Lisa Yuskavage, rendered in such subtle, seductive, soft focus tones.

    The main inspiration in my paintings, my model, my muse, is my beautiful daughter Lama. I have painted her hundreds of times and those of my works that are not actually of her, portray her. Aspects of her moods, her emotions, her expressions that I love and know so well.

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    QS: A blank canvas suddenly materializes in front of you, and you feel a sudden urge to paint it. Where do you start? What’s your process, start to finish?

     I work on panels of aluminium and at first I scratch it. I then turn the music up, sprinkle it with water then throw paint at it, gloss paints and acrylics. Whatever I have to hand and usually in as vibrant and clashing colours as possible. I love the way the water disperses the oil based paints and they move and evolve on their own. I also throw metallics, glitters, stickers and sequinned shapes. This part is fairly random and needs to be left to dry for several days. I am always intrigued as to how they will have evolved on my return and what beautiful abstract shapes will have been created. This stage is quite chaotic and the next is very ordered. Measuring ruling and masking the panels, I rub in exquisite oil pigments and guilt creams for form stripes to order and define the chaos. Fine lines of 24 carot gold leaf are also over layed, so fine they are not instantly noticed until set alight by a shard of sunlight.

    Once the background has been transformed I select an image to project onto the panel and this is produced using enamel paints applied with a beautiful sable brush. This stage is quite energetic as many of the works are quite large and I work standing up, almost dancing as I arch and crouch creating a swooping curl of hair or curve of a seductive shoulder. I feel as though at this stage the image is simply a vehicle for the marks.There is now the foundation of the piece and the work itself will donate the following stages. What background should be added to define the form. Be it simple and seductive gold leaf paneling, bold contemporary stripes or more intricate and complicated patterning.  Also what flowers, figures and creatures will be overlaid and what symbols are needed for the particular message I am trying to convey.

    I work on several different paintings at once. This is due to the drying time needed of each layer but also the mood needed in creating each stage. The first layer is fairly chaotic, often created in the

    evening with the music up. The stripes need an ordered mood, the image a flamboyant, flirty mood where I have to get myself into the mind of the seductress I am trying to convey. The flowers and frivolity which adorn the works, are drawn on with a marker pen and then quietly filled in with gloss paints and glitters in a quiet, gentle and contemplative mood, often whilst listening to the play on Radio 4 or Classic fm. My works are as multi layered as we are.

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     QS: You’ve had a pretty adventurous and exotic life; how have your experiences shaped who you are as an artist?

     I was brought up by a pretty adventurous and exotic Mother and have inherited her intrepid gene. It’s natural to me to take risks and leap into the unknown. It’s a way of life and all my experiences have shaped me and continue to feed my artistic practice which is an integral part of who I am.

    QS: After being formally trained as a fashion designer, have any of the principles you learned inspired or influenced your paintings?

     Oh yes. I was taught to draw stylised models that I could beautifully hang clothes on. How to portray fabrics accentuating the drape and the folds and these skills inevitably infiltrate my works.

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    QSIn order to seduce your viewer, what do you think is the most important aspect of your paintings?

    The eyes – instantly. Then the whole expression – the curve of the cheek or tilt of the shoulder – but really the thing as a whole. The voluptuousness and colour of the materials, as well as the intricate layering that draws the viewer in.

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    QS: Based on the photographs I saw, I couldn’t come to any definite conclusions on the state of your studio. Is it important to you to maintain some degree of cleanliness, or does getting a little messy help stir your creativity?

     I LOVE my studio tidy! I’m a Virgo and I like it all just so and everything where I can lay my hands on it instantly in the floury of an inspirational frenzy. Yet it becomes chaotic as I work and I drop paper, utensils, paints and glitters to the floor as I go. Luckily I’ve got the perfect ‘glamorous assistant’ Paris, who pops by every few days and clears up.

     QS: What is the most memorable experience in your vast history of travel (if you can’t pick just one, two is also acceptable)?

    Oh I have many a story to regale and could bore you for hours over a bottle of bubbly or two. But to pick just one would have to be the naming of my daughter, Lama. I was several months pregnant and visiting my sister in Hong Kong en route back from Australia. It was my 28th birthday and we’d partied all night and as the ferries had not yet begun, we took a SanPan back to Lamma Island where my sister lived and I’d been staying for some weeks. Half an hour into our journey a storm blew up. It became quite rough, choppy and pretty frightening. Then the electrics failed on the boat and we were plunged into darkness. Being pregnant, I was sober of course and terrified. But mysister, fuelled with drunken bravado, to distract me, said ‘So what are we going to call this baby then?’ It was a lovely discussion and soon turned my attention from our hair raising situation. My daughter  is named Lama, after Lamma Island a place I love and spent a very happy time. And Sea after the Ocean that I swim in daily and connects us all, no matter how far apart. This name also gives her the same initials as mine LSD which my rebellious nature has always enjoyed.

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    QS: When do you find you’re most productive in the studio

    When I’m left to get on, on my own. Mostly late in the afternoons and into the early evenings. If I’m on a role and don’t have to break off to feed anyone, I can happily work late into the night.

     QS: Do you have any interesting quirks or techniques (unless they’re trade secrets!) you would be willing to share?

     I’ve explained my process in a previous question and I’m happy to share. I don’t have any trade secrets as I’m happy for people to try and replicate what I do. They often do, mainly students, and send me the results. Nothing is ever quite the same. I can’t make the same painting twice leave alone anyone else.

    QS: I get heavy art nouveau vibes from your work – would you agree with that?

     Yes.

    What are you up to now? What’s the next big project?

    I’m in the process of creating my largest painting to date. It’s a huge, 5 by 3 meter commissioned work for a new restaurant, ‘Timmy Green’ due to open in the autumn in London. The painting is so large that I’m creating it on individual panels that will be bolted together on site. It’s quite a feat of engineering and I’m loving it.

    Running alongside this and in complete contrast, I’m working on some of the smallest works I’ve ever made. This project is called #loveyourselfie and I’m asking people to send me their ‘selfies’ which I’m making into small original works on paper. These are turning out to be exquisite little jewels, covered in gold-leaf, glitter and gloss. All the gorgeousness of a large painting but in miniature and very personal.

    It’s working really well creating these extreme pieces, as the large commission is physically challenging, so when I need to take a break or let the paint dry, I can rest up painting the delicious miniatures.

    How did painting become your creative expression of choice?

    I’ve always been a maker of everything…clothes, furniture, lego models…I was an exhibition designer for Lego for several years in my twenties. When I had my daughter I returned to education and went to Uni to study Art. I found myself sculpting, mainly in metal, and the metal sculptures turned into metal paintings mainly due to my practical nature. I have been painting on metal ever since.

    If you could live anywhere in the world, what would your first choice be?

    Today Brighton tomorrow…the South of France. Ideally both.

     

    Intrigued? Visit Louise Dear’s website to find out more.

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  • VIP Fitness: Quick Tips To Burn Fat Fast

     

    The Live Like a VIP team dream of having the perfect celebrity body. We’d like to look better in clothes, we’d like to feel more energetic and healthier and we’d like to post selfies with more confidence (without having to take lots of different angles first).

    BUT spending time in the gym is not as fun as going to parties, lets face it. We want to look body beautiful, but not at the expense of our social lives. Is there a way to have both?

    Callum Melly, a male fitness model, PT and general fitness expert says there is. He’s developed a program called Body in 8, which sets out clear guidelines to how we can get our dream bodies in just 8 weeks without too much sacrifice. Here he explains his top tips to burn fat fast:

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    (1) Always do your cardio after a resistance workout – carbohydrates are always the chosen source of energy your body burns first whenever you work out. During a resistance workout, you will have depleted the majority of stored carbohydrates that have been digested in the body, so, by carrying out cardio afterwards, you will be tapping into your stored body fat and burning that!

     (2) Get in the weights room – weight training creates an after-burn for 48 hours after you do a resistance workout – that means your body is still working for you and burning more calories for that period of time (which means extra fat burning even while you sleep!)

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    (3) Do a variety of rep ranges over a period of time – As demonstrated in the BODY IN 8 program exercise plan, altering the amount of reps you do, and altering the size of the weight you use, over a period of time, will help to target every muscle in the body and promote lean muscle development. The more lean muscle you have, the more effective your metabolism is which will promote more natural fat loss.

    (4) Take your time while you train – When it comes to weight training, many people simply focus on how quickly they can pull, push or lift their weight, without focusing on the lengthening process when they bring their weight back down. This act of lengthening the muscle is just as important as contracting, because the longer the muscle is put under tension the better the results. So taking your time on both lengths of the contraction is key to burning more fat!

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     (5) Burn extra calories during rest periods with active rest – While rest periods might feel great during an intense workout, they are precious seconds you could be using to burn even more calories! When you’re in your rest recovery period, do a light active rest activity such as jogging on the spot or bench step-ups to burn even more fat fast! (You have all the other hours in the day to really rest, after all.)

    Added tip: Whatever workout youre doing, from walking to resistance training, you should be working at 60-70% above your resting heart rate to maximise results.

     

    See more on Callum’s Body in8 website.

     

     

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  • Review: Safe Nights Cot Mattress

    Since I became a mum, my sleep pattern has completely changed. People warned me that sleep would become a precious commodity once my little bundle of joy arrived, but nothing could have prepared me for just how little my son Rory slept in the first few months.

    This is a blog post designed for any new mums desperately craving more sleep because I am happy to say that we changed some little things about our routine and now mother and son are getting the sleep we deserve. How happy is Rory about that?!

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    While I was pregnant, I became a Silentnight sleep ambassador as I started to get more uncomfortable at night and found that using a Silentnight Miraform mattress supported my bump and shielded me from my husband’s tossing and turning so I got to sleep quicker. It was also a lifesaver after having the baby because when you’re up three or four times in the night, you can’t afford to take your time getting back to sleep. Because the Miraform mattress remembered my shape, I could get back into the same position and switch off straight away. (Remind yourself of the video I made for Silentnight here)

    However, I wasn’t happy waking up so much with Rory, so I browsed a lot of parenting forums and started to experiment with different sleep aids. The result is that he is now sleeping from 7pm at night straight through until around 6am. This is what we did:

    (1) We gave him more food at night

    Babies wake up if their stomachs are empty so I make sure Rory finishes the whole of his bottle before going to sleep. Before I got so vigilant about this, Rory would often fall asleep before finishing the feed and I would let him doze off as it made it easier for me to put him down and get on with other things like writing blog posts or cooking dinner. However, I’d rather spend a few extra minutes making sure he drinks everything than wake up after four hours to feed him again.

    (2) We put him in his own room

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    When babies are really tiny, they need the comfort and reassurance that comes from sleeping in a bed near to their parents’ one. We had a crib that attached to our bed so it was like an extension of the bed. This was ok until he got to 12 weeks and he started hearing our voices and waking up and I think that being so close to us was distracting as it felt to him like he could play with us at any moment. In his own room, there’s no temptations and he sleeps more soundly as a result.

    (3) We chose the best possible mattress for him

    I know from experience that the right mattress can be life-changing in terms of sleep. For babies, it is even more important because of things like sudden infant death syndrome (cot death).

    Silentnight’s Safe Nights Memory Wool cot mattress has individual mini pocket springs to provide firm and responsive support, and a 3D mesh structure promoting free flow of air so babies can breathe freely through the material for a safer sleep. It’s won Best Nursery Product (Gold) in the Mother & Baby Awards and the Platinum award for Best Safety Product in the Lovedbyparents Awards 2016.

    The first night that Rory slept on it in his own room, he slept for 11 hours straight.

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    Even more surprising is that he doesn’t wake up crying anymore. After a full night’s sleep, we are woken up by little gurgles. He’s quite happy to play with his hands or scratch the mattress for a bit (for some reason he loves the noise), and that buys us time to wake up slowly rather than rushing into his room to stop the crying.

    Another thing I like about it is the size is 70cm by 140cm so it will last him for ages. Right now, he’s a small baby in the centre of a huge bed and that’s why the memory wool is so useful as it makes him feel more supported. When he’s bigger, it will adjust to his shape and keep him comfortable. When we’re buying new clothes practically every week and spending a fortune on weaning gadgets and food, it’s a refreshing change to have something we’ll get years of use from.

    And finally, giving Rory this new mattress has given me my life back. I can go to a showbiz party or a film premiere and get back late, without worrying about getting up every few hours. When I was waking up at 12am, 4am, and 6am I wouldn’t stay up late myself as I knew I’d need my sleep. Now I can go out until midnight as I know I’ll be able to sleep until 6am. My husband’s also in a better mood as he’s sleeping better and the overall mood in the household is more harmonious.

    (4) His new room has a better blind

    Babies are so sensitive to light and Rory used to wake up at 430am when he was in our room – the moment that the sun started to rise. But we found that as his new room has a blind that keeps out most of the light, he sleeps for longer. It’s especially useful for daytime naps as it makes Rory think it’s bedtime.

    Without a doubt, I can say that putting Rory in his own room on a Safe Nights memory wool cot mattress is one of the best decisions I’ve made recently.

    For more details about the Silentnight range, check out the Silentnight website.

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    Partying With Stars At HIV Visibility Dinner

    The Live Like a VIP team are very much of the mentality that everyone deserves to feel like a VIP. We should all celebrate our individuality and embrace what makes us different and rise above anyone that tries to bring us down. For this reason, we were delighted to attend Philip C Baldwin’s Visibilty Dinner to raise awareness about the stigma of living with HIV.

    Philip was diagnosed with HIV in 2010, but it’s made him the person that he is and he is determined to show that you can live a fabulous life with HIV. We often see him at the best celebrity parties and each year he hosts his own star-studded Visibility Dinner, which this time supported Positive East – East London’s HIV charity that offers support for individuals and communities affected by HIV. This year it took place at the super luxurious Beaufort House restaurant in Chelsea with lots of TV stars and there was one hell of a fabulous atmosphere. Just how pretty is the venue?

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    Live Like A VIP’s Joanna had a blast with Sandi from Googlebox:

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    And check out some of the other glamorous celebrities who attended to show that HIV is happening and that we need to team up to fight it:

    Anthea Turner (photographed with Philip)

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    Made in Chelsea’s Tiff Watson

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    Made in Chelsea’s Olivia Bentley

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    Model Imogen Thomas

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    Former TOWIE star Abi Clarke

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    Love Island runner-up Olivia Buckland

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    HIV does have the power to destroy lives but this event was a step in the right direction to help people cope with and fight it thanks to the work of Positive East and the networking / philanthropy of Philip C Baldwin. You can find out more about Philip on his website and do check out the Positive East website.

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