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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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  • 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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  • We Celebrate iCandy’s Award Win

    If you want to live like a VIP, you need the best of the best in all aspects of life. You should have access to clothes that make you feel fabulous, beauty products that make you look gorgeous and only the finest food and drink should pass your lips before the calories are burned off with some celebrity fitness workouts. And your family deserve to look and feel the best they can too.

    Since Zoe became a mum, the Live Like a VIP team has become more interested in VIP baby and children accessories. When they’re too little to choose the best, it’s our responsibility to do it for them! And one thing that needs to be right is the child’s pram and pushchair because they’re going to be in it practically every day and we’re going to be pushing it.

    At The Baby Show, we road tested a variety of baby travel systems and came to a conclusion that iCandy were the best in terms of comfort and style and we’re not the only ones who think that. Tons of celebrity parents rely on iCandy to transport their precious little ones including Abbey and Peter Crouch, Andy and Kim Murray and the Beckhams. And now the Queen and the former Prime Minister are fans as David Cameron recommended that iCandy should receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade this year.

    There’s an iCandy sold every 12 seconds, which is a fantastic boost to Britain’s economy. With an element of uncertainty surrounding Britain’s economic future post-Brexit, iCandy has an exceptional track record of promoting Great British exports and helping alleviate economical concern in the current political era. This deserves to be celebrated and the youngest member of the Live Like a VIP team – baby Rory – visited iCandy HQ in Biggleswade, Buckinghamshire to join in the celebrations.

     

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    Rory has used the iCandy new Peach in Butterscotch since he was born and if you follow livelikeavip’s Instagram feed or check out his adventures at BabyVIPs.com you’ll see him and the iCandy in a variety of places as it fits in everywhere. There was a time when he slept better in the iCandy than in his own cot because it’s that comfortable. The ride is stylish thanks to the butterscotch colouring, which goes with most outfits and it’s smooth thanks to all-round suspension.

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    So back to the celebration, and the day centred upon the arrival of her Majesty the Queen’s representatives, the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and her team, iCandy’s local MP, the Right Honourable Alistair Burt, and the Queen’s Custodian of the Official Royal Image Library, Mike O’Keefe. The Lord Lieutenant presented both Bradley and Warren, joint CEO’s of iCandy with a crystal engraved bowl, together with a certificate of her Majesty’s Warrant which has been so graciously signed by both her Majesty the Queen, and the Prime Minister at the time of the Queen’s birthday announcement David Cameron.

     

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    The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire seemed to match her outfit to the iCandy pushchairs, which we loved.

    But as you can see from the smile on Zoe’s face in the first photo below, there was a lot that we loved about the celebration tea party.

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    The theme was Best of British in honour of the award and there was a Bake Off, classic children’s lawn games, face painting, and a timeless 1940s four-piece band.

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    Meanwhile, pitchers of Pimms, an ice cream stall, and a scrumptious high tea completed the classic British summer afternoon scene.

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    So very well done to iCandy! The celebs love the brand, the royals love it and Zoe is a proud iCandy mum. Live Like a VIP’s Rory is looking forward to many more adventures in his iCandy, which we’ll blog about here and at BabyVIPs.com.

     

    To find out more about the iCandy brand, visit the iCandy website.

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    Seven Natural Oils Celebs Use To Stay Young

    You have probably been wondering what natural oils the celebrities and some of the most beautiful women use to keep their skin glowing, right? They don’t just wake up like that and go on about their day. They have to use something to make them look as good as they do. So, if you are wondering what those amazing natural oils that celebrities use to stay youthful are. Keep reading to find out:

      1. Rosehip Oil

     

    Mirander Kerr, the former Victoria Secret model swears by rosehip oil. In fact, she slathers it all over her body before she goes to sleep at night and, because of this, she actually does wake up with natural glowing skin and goes on about her day. However, she has to put it on at night for it to work the way she wants it to. And, so do you. Use Miranda Kerr’s tip and slather it all over your body before bed at night and when you wake up, you will see natural glowing skin. Like you were meant to wake up with a glowing body!

    Rosehip oil contains some great vitamins including Vitamin A, which helps with promoting cell turnover in your skin, and Vitamin C, which helps treat those dark spots you might have on your face and body. Not only this, but it is also rich in fatty acids, which helps moisturize your skin.

    There are two ways to use Rosehip to soften your skin. The first way is to use it like Miranda does and massage it on your face and body. The second way to use it is by adding a few small drops of it to your bathwater to make your skin even softer. Either way will work fine to make that skin of yours oh so soft and glowing!

    1. Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil

    The Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil may sound new to you. It comes from the Hawaiian state tree and Lupita N’Yongo swears by this oil just like Miranda does with the Rosehip oil. She probably gave this natural oil a major popularity boost by telling the magazine, Glamour, that it is the secret behind her glowing skin.

     

     

    She also loves to use Avocado oil to keep her face looking as perfect as it does. To use both of these oils on your body and face, you can either massage some onto your body and face before going to sleep at night or you can add a little bit of each of them to your body lotion to provide yourself with a glowing and perfect looking body. Either way will work fine to keep you looking perfect before going out and about for your day.

    1. Argon Oil

    Khloe Kardashian loves Argon Oil for her hair. Although all of the Kardashian sister’s have the best looking hair that shines like no other, Khloe is letting her secret out for what makes her hair so healthy. She uses Argon Oil to keep it healthy, shiny, and just down-right beautiful! She says to either add it to your conditioner while in the shower or even uses it as a leave-in conditioner by adding a few drops of it to the ends of your hair when getting out of the shower. Either way, using argon oil will make your hair look as awesome as Khloe’s.

    Now, for making her skin glow, she uses coconut oil and avocado oil on her skin and her hair both. These natural oils keep both hair and skin healthy and glowing.

    1. Grape Seed Oil

    Want to have skin like Megan Fox? Try using grape seed oil on it. Fox has a great tip if you want your skin to look dewy and soft. All you need is some grape seed oil mixed with some Aquaphor to make a hydrating face mask. You will actually need two parts grape seed oil with one part Aquaphor to make this work like Megan does.

    One thing to remember though: if your skin is acne prone, you might not want to use grape seed oil with the Aquaphor. This is because it can cause your skin to become too oily and no one wants oily skin, do you?

    However, you can use grape seed oil on your legs and an even better way to use them on your legs is to ease the razor burn if you end up with it.

    1. Coconut Oil

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    Using coconut oil can help you achieve this awesome look! She has a great tip if you want hair like hers. Add coconut oil to the tips of your hair before shampooing it. This is a great way to keep the oily parts of your hair really clean while keeping the drier tips safe from the shampoo.

    You can also use coconut oil to moisturize your dry feet. One way to wake up with softer feet in the morning is to massage some of this oil to your feet and putting socks on before going to bed to protect your bed and bed sheets from getting oily.

    1. Macadamia Oil

    If you want your skin to “zing” as Cate Blanchett puts it, use either or both macadamia oil and olive oil while in the shower. She also recommends making a homemade scrub for your face and body by using grape fruit juice and sea salt.

     

    However, if you just want a straight body scrub, try mixing either one of these oils with some sugar.

    1. Avocado Oil

    If you want to keep your eyes from looking like zombie eyes from your mascara when washing your face, Teresa Palmer recommends using avocado oil. Palmer uses either avocado oil or almond oil to remove the makeup from her eyes. She also recommends using the avocado oil underneath your makeup to give your skin that dewy look. She says the oil keeps you from getting a redness to your skin from those fading acne scars some people get.

    These tips are definitely worth trying for anyone who wants soft, glowing, and dewy looking skin. Also, if you want something to help you remove your eye makeup without leaving black circles around your eyes from eyeliner or mascara, these oils are recommended. All of these oils have received thumbs up from the celebrities who use them so why wouldn’t you give them a try for yourself?

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    Health Lessons We Can Learn From Celebs

     

    When you think of celebrity health tips, all sorts of crazy things probably come to mind. A lot of the ones you read about or hear on the news are those that are weird enough to be noteworthy. They usually involve a strange diet or doing odd things to various body parts. But you can learn more from celebs about how to look after your health than the odd things they sometimes come out with. Many people in the public eye are excellent at looking after themselves. Although, a lot of them have plenty of help to do it. You may not be on a VIP budget, but you could still pick up some valuable tips from the stars.

     

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    Be Empowered About Your Health

    Some of the lessons we can learn from celebrities about health are pretty big ones. Taking control of your health and empowering yourself has to be one of the best ones you can learn. For an amazing example of this, we can look at the journey that Angelina Jolie has been on in the last few years. She underwent some serious procedures after discovering she carried the BRCA1 gene. It’s a gene that greatly increases the chance of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She had to make a series of tough decisions but ultimately did what she thought was best for her and her family. We could all learn to empower ourselves more when it comes to our health. And there are several ways you can do that.

    One way to feel more empowered is to do your own research. If you’re unwell, or even when you’re healthy, you can find out about the best ways to look after yourself. You can ensure that you’re aware of treatment options you have and how you can be as healthy as possible. However, you have to be careful about the sources you use. You can also feel more empowered by working actively with your doctor if you have to see them. Plus, if you don’t like them, you can always ask to see someone else.

    Have a Fitness Routine

    There are probably few celebrities that don’t have some kind of fitness routine. Of course, many of them have personal trainers. That means they have someone to motivate them all the time, which is necessary if you have a busy schedule. You have a busy life too, though, even if you don’t spend your time touring or filming. It can be a struggle to fit regular exercise into your lifestyle. But having someone to motivate you is a great idea. If you think hiring a personal trainer is out of the question, it could be much more realistic than you imagine. You might not be able to hire a trainer to the stars, but there are other options. Look into personal trainers at your gym, or see if you can join a local boot camp.

    If a trainer isn’t an option, there are other people who can keep you motivated. Working out with friends can be a great way to keep up your fitness routine. However, you have to pick friends you know you can rely on. It won’t work if you just talk each other into being lazy!

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    Look After Your Teeth

    Teeth are a contentious issue when it comes to celebrities. For many people, the teeth of Hollywood are just too unnatural. They’re too white, straight and even. However, we can still learn a lesson from celebs who take care of their teeth. You don’t have to have an artificial smile to have healthy gnashers. You might not want veneers, but you definitely don’t want fillings either. It’s a good idea to consider getting dental insurance. If you live in the UK, it can be hard to rely on NHS dentists. Guardian Life has some great info about dental insurance and looking after your teeth. Your teeth need to last you a lifetime, so caring for them is worth it. And maybe you can make them look prettier too if you want to.

    Managing Your Mental Health

    Having a therapist is another thing that we can be dismissive of when it comes to celebrities. It can sometimes seem like everyone in the US has a therapist, regardless of whether they have any serious problems in their life. The notion of having a therapist to discuss your day to day emotions can seem pretty strange. It’s even weirder in the UK, where it can be hard to access mental health services. However, if you think about it, it’s not such a bad idea. Having a disinterested party who can listen to you and perhaps offer advice can be useful. Most of us probably aren’t going to start seeing a therapist regularly. But we can learn to take charge of our mental health, as well as our physical health. It’s important to find things that help to keep you mentally healthy. It could be anything from meditating to just having open talks with friends and family.

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    Be More Open About Your Health

    Some might say that a lot of celebrities are too open about their health and that they should keep it private. But often when celebs talk about their health, they act as great advocates for others. It can be tough to open up about any health problems you’re having. It’s particularly hard when it’s a mental health issue. Many celebrities have spoken candidly about their health problems. They range from drug addiction to cancer, lupus, and depression. Some of them might have preferred to stay quiet. However, their openness is often very helpful to people going through the same thing. It’s for you to decide how open you want to be about your health. But don’t let stigma hold you back from talking about it if you want to share.

    Ask for Help When You Need It

    Another mental health lesson we can learn from celebrities is the importance of seeking help. Unfortunately, we often learn this one from watching celebs who aren’t asking for help. We’ve all seen reports of a celebrity who’s struggling. Seeing what they’re going through can feel pretty invasive. Fortunately, most of us don’t have the added pressure of public scrutiny. Although, sometimes it can feel like you do. Asking for help can be hard, but it’s important to do it before it gets even harder.

    Give Your Body the Fuel It Needs

    We hear a lot of stuff about crazy celebrity diets. But if you want to learn some lessons about healthy eating, don’t look to the celebs who drink hot sauce or live on organic almonds. There are many celebrities who take great care of their bodies and still eat a healthy diet. It’s a good idea to consider those celebs who stay fit all the time, whether it’s for a role or for themselves. Most of them are very sensible about ensuring they get the fuel they need to keep their body going. They might be strict about what they eat, by avoiding too much fat and sugar. But they make sure their diet has the right nutrients to help them stay fit.

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    Stay Fit for a Good Cause

    Finding the motivation to stay fit can be difficult. If you find it hard to find a reason to work out, consider what a lot of celebrities do. Signing yourself up for a charity event or even creating your own goal can give you something to aim for. By raising money for charity, you can feel great about yourself. You’ll be keeping fit and doing something for a good cause. Celebrities often do impressive feats, like running hundreds of miles or completing a triathlon. But you don’t have to set yourself a huge challenge. Running a 5k could be just as challenging when you’re trying to get fit.

    Be Selective About Health Tips

    If there’s one thing we should all learn from celebrities, it’s not to believe everything we hear. You’ve no doubt heard some pretty dubious health tips from various celebs. Some of them sound crazy and ridiculous right away, and those are the ones you’re unlikely to try. But others can sound convincing, and you might be curious to try them. However, even advice that seems like it could work could be complete rubbish. Before you try anything recommended by a celebrity, do some research on whether it works. And don’t just rely on celebrity news sites, either! Try to find legitimate, trustworthy sources that can back up their claims with evidence. Celebs can be guilty of spreading a lot of misinformation. At best, it could lead to you spending money on something that doesn’t work. And at worst, it could have the opposite effect to what you were hoping for. Following the wrong diet or exercise routine could make you less healthy than you are now.
    Celebrities can teach us a lot about looking after our health, even when they don’t intend to. Just make sure you’re learning the right lessons and not falling for the make believe ones.

     

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    How To Look Like A Celeb For Less

    With access to fitness instructors, personal stylists and all of the clothes and makeup imaginable, it’s no wonder the celebs look so great and become style icons for so many of us. But while us mere mortals may never have an attentive entourage, adoring fans and paparazzi trailing behind us, it doesn’t mean we can’t emulate the same sophistication as our favourite model, celebrity or general VIP. Follow these simple hacks to achieve that celebrity pizazz without breaking the bank!

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    Hair and Makeup

    If you learn how to do hair and makeup like a pro then you’ll always have access to your own personal stylist- yourself! You could either take a short course or learn at home, there are so many tutorials on Youtube there’s no excuse not to give it a try. Search for ultra glam red carpet looks including things like shimmering smokey eyes, stunning red lips and sophisticated curled hair. Practice using the tools and techniques to create each look, you’ll nail the skills in no time.

     

    Teeth

    There’s one thing most celebrities have in common, and that’s a fantastic smile. Visiting a cosmetic dentist is one of the first things most celebs do when their career takes off, and for good reason. A beautiful white smile makes you look expensive and more attractive, and it’s less invasive than most other kinds of cosmetic surgery. If you want to get that celebrity look, then addressing your teeth is an important step. You can buy over the counter whitening kits and whitening toothpastes for a less expensive alternative. One handy tip to bear in mind is that certain lipstick colours will also make your teeth look brighter, so it’s worth experimenting.

     

    Fashion

    Celebrities can often be found wearing the most high end designer brands, although this isn’t always the case. As we’ve already shown here on Live Like a VIP, you can often get their exact look for less than you’d probably think. High street shops will often have items which are inspired by designers, and so keep an eye out for a less expensive alternatives to snag the celebrity look for less. Know which pieces are worth investing in, and learn to mix designer with lower end in a chic way. This will stop you from blowing the budget. For example, high end shoes, bags and coats will always make an outfit look expensive. You can then choose fashionable, affordable pieces from the high street to finish the look.

     

    Confidence

    Chances are, the reason you idolise your favourite celebrity isn’t just down to their looks but because you like their personality too. Being in the public eye means that most celebrities are great speakers, are self assured and ooze confidence. Learning to become more confident is a skill that will help you in all areas of your life. Begin by taking small steps out of your comfort zone, speak to people you wouldn’t normally speak to and learn to accept yourself for who you are. Before long you will begin develop the kind of confidence that you admire in your favourite VIP.

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  • Wear Sunglasses Like A Celeb

    When is the right time to buy sunglasses? The answer is that it’s always the right time! Since we don’t really have distinguished seasons in the UK – ie summer isn’t always that hot and there are random sunny days throughout the year – sunglasses can be used all year round.

    Also, how often do you have the perfect night’s sleep? Sunglasses are better than plastic surgery for hiding bags under the eyes! Since becoming a mum, I appreciate the value of sheltering behind sunglasses even when there’s only a tiny bit of sun. And it’s rare you’ll see a celebrity walking through an airport sans shades – they hide a lot of sins!

    There’s a secret to buying sunglasses. Don’t follow fashion, but follow your face shape. Forget about articles that say all the celebs are wearing mirrored shapes or catseye shapes because these can look terrible if your face doesn’t have the same proportions as the celebrities that are wearing them.

    But just as each one of us has a different face shape, so too do all the celebs. So it is possible to look like a celeb in sunglasses whatever your face shape. We’ve analysed this in detail (as we don’t like to take chances of looking anything less than fabulous) and this is our sunglass guide:

    MIRRORED SHADES – ALL FACE SHAPES

    Mirrored shades are the exception to the rule about following face shape rather than fashion as mirrored sunglasses come in all shapes and sizes. As you can see below, you can have mirrored styles on the classic Ray Ban shape or mirrors on aviator styles. Mirrors even come on catseye and round sunglasses.

    Try on as many mirrored sunglasses as you can and you’d find one that suits you but to save time, we advise going for raybans or aviator styles if you have an oval shaped face, catseye shades that extend beyond the width of your face if you have a heart shaped face and geometric shapes (like rectangular shades that will elongate your face) if you have a round face.

     

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    Jessica Alba (above) has mirrored Rayban wayfarer shades. If you don’t want to pay £153, try Polaroid polarized glasses for £36.95.

    Beyonce (below) has mirrored Rayban aviators, which are also £153 on the official Rayban website. You can get them for £10 at River Island.

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    AVIATOR SHADES – OVAL SHAPES

    If you have an oval shaped face you can afford to experiment with lots of sunglass shapes, but aviators look particularly good as they give other people something to focus on when they look at your face.

    Angelina Jolie has a classic pair of Rayban aviators (below), which you can get for £130 at Very.co.uk. Alternatively, V by Very metal frame aviators are a steal at £7!

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    Selena Gomez also looks as cool as a cucumber in some aviators with brown lenses. They remind me of the Abbie ombre lense classic aviators that are just £6 at Boohoo.

     

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    CATSEYE SUNGLASSES – HEART SHAPES

    If you have a broad brow and narrow chin similar to Olivia Palermo and Kylie Jenner, try a style with bottom-heavy frames. Shapes that are parallel and extend past the width of your face complement your strong jawline.

    Olivia (below) channels a retro vibe in her catseye shades with a tortoiseshell trim. They’re almost identical to a £7 pair at Boohoo.

     

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    Meanwhile, the Queen of Instagram, Kylie Jenner, looks stunning in a pair of white catseye sunglasses. The Pieces round catseye sunglasses are similar and a bargain at £12 from Asos.

     

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    What do you think would suit you best?

    Tweet us / tag us in your Instagram pics – we’re livelikeavip on both!

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  • VIP Health: Lizzie Armitstead’s Tips

    Have you heard of Wattbike? These indoor bicycles are so similar to road bikes that they’re an important part of the training of professional cyclists, professional athletes and footballers.

    Now boutique fitness studios and gyms across the UK are buying Wattbikes so that we can all train like the pros. I visited Ethos, a Wattbike,TRX and Yoga Studio in London, to test the bikes and meet Wattbike ambassadors and Olympic champions Lizzie Armistead and Joanna Rowsell-Shand.

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    I could immediately tell that there’s a reason why pros like Lizzie and Joanna endorse these bikes as they provide users with so much technical data. Exercise bikes in gyms that I’ve visited usually just have time, calories burned and different levels of activity (and maybe a TV screen so you can watch TV as you cycle). In contrast, a Wattbike has statistics like maximum minute power, functional threshold power (FTP) and heart rate training zones.If you pay attention to these statistics, you’ll get fitter a lot faster than you would do if you slogged away on a regular bike in the gym. And that’s the point of exercise, isn’t it? We do it to progress and to improve our bodies rather than to stay the same.

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    The Ethos fitness studio is very fancy but if you’re not near the city of London, you can find which gyms near you have Wattbikes using the search locator tool on the Wattbike Website. You can also download training plans to train like the pros!

    At the press launch, Lizzie took part in a Q&A to explain how she’s training now that the Rio Olympics are less than 100 days away. Even though we may not be training for a huge event like this, we all have individual goals when it comes to exercise and so I think her tips can be applied to any situation. Personally, I have two goals in mind – I want to improve my time in this year’s London Triathlon and I want to be at a weight of 10 stone by the time of my wedding in July. They’re big tasks, so I was inspired to hear Lizzie’s focus.

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    She said:

    1. I stay motivated because cycling is my job. If I don’t train, I won’t get the results I want. You should try to think of it this way too – think of the long-term results. Nine times out of 10 you feel fine as soon as you get on the bike. It’s just the thought of doing it!
    2. Find a cycling buddy or group. You can save energy if you ride behind someone of a similar ability going up a hill in their slipstream. Also, it makes it more social and more fun.
    3. Short rides count. Long rides are important to improve fitness but if you only have a short amount of time then it’s better than nothing. Use a spare hour to do sprints and standing starts. When you’re not riding, make sure you get up and walk around in the day and use the stairs.
    4. Record your ride. If you note down some figures about your ride, even if it’s just distance and time, it will motivate you to improve the following time.
    5. Warm up properly otherwise you’ll injure yourself. Cycle on the flat before building up to a hill.

    Here’s a video where Lizzie explains why she chose Wattbike.

    What are your fitness goals this summer?

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    Bulgari And Save The Children Collaborate

    Bulgari has always been one of my favourite jewellery brands and the celebrities love it too. You only have to look at social media to see celebs posting about wearing Bulgari jewels to premieres during the Cannes film festival or at the launch of the renovated Bond Street shop.

    Looking at photos of stars like Naomi Watts (below) decked in the finest Bulgari jewellery makes me wish I was a multi-millionairess so I could afford to copy her. That is, until I found out there is a way we can own a piece of Bulgari jewellery and give to charity at the same time. How is that possible? Read on….

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    In 2012, Bulgari started a partnership with Save The Children UK, which has raised more than £1 million for charity. The concept was simple – Bulgari designed a unisex ring and necklace and £60 from every sale of that item went to the children’s charity. Four years later, the range has expanded and now there’s also a gorgeous bracelet available as well.

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    Necklace

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    Ring

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    I went down to the five-star Bulgari hotel in Knightsbridge to check out the new collection. I wanted to find out whether it was something I actually wanted to wear, how much it cost and if any celebs had already worn it. The answer to the celeb question was solved immediately as Bulgari proudly displayed a book featuring more than 500 photos of celebrities wearing the ring in between the cabinets containing the jewellery.

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    Celebs in the book include Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Adrian Brody, Meg Ryan, Selma Blair, Eric Bana and the gorgeous Welsh actor Luke Evans (above)

    Seeing all the celebs wearing the ring made me want it – I don’t like feeling that I’m missing out. But could I afford it? I almost choked on my Champagne when I found out the price because it was a lot less than I expected. The necklace, bracelet and ring are £360 each. It’s amazing value when you look at the quality of each item.

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    I tried on the bracelet and found it really delicate. The little bead twisted round and it’s the sort of piece that you can’t help but play with throughout the day. It’s also something you could wear with any outfit as it will enhance it in a feminine way. Yes, this is something that I would actually wear, even if I didn’t know the price or know that money from the sale went to charity.

    And the money that goes to Save the Children really does get spent on children. At least 88p from every £1 goes directly to one of Save The Children’s projects to help children in poverty. In the UK, one in five children are born into poverty, which is a higher figure than I expected. Since having my son five weeks ago, it hits me harder to hear that babies are being born into families that can’t afford to feed themselves, let alone another new arrival. I can’t bear to think of a baby like my innocent son going hungry or going without clean clothes because the parents can’t afford a washing machine.

    Save The Children support families that can’t afford kitchen goods like fridges, freezers and washing machines as well as providing kids with opportunities to learn and play. Now we all have the chance to support their work and look like a celebrity at the same time by buying this Bulgari jewellery. What do you think?

    You can find out more details and buy online at the Bulgari website. For details of where your money will go, visit the Save The Children website.

    Normally buying a piece of jewellery makes me feel guilty about the amount of money I spent on it. But there’s no guilt associated with this collection- I love it!

     

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