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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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    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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  • 5 Ways To Live Like a VIP Yummy Mummy

    You may have noticed that there were fewer blog posts last month and I want to explain why. On 9 April at 345am in the morning, my son Rory James made a dramatic entrance into the World. It was an emergency C-Section, and I’m going to do another blog post about that as I feel like it will give me some closure if I share what I went through. I was completely unprepared to have this kind of birth and I think it would have made it easier if I’d read up on the procedure and heard from other mums who’d been through it.

    However, I’m totally and utterly in love with little Rory. I mean, look at his adorable face:

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    I was terrified when I took him home from the hospital as he seemed so small and fragile, but I’m picking up new things every day. At first, everything seemed like a huge task – from his first bath to the first time I took him out in his pram – but now I’m finding a new routine and we’re both having a lot more fun.

    It’s so easy to neglect your own needs when you become a mother, but you only need to take a while to look through the magazines / gossip websites and you’ll see there are plenty of stylish, smart and successful celebrity mums. If they can combine motherhood with a fabulous lifestyle, then why can’t we?

    Taking inspiration from the celebrity mums, here are five things that I’ve started to do now that I’m a mum and I feel better as a result.

    (1) Walking

    Celebs seem to get their figures back quickly and one reason for this is because they make an effort to exercise. I’ve seen a lot of photos of celebs out pushing their babies in prams and involving their babies in their exercise routine and I think that’s a great plan.

    Because of the C-section, I’m not allowed to do too much exercise yet but I can go for walks. I’m making an effort to go for at least one long walk a day and one thing that makes it easier is having a stroller that both me and the baby love. We have the new iCandy Peach in Butterscotch. Rory loves it as it’s sturdy and comfortable and I love it because I feel stylish pushing it. A ton of celebrities including  Andy Murray, the Bransons and the Beckhams have iCandys and so I really feel like I’m living like a VIP when I push it:

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    (2)  Going out for coffee

    It’s hard to make a decent cup of coffee with a newborn baby. Even if you get time to go into the kitchen, the baby will wake up before you get a chance to drink it. No wonder, I always see photo of celeb mums like Reese Witherspoon with takeout coffee.

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    If I take Rory to the coffee shop, he’ll fall asleep in his pram on the journey and someone else makes me a cup of strong coffee that I can drink on the walk home. How amazing is that? This photo was taken on my first trip to the cafe, which is why I look washed out. Since then I’ve been back for more caffeine fixes so I’m looking more alert.

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    (3) Making time to wash my hair and put on make-up

    I’m not proud when I look at photos in which I look drained (like the pic above). Even when I was heavily pregnant, I made an effort to look the best I could because I felt better when I looked in the mirror. If you look good, you really do feel good and you have so much more confidence.

    When I first gave birth, I spent  few days in my dressing gown / baggy sports clothes. Because I looked terrible, I felt terrible and cried a lot at how ugly I looked. After I’d taken a shower and put on a bit of make-up, my confidence started to return. It’s not always easy to find time to shower let alone blow dry my hair, but I’ve started to get up earlier so that I can feed and change the baby and give him to my fiance while I get dressed up. If I don’t do it while he’s at home, I may not get a chance to do it all day.

    (4) Asking my family for help

    There’s a reason that mum-of-two Kate Middleton is barely seen without her mother Carole. When you’re feeling low, your mum (and your mother-in-law if you’re lucky like me) can offer you some brilliant pieces of advice.

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    My mother didn’t call me much at the start as she didn’t want to interfere, but when I told her I needed her, she stepped up to the mark. I wish I asked earlier! Knowing she’s been there and done that and know what I’m going through just makes life that little bit easier.

    (5) Clothes shopping for me (as well as the baby)

    After spending what seems like an eternity in ugly maternity fashion, it’s weird to go back to normal clothes. Also, seasons change and all my clothes feel out of date as they’re a year old at least.

    I caught sight of myself leaving the house one day in a baggy shirt dress teamed with leggings and it was not pretty. My fiance thought the same! He drove me to the Westfield shopping mall and we took Rory on his first clothes shopping trip. Mums deserve treats too! Mum of three Holly Willoughby treated herself to Dior recently….

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    My shopping trip mostly consisted of Rory and his daddy waiting for me to try things on in All Saints and Zara. As a compromise, I didn’t take as long as I normally do when deciding over what to buy but I did spend a lot of money (almost £1000). I think it was money well spent as it gave me something to work with when it comes to fashion and it helped me to find my fashion mojo again.

     

    Do you have children? What do you to make yourself and your kids happy? Comment below or Tweet me @livelikeavip

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  • VIP Body: Shape Up Like The Stars

    Summer is coming and with that, there’s the pressure to strip off and get into our swimwear – eeek! Having just had a baby (in April), I’m really feeling the pressure to fight the flab more than ever. I put on almost three stone whilst pregnant and I’m currently more than a stone over my ideal weight.

    As I’m looking after a baby and breastfeeding, I can’t do any fad diets that leave me exhausted (as the sleepless nights tire me out enough) and a drastic drop in calories would affect my milk supply. Therefore, I’ve realised I need to eat right and train right to lose my baby belly and I was excited to hear about a new London gym that mixes these two concepts.

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    The stars love it too! Mel Sykes, Duncan James, Michelle Heaton (above) were amongst the celebrity VIPs attending the official launch of Culture Gym and Kitchen in Wandsworth over the May bank holiday weekend. The famous faces joined fitness and body building elites, including six times Mr Olympia, Dorian Yates. It looked like they were all having fun, judging by the pics of them with the equipment!

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    Culture Gym and Kitchen is an innovative new gym concept, which blends the best of British and world culture with fitness, including live DJs and rock bands playing whilst members work out, and Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor running dance fitness classes.

     

    Gym owner Petr Pavelec, himself a champion body building competitor, said: “We are launching something never before seen in fitness. We are all inspired by art and culture, and now we bring these elements together with getting into great shape.”

    To find out more details, check out the Culture Gym and Kitchen website. See you there?

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  • 3 Health Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet

    Many people don’t find the idea of a plant-based diet to be that appealing. They think it involves eating nothing but salads and vegetables all day every day. But they couldn’t be more further from the truth. There is a whole host of exciting plant-based foods that are not only delicious but good for you too. People who start eating more plants and plant protein find their overall health quickly improves. They feel less sluggish and more energetic each day, due to the removal of meat from their diets. Here are some fabulous healthy benefits that a plant-based diet can give to you.

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    (1) It can lower the risk of cancer

    Cancer is a complicated health issue that is experienced throughout the world. It can strike at any time whether you are young or old and varies from case to case. Avoiding smoking and alcohol is commonly recommended. But many experts are now encouraging plant-based diets. Food that is created by animals has close links with cancer in humans. So if you cut meat and dairy out of your diet, you are reducing this risk no end. Therefore meaning you will live longer and keep your body healthy. Start looking at plant-based food from Hampton Creek and Freja foods to help you get started.

    (2) It can help you lose weight

    While there are a number of weight-loss diets you could try, a plant-based diet can give you quick and long lasting results. You might need to lose weight to improve your fitness levels or to reduce the symptoms of a medical issue. Whatever the reason, following a plant based diet can help. It gives you more fibre, minerals, and nutrients which will give you more energy and less bloating. This is ideal for when you go to the gym or workout at home. It has also been proven to give you a better quality of sleep which is also associated with weight loss. Look online for plant based recipes that you can create to help you reach your goals.

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    (3) It reduces your blood pressure

    Plant-based diets include lots of potassium rich foods such as nuts, whole-grains, and vegetables. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure. A high blood pressure can be a serious condition that can lead to a number of health issues. This, in turn, can also help you feel calmer and less stressed and anxious. Stress can have many adverse effects on your body from respiratory concerns to head and stomach aches. Meat and dairy products have been linked to causing feelings of stress as they contain very little potassium. To get an idea of what potassium plant foods you should be eating, visit the Vegan R.D website.

     

    With these potentially life-altering health benefits, there is no denying how amazing this diet could be. If you are thinking about starting a plant based diet, always talk to your doctor or to a nutritionist before you begin. They can help you create a meal plan to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need.

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  • VIP Films: British Movie Hard Tide

    We don’t often focus too much on film at Live Like a VIP as we’re all about how to live like the stars off-screen in terms of fashion, beauty and fun rather than watch them in character in a movie. But we couldn’t help but be inspired by new British film Hard  Tide due to it’s true tale that’s both dramatic and inspiring and we wanted to do this blog post to say that if you watch one film in the cinema this month then make it Hard Tide.

    Why? The film is a sociological drama and crime thriller based on the incredible true story of Jake (Nathanael Wiseman) a small time criminal from the British coastal town of Margate. A product of ‘broken Britain’ and a struggling care system, the story follows Jake on the eve of a turf war against a local gangster (Mem Ferda). His world is thrown into complete chaos when he befriends a neglected 9-year-old girl, Jade (Alexandra Newick) after a tragic accident. Here’s a trailer:

     

    Throughout the making of the film the young producers worked with the local residents to ensure the content remained authentic. It results in delivering a unique and honest perspective into difficult social issues, whilst also highlighting true personal accounts of courage that can be found in the most difficult of circumstances.

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    The actors help to make it all seem real as they’re a talented up and coming bunch. The cast includes Nathanael Wiseman (Hackney’s Finest) who delivers a breakthrough lead performance and has already been long-listed for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Actor’ by BIFA (British Independent Film Awards). Also tipped as ones to watch are Oliver Stark, following his recent stint in hit American TV drama ‘Into the Badlands’, and new talent 9-year-old Alexandra Newick.

    Then there are standout performances from Ralph Brown (Withnail and I), Andy Lucas (Sexy Beast), Mem Ferda (Ill Manors), Beverly Hills and Katarina Gellin (The Inbetweeners).

    Hard Tide was released in cinemas on 29 April and is currently showing at the Hackney Picturehouse and the Stratford Picturehouse in London and the Canterbury Curzon. Miss it, miss out!

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    5 Things To Research Before A ‘Boob Job’

    Today, feminism is not merely about the desire for gender equality, or surviving independently as an individual, but a lifestyle choice. it would be justifiable to assert that women have gone overboard in pursuit of ‘Sex Appeal’.

    Many women get a breast implant or lift done in order to escape their insecurities that arose following a surgery, pregnancy or thoughts of not being sexy enough for men. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, surgical modification of breasts has become the most popular cosmetic surgery over the past decade.

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    Why do you think so many women these days are opting for breast implants? Has it become more of a vice or a genuine necessity? Whatever the reason behind its rise in popularity, there should be a certain level of insight into the matter before one decides to go under the knife.

    Remember, the advertising tagline ‘Dream Big’ does not provide real insight into breast augmentation. As knowledge is power, I’ve listed a few important things you need to keep in mind before getting a boob job.

    1. There’s No Guarantee on Long-Term Results

    Implants don’t last forever. There are chances that implants may begin to leak and lose their shape over time. There is another phenomenon called ”Scar shell” that forms around the inserted implant; causing the shape of your breasts to become distorted. These cases will require another surgery to get them replaced. Other factors like pregnancy, weight loss, additional surgery or breast feeding can also contribute towards needing follow-up surgeries.

    1. It is a Serious Surgery:

    You will have to undergo all the steps of any major surgery, and there are definitely risks involved. Though risks of major complications are rare, one should be aware of them beforehand. Recovery is going to involve pain, soreness, numbness and can take longer than anticipated. Some women can take weeks, months and (very rarely) years to completely recover and start feeling comfortable with the enhancements. If your job doesn’t allow you flexibility for taking time off, or it involves manual labor, then you might reconsider your decision before undergoing breast augmentation.

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    1. They Really are “Fake”:

    “Fake” isn’t really the word you’ll want to hear after going through a painful process, but let’s face it, they are going to be recognized as “manmade” and“artificial”. Not only will they feel different, but people will see you differently afterwards. Your image can change from an intellectual woman to a sexy woman. This judgmental attitude from both genders can make you feel frustrated. Therefore, it is better to be prepared in advance for situations you will likely encounter after coming out of the operating room.

    1. Total Customization:

    One of the blessings about this surgery is that you can enjoy choosing the size you think suits you. Implants can be smaller, more natural or bigger.

    All you have to do is stuff your bra with bead-filled neoprene sacks and see how much you can comfortably carry. You need to take notice of your skin’s elasticity and body type. Keep your goals realistic. Don’t expect to jump from size A to D.

    1. Do You Have Existing Medical Conditions?

    It is of great benefit to know your genetic history before you opt for a boob job. A family history of any significant health conditions (i.e. breast cancer, obesity, smoke related medical issues or autoimmune disorders) will require notifying your surgeon prior to the surgery. Studies have shown that all of these factors can increase risk of complications during and after the surgery.

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  • 10 Steps To Get A Red Carpet Smile

    If you’re a fan of gossip columns and Instagram, you’ll probably have noticed that most A-listers have flawless smiles. Although it’s possible to spend thousands on dental work, you don’t have to have a Hollywood salary to make your dental dreams come true. If you’re looking to emanate the stars with your own sparkling smile, here are ten simple steps to follow.

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    1. Brush up on oral hygiene

    Are you looking for an easy, affordable way to boost the appearance of your smile instantly? If so,  improving your oral hygiene regime is a good place to start. Brushing is essential for removing plaque and bacteria, but it also helps to eradicate surface stains. If you neglect brushing and flossing, you’ll soon find that your teeth start to lose their radiance and natural whiteness. When you’re brushing at home, take your time and do a thorough job. Choose a brush with a small head so that you can reach right into the corners. Use gentle circular brushing movements to cover every surface of each tooth. Set a timer to make sure that you brush for at least two minutes each time. Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen and protect your enamel.

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    1. Make dental visits a priority

    Most of us don’t hesitate to get in touch with our doctor when we don’t feel so good. But many people admit that they don’t have the same urge to see their dentist if they experience dental troubles. If you skip routine appointments, or you ignore potential warning signs, you run the risk of developing severe gum disease and decay. Dentists, like those from the Washington Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, recommend six-monthly checks. If you notice any changes or issues in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. It’s particularly important to look out for swollen and bleeding gums, and persistent or severe toothache.

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    1. Get to know your hygienist

    You may have a doctor and a personal trainer on speed dial, but do you have a dental hygienist? Hygienists are often associated with treating complex cases of gum disease. But they also work wonders when it comes to preventative dental treatment. Seeing a hygienist reduces your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. It also has amazing benefits for the aesthetic of your smile. Intensive cleaning lifts surface stains, leaving your smile looking beautiful and bright. Hygiene sessions only last around half an hour, but they can make such a positive difference to your smile.

    1. Discover the A-list cosmetic dentistry secrets

    Have you ever wondered how celebrities get their flawless smiles? Many may be blessed with perfect pearly whites. But there’s also a good chance that they’ve paid a cosmetic dentist a visit or two. Cosmetic dentistry incorporates all kinds of wonderful treatments. Today, it’s possible to transform any set of teeth into a stunning smile. Modern dentists have a vast array of techniques at their disposal, and it’s possible to correct any aesthetic flaw. If you have issues that you’re unhappy with, such as chips or staining, you may wish to consider seeking advice from your dentist. Arrange a consultation to go through some options, and discuss treatment processes and fees. If you’re interested in treatments, your dentist will be able to show you some images of what your smile could look like if you choose to go ahead. Porcelain veneers and professional whitening are particularly popular choices for the stars.

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    1. Make braces look cool

    Braces have never been considered cool. That is until now. You may be surprised to hear that several celebrities have had braces to provide them with perfectly aligned teeth. Tom Cruise, Pink, and even Justin Bieber have sported braces in recent years. If you have crooked or crowded teeth, or you have gaps in your smile, there’s never been a better time to explore orthodontic treatment options. Today’s braces are a far cry from those of yesteryear. You can choose from a wide range of systems, and you can even take advantage of invisible treatments. Clear aligner systems offer a hassle-free, discreet alternative to fixed braces. If you’re desperate to remain incognito while you have treatment, you could opt for lingual braces. These innovative braces are fixed to the back of the teeth, leaving you to pose for photos with no hint of a brace on show.

    1. Ditch the juice diet

    Juicing may be all the rage in Los Angeles at the moment, but it won’t do your teeth any good. Although juices can be a good source of fruit and vegetables, they wreak havoc with your teeth. Shop-bought products tend to be laden with sugar, and the pH value is very low. Acids weaken your enamel, causing it to become thinner. This increases the risk of sensitivity, decay, and gum disease. If you are a fan of juices and smoothies, make sure that you make your own, so that you control of how much sugar is added. Drink through a straw to minimise contact with your teeth.

    1. Train like a pro

    If you’re an avid follower of social media, you’ll know that most red-carpet regulars work out regularly. While most of us are aware of the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, you may wonder how physical activity can boost your oral health. The main perk of regular workouts is improved circulation. This ensures constant blood flow to the gums and reduces the risk of gum disease. It also increases the speed of healing following treatment. If you’ve had surgery to remove wisdom teeth or you’ve had implants fitted, your recovery will be quicker.

    1. Go smoke-free

    Smoking is a no-go for celebrities determined to abide by the rules of healthy living. If you’re eager to follow in their footsteps, you’ll notice the benefits of giving up smoking in no time. Smoking increases your chances of developing serious illnesses, including heart disease and lung cancer. It’s also one of the main risk factors for oral cancer, and it contributes to staining. If you smoke heavily, it’s likely that your teeth will become discoloured, even if you brush religiously. Quitting smoking is tough, but you can do it, if you put your mind to it. Focus on why you want to give up and write down a list of reasons. Carry this list around with you, and read it if you feel tempted to light up. Research the health benefits, and keep track of how much money you’ve saved by not buying cigarettes. You don’t have to quit smoking on your own. Get friends and family involved, or join a local support group. Research suggests that you’re more likely to give up for good if you try and quit with others. Contact your doctor or dentist for information about local services.

    1. Chew gum

    Chewing gum is one of the simplest ways to boost your oral health. The motion stimulates saliva production, which washes away food debris and reduces acidity in the mouth. Make sure you choose sugar-free gum and chew for a short period after eating. Chewing gum can also be beneficial for neutralising strong odours and tackling bad breath. If you’re prone to halitosis, keep on top of brushing, and book regular hygiene sessions.

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    1. Drink in moderation

    Many of us enjoy an alcoholic drink from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with having the odd glass of wine. But it’s important to understand the implications of excessive drinking. Drinking more than the recommended weekly intake puts you at risk of many different diseases. From your heart and liver to your mouth, there are significant risks attached to drinking too much. Drinking alcohol is a risk factor for oral cancer. It also has a major impact on the look of your smile. Alcoholic drinks tend to be acidic,and they are often packed with sugar. This deadly combination increases the risk of decay and premature tooth loss. Some drinks also contain tannins, which are staining agents. You may find that your teeth become discoloured if you’re partial to a glass of red now and again. If you’re worried that you drink too much, consult your doctor. There are often very simple ways to cut down, and there is help out there.

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    If you surveyed a room full of people, you’d probably find that the majority would prefer a more attractive smile. Nowadays, we’re bombarded with images and photographs of stunning smiles. But you don’t have to be famous to achieve a beautiful smile. With these simple tips, you can make a massive difference to the look of your teeth. If you’re looking for more dramatic results, don’t panic. It’s worth bearing in mind that cosmetic dentistry isn’t just reserved for Oscar winners and models. Nowadays, anyone can access treatment, and it may be much more affordable than you think. If you lack confidence, or you simply want a whiter, brighter smile, don’t hesitate to find out more about your options. Before you know it, you could have your own red-carpet worthy smile.

     

     

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    VIP Hair: Sinead Kelly Hair London Review

    Which celebrity do you look at as a hair role model? My top three are Holly Willoughby, Davina McCall and Rosie Huntington-Whitely as they’ve all got great shape and volume as well as bright yet natural-looking colour in their hair. What’s more is that their coloured hair always looks glossy. How do they do this?

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    When I found out that Holly Willoughby is a regular at the Sinead Kelly London Hairdressing salon in Barnes, West London, I knew I had to visit to see what her secret was. Could Sinead and her team find me a colour that wouldn’t dry out my hair? I’ve got naturally dark brown hair that’s so dark that it’s almost black. After my sister bleached her hair and dried it out so badly that it fell out, I’ve been wary about colouring it. In fact, the last time I coloured it was 10 years ago. However, with summer coming up and with that my wedding in July, it’s about time I started experimenting with different styles. And if I’m going to try colour, I might as well see how the experts do it.

    This is how my hair looked when I walked into the salon:

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    If you’re feeling curious, scroll down to the end of this blog post to see the After pics…

    But first, I wanted to talk you through the process as this salon excels in customer service. Staff are very keen to help you achieve your hair goals as there was a very thorough consultation process. They asked to see photos of how I wanted my hair and I gave them images of long bobs – Davina McCall and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley style. The colour I liked was the honey blonde tones of Jessica Alba. After, I’d told them what I wanted they made suggestions about what would actually work on my hair. I was told that I could pull off a long bob as long as it was kept simple because I have a lot of hair and layering would mess it up. I was also told that balayage would be best for my hair with some lighter brown and caramel colours added to the middle and ends of my hair.

    Sinead and her team also recommended something that I’d never really heard of before. This was Olaplex. Have you heard of Olaplex? It’s a revolutionary treatment that keeps dyed hair as shiny as virgin hair – if not more shiny. Kim Kardashian used it when she went from dark to platinum blonde and Khloe Kardashian is also a fan. Sinead’s used it herself and she has gorgeous blonde hair that’s in fantastic condition.

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    After the consultation, Sinead gave my hair a trim so that the colour would take better and then I was left in the capable hands of the salon’s manager, Natasha Curry. My hair was washed, conditioned and then the colour was applied, mixed with the first Olaplex stage (bond multiplier).

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    After the colour was rinsed out, the second Olaplex treatment was applied (bond perfector). The third step (hair perfector) would be for me to use at home once a week like a hair mask.

    Then I was transferred into the capable hands of senior stylist Sarah Jackson who cut the shape of my long bob. I was slightly scared by how much was coming off but I couldn’t fault the result. When she blow-dried it to create soft waves I felt like Cindy Crawford in her prime. My hair had volume, body and shine!

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    Now let’s compare the Before and After pics in more detail:

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    I was really happy with the cut and blow dry and the fact that my hair and been dyed and looked healthy and glossy was the icing on the cake.  I loved it so much that I’m already planning my next visit. When you’ve found somewhere you like, why go anywhere else?

    Also, a couple of days after I visited, the Sinead Kelly London hairdressing team were awarded first place in the London regional heat of the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Awards 2016. Colourist Vas Mikellides and stylist Sara Bergantini fought off strong competition and wowed a panel of high-profile award-winning judges with their Autumn/Winter 2016/17 fashion-inspired look and were the only independent salon in London to reach the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Grand Final event in June.

    If you’re thinking about dying your hair, you need to visit Sinead Kelly’s London salon and have an Olaplex treatment. Check out the Sinead Kelly London website for more details.

     

     

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    VIP Sleep: Silentnight Luxury Miraform Bed

    How did you sleep last night? What about the night before? My somewhat smug answer would have to be ‘I slept very well, thanks. Perhaps better than I have done all year.’ This is because I have a new bed. Sometimes, you don’t realise just what you’re missing until you change something in your life and then you wonder ‘Why on Earth didn’t I do that before?’

    The bed that’s changed my life (sorry if this sounds dramatic, but it’s how I feel) is the Silentnight Miraform Inspired Choice Divan Bed. I was contacted by Silentnight asking if I wanted to try one of their new luxury Miraform mattresess and I really had nothing to lose as I hadn’t been sleeping well since I found out I was pregnant in August 2015. To cut a long story short, I ended up liking the mattress and the bed so much that they asked me if I wanted to become a Silentnight sleep ambassador throughout 2016 and of course I said yes. Pregnancy is not a time when you feel super energetic but I have a lot more energy now that I sleep better at night and I never realised that changing my bed could improve my day to day life in such a big way.

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    Since you can only get a 2D angle from photographs, I’ve made this video to show the bed from more angles. I couldn’t resist making some shapes on it – it’s the sort of bed that invites you to bounce on it!

    These five reasons sum up why Silentnight has solved my sleep problems:

    (1) It’s now easier to fall asleep
    Before Silentnight: Pregnancy means I wake up a lot during the night – to use the bathroom or to stretch my cramped up legs. It would take me about 20 mins to fall asleep again, so if I got up three times in the night I’d have wasted an hour of my sleep.
    After Silentnight: I can fall asleep within five minutes of laying my head on the pillow. Because the bed’s so supportive and it fits to my shape, I can get back into the same position u was in before and get back to my dreams.

    (2) I don’t hear my partner move
    Before Silentnight: My partner suffers from a bad back due to sports injuries, which means he fidgets a lot to get comfortable. It used to make me really angry because he would make some big movement just before I was falling asleep and wake me up.
    After Silentnight: I don’t feel him move half as much. Watching him, I can tell he’s still a fidget but I don’t feel it. This is because my side of the mattress doesn’t move (or squeak) when he moves. I love that!

    (3) Apparently, I snore less
    Before Silentnight: My partner told me that pregnancy had affected me in terms of snoring. I never used to snore before pregnancy and now I go through periods where I breathe super heavily and then periods where I snore like a goat. Not very attractive…
    After Silentnight: My partner tells me I no longer snore every night. Result! I thinks that’s because this bed allows me to get into a deeper sleep. Also, it supports my body better so I don’t get into a position that leads to snoring.

    (4) Our bedroom has less clutter
    Before Silentnight: We had to tidy to the spare room to make it into a nursery and so all the stuff that was in the spare room had to come back into ours. This meant that my shoes were everywhere (I have a lot) and we had nowhere to store things like bedsheets and duvet covers.
    After Silentnight: The beds either cone with four draws (useful if you have the bed in the centre of the room) or two draws (useful if your bed is against a wall). They’re so roomy! I have somewhere to keep my shoes, which makes my partner happy as he wanted me to throw some away, and the other draw  keeps our bed clothes all nice and fresh. Having a de-cluttered room makes you feel less stressed so you sleep better.

    (5) I don’t notice my aches and pains as much
    Before Silentnight: Pregnancy means a heavy belly, which puts pressure on your joints. I struggled to put my stomach down in a good spot and then I found I’d wake up with cramps if I spent too long in the same position.
    After Silentnight: I don’t get as many leg cramps, which must mean my stomach is in a better position. I haven’t consciously changed positions so I think it’s because of the support of the mattress. As a result, I’m sleeping for longer periods in the night and reaching deeper sleep, so I feel more energetic the following day.

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    The product is described as:

    The Miraform spring-free system provides ergonomic zoning for superior spinal alignment and unsurpassed pressure relief. Featuring high-tech micro cavities specially designed to align the spine and provide superior comfort. Together with the premium Geltex comfort layer, you have the most technically advanced spring-free system around. The benefits of Miraform include:

    • Innovative zoning for perfect spinal alignment
    • High-density foam reduces pressure points for an undisturbed night’s sleep
    • Micro-cavities and channels increase air circulation leading to a cooler night’s sleep
    • Edge to edge support meaning less partner disturbance
    • Excellent mattress durability

    The Silentnight Miraform Inspired Choice is a superior new addition to the very successful Silentnight Choices Range.

    • This spring free mattress offers medium firm feel through a generous layer of innovative Geltex® providing unparalleled breathability.
    • A DUAL layer of unique Miraform technology, each with teardrop cavities creating zoned and targeted support and unbeatable pressure relief. 
    • The beautifully soft knitted waterfall washable cover incorporates Purotex® for the elimination of house dust mites.
    • With a choice of borders the Indulgent Choice will match perfectly with all the divan base and headboard options in the Silentnight Choices range.

    Visit the Silentnight website for more information about the Miraform mattresses and beds and to shop online.

    See how your sleep compares to the rest of the UK’s with Silentnight’s new interactive sleep map.

    This is what my bed looks like with the covers on – I love it!

    zoe-bed-covers

    Disclosure: The Miraform divan bed was sent to me by Silentnight (as part of their 2016 Ambassador Programme). However, the opinions in the blog post are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Silentnight.

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    VIP Freebies: Yelp’s Secret Brixton

    Hands up if you like getting things for free? I think both my hands shot up in the air and I’m meant to be writing this blog post (doh!)

    The only thing better than free stuff is getting your hands on things that you genuinely wouldn’t mind paying for. I mean free tasty food and drink rather than something like a key ring or a USB stick.

    So if you want to get fed and watered and experience a night (or nights) of crazy, random fun for free then you need to know what the lovely folks at Yelp are organising. What they’ve told me so far is a bit mysterious but that makes it more exclusive, meaning you can tell you’ll be hanging with a good crowd if you get accepted to attend. Not just anyone can walk in off the street. This is what I know:

    Yelp - Secret Brixton Portraits-4

    (1) From 18 – 23 April, Yelp is hosting some secret events in the cool neighbourhood that is Brixton in London. These include secret offers, exclusive menu items and nights out in some of the area’s hidden gems.

    Yelp - Secret Brixton Ptraits-102

    (2) To gain entry and explore what’s going on you need to visit the Secret Brixton website – secretbrixton.co.uk

    Yelp - Secret Brixton Portraits-7

    (3) Events include: Secret event #1 – BOYS vs GIRLS: yelp.co.uk/events/london…

    Secret event #2 – Make it POP, Brixton: yelp.co.uk/events/london…

    Secret event #3 – Brixton Street Party: yelp.co.uk/events/london…

    What are you waiting for? Get registered now! If you miss it, you’ll really be missing out.

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