Thursday, 8 September 2011

A Tumblr Takeover


Just a quick note to say I'm now blogging on Tumblr, a super-quick way to update you on all the celebrity shenanigans I'm getting up to.

You know you want to...

See you there!

Friday, 2 September 2011

When Carrie Met Carrie

It truly doesn't matter what film feats Sarah Jessica Parker pulls off in the future, or those she has in the past.

She will forever be known as Carrie Bradshaw, unabashed, self-absorbed whinge and owner of the most tedious shoe fetish in all of New York City.

Now, I may not be the biggest SATC fan, but that doesn't mean my heart didn't flutter when I found out I'd be interviewing SJP herself. Seemingly without effort, the woman has managed to pull off the position of bona fide A-lister and revered fashionista without ever uttering a diva-like word or selling herself or her celeb family out. This I have to see in the flesh.

Soho hotel was the place. SJP was in town to promote her new film I Don't Know How She Does It (which I've promised to remain tight-lipped about, given its current embargo) and I was one of the journos granted just 5 minutes with the actress. 

It's a little daunting having to prepare to interview a person whose pivotal role has been playing a journalist, but, hey, she was just pretending, right? And so am I, much of the time.

My observations in those few short minutes?

She is tiny. Teeny tiny. I don't think I've seen someone so small who isn't wearing a school blazer.
She has some of the biggest blue eyes I've seen.
She is adorable. I know that's an Americanism, but it's the only way to describe her. 
She uses the word 'neato' to describe things she likes. (See, I told you she was adorable.)
She won't answer questions about sex. Naughty Joy.
If it wasn't for her uber-strict PR team, I'm pretty sure she'd happily chat for hours about, well, anything.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Jen And I: BFFs

Did I ever dream of meeting Jennifer Aniston?

But of course, given that I've spent nigh on half my life watching re-runs of Friends. Although I was comfortably safe in the knowledge that it was a pipe dream at best.

And yet, there I found myself last night, standing mere inches away from the glorious creature, making her laugh as though we'd known each other for years.

Alright, so the lifelong friendship thing might be a little exaggerated but there's no denying I came up close and personal with Jen-An, and it was everything I thought it would be.

I've always been Team Aniston but after seeing her in the flesh, I'm even more convinced Brad Pitt made the biggest mistake of his life shacking up with Jolie.

Since I had the day job to thank for plonking me in her vicinity at the UK premiere for her new film, Horrible Bosses, it seemed rude not to ask her about her role. Jen plays the character of Julia, a sex-mad, predatory dentist who spends her time trying to get her long-suffering engaged assistant Dale (played by Charlie Day) into bed, against his will.

At one point in the film, Julia even gets rudey-dudey with foods including lollipops and bananas in an attempt to lure Dale into her grubby little claws.

With Jen's girl-next-door reputation firmly ensconced in all our minds, how the devil did she get into character? That's exactly what I asked her...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Lady In Red

Rosé is my tipple.

White at a push.

And I've always said I'd rather go without completely if the only option was red.

But I'm a fickle one, and Gallo Summer Red wine has me converted.

I headed along to the Kanaloa & Gallo Summer Red Party launch at Hamilton Place roof terrace in Park Lane to sample this new taste sensation. It's billed as the first red wine to be enjoyed chilled, and I guzzled it down as a Summer Breeze cocktail, for which the bar team had mixed the vino with tonic water and a selection of fresh berries. Yumskies.

Not content with getting my free booze on, there was time to play the celebrity game and sidle up to songstress Pixie Lott, for a pic no less.

While I'm still a spirit and mixer girl at heart, I'll definitely be mixing up my Pimm-drinking with a spot of Summer Red this fair season.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Up 2, 3, 4

To me, exercise, like most things, is all about results.

I've never been a fan of workouts geared around lunging and stretching which promise to lengthen, tone and burn fat without even breaking into a sweat - surely there's no way it can work? 

So the idea of being put through my paces by an ex-Military personal trainer for an exercise bootcamp was right up my street. Heck, if these type of army-style workouts get TOWIE girl Lucy Mecklenburgh looking reem and leaves songtress Shola Ama in control of her curves, sign me up.

Fast forward to a drizzly Sunday morning and all of a sudden I feel less keen at the thought of some army beefcake shouting in my face as I skid through mud on the pretence of losing a couple of pounds. Thankfully, my day spent as a member of the Prestige Boot Camp involved no shouting. The rain eased off. And I had fun (promise).

So, what exactly did the day entail? 

I'd already been prepped to eat a high energy breakfast no later than 8am, and could choose from eggs on wholemeal toast, porridge or a fruit smoothie. Oats and milk were the simplest of the three so a hearty bowl of porridge it was. Staff Reitze had also advised that we bring fruit or oatcakes as a morning and afternoon snack and a healthy salad-heavy lunch.

We started out with a slow jog across our section of the park to a big grassy space where Staff Johnson was waiting to kick off our stretching session. It was given a fun twist by playing on the idea of 'Simon Says' but in this case, if a series of stretches weren't preceded with the words 'Staff Says', anyone who mistakenly followed orders had to do 10 lunges on the spot. Hilarity and childlike competition ensued.

Next, it was time to don big red gloves for a spot of boxing. We split into pairs and took it in turns to be the boxer or hold the focus pads, and worked through a series of punching exercises that focused on the biceps and triceps. I found this was my toughest area, with the upward punches (where I was sitting on the floor rapidly punching up into the pads held by my standing partner) sending my arms into spasm. But hey, no pain no gain, right?

My favourite part of the day came next, when we split into pairs again and exercised our way around a circuit course, made up 18 different exercises. There were six that focused on arms, six that trained the abs and then six of cardiovascular exercise. We never spent any longer than 60 seconds on each before switching to the next, interval training is what the pros call it, and it's apparently the best way to get the your heart rate hammering and the body burning fat.

After a lunch of a salad wrap and more oatcakes, we split into three groups and were encouraged to compete with each other throughout a sequence of challenges, including standing in a line and throwing a rugby ball through our legs and over our head to the person behind and sprinting short distances. It was essentially what school PE sessions (should) have been like back in the day.  

Now, part of the fun of this bootcamp is not knowing what's coming next so I'm shutting up. But seriously, check out the Prestige Boot Camp website - your muscles will thank you. 

Monday, 13 June 2011

Festival Make-Up A La M.A.C.

It's effort enough to beautify myself for work every day when I have all my resources on offer, so to look good at a festival after a night's sleep in a tent? Well, that's a seriously big ask.

Pulling off a flawless face whilst being part of the great unwashed definitely doesn't come naturally to me, put it that way.

So imagine my delight when, while kicking back in the hospitality area of the Isle Of Wight festival, I came across the M.A.C. tent, filled to the brim with amazing products and a team fit to apply them.

There was no hiding the fact that eyebags had appeared under my peepers and my skin tone had soured after just five hours uncomfortable sleep in a tent - but after 15 minutes in the M.A.C, make-up chair, I was like a new woman.

Check out the video below (courtesy of the day job) to see senior make-up artist Cher Webb work her magic…

Video edited by Robin James.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Lengthen Lashes In Your Lunchbreak

Stand by for a lash extravaganza.

Making friends with the beauty journalists has many perks - not least being treated to a fair few pamper treatments under the guise of trialling them for work. 

But of all the goodies for which I've had the pleasure of playing guinea pig, the LVL lash treatment is by far the most impressive. 

I headed to Harley Street to Karen Betts' clinic for my lash transformation, following in the footsteps of a whole host of celebs - and if it can work for a blonde-coloured, stubby-lashed gal like me, the results are pretty much guaranteed to be top-notch for all you flutterers out there.

LVL stands for length, volume and lift, all of which this promises to deliver to your eyelashes. It differs from perming in that the lashes aren't curled, so much as actually straightened upwards following their natural growth shape, so you're left with gorgeous Bambi eyes that Zooey Deschanel would be envious of, with no false extensions to be seen.

So enough of this gushing. Let me talk you through what the treatment involves…

My lovely therapist Jane had me remove the eye make-up from my top lashes (the bottom lashes are left untouched) and settled me into the comfortable leather chair. Once I'd closed my eyes, I felt very little thanks to Jane's gentle touch, though she talked me through every stage of the treatment so I could at least imagine what was going on.

While I lay back and relaxed, Jane got to work:

  • Any residue oil or make-up was wiped from my upper lashes with cotton wool.
 A protective shield was placed underneath each eye to make sure none of the treatment lotions made their way onto my bottom lashes.
  • Jane combed my lashes to separate them and applied a silicone shield onto each of my eyelids. There's three different sizes of shield - small, medium and large - and I chose small, which Jane explained delivers the most dramatic lift.

  • Each lash was then pulled over the shield and secured into place with a thin cotton swab.

  • Next, the lifting balm was applied to the roots of my lashes, and left on for 10 minutes.

  • Then the balm was removed and a neutralising lotion applied in its place.
 After five minutes, the neutraliser was removed and Jane put a tint on my lashes for a few minutes to change them from their natural blonde to a black hue.

  • Finally, a moisturising serum was placed on the lashes, not only to inject them with a moisture boost but also to help release the lashes from the shield.

And that's it. The entire process takes less than 50 minutes, making it a true lunchtime treatment. 

The result? Well, I never. The moment I opened my eyes after the treatment and looked into Jane's mirror I was blown away - my lashes looked double the length they'd been just an hour earlier, without any tussle with the wand of a lengthening mascara or eyelash curler. The lift turned my small nondescript lashes into dramatic eye-framing wonders and I now wake up every morning positively doe-eyed before even touching my make-up bag. What I love most is the fact that they're 100% my own lashes and the results will last until the next cycle of lashes grow in, which will hopefully be in 8 to 10 weeks. In short, I'm sorted for summer!

An LVL treatment takes up to 45 minutes to apply and prices start from £40. Visit for more information and to find your nearest salon.