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Ciona Johnson King

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What to wear when you work at home.

Efficiency experts say that even for an ‘at home’ day it’s best to dress like you’re in the office. I can understand why. Many’s the time I’ve begun my day with good intentions but then, after choosing soft lounge wear over power dressing, my day’s gone rapidly downhill. Hello wasted hours searching on-line for a pair of PJs, endlessly rearranging vases of flowers, lighting umpteen candles and religiously selecting essential oils to burn – all instead of doing my actual work! It’s probably not how Richard Branson built the Virgin empire.

Luckily Stylist magazine have the perfect compromise: sports gear. Why? Well when the editorial team were faced with the challenge of putting together an issue in 24 hours they were split into groups, each trying a different method to help them through the task: hypnotism, nutrition, napping, exercise and old-fashioned grinning and bearing it!

By far the most helpful was exercise. Yes, the girls were running round the block, playing catch in the office and doing star jumps inbetween writing articles. The result? Energy levels up and work rate through the roof.

In other words, if you’re going to dress down when you’re working at home just as make sure it’s in a track suit instead of cashmere. Sportswear is just as comfy as loungewear and you’ll be able to go for a run in it to keep you motivated. So thank you Stylist magazine – now I can be fit, efficient and snug all at the same time!

Heptathlete Hair!

Watching the Commonwealth Games isn’t all about the sports. With former heptathlete Denise Lewis on punditry duties, there’s also some serious style to feast on.

Denise has had all kinds of hairstyles over the years, from natural curls to corn-rows to bob, but now it’s all about the quiff. The shaved sides, the coloured tips, the rockabilly mohawk – it’s punky, yes… but sexy smart rather than Siouxsie Sioux.

The key is to leave the make-up natural and the outfits fuss-free rather than trying to make them match the boldness of the hairdo (kind of like that old rule of legs or cleavage – but never both!) Pairing sensible pastel clothes and gentle make-up with a kickass hairdo is a clash but one that’s strong in a classy way. And it’s easier to achieve than Denise’s other trademark: the sculpted six-pack.

Too scared to get shaved at the sides? Here’s how to get the look without clippers:

The Kim Kardashi-tan!

The Kim Kardashi-tan!

So I finally got my hands on some of Kim K’s fave, the Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan. It promises ground breaking effects, being both moisturising and longer lasting than competitors (if my Italian is right,’Vita Liberata’ translates as ‘Carefree Life’ so maybe it’s promising me endless happiness too?!)

Having tested it, I can happily report that it deserves the hype.

Now, I’m not a frequent tanner as I get frustrated with all that regular topping up. The fact, then, that this actually lasts longer is a huge benefit. It’s also a natural colour, plus I don’t have those usual dry areas on my shins and feet that used to need extra moisturising.

Here’s the lowdown:
Use for 3 consecutive days, showering as normal but avoiding soap. If you’re using a darker shade on a fair skin then my advice is to apply before going to bed, then shower off in the morning. If the application is too strong then at least you can temper it before you hit the office!

Why not get hold of a bottle at www.feelunique.com?

Happy tanning! (and whilst you’re at it, why not check out my You Tube guide to applying fake tan?)

Beards are back… and I love it!

Beards are back… and I love it.

I can’t remember the last time you guys were so committed to growing beards. And I don’t mean goatees or any of those ‘arty’ facial hair statements either. No, I’m talking about the full works – the real man stuff!

Maybe actors like the release it gives them? During filming they have to adhere to a certain look but in between projects there’s a real freedom to looking as ungroomed as possible. Certainly beards can give definition to a face too, like a great frame that makes a painting look even better.

Whatever the reason, male stars certainly can’t get enough right now. I should know – I’ve just worked with three of them:

Ralph Fiennes.
Invisible Woman Premiere London

Jared Leto
Dallas Buyers Club Premiere London

Christian Bale
American Hustle Premiere Berlin

Tempted? I say go for it. I’m reliably informed the itching stops after a week or so. Just remember though, do care for your new furry friend. Condition it if it’s feeling too wirey and comb and trim regularly. You might want to look rough and ready but this is Hollywood we’re talking about here. Even looking as if you don’t care takes work!

Beat The Winter Blues

Beat The Winter Blues

Wow – isn’t staying happy and positive tough during the dark British Winter? (If you’re reading this outside the UK, somewhere sunny, then I’m not jealous… much!) I know I’m not alone in struggling with these grey days either. I’m pretty sure even the most ‘happy go lucky’ of us finds things tough come January.

But we have to fight back. Yes it’s an effort and yes we might fall ‘off the wagon’ some days but… fight back we must!

So, here are some of my favourite pick-me-up tips that will help get you happily through to the Spring. Mmmm… I can feel that warm sun on my back already!

1. Exercise. It doesn’t matter what you do – Zumba, swimming, walking, football, gym, ballroom dancing, cycling, judo, yoga, pilates or a hundred others – just find something that you enjoy and gets you moving regularly.

2. Don’t be a hedgehog! In other words, try not to hibernate. Get outside, even if it’s for no other reason than to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Meeting up with friends or relatives is great too. Taking an interest in other people helps you forget about your own problems (think how easy it is to ‘lose yourself’ in a movie). Maybe even make the effort to speak to that neighbour you’ve always avoided (my husband should read this!) You never know what new relationships might blossom when leave the house.

3. Eat healthily. You ate enough junk at Christmas, right?

4. Put fresh flowers around your home. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune – one of my favs is carnations in jam jars. These little gems give bright bursts of uplifting colour that last for ages. Floral scents also have a direct effect on our emotional responses. If I don’t have fresh flowers to hand then I mix essential oils such as Rose and Sweet Orange in an aromatherapy burner.

5. Spring clean. After all, who said you had to wait until actual Spring to take control of your surroundings? Take extra care to get your windows sparkling. With Winter’s low light levels it’s important the maximum gets through. If you still feel your home is dingy, try light therapy. Waking up to an anti-SAD lamp (Lumie makes good ones) tricks the brain into thinking it’s a bright sunny day.

6. Pretend you’re prepping for a holiday: fake tan, pedicure, brighten your hair colour. Okay, maybe you’re not actually going away at the end of it but that pre-holiday excitement is all part of the fun, right?

7. And finally, my favourite is my gratitude book. Treat yourself to a cute notebook, keep it by your bed and then every evening record 3 things to be grateful for from that day: a compliment at work, a shopping bargain, no traffic jams – anything! It’s a simple, but amazingly powerful, way of filling your mind with sunshine.

Kylie on The Voice – Get The Hair!

So this month has seen the return of The Princess Of Pop, Ms Kylie Minogue, onto our screens in a big way. As one of the new coaches on The Voice she’s wow-wow-wowing audiences with her smiley charm and killer heels. For me though, it’s as much about the hair and make-up. And, as someone who’s just found herself walking out of the salon with hair the same length as La Minogue’s, I decided to try out a gentle Kylie curl on myself.

Body Shop BB Cream

Body Shop’s BB cream is a lightweight, white cream that tones with your skin on application to give a nude, dewy finish.

At £12.00 (available in four shades) this nourishing and flattering make up is a good buy.

That said, it’s not suitable if you’re looking for something with coverage. BB creams are primarily complexion enhancers.

Here’s a snap of me, squinting in the winter sunlight, with nothing on but the Body Shop BB cream in 03.

Clinique Lash Power Long Wearing Formula, Waterproof Mascara

At this time of year, with endless rain to contend with, a good waterproof mascara is an essential part of every girl’s make up kit. Still, a lot of us are put off using one because of that battle to remove it at the end of the day. Well, fear not! Clinique have released a fabulous waterproof mascara that not only can survive a wild British winter but is also easy to take off. Here’s how it works…

Golden Globes, Red Lips

It was a choice of a flattering nude or stunning red lips on the 2014 Golden Globes red carpet, with Taylor Swift looking especially cute rocking the latter (her signature look).

Jennifer Lawrence also plumped for a berry red as she collected her Globe for Best Supporting Actress in American Hustle…

… whilst Cate Blanchett, winner of Best Actress (Drama) for Blue Jasmine, had a bitten red pout to complement her gorgeous black lace Armani Couture.

And whilst Emma Watson has us all gossiping about her game changing Dior outfit (think open back and… er… black leggings) she topped off the look with perfect red lips. With all eyes on those stunning mouths it’s no surprise the rest of these ladies’ make-up was kept charmingly simple.

Want Taylor’s look? Then watch this!

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