Hypnotherapy: can it really help you drink in moderation?

Hypnotherapy: can it really help you drink in moderation?


Shots and shiraz may have fuelled her twenties, but now Nicola Moyne is on a quest to banish the booze. Here, she discovers if the power of hypnosis is more potent than the festive pull of pinot

hypnotherapy

As a child of the 80s, my teenage years were a blur of WKD Blues and garage music. A minimum of four nights a week were spent in small-town bars or kaleidoscopic-lit clubs, swigging alcopops and cheap, vinegary wine to the dance-floor beats of Artful Dodger and Bobby Brown. Regular blackouts prevented me (sometimes thankfully) from remembering the night before and no matter how many times I staggered or slurred, I always wanted ‘one more glass’.

Fast-forward to my mid-thirties and drinking had become, not unsurprisingly, a habitual nightly routine. One large glass of red with dinner had slowly morphed into two. Soon enough I was able to quaff an entire bottle, and decanting Tesco’s finest Malbec (my middle-class poison of choice) on a Monday evening had become as natural as brushing my teeth in the morning – as had sleepwalking my way through the following day in a foggy, hungover haze.

Then there were ‘the incidents’: the nights out where I drank myself into oblivion with other hard-drinking friends and had to be helped home by kind strangers on the train. Invariably, I remembered nothing from the evening past my third glass, but I always woke fully clothed, feeling ashamed, anxious and demonstrably sick. Some mornings I realised that I had fallen and cut my knee/chin/elbow; others that I no longer had my purse/phone/coat. I tried drinking gin instead, but it turns out that’s addictive too. Something had to give.

It proved a timely decision: last month, a report published by the World Health Organization found 13.5 per cent of all deaths among people in their twenties are linked to alcohol. Similarly, a recent study by the Global Burden of Diseases has concluded that ‘the safest level of drinking is none.’

But the thought of never drinking again, of forgoing a flute of champagne to celebrate a birthday or having a glass of full-bodied red with friends over Sunday lunch once every so often didn’t feel right either. I wanted the holy grail: I wanted to be able to control how much and where and when I drank; I wanted to achieve moderation.

‘Unlike a lot of other therapies that tend to rake up the past, hypnotherapy provide a tool for positive change’

I turned to Ailsa Frank. A leading UK-based hypnotherapist and motivational coach with a proven track record in addressing the nation’s drinking problem, Ailsa has helped thousands of people to quit or drastically reduce their alcohol intake through the tool of hypnosis. More than 70 per cent of her clients initially seek help for alcohol-related problems and over the past 13 years, she has rolled out an increasing number of hypnotherapy workshops, one-to-one phone sessions and audio downloads to meet the growing demand. There’s also her book, Cut The Crap And Feel Amazing, which, rather incredibly, Ailsa wrote in just 10 weeks.

‘I used the power of self-hypnosis to write that,’ she laughs. ‘I literally told myself that I could do it; that I was doing; that it was done,’ and, day-by-day, I ploughed through the pages. Your mind is incredibly powerful and, unlike a lot of other therapies that just tend to rake up the past, hypnotherapy provides a real tool for positive change.’

So how does it work? ‘Memories, habits and patterns are stored in the subconscious part of your brain, so when you learn a habit – like tying your shoelaces when you’re a child – it becomes automatic. Learning to drink alcohol in a certain way is exactly the same thing, and it will become a deeply ingrained, automatic habit that’s hard to shift.’

In my first phone session with Ailsa, we spend 30 minutes discussing my life generally. Am I stressed at work? (Not particularly.) What hobbies do I have? (Too many to list here.) How often do I drink? (Usually every day.) Why do I want to stop? (To escape increasingly horrific hangovers, focus on my health and generally grow up a bit). Then we get down to business.

I’m asked to lie on my bed or sofa and switch my phone to loudspeaker or plug in headphones. I opt for the latter options and listen intently to Ailsa’s soothing voice, which instructs me to rub my arms from shoulder to elbow and fix my eyes on a comfortable spot on the ceiling. I’m then instructed to close my eyes and start counting backwards silently to myself as Ailsa starts the hypnosis part of the session. I’m vaguely aware of experiencing rapid eye movement as she asks me to visualise myself walking down a set of stairs and out on to a beautiful garden, where there’s a shimmering pond and stepping-stones bathed in different colours that lead to a winding road, presumably symbolising my life.

From here though, the details become a little fuzzy. I’m asked to visualise my worries as pebbles that I let go of by dropping into the pond; to see myself as a child in the garden, confident, playful, cared for; and to imagine doors to new opportunities opening up along the winding road to sobriety.

I’m not asleep – in fact I’m very aware of Ailsa’s voice throughout and what she asking me to visualise – but I am incredibly relaxed. I’m asked to convey what I’m thinking or feeling and we communicate on and off throughout the hour-long session. Afterwards, however, the details of what she has said to me are vague. I remember stepping-stones and roads and seeing a happy five-year-old version of myself, but nothing much in between.

‘If your conscious and subconscious minds don’t match, you won’t truly break the habit’

‘We are in a state of hypnosis at some point most days,’ Ailsa explains. ‘For instance, when you drive somewhere but can’t remember the journey itself or how you got there, or when you have absolutely no idea what junction you’re at – that’s because your brain has entered a hypnotic state.

‘Hypnotherapy is just a relaxation tool that allows you to access a memory bank – the part of your brain that stores habits – so that you can break them and build new ones. It is a way to clear up the deeper parts of your mind so that you can perform at your very best,’ she says.

Over the course of six weeks, I have two more one-to-one phone sessions with Ailsa, lasting 45-60 minutes each and listen to a 10-minute relaxation recording before bedtime each night. I even cajole my partner, Richard, into having two sessions with Ailsa to get us both on the same sobering page and break habitual evening drinking together (basically, I figure there’s safety in numbers).

drink in moderation

Initially, I’m skeptical about the feasibility of drinking in moderation. Going teetotal, I get: you’re eradicating temptation by taking yourself out of the game. But being able – let alone wanting – to drink just one glass of wine seems completely alien to me.

‘My clients tell me it’s the same feeling as having too many cups of tea – when you’re offered another one, you simply say you don’t fancy it because you genuinely don’t,’ Ailsa says, reassuringly.

Sure enough, after session one the mid-week drinking stops immediately. We’d both been trying to cut down on drinking alcohol after work prior to the sessions, but after having hypnotherapy, neither of us has to battle with ourselves as we pass the alcohol aisle in the supermarket.

‘Where hypnotherapy differs to will power is that it alters not only your conscious mind, but your subconscious too,’ Ailsa explains. ‘That’s why people who complete Dry January often struggle to keep up good habits once February rolls round – they may have altered their conscious mind, but they haven’t reframed their relationship with alcohol in the subconscious part of the brain – and if your conscious and subconscious minds don’t match, you won’t truly break the habit.’

I start to notice other small shifts. For instance, I start buying sparkling water and filling my usual wine glass with it of an evening to relax. It feels just the same as drinking wine, minus the fuzzy head and rambling conversations over dinner. I also start running more regularly and practicing yoga twice a week – a goal I’d worked towards for at least a year but never quite managed. I start eating healthier lunches and dinners, and getting up earlier, feeling refreshed and energised rather than shattered and slightly depressed. The change is noticeable and quite remarkable.

‘People forget just how good they feel when they don’t drink on a regular basis. If you have a daily drinking habit, you’re essentially always playing catch-up with yourself, which becomes exhausting and can have a huge detrimental effect on your career and relationships,’ Ailsa says.

However, the true test comes just after my third and final session: I’m going on a girl’s weekend. With my hard-drinking friends. To an undisclosed location. I start to panic that my new, wholesome habit of drinking very little and only in social situations when and if I fancy it, is going to come crashing down around my smug sober self faster than you can pour a glass of pinot.

Incredibly, though, it doesn’t happen. Not at the airport when everyone is joyously quaffing prosecco; not on the plane when everyone orders a cheeky bottle of Merlot; not even on the ‘big night out’ when the girls are merrily clinking their goblets of aperol spritz. And not because I’m forcing myself to stay off the booze or morosely sipping my one glass of shiraz while the rest of the revelers party up a storm, but because I’m genuinely having a great time without it. I feel happy, confident and completely content to just have the one, or even – shock, horror – none.

‘My once-toxic relationship with alcohol has gone through an unequivocal break-up’

I enjoy sipping a lovely glass of locally produced valpolicella with dinner each evening, and order a deliciously sharp gin cocktail at a swanky underground bar. But it’s clear that my once-toxic relationship with alcohol has gone through an unequivocal break-up.

Where once I would have ordered three large glasses of anything, now I savour a few sips of a good-quality red and want nothing more. I feel full and in control; like I’m sat at a table heaving with amazing food, but I’m completely content after a few delicious mouthfuls, favouring the sparkling water I now instinctively order instead. What’s more, I go for a morning run. Twice. On holiday.

Feeling refreshed and thrilled that I’ve finally mastered the art of drinking in moderation, I return to the UK half expecting my partner Richard to have cracked open a few beers while I’ve been away. ‘Beer?’ he says, slightly confused when I ask how he got on without me. ‘I was out sailing all weekend – I didn’t even have time to think about drinking,’ he admits.

Which pretty much sums up what Ailsa is trying to achieve with each and every one of her clients. ‘Life will always be a roller coaster – we all experience loss and stress, which is why so many people lose themselves in drinking at some point – but if we actively reframe our thoughts to look for the amazing, for the positives, we can create a happy, fulfilled, more balanced life; one where we always live in the best moment and enjoy passing through.’ That’s something I think we can all cheers to. Just make mine a sparkling water…

 

‘Take Control Of Alcohol’ and ‘Stop Binge Drinking For Women’ hypnosis downloads by Ailsa Frank are available at Ailsafrank.com at £14.99; Cut The Crap And Feel Amazing by Ailsa Frank (£10.99, Hay House) is a dip-in, no-nonsense guide to shedding habits that are holding you back. Utilising the power of positive thinking and self-hypnosis, the book delivers actionable tips on how to reframe your thoughts on everything from alcohol reduction and clearing debts to dealing with heartache and health. For one-to-one hypnotherapy phone sessions (£150 each; 2-4 required) contact Ailsa Frank via her website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to cut your own hair: The complete guide to getting it right

How to cut your own hair: The complete guide to getting it right


No, it doesn’t involve a bowl

how to cut your own hair

If your mum ever took to a pair of scissors and a bowl to give you a trim, we understand that the thought of cutting your own hair could be the last thing on your mind. And, admittedly, we’re loathe to tell you how to cut your own hair instead of making an appointment with your hairdresser.

‘I would never recommend cutting your own hair or fringe – regular Hare and Bone clients can receive complimentary fringe trims at our salon which takes seconds!’ says Sam Burnett, owner and Creative Director of Hare and Bone and KMS Style Council Member.

That said, there are occasions when you simply don’t have the time (or the money!) to get your hair cut at the salon. You can still do the job yourself – very carefully – at home.

‘If it’s an emergency and you decide to trim your own fringe, make sure the hair is clean and dried in its natural texture and then, using good quality hairdressing scissors, trim with the points of the scissors holding them at a parallel angle to the direction of the hair flow.’

With those tips in mind, follow the below step-by-step guides from hairstylist Lee Stafford to get DIY haircutting right.

How to cut your own hair shorter

As this is a dry cut there is no need to wash your hair before you start. You must, however, ensure your hair is really smooth, especially if you have naturally frizzy hair because it can make the cut uneven.

  1. Tip your head upside down, brush your hair forward and gather it into a nice tight, smooth, secure ponytail that sits on your hairline in the centre of your forehead.
  2. Take a comb and measure from your hairline where you want your first layer to sit – this could be just below the cheekbones or the bottom of your chin, it is up to you.
  3. Hold your ponytail firmly, then take your hairdressing scissors and cut the hair in a straight line at the length you measured with the comb.
  4. Now that you have cut any excess length off you need to tip your head forward slightly and put the comb behind your hair.
  5. Hold your scissors pointing directly into the end of the pony tail and chip into the blunt ends. This will help give the hair a softer appearance and get rid of that blunt look. When you can’t see any more hard edges you know it’s time to stop.
  6. Pull off the hair band and shake your hair so it falls into place and style it as desired.

how to cut your own hair

How to cut your own hair into a bob or lob

  1. Start by pulling your hair into a clean and neat ponytail at the back of your head, it needs to sit as tight as you can get it at the bottom of your hair line, right in the centre.
  2. Take your hairdressing scissors and cut straight across your ponytail, underneath the bobble. This will result in your hair dropping just on top of your shoulders. If you need to, you can look in a mirror and see where your hair will sit before cutting it.
  3. Your hair will now fall into a choppy, graduated bob hairstyle or lob hairstyle, but can be a little blunt for some people.
  4. If you prefer something slightly softer then tip your head upside down so you are looking at the floor. Gently chip into the ends of your hair, holding your scissors at a 90 degree angle. This will create a softer, diffused line.
  5. Tip your head back over, shake it out and wear it poker straight or add some waves for movement.

How to trim your own fringe

  1. Firstly, section your hair (so you don’t include any hair your don’t want in your fringe) and pin it back away from your face.
  2. Then, using hairdressing scissors – this is really important, you will not be able to achieve the same look with household scissors, it will end up a mess – hold them at a 90 degree angle and gently chip into your existing fringe. This will thin out the hair, resulting in a light weight, natural fringe.
  3. Avoid cutting straight across your face because this will create a very blunt fringe, which can be difficult to correct later.

The post How to cut your own hair: The complete guide to getting it right appeared first on Marie Claire.

Kate Middleton just wore another stunning dress by one of her favourite designers

Kate Middleton just wore another stunning dress by one of her favourite designers


Beautiful.

kate middleton
Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Kate Middleton appeared on The One Show this week to talk to young people about staying safe online.

The Duchess of Cambridge made an appearance alongside her husband, Prince William, to talk about their cyber bullying campaign as part of Anti-Bullying week. They hope to encourage children to spot signs of online bullying with the help of the Kids Online Wellbeing app, which aims to educate young people about how to stay safe on social media.

The couple spoke to hosts Matt Baker and Alex Jones about the work they are doing.

kate middleton prince william

Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Prince William said: ‘You are creating a practical, powerful tool to help children use their smartphones and social media with confidence and with safety. I am so proud that this has sprung out of the Cyberbullying Taskforce work.

‘It’s now important that our technology partners get right behind the app to make sure all children can benefit. We’re counting on all of you.’

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a stunning turquoise dress by one of her favourite designers – Emilia Wickstead – and teamed it with a pair of black heels.

kate middleton

Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Eagle-eyed fans noticed that it isn’t the first time that we’ve seen Kate in the dress. She is known for recycling her outfits, and she first wore it back in 2014 when she touched down in New Zealand as part of a royal tour.

The couple opened up about why they decided to get involved with the anti-cyber bullying initiative, with William revealing: ‘I saw that my friends and peers were seriously worried about the risks of the very powerful tools we were putting in our children’s hands.

‘For too many families, phones and social media shattered the sanctity and protection of the home.

Talking about his work with mental health charities, he added: ‘I met families who had suffered the ultimate loss.

‘For too many, social media and messaging was supercharging the age-old problem of bullying, leaving some children to take their own lives when they felt it was unescapable.’

The post Kate Middleton just wore another stunning dress by one of her favourite designers appeared first on Marie Claire.

Study says that if you’ve read Harry Potter, you’re probably a better person

Study says that if you’ve read Harry Potter, you’re probably a better person


Winning.

Ah, Harry Potter. The cornerstone of any good Christmas telly binge. As the cold nights draw in and the John Lewis Christmas advert starts playing during every ad break, you’ll find us snuggled up on the sofa drinking a glass of red (probably from our Aldi wine advert calendar) and listening to Mariah Carey on repeat.

But the countdown really isn’t the same without the magical wizarding world. Without HP and the gang, is it really even December? Well, no, it’s not but it will be soon.

And let’s not forget about the fact that J. K. Rowling’s spin-off series, Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, is a huge success – and the latest instalment has just hit cinemas, making it the perfect excuse to go to the movies this winter.

Popcorn and Jude Law? Yes please.

And Potterheads will be glad to know that those who have read the books are actually nicer people according to a recent study. Knew it.

harry potter stamps

Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology claims that HP fans are more accepting and understanding of others, due to the nature of the subject matter. In the books, Voldemort is attempting to rule the wizarding world and those within the magical realm who are not ‘pure blood’ witches and wizards are often looked down upon. Hermione Granger, a witch with ‘muggle’ parents, is mocked by Draco Malfoy and called a ‘mudblood’ – a highly derogatory term.

According to the report, ‘reading the Harry Potter series significantly improved young people’s perception of stigmatised groups like immigrants, homosexuals or refugees.’

J. K. is very vocal about what she stands for, consistently promoting tolerance and social justice on Twitter and other social media platforms, so it makes sense that her books would also encourage the readers to do the same.

Feeling pretty smug now, Potterhead? Same.

The post Study says that if you’ve read Harry Potter, you’re probably a better person appeared first on Marie Claire.

Here’s why everyone’s talking about these photos of Kate Middleton and Prince Louis

Here’s why everyone’s talking about these photos of Kate Middleton and Prince Louis


And we can’t ‘unsee’ it…

kate middleton maternity dress
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Words by Niamh McCollum

Both Clarence House and Kensington Palace have shared new official portraits of the royal family to celebrate Prince Charles’ 70th birthday this week.

The two photographs in question feature the Prince of Wales and his family, with Charles and Camilla sat on a wooden bench in the garden of their Clarence House home, surrounded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and of course their grandchildren – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Everyone looked blissfully happy, relaxed, and oh so beautiful…but one thing that has really had people talking, is just how strikingly similar Prince Louis looks to his mum when she was the same age.

Here’s a cute close up of Prince Louis – who would have been around five months old at the time the photo was taken:

And here’s an image of Kate at roughly the same age:

Can’t tell the difference, can you? We know!

Already bearing such similar features to his stunning mum, we can tell that we’re going to be ooh-ing and aah-ing over the next adorable pics of little Louis to be released over the coming years.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say.

The post Here’s why everyone’s talking about these photos of Kate Middleton and Prince Louis appeared first on Marie Claire.



Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne and the whole Fantastic Beasts cast have sorted each other into Hogwarts houses


Who needs a sorting hat?

You would have to have been living under a rock to be unaware of the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the highly anticipated second instalment of the of the prequel series.

Does Jacob Kowalski remember magic since being obliviated? Will the Niffler be making a grand return? And how on earth are we supposed to focus on any of this or the other story arcs when Jude Law is playing a young hot Dumbledore??

There are so many questions left unanswered, so Junior Digital News Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with the Fantastic Beasts cast to talk favourite stunts, the secrets of apparating and to hear what Hogwarts houses they would be in. Spoiler alert – there are a lot of Hufflepuffs in this ensemble!

The results?

Eddie Redmayne – Hufflepuff

Jude Law – Gryffindor

Katherine Waterston -Hufflepuff

Ezra Miller – Slytherin

Claudia Kim – Slytherin

Dan Fogler – Hufflepuff

Alison Sudol –

Callum Turner – Hufflepuff

Which Hogwarts houses would you sort each other into and why?

What were you favourite memories/ stunts from the film?

Talk me through the apparating process…

Sum up the whole filming experience in one word:

 

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes to UK cinemas on 16 November.

The post Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne and the whole Fantastic Beasts cast have sorted each other into Hogwarts houses appeared first on Marie Claire.

Meghan Markle wore the ultimate little black dress and it’s £50 from M&S

Meghan Markle wore the ultimate little black dress and it’s £50 from M&S


Manolo Blahniks not included.

When it comes to fashion, Meghan Markle’s really come into her own as a royal fashion icon and we’ve been keeping tabs on her favourite fashion brands, best tour outfits and more. However there was one gorgeous dress that she wore recently that we fell in love with, but just couldn’t place. While attending the Festival of Remembrance over the weekend, she was photographed in a super sophisticated LBD and the internet thankfully stepped in to solve where it was from. It turns out that it’s actually a piece you can grab off the high street, as the Duchess of Sussex opted for an M&S dress that cost just under £50.

Although there isn’t a super clear full length photo of Meghan Markle in the dress, there’s been snatches of the sophisticated sheath in pictures. The Royal British Legion wound up putting up a couple of photographs from the festival, which was held to honour past British servicemen and women, and if you look super closely you can see spot her in the chic V-neck piece.

The team behind @whatmeghanwore were the first to identify the dress, which is shockingly still available online on M&S. Given that Meghan Markle has a tendency to break websites and instantly sell things out within moments of wearing a designer item, it seems like the high street retailer is better equipped to deal with the onslaught of royalists that want a Markle original.

On M&S’ website, they revealed the dress was crafted from a stretchy double crepe material and features a ‘elegant off-shoulder neckline’ with a folded over detail. Although Markle kept her make-up and accessories relatively simple (barring a quintessential poppy pin), the brand advised pairing it with a bright red lip and ‘your favourite jewellery’. There’s only a few sizes of the dress still available, but if you don’t mind grabbing it in a different shade – it’s also available in red.

M&S Collection Double Crepe Bodycon Dress in Black

meghan markle m&s dress

Priced at £49.50, available at M&S

Buy now

M&S Collection Double Crepe Bodycon Dress in Red

meghan markle m&s dress

Priced at £49.50, available at M&S

Buy now

The Duchess of Sussex accessorised the look with a pair of heels from Manolo Blahnik, another one of her famous Meghan Markle coats (this one by Stella McCartney) and nude tights according to royal protocol.

Honestly, we’re keen to see more high street designers in Meghan Markle’s wardrobe. Her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, has been known to wear a Zara piece or two as well and she always looks amazing in them. We’re super keen to see more fashion icons following suitproving it’s possible to dress chic on a budget.

The post Meghan Markle wore the ultimate little black dress and it’s £50 from M&S appeared first on Marie Claire.



Meghan Markle wore the ultimate little black dress and it’s £50 from M&S

Meghan Markle wore the ultimate little black dress and it’s £50 from M&S


Manolo Blahniks not included.

When it comes to fashion, Meghan Markle’s really come into her own as a royal fashion icon and we’ve been keeping tabs on her favourite fashion brands, best tour outfits and more. However there was one gorgeous dress that she wore recently that we fell in love with, but just couldn’t place. While attending the Festival of Remembrance over the weekend, she was photographed in a super sophisticated LBD and the internet thankfully stepped in to solve where it was from. It turns out that it’s actually a piece you can grab off the high street, as the Duchess of Sussex opted for an M&S dress that cost just under £50.

Although there isn’t a super clear full length photo of Meghan Markle in the dress, there’s been snatches of the sophisticated sheath in pictures. The Royal British Legion wound up putting up a couple of photographs from the festival, which was held to honour past British servicemen and women, and if you look super closely you can see spot her in the chic V-neck piece.

The team behind @whatmeghanwore were the first to identify the dress, which is shockingly still available online on M&S. Given that Meghan Markle has a tendency to break websites and instantly sell things out within moments of wearing a designer item, it seems like the high street retailer is better equipped to deal with the onslaught of royalists that want a Markle original.

On M&S’ website, they revealed the dress was crafted from a stretchy double crepe material and features a ‘elegant off-shoulder neckline’ with a folded over detail. Although Markle kept her make-up and accessories relatively simple (barring a quintessential poppy pin), the brand advised pairing it with a bright red lip and ‘your favourite jewellery’. There’s only a few sizes of the dress still available, but if you don’t mind grabbing it in a different shade – it’s also available in red.

M&S Collection Double Crepe Bodycon Dress in Black

meghan markle m&s dress

Priced at £49.50, available at M&S

Buy now

M&S Collection Double Crepe Bodycon Dress in Red

meghan markle m&s dress

Priced at £49.50, available at M&S

Buy now

The Duchess of Sussex accessorised the look with a pair of heels from Manolo Blahnik, another one of her famous Meghan Markle coats (this one by Stella McCartney) and nude tights according to royal protocol.

Honestly, we’re keen to see more high street designers in Meghan Markle’s wardrobe. Her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, has been known to wear a Zara piece or two as well and she always looks amazing in them. We’re super keen to see more fashion icons following suitproving it’s possible to dress chic on a budget.

The post Meghan Markle wore the ultimate little black dress and it’s £50 from M&S appeared first on Marie Claire.



Perfect party dresses to hit the dance floor in

Perfect party dresses to hit the dance floor in


Stand out at your office party

party dresses

Party dresses will forever be a worthy wardrobe investment. Summer, autumn, winter – there’s no season that doesn’t require a do-it-all party frock, and we’ve rounded-up just a few of our favourite styles to kick start your collection.

The new season trends have dictated the style of party dresses for AW18, with velvet, satin and sequins all coming together to create what is arguably the best party dress offering yet.

But as hard as the dresses are working, there are other things to factor in to pull together that all-important look. The wrong underwear can ruin that oh-so-right dress. The purchase of a seamless brief, a well-fitted strapless bra and great control undies will ensure you own that party dress you’ve spent the last few weeks searching for.

Black party dresses

When in doubt, a little black dress will see you through any occasion. Opt for a classic fitted black lace design, a slinky silk slip dress or something with a flared skirt.

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Sequin party dresses

We understand sequins aren’t for everyone, but there really is an option to suit all personalities out there. If you’re feeling OTT, go for a simple slip dress completely covered in sequins, be it copper, silver, or more muted black. If you’d like something a little more low key, then pick a floaty number with a few scattered pearls on the bodice and skirt.

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Lace party dresses

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Plus size party dresses

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Party dresses with sleeves

The emphasis on statement sleeves this season means there are plenty of stylish options about if you’re not keen on showing your arms.

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Designer party dresses

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Vetements, Christopher Kane, Off-White, Balmain, Peter Pilotto… the designer partywear offering is strong this season, so take your pick. Though we have a slight penchant for Ashish’s Studio 58-style sequin dresses.

The post Perfect party dresses to hit the dance floor in appeared first on Marie Claire.

BEAUTY BYTES: Michael Bublé – the king of Xmas, sharp suits and now fragrance

BEAUTY BYTES: Michael Bublé – the king of Xmas, sharp suits and now fragrance


I heart this smooth talker…

Welcome to Beauty Bytes: a place where I chat to celebrities about all things beauty – from their favourite products, to their biggest beauty disasters. Plus I grill them on their social media habits and their favourite cheat meal. You know, all the important and essentials things that we need to know about.

In this edition, I totally lost my chill when I sat down with Michael Bublé. I now totally get why he’s top of so many women’s ‘lists’. We chatted about his fragrances (which would make a brilliant Christmas gift FYI), losing his cool in front of the Queen and the best chat up line he’s ever heard.  Prepare to fall head over heels… KT – Digital Beauty Editor

KT: LET’S GET STRAIGHT TO IT AND CHAT ABOUT FRAGRANCES.

MB: I’d love to chat about fragrances. Do we have to? I am not the expert. Life is good. I really enjoy hockey. And I love being a dad. And uh, you want to talk about the fragrance huh?

KT: COME ON LET’S TALK ABOUT IT A LITTLE BIT… TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW FRAGRANCE. 

MB: Well, okay I’ll talk to you about the fragrance. So this journey began about four, five years ago. I was asked if I was interested in having a fragrance. My answer was no. I had no interest to be honest with you. I thought it was really cringe-y. I’d like to think that I have dignity with everything that I do and how I do it. But they asked me again, and my idea was that if I was going to do it, I wanted to understand the industry. And so that’s what I did. I actually went to a perfume counter, I met with perfumers – I mean honestly we spent days, hours, going through all of these different notes and I was completely involved. It was really nice for me because it was an incredible challenge. It was very similar to making music – you’re dealing with notes in the same way, obviously different types of notes, and it was a lot of fun and completely different. It went from me feeling cringe-y about it to then having confidence because I really, really liked it. I thought it was a really nice scent. I remember at the fragrance launch, I mean I had gone as far as fighting over the design of the bottle.

Michael Bublé By Invitation Rose Gold, from £55

michael buble interview

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KT: IT’S GREAT THAT YOU WERE INVOLVED. IF YOU’RE GOING TO PUT YOUR NAME TO SOMETHING…

MB: Absolutely right. What was really nice was showing up at the fragrance launch in New York. I was walking past and I heard this woman say to another journalist, ‘Huh, this actually really, really nice.’ I said, ‘It’s lovely that you’re complementary but why are you so surprised?’ And she basically said, ‘Because we come to these things and there is so much crap that so many famous people do.’ So without getting into too much detail, we had talked about advancing the line and creating more. But as you know, and I won’t get into it, there was a lot of stuff happening in my life that meant I wasn’t able to go and do the same thing. Luckily for me, I had gained a really nice trust and friendship with the perfumer and the company. And I trusted that they understood my style and what I like. So they were able to go off and create the new one, until my mind was free and I was able to lock into these decisions. It’s really nerve wracking for me to sit here in front of you, because I won’t lie. I refuse to do that. I won’t go into more detail about this fragrance than I know, I can’t tel you a story about how it was created, but I can tell you that I wouldn’t have released it if I didn’t like it. I knew that we had a good fragrance when my mother told me that my dad wore it.

Michael Bublé Pour Homme, from £39

michael buble interview

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KT: THAT’S ALL THE CONFIRMATION YOU NEED. DO YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE FRAGRANCE? IF NOT, DO YOU HAVE ANY GO-TOS? 

MB: For years I wore Santal 33. I loved it. It had a lot to do with the inspiration for the first fragrance. I just loved the base of sandalwood and vanilla. I think I had an ex-girlfriend used to wear it actually, and when she’d hug me people could smell it on me and would compliment me on it. Lately, my signature scent would probably be like, baby poop. And weirdly enough it’s the one that I miss mostly, because you walk around for years saying ‘does it smell like vomit to you?’ And then all of a sudden it’s gone and the kids don’t vomit on you any more and you weirdly miss it.

KT: WHAT ARE YOU FAVOURITE SMELLS? 

MB: Coming home. Having that smell of whatever your mom is cooking. Sort of that comfort, you know, hearing the noise in the house – the craziness, and smelling the great smell of whatever it is, chicken soup or a roast in the oven. I know how strange that sounds, but it’s the association; it’s so romantic and so sentimental.

KT: WHAT IS YOUR BEAUTY SECRET? 

MB: It’s just all a lie, honestly. Not caring anymore. I hope that I take care of myself and I shower, but the truth is I just want to be a happy person who lives in the moment with kindness and empathy. I told that to someone the other day, and she said, ‘Do you know what ego stands for? It stands for edging God out.’ And I thought that was really lovely. It was really nice.

KT: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE GROOMING BRANDS?

MB: Top three grooming brands? Uh, well I should probably say my fragrance brand right?

KT: I MEAN, THAT COULD BE ONE OF THEM.

MB: Is Speed Stick a grooming brand?

KT: SPEED STICK? AS IN THE DEODORANT? SURE..

MB: And Colgate toothpaste. Are these horrible answers?

KT: NO THESE ARE BRILLIANT, GENIUS ANSWERS. HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN?

MB: Well of course I use Olay everyday. Not! I don’t know. I don’t?!

KT: WELL, DO YOU WASH YOUR FACE?

MB: WELL WHAT DO YOU DO? LET’S HEAR FROM YOU. OR DO YOU JUST WANT MY ANSWERS?

KT: JUST YOU. NO ONE CARES ABOUT MY ANSWERS. THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. 

MB: Oh, shit. Um, I don’t know. I really don’t wear any cream and I know I should. Soap and water?

KT: YOU KEEP IT SIMPLE. DO YOU USE AN SPF?

MB: Well, I have to. I’m forced to. Because if I use it on the kids. We use like SPF 80.

KT: I’M SORRY, DID YOU SAY 80?

MB: How do you feel about that, honestly?

KT: WELL, YOU KNOW THAT IT DOESN’T REALLY GET MUCH HIGHER THAN 30. IT LEVELS OUT, SO ANYTHING OVER 30 IS NOT REALLY ANY MORE PROTECTIVE.

MB: I didn’t know that. It’s very thick. I always wear it really thick. And it always makes me look even whiter. Like holiday pics? I don’t tan. I just get a weirder colour of red- pink.

KT: HOW OFTEN DO YOU WORK OUT? AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO DO EXERCISE?

MB: Every single day. Every day. I try to run on the treadmill. I do like these weird interval things – I try to run as fast as I can for two-minute sprints, then I take thirty seconds off. Listen, I do enough so that I can eat what I want. And it’s not to look a certain way. It’s so that I can keep up with my son. That’s it honestly. If I didn’t get to the gym I would be dead half way through a tour.

michael buble interview

KT: WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST PICKUP LINE YOU’VE EVER HEARD?

MB: Have sex with me if I’m wrong but your name’s Ddsiuhsiuhdoidhs?

KT: FAVOURITE TV SHOW TO BINGE WATCH?

MB: There are so many. Last Man on Earth. You know The Last Man on Earth? It’s an American comedy. It’s about, basically, the world ends because of a virus and there’s only one guy left. It’s great. I loved Planet Earth a lot. Richard Attenborough is incredible.

KT: YEAH, HE’S A NATIONAL TREASURE. AND 92!

MB: He’s amazing. I watched it last night as a matter of fact. But I always know that you’re going to see a cute animal and then he’s going to die. It’s about to get eaten.

KT: FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT TO FOLLOW?

MB: I don’t do it anymore. To be honest with you, it’s not about social media. I would rather just live life and stop taking pictures of myself. More love and less likes.

KT: WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE YOU WERE FAMOUS? 

MB: I was in the Philippines. I had signed to an American record company at 25 and it just hadn’t gone the way I hoped it would. My career actually started outside of America in places like South Africa, Australia, South East Asia. I remember I was 26/ 27 years old and I had come to Manila and they told me that I shouldn’t go outside, but there was a sushi place in the mall next to the hotel. Anyway, I went next door and it was chaos. Like, really, scary. Someone recognized me when I was waiting in line to get sushi. And all of a sudden it just became this overwhelming, really crazy massive crowd. I came back to the hotel and the security guy sort of gave me shit for doing it. And I was so shocked; I had no idea that they would know who I was. And I remember going back to my room and opening up the curtains in the room and there was a massive building across the street, and it had my face on it. The whole building was just my face. And I remember thinking, ‘oh my God.’ Like now, it makes a lot more sense, you know? The one white guy in all of the Philippines and my face is on the side of a building. I think that’s kind of what did it.

KT: WOW. WHAT IS YOUR CHEAT MEAL.

MB:I just need a nice pasta, like a carbonara.

KT: WHICH SONG GETS YOU ON THE DANCE FLOOR?

MB: Anything BY Michael Jackson or Bruno Mars. My kids and I listen to a lot of Uptown Funk. Also I love the new soundtrack for The Greatest Showman.

KT: OH MY GOD, I’M ADDICTED AND I HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE FILM!

MB: As a matter of fact my son said to me, ‘Papi when I see the show will you sing my song?’ And I thought he meant a song that I had written for him. And I said, ‘Well of course I can sing that song.’ So I started singing the song and he said, ‘No, no Papi- The Greatest Showman.’

KT: IT WOULD BE A CROWD PLEASER… 

MB: I like it so much, that I found the singer from the song Never Enough, her name is Loren Allred, and I duet with her on my new album.  I love her voice.

KT: OK, ONE MORE QUESTION. WHO HAVE YOU BEEN STARSTRUCK MEETING?

MB: Honestly, the Queen of England. I think what I said was gibberish. Because I was in a line, it was the second time I had done the Royal Variety and there are far more famous people than me there. And I think I was holding Lady Gaga’s hand? Who now I know, but at the time I didn’t know Lady Gaga. And I don’t know what she wore that night, it could have been a meat dress – I don’t remember. But yeah, the Queen came down the line and she was sort of saying to everybody you know, ‘thank you’ and ‘lovely’ and ‘interesting’. And then she said to me, something like, ‘we enjoy you at home’ or something. And I just shut down. I really shut down. I- I really couldn’t believe that they- she, even- knew of my existence, that there was even an awareness that I existed. And the fact that she, they might have heard my music. I don’t even know what I said. I said something thing like, ‘*gibberish* Ma’am.’ Ma’am as in ham, I know. You know, the first time I did the Royal Variety Show, Shane Ritchie was presenting. So I was in this massive line with all the celebrities and Elton John is standing there. And as the curtain came up, I was stood there, terrified, and I said to Shane, ‘I’m really nervous, I don’t know what to do.’ And so the curtain came up and Shane said to me, ‘Bow, bow now.’ And I went and I bowed and I looked down the whole line and Shane was laughing his ass off. Because it was me bowing alone.

The post BEAUTY BYTES: Michael Bublé – the king of Xmas, sharp suits and now fragrance appeared first on Marie Claire.