Kate Middleton voted No1 beauty icon for 2011

Family of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Image via Wikipedia

The Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton have been voted the UK’s consecutive number one and two choice as  beauty icons for 2011.

In a Beauty Icons poll led by high street store Superdrug the Middleton sisters out-ranked other celebrities including Cheryl Cole (who came 3rd) and TV presenter Holly Willoughby and pop princess Rihanna – whom all came in the top 5, whilst X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos just missed out coming in at 6th place.

It was in fact Kate who beat Pippa by just 10 per cent of the vote due to her steady application of black eyeliner and fresh dewy skin. The eyeliner has now become a staple for most women’s make up bags raking up sales of black kohl eyeliner by a further 20 per cent this year alone.

Noting that within the top 5, four of the women were brunettes, Sara Wolverson, Superdrug Director of beauty, who commissioned the research said: “What is fascinating is the four of the five celebrity women to appear in the top five are brunettes, which would indicate that while blondes may have more fun, brunettes are seen to be more beautiful.”

(What do you think?… comments below)

Whilst the top 6 all seemed to be under 30 years of age the rest of the top ten included megastar and mum-to-be Beyonce, Harry Potter actress and Burberry muse Emma Watson, Amercian singer Katy Perry and fashion designer/ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.

Other stars who were noted on the list were TOWIE’s star Amy Childs, Lady Gaga and singer Adele. Shockingly celebrities which appeared in last year’s top 20 Beauty Icons, such as Kylie Minogue, Fearne Cotton, Leona Lewis, Michelle Obama and Gemma Arterton, have all been dropped from this year’s list.

Sara Wolverson added: “As always our Beauty Icons survey gives a snapshot of the changing face of British beauty.”


1.       Kate Middleton

2.       Pippa Middleton

3.       Cheryl Cole

4.       Rhianna

5.       Holly Willoughby

6.       Tulisa Contostavlos

7.       Beyonce

8.       Emma Watson

9.       Katy Perry

10.   Victoria Beckham

11.   Kelly Rowland

12.   Lady GaGa

13.   Amy Childs

14.   Katherine Jenkins

15.   Nicole Sherzinger

16.   Adele

17.   Pixie Lott

18.   Angelina Jolie

19.   Keira Knightley

20.   Scarlett Johannson





Kate Middleton shines at The Sun Military Awards 2011

This morning the papers are awash with news of The Sun Military Awards. Our nation which had been dragged into a war that initially was not ours to fight are still reeling in the aftermath, so it is poignant that we reflect back and salute those brave heroes who protected the country they were sent to fight for peace in and others around them.

Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge attends A Night of Heroes

The Duchess of Cambridge was on hand with her RAF fighter husband, Prince William, to hand out awards and speak personally to those who had been involved and deserved to be recognised at last night’s ceremony which was held at the Imperial War Museum in London. The awards which were originally set up by Prince Charles to mark the achievements of the Armed Forces and those who support them on operations at home and abroad was led by Kate’s brother in-law Prince Harry with his emotional speech (as another serving officer in the family) paying tribute to military colleagues and those in the forces. This was a mature and heartfelt note to which catapulted him in the eyes of the press; a far cry from his fancy dress days.

Kate shone in a stunning customised Alexander McQueen dress with sweetheart neckline and fishtail train costing approximately £3,995 just off the rail, however this piece is now sold-out nationwide. Teamed with a diamond and ruby necklace which was gifted to her on her wedding day earlier this year, and matching earrings and bracelet, Kate also adorned flat satin Prada pumps for comfort and her trademark dark eyeliner; looking every inch the Princess in her classic gown, but cleverly trying not to steal the limelight from this worthy cause.

The Duchess and Prince William presented the award for Most Outstanding Soldier to Sergent Ryan McCready, 26, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment with the Prince commenting that, “You exemplify the unique qualities that make the British soldier second to none courage, steadfastness, sense of humour, professionalism and a deep sense of humanity. Congratulations.”

Royalty and celebrities such as Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden (who presented the awards) David Walliams, Myleene Klass and Jimmy Carr (who all presented individual awards to soldiers) alongside stars from Coronation Street, Helen Worth, Catherine Tyldesley, Sacha Parkinson and Brooke Vincent, TOWIE’s Amy Childs and Mark Wright, DJ Sara Cox, model Jerry Hall, TV’s Ross Kemp, Ben Fogle, singer Peter Andre and rugby’s Lawrence Dallaglio were all in attendance and fought back tears to honour these truly inspirational soldiers.

Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd was also on site to present an award with judge Alesha Dixon (who looked fabulous in a Philip Armstrong creation) to Para Scott Meenagh for Overcoming Adversity.

As reported in The Sun Meenagh, 22, lost both legs in January after he was blown up by a Taliban mine in Afghanistan — then watched on as his colleague and friend Private Martin Bell, 24, was killed as he tried to rescue him.

Ever since Meenagh has devoted his life to “living for two” in honour of his brave friend. He has not only learned to walk on his new legs, but has also taken up ice hockey, archery and sailing and won medals at the Endurance Games in America for waterskiing. He now intends to cycle 3,000 miles across the US.

When accepting the award Meenagh explained “There are a lot of young lads who are faced with the injuries I have and a lot of guys that have worse injuries. They all just get up and crack on with it. It’s just what we do — what we are trained to do.” With Judd adding: “It’s truly inspirational to meet you. I’m humbled.”

You can watch The Sun Military Awards/ A Night of Heroes on ITV Wednesday 21 December 2011 at 8.30pm. 

London Fashion Week: Issa spring/summer 2012 collection

London Fashion Week: Issa spring/summer 2012 collection

Issa is usually known for it’s flamboyant and vivid colours and this season designer Daniella Helayel did not disappoint. 

For spring/summer 2012 Helayel brought a touch of her native Brazilian carnival roots to the catwalk with loud stripes and tropical colours closing with a carnival queen, complete with feathered head dress. 

In between Helayel showed wearable and fun day dresses in pastel prints and candy colours which complemented dashes of turquoise day wear. Ice cream and leaf prints also adorned separates along side slogan jumpers that proclaimed ‘I heart RIO’. 

Apart from a selection of day wear Helayel also showed white brocade dresses, mint floral sequinned kaftans and sky blue maxi chiffon dresses with feathered ends and embellished collars and sleeves. 

Make up was elegant yet summery with bronzed skin, dewy glow and pink blush cheeks. Coral lips were also shown alongside cream eye shadow complete with beach wave hair, worn loose and wavy. 

The fashion elite however were beforehand trying to second guess the celebrity line up for the front row, with the Duchess of Cambridge – who wore Issa for her engagement photos last year, and also fast becoming a number one fan of the brand – being absent, and only a Made In Chelsea cast member taking her placeIssa spring/summer 2012 collection

Kate Middleton wedding dress exhibition launches today

Royal Wedding of William and Catherine Duke & ...

Image by Defence Images via Flickr

Only a few short months after Catherine Middleton walked down the etherial aisle at Westminster Abbey to marry her Prince, (Prince William) the now infamous lace Alexander McQueen wedding gown – as designed by Sarah Burton –  the Duchess of Cambridge wore is set to go on public display at Buckingham Palace.

It is noted that the Queen herself will attend the exhibition today before it opens to the public this weekend, with latest figures suggesting that advance sales are up 107 per cent, to view this Royal Collection display, on last year. A staggering 125,751 tickets have been sold already with the viewing capacity edged up to 643,000 to allow extra visitors.

The exhibition – as part of the annual summer opening at Buckingham Palace – will also show off the Queen’s Cartier “Halo” tiara, (borrowed of course for this showing) alongside floral displays, The Duchess’ shoes, wedding cake and the famous acorn diamond earrings that were especially created by jewellers Robinson Pelham for the Duchess’ parents as a wedding gift from them to her.

There will also be a five-minute video from designer Sarah Burton on the technicalities behind the wedding dress, explaining her choice of effect, fabrics and design. 

With such an iconic dress on display it seems imperative to steal a glance before the dress goes back into secure storage under the Queen’s guard.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s dress exhibition is open at Buckingham Palace until October 3, 2011. For more information visit www.royalcollection.org, or call 020 7766 7300. 

Alice Temperley designs Safari Traveller collection for Elemis

Fabulous fashion designer Alice Temperley has left her sketch book at the door and hooked up with luxury skin care brand Elemis to produce a bespoke Safari Traveller set for men and women.

Elemis and Alice Temperley Safari Traveller set for women

Elemis and Alice Temperley Safari Traveller set for women

The beauty sets, which come in a gorgeous leopard print faux-leather case for women and grey leopard print pouch for men, are stocked with an array of goodies inside that include best-sellers such as the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Exotic Frangipani Monoi and Ice-Cool Foaming Shave Gel.

Collaborating with the Mothers4Children charity, both brands hope to bring awareness and help raise money for this great cause whose mission is to see a world where all children are loved.

Temperley has noted that “I am delighted to collaborate with Elemis for such a fantastic cause. Together I hope we will be able to raise substantial funds for Mothers4Children – a truly wonderful organization supporting children charities around the world and working to improve children’s lives in the UK. What we have created together is a classic and can be used for years and years to come.”

The exclusive bags are now available nationwide and can be found on timetospa.co.uk. The sets cost £79 for women’s and £50 for mens and for every set sold £1.50 goes directly to the Mothers4children charity.


Kate Middleton crashes REISS website

It seems the Duchess of Cambridge can do no wrong.

The Duchess of Cambridge in REISS, Prince William, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

The Duchess of Cambridge in REISS, Prince William, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

Fresh back from her honeymoon with Prince William, she was positively  glowing and bronzed on her first official engagement to meet the US President Barack Obama and his wife, the First Lady, Michelle. But no sooner had she stepped in the room the press call photographers swamped them with photographs which were then quickly uploaded to the web. Moments later it was announced that Kate was, in fact, wearing yet another REISS creation – this time the SHOLA dress.

Since that moment REISS have been fighting back their switchboards offering both UK and US contacts to try to help consumers get their hands on their perfect size. The website crashed almost instantaneously, following with at least 3 more crashes in under 24 hours. At one point the company were selling a dress a minute and have seen their fan base grow by 11%.

This isn’t the first time however that Kate has sent REISS into pandemonium. When her engagement pictures were shot last year, the famous fashion photographer Mario Testino, allegedly helped her pick out the cream origami effect shift dress which then meant -as it was a frugal buy years before – that REISS had to reinstate the dress into their – then current – autumn/winter collection due to popular demand.

It seems that now, no matter what the Duchess choses to wear, just like Princess Diana herself, she will forever be a style icon…

The Royal Wedding review

Prince William and Catherine Middleton - First...

It seems like a million years ago already, but as Prince William stepped out in his Irish Guards military uniform by Kashket & Partners we all squealed with excitement, for it was until this point that Britain had taken a back step with patriotism and was acting like we were completely not bothered that the wedding of the century was taking place.

We had watched mesmerised as royalty, MP’s and celebrities all arrived early at Westminster Abbey; which was transformed into an ethereal magical woodland wonderland with Maple Trees and more.

Then as the Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton arrived, men everywhere took notice; who was this beautiful bridesmaid who at that point was upstaging the bride? Dressed in a slinky silk and lace McQueen floor length gown by Sarah Burton, Pippa wowed the crowds with a simple floral display in her hair and stunning Robinson Pelham jewels.

In fact jewellers Robinson Pelham where the driving force behind all of the Middleton family that poignant day. Princess Catherine’s parents Carole and Michael had commissioned the company to produce a pair of hand-made bespoke earrings for Catherine as a wedding gift, showcasing her new coat of arms that included an acorn and oak leaves all set in stunning pave diamonds, and echoed her chosen tiara.

Robinson Pelham earrings worn by Catherine Middleton

Robinson Pelham earrings worn by Catherine Middleton

Mother of the bride, Carole Middleton wore a tourmaline and diamond pendant and matching earring whilst two gold stick pins, one with a single gold acorn at the head and the other with an oak leaf, were also adorned by the Father of the bride, Michael, and the bride’s brother, James.

As Miss Catherine Middleton stepped out from the Goring Hotel in London, into her waiting car, we all snatched a glimpse of her wedding gown: beautiful long-sleeved lace encapsulated over a heart-shaped bodice.

We were then stunned when she arrived at the Abbey and was helped out of the car: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen was the choice, and everything down to the slimline skirt with lace applique was perfect. This was a women who knows her own mind and had matched the church perfectly to her elegant gown.

Sarah Burton followed with a statement later that day:

“It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it.  It was such an incredible honour to be asked, and I am so proud of what we and the Alexander McQueen team have created. I am delighted that the dress represents the best of British craftsmanship.  Alexander McQueen’s designs are all about bringing contrasts together to create startling and beautiful clothes and I hope that by marrying traditional fabrics and lace work, with a modern structure and design we have created a beautiful dress for Catherine on her wedding day.

“The last few months have been very exciting and an incredible experience for my team and I as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy.  Understandably, Catherine has been very keen to keep the details of her dress a secret, which is every bride’s prerogative, and we gave an undertaking to keep our role confidential until the day of the wedding.

“Catherine looked absolutely stunning today, and the team at Alexander McQueen are very proud of what we have created.   The dress was just one component of a spectacular day, and I do not think it is appropriate to comment any further beyond saying that I personally am very grateful and honoured to have been given the opportunity to work on this project, and I wish TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge every good wish for the future.”

Apart from the fabulous gown; which the Duchess of Cambridge later changed for the evening party, the highlights were lip-reading; as at one point when they left the Abbey Prince William turned to Kate and mouthed ‘Wow, this is mad’, speaking of the crowds who had turned out in their thousands to watch them. Princess Catherine also mouthed back, ‘Are you happy?’, in which the Prince replied blushing ‘Yes’.

Will & Kate’s departure in their vintage Aston Martin, waving to fans and looking immensely happy as they headed to Clarence House was also another highlight, putting on a show for the well-wishes.

But, how, oh how we would have loved to be a fly on the wall for Prince Harry’s speech and the evening reception…