Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Beach Factory basks in sunshine with a Theo Paphitis #SBS award

Theo Paphitis has selected on line retailer, The Beach Factory, for his much coveted weekly #SBS award.

A carefully worded tweet succeeded in catching Theo’s eye last Sunday. The Beach Factory’s owner, Anne Speak, had tweeted “This has to be our week, perfect timing to promote sun protection swimwear as sun burn is so un-cool.”

The Beach Factory believes in “Making it Fun Under the Sun” and always has an extensive range of sun protection products and holiday accessories in stock for quick delivery. “Our customers come back to us year after year knowing that they can get what they need for the perfect holiday without the risks of sun burn” said Anne.

Timing is everything in business and the recent good weather offered the perfect opportunity to bring The Beach Factory’s message to Theo’s attention. “We’re flattered that Theo has endorsed our efforts and that we now have the opportunity to join his club of like minded small business entrepreneurs” adds Anne.

Being in the business of selling holiday products gives Anne the ability to detect the beginnings of a more upbeat mood across in the country. She says “The last couple of years have been tough but, with people now starting to plan their summer holidays, we’re seeing a better sales uplift this year.” She continues “Entrepreneurs are always optimistic but at The Beach Factory we really do look forward to sunnier days ahead!”

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Hotter Comfort Concept launches Great British Shoes

Hotter Comfort Concept, Britain's biggest shoe maker, has launched two limited edition Great British Shoes to commemorate a truly memorable year of celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Hotter Comfort Concept Product Director Paul Sayers commented: "As a British company we wanted to create a patriotic pair of Great British Shoes to underline our commitment to creating comfortable and stylish shoes in our UK factory and to commemorate an exciting Summer for our nation.

"Our customers enjoy a fun filled active life and we know they'll be out an about celebrating this Great British year. It's fantastic that we can be with them every step of the way."

The Hotter Comfort Concept team of designers have taken two of the brand's most popular comfort shoes, Leanne and Shake, and given them a 2012 makeover. These Great British Shoes offer customers a modest but instantly recognisable patriotic show of support with a Union Jack inspired colour scheme.

Just 2,800 pairs were manufactured in Hotter's Lancashire factory, with every pair of ladies footwear given the utmost attention to ensure they offer unparalleled comfort, including soft leather uppers, smooth internal seams and shock absorbing soles.

The Great British Shake shoe features an intricately plaited red, white and blue strap, whilst Leanne features red, white and blue laces. Both shoes have white leather uppers and come with both decorative Union Jack and plain, softly padded insoles for everyday use. They are both available in sizes 3-9 with some half sizes and an extra wide fitting option. They are delivered in a commemorative shoe box with a certificate of authenticity.

People can view the Great British shoes at www.hotter.com, in their local store or by calling 0800 525 893 and requesting a Hotter catalogue.

The full Hotter collection is available at www.hotter.com where customers can download their personal shoe fitting guide to help them find the perfect fit. Hotter also offers a free personal shopping service where its experts provide help and advice on customers' footwear queries.

The Hotter Comfort Concept brand was founded in the early 1990s by Stewart Houlgrave, whose parents set up Beaconsfield Footwear as a slipper manufacturer in 1959.

With a mission to make shoes as comfortable as slippers, Stewart created a collection of stylish shoes with hidden comfort features, including lightweight shock absorbing soles, padded heels and luxurious leather uppers. Hotter makes comfort a priority, offering footwear in a range of shapes and sizes, including extra wide fitting ladies sandals.

The company initially sold Hotter shoes direct to customers via its onsite customer service centre and www.hotter.com. Since 2009, its 50th year, the company has revamped its website, aired 6 TV campaigns and launched in the US.

With its exceptional product quality and outstanding customer service, Hotter embarked on an ambitious store opening programme in 2010 - with 45 due to be open across the UK by the end of 2012. Staying true to its British heritage, Hotter now manufactures 1.5 million pairs of shoes in its Lancashire factory, making it the UK's biggest shoe maker.

Grazia and Hunter Boots Launch Festival Style Hunter

Hunter and Grazia are joining forces at some of this summer’s coolest festivals in a search to find the best dressed festival-goers of the season.

Hunter are delighted to announce that they have teamed up with Grazia, the leading weekly fashion magazine on a quest to find the UK's best dressed festival goers. The team will be at Lovebox from 15 – 17 June, Wilderness from 10 – 12 August and Bestival from 6 – 9 September, scouting for talent with a fashion photographer.

A spokesperson for Hunter comments: “We're really pleased that we've been able to team up with Grazia for three fantastic music festivals this year, because it gives us the chance to find the new festival looks and fashions for 2012. Festival fashions have had a major impact on high street fashion and our festival wellies, so we consider it a real privilege to be able to attend LoveBox, Wilderness and Bestival this year and see what people are wearing.”

The scouts from Grazia will be looking for the best, the most unique style, the most stylish outfits, and the shortlisted looks will be visible during each festival at the Hunter area at each of the festivals where the best looks of the day will be projected onto large screens. Plus, once there, festival goers will be able to grab their copy of the latest Grazia magazine.

The spokesperson for Hunter adds: “Following each festival, Grazia’s favourite festival looks will be featured in the Style Hunter section of the magazine in three special editions. Then the competition will be opened up to a public vote where the person who is voted the most fashionable for the festival season will win a fabulous prize to a top festival in 2013.”

Hunter will also be featuring all festival looks on their Facebook app at https://www.facebook.com/TheOriginalHunterBoots allowing fans to vote for their favourite. Voters will have the chance to win daily prizes including a pair of Hunter Boots and Festival Survival Kits.

The spokesperson for Hunter continues: “We're looking for the best and most stylish festival fashions this year, so make sure you stand out in the crowd this summer with a pair of wellies featuring this season's biggest trends. With so many colours and styles to choose from, match your wellies to suit your Festival style with a pair of Original Tall Gloss boots. Hunter's iconic Original Tall boots are the nation's favourite festival footwear. Seen on celebrities such as Kate Moss at Glastonbury and recently Kate Bosworth at Coachella, Hunter Boots are stylish yet functional and will keep your feet dry and mud-free in the unpredictable British summer.”

Renowned for their fit, comfort, performance, and British design, Hunter Boot Ltd can trace its origins back to the setting up of the North British Rubber Company in Scotland in 1856. The Original wellington was first introduced in 1956 and the hand crafted process of manufacture from 28 individual parts has changed little since. Now offering a wide range of footwear, accessories and outerwear, Hunter’s original values of quality, durability and style are embraced by fashionistas and country aficionados alike, in over 30 countries worldwide.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Crown Jewel Born

diamond ring  www.cooldiamonds.comA crown jewel is born, CoolDiamonds have created and designed in celebration of the queens Diamond Jubilee a most magnificent diamond ring set with a crown of stunning diamonds.
The design was a collaboration from cool diamonds young international designers encompassing important commonwealth countries namely Australia, England and South Africa.

This magnificent unique design diamond engagement ring is hand made in highest quality platinum, the centre diamond being over 2 carats in size, a veritable beauty.

Cool Diamonds is renowned for magnificent jewels. Cool Diamonds rare diamonds have been exhibited at the natural history museum. This well established diamond company supports many young jewellery designers annually and hold annually a diamond jewellery design competition at the prestigious St Martins School of Art.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Make Father's Day Spa Day!

Spa days for men
Fathers Day Sunday 17th June 2012
Father's Day is a celebration honouring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Of course, we all like to spoil our dads in recognition of this special day, but every year it’s the same struggle of wondering what to get him.

Socks and aftershave are so last year, twenty first century man is officially a “Spa Man”, which is why sons and daughters nationwide are acknowledging their appreciation of their own paternal superhero by sending their dad spa vouchers and booking them a day or overnight stay of pampering and relaxation for their Father’s Day gift.

Of course, there was a time when setting foot in a spa would have reduced any self-respecting chap immediately to the status of sissy. Happily, that time is now consigned to the history (or should I say “he-story”?) books.

Recent statistics confirm the huge upsurge in the number of men visiting spas on a regular basis with the latest figures revealing that a third of all spa-goers are currently men. Award winning Leicestershire health spa, Ragdale Hall are seeing this and are welcoming many more couples who just want to chill out and have a break from everyday life.

Ragdale Hall offers a range of men’s treatments which can be booked to enhance a day spa package or overnight spa break.

There is also a Three Night Luxury Time for Me package called “Just for Him” providing a break designed to give him a full MOT for mind and body!

With a fully equipped gym, exercise classes and the multi million pound Thermal Spa to use; Ragdale offers stressed out males plenty to do if treatments are not their thing!

If you are planning any Father’s Day features, then please include Ragdale Hall vouchers. We would also be happy to discuss doing a competition or reader offer.

That's Health: E45: Celebrating 60 years of British skincare

That's Health: E45: Celebrating 60 years of British skincare: This year, another British icon is celebrating six decades on the job, as E45 celebrates its 60th birthday. First produced in 1952 by Boots...

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

LaDress: Premium online fashion brand's debut, promising the perfect dress for every woman for every occasion

LaDress - LoulouWhether it’s the school run with the kids, business lunch with the board or cocktails with the girls, women spend years searching for that perfect dress. Today the premium online fashion brand LaDress makes its UK debut with one thing in mind: helping women find the perfect dress for every occasion.
Timeless pencil skirts, playful shifts, sophisticated tunics and sassy tube dresses, customers will find a stunning selection of dresses in luxurious fabrics that fit perfectly into their life. With an elegant array of colours, patterns, prints and shapes, every woman can find their perfect LaDress, for work or weekend, whether size 6 or 16. Using only premium varieties of silk, wool, jersey and cottons, designs are continually updated incorporating new materials and customer feedback.

If you prefer something more bespoke, Unique LaDress is a collection of limited edition pieces. Released every month, each dress is a completely unique design that reinterprets a classic or introduces a new style. Once sold, it will never appear in the collection again.

Simone Van Trojen founded LaDress in 2006. A mother of two and former corporate executive, she has dedicated her career to discovering the perfect dress. She understands the fashion needs of the modern, professional woman and is fast becoming a go-to fashion commentator. Before each piece makes it into the LaDress collection Simone wears it herself, making sure it is perfect in every way, taking on board customer feedback on the look, feel and wearability of each piece.

It goes without saying that LaDress makes shopping online easy with every detail thought through.

From helping customers find the right fit, sending fabric samples before placing an order, delivering a beautiful parcel to your doorstep and offering free returns and exchanges if required.

Available in sizes UK 6-18, are you ready to find your LaDress?

The LaDress collection is available exclusively online at LaDress

Prices from £125.00GBP.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Amora Is The New Romantic Among Wedding Shoes

UK designer Oliveira has created a delicate and romantic wedding shoe to fit brides and bridesmaids like a satin slipper.

Amora by Oliveira (£90 www.olviera.uk.com) is a shoe of sheer beauty, with silky cream 3¾" heels, shimmering strap detail and a twinkling diamante toe post to reflect the sparkle of a diamond engagement ring.

Handmade for sublime quality and comfort, Amora is designed for wedding ceremony through to the final dance of the reception, and are so light and dainty that it's easy to forget they are on!

Amora is worn here with the breath-taking Amelie wedding gown (£420 www.findadress.co.uk), made-to-measure in ivory chiffon to a flattering A-line halterneck style with exquisite scattered beading highlighting the waistline and wispy two-tier veil.

National Honey 'til 13th May 2012

Honey - the famous natural sweet stuff that is good enough to eat - is also renowned in the beauty world for its skin soothing and antibacterial properties. With its delicate fragrance and beautiful consistency Lush has created a gorgeous range of bath, shower and skincare products all filled with this natural, miracle nectar...
For the shower

Flying Fox (£4.50 for 100g/£8.95 for 250g/£15.75 for 500g)... This sensual shower gel is made with four different kinds of rich, golden honey from all over the globe. Combining a wonderful blend of jasmine absolute and ylang ylang - known for their aphrodisiac qualities - Flying Fox is a luxuriously decadent shower treat.

For the bath
Honey Bee (£3.10)... This classic bath ballistic is a calming blend of rhassoul mud, honey and aloe vera combined to create an intensely soothing bath. Each ballistic is hand pressed which helps achieve the gorgeous bee-like striped pattern which means each one is entirely unique.

For the body
Honey I Washed the Kids (£3.25 for 100g)... This is the irresistible Lush honey soap that smells like toffee and is topped with a layer of honeycomb. One of Lush's all time best selling products, made with honey water and aloe vera to both moisturise and soften the skin, this sticky toffee pudding scented soap is a favourite for all the family - even those delicate skin types.

For the face
Brazened Honey fresh facemask (£5.75)... Refreshing herbs and fruit juice are blended with warming ayurvedic herbs and spices along with kaolin and talc to provide a deep cleansing facial treatment. With almonds to polish the skin and honey acting as both a natural antibacterial agent and moisturiser, this fresh facemask leaves the skin vibrant and reinvigorated. Lush's Fresh facemasks are so fresh and preservative free they must be kept in the fridge and used within 3 weeks.

For the lips
Honey Trap lip balm (£5.25)... a tasty blend of white chocolate, honey and sweet orange oil all blended with organic extra virgin olive oil and shea butter for extra nourishment. The perfect natural, colourless balm that will ensure lips are soft and supple this summer.

To pick up these and many more ethical, cruelty free cosmetics, visit Lush stores nationwide now or online at www.lush.co.uk.

For shop details and mail order contact 01202 668 545.

Introducing The NEW Blusher Brick From Miners Cosmetics!

Build a stunning base with Blusher Brick!

Blusher Brick is a collection of face powders created to leave you with a stunning and natural glow. The bricked powder is specially designed to give your complexion an all over, even coverage allowing you to build-up your favourite blush shade.

Whether you want to create a warm glow or add a rosy flushed colour to your cheekbones, Blusher Brick has it covered with a clever collection of Pinks and Browns:

Pinks: This multi-tonal Blusher is made up of three contrasting bricked pink shades, ranging from an illuminating barely there pink to a deep colour-injecting rose.

Browns: This multi-tonal Blusher is made up of three contrasting bricked brown shades, ranging from highlighting natural sand to a deep sun-kissed bronze. RRP £4.49


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Hairtrade expands its cosmetics range with the introduction of Daniel Sandler

Hairtrade, a leading retailer of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products has recently expanded its cosmetics range with the introduction of Daniel Sandler professional finish make-up.

British talent Daniel Sandler has taken the cosmetic world by storm and his full range of multi award winning mineral makeup line is now available at Hairtrade, consisting of foundations, watercolour liquid blush, and the most beautiful shades of mineral eyeshadow.

Keven Kou, managing director of I&K International Limited said: "We decided to increase our range of makeup as we have recently realised an increase in interest, as well as sales, of our current makeup brands including New CID Cosmetics and FakeBake."

He went on to say: "We decided to add Daniel Sandler’s range as it’s an exciting, upcoming brand that fits in line with the current brands at Hairtrade. Customers are looking for something fresh and that’s exactly what Daniel Sandler provides with its mineral eyeshadows and water colour liquid blush."

The brand, already hugely popular across the UK with top beauty bloggers, is available now from www.hairtrade.com and consists of foundations, concealers, powder, bronzer, liquid blush, eyeshadow, mascara, eye liner, lip gloss, lipstick, and makeup tools to create the most professional make-up finish.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Lack of 'Real' Sized Models Causing Chaos for Clients

Mention the word 'model' and more often than not people think of tall, ultra-skinny woman sauntering down brightly lit catwalks in Paris or Milan. But in reality, most modelling work that takes place here in the UK is far more down to earth; in fact there's currently a distinct shortage of 'real' sized women in the industry.

Clients such as catalogue companies, production houses and high street retailers are becoming increasingly frustrated with modelling agencies at the lack of strong size 10 models in the industry and the hunt is on for agents to find them.

"We're really not sure why it's the way it is" concedes Neely Reyes, the founder and MD of Sapphires Model Management, a London based Modelling agency. "Perhaps it's the fact the stereotypical image of a model is really skinny and so girls with a few curves don't even try to get into the industry! The fact remains though that more and more clients are looking for size 10 models and there just isn't the supply to meet the demand."

Part of the problem could be that the perception of beauty has changed a lot and now even size 10 girls don't feel they are slim enough to work as a model. "I've often approached girls who I thought had great model potential but the response is always that they thought they were 'too fat' to model, which really isn't true" Neely continues.

"In fact we're so desperate for tall, attractive size 10 girls that we've even had to start flying them in from abroad! Of course, we'd much prefer to develop home grown talent so we want to put the call out for all those perfect 10's to get in touch!"

Applying to a modelling agency is a really simple process. A couple of clear snapshots taken with a digital camera, or even a camera phone, along with measurements and contact details is all a model hopeful needs. If an agency thinks you might have potential they'll invite you in to discuss more and who know where it could lead?

Sapphires Model Management is a London based modelling agency with offices in South Molton Street, Mayfair. The company was founded by entrepreneur Neely Reyes and have a reputation for treating their models honestly and ethically and rejecting the 'size zero' image so prevalent in the industry.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Your One Stop Wedding Shop

Tying the knot this year? Then look no further than Ragdale Hall, your one stop wedding shop!

Perhaps you’re looking at booking a relaxing hen party for you and your girls, a spa day is the perfect way to enjoy your hen party and everyone will love it…even your mother-in-law!!!

Ragdale has plenty to offer and there’s heaps to do with the wide range of spa treatments and facilities including use of the Thermal Spa, a luxury playground for adults with a series of different heat and water experiences. If you want to have a real giggle with your girls, why not join in one of our dance or exercise classes such as Zumba or Legs, Bums and Tums in the studio and Wild Woggles or Aqua Dance in our Exercise Pool?

After a full day of relaxing and unwinding, you’ll be exhausted! – and you won’t have caught up with half of the gossip, so why not treat yourselves to champagne and canap├ęs to round off your day? Don’t forget if you’re off into town after a visit to Ragdale Hall, we can do your nails, hair and make-up for you – there’s no need for you to lift a finger!

If you and your hens want to stay over at the Hall and make it a hen weekend to remember, you could always stay in The Lodge. The Lodge is a country cottage that sits separately to the Hall, with 4 bedrooms it’s the perfect pad for your lively hens and you won’t need to worry about disturbing the other guests at the Hall!!

Our beauty and spa experts have also designed some treatment packages especially designed for the Bride-to-Be:

Bride to Be De-stress Package
On your big day, we all know you want to look good and feel your best but we also know how stressful a wedding can be for all those involved. The Bride to Be De-stress package, which includes the treatments listed below, is the perfect preparation for your dream day.

Decleor Aromatic Body Massage
Clarins Tri Active Facial – choose from The Detox and Shine Stopper, The Skin Healer, The Radiance Reviver, The Lifting Line Smoother, The Youth Activator or The Moisture Replenisher
Clarins Pampering Foot Treatment plus a complimentary nail paint
Complimentary make-up advice in the Beauty Shop

Price £171.00

Bride to Be Finishing Touches

Expect all eyes to be on you on your big day so invest in a spot of pre-wedding pampering to add those finishing touches.

Shellac Hands
Shellac Feet
Fake Bake
Complimentary make-up advice in the Beauty Shop

Price £108.00
Alternatively, if you’re the bride (or bridezilla – it happens to everyone!) and the ‘W’ word sends shivers down your spine, then perhaps you and your chap should spend some quality pre-wedding time together. With all the organising and dashing around trying make everything perfect, tempers and patience can begin to fray…but at Ragdale Hall, a day is all it takes! There’s a huge selection of spa treatments for him and her, from facials to feet, all needs are catered for. Why not have a Shellac Long Lasting Nail Colour applied, it lasts 14 days (dependant on nail types) it will take you to your wedding day, through to your honeymoon and it’s one less thing to worry about!

Also, if you’ve got 2012 fever and are celebrating how fabulous it is to be British, why not look at having your honeymoon at Ragdale Hall too? With a vast range of spa breaks available from The Great British Summer Break to The Luxury Break and even the seven night Unwind and Relax Week Away, there’s no better way to celebrate your love than in the surroundings of a beautiful English country house! For those little added luxuries take a look at the package enhancements the Hall can offer – don’t forget Ragdale can also mark out a space for a helicopter to land, so why not be whisked away from you’re wedding reception in style!

Hotter Shoes smart comfort shoe collection for special occasions

Hotter Shoes has revealed its new smart comfort shoe collection, which features a range of comfortable and stylish footwear for weddings and other special occasions.

Designers at Hotter Comfort Concept shoes created this range of stylish, comfy women's special occasion shoes to help women keep a spring in their step at this season's 'must-attend' wedding.

Paul Sayers, the Range Director, said: "We've been creating comfortable footwear for over fifty years, and over one million happy customers enjoy the feeling of comfort that we carefully design into every pair of Hotter shoes.

"Whilst many of our styles are suitable for everyday wear, over the years we have seen a growing demand for comfortable shoes for special occasions. Our design team has worked hard to create a selection of smart styles that are perfect for the wedding season; with classic designs and on-trend colours. Each pair includes secret comfort features which will ensure that wedding guests will still be smiling when the bride and groom enjoy their last dance."

Darcy and Allegra, with smart low heels, flexible soles and room for toes to wiggle and flex, are available in a selection of colours, including pretty Hibiscus, neutral Nougat or versatile metallics.

For a little extra height, Quickstep, Valetta and the Surabaya sandal are the perfect finishing touch to any special occasion outfit, and are also available in extra wide fit .

For a nautical twist, or a flash of red to add spark to an outfit, Hotter's newest style peep-toe, Gaby, is a heeled espadrille sandal. Gaby has an adjustable sling-back with hidden elastic, softly padded leather footbed and suede flower detailing.

In addition to women's heels, Hotter also has options for the male wedding guest. Hotter has created a range of men's special occasion shoes that are packed with comfort features such as shock absorbing soles, leather insoles and built-in arch support. Available in classic Black or Brown, Road is a plain fronted lace-up, Town is a brogue style and City is a smart slip-on.

The full Hotter collection is available at www.hotter.com where customers can download their personal shoe fitting guide to help them find the perfect fit. Hotter also offers a free personal shopping service where its experts provide help and advice on customers' footwear queries.

Hotter has 25 stores nationwide, with plans to open a further 20 by the end of 2012. The company is the UK's biggest shoe manufacturer and is expected to make 1.5 million pairs of shoes in its Lancashire factory in 2012. It has recently launched a Great British Shoe to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics and has been nominated by its local MP to be part of the Made by Britain campaign.

Hotter Comfort Concept, which was set up in 1959, is the UK's biggest shoe maker, with one of the most advanced production facilities in Europe. The company makes a range of Comfort ladies shoes for women and men which include 'Comfort Concept' features such as smooth internal seams, removable insoles, soft leather uppers and soft padding.

The 1.5 million pairs of comfortable shoes designed and made in Hotter's UK factory in 2012 will have shock absorbing soles which contain millions of air bubbles, making Hotter shoes incredibly light, giving the feeling of walking on air. The company has recently been nominated by their local MP to be part of the Made by Britain project.

(EDITOR: My wife swears by her Hotter Shoes!)