Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hotter Shoes reveals shoe collection for summer holidays

Hotter Shoes has revealed its stylish comfort shoe collection which features a range of comfortable and stylish footwear for summer holidays and weekend breaks.

Design Director, Ian Spedding commented: "We have created a collection of summer shoes that our customers will find comfortable no matter how they enjoy their holidays, from active sightseers to relaxed beach lovers. With on-trend style details and an array of fabulous colours our customers can be confident that our shoes will look just as good as they feel.

"For walks along the beach our designers have created a collection of lightweight sandals designed with comfort in mind; for sightseeing we have shoes such as sporty Leanne or bestseller Shake which have flexible soles filled with millions of tiny air bubbles to cushion feet and for glamorous evenings elegant heels Surabaya and Valetta have been carefully designed with hidden comfort features that feel sublime."

Highlights for this season include new style Gaby, which is perfect for a glamorous summer getaway. With on-trend espadrille styling and pretty flower detailing, Gaby is available in a selection of colours; red, stone and classic nautical navy.

To keep feet feeling cool and fresh in exotic locations, gladiator sandal Livia is perfect. One for fashion conscious shoe fans, it's full of comfort features like soft unlined leather, lightweight, flexible soles filled with millions of tiny air bubbles and an easy adjustable touch close fastening strap. The extra wide ladies sandals are available in black and tan.

For the male holidaymaker, Sahara men's sandals include textured soles for added grip, adjustable straps and lightweight soles. For anyone planning a more active holiday there's sporty styled Impact, with underfoot cushioning and long laces for adjustability.

The full Hotter collection is available at 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 29 stores nationwide, with plans to have 40 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. Hotter has been nominated by its local MP to be part of the Made by Britain campaign.

About Hotter Comfort Concept:
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.

(EDITOR: My wife loves her Hotter Shoes!)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Beard Week 2012 - Expert Tips on Growing & Caring for the Perfect Beard

This week marks Beard Week 2012 and with a growing popularity amongst celebrities such as David Beckham, George Clooney and Robert Pattinson, who wouldn’t want a beard?

Ken Picton’s Senior Stylist and Prynhawn Da presenter Daffyd Rhys gives his top tips for the perfect beard.

Dafydd says ‘It is a man’s duty to attempt to grow a beard at some point in his life. One might say, that to most young men it is the sign of becoming a man. To middle aged men it is a sign that he is in control of his appearance (and not the wife), or perhaps sometimes, a beard is born out of plain laziness."

Growing Your Beard
If you’ve made a decision to grow a beard, the most important thing is to be confident in your decision to grow a beard. Don’t let other people’s personal opinions change your decision. The best time to start growing a beard is on holiday or the week before. This will give your beard the chance to develop enough growth so that when you return to work it will look substantial. It will take approximately four weeks for your beard to start to take shape. Please refrain from attempting to shape your beard before 4 weeks, even if you are only going for a goatee or handlebars as this may result in you shaving off a little too much.

Shaping Your Beard
Once you have grown your beard to a reasonable thickness and length, it is time to start the exciting part of finally shaping your beard. The best place to start is the neckline; using any good neck trimmer from the high-street, start shaping the neckline at your desired perimeter. Do not shape the beard at the cheekbones as this will create an unwanted almost cartoon-like effect. Most good beard trimmers will have a grade setting. This will be your best friend when trimming your beard. Start short at the beard line and work your way up to thicker/longer areas.

Although the skin is covered with hair, you must take care and remember to look after this area with your chosen cleansing and moisturizing products. Remember to shampoo your beard. Some shampoos will include exfoliating beards, such as Aveda Men Exfoliating Shampoo and this will aid in getting rid of dead skin cells that are stuck around the root of your hair and that may cause irritation. Why not also try the Redken Men Mint Shampoo, which will invigorate your skin and give a great tingling sensation in the morning. If you do not normally use a conditioner on your hair it may be worth applying a small amount on a twice weekly-daily basis as the texture of your beard may be coarser than that of your hair.

Last but not least, try to set yourself a 6-8 week target. This should stop you getting tempted to shave it off and will give your beard a chance to develop to its full potential.’

Good luck and happy bearding!

Dafydd Rhys is at Ken Picton: 8 Mermaid Quay, Cardiff, CF10 5BZ.
Appts: 029 2066 2080

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Maison Danu says, “be BRAVE and wear RED to support our troops!”

Maison Danu For The Brave
Ethical British beauty brand Maison Danu has created a bespoke red nail colour "Brave" in support of the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund (HCOCF). The HCOCF provides immediate and material support to injured soldiers of the Household Cavalry and their families, and to those who have lost their lives on active service. "Brave" is an exact colour match to the regimental uniform worn by the Life Guards of the Household Cavalry.
"Brave" is a chip resistant, long lasting polish, free from Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP (Phthalates) and Camphor. "Brave" is also made in the UK. The nail colour retails for £9.95 and fifty percent of the profits will go to the HCOCF fund and will be available on from mid-July 2012.

"Brave" will also be featured in the goodie bags at the Fashion for the Brave event at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Thursday the 20th of September 2012.

Sponsored by The Dorchester, Vestra Wealth and Boodles, supported by the British Fashion Council, and organised by legendary fashion industry stalwarts Hilary Alexander and Lesley Goring, Fashion for the Brave is the largest fundraising event for the HCOCF and the British Forces Foundation and will feature a catwalk show featuring the best of British brands and will be attended by British stars of fashion and film. Patrons of the charity include Sienna Miller, James Blunt, Harold Tillman and Ned Rocknroll. Claudia Winkleman will host the evening and Jeffrey Archer will run the charity auction on the night.

Topman showcase SS13 Design collection at London Fashion Week

Topman debuted its SS13 Design collection at London Fashion Week as part of the new 'London Collections: MEN' showcase (June 15-17). The fashion show took place at 12pm BST/13:00 CEST/4am PST/ 7am EDT.

Topman Design is the brand's in-house designed premium collection. It is now in its 7th year and can be found exclusively in global flagship Topman stores as well as online at The collection has become a distinguished wholesale brand in itself and appears throughout Europe, the Far East and New Zealand.

While Men's Day is now an established feature of the London Fashion Week schedule, the new 'London Collections: MEN' showcase spanned across three days, exhibiting a growing interest in men's fashion and local menswear designers.

Topman Design Director, Gordon Richardson, said: "No longer shoe horned into one condensed hectic day, the newly established London Collections: Men, over three glorious days, now has the space to breathe, flourish and generate the buzz that will put its talented rising men's fashion stars firmly on the international fashion map."

The last Topman Design collection featured a range of sharp edge suits, embellished silk shirts, shorts, jackets and bold prints. Speaking to its wide appeal, an eclectic range of male celebrities, including professional athletes, actors and musicians, were seen wearing pieces from the collection.

Topman also plays a pivotal role in shaping and supporting emerging talent within men's fashion. MAN, the partnership between Topman and FashionEast credited as spearheading the whole Men's Day movement enters into its 7th year too. Adding exciting new names, Shaun Sampson and Matthew Miller, to its critically acclaimed hall of fame last season, the select panel of industry insiders will continue to ensure this key initiative strives to pioneer those newest of design talent and giving them a much needed platform in which to present.

NEWGEN MEN builds on Topman's partnership with FashionEast. It has since become instrumental in raising the profile of emerging British designers, using the dedicated Men's Day at London Fashion Week as a showcasing platform. Picking up where MAN develops, the sponsorship initiative offers its recipients tailored business and mentoring support with a view to increasing the success of their business commercially and building relationships with key press and buyers.

Tim Blanks, Contributing Editor of and a member of the British Fashion Council's Menswear committee, commented: "NEWGEN MEN mix this season testifies to the unique personality that's evolved in British Menswear. Aside from the real breadth and depth, I doubt that any other fashion capital could confidently field a men's team with this much quirk."

Topman also encouraged people to get involved via Twitter with its SS13 Tweetwalk. Moments before the model hits the catwalk, @TopmanUK tweeted a photo of the outfit exclusively for its Twitter followers.

Every London Fashion Week Twitter users can join the conversation by using the #TOPMAN hashtag, and the best tweets will be RTd to an audience of over 35,000. These RTs will also feature alongside a live stream on the homepage of Topman's UK and global sites, which reach over 100,000 people a day. The aim is to get #TOPMAN trending worldwide on Twitter and Google+.

Friday, 8 June 2012

The 2012 Salon International Website is Live!

The new look Salon International 2012 website –  is now live.

Packed full of information, the site is bolder and brighter than ever.

Counting down to the exhibition, the home page links through to a gallery of images from Salon International 2011, along with short films showcasing some of the highlights of last year’s event.

Easy to use, the website contains a wealth of information for visitors, exhibitors and press - from how to book a stand, buy tickets to Salon Live and Salon Seminars as well as an FAQs section, making it the first port of call for anyone interested in the event.

You can also sign up to the Salon International e-newsletter and be amongst the first to receive the latest news and show developments. Salon International is also celebrating 40 years as the UK’s most inspirational hairdressing exhibition and once again is set to be the must attend event of the year, with many of the world’s leading brands showcasing their products and innovations along with live stages, spectacular shows and fantastic networking opportunities.   

“Salon International has always been THE most important exhibition in the British hairdressing calendar and continues to be.  I’ve been a fan since I started in the business and still get a thrill from being part of the experience.  It’s great to catch-up with so many industry friends – and to witness younger stylists and assistants gathering inspiration and leaving motivated and excited.”….Beverly C, MBE

I Need Pampering - indulgence is important

I Need Pampering understands that striking the right balance between work and play is key to a happy and healthy lifestyle. Often, individuals will choose to spend longer at the office or even take work home rather than indulge in some much needed me-time. However, I Need Pampering has found that treating yourself to time out can help to create a balanced, flexible and more enjoyable way of life.

To escape the stresses and strains of everyday life, indulging in relaxing pamper days can help you to recharge your batteries. London, Birmingham or Manchester spa days and beauty packages give you a chance to unwind and treat yourself to time dedicated solely to you. Meanwhile, there are also spa breaks for couples which allow you to relax and unwind with someone special by your side.

Along with spa experiences, action-packed activities can also be an ideal way for people to let off some steam. Helicopter lessons, paintballing and skydiving are perfect pastimes for thrill seekers as they allow you to indulge in fast-paced and adventurous daytrips during your time away from the office.

As I Need Pampering understands the importance of indulgence, the site is dedicated to finding the best luxury days out and packages available across the UK. An entire section is devoted to spa breaks, where you are guaranteed to find Newcastle, Manchester or London spa days offering the treatments and relaxation you require. Meanwhile, there are beauty days along with makeover and photoshoot packages for those looking to enjoy their moment in the spotlight.

Also, as I Need Pampering recognises that people treat themselves in a number of different ways, there are also once in a lifetime adventures to indulge in including driving experiences as well as fun-filled activities such as clay pigeon shooting, flight training and helicopter tours.

To discover your ideal indulgent day out or package, visit I Need Pampering, where you are guaranteed to find luxury mini-breaks and thrilling experiences to help you achieve the perfect balance between work and play.