Category Archives: Beauty/Hair

An Interview With Hair Development

Talking hair this week with Hair Development, a company founded in 1962, who are not only celeb hair extension specialists but they also specialise in hair loss methods and procedures.  From making bespoke hair extensions for films & TV – including projects such as Strictly Come Dancing, Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord Of The Rings – to supplying over 45 different hair colour extensions in such vivid colours as Peacock Blue and Cerise – there is not much this company doesn’t know about hair! I caught up with Janis, daughter of Stan Levy, the founder, to learn more about the ins and outs of hair!

Hi! I’m Janis Levy MTTS, Creative Director at Hair Development

In 1962, Hair Development was founded. What was the reasoning behind setting up the company?

My father, Stan Levy MTTS , CEO of Hair Development, founded the company in 1962 after training and working as a hairdresser in Knightsbridge and Paris. He is known as the UK’s Guru of Hair Replacement and highly respected and loved in the industry.

Hair Development can create bespoke solutions for all clients suffering from hair loss, from laser re-growth therapy to state-of-the-art non-surgical procedures. What are main causes of traction alopecia? What is the most popular treatment?

Traction Alopecia can be caused by many reasons including: Pulling of the hair into buns that are too tight; Continuously curling hair tightly around rollers against the scalp. Trichotillomania , the compulsion to wind hair around the fingers and pull it out. Over bleaching and brushing too vigorously. Continuously using hair relaxer, pulling it too much can cause the hair to weaken and break.

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Another string to Hair Development’s bow is specialising in 100% human hair extensions and can offer over 45 colours to salons, stylists and the public. Latest colours include Peacock Blue, Orangeade, Cerise Pink & Purple People. Which colours were most popular this season? 

Winter brought festive shades, fiery reds through to warm chestnuts and honey blondes, warmth from hilites and hues to remind us of the taste and colours of the season, cinnamon, chestnut and clove.

Your company has made bespoke hair extensions for TV & film projects, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, 42nd Street, Spitting Image and Strictly Come Dancing. How exciting is it to see your creations on the screen? Any projects for 2016 planned?

The Hair Development research and design team work to ensure that this industry is constantly improving, finding new and innovative ways to create only the very best for our clients. We recently supplied hair that was 100 metres long for an artist’s incredible installation. 2016 will show the launch of more exciting products in our ever developing range. We look forward to a brand new product in the Spring. And we love seeing HD Hair adorning people on the stage, screen, theatre and High Street.

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Have you got any tips for readers who may wish to get extensions yet keep a healthy scalp?

The most important thing is to use a company who are ethical and trustworthy. This is a specialised industry so it is vital to place yourself in the hands of someone with knowledge, expertise and who comes highly recommended. Hair Development are proud to be the only Extensions Company in the UK recommended by the highly prestigious Trichological Society. HD’s aftercare is also second to none. Our team are always here to advise and help you.

For stylists, you offer training in all methods of hair applications. What is the most popular training course offered?

Our HD Training Academy offers courses in every method of Hair Replacement and Hair Extensions. One of the most popular courses currently is M-Fold, an incredible method that uses no heat, no glue, no chemical and no damage to the hair. Students will be awarded with a certificate after completion of training.

Have you any plans to add to your repertoire in the future, for example, new treatments, shampoo range etc?

HD is developing a new range of products as we speak! These products will be free of anything artificial, yet have a natural gender-free fragrance. Our new laser therapy is proving to be extremely popular too. It stimulates blood circulation to stimulate hair growth and strengthen each individual hair follicle.

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You are based in London – are your services/products available for international customers?

Yes, Hair Development ship worldwide daily.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Paige or AG jeans with Uniqlo or American Vintage Tees! I will only climb onto heels and platforms if necessary.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

Love BooHoo & Amazon online. Fortnum & Mason and John Lewis on the street. I’m also backing the #supportyourlocalshops campaign.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

Anything shiny by LV! Fresh, soft cotton, well-cut T-Shirts are always a must. I think it stems back to my modelling days, when we were always told to wear jeans and plain T’s for casting and auditions! I remember wearing my favourite baby blue T-Shirt when I auditioned for the Flake ad!

Boots or Shoes?

Adidas Superstars. Walk everywhere! But I bought orange DM’s when my daughter was buying shoes (just because …!)

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about Hair Development.

www.hair-development.com

@hairdev

Hairdevelopment1 (Instagram)

Extensionshairdevelopment (Instagram)

www.facebook.com/instagram

Thank you Janis for telling us all about hair extensions – when applied properly they do look fantastic- and I love the variety of colours available! Dear readers, do you have hair extensions? Would you have them? Would you be daring enough to try a bright colour ? Do tell!

Linda x

Photos:  Extension photo supplied with kind permission from Hair Development.  Models pictures supplied by Pixabay.

 

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An Interview With Fashion Blogger Ivy Ekong

Based in both London and Nigeria, Ivy Ekong is a wardrobe consultant and independent fashion blogger, whose fashion website offers instant exposure into the escalating African market.  She is well known on her blog for combining luxury items with pieces from up-and-coming designer collections, high street outlets and vintage finds; and she has also launched her own jewellery line too.  I caught up with bubbly Ivy to find out more…. Hi Ivy!

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Hi! My name is Ivy Ekong. I am a wife and a mum of 2 gorgeous girls. I am also a Fashion Stylist and a Fashion Blogger. I attended Ambrose Alli University in Nigeria where I graduated with two degrees in Business Management and Economics respectively. I also trained in Personal Styling & Image Consultancy through the well known Colour Me Beautiful Academy in London. I draw upon my knowledge and experience as a high fashion model and a stylist to bring my blog (IvyEkongFashion.com) to life. I have always had a passion for fashion, and  I now share my professional insight on my blog – I document my colourful fashion sense and OOTD’s , including high street wonders, up and coming designer collections and vintage finds. Ivy Ekong Fashion is not your ordinary fashion blog. It’s a multicultural online community. I am a very fun and loving person. I love taking on projects that are challenging. I also hope to the make my mark in the fashion industry in the long run.

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You founded your own exclusive personal styling and image consultancy company, Icon Mode. What was the inspiration for setting up the company?

I have always known what I wanted to do and be in life, even at a tender age. I had a dream and I am currently living that dream. “IconMode,” which means “Fashion Icon,” is a business name I picked out when I was just 13 years old. I wrote down the name in my diary and said that one day that name will be a household name. I will change people’s lives and careers through effective personal styling. I also worked in the banking sector for some time, not because I loved working in a bank, but because it was part of the preparation process to get me to my vision. The world is evolving everyday. Men and women are more conscious of what they wear now and
are more interested in knowing and learning more about colours, styles that suit them, etc. Celebrities also want to be branded by their personal style. These were all part of what inspired me to set up IconMode.

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IconMode offers a range of services – luxury personal styling range of services – luxury personal styling, personal shopping, fashion styling – as well as workshops offering courses such as Make Up and “Body Language & Influencing Skills”. What services and courses are most popular?

The most popular services are the Full Image Consultation, and the How to Style workshop.

Your IconMode shop sells your range of costume jewellery, Hair Extensions, Pre Owned Fashion Items and “Colour Me Beautiful” cosmetics. I love the IconMode Costume Necklace “Genevieve” –
Which products are most popular this season?

Thank you Linda, “Genevieve” sold out quite quickly, it a very lovely piece. What we sell on IconMode shop are products women have daily need for. If you noticed we do not have bulk items. So once a particular product sells out on the site, they are not restocked. The cosmetics and hair extensions are also very popular this season.

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Any project or new shop lines/services for 2016 planned?

I am focussing on my blog in 2016. IconMode has been my baby for so many years  now but it has now evolved to something bigger and better which is IvyEkongFashion.  My blog has a huge social media following and subscription which makes me believe this is the right direction to go. I am working tirelessly now to make the blog a huge success. I am hoping to work with more brands as well. 

You are one of the most successful black fashion/beauty bloggers in the UK, with your iconic style of combining luxury items with up-and-coming designer collections, high street pieces and vintage finds. What do you like most about blogging and how did you become a blogger?

I love dressing up and posing for the camera, which is very important in fashion blogging, especially if you want your content to be original, which I do. I love being an inspiration to other women who are still trying to determine what their personal style is. I didn’t start blogging until 2 years ago when a lot of people encouraged me to start a blog because they love my style. As a fashion stylist, I am privileged to get invited to fashion events and shows which you have to dress up for. It was only natural to create an avenue to showcase those outfits so that people who love my style can shop those outfits by creating direct links on my blog. Over the years, the blog has grown from being just an avenue for showcasing my outfits to being a huge platform for the multicultural community. We have YouTube videos now too, where we discuss topics that are very important to women, such as self-esteem, confidence etc.

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Have you always had a passion for fashion and beauty? If you weren’t in the fashion/beauty business, what career do you think you would’ve pursued?

I have been in the fashion industry since I can remember. I have always loved fashion and living a healthy and luxury lifestyle. Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce, Grace Kelly, and Diana  Ross were all fashion icons I looked up to,even at an early age. At the age of 8 I had my own unique style. My mum would always say that I was the “Fashion Icon” in the family. When I was younger, I used to style my friends, family and close relatives. They would seek my opinion before they put on or buy any outfit, and I would say wear this with that, don’t wear that, etc. I don’t know what other career path I would have chosen if I wasn’t in the fashion and beauty industry. I believe I was born to do this.

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Have you a favourite style icon, past or present?

Beyonce Knowles and Victoria Beckham.

I like dresses from the 1950s; tunic dresses of the 1960s; the hippy styles of the 1970s; the colours of the 1980s… what decade of fashion are you drawn towards? Which popular styles of any decade didn’t/don’t float your boat?

I am  City-Chic with a bit of Classic. I love both vintage and current styles.  I am not such a great fan of the hippy styles though.

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Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I would normally be found wearing a skirt (pencil skirts or big bonded skirts) with a bodysuit, a pair of Louboutin pumps and a Chanel Classic Bag. Or a pencil dress. You will hardly find me in a pair of jeans unless I am running errands or picking my kids up from school.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

I don’t have a favourite boutique – as a blogger I am always on the go and I shop wherever I find something that is of interest to me. I love both designer and  high street brands. I do shop at Westfield or at Selfridges when I am out and about. My favourite online stores are ASOS, Net-a-Porter, Houseofcb and Very.co.uk.

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What are some of your current fashion obsessions?

– Vintage Chanel bags and accessories . A must have for every closet . They are timeless and will never go out of style.
– Chunky jewellery . I loved jewellery so much that I designed a jewellery line.
– Black trench coats are very handy and are very stylish as well.
– Jimmy Choo and Louboutin heels are definitely an obsession. Once you have a pair of these you will definitely want more pairs. They enhance a woman’s legs perfectly.
–  I am also obsessed with the two piece outfits popularly called the co-ords.

Boots or Shoes?

I choose shoes over boots anytime, any day. That’s because boots are seasonal and cannot be worn with some outfits. Shoes, however, can be worn during any season and are more versatile.

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Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you and your blog.

TWITTER: https://mobile.twitter.com/account
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/ivy_ekong
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ivyekongfashion?ref=hl
EMAIL: ivyekongfashion@gmail.com
BLOG: http://ivyekongfashion.com

It has been great talking to you Ivy! I love to mix and match outfits too – I have worn an Alice Temperley designer dress with some vintage wedge sandals; and I like to revamp and update my old outfits with new season shoes and accessories.  Do you, dear readers, like to update old outfits, mix & match or do you enjoy finding bargains in charity shops? Do tell !

Linda x

All photos have been published with kind permission from Ivy Ekong.

 

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A Christmas Message

 

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This year, the 25th December falls on a Friday and so this week’s blogpost is more of a Christmas message wishing all my readers around the world a Happy and Peaceful day!

Looking back over 2015,  here are my fun awards:

My Favourite Colour of The Year:  Navy has predominated my wardrobe  all year round!

My Favourite Clothing of The Year:  My silver grey cotton waterfall cardigan from La Redoute –  looks fab worn with my navy dresses.

My Favourite Shop of the Year – Online:  I’ve been impressed with BooHoo lately for both male & female clothing.

My Favourite Shop Of The Year:  Sainsburys Superstore at Weymouth, Dorset –  loved the shop layout in the clothing section and their summer sale was excellent.

My Favourite Boutique Of The Year:  Jeffrey West Store in London.

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My Favourite Shoe of The Year:  Red canvas pumps from Next and my black lace ballerinas – a snip at £5 from Everything £5 website.

My Favourite Skincare Products:  This year I couldn’t live without the English Rose Cosmetics Eye Cream,  Garnier Moisture Protect Moisturiser, W7 Clear primer and Leichner Hint of Beige Foundation.

My Favourite Make Up Products:  Arbonne Black Mascara; my eyeshadow brushes.

My Favourite Discovery:  Jeffrey West now do ladies cowboy boots – not ordinary ones – these are truly exquisite!

Thank you all for reading my blog posts this year – your support has been fabulous!  I have a great jam packed year of interesting interviews waiting for you in 2016.   Looking forward to meeting with you all on Friday 1st January 2016 – I’m chatting to Shaman John Norseman – so please join us!

Linda x

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Spotlight On Instantly Ageless

Jeunesse Global’s latest powerful anti-wrinkle microcream, Instantly Ageless, has taken both sides of the Atlantic by storm.  Using stem cell technology to reverse the signs of ageing, Instantly Ageless, revives the skin, minimises the appearance of fine lines and pores for a flawless finish. Sounds too good to be true?  I talk to ex model Faye Stevenson about her love of the product and why she became a representative for Instantly Ageless….. welcome Faye…image

Hi! My name is Faye Stevenson I am a 30 year old former professional model. I ran my own modelling, events and promotions agency for 4 years alongside working on government funded programmes to support individuals to start their own businesses.

What made you decide to become a representative for Jeunesse Instantly Ageless?

I came across a link someone posted online which lead to a 2 minute video. The video showed a woman using the product and within three minutes her wrinkles and dark circles had disappeared. As a former model I am image conscious and want to maintain my looks. I was curious so I got hold of a sample. When I posted my own video on my Facebook profile I had over 50 people contact me wanting to buy the product. At that point I decided to sign up as a distributor.

Have you always wanted to be in the make up /skincare/ beauty industry?

I have been in the modelling industry now for 12 years however I suffer from really sensitive skin and have had a nightmare in the past finding beauty products that don’t cause me to have an allergic reaction. I have to prepare myself every time I have a photo shoot that the make up is likely to cause me to have an outbreak. I generally use mineral makeup because it is more friendly for my sensitive skin. I have been approached to endorse other product ranges in the past but have had to refuse because of the reaction. That’s why I love Instantly Ageless – it’s one of the few products that I can use that doesn’t irritate my skin.

So, in a nutshell, what is Instantly Ageless?

Instantly Ageless is being referred to as Botox in a bottle or the 2 minute facelift. Instantly Ageless™ is a powerful anti-wrinkle microcream that works quickly and effectively to diminish the visible signs of aging. The revolutionary ingredient is argireline: a peptide that works like Botox—without the needles. Instantly Ageless™ revives the skin and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores for a flawless finish. Instantly Ageless is much more cost effect than Botox and one vial which costs £4.99 from my website will last for 2-3 uses depending on the area you are looking to cover.
Watch the video below to see my own personal video of the product:

What results after using have impressed you personally?

I found using it on myself it did make a difference to my under eye area but the most significant difference was on my forehead. I have had frown lines for as long as I can remember. I tried Botox around a year ago and I found it really unpleasant. I had a constant tension headache for the first two weeks and I felt like I had the famous caveman brow. My head felt heavy and I couldn’t wait for it to wear off. With Instantly Ageless there was none of this. I felt my skin tighten up but my muscles underneath weren’t affected so there was no headache. The product wore off after around 10 hours and there were no long-lasting side effects.

Is there a preferred way to purchase from you – online, through personal consultation,via home parties?

I am happy to visit people in their homes and do parties however I am based in Nottinghamshire so it is pretty restrictive. Products can be purchased from my website www.instantlyagelessofficial.co.uk I am also looking for distributors to sell my products and salons to stock them.

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What advice would you give to somebody looking at perhaps joining Instantly Ageless as a representative/consultant?

If anyone wants to join they should email me. I initially found the process difficult because I signed up two weeks before the UK launch and my sponsor was based in the USA. I have become an expert in the product range and ensuring I understand the commission structure, with this knowledge along with my past experience of running businesses and supporting start-up business I can help anyone to be successful. I run weekly Skype meetings on a Monday at 9pm for distributors to answer questions and offer support and the company do weekly webinar training sessions on a Wednesday. They will need minimum around 8-10 hours free per week. This business is like anything, the more you put into it the more you get out. You can realistically look to earn between £400 – £600 part time and around £2000+ per month full-time. You can become a distributor and just sell to your friends and family or if you’re really proactive you can attend beauty shows, wedding fayres etc and sell your products, book appointments with hair salons and beauticians and sign them up as a distributors. Doing this you will earn a commission from all of their sales along with commission from anyone they may sign up to distribute the products on their behalf. I have all the marketing material you will need to promote to a wide range of audiences in the shop section of my website.

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In your opinion, how does Instantly Ageless differ from other skincare brands?

Like I said before the main thing for me is that it actually is hypoallergenic, many products claim to be but I still seem to have a reaction. Also I am not aware of any other anti ageing product which has instant results.

Although you are based in the UK, can you give further details for those non-UK readers who wish to try Instantly Ageless?

The brand is worldwide. It was established in 2009 in the USA. This year Jeunesse have promoted a global launch. The products can be delivered worldwide. Each distributor is given a website and a mobile marketing app to support them to do sales. The website will be customised to your country’s currency when you sign up.

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Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Stilettos, skinny jeans, vest top or if it’s a night out Lipsy Dresses, Jane Norman. I love the high street!

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Missguided, BooHoo, River Island

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I want some stylish shades for the summer, I hate my nose though so always have difficulty picking glasses that suit my face.

Boots or Shoes?

Stiletto court shoes. Because they make my legs look even longer!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can order from you and/or read up on Instantly Ageless

www.instantlyagelessofficial.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/instantlyagelessofficialuk
www.twitter.com/instagelessuk

Follow this link and click Join in the top right corner to sign up as a distributor

http://betrue2you.jeunesseglobal.com/share.aspx?&v=41

Thank you Faye for chatting to us about Instantly Ageless ! So ladies, would you resort to botox or plastic surgery or anti ageing creams like Instantly Ageless or just grow old gracefully and accept all your wrinkles? Do let me know your thoughts ! 

Linda x

All photos and video published with kind permission of Faye Stevenson.

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An Interview With English Rose Cosmetics

I love to wax lyrical about a product or company that I’ve discovered that has made a big and lasting impression on me – it’s even better when the company agrees to an interview! I first came across the English Rose Cosmetics last year – my skin is extremely dry and prone to itchy eczema occasionally around my eyes during my hay fever season ( Feb – June  – tree pollen) – and I spotted a post on Facebook about English Rose Cosmetics night cream.   Luckily enough Karin was looking for people to review the product, I applied and got my chance to try this cream. Thus started my love affair. So here’s a quick review on the Night Cream along with two other products I’ve used over the last few months:

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Nighty Night Cream –  on the tin it says it plumps out wrinkles, reduces age spots, controls oiliness & improves skin texture.  I am used to putting on thick cream in an effort to combat the dryness/eczema.  In contrast, this cream is light and very lightly fragranced – it soaks into the skin well, without leaving a sticky residue nor does it tighten the skin.  It feels refreshing and soothing on the face.  It has hydrated my skin and has improved my skin texture – as for the wrinkles, well, they do seem to have been smoothed away.  9/10

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Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed Eye Cream –  I had noticed dark bags appearing under my eyes over the last 6 months or so, despite wearing make up to try and camouflage the effects.  Combine that with my itchy eczema, I was at the end of my tether as to what to do.  However, once I tried the night cream I decided to purchase the eye cream (it says it reduces dark circles, bags  & puffy eyes whilst plumping out fine wrinkles). Dabbing the light cream around my eyes twice a day for the last 2 months I have found that my dark bags under my eyes are not as pronounced – in fact they’re barely noticeable; the skin around my eye area is smooth and virtually line free, no hint of dryness; and best of all, no sore eczema patches on my eyelids! Very pleased! 10/10

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Fair of Face Facial Cleanser –  I’ve only recently tried this cleanser.  It is said to combat oiliness, soothe acne and inflammation without drying the skin.  As my skin is dry, oiliness and acne has never been an  issue.  The cleanser is a light foam, which exudes a pleasant ginger  aroma which is very refreshing and uplifting. A little goes a long way, and leaving it on your face for a few minutes before rinsing off, really wakens up your skin. It certainly made my face feel clean, no itching and no dryness. A fab base before applying moisturiser, foundation and make up.  My face felt so clean that I bypassed the toner stage altogether. 8/10

Without further ado let’s meet Karin, the lovely lady behind English Rose Cosmetics… hi Karin, welcome…image

Hi! I am Karin Mckay, and have worked 17 years in the cosmetic industry. I’m based in Reading and I do pretty much components, packaging, designing the packaging, the social media, sales and marketing.

What was the inspiration behind setting up English Rose Cosmetics?

It literally started out of nothing. My sales & marketing career had ended as due to neck and back injuries in 2009, I’ve had 2 back operations and several neck injections. So I really could only work 3 days a week, without commuting and needed adjustments made in the work place, so that basically made me unemployable. I had been out of work during 2012 and was getting more and more despondent as to what I could do with my life. So when I had the inspiration for the English Rose character, I drew on all my knowledge on ingredients, formulating, manufacturing of cosmetics and contacts in the industry and started working on my own products.

Have you always wanted to be in the makeup /skincare/ beauty industry?

The trends and innovation start with the cosmetic manufacturers, they train their agents around the world and then people like me would present the new ingredients/trends to cosmetic scientists and marketing personnel at the brands. We would make really fabulous example formulations to demonstrate new ingredients. Sometimes the marketing department didn’t “get” the science and sometimes the Cosmetic Scientist were on a tight budget or were under pressure to use existing approved ingredients. Really amazing ingredients never made it through, as brands continued on with the same old formulations and boring ingredients because they didn’t want to be innovators. So all this time I was thinking about the “perfect” skincare and what it should contain.

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What products seem to be most popular with your customers?

Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed eye cream is the biggest seller, as there are not many eye creams that tick all the boxes with under eye problems and customers are really seeing results, some instantly but the majority after a couple of weeks. Customers with more prominent eye bags really notice it’s working when they run and their problems become more noticeable. A lot of people try the concealer route with under eye problems, and this is fine up until the point when eye bags develop. I cannot stress the importance enough of using this eye cream to clear up dark circles and puffy eyes quickly, as in addition, you are putting back elasticity into the under eye area, which will help prevent bags in the future. For customers aged 38+ ideally you should be using this eye cream daily, as our skin loses elasticity and this can lead to under eye bags. The second best seller is Nighty Night Cream – I probably have more customers for Daily Defence Cream, but the ladies that use Nighty Night Cream usually buy 3 at a time online. This can be used day or night and I highly recommend starting at the décolletage and sweeping up the neck to the face. Mature skin needs more moisture and it needs actives that stimulate the cells in the dermis to improved firmness and elasticity and this cream really delivers in that area. I usually recommend to customers to try it on their neck and then feel that area where they applied an hour later. What they notice instantly is how quickly it sinks into their neck; any cream that sinks in quickly is a good indication at how compatible with your skins own oils it is, and how desperately your skin needed a ”drink”. Feeling the area where the cream was applied an hour later, gives a good indication on the ongoing benefits which high quality ingredients deliver.

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I love the Nighty Night Cream – it smells fresh and makes my skin feel delightfully soft. What’s your personal favourite skincare item from your range?

Well, I do love them all and when I create them I think about how to make it the most perfect product in its category and use innovative ingredients with strong evidence behind them. My 48 year old face is a really good advert for my products. If I had to choose only one, I would have to say Fair of Face is very unique and I’m really impressed with every aspect of it. I rarely wear mascara, eye shadow, foundation or powder so I didn’t need an oil based cleanser, but I like to use a good product on my face in the shower as I’m a lazy cleanser. I used to get cyst like spots on my chin every couple of months that would last for about 7 days. Since using Fair of Face I have not had any spots, despite occasionally forgetting to remove make up. Also when I’ve washed with it in the morning and spritzed with Rose Kiss floral water, I have sometimes forgotten to put on moisturiser because my skin does not feel dry. Every other cleanser has left my skin feeling dry, but not this one. I have also put it to the test and used a makeup remover after Fair of Face to check that it’s removing grime thoroughly and it is. I have got into a routine of turning on the shower, applying Fair of Face and then rinsing it off in the shower, as that bit of contact time on the skin allows the plant actives to work.

In a nutshell, what ingredients have you used to make the Nighty Night Cream so effective at plumping out those wrinkles and softening my skin?

Bidens Pilosa (Revinage) is the hero ingredient in Nighty Night Cream. When I developed the night cream I knew I wanted to work in the dermis to boost collagen and elastin production (Extra cellular matrix), and that Retinol/Vitamin A was a good benchmark with proven deep wrinkle reduction. So when I came across a plant with retinoid properties that had strong evidence behind it, I was very interested. The problem with Retinol is it can cause irritancy, so it’s used at very low levels, or customers need to get a prescription to get a higher level and hope they don’t get a reaction. Bidens Pilosa doesn’t cause this type of reaction, which means it can be used at a higher level and therefore be more effective. In addition to plumping out wrinkles its’ been clinically proven to inhibit melanin cells that form age spots. Hyaluronic acid is also in Nighty Night Cream and this is something that’s present in our skin and its function is to hold water, which makes it good at plumping out wrinkels too. There are also a lot of plant oils; rosehip, shea, linseed, cottonseed, evening primrose oil, wheat germ oil etc. and they will provide essential fatty acids to the cellular wall in the epidermis, keeping that functioning optimally, healthy, moisturised and supple. The skin is the biggest organ in our bodies and its important to work with it and give it what it needs to keep it balanced and functioning optimally and this is t he theory which underpins English Rose Cosmetic products.

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What plans, if any, have you got to extend your range of products? Any new products in the pipeline?

If the funds were there I would bring out 7 new products a year, as I really love researching and developing the best possible product. But it takes investment and faster turnover of existing products.

There are three formulations that are ready and they are:
1. Mermaids Cleansing water – a micelle water to remove make up with a seaweed active that calms inflamed skin
2. Moisturising lip gloss in 3 amazing shades, this feels like a molten lipstick and the base makes the colours look vibrant
3. Facial oil with trio of Omega oils and some collagen firming properties – I’m undecided about whether to add a fragrance or not.

These are ideas as I haven’t got the formulation right yet:

1. Land Girls Face Mask with honey, oat and apple                          

 2. Powder Cleanser/Mask – that forms an interesting texture when mixed with water and has potent Vitamin C and fruit acids.

English Rose Cosmetics has been approved by PETA and is licensed to carry their logo. How important was it for the company to get this approval?

As animal testing on finished cosmetics was banned in the UK back in the 90’s, it was misleading to put on packaging “Not animal tested” as a UK or EU company would be breaking the law, and it inferred that other UK cosmetic companies were. The key thing is and always has been the ingredients selected, some products that have been in use for decades would have been tested decades ago, but the majority of EU and US suppliers do not test new ingredients on animals, which is why I prefer to source from them, so I can get declarations at the development stage. In recent years a lot of brands entered the Chinese market and the government there requires finished products to be tested on animals. I believe this will change as the Chinese industry catches up with EU testing techniques which have been adapted to deliver good results without using animals. However A LOT of brands have lost their PETA and BUAV status because of this. I like PETA as they don’t just focus on cosmetics, they focus on animal welfare in all areas, and it’s thanks to their newsletter that I made the decision to stop eating meat (I do have the occasional lapse) as I didn’t feel comfortable about the industrial farming of animals for human consumptions. I don’t judge meat eaters, as I acknowledge that some people love the taste of meat, I never really liked meat so it was easy for me to stop, but I do think it would be wonderful all round if everyone reduced their meat intake.

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I love the names you give to your products – e.g. the Fair of Face Gentle Foaming Cleanser. Where does the inspiration come from when naming your products?

I try and stay true to British phrases that we all know and have a nostalgic feeling towards and try to make it relevant to the product. Example:-
Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed eye cream – gives us the impression of looking fresh and wide awake, exactly what one wants from an eye cream, but I make no guarantees on the Bushy Tail!
Lay Back and Think of England is a cheeky reference to the aphrodisiac properties of rose fragrance.
Rose Kiss Spritz – spraying pure Rosa damascene floral water on the face is like a kiss from a rose, with fresh rain drops on it.
Cocoa Ration Body butter references rationing during WW2 and contains cocoa butter as well as shea and avocado.
Daily Defence Moisturiser – I didn’t manage to come up with an old fashioned name, so I focused on the benefits of the day cream which are: protect against urban pollution and free radical damage.
Nighty Night Cream – most of us remember being told as children, Nighty Night sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!
Fair of Face – this comes from the Monday’s Child Poem, and as the Soap tree bark is very effective in regulating oiliness and clearing up spots, without drying the skin, thus users will have a clear, unblemished face.

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Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Pretty much all of my jumpers seems to have glitter going through them! Everything I wear is well fitted and has some interesting detail to it. I like tailored suits and feminine tops. Because of back problems I mainly wear flat shoes now, brogues, loafers and patent leather or animal print flats. I also quite like a bit of camo and military looking jackets and have the most amazing camo handbag in the shape of a dog, even the zips look like dogs bones. It’s very unique but doesn’t really go with anything.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Online I like Campbell Crafts, I really admire Lindsay’s style, and she has a really good collection of vintage reproduction that is very wearable. On the High Street I like TK Maxx as you can really pick up something a bit different but affordable. Unfortunately I don’t have the finances to spend much money on clothes, so I often check out charity shops and Vintage Events for something wearable and Made in UK.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

The Edith dogtooth wiggle dress from Collectif! I ordered online before Christmas but it was too big, so I’m waiting for my size to come in! I’m always on the look-out for new outfits at Vintage Fairs, I have a love of Made in UK – good quality clothes in tartan, tweed, Prince of Wales, Herringbone, Dogtooth, and of course I would love to find a beautiful Dior Couture outfit from the 50’s, the epitome of feminine elegance.

Boots or Shoes?

Unfortunately I have large calves so battle to find knee high boots that fit, so for me it’s shoes. My favourite pair of shoes is a turquoise/gold Irregular Choice with swans and a Perspex heel. The first time I wore them was to a wedding and I was tasked with looking after the camera to take photos, but apparently when my friends looked at their photos they were mainly of my shoes!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/Facebook/twitter etc. so that readers of the blog can learn more about you and your products

http://English-rose-cosmetics.jimdo.com
https://www.facebook.com/english.rose.cosmetics
https://twitter.com/1940EnglishRose
http://beautyinsiderreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

STOP PRESS…. English Rose Cosmetics will be at the RHS London Rose Show 2015 at the RHS Horticultural Halls 29 – 30 May 2015.  Do go & say “Hello” if you are there!  As usual, let me know if you’ve fallen in love too with English Rose Cosmetics – what products tickled your fancy?

Linda x

Photo Credits: Linda Hobden; English Rose Cosmetics

 

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Spotlight on East Shopping Centre

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Saturday 14th March 2015 sees the grand opening of not only London’s latest shopping centre but it is Europe’s first purpose-built boutique Asian shopping centre, East Shopping Centre, based in Green Street, London E7 – not far from West Ham’s football ground and Newham’s other recently built shopping centre, Westfield Stratford. Following its successful soft launch on January 24th 2015, East Shopping Centre has generated around 200 jobs for the local area as well as injecting much needed enthusiasm for shopping locally. Built on the one acre site of the former bus depot, the centre has retained its original facade but has incorporated the latest eco friendly touches such as solar panels, water flow restrictors, and carefully resourced building materials – protecting resources and saving money too. Green Street has always had an important trade and cultural heritage – my own mother bought her wedding dress from a Green Street dressmaker back in 1962 – and East Shopping Centre hope to build upon and become part of that heritage too.

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So, what’s inside the shopping centre? Major Asian fashion outlets are represented including Zarkan of London, Andaaz Fashion, Memsaab, Imaani London…plus other non fashion companies including Urban Chocolatier and Coffee Republic too. There is a “souk” comprising of smaller, local stores selling everything from costume jewellery to mobile phones – menswear, shoes, bags…

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Overlooking the shopping centre is a spectacular food court where you’ll find food delights such as Piri Piri Chicken from the Roosters chain, desserts and mocktails galore from Lost Asia, American-style burgers from Brioche Burgers… getting hungry?

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Being indoors, the centre is ideal as an all year round shopping venue and with its late night closing time, your shopping pleasure is not hurried.

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So, as I was saying, Saturday 14th March is the official opening day and from 12pm West Ham MP Lyn Brown will be cutting the ribbon. There will be lots going on – the centre will be creating a mela atmosphere with music, dhol players, face painting and much more. East Shopping Centre is also offering raffle tickets giving one lucky winner the chance to win a luxury weekend holiday for two in Dubai, £1000 gift voucher to spend at East Shopping Centre and two iPad Mini 3’s. The first 100 people to arrive on Saturday will receive vouchers to the food court worth £10. All proceeds raised from the raffle will be donated to Masoom, a locally based charity that supports vulnerable women and children around the world.

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East Shopping Centre can be found at 232-236 Green Street, London E7 8LE.

For more information, you can follow East Shopping Centre via their website – www.eastshoppingcentre.com – or via Twitter @EastShopping; Facebook: East Shopping Centre; Instagram: EastShopping

Hope to see you all there! Happy Shopping!

Linda x

All photos have been published with kind permission from Puja Vedi

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Spotlight on Arbonne

This week I bring you a review and an interview!  I have been looking for a decent mascara for ages – one that’ll make my eyelashes look lush both day and night – the ones I have tried go all clumpy on me!  Megan Thompson from Arbonne came to my aid.  Arbonne are known more for their skincare than their make up – and Megan was telling me that the mascara was fab – so she kindly gave me the mascara and some primer to review for you (and hopefully put an end to my lush eyelash quest).

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“It’s A Long Story Mascara” – looking very chic, the applicator is a long thin brush that coats the eyelashes really well – and no clumps! The claim is that the lashes not only look longer but actually do grow longer.  Not sure how true that is as I didn’t measure my eyelashes before I started using the mascara – all I know is that I definitely love the look that the mascara creates.  It is pricier than a lot of mascaras but it is the best mascara I’ve tried.  9/10 

“Make Up Primer” – I’m not a fan of the matt make up face look – I like my skin to illuminate and I find that primer dulls my skin.  Although I do not use primer under my foundation, I do use primer on my eyelids as a base for my eyeshadow and it also doubles up as a skin soother as I do get a bit of eczema on my eyelids and primer seems to stop the itching! This primer leaves your skin with a soft peachy feel and was easy to apply. For a flawless, matt face this primer is superb. 8/10

Thank you for introducing me to these products Megan and welcome to the blog:image

Hi! I’m Megan Thompson – I’m an Independent Health and Wellness Consultant for Arbonne. 

What made you decide to become a representative for Arbonne?

I was asked two questions: If you continue to do EXACTLY what you are doing right now, where will you be in 5 years? And If you were to lose the main source of income in your home, how long can you live on what you have saved? This made me think deeply about what I really wanted out of life. I decided to become an Independent Consultant for Arbonne as I want to build my own business. I want time leverage, independence, financial stability NOT have financial worries. I saw the opportunity in the UK was monumental! There is nothing better than spending a day with friends and family, meeting for drinks and/or lunch or dinner, and sharing business ideas. My dreams have become reality in a way that I’d never have imagined and I am overjoyed. I do not want to have to work full time for someone else,making them money nor do I,as a mother, want to be working and missing out on my children. My Arbonne business will enable me to give up work and have this as my sole income. When I become Area manager (in the next 2 months) my income will become willable for the next 8 generations of family of my choice! What company offers that? If I worked in a bank they wouldn’t carry on paying my wages to my family would they? My income also doubles. The business opportunity that comes with Arbonne is amazing! I am always looking to expand my team. I want to help others build their own successful business whether it be for a little extra income each month or to build a full time business with a willable income and other amazing opportunities. Full support and training is given throughout. The products are also necessities – things that we all use on a daily basis – hair care, skin care, cosmetics, fragrance, weight management, nutrition, sun care starting from the ABC baby range to the RE9 anti aging range and covering everything in the middle. Having this business will enable me to see the world, I get to educate people on what they are and are not putting into their skin and body! Knowing what I know now about daily products that we all use, I shall never use anything else other than Arbonne! I love how my life has turned so much brighter as well as my future!

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Have you always wanted to be in the make up/skincare/ beauty industry?

I wanted to use products that are pure, safe and beneficial as I do not agree with testing on animals nor using animal by-product(s). I have always wanted to be in the health and wellness sector but finding the right products has been quite difficult until 4 months ago when my personal trainer introduced me to Arbonne. I had already tried a range of products and was very sceptical but thought I would give Arbonne a trial as she swore by using them! I’VE NEVER LOOKED BACK! This has changed my life.

What products seem to be most popular with your customers?

My customers have various favourites but the best seller and most popular with the majority of customers is the RE9 Anti aging skin care range, the It’s a long story mascara and the Primer.

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What’s your personal favourite item from your range?

Oh my, where do I start??? My favourite items (I can’t pick 1….) I would say has to be the toothpaste, the pure vibrance hair care range, primer, cc cream, RE9 corrective eye cream and the mascara. These products I use on a daily basis. The difference in my skin, my complexion, my hair and the way I feel and look are amazing. I have daily comments from people on how good my skin is looking, how radiant I am and how nice my complexion is!

Is there a preferred way to purchase from you – online, through personal consultation,via home parties?

There are various ways you can purchase from me – I offer personal consultations face to face, online consultations, skype sessions, telephone call, spa evenings on a 1:1 basis or you can invite friends/family (these are very fun – we play games and try the products.With the cosmetics, I teach contouring and how to colour match your perfect colour). It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, I can help you and all consultations are FREE! I also offer free try before you buy product samples.

What advice would you give to somebody looking at perhaps joining Arbonne as a representative/consultant?

The products are brilliant and it is great to be able to build up a business to suit you and around the kids (if you have any)! I’m happy to chat to anyone who is interested in the products, swap ideas as a consultant or just chat. I love nothing more than being a part of this amazing company and the leader of my forever growing team. The relationships and friendships that I have built building this business are absolutely invaluable. You’re able to choose who you work with and when you work! It’s up to you who you wish to spend time with and this is paramount to your happiness. I can honestly say there has never been a period of time where I have been happier than now and I have never looked backed from the day I joined Arbonne! You also have amazing discounts by joining Arbonne that comes with the business opportunity.

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In your opinion, how does Arbonne differ from other skincare brands?

Arbonne formulas are based on botanical skin care principles and formulated without animal products or animal by-products, parabens, formaldehyde, PABA, mineral oil, petrolatum and phthalates toluene.  Arbonne delivers its products in a timely manner, everything is packaged nicely, with sufficient usage instructions. Arbonne claims the range contains high concentrations of advanced ingredients that support collagen and restore the skin’s youthful appearance. Arbonne Re9 contains nine anti aging ingredients, including Vitamin C and Algae Extract. The percentage of active ingredients is reasonably high compared to other skin care brands. Arbonne is not as heavy handed as other skin care companies when it comes to marketing claims. Arbonne lists its ingredients clearly on its website and describes the function of each ingredient.

Although you are based in the UK you are able to ship overseas. Can you give further details for those non-UK readers?

Although I am based in the UK I can ship worldwide! Arbonne is a global business so no matter where you are in the world I can deliver right to your door.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Depends on the day I am having. If I am at home then I will be in some jogging pants and a t-shirt and slippers for the winter and for the summer I’ll be out in the garden in a bikini and sunbathing. At work I will be in office attire – skirt, tights, top and blazer. If I’m going out on a lunch/dinner/coffee date, I always dress smart casual but comfortable and fashionable.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

My favourite clothes shops are Lavish Alice and Silk Fred. I love a bit of Ebay for some unique clothing to fill my wardrobe.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

Some thigh high boots and a jumpsuit are on my list of what to buy next ready for an evening to dance the night away with friends, and a couple of dresses to wear, one for the Ascot races day in June and another for a wedding in March.

Boots or Shoes?

Can’t decide on boots or shoes because I love them all. I have an amazing collection of different styles of footwear. It all depends on the outfit I choose to wear.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can order and read up on Arbonne’s range of products.
Website – www.arbonne.com 

Linda x

Photo Credits:  Linda Hobden; Megan Thompson (profile pic)

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An Interview With Miss Brazil & Miss England 2014

It’s Saturday lunchtime and I’m sitting here chatting to two of the world’s most beautiful women, Julia Gama aka  Miss Brazil 2014 and Carina Tyrrell aka Miss England 2014, just 2 out of 120 beautiful ladies hoping to win the title of Miss World 2014 on December 14th 2014, being held back in London (the last time the competition was in London was the very first Miss World  63 years ago).

The girls have just had their interview process in the “Beauty With A Purpose” part of the competition. Since this ethos was introduced into the Miss World competition, the contestants have raised millions of pounds and have endured countless hours of hard work to make a difference and bring about positive changes to communities in need worldwide.  Both girls agreed enthusiastically that the “Beauty With A Purpose” part of the competition was their overall favourite part, with Carina commenting how heartwarming it was listening to the interviews of her fellow contestants describing the various projects they’re involved in worldwide and how fantastic it was that these young ladies are so committed to the various causes. So, girls, what are your “Beauty With A Purpose “projects?

Miss Brazil: My project is the Fight Against Leprosy.image

Miss England: My project is to help the homeless in Cambridge – it was the charitable side of the Miss World competition that attracted me to enter in the first place.

Miss Brazil: Yes, that reason attracted me too.

What is your current occupation?

Miss B: I’m a student of chemical engineering in my 3rd year at university and a model too.

Miss E: I’m a student doctor in Cambridge.

How have you got on walking in heels on stage? Has it taken lots of practice?

Miss B : Do you know, before the competition I had never worn make up or heels! Honestly! But I have been really good, I think!  And I’ve enjoyed the experience!

Miss E: It does take practice and I’ve had lots although I think heels shouldn’t be too high.

Have you had any embarrassing moments so far?

Miss B: One time, in the hair and make-up room, there was a plate of cakes with bright pink icing for us to eat. I had one, so delicious, but I realised just before being interviewed that the pink dye was around my mouth and teeth.  I had to scrub my face really hard to get rid of it!

Miss E: No, nothing embarrassing … although at a charity party for the homeless project, I did lose one of my contact lens and almost stumbled as I made an entrance!

What outfits/shoes would you normally be found wearing when not in competition mode?

Miss B: Comfy, sportswear type of clothes. I am very casual. As I said earlier, entering this competition was the first time I wore heels and make up. I have enjoyed the heels and make up experience though.

Miss E: I like wearing smart trousers and skirts and elegant jackets – more chic wear rather than casual.

imageAny favourite shopping haunts?

Miss B: Garancedore.fr

Miss E: Debenhams – love the vast range of clothes, especially the pencil skirts and bolero jackets. I’m so pleased that Debenhams is sponsoring my Miss World wardrobe. I rather like Guess too…

Boots Or Shoes?

Miss B: Shoes? As in..heels? Erm.. that is difficult.. I’d say both.. as long as they’re comfortable!

Miss E: Shoes. Most definitely.

Thank you ladies for spending some of your lunch break  chatting to me. I wish you both the best of luck in the competition.  To follow the lovely Julia and Carina and their fellow contestants in their bid to become Miss World 2014,  download the Miss World 2014 app featuring Miss World TV with its live and scheduled broadcasts from key events including the Miss World final.

Linda x

All photos have been published with kind permission of Miss World organisation.

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Doing The Blog Hop

imageThis week I’m talking “blog hopping”!  Blog Hopping? I hear you ask!  Let me tell you, it was a question on my lips when the lovely Eve from the Feel Better Every Day Consultancy nominated me to take part.  I’ve never done this kind of thing before, but I was willing to have go!   The idea is pretty simple : I have to answer 4 questions on my blog, then pass the “baton” to two other writers.  So, here goes… bear with as I step up to the mastermind chair….

1. What Am I Working On?

Currently I’m preparing interviews to appear on my blog in the next couple of months …I won’t say the “C” word but it is looming!  I have a great line up already in place this Autumn – I’ve interviewed models, authors, bag designers, shoe designers, start ups, jewellers, beauty product companies, fashion houses, TV psychics….

2. How Does My Work Differ From Others In This Genre?

Probably the interview style blogposts I would say, as I don’t do an awful lot of photographing myself in various outfits! I try to concentrate more on interviewing interesting and inspirational people and companies from all corners of the globe, some connected with the fashion industry , others not – but all linked with personal fashion and footwear tastes at the end of the interview.  Another factor is that I’m a lot older than the average fashion blogger.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

I enjoy it.  I enjoy chatting to different people and I have a wide variety of interests and I have a passion for writing and reading that matches my passion for fashion and boots!  As I’m a bit older (just a tad!) than your average fashion and shoe blogger I hope, through my blog, to pass on the message that as you get older you can continue to dress fashionably without looking like “mutton dressed as lamb” or resorting to looking like a frump! As mum to a trendy and glam 21 year old daughter, I am pretty much kept in check if something I wear is OTT or frumpy!

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

My blogposts differ each week and I enjoy chatting and getting to know the people I’m about to interview. Most interviewees I either know personally or have got to know and followed via social media for a long time. Others have been introduced to me at events, via PR agents, others approach me direct and some I email direct asking to interview them.Some interviews are done in person but most are online. I do a lot of research before I do an interview so as I can really understand and get interested in the person or company. I tend to work in advance, so “interviews” are often held about 6 weeks prior to the publishing date.

Thank you Eve for nominating me, it was fun!  I’m passing the baton onto two completely different but equally as fab writers…. author Carol E Wyer who has just published her 7th humorous book, Three Little Birds ( read Carol’s interview with me HERE) imageand to fellow blogger, Hosiery For Men, whose knowledge about hosiery has no limits and regardless of gender, his hosiery reviews and opinions are most highly regarded….image I look forward to reading their blog hops…..

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photos published with kind permission of Carol E Wyer; Hosiery For Men; Linda Hobden

STOP PRESS …. the lovely people at Wear Eponymous have awarded me their blogger award and I now proudly display the award badge on my blog!  I interviewed Wear Eponymous last year and I’m pleased to say that their stylish outfits are continuing to wow!  To read my interview with Wear Eponymous, press HERE.

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An Interview With Feel Fab! Look Fabulous!

As I type this blogpost the sun is streaming through the window and after weeks of seemingly endless rain, this February sunny morning I’m feeling really good and full of the joys of Spring!  How appropriate that this week’s interview is also about feeling fab –  I’m chatting to Rose, co-founder of Feel Fab! Look Fabulous! a beauty and well being events company.  Hi and welcome to the blog Rose…20140221-150535.jpg

Hi I’m Rose Holden and I’m co- founder of Feel Fab! Look Fabulous! I’ve just read an article in the Sunday paper and I guess I am best described as a Mumpreneur as I’m a proud working mum of two teenagers, Nick 14 and Kitty 16. Having been in the corporate world of Brewing for over 35 years, I opted for redundancy two years ago and decided to start my own business which would allow me more time and flexibility to spend with the children in their important final school years.

Where did you get inspiration from to start a beauty & well-being events company?

Two years ago I decided to take on a matchmaking franchise and found advertising a minefield. I had confidence in my ability but didn’t know how to reach the right audience. Being a new starter I was easy prey to the relentless touter of advertising space, genuine and sadly some scams. I also became a distributor for Forever Living, which has a fantastic range of Aloe and Bee Pollen products. I found these often helped my clients with improvement in their inner well-being and outward appearance. Sitting down one day over a cup of coffee, with a fellow networker, a style and life coach, we found we had a similar client database and the same aim which was to help improve our clients’ overall wellbeing. We had had the same advertising nightmares and hit and miss success at local trade fairs. And so we came up with the idea of running our own event, where we could market our individual businesses to our target audience. Deciding the name was the hardest part! And so Feel Fab! Look Fabulous! was born.

Have you always been in the beauty/wellbeing industry or more the events side of things?

My background was brewing and I worked in many divisions: sales, marketing, finance, but never actually brewed a pint! I had always been involved in project planning to some degree and latterly my role in facilities and contract management meant dealing with suppliers and event profitability at our in house conference centre and hotel.

You take a prestigious setting, add local sole traders or small businesses, stir in some retail therapy, sprinkle in some mini treatments, & mix in the general public – so what sort of venues or event seems to be most popular at the moment?

The events we held last year were in a luxurious 4 star hotel and a Golf and Country club, both in prestigious surroundings. We find that people like to come out and make an evening of it, with family and friends or as individuals where they can socialise, take time out for a drink or a coffee in between waiting for treatments or a spot of retail therapy. We discovered early on that people love mini treatments, head and shoulder massages, holistic therapies and manicures are always in demand, so we are increasing the number of these. People love to shop and we seek out good quality, unique products. Handbags and jewellery are firm favourites and we couldn’t hold an event without a chocolate and cake retailer present. This year so far we have a real mix of events planned. The Octagon Shopping centre in Burton for a Saturday daytime and evenings at Trent Lock Golf Club, Hilton House Hotel, Trent College and 107 Station Street, Burton.

20140221-150527.jpgHave you had any memorable events you can tell us about? Any funny moments?

We had to laugh when we discovered that we had arranged our first event on Comic Relief night! It didn’t seem to put people off though and many said they were glad to escape the television for a few hours, all though it was on in the bar just in case.

How do businesses benefit from booking at your events? You usually run a charity raffle too. Who has benefited so far?

Firstly, the host location is important. We work in partnership with businesses that, apart from meeting our criteria of style and ambiance, also wants to enhance their public awareness and increase footfall with repeat business. The host will often offer a free meal or spa day, for example, as a raffle prize. Our ‘showcasers’, as we like to call them, are often local sole traders or small businesses who are looking for a low cost method of marketing themselves to the general public. They don’t usually have a high street presence unless they are working independently in a shared shop or office. We give them a platform to ‘showcase’ their products and services, gaining experience and confidence along the way. We are on hand to offer advice and tips too.

 We normally let the host decide on the charity. We ask each business showcasing to provide a raffle prize, a product or service which is an opportunity for follow on or repeat business. The charity takes the prizes and runs the raffle on the night so that everyone wins. We have so far raised money for St Giles Hospice and Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness. The charities that will benefit this year are the YMCA and Breast Cancer. We are also helping the purchase of a defibrillator for a local golf club and school charities.

What mini treatment or “service” is your absolute favourite when visiting an event, either as a host or customer?

That’s a tricky one. I personally adore a shoulder or head massage but a foot massage wins every time.

You can also arrange corporate events – what type of business benefits from your event?

We like to work with companies who value their employees or customers and would like to reward them in a unique way. What better way to say thank you than with a beauty treatment or therapy and time out for themselves. We offer half days or evenings which can be incorporated in away days for example. We try to use local traders too who may get repeat business afterwards. We work within our client’s budget parameters to deliver a memorable event from which everyone leaves feeling and looking fabulous!

You also have a monthly networking group – Not Just Networking – set up for individuals & small businesses operating mainly in the beauty/health/wellbeing industry and apart from networking you offer support, education, personal & business growth. What do you believe are the main advantages of belonging to such a group? What do you enjoy most about belonging to a network group?

Phew! That’s a lot of questions. I am passionate about networking and am in several clubs. I love meeting people and discovering how I can help them as an individual. It’s a bit like being a matchmaker, where you spot that two people have things in common and together they would make a good couple! Networking isn’t just about you selling your product or service, it’s about getting to know someone, building trust and being able to recommend them to someone you know who needs them. You can only really do this by being part of a regular group. If you have a group of like-minded people with similar goals then it’s a great recipe for success.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

At this time of year I’m always in boots and have few shoes. I love jeggings and thick tights and long jumpers or knitted dresses. I only wear a dress for a formal occasion and then I like to really dress up. In the summer I’ll go for A-line dresses and flip flops. I don’t like my legs so shorts are a no no.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

I’ve probably bought most from Fat Face and Phase Eight in the past. I prefer the whole shopping experience and day out to on line shopping.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I’m determined to find a pair of comfy shoes that preferably have a bit of a heel. I had a toe operation some years ago and find it really difficult to find shoes to fit. Hence why I wear boots and flip flops!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you!

People can find out more about what we have going on at our website www.feelfabevents.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @Feelfabevents or like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FeelFabLookFabulous

Thank you very much for a FAB interview and I’m sure my readers will be looking out for your events in the future…

Linda x

Photo Credits: Photos published with kind permission of Look Fab! Feel Fabulous!

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