Tag Archive: beauty

“Yes, I am plus size”: British woman showcases her curves at India beauty pageant

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“Pretty comes in all different shapes and sizes”

Being plus size is nothing new. However, a beauty pageant in India broke the mould by hosting their first beauty pageant for the more ‘voluptuous woman’.

With only a criteria of a 34-inch waist and age between 21 and 40 years, this was certainly a chance for Indian women to show off their curves at the Ms Plus Size North India 2017 competition.

With 40 finalists, Sukhminder Kaur from Leicester was proud to be the only UK applicant representing plus size women.

She reached the last 16, but took home the Ms Popularity prize voted for by her fellow contestants. Bishamber Das - Britain's first Asian plus size model was among the judges.

Sukhminder Kaur said and she was proud to be the only UK applicant representing plus size women. “This is a great opportunity for Indian women to showcase their curves and shout out loud and proud that ‘yes, I am plus size’,” she said.

“The west is more excepting of plus size women.

“However, I am so proud to be part of a platform that is making it acceptable to be my size in my culture.

“It seems that society still demands that Indian women should be fair or thin and conform to a particular way of looking to be pretty.

“But thanks to Ms Plus Size North India 2017, this is the beginning of educating and making people understand that pretty comes in all different shapes and sizes.

“The best girl won, and I am so proud to be given the title of Ms Plus Size North India Top 16 Finalist as well as Ms Popularity.

“This was a wonderful experience and I met some magnificent people during my time in India.

“I would certainly encourage women to promote plus size in anyway possible to slam body-shamers.

“The more we encourage this, the more it will become acceptable worldwide.”

The winner was Vernika Jain, from Delhi.

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Birmingham’s beauty

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Harleen Sidhu who hopes to use her own success to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

Harleen Sidhu who hopes to use her own success to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

 

Harleen Sidhu wants to use her beauty pageant success to help those less fortunate

Harleen Sidhu will compete in this year’s Miss England popularity heat at Leicester’s Sanctuary workshop on 10th June, after she was crowned Miss Popularity Birmingham 2017.

Although Harleen missed out on the Title of ‘Miss Birmingham’, she received the most public votes which saw her win the popularity award which allows her entry into Miss England’s Popularity heat which gives her another chance to secure a place in the Miss England finals.

Sidhu who is currently teaching full-time at an all-boys school in Kings Heath, graduated from Aston University in 2013 with a MSc in Health Psychology. Where she volunteered helping other final year Psychology students as a graduate scheme mentor.

She has also done a lot of volunteering and charity work to help her connect with others within the wider community, this includes time spent at non-profit organisation such as Diabetes UK, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, UK Asian women’s centre and vulnerable customers in debt management at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Harleen is raising money for Miss Birmingham’s chosen charity which is Beauty with a purpose which looks to help sick and disadvantaged children. She recently completed a bake sale outside Handsworth library on June 2nd to raise more money for the charity

Ms. Sidhu is looking to use this opportunity to help evolve herself and inspire other people, she said: “I got into this searching for an opportunity to get involved which would help develop me even further as a person and find something new.”

“When I found the details of the competition of I just felt the urge to apply and go for it, not knowing that I’d be selected as a finalist.”

“I was simply honest about the work I’ve done, the fact that I wanted to get involved in a platform that would allow me to inspire others and tell my story. Everybody has a story to tell but I feel my experiences both personal and professional are relatable.”

“I wanted to use my experience and voluntary/charity work to show people that it’s never too late, they can still do it and to never give up, the hardest part is to take the risk and just go for it and that is exactly what I did.”

“The biggest inspiration in my life has been my mum who has always pushed me when to pursue opportunities that seemed crazy to me, I will always remember the joy it gave my mum when I told her I finally mustered the courage to apply and take part, I know I’ve made her proud and that means everything.”

Harleen also discussed the importance of representing her community she explained:” I hope I’ve made the South Asian community proud too, being a Punjabi it means so much to be able to voice my opinion and represent my community.”

“I believe there are many figures from my own background that have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and talent, history has shown this time and time again.”

“To be able to tell young, Asian talent to get out there and make the most of opportunities or search for them if they are not there is a gift, because if we don’t inspire the generation that follows, we won’t see positive change in our society.”

“We don’t deserve or want a broken Birmingham, but a city that bridges the gap between communities and increases well-being for individuals. I will strive to continue this regardless of the outcome.”

Harleen wants to use her pageant experience to do further charitable work and help more people where possible she said:

“It would be amazing to win and see where the pageant journey takes me, but regardless of the outcome, an opportunity like this has opened a few doors for me already to expand my network and reach out to those needing inspiration to start a new course, learn skills and get out more and volunteer.”

“All things I wasn’t taught but was inspired by others, so it’s a blessing to be able to ‘pass the torch’ of lifelong learning and inspiration.”

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Blueline Training Academy offer fast track course for a career in beauty

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Blueline Training Academy offer a step in the right direction for those wanting to get into the beauty business.

Since they opened their doors in 2015, the Blueline Training Academy has offered a range of training opportunities and learning experiences for those hoping to break into beauty.

The training school is famous for its high quality, professional and friendly beauty, hair, nail and make-up courses. Their doors are not only open to beginners hoping to kick off their career, existing beauty therapists who are looking to learn new skills can sign up for their courses too, in a fast-paced and fun environment.

You hard work will land you a Beauty Academy diploma or VTCT qualification, which are respected within the industry and put you head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to looking for work in your chosen field.

“We pride ourselves on having specialist and experienced tutors to ensure our clients and trainees get the most from their time at our academy,” they say.

“At BLTA, we teach our courses in small groups so as to benefit the students’ learning during training. We also offer 1-to-1 training courses. Our fast-track courses are great for beginners who are starting out in the beauty therapy/holistic therapy, as well as professionals within the industry who want to further their career.”

Fast-track courses can start from as little as £80, and with courses such as make-up, nail art, henna, eye treatments, body massage, waxing, threading, manicure, pedicure, gel polish, employability skills, functional skills, customer services and hairdressing, there’s a lot to be learned.

As a student at the Blueline Training Academy, you can rest assured that you will be supported through your time there by their highly-trained support team. Staff are on hand Monday to Friday (9.00am – 5.30pm) to support their students throughout their studies and beyond, and their friendly and efficient booking team will ensure your booking is processed swiftly.

With so many options, learning at the Blueline Training Academy is flexible. They have internal and external tutors who are able to deliver courses at any location that is suitable for the learners. They strive to help students achieve their goals and help them to become successful individuals.

If you’re interested in learning at the Blueline Training Academy, here’s what you need to know: You must be over 19 years of age and eligible to study in the UK. Paying for your course can be done in instalments – payment schemes are flexible and 0% interest - but if you are currently employed in the industry, your employer may contribute towards your fees. Alternatively, you might be entitled to an Advanced Learning Loan.

Even if you’re not looking to learn how to perform beauty treatments yourself, you can still pop down to the Blueline Trainin Academy to get pampered. At the Blueline Training Academy they boast a wide variety of beauty, holistic and hairdressing treatments which are carried out in their luxury candlelit treatment rooms, so you can refresh and revitalise with their services.

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Arch Beauty expands salon services

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When the ladies are looking for a beautician, they want one who’s been in the industry with a solid few years under her belt, providing a high standard of service.

Momina, fondly known as Mona, has just opened a larger, more luxurious site on Roundhay Road in Leeds, after running her salon successfully in Kirkgate Market for eight years.

Offering a bespoke and high quality service to ladies only, Arch Beauty does everything from threading to haircuts, from facials to waxing and a lot more besides.

Being a one-stop shop where you can have your hair cut, coloured and styled, Mona also does eye-lashes, tinting, manicures, pedicures and make-up. Now the salon specialises in bridal mehndi and bridal make-up.  

“It’s always lovely to see my regulars, particularly one of my oldest customers who is 85 and she comes all the way from Bradford.

“I take great pride in the quality of service my clients are given, and I ensure they leave with a smile on their faces.”


Arch Beauty’s special offers

Full Arms + Full Legs + Under Arms - for just £30.

Threading + Tinting + Eyelashes – for just £19


 

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Pain is beauty? 3 reasons why you should wear high heels to work & how to do it

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It’s a common problem - finding the pair of heels of your dreams, but also finding that they hurt after a mere few minutes. In a case like this, many of us comfort our minds by telling ourselves that ‘pain is beauty’.

But a shoe consultant (yes… there is such a thing) talks of the practicalities of wearing stilettos all day.

Footwear expert, Susannah Davis, says it’s very difficult to find comfortable, beautiful, smart shoes. She adds that once ladies are guided on the style appropriate for their weight, height and lifestyles, the winning formula to wearing comfy height-enhancing heels can be achieved.

Although comfort really is key, but, if the shoes are too pretty and you simply can’t live without them, we’ve given you some tips and tricks on how to grin and bear it and stay on your feet-in your heels-for longer than an hour.


Why wear heels?

Confidence

A little extra height can boost your confidence. The phrase "walk taller" wouldn't exist if it wasn't for this effect. Perhaps this is because you see eye-to-eye or can look down on more of the population when your height is increased.

Poise

High heels tend to look smarter than flats. It is difficult to find flats which compliment a skirt or trouser suit as well as a pair of elegant heels.

Quality

Heels look more expensive, whereas flats can look cheap. A well-designed high heel in quality leather, will tend to look ooze craftsmanship, whereas even the most beautiful flats from the finest Italian factories will struggle to compete on look.


Quick Tips

Ensure you’re wearing the right shoe size

Sounds silly, but it’s true.

Know your foot type

Do you have a flat foot or a high arched foot? This can help explain why you are experiencing pain when wearing high heels and help you choose a style and type better suited (but still stylish) for your foot.

Thicker heels lessen the pain

Thinner heels can cause your foot to wobble. We know that a certain outfit calls for a stiletto, but as long as you’re not wearing these all day everyday, you will be fine.

Thicker soles, sister!

A thicker sole or a bit of a platform is the kind of shoe that’s going to give you chic comfort, as there’s less pressure on the sole of your foot. Cushioned soled shoes are a great investment, especially if you wear heels all day.


 

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Discover beauty at Zeena Emporium

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Bradford boutique is back to its best

In 2010, Zeena Emporium opened its doors for the first time, bringing an array of unique kaleidoscopic partywear to Bradford’s famed Great Horton Road.

Embracing individuality, the business quickly gained a reputation for its bespoke designs, each one influenced by the Eastern world and manufactured by hand by trained tailors in Delhi.

“The business grew so fast,” said Naila Nasar, who owns business alongside her husband.

“We offer dresses and lengha that no other boutique in the country can, as so many of our designs are bespoke imports.

“All our products are stitched using high quality fabrics, with every garment rich in colour, styled with the finest cut, intricate embroidery and hand finished embellishments.”

Despite the business’ rapid rise in popularity, a change in management almost two years ago saw the business suffer, with Naila and Nasar taking time away from work to start a family.

Now back in business, with their adorable one-year-old Isa, Zeena Emporium is on the up.

“Since we have returned to work, customers have begun to come back through the doors and see that the quality they expect from Zeena Emporium is here,” Naila added.

“We have worked hard to re-establish our position as a market leader in the Eastern fashion industry and would like to invite all customers, new and old, to come down and see what we have to offer.”

As well as hundreds of dresses in all shapes and sizes, the fashion house also boasts an exquisite selection of handbags, jewellery and footwear to perfectly compliment all garments.

A newly opened bridal suite is the latest in-store investment and takes up the entire second floor.

Naila said: “We launched the bridal suite six months ago and it has gone really well. We had hoped to do something like this previously and due to a high demand from we were able to take the leap of faith.”

In Arabic, Zeena is a name bestowed upon something of beauty. At Zeena Emporium, you are bound to find a beautiful garment beyond all expectations.

Contact details:

378-380 Great Horton Road, Bradford, BD7 3HS

Tel: 01274 571572

Email: www.zeenaemporium.co.uk

follow us on Instagram @zeena_emporium

Follow us on Facebook @zeenaemporium


SALE SALE SALE – Week commencing 17th December, be sure to head down to Zeena Emporium for huge discounts on bespoke and designer wear – SALE SALE SALE


 

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Modest Miss Minnesota: Beauty in a hijab reaches US semi-finals

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BEAUTY IS WITHIN: Halima Aden said that people should be ‘confident in their own skin’ (Pic cred: Halima Aden’s Instagram)

BEAUTY IS WITHIN: Halima Aden said that people should be ‘confident in their own skin’ (Pic cred: Halima Aden’s Instagram)

A 19-year-old Minnesota woman made history in the state's Miss USA beauty pageant over the weekend, becoming the first contestant to compete in a hijab - and during the bathing suit competition- a burkini.

Halima Aden, a Somali-American teen who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, opted for traditional attire at Miss Minnesota USA pageant.

Halima immigrated to America with her family when she was six. During the beauty competition, she says she has found support from her fellow contestants. 

GROUNDBREAKING: Halima Aden with her top 15 trophy (Pic cred: Ellery McCardle’s Twitter)

GROUNDBREAKING: Halima Aden with her top 15 trophy (Pic cred: Ellery McCardle’s Twitter)

She said: “A lot of girls were very supportive of what I’m doing, and that just makes it all worth it.

“My advice to them is just be confident in your own skin, know that an extra layer of clothing does not define your beauty, because beauty is within.”

Halima didn't win the competition — she made the top 15 in a contest of 45 — but she still took the showing as a victory.

“This is a big win for us,” Halima told American press.

“I'm the first to do this, and I'm hoping to see more Muslim women wearing burkinis, being celebrated.

“Be who you are. It's easy to feel like you have to blend in, but it takes courage to live your life with conviction and embrace the person that you are.”

She told MPR: “What I wanted to do was to just give people a different perspective. We just needed one more thing to unify us. This is a small act, but I feel like having the title of Miss Minnesota USA when you are Somali-American, when you are a Muslim woman, I think that would open up people’s eyes.”

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Canada’s crown? Aberdeen beauty queen to compete in Miss Pakistan

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SCOTTISH SENSATION: The Scottish beauty will be intensively judged over four days of competitions

SCOTTISH SENSATION: The Scottish beauty will be intensively judged over four days of competitions

A hair and makeup artist from Aberdeen has been offered the chance to compete internationally in Toronto, for the title of Miss World Pakistan.  

Glasgow-born Madiha Iqbal, 27, first got into pageants in 2009 after working backstage offering hair and makeup services to the models.

Madiha said: “I then went on to hosting and judging pageants and then I worked up the confidence to enter them.”

The gorgeous beauty queen with striking dark looks has already won a handful of titles and is the current Miss United Scotland.

BEAUTY QUEEN: Madiha has already won many beauty awards and is looking forward to her long-haul flight to Toronto

BEAUTY QUEEN: Madiha has already won many beauty awards and is looking forward to her long-haul flight to Toronto

“I have also been crowned Miss Progress Scotland, Miss Aberdeen and Face of Aberdeen,” she added.

“I have already won regional and national titles, so this opportunity is the next step for me in my pageant journey.

“Winning a world-class crown would be a lifetime dream come true and it would be an honour to not just represent Pakistan, but Scotland too.”

Heading to Canada next week, Madiha will compete for four days for the title of Miss Pakistan World.

She said: “I have been working extremely hard to prepare for this pageant. Winning the title would mean so much to me, not just to myself but I want to do it for the nation and young girls that look up to me.

“I want to be a good role model for the younger generation and Pakistanis around the world. It would be a dream come true.”

About Miss Pakistan World

Miss Pakistan World is a beauty pageant that started the whole pageant industry for Pakistan. It was the first pageant that sent its winners to international pageants. Conceived in 2002 in Ottawa, Ontario Canada, the competition has been running successfully for years and has expanded to Mrs. Pakistan World and Mr. Pakistan World. The pageant was started by Sonia Ahmed who saw this as a movement for bringing together the youth of Pakistanis living abroad as well as from Pakistan - a platform parallel to Pakistan in entertainment.

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Harpinder is your new Miss Leeds: Swapping airport runways for fashion runways!

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BEAUTIES: The competition was extremely high in this year’s Miss Leeds contest with all the entrants stunning the judges

BEAUTIES: The competition was extremely high in this year’s Miss Leeds contest with all the entrants stunning the judges

All hail your new beauty queen! A stunning air hostess from Leeds has managed to pluck the crown from the hopeful hands of 13 other gorgeous girls to become Miss Leeds.

With her beautiful dark hair, huge brown eyes and heart-stopping mega watt smile, 24-year-old Harpinder Rai may soon be swapping airport runways for the runways of the fashion world.

The grand final - held at the Queen’s Hotel on Sunday 22nd May - saw her become our greatest hope for the title of Miss England, which will be judged in Southport in July.

For the renowned beauty competition, the girls wore their own ‘Eco outfits’ which could be bought from a charity shop or hand-made from recycled materials, a little black dress and a sportswear outfit.

SHE’LL GO ALL THE WAY: Harpinder won’t be hindered on her path to the Miss England crown

SHE’LL GO ALL THE WAY: Harpinder won’t be hindered on her path to the Miss England crown

Speaking exclusively to the Asian Express, Harpinder said: “I didn’t expect to win. When they called my name out, it was a complete shock and surprise. Being the new Miss Leeds hasn’t properly sunk in yet. It’s weird.”

She continued: “With the amount of people there, it was quite intimidating but all of the girls were in it together and we coped with whatever was thrown at us, whether it was nerve-wracking speeches or wardrobe malfunctions.”

“My mum was especially proud. She ran up to me when I won,” Harpinder laughed.

Harpinder has only been Miss Leeds for a few days and says she is ‘slowly settling in to her new role’, whilst trying to juggle her work and also concentrating on preparing for the Miss England competition.

When asked what useful advice she would share with future entrants to the competition, she replied ‘never hold back.’

“Just go for it because the experience is amazing and you learn so much about yourself,” she continued. “You grow as a person, especially in confidence.”

If Harpinder beats the 50 regional winners from across the UK to be crowned Miss England, the final prize will be a very pretty £25,000 and the chance to compete in the Miss World competition.

The contest, title owned by the Miss World organisation, is organised each year by Angie Beasley, herself a winner of 25 beauty contests in the 1980s.

WINNER: Harpinder managed to beat 13 other hopefuls

WINNER: Harpinder managed to beat 13 other hopefuls

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Brains and beauty: Medic-in-the making reaches finals of Miss Manchester

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STUNNING: Since taking part in Miss Manchester, the sixth form student has now been offered modelling contracts

STUNNING: Since taking part in Miss Manchester, the sixth form student has now been offered modelling contracts

A sixth form student from Manchester, who says she suffered from low-esteem just a few years ago, has finished in the top 10 of a prestigious beauty competition.

Manchester-born Anjali Puri, was one of the youngest finalists in this year’s Miss Manchester competition, qualifying for the event at just 17-years-old.

Although eventually beaten to the crown by Gabriella Taylor, the Loreto Grammar Sixth Form student wowed the crowds as her glamorous looks lit up the catwalk.

Anjali has an Indian Hindu father and a Portuguese mother - a mix which gives her striking good looks, ensuring she turns heads wherever she goes.

Talking exclusively to Asian Express, she said: “Originally, one of my close friends inspired me to enter the Miss Manchester pageant.

“Over the years, I'd lost my confidence and stopped believing in myself. My friends and family believed in me and this allowed me to take part in such a fabulous event.”

The promising medic was “overwhelmed” when she heard her name called.

Anjali is currently studying Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Sociology, “with a hope and passion to pursue medicine as a career, as well as continue to hold pageant titles.”

The dark haired beauty said that the Asian community have been supportive of her decisions and being the only Asian in the Manchester heats “wasn’t a shock” for her.

EXPRESSIVE: Anjali says the pageants are a good way to express yourself

EXPRESSIVE: Anjali says the pageants are a good way to express yourself

“It's not always usual that Asian girls can participate in such an event. I’ve had so much support though,” she said, “I felt so encouraged throughout the whole event.”

Anjali says she will now go on to compete in more pageants as it expresses “who she really is.”

Since taking part in the competition, the striking teen has been offered a modelling contract as well reaching the semi-finals for Miss Teen Great Britain and Miss Teen World Supermodel.

“Of course next year, alongside my A levels, I will be competing again for the title of Miss Manchester,” she added.

We know who we’ll be voting for!

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Queen of the skies: Asian beauty going for Miss Leeds crown

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harps (300x450)A 24-year-old air hostess from Leeds has reached the final twenty in the region in a well-established beauty competition.

Fashion-enthusiast, Harpinder Rai, will compete to become Miss Leeds on Sunday 22nd May at The Queen’s Hotel.

Currently travelling the globe, the stunning cabin crew member took ten minutes out of her busy schedule to chat to the Asian Express.

She said: “I have always been interested in entering, as many people have encouraged me to do so but I always held back for some reason.”

However, seeing if she could go all the way to be crowned Miss England was ‘always at the back of [her] mind’.

When Harpinder was in Doha, in Qatar, she came across the Miss World competition and she applied ‘without hesitation’.

“That was it, my mind was engaged with it from the very first second,” she said, “I applied for Miss England and here I am.”

She continued: “I had to go for an audition. I was as natural as I could be – even though this was the first time I had done anything like this – and I aimed to give my best in representing myself well. So far, it’s been a great experience.”

Harpinder is hoping to receive a supportive reaction from the Asian community, “and all communities in Leeds, as I’m representing Leeds as a whole,” she adds.

harpinder beuaty queen (350x331)The brown eyed beauty said to reach the Leeds final is ‘amazing’.

“It feels wonderfully exciting and I have so many positive feelings all at once. I will give my best and not let anyone down.”

Harpinder feels excited and nervous but she is ‘going to embrace all of it’.

“I feel so ready for this. It’s an amazing opportunity,” she added.

For now, Harpinder is continuing to concentrate on the competition so that she can go as far as she can with Miss England.

“It would be more than a pleasure to be able to represent my country internationally as it is something that I am very proud of,” she said.

“Hopefully, I can be a good influence and inspire other people to realise their own dreams, whether that’s in a beauty competition or wherever their talents lie. You should take your chance and go for it.”

If Harpinder wins the Miss Leeds crown, she will go on to compete in Miss England. There, the 50 regional winners from across the UK will travel to Southport in July with the winner bagging £25,000 and the much coveted crown.

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Discover natural beauty at Prity’s

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pritys 1 (800x450)

Ten years ago, Prity’s Hair and Beauty Salon launched their first range of beauty products, relying on natural and herbal ingredients to give customers the quality they deserve.

Today, as the brand continues to expand with more creams, oils and lotions launching, it is these same principles that have helped the skincare business grow into an industry stalwart.

Founder and owner, Prity Farooq, says she would never opt to use any chemical or synthetic ingredients due to their harsh side effects.

“Every one of our products, whether it’s the age-defying face cream or soothing body milk, is produced with only 100 per cent natural products,” she explained.

“Not only are these ingredients full of nourishment and powerful anti-oxidants, they also do not harm the skin.

“Manufactured chemicals, on the other-hand, can cause irritations and skin allergies in the short term. Looking on further, they also put the user at risk of premature aging due to their toxic ingredients.”

prity (576x384)

There is a major difference between ‘feel good’ and ‘do good’ products, with Prity’s always opting for the latter.

Their expansive selection of skincare products will not only leave your skin glowing but will be beneficial for many years to come.

Herbs are freshly plucked from the Himalayas and ground up in age-old Ayurvedic recipes – a technique which has been used for over a thousand years.

Prity added: “All the products we sell under the Prity’s brand are the exact same products we use in our salons.

“It is the natural look which we aim to give every customer and that can only be achieved with the use of natural ingredients.

“A lot of time and investment has taken place in the research of everything we use and sell, to guarantee the authenticity and effectiveness of the Prity brand.”

Call in to Prity’s Hair and Beauty Salon this month and discover your natural beauty.

 

14 Legrams Lane,  

Bradford,

BD7 1ND

Opening times:

Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm,  

Sun: 11am-6pm

Tel: 01274 30 70 40

Web: www.prityskincare.com

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Miss Iraq contest returns after 43 years

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TIARA: Shaima Qasim was named the first Miss Iraq in 43 years after receiving her crown this week

TIARA: Shaima Qasim was named the first Miss Iraq in 43 years after receiving her crown this week

Organisers and contestants praised for standing up to terror threats

Iraq’s first national beauty contest since 1972 concluded earlier this week despite death threats targeted at organisers and contestants.

With just nine women vying for the crown this year amidst the safety concerns, it was student Shaima Qasim, who was eventually presented with the traditional tiara.

The economics major at the University of Kirkuk defied a direct threat of kidnap from Daesh (also known as Islamic State) to take part in the pageant, according to the Kuwaiti daily al-Watan.

She will now represent Iraq at the Miss Universe contest next year in Thailand.

Pageant director, Ahmed Leith, praised the resolute attitude of the contestants.

“Iraq needed this,” she said. “The situation is weak here, and we wanted to celebrate this the same way other countries like Lebanon and others do. To have a sense of normalcy.”

She added: “It is about having the courage to stand against all odds, something we all try to do.”

Support was also seen for Shaima and her fellow contestants on micro-blogging site, Twitter, following the conclusion of the competition.

“[I’m] proud of her courage despite her country's volatility” one Twitter user wrote, whilst another added: “Iraq has been a disaster. More than 700,000 victims and counting but we can be proud of the 1st Miss Beauty Pageant.”

The Miss Iraq competition was not the only beauty pageant to make the headlines this week.

At the annual Miss Universe competition, host Steve Harvey came in for criticism after announcing the wrong winner and having to rectify the results on stage minutes later.

Miss Puerto Rico was also suspended from the competition indefinitely after her anti-Muslim posts on Facebook.  

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Introducing Amaana Studio: Hair, make-up, beauty and spa treatments all under one roof

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SONY DSC

For the past nine years, Amaana Spa and Skin Clinic has built up a reputation in Dewsbury as the number one provider of beauty and spa treatments for an ever-growing client base.

Now, building on this success, the much-loved business is inviting people down to experience the latest concept coming out of its doors as Amaana Studio launched last week.

On Friday 4th December, guests gathered at the premises to mark the opening of the new on-site hair and makeup studio, set to delight new and existing clients across the region.

SONY DSC

Launched in line with the spa’s ninth year anniversary, the luxurious Studio is the perfect destination for clients wanting a first-class hair and make-up service from qualified and experienced MUAs.

Saarah Hyder, who established the brand back in 2006, has now handed the reins over to her niece, Kiran Hyder, who says she is determined to build on Amaana Spa’s success.

“As Aunty Saarah prepares to start her latest business adventure, she has entrusted me to continue building on the reputation for Amaana Spa and I will do all I can to continue making the family business a successful one,” she said.

Amanaa Spa   hair person (800x574)

“My focus will mainly be on the newly launched Amaana Studio, while the talented staff, who have helped make Amaana Spa the much-loved place that it is, will continue doing what they do best.

“By diversifying the business with the opening of the Studio, we are able to put all these services under one roof and give our clients and the community the high quality establishment they deserve.”

A former manager of two hair and beauty salons, based in Harrogate and Bradford, Kiran’s experience in the industry is bound to bring an exciting new chapter to the Amaana Spa story.

Amanaa Spa cake cutting (800x686)

“I was tired of working for other businesses so when Aunty Saarah approached me in regard to Amaana Spa, I was so excited,” Kiran added.

“Last week, we had our launch event for the Studio and it was great to have Aunty Saarah there for the whole event. She is a much loved person in this town.”

Meanwhile, the traditional therapeutic treatments, which made Amaana Spa the success it is today, will continue to be carried out in the spacious salon.

Amanaa Spa team (800x556)

From renowned Decleor facial and body treatments, to Amaana Spa's signature massage and unique traditional Far Eastern treatments, the list of services continues to grow every year.

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24 carat gold paintwork for bespoke beauty

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McLaren 650s Sahara (roofdown)-6b (800x533)

McLaren unveils bespoke 650S Al Sahara exclusively for the Middle East

McLaren Automotive debuted an exclusive 650S project bespoke to the Middle East, as the covers have come off the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO.

The special edition model lines up alongside the 570S Coupé and a customised example of the McLaren P1™ at the Dubai International Motor Show 2015 as McLaren showcases the recently announced three model tiers – the Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series – in the region together for the first time.

McLaren 650s Sahara-8b (800x534)

The 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 has been developed by McLaren Special Operations –the division of the company responsible for bespoke craftsmanship – and is available exclusively for Middle East customers.

The uniquely formulated paint scheme and bespoke specification have been inspired by the styles, cultures and landscape of the region, and contribute to the name of the latest MSO model.

McLaren 650s Sahara-17 (800x534)

‘Al Sahara’ translates from the Arabic for desert, and the crisp pearlescent white gold paintwork has a subtle shimmer, inspired by the golden sands, which form such a distinctive part of the Middle Eastern landscape. This unique paint finish is achieved through the addition of 24 carat gold particles. The precious metal, associated with opulence and luxury throughout the region has an atomic number of 79.

Contrasting detailing on the exterior of the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 includes a retractable hard top and lightweight forged alloy wheels finished in gloss black. Carbon fibre is used for the side intakes, front splitter and rear diffuser, while aggressive, full-length carbon fibre MSO-branded Side Blades provide a more purposeful and sculpted appearance.

McLaren 650s Sahara-27 (800x534)

McLaren 650s Sahara-29 (300x450)A fully custom-zoned interior features black and Almond White leather upholstered electrically-adjustable sports seats with contrasting stitching, with the Al Sahara 79 paint scheme carried through to the steering wheel, centre console and door panels around the heating and ventilation controls. A dark golden finish has been applied to all switchgear and heating vents.

Power comes from the multi-award-winning mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine seen in the 650S Coupe and 650S Spider, producing 650S PS (641bhp) at 7,250rpm and 678NM (500lb ft) of torque. Performance and economy figures remain unchanged, with zero to 62mph (100km/h) reached in 3.0 seconds, and a top speed of 204 mph (329km/h), while achieving 24.2mpg (EU combined) cycle and CO2 emissions of 275g/km.

The Middle East boasts one of the highest levels of MSO customisation globally, with more than 25 percent of all models bound for the region containing an element of bespoke content. This ranges from unique colours, stitching, leathers and aerodynamic upgrades. Design consultations with owners in the Middle East highlighted a desire to see special editions unique to the region resulting in the bespoke project design team at MSO researching regional and local trends, cultures and tastes.

McLaren 650s Sahara-36 (300x450)The McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO has a retail price of 1,456,308 AED.

Commenting on the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO, Ian Gorsuch, Regional Director Middle East & Africa, McLaren Automotive explained: “McLaren Automotive is a true pioneer in its approach to the design and development of high performance sports and supercars, and the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO is evidence of that. This truly unique project – our first in the Middle East – is inspired by a region that is home to some of our most loyal customers.

“Since launching the brand back in 2011, McLaren Automotive has built extremely close links with the Middle East region. The Sports Series, as the third and final product tier in the model range is, is an extremely important and exciting addition to the line-up alongside the Super and Ultimate Series.

“We are delighted to show examples of each Series for the first time together in the region here at the Dubai International Motor Show, underlining how far the company has progressed in such a short period of time.”

McLaren 650s Sahara-46 (800x534)

In addition to the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79, which represents the McLaren Super Series at the Dubai International Motor Show, examples of both the Sports Series and Ultimate Series will be on display. This marks the first time each of the three tiers has been publicly shown together in the Middle East.

McLaren 650s Sahara-63b (800x534)

The 570S Coupé is the first model in the recently launched Sports Series, and introduces McLaren design, engineering and performance to the sports car market. The vehicle on display is finished in Ventura Orange with a focus on sport through carbon fibre exterior upgrades, sports exhaust, by McLaren Sport Design interior and carbon fibre interior pack. Pricing for the Sports Series starts from 650,000 AED, with deliveries set to commence in the region from next month.

Alongside the newest addition to the McLaren Automotive range is a unique example of the most powerful – the 916PS (903bhp) McLaren P1™.

McLaren 650s Sahara-87b (800x534)

Commissioned by a Middle Eastern customer, the bespoke model features significant MSO content and is finished in white with subtle McLaren Orange detailing to highlight key design characteristics across the aerodynamically-optimised bodywork. Customisation continues in the cabin through a blend of raw carbon and contrasting black and orange Alcanatara®.  
The McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 will make its global debut on Stand SS100, Sheikh Saeed Hall 1 at the Dubai International Motor Show, 10-14 November.

McLaren 650s Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO detail 1 (617x411)

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