Wednesday, August 23, 2017
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by Janette Ward
by Janette Ward

I hope you are well. This month I want to share with you about ‘Hygge’ – a lifestyle I heard about from a lovely woman in a group I was facilitating, when we were having a discussion about the difficulties some people experience in the winter months.

Hygge is a phenomenon first documented in 18th Century Denmark and has apparently been crucial to the Danes ever since.

The Danes put their happiness down to Hygge, a particular lifestyle pronounced ‘hoo-guh’ or ‘ hue-ugh’. it involves a feeling of comfort and contentment, as well as indulging in all the good things and people in your life. In ‘The Little Book of Hygge’, the author Meik Wiking defines it as ‘togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence and comfort’.

According to the World Happiness Report, people who live in Denmark are the happiest people in the world. It could have something to do with minimum wages being £20 per hour, with powerful unions advocating for workers. Or it could be that Denmark has one of the world’s narrowest wealth gaps and a social safety net that provides free healthcare and education and subsidised childcare.

They are reputedly amongst the most generous in the world and citizens report having strong social support networks, meaning they have friends and family to turn to in times of hardship. They are less materialistic than other cultures appreciating low-cost activities and the simple things in life.

twinkly-lightsThe Danish are also known for being kind to themselves. This, in turn makes them happier and nicer to each other. ‘Research shows that people who are able to be kind to themselves rather than harshly self-critical tend to have better mental health and higher life satisfaction’ according to Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness. He goes onto say that ‘Allowing ourselves some hygge time to boost our own wellbeing leaves us better placed to contribute and help others. The most important contributor to our psychological wellbeing is the strength of our relationships and hygge definitely tends to encourage more close and intimate time with loved ones’.

It is hugely appealing to me because I have experience of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the winter months, I use a light box, take extra vitamins, ensure I get outside every day and keep in touch with family and friends, when often I feel like hibernating through the winter. So when I heard about hygge and that it encourages you to enjoy and take a pleasure out of the dark nights and the cold, I was really interested.

In Britain we already do hygge to some extent by lighting our fires, pulling the curtains on and curling up on our settees… reading, watching television or being with friends having a cuppa.

Other ways to do hygge would be to put your PJ’s on the radiator, bake a cake and invite folk round to share it, wearing a big comfy woolly jumper or enjoying a glass of wine, guilt free.

hygge-photo-lutaviaistockStudies show a clear link between gratitude and wellbeing, it can be really helpful to our wellbeing to have a gratitude ritual. For example, like thinking of at least five things you are grateful for every night before going to sleep, or perhaps spending time thinking of past happy experiences.

Hygge is largely about making the ordinary special or meaningful, through ritualising everyday activities such as making a cup of coffee or having dinner. It is about taking pleasure in the simple things.

To me hygge also sounds very much like mindfulness and I would explain mindfulness as not worrying about the past or being concerned about the future but focusing right now on the present moment. When I do catch myself being caught up in worry, I stop, have a quiet moment and focus on the present minute and I ask myself what is there to be concerned about right now in this minute and each time my answer has been nothing and this calms me and enables me to appreciate the good in my life right then.

A more hygge-focused culture could contribute not just to happier individuals and families but also to more caring communities and a happier society as a whole.

So I invite you to think about how you might make your winter more hygge – more cosy.

If you would like further information about Circles Work CIC please contact or or 07775640213

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Within moments of meeting with massage therapist Abie Ansari of Hands On Massage, it became abundantly clear to me that not only is Abie extremely knowledgeable about the subject of therapeutic massage, but she also has an enthusiasm for her work which is both infectious and inspiring.

Having experienced two different types of massage from the broad range of treatments, Abie offers (both equally wonderful and effective), I can attest that from the initial consultation, right through to the treatment follow-up, Abie works in a way that is both respectful and reassuring and following my treatments, on each occasion, I left the clinic feeling relaxed with troublesome muscle tension eased – and enjoyed the best nights sleep I’d had in a long time!

Keen to learn more about Abie’s work, and her distinctive approach to massage we met up. Over coffee, Abie offered a great deal of insight into the benefits of massage therapy, explained her background and journey to becoming a therapist – and also dispelled a few massage myths along the way!

Can you tell me how and why you became interested in massage therapy?

For me, it just seemed to be a natural progression coming from a science background with a science degree and interest in the functioning mechanics of the body that led from studying anatomy to an idea that a great many stresses and strains of modern day life maybe alleviated or even prevented through therapeutic massage. So, it seemed normal that I would go into something linked; but it was important that it should have a holistic element. One of the things that appealed to me is that massage branches off into lots of different areas and I decided to focus on a few areas. I initially chose to focus on pregnancy massage, 246229397_origprimarily because in the west there is a tendency towards viewing pregnancy as if it were an illness instead of a condition. There are a number of normal changes, and aches and pains associated with being pregnant, so I think for me, it was about offering a service which aims to normalize things, dispel a few myths and not just with pregnancy massage, but with massage in general. When you have clients approaching you, who are convinced that they have something really wrong with them, it becomes an educational forum to rationalize their fears, and help them understand that the human body does not always perform perfectly but, with therapeutic massage, the body can be encouraged to show progressive and sustainable improvements. It also offers a way to support, help and empower people in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example during pregnancy massage I am acutely aware of the need for a client to adhere to and communicate with her midwife and other medical professionals any changes, fears and apprehensions. Massage is very much an adjunct to other disciplines.

With all forms of massage it’s about the client taking time out for themselves and routinely taking care of their body. Whether it’s someone who is spending a great deal of time training in the gym, a client who is pregnant, or one that has perhaps lost a lot of weight; massage can be incorporated into this as part of the process. Assimilating this process can be seamless, and this is where I can help. It becomes a partnership between the client and the therapist, where I endeavor to teach each client ways in which they can help themselves, so in that way it also becomes an empowering process for them.

How would you explain the massage treatment/session process?

Upon initial contact, I take a detailed health history, so any concerns, misconceptions anyone may have about the treatment process can be discussed openly, honestly and any contra-indications will also be addressed. Additionally, it is important to understand the reasons for seeking treatment i.e. specific aches and pains, relaxation etc. This approach means that everything can be tailor made for that client and appropriate advice given. It also allows me to address any misconceptions there may be about the treatment, such as massage being unsafe during pregnancy or bamboo treatment being some sort form of brutal assault!

With any client that comes to me, if they have any concerns about their health, or conversely if I have any concerns that may give rise to a treatment being contra-indicated I will always recommend that clients seek advice from their GP prior to commencing any treatment.

 During bamboo massage I use a compressed piece of bamboo of various lengths, which is gently heated, and rolled over muscles, much as I would use my arms and hands. The level and depth of pressure is altered to suit the client’s own tolerance and need, very much like deep tissue massage/ sports massage. For example if someone is looking for a relaxing massage it can be worked at a level similar to that of a hot stone massage, but bamboo massage also offers that bit extra as it means that I can work with all of the muscle groups, because of the way the bamboo is heated. For example I am able to work over clothing and it allows me to work on larger muscle groups like the gluteus muscle. Naturally, I am always aware and respectful of people’s dignity, but yes, it offers a way of working with all the muscle groups that isn’t always possible with other types of massage, without compromising the client’s privacy and dignity.

It’s also important to develop an open and positive client-therapist relationship where clients feel able to highlight that a particular area of the body feels tight, or they’re concerned about something and we can work together to address that, and hopefully see improvements over a number of sessions.

What would you say are the main benefits of massage?

Massage helps to improve or maintain suppleness and fluidity of the muscles, improve range of movement, which is important as humans we are designed to move, we are not supposed to be rigid and wooden. The muscles have an important job to do, they may be supporting the back, or supporting an arm so it’s important that flexibility is maintained, and the muscles can do their job. Massage can help prevent soft tissues strains or injuries – massage almost wakes the muscles up, so they can do that job without any restrictions or limitations. For example I may use massage to help break down scar tissue or prevent its build up, or maybe a client has poor posture so we maybe working to improve that with massage, stretching and lengthening muscles and providing lifestyle advice; all these things work together to improve alignment and massage is wonderful for preparation for or recovery from strenuous workouts. It can reduce spasms and cramping. It also improves the condition of the body’s largest organ – the skin.

Massage offers a fantastic way for people to have a little time out for themselves, to relax, and for some it’s that ‘hands on’ touch, which is so important. This is a big part of the pregnancy and baby massage work I do.

Baby massage, helps with bonding, helps to establish a routine with the baby (usually from about 6 weeks) in my classes, it’s a one-to-one process between the parent and the baby, I don’t massage the baby at all, and I use a doll called Tilly! I also offer a Dads group as I feel it’s important to have a Dad’s only session so that they have an opportunity to build support networks that they can link into, whether they’re a first time Dad or not.

What kind of feedback do you receive from clients?

I find that pregnancy massage clients come to me and say that they have enjoyed the best nights sleep ever and when can they book in again! The sense of relief for some of my clients is huge, it’s a special time and some aches and pains can detract from that and I feel my job is to assist with that.

I recently had client come to me for warm bamboo massage, who was a little skeptical stating that they were accustomed to a heavy sports massage. After an hour they left and I was so worried that nothing was said but the following morning I was touched to have received the following text…

“Hi Abie, just wanted to say that although I felt pummeled and viewed the bamboo sticks with horror and fear… I am a new person, no aches or pains, no bruising … I am booking again! Walking tall today!!”

I feel really touched that most of my feedback has been positive and it is quite humbling really…we all like a compliment! And additionally it helps me address areas that I may need to improve upon.

Abie currently works from the following locations:
Saltaire Therapy (Wednesday)
Skipton Spirit of Pilates (Thursday)
Ilkley Complementary Clinic (Friday)
Also starting at Neals Yard Leeds soon (Saturday)

 For further details, or to book an appointment please email or visit

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

As a Make-up Artist one of the questions I am asked most frequently by clients is how to choose the right foundation. There are so many brands and formulations now vying for space in our make-up bags that the choice is bewildering, from BB and CC creams to mineral powders and Cushion Compact foundations it can be difficult to know where to start. To help, I’ve put together a three-step guide to help you navigate the make-up product minefield, avoid the common foundation falterings, and ace your base!

Step One: Identify your skin type

Many make-up malfunctions can be avoided simply by using products that are appropriate for your skin type. For example liquid foundations with a matte finish and mineral make-ups work well for oily or blemish prone skin, whereas skin that is drier, or mature can benefit from creamier formulations, or products containing moisturising ingredients. If you find that your foundation tends to disappear (either entirely, or in patches) within a couple of hours of application then using a primer will help it to stay put. This can also happen if your skin is dehydrated, which can be a problem for many of us at this time of year, so be sure to keep skin well moisturised, and after moisturising wait a few moments before applying foundation to avoid ‘diluting’ your foundation, or causing the products to mix and bead up on top of the skin.

color-chart-e1434206869103Step Two: Choose your level of coverage

Now, this is completely down to personal preference, but I have found through my work performing countless individual make-up consultations that many of my clients have been using a foundation that provide a heavier coverage than they needed, and we have in fact achieved the even toned natural looking result desired by using a foundation product with a lighter level of coverage (and also by applying less product in general) and concealing any blemishes individually with concealer. When it comes to foundation it is true that, in my experience, less can often be more! The technique of applying less foundation and concealer only where needed also helps to provide a longer lasting result.

Step Three: Select your shade

When choosing your foundation, for the most natural looking result, look for the shade which when applied to your skin seems to ‘disappear’ as you blend it. Foundations that are too light or dark give the impression of sitting on top of the skin, and are difficult to blend away at the jawline. However, honing in on your perfect shade is easier said than done! I have found that the most efficient way to find it is to try no more than three shades at a time, apply a small stripe of each product close to one another on our cheek (close to the jawline) disregard any that are not a close match and repeat the process until you have narrowed it down to the shade closest to your skin tone. If you are unsure many make-up brands provide samples and I would always recommend trying a product for several days if possible before committing to it, as for many women foundation is one of the make-up products that is worn everyday, so it’s worth investing the time to find the right one.

Base Basics – Foundation Products at a Glance

Tinted moisturiser – Provides very sheer coverage, ideal for young skins or anyone who doesn’t like the look or feel of foundation.

BB Cream – Offers more coverage than a tinted moisturiser, but less than a standard foundation. With added skincare benefits such as built in primer, SPF or sun protection BB Creams (which usually stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm) are a great option for make-up minimalists and anyone looking for an all-round multi-tasking and multi-benefit product.

CC Cream – Provides sheerer coverage than a BB Cream the CC Cream (which generally stands for Colour Correcting) is designed primarily to target complexion concerns such as redness, pigmentation or sallowness.

Mineral Make-up – Often in powder form, mineral make-up is popular with those who like a natural make-up look and feel. Offers buildable coverage and skincare coverage. It is a good option for oily, blemish prone and combination skin.

Liquid foundation – A hugely versatile product which offers a variety of levels of coverage and finish, depending on the brand and formulation. Widely considered to be ‘standard’ foundation, and is globally the most popular foundation product type

Cushion Compact – One of the newest players on the foundation field Cushion Compacts offer the benefits of a liquid foundation with the convenience of a compact. Often with illuminating or hydrating properties they provide a buildable sheer to medium level of coverage.

Cream Foundation – A heavier texture than liquid foundation, which offers full, buildable coverage. They often contain moisturising ingredients so are a good option for drier skins, or those who like a heavier made-up look.

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

If you’ve ever experienced a breakout or developed a rash right before an important event, or found your complexion looking listless when you’re run down then you already know first-hand how stress can affect your appearance.

But just how exactly does stress affect the skin? Well, firstly, stress can affect levels of cortisol (known as the stress hormone) along with other hormones; this in turn can cause an over production of sebum in the skin, contributing to oily skin and breakouts. Secondly, stress can also affect the immune system so can therefore be a factor in flare ups of skin conditions such as cold sores or psoriasis. In addition to this stress, and our coping mechanisms, can also affect our lifestyle, including our sleeping patterns and eating habits – which all have a knock-on effect on the condition of our skin

It’s an unfortunate reality that we are all affected by stress to some degree throughout our lives, and although there are many stressors in life which are beyond our control (and can have serious health consequences if the stress is severe, or prolonged) when it comes to the day-to-day kind (looming deadlines, a demanding boss, busy commutes and such like) there are things that we can do to buffer ourselves from it’s effects, help protect our skin and help make ourselves feel better in the process.

At this time of year, with school and work in full swing, summer having faded away into a distant memory and party season just around the corner the demands on our time seems to increase month by month. With hibernation not being an option I’ve put together my top stress-busting beauty tips, to help keep you and your skin feeling calm.

Boost your skins defences from the inside out

Drink plenty of water
If you’re feeling stressed it’s crucial to keep your body well hydrated. This is because being dehydrated is itself stressful to the body, and therefore influences cortisol levels. Staying well hydrated can help you feel more alert, and boost energy levels, which can be extremely helpful when you are feeling run down or overwhelmed.

drinking-water2Eat your ABCs
Be sure to include avocados, berries and good qualify chocolate (look for one with a high cocoa content) in your diet to help nourish your skin throughout any periods of stress. Avocados are rich in Vitamin E which helps keep skin hydrated, and B vitamins which assist in detox and reduce skin redness and inflammation. Berries, particularly blueberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants which help neutralise skin cell damaging free-radicals, so should definitely be included in your anti-stress shopping basket. Chocolate also has antioxidant properties, in addition to it’s free-radical fighting capabilities it also contains magnesium, which is calming for the nervous system and it boosts neurotransmitters (endorphins and serotonin), which help make us feel good – but I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that!

Make self-care a priority

If you are struggling with stress then self-care is more important than ever, and massage is one of the best forms of self-care available, due to it’s numerous stress-reducing benefits. Massage helps ease muscle tension, aids relaxation and promotes improved sleep quality. It also assists with lymphatic drainage, which is the bodies natural detoxification process, gives you some much needed ‘me time’, and enables you to benefit from the healing power of touch. If going for for regular massages is not an option you can still reap many of the benefits. If time is short I recommend giving yourself a facial massage when applying your night cream or beauty oil. It’s a short, simple ritual, which will help boost skin circulation and give skin a glow, and can help you relax and unwind at the end of a long day.

It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but if you’re stressed even a little exercise can work wonders. As well as boosting endorphins exercise can help improve sleep quality, and increase circulation – which in turn helps deliver nutrients to the skin, giving it a healthy looking glow.

 Harness product power

There are many products on the market specifically targeted at stressed skin. Look for products containing soothing and calming ingredients such as Aloe, Calendula and Colloidal Oatmeal. If you are struggling to fall asleep try a room spray or pillow mist containing lavender, which helps with relaxation.

Do you have a favourite stress-busting tip or product? Tweet me at @SarahUrbanEcho


Dietitians from Bradford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are playing a starring role in an innovative patient education project that brings information to life through video.

And it’s a project that has now prompted the launch of their very own YouTube channel.

It came about when the Trust’s Head of Service, Jackie Loach and Principal Dietitian, Johanne Bird were introduced by Cindy Fedell, Director of Informatics to the team at the Working Academy at Bradford University.

dietitians-youtube-initiative1-2Dietitians joined forces with Simon Couth, Head of the Working Academy and Rachel Bottomley, a Media student at the University to develop promotional videos about the services on offer from the Diabetes, Weight Management and Cardiovascular Disease teams within the Trust’s Dietetic Service.

As part of this work, the dietitians have launched their very own YouTube channel, which showcases brief videos giving details of the services on offer and what benefits they may bring to patients.

Nic Whitehead, the dietitian leading the project said: “It gives patients the opportunity to learn more about our services and staff and the help we can offer them in managing and living well with their health conditions. The clips also highlight how people can find out more and access the services”.

The videos will be promoted on the Nutrition and Dietetics Service twitter account (@BTHFTdietitians) and Facebook Page as well as the Trust website.

Dietitians will be directing patients to the videos to encourage patients to access the services which suit them best.

The team is hoping other trust staff and the wider health community will also use the video clips to help ensure the right patients are signposted to the right service for them.

They also plan to develop the videos to include other areas of their services in the future and continue to work with animation and computing students at the Working Academy on digitalising one of their most used patient educational resources which helps people with diabetes understand their condition.

You can visit and subscribe here or search ‘Bradford Dietitians’ on YouTube – once they have 100 subscribers they will be able to change the channel name to something more catchy and meaningful – so please subscribe!



A new service offered at a Bradford hospital means patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) can receive a life-changing medication closer to their homes.

Previously, Bradford patients had to travel to Leeds for part of their treatment but now this can be administered at St Luke’s Hospital, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Tysabri, which is given intravenously (by drip), is a disease modifying drug (DMD) for very active relapsing remitting MS and is taken once every four weeks to reduce the number and severity of relapses.

MS new service patient Stephanie Murie
MS new service patient Stephanie Murie

The St Luke’s patients are now able to access it nearer to home by a visit to the hospital’s rheumatology day case unit.

Sister, Suzanne Mitchell said: “Consultant Neurologist, Dr Cord Spilker, and MS Nurse Specialist, Liz Watson approached me about a possible service for our MS patients, who were making the journey to a Leeds hospital in order to receive this medication. This was because specialist nursing was needed to meet the criteria required by the drug company.

“We agreed to look into providing a service to repatriate the Bradford patient to our day case unit, to enable patients to receive their life-changing treatment at a hospital near to their home, and I’m thrilled to say this new service is now available in Bradford for them.”

She added that in some cases, the journey to Leeds was taking up to a day with MS patients waiting for transport to convey them there and back again.

“Now our existing patients plus any new patients starting their Tysabri treatment are coming to the St Luke’s unit.

“The new service has really been welcomed by patients who gave it the seal of approval in a recent patient survey. We are pleased to have received some really excellent, positive comments,” she said.

Dr Spilker added: “The transfer of care is making a real difference to our patients because not only do they have the intravenous infusion here in Bradford but that means that they see their regular MS nurses and consultant at the same time too so it really cuts down on appointment and treatment times for them.

“Delivering high quality care as part of the West Yorkshire MS Treatment Programme is a priority for us and we are all really proud of the difference it is making to those patients with MS.”

One patient who is full of praise for the change in location for her Tysabri treatment is 40-year-old Stephanie Murie, of Bingley, who was diagnosed with MS in 2010.

Stephanie said: “Travelling to Leeds was quite exhausting because it did involve a lot of time and it really cut into my day. Being able to have the treatment here in Bradford, at St Luke’s has really made a difference.

“It’s not only a better journey for me but it also means I see my MS consultant and MS nurses at the same time and everyone is so friendly. There is a lovely, relaxed atmosphere and I also get to chat to fellow MS patients.”

Stephanie added that there was also another important bonus of having the intravenous treatment at St Luke’s: “It means I can have an extra hour and a half in bed!” she laughed.


by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Autumn is now fast approaching, and although I’ll be sad to say goodbye to the longer, warmer days of summer, autumn is by far my favourite season, and certainly poses fewer beauty challenges than it’s predecessor, with its make-up melting sunshine, and hairstyle sabotaging humidity, however we still need to navigate through that awkward in-between phase where were not quite sure how many layers to wear or whether we’ll be needing sunglasses, an umbrella – or both! The changing and often unpredictable weather conditions, combination of switching between air-conditioning and heating and the return to spending more time indoors should act as a prompt for us to take a look at how we are taking care of our skin and hair, and make the necessary tweaks here and there.

To help I’ve put together my top tips to help you transition your beauty routine from summer to autumn:

Get rich quick!
Now is the time to begin to make the switch from light cleansing fluids and moisturisers to richer balms, creams and oil type skincare products, unless your skin is particularly oily. It’s also the perfect time to step up your body exfoliating and moisturising regime, as the skin on our arms and legs can also begin to become drier at this time of year as we head towards the colder months.

10913695-woman-run-in-autumn-park-stock-photoShady business
Most people find that their skin tone varies slightly throughout the year, so there’s a good chance that your summer foundation shade won’t work for you in autumn if your skin tone naturally lightens over the colder months, or if you have acquired a tan over summer. It’s a good idea to have two base products (that differ in both tone and texture) that you can keep on rotation, one lighter formulation for your spring/summer kit, and a richer one for autumn/winter.

Hydrate your hair
Throughout summer we’re more likely to allow our hair to dry naturally, or wear it tied up, as the season changes our hair will soon suffer the effects of central heating, hairdryers or other heated styling tools. Get a head start by applying a deep conditioning treatment weekly, always use a heat-protecting product when styling your hair and go for regular trims to keep split ends at bay.

Look after your lips
Lips can often be the first area to show signs of dryness and dehydration as they do not contain sebaceous glands, so cannot produce oil to stay moisturised, and can really suffer in changing temperatures. Exfoliate once or twice weekly with a lip scrub, and moisturise regularly with a nourishing lip balm.

Maintain your summer glow
The sunshine may be disappearing but that does mean you can’t hang on to your radiant summer glow. Keep skin looking luminous by adding a couple of drops of liquid highlighter to your moisturiser or foundation. For extra warmth apply bronzer in the shape of a number three starting next to the browbone, then sweeping underneath the cheekbone and finally along the jawline, keeping the application light.

Move your make-up towards the dark side
It’s time to dig out the deeper tones in your make-up collection. Be inspired by the amber, russet and brown tones that are present in nature throughout autumn. Look for rich plums, golds and jewel tones and instead of a gloss try a rich, matte lipstick or if you prefer a more subtle make-up look wear any darker tones as a sheer wash of colour instead.

 Get circulating
As the nights begin to draw in it’s tempting to want to hibernate indoors but to avoid dull skin it’s vital that you keep active to maintain good circulation, which can be affected by cooler weather. Making the extra effort to massage creams and oils into skin during application, which will also help maintain good blood flow to the skin.

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

After much anticipation, the summer holiday season has finally arrived!

Now, whilst there’s no doubt about the many benefits that taking a well earned break from our busy day-to-day lives affords our minds and bodies, unfortunately travelling to our dream destination can be a nightmare for our skin and hair. But, there are things you can do to help prevent or minimise any travel beauty troubles, and get a head start on your holiday glow!

Here are my top travel beauty tips for a happy holiday:

Before you go, pack your holiday beauty kit like a pro!

As a make-up artist I’ve had to learn to get choosing the right products for a particular job, and packing them carefully down to an art! The most important tip I can give you is to be honest with yourself about what products you really need, and will actually use, during your holiday. Sadly, luggage space is limited, so as tempting as it may be to take your entire make-up collection ‘just in case’ when it comes to holiday beauty less is definitely more! Use your time spent packing as an opportunity to review your routine, and break out of a make-up rut, see what products you can leave behind, or use your holiday as an opportunity to introduce a new product or two.

In my experience a good all-round basic travel make-up kit would include; a base (tinted moisturiser or foundation) concealer, blusher, mascara (waterproof), eyeliner, brow pencil, two eyeshadows (one beige/neutral for daytime and one smoky brown, grey or plum for evening) and two lipsticks (one neutral and one bright or bold shade) in terms of space this amount of make-up will take up no more space than an average sized paperback book.

101984619_wGo for multitasking products where you can to save both time and space, holidays are the perfect time to put to use all those testers that you can pick up from department stores, or get free with magazines. As well as being small in size, most will be used up during your trip meaning less for you to carry home (or giving you more space for souvenirs!) and by trying a few different products you may even discover a new favourite one.

If you don’t have a stash of sample size products to take then I recommend decanting your full size products into travel size bottles, you can pick up sets of empty bottles and pots in major high street chemists and some supermarkets. This is usually a better option than buying new toiletries during your trip, as they may be significantly more expensive in other countries, particularly if you are looking for exact replacements.

So, once you have determined what you need my next top packing tip is to stock up on plenty of clear plastic zip lock bags ahead of your trip. Those same bags that are usually used for transporting your packed lunch are another make-up artist must have. They have earned this unlikely superior status as they are an inexpensive way to store your products in a way that allows you to easily see what’s in the bag, keep them clean and limit the damage to the rest of your luggage should any sort of spillage occur – which could otherwise prove disastrous!

The night before your flight
Last thing at night slather on a nourishing serum and massage in a rich, nourishing night cream (unless your skin is prone to oiliness) to boost skin hydration, this will help mitigate the drying and dehydrating effects of the aircraft cabin environment, where humidity is much lower.

The day of departure
If you wear make-up it can be helpful for your skin to skip foundation and opt for tinted moisturiser instead, which will give you light coverage and help maintain hydration, then just use a dab of concealer where needed.

Avoid mascara and creamy eyeshadows – or anything else that may migrate down your face if you take an in-flight nap. Choose moisturising lip balms or lipsticks if you prefer to wear some colour rather than longwearing lipsticks, as their formulations can be quite drying, and may further dehydrate your lips. If your hair is prone to dryness I suggest applying a little leave in conditioning product pre-flight, or if your hair is long try a nourishing oil through the mid-lengths and ends instead, then, tie it up in a loose bun or updo, and wash out once you arrive at the hotel to strengthen and boost it’s condition.

During the flight
The most important thing is to stay as hydrated as possible, and rest as much as you can, to arrive feeling refreshed. For extra hydration mist the skin with a water spritz, to help with relaxation look out for one containing lavender or rose. Make sure you move around frequently during your flight, this is important for maintaining good circulation, which in turn will help prevent your skin from becoming dull looking.

When you return try to maintain some of your good holiday habits such as drinking more water and taking more rest. If you have spent time away in an extreme climate, or have been swimming in the sea or chlorinated swimming pools I recommend giving yourself an at home facial, and applying a deep conditioning treatment to restore the condition of your skin and hair.


Shama Zulqurnain was born on 11 August 1977 at Boundary Park Hospital Oldham.

Raised in a traditional cultural Muslim family, faith was an important factor whilst growing up as her ancestors were from the Dina District of Jhelum, Pakistan. Her father was from Dina and her mother was from Jhelum when they arrived in England as teenagers and eventually married in Oldham. Shama has a unique story. A story of love, hate, betrayal, cultural differences and religious interpretations. This is Shama’s story… (Final part).

Gradually my marriage improved but deep down all my dreams were crushed. I mostly stayed around the house as all my ambitions were gone. I started working in the family business and I had another baby boy. I guess the family was pleased as I produced another boy. The more I worked in the family business, the more I felt I was in charge.

I got into modelling and as a result it made me feel good about myself. The modelling helped me with my condition but I still wanted to do something else. I started meeting people and thought of creating a business. I could be anything I wanted if I put my mind to it. Should I open a modelling agency? Or Study to be a local councillor?

jhgjEventually, I started working for a modelling agency for a while. I loved scouting and met some nice young people in the process. I was like a mother to them and I participated in Miss Yorkshire as manager for the models. It was a brilliant experience. I then I met a wedding venue owner and discussed how I could help him. I was confidant in managing staff so I started going to events to see how everything was organised. I then began to recruit and manage new staff at the venue. I was likable and I adored people as I’m a people’s person. It went very well and I was there for a year until I decided to setup my own hospitality agency.

With the help of my daughters and my friend who was great with technology and making brochures etc, I invested in advertising material and received help and advice from a government scheme. So there I was recruiting, looking at offices, getting a few jobs and getting myself out there.

Ultimately, F1 hospitality Events & Promotions ltd was created. It was a very happy stage in my life.

kjghkbI then met a man called Mizan Muqit, a really genuine man. I arranged a meeting with him to advertise my advert in his Union Newspaper as he was a very successful Union Officer. He was happy to help and advise me as to how to do everything professionally and how to treat staff fairly.

When I had any problems, I spoke to him. We both started going to business shows and I told him my business plan. He could see the potential in me and my business and became my business partner. Today, Mizan and I have made our business a professional setup and we are growing day by day. I am proud to say that I am the joint partner of F1 Hospitality Events & Promotions Ltd. We have a big data base of clients and work all over the UK. We have over 200 staff and still growing

Mizan and I have dedicated ourselves to this company and we are seeing great results.

You have read my story and I hope after reading it, you realise that it is never too late to fulfil your dreams. Life throws many obstacles in the way and as you have read, I had many problems throughout my life but I never stopped dreaming and hoping for the best. I hope to inspire other women who feel trapped in their lives. Dreams can come true. Never give up!


Young visitors to Bradford Industrial Museum will get to handle small animals and reptiles at two special sessions over the summer holiday.

There is an animal theme at the Bradford Council-owned Eccleshill Museum over the summer season with two exhibitions – ‘Beastly Machines’, animatronic animal inspired sculptures by artist Johnny White and ‘Animal Attraction’ which uses items from Bradford Museums and Galleries collections to look at our relationship with animals in the past.

The Zoolab sessions complement these exhibitions and take place in the Animal Attraction gallery space. Visitors will get the chance to encounter a range of reptiles, insects and small mammals, including hedgehogs and frogs.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This event looks like it will be fun for all the family, literally bringing the themes of the two exhibitions to life.”

The sessions will be on Wednesday 27 July and Wednesday 3 August, both running from 11am-1.30pm.

This event is free, but families are advised to book, as space will be limited.

Prams and pushchairs can be left at reception and the museum is a breast-feeding friendly site.

To book a place, ring the museum’s reception desk on 01274 435900. More information can be found on the website –