Wednesday, August 23, 2017
 photo 05873394-14be-4e3f-b9c7-36ad8e5cfcb0_zpsfytesxay.jpg

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Recently the ever-glamorous actress Joanna Lumley has attributed her decade-defying skin to a budget friendly beauty product that can be picked up on the high street for as little as £1.29 a pot. The skin savior in question is Astral Original All Over Face and Body cream. Instantly recognisable by its classic blue packaging, this marvelous multitasking moisturiser has been earning its place in bathroom cabinets across Britain since the early 1950s!

So, what is the secret of this longstanding, low-cost skincare stalwart’s success?

My guess would be that it’s down to the fact that one of its main ingredients is lanolin. A by-product of wool production lanolin (or wool wax or wool fat as it is also known) is the substance naturally produced by sheep, which helps to repel water, and protect their coats. The collection of lanolin is not harmful to the animal, when the sheep is shorn each year; the lanolin is extracted and refined. It is then cleaned and purified for use in cosmetics.

10000586However, Astral is not the only lanolin-containing product with legions of fans and celebrity endorsements. It is also a main ingredient in Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, which is one of the all-time bestselling beauty products, and a Make-up Artist must-have. Newer to the scene is cult product Lanolips, which was developed by Australian beauty entrepreneur Kirsten Carriol who, after struggling to find the perfect lip balm, realised that she hadn’t encountered a single product that moisturised as well as the lanolin her parents used on her lips and skin as a child. Carriol also recalled her father (a pioneering and award winning Professor in the science of DNA) explaining to her that the molecular structure of lanolin was ‘the secret to moisturisation’ – the rest is international multi award winning history!

Now I’m a relatively recent convert to Lanolips, but I can categorically state that the The Original 101 Ointment is hands down the best lip balm I have ever used, mostly due to the fact that it offers long lasting moisturisation, so doesn’t leave you feeling like you need to reapply it every ten minutes, like many others do – and I also happen to adore it’s Old Hollywood glamour style retro packaging!

But don’t just take my word for it, here’s the lowdown on why skin loves lanolin:

Lanolin closely resembles human skins own lipid structure, making it highly compatible for use on the skin.

It forms a semi-occlusive breathable barrier, meaning it doesn’t ‘smother’ the skin, thus allowing the skin to continue to carry out its essential biological functions.

Lanolin is a humectant, and once absorbed into the skin it is able to hold at least twice it’s own weight in water.

It not only moistuirises, but also acts as a barrier to help retain moisture in the skin, thus eliminating the need for endless reapplication of products.

It is particularly effective on very dry skin, or skin that has become thickened or developed callouses, and can be used to soften rough and cracked heels, which is something many of us may be mindful of at the moment as we approach sandal season!

Lanolin is not only used in cosmetic products. The healthcare industry use medical grade lanolin as a base for ointments, and its inclusion assists in the delivery of medicinal ingredients to the skin.

While there’s no doubt that lanolin is a fantastic moisturising ingredient, some people prefer not use animal products, so if you are looking for a plant-based alternative to lanolin I recommend choosing products that contain coconut or Agan oil, or shea butter.

Finally, a word of cautionAs lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool, people with wool allergies should not use products containing lanolin. It may also cause irritation for those with sensitive skin (as can any cosmetic ingredient) so prior to the use of any lanolin cream a small test patch should be done to check for any adverse reaction, such as redness or itching. If any reaction occurs the product should not be used.


Attention all fish and chips lovers! The famous Mother Hubbard’s fish and chips diner has recently opened another branch in Wakefield. This is the fifth diner that the chain has opened, after the initial successful launch on 4th January.

MHWakefiield_17Established in Bradford in 1972, Mother Hubbard’s is a name that is synced with traditional fish and chips. The newly opened store boasts modern wooden interiors which create a clean, natural look. The diner also has ample seating and standing space, to cater to your needs.

The diner has remained true to its roots with traditional methods of getting the fish perfectly battered, still being used over the years. The fish fryers in store have over 30 years’ worth of experience and ensure that the Halal English batter recipe, used on 100% prime haddock hasn’t changed. The chips are hand-cut from British farmed potatoes and make the perfect match with mushy peas or a shake of malt vinegar.

Mother Hubbard’s is enjoying success and expanding throughout Yorkshire at a rapid rate. With over 30 years of experience and a member of the NFFF, plans to open further diners are always on the horizon.

MHWakefiield_13The new family diner located on Horbury Road is already making its mark on the area. This popular location in Wakefield is open seven days a week from 11am – 11pm, so pop in at your convenience.

The menu offers a wide variety of expertly prepared traditional English foods; these include delicious pies prepared with 100% HMC sourced meat. All the fish that is used is ethically sourced 100% premium Haddock, wild caught from renewable fish stocks in Icelandic waters. The wild caught premium Haddock is a healthy option with it being high in protein, low in saturated fat and bursting with essential oils.

Mother Hubbards is a brand synonymous with English tradition and is a great example of the perfect family dining experience.



Aakash - Commercial Photography by Bevan Cockerill-78Bradford is known around the world for its diverse range of food and the quality of restaurants in the city.

Arguably one of the most famous restaurants in Bradford and beyond, the Aakash Restaurant in Cleckheaton, is known as the largest Indian restaurant in the world and has now opened its doors every day of the week.

Built on a reputation for having a passion for excellence, both in the food they serve and the service they provide, their world famous five course Indian buffet, prepared by 5-Star Chef’s, offers the customer a chance to sample as many of their delectable dishes as they like, and with over 54 dishes available you are in for a treat.

Aakash - Commercial Photography by Bevan Cockerill-38With beautiful interior décor and a warm, friendly and family environment, Aakash is one of the jewels in Bradford’s crown. Since its opening, Aakash has gained much public and critical acclaim. On offer is a mouth-watering selection of traditional, freshly cooked Indian dishes with the emphasis being on quality within the elegant surroundings of a Grade II listed building.


If you are looking for that special venue to complement your special occasion then look no further than Aakash. The unique surroundings of the Aakash allows you the flexibility to create a memorable celebration. Choose the whole venue to accommodate 850 people or for more intimate occasions why not combine and select from the Grand Main Hall or the purpose built Function Room.

Their unique approach to making sure that all your needs are met means you will have a dedicated event planner to help you organise everything.


Aakash is available for exclusive hire for parties of up to 850 guests. They have a private dining area and function room for up to 200 guests. The bar and lounge is also available for receptions as a meeting place for before and after dinner drinks. Aakash are competitively priced and provide excellent value for money. Their celebrated chefs can provide special, unique menus by arrangement and there are no hire fees for holding events, as charges are based on a minimum spend.

Outside Catering

Aakash can supply a catering service for a wide range of occasions, including parties at home, garden parties, mendhi parties, weddings, walimas and engagements, business meetings, product launches, press launches and a variety of other private or business functions.

Whether it be a simple lunch with canapés to a full scale banquet, their handpicked team of banqueting chefs are well-trained to demonstrate the passion for excellence. Aakash always strive to adapt to any environment or request, no matter how large or small the venue and they are always on hand to advise on aspects of the catering, organisation and planning, to ensure that you are free to relax and spend your time with friends, family or colleagues.

Aakash Restaurant is now open 7 days a week. For more information, or to make a booking, contact 01274 878866 or visit the restaurant at Bradford Road, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, BD19 3PN.


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… (Part 4).

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.

HJVI wanted to make the business grow and gradually started Introducing new things. Eventually I got it busy and running. The business kept me occupied and away from family life for a while. I developed a routine of finishing at school time to collect my kids. I did the shopping, picked up the children and started over again. Other daily chores included cooking, feeding the family and looking after my disabled mother in law.

Even though I developed a routine, it felt as though every day was the same. It became monotonous.

All the restrictive cultural expectations were getting me down but I carried on accepting it. I simply got my head down, kept my distance and played along with it.

My mum and dad lived over the road and it seemed that everyone was happy because I was an obedient daughter-in-law, wife and mother. I remember thinking would I want my daughters to have the same life as me? I was still controlled by everyone. I was regularly told how to raise and discipline my children. It felt as though I had no say over my children but I continued to go along with it because I didn’t want to cause any further distress to my parents.

Tragically my brother suddenly passed away in a car accident. My life collapsed around me. Everything and everyone became irrelevant. He was still studying and I was very close to him.

He was only 22 but very mature for his age. He was aware of my anguish and I remember him telling me that I had great kids and to make sure the girls go to university and that he would always be there for them no matter what.

After the loss of my baby brother, I struggled with depression. My marriage and relationship with my family ended. I realised how short life is and that my destiny was still in my hands as long as I was alive. I came to a refuge in Leeds and stayed there for eight months whilst trying to get better. This time, my family totally disowned me. I felt alone and vulnerable and missed my brother immensely.

(Part 5 continues next month)

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Over the past few months I have been spending an increasing amount of time working at a computer, and like so many of us living in these technologically driven time, I am racking up a serious amount of screen time on a daily basis.

But, when one day recently I realised that I had been concentrating so intensely on my work that my focused expression had tipped over into full blown scowling territory, it got me wondering what effect that could potentially have on my face over time, and what other damage my technological dependency could be having on my skin – and ultimately, whether it may be time for digital detox?

It turns out that my concerns were not unfounded, as it would seem that ‘computer-face’, the catch-all term for the collection of problems attributed to excessive use of computers and other digital devices, is indeed a ‘thing’! Now, I’m very fond of expressive faces, and I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that I would much prefer to earn my lines and wrinkles through laughter, and a life fully lived, than from countless hours spent staring at my laptop screen, or squinting to read the tiny type on my smart phone!

computer-and-glassesAlarmingly, this is not the not the only havoc our tech habits may potentially wreak on our appearance, as in addition to the cumulative effect of scowling or squinting at one screen or another day after day, our heavy use of technology is also being blamed by some dermatologists for contributing to both the early development of jowls, and a phenomena known as ‘tech-neck’ – which is the formation of lines or wrinkles above the collarbone and on the neck caused by straining the head forward or downwards to look at a screen. It’s also worth mentioning that when you’re working in this position, or going a step further and spending hours hunched over a computer (I’m hugely guilty of this!), your breathing is likely to be shallow, particularly if you are working under pressure or in a stressful environment.

Shallow breathing has a two-fold negative impact on your skin. Firstly, it reduces the efficiency of one of the body’s natural detoxification systems, as it is estimated that the lungs expel approximately 70% of all toxins eliminated from the body, and deep breathing assists in this process. Secondly, it can contribute to a dull and lacklustre complexion as breathing air fully into the lungs helps to boost oxygen delivery to cells, giving rise to that healthy glow we all hanker after.

To counteract this try adapting the position in which you use your phone or computer, take regular breaks, try to pay attention to your breathing and frequently stretch your neck muscles. Also, ensure that you moisturise your neck daily (an area which often goes overlooked) and remember to take the product all the way down the neck towards the collarbone.

If the issues I’ve outlined so far aren’t reason enough to perhaps reconsider the way in which we use technology then read on, there’s worse still to come! As in our fast paced, hyper-connected, 24 hour ‘switched on’ society these problems don’t just affect us 9 – 5, they are creeping up on as at night too! This is largely because the blue light emitted by our phones (and other devices) disrupt our natural sleep/wake cycle, leaving us feeling tired (yet wired!) with dark under eye circles, and over time accelerated levels of collagen breakdown caused by the action of the stress hormone cortisol.

Also, those endless phone notifications pinging away at all hours can leave us feeling that we are always on alert, and are constantly operating in reactive mode, which can be interpreted by the body as a stressor. To minimise this try to implement a technology curfew as often as possible, and allow yourself a couple of hours to wind down before going to bed, ideally don’t sleep with your phone near your bed, and switch off all notifications for the night.

If you’re baffled by blemishes or skin rashes your phone or computer could be the culprit. Keyboards and phones can be full of bacteria, which can easily be transferred to the skin of the face, leading to breakouts, so just like make-up brushes, or any other beauty tools used on the face the importance of keeping your phone clean to help maintain skin health cannot be overstated. In the case of skin rashes you could possibly be sensitive to the material in your phone casing, as it may contain nickel, which many people are allergic to.

After reading all that it may be tempting to swear off technology altogether! But, for most of us it has become ingrained in most aspects of our daily lives, and has many positive benefits. It is my opinion that we should be mindful of the potentially detrimental effects that technology could have on our appearance and health, fortunately we can mitigate many of these problems, and most of them quite easily. Now I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll hang on to my digital devices, and do my best to keep my scowling computer face in check!


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… (Part 3).

My relationship with my family and parents gradually improved. As I was now a family woman myself, I got financial help from my parents to help with the girls. I was in my parents good books but it wasn’t easy. It was hard being a house wife, a daughter in law and a mother at the same time.

image1 - CopyI wished that I went on to do further higher education and tried to do courses at home but my family did not allow me to pursue it. It felt as though I was married to an entire clan instead of one man. I was constantly told of what to wear and how to raise my daughters. I was told to be a ‘good cultural’ women. I was stuck at home all day and whenever guests came to visit on a regular basis, I was stuck in the kitchen preparing food whilst at the same time looking after my children. At this point, my marriage was going downhill fast. My husband never supported me and his family were becoming more and more unpleasant towards me. I remember running away to my parent’s home when it got difficult, but my parents would always send me back saying there is nothing they could do. I was sent back several times by my parents as the family issues deteriorated quickly. When my husband became violent towards me, I finally gave up and ran away to Oldham.

I got a council house but my parents still disagreed with me knowing very well that my marriage was not healthy. I took a stand and went to college when the girls were at full time nursery. For the first time after a very long time, I felt happy and I had a regular routine where I finished college, picked the girls up, and then went home. I was now making new friends but it felt strange as I was doing my GCSE’s at the age of 23. I was thinking of becoming a teacher as it would fit in with my girl’s school times. Hence, I made my mind up to study and become a teacher.

I was so happy during my time at college until my parents came to me demanding that I go back to my husband. I didn’t want to go as I wanted to carry on at college and take my GCSE’s, A-levels and eventually go to university. But they managed to emotionally blackmail me and they got me back with my husband. All my dreams were crushed… again. My father went down on his knees begging me to get back with my husband. What was I supposed to do seeing my father in this position? After thinking long and hard and realising the shame I had brought upon my parents, I agreed to give my husband another chance. My husband came straight away and moved in with me and girls. I asked if I could carry on with studies, but as expected, no one agreed.

I was back to square one and realised that I will never get an opportunity to complete my studies. I was just a house wife and I was getting pressured by my in-laws and husband to have another baby. They wanted a son and started to come out with comments like ‘I can only give birth to girls.’ I soon began to feel like it was true and it made me feel as though I was worthless. Eventually, I planned to have my third child just to shut them up.

I was praying for my unborn child to be a son to secure me in this family as there was no other way out. Throughout the nine months of my pregnancy, my mother-in-law used to say ‘Oh ALLAH, please give her something good.’ I felt bad because if I give birth to another girl, I would be letting everyone down. As it happened, finally I had given birth to a baby boy. The family suddenly changed and I was treated like a princess, as though I had given birth to a lump of gold. (Part 4 continues next month).


Leeds Millennium Square will host a brand new outdoor classical music spectacular this summer.

Stars including X Factor and Popstar to Opera Star winner Joe McElderry, soprano Laura Wright, and violinist Jennifer Pike will take to the stage on Saturday, July 30 for the exciting A Classical Summer’s Evening concert.

500_classicalSet in a specially created, fully seated auditorium on Millennium Square, the show will also feature music from the Manchester Camerata, one of the UK’s leading chamber orchestras.

Conducted by Tim Redmond, the programme will feature some all-time classical favourites such as Summer from the Four Seasons and Meditation from Thais, operatic classics Haanera from Carmen, Puccini´s O Mio Babbini Caro and Nessun Dorma, together with some popular sing-alongs from hit musicals including Les Miserables, West Side Story and The Sound of Music.

Joe McElderry has sold more than two million records, including his albums Classic and Classic Christmas, which both went gold within two weeks of release.

He also recently appeared in Leeds as Joseph in Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat at Leeds Grand Theatre.

Laura Wright is one of the biggest selling classical artists of the decade, with more than one million album sales.

Nominated for a Classical Brit Award, Laura was the first mezzo soprano to perform at the Olympic Stadium and has toured with stars including tenor Alfie Boe, Russell Watson and opened for Andrea Bocelli.

Jennifer Pike gained international recognition in 2002, when, aged 12, she became the youngest ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the youngest major prize-winner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition.

The new classical concert will be one of the highlights of this year’s Millennium Square Summer Series, which will see concerts taking place on the square throughout the summer months.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We’re very excited to announce this new classical music spectacular which will be a wonderful addition to what is a varied and eclectic concert programme this summer.

“The concert includes something for everyone and we’re delighted to be welcoming such high-profile artists to perform here in Leeds where I’m sure they will create an incredible atmosphere.

“Millennium Square is the perfect place to bring an outdoor classical concert back to Leeds, putting music and culture right at the heart of the city centre for everyone to enjoy in what I’m sure will be a truly unique event.”

Gates for the concert are scheduled to open from 6pm, with the main performance set to begin at approximately 7.30pm. A licensed bar, catering concessions and toilet facilities will also be provided.

Tickets for A Classical Summer’s Evening go on sale on Monday, May 23 and are available to purchase online at or in person / by telephone from City Centre Box Office in The Carriageworks on Millennium Square (0113 224 3801)

Tickets are priced at £25 category A, £22 category B and £19.50 category C with discounts available for LEEDSCard / Breezecard holders and other concessions.

A special VIP package is also available. Priced at £75 the package includes reserved seating in a prime location directly facing the stage together with a champagne reception and hot / cold buffet set in the Civic Hall banqueting suite. The package includes the opportunity to meet the artists for photos and autograph signing before the show starts.

Enhanced facilities for disabled attendees will also be available at the event, including a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter and a hearing loop audio enhancement system within a designated accessible viewing area, raised viewing platform, disabled toilet provision and a Changing Places high dependency unit.

For further details visit or contact Leeds City Council’s events team on 0113 395 0891 or by email at

The Millennium Square Summer Series kicks-off from Friday, July 22 with live performances over the first weekend by Ocean Colour Scene and the Cribs organised by local promoters Futuresound.

The programme also includes the return of The Magic of Motown Under the Stars which is back by popular demand following last year’s sell out show and this year will feature special guest performances by Clem Curtis of The Foundations and X Factor semi-finalist Che Chesterman.

The programme closes on Sunday, August 7 when the square will host the Parade Stage for the annual Leeds Pride celebrations.

For further details visit



Bradford Council is once again partnering up with British Cycling and Sky for the seventh year running to hold this ever popular cycling event on Sunday, June 5.

Sky Rides are big, celebratory events which take over a city centre so lots of cyclists of all ages and abilities can ride safely together on a traffic-free route.

The ride will start again at the gantry in the multi-award winning City Park and go round the main streets of the city centre – this time taking in the new Broadway shopping development.

The route will wend its way up Market Street, Sunbridge Road, Darley Street, Lower Kirkgate, up Church Bank past the Cathedral and down into Little Germany, before returning back to City Park via City Hall.

In addition to cycling there will be lots of free things to do on the day – style your bike at the ‘Tricks & Tunes’ area, take part in our cycling game shows, grab your free Sky Ride bib and get snapped in our photo booth.

Register for Sky Ride Bradford and you’ll be entitled to a free expert bike check (worth £14.99) at Halfords – perfect to get you all set for the big day.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “We are delighted to host the first of the nationwide Sky Ride events.

“It has really grown in popularity, particularly with families, who can enjoy safely riding together on traffic-free roads, as well as the entertainment laid on in and around City Park.”

Tom Mutton, British Cycling’s Recreation Manager for Bradford Council, said: “Sky Ride Bradford is a great way to explore the city traffic-free. It’s the perfect day out for all the family, with lots of activities to take part in both on and off the bike. Be one in a million and register your free place today at”

Although the gantry is in City Park, participants can start anywhere on the route at any time between 11am – 3pm.

Road closures are listed on in the coming weeks.

Sky Ride Bradford is always very popular so British Cycling and Sky recommend that people register their free place ahead of the event to take advantage of some special offers such as the free bike check – and encourage family and friends to do the same.


by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Last month, influential beauty blogger Huda Kattan (@hudabeauty) hit the headlines when she shared her trick to growing thicker eyebrows with her reported 12.9m Instagram followers. Now it’s no secret that big brows are big business, and when it comes to achieving perfect brows (the current Holy Grail of beauty) it seems that no tip is too strange, or in this case too stinky to try!

The 60 second clip (which achieved some 60.5k likes) showed Huda demonstrating how she rubs raw onion on her brows to encourage them to grow. Her explanation for this seemingly bizarre beauty hack being that “onion juice has sulphur which speeds up the growth of hair and makes it thicker.”

eyebrow-onionsCurious to discover if this brow boosting tip really is backed up by science, or if rubbing onion anywhere near your eyes is simply a recipe for disaster, I did some digging and learned that sulphur does in fact play a critical role in the healthy development and cells and hair growth. And, although most of the information I found was related to dietary sulphur, and the effects of nutrition on hair growth, I did discover an interesting study from 2002 (published in the Journal of Dermatology) which demonstrated that the topical application of raw onion juice showed a positive (and measurable) effect on hair growth among a group of subjects with the hair loss condition alopecia areata.

However, if you are tempted to try this tip for yourself please proceed with caution, as it is not entirely without risk. Onions contain enzymes that can cause tearing, inflammation and stinging of the eyes – and the onion does not necessarily need to come into direct contact with the eyes to trigger these unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms.

how-to-make-eyebrows-grow-back-1Now, whilst I believe it is up to the individual to determine whether the onion juice tip is worth a try (or possibly a cry!), where skincare is concerned I certainly wouldn’t swerve the supermarket or store cupboard altogether, in fact your kitchen may already be home to all manner of natural beauty boosting ingredients, many of which have stood the test of time, having been passed down through the generations (with some even dating back as far as Ancient Egyptian times) – and that won’t make your eyes water!

Let’s begin with my current favourite food based skin saviour, a budget friendly, beautifully fragranced and versatile product, rosewater makes a wonderful facial toner, and can be mixed with both glycerin and/or witch hazel making it both hydrating and astringent – without being harsh on the skin. Or, for a simple refreshing and calming skincare mist, try mixing equal parts rosewater and sterile water in a sterilised spray bottle and spritz over your skin. 

As well as being delicious, avocados offer powerful beauty benefits both inside and out. In her book ‘Eat Pretty’ beauty and health coach Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP explains how avocados provide one of the healthiest sources of fat in nature, are rich in vitamin E which helps maintain strong, hydrated skin cells and B vitamins which play a role in detoxification. Applied topically avocados make amazing face masks, either on their own, or combined with other ingredients such as olive oil, honey or raw egg white. To give this a go simply cut an avocado in half, remove the nut, scoop out and mash up the flesh, apply to clean skin and leave to work for 15 minutes before rinsing off.

Honey, particularly raw or unpasteurised, is an amazingly versatile ingredient to introduce into your skincare arsenal. It is packed full of antioxidants, has naturally antibacterial properties and thanks to it’s ability to attract and retain moisture it works wonders for restoring skin hydration and elasticity. Reaping all these benefits couldn’t be easier, simply smooth a thin layer over clean, dry skin, leave to work for approximately half an hour and rinse off with warm water.

Baking soda
It turns out that this everyday store cupboard ingredient can do more than just help make your cakes rise! It has a multitude of uses due to its natural cleansing, exfoliating and deodorising properties – a triple threat for treating tired, rough or otherwise unhappy feet. Try dissolving 2 – 3 tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl of warm water and soak feet for 15 – 20 minutes for a skin smoothing and softening treat.

Coffee grounds
Love a cuppa? Well you may want to reconsider ditching your used coffee grounds as they make an excellent base for an effective body exfoliator. Experience a different kind of caffeine fix by mixing half a cup of used coffee grounds with half a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of olive oil (or alternatively you can use almond or coconut oil) and use once or twice per week to slough away dead skin cells and boost circulation.

Do you have a kitchen cupboard beauty secret you’d like to share? Tweet me at @SarahUrbanEcho


New businesses seem to be opening on a regular basis in Bradford’s rejuvenated city centre. This was predicted before the opening of the Broadway Centre, as it now appears that the long awaited opening of the flagship store has finally acted as a catalyst for other businesses to follow suit.

Facebook-20160511-101630Situated on the doorstep of Broadway on Kirkgate, Brits Hair & Beauty has added increased footfall to the area since its opening in December last year. An existing business for thirty years, when it was situated in a smaller premises in Little Horton Lane, Brits Hair & Beauty is today attracting customers from all over the county.

The business originally used the Fresh Fare / Seafresh premises on Little Horton Lane from 2001. Fresh Fare was an existing and well established business which had already been operating for thirty years when Brits Hair & Beauty moved in at the beginning of the millennium.

Facebook-20160511-101815Brits Hair and Makeup was set up by Mohammed Matloob who realised that there was a need for exclusive hair and make-up accessories to cater for the African-Caribbean and South Asian market as there were no other businesses who catered for their needs.

In saying that Brits Hair & Beauty is a retailer that cater for all hair and beauty needs and specialise in human hair extensions with a wide selection displayed on their shop floor.

Mr Matloob has spent £230,000 on the store with help from the Bradford Council Growth Zone initiative which was set up to support new businesses and existing business growth in the city centre.

Mr Hussain states, “We have had a fantastic response since we opened in December and we are now running out of space due to the demand from our customers. We have customers from Leeds, Bradford and as far as Manchester because our stock is unique and of the highest level of quality. My colleague Amir Hussain manages the business and he has worked tirelessly to get it to this point.

Facebook-20160511-101833“We don’t only specialise in African-Caribbean and South Asian hair extensions and make-up as we also cater for all hair and beauty needs regardless of skin colour and origin.”

As demand for their products increases, Mr Hussain has now taken the business online. He tells us, “We have now gone online on sites such as Ebay and Amazon and we are currently developing a website.”

The premises also houses the popular Italian hairdressing expert Rosa Massimo downstairs. The award-winning hairdresser has worked alongside a range of big names in the hair industry such as Vidal Sassoon academy, TIGI, Colory – for whom she is already a qualified teacher – Andrew Collinge, Redken, Revlon, Anthony Mascolo, and many more.

Mr Hussain concludes, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bradford Council for all their help and assistance during our set up. Without their help, this would not have been possible. These are very exciting times for Bradford and I am glad that I am contributing to the city’s regeneration. I hope we continue to grow as a business and as a city.”