What’s next for Ben de Lisi?

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It’s certainly been a busy year for fashion designer Ben de Lisi. The New Yorker has been putting in the hours designing the new Debenhams Principles range, which encompasses not only women’s fashion but also electricals, furniture and other homeware.

How Ben quite found time to dedicate himself to another little project, then, we’ll never know. The Pratt Institute of Art graduate was recently signed up by Coral to design this year’s Royal Ascot dress, which will be worn at the event on 17th June to raise publicity for the bookmaker.

The dress, which is said to be “inspired by jockey silks” will be modelled by an as yet unknown household name, and will later be auctioned off, along with the original designs, to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Having noticed Ben’s keen eye for fashion on the Sky One series Project Catwalk, Coral first approached Ben in 2014 and asked him to design an exclusive dress for the prestigious racing event. It was modelled by Strictly Come Dancing Star Kristina Rihanoff and was made entirely of betting slips – later going on to cause a stir when Ms Rihanoff was turned away for breaking dress code regulations.

Needless to say Ben has learned from this experience and this year’s creation will doubtless be a little more conservative. But what else can we expect from Ben for the rest of 2015?

The 60-year-old describes his style as “American preppy with a quirky twist.” Look into any of his Debenhams collections and you will notice his signature bold prints and colours, be they women’s skirts or three-piece suites.

But could this American influence also lead him to his next style goal? Having worked with many big British names in the past including Kate Winslet and Helena Bonham Carter, Ben admits there is one American starlet he would love to style.

“I’d love to style Angelina Jolie,” he admits. He also has nothing but praise for other American stars such as Julianne Moore, whose style he describes as “not overproduced.” He says: “Julianne Moore epitomises my belief that fashion should never be so loud that you do not see the person first.”

Clearly, the star wants to work with more American actresses, but despite being born in the Big Apple himself, could we see him producing even more for Debenhams? After his designs saw the company’s profits climb by more than 4 per cent, the chain store won’t want to be getting rid of him in a hurry.

Plus, if this year’s Royal Ascot dress raises as many eyebrows as 2014’s, it doesn’t seem like our Ben will be heading back to his native homeland any time soon.

Travel health disasters and how to avoid them

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When you jet off on a well-deserved holiday, you no doubt want to forget about your worries and relax and unwind. However, there are certain practical issues that you simply can’t afford to ignore, and your health is one of them. If you’re not careful, your blissful break away from home could quickly turn into a nightmare. Fortunately, help is at hand. This brief guide talks you through some possible travel health disasters, and offers top tips on how to avoid them.

Malaria

If you’re travelling to a tropical or subtropical destination, you’ll need to be aware of the risk of malaria. Each year, around 1,750 people return to the UK with this serious and sometimes fatal disease, which is spread by night-biting female mosquitoes that carry plasmodium parasites. The parasites enter the bloodstream and, depending on the type, they may then multiply and do potentially serious harm. Take a look at how malaria symptoms are explained by Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor or, alternatively, visit your GP or a travel clinic for further information. Broadly speaking, the ill-effects can include headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhoea and night sweats. In the most serious cases, this can progress to anaemia, low blood sugar, abnormal liver function, kidney failure, convulsions, difficulty breathing, confusion, severe dehydration and a range of other severe symptoms.

To minimise the risk of contracting malaria, it’s important to seek advice from a travel health expert before you set off. You might need to take antimalarial tablets, and bear in mind that the courses of some of these medicines start before you set off on holiday. It’s also important to try to avoid being bitten while you’re away, especially after sunset. To do this, cover up in loose clothing and use repellents. You might also benefit from sleeping under a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide.

Infectious diseases

Of course, malaria isn’t the only disease to watch out for. Depending on where you’re going, you might also be at risk of dengue, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, yellow fever and travellers’ diarrhoea. You’ll need to do your research before you set off and speak to a doctor to see if you require any vaccinations or medicines. You should look into this at least four to six weeks before you’re due to jet off.

Also, bear in mind that many infectious diseases are spread through food and water, so it’s wise to follow thorough hygiene guidelines. For example, don’t drink tap water or use it to brush your teeth in areas where there’s poor sanitation. Also, don’t put ice in drinks and steer clear of foods like salads, uncooked fruits and anything that has been kept at room temperature in warm environments.

Sunburn

Another health risk is sunburn. Severe cases may lead to painful blisters, but even mild sunburn can be highly damaging because it increases your risk of skin cancer later in life. To ensure you don’t get burned, stay out of the sun when it’s at its strongest, which is between 11am and 3pm, and apply plenty of sunscreen at least every two hours when you’re out, even if it’s overcast. When selecting a cream, go for one that has a high sun protection factor.

By following advice like this, you should be able to enjoy your holidays without experiencing any health disasters.

5 Home Comfort Essentials

Are you struggling to make your home as comfortable as it could be? It’s not as difficult to get right as you might think. Here are 5 home comfort essentials.

  1. Footrests

You don’t realize how great footrests can be until you’ve actually used one! It’s a cheap, simple item, but they improve your comfort no end when you’re sitting down. They’re especially good if you’re sitting at a desk working.

They’re backed up by science too. Using a footrest is good for your entire body and will dramatically improve your posture. When something’s comfortable and beneficial to your health, you know you have to use it!

  1. Top Quality Pillows

We often hear about the importance of having a good quality, supportive mattress to lie on at night, but what about the pillows? Yes, having a good mattress is important, but, if you’re like me, you’ll place much more value on the pillows.

Having an old mattress isn’t ideal but you can get by with it. But if you have a tired, lifeless pillows that haven’t been replaced in years, it’s pretty hard to put up with. There’s nothing better than getting into bed and resting your head on a big fluffy pillow.

  1. Great Scents

Home comfort isn’t all about physical comfort, you know. Sometimes comfort relates to the overall ambience and relaxation offered by a room. And one great way to improve a room’s ambience is by making sure it smells great.

You can use candles, air fresheners or whatever you like to make it smell nicer. But, for me, the best scent is that of home baked bread! So, why not start making your own bread? You’ll have some great food to eat, and your house will smell great.

  1. Foam Chairs

Where you sit when you’re trying to relax is vital, so don’t neglect your chairs. Of course, your sofa and armchairs are important but they have to be functional as well as comfortable. That’s why you need some foam chairs or bean bags as well.

These are extra important if you’re a gamer or you like to watch a lot of movies at home. That’s when you really need that extra comfort. There are loads of types of foam chair out there, and you can browse and find more at Comfysacks.com/. Find the right style to fit your room.

  1. The Perfect Pair of Slippers

Even if we don’t admit it, we all love our slippers. One of life’s great pleasures comes from getting home, kicking off your shoes and putting your slippers on. If you don’t have a pair, you should!

But what constitutes a perfect pair of slippers will change depending on the individual. Some people like to buy a new pair regularly, and others like to have an old pair that serves them well for years. It’s all about finding the ones that are right for you.

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A home isn’t’ really a home unless it’s comfortable. So, follow these tips and make your home an haven of relaxation and comfort.

Interesting Facts About The Candy Industry

Candy has been one of America’s favorite treats for a very long time now. However, most people have little knowledge about the history of the product. Today, we’re going to present you with a few interesting facts you need to know. Not only will they give you something to talk about at dinner parties, but they will also help you to understand better the evolution of the treat. You can take a look at the infographic if you want to learn more.

Candy Corn is one of the best selling candy products of all time. It was first released in 1880, and it is still being sold in stores around the country to this very day.

Tootsie Rolls were first introduced in 1896, and most people are unaware the product was named after Leo Hirshfield’s daughter.

Toblerone was put on sale in 1908. The delicious Swiss milk chocolate was designed and created by Theodor Tobler.

Dum Dums lollipops first reached our shelves in 1928. They were called that because the manufacturers wanted to make it easy for small children to repeat the brand name. What a fantastic marketing trick.

By 1930, the Mars family created the nutty Snickers bar. It was named after their horse.

As you can see, there are many interesting facts surrounding the history of the candy industry. Now it’s time to browse through some more information featured on the infographic below. There is so much to learn that you might want to put half an hour aside to take it all in.


Infographic By Candy Favourites

Seven Tips For A Healthier Skin

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A lot of therapists are offering their services as dermatologists. You can recognize a dermatologist by their education. A dermatologist needs to complete a medical degree at a university before receiving a specialized training in dermatology. Don’t hesitate to ask your dermatologist about their specification.

Facials may not be the answer to your problems

If you tend to have acne, rosacea or have sensitive skin, the facials offered by spas and beauty salons are not a good option for you. A study showed that facials could actually made breakouts worse in 80% of cases. You should receive a medical grade facial through your dermatologist if you need one.

Your diet is important

You are more than likely aware that sugar is not good for you. However, a lot of people do not realize how foods rich in sugar affect their complexion. Making bad nutritional choices can cause your skin to age a lot faster.

Stress is bad for your skin 

There are not a lot of studies about the connection between medication and healthy skin. However, high stress levels cause your system to produce higher levels of cortisol, which causes your skin to age. Getting your stress under control will prevent your skin from aging, for instance by meditating on a daily basis.

Get your moles checked 

It is crucial to get your moles checked by a dermatologist. Ideally, you should aim and think I want to meet a dermatologist near me at least once a year. You should also examine your skin yourself at least once a month to make sure your moles still look the same.

Choose products adapted to your skin 

A lot of people with sensitive skin choose rich and thick moisturizing creams to soothe their skin. It is important to choose products adapted to your skin type to get good results. You need to choose skin care products based on your skin conditions or your skin type. Ask a dermatologist for recommendations if you are not sure products are best for you.

Be patient 

Some patients want to start treatments for acne scarring before their acne has completely disappeared. However, it is best to wait for acne to be gone before treating acne scarring. Treating acne scarring too early could worsen acne lesions. A good dermatologist should be able to prescribe an efficient treatment for acne before treating scarring.

Aqueous creams can irritate 

Aqueous creams make good substitutes for soap but you should not leave these products on as moisturizers. Some patients try leaving these creams on to get rid of eczema or soothe sensitive skin. General practitioners and pharmacists often make the mistake to recommend that patients leave these creams on. However, most aqueous creams contain sodium lauryl sulphate, a foaming agent that can irritate the skin.

Stop using face wipes

You should not using facial wet wipes instead of soap to clean your skin. These wipes can be used while you are on the go and have no other option to clean your face. However, wipes do not clean your skin as well as soap and can irritate it.

Boxing: the hottest new workout for women?

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Everywhere we look around us, there is some sort of new diet or exercise fad that promises to shed the pounds within weeks. It seems we’ve tried everything from Beyonce’s Maple Syrup Diet to Chairacise, but now something has arrived which not only seems completely within the realms of possibility, but is also a great way to let off steam: boxing.

New beginnings

Without a doubt, boxing has come onto everybody’s radar in the recent months thanks to the forthcoming Mayweather Jr vs. Pacquiao fight, which will see millions of spectators betting and biting their nails on 2nd May. But far from being a sport which is primarily directed towards men, now, more and more women are choosing boxing to vent their frustrations and lose those extra pounds.

No one knows this better than the founders of Shadowbox, a new boxing studio which has just opened in New York’s Flatiron District. Daniel Glazer, founder of the club, said: “We’re going to try to bridge the gap between what’s great about the sport traditionally and bring it into the new century for women who want to be able to take a shower and blow-dry their hair and go to work afterward.”

Yes, it may be something of a boxing-ring-come-beauty-salon, but that is not to say that the regimes will not be hard work. Classes comprise shadow boxing with and without weights, heavy bag work with guided punch combinations and core and body weight exercises, all topped off with a few stretches. It particularly appeals to women, says Glazer, thanks to its lengthening and toning properties, rather than making its participants “bulk up.”

On the catwalk

Aesthetics are certainly an added benefit of this refreshing exercise, but it’s also having a substantial effect on the fashion circuit. Alexander Wang set the trend last autumn when he designed boxing gloves for his H&M collaboration. This in turn inspired Karl Lagerfield, who soon had models such as Cara Delevingne sporting lace-up boots and quilted bags in the latest campaign for Chanel. Louis Vuitton went one step further and even designed a full set of boxing accessories, retailing at an eye-watering $175,000.

It’s part of an altogether bigger ‘sportification’ trend which is currently taking the fashion world by storm for both men and women. Wei Koh, founder of The Rake Magazine, says: “There’s a blending of sportswear and formality like we’ve never seen. What’s apparent now is that we are looking for clothes that help us jump around the city, run around between meetings. It’s about comfort, technical ability and mobility.”

Of course, technical ability and mobility are two traits which any keen boxer possesses. With the new fitness trend, this is something which could be on the rise in the coming months for any New York resident looking for an exciting way of getting in shape.

Your living room: Small changes that make a big difference

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Our living room is the core of our home; the room we showcase for visitors and enjoy quiet family time in and therefore it is crucial that we ensure it is as homely and comfortable as possible. Whilst we would all love the most up to date, modern living room, it is essential this room reflects both your taste and your lifestyle.

Whilst some large changes such as; changing couches or adding new timber windows aren’t something we can all do on a regular basis, here are some smaller changes that are guaranteed to make a huge impact on your living room.

Improve your lighting

The lighting you choose for any room, particularly your living room can change the entire ambiance. If you are looking to have a living room where you and your family can relax; subtle, soft lighting can work really well and create a cosy atmosphere. However, if you want to create a space that is alert then harsher, brighter lighting will be more suitable.

Installing a dimmer switch is also the perfect solution as this will allow you to have brighter light during day time hours and a soft dimmer light for pyjama moments and those romantic evenings in.

Add an accent wall

If you really want to change things up and add a bit of the contemporary into your living room, why not add an accent wall? This wall is where you can add a bold statement in your otherwise quite neutral living room. This can be an extremely quick and cheap way of completely changing the entire look and feel of your living space.

Add some life

Believe it or not, the addition of a living and breathing plant can really enhance your living room. Whether that is an orchid or some herb pots; add them to random spaces in your lounge for a great effect.

Change your accent pillows

If you don’t currently have any accent pillows; get some! If you do have them, change them up a bit. This is a quick and inexpensive way of completely changing the colour or design theme of your living room. If you want to make sure your living space really stands out, add some brightly coloured cushions to your couch.

With these essential tips in mind, you can really enhance your living room this season without spending a fortune!

Adding Luxury Touches to Your Bathroom

Your bathroom can start looking old and tired pretty quickly. Therefore, you should look for ways to keep it fresh and new all year round. We all want touches of luxury in our bathrooms, but real luxury is expensive, I know I can’t afford that kind of thing!

So, I’ve devised some quickly and easy ways in which you can add luxury touches to your bathroom. Don’t settle for a drab, lifeless bathroom. Follow these tips and your bathroom will have a new lease of life in no time.

Add a New Mirror

Your eye is immediately drawn to the mirror in a room. It is usually the thing that stands out on the wall, so make sure yours isn’t cheap and ugly. Get something elaborate or in fitting with the rest of your room.

Mirrors provide extra light and make a room look bigger, they’re not just for looking at yourself in! So, if you don’t have one in your bathroom, it’s time you changed that. You can find some beautiful second-hand mirrors that can be restored to create something unique.

Get New Towels and Robes

Are your towels, robes and mats looking old and tatty these days? It’s really worth investing in some new ones if this is the case. Not only will they look better but they’ll also feel a lot better when you use them! Luxury doesn’t just have to be about appearances.

Make sure they are in keeping with the design of the rest of the room. You get lots of differently designed towels and contemporary bath mats online. And you could even get your robes personalised if you wanted.

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Mix and Match Fixtures

A great way to update your bathroom and be creative at the same time is to use unusual and unexpected fixtures in the room. Why not use kitchen storage units and turn them into a great vanity cabinet?

Or get an old chandelier and use it in your bathroom. These touches often look great and give a sense of real luxury that shop bought bathroom fixture can’t compete with.

New Accessories

A bathroom can be made to feel more luxurious by simply adding small accessories. Try adding scents and candles around the room. It’s cheap and simple, yet gives the feeling of real luxury and relaxation. Light them when you get home from work, and you’re having a long soak, you won’t regret it.

Other accessories you could add include plants for the windowsill, picture for the walls or luxury soaps for the bath. Do whatever puts you most at ease.

Clean it Thoroughly

A deep clean can be as good as a redecoration job sometimes. Bathrooms get very dirty, very quickly. Get right into the corners and clean the taps! It’ll feel like an entirely new room by the end of it. And it won’t cost much money either.

You could even get a professional cleaner to do the job for you if you want the room to be cleaned comprehensively. And then, once it’s clean, try to keep it clean!

Give Your Bedroom a Beautiful Makeover!

Your bedroom is the space to relax, chill and sleep. It should be a haven from the world. It’s important that you have a bedroom that meets your needs. After all, you need to ensure that you have a tranquil and beautiful space within your home.

So, how can this bedroom makeover be done?

There are some simple, yet beautiful ways that you can give your room a makeover. What’s more; you don’t even have to pick up the paint brush!

Cute Curtains

Think about your curtains. Are they a little lacklustre? Do they leave a lot to be desired? If you want to make sure that your room is transformed, with ease, it’s time to invest in some curtains that are the actual focal point of the room. If you have a neutral base on your wall, a pair of curtains that have a lot of detail can make them the feature of your room. You don’t have to put up feature paper to create an atmosphere. Think along the lines of checks, birds, floral and spots. This can give your room an instant lift and look positively fantastic.

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Emily May

Lights, Camera, Action

Lighting is a huge part of any home. But, you don’t have to stick to a bedroom ceiling fan and light combination. On the contrary, unique lighting is one of the best ways to add drama to your room. Think about what kind of look you want. Do you want a bright, open room? Or, would you prefer to something a little more cosy? Thinking about this need is a must before you add light. Simple laser cut shades are perfect for any cosy space. But, dramatic pendants and oversized sconces can change the whole look of your room. Lighting should be both practical and beautiful. So, incorporate it in the right way in your home.

Throws, Pillows and Fabrics

Adding texture to a room can change the space from drab to fab. One of the best and cheapest ways to do this is to add more fabrics and textiles. Think about your bedroom space. It’s a playground for inspiration. So many people forget about putting in simple rugs, voiles and cushions. Throwing scatter cushions across the bed is a must. A simple, luxe faux fur throw is a must. Opt for a large throw that contrasts with the theme of your room. Adding all of these textiles gives your home a stunning feel. But, it also creates a comfortable and cosy space that can be enjoyed all year round.

Stickers and Art

When it comes to your home, you may want something a little classier on your walls. Murals, stickers and oversized canvases can be purchased for a snip of the price. What’s more, they are a funky alternative to paper and paint. As they are a less permanent solution, you can have all kinds of things on your wall. Choose a feature wall and add simple murals and canvases. Your bedroom will be transformed into a chic spot that is bang on trend.

Creative Lighting Ideas for Your Home

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by Stacie

We can do much more with the light in our homes than simply screw in a white or yellow light bulb. But many of us don’t make the effort to do anything more interesting, perhaps instead concentrating on using beautiful lampshades. And while having new light fixtures fitted might seem a hassle, it’s not all that complicated, and it’s not the only way to use light in a fun way. We use the light in our home for practical purposes, like cooking in the kitchen, but we also use it to set the mood and enhance interior design. If you want to do more with your home lighting, try some of these creative ideas.

Take Control

Sometimes the fairly simple ideas are some of the most effective. Dimmer switches might have been around for a long time, but people often still see them as something a bit fancy. It’s easy to install a switch, as well as dimmable bulbs like these Philips LED bulbs. Once you’ve changed your lights to fit dimmer switches, you won’t regret it. You can lower the light in the bathroom for a relaxing bath, bring the lights down in the dining room for an intimate dinner or create some mood lighting in the bedroom. You don’t always want a strong, bright light in the evening, and a lower one can bring a lot more atmosphere to a room.

Learn to Love Pendant Lights

Most of us have light fittings that hang straight down from our ceilings, but they can often look a bit tired or dull. Pendant lights hang a little lower than most and usually come with a beautiful shade, made from anything from glass to brass. They’re particularly popular at the moment because they’re an excellent way to use lighting to create a feature in the room. They look fantastic hanging over a table, kitchen island or bed. There’s a huge range of stunning and creative fittings you can use, from vintage lanterns to contemporary bars and other designs.

Use Color

We often get stuck using white and yellow lights, with perhaps a bit of daring orange now and then. But there’s no need for us to stick to the same colors all the time. There are lots of fun hues that we try out, and they don’t have to be garish or tacky. However, it’s best to use different colors sparingly, perhaps as accent lighting. You can also use colored bulbs with a dimmer switch so that you can adjust their level. Instead of using paint, furniture or other accessories for you accent colors, use your lights instead. As well as choosing a colored bulb, you can use a white one shining through a colorful fixture. You’ll get a more subtle effect, and you can change the fixture when you want.

Why should we settle for boring lighting when we can do what we want with it, just like everything else in our homes? Make your home more fun by playing with your lights instead of settling for mundanity.