Behold, Nigeria's New Eye Candy



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Held at the Calabar International Conference Centre, Calabar, Cross River State, the beauty pageant saw 37 lovely ladies representing various states in Nigeria as well as the federal capital territory, Abuja, contesting for the coveted Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2015 title.

To set the tune for the evening, the contestants appeared first in their traditional attires, portraying the various states they represented in their outfits. Followed closely was the most favourite aspect of the show, the swimwear segment, which saw the girls tittering around the stage with their well-trimmed legs, well-polished skin and smooth bodies. These got eyes rolling and neck stretching from the audience.

Then came the Evening Wear segment. During this segment, the 37 beautiful girls were all decked in different shades of colour in high class tailored apparels as they paraded on the stage.

The most interesting part of the show was the trimming down of the contestants from 37 to just 15 in number and then to five finalists, from which the overall winner was announced.

Just before the first 15 finalists were announced, special awards were given to six deserving contestants. The Most Photogenic award went to Miss Gombe; Most Charismatic went to Miss Ebonyi; Best Costume went to Miss Niger; while Top Model was given to Miss Borno. The Most friendly and most agreeable in camp went to Miss Yobe while the Best Evening Wear went to Miss Katsina.

The contestants were eventually shortlisted to five finalists from which Miss Anambra, Unoaku Anyadike emerged the 2015 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2015 beating other top four contenders to emerge the star winner, consequently, Miss Ebonyi emerged first runner-up, second runner-up went to Miss Abuja, third runner-up, Miss Bauchi, and fourth runner –up to Miss Edo.

Anyadike the last of five girls in her family who reside in Ile Ife, Osun State, was overwhelmed with happiness as she shed tears of joy. She will be representing Nigeria at the Miss World contest billed to take place in Sanya, Chinacome December 19, 2015.

“This is dream come true for me”, she said few moments after she was crowned.

While drilling the contestants on stage, Anyadike was asked how she would propagate the theme for this year’s pageant which basically is on Climate Change during her reign if she eventually won, she responded that she will use her position to promote climate change, by going back to Anambra State, which incidentally is her state of origin, to partner with her state government, to solve the problem of gully erosions.

“I will make a difference by creating awareness on climate change by going back to my state, Anambra State and partner with the governor, Willie Obiano, in helping to solve the negative effects of climate change in the state. We all know that Anambra State is right now suffering gully erosions, so I will go back and create awareness for solution to the problem,” she said. Her very brilliant response, no doubt won the hearts of the audience and ultimately those of the judges.

The panel of judges for the 2015 MBGN was made up of Mr. Nigeria 2013, Kenneth Okoli; International Model and Actress, Kendra Etufunwa; former beauty queen, Chinenye Akinlade; renowned Fashion Designer, Kenny Okorie amongst others.

While keying into the theme for this year’s MBGN pageant, which happened to be in tune with the Cross River State government’s vision for the state, the governor, Senator Ben Ayade, said “This year’s theme is remarkable for its topicality, ‘Climate Change”, which is a reality that humanity must learn to live with.

“We believe that there is an urgent need for us to protect mother earth. It is against this backdrop that Cross River State has decided to use the opportunity that MGBN pageant has presented to preach the effect of Climate Change,” Ayade said.

Speaking further, the governor warned, “We must watch the level at which we destroy our natural resources,” adding, “So it is significant that we are gathered here this night to choose an ambassador that would preach the concept of climate change and green revolution,” Ayade said further.

Senator Ita Giwa, Mother of the Day for the occasion, who had earlier hosted the contestants at her home while she schooled girls on the Calabar culture, commended the good conducts of the girls. She encouraged them to continue with the good character they have imbibed while they were at the training camp in Calabar.

Present also at the event were former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke and wife, Obioma; wife of the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Mrs. Omotunde Ivara Esu; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. John Lebo and numerous local government chairmen in Cross River State amongst others.

The hosts for the MBGN 2015 pageant proudly organised by Silverbird Productions and sponsored by the Cross River State Government, were Chris Okenwa and Yvonne Ekwere, popularly known as ‘Vixen’ while musical artistes like Kiss Daniel, the ‘Woju” crooner and MC Galaxy, ‘Sekem’ originator and other upcoming artistes provided music for the night.Read more at:purple prom dresses uk


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How to exercise for weight loss



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Weight loss is not as easy popping pills, running 10 laps, cutting out fat from your diet or starving yourself.

Weight loss is a combination of balanced eating, and full body exercise that focuses on different physical fitness aspects regularly. Above all, let's not forget the two key aspects that weight loss is impossible without - determination and patience. We give you different ways to achieve the same target - weight loss!

What is a proper workout?

Keep the following points in mind to ensure that whatever activity you do for a workout ends up being a proper workout:

- Your daily workouts should be a minimum of 20 minutes. Not necessarily at one time. - You can do two brief workouts of 10 minutes each twice a day.

- They should make you work hard i.e. they should be intense.

- It should be progressive, i.e. you must move faster or lift heavier to keep improving.

Now the problem that occurs with some people is that they are too busy to follow a structured workout routine. So what can such people do? Well honestly if you cannot find 20 minutes in a whole day to workout, then you need to re-evaluate your life! Your health must be a priority! So if you cannot workout for more than a few minutes at a time, then you can choose from the following list to get a real workout rather than walk from one room to another to get a workout.

- Wake up and do some Surya Namaskars

- Do a few sets of push ups, squats, lunges, leg raises during the commercial breaks of your favourite television program

- Throw a total of 100 kicks and punches 2-3 times a day when you find time

- If you want to get stronger then keep a heavy dumbbell ready and do 1-2 sets of 5 reps of a heavy exercise 3-5 times a day. Use a weight that is your 8 rep maximum

- Do 5 minutes of rope jumping 2-3 times a day, going fast for 15 seconds and slow for 45 seconds

You can try any activity from the above list to get a good workout. All of the above activities will not take more than 5 minutes. Just do them multiple times a day to get a total of around 20 minutes a day. Of course you will need to ensure that your diet compliments your workouts to get the best results. So do not waste any more energy with fruitless activities, do proper workouts!


Running is a full body workout that keeps your muscle tone and weight control in check. An added advantage - running is fun. Whether you live in an urban jungle, a picturesque small town, or a traffic zone, there's always a place to run. But before you lace up and head out running, let's take a quick look at what we've learnt about running as a form of exercise. From top running faqs to common running mistakes, here's what you need to know about running your way to good health


Fat and calorie burning: At its core, Zumba proposes to offer a large calorie burn through high-tempo aerobic activity coupled with interval training. Based on various factors such as body weight, gender, fitness level and other physical factors, you can burn up to 400 to 600 calories per hour.

While Zumba can offer much-needed respite for 'gym rats', it will also help kick-start your stamina, physical balance and muscle tone. Other Zumba benefits are, essentially the same as for any other good workout routine - lowering of blood pressure and increased bone density. Zumba integrates fitness moves quite effortlessly. So be ready to move to a fast latin beat while completing rhythmic push-ups against the wall! Similarly, Zumba may also include several sets of squats and plyometric jumps - all while you think you're dancing.

A full body workout: Zumba is a dance form merged with a fitness routine that touches on nearly every muscle and joint. Hips and abs are prime areas of focus, and flexibility is quite important too. Each Zumba class starts and ends with the standard warming and cooling own breathing and motion exercises.


If you're looking for a great fat burning and body toning workout that keeps you coming back, then kickboxing is the workout for you. Kickboxing burns approximately 800-900 calories per hour and builds speed, agility, strength and good form through some basic moves. Moves are combined and intensified to form workout routines that could even involve sparring, if you're up for it. Kickboxing is creating waves in most Indian cities as the new get-fit-now workout routine.

Kickboxing fact: Be prepared to sweat. A lot. Remember - the slower you move, the lesser you workout and the fewer the calories burnt per hour.


Every second gym or fitness studio offers group-spinning classes with dedicated instructors. Several outdoor cyclists opt for spinning in the monsoon or winter months as a decent alternative to outdoor cycling workouts. Choose spinning workouts if you're looking to build stamina and resistance.

Spinning fact: Be prepared for a room full of sweaty folks with loud music (sometimes even disco lights!) and an instructor with a headset. To get the most out of a spinning workout - pay attention to what the instructor says.

Cycling workouts

If it's the real thing you want, then you don't even need a gym to start sweating it out on a cycle. Try urban cycling workouts. If biking through the city makes you feel nervous, simply go for early morning rides when the streets are empty and the air is fresh. An hour of moderate cycling can burn anything from 400 to 800 calories an hour, giving you a well-rounded workout that'll grow on you as you get used to cycling through your city's streets.

Cycling fact: Invest in a good bicycle and protective gear. Time yourself, and experiment with uphill and downhill cycling - yes, your city can offer you all this and more.

Skipping workouts

If you can jump rope for 10 minutes, then the skipping workouts might help solve your dilemma of how to clock daily workouts. Skipping as a cardio activity can easily be alternated with bodyweight exercises for a home workout. Since it's quite taxing, skipping burns approx. 400-500 calories an hour. Of course, skipping for an hour is near impossible for us mortal souls, but you can target 15 minute sessions spread through the day for similar results.

Skipping fact: Target a set number of revolutions. Buy a skipping rope with an in-built counter, and set goals of 100, 200, 300, or 500 revolutions in the shortest time.

Weight training

Weight training is a highly effective method to stay fit well into your middle to older years. As we age, our body's metabolic rate decreases. Through weight training, we build more muscle and evade slow metabolism since muscle burns calories more efficiently. Choose between weight training at the gym, or buying weights and following a home workout, but weight training is one of the best practices for healthy weight management, and immunity boosting.

Weight training fact: The right diet, rich in essential food groups is essential for a weight-training programme. You need to nourish your body to follow stringent weight training workouts.


While yoga may not aid quick weight loss in its slower forms, it works wonders for joint flexibility, core strength and muscle tone. Forms like Iyengar yoga and Power yoga have made their presence felt in several new fitness studios that promise body-sculpting results as well. With 250-350 calories burnt per hour, yoga is a great way to stay in shape for those looking to maintain rather than lose. All you need is a yoga teacher and a yoga mat.

Yoga fact: Yoga also helps improve posture and breathing technique, which helps us fight dailystress more effectively.


This is a great cardio exercise and involves a great combination of the mind and body working together. You definitely won't be thinking of the day's frustrations once you start skipping. Ensure that your rope is suitable for your height; stand on the rope's centre and bring up each side to your shoulders. The right size would be if the rope handles come up till your underarms.

Start with half skips and graduate to double skips. Your target should be to complete at least 500 revolutions in 5 minutes. This will prime you for a great workout.

Jumping Jacks

Another great primer/precursor to a great workout, the fun jumping jacks are effective in elevating your heart rate. Take a breather of at least 30 seconds before starting jacks. Ensure that you wear proper footwear with cushioned soles as your home floors won't be as workout-friendly as a gym's floors.

Remember to follow through with the full range of motion - all the way from your feet to your wrists. Keep your knees soft (not locked) and maintain a light, bounce-like gait that doesn't pause at any part of the jack for too long.

Body combat

Body combat is an empowering cardio workout, which is fiercely energetic and is inspired by martial arts. It draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Supported by music, you strike, punch, and kick your way through calories in an enjoyable cardio fitness workout. Most Les Mills classes change their workouts every three months to new music and choreography.

What does a typical Body Combat class look like?

The instructor will lead you through a series of moves from a range of martial arts through music tracks. The first step is that you will learn all the moves that are to be used in that particular class and a warm up. The next phase is the fight itself using the moves you have learnt. With a focus on speed, power and endurance a series of fight combinations are unleashed. This is a non-contact fitness program but even so it helps you pack in punches and kicks and builds flexibility and agility. Finally, you take to the floor and end the workout with strength training. Stretches in the end ensure that you relax those muscles that have worked hard.

Benefits of body combat

- Improves heart and lung function and reduces the risk of heart disease

- Tones and shapes key muscle groups

- Burns calories for a leaner body

- Improves co-ordination and agility

- Improves bone density

- Improves posture and core strength and stability

- Builds self-confidence

Power Yoga

Power Yoga is a derivative of Ashthanga Yoga to make Yoga more accessible to the Western audience and to make it easier to adapt. Ashthanga Yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

Power Yoga on the other hand is more of a general term to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to Vinyasa- style yoga. Therefore, any power yoga class can vary widely from the next.

Power yoga has gained popularity around the world because it gives you a whole body workout, with flexibility, toning, strength building, and functional movements and also elicits properties of what a good aerobics or cardio session can do. Power yoga is one of the most modern forms of yoga as it has adapted to taking all the learnings of yoga and uniting them with today's more urgent need of weight loss and fitness, by making yoga upbeat and current. The fast pace of power yoga is what makes it popular, as today most people do not feel they have had a good workout unless they have profusely sweated or had a high heart rate.

Benefits of Power Yoga

1. Burns calories

2. Increases stamina, strength, flexibility and tones our body and core.

3. Increases metabolism

4. Alleviates stress and tension and improves focus.

5. Increases flexibility and strength in glutes and other inactive muscles.

Power Yoga vs. a Good Cardio Session

While an hour of a good all out cardio session may burn twice as many calories, power yoga feeds your muscles as it works on your core and helps tone and streamline your body, and builds lean muscle. Since power yoga not only burns calories, but also builds lean muscle it is very effective for weight loss, as building lean muscle means it increases metabolism thus being more effective in burning fat.

A cardio session may burn more calories but it does not necessarily burn fat, and doing more and more cardio may even deplete your muscle reserves, which is not a good idea for long-term weight loss.

If your aim is weight loss and fat burn, 2 sessions of power yoga a week is a good addition to any routine. If you do more of cardio and haven't started lifting weights, power yoga will strengthen your body and prepare your muscles to start lifting weights. A good mix of power yoga and cardio is also a good sustainable weight loss plan.


A fitness boot camp is a type of outdoor group exercise class that mixes traditional callisthenic and body weight exercises with interval training and strength training. In layman's terms it is a mix of high intensity cardio, body weight exercises, functional core workout, and sprints, which provide the interval training. All this packed into an adrenaline pumped hour. Normally these bootcamps are conducted in open maidans, or beaches, wherever there is open space and an ideal groups size is about 10 to 12 people.

This is what an hour of this workout may look like:

- It starts with a warm up of some light stretches and a jog around the block to get you ready for the session

- Today it could be 2 sets of hundred meter sprints and 2 sets of 50 meters. Run as fast as you can for 100 meters, take a break and run again. Then run fast for 50 meters, jog back slowly and run again for 50 meters.

- Next, everyone faces the instructor. He may ask you to do 15 pushups. Then side crawl for about 10 or 15 meters do 15 more pushups and side crawl back. Next, jump squats where you do a squat, jump up and land back into the squat. Then bear crawl to the other end, do some more jump squats and bear crawl back. Next you do a set of burpees and frog crawl to the other side, do another set of burpees and frog crawl back.

- A quick water break and some more sprints. This time it's shuttles where cones are placed equidistant from each other. So you run to the first one run back, then to the second, run back, then to the third run back and then to the last one.

- For the next drill you form a circle and we do a circuit of six to eight exercises one after the other. The circuit may have alternate lower and upper body workouts. To give you an example the workouts in this order can be - Plyometric lunges, pushups on a ball, squats with leg raise, triceps pushups, lunge with side twist and a dumbbell curl and shoulder press.

- A core session is usually thrown in every 2 to 3 sessions where you do upper and lower abs crunches, straight plank, side plank and other core workouts.

- Sometimes a game is thrown in to make it more exciting, it could be a relay, tug of war or anything that requires physical exertion.

- The session ends with a cool down where you stretch out each body part and do partner stretches.

Prison workouts

Prison workouts are highly effective and you can do them in your bedroom with next to no equipment and the time you spend on them is really up to you. They're called prison workouts, because a prisoner in a little cell can do them and still get good strength training in with no equipment. Apart from the full body functional workout from burpees, a prison workout can also be moulded to target the upper body, lower body and core separately. Here's a quick prison workout for you to try today.

Upper Body

Tricep dips: Put your hands on your chair or bed and dip your body toward the ground. Variations (from easiest to hardest) include: feet on the ground with bent knees, feet on the ground with straight legs, feet up off of the ground on another piece of furniture, and one foot on another piece of furniture while the other leg is raised in the air, alternating legs.

Pull-ups: All you need is something overhead to grab onto and heave yourself up. Hold a bar with both hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Cross your legs and now pull up your body with your arms. Ideally your chin should be the level of the bar when you pull up. If you haven't done these before try jumping up to the top and holding your body on top for a while thus building the strength required for a pull up. Another way to do an aided pull up is put one leg on a chair and perform these and slowly try shifting all your weight onto your arms and away from your legs.

Push-ups: With toes and palms only touching the floor get your body straight into a plank. Now lower your body to the floor and push up extending your arms. If you are beginning then do this with your knees on the floor and all your bodyweight on your arms.

Lower body

Squat jump: This is basically the burpee without the push-up part. Squat from a standing position until your fingertips touch the floor and then explode upwards, leaving the floor and raising your arms into the air. Land back into the squat. Repeat. Your quads will start burning quicker than you probably expect. Stop after you do about 10 of these, or when your legs are really tired.

Jump lunge: From a lunge position jump upward bringing both feet off the ground at the same time and switch your stance ending in a lunge position with your other foot now in the front. The speed and number of reps are up to you.


Plank holds: Lie on your stomach; raise yourself up on your forearms (palm to elbow) and your toes. Stay in this position in a straight line or plank. Make sure that you are in a straight line and that your butt is not too high in the air. Hold for at least a minute.

Variations: do the same thing on each side with one forearm on the floor and the other arm straight on your body. Your body is now resting on the side of your right foot and on your right forearm. Hold for a minute. Then do the same on the other side.

Body pump workouts

Body Pump workouts are essentially an original barbell class which helps in shaping, toning and strengthening the entire body. It is a well-liked workout, worldwide, and is a great routine to get in shape. The basic characteristic of body pump which makes it different from other routines is the rep effect that focuses on high repetition movements with low weight loads.

Bodypump seems to be the perfect barbell meets aerobic fat loss solution. According to its teachers it is the perfect fat loss solution since it uses weights which will improve your metabolism and burn more calories. They say that one session burns an average of 530 calories.

Advantages of body pump workout: Bodypump sessions improves muscular endurance since they make you do lots of reps. It works for those who have been doing too much cardio for too long as the added weights will help add some intensity initially to get some fat off.

Resistance bands

Workouts with resistance bands are like working out at the gym, but without the weights. Resistance bands can be used for cardio as well as strength building workouts. They are light and allow you to do many exercises like bicep curls, squats, arm lifts etc. Just get yourself resistance bands from any of the sports goods stores, pack them in your travel bag and get going. Another option is the Bullworker, which works on the same principle as resistance bands- free hand against gravity. Follow the manual carefully for better results.

Home workouts

Here's a short 15 minute home workout that will tide you over. This workout is based on the simple principle of boot camp calisthenics with short, intense segments of 30 seconds to 1 minute with at least 10 seconds rest between exercises. Let's get started!

Start with a 5 minute warm up: Never forget a warm up. Jog on the spot, do knee raises, jumping jacks, or simple skipping, but move vigorously for at least 5 to 7 minutes. A warm up works like a wake-up call to your muscles, and quite literally - warms up your muscles to prepare them for the stretching, bending and lifting that is to come in the exercise. Starting a workout without a warm up can lead to muscle injury. Also, avoid stretching before a warm up, since stretching cold muscles can lead to injury as well.

Next comes the push-ups: Lie down on your stomach. Now with your palms and toes touching the floor, push up. Then with your toes firmly on the floor, bring your upper body as close to the floor as possible and push up again, fast. Complete as many pushups as you can in 30-60 seconds.


Buckle up for the free squats: Assume a comfortable stance with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointing out slightly. Now push your hips back and keeping your back straight, sit down as if you are sitting on a chair. The aim is to get your hips and thighs at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knees do not protrude beyond your feet or you're not doing it right. Now stand up using your heels to push up and squat down again. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds


Handstands: Put your hands on the floor and your feet on the wall. Now walk your feet up and down the wall. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds


Time for Burpees: From a standing position squat down, drop your hands to the ground and jump your feet back to assume a push-up position. Do a push-up. Jump your legs forward to between your hands then jump up into the air and land back into the squat. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds.


High-knees or high-step run: Stand in a spot and bring your knees to the chest fast. It's a combination of running on the spot and bringing your knees high. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds.


Inchworm: Beginning in standard push-up position, walk your feet toward your hands and then back again to initial position. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds.

Repeat this workout as often as you can in 25 minutes.

Home workouts

A 15-minute workout routine should be easy to do, shouldn't take much equipment, should be flexible in terms of space and should work the core as well as the upper and lower body. It's a program you can do at home when you're short on time, when you're on the road and don't have the time or opportunity to hit the gym or go for an outdoor workout. I'm not saying that the 15-minute routine should replace your regular workout, but it can be a solid, full body program that you can rely on in a pinch.

Think "boot camp calisthenics" with short, intense segments of 30 seconds to 1 minute with at least 10 seconds rest between exercises. Here's a simple option.

Pushups: Lie down on your stomach. Now with your palms and toes touching the floor, push up. Then with your toes firmly on the floor, bring your upper body as close to the floor as possible and push up again, fast. Complete as many pushups as you can in 30-60 seconds.


Free squats: Assume a comfortable stance with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointing out slightly. Now push your hips back and keeping your back straight, sit down as if you are sitting on a chair. The aim is to get your hips and thighs at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knees do not protrude beyond your feet or you're not doing it right. Now stand up using your heels to push up and squat down again. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds


Handstands: Put your hands on the floor and your feet on the wall. Now walk your feet up and down the wall. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds


Burpees: From a standing position squat down, drop your hands to the ground and jump your feet back to assume a push-up position. Do a push-up. Jump your legs forward to between your hands then jump up into the air and land back into the squat. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds.


High-knees or high- step run: Stand in a spot and bring your knees to the chest fast. It's a combination of running on the spot and bringing your knees high. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds.


Inchworm: Beginning in standard push-up position, walk your feet toward your hands and then back again to initial position. Do as many as you can for 30 to 60 seconds.

Repeat this 15 minute workout as often as you can in 15 minutes. The sky's the limit. You can always make up new exercises to challenge yourself as you go along. The point is, anything you do intensely for 15 minutes works to maintain fitness and now you have no excuses for not working out.

The Warrior Abs workout

The Warrior Abs workout is an intense and advanced ab routine that results in flat six-pack abs. The Warrior Abs workout aims at targeting your deepest ab fat and aids in burning fat, building full body endurance and core strength. This workout is meant for people who have a strong core and are very regular with their exercise routine. If done properly, by a person with a flexible back and good core engagement, it should be quite effective in strengthening the entire range of abdominal muscles.

A few exercises you would perform in the Warrior Abs workout. Firstly, if you are new to this workout try and pick any three exercises, such as - the pullup, squat thrust, and goblet squat. Now observe how many exercises you can perform in a good form for a minute or so. Now, when you finish doing pull ups, start doing squat thrusts and the then start doing squatting. Rest for exactly a minute and repeat the cycle. The aim is to increase your resistance slowly but steadily. A few exercises you must perform in a Warrior Abs workout are:

- Heavy strength training (especially squatting & especially front squatting)

- Unilateral exercises (single arm pressing & pulling variations, suitcase deadlifts)

- Standing or kneeling pulling & pressing exercise variations

- Olympic lift variations & combo exercises/complexes

- Weighted sled work (pushing & pulling variations)

- Planks (variations on front and side, added movement, etc.)

- Turkish getups or sandbag getups & most kb & sandbag exercises actually

- Ab wheel rollouts

- Low back extension variations

- Chops & other rotational movements

- Paloff presses

- Leg lifts progressing into "dragon flags"

- Knee tucks

- Hollow rocks

- Reverse crunches.Read more at:evening dresses


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Fashion, fate and feat


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Mount Maunganui's Jo Odgers is the fashion designer. She's a five-time World of Wearable Art Awards winner and has had gowns worn by beauty queens.

Auckland's Rachel Harradence is one of those beauty queens, with two sashes that read Miss International NZ 2014 and Miss World NZ 2014.

The two met last year following a very random, but very fortunate, phone call.

“I just got a random call from Auckland last year from Rachel, who said: ‘You don't know me but I'm looking for an international costume and someone told me to ring the woman who runs Pohutukawa Gallery in The Mount',” says Jo. She guesses it was through word of mouth that Rachel found her.

Rachel borrowed one of Jo's dresses for the Miss International NZ pageant in Tokyo last year. This year, Rachel wore the 50 ostrich feathers, curtain voiles and sequined bikini Jo transformed into a winning costume for Miss Cosmopolitan World 2015 in Kuala Lumpur on October 10-11.

Jo won the award for Best International Costume, and Rachel was crowned Miss Cosmopolitan World.

“I've won a few awards during the years but winning a Best International Costume award overseas is definitely one of my biggest achievements to date,” says Jo.

“I've had a few costumes worn by various Miss New Zealands competing overseas and I've been enjoying the challenge of creating beautiful costumes to represent our beautiful country.”

Fitting the theme Aotearoa, The Land of the Long White Cloud, Jo's creation includes a ‘cloud-like' cape made from curtain voiles, nude fabric, a bedazzled bikini and a head piece of 50 ostrich feathers.

“I love that concept of recycling, reusing, and turning something discarded into something beautiful.

“We were going for that Victoria's Secret look,” says Jo. “Apparently her nickname in Kuala Lumpur was Victoria's Secret because of her dress.”

Putting the prize into perspective, Jo's still getting her head around the idea it's her costumes on the international runways.

“I saw a photo of some of the other costumes and they were so elaborate and amazing because some countries spend quite a lot of money on their international costumes.

“I made Rachel's on my lounge floor at home. So it's quite neat to be able to compete against all these big guns and take the award.

“It's been so amazing getting photos of these things on international stages and it's like, ‘Whoa I made that'.”Read more at:yellow prom dresses


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New York fashion organization to visit NC A&T


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NC A&T State University will receive a visit from a New York-based fashion organization during their fall campus tour, inviting students to learn about today’s fashion industry and the people who paved the way for designers of color.

Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) is a social company that provides a voice for multicultural designers through a creative platform that enables these designers to sell and present their collections to key leaders within the fashion industry. Designers of color represent less than 1 percent of designers available in major department stores. In an industry that has grossed over 250 billion dollars in 2013 alone, the voice of designers of color are not being heard, celebrated, and acknowledged. HFR was created for the sole purpose of breaking that industry standard.

The organization was founded by Brandice Daniel, a well-experienced fashion expert who considered herself self-pro claimed and the most unlikely candidate.

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Daniel like many others moved to New York City in search of the big dream. With a resume expanding over 12 years in fashion, including a background as a buyer and production manager, her passion became clear but producing a fashion organization was not in the plans. Daniels produced her first fashion event in Harlem, New York City in August, 2007 with the help of 20 volunteers who had faith in her vision. The show entitled “Harlem’s Fashion Row” was a success and has opened the door to her calling in fashion.

HFR has a show every September during New York Fashion Week. The organization’s intention is to showcase multicultural designers that are highly underrepresented. This year the show was held at Pier 59 and featured many celebrity influencers including Mary J Blige, Ty Hunter, Michaela Angela Davis, and many more. The show presented designs from M-SEW, Fe Noel and The Fashion Deli’s collections. HFR also honored Tracee Ellis Ross, Bevy Smith, Misa Hylton, Groovey Lew, Kahlana Barfield, Rachel Johnson and the Macy’s team for their commitment to diversity.

HFR further expanded their brand in 2014 with the creation of Harlem’s Fashion Row University (HFR-U). “Harlem’s Fashion Row University was created so that I could touch the next upcoming generation of fashion professionals by expanding students’ knowledge of the fashion and retail industries,” said Daniel. HFR-U offers professional development via practical training and mentoring during workshops and creative events. “I wanted to make sure that the students understood and know the people who are paving the way for them, and make them more accessible to the students.”

In September, HFR-U embarked upon a tour visiting historically black colleges and universities to enlighten students about the fashion industry. “The ultimate goal is build HFR-U chapters on HBCU campuses across the US and build a network of students interested in the fashion/ retail business,” said Daniel, who is excited for the tours upcoming visit to A&T. “We hope that HFR-U will be a resource for jobs and mentors.”

The HFR-U tour anticipates bringing an amazing panel group to the students and enlighten them about the vast majority of opportunities there are in the fashion, business, and media industries. The audience can expect a lot of valuable advice that can be applied to their aspiring careers and students can expect to have intimate access to some of the fashion industry’s most influential professionals. This year, the HFR-U tour will include a diverse panel of industry experts, which includes health and beauty director of Teen Vogue Elaine Welteroth, fashion designer Kimberly Goldson, and celebrity stylist Wouri Vice.

HFR and HFR-U is committed to a highquality experience through every event with an innovative and inspiring display of fashion. It is a celebration of a fashion forward community that reflects the culture and personal experience of designers of color. It takes a village to raise an artist and HFR is that village. !


The tour will be visiting A&T on October 29th and the event will be held from 6 – 8pm. The location has not yet been announced.Read more at:formal dresses online


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Bold colors and prints emerge as 2016 spring menswear trend


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As Seoul has a reputation for fashionable men whose devotion to fashion and skin care tops in the world, menswear collections by Seoul-based designers are some of the must-see shows at the ongoing Seoul Fashion Week.

Here are the highlights of menswear shows from Friday to Sunday.

Munsoo Kwon

One of the hottest emerging menswear designers in the Korean fashion scene, Munsoo Kwon presented light, sporty looks for the 2016 spring-summer season Saturday.

Inspired by some youngsters turning to fishing instead of finding office jobs, Kwon’s collection was a stylish guide for young anglers. Models walked comfortably in lightweight seersucker summer suits -- blazers and short pants. A towering baseball cap -- reminiscent of the bulging belly of a fish -- added humor to the otherwise usual men’s summer look. He gave accents to trench coats and suits with neon stripes, which Suzy Menkes, international Vogue editor, referred to as “K-pop colors” after the show.

“He was clever to use K-pop colors like stripes in this collection,” she said.

The sporty vibe ran throughout the show with sweatshirts and pants, featuring Kwon’s creative fishing-inspired prints. The prints proved again that he is a genius of creating witty symbols that embed his fun personality in his clothes. Cardigans featuring key prints for the 2014 fall-winter collection were a big hit last year.

Beyond Closet

Designer Go Tae-yong, one of the emerging designers with his signature playful, American preppy-style clothes, created a romantic paradise for men with a contrasting “Nomantic” theme, a satirical word coined by the designer to mean “not romantic.”

The show boasted a star-studded front row, attended by K-pop stars including Key of SHINee, Jisook of Rainbow, Moon Jun-young of ZE:A and Zion.T.

The designer kept the collection mood bright and playful as always, but symbols and patterns used hinted at a sad breakup. Broken heart prints were scattered on a navy sweater and white shirts matched with tailored pants. The prints seemed destined to become the designer’s next hit feature, following his previous popular cartoonish dog image on sweatshirts.

Go successfully delivered a contemporary, yet witty version of a classic trench coat. His ivory trench coat featuring whimsical, colorful animal prints and the eye-catching red trench coat with taping running down the back were sporty and humorous reinterpretations of classic trench coats.

“I liked the colors, the texture and fabrication. I thought they were also fresh,” said Eric Jennings, vice president of Saks Fifth Avenue, after the show.

Heich es Heich

Designer Han Sang-hyuk’s creations for the 2016 spring-summer collection were reminiscent of prisoner uniforms from the 1973 movie “Papillon.” An oversized striped shirt matched with a striped prison hat with a string of tassel seemed to be his interpretation of a contemporary resort look for men.

Targeting fans of the “Star Wars” series, the designer showed a small capsule collection in time for the upcoming release of Star Wars Episode 7. Models in the Darth Vader and stormtrooper costumes were an entertaining introduction to the Star Wars-inspired basketball jersey collection.

VanHart di Albazar

Designer Jung Doo-young, a mastermind of Italian-style tailored suits added airy and breezy vibes to his 2016 spring-summer collection.

Themed as “Creation of Adam” by Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo Buonarroti, his collection showed a renaissance in neutral men’s fashion and its limited color palettes. Pastel pink and sky blue in chesterfield coats and trench coats warmed up the spring collection, which presented more relaxed silhouettes than his previous collections.

Bora of girl group Sistar took to the runway in a transparent chiffon skirt topped with a warm gray knit sweater as the sole female model.


Designer Kim Seo-ryong’s signature tailored suits featuring flamboyant color prints opened the show, signaling a tropical spring for urban men. Sleeveless jumpsuits and knit pullovers instantly took viewers to their imaginary holiday destinations. Kim didn’t let down audiences expecting to see his signature double-breasted suits, which this time featured small dynamic diamond-shaped patterns.Read more at:cheap formal dresses uk


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Designer transitions



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Women's bodies and car designs may seem like two very different things, but fashion designer Bunker Hill Bradley knows that the appeal is all in the curves.

The automobile designer switched to women's fashion two years ago after his partner in life and business,Roselyn Poon, wanted to find a dress that could cover certain areas and enhance others.

He went to the drawing board.

"There's a hidden formula in each graphic pattern that enhances the female figure," Bradley said. "I use my artistic means to draw the eyes and attentions to certain areas of the body."

By using curves, colors and adding shading, he essentially uses the same technology he learned in the car industry to create his visual designs under the name Cobra Couture. The name came from the way the company's dresses slip onto a woman's body like a "second skin."

"Ladies who put on the Miracle Dress feel happy and feel like partying," Bradley said. "We take quite a different approach to fashion than most other people. For us, it's all about comfort."

The North Las Vegas couple said their clothing line is designed for women of any age and of any profession.

Without the use of buttons, belts or zippers, Bradley creates original pieces to highlight the female body. His dresses pop with bright orange and pink or aqua combinations.

After hearing one customer declare that the dress was a "miracle," the couple adopted the name Miracle Dress.

The dresses range from $180 to $275, depending on how much fabric is used.

"We tell people we're a happy brand," Bradley said. "I want to make every woman beautiful and to give women designs that genuinely enhance their beauty."

The fabrics are wash and wear and printed using the latest printing technology.

"Oftentimes, women get bogged down and stop paying attention to how they look. They don't realize that having a sense of style represents how you feel inside. It shows the world who you are," Poon said. "This is a brand for the woman who looks after herself and needs to look terrific but likes to be comfortable."

The dresses can be carried inside a handbag without wrinkling, Poon added.

Because the couple do not have prior experience in fashion, Poon wears experimental clothing designs to the Fashion Show mall or Beverly Hills to see the type of reaction it receives.

"Essentially, with any product development, I start off by researching what's out there, current fashion trends and what women like and complain about," Bradley said. "I didn't find anyone that made fashion that made women feel happy. There's a lot of similarity in creating beautiful shapes and color in 3-D that comes from the cars and translates to dresses."

In addition to their dresses, they have 30 styles of swing coats, which Poon describes as a European style, and they sell palazzo pants, which look like bell bottoms but are created with polyester-spandex.

Although Cobra Couture has only been a Las Vegas fashion name for roughly two years, it has received attention in the spotlight.

Bradley designed the 2013 costume of the wine angels of Charlie Palmer's Aureole restaurant at Mandalay Bay, and the company has done eight fashion shows around town.

From broadcast reporter to lawyers, Poon said locals are noticing their designs, but it hasn't come without its challenges.

"I wanted the colors to look as bright as they did on the computer," Bradley said. "It took me a while to find the right fabric, which is our little secret. It won't wrinkle, and you can take off a stain fairly easily."

Those interested in purchasing an item can set up an appointment with Poon, who will choose a well-fitting dress to start.

"When a customer comes in, I sort of have a look and ask them what they like about their body and what they don't like," Poon said. "Some people don't like their tummy, or they feel they have big hips. I will just pick out what I think is a good fit, and then I step out of the way. I've heard one woman say, 'My god, I lost 12 pounds.' "

Now with more than 600 designs of original artwork, the couple show no signs of stopping.

Bradley's future plans include creating a men's clothing line, and Poon plans to release a book on style called "How to get what you want with style" early next year.

The couple also donate fashion shows with their designs to charity events, meetings and fundraisers.

"Cobra Couture is like having a new set of skin," Poon said. "We believe that anything that helps people feel better about themselves is important."Read more at:blue prom dresses uk


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Dreaming of Dresses shop hopes


A popular dress boutique which closed because of the John Lewis takeover of Beechwood Shopping Centre has announced hopes to stay in Cheltenham.

Dreaming of Dresses by Miss Silver shut up shop a fortnight ago after five years in business.

It built up a nationwide customer base, boasting celebrity clients including Spice Girl Emma Bunton.

While the shop will continue selling its unique prom dresses online, the co-owners, husband and wife team Sylvia and Greg Piontek, are hunting for a new shop in town.

Greg said: "It seems a shame because it was such a nice environment there and you could have the fashion shows.

"But obviously you have got to change with the times. We're not bitter about it."

He added: "You have got to be a bit careful but we want somewhere quite prominent. We have put the word out with some of the commercial agents to try and find the right premises for us to go in. But obviously this has only been in the last couple of weeks."

Greg said he and Sylvia had known about the £30million redevelopment of the centre for about six months.

John Lewis will take over the entire building for a two-floor department store, creating about 250 jobs.

"When we were telling our customers and everything, and it got around, they all started panicking, wondering where we we're going," said Greg.

"It didn't come as a shock. We knew what was happening a long time ago."

Shops in the centre are expected to leave within months so work on the revamp can begin after Christmas.

Exact timings are being negotiated and BlackRock, which owns the building, said it is working with tenants to help them find alternate premises.

Greg added: "We really enjoyed it there and Beechwood were very helpful, always helping us."

He also thanked former centre manager Owen Acland for his help while the shop was open.Read more at:evening dresses


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The therapeutic effects of 'aqua aerobics'


The therapeutic effects of 'aqua aerobics'

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With increasing interest in health and fitness to counter the effects of a modern stress-filled lifestyle, various fusion and experimental fitness methods like aqua aerobics, with its "therapeutic" effects, have become a "growing trend", say experts.

Mumbai-based fitness trainer Deepali Jain, considered as being among the first to introduce the concept of aqua aerobics in India, says that the concept, which includes exercises like cardio, pilates and kickboxing, is a useful training method for obese people or the ones suffering from arthritis.

Explaining the idea behind aqua aerobics, Jain told IANS: "You weigh only 10 percent of your body weight in water. So when a person who weighs 100 kg, or who has arthritis in the joints, or cannot do any exercises on the land due to gravitational pull, enters the water, the load is lifted off the joints and he is able to exercise without pain.

"Water is therapeutic and it removes the pain completely. Inside the water, everything becomes pain-free and you can exercise for an hour," added Jain, who holds her training sessions at a south Mumbai club called Body Rhythm.

She says doing aqua aerobics every second day will help in stalling the progress of arthritis.

"The moment you stop, you stop rusting. Elderly people face problems with walking, getting up, sitting. They are scared to get knee replacement. Doctors send their patients with prescriptions and I work on that regime," she said.

Diabetics too have something to gain out of this training method.

"It's excellent for diabetics because there are specific exercises to regulate insulin in your body. It is excellent for heart patients, the sugar level comes down to normal, and it is also an anti-depressant. It's therapeutic," said Jain.

The exercise session is also made interesting with use of exclusive water-specific equipment.

"Inside water there are weight-bearing exercises. Dumb-bells specifically made for aqua. Bar-bells, ankle bells...we have specially made kick-boxing gloves too."

At Jain's classes, "everybody is bonding: husband-wife, father-son, mother-in-law-daughter-in-law.

"It's a lot of fun".

The trend of aqua aerobics with all its health benefits may be rising in India, but Brazilian fitness trainer Cristiana Pipoli, who is currently living here and training at Jaypee Vasant Continental, Vasant Vihar, says her classes consist of 80 percent foreigners and only 20 percent Indians.

"Aqua aerobics arrived 25 years ago, but it became popular in India only five to six years ago. In India, the swimming pool is outside and people don't feel comfortable in swimming suits," Pipoli told IANS.

She however added that for the last two years, there has been an increased interest in aqua aerobics among Indians -- whether they're 18 or 80!

"I started getting more Indians in the last two years. Once they come, they are hooked. It's a different concept for them," she said, adding that "in general, India is waking up for exercise for the last two years".

And how could the trend be encouraged in the country?

"Somebody needs to open an indoor swimming pool. It's just a culture thing. Then I know Indians would love it and would come more often," she said.

What makes aqua aerobics truly interesting is its diversity.

"It is not just plain aerobics; one can incorporate several other techniques such as resistance training, Zumba, running, kickboxing, spinning and many other. It is extremely effective in increasing the range of motion as well," said Neeraj Mehta, international fitness expert and nutritionist, GFFI (Growth for Fitness Instructors) Fitness Academy.

It also doesn't pinch your pocket as a session may cost you anything between Rs.400 and Rs.600.Read more at:graduation dresses uk


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How to exercise when you have asthma


How to exercise when you have asthma

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Twenty one-year-old Mitali Nath had always feared joining a gym because she was asthmatic and feared that her body wouldn't be able to cope with the strain.

And lack of physical activity made her pile on the pounds. It was only when she read an article in an international magazine that she realised that there were certain exercises that she could do without worrying about her asthma. She decided to start practising yoga, which also comprises breathing exercises. Not only did she lose weight in six months but she also realised that her asthma attacks that marginally reduced. Soon after, she added jogging and cycling to her exercise regime, and today enjoys working out.

If you're asthmatic, you don't need to think that exercising isn't for you. Done under the knowledge of your doctor or the supervision of a fitness instructor, these workouts will not only keep you in shape but also help you deal with your asthma symptoms...

- Walking is a great cardio activity that works out the entire body. Make sure that you don't overdo it though. Start slowly and gradually increase your pace. Once you're comfortable with 15 to 20 minutes of brisk walking, include jogging in your regime as well.

- Another great exercise is swimming. Even five to 10 laps every alternate day is good enough.

- If you don't enjoy swimming or walking, give cycling a shot. Pick a relatively quiet street, which does not have too much vehicular traffic and cycle for about 20 minutes daily at a relaxed pace.

- Certain yoga poses are great for asthmatics — these include the Forward Bend pose, Sukasana, the Butterfly pose, Savasana and the Bridge pose.Read more at:cocktail dresses


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10 lipstick rules every woman must know


10 lipstick rules every woman must know

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Who doesn't desire a well-painted kissable pout? It's the thought of applying the wrong shade that many of us dread.

The thought of getting the right colour and the right pout is no ordinary task, unless you follow these easy but important steps for the perfect pout.


Treat your lips just like you would treat your face. Ex-foliate lips, moisturise with a balm. Repeat the regimen daily.


It's always safe to highlight only one feature of your face. If you are going for bold lips then better keep the rest of your face makeup minimal for perfect balance.


"Shimmer can look cheap," says make-up artist Troy. Look for lipsticks with a creamy finish. "Light reflection should come from moisture in the formula, not metallic pigments," he says.


Finding the right shade is important. Different colours work differently on various complexion types, so try on a bunch of shades before zeroing down on the most suitable one. Advice: go for a shade that complements your skin tone. Lighter shades of reds and burgundy look fabulous with warm skin tones, while pinks and true reds work brilliantly for fairer skin.


Always use primer before you start applying the lipstick. Because

- it will give the lipstick shade a better colour contrast.

- it will help your lipstick last longer (throughout the day).

In case you run out of primer or you don't have one, you can use foundation instead.


They say liner can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Either case liner has a significant role in achieving the perfect pout. Just find the right lip liner, probably a shade that's closest to your lip colour, and outline your lips before applying the lipstick. This will give the required shape to your lip, either making them fuller or thinner. It also keeps your lipstick from feathering. FYI: Opting a much darker shade than your lipstick is the worst make-up disaster.


Always. Start your lipstick applying session from the centre of your lips and then spread outward with the help of lip brush. Experts always use lip brush when applying lipstick because it leave less room for mistakes as compared to applying it directly from the tube.


Just smudge the border of your lips slightly so as to get a natural, not-overly-done look.


After you are done applying lipstick, blot it with a tissue, then apply another layer. Blotting removes excess oils and emollients from the first layer of lipstick while leaving the pigments largely intact. "Blotting will create a base, and the second coat adds shine and coverage," says Troy. Adding a second layer of lipstick after blotting increases the pigment concentration in proportion to the creamy ingredients that are the enemies of lipstick longevity.


Always take it off before you go to sleep. You don't want lipstick stain all over your pillowcase, do you!? And don't forget to exfoliate after you wash off your lipstick.Read more at:formal dresses


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