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Should Your Salary Be Secret?

No matter how friendly we are with our workmates, the contents of our pay packets are generally kept under wraps. But this can make negotiating your pay rise rather difficult if you have no idea how much anyone earns, which is why some campaigners are pushing for legislation that bans secrecy clauses about wages in workers' contracts. We drafted in two experts to address the issue: should your salary be a secret?
YES: 'Making salaries public breeds resentment. Let's say your co-worked tells you her salary, and she's making £4,000 more than you - for doing the same job. Your company may have valid reasons (maybe she has more qualifications), but you'll still resent it, and then how could you work well together? No wonder 89% of workers say they don't want to share their pay details. Companies should give employees a salary range for their specific jobs (that's only fair), but the exact figure should be determined by negotiating skills. Build the best case for why you should earn more based on your record. Regardless of what others makes, you have to ask for what you're worth.' Jessica Lee, senior employment manger for global strategy and PR firm APCO Worldwide
NO: 'Men in the UK earn an average of £16.07 per hour but women earn only £13.43. This is a gender pay gap of over 16% and in financial services it's even wider, at 55%. This disparity means that women are not only more like to be living in poverty, but are less able to save for a pension. A woman has to prove she's being paid unfairly before she can make a claim. But how can she prove she's being paid unfairly if she doesn't know what her colleagues earn? There should be more transparency. There's a taboo around discussing pay, but if transparency were part of the general culture, then chatting about it with your workmates wouldn't be so much of a problem. Being open flushes out unfairness.' Sharon Smee, campaigns & policy officer to equality group The Fawcett Society.

3 Food Fixes You’ll Love

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The "I want to look slim on my date tonight" fix
 
No one feels sexy when they're full and lethargic. Eat carbs early in the day to build energy - but steer clear of bread, the ultimate tummy bloater. "If you're going for an alcohol-heavy, dinnerless date, a
big lunch is key. Mix carbs, protein and vegetables for optimum energy," says nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville. And avoid fizzy drinks. "Carbon dioxide can make you bloated," says Kate Cook, director of The Nutrition Coach.
 
What To Eat
Breakfast - Muesli and an orange
Lunch - Jacket potato with tuna and salad
Snack - Organic yoghurt with berries
Dinner - Omelette with peas and sweetcorn
 
The "I'm in PMS hell!" fix
"Your body produces the hormone progesterone during the second half of your cycle," explains Dr Glenville. "But adrenaline, triggered when we skip meals, blocks your body's ability to use it, causing cramps and an emotional rollercoaster." Curb adrenalin rushes by eating little and often. Carbs help ease mood swings and oily fish - packed with Omega 3 - can reduce cramps. Stock up on dark leafy veg, like spinach, as "Magnesium will ease tension in your cramps," says Cook. "And your hormones run off essential fats, so eat avocados and unsalted nuts."

What To Eat
Breakfast - Organic porridge with blueberries
Mid-morning snack - Raisins, cracker with houmous
Lunch  - Smoked mackerel with couscous or soup and a wholemeal bread roll
Afternoon snack - Banana and a handful of unsalted nuts
Dinner - Wholewheat pasta with fresh tomatoes and goat's cheese
 
The "I need to be on top form for work tomorrow" fix
 
Fill your plate with protein, found in eggs and salmon. "It's excellent brain food," says Cook. "And the Omega 3 will keep you alert." Shun sweet treats too. "You naturally have 1tsp of sugar in your bloodstream - anymore and you feel sluggish," says Cook. Finally, "Avoid carbs for dinner as they will keep you awake."
 
What To Eat
Breakfast - Scrambled eggs on rye toast
Lunch - Chicken salad
Snack - Nuts and an apple
Dinner - Stir fry: whatever vegetables you like - plus prawns, chickpeas or lentils

4 easy (and free) age-halting beauty habits

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1. Let it go

"Stress lifts adrenaline (your 'fight or flight' hormone). This redirects blood to the muscles and away from the skin, draining colour. Chronic stress
stiffens facial muscles, leading to expression lines, and weakens the immune system, leaving your skin vulnerable to harsh weather and pollutants."

DO try to maintain a balance and listen to your body. Protect skin with Oil-Free Daily Defense SPF50 £46 kerstinflorian.co.uk

2. Do less crazy exercise

"Exercise boosts the oxygen and nutrient supply to the skin, and aids the removal of toxins, leaving you glowing. However, too much increases stress, causing hormonal imbalances and dehydration. Extreme weight loss also decreases skin elasticity and fat, leading to premature lines and wrinkles."

DO work out three times a week with a balance of cardio exercise, weights and yoga or pilates. Rehydrate skin with Hydra Sparkling Moisturizing Mask £34.78 Givenchy or 27 Bio-Energizing Cell Repair Balm £112 ME Skinlab.

3. Avoid Sugar

"Eating sugar creates advanced glycation end (AGE) compounds, which damage collagen and neutralize antioxidants, including skin ageing. Switch from simple carbs like white bread to complex ones, like brown rice, sweet potato and fruit."

DO protect skin with anti-AGE solutions like Formula 2006+ £120 Dr Frances Prenna Jones or Advanced Night Repair £38 estee-lauder.co.uk.

4. Get more sleep

"While in deep sleep, we produce hormones that stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Lack of sleep causes dark circles, bags, sagging grey skin and in the long term, crow's feet and frown lines."

DO sleep seven to nine hours each night. Refresh tired eyes with Eye Contour Lift Patches £49.95 Institut Esthederm or Hydra+ Anti-Fatigue Eye Cream £10.99 Roc.

The smart girl's guide to snacking

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All snacks aren't created equal. Here's how to make the best choice, whatever your craving.
 
Plain Chocolate (50g) Vs Potato Crisps
Expert's Verdict: Crisps are technically healthier than chocolate, since they have much less saturated fat, but neither options give any nutrients, says Fiona Kirk, nutritionist and author of So What The F*** Should I Eat? "Potatoes contribute to our vitamin C intake, but the way crisps are prepared destroys most of the vitamin C. Dark chocolate has a wealth of antioxidants, but it also has a large amount of saturated fat, which can increase cholesterol levels and is high in calories."
 
Unsalted Peanuts Vs Unsalted Almonds
Expert's Verdict: It's a close call; both nuts are high in protein and low in sugar. Peanuts have marginally fewer calories, but almonds win for their low saturated fat level. "In general nuts are high in fat but contain nutrients such as Vitamin B1, which unlock energy and help your heart," explains Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation. "Only buy unsalted nuts - you shouldn't eat more than 1tsp of salt per day."
 
Low-Fat Natural Yoghurt Vs Fruit Sorbet
Expert's Verdict: "Low-fat yoghurt with fresh fruit is the preferred option," according to Dr Williams. It's a great protein-rich snack, "loaded with healthy bacteria." But stick to natural; fruit versions are high in sugar. "Watch out for the sugar levels of low-fat sorbets too," warns Kirk. "Avoid sugar or sugar substitutes (words ending in - ose or -ol)."
 
Apple Vs Banana
Expert's Verdict: These fruits are equally brilliant, so Kirk's advice is to eat both. "Apples have no fat or salt and contain vitamins A, B1, B2 and C (vital for a strong immune system), plus magnesium and iron, essential for healthy bones and blood," she says. "Bananas are high in potassium - essential for the balance of water in the body." Because apples fill you up for just as long as bananas, yet have fewer calories, they win.
 
Low-fat houmous Vs Cheddar Cheese
Expert's Verdict: Not much competition here. Houmous has fewer calories, lower fat and lower sugar. "There's more protein in cheese, which you definitely need in your diet for bone density and growth," explains Dr Williams. "So don't rule cheese out of your diet entirely, just have it in moderation." Combine the houmous with carrot/cucumber sticks or cherry tomatoes for an extra health kick.

Review: The Pure Package

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Some stars swear by The Pure Package to keep them trim and full of healthy foods before a major red carpet event. It's a delivery service of nutritionally balanced meals and snacks, chosen by in-house nutritionists to meet your needs and packaged in luxury.
The Experience: A temperature-controlled bag housing breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner arrived every day - and right at the time I specified - at GLAMOUR.COM towers. The meals arrived carefully packaged with storage and cooking instructions - all I needed to do was unravel the knives and fork and dig into some of the best pre-prepared food that's passed my lips: goats cheese salads, baked salamon and asparagus, luxury exotic fruit salads... The list goes on.
The Verdict: This is a service ideal for a pre-wedding regime, to boost a healthier diet change or to kick-start your bikini boot camp. This is not a fad diet; it's a catalyst to a lifestyle revolution that'll keep your tummy full, show you how to feed up on the right foods and put a smile on your face.
Prices from £39.95 per day for a 10 day programme. www.purepackage.com

Clarins Mother-To-Be Pampering

Calling all you yummy mummies-to-be! If you're looking for a spot of special 'me' time - and lets face it, what pregnant gal isn't? - then you'd be hard pushed (no pun intended) to find a more relaxing, indulgent and pure decadent 70 minutes than the Pampering Face & Body Treatment by skincare giants Clarins. A heavenly spa experience for the body and mind, this treatment is adapted to pre and post-natal stages of pregnancy, and how YOU personally look and feel at that stage. Delicious, gentle massage techniques with 'mmm'-inducing oils help to eases backache, fluid retention, stress, fatigue and tired legs - all unwelcome symptoms of pregnancy that this Beauty Ed is experiencing - as well as improving skin tone, softness and elasticity (stretch marks steer clear!). From your scalp to your toes, no area is left neglected - even 'bump' enjoys a gentle massage! With glowing skin and a feeling of calm euphoria, I left feeling and looking better than I had
in months. Total bliss.
 
For further information on your nearest participating salon or to book now, visituk.clarins.com

Spa Heaven: Ragdale Hall

Is your partner planning a treat for St. Valentine's? If so, why not lovingly steer him towards Raghale Hall for a romantic, truly pampering retreat this February 14th. The Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, located in the picturesque rolling Leicestershire countryside, ticks every romance box for a quintessentially English, blissfully indulgent break that brushes away the winter blues and GLAMOUR girls everywhere will adore.
Combining state-of-the-art facilities with the charm of traditional Victorian architecture - this hotel has to be experienced to be believed. Those looking for total relaxation and a spot of decadent 'me' time, look no further! This multi-award winning retreat - even bagging the accolade of Best Spa in Europe, no less - couldn't come more highly recommended.
From the second your toes touch the tarmac, you needn't lift a manicured finger. Ragdale know how to make their guests feel welcome - and 100% relaxed - instantly. From the valet ready to park your car to the courteous bellhop waiting to carry your luggage, the service really is unrivalled and delivers on every little detail.
Sleeping
Ragdale Hall rooms boast chic and elegant deco, dripping in a palette of soft pastels and serene blue hues that ooze tranquillity. Offering awe-inspiring views, big bouncy beds and a bathroom to-die-for, it may be difficult to drag yourself away from your own private haven, but drag you must, because…
Spa-ing
Ragdale is truly the Rolls Royce of the spa world. Even the most tightly-wound urbanite would be hard pushed to stay stressed in this ethereal environment where everyone floats around in fluffy robes and slippers (you'd be mistaken for thinking this was the dress code!) with the kind of blissed-out expression you only get from feeling 100% hassle-free.
Combining spa techniques from every corner of the globe, including Italy, Greece, Japan and Sweden, the spa boasts 50 treatment rooms, a 25m swimming pool, whirlpools, a state-of-the-art gym and even a designated relaxation room with mattresses and blankets where everyone simply nods off over their latest copy of GLAMOUR.
However, it's the much-celebrated Thermal Spa that really got this beauty junkie salivating! With a breathtakingly-gorgeous candle pool., waterfall pools, a colour flow cave (you'll feel like you're in your own private hideaway in the Tropics), volcanic salt bath, rose sauna and experience showers (tropical thunderstorm, anyone?) - you simply HAVE to sample everything on offer. What's more, there's cosy nooks and crannies a'plenty, perfect for you and your loved one to really indulge in some quality time together away from the stresses of daily life.
Dining
With Ragdale's ethos in mind, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the in-house dining would consist of carrot sticks and mineral water. Wrong. While everything on the menu at this retreat is 100% healthy and freshly-produced, there is plenty on offer and you certainly won't be left feeling hungry! The meals are perfectly balanced and the menu shows you which is the healthier option - so the choice is all yours!Both lunch and dinner are a three course affair and there's plenty to entice the decadent diner. There are seriously tasty soups for starters, roast meats or fish for mains with unlimited salad bar and accompaniments, and berry crumbles with cream for dessert.  All meals are followed by an optional complimentary coffee/juice served at the Veranda Bar where you can also treat yourself to the odd glass of wine!
One tip: leave your black tie and ballgown at home - there's no need to dress up for dinner. After all, you're here to relax. Which leads us on to the yummy breakfast in bed - swoon! See, this stay couldn't be more perfect for a romantic retreat!
Booking
Sold? No doubt. Ragdale Hall are currently offering The Romantic Getaway package for Valentine's breaks. Available throughout February and March 2011, including:
- All meals
- Use of all facilities and services
- A chilled bottle of champagne in your room on arrival
- The choice of a 50 minute Pure Bliss Facial or Moisture Melt Face & Back Therapy.
Prices start at £312 per person sharing a Lodge Room.
Visit www.ragdalehall.co.uk for more information.

New Year's Resolutions...

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We're a week into 2011. How are your resolutions holding up? We always think that half of the fun of making them is breaking them...so here are the top ten New Year's resolutions that we will always make...but never keep. Don't be shy, it's confession time: admit your own failings onTwitter, Facebook and in the comments!
1. We will quit drinking for the entire month of January. Until we remember just how boring and cold January is.
2. We will not wear my pyjamas to the corner shop. Until the morning after we fail to quit drinking and realise that we've run out of coffee. It's efficient, OK?
3. We will go to the gym every morning before work. Until we remember that we love sleeping, and we hate rowing machines.
4. We will quit gossiping. Until noon on New Year's Day when ours best friend calls us for a debrief on last night's scandalous party.
5. We will not drunk dial my ex-boyfriend. Until we have something really important to tell him. And by sheer coincidence this very important thing comes up when we're drunk.
6. We will learn a new language. Until we remember that learning a new language is really difficult. And that we really do speak English quite well.
7. We will give up eating carbs. Until someone brings croissants in to the office. Office croissants aren't really carbs, right? It would be rude to say no.
8. We will stop watching trashy television. Until the new season of The Only Way Is Essex premieres.
9. We won't go in to our overdrafts. Until a sample sale makes it absolutely necessary.
10. We will not start fights with our boyfriends. Until our boyfriends do something really annoying.

Social Jetlag

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Party season is definitely over, and the post-party slump is definitely on. But is your feeling of fatigue more than a hangover?
Some researchers have tagged the post-holiday slump as "social jetlag" - the particular result of heavy eating and drinking combined with consistent disturbance of sleeping habits that many of us indulge in over the Christmas period...all of which really hits us just as we slide back in to work.
Speaking to the Telegraph, chronobiologist Dr Victoria Revell said: "Over the Christmas period we will enjoy staying up late at night and staying in bed in the morning. However, this will allow our body clock to drift later in time, similar to flying a couple of time zones west." The result? Mid-afternoon sleepiness, followed by feeling wide awake at night when it used to be time to strap your party shoes on.
The key to defeating social jet lag? According to Dr Revell, it's all about maintaining your usual sleep schedule throughout the Christmas break. Which would have been good to know two weeks ago (not that we would have done it, but still good to know).
But since we didn't plan ahead so well, we'll be attempting our usual anti-jetlag techniques: coffee until lunch time, fresh air at lunchtime, and a brisk walk in the evening followed by some chill-out time and a hot bath to make us as sleepy as possible when our brains (wrongly) thing that it's party time again. We have high hopes that we'll be back in the right time zone by the end of the week. Right. Right. What are your top tips for fighting the post-party fug? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook and on Twitter!

To The Top

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Stella English had been basking in the glow of her Apprentice victory for less than 24 hours when we had a chance to speak to her and get the lowdown on the show...and her advice for cracking in to the male-dominated world of business.
"Basically, I didn't choose the easiest industry to go into," English said in an exclusive conversation with GLAMOUR.COM. "But I think what  I've learnt through all of this is that if you're dedicated and you continue to try and educate yourself...there's nothing to stop you." English famously grew up on Europe's largest council estate, in Thamesmead, East London, and left school with no qualifications - but nonetheless had already propelled herself into a high-flying banking career before she went on The Apprentice.
"I was always a budding businesswoman," English explained. "I remember [as a child] trying to work out how people bought houses, and how people got money for them." Though school was not a success, she went on to enrol on a training scheme that proved to be the first step in her rise to the top. "I had to really swallow my pride and go and do [a] job for £20 a week," she said, of her first apprenticeship when she was just a teenager. "I'm so glad I did."
Has English struggled with sexism in her career? "Being tall and blonde and things hasn't necessarily helped me," she admitted, but explained that she felt overall that her professionalism had always won the day. "I've not ever had a problem," she said. "You're just professional, and ultimately earn people's respect by being professional, by being good [at your job] - that's what I've always found.
And what would she tell young women who'd like to follow in her footsteps -  whether or not they've got qualifications? English's optimism is contagious. "I think the first thing is [to] choose something which you're passionate about - don't do a job that you're not going to enjoy," English said." Choose something that you know you're going to be good at, so you have a flair for that particular industry," she said.
"Once you can get in there, then you can set your sights on what level you can get to." And judging from her performance on The Apprentice, we think it's pretty sound advice.