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Glitz, Glam and Huge Knickers by Xanthe Doe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The festive party season is in full swing and many of us are desperately searching for that perfect dress, shimmering shoes, and beguiling bags. All so we can look absolutely fabulous at the works Christmas party. Plus making sure we don’t eat too many mince pies so we can still fit into our perfect dress…thank god for shapewear underpants! But no party look would be complete without the perfect eye make-up. This is easier said than done for spectacle wearers, who often find this tricky to get right. Cue me spending an hour going for the smoky eye look and the end result looking more like Tai Shan the panda…but that’s a whole other story. Whilst many of us will opt for contact lenses on a big night out, others may not be able to wear them or some just prefer to keep their frames on. But there’s absolutely no reason why we should have to sacrifice those glammed up eyes because of your specs! Here’s some quick and easy party season make-up tricks for gorgeous spectacle wearers: Here’s some quick and easy party season make-up tricks for gorgeous spectacle wearers:

Going Bronze

Bronze, metallic eyeshadow (my favourite!) is big in the beauty world, and for spec wearers it’s an excellent colour of choice to make your eyes really stand out. Warm metallic and shimmery shades are soft and help to lighten your eye area. The Revlon Nudes palette is a great product for mixing bronze hues, allowing you to create a more intense look that contrasts with your frames.  

Load up on Liner

Eyeliner is a spec wearers’ best friend, creating that wow, stand-out party season eye make-up look. Choose a soft black kohl such as Revlon’s Colorstay Eyeliner to line your eyes along the top and bottom lashes. Keep the line thin on the inner corners. Then  thicken it up as you sweep it across and gently smudge to create that smokey-eyed look. For more intensity, use a thin black liquid liner to outline your lashes on your top lid. Always apply a couple of coats of mascara to your top lashes. Xanthe winter fashion

 Glamorous Glitter

If you really want real impact, glitter eyeshadow is always guaranteed to make your eyes stand out in your frames. It’s also the perfect festive party season make-up look, and is really easy to create. Whatever shade of shimmer you choose to enhance your eyes, make sure you apply a cream eyeshadow base first before adding the glitter. This helps to keep it in place. Use a slightly damp brush to apply the glitter, dabbing on bit by bit and using gentle pressure to help it set. Use a touch of Vaseline on a piece of tissue to wipe away any excess glitter. Xanthe goes glitter

Boost your Brows

Spectacles naturally draw attention to your brows, so make sure yours are well groomed and enhanced to make the right impact. Pluck or trim any stray hairs and use a brow defining product such as Benefit’s Browzings Eyebrow Shaping Kit to fill in any sparse spots. Sweep a light dusting of shimmer powder underneath to define your brow bone and lift your eye area. Xanthe's brows

 And don’t forget…

  • Since you can’t apply make-up wearing your glasses, use a magnifying mirror to help you see better.
  • Curl your top lashes so they flick upwards and don’t hit your lenses.
  • The thicker your frames, the thicker your eyeliner needs to be to make your eyes stand out.
  • The colour of your eyeshadow shouldn’t compete with the colour of your frames.
  • A good rule of thumb I use when picking eyeshadow colours is to avoid picking colours, you’d find opposite on a colour wheel and swabbing them together on the back of your hand to see if they blend nicely together.
When did you last have an eye examination? If you’re overdue an eye examination why not book one today! Call Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham call 01484 907090  
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A spectacular Clarinet and Baritone Duo thanks to Specialist Musicians Glasses

Specialist musicians glasses help a very musical couple

In this blog we look at how Specialist musicians glasses have helped a very talented musical couple. It’s no secret that at Allegro Optical we love music. Music and Optics are our two great passions, and we love meeting people who share our passion. Especially when we get to see them year on year. We take such pleasure in helping fellow musicians, from all walks of life, to continue doing what they love. Making music!  Making music is a wonderful thing and something that many couples love to share. Vivienne and Brian Murphy are no exception to this. Vivienne plays the clarinet and saxophone, while Brian’s instruments are the baritone horn, valved trombone and piano. While Brian has played the piano and baritone horn for some time, he had only recently taken up the valved trombone. The couple began making music together after they had retired and it’s a pastime they thoroughly enjoy. Mastering a new instrument is one thing. However, it is even more difficult when seeing the music on the stand is problematic. 

Understanding the problem

Vivienne and Brian first visited Allegro Optical opticians last year, having heard about our specialism with musicians. Vivienne is an experienced varifocal wearer.  While they were fine for everyday visual tasks, they didn’t provide a good enough field of view when she was playing. Following a comprehensive eye examination, our Optometrist, who has some experience of playing the Saxophone herself, completely understood Vivienne’s predicament and was able to find a prescription to solve her focusing problems. Vivienne then consulted Dispensing Optician Sheryl. Sheryl suggested a pair of varifocal lenses and a pair of specialist musicians glasses for music making. In some cases such as this many optical retailers will try dispensing an occupational lens for musicians. That still wouldn’t address the distances and field width Vivienne needed. Specialist musicians glasses a Godsend for musicians Vivian and Brian Murphy thanks to the musicians optician Allegro Optical DIspensing Optician of the year

The solutions

Sheryl created a completely individual lens design to enable Vivienne to see her music clearly, while still seeing the conductor. The lens design took into account the position of Vivienne’s music stand, her seating positing and the position of her conductor. Creating a clear view at all these distances. Without any of the distortion like that experienced in a varifocal or occupational lens.   While Vivienne was with Sheryl Brian also had an eye examination. Brian also wears varifocals, although he never makes music in them. Having had some neck problems in the past Brian prefered to use single vision lenses when playing his baritone horn. However, that meant that he couldn’t see the conductor very well. Just like Vivienne, we found the perfect prescription for Brian’s working distances. Sheryl created a completely individual lens design to enable him to see his music and the conductor. 

Annual Check

Jump forward twelve months and Brian and Vivienne returned to Allegro Optical for an annual check. It was so nice to catch up and hear about what they are playing and how they are getting along. As musicians ourselves we like to hear what pieces people are working on about any concerts which they may have coming up. While we were chatting we asked Brian and Vivienne how they liked their music glasses. Vivienne said: “These glasses have helped me a lot with my music. I now no longer misread the notes as I did when using my varifocal’s. So they have improved my standard of play.  I also was surprised to find that they are really useful when I use my computer.” Brian added; ” I am very pleased with these glasses.  They are particularly effective when I have to share a music stand in band practice.” Specialist musicians glasses a Godsend for musicians Vivian and Brian Murphy thanks to the musicians optician Allegro Optical DIspensing Optician of the year

Why Allegro Optical?

We are an independent family run business and we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to solving our clients vision problems. Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ as we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Thanks to our groundbreaking work in the field of performers eye care Allegro Optical have become the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). We treat each and every client as an individual simply because they are. No two performers are the same, so why should their vision correction be? At Allegro Optical we enjoy creating unique lenses to meet performers individual needs. As musicians and performers ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

Allegro Optical has been so successful in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ and she has been shortlisted for the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category. The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine. Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.
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A very specific problem for a Trombonist who just wanted to see the music

Graham just wanted to see the music

At Allegro Optical we love helping musicians to see the music and we relish a challenge.  Trombonist Graham Palmer from Wiltshire laid down a very specific challenge for us. Graham told us that he was noticing that the staves on his sheet music were merging into each other. For non musical readers, a stave is a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces used in Western musical notation to represent a different musical pitch. 

 

Sight reading had become very problematic for Graham as trying to distinguish which line he should be playing was almost impossible. As musicians, we usually enjoy playing a new piece, but this was far from a treat for Graham.

The problem

Graham is presbyopic and mildly astigmatic was wearing the following prescription bifocals;

RE -0.25/-0.75 x 180  Add +2.25

LE 0.00 / -1.25 x 45    Add +2.25  

With single vision glasses for music made up to;

RE +1.00/-0.75 x 180  Add +2.25

LE  +1.25/ -1.25 x 45   

While Graham’s bifocals were fine, unfortunately the music glasses just weren’t working for him. Having found a change in axis in the right eye Optometrist Gemma carried out a fixation disparity test. This was to detect any diplopia, also known as double vision at distance. She also used the Mallett unit to detect any near point convergence issues. None were detected. However when concentrating on the printed music on the stand Graham struggled to maintain the union of the visual axes and fairly quickly used up his fusional reserves. Resulting in the appearance of overlapping staves. To alleviate this problem, Gemma prescribed some vertical prism, helping  Graham to maintain his fixation when reading his music.

The solution

When dispensing lenses for musicians, I always bear in mind that they will be required to look through a central location in the lens to achieve the corrective power required for a particular working distance. This was a challenge for Graham. Because the need for a prismatic element in the lens meant that a conventional lens was out of the question. Graham needs to move his eyes to read his music. He can’t move his head due to the nature of his instrument and the restrictions of his mouthpiece.

The danger of dispensing a conventional lens is that the further off centre the wearer looks, the greater the image displacement. When the wearer looks down from the centre of a “plus” lens, Base Up prismatic effect is induced and the image appears to move downwards. However, when the wearer looks down from the centre of a “minus”, Base Down prismatic effect is induced and the image appears to shift upwards.  This is what was happening when Graham was playing, causing him to experience the focusing problems and partial double vision. 

For this reason I dispensed Graham with a pair of digital freeform lenses. Specifically for music stand distance, incorporating a prismatic element. Graham found the new lenses to be better than the previous pair. He does still have to move his head a little, but his vision is much improved and he can enjoy making music again.  

Trombonist Graham Palmer buys his specialist musicians glasses from Allegro Optical the musicians optician

The verdict

I heard from Graham a few weeks after he had received his new glasses and he said; “Simply put without Optical Allegro I would have had to stop playing. Two pairs of music glasses from a well known high street optician did not help. I was left  feeling as if the end of my playing had arrived I contacted Optical Allegro. The difference was enormous!  Nothing was too much trouble and they went that extra mile for me. Thank you Sheryl and all your staff for being so friendly, supportive and caring to both myself and my wife”. 

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

An independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).  

We treat each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. So why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the  ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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Now Peter really is Mr Bass Man thanks to his specialist musicians glasses

EEb Bass Player Peter plays in Mono

It’s always nice to catch up with a musical friend and EEb Bass player Peter Minshull from Cheshire has become just that. Having visited Allegro Optical in the past and being one of our early clients purchasing a pair of specialist musicians glasses. It was lovely to see him again when he visited us for his yearly check.

During the eye examination it became apparent that Peter had had a hyperopic shift. Meaning he had become a little more long sighted. Peter had felt that his vision had changed and mentioned that reading music on his stand was becoming more problematic even with his specialist musicians glasses.

Peter is a retired Civil Engineer and since retiring has returned to music making and now plays for several ensembles including;

Winterley Methodist Brass Band

Sandbach U3A Band 

Alsager Light Orchestra

This means that no two working distances are ever the same as the rehearsal rooms and so set up differs. Because of this we had to try to give Peter as good a range of vision as possible.

Alsager Light Orchestra
Alsager Light Orchestra. Photo courtesy of Geoff Reader

It’s not always better in stereo

Peter who is presbyopic, also has a strong right eye dominance, the tendency to prefer visual input from one eye to the other. This is a bit of a challenge for an EEb Bass player. The large bell of the instrument partially obscures his field of view. This  means he has to read the music with his non dominant eye. This can present as his right eye was dominating his vision and his brain was processing the right image by preference. We resolved this by suppressing Peter’s dominance. Preventing the right eye from disturbing his vision of the music on the stand. 

Ocular dominance issues solved at Allegro Optical Opticians in MelthamWe dispensed a monocular solution which allowed Peter a clear view of the conductor. In his right lens we also gave him a little notation field to the bottom of the lens. While in the left we concentrated on giving the widest field at music stand distance. Both lenses are fully personalised freeform lenses, manufactured using the latest digital ray-path technology, to maximise visual performance.

Seeing the music

Peter collected his new glasses a couple of weeks later, (while his wife Keri was having her eye test). We had experimented with Peter’s problem and had dispensed a mono-vision solution. So, we all held our breaths when Peter tried them on. Would he like the new monocular solution? What if he experienced double vision? Would he lose his depth of field? These were some of the questions we asked ourselves during the dispense and production process. I know we were all thinking that when he first put them on!

Peter Minshull EEb Bass player buys his specialist musicians glasses from ALlegro Optical the musicians optician

Seeing is believing

Thankfully Peter adapted really quickly. After an initial adjustment period to his new prescription, his vision seemed to settle very quickly. All our musicians lenses come with a full guarantee, just like all varifocals. If it isn’t perfect the first time, we will change the design until it is.

Peter was back at the practice a couple of weeks later when his wife came to collect her new glasses. While there he commented on the wide field of view he has of the music on his stand. We asked him how he was getting along with his new glasses and he said; I was becoming increasingly frustrated by High Street opticians who could only offer what they called ‘work’ glasses (intermediate/long distance varifocals) which did not work for reading music and seeing the conductor clearly.  When I met Sheryl at the Blackpool area band contest it was a ‘no-brainer’. To go to an optician who not only understood the problems musicians have, but are very capable of solving these problems. My latest glasses work very well – when I first started using them it was obvious that I was using my left eye to read the music, rather than my right eye which I had previously. However, having used them for a little while now I have become accustomed to them. I now don’t notice which I eye I am using. All I notice is that the music is always in focus no matter what size of the print.

Why Allegro?

Making music requires the ability to read music, often very quickly and at many different distances. This can present a musician with real problems, particularly if their instrument obscures their visual field. As a result of this, some musicians go on to develop postural problems because of their compromised visual clarity.

As musicians ourselves we have an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional musicians. Thanks to very knowledgeable team of optical professionals, of which many are musical. We are ideally placed to resolve these issues and many more with our unique specialist musicians lenses.  Once we have restored visual clarity and the optical disorders corrected the musicians working and playing life can easily be improved.

A family business

As an independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence. Our inventive approach helps us to meet customer needs. Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

We treat each client as an individual because they are. It is true that no two musicians are the same, so why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly. Dispensing specialist musicians glasses means musicians can continue to play and enjoy making the music they love.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Yearat a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019Dispensing Optician of the Yearand she has been shortlisted for the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020.

During March Allegro Optical was awarded theScale-Up Business of the Yearat the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? Would you benefit from a pair of Specialist musicians glasses. If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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Double trouble for a musical duo – A couples search for specialist musicians glasses

A tale of a musical couple search for specialist musicians glasses – by Stephen Tighe

It’s not unusual forthe musician’s opticianto book an instrumentalist in for an eye test. It is less frequent that we book those appointments in pairs. However musical couples are quite a thing, our own directors are a musical pairing. So when Conductor and Tuba player Marcus Jones and his partner, Louise Crane rang to book an appointment together, the team weren’t phased.

In time, but one at a time

The couple visited our practice in Greenfield Saddleworth, with Louise being the first in the “big chair.”  Louise complained of some eye strain with her current glasses, she felt it was time to seek a new prescription. As a musician with a moderate hyperopia prescription and a high oblique astigmatism, Louise immediately presented us with a challenge. Louise also has a minor strabismus and was investigated for Brown’s Syndrome as a child. We knew that peripheral distortion was going to be a problem for Louise, so we needed to overcome this.  Being relatively young, Louise retains a good amount of accommodation, but her near vision is quite unbalanced. For this reason, unusually, we prescribed Louise with uneven add’s. We dispensed Louise with specialist musicians glasses with lenses from our turba range, as she still has relatively low adds. We did however want to balance her vision as best we could to make playing, conducting and life in general as easy as possible. The higher add was given for her left and less accommodative eye. While we have kept the addition to a minimum for the dominant right eye. 

Ashton Riley

Louise chose two beautiful frames from the Ashton Riley range, beautiful frames designed in the UK by Brett Waugh and named after his son. These easy to wear frames feature interesting but wearable shapes, which are complemented by acetate colours with depth and detail. Louise chose the Manchester and York models providing her with two very different styles for different occasions. Both frames dress up or down and are extremely flattering to Louise’s face shape.   
Ashton Riley York from Allegro Optical Opticians
Ashton Riley – York
Ashton Riley Manchester Black Matte from Allegro Optical Opticians
Ashton Riley – Manchester
When asked about her new glasses Louise, who conducts the Middleton youth band and plays soprano cornet for the main band, said; “I’m loving my musicians glasses! I was a bit skeptical at first having always had a single vision lens. But the Allegro team took the time to carefully tailor my new prescription and lenses really well. The eye strain and headaches I was experiencing have completely gone and I can now see fine print and music much more clearly, highly recommended.”
Louise Crane and Marcus Jones buy their specialist musicians glasses at Allegro Optical the musicians optician
Louise and Marcus

A second sitting

Next in the chair was Marcus, current Music Director of Dove Holes Brass Band and talented Tuba player. Marcus is mildly short sighted and can see the music on his stand fairly well without his glasses. However taking specs on and off during rehearsals isn’t very practical. Like Louise we dispensed Marcus with two pairs of specialist musicians glasses. Both with Turba lenses to help with transitioning between the two working distances.  Marcus wanted a frame that fitted well with a wide eye size. Opting for our 2-4-1 offer Marcus chose the Jaguar 33098 in both blue and charcoal. When he collected his new glasses Marcus commented on how comfortable they were in comparison to his old tight fitting spectacles. In fact Marcus went on to say; I’d recommend Allegro Optical Ltd to all glasses wearers musicians or not, their care and understanding goes above and beyond.”  Thank you Marcus.

Why Allegro?

This case study illustrates how frustrating vision problems can be for the musician. Focusing at the many different distances can be very problematic. As was illustrated in both Louise and Marcus’s case, many musicians find they struggle with the varying focal distances required. Some musicians even suffer from postural problems, which are often caused by their deteriorating vision as they try to compensate for this reduced visual acuity. With an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional musicians, this can be overcome and the musicians working and playing life can easily be improved.  Many Musicians who experience vision problems are unaware that there is a solution to their vision problems and soldier on. Thanks to Allegro Optical there is no need to suffer in silence.

A family Business

As an independent family run specialist business, Allegro Optical is gaining an international reputation. Both for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs. Becoming known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ the team are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. It’s our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors which has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).   We firmly believe in treating each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. Even if they come in pairs! On that note we ask our usual question.  Why should all musicians vision correction be the same? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly. Marcus and Louise have been delighted with their specialist musicians glasses and now recommend us to all their friends.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Yearat a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the  Scale-Up Business of the Year at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine. Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.
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Christmas fashion and style in Greenfield, Saddleworth and Meltham, Holmfirth

Christmas fashion and style in Meltham and Saddleworth

The big day is nearly here and you’re invited to an evening of Christmas fashion and style in Meltham and Saddleworth. Are you a last minute Christmas shopper, trying to get something for everyone a week before the big day? Or, have you not only bought, but actually wrapped most of your presents already? Either way you can’t deny that the festive season is nearly upon us. 

Does the office party or Christmas Jumper Day fill you with dread? Do you worry about what to wear to the charity gala dinner? If so help is at hand as Allegro Optical calls in the experts at two evenings of festive fun and sparkle. 

Find your fashion

Following on from our successful colour and style event in July we are hosting two evenings of seasonal fashion and style tips. Coco Chanel famously said “Fashion changes, but style endures” and that is what the evenings are all about.

The purpose of our event is to engage in an evening of discussion about the importance of self-confidence through good styling. Fashion wouldn’t exist without style. Many of us don’t feel empowered enough to wear the styles of clothing that appeal to us the most. At Allegro Optical we want to encourage everyone to be bold enough to celebrate their own style and unapologetically express themselves.

A word from the experts

Guest speakers will use style, embellishment, and festivities as a topic to lead discussions about how to stay confident, motivated, inspired and most of all to love ourselves. The fashion industry doesn’t discuss this enough, so we aim to encourage and empower our audience and have them leave inspired or having inspired others. We talk about how colour and shape can flatter or flounder and how it can help your personality sparkle this festive season.

The evenings begin with a drinks and nibbles reception and you will have the opportunity to talk to all the speakers. 

Sparkle event ALlegro Optical at Scona 14th November 2019The first event is taking place on Thursday 14th November at Scona in Greenfield at 7:30 

Sparkle event Allegro Optical at 20th November 2019The second on Wednesday 20th November at Allegro Optical in Meltham.

If you would like to join us for an evening of sparkle and style in Greenfield register here or call 01457 353100 or for Meltham click here or call 01484 907090

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Clear vision is music to Richard’s ears and eyes

Now Richard’s vision is clear he no longer has to strain his eyes to see he music

Choreographer George Balanchine famously said; “See the music, hear the dance”. But what does a musician do when they can no longer see the music they have to play? That was a question violinist Richard Bottom asked himself when he moved desks. Richard plays for Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra and began to struggle with the symptoms of presbyopia when he moved his position within the ensemble. Suddenly Richards eyes we’re giving him clear vision of the music.

A real life problem

A seasoned varifocal wearer Richard is no novice when it comes to using multifocal lenses. However he was finding it increasingly more difficult to read his music when playing in. Richard mentioned this to his current optician who suggested changing his varifocal design. Switching Richard to the newest top of the range freeform lenses.

Richard took the plunge and upgraded to a new pair of individualised varifocal lenses which he was assured would allow him to play with ease. They didn’t, the new lenses still only provided a very small area of clear vision at music stand distance. Richard returned to his optician and explained that the new lenses really weren’t suitable. His optician then suggested a pair of bifocals, these turned out to be even worse. In the end Richard was dispensed with a pair of single vision spectacles for music stand distance only. Unfortunately this meant he couldn’t see anything else when playing. By now Richard was at his wits end.

Seeing the music

The “musicians’ optician” was recommended to Richard by several friends, who had visited Allegro Optical, including our neighbour Clive, from Pearsons Funerals, who plays double bass for the orchestra. So he decided to give us a try. Following a thorough eye test, Optometrist Sara Ackroyd identified not only an optical prescription, she also came up with a prescription for  Richards working distances when rehearsing and performing.

 

With a mildly hyperopic prescription Richard also has an  astigmatism, a refractive error caused by the irregularities in the shape of his cornea. In this condition, the eye fails to focus the light equally on the retina, leading to blurred or distorted vision. Astigmatism can cause a certain amount of peripheral distortion for the wearer, as do varifocal lenses. So it is no wonder that Richard was having some frustrating focusing issues.

What happened next?

Following the eye test Richard then had a meeting with Dispensing Optician Sheryl, who measured his facial features and helped him choose a well fitting frame. Having chosen the frames, Sheryl measured and mapped Richards field and required depth of view. This was to ensure that the new lenses provided Richard with the correct visual correction in the right place.

Sheryl Dispensed Richard with our Fogotto lenses to give the best field of view, especially as his head movement is limited when playing the violin. When looking from the music on the desk up to the conductor, Richard can only move his eyes. He also needs to be able to see the music on the desk of the player in front of him.

Richard Bottom violinist who play with Slaithwaite philharmonic orchestra buy their music sprectalcles from ALlegro Optical the musicians optician

A real life solution

It is very difficult to reproduce the layout of the rehearsal room in practice. Our optical practice is much smaller than a rehearsal room and so some distances are often estimated. Usually this isn’t a problem, but when Richard collected his new glasses, even though he was delighted with the clarity of the music on his stand, he struggled to see the music of the musician in front. 

We asked Richard to check these distances in Slaithwaite’s rehearsal room and the position of the desk in front. Armed with this information we were able to manipulate the lens design. We produced a new pair of lenses to give Richard the vision correction at those distances he had measured without compromising the clarity of his music.

A clear result

On trying the new lenses Richard was delighted and very confident. A few days later a  group of us from Allegro Optical went to see Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra with an evening of  Magic and Reimagining; featuring Prokofiev, Suite from Lieutenant Kije, 

Ravel, Piano Concerto in G and Sibelius, Symphony No 1. The concert was a triumph and the playing quite exceptional, We thoroughly enjoyed a really interesting programme which was certainly a most uplifting experience. The members of the orchestra certainly appeared to enjoy playing and that added to an outstanding performance. At the end of the evening the atmosphere amongst the audience was really buzzing. 

Violinist Richard Bottom at Huddersfield town hall with Sheryl from ALlegro Optical, the musicians optician

While there the team caught up with Richard during the interval and asked him how he was getting on with his new glasses.  He said; They are fantastic! Slaithwaite Phil are renowned for taking risks with the programmes they perform and the complexity of some of the music we tackle means you have to be able to see not only the music on the stand but everything else going on around. Two of the pieces we played tonight were new to me and, for the first time for ages I have been able to become totally absorbed in  the music and  performance because I haven’t been struggling to see. Considering I only picked the glasses up two days ago that is quite remarkable

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

As an independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

We treat each client as an individual because they are. It is true that no two musicians are the same, So why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly. This allows us to give a musician or performers eyes clear vision of the music.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ and she has been shortlisted for the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020.

During March Allegro Optical was awarded the ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? Would you like to give your eyes clear vision of the music? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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Jill speculates on choosing her perfect specs

Jill Barrowclough Receptionist Allegro Optical finds her perfect specs
Jill Barrowclough- Receptionist

Jill talks through how she chose her perfect specs

Choosing new glasses can be a difficult decision. They are after all the only accessory most people wear every day and they are the first thing people see when looking at our face. When choosing your new glasses, do you take into consideration what colours you wear or are drawn to? Do you bear in mind the Jewellery you wear? Is it silver, gold or do you wear large bright statement pieces?

Colors must fit together like pieces in a puzzle!

Think about what colours go with your colouring? Are you a light or a cool? Deep or Warm? I am a light, so when I go choosing a new outfit, whether for a special occasion or something casual, I am  always mindful of my colour pallette. While out and about I see many people wearing spectacles in generic colours such as black or tortoise. I often wonder how many people take their natural colouring into account when choosing their glasses, rather than trying to find a safe neutral colour that will go with anything. When I was advised I needed to wear glasses all the time, I thought about my wardrobe. I also thought about what colour frames would go with my natural colouring. I was due to have my hair recoloured, so I waited until this was done, to be sure the new glasses would be the perfect colour and shade.

A frame designed to enhance the proportions of the face

I looked at my face shape like I look at my body shape when choosing a piece of clothing. My new spectacles needed to fit both my head for comfort and my face for proportion. I have a heart shaped slightly round face and choosing the right frame was like shopping for the perfect pair of jeans. I wanted them to fit well and make me feel good and confident.
Gianfranco Ferré GFF 1038 at Allegro Optical Optician Saddleworth and Meltham
Gianfranco Ferré GFF 1038
Having taken into account my skin tone, eye and hair colour and now face shape, (just like when shopping) I asked for advice. Sheryl, Josie, Gemma, Jim and Steve all gave an opinion, which I valued. After trying on several frames in various materials such as Metal, Plastic and Hemp. Trying various shapes from Cats eye, through round and square, I settled on a modern version of a cats eye shape by Gianfranco Ferré. Fashion designer Gianfranco Ferré was known as the “architect of fashion.” Over his 25-year career, he developed a style that still hallmarks the brand. Often described as a combination of discipline and luxury, severity and ornamentation. I just like the bold simple styling. Style is fundamental and my new frame delivers a geometric design, with simple embellishment and pays homage to Ferré‘s studies as an architect. I like its clean crisp style and elegant simplicity.

New to varifocals

For the first time I have opted for varifocal lenses. I have always worn occupational lenses and distance specs just for driving. I’m appreciating having everything in one lens already. Whilst walking to work, I noticed a van with writing on the side and found it so clear, crisp and sharp, I looked over my glasses and the writing was not as clear. I feel that I am going to see a whole new world which I am looking forward to. No more thinking “who was that waving at me” whilst I’m out and about.
Colour and style analysis from Allegro Optical Opticians in Saddleworth and Meltham
Jilly and her new specs
All told, the advice and guidance of an experienced and fully qualified Dispensing Optician was invaluable. Having the various varifocal lens designs explained to me helped me to understand my options and gave me an idea of what to expect. Even though I work for Allegro Optical I was a little nervous about having to wear varifocals. Sheryl talked me through how to use them and reassured me. Now I’m loving my new glasses and even thinking about getting a second pair, but that’s going to be another story.
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Ethical eyecare from Allegro Optical Opticians with Sea2See recycled ocean plastic eyewear

As ethical eyecare providers Allegro Optical opticians are proud to introduce Sea2See

We all know that plastics pollution has a direct and frequent deadly effect on wildlife. Thousands of seabirds and marine mammals are killed each year, sadly after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it. Something needs to be done. Our supermarkets and other retail outlets are already addressing the situation.  Many are moving away from plastic carrier bags and packaging.  Plastic choked beach - Sea2see recycled plastic spectacle frames from Allegro OPtical in Saddleworth and Holmfirth Huddersfield Optician The accumulation of plastics in our oceans and on our beaches has become a global crisis. It’s now well known that billions of pounds of plastic can be found in the swirling convergences. This now  makes up as much as 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. At the current rate of pollution plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.

THE PLASTIC PROBLEM

We are all surrounded by plastic and it is the single-use packaging we discard which is causing the global problems. During the first decade of this century, in fact, industry produced more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. Every year  more and more plastic ends up in the world’s oceans. In fact, studies estimate that there are now 15–51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. According to the Center for Biological Diversity there is not one square mile of surface ocean anywhere on earth which  is free of plastic pollution. At Allegro Optical we worry about our environment and our planet. We know many of our clients are environmentally conscious and expect to find products made from ecologically friendly materials. Supporting the sustainable use of resources is something we are passionate about. We are always keen to reduce emissions and provide as many ethical products as we can. We try to source all our frames and lenses as locally and ethically as possible. Many of the frames and lenses we sell are manufactured in the UK, many from environmentally friendly material. Now we are also stocking frames made from recycled plastic.  Sea2see is a company that are making fashionable glasses and  sunglasses out of recycled plastics from the ocean. They call it “upcycling the ocean.”  They have been featured in Vogue, Wallpaper and The Independent to name but a few… Plastic choked beach - Sea2see recycled plastic spectacle frames from Allegro OPtical in Saddleworth and Holmfirth Huddersfield Optician

How much plastic?

Every year eight billion k.g. of plastics are thrown into the sea. So Sea2see works in collaboration with many fishing communities to collect sea plastic and discarded fishing gear. Working with the fishing industry Sea2see collect ten tons of abandoned gear in Spain each month. They then separate it, wash it and develop it. They then turn it into glasses and sunglasses that are 100% made in Italy. Saving the seas in Saddleworth and Holmfirth Our regular readers will know all about our love of local producers and suppliers. Likewise they will also know that we like to protect our planet. From the low impact Hemp Eyewear, the hand made natural cotton-based acetate frames from David Green. Many of our frames are biodegradable. Even the award winning Bird eyewear are made with environmentally friendly wood frames. By stocking our frame selection responsibly we are helping our planet and respecting our environment. Where possible we are reducing air miles by sourcing British made frames and in turn our carbon footprint. In doing this we are also supporting the British economy. Not a bad decision in what can be described as a particularly difficult and uncertain time for the UK.  We care about your eyecare and eyewear So when you visit Allegro Optical Opticians you can not only be sure that you will receive first-class eye care. We can guarantee it won’t cost you the Earth. If you would like to try ethical eyewear call Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on  01484 907090 Recycled plastic ethical eyewear glasses spectacles from Allegro Optical OPticians in Saddleworth and Meltham Holmfirth
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News

Xanthe’s unwanted Scare before Halloween

It’s time to get spooky safely this Halloween!

It’s October and that means cosy fluffy socks, orange autumn leaves, Strictly Come Dancing and of course Halloween! Now I have to admit I don’t love everything Halloween, I’m not into the “super” scary parts of Halloween. (I’d like to point out that I’m not a wimp, I just don’t dig the “super” scary stuff like killer clowns and demon nuns). I do however enjoy seeing carved pumpkins appear on peoples doorsteps, the decorations, and of course the dressing up in spooky outfits. However, this year isn’t quite going to plan.

It’s all a bunch of hocus pocus

Every year I get excited about getting dressed up and either going to a fancy-dress party or going trick or treating. I love picking out my costume and deciding how I’ll do my face paint. Over the years I have been many things from a witch to a pumpkin (I’ll be honest being a pumpkin was my favourite) and this year I’d planned to dress up in a skull candy “Day of the Dead” costume. I’d watched millions of tutorials on how to do my face paint, picked out an outfit that was perfect and couldn’t wait! Little did I know what was in store for me.
Day of the dead Halloween mask - don't do it says Xanthe from Allegro Optical
The desired result
Day of the dead Halloween mask - don't do it says Xanthe from Allegro Optical
The Inspiration
Day of the dead Halloween mask - don't do it says Xanthe from Allegro Optical
The result

A night of horror!

So much so that I decided to do a test run of how everything would look. So, I started my face paint, got all my face lovely and white ready to do all the intricate designs and flares. But my face began to feel warm and sting slightly. Now I thought, maybe as I don’t put a lot of makeup and such, I thought perhaps my face just wasn’t use to being caked and so couldn’t “breath” or “air” in the way it should. I began my designs, however the warm slightly stinging sensation quickly changed to burning red hot! I ran into my bathroom and washed of the face paint off as quickly as I possibly could but even after I got it off, I still felt like my face was burning less so then before but it was still pretty uncomfortable. When I eventually looked in the mirror, I resembled what I can only describe as a very red strawberry with white spots all over my face. Clearly, I’d had a reaction to the face paint.

An unwanted fright

Now you’re probably wondering why I am telling you this burning red hot story and why it even matters? Well two reasons; one, I hope my stupidity stops you from making my mistake, and two, nobody wants to sit on their sofa on a Sunday night with a bag of peas stuck to their face for an hour. In my excitement to do my face paint I hadn’t read the back of the packet. The place where it said to do a patch test beforehand, to ensure that when you put it on your face you didn’t look like a strawberry! (well done Xanthe, great look you got going at the moment).

Happy Halloween

Now I’ve face painted my face hundreds of time and never did I have a problem or any sort of reaction until now. I’m not saying that me doing this is in anyway life altering, but do it with something else, like your eyes and it could be. Many of us wear contact lenses; we go see our optician and they provide us with the best contact lenses for our needs. Now I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else for my contact lenses, yet every year around Halloween, some people go into accessory shops or market stalls and buy funky colourful cosmetic contact lenses. Cosmetic contact lens uslce The effect these lenses can have on our eyes can be life altering, in some cases leading to serious infections, ulcers and even blindness. So if you’re thinking of trying coloured contacts this year, then PLEASE visit your optician and have the contact lenses professionally fitted. Your optician will find the right contact lenses for you and teach you how to put them in and take them out safely. They’ll have you looking funky and spooky safely, with any unwanted Halloween horrors. So take a tip from Xanthe’s book and visit your optician if you want to change your eye colour