Anyone interested in exploring and traveling most likely has London on their bucket list. A typical tourist visit to London will most likely consist of a visit to Buckingham Palace, a cultural day at the British Museum, and a sit down for tea at Fortnum & Mason. However, many tourists are not given the inside scoop on where is a great place to visit, and that is Bicester Village.
Pronounced Bister, the shopping village is one of the most popular tourist attractions and has 6.4 million visitors a year. That is more visitors that attractions such as the Tower of London or the Tate modern receive annually.
The reason as to why it is so popular is because it is essentially a huge outlet mall which is very close to London, with great deals and bargains to find.
Amongst the 160 shops in the village, you can find designer brands such as Prada, Gucci, Valentino, and Versace. The village is even more appealing because of the fact customers can find goods for up to 60 percent off normal retail prices.
According to The Telegraph, 60 percent of people who visit the outlet are foreign tourists, with travelers coming from China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, and Kuwait. Fortunately for foreign travelers, they get to enjoy the discount plus enjoy the onsite tax refund service that is also in the village.
If you’re now thinking of going, know that you can get to Bicester Village from London in just 46 minutes from London Marylebone train station. With two trains every hour, you will have no problem visiting this hotspot.
Upon arrival, you will also be greeted by workers in red bellboy caps and cloaks, as well as walkable streets with potted plants and a real village vibe. This will be a completely different shopping experience for tourists to enjoy, so be sure to visit it when you next travel to Britain.
Personal Care Takes A Back Seat
Sometimes people just let themselves go. After suffering from a mid-life crisis, Jeffrey Schultz, 52, did just that. In order to cope, he let his beard and hair grow long and bushy, almost to the point he could be mistaken for Santa Claus on a cold winters day. It then came to a point where his wife, Lori, decided things needed to change but she could never have expected the dramatic transformation that was about to take place.
Despite his wife thinking her husband needed a makeover for a while, it was his mother-in-law who triggered the event. “A couple months ago, my mom had cleaned out her attic and had a bunch of old pictures of my husband when we were dating,” Lori, 53, from Willard, said. Time had really made its mark on her husband, and she realized in recent years, as well as the long hair, Jeff had “the ‘Duck Dynasty’ thing going on.”
Upon looking at the photos, Lori remembered how handsome her husband once was and wanted that same man she married all those years ago back. She felt he was ready for a makeover and sent Rachael Ray a recent photo of him, along with one from the attic from 30 years ago, requesting he could be applicable for a surprise makeover. She wrote, “Don’t get me wrong, Rachael Ray. I love my husband inside-out, just help me with the outside.”
The Rachael Ray Show is hosted by the television personality, businesswoman, celebrity chef, and author, Rachael Ray. Not only does she host the daily talk and lifestyle program, but she hosts three Food Network series. On the Rachael Ray Show, Ray asks for tips and strategies for staying healthy and safe from various health and lifestyle experts and features other segments like musical performances. Lori Schultz wrote to the show after seeing various makeovers on previous episodes.
Jeffrey Schultz was such a fan that he even used the celebrity chef’s knives and one of her signature orange olive-oil jugs. After much deliberation, when the show reached out to the Schultzes and asked if they would be interested in coming to New York, Jeff finally agreed. The couple was told being invited on the show was a one in 10,000 chance and Lori reported, “he said he’d agree to it, just ’cause it was Rachael Ray.”
When the couple finally agreed, they were told that they would be appearing on an episode with Kyan Douglas, one of the stars from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy when it first aired back in 2003 all the way to 2007. He was the show’s “grooming guru” and helped men with their hair, makeup, and personal hygiene. In 2009, he began hosting the series Ten Years Younger on TLC. The couple was even more excited to attend after hearing this.
Helping Change Appearances
Although the original series of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy ended in 2007, Kyan was not able to put the hair and makeup brushes down and continues to do makeovers for The Rachael Ray Show. He explained to Buzzfeed that he enjoys giving makeovers simply because of the “wonderful synergy between physical transformation and an internal transformation.” His attitude certainly came across offset too as according to Lori, “(Douglas) just loved my husband.”
Enlisting Help Of Others
Given the state of Jeff Schultz, this makeover was not just a job for one man. He enlisted the help of Elena Linares, who runs the Razzle Dazzle Barbershop in Miami. Together, Douglas and Linares hoped they could work their magic on Jeff. Elena was originally from the Bronx and moved to Miami in the 1980s. She started her first salon on South Beach in 1989 before setting up her dream salon, Razzle Dazzle, in 2008.
Considering her bubbly personality, Elena was not going to own any ordinary barbershop. Instead, she opened Razzle Dazzle in 2008 as a barbershop with a difference, for men who enjoy being pampered (or man-pered). Throwing it back to the 1940s, there is a burlesque theme from corner to corner with gold-trimmed walls, classy chandeliers, and vintage photos. The “Dazzlers” are dressed in racy outfits too. Elena told Blog Talk Radio, “The idea behind Razzle Dazzle is to pamper men in a flirty but wholesome, professional manner.”
Voted best barbershop in Miami 2 years in a row by Miami New Times, Elena went on to open two other Razzle Dazzle locations, one in Surfside and the other in Coral Gables. She’s even featured in the TV series The American Barber. “When I started Razzle Dazzle, the barbering niche hadn’t even begun,” she said. “I knew that I was going to be dominant in the industry.” With all Douglas’ experience and Linares’ expertise, Jeff was certainly in capable hands to fix his look.
A Serious Fan
At first, Jeff was hesitant. After all these years he had become so used to his growing shabby look that he was not sure he wanted to change. Even though his wife sent off the application to appear on the show, Jeff had little intentions. However, there was only one encouraging factor. Jeff had been a serious fan of the celebrity chef and lifestyle show host for eight or nine years, ever since Ray made it big on Food Network.
Not only was Jeff a huge fan of the Rachael Ray show because of his love of food, but he also enjoyed watching many of the other makeovers that Ray set up. One of the best OMG moments on the show was the Southern-fried makeover that Stacey Collins and Brandon Helms from Concord, North Carolina, went under. The happy couple lived a life of not caring about their image, generally dressing in camo and anything that was comfortable. But Collins wanted to feel pretty again…
For this makeover, style guru Kyan Douglas came to the rescue, so Jeff knew he was going to be in safe hands. He wondered, though, if Douglas was able to convince Helms to take off a few inches from his beard, would he be able to do the same to his foot-long facial hair. Meanwhile, unlike Lori, Brandon’s wife was less fussed, “I can’t say that I don’t like the beard, but then again I can’t say that I love the beard. It’s his face…” said Stacey.
The OMG Moment
Luckily, Brandon thought the beard trim would be a “nice change” and it was certainly more than that. The outcome was insane! The couple was completely unrecognizable and ready for their wedding. And yes, Brandon’s beard was long gone. Rachael Ray fell to her knees, she was speechless and Douglas just said, “I have to say, this is one of my favorite makeovers ever.” But could Jeffrey Schultz create the same impact on Ray and the audience?
Willing To Go Far
Finally, Jeff made his debut on The Rachael Ray Show. When Rachael Ray asked Jeff how far he was willing to go, Jeff took a moment. He looked at his wife and back at Rachael, answering, “She married me with nothing on my face, so I’m willing to go that far.” Douglas and Linares were ready to shear his bush. But after 20 years, was Jeff really able to bare all and go let his face go naked?
Before taking the plunge, Jeffrey thought back to other episodes from the Rachael Ray Show, where men went from beard to none. One episode that really came to mind was the makeover of Travis Herman, a brewery owner from Atlanta. However, unlike Jeff, his wife had no idea that Travis had written to the show. Again, Kyan Douglas took the lead and whatever he did to Travis, his wife was going to be pleasantly surprised.
Looking Somewhat Right
Throughout the night, while his wife was sleeping, Travis underwent the exciting makeover. His beard trim was the main focus and as Douglas shaved it off he asked, “Can you feel a difference?” Travis claimed, “Heavier on one side than the other.” He had previously mentioned how he had to brush his shaggy beard to keep “it looking somewhat right,” yet this would leave a trail of hair everywhere, much to his wife’s disgrace.
Herman’s wife was in complete shock. She announced, “I’m actually going to cry.” Meanwhile, back on the stage of the show, Ray was so impressed, “First of all, he looks like George Clooney! If you ever grow that long, scrappy thing back, you are silly, silly!” she said. When asked if he likes his new look, Travis Herman joked, “I do, it’s a little higher maintenance than the beard, but ya know,” Jeff decided that could probably do the same.
Coming from Missouri, the couple flew almost five hours to New York to make their appearance on the show. Overall, they spent four days in the city filming. However, during the entire makeover process, Lori was not allowed to see her husband as it would take away from the dramatic effect that the audience wanted to witness. Nevertheless, his dramatic transformation certainly made their enforced separation worthwhile. Lori was about to witness a whole new man…
Time Off Set
During the four days, Lori revealed to the Springfield News-Leader that she and Jeff had even spent some time with the celebrity chef and talk show host, Rachael Ray, off the set. Unlike some busy celebrities, Ray was not just there for the cameras and got to know the couple who had traveled far to be on her show. “We could tell she was busy, but she took a few minutes to talk to us,” Lori said. “She was very gracious.”
Not Just A Haircut
Jeff finally got the haircut that Lori, Rachael Ray, and the show’s audience had all been waiting for. But that was not all that came out of the episode. Jeff’s hair was donated to the non-profit Locks of Love. The organization, based in Florida, supplies hairpieces for children and young people under the age of 21 who have suffered significant hair loss caused by medical conditions. Many of them suffer from alopecia, a loss of hair and even eyebrows.
Locks of Love
In most alopecia cases, the hair loss is irreversible and as of yet, there is no cure. The other children who are part of the organization, Locks of Love, may suffer from a skin disorder, be cancer survivors, or even burn victims. Jeff was one of the very few men to donate given their usual lack of locks. Therefore, not only did his makeover make him look better, he had done something great to help others in need too.
Schultz was not the first from the Rachael Ray Show to donate his hair to Locks of Love. Back in 2016, Susan Cataldo of Riverhead got the surprise of her life when her sisters had nominated her for a makeover. Sitting in the audience, she was called up on stage and was told she would be transformed with the help of the beautiful Jessica Alba. Cataldo had not cut her hair for the past few years as that was the way her late husband liked it.
Only For Donation
Now at least waist-length, her sisters had had enough. Alba was standing with a pair of scissors in her hand and asked whether Cataldo was ready for the snip. “If I can donate it,” replied Cataldo. Then, Alba had a suggestion. She told the nervous guest that her daughter had donated her hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that provides hairpieces to children who have long-term medical hair loss and are financially disadvantaged.
Tail In Hand
Cataldo agreed and bundled her hair up into a ponytail. A few snips later and Alba had removed the tail of the pony that was once attached to Cataldo’s head. She then went off stage for restyling and the transformation was amazing. “Oh my God, you have a waist,” Ray told her during the reveal. “Yes, it is amazing what they did,” Cataldo replied. This transformation gave Jeff his wonderful idea to donate to the charity too.
Lori Schultz’s husband did not look like the man she married almost three decades ago. He had been continuing to grow his beard for over 20 years that he had become so comfortable with his long-bristled look. However, others around him did not feel the same way, especially Lori. While some people become complacent after they get married, Jeff had gone beyond normal expectations. Lori told Springfield News-Leader, “His hair was all down his back with full, full-frontal facial hair.”
“That’s Not My Husband”
Although the couple had been separated for under 96 hours, Lori barely recognized her husband when he stepped out onto the stage in his new look. With a new haircut and clean-shaven face, Lori was in utter shock as she looked him up and down. The first thing she exclaimed was, “That’s not my husband!” Not only had Jeff’s hair been cut and groomed, but he’d also been given a trendy new outfit to replace his old overalls.
Facing The Big Screen
Not only were the crowd cheering with amazement, but Jeff himself seemed to be delighted with the results. Turning to look at himself on the big screen that covered the back wall of the set, he became emotional. Tears building up in his eyes, he said, “I feel amazing.” Meanwhile, Lori was too getting emotional. Wiping away the tears she wrapped her arms around her man, a meaningful moment for the wife who waited 20 years to see her husband’s face.
An Enormous Change
For two decades Lori had not seen her husband’s face properly behind the layers of hair covering it. Finally, his new clean-cut look enabled her to recognize the man that she had married. The change was enormous. “He looked totally different,” she told the Springfield News-Leader. “His skin hasn’t seen fresh air for 20 years.” From a Duck Dynasty character to a well-groomed man about town, Jeffry Schultz captured the stage audience of The Rachael Ray Show.
Not only was the audience overwhelmed by this new look, but the show’s host Rachael Ray was a huge fan of the transformation. Approaching Jeff, she told him, “You look so handsome.” Viewers at home were captivated by the makeover too, and when Madwood Studios uploaded a video of Jeff’s makeover to YouTube, one commenter wrote, “He looks at least ten years younger.” While another posted, “He looks like a brother of John Wayne !!! Handsome devil grrrr.”
“I’ve Been Razzle Dazzled”
While Lori hugged her husband, it seemed that Elena Linares wanted to share her affection too. Grabbing his hand, it looked like she was not able to let go, holding in for him for the duration of the audience cheers. Telling the cameras how adorable this couple is, an overwhelmed Jeffrey Schultz looked to the host and said, “I feel amazing. I’ve been Razzle Dazzled!” To which Ray responded, “You look dazzling.”
Jeff’s wife described her husband’s new look as being “kind of New York-looking.” However, Lori also revealed to the newspaper that Jeff’s dramatic makeover caused problems for the couple when they were catching their flight returning home from New York. Funnily enough, Jeff looked so different from his previous image that security staff at the airport had to confirm whether he was really the same person as his driver’s license photo. Sounds like a true makeover.
Back In Missouri
After the show, Lori and Jeffrey Schultz returned to their home in Missouri and got settled back into their everyday routines. Despite his amazing makeover, some of Jeff’s beard has come creeping back. In the summer of 2018 he suffered from heart issues, however, Jeff is back to good health and spending much of his time on the water and with his children and grandchildren. Jeff may no longer have the “New-York look” but he has certainly improved.