Food Preparation Guide

From spiralizers to salad spinners, busy households need time-saving tools – and the kitchen is no exception. We’re big believers that the only thing that beats a home-cooked meal is a home-cooked meal that took 30 minutes to prepare. Investing in the right kitchen tools will make food preparation faster, fuss-free and save you money in the long run: no more disastrous soufflés, lumpy soups or flat meringues. Our guide takes you through the most important food preparation appliances, so you can decide which is best for your home.

Food Preparation - Which Appliance

Find the answer to your most frequently asked food preparation questions, from whether a food processor purées to if a blender can make smoothies. 

Food processors 

These use blade and disk attachments to chop, mix, and purée food. Processors are great for blitzing chunky vegetable soup or whipping up a batch of summer pesto. 

Food mixers 

A stand mixer works hard to knead dough and mix batter, making it a good option for keen bakers. Hand mixers save space and are great for lighter kneading or whisking jobs. 



These extract the liquid part of fruit and vegetables, separating it from the pulp or fibre. They’re ideal for creating light and refreshing juices. 


Small chopping blades quickly blend together ingredients, perfect for soups and smoothies. The compact design suits small kitchens.

Food Preparation - Food Processors

Food processors are a great multi-functional tool; go from whipping together homemade mayonnaise to finely chopping onions in a matter of minutes. Processors can tackle raw vegetables, which makes them a good choice if you’re more a cook than a baker.

Food processors

  • Ideal for family homes
  • Powerful pulse function
  • Attachments to mix, grate, slice, whisk, knead, chop and liquidise
  • Simple push buttons
  • Easy clean

Cooking food processors

  • A choice of heat programmes
  • Automatic settings
  • Slow cooking
  • Digital display

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Food Preparation - Food Mixers

Choosing between a stand mixer and a hand mixer isn’t easy – a stand mixer requires less manual effort and can be programmed in advance, while the traditional hand mixer is compact and lightweight, and requires less of an investment. Use this breakdown to decide which food mixer is right for you:

Stand mixers

  • Large, stable mixing bowl
  • Mixing is automated
  • Best for thick mixtures
  • Programmable settings
  • Sturdy and hardwearing

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Hand mixers

  • Good value for money
  • Quick and simple setup
  • Small and compact for easy storage
  • Perfect for whipping light mixtures like cream or egg whites
  • Portable
  • Lightweight and ideal for small jobs

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The best stand mixer accessories

When you’re switching tasks in the kitchen, switch the attachment on your stand mixer to match. Different blades can purée, strip and finely grate produce while rotating attachments do everything from stuffing sausages and spiralizing courgettes to milling grains for home-baked bread. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a recipe that can’t be made faster with the help of a stand mixer.

Shop Stand Mixer Accessories
Food Preparation -  Juicers

Whether you’re a die-hard fruit fan or trying out your first detox, juicers remain a convenient way to produce fresh, nutrient-filled drinks at home. Juice machines are fun and easy to operate, leaving plenty of opportunity to experiment with different ingredient combinations. The two best juicer types are masticating and centrifugal, and each has its own set of pros.

Centrifugal juicers

  • High speed spinning motion makes juicing faster
  • Budget-friendly
  • Sharp blades work their way through produce quickly
  • Works best with soft and hard fruits and vegetables
  • Simple to use – great for beginners

Masticating juicers

  • Grinds and presses produce to keep nutritious value
  • Slow speed produces better tasting juices
  • Works with a broad variety of ingredients including green leaves, cashews and other nuts
  • Quiet to run
  • Few parts and easy to clean

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Food Preparations - Blenders

Blenders are often seen as essential kitchen appliances, and not without reason. The best blender makes light work of mixing, chopping, grinding, combining, and purifying. These powerful machines are ideal for making up your own batches of jam, hummus and salsa, as well as milk and yoghurt-based smoothies.

Hand and stick blenders

  • Quick to assemble
  • Budget-friendly
  • Portable for use away from plug sockets
  • Easy to clean
  • Long wand works in large bowls

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Table blenders

  • High-powered with pulse
  • Pre-set programs and manual speed control
  • Variable speeds and pulse function
  • Keeps fruit and vegetable nutrients by pulping produce whole

Shop Table Blenders

When you discover all the amazing things food preparation machines can do, it’s tempting to cover your kitchen counter with various appliances – but part of the appeal of these devices is their versatility. Blenders can produce perfectly delicious juicers and food processors can make batter just like a stand mixer. Take a closer look at your lifestyle, cooking habits and kitchen space and you’ll be able to choose which machine makes a perfect sous-chef.

Mascara Buying Guide

Having a signature mascara is just as important as having a go-to perfume or pair of jeans. Finding the right one for you can be tricky, but when you get there you'll never go back. Our guide will break down the different formulas and wands on offer, helping you to discover the best mascara for your eyes. We've also got top tips about removing your makeup properly and growing your lashes, too.


Our range of mascaras features numerous different formulas, and each one has been created to give your lashes a different look – whether you're after volume, length or shape.

Nars larger than life mascara

Lengthening mascaras

The best lengthening mascara will lift at the roots to make even the smallest of lashes appear longer. These formulas cling on right at the base to make them stand out, so they're ideal if you have particularly short or stubborn lashes.

Sisley so curl mascara

Curling mascaras

A curling mascara will help you build intensity with just a few coats. Suitable for those with straight or poorly-defined lashes, they contain filmifying polymers that contract when applied, creating a pronounced shape. The brush is usually slightly curved to mimic the desired outline of your eyelashes.

Lancôme Grandiôse Extrême Mascara

Waterproof mascaras

Waterproof mascara contains mineral oil and wax to give you a formula that will stay put. Specially made to withstand unpredictable weather, tearing and sweat, they're a face-saving choice if you have oily eyelids that continually smudge your mascara. Find your perfect water resistant mascara in our varied range.

Shiseido Full Lash Volume Mascara

Volumising mascaras

A volumising mascara has dense bristles to make sure the formula can get right to the roots to coat and separate. The specially-chosen ingredients are ideal if you have thin or limp eyelashes as they contain silicone polymers and special waxes to lift and provide volume.

YSL Luxurious Mascara

Lash-defining mascaras

The best mascara for short and straight lashes, lash-defining formulas offer all the benefits in one go: volume, length and colour. They have a thicker and heavier consistency with filmifying polymers for extra thickness and stronger pigments for a lengthening effect.

Clinique High Impact Lash Elevating Mascara

Hypoallergenic mascaras

The best mascaras for sensitive eyes are hypoallergenic and formulated to eliminate eye irritation. Look out for one with nourishing ingredients like aloe and vitamin E to give fragile lashes extra protection.

Pine Cone Wand

  • Pine cone wand - grips and lengthens the corner lashes.
Thick Bristle Wand

  • Thick bristle wand - helps make the lashes appear thicker.
Rubber Bristle Wand

  • Rubber bristled wand - gives sparse lashes depth.
Thin And Straight Wand

  • Thin and straight wand - coats the lashes individually.
Curved Wand

  • Curved wand - helps to curl the lashes.
Bottom Lash Wand

  • Bottom lash wand - coats and curls the bottom lashes for definition.
Ball Tipped Wand

  • Ball-tipped wand - works to curl the corners of your eyelashes.
Growing Your Lashes

Want to know how to make your eyelashes grow? Certain natural ingredients enhance hair growth, helping you to achieve longer, fuller lashes.

1. Put a few drops of vitamin E oil or petroleum jelly on a soft-bristled eyelash brush or comb.

Growing Your Lashes

2. Use the brush to apply the oil or jelly directly on your lashes.

Growing Your Lashes

3. Continue brushing the lashes gently using upward strokes. Brush for two minutes twice daily until you see desired results.

Eyelash Health

In order to maintain healthy lashes, it's important to regularly cleanse your eye area morning and night. Clean the area using a makeup remover pad or muslin cloth in a gentle circular motion.

It's always best to avoid mascara that contains ethel alcohol as it can cause lashes to become brittle and break over time. Instead, look out for formulations that are free from parabens and phthalates and rich in moisturising ingredients like vitamin E.

Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover

Remove your eye makeup before you cleanse your face as it's more difficult to budge than dirt or foundation. Here's how:

  • Use a gentle alcohol-free makeup remover to break down pigment. For a natural alternative, use coconut oil. Massage onto your eyelids with cotton pads.

  • Rinse your face with warm water.

  • Remove any residue from your eye area with cotton pads.
Various mascaras open and stood up on blocks

Build it

To make the most of your lashes, consider using more than one type of mascara to build a bespoke lash look that's perfect for your needs. For stubby eyelashes, start with a lengthening mascara before using a curling formulation to lift for more volume.

Go blue

Blue mascara lets you achieve all the definition you get with black, but to a softer degree. The colour may seem bold for a daytime look, but blue brightens the whites of your eyes, making it a great alternative to the classic black.

Curl it

Using an eyelash curler will add additional shape and definition to your lashes. Check your curler before you begin to ensure the pad is in place and the cage lines up. Gently ease over your lashes, getting as close to your lid as possible, then squeeze and hold. Simply hold for at least 15 seconds, then gently open, removing with care.

Luggage Buying Guide



Adrift in a sea of suitcases? Fear not, from large expandable suitcases to luggage tags and travel accessories, our luggage guide will help you buy with confidence. We’ve got materials, capacity, security, style and airline allowances covered, so all that’s left to do is get that well-deserved holiday booked.


A hard suitcase is a great option for frequent flyers or for extra peace of mind when travelling. Choose a hard case for a robust option that will protect your precious items from the wear and tear of the plane hold.
Hard Suitcases



A great option for a long-lasting, resilient case. Made from an oil based plastic, it’s extremely strong with a tough surface – car bumpers are usually made from this material. A durable choice for added peace of mind, but a slightly heavier option.

ABS Plastic (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene)

Made from plastic and a rubber substitute, this durable option is also used in crash helmets. It tends to be lighter and easier to manoeuvre than the other materials used for hard cases.


Polycarbonate is strong but lightweight, and is often used in premium hard luggage. A water resistant option, it flexes slightly to absorb impact which offers great protection for fragile items.

Soft cases are made from durable synthetic materials and are a popular choice with travellers. If you’re looking for a flexible case with some ‘give’, this is a great option – look for a higher denier for a thicker, long-lasting fabric.
Soft Suitcases



This man-made material is a popular choice for suitcases as it’s lightweight and extremely strong.


A hard-wearing man-made fabric with an attractive woven appearance, polyester cases are finished with a matte or shiny exterior.


Made from vinyl sheeting, PVC is used as a waterproof backer on most fabrics and particularly suitcase trims and straps. Its flexibility means it’s easy to store.


Types of luggages


Weight and Capacity

If the weight of your case is a high priority, or you want to adhere to airline weight restrictions, a lightweight suitcase is worth considering. These combine minimal weight with maximum durability and are available in several suitcase sizes.

Expandable options offer at least 10% extra capacity for those who need to prioritise space. Extra zip pockets provide extra storage and retractable handles can help utilise the entire interior.


Shop Lightweight Luggage

Shop High Capacity Luggage



A telescopic handle means easy adjustability to ensure your suitcase is at the best height for you, and provide a frame for stacking further pieces of luggage, such as laptop bags. These are usually accompanied by a grab handle which means easy and quick lifting up stairs or into vehicles.

A 4 or 8 wheel suitcase is a great option for ease of movement as the 360° spinner wheels ensure weight is spread evenly across four points. There’s no need to tilt and pull as these can be wheeled alongside or in-front of you.

Extra Secure & Stylish Luggages



Relaxation is probably your number one priority on holiday, so for reassurance when travelling, consider luggage with extra security features.

Some cases feature tamper proof zips, or multi-pocket TSA cable locks, which means main and outside compartments feature one handling and one TSA fixed lock. Also worth considering is a case with a clip lock system – this means they’re zip free.

Also think about shock absorbent outer shells, corner plates and interior cross ribbons, which all help to keep your precious belongings secure.


Luggage becomes the ultimate accessory with a selection of colours and prints to suit your style. Whether a bold block colour, pretty floral motif or a chic metallic finish, a stylish case has the added benefit of being easy to spot on the luggage carousel.

4 Wheeled Suitcase


Specifically designed to fit in an aircraft cabin, these suitcases make ideal lightweight hand luggage and mean you won’t need to hang around the luggage carousel. Perfect for weekends and city breaks or trips for those who pack light, they often feature a handy front pocket to keep your flying essentials at arm’s reach.

Choosing a cabin suitcase can be confusing, as airlines have different rules and restrictions – see our chart below. If you’re a frequent flyer, choose a case that meets the requirements of your preferred airline. For maximum airline flexibility, you might choose luggage that meets the stricter requirements.

Please also make sure you’re aware of current hand luggage restrictions at UK airports.


Shop Cabin Luggage

Check our handy airline allowance chart for peace of mind when travelling.

Cabin Luggage and Airline Allowance


If you travel for business, the best luggage for you might include additional features such as specific sections for laptops, tablets and phones.

You might opt for a rolling tote, which is a comprehensive travel bag often including a laptop compartment and garment carrier, with wheels for convenience. Choose from our selection of sleek and premium options in leather, polyester or nylon.

Laptop Bags

Designed to snuggly fit a laptop for maximum protection, laptop bags focus on a slim, efficient design. Some options have adjustable pockets and include a strap which can slip over a traditional suitcase handle so that it can be stacked on top of traditional luggage.

Garment carrier

A garment carrier is a great way to transport clothing with minimum creasing, as they allow you to lay your clothes out in full. They are usually designed around a central hanger, and may include straps to secure items, and extra pockets for accessories.


Backpacks make ideal travel bags for lighter travellers, as they keep your hands free. A great option for active travellers, they often include bottle pockets, tablet and MP3 compartments, as well comfortable padded straps.

Luggage tag


It's worth considering some additional accessories for ease when travelling. Keep your items separate with individual packing bags, or pick up a travel pillow or bottle - and don't forget the adaptor plug.

Passport covers, travel wallets and luggage tags in beautiful leather are must have accessories. A luggage tag helps identify your suitcase quickly on the dreaded luggage carousel, whilst a passport cover will protect your passport from any wear and tear in transit.

It's not just about protecting your documents. A luggage cover may be a useful investment if you’re concerned about your case being damaged – these are water resistant coats which can be easily fitted to protect your luggage.


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Men's Christmas Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year when you begin to brainstorm gift ideas for the man in your life. To make the festive period a little easier, we’ve put together our favourite Christmas gift ideas for him. From your boyfriend to your brother, stocking fillers to secret Santa ideas, here’s the gifts they really want this Christmas.

Silver pencil sharpener cufflinks

If your boyfriend’s into the latest fashion or has a great sense of style, treat him to a shirt or shoes you know he’ll love from his favourite brand or in his ideal style or colour.

For a gift that speaks to his personal taste, gift him with a new fragrance that he’s sure to love. Whether that’s an old favourite or something completely new, we have something for all price ranges.

If he loves a classic suit or has a big occasion coming up, a timeless pair of cufflinks could be the perfect finishing touch to his outfit. Classic and simple cufflinks look great for formal occasions. For a more casual look, buy something fun and quirky like a football cufflink or a union jack cufflink.

Blue and burgundy patterned scarf laid flat

Make this Christmas extra special for your granddad with a really thoughtful gift. If he’s the kind of man who values accessories, browse our selection of watches for an elegant timepiece that he will treasure. Alternatively, a high-quality umbrella in a traditional print is both useful and long-lasting.

For the sentimental grandparent, you could get creative and frame pictures of all the family in one of our multi-photo frames. From peg frames to classic double photo frames, there’s a wide range to choose from.

As an extra treat, gift your granddad with some indulgent chocolates or truffles from one of our sharing packs or boxes.

Old fashioned shaving tools

For the dad that likes to look stylish and smart, a new tie in a bold print or block colour is a great choice - bonus points for getting it to go with his favourite suit.

If he’s more of a laid-back kind of guy, help the cause with a pair of cashmere socks or some cosy slippers. A luxurious robe would go down a treat - soft cotton fabric is perfect for the cosy winter months.

Help him with his grooming game by investing in a shaving kit from our men’s grooming range. These handy kits include everything needed for a seamless morning routine.

Black leather wallet and luggage tag in gift box

Show your male siblings how much you appreciate them with a thoughtful gift. Whether your brother is into fashion, technology or something in-between, we have a vast selection of presents to inspire the right choice.

If he's into his fitness, how about a pair of the latest running shoes or a sports watch? You could also consider some gym equipment for his home, which is perfect for anyone who likes to exercise but doesn’t have much time for the gym.

If he loves getting hold of the latest gadgets, some wireless headphones or a Bluetooth speaker could be the ultimate gift.

Selection of men’s accessories in black on blue background

When it comes to stockings, we all get a rush of nostalgic excitement. Even for grown-ups, stockings can be a delight with small treats and gadgets that we hadn’t thought of.

Add some fun to his stocking with gifts that express his personality, like a Mr Cool or Mr Happy mug. Maybe he’s a movie fanatic and would love a scratch off poster with a bucket list of movies to watch. For a fail-safe option, playful and festive socks are sure to spruce up someone’s festive wardrobe.

Selection of men’s hats and scarves on blue background

It’s only a matter of time before you are included in the annual Secret Santa affair at work, home or in your group of friends. Depending on the person, a funny or joke gift is a key favourite, from mugs with a fun quote to something that has an inside joke. If you want to gift something they will really enjoy, a board game is a great choice for all personalities.


Jewellery Care Guide

For many of us, our jewellery collection is our pride and joy. Whether it's a treasured heirloom or simply an everyday item that has become your go-to outfit addition, you'll want to admire your favourite pieces for years to come. 

Scrapes, bumps and the effects of the elements can all take their toll, but you can keep your jewellery looking as lovely as the day you received it with our handy guide. We’ve got helpful cleaning tips, innovative storage ideas and general pointers for keeping your sparkles in tip top condition.

Image of gold and silver rings, bracelet and earrings

Your jewellery deserves to dazzle and shine, so here’s how to effortlessly clean your jewels using a few everyday items from your house:


Wondering how to clean gold jewellery? An easy and effective way is to place it in a jar of white vinegar and leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, remove it and lightly scrub it with a soft-bristled toothbrush before rinsing and storing it safely ready for the next wear.


Over time, a green or brownish patina may develop on your platinum pieces. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to get rid of using mild soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. Finish by gently rubbing it with a soft cloth and your platinum will look as good as new.

Sterling silver

Sterling silver can be cleaned using a thick paste made from 45 grams of baking soda and two tablespoons of water. Apply the mixture with a damp sponge and gently rub, rinse and buff dry to leave your silver shining.


To keep your diamonds sparkling, soak them in a solution of 230 millilitres of warm water and 60 grams of ammonia for roughly 15 minutes. Then, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, scrub away any visible grime, especially any that’s hiding in the crevices of the setting and underneath the diamond itself.


When it's time to clean your pearls you can use a dry, lint-free cloth. Try to refrain from spraying deodorant, perfume or any cleaning products directly onto the jewellery as pearls are delicate in nature and they need to be treated very carefully.

Simple Cream and Teal Wooden Jewellery Box

Your Jewellery deserves to dazzle and shine, so here's how to effortlessly clean your jewels using a few everyday items from your house:

Storing your jewellery correctly is the key to making it last a lifetime. Follow these top tips to keep it looking its best:

Shop Jewellery Boxes & Stands


It’s best to store necklaces individually so that they don’t get tangled. Try using a free-standing holder on your dressing table or hang them on a peg rack mounted to your closet door.

Shop Necklaces


Exposure to air will cause your silver accessories to oxidise and tarnish. For proper silver jewellery care, keep your pieces dry at all times and sealed in a jewellery box. Wrapping them in a tarnish-proof cloth can add an extra layer of protection.

Shop Silver Jewellery

Bracelets and bangles

Bracelets don’t tangle as easily as necklaces so are a little easier to store. Opt for a counter top jewellery organiser for your dresser or invest in a jewellery box or stand to display your best bangles.

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Keep your earrings organised by storing them in pairs in individual boxes and compartments. A drawer or jewellery organiser works best, or a jewellery tree on your bedside table.

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Red Aspinal leather jewellery box

Here are a few general tips that will help you to get the best out of your jewellery:

Travel with care

Jewellery containing diamonds or gemstones can damage other pieces if they're stored in close proximity. Anything made of softer materials like silver will be particularly susceptible to scratches. Keep your favourite pieces in individual soft pouches to prevent any dents. If you’re packing for a last-minute trip and don’t have much time to prepare you could always place your jewels in a zip-lock bag to keep them safe.

Put jewellery on after your makeup

Cosmetics, perfumes and even everyday lotions can contain chemicals that might harm your jewellery. You can easily avoid this by putting your jewellery on after applying any products to avoid discolouration and residue build-up.

Remove jewellery before swimming

If you’re going to the beach, pool or spa, take your jewellery off before you enter the water. Chlorine and salt can react with the metals and change the setting or colour of the piece.

Remove jewellery before sport

Be sure to take all of your jewellery off before engaging in any sporty activity. Not only will your sweat have a similar effect to seawater, but wearing jewellery during contact sports can be dangerous. To be safe, leave everything behind in the locker room before working up a sweat.

Types Of Jewellery And How To Style

Wearing jewellery is an ideal way to draw attention to the parts of your body that you love. Delicate collarbones or graceful hands and wrists can be enhanced with striking pieces to not only make you feel beautiful, but express your individuality.

If you've got an event coming up or you're looking to find an heirloom piece, this guide will help. From precious metals to sparkling stones, we'll decode the jargon and explain how best to use jewellery to enhance your appearance.

Patterned silver stud earrings and Rose gold bracelet

Jewellery can be broadly categorised into either fine or fashion variations. Fine jewellery is often delicate and features careful craftsmanship involving precious metals and stones. Due to the attention to detail required and expensive components, this kind of jewellery is usually valuable and therefore reserved for special occasions. You'll find that fine jewellery tends to come in timeless styles that don't date quickly, like fashion jewellery might, making it a good place to start if you're looking for an heirloom piece.

Fashion jewellery tends to feature much more variety, allowing you to dabble in anything from exotic tassels and fringes one month to grungy leather and choker styles the next. You'll frequently find unusual mixed materials such as imitation pearls, metals, charms and beads being combined to make quirky pieces.

If you're looking to quickly update an outfit for a casual occasion, like a coffee date or dinner with friends, you're likely to find a piece of fashion jewellery that complements or enhances your personal style. Fine jewellery is much more of an investment and it's wise to take time when choosing your piece. What you pick may last you a lifetime and beyond, especially if you intend to pass it on to family or friends. This kind of jewellery is ideal for more formal events and special occasions, like anniversaries. Consider brands like Thomas Sabo, Pandora and Links of London.

Flower silver hair grip and gold flower brooch.

Faced with a choice of white gold versus silver, or rose gold versus yellow gold, you might be unsure of which way to go. While all precious metals look striking, considering your skin tone is the best way to pick something that perfectly complements you.

If you're not sure of your exact skin tone, take a look at your wrist or the curve of your neck in natural light. If your veins appear blue, your skin tone is cool and if they appear green, it's warm. A combination of the two likely indicates that you have a neutral tone – which means plenty of jewellery options for you! Remember, pale skin doesn't automatically denote a cool skin tone and vice versa. Metals like white gold, silver and platinum are a beautiful complement to cool tones, while yellow gold and rose gold will enhance warmer skin tones.

If you've had darker hair and recently lightened it (or vice versa), you might find that certain metals look more or less striking with your new colour. When selecting brooches and hair jewellery, you’re better off choosing something that visibly contrasts with your hair. For example, white gold or silver could easily 'disappear' against light or blonde locks, while brooches and hair jewellery in shades of rose gold and yellow gold will subtly enhance your hair's rich tones with just enough contrast so that they don't blend in completely.

Rose gold, silver and gold rings and rose gold ring with diamantes

While looking at skin tone can be a great way to understand broadly what will suit you, you don't always need to be swayed if you have a favourite metal in mind. However, it helps to know how different metals will react to frequent wear if you want to buy an item that will last.

Silver is very light and strong, but it's prone to tarnishing and scratching. This makes it better suited to jewellery items that won’t frequently come into contact with other objects, such as necklaces and earrings. Pure gold (which is measured in carats) has similar qualities to silver, as it's also a soft and malleable metal that is rich in colour but delicate. This again means it's ideal for jewellery that won't be bumped into or brushed against easily.

Gold is often reinforced and its natural colour altered when mixed with other, stronger metals. When gold is added to nickel (or a nickel-free alloy) you get a pale, white gold. When it's combined with hardy, rich-toned copper, you get rose gold. Both white gold and rose gold, with their enhanced strength that safeguards against nicks and dents, make a good choice for rings and bracelets.

Platinum is the strongest and most valuable precious metal. Its distinctive silvery-white colouring and superior hardiness make it ideal for use in jewellery that's visible, exposed to the elements and touched frequently, such as wedding rings.

Rose gold tear drop earrings with purple stones and black gem earrings

The deep tones of rubies, emeralds, sapphires or similarly hued gemstones look striking when contrasted against glimmering gold or rose gold shades. Sparkling diamonds, of course, hold a special wow factor, but their pale tones can be emulated beautifully with cubic zirconia or pale aquamarine and paired with platinum or silver metals. On the other hand, pearl and opals have a brilliant iridescence, offering a distinctively different look.

If you're looking for an investment piece, opt for your favourite precious stone paired with your choice of metal. Not only will this give the piece longevity, both in terms of style and being hard-wearing, but the item is likely to hold its value, too. For more casual-focused pieces that you aren't likely to wear for long, gemstones are a better option. Opting for less valuable stones gives you free rein to choose brightly coloured or fashion-focussed pieces.

If you want your jewellery to have a personal meaning, consider choosing a piece featuring your birthstone. Each month of the year has a corresponding stone, such as amethyst for February. A pair of drop earrings made with your stone is a lovely statement piece.


Though there are some loose rules to follow when selecting jewellery, the sheer variety of styles, metals and stones available allows you to unleash your creativity. Adorn yourself with what makes you feel good. Most importantly, if you want your jewellery to last, make sure you're picking fine metals, precious stones and fine craftsmanship to choose a piece that will stand the test of time.

Skincare Buying Guide

Have you ever found yourself envious of that eternally young-looking colleague, family friend or mum at the school gates? Well, there's no need to wonder about their secret skincare routine or anti-ageing tricks. Our guide has all the answers to healthy, glowing skin that will leave you feeling happy and confident.

From your 20s through to your 50s and beyond, your skin is constantly changing and so should your skincare regimen. We’ve got you covered as we reveal how to test your skin type, offer advice on daily care and top tips for rolling back the decades.

Illustration of oily skin type

To find out your skin type simply wash your face with a mild cleanser and gently pat dry. Wait 30 minutes and then examine your face for any shine. If your skin feels tight, you probably have a dry complexion. If there is noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is mostly likely normal or combination. Finally, if there is shine on your cheeks, forehead and nose you have oily skin.


If you have oily skin, we recommend that you only use light fluids, thin lotions or gels, as any other texture might risk clogging your pores. A gentle exfoliator works to help balance the tone and texture of your skin.

Illustration of dry skin type


For dry skin we recommend daily exfoliation and the use of a moisturiser. The best moisturisers for dry skin are those containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin or algae because of their ability to attract water and deliver it directly to skin cells.

Illustration of normal skin type

Normal or combination

For people with normal or combination skin, gentle daily exfoliation is important to keep the T-zone and cheek areas balanced. Your skin will absorb moisturisers with a gel-like texture more quickly. Plus, these are less likely to cause breakouts.

Illustration of sensitive skin type


If you have sensitive skin, shop for non-irritating and non-sensitising formulas. Those that are free of parabens and synthetic fragrances work best, as these ingredients can react badly with sensitive skin. Instead, look on the label for calming ingredients like aloe, chamomile, green tea, polyphenols and oats.

Image showing recommended skin care routines by age group 20s

Our skin changes as we get older. Here is a rundown of the best skin care products and when in life to use them:


At this stage your goal is to preserve and protect. Counteract your teen skin sins with a daily skin care cleansing routine. Use twice a day – in the morning to deep clean and freshen your skin and in the evening to remove any trace of makeup.

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Image showing recommended skin care routines by age group 30s


Make use of a good eye treatment every morning and evening to firm the eye area and keep dark circles at bay. Find a Vitamin C brightening formula to help to soothe the eye area and hydrate your skin.

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Image showing recommended skin care routines by age group 40s


At this age you may notice the changes which happen to your skin start to speed up. We recommend you browse our range of hydrating oils and serums and layer one underneath your moisturiser. Serums are concentrated with anti-ageing ingredients and keep your skin hydrated – this will help to combat expression lines and sun spots so you can look forward to a more even skin tone.

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Image showing recommended skin care routines by age group 50s

50s and beyond

In your 50s, your skin might begin to feel a bit drier and thinner as it loses up to 30% of its moisture. Don’t lose hope as you can expand your daily routine to include intense moisturisers. This will help to plump and firm up the skin. You could also carry on layering your skincare with antioxidants, SPF and a serum as you did in your 40s to combat any other signs of ageing.

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4 Clinique fresh pressed daily booster bottles

You know what they say: it's what's on the inside that counts. Look after your skin from within as well as on the surface with these five handy tips to make every day a good skin day:

Get a full night's rest

Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night so that your skin will look refreshed and you can say goodbye to those stubborn under-eye bags.

Enjoy a citrus snack

Fancy a little detox? There's a clear connection between healthy organs and healthy skin, so up your dosage of citrus.

Always apply sunscreen

Protecting yourself from sun damage will not only make you feel better now but later on, too. We recommend wearing at least SPF 15 every day.

Exercise is essential

A good workout doesn't just burn calories; it also helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your skin. And if that's not worth hitting the gym for...

Stay hydrated

Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is important for your skin’s overall hydration. You could even indulge in a bottle of refreshing coconut water, which has extra flavour and still contains all the nutrients.

Rug Buying Guide

If you feel like your room is missing something, a rug could be just what you need to tie the décor together. Whether you want to keep your toes cosy or avoid excessive wear on carpeted areas that see a lot of traffic, there are a number of factors to consider before you buy. That’s where our rug buying guide comes in. The material, construction and upkeep are all important, and we’re here to help you make the best choice.

Room with a furry rug and large patterned rug

Wool rugs

The obvious choice if you want something warm, soft and cosy. Wool is stain-resistant thanks to naturally-occurring oils which repel everything from ketchup to red wine. It’s a very versatile fabric, so there are endless colours and patterns to choose from.


Wool rugs can be made using a variety of techniques.

  • Hand-knotted: The most traditional style of all. This technique is passed down from generation to generation. The yarn is wrapped and knotted around each thread individually.

  • Hand-tufted: Using a tufting tool, the wool is passed through a frame that has a pre-drawn design on it. This allows both cut and looped piles to be created.

  • Hand-loomed: Made using a number of different coloured yarns of varying thickness to create interesting patterns. Only the most skilled artisans are capable of this.

  • Machine-loomed: The most efficient method. Using a machine allows a number of textures, styles, colours and patterns to be created very quickly and cheaply.

Caring for your wool rug:

Vacuum regularly to keep the rug free from dust and crumbs. Use specialist cleaners for any big spills, but avoid over-saturating the fibres. Always blot and never scrub! It might also be a good idea to get your rug cleaned professionally every few months to extend its life expectancy.

Room with a synthetic rug

Synthetic rugs

The most affordable, hard-wearing and versatile rug on the market, synthetic rugs use man-made materials that mimic the look of wool and natural fibre rugs. They also have the added benefit of being particularly durable and colourfast – ideal for a busy living room or messy play area.


Synthetic rugs are machine-made using any combination of polyester, nylon, olefin and acrylic fibres.

Caring for your synthetic rug:

Similar to wool rugs, synthetic rugs look their best when vacuumed regularly. Be sure to blot out any spills as soon as you can. You can also place a rug pad underneath to improve the durability and avoid any unwanted slips with a glass of red wine in hand.

Room with a natural fiber rug

Natural fibre rugs

For a more organic look, a natural fibre rug is the best option. They usually have a flatter texture than wool or cotton rugs, and make the perfect addition to a cosy snug or study.


Natural fibre rugs are made using similar techniques to wool rugs. Generally, they are hand-woven by skilled craftsmen with years of experience.

Caring for your natural fibre rug:

Natural fibre rugs are perfect for indoor use. The material is very sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature, which may cause them to shrink or expand unevenly. Avoid placing them outside or in humid areas like your bathroom. Plus, keep them out of direct sunlight to stop the colour from fading.

Top tip: Rugs usually wear away fastest from the underside, so placing a rug pad underneath can hugely extend the life of your feature piece. They also help to secure it in place – particularly useful on hardwood floors where a smooth rug might create a slip hazard.

Bright yellow side table with a plant

If you're buying a new rug online, be sure to double-check the dimensions of the area you have available. You can even try to lay out a template to see how much floor space it will take up. Filling a small space with a large rug will make it feel more cramped, so bear this in mind before you take the plunge.

You can subtly divide a room using contrasting textures and materials to create different zones. For example, separate the kids’ play corner from the rest of the room with a brightly patterned piece. It's also important to match the colours and style to your existing décor – cushions, throws and other upholstery – unless you're giving the whole room a makeover. A neutral-hued rug will help you to achieve a minimalist look, while a contrasting block colour makes your floor the main event.

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Christmas Lighting Buying Guide

Wondering what lights to buy for your home this Christmas? Not sure how many lights you will need to fill your tree? From Christmas tree lights to home accessories, our guide will help you choose the best Christmas lights for you – whatever your decoration plans may be.

Christmas tree with lights

Indoor / Outdoor

Whether you go for indoor or outdoor Christmas lights, we recommend that they are always inside a suitably covered outdoor socket or kept indoors. The wire should be thin enough that it simply runs through a window or door.


White fairy lights are a versatile and classic option that add an instant sparkle to your home. There are two main types to choose from, cool white lights and warm white lights. Cool white lights give off a bright white effect, while warm white lights create a golden glow.


For a more vibrant festive look, go for multi-coloured fairy lights which are great for making a bold statement.

Cluster Lights

Cluster lights have multiple strands coming off a main cable, creating a fuller, tinsel effect, perfect for wide surfaces.

LED Lights

Christmas lights with LED bulbs are cost-efficient to run and great for energy-saving.

White window with fairy lights

Safety First

Check if your lights work before you start decorating. Our lights should work every time but it’s always best to inspect for damaged cables and broken bulbs before you plug them in.

Where to Put Them

Christmas lights aren’t just for trees or the front of your house - get creative and place them anywhere you fancy. Here are just a few fairy light ideas to get you started.

  1. Wrap them around the bannister
  2. Drape them over your shelves or mantelpiece
  3. Place them inside bowls, jars or lanterns
  4. Wrap them around vases filled with festive flowers
  5. Make a feature of a photo or piece of artwork by draping lights over the top
  6. Hang them from the ceiling
  7. Use them to create a Christmas card holder
  8. Weave them through an outside tree or bush
  9. Lay them over or hang them above the dining table for a twinkling table setting
  10. Wrap around a mirror for a glamorous effect
Lights and baubles on feather bower

The best way to keep lights shining brightly year after year is to store them away properly when not in use. Keeping them away from water and free from tangles will save you a lot of future stress. Storing Christmas lights as they came in their original packaging is your best bet, but if you don’t have this to hand, try our DIY storage method below.

The Cardboard Method
  1. Save some cardboard packaging from your Christmas presents and use it to make a flat rectangle shape of approximately 12x6 inches
  2. Cut a notch into the cardboard and hook one end of the lights into it
  3. Wrap the rest of the lights around the cardboard until you reach the end of the cord
  4. Cut another notch in the cardboard, then attached the end of the cord
  5. For extra protection you can wrap the cardboard in tissue paper before storing away
Small Christmas tree with lights

It can be a bit overwhelming deciding how many Christmas tree lights you need. It’s mostly down to personal preference but as a general rule, you want around 100 lights for every vertical foot of tree.

BG-Christmas Lighting How Many Table

Remember to take into account that if your tree is slim you will need less lights than if your tree is full and bushy.

Read the Christmas Tree Buying Guide
Outside Christmas tree with lights

Decorating windows, porches and outdoor trees with twinkling lights is guaranteed to bring the festive spirit to your home. Here’s our top tips for hanging Christmas lights outside.

  1. Choose a day when the weather is dry and mild for a safer and easier experience
  2. Decide where you want to put your lights
  3. Take measurements to work out how far your lights will reach from your plug socket, using an extension lead if necessary
  4. To put up lights on an outdoor tree, wrap the lights up the tree like you would an indoor Christmas tree, starting from the base and then around the branches
  5. To hang Christmas lights from your house, attach decorating clips or gutter hooks onto the gutter, if needed, using one approximately every 12 inches
  6. Plug the lights in but leave them switched off. Work backwards carefully from the socket, clipping the cable into the clips or hooks, where needed. It can be helpful to have another person on the ground guiding you as you go
  7. Use a clip or hook to secure the end of the string, if these were used
  8. Step back and look at your lights, checking that bulbs are evenly spaced and there are no drooping cables
  9. When you’re happy with the spacing, you’re ready to switch them on and appreciate your hard work!

Small Living Room Ideas

Decorating a small living room can be a challenge, but it's an exciting one. Having less space to work with presents an opportunity to be creative with colour, pattern and statement furniture, as bold choices have immediate impact and can help you to shape the rest of your décor. Of course, it's likely that you're looking to maximise square footage too, which calls for some clever solutions. Our design suggestions and styling tips will help you to take your small living room from compact and busy to elegant and bijou.

Living room with black walls, palm tree and a sofa

Conventional wisdom says that you should use pale colours to maximise a small space. While this does work, you're likely to end up with a very bland room if you stick to white or anaemic pastel shades on every surface. Rather than covering the whole wall in one hue, create 'zones' which split the space in to sections according to its different uses – so, for example, a blush pink or warm orange framing a cosy reading nook.

Don't be afraid to add colour to woodwork, either. Make a statement by painting the door, skirting boards, window surround or fireplace in a bright hue. This eclectic look, especially eye-catching if your house has period features, allows you to use more intense tones without making the room feel overbearing.

Of course, there's nothing to stop you from painting your entire living room in one shade, if you so wish, and there are benefits to this. Paint colours tend to look different depending on natural light, creating certain 'moods' in rooms at different times of day. A lush green might offer jewel-like tones during the day and become a cosy forest hue at night, synchronising effortlessly with your energy levels and desire to feel cocooned. The effect tends to be amplified in a small space, so if you like your rooms to take on a particular mood, go for it.

Striped blue and grey wall paper on wall and round with a blue chaise longue

As with paint, you can use wallpaper to create zones within your room, but our advice is to choose a feature wall and use it to draw the eye. Wallpaper has impact alone, but looks even better when used to bring attention to an interesting element of the space, like a beautiful window. Dress with furniture and accessories to enhance your stunning wall-sized piece of art.

A smart way to work with wallpaper in a petite space is to choose a vertical print. It doesn't need to be as regimented as vertical stripes, but a design with a general upward current will seem to elongate the distance between floor and ceiling. Consider the scale of the pattern carefully too. Tiny ditsy prints can suck the eye in and make a room feel smaller, so be bold and opt for something large. Luscious floral or botanical designs can be gloriously modern or have a certain vintage flair, depending on the style and how you choose to accessorise with furniture.

Bold abstract or geometric prints look chic in a simple two-colour design, drawing the eye and complementing the furniture and ornaments.

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Living room with a lady lying on sofa and a shelf of photo frames

Great interior design makes use of a room's best features. Assess your living space and decide what the natural focal points are. Do you have a striking fireplace? A beautiful bay window? Accentuating these features, whether with paint, wallpaper or accessories, will not only make your room incredibly stylish, it'll also help to distract from the lack of space.

Similarly, decide what it is about your living room that makes the small square footage feel even smaller. Low ceilings with low hanging pendant lights can feel very heavy, for example. One option is to remove overhead lighting altogether and instead use several lamps dotted about to provide uplighting and a warm ambience. With the ceiling light removed, your space will feel immediately larger.

If you have wooden floors in your living room, don't be tempted to cover them with carpet. Floorboards will naturally elongate a space, and they're far easier to decorate around than a carpet which may clash with your desired wallpaper or colour scheme.

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Living room with a dog on the sofa and frames hanging on the wall

When considering living room decor for a small space, furniture that is simple and lightweight could help the room to feel more spacious.

Dual purpose furniture is ideal for compact rooms. Seating or footstools that double as tables are versatile and great for making quick changes when guests come over. They'll take up less room than a chunky rectangular coffee table. If you can find items that also provide storage, space-stealing clutter can be whisked away without seeming to take up any more room.

A smart furniture layout will allow your carefully curated pieces to shine and look charmingly busy without feeling crowded. We suggest spacing the furniture like a sofa or table in each of the different zones of the room, then use accessories to add character and make the room flow effortlessly.

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Neutral room with long draping curtains

Soft furnishings and accessories can really improve a compact space. A small room will, of course, benefit from lots of natural light. Allow it to flow in by choosing lightweight curtains made from cotton or linen. Accentuate a tall ceiling (or create the illusion that you have one) by mounting the curtains well above the top of the window, and choose a floor length style for maximum impact.

Now that you've welcomed in the light, reflect it around the room with a strategically placed mirror. Hang a large one on a wall adjacent to the window for the best effect. Alternatively, you may want to draw attention to a focal point, like a fireplace, by hanging the mirror above it. Mirrors naturally make rooms feel more expansive, so regardless of location, your room will benefit.

It's not only curtains that you should hang high; placing shelves and picture frames higher up the wall again makes a room seem taller by drawing the eye upwards. Thinking vertically allows extra space for storage, keeping potential clutter away from ground level.

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Redesigning your living room with a couple of tricks and tips to maximise space will breathe fresh life into your home and allow you to make the most of what you've got.

Mirror Buying Guide

From clean wooden-frame styles to ornate art deco pieces, mirrors add a touch of class to your home. Decorative and practical, they can be used to reflect light and create the illusion of space in smaller rooms. Statement pieces make striking focal points in living spaces, while more minimalist options will slot into your existing interior easily. This guide looks at the kinds of designs available, where to hang them and how to maintain them.

Long length standing mirror

Positioned with care, a mirror will enhance any room. When considering what to buy and where to place it, think about how you use the room, where the windows are and whether you intend to use the mirror for decorative or practical purposes.

The Living Room

Your living room should be a calm, comforting space where you can sit down and relax. With this in mind, it's unlikely that the chief purpose of a mirror in this room would be to check your reflection, which you're more likely to do in a bathroom or bedroom. When aesthetics are more important than practicality you can choose any style, but consider how to enhance your space nonetheless. A large mirror hung adjacent to or opposite a window will reflect plenty of light around the room and create a sense of expansiveness, which is great for small or darker rooms.


The Bedroom

A full length mirror is ideal for a bedroom, and there are plenty of stylish options available. Rather than choosing one that affixes to a wall or the inside of a cupboard door, make your mirror a decorative feature. Free standing styles crafted from smooth, pale-coloured wood have an alluring Scandi minimalism, which you can accentuate with a carefully placed plant or two. Use this style to soften a harsh corner or to zone off a small dressing area. If you're short on space, a similar dressing table mirror is a great alternative. As before, angle towards a window to invite light and space in to the room.


The Bathroom

Bathroom mirrors are often the most practical in style and, depending on space, you might need to choose one that attaches to a cabinet or wall. Above the sink is the obvious choice, but you could go against the grain by opting for a larger mirror which takes up the expanse of a whole wall. This is a real statement in a smaller space, and can double as a mirror in which to check your outfit when the bedroom one is in use.

Geometric art deco style mirror

Conventional square, circular or round mirrors are an easy option and will work well in most spaces, but if you're looking for a decorative focal point, consider a slightly offbeat style.


These elegant, curvaceous mirrors have a distinctly vintage feel and make a great addition to a feminine boudoir or quirky bathroom. Their elongated style directs the eye upwards, helping to lift rooms with low ceilings. Consider pairing with wallpaper to accentuate vintage vibes – a softer, more rounded shape would suit a large floral print, while one that rises to a sharp point will go well with geometric or abstract pieces.


Ornate antique mirrors are ideal for bringing a touch of opulence to your room. They look fantastic in spaces with period features, as the intricate detailing works well with decorative fireplaces and skirting boards. You'll often find this style in free-standing dressing table options, too.


Geometric designs play with straight lines and angles – you might find triangular, pentagonal and hexagonal options, usually without a frame or with a minimalist metallic edge which lets the shape shine. These contemporary options add modern flair to your interiors and work best when small or arranged in a group.


Sunburst mirrors are typically characterised by radial spokes which extend from the centre of the design and are gilded in gold or silver. Doubling up as a mirror and a piece of wall art, sunburst styles make the ultimate focal point in any room in your home.

Illustration of how to clean a mirror

You might think mirrors don't require much maintenance, but taking good care of yours will help them to last longer. If you've invested in a bold decorative piece to use for years to come, it pays to know how to keep it in tip top condition.


Remove any dust with a dry cloth. Next, dip a crumpled wad of newspaper into some water mixed with a little bit of vinegar and gently wipe on to the mirror. You don't need to try and work it in; simply glide across the surface in a vertical or horizontal motion for a streak-free finish. Be careful not to allow the edges of the mirror to get or remain wet over a period of time. Buff the surface to a high shine with a clean cloth.


An excess of water can cause some damage to the back of your mirror so ensure it stays in the best condition by keeping it free of unnecessary moisture. Tired of your bathroom mirror steaming up? Apply a little shaving foam evenly across the surface and then wipe off with a clean cloth. This will provide a temporary barrier against steam; repeat on a regular basis to prolong the effect.


Plaster or drywall may not be strong enough to support the weight of heavier wall mirrors. Don't risk disaster! Mount any screws or hooks over wooden support beams behind the plaster for peace of mind. If your wall doesn't have support beams, wall plugs, like spring toggles, are an alternative. These heavy-duty hollow wall fasteners are secure, reusable and cause minimal damage to walls. If and when you choose to move your mirror, the small holes can easily be filled in.


This easy-to-follow guide will help you to hang your mirror with minimal fuss. It's a much easier job with a pair of helping hands, so recruit someone to give you assistance.

Illustration of how to hang a mirror

Step 1

Take a look at your mirror. Does it come with brackets, picture hooks or with a length of picture wire? Generally, the weightier the mirror, the more heavy duty its fixings will be. Don't risk disaster by affixing it to a wall that can't take the weight! Plaster and drywall are suitable for lighter mirrors, whereas it's better to hang heavy ones from masonry or the timber frame of stud wall.

Illustration of how to hang a mirror

Step 2

Carefully measure the dimensions of your mirror and check to see if it will fit on the suitable wall. Using these measurements, make pencil marks on the wall showing the width of the mirror, how high you want the it to be from the floor and where the top of it will end. Use coloured stickers if you don't want to mark the wall. Cutting a piece of paper to your mirror's size and sticking it to the wall will help you to visualise placement.

Illustration of how to hang a mirror

Step 3

For lighter mirrors: If you're hanging your mirror by picture wire, find the central point between the top edge measurements on your wall and place the fixing here. Remember it should be below the line of the top edge, otherwise you'll see the wire. If your mirror has D-rings for picture hooks, measure the distances from the edge of the mirror to the rings and mark this on the wall carefully. Affix the picture hooks – usually you'll just need a hammer for this.

Illustration of how to hang a mirror

Step 4

For heavier mirrors: You'll most likely have brackets or need to use screws and rawl plugs. Again, measuring carefully is key here, as is having someone to hold the mirror whilst you affix it to the wall. Use a power drill to make holes for the rawl plugs, if you're using them, and to drive in the screws (if you're buying a new drill, make sure you purchase the requisite drill bits and screwdriver heads to fit it).

Illustration of how to hang a mirror

Step 5

Time to hang the mirror. If you're concerned about damaging your wall, stick 'bumpers' (adhesive bits of rubber or plastic) on to the back of your mirror for protection. If your anchor points aren't as solid as you'd hoped, things might come crashing down, so go carefully. Hold on to the mirror and release the weight slowly. If your mirror is hanging on a wire, shift it gently to centre and use a spirit level if there's a suitable flat surface to check.

Whether it's perfectly practical or a stunning decorative piece, once you've got your new mirror in place, it'll be hard to see how you lived without it! Now you know how to take care of your mirrors and hang them successfully, you can rest assured that your purchase will last for years to come.

The Best Lipstick Colour For You

Whether you love glamorous reds or subtle nudes, there’s a lipstick for you. Women have sought perfectly defined lips since before the days of Cleopatra, experimenting with ingredients from berries to bug juice. Thankfully, we're now past the days of foraging for makeup products.

Our makeup counter will spoil you for choice with a spectrum of sophisticated lipsticks, glosses and balms. Our handy lipstick guide is here to help you find the right shade for any occasion.

Coral Estee Lauder lipstick

Explore the versatility of lipstick as we decode matte, satin and glossy types below:

Satin and sheer lipstick

Satin and sheer lipsticks will add a touch of shine to your smile, along with the high-pigment colour of your choice. They leave a subtle glow that isn't as lustrous as an actual gloss lipstick. This sheer shine will complement thinner lips, drawing the eye and making them appear slightly plumper. Satin is one of the best lipstick types for protecting nourished, moisturised lips.

Matte lipstick

Are you new to the matte lip trend? Smooth and modern, this long-lasting lipstick style has a velvet finish thanks to its rich pigment. With zero gloss, matte lipsticks say it all with colour. A pared-down dark purple or understated nude will work for a day's shopping and last all the way through to a night on the town.

Liquid lipstick and gloss

If you're looking for a quick fix to enhance your lips and add depth, liquid lipstick or gloss is the answer. Pop some in your handbag and apply a layer as needed throughout the day. Designed to give your lips ample texture and shine, gloss can be worn on its own or teamed with a matte lipstick.

Pink brown Bobbi Brown cream lipstick

Moisturising lipstick

For those of us addicted to prepping up with lip balm, a moisturising lipstick could save you time and money. They contain hydrating ingredients such as Vitamin E and aloe, which treat your lips as well as colour them.

Cream lipstick

These lipsticks contain more wax than other types. For this reason they have a unique texture and will give your lips a smooth finish. As a bonus, they're also long-lasting due to their high pigment content.

Long-wearing lipsticks

If you’re strapped for time and prefer not to re-apply lipstick throughout the day, a resilient long-wearing lipstick is the right choice. Not only do they contain moisturiser to balance the dryness of your lips, but their formula will help keep your smile looking perfect all day long.

Illustration of different skin undertones and complimentary lipstick shades

Your complexion is unique thanks to your skin's underlying tones. Matching your lipstick to your skin tone will pull your whole look together, so follow these simple guidelines:

Cool undertones

If the veins in your wrist look blue, your skin tone is probably cool. Lip colours with subtle blue or purple undertones will look fantastic on you – think deep plum shades, luscious berry tones, cool pinks and pale nudes.

Illustration of different skin undertones and complimentary lipstick shades

Warm undertones

Those with warm undertones tend to have a golden, olive hue to their skin. If the veins in your wrist look green, we suggest you opt for lip colours in warm hues like pillar box red, bold coral and sandy nudes.

Illustration of different skin undertones and complimentary lipstick shades

Neutral undertones

If your veins appear to be a combination of green and blue, it's likely that your skin has neutral undertones. The great news for you is that you suit most lipstick shades, so go ahead and indulge!

Peach coloured YSL lipstick

If you're still wondering, "What lipstick colour suits me?", you can complement your skin tone with a matching or contrasting shade for a signature look:

Lipstick for pale skin

Lighter skin with rosy or peach undertones suits shades such as apricot, bright red and coral. These summery tones will help to add warmth to your complexion, so you can enjoy a sun-kissed look. For a classic take on porcelain skin, try a warm shade in these M·A·C lipsticks.

Deep plum coloured Tom Ford lipstick

Lipstick for medium skin

If your skintone is somewhere in the middle of light and dark, you can indulge in a wide range of flattering shades. Consider your skin's undertone: warm complexions suit browns and peachy pinks, while cool customers prefer nudes and berry colours. Spend some time exploring samples with Tom Ford.


Lipstick for dark skin

For a pared-down daytime look, pick a matte lipstick to match your skintone, whether it's copper or espresso, dark brown or ebony. Create contrast with a deep plum or crimson red. Make a bold statement with Dior lipsticks, enriched with marine crista, which smooths and shapes lips for a slick finish.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades

Now you've got your skintone sorted, narrow down your perfect shade even further by matching your makeup to your outfit. Here are a few bright ideas:


Choosing makeup for a red dress can be tricky. Proceed with caution when it comes to red lip colours. If you can match the colours and undertones exactly you'll have an eye-catching ensemble that works in harmony. But if your lips are darker than your dress, it might clash. Play it safe by pairing your outfit with nude or pastel lipstick.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


Blue and coral is a classic combination. The contrast of deep navy or light teal teamed with this feminine shade will add polish to your outfit and enhance your facial features. As a general rule, the lighter the blue of your dress, the more you should favour pinks over purples.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


Yellow is chic and flattering when paired with fuchsia or other floral lip tones. For an unexpected pop of colour, team yellow with another primary colour such as red, which is equally bold. Colour block with accessories in blue or orange for a fun and elegant outfit.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades

Take a look at how versatile lipstick shades can be when paired with monochrome staples:


Nude garments allow for flexibility with your makeup. You can match with nude lipstick for a subtle look. You’re also welcome to go all-out with a bold red, perhaps with deep berry undertones, paired with smokey eyes.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


Little black dresses famously go with anything, so the choice is up to you. Maybe it's time to try that vibrant neon pink or metallic copper lipstick you've had waiting in your makeup bag for months. Be confident in making a statement with your lips, as your outfit will bring balance.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


A red lipstick with blue undertones will help to bring out the colour of your dress and accentuate your facial features. Alternatively, go for the all-natural look with a subtle pink, or even just a simple layer of gloss.

Choosing the best lipstick for you is a fine art, but once you know what suits you it becomes easy to pick out the right shade and consistency. Explore the beauty selection at House of Fraser for that perfect matte red, lustrous purple or barely there nude.

How To Apply Eyeshadow

Thousands of years ago, ancient Egyptians would use everything from powdered lead to crushed precious stones to enhance the shape and colour of their eyes. Thankfully, today’s modern woman has far more options. We’ve never been so spoilt for choice with the number of colours, textures and formulations available to us. However, getting the desired effect is another matter.

We’ve put together a simple eyeshadow guide to demystify its application. Whatever your age, eye shape and skin colour, we’ll help you identify the best eyeshadow palettes for your needs. Confidence is key, and with this guide putting your eyeshadow on will be a breeze ¬– you’ll be able to integrate it into your daily beauty routine in no time.

Eyeshadow Texture

Most eyeshadows come in one of these three styles. Creams are an excellent choice for beginners as they're easiest to blend and you can simply swipe them on with your fingers. Powders usually require a brush so can be trickier to control, but have the advantage of lasting longer. Loose pigments (think bright, shimmery colours and glitter) are the ones to choose when you really want to pack a punch.

Eyeshadow Finish

Matte shadows work well for a natural everyday look, and they look great with all skin types. Frosted or satin eyeshadows are more eye-catching but tend to draw attention to fine lines – try using them to accentuate the outer corner of your upper lash line instead of as a base for a more subtle effect.

Eyeshadow Brushes

There’s a dazzling array of eye makeup brushes available. While they all serve a purpose, you don’t need to rush into buying one of each right now. Investing in a good quality application brush and blending brush should be more than sufficient for simple and natural eye makeup looks. You can branch out into crease, contour and lining brushes as you improve your skills.

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Eyeshadow Tips

Whether you want to pull off a dramatic smoky eye for an evening out or are just after a bit of everyday enhancement, these tips will help you to perfect your look every time:

  • Remember to blend: For a smooth fade of colour with no visible lines, blending is the perfect technique to use for a professional application.
  • Start with less: It’s easier to add more colour than remove it. Start with a small amount, and build up from there.
  • Balance light and dark: As a rule, light and frosted colours will draw attention to an area, while dark and matte shades recede it.
Eyeshadow Apply

This simple formula is the basis for most makeup looks. It'll define, open up and add depth to your eyes. Use earthy brown tones for a natural daytime style, or stray into inky blacks and rich greens or purples for a sultry smoky eye.

  1. Prepare your base: Start with a clean eyelid. Apply a concealer up to your brow bone to cover up any patchiness. If your eyelids are oily, you can follow this with setting powder. Now select your base colour (a mid-toned neutral shade) and apply it all over your eyelid, blending upwards towards the brow bone using a blending brush.

  2. Define your crease: Use a colour that's one or two shades darker than your base colour. Take your application brush and apply this shade to your crease, then use your blending brush to smudge it in. Depending on the depth of your crease, you might need to apply more of this shade for it to be visible.

  3. Add depth: Using a dark shade, go over the top and bottom outer third of your eye. Gradually build up colour until you've achieved the desired level of intensity. An everyday look will require a lighter hand while an evening occasion gives you more leeway to go bold.

  4. Finishing touches: Apply a thin layer of eyeliner to your top lid. If your eyes are prominent you can line the bottom lash line as well, and finish off with swipe of mascara. You could also add false eyelashes if it’s a special occasion.

The best thing about eye makeup is that once you get the basics right, the sky's the limit. Experiment with your favourite shades and find a set of colours that work for you. You can really get creative with your looks, and our step-by-step guide is the perfect starting point.

Small Bedroom Ideas

Decorating a small bedroom might seem daunting, but it offers a fantastic opportunity to get really creative. Modest rooms are some of the cosiest relaxation spots and strategic styling is all it takes to transform them into spacious-seeming havens. Make the most of your space with our small bedroom decorating ideas.

Bed with headboard

When it comes to bedroom design ideas for small spaces, the bed is a smart focal point to build the the rest of the room around. With this in mind, think carefully about the kind you choose, to make sure it's helping to create a sense of space.


While it might be tempting to choose a luxuriously large bed, this is likely to leave the room feeling smaller than it really is. Consider the shape and size of your room before making your choice. A small 6x4 double will give you extra floor space for storage and decor. If you can, place it in the centre of the room rather than pushed up against a wall.

Types of beds

A divan bed will give the room a sense of openness thanks to its lack of footboard, and if you choose one with storage underneath you can use it to hide away clutter or clothing. Alternatively, opt for a dual-purpose daybed that can act as a sofa for relaxing on during the day, and can be extended into a bed during the evening.


As your bed is the centrepiece of your small space, think about drawing even more attention to it with a striking statement headboard. Try a sculptural style with scalloped edging, upholstered in a plush fabric like velvet or a boldly patterned brocade.

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Bedroom with eclectic decoration

When space is at a premium, choosing pieces that can work twice as hard for you is of utmost importance.


Multi-purpose storage pieces will be your space-saving hero here. Look for storage ottomans that can be placed at the foot of the bed or under a window sill to store bed linen or throw cushions. Fabric-covered poufs with storage space inside are a great alternative.


Making the most of wall space with shelving doesn't just give you extra space, it also offers some really creative storage solutions for clothing, books and miscellaneous items. If you're working with a narrow space, consider mounting some shelves by the side of your bed to act as an alternative dressing table. Alternatively, score design points and save your floor space by adding some simple shelving high up on your walls. Not only will this keep things like books and trinkets out of the way, it'll also create a heightened, loft-like feel.

Storage accessories

Accessories your small space and keep things organised with baskets, trays and boxes. Find a place for anything with a storage solution that perfectly fits your style. If you prefer a fresh and contemporary look, opt for a metal items in a copper or rose gold hue. Love traditional country-style decor? Choose rustic baskets in a neutral palette to keep you organised and promote a restful environment.

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Long body length mirror

Decorative additions make all the difference in a small room. Soft lighting, well-chosen furniture and big mirrors will help to create a sense of space.


Cleverly placed lighting can make a bedroom feel larger than it is. Adding wall sconces not only saves on space around the bed but also lends the room a soft glow and creates a lovely ambience. Another option to help you retain that all-important floor space is to add strip lighting underneath or on top of shelving.

Bedside furniture

Bedroom furniture for small rooms is most effective if it has a dual purpose. If you're really pressed for space use a chest or another large piece of furniture as a bedside table. This is especially useful if you have an unconventionally shaped room and have more space on one side of your bed than the other. Repurpose a mounted desk as a nightstand, or combine your wardrobe with a dressing table for maximum functionality and minimal space usage.


There's no better way to create the illusion of extra space than a carefully placed mirror. Put one opposite a window or on an adjacent wall to multiply your room's natural light and remember when it comes to reflecting light, the bigger the mirror the better.

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Modern bedroom

A hint of colour and some thoughtfully combined textures will elevate your small bedroom from cubbyhole to boutique boudoir.


If your space isn't square shaped, using a variety of small rugs to separate sections of the room can create the illusion of having plenty of floor space. Opt for rugs with natural fibres like jute and sheepskin that are lighter in colour to brighten the area. A rug with vertical stripes will also help widen the floor space and create clear zones.

Bed linen

As before, making a feature of your bed is one of the best ways to create an attractive point of interest in the bedroom, so don't be afraid to go bold with your linen. From vibrant floral prints and fresh geometric designs, using a bright colour palette will open up your space visually. Layering your linens with different throws and cushions with contrasting textures will set the tone for a cosy and restful space while ensuring your bedroom feels bright and spacious.


Keeping things light and breezy with a well-considered set of curtains will help create a spacious feel within the room. Avoid dark colours cut from heavy draped materials and instead opt for lighter-coloured fabrics that open up the room.

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Dark grey floral wallpaper with chaise lounge

Be bold and opt for a statement wallpaper. Keeping a small space minimal can actually emphasise its smallness, so don't be afraid to go large with print.

Go large

An intricate pattern on the wall often makes the room appear even smaller. Choose large flocked patterns, bold floral prints or colourful stripes to create a striking wall-to-wall effect. Alternatively, a contemporary abstract wallpaper print will create a bold point of interest that will draw the eye to the area, making the space feel less small.

Feature it

Incorporating colour with a feature wall is a great way to generate a sense of drama, while injecting warmth and an edge of glamour at the same time. If you have an asymmetrical shaped room, papering a sloped wall with an eye-catching print will help detract from the potentially cramped space, adding just the right amount of modern detail.


Colours play a huge part when it comes to creating character, and grand colour schemes create a larger-than-life space, especially when that space is a small one. Opting for light shades can create an open and airy feel, while a dark palette sets a more dramatic mood. Choosing a brightly coloured vertical pattern, for example, will draw your eye up the wall to create the illusion of higher ceilings.

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Small bedrooms can make a striking impact with some simple design tips and tricks. Whether you choose to brighten up your space with the help of a statement mirror or maximise your floor space with some dual-purpose furniture, embracing the size of your room and decorating around it – instead of over-filling it – will make it both stylish and liveable.

Christmas Table Setting Buying Guide

For many people, the most highly anticipated event of the entire festive period is the Christmas dinner; gathering everyone around the table for food, fun and family time is what it’s all about. However, we know it can also be stressful, so we’re here to help you set the scene for a magical meal with our handy guide to laying the Christmas table.


People often focus on the living room when decorating, but hosting the Christmas dinner gives you the opportunity to get creative in another area. You could either extend the same festive theme throughout the house or use it as your chance to go for something completely different.

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Tablecloths & Runners

Start your Christmas table arrangement with a tablecloth and a runner.

1. A crisp white tablecloth is timeless and can be used all year round. It also makes a great neutral base on which to experiment with different colour schemes.

2. If you have a really great table that you love, why cover it up? Simply lay a Christmas table runner down the middle for a laid back look (bear in mind this might not be great if guests include children or clumsy red wine drinkers!).

3. A metallic, glittery or embellished tablecloth is perfect for a glamorous look and will make the meal feel more special than an everyday dinner.

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Centrepieces are great for creating height and making a real statement. You can use candles or ornaments which are traditionally used as Christmas table centrepieces or experiment with our Christmas centrepiece ideas:

xmas dining

1. Fill a vase or bowl with baubles, beads, pine cones or string lights for an easy but effective Christmas centrepiece. 

2. Flowers always make a table look prettier. Go for poinsettias, ivy and red roses for a classic look or add a contemporary twist by using colours outside of the traditional Christmas palette. 

3. Fill a glass cloche with ornaments, candles or flowers; you could even create a Christmas scene inside for a fun snow globe effect. 

4. Display a selection of ornaments and candles on a tiered cake stand. 

5. Place decorations on top of a serving tray or position a row of candles down the middle and fill the rest of it with cranberries, pine cones and ivy. 

6. Surround a lantern with fresh greenery and pinecones for a chic rustic effect.


An elegant addition to your Christmas table decorations, a garland can be used alongside or in place of a centrepiece. Perfect for a traditional or rustic look, our Christmas garlands come in a range of styles and have fun additions like berries, artificial snow and lights.

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Tree Decorations

Christmas tree decorations aren’t just for the tree anymore. As mentioned, they’re great for creating centrepieces but could also be dotted around the table or given to each guest as thoughtful Christmas table gifts.


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Crackers are a must-have finishing touch to any Christmas table. With a wide selection to match any table setting, from novelty kids’ crackers to elegant luxury crackers, they’ll ensure your day goes off with a bang. Simply add one cracker to each place setting, either placed on an empty plate, to the side or at the top.

TIP: Pull them at the start of the meal so you can enjoy wearing your festive hats for as long as possible!

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Christmas Table Place Settings

Christmas Dinner Table Checklist

  1. Placemats
  2. Plates - Charger plate (an optional decorative plate on top of which other plates and bowls are placed), dinner plate, salad plate, bread
  3. Bowls - Soup bowl, dessert bowl 
  4. Glassware - Water glass, red wine glass, white wine glass, champagne flute
  5. Cutlery - Forks (Salad fork, dinner fork, cake fork), Knives (Bread knife, fish knife, dinner knife), Spoons (Soup spoon, dessert spoon, serving spoons)
  6. Napkins and napkin rings

How To Lay the Christmas Table

  1. Position a place mat and a charger plate at each seat. 
  2. Place a napkin to the left of or directly on top of the charger plate, either folded or rolled up in a napkin ring. 
  3. Place forks to the left, with the fork for the starter furthest away and the dinner fork lying about an inch away from the plate. 
  4. Place a dinner knife about an inch to the right of the plate, followed by a soup spoon if you’re serving soup to start or a fish knife if you’re serving fish. 
  5. Place the dessert spoon and cake fork horizontally above the place mat, facing in opposite directions. If serving bread, the bread plate sits above and to the left of the place setting with the bread knife laying diagonally across it. 
  6. Place the glasses in a row opposite the bread plate and above the knives, in the top right hand corner of the place setting. 
  7. Bring out the bowls and plates for each course individually and serve them on top of the charger plate. Alternatively, if you’re hosting a help-yourself main course, give everyone an empty dinner plate and place the food in the centre of the table with serving spoons.

Flattering Hairstyles For Different Face Shapes

A skilfully executed, flattering haircut can completely refresh your look and renew your confidence. It can even act as a visual signifier when you've turned over a new leaf in your life. Knowing your face shape will help you to choose the perfect cut and style to bring out your favourite features.

In this guide, you'll find out which face shape you have, and how to cut and style your hair accordingly. We will also cover the hair products and tools that you'll need to maintain your new look after you have visited the salon.

Types of face shapes

An easy way to work out your face shape at home is to trace around the outline in the mirror with a lip pencil or eyeliner. If you want to be more methodical, you can use a soft measuring tape or ruler. There are four main measurements to compare: face length, forehead, cheekbones and jawline.

With an oval face shape, the length is broader than the width of the cheekbones, and the forehead is wider than the rounded jawline; round faces have similar measurements across the cheekbones and face length. The forehead and soft jawline are narrower; heart-shaped faces have a wide brow and cheekbones with a narrow jawline; all measurements of a square face are similar, with an angled jawline.

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Illustration of a round face shape

Round faces tend to look youthful (lucky you!), but if you long for a more angular visage, try a medium-length cut with a side-swept fringe. Not only with the length elongate your face, the fringe will bring attention to your lovely cheekbones, as well as drawing focus to your eyes. Alternatively, a pixie crop with plenty of volume on top will add flattering height and the sharp lines will contrast beautifully with your round features. Don't forget to use styling products to give your short cut some definition.

People with round faces should avoid blunt bobs, or any cut that is all one length. Instead, ask for plenty of layers, as this will bring structure and depth to your features. Avoid cuts with a wispy fringe, too, as this can soften the lines of your face further. Go for an asymmetrical style instead, like a deep side fringe, for a statement look. When it comes to styling, add dimension to a shorter haircut with a texturising product or enhance any natural waves with a curl-defining spray that tames frizz.

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Illustration of an oval face shape

Balanced and evenly proportioned, an oval-shaped face is considered to be the most versatile for different hairstyles – so feel free to experiment to your heart's content. When choosing hairstyles for oval face shapes, the objective is to keep the face as clear as possible; slicked-back styles and updos are perfect in this respect.

Mid or longer length cuts work best with oval face shapes as they will enhance the facial structure. Using a conditioning hair mask once a week will keep longer locks looking luscious and feeling healthy. The most flattering, face-framing effect will come from a cut without a fringe. Avoid thick, blunt fringes, as they will make your face appear shorter. If you do choose a fringe, make it one with a deep, side-swept parting.

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Illustration of a square face shape

Hairstyles for square face shapes can serve two purposes: either to highlight or to minimise your strong jawline. To draw attention to the angles of your face, go bold with a short, sharp bob. Curls can widen the complexion further, so it's best to stick to sleek, straight locks or loose boho waves. If you want to soften the lines of your face, steer clear of cuts that end above your ears. Any slicked-back styles should be avoided, too.

Instead, frame your face with a fringe that is shorter in the middle and longer towards the outside. This will make your forehead look smaller while directing attention to your eyes. The addition of some long layers will soften the corners of the jaw while adding attractive movement and texture.

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Illustration of a heart face shape

When styling hair for a heart-shaped face, the goal is to highlight the facial structure and minimise the width of the forehead. A side-swept fringe will achieve this by framing the face and drawing attention to the cheekbones. Shoulder-length styles tend to look best, as they create the illusion of a wider jawline.

To draw attention to your face's pretty tapered shape, try a high ponytail or a sleek top knot. It's best to avoid choppy layers or block fringes, as they will make your forehead look much wider. Instead, opt for loosely layered, one-length cuts that softly graze your chin; these will enhance the natural lines of your complexion.

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Black hair dryer

Once you've been to the salon, you'll want to be able to achieve the same look every time you walk out of your door. If you have the space, it's fun to set up your own personal dressing table and chair so that you can feel like an A-lister when you step out of the shower. Be sure to explore our range of shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments to complement all hair types.

It's worth investing in a high-powered hair dryer to help you create the style you want quickly and easily. For curly locks, choose one with a diffuser; this creates scrunchy, natural waves in seconds. For a smoother look, make sure the dryer has a removable nozzle; this concentrates the heat towards individual areas of the hair, flattening the cuticles for a sleek finish. Pair with a round, bristled brush for ultimate straightening power.

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Knowing what hairstyle suits your face shape is a great starting point when it comes to choosing your next look, but remember that these are simply guidelines. Everyone is different and you might want to experiment with a couple of cuts before settling on one. The beauty of hair styling is that nothing's permanent.