Storage Ideas For Your Home

Mastering home organisation will go a long way towards keeping your household running smoothly and on schedule, no matter how demanding life gets. Having everything that you need available when and where you need it is a large part of this, and choosing efficient storage solutions is the first crucial step.

Our guide is full of clever storage ideas for spaces both small and big – with zero construction and installation necessary. By selecting the best choices for your home, you'll instantly eliminate unsightly clutter and create more visual space. Most importantly, you'll never again have to turn a room upside down trying to find an essential item.

KITCHEN STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Kitchen desktop with pots and pans

A smoothly run kitchen is rarely low on supplies, but this requires knowing when to stock up. Ensure you never run out of essential pantry items by putting a chalk- or memo board on the outside one of your kitchen storage units. By adding this to your cupboards you’ll be able to see what you’re out of at a glance without having to hunt through each section. Do the same for your fridge and never be caught without milk again.

To save time, think which utensils you end up reaching for when preparing food on a day-to-day basis. A useful storage solution for small spaces is to add a vertical pegboard to the areas behind your stove top and around your extractor fan. Attach well-spaced hooks to this pegboard so that you can hang up whisks or kitchen gadgets within easy access.


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BEDROOM STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Open jewellery box with jewellery on a floral duvet

Few of us would claim to have enough closet space – but what can you do when you want more space to hang clothing without a full-scale renovation of your bedroom? Think about the corners of your room. Installing a floating shelf here will give you valuable space to stack books or place gadgets when not in use. The underside of this shelf can support hooks or a rod added to it, instantly giving you an additional rack on which to hang jackets, dresses and blouses.


When surface and cupboard space is limited, it can be a struggle to store accessories, especially jewellery, in a way that's easily accessible and looks tidy. Choose a jewellery box with plush compartments that will keep any long chains from getting tangled, or a ring stand that allows you display your pieces in an ordered fashion.


If your bed lies flush against a wall, try adding a headboard that doubles as storage. Not only will this give you space on which to place things, but you can also integrate slim, horizontally sliding shelves inside of the headboard itself.


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KID'S BEDROOM STORAGE SOLUTIONS
A kids bedroom with a bunk bed and toys

For many parents, keeping the kids' bedroom clean is an ongoing battle. Introducing proper storage habits at a young age is a useful quality that will keep them organised throughout their lifetime. Easier said than done? It helps to offer a few fun storage options as an incentive to tidy.


Keep toys that are used daily tidy with a hanging basket system. Attach brightly coloured baskets to the bedroom door or wardrobe and play a game of throwing toys into them before bed each night. This will keep favourite toys from getting misplaced and protect you against painful barefoot-plastic toy injuries.


For large stuffed toys that won’t easily fit into a standard cupboard, pick up an unstructured laundry basket or bin: they're usually made of durable, child-friendly materials like canvas. Use acrylics to paint the outside like a house, rocket ship or whatever your child likes the idea of most. Voila, you've got a neat home for teddies that little ones will enjoy using.


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OFFICE STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Perspex letter holder

Many modern homes have an office or study that's used as a base from which to conduct business and take care of household administrative tasks. Smart storage for documents and books will help keep you organised in this regard.


When shelving space is scarce, keep important paperwork on hand by attaching wire clips directly to your walls using picture frame hooks. Your documents will stay visible, acting as a handy to-do list. Wire clips are also excellent for grouping and keeping your cables neat – crucial when you have a printer, laptop, chargers and other equipment in use all at once.


For a more substantial way to store books or documents, attach magazine holders to the underside of existing shelves – superglue will work fine as long as you don’t store your heaviest items here. Spruce them up by covering them in a wallpaper print matching the décor.


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BATHROOM STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Large glass bathroom cabinet with baskets and towels

With so many items such as towels and toothpaste needed within easy reach, good storage is essential for a bathroom to prevent it becoming cramped. It will also ensure personal toiletry items aren't in full view of visitors. Try curtaining off your under-sink area with a fabric that matches your walls for a private and pleasant-looking hideaway.


Take a look at your bathroom and make note of other spaces that could offer storage, such as the walls surrounding your shower and bathtub. It's well worth investing in customised shelving made to measure for your space. It'll provide much-needed space for keeping shampoos, soaps and shower gels; just take care to ensure that they can be reached by every member of the family but are high enough to avoid any nasty bumping accidents.


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Whether your home is spacious or cosy, smart storage will streamline your family life. We stock a wide range of products that will make organisation a breeze. All that's left for you to do is to pick your favourite colour and style.

Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Giving gifts may be one of the greatest joys in life, but that doesn’t stop unenthusiastic co-workers and friends groaning when a Secret Santa is proposed. You can laugh off the strain of finding the perfect present with this handy guide.


We’ve included Secret Santa gift exchange ideas for family, friends, colleagues and even your boss, with ideas suitable for every budget. Unbox unique Secret Santa gifts that will make everyone wish you'd pulled their name out of the hat.

STICK TO THE BUDGET
Hermes shower gel product image

Once you know the official budget for your Secret Santa gift exchange you can begin to work out the types of gift you're going to purchase. If you've been roped into a workplace present exchange it might mean you need to get to know a few co-workers that you didn't before, but now you have a perfect excuse to do so.


Small budgets of under £5 or £10 won’t cover a first edition of your recipient’s favourite book, but rather than trying to impress you can go down the novelty route with funny Secret Santa ideas. Satirical books, over-the-top accessories or a shockingly understated packet of crisps will get a surprised guffaw from your audience.


If you’re not feeling the humour, small beauty treatments are a smart option. Think beard oils or shaving creams for men and festive nail varnish colours and hair care for women.


When you have a bigger budget, the best way to spark the receiver's smile is to make it as personal as possible. A Secret Santa is a wonderful opportunity for you to give a friend or family member the gift they deserve this Christmas without having to budget for everyone (including that uncle you only speak to once a decade). Find Dad a special bottle of whisky from the Scottish Isles, or treat your nephew to that train set they’ve been begging for.



SHOP SECRET SANTA GIFTS UNDER £10
OFFICE SECRET SANTA IDEAS
Selection of men’s grooming products and ties on blue background

Even if you’ve never spoken to them outside of email, it’s fairly easy to pick out gifts for co-workers if you take a moment to observe their working style and daily habits. Need to purchase a gift for the person with the messiest desk in the office? You could help them tidy up with storage solutions. Colleagues who are always heading to the gym before work or cycling in and out of the office will appreciate a set of bath and body lotions to use in the office shower.


Those glamorous people who seem to have a new outfit every day would love a new beauty treatment: go for skincare items or men's grooming staples for the dashing man or woman in your business. For the introverted co-worker who is always looking focused, audio and technology gifts will keep them content in their cubicle.


Finally, for your boss, a small offering from our range of women’s or men's accessories is a smart choice.



SHOP SECRET SANTA GIFTS
FRIENDS AND FAMILY SECRET SANTA
Pile of knitted jumpers folded on faux fur throw

Secret Santas allow you the chance to give loved ones something special they wouldn't have bought for themselves. It might be a gift that they've had their eye on for a while, or a complete surprise.


Pulled your wife’s, grandmother’s or sister’s name out of the hat and need ideas for Secret Santa gifts for her? Think along the lines of beauty gift sets or eye-catching knitwear.


SHOP SECRET SANTA GIFTS FOR HER
Tea and biscuit Christmas gift hamper



Need a few Secret Santa gifts for men? Try sports paraphernalia, gadgets or barware accessories. Encourage him to indulge in a lazy weekend with men's nightwear. Or take the traditional route to his heart through his stomach with a food and drink hamper.



SHOP SECRET SANTA GIFTS FOR HIM

Lighting Buying Guide

House of Fraser offers a wide selection of lighting, from contemporary to traditional designs. However, choosing the right light can prove to be tricky with so many options. So we’ve compiled a guide to help you understand how to plan your lighting and where to use it for the best effects.

HOW LIGHTING AFFECTS YOUR ROOM
Buying Guide Lighting Affects your room

A room is rarely used for just one function, so creating different atmospheres with your lighting is a must. Overhead lights, whilst an easy fix, give a harsher overall light for your space. See how the right light projects warmth into the room, perfect for cold winter nights.

Layering the light creates an interesting, ambient space and can enlarge the room.

The two main styles of Lighting are ‘task’ and ‘mood’. These will bring very different outcomes to your lighting scheme so we thought we’d break it down making it easier to decide what’s right for your room.


Task lighting

Some jobs just need a little more focus, and that’s where task lighting comes in. This functional style is perfect if you enjoy reading at night, cooking, applying make-up – basically anything that requires concentration. Look out for lights that aren’t completely shaded and have adjustable arms so you can reposition the light to where you need it most. Task lighting is perfect for:

  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Applying make-up


Mood lighting

When you want your lights to be a part of the décor, then mood or accent lighting is the way to go. This is all about the atmosphere where low-level lighting is desired to highlight interior design elements. Think coloured shades that complement your décor and lower wattage bulbs to create a chilled-out vibe in your home. Mood lighting is perfect for:

  • Chilling out
  • Showing off your statement wall
  • Added decoration
DIFFERENT SHADES
Buying Guide Lighting Different Shades

Easyfit

As the name suggests, this type of fitting is the easiest of the bunch, as no electrician is required. Simply remove the screw cap and slot your new light inside, then reattach the cap.


Pendant

We recommend that all electrical pendants be fitted by an electrician in line with current UK Regulations to avoid any accidents!

BULBS AND CAPS
Buying Guide LLighting Bulbs and Caps


LED
  • Appear similar to natural daylight
  • Lifetime of 10-25,000 hours
  • Up to 90% more energy efficient than tungsten bulbs

Halogen bulbs
  • Bright light to resemble sunlight
  • Most commonly used for spotlights and flood lights
  • Lifetime of up to 2,000 hours

Energy saving
  • Gives a warm, white light
  • Lifetime of up to 10,000 hours
  • Up to 80% more energy efficient than tungsten bulbs


Consider using energy saving bulbs for hallways and corridors where the lights are in use the most.

Cap types
  • Bayonet cap
  • Edison screw
  • Twist-lock
ENERGY SAVING TIPS
Buying Guide Lighting Energy

  • When purchasing new lighting, switch to LED or energy-saving bulbs where possible.
  • Clean your bulbs, shades and fixtures regularly to get rid of dust and dirt that accumulates and absorbs light.
  • Don’t wait to replace your bulbs if they’ve darkened, they may still work but they use the same amount of power as a new bulb, just with less light.
  • Try to avoid using a higher wattage bulb than necessary – this can make a massive difference to your electricity bill!
  • Always avoid using high watt bulbs in confined areas or for fixtures that require low watt bulbs, this is an extreme fire hazard. Always contact the manufacturer for additional information

Coffee Machine Guide

We really love our coffee in the UK – today we’re consuming more of it than ever before. It’s no surprise, then, that we’re looking for ways to replicate our favourite barista-style beverages from the comfort of our own homes. Luckily brands from Delonghi to Dualit are on hand to help out, with a range of coffee machines which spans from entry level to semi-pro.

HOW DO I CHOOSE BETWEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF COFFEE MACHINES?
Buying Guide Choose Machines

Choose a coffee machine that suits your taste. Small, compact designs are great for busy people who need a quick and easy pick-me-up. Grand, multifunctional machines offer plenty of choice (and will impress guests at coffee mornings and dinner parties). Our buyer’s guide takes the work out of researching which coffee machine is right for you, leaving you to review the pros and cons and pick the best appliance for your lifestyle.

COFFEE POD AND CAPSULE MACHINES
Buying Guide Pod Machines

If your kitchen is more of a through-route than a destination, the convenience of coffee pod and capsule machines is hard to beat. Insert your chosen pod, press a button and your drink is ready in moments, leaving you to get on with your day. Save even more time with a product from the sophisticated Smart app range, which allows you to order extra pods and automatically schedule coffee for when you wake. A variety of coffee types and flavours is at your fingertips, from a shot of espresso to a perfectly smooth latte. If you’ve got a small kitchen or fancy a machine in your study, it’s worth considering a space-saving miniature design.

At a glance

  • Quick and fuss-free
  • Compact size for kitchen counters
  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for one or two people

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BEAN-TO-CUP COFFEE MACHINES
Buying Guide Bean to Cup Machines

The advanced functionality of a bean-to-cup machine means replicating a coffee shop-style espresso is easier than ever. Producing ultra-fresh coffee by grinding beans on demand, some versions will even store and replicate your desired strength of coffee. To create an authentic cappuccino, use the milk-frothing device (and don’t forget that all-important sprinkle of cocoa powder on top). If you’re using it for special occasions only, it can be cleaned and stored easily thanks to removable brewing units.

At a glance

  • Digital control panels
  • Steam wand
  • Easy to dismantle and store
  • Makes two espressos at once

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ESPRESSO AND CAPPUCCINO MACHINES
Buying Guide Cappucino Machines

If you enjoy the art of creating coffee and secretly aspire to be an Italian barista (we do, too) then an espresso and cappuccino machine might be your best fit. No other coffee machine is as versatile as a traditional pump; not only do they make elegant espressos and flat whites, their built-in steam-operated wand creates creamy frothed milk for lattes or cappuccinos. The traditional pump is designed to deliver the ideal pressure and water temperature, so the strength and consistency of your coffee can be left entirely up to you. Tea makers aren’t left out either – the built-in water tank instantly produces hot water.

At a glance

  • Hot water dispenser for Americanos and tea
  • Choose between beans or granules
  • Steam wand

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FILTER COFFEE MACHINES
Buying Guide Filter Machines

Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee? Filter machines drip coffee into a glass pot, so you can see exactly how much is left. Pour directly from the pot and fill up to ten mugs with one brew – enough for everyone in a busy household. Programmable machines will have your drink ready when you wake, making those dark winter mornings that little bit more bearable. Bonus points for the warming function, which keeps the coffee at the perfect temperature all morning.

At a glance

  • Warming function means coffee is ready when you are
  • Compact size for small living spaces
  • Makes up to ten cups of coffee

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KNOW YOUR COFFEE
Buying Guide Know Coffee

What makes a cup of coffee?

  • Espresso: shot of espresso
  • Americano: shot of espresso, hot water
  • Flat white: shot of espresso, dash of milk
  • Cappuccino: shot of espresso, one part milk, frothed milk
  • Cafe latte: shot of espresso, two parts milk, steamed milk
  • Cafe mocha: layer of chocolate powder, shot of espresso, hot milk, whipped cream

TIP: use semi-skimmed milk for lattes and cappuccinos. The reduced fat content creates a balance between a light frothy texture and creamy taste.

Taking care of your coffee machine

A well-kept machine can last for as long as a decade. Here’s how to clean a coffee machine when you’re making the most of it:

  • Daily: Take 5 minutes to empty all waste containers and flush out steam wands running the recommended manufacturer programs.
  • Weekly: Take 20 minutes to run a thorough system clean using recommended cleaning tablets (the machine runs the clean itself).
  • Monthly: Take 45 minutes to de-scale your machine by running the set program. This helps to keep it clog-free and prevent it malfunctioning.

Sofa Buying Guide

From corner to Chesterfield, loveseat to reclining, the right sofa for you is out there. Our range of sofas cater to a variety of tastes and requirements, but first you need to establish exactly what you’re looking for. Here are a few key considerations:


The floor and wall space available in your room


How your sofa will be used – frequently, rarely or perhaps to sleep overnight guests


Whether you need a firm, supportive sofa or prefer plump feather cushions


Which finish suits your lifestyle – suede and sticky fingers don’t mix well!


Our sofa buying guide takes the long work out of this process, helping you to decide which shape, style and material you want.

SOFA TYPES
Grey sofa range in living room

While each high-backed sofa and loveseat in our selection has its own aesthetic appeal, there are practical considerations between types of sofas as well. Here’s our summary of four favourite sofas:


High-back sofas

The extended back of a high-back sofa supports your upper back and neck, making this sofa extra comfortable and suited to those with back problems. The imposing shape of a high-back sofa is great for making a statement in large living rooms or neutral interior schemes.


Chaise longue

The chaise longue is an instantly recognisable shape that adds elegance to any room. Characterised by a long seat and one raised end, this design is half sofa and half chair. The chic chaise – traditionally finished in floral-print, textured upholstery – complements French-style and Victorian-inspired rooms.


Loveseats

The small and compact loveseat, also sweetly known as a ‘cuddler’, is perfect for small rooms or to sit alongside a full-sized sofa. There’s space for two to share, but it’s perfectly acceptable to keep the whole thing for yourself!


Corner sofas

Corner sofas are made for big rooms and big families. Nestled against the wall of a room, this style banishes ‘dead space’ in corners and maximises seat space. Modular designs can be moved easily and connected with extensions to form extra-large seating.

UPHOLSTERY
Love seat in living room

There are sofa materials on offer to fit just about any type of home. Choose from wipe-clean fabrics with stamina or soft-brushed suede finishes. We’ve summarised the pros and cons of the most popular options.


Fabrics

Fabric upholstery provides comfortable seating at a modest price. However, daily maintenance can be required to keep your sofa free from dust and stains.


Standard leather

Each piece upholstered in leather is unique. Leather develops a distinctive patina over time and can last up to fifteen years. Avoid placing it next to windows as direct sunlight can cause fading.


Aniline

The lack of a topcoat paint or insoluble pigments gives aniline leather its distinctive grainy surface. You’ll need to apply some kind of protective coating to make it resistant to stains.


Bi-cast

This leather finish is hardwearing and very easy to clean due to a protective polyurethane film bond.


Nubuck

Nubuck leather has a soft velvet-like surface, making it delicate on your skin. However, it’s susceptible to water damage and stains.


Suede

Although suede is notoriously difficult to maintain, its elegant soft-brushed finish makes it a popular choice.


Faux leather

This environmentally friendly option can be dyed virtually any colour, ideal for brightly colour schemes. With a smaller price tag than real leather, this easy-clean material suits first-time buyers.


Mixed materials

There are lots of combinations available but cotton blend and microfibre are the most common. The cotton blend has a coarse weave making it a hardwearing family favourite. Microfibre, on the other hand, is woven with different textured cloths for a softer feel and is easier to clean.

SOFA SHAPES
Off-white sofa

Each component of a sofa contributes to the overall impression, and it can be hard to make sense of all the different terms. We’ve explained each term below, so you know exactly what you’re getting. If you want maximum flexibility when choosing a sofa, take a look at our made-to-order sofa service.


Shop our made-to-order sofa service


Backs and seats

  • Fixed: a firm back and seat cushion with no fluffing needed – creates a neat look.

  • Cushion: semi-fitted seat and back cushion – can be removed for plumping and cleaning.

  • Scatter: completely unattached so you can turn the cushions around, increasing their lifespan.


Arms

  • Scroll: this classic style features tightly piped and pleated fabric.

  • Flared: gracefully opens out at the top of the arm.

  • Howard: country-house style with casual, low arms.

  • Square: straight profile arms that come in a range of widths.


Legs and base

  • Turned leg: these finely detailed designs are created by turning wood on a lathe.

  • Sabre leg: flare outwards to create a curved sofa outline.

  • Glides with skirts: fitted feet that are covered by a tidy valance.

  • Tapered leg: also known as a stiletto, this leg is simple and unobtrusive.
SOFA FILLINGS
Black velvet chaise longue

  • Fibre-filled seats and cushions have a softer look to them, and should be fluffed up regularly to keep their shape.

  • Foam-filled sofas create firm and strong seating with added support. High-resilience foam will keep its shape for longer.

  • Pocket-sprung foam is made from individual springs wrapped in their own foam. They rebound after being sat on, so your sofa keeps its shape for longer.

  • Feather core or feather jacket foam gives sofa an extra-cosy feel. If you like to sleep on a soft mattress then you’ll enjoy feather-foam combination fillings.
SOFA CARE
Black leather sofa

Maintaining your sofa will keep it looking and feeling like new for longer. Here’s how to clean a sofa, and when:


Daily: plump up cushions and wipe down furnishings, using specially formulated products for metal parts.


Weekly: hoover under and around cushions to eliminate hidden dirt. Wiping over leather with care to lift any dirty residue is also a good idea.


Monthly: a deep clean should be performed using recommended products or a professional cleaning service.

Wedding Makeup Ideas

Getting ready for your wedding might just be the most effort you'll ever put into looking beautiful. You've found the perfect dress, chosen shoes and jewellery to match, and finalised your hairstyle – now it's time to think about wedding makeup looks.

Our guide will show you how to develop your own look, trial it beforehand and touch it up on the big day to keep you looking flawless, from taking your vows to the last dance.

START WITH SKINCARE
Kiehl’s deep cleansing foam face wash

Your preparation should begin long before the big day. If you haven't followed a skincare regime before, now's the time to start. For glowing wedding day skin, treat yourself at home with all the essentials: high-quality cleanser, exfoliator, toner, serum and moisturiser. You should avoid receiving any intensive facial treatments right before the wedding as they will encourage impurities, such as pimples and blocked pores, to surface.


Before applying makeup on the day of your wedding, it's essential to prep your skin correctly. Opt for a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser to ensure your makeup won't slip off. Follow this with a high-quality primer to create a smooth, even base. You may also want to apply primer on your eyelids to help eyeshadow and liner stick for the long haul.


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TRIAL YOUR LOOK
Lady trying on foundation

Trial your look well in advance so that you're completely happy before the big day, as last minute decisions might mean you end up with a look you don't really like. If you're not sure how to do makeup for a wedding, call in favours from any beautician friends or get a professional to help. Find photos of yourself where you particularly like your look, as well as any images of celebrities with similar colouring to you whose makeup you love. These will give you an idea of which products to use.


Be sure to test your makeup in daylight so that you can evaluate the final result correctly. Wearing a white top will allow you to see how your makeup will look against your wedding dress. Experiment with different colours and formulas until you've found the perfect combination. If you plan on fake tanning, make sure you factor in this change in skin tone. Finally, take both a flash and non-flash photo to see how the look will appear on camera.

NATURAL WEDDING MAKEUP
Charlotte Tilbury lipgloss

On your special day, you should look like no one but yourself – just the most polished, glowing version! Radiant skin, flushed cheeks, defined eyes and nude lips always work like a dream against a lovely white dress. Opting for a classic look that will stay timeless for years to come means you'll always look fantastic in your wedding pictures.


Go for something soft and understated that brings out your eye colour. Lips can be kept subtle with a slick of gloss or a flattering nude lipstick and liner. For a bolder finish on the lips, choose a classic 'Hollywood Siren' red. Finally, nails will look wonderful in a fresh neutral shade, complementing your gorgeous dress.


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GET CAMERA-READY
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation

Most wedding photography is done in natural lighting, which calls for a light base of foundation. If you have problem areas, use a hardworking concealer to cover up. There's almost guaranteed to be some flash photography throughout the night, too, which can overexpose any oily areas of the complexion. Resist combating this with more foundation and just blot your T-Zone with translucent powder.


Be wary of products containing lots of glitter as the particles will reflect light back at the camera. Instead, use a dab of shimmering highlighter on your cupids bow, cheeks and brow bones to create a naturally luminous effect. Consider applying body foundation to ensure your face completely matches the rest of your skin. If you can stand to cut out coffee and red wine, it's also worth avoiding these stain-inducing drinks in the weeks leading up to your big day, to ensure your smile is pearly-white in every shot.


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WEDDING EYE MAKEUP
Guerlain mascara

Intense lashes will give your eyes definition and elevate your look. Whether or not you decide to wear false lashes, water-resistant mascara is a must when it comes to wedding eye makeup. It'll see you through those emotional speeches without a smudge. If you're a big crier, avoid any eyeliner under your eyes and make sure the rest of your eye makeup is waterproof too.


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MAKE IT LAST
Clarins compact powder

You have the happiest – and possibly the longest – day of your life ahead of you: you'll want your makeup to look fresh from the first steps down the aisle through to the last twirl on the dancefloor. An oil-free moisturiser, primer, long-wear foundation and powder will go far in keeping your look in place. However, after hours of kisses, champagne toasts and laughter, even the most budge-proof makeup is bound to fade.


With that in mind, it's worth bringing a DIY touch-up kit that you can stash in someone's clutch. This should include oil blotting sheets, which absorb any grease without removing existing makeup; a pressed powder; tissues or cotton buds (to tidy up teary eye makeup); plus any lip colour you're wearing. Now you're set for any emergency touch-ups you might need to undertake throughout your big day.


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Putting in the prep beforehand and making sure your perfect look can last the distance means all you have to focus on on your big day is getting married. After all the excitement of getting ready, your makeup is likely to be the last thing you're thinking of as you walk down the aisle towards the love of your life, and that's just the way it should be!

Bed Buying Guide

Finding the right bed isn't just crucial for your home decor, it’s your ticket to sweet dreams, good health and lazy Sundays spent under the duvet with a book and a cuppa.

If you're baffled by bed frames or dumbfounded by divans, you can clear things up with our simple bed buying guide. You’ll find fast facts on all the bedroom furniture you need and a handy bed dimensions guide designed to make sure you get a peaceful night's sleep.


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WHICH BED: DIVAN OR BEDSTEAD?
Hypnos mattress

While each design in our selection has its own aesthetic appeal, there are many different practical considerations to make. Here's a summary of our most popular bed options.

Divan

Divan beds are simple, streamlined block shapes without a head or footboard. They come in two or more sections for easy transportation which join together to sit side-by-side on your floor. Each style can be upholstered with your choice of fabric. Choose between extra-soft cushioned springs or firmer padding to support your chosen mattress.

Additionally, divans often come with a variety of different storage solutions, which makes them ideal if space is at a premium. Built-in storage options include a single end drawer, two-drawer or sliding four-drawer set-up, perfect for storing additional bedding.

Wooden bed frame

Divans typically come in one of three styles:

  • Platform edge: A frame consisting of a solid top and base offers firm support to the mattress placed on top of it.
  • Sprung edge: An open coil sprung layer covers the strong, durable surface. This option provides a softening effect to the mattress placed above.
  • True edge: A pocket spring or open coil that's fully sprung, allowing the mattress and base springs to mould to the body. This style can improve mattress durability.

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Black metal bed frame

Bedsteads

Also known as bed frames, these offer a more derative approach thanks to their headboard and footboard. Frames support the mattress with one of two different types of slats: sprung or static. Sprung slats are more responsive, while static slats offer firm support.

Bed frames come in a wide range of styles. The main materials you’ll see are metal, wood and upholstered outers. These all have their benefits, so it's worth making an informed choice.

  • Wooden bed frames have been crafted to give you durability, strength and an attractive finish to suit your bedroom. From natural pine and oak to brightly painted contemporary bedsteads, there are plenty of versatile options to go with your existing decor.
  • Metal bed frames are modern and will fit perfectly into a minimalist bedroom. They generate a sleek look and withhold wear and tear well over time, so make a good long-term choice.
  • Upholstered bed frames come in leather or fabric, and bring textural appeal to a room. Solid bold frames are a punchy block of colour, while button-back styles add warmth and texture.

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BED DIMENSIONS
Bed dimensions

Your bed and mattress are made to match up identically in size, so there shouldn't be any overlap or gaps where coins and socks can get lost. Consider the size of the room it will inhabit and how much wiggle room you need to sleep comfortably.

Here are the dimensions for each bed size from small single to super king:

  • Small single 75cm x 190cm (2'5" x 6'2")
  • Single 90cm x 190cm (3'0" x 6'2")
  • Small double 120cm x 190cm (4'0" x 6'2")
  • Double 135cm x 190cm (4'5" x 6'2")
  • Kingsize 150cm x 198cm (5'0" x 6'6")
  • Super King 150cm x 198cm (5'0" x 6'6")
TOP TIPS FOR BUYING A BED
Pale pink and neutral rustic bedroom

Try before you buy

Shop around and try out various options, making sure you mimic your natural sleeping positions to get the best idea of the right style for you.

Consider the whole package

Your divan or frame should work in conjunction with your mattress, pillows and bedding. The mattress is especially important as it needs to fit on your base, but it’s also worth considering whether your sheets and linen will suit your new bed.

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Take account of the bedroom

While you’re at it, consider whether your new addition will suit the bedroom itself. There’s the size to consider, but also the decor. Perhaps the new bed can be an excuse to redecorate?

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Haircare Guide

The trick to a beautiful barnet isn't a fancy salon treatment or the latest styling gadgets: it's simply taking care of your hair. Whether you dye, straighten, curl or keep yours au naturel, you can add life to your locks with our haircare guide.

Read on for guidance on how to strengthen your hair with the right oils and products. There’s also advice on how to grow your tresses faster and repair damage. The steps are simple enough to do at home with just a little time and TLC.

HAIRCARE CHECKLIST
GHD advanced split end therapy hair treatment

We’ve put together a haircare checklist for all your need-to-know products.


Conditioners

Contrary to popular belief, using a good quality conditioner each time you wash won't damage your hair. It helps to keep it tangle-free and manageable, minimising damage during styling.

Hair masks

Apply a hair mask once a week to breathe new life into your locks. Not only will it help to eliminate frizz, it will also leave your hair touchably soft.

Treatments

Treatments have a similar aim to masks, with an intense moisturising effect. They’ll nourish your hair strands and condition your roots, leaving a shiny finish.

Hair oils

Oils are ideal for revitalising dull or lifeless hair. They’re highly versatile – try working some into your roots as a treatment during your shower, or applying as a finishing product after styling.

Heat protection

You should apply a heat protection product every time you use heated styling tools. They can make a huge difference in maintaining your hair, stopping it from becoming brittle.


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HOW TO GROW HAIR FASTER
A lady brushing her hair

Lusting after long locks? There are plenty of ways you can help your hair to grow faster.


Keep your scalp healthy

Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so invest in a shampoo that cleanses and treats your skin as well as your locks. Treating those follicles right is the first step to encouraging them to produce strong hair.

End with a cool rinse

A steamy shower feels great, but it can be tough on your skin and hair. Turn the temperature down when cleansing and rinse with cool water to seal your hair cuticles and strengthen them in the process.

Make the most of your hair's natural oil

A quick and easy tip that should become part of your nightly routine is to give your hair a few strokes with a brush before bed. The bristles will distribute your scalp's oils evenly onto your hair, so your strands stay naturally moisturised.


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DAMAGED HAIR REMEDIES
Kiehl’s olive fruit oil nourishing shampoo

Transform tired tresses to their former glory with these tips for repairing damaged hair.


Dry and itchy scalps

Our favourite remedy uses rosemary or pine essential oils. Simply add a few drops directly onto your hair and gently massage into the scalp for best results. As both of these oils has anti-bacterial properties they provide a natural defence against itchiness.

Dandruff

Coconut oil is effective in removing dandruff as it contains lauric acid, which has anti-fungal properties. Massage a tablespoon or two onto your scalp and leave on for a few hours. Repeat two to three times throughout the week depending on the severity of your dandruff.

Coloured hair

Bleaching and dying have a bad reputation when it comes to hair health, but rather than avoid them altogether you can keep your coloured hair vibrant through the use of specialist shampoo. It’s specially formulated to provide dyed hair with the extra nutrients needed to stay strong.


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SPLIT END REPAIR
Tangle teezer hair brush

Here's how to improve the look of damaged hair and prevent more splits from occurring.


Carefully brush wet hair

Your strands are more likely to break when damp, so caring for your wet hair is key. Apply conditioner during your shower and comb it afterwards. This will prevent possible snaps caused when brushing out hair that has been towel-dried.

Choose the right comb

The brush you use can make a big difference, We recommend using a wide tooth comb or a Tangle Teezer. They'll give your hair the gentle de-tangling it needs.

Get regular cuts

Regular haircuts will help get rid of any unwanted split ends and make your hair appear healthy. A trim every other month also adds volume and shine to your hair.


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HAIRCARE TIPS
Smiling woman spraying her hair with hair treatment

A few final pointers for taking great care of your hair at home.


Make your own mask

You can use ingredients from your kitchen to make an emergency hair mask before a big meeting or a special date. A few tablespoons of olive oil, mashed avocado or honey will add instant shine to your hair.

Protect your hair like you would your skin

The effects of the weather and changing seasons could greatly impact your hair's appearance. Protect it from the harsh rays of the sun with a UV spray and apply a moisturising conditioner.

Rinse before you dip

Your hair is less likely to absorb chlorine if you soak it in clean water before taking a refreshing dip in the pool. Another preventative measure is to spray it with leave-in conditioner.

Our range of haircare products will go a long way to protecting your hair when used regularly, alongside a few items you probably have at home already. Here's to happier hair!

How To Do Smokey Eyes

Attending a lavish gala, looking to impress on a hot date or just fancy shaking up your style? Smokey eye makeup could revolutionise your beauty routine. This classic look never goes out of fashion and there's a technique to suit every eye colour and shape.


It may seem daunting, but, as with all makeup techniques, practice makes perfect. Our ten-step guide will help you achieve a smouldering stare in just a few minutes. We’ll also cover eye makeup tips and tricks so you can find the smokey look to suit you.

HOW TO DO SMOKEY EYES STEP BY STEP:
Applying black eyeliner to upper lashes

Step one: Apply a cream concealer to your eyelids. This will act as a base and create a long-lasting foundation for your eyeshadow to stick to.

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Sweeping a light brown eyeshadow on the entire eyelid

Step two: Sweep a pressed powder over your entire eyelid to prevent your eyeshadow creasing and ensure longevity throughout the day. Smokey eyes shouldn’t mean smudgy eyes.

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Blending brown eyeshadow on outer half of eyelid

Step three: With a black eye liner pencil, draw a steady line from the inner corner to the outer. Run the same pencil over the roots of your lower lashes. 

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Blending dark eyeshadow on outer corner of eyelid

Step four: Take the lightest colour from your palette of eyeshadow and sweep it across your entire lid. 

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Applying mascara to eyelashes

Step five: Get a new brush for the medium shade. Start blending from halfway across the eyelid, working upwards and outwards towards the crease.


Step six: Using a blending brush, sweep the darkest shade you have onto the outer corner of the eye and along the crease. 

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Step seven:Take a pale colour lighter than your skin tone and brush it along your brow bone to highlight the eye.


Step eight:Go back to the darkest shade with a small brush and apply lightly to your lower lash line. 


Step nine:With a blending brush again, blend your shadow and buff out harsh lines, paying particular attention to the outer corner of the eye.


Step ten:Complete the look with lashings of mascara to frame your eye dramatically. 

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HOW TO DO SMOKEY EYES FOR YOUR EYE COLOUR
Nars dark silver eyeshadow.

To get the most out of your smokey eye look, choose an eyeshadow at the opposite end of the colour wheel to your irises. This will enhance the appearance of your eyes and make them appear bigger and brighter.


Hazel eyes
Choosing the right shade for hazel eyes can be tricky because their multifaceted spectrum of green, brown and gold means there’s no one colour to match to. A darker emerald shade or rich brown will complement your eyes’ many tones and help them stand out.


Blue eyes
A contrasting shade of coffee brown will enhance the blue tones of your eyes, while shimmering bronze will add impact and depth ideal for a long-lasting evening look.


Green eyes
Green eyes work best with purple shades and floral hues like pinks and lilacs. Try a soft violet eye with deeper plum shadow blended softly into the socket for a knock-out stare.


Brown eyes
Eyeshadow colours don't have to be dark to achieve the smokey effect, so draw attention to your deeply coloured eyes using cream and bronze shades. This will make sure your already dark eyes don't become overwhelmed with even darker eyeshadow.

HOW TO DO SMOKEY EYES FOR YOUR EYE SHAPE

The last secret to the perfect smokey eye makeup is figuring out the most flattering technique for the shape of your eye. Once you understand the basics you can experiment by applying these rules to different colour combinations and find your signature blend.

Illustration of almond shaped eyes

Almond eyes

To accentuate your almond eyes, use a shimmery shade from lash line to crease. Bronzer in the crease will intensify the smokey effect and lining the upper eyelid rim with a black pencil to draw attention to your elegant shape.

Illustration of small eyes

Small eyes

You can create the appearance of wider eyes by keeping the shades you use on the lighter side. Your lightest colour should be cream or a very pale pigment, and think grey rather than black for your dark tone. Avoid lining the lower rim in black. Instead, use a white or nude eye liner to make the eyes appear larger.

Illustration of close set eyes

Close-set eyes

Add a light iridescent shade or highlight to the inner corners of your eyelids, and use a deeper shade for depth in the crease. Your eyes will appear further apart as well as getting the benefit of your sultry makeup.

Illustration of wide set eyes

Wide eyes

Wide eyes come with a generous amount of surface area to work with so don't hesitate when it comes to creating a bold look. Go all out here with dark browns, blacks and bold liner. Remember to blend dark colours well so that the contours around the brow bone don't appear harsh.

Illustration of asymmetric eyes

Asymmetrical eyes

Extend your darker shadow slightly higher towards your brow bone on the eye that is the smallest or that droops downwards. This subtle trick will balance the symmetry of your face.

How To Pack A Suitcase

HOW TO PACK A SUITCASE

Your flights are booked, you’ve turned on your out of office and you’re ready to jet set and go. However you have one final thing to do – you need to pack. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that you either love it or hate it, so watch our handy step-by-step video and master the (stress-free) art of packing a suitcase.

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How to Pack a Suitcase

  1. Lay large items at the bottom
    Start by placing heavier items like your beach towel and toiletries at the bottom of your suitcase to balance weight at the spine.

  2. Roll, don’t fold, to save space
    Rolling up your clothing will reduce the number of creases and wrinkles, making each item smaller which ultimately allows you more packing space.

  3. Line items up so they can be seen at once
    Standing up items straight in your suitcase enables you to see what you’ve packed at a glance and it makes removing items when you need them so much easier.

  4. Stuff socks and breakables into shoes
    Utilise your shoes by placing smaller items within them, this also provides added protection for fragile items.

  5. Stack bras on top of each other and fold
    Stacking will ensure your bras won’t lose their shape and maximises space within your suitcase.

  6. Place items that will lose shape on top
    Pack lighter items like handbags and straw hats last to save them from being crushed at the bottom of your suitcase.

  7. And don’t forget your lobster…
    A holiday essential, obviously.

Cocktail Glasses Guide

Witnessing a cocktail come together can be magical: familiar ingredients blend and combine to create an alluring drink that delights the eye as well as the palate. With a little time, practice and bar tools and accessories you can build an armoury of techniques that'll have you whipping up any cocktail in no time.


Not sure which type of glass to use for which drink? Our cocktail glassware guide can assist you in selecting the perfect vehicle for every concoction – whether it’s shaken, built or stirred, straight up or on the rocks. Chin chin.

SHOT GLASSES
Shot glasses cocktail illustration

With the depth of one standard measuring unit, shot glasses are normally used to serve up concentrated liquor combinations –a perfect way to kick off or wind down your evening. Be warned: shot glasses tend to punch above their size when it comes to the intensity of the contents.


Use these petite glasses to measure out alcohol for other cocktails, or to serve up tasty shooters such as the Kamikaze or B-52.


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MARTINI GLASSES
Martini cocktail glasses illustration

Of all the cocktails glasses in the world, the martini glass is the most instantly recognisable. Its classic inverted triangle shape has been immortalised in film, most famously by James Bond and his preference for a martini that’s been ‘shaken, not stirred’.


While a traditional gin and vermouth mix pairs naturally with a martini glass, it can also be used for any short, mixed tipple. The elegant stem ensures that the contents won’t be warmed by contact with skin, while the shallow depth means it doesn’t need ice or a straw.


Preparing a Cosmopolitan, Manhattan or Sidecar? A martini glass is what you should reach for.

OLD FASHIONED GLASSES
Old fashioned cocktail glasses illustration

When you want to nurse a cocktail at leisure, opt for an Old Fashioned glass, also known as a rocks glass. It is designed to hold large blocks of ice, so that anything poured into it is diffused and cooled before being consumed.


The Old Fashioned glass works well with longer drinks, and can be sipped out of or paired with a straw. It’s also a popular choice for serving up quality spirits such as whiskeys, bourbons and brandies.


Choose an old fashioned glass for classic drinks such as Negronis, Mint Juleps and, of course, Old Fashioneds.

HI BALL GLASSES
High ball cocktail glasses illustration

While the Hi Ball glass is sometimes called a Collins glass, it's actually a little shorter and slightly less narrow. It has a slim shape that helps to keep the contents cool and carbonated for longer by guiding the bubbles upwards. The term ‘Hi Ball’ refers to the family of cocktails that pair an alcoholic base with a non-alcoholic mixer. The extended depth of the glass lends itself well to fragrant, flavour-releasing ingredients such as leaves and spices.


So, what should you pour into a Hi Ball glass ? Any light cocktails containing plenty of ice and liquid, such as a Cuba Libre or a Dark & Stormy.


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HURRICANE GLASSES
Shot glasses cocktail illustration

If only a tropical treat of a cocktail will do, you’ll need a hurricane glass to make it with. This curvaceous glass is designed to show off colourful, fruity drinks with plenty of garnishes – umbrella decoration optional. The larger size of the hurricane is perfect for ‘granita’ cocktails made using crushed ice. It’s also the most likely to contain additions such as fruit chunks and flavourings.


Go with the hurricane glass when you’re planning on serving concoctions such as Pina Coladas or Zombies.

ENHANCE YOUR COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE
Cocktail shaker and strainer product image

Now that you know which glassware to use for each drink, take the following tips into consideration to help you prepare them like a professional:


  • To keep your cocktails cooler for longer, chill your glasses beforehand. Skip this step if you’re serving a carbonated mixer, as the cold will kill off the bubbles more quickly.

  • Making a Martini or an Old Fashioned? When garnishing these drinks with citrus peel, take care not to leave behind any white pith as this will give your drink a bitter flavour. Giving your twist a once-over with a sharp knife should do the trick.

  • Create perfectly smooth cocktails by straining each mixture twice to ensure every last particle is removed.

  • Want to garnish a classic Margarita with salt? Run a wedge of lime or lemon around the rim of the glass, and then carefully dip the margarita glass into a saucer of salt. If possible, opt for kosher salt over table salt: the large flakes will adhere to the edges better without immediately dissolving, standing out more visually.

  • If you want to use crystal clear ice cubes, boil the water and cool it twice before pouring it into your ice tray.

You don’t need to be an experienced bartender to whip up a cocktail worth raving about. With the right tools and cocktail glasses at your disposal you can give the best mixologists in the business a run for their money.


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Hair Appliance Guide

Want a salon-fresh look every day without the time and cost of going to the salon? Our introduction to hair appliances covers everything you need to know to give your ‘do an easy upgrade at home. Explore our range of dryers and straighteners, along with the best curling tongs, hot air brushes and hot rollers. These simple tools will help you create chic curls, silky straightness or flirty waves with ease.

INTRODUCTION TO HAIR APPLIANCES
Hair Appliance Introduction

These bits of kit will be your secret weapons in the fight against flatness and frizz.


Hair dryers and diffusers

Or course, the most basic tool of the trade is the trusty hair dryer. You probably have one of these at home already, whether you use it every day or leave it in the cupboard until you’re in a rush to leave the house. But did you know how versatile a styling tool it can be? For example, take a simple diffuser – popping one of these on the end of your dryer will add volume in the roots by holding up sections of hair and directing the air flow towards them.


Straighteners

Whether you're taming flyaway strands or completely transforming your look, straighteners are another must-have for styling at home. The best straighteners for short styles have narrow plates that are easy to control, while wide plates work wonders to keep long hair looking even.


Curling tongs

Curling tongs are ideal if you’re looking to experiment with new looks. They also go by a different name – curling irons – but both do the same job. The main things to consider when choosing tongs are barrel width and heat. For tighter curls, a slim barrel works best, while a larger barrel will create wider loops. High heat is best for thick hair as its effect will be longer lasting and it will take less time to set, which is better for the health of your locks.


Styling wands

Styling wands are the cousins of curling tongs, but they come without the clamp that keeps your hair in place. Instead, simply wrap strands around the barrel and let them slide over the heated section. Wands give you supreme control over your curls, so you can make them as tight as corkscrews or as loose as waves with a flick of your wrist.


Hot air brushes

Hot air brushes are ridiculously simple to use. They look like rounded barrel brushes but they have the added benefit of streaming heated air through your hair as you brush it. Add volume by drying off with one of these, then finish off with a spritz of hairspray for a look that will last all day and night.


Heated rollers

If you’re looking for curls that maintain their shape, try heated rollers. They’re not like the old Velcro kind your gran used to wear – these heat up before you put them in, so they set your hair into long-lasting shapes as they cool.

STYLING YOUR HAIR AT HOME
Hair Appliance At Home

Here are some of the best styling tips and tricks for two essential looks to ensure you never have a bad hair day again.


How to curl your hair

When you're curling your hair, you can change things up as you work on a section by twisting the strand or keeping it flat, or by wrapping it more tightly or loosely around the tongs. Using a styling product such as a finishing serum or oil will help tame frizz, while a curl hold spray will lock your locks in place all day.

  • Start by taking your curling tongs and clamping a two inch section of hair, beginning about an inch from the end.
  • Hold your curling iron vertically with the clasp facing forward.
  • Simply wrap the end of your hair around the barrel, working your way up towards the root, and hold still for a few minutes.
  • When you release you’ll have a restyled ringlet.

How to straighten your hair

Smooth hair can be achieved with straighteners alone, but it's best to start with a blow dryer.

  • After washing, simply aim your hot air stream in a downward motion as you’re drying. This angle will encourage the cuticles to lay flat, ultimately preventing frizz from forming.
  • We recommend applying some heat protectant spray while your hair is still damp, plus a tiny bit more once it's completely dried.
  • Once that's done, it’s time to whip out the straighteners. Run them down your hair from root to tip. The hotter the iron, the less time you'll need to spend on each section.
HAIR DRYING TIPS
Hair Appliance Dry

You can make a real difference to how healthy your hair looks by drying it according to whether it's thick or fine.


Thick hair drying tips

Opt for a hair dryer with a slim nozzle as it will assist in creating a shiny finish. If you’re straightening your hair, run a wide-tooth comb through it as you work to keep your hair tangle-free.


Fine hair drying tips

When it comes to fine hair, we recommend letting it get about 90% dry using only your hands to separate and fluff it up, then switch to using a hot air brush. This drying technique will help to plump up the follicle shaft, creating va-va-voom volume.

Glassware Buying Guide

With so many types of glass available, it can be tricky to determine your crystal from your soda, however our buying guide makes the quest much easier. From champagne (or prosecco) flutes to a chalice for your favourite ale, we’ve got glassware covered; time to get the corks popping…

MATERIALS
Buying Guide Glassware Materials

Soda Glasses

Soda glasses are generally inexpensive, which makes them perfect for everyday use. They often come in a range of colours.

Crystal Glasses

Crystal is heavy and durable making it the perfect choice for high quality glasses.

Lead Crystal Glasses

Lead crystal has a higher index of refraction than normal glass and therefore it has more of a sparkle. Lead crystal is the clearest and heaviest of all glassware and is the ultimate in luxury dining.

WINE GLASSES
Buying Guide Glassware Wine Glasses

White Wine

White wine glasses are a narrower and smaller tulip, which allows chilled wines to maintain their temperature for longer. There is also less need to aerate the wine.

Red Wine

Red wine needs a wider, rounder bowl that allows the wine to breathe. This not only allows maximum exposure to the air, but also adds a note of drama to the table. This style of glass directs wine to the tip of the tongue.

Champagne Flutes

One of the most recognisable pieces of glassware is the narrow champagne flute or tulip. This prolongs the “bead” (bubbles) of sparkling wine and preserves its chill.

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SPECIAL OCCSAION GLASSES
Buying Guide Glassware Special Occasion

Cocktail Glasses

The ultimate party glass, a short cocktail is best served in a martini glass, whereas a long cocktail with high ratio of mixer to alcohol is served in a hiball.

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Shot Glasses

Designed for drinks with high alcohol content, these are meant to be enjoyed quickly or used as measurements. Perfect for spirits such as tequila and vodka.

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Spirit Glasses

Much like a wine glass, a snifter glass is formed especially for aged spirits. When you cup the bulb of the glass, it releases flavours with the warming effect.

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Beer and Cider Glasses

Just like wine, there are many different types of beer to suit different glasses. Choose a tall, slender glass for a lager, and a shorter, wider glass for bitter.

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Decanter

A wide bowled container that allows the wine to breathe, with a stopper to prevent spillages.

Carafe

A carafe is traditionally used as a container for liquids without design requirements that would affect the taste of the drink.

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GLASS CARE
Buying Guide Glassware Glass Care

Although many glasses can be put in the dishwasher, we recommend that you wash wine glasses by hand with mild dishwashing soap.

To avoid pressure on fragile rims, always store glasses the right way up.

Makeup Brushes Buying Guide

Makeup brushes are as varied as they are versatile. If you'd like guidance on how to apply your beautifying powders and creams effectively, read on. Our guide will cover different types of makeup brushes, how to use them and cleaning tips. We'll also delve into the details of applying foundation, contouring and other specific uses of the many brushes available. 

WHICH MAKEUP BRUSH TO USE FOR WHICH MAKEUP

Here you'll find guidance on which brush to use with which kind of makeup, as well as a few specialist techniques. 

Types of make-up brushes

Face

Foundation: The face brush you choose will depend on the finish you prefer. Flat foundation brushes are ideal for full coverage with minimal wastage and their angled design allows for precision application of concealer in small facial contours. For an airbrushed finish, use a buffing brush in circular motions or stipple on foundation with a damp makeup sponge. This technique is will gradually build up subtle layers of cover.


Powder: Help your foundation and concealer last as long as possible with a dusting of pressed or loose powder. This is best applied with a soft and fluffy brush, ensuring a light distribution and non-cakey finish. Large brushes are best suited to lightly dusting powder over the T-zone to help reduce shine, while smaller styles can target any creasing in the under-eye area.


Bronzer: For an all-over glow, use a large-headed brush for smooth and even application of your bronzer. Load your brush with powder, then gently tap on the palm of your hand to shake off any excess before sweeping it over the face, paying extra attention to areas the sun naturally falls on (we’re thinking the apples of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose).

Types of make-up brushes

Eyes

Eyeshadow: The all-over eye brush makes applying eyeshadow colour easy, no matter what look you’re after. Follow with a soft, tapered blending brush to blur your different shades together. A smaller smudger brush will create a soft, smokey effect along the upper and lower lash lines and enhance the natural contour of your eye.


Eye liner: Choose either a short and dense brush for applying heavy cream eye liner, or a lighter, thinner brush to work liquid liners across the lash line with extra precision and build where necessary. Extra-fine tipped brushes ensure a precise, even stroke and can be used with both liquid and cream formulas.


Cheeks

Blusher: The best blush brushes are medium in size with a slightly rounded tip and are densely packed full of soft, lightweight bristles. These carefully designed styles will pick up just the right amount of blush and distribute it evenly on the cheeks.


Cream blusher: You might not think a brush is the best way to apply cream blusher, but they work well with firm, rounded brushes. Dab yours into the cream and apply it in a sweeping motion. Follow with a flat or angled brush to buff the colour and really blend it into the skin. You'll be left with natural-looking rosy cheeks.


Lips

Lipstick: Did you know that instead of applying lipstick directly, you can use a lip brush for total control over your shape? Pick up a little colour from the end of your lippy and brush it on from the centre of your mouth outwards. Retractable lip brushes can be popped straight in a makeup bag without making any mess, so you can top up your coverage on the go.


Special techniques

Contour: If it’s definition you’re after, the best brushes have angled or slanted brush heads. This allows the brush to accurately follow the line of your cheekbones and enhance your natural bone structure, with no professional skills required. Apply a neutral-toned bronzer or contouring powder to the hollows of your cheeks, along your jawline and from the hairline to mid-way down your cheek, buffing it into the skin for a seamless finish.


Highlight: Enhance your brow bone, Cupid's bow and cheekbones with a swipe of highlighter on a light synthetic fibre brush or featherweight fan brush [product nomination required]. When it comes to the best highlighter brushes, fewer bristles are always better.

HOW TO CLEAN MAKEUP BRUSHES
How To Clean Makeup Brushes

While professional makeup artists clean their brushes after each use, washing your brushes once a month is generally recommended for regular makeup users. 

Here’s how to wash your makeup brushes and keep them in optimum condition:

  • Once a week, grab a few sheets of kitchen or toilet roll and gently rub them over all of your brushes and sponges to get rid of excess.

  • Once a month, do a big clean. Wet all of your tools, then apply a gentle soap or shampoo – baby shampoo works particularly well. Massage it in well. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any soap residue.

It's worth the effort to keep your makeup brushes squeaky clean:

  • Getting rid of build up will mean that your precious tools stay pliable for as long as possible.

  • Clean bristles are less likely to break, so your brushes will last longer overall.

  • Bacteria build up quickly in makeup brushes, which can be bad for your skin. Washing them regularly will help your skin stay soft and clear.

Home Fragrance & Candle Guide

From stylish diffusers to classic candles, home fragrances add personality to your interior and help to create an inviting atmosphere. Whether you're looking to build on an established scent collection or start from scratch, our guide is full of possible new favourites.


This home candles and fragrances guide looks at best smelling candles, diffusers and room sprays for your mood and space. It could be just the ticket to add that finishing touch to your living room, find the right gift for a special friend or treat yourself for all your hard work.

WAYS TO ADD FRAGRANCES TO YOUR ROOM
Two tall white flameless candles

Candles

Candles create instant atmosphere. When you come home from a long day at work, simply lighting a few around your room will help you relax and unwind. They’re also a timeless centrepiece to your dinner table. Whatever the occasion, long-burning candles are a popular way to infuse your interior with a charming scent.

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Diffusers

Diffusers are made of a bundle of reed sticks dipped into a pot or jar of scented oil. The open channels that run the length of the reed absorb the oil upwards and naturally disperse it around the room, leaving your interior refreshed and beautifully scented for days on end. Once they’re set up they’ll work their magic without any help from you – just top the jar up when the oil runs out of scent. The combination of wood and glass also make them an elegant but subtle decorative piece.

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Room sprays

A discreet way to deliver a hint of fragrance in your home is through the use of a room spray. Instant and effective, its gentle presence is like a perfume for the home. You’ll find a wide variety of scents available, from citrus or spicy to oceanic. You can also use room sprays directly to add scent to furniture or artificial flower arrangements.

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CHOOSING A SCENT
Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Floral

Floral fragrances bring the outdoors in. They’ll uplift you with delicate notes of home-grown blossoms like rose and lavender, as well as the delightful scents of more exotic blooms: gardenia, jasmine and lilac. If you find yourself daydreaming about your garden while you’re indoors, this is the scent for you.

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Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Woody

Woody fragrances evoke the feeling of strength, richness and warmth. Think of the natural aromas of the forest as your senses are met with strong notes of cedar, moss and sandalwood. Woody scents are powerful and alluring; just the thing for a romantic dinner.

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Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Citrus

Citrus aromas are sweet but sharp – zesty oranges and grapefruits coupled with limes and lemons. Citrus scents work wonderfully in the home as they’re zingy and refreshing.

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Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Fresh

Fresh home fragrances and candles are those which include notes like sea grass or new linen. They’ll evoke the feeling of peace and relaxation. Picture yourself walking by the ocean as the crashing waves envelop the shore – it’s that sort of feeling they offer.

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Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Sweet

Sweet home fragrances fill your home with relaxing aromas. Choose from fruity or sugary notes to create a delectable effect, with mouth-watering fragrances like vanilla or frangipani. This has to be the top choice for foodies.

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SET THE MOOD
Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Home fragrances can influence the ambience of a room and the mood of your guests. Try these scents for different occasions:

Calming

If you’re looking to evoke a sense of calm, look for fragrances with notes of lavender, sage, bamboo or vanilla. Try them out when you’re doing a spot of yoga, hosting a tea party or trying to get little ones to sleep.

Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Relaxing

Room scents containing extracts of patchouli, sage or chamomile create a soothing environment in your interior space. Looking to cultivate a feeling of well-being before climbing into bed? These scents will have you sleeping soundly before your first sheep is even counted.

Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Invigorating

The perfect scents to raise your energy levels include mint, moss and lemon and orange. These uplift your mood and are known to enhance your levels of concentration.

Illustrations of various scent ingredients

Romantic

Aromas with extracts of chocolate, jasmine, amber or patchouli work wonders for creating a romantic atmosphere in your bedroom. Even better if you opt for candles to set the mood with flickering firelight.

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IDEAL FRAGRANCES FOR EVERY ROOM
Burning flameless candles next to a bed

Living Room

When it comes to the best scented candles and home fragrances for your living room, opt for soothing notes such as cedarwood or vanilla. They’re soft and subtle on the senses yet evoke a relaxing ambience – perfect for entertaining friends.


Bedroom

Relaxing fragrances are key to a better night’s sleep – lightly mist your pillow with a lavender, chamomile of sandalwood-scented spray before bed. To set a romantic mood, choose floral scents such as the delicate feminine notes of jasmine and rose, said to hold aphrodisiac properties.


Bathroom

For a touch of elegance, add a few coloured organic candles to the corner of your bath tub. Lavender is a soothing aroma and is ideal to indulge in a bubble bath and feel your stresses floating away.


Kitchen

Fake it ‘til you bake it and take advantage of foodie scents like vanilla and cinnamon to recreate the intoxicating aroma of fresh cooking. Citrus scents are another great choice: not only are they bright and fresh, they eliminate cooking smells and will balance out your kitchen’s aroma.

HINTS AND TIPS
Lit candles on a table

  • A simple way to make your candles last longer is to trim the wick to just below one centimetre, making sure you don’t allow the excess to return into the molten wax.
  • Avoid placing your candles in any drafts or direct wind as this will make them flicker and encourage the wax to burn quicker. Try to place your home fragrances away from the windows.
  • Freezing your candle the day before you intend to light it has been known to make the wick last twice as long.
  • Diffusers adapt to their interior and the number of reeds you need for each location can differ according to the room size. For a small room such as a guest bathroom you only need five sticks, while larger spaces such as the living room or dining room will require more.
  • If you’re looking to have an instant scent in your interior, place your diffuser on top of a covered radiator. It refreshes the fragrance and will spread the scent around the room at a quicker pace.

Whether warm and cosy or cool and classy, fragrances can heighten the mood of your room. Enjoy experimenting with different candles, diffusers and sprays until you find your signature scent.

How To Fake Tan

Whether it's a rich bronzed look or a gorgeous golden undertone you're going for, fake tan is a safe and simply way to give your skin a healthy-looking glow. Find out how to select the best fake tan for you, how to prep your skin and how to achieve an even, streak-free application with our fake tan guide.

WHICH FAKE TAN IS BEST FOR YOU
Illustrations of how to prepare your skin for fake tan

Before you begin prepping and priming your skin for application, you need to decide which type of fake tan you want to use. There are plenty of different formulas on the market, and each comes with its own benefits.


Mousse

Mousse is ideal for beginners as it gives you more control over the product with minimal mess. A mousse formulation usually dries quickly to create instant colour, which means you can patch up any missed areas before heading out.


Lotion

Especially effective for those with dry skin, a tanning lotion provides ample moisture. The consistency makes sure your tan glides on smoothly and produces an even finish that restores the skin's softness.


Spray

Sprays are wonderfully easy to apply and great for all-over tanning. Choose one with a multi-angle applicator that helps reach those hard-to-get places like the back of the legs.


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HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SKIN
Illustration of how to prepare your skin for fake tan

Achieving the best fake tan starts earlier than you think. If you want even and long-lasting colour, you'll need to carefully prep the skin first. Start with a good exfoliator to remove any dryness and finish with your favourite moisturiser


Exfoliate

Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells, allowing the tan to be absorbed and reducing uneven tan on rough patches of skin. When exfoliating, pay particular attention to any areas where you experience extra dryness, like your elbows, knees and ankles, to ensure a streak-free finish. For the best results, exfoliate at least 24 hours before you apply your tan to make sure the skin is primed and ready.

Illustration of how to prepare your skin for fake tan

Moisturise

When you're done exfoliating, follow up by applying plenty of moisturiser. Again, pay particular attention to typically dry areas so that your tan has the best chance of adhering to the skin. Leave a two or three-hour gap between moisturising and applying your tan so that your skin has plenty of time to absorb the lotion.


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HOW TO APPLY FAKE TAN
Illustration for how to apply fake tan

In order to achieve expert control, use a tanning mitt for applying your product. Using a mitt makes sure that whatever formula you're using will apply smoothly and evenly.

Illustration for how to apply fake tan

Work your way from the bottom of your body to the top, leaving out tricky areas like the feet. Starting at the shins, apply your product using a circular motion so that the formula absorbs well.

Illustration for how to apply fake tan

Next, it's time to target those hard-to-reach areas. The best way to do this is to use the leftover product from your mitt and lightly buff it around your ankles, feet, knees and elbows. This should ensure a streak-free finish and keep the application consistent. Struggling with your back? Get an extra pair of hands on the task!

HOW TO REMOVE YOUR TAN
Illustration for how to remove your tan

When it's time to remove your artificial tan, the easiest and most effective way to do so is gradually.


Start with a light body exfoliator mixed with some bath or massage oil and gently rub into the skin in circular motions. Use a fine-grained polish to avoid aren't abrasively scrubbing at the skin, as this may cause the tan to fade in patches.


The softening properties of the oil will break down the tan, removing the colour evenly. To speed up the process, use a fresh tanning mitt and gently rub in circular motions to cover a larger surface area of skin.


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HOW TO TAN SAFELY AND NATURALLY
Flat lay of a round woven bag and sun tanning products

While it's easy to love the quick and reliable colour that applying fake tan gives pale pins, there are always times you want to achieve a natural tan.


If you're going to tan safely it is absolutely crucial you apply the right sunscreen for your skin type. Look for SPF, broad spectrum and UVA protection when you're searching for sun lotions. Fair skin types should opt for a sunscreen with SPF 50 for maximum protection, while those with very dark skin may only require SPF 15.


Understanding the way in which your skin tans is also an important factor. Each person's skin has its own cut-off point – when it stops producing the skin tanning pigment melanin – so spending a long time in the sun does not necessarily mean a better tan. Typically, this cut-off period is around two or three hours. After this, you risk exposing your skin to UV damage, so head inside and rehydrate while you cool down.


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Now you've achieved your sun-kissed glow, remember that frequent practice is the only real route to becoming master of the tanning mitts. Add the finishing touch to your skin with a good body oil for a healthy-looking and radiant shimmer.