30
Jan

Bring the love into your home

Valentine’s Day is the day that many couples look forward to, to show each other how much they love one another. While dining out can be a wonderful treat, it can also be expensive. So why not do something special at home instead? You will certainly have the place to yourselves, be able to indulge in your favourite foods, and take your time over your meal. Valentine’s Day at home doesn’t have to be boring or drab. With the right table décor and music, you can create a magical night.

SET THE SCENE

For any special meal at home your table décor is important, this includes any cutlery and crockery that you use. As it will most likely just be two of you on the night, you can always go out and buy special tableware, and keep it to use again next Valentine’s Day or for your anniversary meal. There are a number of retailers that sell loose plates, bowls and cutlery, or you can splurge on a dining set and ensure you have spares if something breaks.

Images: Tesco

Luminarc Trianon dinner plate (28cm), side plate (20cm), and bowl (12cm) £2.99 each at Tesco

Images: Argos, Asda

Home Hearts 12 piece porcelain dinner set £22.99 at Argos
12 piece Cross Stitch heart dinner set £15.00 at Asda
16 piece heart cutlery set £8.00 at Asda

FINISHING TOUCHES

Once you have all your crockery and cutlery sorted, it’s time to create the right atmosphere with candles, flowers, and any other special mementos that mean something to you and your Valentine. The soft glow of candle light will help enhance the romantic atmosphere that you are trying to create.

Images: Primark, Poundland, Argos, Asda, Tesco

Scented love heart candles £3.00 at Primark
Flickering tealight candles (4 pack) £1.00 at Poundland
Sainsbury’s Home large candle (Wild cotton & Ylang) £6.50 at Argos
George Home taper candles (10 pack) £2.00 at Asda
Tesco Basic tealights (100 pack) £2.00 at Tesco

The final touch to any table is napkins. No one wants to be left stranded when they accidentally mess something at the table. And with so many great designs available, you can find something to match your colour scheme for the evening.

Images: Tesco, Sainsbury’s

Tesco Red Napkins 33cm (50 Pack) £1.50 at Tesco
Bird Napkin 33cm (20 Pack) £1.50 at Tesco
Sainsbury’s Home Heart Repeat Lunch Napkin (20 Pack) £2.00 at Sainsbury’s

On the day, getting some fresh flowers to add to the table could be a nice touch. Roses can be pricey, so if your budget won’t stretch to roses, you can always get your Valentine’s favourite flowers. It will be more personal and mean so much more to them.

You can also have your favourite songs playing in the background, as well as having your favourite movie on stand-by if you want to cuddle up on the couch after your romantic meal.

A LOVE LETTER

With all the effort you’ve put into planning your Valentine’s Day meal, you might not need to get a gift for your Valentine, but a special card would not go amiss. Head into Card Factory to find a wonderful selection of cards, with messages targeted to husbands, wives, fiancées, boyfriends and girlfriends.

Images: Card Factory
30
Jan

Spoil him this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is often focused on women, enlisting men with gift ideas of what he could buy for the special lady in his life, with flowers, jewellery and chocolates being popular choices. But for a woman, Valentine’s Day is also a time to show her love and appreciation for her special man. Hearts and flowers are not something that most men will appreciate, so to make your Valentine’s Day gift shopping easier, we have found some great gift ideas for men in some of your favourite stores.

THE TECHY ADDICT

If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on his Valentine’s Day gift, new tech is a great way to go. He might have dropped some hints about the gadgets he wants, but if he hasn’t, we have some tech options you could consider.

A great pair of headphones are ideal for the man who loves music, gaming, or watching movies and box sets on his laptop. A new gaming console might be outside of your budget, but if gaming is his thing and your budget can stretch to it, there are some brilliant games consoles to consider.

Images: Argos, Game

Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Headphones £253.99 at Argos
Xbox One X 1TB Console £449.99 at Argos
Nintendo Switch Console £279.99 at Argos
PlayStation 4 500GB FIFA 18 with Second DualShock 4 Controller £279.99 at Game

A more affordable gaming option is to buy him a new game for the console he already has. There are a number of highly anticipated games for 2018, unfortunately most of them won’t be released in time for Valentine’s Day. But there are still a few new releases and soon to be released games that you can consider as potential gifts.

Images: Argos, Game

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom for PS4 available 19 January £42.99 at Argos and Game
Dragon Ball FighterZ for Xbox One and PS4 available 26 January £43.99 at Argos and Game
Monster Hunter World for Xbox One and PS4 available 26 January £41.99 at Argos
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT for PS4 available 30 January £41.99 at Argos
Shadow of the Colossus for PS4 available 6 February £29.99 at Argos and Game

A SCENT SENSATION

Fragrances aren’t just for women. A designer fragrance could be a great gift option, especially if this is something he likes but wouldn’t normally purchase for himself. You can pick up some great deals and gift sets in the lead up to Valentine’s Day that the special man in your life will adore.

Images: The Fragrance Shop

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Eau De Toilette 50ml £48.50, Paco Rabanne Invictus Eau De Toilette 100ml £58.00, French Connection UK Friction Him Eau De Toilette 100ml Gift Set £20.00, David Beckham Intimately Eau De Toilette 75ml £12.00, and Versace Eros Eau De Toilette 100ml £69.50 all at The Fragrance Shop

Images: Boots

Boss In Motion Eau De Toilette 90ml £34.56, Diesel Only The Brave Tattoo Eau De Toilette 125ml £37.00, James Bond 007 Eau De Toilette 75ml £16.00, and Givenchy Gentlemen Only Absolute Eau De Toilette 50ml Gift Set £35.32 all at Boots

SUPER STYLE HIM

Clothing may be considered a more intimate gift item, as fashion is a personal choice, but if you feel confident enough to choose something for him to wear, then shirts and jackets make great gifts. However, when it comes to shirts, avoid anything too flamboyant and rather stick to muted colours and simple patterns like check and stripe designs, as this is more likely to be well received by your Valentine than a bright pink floral shirt, unless that is something that they would usually wear.

Images: New Look, Blue Inc. Officer’s Club

Black Check Pocket Front Shirt £19.99 at New Look
Industrialize White and Navy Check Shirt and Tee Set £16.99 at Officers Club
Twisted Soul Black Long Sleeve Nep Shirt £10.00 at Blue Inc.

Images: New Look, Blue Inc. Officer’s Club

Black Shearling Aviator Jacket £59.99 at New Look
TS Heritage Blue Denim Sherpa Jacket £20.00 at Blue Inc.
Soul Star Navy Blue Quilted Bomber Jacket £19.99 at Officers Club

22
Aug

Love is a new lunchbox

As the new school year approaches at a slightly alarming rate, uniform and backpack-buying duty looms. If your kids’ lunchboxes have seen better days, or you’re giving into their demands for new kit, read on to discover our new-term favourites. These boxes and bags are suitable for pre-school, primary and secondary school students, combine clever, leak-free compartments, wipe-clean interiors and some serious insulation.

BEST FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

Sistema Triple Split Lunchbox £10.95 Tesco

This multi compartmental BPA-free plastic lunch box is simple, durable and comes in a range of bold and bright colours. Split into three compartments, a large section for a sandwich or roll and two smaller compartments for snack or fruit and a 150ml screw top yoghurt pot that fits neatly into one of the smaller compartment, it is sealed tight with sturdy clips.

Images: Tesco

Polar Gear Lunch Bag and Bottle £11.99 Argos

The Polar Gear lunch set comes complete with a spacious 2 compartment cool bag and 650ml tritan bottle. It is great for everyday use at work, school or just out for the day and can be wiped clean easily.

My Little Lunch Urban Camouflage Lunch Bag and Bottle £17.99 Argos
This urban style rucksack lunchbag comes complete with a water bottle. The My Little Lunch fun camouflage style lunch bag is fully insulated with an easy wipe, food safe lining, keeping food fresh and cool and has a matching sports bottle. Well worth the price tag!

Images: Argos

 

Playpiece Lunch Bag £6.99 (reduced from £11.99) Trespass

The Playpiece kid’s lunch bag keeps food cool and safe. It’s also ideal for picnics at the park or a day out exploring. Designed with a clip on carry strap that can be easily removed and a carry handle on top, the Playpiece bag has a full zip and comes in a cool helicopter design or funky flower pattern to suit your kid’s tastes.

Images: Trespass

 

Smash Heart Bag & Bottle £7.00 George at Asda

Bring fashion and design to lunchtime with this bright and colourful heart bag from Smash! Smash Insulated Cases are made from durable Polyester with an extra thick foam insulation to keep contents colder longer. Food Safe and BPA, PVC with a lead free lining, the leak proof bottle is also included.

Images: George at Asda

 

BEST FOR OLDER KIDS

Polar Gear Bento Lunchbox £6 Wilko

Available in pink or black this versatile bento style lunch chiller helps keep your lunch cool and fresh. It comes with a fill at home ice pack and a fork and spoon included, and boasts 3 separate food compartments ideal for storing salads, sandwiches, sushi as well as snacks.

Images: Wilko

Bergner Black Cube Lunch Bag £22.99 Argos

The stylish and most compact of all lunchbags, this set includes two lunch boxes of different sizes, one all-purpose tray, two cotton napkins and one cooler bag. It has a wide padded shoulder strap and carrying handle and the case features an aluminium and foam layer for heat insulation.

Images: Argos

BEST FOR LITTLE ONES

Polar Gear Kids Insulated Lunch Bag 9.99 Shoe Zone

The fabulous Polar Gear Kids 3D Insulated Lunch Bags pack a healthy lunch. The 3D is insulated which will keep their food cool and fresh for longer and food safe, plus it also has a wipe clean PVC free lining, Choose from a colourful Owl, Cupcake or a Football design.

Images: Shoe Zone

Disney Frozen Elsa Lunch Bag £12.00 Claire’s

We love this pretty Disney Frozen lunch bag. With glitter detailing, a zip fastening all the way around and 2 grab handles, your little girl’s friends could mistake it for a super trendy handbag. Currently when you buy one item at Claire’s you’ll get a second free.

Paw Patrol ‘Chase’ 3D Lunch Bag £9.99 Deichmann

Entice your active little boy to sit still long enough to eat lunch with this 3D insulated lunch bag that feature’s Paw Patrol’s Chase. It’s a must-have for Paw Patrol fans.

Images: Claire’s and Deichmann

 

Sistema 1.5L Slimline Quaddie Pink £4.00 Asda

The Slimline Quaddie is part of the Sistema Lunch range and has been specifically designed for packed lunches – ideal for school, picnics and days out. There is a large lower section for sandwiches and other lunch items. In addition there are two smaller sections in the top for snacks and smaller items of fruit. A further top section contains a small water bottle.

Images: Asda
22
Aug

Store and restore for the new season

The last throw of summer is the prime time to de-clutter your home. For many, the end of the long summer holidays and the beginning of September marks the start of a new era and the perfect opportunity to restore your home to a calmer state. Not only is a clutter free environment less hazardous, it’s so much nicer to live in and will create a positive mind-set for every inhabitant. So when it comes to the shared spaces in your home, where should you begin?

HAZARD-FREE HALLWAYS

A clutter-free hallway makes life easier. Imagine walking in and out of your home without tripping over a pile of shoes and seeing coats thrown over the stair banister or a chair. How about having a designated place to put your mail, a spot to empty the contents of your pockets into, and a nominated place to drop your keys?

Say goodbye to an unruly mess of shoes at the front door and keep them stowed away neatly in a specialist shoe storage cupboard. You’ll have less dirt and dust trampled through your home, plus the top of the shoe cupboard can also be used to store keys, letters and loose change. If you have the space for a console table then invest now. Those small drawers will hold a bucket load of small objects you don’t want to be on view. Lastly invest in a coat rack, be it a freestanding one or a wall mounted one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.

Images: The Works, Wilko, WHSmith; Argos

9 Drawer Wooden Chest £10 and Decorative Wooden Box £5 from The Works; Laura Ashley Grace Gold Floral Print Multi Drawer Unit £13.99 from WHSmith; Wicker Letter Holder £6.00 from Wilko; Hygena Lydiard Gloss Shoe Cabinet £134.99 from Argos

LIVING ROOM LOVE

Dual-purpose furniture is the way to optimise storage of your belongings and keep your living room tidy and clutter free. Make your coffee table work harder for you and invest in one with shelves or secret compartments.

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Alternatively a wooden chest or dresser with drawers where you can store bits and bobs, and ottomans and footstools used to store away your winter blankets, cushions, board games and magazines, are all great investments towards reclaiming your sanctuary. Also think about optimising your walls for storage. Floating shelves, cubes and hanging racks will help create more space and work brilliantly for books, plants, ornaments and photo albums.

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Images: Wilko, B&M Stores, Argos

Clovelly Coffee Table Grey £150 from Wilko; Multi Compartment Shelf £9.99 from B&M Stores; Habitat Bumble Coffee Table £119 from Argos; Ladder Bookcase £70 from Wilko

A STRESS FREE WORKSPACE

The big challenge when de-cluttering your workspace or home office, whether you are working from home, or your kids are using it for homework, is managing all of your paper clutter. Paper clutter is a beast, so whether you decide to keep it or trash it, you’ll need to file it or shred it.

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To make your work area work for you, create filing storage either with drawer inserts, collapsible boxes or a separate filing cabinet, utilise drawers for stationary and equipment, desk tidies, cable ties and invest in a shredder to sit nicely underneath the desk on a specialist under desk storage stand.

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Images: The Works, WHSmith, Argos; Ryman

New York Collapsible Storage Box from The Works £6.99 or 2 for £10; London Underground Collapsible Storage Box from The Works £7.00 or 2 for £10; Safco Wire Under Desk Printer Stand Black £75 from WHSmith; Rexel Style Plus Shredder £69.99 from Argos; Bisley Cabinet 5 Drawer £51.99 from Ryman; Totally Tropical Pineapple Pen Pot £7.99 Ryman

CRAFTY KITCHEN TIPS

The most used and the most sociable room in the home can be a huge challenge to keep clutter free. Because the kitchen has so many different types of items stored in it from food to appliances to Ziploc bags and utensils, everything needs to be stored logically and in its correct zone. Begin the de-cluttering process by choosing either a zone or a type of item and then work on the list from there.

Why not organise your countertop with specialist racks for spices, mug trees, storage bottles and containers and free up your cupboards for food, crockery and pots and pans?

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Images: Poundland, B&M Stores, Wilko, Argos

Large Glass Storage Jar £1 from Poundland; Retro Tea, Coffee & Sugar £8.99 from B&M Stores; Vertex Copper Finish Fruit Basket and Mug Tree £28.99 from Argos; Hygena Tea, Coffee and Sugar Stacker £17.99 from Argos; 6-piece glass spice rack £6.00 from Wilko

Seek out clever solutions for creating tiers within your cupboards and products that can utilise the inside of doors, under the sink and the top of the fridge.

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Images: Wilko

Corner Plate Rack & Hanging Shelf Storage each £3.00, Telescopic Stand & Overdoor Pan Lid Rack each £2.50, 3-tier Kitchen Organiser £4.00, Overdoor 2-tier basket £5.00 and 2-tier Storage Rack £8.00 all from Wilko

KEEP A LID ON THE KIDS ZONE

Whilst we know it’s hard to get your little one to keep their play area tidy, you can always arrange toys and books into brightly coloured cubes and fun, colourful storage units. Look for ones with plenty of drawers for toys and arts and crafts so you’ll be able to keep clutter to a minimum.

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Images: Argos

HOME 3 Tier Childrens Basket Storage Unit £29.99 and HOME Beech Effect Sling Bookcase £19.99 both from Argos

Stackable storage boxes are perfect for storing toys and games and will also save on floor space. Pop-up tidies are a great invention as they can hide a multitude of toys and they can be folded away as a flat pack when you’re not using them.

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Images: The Works, Poundland, Wilko

The Hungry Caterpillar Storage Suitcases – Set Of 3 from The Works £6.99; Plastic Clippy Boxes £1 each from Poundland; 3-Pack Stackable Dinosaur Boxes £10.00 from Wilko

17
Jul

Beauty heroes with plant power

Celebrate summer by going back to nature and embracing plant power. Whilst products using the purest plant extracts were once exclusive and expensive, priced at between £70 and £200, you’ll now find a number of naturally derived and sustainably sourced facial serums and moisturisers at more affordable prices. From £5 to £40, we bring you the best tried and tested available in-stores now.

SUPER SERUMS

Botanics Radiant Youth Serum £4.00

At a purse friendly £4 for 30ml, Boots Botanics Radiant Youth Serum contains natural plant extract Gingko which is packed with anti-oxidants to help counteract free radicals and helps keep skin looking younger, protecting it from environmental stresses such as pollution, temperature and sun.

Sukin Super Greens Facial Recovery Serum £13.95

A refreshing daily facial serum with detoxifying green actives of kale, spirulina, chlorella and parsley providing antioxidants and vitamins to help encourage a healthy glow. At £13.95 for 30ml this super serum also contains grape seed oil, avocado and vitamin E, which lock in moisture for a dewy complexion, and added acai berry for youthful looking skin.

Superfacialist Neroli Intense Facial Serum £16.99

At £16.99 for 30ml maintain youthful and radiant skin with this silky textured wrinkle smoothing Intense Facial Serum. It contains a breakthrough apple derived stem cell ingredients proven to actively protect longevity of skin stem cells with a collagen stimulating peptide to help to firm the skin. Plus it has moisture boosting Hyaluronic Acid combined with Hibiscus extract to help restore your complexion’s natural radiance and healthiness.

The Body Shop Nutriganics Drops of Youth Concentrate £26.00

This certified organic miracle serum has a price tag of £26 but it is worth every penny. Just a couple of drops added to your daily moisturiser to combat the first signs of ageing and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum £40.00

This antioxidant-rich, replenishing serum is instantly absorbed by skin to give an instantly brighter, smoother complexion. It protects the skin’s barrier with nutrient rich botanicals, addresses the signs of dehydration and at the pricier end of £40 it smells gorgeous too.

CREAMS TO COVET

Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day Cream £5.25

Green tea’s antioxidant rich nutrients makes it a valuable asset in the fight against ageing and Simple has harnessed this skin-saving goodness for its Age Resisting Day Cream, plus has added SPF 15, to fight wrinkles and lines. At only £5.25 it’s a brilliant budget buy.

Botanics Hydration Burst Day Lotion SPF15 £8.99

The new Hydration Burst range from Boots Botanics is a nourishing formula, rich in Clary Sage extract, that comforts and soothes dehydrated and sensitive skin. At a purse friendly £8.99 for 50ml, the lightweight texture absorbs quickly, calming skin and leaving it feeling supple and smooth, and hydrated for up to 8 hours.

REN Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream £20.00

At £20 for 60ml this award winning moisturiser is an absolute necessity. Not only will it fit into your hand luggage it contains vitamins P and F to decongest skin and reduce sensitivity. Ideal if you’re going to be exposed to the sun.

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream £23.00

Each 30ml tube of this rich day cream contains over 1075 organic rose petals, Beautifully scented and especially rejuvenating and regenerating for mature skin, it also has a calming effect on skin that has been over exposed to the sun. Snap it for £23.

Origins New Smarty Plants CC SPF20 Skin Complexion Corrector £29.00

This super-smart plant formula CC cream from Origins helps perfect the appearance of pores, minimises excess oiliness, and lightly hydrates to smooth away fine, dry lines. Priced at £29 for 40ml it also has SPF 20 to help you keep your youthful good looks longer.

17
Jul

Save on schoolwear & tear

Even though the summer term has only just come to an end, prep for the new school year has started and so has the high street’s hard sell on school uniform. With September a steadfast 6 to 8 weeks away it’s not to early to get your kids kitted out in their new threads, and it needn’t be costly, with stores like Aldi and Lidl promising an entire head-to-toe combo of four pieces for £3.75, and trusted uniform suppliers like Marks & Spencer and Debenhams having already run early bird promotions in June. There’s no need to suffer from fear of missing out, wherever you choose to shop you’ll find deals, but don’t leave it too late as great uniform at even greater prices sells out fast!

INNOVATION BUZZWORDS

From worn out patches to loss of shape, rips, tears and ink-stains, if you want a uniform that is durable, breathable, stain resistant and easy to care for, look out for these buzzwords when you’re considering where to buy and make sure the uniform you choose for your kids goes the extra mile.

ALL ROUND VALUE & QUALITY

Needless to say, the high street offers fantastic value for money when it comes to school uniform. Established suppliers like M&S, John Lewis, Next, Debenhams, Argos, Mothercare and Peacocks are all strengthening their offering, not only providing great value multi-buys and buy one get one half price offers, but pioneering enhanced fabrics, greater sizing options, and a variety of fits, whilst supermarkets like Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury are all in on the act offering even larger multi-packs at bargain-basement prices.

Supermarkets are not to be shunned for school uniform. The Tu range at Sainsbury and at Argos has over two hundred options with a wide range of colours. Polo shirts in packs of three are from £3.50 per pack, trousers and skirts are £7 for a pack of two and sweatshirts start at £4 for a pack of two.

BARGAINS ON BASICS

If your child will be sporting the basic uniform rules of either navy, grey or black trousers, skirts or pinafores, a white or blue collared shirt or a plain polo shirt, and a green, navy, grey or red knitted V-neck or cardigan, then the high street can accommodate your every need. And if your child has to wear school regulation shirts and jumpers embroidered with their school’s logo, you can still be savvy and stock up on basic trousers and skirts, PE shorts, plain tees, football shorts, vests and socks, offered by high street retailers at incredibly low prices.

8
Jun

Take on the Tee trends

Men’s summer staple T-shirts in hot-to-have styles will sizzle in town, country or at the beach and there are many trends to choose from. From standard issue camo prints and tie-dye, to hot tropical palm and floral prints, tattered and torn tees and rock & roll band tees, the high street is flooded with some serious styles you can slide into your wardrobe with ease, and at purse friendly prices.

DRUMROLL

The rock & roll band tee is a major player for the summer. Whether you’re chilling out with headphones on, or partying to the coolest tunes at a festival, parading your favourite band or musician across your chest is the style du jour.

Images: Amplified at Sports Direct

Amplified T-Shirts £14.99 each at Sports Direct or 2 for £20.00
Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses

 

Images: Primark

Rock Tees at Primark
Guns N Roses £10.00, AC/DC £9.00, Pink Floyd £8.00

 

The rock & roll style shows no sign of slowing down so get involved with the classics or keep it retro with rock inspired tees in graphic prints. You’ll find plenty of classic styles inspired by old-school gig-wear in the shops, and non-band specific so you can look super cool without pledging allegiance to any one band.

Images: Sixth June, Supply & Demand at JD Sports

Rock inspired tees at JD Sports
Sixth June Bleach Washed T-Shirt £35.00
Sixth June Acid Wash Band T-Shirt £30.00
Supply & Demand Metal T-Shirt Was £20.00 Now £15.00

 

HOT TROPICS

T-shirts turn tropical and palm prints and florals come into full bloom this summer. Raise your style game with some botanical coolness across tees and vests with oversized palm leafs, modern and oriental florals and Hawaiian prints. This trend is all about pops of colour and a touch of street. Pair with mirror shades and distressed denim for added attitude.

Images: JD Sports, Primark, New Look

Supply & Demand Burgundy Rose Fade Vest £16.00 JD Sports
Tropical Flower Vest £6.00 Primark
Black Floral Print Tee £12.99 New Look

 

Images: Blue Inc., New Look, Primark

Soul Star Palm Print Tee £9.99 Blue Inc.
Orange Palm Print Tee £12.99 New Look
Hawaii Palm Print Vest £6.00 Primark

 

TIE DYE

The freedom of summer brings a new Zen like mindfulness so why not channel Woodstock with some tie-dye? From rainbow splashes to muted dip dye and modern splashes, a tie dye tee offers a laid back take on bold blasts of colour. This trend is ideal for festival frolics or city-friendly weekend breaks, where you want to stand out and blend in at the same time.

Images: Primark, JD Sports, River Island

Rainbow Tie Dye Vest £6.00 Primark
SikSilk Curved Hem Fade Tee £40.00 JD Sports
Orange Tie Dye Tee £12.00 River Island

 

TATTERED & TORN

Call this look what you will, ripped, shredded, distressed, tattered, look uber cool in a semi slashed t-shirt or tread cautiously in a tee with just a little bit of destruction. Take this trend straight off the catwalk and into your closet for ultimate street cred.

Images: JD Sports, Sports Direct, New Look, Primark

Sixth June Whippy Destroyed Tee £30.00 JD Sports
Fabric Distress Drop Tee £3.99 Sports Direct
Pink Ripped Longline Tee £12.99 New Look
Grey Ripped Tee £8.00 Primark

 

STANDARD ISSUE

If tropical prints aren’t your vibe, then consider a camo print tee as a pleasingly masculine alternative. Integrating some military machismo into your wardrobe and going all-out squaddie in an all-over camo print might seem like overkill, but plenty of brands are now producing contemporary digital camo designs that will work well with denim and neutral toned shorts.

Images: Supply & Demand, Nanny State and 11 Degrees all at JD Sports

Camo at JD Sports
Supply & Demand Crawl Tee £20.00
Nanny State Dawson Vest £12.00
11 Degrees Geo Camo Tee £40.00

4
Jun

Fake it, don’t bake it!

The same rule applies to tanning as it does to ageing. Do it gracefully. Thankfully there is a new wave of everyday gradual tanning moisturisers and instant tanners available in smooth lotions, fluffy mousses and handy spray oils and gels, that promise a subtle, warming sheen leaving skin with a gorgeous, natural glow. These cult beauty buys will become as part of your everyday routine as brushing your teeth.

The good news is that there’s one to suit every skin type. Take a good look around your local supermarket, chemist and department store at the huge variety of tanning moisturisers and instant tans at prices from under £10 to over £30. There are many great multi-buy deals and promotions in stores at the moment, so take advantage and make sure your cash stretches further.

BUDGET BUYS UNDER £10

Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan & Gradual Glow £6.99

For an instant, natural-looking tan that can be used on the face and body this Rimmell must-have gives a gradual glow that will keep you looking healthy without being too overpowering. It comes in two matte shades, and is an instant tan that is easily washed off.

Palmer’s Natural Bronze Gradual Tan £7.49

Thanks to its signature combination of pure Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E, this is the perfect product to keep your skin beautiful and healthy with a natural-looking glow. With just a touch of self-tanner, it will create a delicate, sun-kissed, summer glow, gradually building a subtle tan within a few days, while deeply moisturising your skin.

Barry M In The Glow Body Oil Liquid Bronzer £7.99

With pure Coconut Oil and the tropical fragrance of Tahitian Gardenia, this gorgeous body oil will soothe, hydrate and add a subtle sun kissed glow to all skin tones. Simply apply over the body after showering and smooth into your skin for a richly moisturised, beautifully bronzed look. Allow a few minutes for the skin to absorb the product before dressing.

St. Moriz Fast Tan Response Tanning Mist £8.99

Ideal for those who like a quick fix tan, the St. Moriz Advanced Pro Fast Response Tanning Mist allows you to control your shade. Achieve a light glow in one hour, a medium tan in two hours and a dark tan in three hours. For those who like a deeper tan, leave on for longer.

PURSE FRIENDLY £10 to £20

Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Dry Body Mist £10.20

This is a no nonsense multi-angle spray tan that leaves a light tan, ideal for a subtle glow. It has apricot extracts to moisturise skin, is quick-dry, and there is no need to rub. A perfect product if you’re new to the world of self-tan sprays.

Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk £11.99

This innovative dual action gradual tanning milk formula is enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E and will hydrate and nourish your skin while developing a stunning natural golden tan. With a subtle cocoa butter scent it’s great for everyday use.

St. Tropez Instant Tan Finishing Gloss £12.00

Providing an instant gorgeous bronze glow, with buildable coverage, if you have a tan commitment-phobia then this is the product for you. This superb instant tanner is washable so it is ideal for beginners and those just looking for a quick fix-up.

Modelco Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturiser £12.49

This is an everyday triple action self-tanning moisturiser. Suitable for all skin types, it acts as a self-tanner, tan extender and moisturiser all in one, allowing you to build or prolong your tan gradually and easily. Infused with nourishing and antioxidant properties of Green Tea Extract, it delivers a natural golden glow and helps to even out skin tone, hide cellulite, stretch marks and spider veins.

 

Fake Bake Faux Glo Long Lasting Wash-Off Tan £13.45

Inspired by make-up artists, this instant spray tan in a can boasts a 360˚ nozzle and gives a continuous spray that works at any angle, even upside-down. It’s the easiest way to create a temporary, instantly tanned look, is suitable for all complexions and exceptionally good for covering irregular skin tones. The super-fast drying aerosol is transfer resistant, pleasantly fragranced.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion £14.19

This new Gradual Tan Tinted Body Lotion from St. Tropez gives an instant hint of bronze that illuminates the skin, whilst gradually building a healthy sun kissed glow. It’s a lightweight, ultra-hydrating body lotion that’s easy to apply, quick drying and suitable for all skin tones.

Skinny Tan Gradual Tanner £14.99

This deliciously scented moisturising cream builds a natural looking tan with daily applications. The application is really creamy and it will develop into a natural looking tan over a matter of hours and days.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Firming 4 in 1 Lotion £18.99

St. Tropez’s newest addition to its Gradual Tan range contains allo-melanin, which mimics the skin’s natural melanin to give you a healthy tan. Applied daily, its special formula combining a cell energizer, hyaluronic acid and anti-oxidant, is designed to tone, firm and moisturise tired skin during the bronzing process. Four benefits in one for under £20 is great value for money.

SPLURGE £20 AND OVER

Clinique Body Tinted Lotion £20.00

This luxurious tinted lotion will give you a deep tan with gorgeous golden undertones, the colour gets richer within the next day, and the finished look is tropical vacation worthy. The lotion formula means a super easy and smooth application, so there are no missed spots or streaks.

Bobbi Brown All Over Bronzing Gel £25.00

This deluxe gel will give you a golden tan with brown undertones. Perfect for the summer, the gel is fresh, dries fast, and has SPF 15. It is also travel-friendly, and the ideal go-to for emergency retouches.

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish £29.49

This sumptuous wash off skin finishing body makeup gives a natural looking tint for the body, and reflects light for a photo-ready finish. Whether you’re putting on a skirt for the first time this year, or you want photo-ready skin for a glamorous event, Body Blur is the perfect product. The subtle, natural-looking tint will suit all skin tones and the clean formula with organic and natural skin conditioning extracts will work for even sensitive skin types.

Fake Bake Airbrush Instant Self-Tan £27.95

This is a lush airbrush spray tan that will give you an instant glow. As it is quick drying and develops with speed it’s ideal if you have spare time on a night for precise application. The 360˚ nozzle gives you continuous spray and an even coverage.

Space NK Tan Luxe The Water £33.00

Don’t be fooled by the transparency, this gets results and gives a seamless natural tan as well as providing your skin with a hydration and vitamin boost. And just like water, there’s no smell.

8
May

Don’t forget your passport

The summer is almost upon us. Hurrah! For some of us it means travelling to near or far flung places for family gatherings, weekends away, holiday pleasure and some much needed rest and relaxation. Whether long haul or short haul, whatever you do, don’t leave home without bagging yourself the right bags for your trip.

CARRY ON & CARRY OFF

For special short breaks and for your carry-on, you need a cabin bag that’s super versatile and easy to get from A to B. First and foremost, each airline has their own set of size guidelines when it comes to cabin luggage. Get your dimensions wrong and you could end up with extra hassle at the airport and paying hefty charges for your luggage to go in the hold if it’s too big for the cabin.

To find the ideal hand luggage to take with you on your flight think about what you will be taking with you and compartmentalise your packing accordingly.

Make sure you have a telescopic and adjustable handle, side handles to make it easier to lift into the overhead locker and the more wheels the better as you’ll get better movement and stability.

IT Worlds Lightest Small Wheel Suitcase £29.99 Argos
American Tourister Wavebreaker 8 Wheel Small Suitcase £49.99 Argos
IT Luggage 4 Wheel Hard Cabin Case £39.99 Argos

If you’re taking a computer with you, then opt for an airline approved cabin bag with a built in laptop section. You’ll also want to consider whether you want a case that can fit under your seat for quick access.

Asaklitt 32 L Cabin Trolley Case £39.99 Clas Ohlson
Wenger Potomac Wheeled Laptop Case £89.99 Clas Ohlson

If aesthetic is more important to you than function then there are plenty of colourful cabin bags around at bargain prices. From stripes and florals to bold brights, the choice is endless.

Sovereign Suitcase 49cm in Teal or Floral £12.99 B&M
Excel Suitcase Foldable Cabin Trolley Bag in Black, Blue or Pink £9.99 B&M

 

EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK

When you’re escaping on holiday for a week or more, or just packing for every eventuality, you need a case that offers the space and features to get your stuff all the way to your destination, and all the way back again.

Make sure your case has straps inside to keep your belongings secure and in place for the duration of your journey. Pockets and compartments provide extra space and are perfect for keeping important stuff safe and expandable luggage gives you more space when you need it, especially if you’re planning on coming home with more than you left with. One other tip, if you’re trying to blag an upgrade then make sure you look the part. Why not choose an eye catching and chic luggage set to accompany you on your travels?

Tripp Chambray ‘World’ 4 wheel Suitcases from £49.00 at Debenhams
Tripp Holiday 5 Suitcases various Colours from £45.00 at Debenhams

 

FOR LITTLE PEOPLE & GROWN UP KIDS

Travelling with children, whatever their age can be stressful, but you can take away some of the hassle by choosing luggage that they’ll love.

Star Wars and Little Miss Sunshine Suitcases
55cm, 66cm, 76cm from £34.99 to £54.99 B&M Stores

Luggage designed specifically for children can have a dual purpose and help them beat the boredom of travelling. Flyte is a combination of a compact piece of luggage, a pull along trolley case and a scooter. It easily folds out from a travel case into a fun steer scooter to make running to the gate a breeze!

Designed to be used as hand luggage, kids can pack their Trunki with their favourite belongings, while you can keep them in tow, let them ride on next to you, or take a seat while waiting to board.

 

Flyte H20 Midi Case Scooter and Olivia The Owl Midi Flyte Case Scooter both £69.99
Trunki Frank the Firetruck and Trunki Una the Unicorn each £39.99 from Argos

 

Kid’s accessories can also be fun. From cute luggage tags and passport holders for babies to cool travel accessories for teenagers who want to retain their individuality.

Bambino My First Passport & luggage Tag £12.99 Argos
Watermelon Luggage Tag £3.99 New Look
Away We Go Travel Essentials Set £10.00 Claire’s

PACK & PROTECT

There is no such thing as too many bags to make your packing more streamlined. From bags to help you pack in a modular system, to bags specifically designed to protect your shoes, lingerie and swimwear in your suitcase, and bags dedicated to protecting your technology from beachside antics, seek and you shall find.

Asaklitt 6-Pack Luggage Organisers £8.99 Clas Ohlson
Travel Bags £1.00 Poundland

Pro-Tec CaseIt Active Universal Mobile Waterproof Pouch £9.99 EE Stores
Proporta Beachbuoy Large £12.49 Superdrug
Rugged waterproof Phone Pounch £14.99 Maplin
Travel Pouch £2.99 Superdrug

GET ORGANISED

A passport holder or a travel pouch is the one item you will be pleased you took as you’ll be able to put all your important travel documents in one place as well credit cards, certificates, passport, etc. From practical styles you can keep in your pocket or wear around your neck, to ones with funky prints that make a statement about who you are, whatever you choose it will help you stay organised.

Beauty Junky Passport and Ticket Holder £7.50 Boots
Trendz Map Passport Cover £13.00 Boots
Marvel Comics Passport And Luggage Tag Set £12.00 Clintons

 

Techy fans will love the revolutionary Hidentity Passport Plus Cover, it stops criminals from reading the data stored on the RFID chip in your passport or credit and debit card due to a protective foil embedded in the cover. It is so thin that very little bulk is added to your passport so will even fit in your coat pocket.

Asaklitt Neck Wallet in Turquoise, Pink or Black £5.99 Clas Ohlson
Asaklitt Travel Wallet £4.99 Clas Ohlson
Hidentity Passport Plus Cover £7.49 Maplin
Neon Passport Holders £1.00 Poundland

 

TAG IT

Finally, make sure you stand out in a crowd at the baggage carousel with brightly designed luggage tags and say goodbye to picking up the wrong case.

Slogan Luggage Tags £1.00 Poundworld
Not Your Bag Luggage Tags £7.99 Maplin
Askalit Owl Luggage Tag £2.49 Clas Ohlson
Glo Luggage ID Tag £2.49 Superdrug
Old-Fashioned Luggage Labels £7.71 WHSmith

3
May

Bring the inside out

Give yourself a better work life balance and get back to nature by making the most of your outside space so you can feel more Zen. Why not reap the wellbeing benefits of your outside space? Whether you have a garden, patio or balcony, design your outside area as an extension of your inside space and use it as a calming retreat to dine al fresco, have a post-work glass of wine or relax with a book.

Your garden is an extension of your home, and can offer you an ‘extra room’, especially if space indoors is limited. Interior trends are making their way outside more than ever before. As us Brits are beginning to want more comfort from our outside spaces, so think about creating your garden as you would an interior room or a conservatory. Both of the major Swedish interiors trends – hygge and lagom – translate to the outdoors. Whether you want the cosiness of hygge or favour the more minimalist, pared-back approach of lagom, that being not too much, not too little, the latest Scandi trends will work in your garden, too.


For hygge influences look out for furniture with soft lines and sumptuous cosy cushions, and for lagom influences keep it minimal and understated with sleek, pared back furniture in natural, raw and recycled materials and elements of metals. There is no reason why you can’t blend the two styles for your own unique look and personal preferences.

 

SWEDISH TRENDS – GET THE LOOK

You’ll be able to recreate this look with ease from a variety of department stores and high street chains that all provide beautiful garden furniture. From places like Debenhams, Argos Wilko and B&M Stores for large ticket items to Home Bargains, Primark, Poundland, Poundworld, Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda for accessories.

Home 8 Seater Rattan Effect Corner Dining Set £399.99 Argos

Home Rattan 2 Seater Duck Egg Patio Set £199.99 (was £269.99) Argos

Venice Rattan Hooded Day Bed £399.99 and Venice Hanging Egg Chair £125 both B&M Stores

Garden Snuggle Egg Chair £275 and Garden Egg Lounge Set £225 both Wilko

 

NATURAL MATERIALS

As the popularity of natural materials rise in interiors, so it is with patio and garden furniture. Less synthetic materials, more natural timber, and free-flowing pieces are the key.

Forest Sleeper Benches and Table Set £399.99 Argos
Pine Potting Table £79.99 Clas Ohlson

Miami Swing £279.99 and Reclaimed Wood Rocking Chair £49.99 B&M Stores

 

INSIDE OUT LIVING

The distinction between indoors and outdoors has become more blurred as homes are now being designed and renovated to “open up” – creating open plan spaces inside leading to the garden or patio via glass sliding doors, the same applies to balconies. That feeling of flow warrants a comfortable outside space with lounge like seating that resembles a three-piece suite, or sturdy dining furniture that helps to create a feeling of an ‘extra room’.

Outdoor Sofa with Chaise Longue £199.99 and Aluminium Furniture set £189.99 both Clas Ohlson

Westbury Luxury Corner Rattan Set £299.99 (was £399.99) B&M Stores
Venice Rattan Effect Sofa Set 4pc £169.99 (was £300.00) B&M Stores

 

THE FINISHING TOUCHES

Layer up chairs with dreamy cushions and bright-coloured throws, add some fairy lights, lanterns and candles to create a calm and magical ambience. Garden and patio lighting is an important feature, rather than a functional afterthought. Use solar lights and motion sensor lights to conserve energy and use beneath big plants, hanging from trees, and to light pathways.

Cushions, candles, tealights and fairly lights all Primark

Solar powered garden and patio lights all Poundland