You wash your face everyday for your entire life and then a single product comes along that makes you realise that maybe you have been unknowingly walking the earth with grubby skin. The miracle that is micellar water is here to stay. So if you’ve grown up knowing the importance of a great skincare routine, have never rushed your skincare régime but are finding it hard to commit to a 3-step, 4-step, even a 5-step morning and nightly routine, then micellar water is for you.
Micellar water has been heralded as the magical, no-rinse remedy to replace your cleanser, toner and moisturiser in a single step. Skincare devotees have every right to be sceptical but the fact that nearly every beauty editor and makeup artist sings its praises and wonders how they ever lived without it, you too could soon be ditching your face wash and cream in favour of micellar water.
So how does it work? The formula is made of micelles, which are tiny oil molecules suspended in soft water and originated over a hundred of years ago to help Parisians combat their harsh water supply. Micelles are attracted to dirt, grime, and oil, and they draw out impurities without drying out your skin. Whereas a foamy solution can strip your skin, micelles cling on to the dirt and makeup, dissolving them to leave behind a glowing, hydrated skin.
So instead of washing with a traditional cleanser just drench a cotton pad in this miracle fluid, swipe over you face and repeat until the grime and make-up is no more. Micellar water is not to be confused with face wipes that will just smear dirt around your face. And unlike toner, it doesn’t contain alcohol and never stings, meaning you can use it around the sensitive eye area. It is the perfect way to pare back an extensive night-time routine of double cleansing, exfoliation, and toner, and in the morning your skin won’t need a full cleanse, just wipe it over your face with a cotton pad.
BLOW THE BUDGET
You’ll find this miracle one-step cleanser in almost every beauty range, from luxury brands like Decleor, Lance and Nuxe, to high street heroes such as Simple and Garnier. As it requires absolutely no rinsing and is suited for all skin types, especially super dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin, micellar water is a serious addition to the beauty market. Some brands like No7 and Garnier have versions for Oily skin and for Dry and Sensitive skins as well.
If you want to find the right micellar water for you without investing in a 400ml bottle, first look in-store at Debenhams, Boots, Savers, SemiChem and Superdrug for travel and trial sizes from almost all of the beauty brands, or buy a 200ml bottle, then when you’ve discovered the one you love the most, stock up when there is a promotion. Trust us, your skin will never look better.
Is shopping for shoes becoming more of a minefield than a pleasure trip? Are you confusing your ballerinas with your brogues? If you have any doubt as to which shoe trends are in vogue, here is everything you need to know about how to fashionably wear this season’s flats and heels. The good news is that ALL the high street retailers have a fabulous selection of fashionable flats and fabulous heels, and at truly affordable prices.
DON’T FEAR THE FLAT
There is absolutely no need to sacrifice style for comfort, as this season’s flats will also raise you up in the style stakes. If you’ve ever taken your heels off after an hour on the dance floor, or they lie abandoned under your desk at work within minutes of walking into the office, then you know that the heel alternative of a flat offers pure comfort, and joy.
From ballerinas and slipper shoes commemorated by the Fashpack, to loafers and brogues offering a sturdiness that is hard to argue with, look out for feminine touches like a little toe cleavage, or a pointed toe for extra sexiness, and quilted, metallic and animal print finishes that’ll make these shoes sing.
Add finishing touches to Ghillie flats with back zip fastenings and seek out patchwork, fringing, bows and studs for ultimate fashion points. These are the shoes that will take you from dawn to dusk.
REACH GREAT HEIGHTS
Love them or hate them, heels are the ultimate accessories when it comes to taking your style to great heights. Nothing adds glamour like a pair of heels or towering skyscrapers to add some wiggle to your walk, whether you’re wearing them during the day or at night.
The peep-toe heel and the slingback heel are both having a revival. Whether in leather, patent, or satin, the small exposure of skin each style brings is ever so chic, and no matter how high the heel, these styles will work with everything in your wardrobe. The slingback is the perfect party shoe, refreshed for autumn in pastel velvets, soft suedes and cool animal prints.
But if you want a shot of high-octane glamour, nothing beats a pair of stilettos. The sharp dagger of this heel, at least 4 inches in height, looks amazing in all colours and will add pure sexiness to your walk and to your outfit. Take the heel slightly lower and you have a court shoe, every working girls closet staple. Look out for embellished heels, embroidery and brocade, luxe animal prints, sexy cut-outs and metallics.
Which girl are you? Towering heels or comfortable flats? Whether you opt for comfort and practicality or for longer legs and a sexy wiggle, this season is all about investing in a shoe wardrobe that ranges in variety and serious style.
Now is the time to de-clutter your home because a spacious and clutter free environment promotes good things, is less hazardous and let’s face it, so much nicer to live in; and it also creates a positive mind-set. So where should you begin? Why not optimise your storage at home using clever storage solutions to streamline your environment?
LOVE YOUR LIVING ROOM
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. 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.
Every family has an abundance of shoes, most of which will get removed at the front door. Why not dissipate an unruly mess and keep the family’s shoes stowed away neatly in a shoe storage cupboard? A tall or wide shoe cupboard is a must to store shoes so that you don’t trample dirt and dust indoors, plus it keep them hidden away. Again a dual-purpose piece of furniture, the top of the shoe cupboard can also used as to store keys, letters and ornaments.
TIDY KIDS MEAN HAPPY ADULTS
Whilst we know it’s hard to get your little one to keep their bedroom or 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, stationary and other bits and pieces, so you’ll be able to keep clutter to a minimum.
Stackable storage boxes are perfect for storing toys and games. Invest in ones with a crocodile lid so you and your child can easily access both sides of the box without having to take off the whole lid or pull out the whole box if it is stored under a bed or desk. Because these boxes are stackable, you can also save on floor space.
Pop-up tidies are a great invention as they can hide a multitude of dirty laundry, shoes and toys and they can be folded away as a flat pack when you’re not using them.
A GROWN UP BEDROOM
Make your bedside table work harder for you. A bedside table should be stylish but it must be practical, so make sure you choose something that can multitask all your essentials. Folding storage boxes are a great way to store extra bed linen or chunky, winter knits. They usually come in faux suede or leather with a padded lid and can be used as additional seating in the bedroom. These storage boxes can easily fold up in seconds so you can store it away when you don’t need it.
If you have a dressing table or a flat surface on a chest of drawers then utilising this area with storage and Perspex or mirror tidies for cosmetics is a good way to keep things neat and away.
SAVOUR A SLEEK STUDY
To make your study area work for you, create storage in specific areas that you occupy most often. If you have a study, an office or even a desk area, utilise and desk tidies and drawer inserts to maximize on your space and hide clutter. Drawer inserts are perfect for creating a bespoke organising system and they fit into most existing drawers. Crates and drawers that can sit upon the desk are also great for hiding clutter; you may even find some have a dual purpose with a front facing noticeboard or chalkboard.
Lastly think about optimizing walls for storage. Perfect for any room in the house, including bathrooms and kitchens, floating shelves, cubes and hanging racks will help create more space.
‘Back to school’ is an expensive time for parents. Thankfully, high-street stores and supermarkets are reducing this expense by offering staple items for cheap prices, and with added value technology to take the strain of playground antics and growth spurts, school uniform is now designed to make your life easier and your uniform bill lighter.
So what’s the most important thing to consider when buying uniform? Price? Size? Quality? Guarantee? All these factors are important considering 80% of parents replace school uniforms within the same year of purchase, and 60% of school uniforms are replaced within the first six months. From worn out patches to loss of shape, rips, tears and ink-stains, you want a uniform that is durable, stain resistant and will go the extra mile.
PROOF IS IN THE WEAR & TEAR
Stain-busting hi-tech innovations is what you want if you’re after playground proof uniform. Look for extra protection and treatments on fabrics that will make it last, no matter how many tumbles and muddy puddles your child encounters. Many brands on the high-street can offer you skirts, tunics, trousers and shorts with DuPont™ Teflon®, an invisible fabric protector that helps protect clothing from spills, stains, blemishes and everyday messy mishaps. Stains and spills clean up quickly and easily, and fabrics retain their colour and quality so they look better and last longer. Look out too for Triple Action Stormwear™, Stain Away™ and StayNEW™ technology.
Clever touches in school uniform make it easier to play the long game as ingenious design touches allow the uniform to grow with your child. The latest addition to the schoolwear market are adjustable hems and cuffs, adding 3cm onto blazers and trousers – say no more, and almost all trousers and skirts come with adjustable waists, (some with Supercrease™ technology), perfect for growth spurts and extra comfortable for active kids; and since all children are different shapes and sizes, you can now buy slim fit and plus fit trousers for girls and boys and generous size skirts and blouses, trousers and shirts.
IF THE SHOE FITS
If the shoe fits, chances are you’ll want more from a school shoe than just comfort. Say goodbye to scuffs with scuff-resistant finishes and hello to sweet smelling school feet with new Freshfeet™ technology that eliminates odours and prevents bacterial and fungal growth. Look for shoes with breathability; tiny permeated holes in the soles that allow moisture to be quickly absorbed so feet stay dry and healthy. Shoes that promote cushioned soles to support growing feet and waterproof and slip resistant soles are also great buys.
The latest innovation in school uniform will save time for you in the mornings. Look out trousers and skirts with no buttons or zips and shirts that are fastened with Velcro. Marks & Spencer’s new line of school uniform will make it simpler for children to dress themselves and includes buttonless shirts, zipless trousers and skirts and a long-sleeved polo shirt, which can be worn with a tie.
BECAUSE MULTI-BUYS MATTER
Whatever you are buying look out for multi-packs, buy one get one free, and buy one get one half price offers in-store. Great value packs of shirts, polo shirts and vests are pretty much available everywhere but the offers you really want are on trousers, skirts and pinafores, and cross departmental buys.
PEACE OF MIND & YOUR GUARANTEE
More retailers will guarantee their school uniforms, because quality matters. George at Asda gives a 100 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, your proof of purchase will allow for an exchange or refund, while Morrison school uniforms can be returned for up to 200 days under the “no quibble” guarantee. At Aldi, you can return goods up to 60 days after purchase if you are unhappy and 12 months for faulty goods. Lidl offer a 30-day guarantee and 12 months for faulty goods, Tesco is 30 days if you change your mind, 12 months if faulty and Sainsbury will guarantee your uniform up to 20 washes.