Alice-Azania Jarvis

Alice-Azania Jarvis is a feature writer for The Independent

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Bigger, bolder, brighter: The age of fake beauty

When did neon nails, orange suntans and pink dye-jobs became the norm?

Yes, you can do London on the cheap

London is expensive. Extortionately so – or so runs the conventional wisdom. And it's true: a pint in a Zone One pub costs considerably more than it does anywhere else. The tube is both a necessity and a luxury: yes, it gets you from A to B, but it's also pricey and unreliable. And that's before you even take into account the lack of large-scale supermarkets, shunned in favour of their more expensive "metro" equivalents. No, London living isn't cheap. But what do visitors to the big city think?

Eat to the beat: The food tents at this year's festivals have a very tasty line up of newcomers

It was the August bank holiday. The rain was going from drizzle to downpour and as I peeped out of my weather-beaten tent to survey the landscape at the Reading Festival, the last thing I wanted was another cereal bar. Or another Babybel, another bag of crisps – or any of the other provisions I'd so frugally packed the Friday before. So half an hour later I found myself sitting opposite an infinitely more appealing plate of grilled halloumi, rocket, aubergine and roast peppers, accompanied by a hefty wedge of focaccia.

Thrifty festival living is my speciality'

So it's that time of year again. When tent shopping suddenly becomes a priority. When you think it sensible to start the day with a plate of chips and a pint of cider. Oh yes, it's festival season.

Organised: Does such a thing exist?

Rarely would one describe my life as organised. More often than not, there is a subscription that remains uncancelled, a bill that remains unpaid, a chore that has yet to be crossed off. "Organised" is not a word which, used in association with my name, tends to appear in the positive. At the present moment in particular.

Plumbing is a drip-drip affair

OK, enough with the wedding and the broadband. I'm currently sat (with hat) at the former (or, if not, then at least on the train there) and the latter has been momentarily put on hold for various reasons. Chiefly, that I've had other concerns.

Why you'll need a holiday after browsing the online travel market

Wading through endless amateur reviews. Booking your own flights. Trying to find the a decent hotel. The online travel market is exhausting, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

The Michelin Guide: Is it still the food bible?

The fabled red guide used to be the essential diner's companion, but now we use word of mouth to choose a restaurant, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

High season for the self-help industry

It's the month for self-improvement – and an avalanche of books is ready to guide us. But the only people to profit from this industry are the publishers, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

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