Top ten Specialist Mail Order

1. Lush produce handmade cosmetics good enough to quiet literally eat. Their catalogue contains everything from the Queen of Hearts complexion soap to Fizzy o'Therapy deep-heat treatment. Inquiries: 01202 668 545.

2. Oxendales specialise in making clothes for people 5ft 2ins and under. They concentrate on producing high-quality and high-fashion merchandise available in varying lengths. Inquiries: 0800 262 717 (quoting OXO 2490).

3. Designers Direct are a mail-order company on the Internet. They specialise in US designers like Polo Ralph Lauren, CK Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger. Prices are considerably cheaper, CK jeans are $46, plus shipping of $16. The ranges are very basic jeans lines but definitely worth a surf. Inquiries: www.directdesigners.com

4. Blooming Marvellous is a small catalogue that was founded by two mothers who felt there was a poor selection of maternity and nursery products on the market. Their aim was to offer a broad range of goods, along with sufficient product knowledge. They have created a much-needed informative catalogue. Inquiries: 0181-391 0338.

5. Exotica Knickers from Brazil. If your knickers have to come from Brazil, this is the company for you. They produce a four-page brochure with multi-coloured lacies. Prices from pounds 14.95. Inquiries: 0171- 835 0669.

6. Birkenstock, the makers of funny slip-on sandals and shoes that converts cannot live without, now produce a little catalogue so that people in the Outer Hebrides can wear Birkies too. Inquiries: 0800 132 194.

7. Loud and Clear are a crazy company which first caught my eye by stuffing hundreds of pastel-coloured teddy-bears into an inflatable cushion. If this sounds like your idea of the perfect gift, you'll love the vacuum- packed double-ended lollies. Inquiries: 0171-247 4232.

8. Beauty Quest is a new mail-order magazine. It is edited by some of the best hair and make-up artists around, so the selection of products is certain to be top notch. You can buy Aveda hair care, Ruby Hammer professional make-up brushes and other beauty basics. Inquiries: 0541-505 000.

9. Johnnie Loves Rosie are still a favourite even though autumn/ winter trends do not look as if they will accommodate the much-loved Rose hair- slides. New oriental hair-sticks are bound to take their place on the best-dressed heads in town. Inquiries 0171-247 1496.

10. Peruvian Connection are an upmarket American mail-order company which offers the best quality alpaca knitwear for men and women. Each piece is hand-crafted in the Andes. Also included in the range are jewellery, scarves and hats. Inquiries: 0800 550 000

Holly Davies

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