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The festive season's a busy and tiring time which can take its toll on your skin. Cover up dark circles and blemishes with these clever concealers

Ready to wear: YES PLEASE . . .

Last year Chanel's Rouge Noir nail varnish was so immensely popular that it sold out as soon as it hit the shops. This talon polish, in undiluted- Ribena colour, spawned waiting lists, tantrums and tears as ladies who were used to getting whatever they wanted with a wave of their Amex card, were forced to put their names down with everyone else. Next week Chanel launch the Rouge Noir mascara. Billed as "black, reddish purple and brown", it is certainly interesting, unusual and worth a try (it's a limited edition so be warned, once it sells out, that's it), especially if you find black too dramatic and brown too boring. It's rather "globby" however, so you may need to separate those lashes with an eyelash comb after application.

Italy's Olive Tree coalition begins to crack

Having taken 50 years to reach power, one might have thought the Italian left would be content to govern in peace, concentrate on lasting the full five-year parliamentary term, introduce real and lasting reforms, and above all avoid the kind of fratricidal inter-party squabbling that undid so many coalition governments in the bad old days of the Cold War.

Robinson eyes finance job after Woolwich exit

Peter Robinson, the Woolwich chief executive ousted by the society three months ago, is set to return soon to a career in the financial services industry after finally agreeing a pounds 165,000-a-year pension compensation package with his former employers.

LETTERS: Not so Civil

I read with interest and a degree of cynicism your article on women in the Civil Service ("Male mandarins rule UK", 2 June). In 1993 I carried out a survey of government librarians, who are to be found in almost all departments. I received around 400 replies, a response of nearly 70 per cent.

Football: Laudrup to make up lost time

Denmark v Portugal Tomorrow, Hillsborough 7.30pm

Goulding kicks Saints into gear

St Helens 62 Castleford 24

Languages: the voice of reason in Redditch

Bridley Moor High School in Redditch set up a controlled experiment to test the effectiveness of accelerated learning methods for studying a foreign language. One group of 13- and 14-year-olds were given 10 weeks of accelerated teaching while a parallel group continued to be taught by traditional methods. In end-of-year examinations, 90 per cent of the accelerated students gained marks of 80 per cent or above, compared with only 13 per cent of the control class.

Your Money: Happy birthday numbers to you

Five of the six winning numbers in last week's lottery, plus the bonus ball, were under 18, which played into the hands of the many punters who choose family birthdays as the basis of their selections. Not surprisingly, there were five outright winners and another 40 had five numbers and the bonus ball.

Half a share in my lover

Hugh Francis is not the only man in his girlfriend's life

BOOKS: Waxes unlyrical

SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Mavis Cheek, Faber pounds 14.99

Saints pack make up for absent dream team

St Helens 46 Halifax 18

Bestsellers Top 10 at M.A.C.

bazaar

Profits rise for SmithKline

Profits rise for SmithKline

RPR set to woo institutions in new phase of Fisons bid

TOM STEVENSON

Surrey rebels make point and make up

DAVID LLEWELLYN
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project