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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

Topshop make-up

Mistletoe and wine

Take inspiration from Sir Cliff for your beauty look this season, with berry lips that are as bold as you like, says Rebecca Gonsalves

The 10 best beauty gift sets

Cheap and cheerful or a luxurious treat, there are perfectly packaged stocking fillers to suit every budget and age

How to be beautiful: Bright eyes

Bright colour on the eyes is tricky, even for the committed cosmetics-wearer.

The fashion experts: Smellies in crackers

The world of beauty may already have Christmas gifting wrapped up in the form of sets of smellies, but a host of brands has also branched out into crackers to ensure lunch goes off with a bang. Instead of flinging the usual cheap plastic keyrings into the nooks and crannies of your dining room, there are skincare and beauty miniatures to please the most discerning of guests.

Amy Winehouse portrait acquired by National Portrait Gallery

Marlene Dumas' Amy-Blue goes on display from today

She might be 40, but Hello Kitty is one cool cat

For a cat who's nearing 40, Hello Kitty shows no signs of slowing down – something her global legions of fans will surely be pleased about.

The 10 Best lipsticks

Whether going for a look that is glamorous or gothic, these colourful lippies will have you all smiles for the party season ahead

Postcard from... Barcelona

The sounds of barbers' scissors busily clipping away and the reek of nail varnish remover invaded Barcelona's most emblematic central square, the Plaza de Catalunya, earlier this week in an unusual – but popular – demonstration of public solidarity with those struggling in Spain's worst recession since the 1950s.

Molten metallics

When it comes to beauty, forget about red, white and blue and take inspiration from the medal winners

How To Be Beautiful: Coloured mascaras

Just as the couture catwalks aren't the best place to scout for a new wardrobe (unless your budget ends in six zeroes), the make-up that complements the super-luxe clothes enjoys an equally tenuous relation to the everyday.

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint SPF15, £21, johnlewis.com

How To Be Beautiful: Tinted moisturisers

Ask any supermodel or film star to list the contents of their off-duty make-up bag, and you can be certain that tinted moisturiser will get a mention, usually as part of an emphatically minimal kit. Understandable, of course, that anyone whose job demands wearing a tonne of slap should want to scale it back on days off. But the (slightly smug) subtext is that if you've lucked out with your genetic make-up, there's not a lot more that needs doing: cosmetic featherweights, such as tinted moisturiser, will suffice. Conversely, we mere mortals often reach for the full-on foundation bottle in the belief that only heavy-duty help will do.

Beauty: The best make-up brushes

1. Lip brush

How do you know what to try?

Say no to the scalpel

So you'd never have a facelift – but what about a little 'help'? The newest hi-tech, non-invasive treatments can have dramatic effects – but not all of them are for the fainthearted

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US comedian Bill Mahr
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Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
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Rowan Atkinson at the wheel of his McLaren F1 GTR sports car
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The artist Grayson Perry in an example of his trademark headgear
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Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
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Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
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Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us