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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before