Life and Style
 

Waterproofing your wardrobe with practical, yet luxurious, purchases is a wise investment, says Emma Akbareian

How Bin Laden 'planned to give al-Qa'ida an image makeover'

Osama bin Laden, holed-up in his Pakistan hideaway, contemplated changing the name of al-Qa’ida in order to rebrand the organisation and make it more attractive to potential recruits, according to documents recovered from his compound.

The Watts Gallery: A fitting makeover for a Victorian hero

TheWatts Gallery was neglected and shabby. Now a £11.5m refit has restored its former glory, says Virginia Ironside

Ready To Wear: A lesson in how to wear palazzo pants without stilts

The trouser shape of the season is the palazzo – so wide legged it might reasonably be described as billowy and so long the best way to wear it is possibly on stilts.

Linda Barker's bedroom makeover

The interior designer of BBC series Changing Rooms fame walks you through a few simple ways of transforming a drab room into a luxurious sleeping space.

Feelunique's profits makeover

Europe's largest online beauty products retailer, Feelunique, will reveal a 50 per cent rise in 2010-11 turnover this week.

Exiles given 'X Factor' makeover as fans pick team

If fans find themselves uninspired by the Exiles team that takes the field against England in June, they will have themselves to blame. The side that will be on duty at Headingley for the inaugural International Origin Match will be selected from the best overseas players in Super League partly by supporters' votes.

Burmese junta officially dissolved

Burma's junta was officially dissolved today after a swearing-in ceremony to appoint the country's so-called civilian government.

Elbow, SECC, Glasgow

"Do you like what we've done with the place?" asked Elbow's singer Guy Garvey, nodding towards the catwalk jutting into the middle of the hall. "It's like we've won the pools and had a conservatory built." There can be few more modest bands to have appeared on a stage of this size, but now, approaching their 20th anniversary together in June, Elbow are an arena band. And believe it or not, they're better than most at the job.

Ireland agree to 'makeover' before England match

Ireland's World Cup cricketers have agreed to undergo a charity makeover ahead of tomorrow's group match with England.

Robinson calls for fast start for Scotland

Perhaps Andy Robinson is taking a leaf out of the Welsh song book. A fortnight ago Warren Gatland and his players headed off to Murrayfield with "Under Pressure" blaring over the stereo system.

Album: Anthony David, As Above So Below (Dome)

Anthony David is apparently the Obamas' favourite nu-soul dude – and it's not hard to see why, given his espousal of core 1970s social-conscious soul values, particularly the "on-message" reference in "Reach Ya" to "hoping we get healthcare rights, so she won't be a victim".

Deborah Ross: There's a high price tag on the gift of beauty

If you ask me...

The Independent's charity auction raises £65,000

There's a sensational selection of treats, treasures and unique experiences up for grabs in our annual charity sale. John Walsh wields his gavel and introduces the lots

Noël's house party: A home that has never seen tinsel is given a last-minute festive makeover

Getting your home ready for Christmas is about the little touches – those are the things that will help to make guests feel welcome," says Sarah Dare, from the seasonal-events department at Peter Jones, part of the John Lewis chain. "And it doesn't have to take much time." Well, that's good, because it's Christmas week – and my home looks like Scrooge's grotto.

Album: The Puppini Sisters, Christmas with...(Verve)

On which the Puppinis – a sort of 21st-century take on the Andrews Sisters, minus the real-world sibling connection – apply a 1940s polka-dots-and-baubles makeover to the predictable ("Let it Snow") and the unpromising ("Last Christmas").

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform