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Halloween fancy dress made easy

Halloween fancy dress made easy

 

Fancy dress’ biggest night out can cause a multitude of woes for parents. Ever sat up till 12am manically sewing a vampire costume? Well, this year we’re taking a stand. Put down the paper mache, leave that toilet roll alone and take a no-nonsense approach to the festivities with our pick of easy Halloween costumes that will last well beyond October 31st.



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Longevity is key

Think beyond the standard skeleton and ghost and choose a costume that’ll work for other events, playdates and school plays. A lab coat can become a mad scientist, a pirate a spooky Jack Sparrow, a magician a crazed sorcerer. A purple tutu is the perfect base for a winter fairy and a princess outfit can turn into a damsel in distress.

Insect inspiration

Making a costume doesn’t need to be an ordeal. For an easy spider costume, dress your little one head to toe in black and stuff three pairs of black woollen tights, cutting each leg and sealing them to a black waistband for legs.

 

 

 


Feeling fruity

For a sweeter option, blow up purple balloons, attach to a body suit and make a hat out of the leaves of your house plant. Pop it on and voila, your little one will be transformed into a bunch of grapes. You could even add a felt spider or two for a Halloween touch.

Take flight

An old umbrella can quickly become bat wings, just cut two opposite sections out from an old umbrella and use pliers to cut and remove the handle. Then, just attach to a black outfit.

Green shoots

For a magical plant outfit, cut a hole in the bottom of a large, plastic plant pot, attach rope to make braces and pair with a leaf and creepy crawly hairband.

No stress

With a bit of imagination, Halloween costumes don’t have to be a nightmare. 31st October, here we come…

Costume building blocks

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Kids' coats for every occasion

 

With half-term finally here, it’s time to head into the great outdoors. Dreading that getting-ready-to-go-out moment? To make things a little easier, we’ve handpicked the best kids’ coats they’ll actually want to put on. Versatile? Check. Practical? Check. Stylish? Check.

 

 

 


Action heroes

Hiking, biking, climbing, trailblazing; when out and about kids need a coat that’ll keep up. Look out for waterproof fabrics, intelligent constructions and reflective strips. And for the most serious of weather-bound pursuits, pair with waterproof trousers and hiking boots. Outerwear just got technical.

“Fleece-lined jackets mean you can do away with heavy jumpers underneath”

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The party mood

Parties in winter demand that extra bit of consideration, for starters, what should you layer over shirts and dresses? Fortunately we’ve got a host of gorgeous coats, slick blazers and uber-cool jackets to make their party entrance spectacular. Plus, they can easily be dressed down for weekends or school nights. Dual-purpose? We think so.

“Choose a rich jewel tone or a nightly hue”

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School stars

You buy the uniform and think you’re sorted, but then remember that thin blazer isn’t going to cut it come wintertime. So, we’ve done the hard work for you and picked four coats that’ll match a uniform and keep little ones cosy in the playground.

“They are sure to have the best-dressed school peg”

 


Out of the park

Weekends and holidays require practical coats you won’t mind if they get dirty. Trips to the park, meeting their friends, weekend activities… think versatile, casual outerwear. Gilets are ideal transitioning pieces, and perfect layered over knitwear, while a quilted jacket gives a classic look. Let the weekend begin.

“For older kids, leather jackets or bombers will look super cool”

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Winter skincare heroes

8 products for healthy skin this party season

Wine, good food and late nights are pretty much compulsory during Christmas party season, but getting merry can really take its toll on your skin. Here's our edit of the best products to leave your complexion looking healthy and glowing, even if you haven't had eight-hours sleep.

 

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Charlotte's Magic Cream

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream

 

A product that truly deserves the hype, Charlotte's Magic Cream is the ultimate multi-tasker. Originally used on runway models, it injects a huge dose of hydration and perfectly preps your skin for makeup.


Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream, £70

 


Pixi Glow Tonic

Pixi Glow Tonic

 

Brighten, tone and condition your skin in one swipe. Containing Glycolic Acid, Pixi Glow Tonic gently removes impurities and speeds up cell renewal. Apply a few times a week after cleansing and you’ll quickly notice the benefits.


Pixi Glow Tonic, £18

 


La Mer The Hydrating Treatment Mask

La Mer The Hydrating Treatment Lotion Mask

 

A little bit of luxury for a night in. Packed with a full 30ml of the La Mer Treatment Lotion, this sheet mask will leave your skin radiant and glowing.


La Mer The Hydrating Treatment Lotion Mask, £25

 


Origins GinZing Eye Cream

Origins GinZing Eye Cream

 

The Origins GinZing range is infused with caffeine to instantly wake up tired skin and reduce the appearance of eye bags. Just what we need after a night of Christmas partying.


Origins GinZing Eye Cream, £22

 


Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream

Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream

 

A hydrating gel-cream that firms the skin. This hero product from Elemis is designed to tackle the signs of ageing, including fine lines and loss of tone. Apply every morning before makeup.


Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream , £150

 


Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly

 

An oil-free moisturiser for everyday use, Clinique's revolutionary jelly is lightweight, non-sticky and hydrating. This is a party season saviour for anyone who wants to look healthy sans added shine.


Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly, £31

 


Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

 

Classic for a reason, the best-selling Estée Lauder ANR serum should be applied at night to work while you sleep. Whatever your age, you'll wake up with smoother, brighter skin.


Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, £76

 


NIOD Flavanone Mud

NIOD Flavanone Mud

 

Our secret weapon. NIOD's mud mask may tingle, but it works to get rid of imperfections on even the most problematic skin. Start by applying once a week and work your way up.


NIOD Flavanone Mud, £29

How to wear grown-up glitter

8 ways to wear grown-up glitter

Think glitter makeup isn't for grown-ups? Think again. Thanks to some of the biggest names in beauty, it's now seriously wearable. Here are eight easy ways to pull if off this New Year's Eve...

 

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1. The Liquid Eyeshadow

Stila Glitter & Glow eyeshadow set

 

The Stila Glitter & Glow eyeshadows pack in pigment, last all night and can be applied in seconds. From deep cranberry to rose gold, this set includes a different shade for every occasion.


Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow Set, £49

 


2. The Lipgloss

Urban Decay Hi-fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lipgloss

 

While glitter lips might not be the most wearable of trends, this gloss gives a beautiful metallic sheen. For those that like to make a statement, ditch the red and opt for this gold finish.


Urban Decay Hi-fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lipgloss in Goldmine, £16

 


3. The Mascara

Clarins Christmas Edition Gold Top Coat

 

Lightly feather this gold top coat through the ends of your lashes for the perfect party finish. A metallic touch looks great with any beauty look.


Clarins Christmas Edition Gold Top Coat mascara, £22

 


4. The Pure Pigment

MAC Shiny Pretty Things Glitter & Pigments

 

If you're after something a little more versatile then look no further. This Christmas, MAC's renowned glitter and pigment pots come packaged as a pink and gold foursome. Apply wherever you please.


MAC Shiny Pretty Things Glitter & Pigments, £22

 


5. The Nail Varnish

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture

 

The ultimate classy nail varnish for Christmas has to be YSL La Laque Couture in black. A touch of sparkle on your nails can ease any glitter-phobe into the festive spirit.


YSL La Laque Couture in Holographic Black

 


6. The Powder Eyeshadow

Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow

 

This shadow formula instantly lights up your eyes. Apply lightly for a little shimmer or go heavy-handed for intense glitter. Once limited-edition, the popular shadows now have a permenant place in the Bobbi collection.


Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow, £25

 


7. The Highlighter

Shiseido Aura Dew

 

Shiseido's iridescent highlighter uses Japanese pearls to create a glowy finish that just verges on glittery. It's impossible not to feel party-ready with a sweep of this across your cheekbones.


Shiseido Aura Dew, £20

 


8. The Palette

NARS Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette

 

For glitter that packs a punch, try this limited-edition NARS palette from the new Christmas collection. Inspired by '70s punk rock, you can't go wrong with these bold colours during party season.


NARS Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette, £35