Lifestyle

Beauty

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In for the long haul...

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After a distinctly disappointing spring, the weather has done an about turn in July, sending us some of the hottest temperatures in nearly a decade.

7 pre-holiday beauty saviours

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Over a quarter of women (28%) treat themselves to a top-to-toe makeover before hitting the beach on holiday, including manis, pedis, facials and fake tans, according to a survey by QVC.

The great make-up escape

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Morocco, Rio, the French Riviera... the words alone are enough to conjure images of endless beaches, sultry sunsets and the clink of cocktail glasses.

Holidays

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Fashion

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Sale away!

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With rack upon rack of cut-price clothes and gigantic signs luring us and our pay packets into the shops, it can be easy to get carried away in the summer sales.

Take the hire road to style

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Imagine having a wardrobe full of designer dresses to choose from, whenever the occasion called for a jazzy Christopher Kane minidress, or a dazzling Roland Mouret number...

Join the pool party

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Don't underestimate your holiday itinerary when it comes to finding the holy grail of swimsuits. While body shape is key, it's what you're doing in it that really counts. On-the-go thrill-seeker or human sundial, pick a bikini or one-piece that fits with your vacation mantra.

Gardening

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The power of healing plants

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As a teenager, Chris Beardshaw was a keen sportsman, running half-marathons for his county, destined to achieve great goals as an athlete.

Everything's coming up roses

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Everything is blooming in the rose garden this year, thanks to the mild winter and spring, with little in the way of frost, providing stress-free conditions for growing.

When the cat's away...

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Now, I don't want to be a killjoy about people's pets, but when I see a neighbour's feline stray into my garden, I just want to get my claws out.

Dining Out

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Showbiz News

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Competitions

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WIN an IPad Mini AND a Tom Tom

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The summer holidays are just around the corner, and the family will no doubt want to enjoy some days out. So we’ve teamed up with Tempcover.com to give you the chance to win an IPad mini - to research where to go over the holidays, and a Tom Tom - to help you get there!

Food

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DIY

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5 tips for preparation and painting

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1. Prep for painting typically means filling, sanding, cleaning off and perhaps even repeating the process until the surface is as perfect as you can get it. With bare wood or plaster, it's often easier to see what needs to be filled after applying a coat of paint, so it's not always possible to do all the prep in one go. Quick-drying fine fillers, such as the Polycell Advanced Polyfilla (£8.99 for 600ml, Homebase), are invaluable for filling walls and ceilings halfway through the job because as long as the repair isn't deep, they dry in no time and require little to no sanding. Wood fillers dry quickly anyway, but usually have to be sanded.

5 tips for painting with an emulsion roller

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1. Check that the roller has a heavy wire frame and that you'll be able to get replacement sleeves (the bit you apply paint with), so you don't have to bin the whole roller when the sleeve gets worn or you fail to clean it properly. Roller sleeves take a great deal of cleaning (in water) and if you inadvertently leave any paint to dry on the sleeve, it may ruin the finish the next time you paint. If you don't have time to clean the sleeve properly, it's tempting to leave it to soak, but this can cause the frame to rust, which bleeds into the paint when you use the roller. So take the sleeve off the frame first.

5 tips for wooden floors

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1. Period floorboards are often hidden under carpet, tiles or lino, waiting to be discovered and restored to their former glory. This usually means sanding them with an industrial floor sander and edger, which is hard, hot and dusty work. Although more expensive, employing someone to sand them for you is often worth it, and they usually include the cost of the wood stain or varnish in the price. They should also be able to do the job more quickly than you can.