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Beauty.com gives you the low-down on the latest makeup, skin care and perfume products plus all the hottest beauty tips. The site is full of inspiring makeovers with step-by-step guides on how you can replicate the look at home. All the products mentioned on the site are available to buy direct from Beauty.com - the only problem is the prices are all in dollars and the products are shipped from the US. However, buying certain cosmetics might be tricky over here so purchasing online from the States might be your only option.
This is the virtual salon for hair, skin and nailcare. BeautyNet brings you weekly tips on how to keep your hair in condition and how to solve your skin and nail problems. There are some active forums on the site where BeautyNet regulars chat about all matters nail, hair and skin related. The advice on this site is impressive and you'll find many of your beauty questions answered. There are also lots of good down-to-earth hints and tips.
The Body Shop
Known throughout the world for its environmental friendliness, you would expect that image to be reflected in the site content. It is and more. The site focuses not just on the products, but on the ethos behind them. For those interested in the philosophy of the body shop there's a full glossary. The site is colourful, informative and imaginative - there's even a virtual makeover using products from the Colourings range. Visitors to the site are invited to read about the Body Shop's policies including those on community trade, human rights and even discover the Body Shop Tour. The tour invites you to visit the heart of Body Shop, view product development, learn more about the philosophies of the company and enjoy a bit of pampering.
Saturday morning in John Lewis...hungover, looking bedraggled and still wearing last night's make up - the last place you want to visit is the Clinique counter with its immaculately made up assistants and helpful advice. However, if you need to know how to pep up your complexion and bring a sparkle back to your eyes then just visit Clinque's website. Simply register your details and feed in information about your skin colour and you get an immediate response defining your skin type. It also provides advice on what products best suit you and will keep you up to date with new product launches. It even has a men only section - the first site on the web to pay attention to male grooming needs.
This gorgeously lush site is devoted to the world of makeup. The latest makeup products are reviewed in a no-nonsense style by members of the BeautyBuzz panel. And if you don't agree with their verdicts you can offer your own opinions in the real-time chat areas. All the latest cosmetics from the major beauty manufacturers are described in loving detail and the site even gives you suggestions of cheaper equivalents of your favourite cosmetics.
Make Up Mania
If you're mad about makeup then this is the site for you. You'll find news on all the latest cosmetic products to hit the street as well as a huge virtual makeup store. The store is divided into ten levels covering everything from wigs, false teeth and theatrical masks through to more conventional lipsticks and eye shadows. Sadly this is another US site so don't forget to factor in shipping costs and extra-long delivery times into the equation. The good news is cosmetics are generally much cheaper in the States so you could end up saving a bit of cash.
This site is packed with pictures of the latest hairstyles and hair care advice and it also promises to tell you how to get faster-growing hair. The live chat rooms are the perfect place to discuss your hair issues and to pick up a few tips from the professionals. If you're not sure what to do with your hair you'll find plenty of inspiration in the hundreds of hairstyles featured on the site.
You'll get substantial discounts on lots of beauty products including salon-quality hair products from Redken, Wella and Paul Mitchell at the UK-based Lookfantastic site. The site specialises in hair products and you'll find a huge selection available at very reasonable prices. Not only can you buy the latest products but you can find the hair style that suits the shape of your face in the Hair Styles section - click on that style to find out what products were used to create it.
The Calorie Control Center
We're not entirely sure that the most sensitive way to head up a site such as this is with a photo montage of tables heaving with jellies, trifles, cakes and fizzy drinks, but this is a US site. Perhaps it's all diet junk food? Anyway, the Calorie Control Center boasts that if you're looking for information on cutting calories and fat in your diet to achieve and maintain a healthy weight then this is the place to come.
Health Vision
This is what we like to see: a page headed 'Diet and weight loss/fitness', including the essential component of physical well-being, not just sloughing off the pounds. It describes itself as 'a complete one-stop guide', and we reckon it's pretty close. There are dozens of articles on all aspects of diet and health, and rather than a list of diets, there's a big section on diet and weight loss tips, many tried, tested and submitted by readers.
Slimming World UK
In Slimming World, 'it isn't a sin to be overweight, it isn't a sin to be less than 'perfect' and it isn't a sin to eat and enjoy life', apparently. Slimming World operates on a similar basis to Weight Watchers, with around 6,000 groups nationwide. The idea is to decide on what size you want to be, then work with the support of your group to achieve that goal.
Looking scarily like the notice board of that new gym you have just joined, Cyberdiet has all the advice, tools and recipes that you would expect from your virtual personal trainer. Use the daily food planner to create a whole dietary schedule for your week, or maybe, after a couple more press ups, Cyberdiet can tempt you into doing your body mass profile, hip to weight ratio or body fat distribution. If that's not enough, then the nutritional self assessment will weigh out exactly how much fat, protein etc you should eat and what foods you can get them from. This site may just save you some of those gym fees.
An astonishing database, containing more than 38,000 recipes from around the world. Actually, it's probably a lot more than that since we wrote this, as the index relies on surfers submitting their own recipes, and the range and diversity is stunning. Ironically, of course, though there are thousands of ways to heap grief on your heart here, there are also many thousands of healthy options to inspire you.
Members only, well actually you can enter as a guest. Live online meetings, support groups, shopping lists and exercises to cover every area where you could imagine that fat could possibly be deposited. Check your meal plan and record your progress in your diet journal - remember no cheating. This site is well laid out, has a food database, recipe exchange and tips from other members if you happen to slip up.
Fitness and Diet Humor
A truly bizarre idea. This webmaster has put together a host of pages of jokes on dieting, running, weightlifting, martial arts and general fitness. The idea? That in an exercise and diet-obsessed world we can all benefit from lightening up a little. Top 10 reasons for studying martial arts? How about 'You need never run out of firewood again,' or 'Learn to count to 10 in three different Asian languages.' Oh well, suit yourself.
The big name in dieting for more than 30 years is now online. If you just don't have the willpower to go it alone - and how many of us do - then the Weight Watchers system of planned diets and getting motivation and encouragement from your fellow dieters could be just the recipe. As such, this site is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, regular meetings.
Absolute Authority on Home Maintenance
A content and reference packed site that, despite the name, cannot quite be the last word for us Brits as it's a US site. But strip out all the information you can't use (local licensing authorities and the like) and you're still stocked with more tips and tricks than you'll ever need. As well as DIY proper, there are excellent features on cleaning techniques and the green alternatives to the caustic muck many of the professionals use.
All Experts
What's the secret of successful DIY? Preparation. And what do most of us do? Plunge straight in and create more work and expense for ourselves in the long run. All Experts is not solely a DIY forum but it's particularly good on home repairs. If you have a question on plumbing, wiring, building, furniture repair or whatever, simply post your query to the appropriate message board and a specialist in that subject will come back to you with an answer.
Bob's Weekend Handyman
So authentic even the website looks homemade. But we're being churlish. This is a fine resource and, though not very pretty, it's simple to find what you want. You want plumbing? Bob will point you to six other websites. You want painting? 15 websites pop up. Again, many of the stores listed are in the US, but the advice is still relevant and, increasingly, you can buy the goods you want online anyway.
Do It Yourself.com
This one reminded us rather of those home handyman manuals from the early 1900s. Everything from DIY, to car care, energy and insulation, pet care and pest control is covered. Again, it goes heavily on the 'online community' slant, figuring that the information we've all gleaned from our DIY successes and disasters can be fruitfully shared with our peers. We even picked up some tips for our troublesome lawn and solved a nasty cat flea problem.
George Butler's Ham Radio and DIY
Somewhat eccentric site from ex-Yorkshire hotelier George, who passes on a lifetime of experience gleaned doing it, whatever it is, himself. The it in this case is everything from building balustrades, taking a leaf out of Charlie Dimmock's book and constructing a pond and a watergarden, to restoring antiques, hunting down collectable items, and building a radio from scratch. And should you get bored while you're working, George has a selection of poetry for you!
Hamilton Acorn
No matter how much we may like to think of ourselves as a nation of extreme sporting, out and about types, the fact of the matter is that the UK's favourite hobby is ... DIY. Nothing much changes then, except for the way we acquire the raw materials with which to mess up our houses. Hamilton Acorn can help you do the job more cheaply, more quickly and hopefully with fewer disasters, being the UK's leading supplier of materials to the decorating trade. Now online, it's pitching at the DIY enthusiast, with an unbeatable range of materials.
World of Interiors
If your home remodelling aspires a little beyond the Handy Andy school of MDF and chipboard, then take a dekko at the oh-so-tasteful World of Interiors website. Stronger on inspiration than the mechanics, you can read how journalist David Dorrell realised a childhood dream when he converted an old water board building into a home or browse through the design studio, choosing from hundreds of designs of fabric and wallpaper.
DIY fix it
A site intended for UK viewers only, you'll find yourself back on familiar ground. Nice busy, bright and slick look to the site and it's cleverly arranged with sections on specific subjects - asphalt roofs, bath sealants, broken glass and so forth, and with cross-referencing by work areas. So there's a section for the lounge, kitchen, bathroom, loft, bedroom and outside. Once you get to the sections you'll find advice is simply set out in bullet-pointed lists.


The design of this site is on the cutting edge and that's fitting for a site that focuses on the young, hip end of the fashion market and new designers. The site is regularly updated with the latest fashion news and information on the latest collections to hit the stores. Check out what the young and fashionable are wearing around the UK with the FashionUK roving street fashion reports and find out more about the designers with the in-depth interviews and profiles.
Elle Online
Elle is the biggest fashion magazine in the world and this site is based around content pulled from the US version of the magazine - which is a bit of a drag when it comes to finding a source for all those divine clothes displayed on the site. No matter: you can always enjoy window-shopping and there's a mass of other interesting stuff on the Elle site including beauty news, health and fitness advice and the obligatory horoscopes.
We all take great pleasure in gloating about the fashion mistakes so-called celebrities make and that's what makes the Glamour site so compelling - the slideshow archive of Celebrity fashion no-nos. Glamour is a popular US magazine and all the clothing featured in the mag can be bought directly from the site - as long as it's stocked in the US store Nordstrom that is. While you're visiting the Glamour site, indulge in a bit of bitchery in the online forums - now why did Jennifer Lopez wear that dress?
Fashion Angel
Fashion Angel is a directory of Fashion websites. However it doesn't just list any old fashion site it actually checks them out and only lists those it deems "outstanding fashion websites". This site is not as glitzy and glamorous as the big name fashion sites, however it could lead you to some of the more interesting and quirky style sites.
Fashion File
Get the low-down on the latest fashion, the hottest models and the most popular designers at this stylish UK site. All the latest collections are covered and accompanied by plenty of good clear photos of the clothes, many of the top catwalk shows are also captured on video. You'll find background information on all the major designers plus shots of their designs. Anyone who wants to make a career in fashion will find the list of model agencies, photographers, stylists and PRs invaluable.
Fashion Icon
Fashion Icon has one mission and that's to bring you the latest fashion news. It turns out Fashion Icon is actually a name and she's an undercover fashion reporter. The site looks kind of quirky and the fashion news and features held on there are all written in a kitsch, breathless cod fashion editor style. Nevertheless it's an entertaining fashion stop-off and covers material that you won't find elsewhere.
As you'd expect, the Vogue site looks fabulous. The fashion shots are beautifully taken, the text is carefully crafted and the design is so stylish it hurts. All the latest fashion stories from the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris are covered. Alternatively, if you fancy chatting to other fashion fiends, hang around in the online forums. There's no chance you'll miss out on the latest fashions if you keep an eye on the Shopping List, which picks 5,000 key looks from the world's top designers. What's more, you can buy clothes featured in the latest US issue of Vogue from the online boutique - US ordering and pricing we're afraid though.
Design Online
If you're trying to find the right wallpaper or the perfectly patterned carpet then you should consult this directory of interior design stockists. You just type in your search criteria - flooring, soft furnishing or whatever you're trying to track down - and the site pulls up all the relevant suppliers. If your chosen supplier has a Web site you're linked direct to their pages. You're also given a contact address and phone number.
This site is part of the huge US network of sites that live under the Women.com banner. The content is based around popular magazines including Good Housekeeping, Country Living and Home & Garden. There are some excellent how-to video tutorials and an inspiring gallery of homes section. The Interactive Interiors section is well worth a visit - it helps you plan how your room is going to look, sorting out what colours or fabrics work well together. Do bear in mind that this is a US site though and as a result the houses tend to be much bigger than they are in the UK, which can be frustrating.
The huge DIY store Homebase is not just about dull stuff like screwdrivers and drills. The Homebase website holds much to inspire the aspiring home decorator. Amongst the archive of decorating articles on the site you can find out how to turn you child's bedroom into a space fantasy and how to transform dirty old tiles using tile transfers.
Global Home
Global Home calls itself the 'Home of Interiors on the Web' and like the Design Online site it's a search engine designed to help you locate your nearest interior design stockist. You type in details of whatever you're searching for - cushions, curtains or whatever takes your fancy - and Global Home pulls up all the appropriate stockists. Each entry is accompanied by a bit of blurb on the products the supplier sells along with contact details. There are thousands of interior design companies listed in this comprehensive resource.
Decorating Your Home
If you're new to this decorating malarkey you'll find lots of useful design and decorating tips on this site. The site even has video footage and audio clips covering topics such as how to best angle your furniture and other tasks that focus on making the most of the furniture you already have rather than buying lots of new stuff. The site is a doddle to navigate: you simply move from room to room picking up tips and advice along the way.
World of Interiors
This site is home to the stylish Conde Nast interiors magazine, World of Interiors. The site looks fabulous and includes innovative features such as the Design Studio; a directory of the world's most exclusive fabric and wallpaper collections. Using the Studio you can browse through hundreds of the latest designs on your computer screen, you can even save any designs you like onto a swatchboard for later reference or go ahead and order samples of fabric or wallpaper. The site also includes a directory of the top names in British interior design covering everything from antique dealers and furniture makers through to lighting consultants and fabric designers.
Good Homes
The BBC has plenty of material to delve into when it comes to home decorating. This site has the backing of the BBC's Good Homes magazine and the popular TV programmes Changing Rooms and Home Front. The decorating advice is split up into the various rooms of a house and includes step-by-step guides on how to recreate some of the room revamps from Changing Rooms. All your old faves are there offering advice including Anna Ryder Richardson and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.
The Home and Garden section of this online women's magazine is worth checking out if you're after a bit of decorating advice. You'll find articles on the latest decorating techniques all complemented by plenty of pictures and hints and tips. You can even ask other Handbag users for a bit of decorating advice by joining in the discussion forums. The site also includes reviews of the latest electrical appliances including dishwashers, washing machines and fridge freezers.


Feng Shui
Feng Shui for Modern Living Magazine
The online version of this Feng Shui magazine acts as a good introduction to the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment. The site does a good job of explaining the many different schools of Feng Shui - believe me, that's no easy task. If you need more help getting your house just right, check out the reviews of the latest Feng Shui books or you could buy the £24.95 Feng Shui software package recommended on the site.
The Feng Shui Society
The UK's most prominent Feng Shui society have a website which could do with a little visual rearranging itself, but is a superb round-robin resource for information on the topic. They're a non-profit organisation, so the all-inclusive lists of Feng Shui events and regional groups are available to view for free. Moreover, the society provides the UK registry for professional consultants, a huge list of links to the people in the know.
Feng Shui with Lillian Too
Lillian Too is a world-renowned Feng Shui expert and she's also one hell of a prolific author on the topic. Her latest tome is the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Feng Shui and you'll find an outline of the contents on the site. If you're inspired by Lillian's writing check the site to see if she's carrying out a Feng Shui Masterclass near you. Our only worry is that this site is so cluttered and pack full of colour that it could do with some serious Feng Shui attention itself.
This site is a centre for the latest Feng Shui Research and boasts hundreds of pages packed full of Feng Shui resources, articles and tips. The Geomancy site is also home to a popular discussion forum covering all aspects of Chinese culture. The site contains so much information that the best way to get to grips with it is to take the guided tour. All aspects of the art of Feng Shui are covered from surveying your home to a step-by-step guide to actually making your home harmonious.
A World of Feng Shui Online
This site is a practical guide to how to use Feng Shui to increase your wealth in the coming year of the Golden Dragon - now that sounds good, doesn't it. It is good on the techniques of using Feng Shui successfully in a business context - there's even an article on the Feng Shui of the White House. Words of design wisdom come from Aunt Agga and her Feng Shui column and if you need more information you'll find a list of Feng Shui masters in the Reference Info area.
The Feng Shui Ultimate Resource
This iconoclastic site might change the minds of anyone who thinks Feng Shui is a load of hokum to be bracketed with astrology and alchemy. It's packed full of articles with apparently cynical titles like "Why Flutes and Mirrors CAN'T Fix Your House" and "Spotting Phony Feng Shui". But the wordy and fairly learned pieces are actually bent on defending the practice and to be fair, they make their case well. The humorous angle is refreshing and there is even a "Dictionary" packed full of Feng Shui in-jokes.
Do it Yourself Feng Shui cures
The Home Arts site has a section devoted to practical DIY Feng Shui tips that are very easy to put into practice. Even better these simple changes don't cost much to implement - all of them can be done for under £70. The advice focuses on how you can make your office environment more harmonious. For example if you can't see outside while you're sitting at your computer make sure you hang a picture of your favourite scene nearby, or introduce a potted plant to your work environment - apparently 'your soul will appreciate the nature'.
Feng Shui Web
Feng Shui Web is the work of the international Feng Shui practitioner and teacher David Daniel Kennedy. It's a good site for beginners because the emphasis is on easy and practical ways to use Feng Shui in your home or office. What's more the advice is written in an easy to understand and down to earth style. Of course what David would really like you to do is buy his latest book, but you can check out the online excerpts before you sign the cheque.


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