SOME familiar favourites have been given a brilliant modern twist – and if you forgot to buy a Mother’s Day present, they make perfect gifts for mums into health and fitness.
Our Beauty Editor, meanwhile, tries out quick-dry nail polishes.
HEALTH: with Jane Atkinson
FIZZY DRINKS – SodaStream might conjure thoughts of the Eighties . . . and yes, the new machine works the same way.
You fill a water bottle and pump in gas to carbonate it. But the machine now looks modern and sleek, helping you cut down on plastic while having fresh sparkling water on tap.
One gas cylinder makes up to 60 litres of bubbles and you can add flavours such as kombucha.
The Spirit machine (including carbonating cylinder and 1l bottle) is on offer at £49.99. See sodastream.co.uk.
BLENDER – I wouldn’t be without my powerful NutriBullet.
You can make smoothies in seconds – a great way to get some of your five-a-day. I use it to make hummus, soups and ice cream mixtures too.
The NutriBullet GO cordless blender means you can make smoothies at work or even at the gym. It charges in less than five hours, to give 20 blending cycles.
The 370ml cup is perfect for smoothies and protein shakes. Currently £49.99 at nutribullet.co.uk.
YOGHURT MAKER – EasiYo is brilliant because you get no artificial colours or flavours and the yoghurts are easy to make.
Just mix one of the sachets with water, place in the machine with boiling water and in eight hours’ time you have 1kg of yoghurt.
There are 30-plus flavours to choose from and ranges include Greek-style, high-protein, unsweetened, reduced sugar and 99 per cent fat-free.
The EasiYo 1kg yoghurt maker in black with a one-sachet starter kit is £18.99 at lakeland.co.uk.
BEAUTY: with Tara Ledden
BUDGET – Rimmel 60 Seconds nail polish (£3.49 for 8ml, lookfantastic.com): Sixty seconds to dry is a bold claim . . . but the glossy formula really does dry inside a minute, perfect if you struggle to sit still for the ten minutes it takes a regular polish to dry. (Like I do.)
With most shades, one coat is enough for a flawless finish. But some of the lighter colours need a second layer for full coverage.
It promises ten days of wear, although I’m lucky to get five days without any chips.
Still, for less than the price of a meal deal, you can’t complain.
MID – Essie Expressie nail polish (£7.99 for 10ml, lookfantastic.com): I have very small nail beds and an unsteady hand, so I love this one’s angled brush.
It makes it easy to get close to the cuticle without accidentally painting the skin around the nail.
By the time I got to my little finger, my thumb was already dry, so there’s virtually no down-time.
Forty shades, including all the classics you’d expect plus harder-to-find tones such as khaki, yellow and lilac.
I’d prefer it glossier, like a gel manicure, but using a top coat creates the same effect.
LUXURY: Seche Vite Dry Fast top coat (£9 for 14ml, boots.com): Technically this is not a quick-dry polish but it is so good I had to include it.
A clear top coat, it fast-forwards the drying time of any nail polish turning it into a quick-dryer.
So if you already have shades you like but wish they did not take so long to set, this is a no-brainer.
As well as speeding up the drying process, it provides an expensive-looking, gel-like glossy finish and extends wear time like no other top coat I have tried.
It makes my at-home mani last a fortnight, easily. Of these, my favourite.