Pretty in Pout
If ever there was a cosmetics brand put on the planet to create the perfect Valentine's Day gift for a girl, it must be Pout. The fun, fluffy but supereffective range of hot colours and cool accessories always comes in simply scorching packaging . . . the perfect me gifts you can't help but keep for yourself. And hence, we welcome its Lover Perfectors Gift Set, an affordable tasty twosome of Bustier enhancing cream to give your cleavage a glowing lift and the brand new shade of bright pink Pout Plump . . . a lip gloss that tingles as it adds volume. Far too good to wait to be given, get hold of a set now from Brown Thomas and BT2 stores nationwide. The results will speak for themselves.
Ministry of pounds
If you're still struggling to lose the postChristmas flab but can't face the gym, the Ministry of Sound is on hand to help with an exercise and chill-out DVD that incorporates yoga, pilates and dance. The Chillates DVD gives you a work out which will improve balance, aerobic fitness, coordination and muscle tone, and comes with an exclusive chill-out mix featuring tracks from Deepest Blue, Jakatta and the Thrillseekers. We're not sure about the half hour Ibiza sunset section but the actual workout itself, which is suitable for all levels of fitness, will definitely flex the muscles. After doing it a few times, you may discover that you're no longer 'living it large'! From all good DVD stores now.
While Irish blokes have got a lot more clued-in when it comes to skincare and grooming, there's always room for improvementf and hence the arrival on the scene of www.4men. com, an Irish website selling specialist products beyond the teenytwentysomething staples of Lynx, Gillette and Blue Stratos. The impressive roll call of brands includes those by skincarer to the stars Ole Henriksen, Tweezerman's excellent grooming gadgets, Men-u's great shave kits and some cool, cult American names. Well worth a trawl as gift packaging is also on offer, along with plenty of tips and advice on how to get the max from your products.
Holy watering hole
It's often been suggested that drinking is a religion in Ireland and this idea takes on even more resonance at John M Keating, the new bar/cafe/restaurant on the corner of Jervis Street and Mary Street. This 18th-century building was the former St Mary's church and it has taken six years of remodelling to create what is now a spectacularly unique establishment. The menu offers modern European fare but the restored church organ and stainedglass window calls to mind its former incarnation as a place of worship for prominent Irish historical figures . . . Wolfe Tone and Sean O'Casey were baptised here, Arthur Guinness was married here and Jonathon Swift attended sermons here too.
Born with a silver spoon
Any cook worth their crepe Suzette will have been weaned on the world's great cookbooks. Delia, Darina, Nigel andf finally in English for the first time since it was published in 1950, The Silver Spoon.
Natively called Il Cucchino d'argentino, this bible is the most successful cookery book ever to be published in Italy and is a mighty tome in terms of size, weight and variety of recipes covered.
All those in-the-know master chefs were weaned on its 2,000-plus recipes for pasta . . . from the basic to the sublime . . . delicious meat dishes, salads, desserts, bread and beyond, from bella Italia, France and more. It comes with plenty of droolsome colour pictures, a couple of ribbon markers and makes for the perfect gift for any domestic god or goddess. Out now, published by Phaidon.
Looking for a shop where the parents can have almost as much fun as the kids? Limari is a delightful new children's furniture shop in Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
Set up by locals Bill and Simone Ryan with their two toddlers Nathalie and Derek, Limari offers children the unique and fun opportunity to customise their own bedroom and playroom furniture. Parents and kids can also mix and match the colours as they choose. Limari stocks beautiful hand-embroidered bed linen as well as accessories and toys.
www. limari. ie.
Byrne baby Byrne
We've long been fans of Brigid Byrne's fabulously glowing crystal jewelleryf and we're not the only ones as Naomi Campbell also sports her stunning necklace with pride. Dublin-based Brigid threads equal parts wow factor, with pearls and/or Swarovski crystals to create the sort of pieces that make any party dress or red carpet number stand out from all others.
Choose from elegant chokers or go for full-on glamour with rows of cascading coloured drops, all varieties come with coordinating earrings for perfectly finished elegance. For stockist information, call 085 1490821.
Kylemore Acres is a range of blended herbs and spices to add oomph to family meals.
Manufactured in Co Galway, the range spans global cuisine to enhance anything from zingy curries to earthy Bolognese sauce. Packaged in pretty, illustrated envelopes, each of the range also includes full recipe details on the back, to help the novice cook prepare the perfect, homecooked dish. Available from Morton's of Ranelagh and other good specialist food stores.