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Beauty - because it's worth it

Even the most high-maintenance diva occasionally needs some time off from the hard work of primping and preening. Christina Aguilera is a case in point and likes to use dry shampoo to revive manky hair between washes.

All the products on this beauty cheat sheet are easy to use pick-me-ups that give maximum results with minimum effort.

Softsole Exfoliating Foot Peel, €19.99 from pharmacies nationwide Sure, you could scrub, scrape, file, or rasp the hard skin on your sandal-ravaged feet into submission, but that would mean getting up off the couch.

I'm feeling faint just thinking about the Herculean effort involved.

Try slipping on a pair of these foot wraps instead: they're loaded with active ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid to effortlessly encourage the shedding of dry, cracked skin. They need to be left on for two hours to do their thing, which makes them ideal companions for movie night or The X Factor omnibus.

If all that sounds too good to be true, you'll be unsurprised to hear that there are downsides. Results, while impressive, aren't immediate, and the process isn't exactly pretty, either. Softsoles get rid of skin using a peeling action, which kicks in three to seven days after use and lasts about a fortnight.

Expect shrieks of intrigued horror from all who witness it.

>Estée Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator, €55

A nice little multi-tasker, this new five-in-one product will appeal to anyone who likes their skincare to have added cosmetic benefits.

Given the price, I'd like it to have added hoovering and dishwashing benefits, too.

It might not be any use around the house, but in addition to tackling puffiness and dark circles and reducing fine lines, Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator is pigmented and illuminating to instantly lighten and brighten the eye area.

The ceramic applicator tip feels gorgeously cooling on skin and is just the thing to perk up tired eyes.

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask, €13.75 plus shipping from lizearle.com

Cheat your way to great-looking skin with this quick fix, which the brand has dubbed its "minute mask" as it only needs to be left on for between 30 seconds and two minutes to brighten the complexion.

Slap it on and let the potent mix of active ingredients, including stimulating camphor oil, soothing aloe vera, toning witch hazel and purifying white clay, revitalise skin and impart a natural-looking radiance in less than the time it takes to boil an egg.