Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Skin is left feeling soft, clean but never dry. The plastic pump bottle is great for travel

Price: £12.25 for the 100ml starter kit with two cloths; 100ml on its own, £10.75, travel size, 30ml: £4.50

Muslin cloths also sold separately, £3 for a pack of two, £7.50 for a pack of six.

Stockists: Customer centre - 01983 813 913

Launched: 8th March 1996

Tested: 2004 and January 2008

One of the best cleansers there is. I love it. You use it in three stages: massage it all over face, even your eyes. It cleanses your face of dirt and make up. Massage is very good for the skin and it’s almost impossible to overdo if you just use your own fingers (i.e. no brushes or other scrubby devices). Then you rinse out the linen face cloth that comes with the cleanser in hand hot water and use it to remove the product – that’s your exfoliation done. Then you splash with cool water. This last bit is the only bit I disagree with in that I wouldn’t, personally, change the temperature of the water because I think it can lead to broken veins if you’re a bit sensitive. But it’s up to you. The cool water feels nice. Skin is left feeling soft, clean but never dry. The plastic pump bottle is great for travel.


Caprylic / capric triglyceride
Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter
Cetearyl alcohol
Cettyl esters
Sorbitan stearate
Polysorbate 60
Cera alba (beeswax)
Propylene glycol
Humulus lupulus(hops) extract
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract
Anthemis nobilis (chamomile) extract
Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) extract
Eucalyptus globules (eucalyptus) oil
Citric acid
Sodium hydroxide
Benzoic acid
Dehydroacetic acid
Polyaminopropyl biguanide

Annalisa Barbieri was in fashion PR for five years before going to the Observer to be fashion assistant. She has worked for the Evening Standard and the Times and was one of the fashion editors on the Independent on Sunday for five years, where she wrote the Dear Annie column. She was fishing correspondent of the Independent from 1997-2004.
Photo: Getty Images
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The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean?

Any union rejoining Labour will be welcomed by most in the party - but the impact on the party's internal politics will be smaller than you think.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has voted to reaffiliate to the Labour party, in what is seen as a boost to Jeremy Corbyn. What does it mean for Labour’s internal politics?

Firstly, technically, the FBU has never affliated before as they are notionally part of the civil service - however, following the firefighters' strike in 2004, they decisively broke with Labour.

The main impact will be felt on the floor of Labour party conference. Although the FBU’s membership – at around 38,000 – is too small to have a material effect on the outcome of votes themselves, it will change the tenor of the motions put before party conference.

The FBU’s leadership is not only to the left of most unions in the Trades Union Congress (TUC), it is more inclined to bring motions relating to foreign affairs than other unions with similar politics (it is more internationalist in focus than, say, the PCS, another union that may affiliate due to Corbyn’s leadership). Motions on Israel/Palestine, the nuclear deterrent, and other issues, will find more support from FBU delegates than it has from other affiliated trade unions.

In terms of the balance of power between the affiliated unions themselves, the FBU’s re-entry into Labour politics is unlikely to be much of a gamechanger. Trade union positions, elected by trade union delegates at conference, are unlikely to be moved leftwards by the reaffiliation of the FBU. Unite, the GMB, Unison and Usdaw are all large enough to all-but-guarantee themselves a seat around the NEC. Community, a small centrist union, has already lost its place on the NEC in favour of the bakers’ union, which is more aligned to Tom Watson than Jeremy Corbyn.

Matt Wrack, the FBU’s General Secretary, will be a genuine ally to Corbyn and John McDonnell. Len McCluskey and Dave Prentis were both bounced into endorsing Corbyn by their executives and did so less than wholeheartedly. Tim Roache, the newly-elected General Secretary of the GMB, has publicly supported Corbyn but is seen as a more moderate voice at the TUC. Only Dave Ward of the Communication Workers’ Union, who lent staff and resources to both Corbyn’s campaign team and to the parliamentary staff of Corbyn and McDonnell, is truly on side.

The impact of reaffiliation may be felt more keenly in local parties. The FBU’s membership looks small in real terms compared Unite and Unison have memberships of over a million, while the GMB and Usdaw are around the half-a-million mark, but is much more impressive when you consider that there are just 48,000 firefighters in Britain. This may make them more likely to participate in internal elections than other affiliated trade unionists, just 60,000 of whom voted in the Labour leadership election in 2015. However, it is worth noting that it is statistically unlikely most firefighters are Corbynites - those that are will mostly have already joined themselves. The affiliation, while a morale boost for many in the Labour party, is unlikely to prove as significant to the direction of the party as the outcome of Unison’s general secretary election or the struggle for power at the top of Unite in 2018. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.