Shea Bliss Butter Bath Melts

Super useful if you suffer from very dry skin, have eczema or your child does, or you just want an e

Price: £3.50 for six, available unscented or with essential oils.

Launched: August 2008
Tested: October/November 2008

Ingredients: Cocoa butter, Shea butter

Stockists: www.sheabliss.com

An absolutely brilliant idea. These look like tiny white-chocolate chocolates, and the idea is that you peel off the wrapper and put them in the bath.

Children adore them and they moisturise the water, ergo your skin, beautifully; particularly if you live in a hard water area. Your skin comes out feeling really soft and moisturised and (at least, in my experience, I live in a very hard water area but we do have a water softener) there’s no need to apply moisturiser unless you want to. They strike me as super useful if you suffer from very dry skin, have eczema or your child does, or you just want an extra bit of dewiness to your skin, particularly in winter time when the heating goes on and your skin gets parched.

Be careful: these can make the bath very slippery after use.

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.
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Ignored by the media, the Liberal Democrats are experiencing a revival

The crushed Liberals are doing particularly well in areas that voted Conservative in 2015 - and Remain in 2016. 

The Liberal Democrats had another good night last night, making big gains in by-elections. They won Adeyfield West, a seat they have never held in Dacorum, with a massive swing. They were up by close to the 20 points in the Derby seat of Allestree, beating Labour into second place. And they won a seat in the Cotswolds, which borders the vacant seat of Witney.

It’s worth noting that they also went backwards in a safe Labour ward in Blackpool and a safe Conservative seat in Northamptonshire.  But the overall pattern is clear, and it’s not merely confined to last night: the Liberal Democrats are enjoying a mini-revival, particularly in the south-east.

Of course, it doesn’t appear to be making itself felt in the Liberal Democrats’ poll share. “After Corbyn's election,” my colleague George tweeted recently, “Some predicted Lib Dems would rise like Lazarus. But poll ratings still stuck at 8 per cent.” Prior to the local elections, I was pessimistic that the so-called Liberal Democrat fightback could make itself felt at a national contest, when the party would have to fight on multiple fronts.

But the local elections – the first time since 1968 when every part of the mainland United Kingdom has had a vote on outside of a general election – proved that completely wrong. They  picked up 30 seats across England, though they had something of a nightmare in Stockport, and were reduced to just one seat in the Welsh Assembly. Their woes continued in Scotland, however, where they slipped to fifth place. They were even back to the third place had those votes been replicated on a national scale.

Polling has always been somewhat unkind to the Liberal Democrats outside of election campaigns, as the party has a low profile, particularly now it has just eight MPs. What appears to be happening at local by-elections and my expectation may be repeated at a general election is that when voters are presented with the option of a Liberal Democrat at the ballot box they find the idea surprisingly appealing.

Added to that, the Liberal Democrats’ happiest hunting grounds are clearly affluent, Conservative-leaning areas that voted for Remain in the referendum. All of which makes their hopes of a good second place in Witney – and a good night in the 2017 county councils – look rather less farfetched than you might expect. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.