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If your stocking didn't get filled this year. don‘t worry. You can still find plenty of feel-good gifts for the heart and soul.


They take millions of years to emerge

and have electric vibrations responding

to the inner energies of human beings. They're also very beautiful. So whether

you believe in the healing qualities of crystals or not. they have been proven

to be good for the spirit. Look out for the striking herkimer diamond with its tension easing qualities and the ancient obsidian mirror which is still used for its meditation purposes today. Or more appropriate for this time of year. amethyst is good for hangovers. According to the Greeks anyway.

2. CHAKRA NECKLACES The chakra necklace has seven stones. each a different colour of the rainbow. The emphasis here is on balance. Crystal healers believe this necklace helps to maintain the emotional. physical. mental and Spiritual levels in someone. Each stone represents a part of the body. so if .for example. YOur mind is running wild. the indigo stone being a representative of the head would help re- store the calm. And so on. The necklace also looks pretty damn funky.


How To Turn Your Ex-Boyfriend Into A Frog by Athena Starwoman and Deborah Gray is a very popular book among young women. It also proves that there are a lot of toads out there. With spells such as 'I Will Survive‘ and ‘Come To Me'. this fun book is an attempt to make the bitter girlfriend feel better about herself, rather than enc0uraging nasty revengeful plots. Oh well.


Perhaps a better representation of what to find in this shop are the meditation books. The Mozart Effect by Don Campbell is an interesting study of music as a healer while Wicca: A Guide For A Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham explains the theory behind this primitive practice. There are also plenty of books focusing on Buddhism: introductions to the religion as well as more advanced studies. Yoga For Wimps by Miriam Austin is particular fav0urite of mine. For obvious reasons.


The Green Tara goddess figure (pictured; Symbolises the feminine side of Buddha. and you can

find many different representations

of him, hailing from places like Bali and Tibet and carved from wood

and a variety of metals. Even if

y0u're not Buddhist. a Buddha

shOuld remind you to show compassion to others. but firstly

to yOurself. (Mererid Williams)

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I SHIRLEY MANSON. Mary J. Blige and Elton John have been named as the spokespeople for MAC’s VIVA GLAM IV lipstick. The HIV/AIDS fundraising campaign has been running since 1994, with profits from each specially designed lipstick going straight to MAC’S own fund which has raised $30m so far. Previous spokespeOple have included RuPaul and k.d. lang and the new trio aim to use their star status to raise awareness of the campaign. Look out for the ad campaign and frosted rose and gold shimmer lipsticks out in April, priced £11. More info on www.mac cosmeticscom

I THEY’RE HUGE IN the US and are set to invade Europe this year. We’re talking about Mudd jeans, a label which has achieved cult status largely through word of mouth rather than multi-million dollar ad campaigns. Click onto www.muddjeans. com for a progress report on when we can expect to be able to buy the hallowed items and be wowed by the site itself - faux fur, flowers and general kitschness abound - and there’s even a guide to how to anticipate trends and customise your favourite denims.

I MORE FASHION IS on the way this year from Virginware. It’s got two ranges already in the shops - arware which is everyday

undenivear for ladies and gents. and brware. a more extravagant version of the original theme. In spring it's introducing czware (do you sense a theme here?), a collection of swimwear. then in autumn it'll be time to introduce zzware. nightware and loungeware. Currently available in its flagship Manchester store and selected TopShops. call 0161 776 4525 for details and check out I STILL ON AN underwear theme, but a particularly unique one, the Lomographic Society International has produced a clothing range, titled Only Naked Is Better. As well as undies you’ll also find T-shirts and shirts all printed with fab Lomographic images. If you saw the exhibition at the Arches last year you’ll have an idea of the cool images the Lomo produces, and the low tech camera has an army of aficionados. Prices start at £14. For more details log onto

I SO YOU HAVE THE perfect new wardrobe. but do you have the mobile phone to go with it? Siemens new C45 was premiered in December and boasts a wide selection of changeable fascias so you can match your wardrobe. Should none of the designs Suit you. you can create a customised cover. More info at siemenscom