Easter eggs are so last year. Lisa Haynes unveils the beauty alternatives to a serious cocoa overdose.
Sugar and spice and all things nice. This is pretty much the recipe for Easter, with a non-stop feast of chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and candy.
But why not switch the traditional Easter egg hunt to a search for this season's indulgent beauty treats? From cocoa-based scents to Mini Egg nails, it's all you could ever need to cure your sweet tooth.
Grab your wicker basket and hunt high and low for this seasonal stash.
:: Speckled chic
Inspired by ornate bird shells (and maybe choccie Mini Eggs), Models Own's Speckled Eggs is the way to nail Easter decoration. Take flight with the five pretty pastels available: Dove pink, Duck blue, Goose yellow, Magpie mint, or Swan lilac, £5 each (Superdrug).
:: Beauty bar
Now you can sample an entire family-sized chocolate bar without feeling guilty. Too Faced's Chocolate Bar eye shadow palette includes 16 antioxidant-rich, cocoa powder-infused matte and shimmer shades of natural browns, pinks and plums, £45 (Debenhams).
:: Soap on a yolk
Make your bathroom smell a little sweeter with an egg-shaped soap. Bronnley's limited edition Easter Egg Soap Tins are decorated with the flowers of spring, Daffodil or Tulip, £3.49 each (www.bronnley.co.uk).
:: Eau de cocoa
Hotel Chocolat has conjured up a delicacy that will last longer than a box of chocolates. Indulge your cravings with the Cocoa Juvenate Eau de Parfum, a warm, intriguing scent inspired by the richness of roasted cocoa, currently reduced to £37.60 for 50ml (www.hotelchocolat.com).
:: Sweet scent
Trust Viktor & Rolf to design a perfume bottle that looks good enough to eat. The new Bonbon Eau de Parfum has a creamy, caramel accord for a melt-in-your-mouth spritzing moment, from £50 for 30ml (www.selfridges.com).
:: Gold rush
If you're avoiding chocolate, drop Lush's Easter egg into your tub. The Golden Egg Bath Bomb will fizz and fill your bath water with a sumptuous honey-toffee fragrance, £3.50 (www.lush.co.uk).
:: Bun bathing
The next best thing to hot cross buns with melted butter? Lather up with Philosophy's Cinnamon Buns 3 in 1 Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath; you can read the mouth-watering recipe on the bottle as you bathe, £14 (Boots).
:: Truffle tips
Just try and resist the urge to bite your nails wearing Revlon's Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel. The Chocolate Truffle shade is a rich brown that smells just like freshly melted chocolate once dry, £6.49 (Boots).
:: Confectionery clean
Continue the cocoa theme with your mani maintenance. Ciate's Nail Polish Remover comes in four scented versions to suit every palette: Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Mint Chocolate or Orange Chocolate, £10 each (www.ciate.co.uk).
:: Choc locks
Whip up a mouth-watering chocolate feast - on your head. Treat yourself to a choccie blow-dry using Davines' colour-enhancing Alchemic Chocolate Shampoo, £14.15, and Conditioner, £18.05 (www.cultbeauty.co.uk).
Tried & tested
Wave goodbye to chips with the latest in gel effect nail polishes. Our testers paint on three pink lacquers:
:: Models Own HyperGel in Cerise Shine, £5 (www.modelsownit.com)
I applied two coats, along with a base coat and top coat, which resulted in a lovely smooth, glossy finish and the colour really popped. It was five days before I noticed the first chip, even then it was a few more days before it started to look messy. Impressed; I'll be buying more colours! 4/5
:: Avon Gel Finish Nail Enamel in Fabulous, £7, available mid-April (avonshop.co.uk)
The texture was slightly thicker than standard polish, so I needed to spend a bit more time applying than usual. It stayed on my nails two to three days longer than my usual polish and didn't chip as much either. Sadly, this doesn't beat going to a salon and getting a professional gel mani. 3/5
:: Nails Inc Downtown Gel Effect Polish, £14 (www.nailsinc.com)
This gorgeous hot pink shade lasted longer than regular nail varnish, with chips only showing after day five, without the use of a top coat. Adding a top coat meant the super-glossy results lasted up to 10 days, with only minor chips at the edges. I had to be more careful when applying, as it goes on rather thick and gloopy, but once on, it has major staying power. 4/5
Buy it now
Go on the prowl for Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat Wild Edition. Inspired by the famous leopard print motif of the house of Saint Laurent, the limited edition complexion highlighter is worth sharpening your claws for, £25 (www.selfridges.com)
:: Vanity vacation
Women lighten their holiday luggage load by ditching their cosmetics bag. Almost half of women (48%) embrace their natural beauty on holiday by not packing any make-up in their suitcase, according to a new survey by Sunshine.co.uk. A quarter (24%) of female holidaymakers claim that they don't style their hair on holiday, leaving it au naturel. The majority of woman admit that they 'tone down' their beauty regime on a sunshine break because they weren't likely to bump into anyone they knew.
:: Recessionista alert
The Kenzo tiger sweatshirts may be a sell-out, but you can still get your paws on a designer vanity case. Buy a Flower by Kenzo EDP 50ml (or larger) and get a red floral embossed Kenzo Vanity Case - for free. Offer available until April 24 while stocks last, in The Perfume Shop stores nationwide and online at www.theperfumeshop.com