The new black

By mid-January all my good intentions for the new year have usually been forgotten. And it seems I'm not the only one. According to a study by the university of Washington, by the third week of January, some 80% of us will have given up on our new year resolutions. But this year, however, mine is still holding fast, and I have to admit I'm feeling pretty smug.

I decided to forgo the generic "be a better person" type of resolution in favour of a more manageable one - 2002 is the year I am going to take off my make-up. Every night. Easy. And given how much money, not to mention time, I invest in beauty products, it's ridiculous that on most nights I simply slump into bed, mascara and all.

Old habits may die hard, but that was before facial wipes. They are the new must-have for any self-respecting but lazy beauty buff. There are two types of wipes: dry, and those to which you add water. If you're lazy, forget about the add-water variety. Once the novelty has worn off, you'll realise they require the same level of effort as your normal cleanser. The real genius is the all-in-one wipe. You can keep these by your bed so that when you stagger home at an ungodly hour, all you have to do is grab one, apply and aim in the direction of the bin. Perfect. Short of having someone wash your face for you, nothing could be easier.

As black skin tends to be more oily than white, it's important to choose wipes that not only get rid of make-up but that also deal with oil control. Be careful not to pick wipes that are too harsh, as these will encourage your skin to produce even more oil. Simple has two types of wipes: one for sensitive skin and one for oil control. Both work well, and are perfume-free, so they don't feel like after-dinner wipes.

Boots has a great selection of wipes. Its cucumber cleansing ones are a tad greasy and too cucumbery, but they are good if you wear a lot of make-up. The No7 3-in-1 wipes are less harsh than many others, leaving the skin clean but not tight. And the wipes from the Botanics range contain camomile, so they're great for those with sensitive skins.

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