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Looking for a novel Christmas present for a loved one? Why not consider doing your bit for charity at the same time, and invest in a copy of one the most stylish 2011 calendars we’ve ever seen!
Always Charity Calendar 2011

COVER STAR: Jodie in the nuddie.

The handsome rugby lads at Salford City Reds (sponsored by The Trafford Centre) have taken the plunge to become real models for the day. We’ve dressed them and undressed them, posed them and even covered them in make-up – and the results are astounding. See more pix here!

Retailers from across The Trafford Centre got involved in the calendar, from Debenhams to Selfridges, and from LEGOLAND to Mamas & Papas, giving us toys and clothes and props to help create each look.

rugby calendar

COLD: At ChillFactore.

All proceeds from the calendar go to our favourite charity the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Appeal. For this great cause, our buff models braved sub-zero temperatures at ChillFactore indoor ski-slope, acted like dummies in shop windows at John Lewis, and one was decorated as a Maori warrior by artists at the Selfridges’ cosmetics counter Illamasqua.

Each month stars a new player, and each is themed so you won’t get bored of looking at your calendar through the whole of 2011.

For more on the Always Charity Calendar, and to buy your copy online for £8:49, just click here – or, you can follow our progress on our Facebook fanpage.

rc

FACE IT: Jack gets serious.

You can also buy the calendar in the Centre from our friendly Customer Service desks in the Main Dome and on Peel Avenue. The price in person is just £6.99 – so don’t forget to pick up your copy next time you’re in the Centre. (Fans of the team can buy direct from the team store at the Willows stadium).

I must send a big thank-you to everyone who has bought a copy so far – your support is appreciated, and we know you’ll love your calendar!

And watch this space as we see how much money we can raise for this vital children’s charity…

* FOR more info and preview images, just click here!

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I slog to work every day through sun, wind and very often rain. This is Manchester after all – a city so wet we are all born with flippers.

But this inclement weather can take it’s toll on a fella’s face – so what better to land on my desk that the of-the-moment range for men from Clinique?

Now, I know Clinique. I know them because my girlfriends go weak at the knees whenever the name is mentioned. The crisp packaging, the quality ingredients, the celebrity endorsements – all these make for a fantastically desirable product. But the reputation of Clinique is that this stuff actually does what it says on the tin – and so I set about to test if that was true.

I was sent a trio of samples from a gift pack aimed at the Christmas market; Great Skin For Him. The sleek, minimalistic gun-metal grey packaging is nicely masculine, and looked great on my desk next to my matching mobile phone!

I tested the Clinique age defense hydrator (with SPF 15), which promises to “hydrate, repair and protect” the skin. There’s no need to choose a product based on your skin type, as the thick, creamy hydrator is good for all skin types from dry to dripping. I found that the cream was absorbed very quickly into my weathered skin, so there was no danger of that slick, greasy feeling that many moisturisers give. I felt after two weeks of daily and nightly use that the fine lines around my eyes were definitely looking better, and the ravages of a winter walk through the streets around The Trafford Centre were being convincingly combatted.

Next up was the daily eye hydrator, which is a fragrance free gel. My poor mince pies, tired from the glare of the PC, slurped up the clear, cooling gel like two thirsty camels after closing time. To say I was refreshed would be an understatement. Perhaps the firming feeling was all my mind, but what can’t be denied is the way in which my dark circles diminished over a two-week period, and I got a wide-awake look, as well as a wide-awake feeling.

Last up was the Men Face Scrub, which I took home to use during my morning shower. The first few days showed very little difference, but again after a couple of weeks my skin felt clearer, and had a certain healthy glow to it once the top layer of dead skin cells had been sloughed off. Either that, or the Manchester rain has an exfoliating quality I knew nothing about.

In all, I can see why the ladies are so fond of Clinique – the unguential sensuousness is quite addictive, and makes you feel pampered. And now I have seen the evidence for myself, I am putting the Clinique range on my Christmas list.

No, it’s not cheap – but then you only get one face, don’t you?

* The Clinique Great Skin For Him trio is available with an RRP of £32:00, from Boots, Selfridges, John Lewis and elsewhere at The Trafford Centre.

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