If you find that you usually end up getting as much nail varnish on your couch, legs, or tabletop as you do on your nails when DIYing a manicure, you might be interested to hear that a gang of enterprising English schoolgirls reckon they've come up with the solution.
The Handy-Mat is a flat, plastic mat that's roughly the shape of the outline of a hand, and the idea is that you slip your fingers through an elasticated finger strap which holds the mat in place. You can then paint away to your heart's content, safe in the knowledge that nearby textiles and surfaces are safe from errant drips of nail polish.
I'm impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of the pupils in question - my own T.Y. business made, er, beaded jewellery - and I'm obviously not the only one as they've won a hape of young enterprise awards and are in talks about getting the Handy-Mat stocked in Boots and Superdrug. They're getting loads of exposure for their invention, and the story seems to have really captured the meedja and public imagination: in the space of a couple of days last week I heard about it on the radio, Dad told me about "some nail yoke" he'd read about it the paper, and longtime reader scarie tweeted me about it.
Fair play to all the girls involved and I hope they do really well but, in honesty, I don't think I'll be getting a Handy-Mat myself.
I find that popping an old magazine on my lap if I'm doing my nails in front of the telly works just fine, ta...
The Handy-Mat costs £3.50/€4 (plus P&P) and is available from Kosine.com.