Christmas party season is in full swing and whatever your celebrations look like – a few tipples at your local pub, to swanky black tie do’s. It’s nice to get prepared, and even if you don’t have a ‘full on’ Christmas party this year, the pre party prep can still be a nice little evening of that all important me-time. It will of course depend how much time you have on your hands but for me, these are the steps I’d go through for a full pre party at home prep.
1. Face Mask – Usually something exfoliating or hydrating. To make my skin look as good as possible (save the deep cleansing for the detox post-party phase!) At the moment I’ve been using SK-II Sheet Masks and loving them… although they are rather £££, they are amazing (from Net A Porter) or GlamGlow Youthmud (from Space NK) for a properly ‘tingly’ face pamper. I’d say avoid using anything brand new or deep cleansing if you are prone to breakouts or sensitivity – last thing you need is a skin meltdown before a night where you want to look your best.
2. Hair Mask – I like to do this a day or two before a big party so hair is in good condition (ahead of most likely being abused by heat tools) but would normally just wash as normal on the day or day before, depending what hair style I was going for on the night. If I deep condition then try to style my hair it just slips out because it’s just too silky! My latest hair mask love has been this Ojon Rare Blend Moisture Therapy Conditioner (from Boots) – it’s basically a deep conditioner packed with the rare oil blend of oils, but a little easier to handle than the oils if you find them messy.
3. Scrub – Even if you’re not fussed about step 4, this is a nice thing to do so your arms/legs etc are feeling silky smooth. I usually opt for an oil free scrub in anticipation of fake tan. But if you’re not tanning go for an oil based one to give your skin a double whammy of hydrating and smoothing. I’ve been trying LDN:Skins foaming exfoliator to go with the tan I’ve been using…which leads nicely on to….
4. Fake Tan – Ok, so Fake Tan is usually something that many reserve for the times of year when more skin is generally on show. I’m normally with them, but I am partial to a bit of a fake glow in winter time too. Especially around Christmas. A little gradual tan can work a treat in perking up a dull winter complexion. I’ve been really enjoying the LDN:Skins light shade (available from HQhair.com), it’s basically a slight step up on a simple moisturiser based gradual tan. The colour is ever so slightly stronger, but not so strong that anyone *really* notices the difference between the fake tanned me and the non-tanned me, it just gives that slightly ‘healthier’ look. Not the ‘oh, so it was fake tan Thursday for you yesterday?!’ obvious change. If you’re looking for a natural looking shade my other favourite go-to tans are He-Shi (the gel one – lovely colour and the gel is super quick and easy to apply) or St Tropez (gradual tan moisturiser – needs a few applications to build up but very natural looking).
5. Drink lots of water – Feel like such a grandma on this one. But seriously, if you want to get off as light as possible on the hangover front. Drink up – and in advance. Making sure you’re decently hydrated before you head out and start mainlining G&T’s (drink sensibly…) then at least you’re starting from a good point in the first place! If you’re being really sensible then when out alternate your drinks with water too… trust me, you will thank me in the morning.
6. Get a good night’s sleep – Again, hello grandma… but if you know you’re having a late night or even a few late ones. Then get the sleep when you can – like the water, it just helps to start from a good (awake) place. If you go out tired, have a late one…then you’re just tired on tired. No-one loves the tired person at a party. Get those Zzz’s in.
7. Nails – Another one I tend to prep a night before the night of the party. Then just take the colour in case of chips. Much easier to touch up a slight chip than to re-do a whole hand or attempt to do your hair/make-up with wet nails… no matter how fast your top coat dries. This is a recipe for a fail. The shade here is Bordeaux by Bobbi Brown (available from John Lewis) and could very well be a top contender for my new favourite nail varnish of all time. Yes, really.
8. Lips – Winter/cold = chapped lips. You know what doesn’t go with chapped lips? A bold lipstick… trust me, not a great look. So grab a scrub and get slathering on the most hydrating balms you can find. My personal favourite is the classic Reve De Miel (available from Space NK) for overnight, then Babylips (the blue hydrating one, or the mint one – from Boots) during the day. Or Blistex Relief Cream (Boots) if things are really in need of rescue. But the pre-party prep would be adding in the scrub so you can shift any of the nasty dry skin ahead of the big night. Lush have this special Christmas edition ‘Santa’s Lip Scrub’ out that’s cola flavoured – I also really like their mint flavoured one too. These are oil based sugar scrubs so the oil helps your lips feel hydrated, whilst the sugar scrubby bits lift off the dead skin. Do this a few nights before a big party (or even just a couple of times a week through winter) and your lips will be mistletoe (or statement lip…) ready in no time.