It’s that time of year already! The bikinis have been put away until next year and the gloves have come out. It’s time for mulled wine and long wintery walks. Christmas lights and crisp mornings are upon us and the best thing of all? Its party season!
While my inner 23-year-old is screaming for joy, my actual 30 something self is mentally prepared but physically, I could do with a little help. Christmas parties, family gatherings, office get-togethers and dinner parties with close friends are some of my favourite things, but these days it’s hard to just step into a dress and stick on some lipstick and call yourself “ready to go”. It takes a little more to look good while feeling good and I’m definitely accelerating into the part of my life where comfort wins over fashion.
Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon in the air or the twinkle of lights slowly appearing in house windows, but this year there is a really Christmassy vibe and I’m actually thinking about hanging up my UGGs and swapping them for a pair of Jimmy Choos and embracing the party season, even at the risk of falling off my 6 inch heels.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, party season isn’t just about sacrificing comforts for pain, it is a chance to shine and experiment with colours and fashion that complement the Christmas theme. Different eye shadows, brighter shades of lipstick and highlights of blush on the cheeks that give you the wintery touch are just a few of the things that can brighten up anyone’ winter and get you right into the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas Party Prep
In an idea world, office Christmas party prep would take ten minutes, but these days there’s things to thing about like outfit coordination, painted nails and a new hairstyle and these things take time. If you have been blessed with those extra hours, get your prep sorted so you can party the night away in comfort AND style.
Detox – To do this, you need a little more than a few hours, but if your busy schedule hasn’t allowed for that then on the day, to make sure you aren’t feeling bloated or sluggish, treat yourself to some green tea and plenty of water throughout the day.
Green tea contains antioxidants and helps flush out harmful toxins. Its known to have fat-burning properties too and keeps your energy levels up. It’s the perfect start to party day, so keep them coming!
As well as getting some of the good drinks into your body before all the bad ones start flowing, you should be mindful of your diet in the days leading up to the Christmas party. Chances are you will be indulging in rich foods and hearty cocktails before the night is through so prepare your body in advance to give you a head start on the day.
Stay away from fatty or stodgy foods and anything that will sit on you throughout the evening. We all love a good roast potato at Christmas, but these are better left until the big day itself. Be sure to get plenty of green vegetables into your system and keep your energy levels up by snacking on nuts and fruits throughout the course of the day.
On top of this, try and save the caffeine until the morning after. Leave coffee off your pre-party diet list if you can help it, it will seem to get your blood pumping in time for the festivities but will also help you crash and burn before the DJ has even played your favourite song.
Clear Skin – Most girls say there are three different types of showers. The quick body wash, the hair and body wash and the full hair and body, exfoliating and shaving wash. The latter is something we all wish we had time for each day, but we tend to save those long shower sessions for a big event.
The Christmas party especially calls for the full pamper. So, spare yourself a little more time than usual to feel prepped and fresh for the event. Start by relaxing in the bath or shower and get those pores open. Exfoliate your body and ensure all traces of makeup have been removed from your face.
Leftover mascara won’t make for great looking eyelashes on the night so be sure to use a gentle cleanser to step out of the bathroom clear and blemish free. While your skin is warm and moist, now is a good time to exfoliate your lips.
The skin on your lips is very delicate and thin, and at this time of year they can come under pressure to feel smooth and silky. Winter has its ways of making our lips behave in ways we don’t want them to – and that’s before the mistletoe mistakes at the office party! Use a textured cloth or old toothbrush to gently rub away any dead skin on your lips and leave them smooth ready for bright colours later.
Eyebrows – Now your pores are open, and hair is soft, it’s the best time to take to the tweezers if your eyebrows call for them. With any party prep, you may choose to get your eyebrows done well in advance of the big night but just in case time has not been on your side, you can do a little work to get those brows looking a little less unruly before you leave the house.
When you pluck your own eyebrows, you need to be careful that you don’t go overboard. It can be so hard to rectify mistakes in this department as once its gone, its gone! You probably won’t want to relive your over-plucking mistakes from the early 2000s and have to wait 10 years for your eyebrows to grow back in, so take it lightly, one eyebrow hair at a time.
Start on the outer edges and tidy up any loose ends that seem to be hanging around and any strays that sit underneath the inner corners of your brow. There are plenty of guides about how to shape your eyebrows based on your face or eye shape and committing to them physically is mostly best left to the professionals. But it is good to have a shape in mind before you even pick up your tweezers, so your aim is more sleek and less sloppy.
After you’re happy with the amount of plucking pain you’ve inflicted on yourself, be sure to use a cool and fragrance-free moisturiser to help with any redness. In the event that you’ve gone a little too heavy on your brows, there is a solution. Eyebrow serum is the way forward and not just for when you’ve gone a little too heavy on the tweezers.
Xbrow Eyebrow Serum is just what you need to keep your brows looking full, even when they are a little thin. It also helps cool and moisturise the skin under the brows so it’s perfect for Christmas party prep… especially when the reward is a Christmas present of great looking eyebrows!
Eyelashes – Once your eyebrows are under control, you can get to work on the rest of your pretty face. And your eyelashes are a fantastic place to start. If you are ahead of the game, you may have already planned for the big occasion and got yourself some eyelash extensions.
They are convenient, they immediately add length to your eyelashes, and you can carry off the 24-hour mascara look whenever you want. But they do cost a pretty penny with upkeep so if you are planning on being rich in the eyelash department all through party season, make sure your bank balance is ready to top them up when required.
If you decided not to go with eyelash extensions and are after a more one-off affair, then false eyelashes may be your way to go. Just be careful when using eyelash glue to not put too much on and not to get any in your eye! That won’t make for a good entrance to the big party.
For any damage we potentially do to our eyelashes, there is always a cure. Extensions or falsies, both have a way of sticking to our natural lashes and weighing them down which can help them fall out quicker and stop them from growing back so easily. Xlash Eyelash Serum has got your lashes covered when it comes to their health and if you are in full party prep mode, then put some of this on before any false lashes come your way and keep them moisturised and hydrated throughout the night. After a few weeks of this good stuff, your lashes will even look longer and fuller so by the time the next party comes around… you’ll be saying “false lashes, who?”
False eyelashes are great for an evening of Christmas pies and cheesy tunes but removing them at the end of the night is just as important as putting them on properly. Like any coating, whether makeup or adhesives, it can be harmful to your lashes and the skin on your eyelids if you keep them on.
Priming – So ok, we should be doing this day to day anyway, but can you honestly say you leave enough time for it to work properly? When I’m getting ready for a Christmas party, I like to take my time and give myself a couple of extra hours in the makeup department, but I do tend to make mistakes and/or change my mind from time to time so those extra hours are important!
Once your skin is clean and clear and if you so choose, moisturised, then its time to prime. You may have different types of primer in your arsenal so choose the one best fitting for the night. I go for a matte finish primer that helps keep the shine away. The only shiny nose I want to see at Christmas belongs to Rudolph! Once the primer is on, let it settle. This helps it stay on your skin, mattify and remove any greasy residue before you go covering yourself in foundation and concealer.
Priming your face and eyes before the festive party is crucial for keeping your makeup firmly in place for the night, so do it right and take your time with it. There are going to be plenty of photos taken throughout the night and you don’t need to look back over them to see the makeup isn’t where you left it.
Makeup Removal – If there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of Christmas parties, it’s to get your nightly cleansing routine ready before you head off to dance the night away. Even it if is just some cleansing wipes and a light moisturiser, it will make the hangover seem less of a chore in the morning.
This kind of prep takes some dedication, as who knows if you’ll be walking in your front door in your high heels or crawling from a cab with those heels hanging out of your bag. But this is why the prep is important. If you want to go the whole way, grab yourself a bottle of water and place it next to your bed. Your dehyrated self will seriously thank you for it.
The Dress – Probably the most important part of the night is the outfit. It can make or break you, or at least your confidence. You may be new at work or even been there so long you have become part of the furniture, but the Christmas party is one of the most important nights of your working year and you want to make an impression.
Everyone has their own sense of style and what they prefer to wear, so don’t feel like you have to change your own rules just to fit in or wear something you never thought you’d be caught dead in. But definitely consider adding a little sparkle even in the name of Christmas. Remember comfort is everything and as much as a tight fit dress may look great in the dressing room, just consider if your party is more of a liquid lunch or a three-course meal.
Nothing accentuates a figure like a pair of heels, and if there is one time of year to dust them off then this is it. My tip is to always have a cute pair of flats handy in my bag for when the dancing takes over and the balls of my feet need a break. If not, check if your venue has seating and plan your spot right next to the bar!
Christmas Party Ready!
Of course, this list isn’t the be all and end all of party prepping, but they are all on my checklist before a big event. As long as you have the dress that makes you feel confident and comfortable, the rest is all up to you.
There are a thousand ways you can get yourself ready for a big night, but if your eyebrows and eyelashes are on point and your skin is clean and clear, you can afford to let your hair down for one night and put the rest of the world behind you.