It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....and so should you! At this time of year, everyone likes to look nice in their cosy knits and party dresses, so I thought I'd share with you my favourite beauty products and treatments during party season and the run up to Christmas. With all this prep done, you'll feel brand spanking new for 2012.
Five Days to Go
Look after your pretty head!
Have a facial. If you can't splurge on a treatment a salon (I like the Skin Authority facials at the Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel) then find a good face mask (Murad and Darphin are excellent) and apply this for around 10-15 minutes while in the privacy of your own home. Best not to have kids running around asking you if they can have a chocolate treat off the Christmas tree as this can increase stress levels and will defeat the purpose of said mask. Relax with Vogue and one of those choccies for yourself. Once face is fully rejuvenated, give your hair the same treatment; a hair mask will work wonders on tired, over styled hair. Obviously, we all like to go to the salon for a blow dry or cut and colour, but in advance of your appointment take a long, hot bath with a copy of The Help (a wonderful book) and let Daniel Galvin Junior work his magic via the Hangover Hair. It smells yummy and actually works, leaving hair soft and strong and ready to party with you. (It will also help after partying!)
Four Days to Go
Get a wax. Remove all unwanted fluff. Have your brows done and your lash extensions applied. Zen Lifestyle in Edinburgh is my favourite salon and it is here you will find the best therapists (Julie is amazing). The salon was recently shortlisted for the Professional Beauty Awards 2012. The Hanover Street salon has a beautiful interior and you'll be treated like a princess (or prince) for the duration. (With George Street just a hop away, you can find that perfect party dress once you're done).
Three Days to Go
Exfoliate and moisturise your entire body. Get your body ready for sequin mini dresses and backless jumpsuits by scrubbing, buffing and polishing your skin. For a great scrub, look no further than The Body Shop's Satsuma Body Polish (ever so festive) applied with exfoliating gloves, while to buff I like to use a loofah lathered up with Imperial Leather. To polish things off, apply a generous amount of Aveda's Replenishing Body Moisturiser all over the legs, arms, tum and bum, saving Lush's Lovely Jubblies for the décolletage and boobs. You'll feel deliciously soft!
Two Days to Go
Have a mani / pedi. I find that Shellac is the best gel polish as it is the one that least damaged my nails. Choose a rouge noir - Christmassy, but chic - but navy is also good as well as blush and nude colours. For DIY mani / pedis, Nails Inc and Leighton Denny are the best options for DIY mani / pedis - choose any of the Nails Inc products for a flawless finish (I love Black Taxi and the Mexican Lime Foot Cream) and I couldn't live without Leighton Denny's Crystal Finish Top Coat. I even apply it after a professional mani /pedi - it's that good.
One Day to Go
Fake Bake. Use the mousse as it's more subtle than the lotion which is best kept for summer. Apply with gloves or a mitt to your recently buffed body and leave to work its magic overnight. If you have concerns about bed sheets, just pop some long pjs on or sleep in an old single duvet cover. Not attractive, but you'll wake up lightly bronzed and will instantly look 5lbs slimmer. Shower and rejoice. St Tropez instant mousse is also good for last minute invitations!
The Big Day
Get dressed, have your hair done, spritz some Herrera 212 VIP (because you are a VIP) or Tom Ford (adds sophisticated luxury) and open the Champers. Whether it's the office lunch, dinner with friends or Christmas Day with the family, by now you should be feeling gorgeous. You deserve to spend the prep time on yourself, well, because partying is such hard work!
Christmas is a special time of year to be spent with loved ones, enjoying good food and copious amounts of Champagne* and relaxing after a hard year at work. There's something to be said for looking and feeling fabulous in time for the New Year - if you look good, you feel good, and with that only good things can come for 2012.