As far as I can see, there are 2 Main Events to get beautiful for at Christmas time; and The Christmas Party and Christmas Day Lunch. Yes, it is about peace and giving and family, but it is nice to have a bit of a glam affair to look forward to.
If you are a SAHM, it is more than likely that you will be going to your partners Christmas Party. Facing their colleagues, once a year, could either make you look forward to a great night out or make you have sleepless nights in desperation.
Planning for your own work Christmas Party is probably less stressful. They are your colleagues, you see them more than your own partner some days, and you have something in common – work. But I don’t know of ONE woman, who does not make more of an effort to looking a little different than your every day get up of BB Cream, lip balm and a ponytail. It is fun arriving at the party amongst:” OMG you look so different!! You look Great!”
With an unlimited budget – let’s just pretend for a minute – the preparations to do list, to look your most fabulous you, looks a little like this:
The “No-budget No-effort” List
1. Plan outfit, shoes and accessories.
2. Hair Removal of choice.
3. Diet yourself silly and work out like a BOSS.
4. Book Spray Tan, for day before the event.
5. If you are so inclined, Botox appointment a couple of weeks before Christmas, because it takes that long to settle in
6. Book hair appointment: for a colour a few days before, or a blow dry/updo on the day (work allowing)
7. Book nail and pedicure appointment
8. Book make up appointment.
Worth it? If you can afford it, sure – then use the above list as a check list, you lucky duck.
Can it be done on a budget? Hell yea!! But with a lot more effort! Let me offer you some alternatives:
The “Within-Budget More-effort” List
1. New Dress. If you can’t afford a new outfit: go the LBD. Go something black and simple. Even if you wore it last year. Add a statement necklace and a new sparkly clutch. You will look like you have a brand new outfit! I will talk about my favourites in another post.
2. Hair Removal. There are a myriad of hair removal tools out there. From depilatory creams, to DIY waxing, DIY IPL now! I am blessed with very little body hair so I don’t use any of those, and I can’t really recommend any. What I will say though: DON’T FORGET TO DO IT!!
3 and 4. Fake Tan. Meh. Gym Shym. A tan instantly makes you look thinner and healthier and you can do a great one all by yourself.
5. Botox. There is nothing that will work as hard on freezing lines as Botox. But a good eye cream and some other topical treatments are available.
Lonvitalite Masks . I tried a few of these and they are all delicious. The Gold Mask is plumping and the 24K eye mask is amazing.
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is a classic, tried and proven cream. Very versatile, it can be used as a hydrating mask, under make up to give you a nice dewy look, or as a pick me up the morning after.
6. Hair. This is what I would not try to save money on. Get your colour done, get your blow wave done, get an updo done. I have spent so many hours trying to do my hair myself and ended up with a head full of product that is beyond saving. If you HAVE to do your own hair, try not to complicate it and don’t go for a style you have never done before.. If your hair is long enough, and you want it off your face, a sleek low pony tail, or a more bouffant ponytail looks the best. (I am pretty crap at doing hair but I gave it a good go last year when I had to get ready for a ball after work. Read about it HERE. )
I did receive a great gift last year for Christmas that makes curling hair just so easy. See my demo HERE
7. Nails. Another item I would not scrimp and save on, are my nails. I get Shellac done and then I don’t have to worry about my nails for at least 2 weeks.
Manicure. If you are going to do your own nails, keep it simple: Soak the nails in some luke warm soapy water. Use some nice exfoliant on your hands and concentrate on the top of the hands. Rinse and dry with a soft towel and gently push back the cuticles with the towel. Use a gently nail file to straighten the nails. Ensure the nails are clean and dry and apply a strengthening base coat, a nail polish of choice and a top coat. Go for a sparkly or a red nail for Christmas! Finish with a cuticle cream/handcream. For inspo, see my nail polish gallery HERE
Pedicure, I have found the most amazing tool. Dr Scholl Velvet Smooth Express is fantastic to get all the hard skin off the soles of the feet. Super quick and super effective. I have also written about a step by step pedicure, just for you HERE .Repeat the above steps as for your manicure and follow with a moisturiser.
8. Make up. Da Face. Unless you have practiced a new look, this is not the right time to try it out. Trust me. Do what you would normally do but intensify and highlight more.
Eyes first : start with groomed eyebrows, concealer or eye primer all over the lid. One or 2 different colour eyeshadow max, unless you know what you’re doing. Eyeliner or pencil, for that great smokey eye look. Finish with a good couple of coats of thickening/lengthening Mascara (find one that has fibres to add thickness and length to your own lashes) . If you want to get fancy, add false lashes, but make sure you practice first! See my step by step tutorial HERE
Prime: Start with a clean, moisturised base and follow with a primer. Please don’t skip this step. Your foundation will look smoother, and it will last longer. These 3 are all great. The Hourglass is my favourite.
Foundation: You will need something a bit more substantial than your daily BB Cream. Find one that delivers a smooth and long-lasting finish. Apply from the centre of the face with the finger tips and blend with a damp sponge. Finish setting the foundation with a translucent powder.
Bronzer and highlighter: It’s Christmas! Go for shimmer! Brush the bronzer where you would naturally find the sun tanning your face for a healthy glow. Use the highlighter on the bridge of the nose, under the eyebrows, on the top of the cheekbones and a little on the cupids bow, just above the lips gives the illusion of a delicious pout.
Lips: What else. A good red! Go for a matt red, one that has staying power. One that lasts All. Night. Long. To make it last even longer: Apply matching lipliner (not darker! the 80s has been and gone!) to outline the lips. Fill with lipstick. Blot. Place a tissue over the lips and dab a big brush with translucent powder all over the lips. Apply second layer. My favourite reds: (there are many more in my lipstick gallery!)
Finish off with a setting spray. NYX from Target does a nice one for $14.95. ELF Make up Mist & Set is my daily favourite for $8 from Kmart. I have also been known to use hairspray on the face to set the make up so it doesn’t budge. shhhhhh.
I did a step by step demo for a glam make up right HERE
Well. I think we saved ourselves some money. Half the fun of going to a great party is the preparation and if you can do it with friends and a glass of champagne, even better!
Pop a lippy, a powder and if you are wearing lashes, a little tube of glue in your clutch (and a pair of fold up ballet flats and a couple of bandaids) and you are ready to PARTAY
oh yeah. Keep up the water in between alcoholic bevvies.
And have a WONDERFUL time, because you will LOOK absolutely WONDERFUL too.
*This was originally posted as How To survive the Silly Season – tips on how to look [effortlessly] beautiful for your Christmas party on December 2014
Til Next time,