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Tips and tricks to look festively fabulous at the Christmas party

It’s Christmas time and that means the party season is upon us! It’s a wonderful time for celebrating with friends and family, but too many seasonal gatherings can leave us feeling tired and not exactly looking our best. If you have a busy party schedule lined up this December, take note of our expert tips for looking and feeling your best throughout the festive season.

Get glowing

The cold winter weather can leave our skin looking dull and feeling dry and a few late nights won’t help matters either. Choosing a good natural moisturiser is essential to keep your skin looking in tip top condition. “A good plant-based moisturiser should be full of skin nutrients,” says Margaret Weeds, the founder of natural and organic skincare brand Odylique (www.odylique.co.uk). “It should support the skin’s natural moisture level and reduce evaporation from the surface, keeping it smooth and hydrated. Allow it to be fully absorbed for a few minutes before make-up application to ensure an even and long-lasting dewy finish. To avoid breakouts, don’t forget (however tempting) to remove your make-up before going to bed. If you have flaky patches, dry lips or a tendency to spots and blemishes, an oil-based scrub is great for gently removing dull dead skin debris, deep cleansing the pores and encouraging fresh, healthy cell turnover. For instant radiance try a serum packed with colourful superfruits, worn alone or under make-up. For very dry skin, a rich balm applied lightly over moisturiser (not forgetting lips!) before going outdoors will give added protection from winter weather.”

Bring back that sparkle!

The Christmas party season can take its toll on our skin, leaving our eyes looking puffy and red, but fortunately there are plenty of tricks which will bring the sparkle back to your eyes. “Fluid is sometimes trapped in the tissues under the eyes, causing swelling or puffiness and itchy, red eyes, especially when you awake,” explains Charlotte Vøhtz, the founder of organic skincare company Green People, in her book Naturally Gorgeous.

“Puffy eyes can be caused by changes in fluid balance, hormones, alcohol, weather or travel. Dry eyes could also indicate a lack of essential fatty acids. Drinking plenty of water, herbal teas and diluted juices helps reduce eye puffiness.”

Here are some more simple tips to reduce puffiness:

  • Gently tap your skin with your ring finger when applying eye cream or gel to help excess fluid drain away. Puffy eyes respond well to products containing soothing herbal compounds such as azulene – found in blue chamomile oil.
  • Store eye creams and gels in the fridge as the cold helps reduce puffiness.
  • Place strips of grated potato under your eyes to help reduce swelling. Strawberries and cucumber can help too.
  • Make a cup of green tea and allow to steep for five minutes or until cool. Wipe the eyes with this solution several times a day. Make fresh every day to avoid infection.

Embrace the trends

Winter make-up trends this year are all about radiant skin and deep, dark lips. Fortunately it’s easy to achieve an on-trend look using natural and organic beauty products. “Make sure to embrace the trends while highlighting your own beauty and favourite features,” says Birute Thomas, make-up artist at WeLove Salons. “This festive season dramatic, deep, dark lips are the biggest trend. I will be using natural richly-pigmented products that contain precious oils and plant extracts that provide nutrients and moisturisers, leaving lips soft and smooth. The darker the lips, the better, but precision is a must when applying lip liner. This should be complemented by beautiful and radiant clean skin.

“The new trend for skin is to be illuminated – healthy, fresh and super radiant. This can be achieved by applying foundation which does not contain perfumes, alcohol and other irritating ingredients. For the colder winter months try mixing foundation with your moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated. Illuminate and flush your cheekbones with creamy blusher and bronzer.

“One last thing for a quick fix that I can always rely on is curling your eyelashes which gives you a wide-awake look and effortlessly beautiful eyes, not forgetting lashings of organic mascara. Take your time, don’t rush and savour the ritual of applying make-up.”

Stand-out hairstyles

If you want to sparkle at the Christmas party then it’s important to make sure that your locks look as luscious as possible! Try these styling tips from Karine Jackson, London Hairdresser of the Year finalist and organic colour expert (www.karinejackson.co.uk).

• “Styling-wise, I’m championing the bubble ponytail,” says Karine. “It’s a cool twist where you secure bands in intervals throughout the ponytail and tease out slightly to create little ‘bubbles’ down the hair. It’ll be a standout style this season.

• Braiding is always on-trend and the great thing is they don’t have to be neat; they actually look better when they’re a little tousled and loose. Invest in a great organic/natural shine spray and a great hairspray to keep your look in place.

• For a super quick up-do that looks intricate; tie hair into a ponytail. Half way down the tail, secure another band, backcomb the end (this creates padding) and then twist on itself and pin the bands together to create a cool chignon. Finish with a quick spritz of a gloss spray for mirror shine.

• For hair that just needs a little reviving after work use my new ‘Schu-Shine’ technique to give your hair a cool matte texture. Spray dry shampoo liberally throughout the hair and use a towel in a ‘shoe-shining’ action to disperse the product throughout the hair for a mussed-up finish. This is an effortless way to add interest to your hair when time isn’t on your side.”

Try this!

“We all know that central heating can dry the skin but it can also dry out the hair very quickly,” says Kerry Capewell, haircare and styling expert at Naturtint (www.naturtint.co.uk). “Give your hair some extra care during the winter months and use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to keep it hydrated.”

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