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From a distance

Top tips for a socially distanced Christmas celebration

Christmas parties in 2020 are certainly going to be different. Due to social distancing, we can no longer enjoy traditional gatherings with friends, loved ones or colleagues. So, many of us will be holding gatherings online via video conferencing apps like Zoom or Facetime. Despite these unusual circumstances, we can still enjoy the occasion, get dressed up and have some festive fun. So, read on for some tips for how to enjoy a socially distanced Christmas gathering.

Festive fun

If you normally meet up with friends and family for a festive tipple, why not get everyone together and organise an online organic wine or beer tasting? You could all purchase a selection of organic wines or beers from your local independent health food store and then compare tasting notes as you give each one a try.

Christmas just isn’t the same without a board game, but what about social distancing? Ellie Dix of has developed a range of board games that can be played via video conferencing. With dice and score sheets, everyone plays simultaneously and you can have any number of players playing at the same time. Just add some organic mulled wine!

If you love Christmas carols and are missing a good old festive singsong, an online Christmas Harmony party might just lift your spirits. Organised by community interest company Shared Harmonies (, these virtual events feature a mixture of Christmas singalongs and festive activities that would rival any in-person Christmas party.

Or if creative activities are more your thing, you could gather your friends for an online workshop to make Christmas items that would make a great homemade gift for a loved one. Sophie Trotman, founder of hosts virtual workshops for friends and family to learn how to make essential oil, soy wax candles. Gemma Hales, founder of is holding Christmas wreath-making workshops via Zoom for corporations instead of Christmas parties. “It’s bringing people together and doing something creative!” she says.

Julia Kemp from Knowledge Recycled ( has some tips for getting everyone in the party spirit. “Start the party with an icebreaker and/or a drink,” she says. “This is important as people have been sitting in front of a screen all day. It’s really important to actually get people interacting and ‘doing things’. Also, turn everyone off mute. This sounds counterintuitive to what most Zoom calls require, but if everyone is on mute you get that dreaded awkward silence. By turning everyone off mute, it’s a more realistic sound and encourages everyone to get chatting!”

Get glammed up!

Just because your Christmas party is taking place virtually this year, that’s no excuse not to get dressed up and into the party spirit. “Have a dress code,” suggests Julia Kemp. “Make sure everyone is dressed up for the occasion! This really helps set the atmosphere and gets everyone in the mood.”

If you need some beauty and style inspiration, make-up artist Hayley De Beers ( says that trends for this autumn/winter will focus more on the eyes than ever. “What with people embracing mask-wearing, I predict winged and graphic liner, getting creative with eyeshadow and bold, fluffy brows to be gracing the party season,” she says. “Even if it won’t be what we are used to, being at home more will give people even more time and inclination to have fun with their make-up when they do go out.”

While glitter and face gems are also set to feature heavily, Hayley recommends avoiding these if you care about plastic pollution. She says: “Recent studies have shown even biodegradable glitter is still adding to the problem, despite being marketed as a more eco-friendly option. Stick to bold colours with shimmer instead, and accent with chunky or floating eyeliner and reusable, cruelty-free lashes.

“For those of us who don’t want to rock a bold eye but still want some drama, try a natural-looking, dewy base and a vampire-style dark lip. Remember – if your lips are thin, make sure you go glossy. If your lips are full, matte is better, and always use a liner! Pair this with well-groomed, fluffy brows, and almost no eye make-up. A slick of good mascara will be enough to balance this look, or a thin liner, gently blended.

“Natural and cruelty-free products are often over-looked or seen as less ‘premium’ than some of the big, luxury beauty brands, and this just isn’t the case,” says Hayley. “The efficacy of a product comes down to two things: its pigment quality and its formulation. Now more than ever it is possible to produce great products using natural ingredients and without testing on animals. Look for things like mineral foundation powders and eye shadows (talc free), and vegan lipsticks - they have amazing colour pay-off, and they won’t contain any animal-derived waxes or oils.”

Natural hair flair

Complete your virtual Christmas party look with an on-trend hairstyle – and make sure any products you use are natural and/or organic for chemical-free chic. “The classic and ever-so-fabulous Hollywood glamour curls are super easy to achieve and won’t take longer than 15 minutes,” says Josh Kelly, founder of Zest Salon in Liverpool. “Use a large barrel curler, take large sections of the hair and curl inwards setting a front wave with S-shaped pins before leaving to cool for 15 minutes. To finish, add hairspray and shine spray. You could also add a pearl statement clip for that special touch.”

‘Undone waves’ are another on-trend look and are easily achievable whilst remaining very natural looking. “Use a larger curling wand so the curls that fall are loose around your face,” advises Josh. “To achieve texture, twirl each section in alternate directions and pull through with your fingers. Finish off with a light hold hairspray.”

Some like to keep it simple and, if so, sleek straight hair is for you! “Part your hair in the centre and split into sections with large clips,” says Josh. “Use a straightener to go over each section individually making sure all sections are poker straight. This is perfect for anyone wanting to create a simple but chic look. This is also great when not wanting to distract from a show-stopping outfit or a stand-out make-up look!”

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