Party time!

A couple of women in party mood

How to feel good, look great and shine bright at the Christmas party

Feel good

Go for a morning run.

“Exercise in the morning is always good for you,” says Rachel Clarke, CEO of JBC Nutrition (www.jbc-nutrition.co.uk). “But in preparation for your big night out, not only will it wake you up and increase your energy levels, leaving you ready for the rest of the day, but it also leaves you with positive psychological effects. After you exercise, you feel instantly slimmer and this will help you to feel extra confident when slipping into that Christmas party dress.”

Stay hydrated

“We’ve all been guilty of drinking too much at the Christmas party at some point and no one enjoys the ‘morning-after’ wine brain, especially if you have to drag your tired self to the office,” says Rachel Clarke. “Alcohol strips the body of water, leaving you feeling dehydrated. So, throughout the evening it’s important to keep water to hand and keep yourself hydrated to tone down the effects of alcohol. Try to drink one glass of water between alcoholic beverages. It’s also a good idea to leave the house hydrated in preparation for the rest of the night.”

Skip the carbs

“It’s common for people to load up on carbohydrates before a heavy night out because it’s assumed that it will prepare your stomach for the volumes of alcohol you’re about to consume,” says Rachel. “But, actually, it’s better to eat food with slow-release fats as they stay in your stomach for longer and slow down alcohol absorption in your system. Try eating foods like salmon and avocado and fill up on some healthy protein. This way you can also avoid feeling bloated in your fantastic new outfit.”

Look great

Get glowing

“For a bright, clear complexion for the party season, exfoliation is key,” says Judy Rocher, education manager and product advisor with Rio Trading, a company specialising in South American botanicals (www.riorosa.co.uk). “However, care should be taken that the exfoliator you choose is not too harsh, which may lead to redness and irritation of the skin. So what to look for in a good exfoliator? Choose one that has natural, biodegradable particles such as golden bamboo (not plastic) providing a gentle polishing action, which is safe for the environment. Make sure you select an organic scrub which also contains soothing plant oils which are rich in vitamins, such as vitamins A, C and E, and minerals, such as silica and magnesium, to benefit skin health.”

Mineral magic

“Mineral make-up is a great choice for people with sensitive skin or anyone wanting their skin to breathe whilst wearing make-up,” says Dani Guinsberg, founder of The Session School (www.thesessionschool.com). “There are many ways to apply mineral foundations, the first being a classic buffing using a kabuki brush and applying using small, blending circular motions. You can, however, also mix some of the powders into your moisturiser, creating your own custom blend liquid foundation. Mineral eyeshadows lend themselves well to Christmas party looks as they are not only extremely long wearing but contain mica particles of shimmer that add glamour to any look you choose. Again they are easy to apply with a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush, making sure to sweep colour across the lids and under the water line to achieve drama.”

Va-va-volume

“When it comes to the Christmas party season, this year hair is all about volume and texture,” says Claire Payne from organic hair brand Tints of Nature (www.tintsofnature.com). “Dry shampoos containing natural clays and starches are great for this and much healthier than gas propellant and alcohol-filled synthetic variants. Simply style hair as normal, lift hair in sections or tip your head upside down and spray or pump the dry shampoo evenly into the root and through the length of the hair. Gently massage in any residual powder and backcomb a little if desired for extra fullness.”

A woman applying lipstick

Shine bright

Lip service

“It’s easy to create some of the season’s hottest looks with natural and organic make-up products,” says Rebecca Goodyear, (www.biteablebeauty.com) a natural and organic beauty expert who works with brands such as Pacifica. “To create the berry-stained lips seen on the catwalk, apply a lip primer, or utilise a face cream as a lip primer. Once set, apply a pinky-coloured lipstick all over. Then take a berry-coloured lip gloss or lip tint and apply to the centre of your upper and lower lip. Leave quite raw – the finished effect is supposed to be raw. To make more of a night-time look, switch the pink lipstick for a deep, blackberry lipstick and then layer an even deeper lip gloss over the top.”

Smoking hot

“For a great party look, why not go for a smoky eye with a brown or blue twist?” says Rebecca. “Firstly, take a light eyeshadow as a base – this can work with a pearly colour, a cream, or even a pastel pink or blue. Apply all over the eyelid from lashline to brow. Next, take a deeper colour, and apply from the lashline to the socket line, blending really well at the socket line, ensuring a dramatic effect. Finally, take your darkest colour and draw along the lashline, outwards and away from the corner of the eye, blending this darkest colour with the mid-colour.”

Nail it!

“If you are looking for a natural nail polish for the party season, always look for the cleanest formulas possible: 3-, 5- or 7- free,” says Rebecca. (This refers to the chemicals that the product is free from, such as dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor). “There are heaps of options now and even water-based products with just water and mineral pigments. There’s an array of colours to choose from in the cleaner/natural marketplace. When applying nail colours, don’t apply too much in one go and try to cover the nail in three strokes – one up the middle, one to the left and one to the right. After you’ve done these three strokes fill in the gaps around the edges (if you’ve missed any areas).”

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