Ready, Set, Sparkle - Your Head to Toe Party Season Beauty Prep Countdown
Pamper, prime and prep
With Christmas Party Season upon us, your diary will be filling up with office do’s, celebratory meals and after-work drinks. But add to the festive mix all the shopping, decorating and the inevitable end-of-year deadline at work, and it may seem impossible to find time for the all-important party prep.
The real secret to turning up to sparkly events feeling sparkly too is to decide what makes you feel good from the inside out – feeling good is so much more important that an outfit or hairdo –– but there’s also nothing wrong with having some fun with getting pampered, prepped and primed as much as you want!
Bath is a beauty addict's dream with so many amazing hair, makeup and beauty options so there’s no excuse to not carve out a little festive you-time. Whether you want to go full on glam fest or just want to add a little festive spirit, we’ve got your head-to-toe beay prep covered with our timeline below.
Before we start, here are our top 5 festive beauty tips, and it’s all in the planning.
Plan and book any appointments you want to make in advance. Last minute bookings can mean no availability, extra stress and squeezing in an appointment somewhere that may not be your usual favourite. Some salons may also be closed on certain days like New Year’s Eve, so check in advance and get booking.
Check the dress code and choose your look, plan your outfit, jewellery, clutch and shoes in advance, especially if you plan to buy or hire online. When you have an idea of how your outfit is going to look you can also plan your hair and makeup looks in advance.
Re-engineer your night. Know what time you need to leave home (and how you’re going to get there, because shoes) and schedule your getting-ready time backwards from there. Set out everything you need in advance.
Start practicing for the DIY jobs. Want to experiment with new lashes, try a new liquid eyeliner or fake tan? Maybe a few clip-in hair pieces or a whole new makeup look?Don’t leave it for the day of the party. Start practicing now. It’s never too soon!
5. Pre-plan your transport to and from the Christmas party venue. Don’t get stuck waiting for that train, bus or taxi so check timetables and book in advance as much as you can.
HEAD TO TOE PREP COUNTDOWN
ONE MONTH BEFORE
If you’re starting to feel a bit sluggish as winter looms, now is the time to get back in action and get your pre-Christmas body moving.Aim for at least 30mins a day, even if it’s just a walk during your lunch hour.
Invest in a body scrub (Soap & Glory FLAKE AWAY, £8) to slough away dead skin and boost circulation. Daily dry brushing or using exfoliating mits 2-3 times a week work great too.
Hydrate with beautiful, rich body butters (Clinique Deep Comfort, £26; The Sanctuary Spa’s Ultra Rich Body Butter, £12.50) - and make sure you still have enough water every day to stay hydrated inside out.
Hopefully your autumn skincare routine is working well for you, but if you need a little boost or extra TLC, now is the time to book in a few facials or treatments that can help your skin look its absolute best.
Professional facials and peels can be a great addition to your routine, but speak to your therapist and don’t try anything too drastic too close to your important dates, just in case you have a reaction.
Something I’ll definitely be doing again is a Dermaplane facial. Enhance Medispa and The Brow Works are both good options to visit locally.For me this is a perfect option before a special event.
I’ve tried it before and it leaves my skin silky smooth, brighter and clear - I absolutely love the way my makeup feels afterwards.
A good at-home option is the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, £18 for five treatments.Specially formulated with five different acids to correct uneven skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines - perfect if you don't have time to pencil in a facial appointment.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE
For a simple trim, a colour refresh orgetting your roots done to see you through the party season - the one important thing is to book now.But it’s just as important to book your hairdresser for the actual day of your party, especially if you want to co-ordinate it with getting your makeup and/or nails done.
How about trying out a few new looks? Start experimenting now and put some ideas together for your hairdresser. If you want to do it yourself, then now is a great time to get your accessories together and start practicing for how you’re going to do it on the day!
ONE WEEK BEFORE
WAXING(ideally 1-3 days before)
If you feel your most fabulous when your pins and private parts are hair-free, waxing will save you some shaving time for at least 2-3 weeks.If you’re planning to have a spray tan (see below) timing is also important to give yourself a day or so between waxing and tanning, otherwise a day or two before your event is great too.
TANNING(ideally 1-3 days before)
If you feel you need a bit of extra body glow then investing in a professional spay tan can give you a gorgeous glowing goddess finish, but if you want to do it yourself (remember your exfoliation and waxing) it’s a good idea to purchase now and have a few trial runs leading up to your party.
Alternatively, a good quality gradual tanner can do a great job too. If it’s a complete last minute decision, St Tropez’s Express Self-tan (£33) develops in as little as one hour or Vita Liberata’s HD Body Blur (£29.95) is a wash-off product that gives instant results. Other good options are tinted moisturisers and bronzing cosmetics. I’ve loved the Body Shop Baked-To-Last Bronzer (£16) for years and always go back to it.
BROWS and LASHES(ideally 1-3 days before if doing it professionally)
Frame your face with perfectly shaped and tinted brows - this alone can transform your whole look. If you haven’t done a tint before you’ll need a 24hr patch test first so make sure to pop into your salon to check that off your list some time before your appointment. There are many do-it-yourself options too - the trick is to start trying them now so you can test in advance.Nobody wants caterpillar eyebrows on the day.
With lashes you have a few options - getting a full set done professionally (lasts around 3 weeks and requires ongoing maintenance), buy falsies and do them yourself and start practicing (I’ve definitely not mastered this yet!) - or if you get your makeup done professionally, check with your makeup artist if they could include and apply lashes for you.I usually go for this option.
NAILS(Ideally 1-3 days before (if using polish), maybe up to a week before if using gel.
If you like getting your nails done, how about experimenting with something glittery - or some nail art? Party season is a great time to have fun and experiment. If you can squeeze in a relaxing mani and pedi it could take some of the stress out too.
ON THE DAY
Looking for the perfect contouring, smokey eye and red lip?Whether you’re doing it yourself, visiting a makeup counter, booking a private makeup artist or a salon, the key is to know what kind of look you’re afterso it works with the rest of your outfit.
It can be helpful to research the kind of look that you’d like have and show your Makeup artist what you want through pictures rather than trying to explain, just so you’re on the same page (same with your hairdresser!) It’s can also help to take off all your makeup before your appointment if you can as it will save time and not cut into the actual application time.
Quick fix straight from the office or getting ready at your desk?
Star helpers are dry shampoo; pressed powder to eliminate shine; a quick mascara touch up; a little sparkle on the eye lids and your favourite red lipstick.An all-in-one palette is a great addition to any makeup bag. I love the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette (£49), it’s slim enough to slip into my handbag and has all you need to bronze, highlight, blush and fix your eye-makeup.
ONE-STOP FESTIVE MAKEOVERS IN MY BEAUTIFUL HOME CITY - BATH, UK
Recently I was lucky enough to have my own pre-party makeover by two of Bath’s most well-known hair & beauty institutions.
LittleLAB – for make up
First of was getting my makeup done by Chloe at LittleLAB (your one-stop shop for everything from nails, waxing, lashes, makeup and gift shopping). Over a lovely cup of tea we discussed the smokey eye look and medium coverage foundation finish I had in mind and I immediately knew I was in good hands.
Chloe started off by cleansing and prepping my skin, explaining every step in the process and then started on my eyes first. so that my foundation doesn’t get affected should any of the pigment drop onto my cheeks.
She then worked her magic with the award-winning Temptu Airbrush Foundation Gun - a unique handheld device that creates a natural, flawless look with a variety of foundation, blush and highlight options to create a long-lasting, glowy finish.
It’s a really lovely, subtle sensation and very different from the usual foundation brushes or blenders I use.The gorgeous smokey eye with individual lashes completed the look beautifully and I was very happy with how well my foundation lasted all through the night.
Bobby Mak –– for hair
Next up was getting my hair done. The lovely Hannah had a quick look at a few images of the look I wanted - and then proceeded to create something even prettier in the end!
More tea and more lovely conversation followed while she fixed my shoulder length hair into a ‘The Half-up Half-down Grab-n-Pin’ - a perfect go-to party look for shoulder length and longer hair.
I washed my hair in the morning so Hannah just put some tongs through for loose, wavy curls, back-combed the top half and pinned it back into the prettiest curly knot at the back.
It lasted me all evening and stayed in place beautifully. Nothing too formal, but still a bit special. I loved it and this will be definitely be my Christmas party look now!