Get the party glow

Try these top expert tips to look your best at the Christmas party

Office party season is upon us. Time to dust off that little black dress, polish your dancing shoes and get your game face on. Big smile, bright eyes, a touch of sparkle. Well that’s the idea...

We all want to look our best at this time of year, but just as our social diaries hit peak season, so too does our workload. Inevitably we end up hailing a cab last minute in the rain, straight from the office, feeling utterly exhausted. It’s hard to shake off the stress and step seamlessly into red carpet mode.

So this year we’ve called in some much-needed help from three top celebrity consultants on skin, hair and make-up. From proper planning and preparation to quick-fixes – we’ve got you covered to get that party glow.

Start with your skin

For Cherry Woods, star facialist at www.cherrywoodsclinic.com in London and Surrey, planning ahead is key.

“Great skin doesn’t just happen overnight and fabulous make-up starts with great skin,” she says. “The earlier you add these tips to your daily routine, the bigger the benefits.”

1) Supplement with omega-3
Whilst there are topical ways to keep skin hydrated, the cumulative, negative effects of alcohol and late nights mean we really have to support our skin internally too. A good oral omega-3 supplement will help to diffuse redness. Omegas help to replace fatty acids and minimise water loss. This keeps your skin hydrated, helping make-up to last longer.

2) Seal in moisture
Constant temperature fluctuations, from biting cold winds to over-heated offices, can cause dry, patchy skin. These dry areas pull moisture from your liquid foundation base. To prevent this, use a hyaluronic acid serum which helps boost the levels of water in your skin. Apply under your moisturiser, then on top of your moisturiser apply a thin layer of sun block. This locks in moisture for much longer, giving an even look to your make-up.

3) Less is more
Take care not to over-apply products to the T-zone, especially if you have skin that is prone to being oily. Don’t overburden pores. Opt for an oil-free lotion so your make-up sits well. Apply to the neck first, then the sides of the cheeks, lips and upper lips and just ‘kiss’ the T-zone, in the morning only.

4) Scrub up!
Lack of UVB in winter means that your skin cell turnover slows right down. For some skin types this causes a breakout of spots and blackheads. The bottleneck effect is accelerated by constantly switching between the cold outdoors and central heating inside. Waxy blockages appear and your skin can look sallow and dull. Exfoliation is especially important at this time of year to keep you looking fresh-faced.

5) Cool it
For make-up to look its best and last longer, always wait until your skin is cool and calm before applying. This isn’t easy when you’re rushing around after work, so pack a little bottle of hydration mist to spritz over your moisturiser. This keeps those capillaries from dilating, causing your make-up to slide and separate. Use cooling face cloths (simply soak clean cloths in chamomile tea-infused water, drain and store in ziplock bags in the fridge). Press the cloths lightly on your face until they have lost their coolness: firstly the night before the party, the following morning and just before you get ready. This reduces oil flow, takes out the heat and tightens pores.

Make-up master class

Elite make-up artist Amanda Bell is used to working with some of the most famous A-listers from Sienna Miller and Jodie Kidd to Gillian Anderson to name just a few. We’ve taken some top DIY tips from her Norton studio, www.amanda-bell.co.uk

Mesmer-eyes
Coppery and red shades are huge right now for eyes. To wear the trend beautifully, simply use a copper kohl liner and smudge into the lower and upper lash line, blending upwards and outwards with a medium-domed brush. You can also add sultry drama to your eyes by swapping your black liner for dark and smoky espresso brown – much sexier than black!

Quick and natural contour
Go for warmth with a matt, medium bronzer, rather than the usual taupe-based shading powder. For a natural, youthful look, you can swipe a peach blush high up on the apples of the cheeks. It tends to add a more sophisticated finish than pinker shades.

Highlights
Brighten up your complexion by patting a highlighting concealer from the inner corner of your eyes, outwards under the eye sockets and across the cheek bones. Radiance in an instant!

Top up
You don’t have to start from scratch. Spritz your face with a mineral-infused hydration mist then smooth a light-textured primer sparingly across your skin. You’re ready to reapply!

Show-stopping hair

Santo Alessi is a celebrity best kept secret with a raft of famous loyal clients at his salon in Ripley, Surrey. (Tel: 01483 211 922.) He says: “Don’t just follow a trend. You wear your hair – it doesn’t wear you. A good stylist will work with your colouring and features.”

In the run-up to the Christmas party, Santo recommends making sure that your hair is looking its best by supplementing with omega-3 and vitamin D as well as getting plenty of sleep. He also suggests considering having a trial run, by booking a blow dry with your stylist before the day of the party, to make sure you get the results you want on the day.

Va-va-volume
If you are planning to style your own hair and want to whip up the volume, you can twist sections, spray each coil with your favourite natural hairspray and flip your head upside down. Loosen the coils with your fingers and tease out a bit. Spray again before you flip right side up again. Don’t panic – the bouffant will settle to a bouncy, wavy look. This works particularly well with long, thick hair.

However, if your hair is on the thinner side, back combing is a great way to transform your office hair to the party-perfect do. The trick is to do one section at a time.

Finishing touches
“Remember, you can go glam without parabens, sulphates and artificial fragrances,” says Santo. “My clients love finishing sprays and spritzes such as gold finishing dust for red carpet events and awards. There are some great organic ranges for sensitive scalps.”

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