Prepping for parties


Dinner with friends, office parties, family celebrations… Our diaries can start looking pretty hectic this time of year. Many people enjoy getting ready almost as much as going out. If you have time to spend on preparation the night before your party, whether it’s five minutes, or a couple of hours, read on…

If your skin is looking a bit dull and lacklustre, try a mini facial. Start with a good quality cleanser to make sure your face is completely clean. Then use a gentle exfoliator to rid it of dead skin cells. My face and body scrub contains kaolin clay, which helps to draw any impurities out from the pores. If you don’t have a face mask to hand, try making one with half an overripe avocado, some porridge oats and a teaspoon of honey. (Mash up the rest of the avocado with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for an effective hair mask.) Leave the face mask on for ten minutes, remove with warm water, pat dry and apply your toner. Finish up by gently massaging in your night cream. Your skin should look much brighter the next day, and feel softer and more plumped.

Eyes feeling a bit puffy from too many late nights? As well as getting a good night’s sleep and drinking plenty of water, try mixing ground turmeric with aloe vera or water and gently applying it to the under-eye area before bed, making sure not to get any in your eyes.

If you’ve been hiding away under winter woollies for the last few weeks, you’ll likely find that you need to exfoliate your whole body. Pay particular attention to dry patches on your elbows and knees if you’re planning to get a fake tan. If you don’t have a scrub to hand, try mixing some brown sugar or sea salt with olive oil. Add a few drops of essential oil if you like. Lavender is good for relaxation, or geranium is uplifting.

An oat bath is a great way to add some much needed moisture to your skin. Just tie a few porridge oats up into a muslin cloth, or the toe of an old pair of tights, and add it to the bath while it’s running. Use your oat bag to cleanse your skin. Once you’re out of the bath, pat your skin until it’s damp, rather than soaking wet, and massage in plenty of body lotion. You might want to use a multi-purpose balm on particularly dry areas, such as elbows and heels.

Planning a manicure, but want to save money by doing it yourself? Here’s how to get it right.

Of course, it’s not just preparing for parties that’s important; sometimes we need to give ourselves time to recover from them too! Rich food, late nights and a bit too much mulled wine all take their toll. Do try to take time to look after yourself in between the frenzy. Soothe your stomach with nutritious food and drink, such as veggie packed soups and warm water with lemon. Head out into nature for a brisk walk to clear your head and refresh your spirit. And take some time away from your phone, tablet and the TV in the evenings, so that you can unwind before bed.

Enjoy the partying!