How To Look Gorgeous This Christmas – Without Spending Too Much Money or Wasting Too Much Time!

Right – so you have finally finished Christmas shopping,  and it might even all be wrapped and secreted around the house away from little prying eyes.  And, if you are an exceptionally clever little so-and-so, you may even have planned out your Christmas Dinner.  So what about you?  When do you fit in time to beautify yourself and feel good about yourself on the day?  Well my friend, I’m going to share a few things that I do in order to make sure I look and feel as good as I can before the in-laws arrive…

holiday beauty

In order to free up as much time as I can, I delegate tasks.  My children set the table the night before, and the whole family help make sure the house is clean.  Guests often take various courses with them, e.g. starters, sweets or cheese and biscuits.  It’s even better if the courses don’t require cooking as that means I don’t have to worry about oven or hob space.  All vegetables and other trimmings are prepared as much as possible the night before.  So, let’s assume all that has been done (oh, if only!) – what now?

First of all, try and squeeze in a hair appointment a few weeks before the big day.   A decent cut (or colour) will make you feel better instantly!  But remember that every woman and her Mother will be making appointments before Christmas so do it now!

I like painting my nails but can’t be bothered with all the waiting around for it to dry.  So I use varnishes that dry within 60 seconds, but I’ll tell you a bit about that later.  Suffice to say, if you want to stick with normal varnish, then paint your nails the day before as you won’t have time the next day!

Christmas Eve
I like to give  my scraggly, dry, laden with split-ends hair a good condition every now and then.  You can buy various pots of intensive conditioner, or even one-treatment sachets, but I prefer to use a good quality conditioner.  I usually wash my hair as usual, then slather with conditioner, wrap in a towel and only rinse it off before I go to bed.  Sometimes however, I leave the conditioner on all night and rinse off in the morning.  You will be gob smacked at how smooth and sleek your hair looks and feels.

If you are anything like me, I like shaved legs – even supposing they never see the light of day!  Make time to remove any unwanted hair – it’s so worth the effort.

I like a bit of colour to my skin and usually slap on a bit of fake tan before I go to bed – it’s lovely waking up in the morning and looking like you’ve had a short break somewhere hot.  Not too much though – orange is definitely not the new black.  And don’t worry about staining your sheets – any decent product will not do that particularly if you put it on an hour or so before you retire.

I would also file and shape my nails before bed in preparation for painting them the next day.

Christmas Day
After you have opened the presents and sipped your champagne (what?  It’s a family tradition – and who am I to break that tradition?), and done whatever you need to do in the kitchen, it’s time to shower and prepare.

Have you tried fake lashes?  If not – you definitely should!  Invest in a reasonably priced pair (maybe a pair over £6) – this may seem pricey but if you are careful, you can use the time and time again (even if they don’t tell you that on the packaging).  Or perhaps Santa could bring you a pair?

Put on your make-up as usual (including mascara) and then prepare the lashes by putting a thin line of glue along the length of the lash, and leave until tacky.  Then whilst looking down into a mirror, carefully press the lash down as near to your natural lash as possible.  Hold in place with a cotton bud or tweezers for a few seconds and voila – gorgeous lashes!  But note, a general rule of thumb is ‘less is more’ – unless you are 15, go for something natural looking, or else you’ll end up looking like a drag queen.  Before bed remove them carefully, then peel off the glue and replace them in their box.

For my hair I would use my wonderful Babyliss Big Hair.  For the uninitiated, it’s a hairdryer with a large revolving brush that creates masses of volume, and there are ionic elements which give your hair a really glossy finish.  I love it!  It’s so easy to use; dry your hair to 80% dry, then section off (with the clips that come with the dryer) and dry with the brush.  You don’t have to be particularly skilful (I’m not) but the end finish is amazing.  You will look like you have just come from a salon.  Finish it off with a light spray of hairspray to hold your style in place.

I would recommend painting your nails with any of the fast-drying varnishes that are available now.  And look for varnishes with extra-wide brushes – you can coat most of your nails with one stroke giving a smooth  and even finish.  Load up your brush (wiping off the excess back into the bottle) and place the brush as near to your cuticle as you can.  Slowly and minimally move the brush from side to side to create a nice sharp top edge, the pull the brush down the length of your nail.  Done.

Now go put something lovely on (and comfortable too – it’s a long day), find your favourite bling, and enjoy your day!

Have a happy – and beautiful! – Christmas!

Jacqueline Leith is a writer and regular blogger for a number of sites, including one that allows you to compare prices.

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5 Holiday Makeup Tips for a Party-Perfect Look

‘Tis the season to look fabulous. You’ve chosen the perfect festive outfit and accessories. Now you need the right makeup to finish off your look. These holiday makeup tips will make sure your face is just as beautiful as your ensemble, so get ready to party the night away!

holiday makeup look

1 – Choose a focal point - Before applying any makeup, decide which area of your face will be your focal point. Most women opt for either the eyes or the lips. You don’t want different parts competing for attention, so pick the facial area you like the best.

2 – Smoky eyes are where it’s at - If you’ve chosen to play your eyes up to maximum effect, a smoky eye look is always dramatic and sexy. You don’t have to go with basic black, either — deep violet, charcoal grey and even a rich, chocolate brown can all create a smoldering eye look that complements your eye color. Brown-eyed women may want to showcase their eyes with violet shades, while other women can create knockout baby blues with charcoal grey. Green and hazel eyes will pop with plenty of deep brown color.

3 – Play with lashes - Now is the time to pull out all the stops when it comes to eyelashes. Either use a mascara that promises thicker, longer lashes or go for fake ones. Today’s false lashes have come a long way, so application is a breeze. Place lashes only at the corners of your lids for a cat’s eye, come-hither look. You may also want to wear lashes with shiny gemstones embedded on them — you’ll have enviably full lashes and instant sparkle!

4 – Go metallic - If you avoid shine in your daily makeup, the holidays are the perfect time to shine and shine big. Metallic eye shadow, blush and lipstick can all add the right amount of glam; just don’t wear them all at once. Place an icy metallic shadow under your brow-bone as a highlight, or dab just a bit of metallic blush on the top of your cheekbones to make them stand out in a big way. Women with warm complexions will look fabulous in metallics that contain hints of peach, bronze and orange, while cool complexions will shine in silver, blue and lavender metallic makeup.

5 – Glossy lips rule - Create a gorgeous party-ready pout with glossy lip colors. Red, rose and pale pink are all great selections. Forget matte formulas; instead, go for moisturizing colors that last all night. Top with a coat of clear gloss and your lips will be irresistibly kissable.

Use these helpful hints the next time you’re headed to a holiday happening, and create a knockout look that’s the talk of the party!

Shop for the best in holiday makeup and fashion at Nordstrom

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3 Holiday Parties and Tips to Enjoy Them

Have you been invited to your in-law’s house or your friend’s house to spend the holidays? Sure, the holiday season is filled with entertaining others, and visiting others. Sometimes, the thought of going to celebrate the holidays with your in-law makes you want to stay home and take care of your pooch. Even if you are a college student returning home for the holidays, there are certain etiquette tips that you should always remember. These tips will help you enjoy your holidays. Even if it isn’t the holiday season, here are some tips to be a great guest.

holiday party

1. Open House

Let’s say that you are invited to an open house. You aren’t sure how to dress, you don’t know who is really invited?make sure that you find out the details ahead of time. It is better to ask about it than being embarrassed at the party.

What to give: give the host some delicious fruits, or some baked holiday goods.

What to do: Tell your host that you will be going. You don’t want to surprise them with a last minute show up! Make sure that you mingle with the other guests?you want this to be a fun experience! Don’t wander around the host’s home?unless they take your on a tour.

How to Dress: Layer accordingly. It can get really hot in a crowded home.

When to arrive: Since this is an open house, you don’t have to get there right when it starts. You can leave whenever. Just make sure that you thank the guest.

2. Office Party

There are so many stories about office parties. You want to be on your best behavior here.

What to give: It isn’t necessary to bring anything to office parties (unless your are specifically asked to do so). If you are giving out gifts, make sure that you are giving it to everyone. If you aren’t, then give the gifts at different times.

What to do: Introduce yourself to the top dogs of the company?but don’t go too far. Let others talk. Don’t drink. Make sure that you stay sober during the company party. People will not easily forget the time when you were drunk. Get there within 10 minutes of the start time. You don’t have to wait until your boss leaves. No one is guarding the door.

How to dress: Dress a little better than you would at your office. A simple black dress (or suit) will always flatter and make you look nice.

3. In-laws

This can be a stressful time for your in-laws and you! You want to be the least stressed.

What to give: Bring your mother-in-law a floral arrangement. Give your father-in-law an old fashioned shave. Bring Christmas classics like, A Christmas Carol and “The Gift of the Magi”.

What to do: Ask the family about their tradition. You can share a recipe with them, but don’t be too imposing. Don’t disrupt your hosts schedule. Make sure that you would treat them as your own family. Thank your in-laws after by sending them with a thank you note with candy or baked goods.

Good luck with your holidays! Just don’t forget to enjoy other’s company and remember that the holidays are supposed to be joyous!


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