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…
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!
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.
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.