The Writerri small bird

Health and Beauty Articles

Wanting to look and feel amazing for your Christmas party this year? Well, look no further, it’s the little black dress diet! Loose a stone before Christmas and feel fabulous!!!

Blah. Blah. Blah. Haven’t we heard this a thousand times? From my perspective this is the WORST possible time of year to diet (I know, there’s never a good time) But does that mean we’re all going have to settle with being frumpy grumps when Santa comes a’ knocking? It certainly does not. There are so many ways out there to make yourself feel and look good without hitting the treadmill at intensity 13 at the gym (how these people don’t go flying off at that speed I’ll never know.)

Let’s face it – all of the adverts are yelling at you to eat, eat and EAT some more, what’s the point in fighting it? Us islanders are no exception – I attempted to book a table in pretty much every restaurant in town over a month before Christmas – one person I got on the phone actually laughed at me, whereas another yelled FULLY BOOKED the second I mentioned Saturday and December in the same sentence - ahem I believe the point has been proven.

Your Christmas night out – be it with work mates, family or close friends - is the one night of the year that sparkles, dramatic make up and over-the-top accessories are totally fashionable. Well, who am I to change tradition! But some tip top advice will make you feel dazzling on the most anticipated social night of the year without having all of the pressure to drop a dress size...

The preparation

Believe it or not, the preparation starts a whole week before! But for those of you who are about to turn over after thinking ‘I’ve no time for that!’ it is simple prep that will take minutes. Start by exfoliating your entire body to start smoothing out the skin – I’ve never found an exfoliator that rivals Fake Bake’s Passion Fruit Body Polish. Use exfoliator gloves (found in chemists around town) to work the scrub in – I strongly advise to do this in the shower – dry scrub in the bathtub is a nightmare to clean! Scrub the face with a lighter exfoliator and only do this once the week before and once a couple of nights before your night out.

Up your skincare routine if you aren’t maintaining a good routine already – it’s so important to remove all make up before bed and to apply the creams or serums that are suitable for your skin type – it will ensure make up will be applied better and will last for much longer! Cleansing and moisturising are everyday musts – I don’t believe in toners and think they’re a waste of money so count this out of the routine to save money and time!

Paint your toenails 1-2 days before your night out for it to settle – painting them on the day is pretty risky as smudging can easily happen even hours after application if you put shoes on. Remember to use a good basecoat to prevent them from staining the nails; two coats of colour for coverage then a shiny topcoat for overall finish (I’ve recently started using Jessica Diamond’s Dazzle top coat – the second I heard ‘real diamond pigments’ in a promotion I was like a moth to a flame!)

Gel nails or French tips are the way to go for your hands for the Christmas look. Unfortunately nail polish isn’t as long lasting as we’d like on our busy hands; this is why the gel nails concept was introduced – they are so durable and look fantastic with the added extension. The French manicure can get a bad name from looking too ‘natural’ and not jazzy enough for an event – having a glitter undercoat added to the nail bed will lift the look and make it totally glam! If you’re opting for this polish then the day before or on the day is the best time to get this done – it’s not a technique I’d advise to attempt at home – even I struggle with painting my right hand despite years of professional practise!

Hair control is an important one to take heed of before your night out. If you’re a regular with waxing then try and have waxing done 2-3 days before the night out – to ensure any redness dies down and that skin is prepped and ready for tanning (if you’re going for a tan!) For shaving and tweezing the day before is sufficient, but at all costs avoid shaving over an area that you’ve had a fake tan done on, as it will streak and possibly ruin it!

Fake tan. Oh I can almost feel the shudders! Fake tanning still get’s such a bad name as there are so many disastrous examples of tans gone wrong out there. But a tan done correctly can be the difference from pasty and grey versus glowing and healthy! It is great for complimenting make up, as well making you feel slimmer and more toned. I’d be lying if I started recommending shop brands – they are getting more and more expensive and don’t deliver the results! Fake Bake, St Tropez and Sienna are the way forward in the tanning revolution. I’ve worked with fake bake since I started my beauty business and it’s never let me down – the lotion gives a very natural colour and the spray tan is even more superior as the colour can be totally adjusted to suit the individual (i.e. do you want to have a ‘glow’ or be 5 shades darker?) Go for your tan (or D.I.Y) one or two days before your night out – and don’t forget the number one rule before tanning is EXFOLIATE! (I really cannot stress this enough.)

Try and go for something different for your hair – like I said before, it’s the one night of the year that different is very much IN! If you want to go for a more rugged look then wash your hair the day before but leave out the conditioner. Try not to frazzle your hair with straighteners as this will make it harder to work with on the night. If you want curls then hair spray is your best friend – not just a quick zap at the end of the session but blasting it throughout will keep the curls tight for the rest of the night! I’m so glad that hair accessories are back in fashion this year – just because it’s winter who says you can’t have a clip in flower to complete the look?

Some clever supportive underwear is a must if your outfit leaves opportunity for those love handles to make an appearance! I’m not talking Bridget Jones does Stornoway here. It can be both classy and comfortable without being mortifying. Check out Debenhams Body Shaper’s – the VPL will be banished! (My editor will be thinking she’s lost me completely on this one!)

On the day

Ensure you get a good nights kip the night before so that you’re nice and refreshed – and if you’re flagging during the day try and get a couple of hours kip in the afternoon – poor energy levels and fatigue (or a hangover!) will ruin a night out before it’s even started. Try and eat energy rich foods to give you an extra boost (fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods) and drink plenty water to ensure you don’t dehydrate.

Relax and ensure you have plenty time to get ready – rushing will make you feel harassed and agitated. Have your outfit well and truly organised so that there’s no frustrated cries of ‘NOTHING FITS ME – I have NO clothes that I can wear tonight!’ If I’ve been in that situation once I’ve been there a thousand times.

Put on some funky tunes to up your mood and get you excited – dulcet tones just won’t cut it I’m afraid!

Apply a shimmery body lotion around your collar bone and down the arms to add an extra element of glamour. Take good time doing your make up – having a thorough look after each section of makeup. Try to focus on one area that you’d like to emphasise i.e. lips or eyes and make it stand out – avoid the clown look but don’t be afraid to experiment with some glitter and eyeliner! (See previous column for step-by-step guide to Smokey eyes.)

Accessorise with bold costume jewellery or eye catching gold’s/silvers. Don’t be afraid to wear those elaborate earrings you bought months ago but haven’t had the guts to wear yet! (I’ve got some crazy feather ones that are dying to be worn!) Try and match your hand bag as best you can as this can make or break a look.

You’re now ready for your night out – have a good one!

Merry Christmas from me to you all, thanks for reading and see you in the New Year for more fun beauty columns! Terri x


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