As the countdown to Christmas fast approaches, most of us will be in full festive swing. If you always seem to run out of time to fully prepare for celebratory occasions (that probably goes for the most of us too!), here are my top pointers to looking fabulous this party season. I’ve also shared my favourite eateries and bars to visit in London, plus some beauty gift ideas that never fail to impress.
The hot spot to get you tinsel town ready is celebrity haunt, Neville Hair & Beauty in London. I recently paid a visit to experience a new treatment on the menu; a one hour indulgence that includes a deep hair conditioning treatment, manicure, pedicure and the most glamorous blow-dry ever that saves us from bad hair days and poorly painted nails. They call this the ‘WOW’ and for good reason - I walked out feeling like a real ‘Pretty Woman’. www.nevillehairandbeauty.net. This package starts from £150.
If a trip to Neville is out of your budget, try some at-home pampering. For dry winter hair, invest in an intense ritual using Kerastase products. For supreme soft tresses, try the Fondant Nutrithermique treatment, £17.90 and Elixir Ultime, £32.72, www.kerastase.co.uk. Aromatherapy Associates' Enrich Hair Oil, £22.50, www.aromatherapyassociates.com also deep conditions and adds lustrous shine to locks. Nails Inc. have introduced cute crystal jewels on the caps of their Christmas collection, £15, www.nailsinc.com . I love the shades Royal Arcade and Crown Court. If you’re seeking a sun-worshipping glow, a stop at The Chelsea Day Spa for the organic, paraben and streak-free Vita Liberata Spray Tan, £45, does the trick. www.thechelseadayspa.co.uk
Fluttery lashes never go amiss. The Power Lounge’s nourishing lash serum, Long Sexy Lashes, £22, www.thepowderlounge.co.uk is the perfect primer before a lick of mascara and falsies. I find Eyelure’s Girls Aloud Party Lashes, £5.95, www.eyelure.com really rock a glitzy winter wonderland look. The perfect party palettes have got to be Bobbi Brown’s Pink and Gold Lip Palette, which dips the lips with fresh pinks, deep roses and a golden nude, £35, www.bobbibrown.co.uk and MAC’s 6 Dashing Lassie Eye Shadows, £25 www.maccosmetics.co.uk – a soft shimmer set that has a fairy-tale vanilla, coffee and bronze, all encased in a tartan tin. These pretty sparklers promise goddess-like glamour without overdoing it.
LBD’s and cocktail frocks by French Connection guarantee feminine party sophistication. I love the Silky Sacha, Grainger's and Samantha Sequins designs the most. Check out www.frenchconnection.com to buy them online.
Christmas would not be the same without sophisticated scents. Florist Jane Packer has just introduced a new alluring fragrance. This crushed floral explosion dips you in a garden of Red Roses, Black Violet and Cyclamen eau de parfum, £45, www.jane-packer.co.uk
Now that you’re looking and hopefully feeling a million dollars, arrange drinks and dinner with friends in London. Providores – the New Zealand tapas restaurant in Marylebone, www.theprovidores.co.uk offers a fusion of world flavours to create a unique and sensational menu. If you’re east, Viet Grill is the yummiest Vietnamese street food in Shoreditch: www.vietnamesekitchen.co.uk/vietgrill . When west and need an escape after shopping for gifts on Oxford Street, hydrate with cocktails at Aqua www.aqua-london.com.The terrace top has great views over London and cosy cashmere blankets to keep you warm when it’s cold outside. For the best Earl Grey martinis, set your sights on Hunter 486 – the trendy bar in boutique hotel, Arch London, tucked away by, you guessed it, Marble Arch: www.thearchlondon.com
On Christmas Day itself, you never know if a few unexpected guests will suddenly turn up, or worse yet, if they will come bearing gifts for you but you have none for them! To avoid any awkward present swapping moments, wrap up some beauty heroes: Molton Brown’s The Three Musketeers should save you, £42 www.moltonbrown.co.uk . This three-piece gift set for men includes the Active Cassia Sportswash, Deodorant and Moisture-Rich Aloe and Karite Ultrabar. Neal’s Yard has another rescue remedy for last minute arrivals. The Exquisite Wild Rose Skincare Collection brings together the Beauty Balm, Body Elixir and Beauty Concentrate into one box set, £45, www.nealsyardremedies.com .
Finally, lift into high spirits with scented lights! Fragrance your home with the new Diptyque Oliban and Spicy Orange Candles, £45 each, www.liberty.co.ukI also like the Crabtree & Evelyn Noel 3 Fragranced Candles, £21, www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk