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6:00am Saturday 7th December 2013 in Lifestyle
Amp up the glamour via your make-up bag. Lisa Haynes reveals the shortcuts to dazzling party looks.
You don't have to invest bags of time or money to look a million dollars during party season. The sparkly and decadent beauty offerings illuminating shelves at this time of year, make Operation Glam a breeze.
Two-fifths of women spend up to two hours preening before a big festive night, according to a recent survey by Lambrini.
But there are cracking shortcuts if you play up your best feature, whether it's tinsel-inspired eyes or Santa-red lips.
"The new rule in holiday make-up is about what makes you feel glamorous," says make-up artist Bobbi Brown.
Give yourself the gift of glam this party season.
If your pout's your party showpiece, look to matte, red lips that take mistletoe kisses and canapes in their stride.
"There's nothing more chic than a red lip with neutral eyes," says Brown.
"Matte products are dense and last longest - they contain less moisture than other products, so they adhere to the lips and don't fade as quickly."
Blot your lips and reapply your red for extra longevity. Take the colour up a notch with a gloss in the same colour as your lipstick, or pop a metallic gloss just to the centre of your pout to give them an instant plumping boost.
Like Christmas pudding on December 25, metallic and glitter eyes are a party season tradition you can't avoid.
Play up molten metallic eyeshadow by making it the focus of your look and toning down blush and lips.
"To nail the metallic trend, try using two shimmering shades," advises Una Tynan, founder of Blank Canvas Brushes.
"Sweep a deeper metallic shadow on the lids, blending into the socket line and stay below the brow bones to create a halo effect on lids. Apply a lighter metallic shadow on the inner corners to complete the look."
For extra razzle-dazzle, adorn eyes with a sweep of sparkling eyeliner as a finishing touch.
You might be the devil of the office Christmas do but ensure your face says otherwise. Strategically placed highlighter can give you a wide-eyed innocent look and lift your cheekbones to rival supermodel Kate Moss.
Make-up artist Rae Morris says: "The golden rule of highlighting is that the colour you choose must be the same as your skin tone or lighter, and must always have a shiny or shimmery finish."
Use a gold metallic cream or pencil in the inner corners of your eye, under the brows and on cheekbones to illuminate your face under the disco ball.
Fluttery false eyelashes are ideal if you want an instant glam transformation. Forget the natural-look lashes and think showgirl eyes, with dazzling accents of bold colour.
"Popping on a pair of false lashes can instantly transform tired eyes and make them look brighter and sexier," says Amanda Elias, facial Therapist and Bravura London founder.
"If you've never applied lashes then practice, practice, practice - five minutes before you're due to leave the house is not the time to try false eyelashes for the first time."
Aim for the best dressed hands on the dancefloor. Forget your party shoes and clutch, the matchy-matchy look is big in beauty too.
"Matching your lipstick to your nail lacquer is a hot make-up trend," says Pat McGrath, Dolce & Gabbana creative advisor.
"Jewel-like colours are a perfect complement to any Christmas or New Year outfit, just like a piece of jewellery."
Add some razzle dazzle with a top coat of shimmering gold glitter polish for the ultimate festive mani.
Ditch the monochromatics and take your eyes up a notch with a show-stopping colour; the perfect accessory for a LBD.
"Swap the traditional take on the grey smoky eye with a sultry yet subtle blend of purple and blue," Kay Montano, make-up artist for M&S Beauty.
"These shades really enhance the colour of the iris so play with different shades this party season."
For a subtle look, avoid an eyelid wash and try a fine line close to the lash line or concentrate your party piece colour on the inner corners of the eye.
Tried & tested
:: Lisa Haynes kicks back for an at-home spa experience ahead of party season
I always feel at my party season best when preened and pampered. But there are downsides to being a glamazon devotee. There's that tacky feeling immediately after a spray tan, the hand waving for half an hour to speed up mani drying time, and then there's the fear of putting your feet back into your shoes after a pedi. Smudge alert! Urban Retreat at Home eliminates the faff. Treatments take place on your sofa (or bed, if you're feeling particularly lazy) and you don't have to move an inch afterwards. With festive revelry ahead, I opt for the 'Express Prep to Party' package with home therapist Charlie. She lands at my doorstep and practically unravels a pop-up spa from her pink luggage in my lounge, including a fluffy towels, silver bowl - which she fills with soapy suds - and a virtual candy shop of Leighton Denny and OPI nail colours. Charlie begins by prepping my feet, soaking my soles and exfoliating with a Leighton Denny Diamond Sole Mate scrub. Once my feet are dried, a Micropedi electric device is used to eliminate dead and hard skin and then my toenails are treated and cuticles removed. After a quick massage with Leighton Denny Sole Pleasure, my feet look more than ready for open-toe heels, even without the polish. My fingernails are then soaked, scrubbed and prepped with the same meticulous mani preperation. Meanwhile, the most I've done is pick up the remote to switch TV channels. With both sets of nails prepped, Charlie assembles a pop-up Sienna X tanning booth and mixes up a bronzing solution to suit my skin tone. I crank up my heating and de-robe then the tan is sprayed using a super-fine airbrush, as Charlie instructs me to stand in different poses for an all-over glow. Although it's fast-drying, I'm given a disposable black kimono to sit in as Charlie paints my fingers and toes on my newly tanned limbs. I opt for Greycious (dark grey) on my fingers and Passion (dark red) on my toes, and smudge avoidance is made easy by chilling on the sofa for an hour. Charlie even leaves me a cosy pair of Urban Retreat white slippers and cup of spa tea to continue the relaxation vibe. I'm glowing, polished and ready to party. Now I all have to do is swap my living room for a dancefloor.
:: Urban Retreat at Home Express Prep to Party package includes express manicure, express pedicure and spray tan, from £75 for one hour and 30 minutes. Available nationwide (0844 793 8344/www.urbanretreat.co.uk/at_home).
Buy it now
Feed your friends and family's skin at the Christmas table. Origins Surprise Twist cracker set includes six decorated crackers, each containing two 15ml skincare products, joke card, and Origins mini-facial headband. Available from December 1 for £45 at Origins.co.uk and Selfridges.
:: Bedtime buddy
It's official, the majority of women would rather give up sex and Downton Abbey than moisturiser, according to a survey by Sanctuary Spa. While 55% revealed that they'd rather give up nooky than their daily moisturiser, 94% would ditch Downton to save their beauty potion. The average British woman spends £162 a year on skincare products alone but more than two-fifths (42%) admit to lying to their partner about money spent on beauty products.
:: Recessionista alert
Achieve an uplifted look for party season with Dr Lewinns. The Cosmetic Lift five-piece set is currently reduced from £115 to just £40. Available now, while stocks last (www.drlewinns.co.uk).
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