There is a therapeutic aspect to ensuring you look your absolute best for a Christmas party. Whether we like to admit it or not, or whether we feel guilty shirking other responsibilities, taking nearly a full day to unwind, glamourise and get ourselves as close to Scarlett Johansson as possible is sometimes exactly what we need in the busy days leading up to Christmas.
The majority of people are now wise to the quick, convenient and highly effective facial in a packet that is the sheet mask when it comes to prepping their face for the artistry that will come after, with the Seoulista Super Hydration Instant Facial Sheet Mask (€9.00, The Skin Nerd store) being the nerdie fave for instantaneous plumpness.
The body is a different story, with many not knowing the key ways to ensure that your tan is even, your elephant elbows are away for the night and and you are not left red and covered in lumps and bumps after hair removal. Never fear, the nerd is here!
Step 1: Christmas Party Hair Removal
Two days before your soiree is when we start the prep with hair removal. There is no onus to remove your hair, it’s only hooman, after all, but in the words of George Michael, if you’re going to do it, do it right. Avoid hair removal creams where possible as the ingredients that dissolve your hair are highly alkaline. Our skin thrives when it is slightly more acidic (around 5.5 on the pH scale) so very alkaline products can throw its balance out of whack, causing irritation.
Get your wax done, as it is always best when done by a professional, or shave. Everyone has heard the basic tips for shaving before but few follow them. Follow them and you’ll have a smoothy-smooth, bump-free body. Firstly, rinse the skin with warm water before shaving to relax the pores. Skip shaving foam, as the majority of them contain high amounts of drying alcohol which strip the skin, leaving it dehydrated and opt for a natural oil to create sl.ip, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil… Be careful if you’re doing this whilst standing up!
In regions of coarse hair, such as the bikini line and underarm, shave with the grain so as not to cause tugging and irritation. Be bananas about hygiene: single-use razors or heads are called that for a reason and they become a breeding ground for bacteria when left uncovered and not disinfected.
Step 2: Christmas Party Exfoliation
Chemical exfoliation (acids & enzymes) > physical exfoliation (scrubs, tools & exfoliating mitts). Leave at least 12 hours after shaving or 24 hours after waxing before you move on to your exfoliation step. Exfoliation is important as it will remove the dead skin cells build-up that causes dry, dull elephant elbows, prevent ingrown hairs and ensure that your false tan is even.
I like the IMAGE Body Spa Rejuvenating Body Lotion (€42.00) because it is an all-rounder and incredibly easy to use, containing potent exfoliant glycolic acid (to be avoided by reactive hoomans). It is also packed with antioxidants and peptides to boost skin health in general.
Pop on your exfoliating lotion on clean, dry skin in an even layer – you can add a bit more to particularly scaly, rough elbows and to your feet, especially if you intend on braving sandals.
Step 3: Christmas Party Fake Tanning
There is only one tan for skin hydration, friendliness and a natural fade that will make you shout “bye-bye, blotches!”. This tan is TanOrganic – you can opt for the Self Tan Lotion (€24.99) for the original and a shade that is noticeable but by no means too much, the Self Tan Oil (€24.99) for if you want a lighter shade or the Self Tan Mousse (€29.99) if you want to look a bit Italiana.
When you are applying fake tan, use a mitt with a lotion or mousse – TanOrganic recommend using bare hands with the oil but ensuring to wash the palms of your hands carefully after. Apply a light swipe of a non-exfoliating body cream to areas that tan clings to such as the back of the ankle, the elbows, the knees and the edges of the underarm. This will prevent it from gathering there.
Allow your tan to dry completely, go to bed, wake up fresh as a frickin’ daisy and shower off any excess product with warm water.
Step 4: Christmas Party Finishing Touches
I adore a body oil to pick up on contours and make the collarbones, shin bones and decolletage pop and gleam. The Youth Lab Dry Oil (€25.00, The Skin Nerd store) leaves skin glowing without looking too body-builder-esque and absorbs into the skin beautifully. It’s non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores which makes it suitable for those prone to any lumps and bumps.
Follow these steps and you will feel like a Victoria’s Secret model as you slip into your outfit, as you should do. Although vitamin A is a sure thing when it comes to radiance, nothing makes someone glow as much as self-confidence and feeling themselves.