This is a column of two halves. One half is about some last-minute gilding for the year to which we’re bidding farewell. And the second is on preparing for the one ahead, making the most of any downtime to do some cosseting of self before 2019 fully kicks in.
When it comes to New Year’s Eve, I’m not one for really dramatic make-up gestures. Once I even took myself to the cinema with a glass of red wine and popcorn to see George Clooney in Gravity – definitely a no-make-up scenario. That said, if I’m going to a dinner party, or at least in company, then it’s fun to dress up a little.
A smattering of gold on lashes with Clarins Gold Mascara Top Coat (£22, clarins.co.uk) is a favourite of mine. Don’t imagine that this is going to be like gold leafing; it’s more of a dusting, just enough to catch the light and make a wink of a difference. You could also try the L’Oréal Paris Volume Million Lashes Glitter Topcoat (£10.99, boots.com).
For lips, I recommend a swipe of Guerlain KissKiss Crème Lipstick in Electric Gold (£28, selfridges.com). Again, this is no Goldfinger-like coating, but a hint of glistening that you can add to nude lips or as a finish to your main lipstick shade.
I’m also favouring Essie Nail Polish in Glow With The Flow (£7.99, superdrug.com) this year. It’s a charming shade of deep lilac with an injection of tinsel-effect shimmer. I like to think of it as the shade a fairy would paint its front door, so it’s a good colour to make a wish on.
Then, to the morning after, that 1 January effect when you can recover and relax for a bit – even if it’s only for ten minutes – and indulge in a beauty boost. Hair-wise, why not try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Mask (£5.99, superdrug.com)? It does involve a bit of faff – you must wash, towel dry and comb hair first, then apply the mask, pop on the special shower cap that keeps everything slightly warm, massage your scalp and leave it all on for ten minutes before rinsing. It is worth it, though, and leaves hair soft and shiny.
Another product that you should really take time over is Patchology PoshPeel Pedi Cure Foot Treatment (£18 for one, spacenk.com). You need to soak feet first (or just use it immediately after a bath), then pour the contents of a sachet (a blend of glycolic, salicylic, lactic and citric acids) into a plastic foot-mask sock that you leave on for an hour. Afterwards, your feet will feel super smooth and even your toenails will look glossy. Results will appear for up to a week – in my case it took a week to start peeling for four days, and my heels continue to look non-nomadic.
For bathtime, I’ve liked using Ameliorate Softening Bath Milk Oil (£19, victoriahealth.com). Just add a capful to your bath for moisturised skin that feels exactly as the name suggests. Then, I indulge in Chanel L’Huile Jasmin Body Massage Oil (£172, chanel.com). Lightweight and non-greasy, it sinks right in to leave skin feeling glorious. It’s possibly the most glamorous product I’ve ever used, which is a swanky message to self for the new year.
Feature by Edwina Ings-Chambers