I’ve got you covered, whatever your New Year’s Eve plans.
For a quiet night in
I love this time of year: the quiet days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve that seem to stretch on for ever and everyone feels plumped up with goodwill.
Of course, this year so many days have felt stretched to the limit and time has taken on an unusual rhythm. Still, I hope that for most of us this patch between one year ending and another beginning will be one in which we can exhale, relax and treat ourselves. Or maybe you just want to hunker down, sofa surf and hide under your duvet till the clocks strike the arrival of 2021.
Either way, if that process involves a bit of beauty indulgence then here are my favourite options, some old and some new.
First, face treats. For a lovely, relaxing, hydrating and gorgeous-smelling sheet mask, try By Terry Baume de Rose Hydrating Rose Mask (£14, spacenk.com). This is an uplifting joy to use. The mask is infused with rose petals and leaves skin feeling tiptop. For eyes, the Shiseido Vital Perfection Uplifting and Firming Express Eye Mask (£67, shiseido.co.uk) really does leave the eye area looking and feeling better. Even if I’m not going anywhere I use one regularly.
This is also a great time to slip your hands and feet into some masks. Patchology Best In Snow Set (£18, cultbeauty co.uk) is excellent. It includes a Perfect Ten Self-Warming Hand & Cuticle Mask, which heats when it comes into contact with skin so it feels really relaxing and snug and is super-moisturising, too, and also a rejuvenating Best Foot Forward Softening Foot & Heel Mask. You can buy each product separately should you prefer.
On the mask front for hair is Josh Wood Colour Everything Mask (£19, joshwoodcolour.com). This is just the bee’s knees of hair masks and helps boost condition, beat colour fade, a dd shine and works for all hair types.
To aid sleep, I recommend Dr Teal’s Foaming Bath With Epsom Salt and Pure Coconut Oil (£7.99, amazon.co.uk). It gives seriously good bubbles, is relaxing and leaves skin feeling nourished. Also try Aroma Active Laboratories, a new affordable high-street brand from the people at Aromatherapy Associates – its Sleep Salt Soak (£15, boots.com) really helps you to unwind.
And lastly, as you prepare to hit the pillow, try popping on a limited-edition embroidered Out of Office Silk Eye Mask from Slip (£50, slipsilkpillowcase.co.uk). It’s fun, pretty and I find these help me to nod off as well as prevent some pillow wrinkles in the morning.
For full-on glamour
Now, time to spruce things up for those planning to party a little – whether that’s on your own, virtually or with your bubble – and shake some of those 2020 blues away.
Firstly, a bit of skin prep. It’s always great to hydrate before you apply your make-up. It just makes skin look that bit juicier, plumper and brighter. For a quick and easy option try Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask with Pomegranate & Hyaluronic Acid (£1.99, boots.com), which super-saturates with moisture.
For a more deluxe option I’m a long-time fan of Charlotte’s Magic Cream (£49, charlottetilbury.com); it’s rich but not heavy and makes skin look its best. Then apply your favourite foundation (I’m not going to recommend any here as there are some great new launches coming in January so I’d say stay with what you currently love – at least for now!).
For some party eyes I really don’t think you can beat Elf’s latest Liquid Glitter Eye Shadow (£5, elfcosmetics.co.uk). It comes in 11 great jewel shades and is made with a long-wearing gel formula that offers buildable colour and easy application – just swipe and go.
If you prefer a more neutral shade then Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette in Cappuccino Nudes (£14.99, superdrug.com) is excellent, too. Top off this look with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes! Mascara (£23, charlottetilbury.com). It really does give a dramatic curl and life to lashes and covers them in a seriously black coat of colour. In truth, I found I had to practise a little with this to apply the brush in exactly the right way, but it doesn’t take long to master and you can add multiple coats without clogging lashes. If you want to stay under a tenner then I’m still a constant cheerleader for Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift (£9.99, boots.com) which is as good as its name suggests.
For your lips, I highly recommend beginning with an often overlooked little gem: Guerlain Kiss Kiss Liplift Smoothing Lipstick Primer (£29, guerlain.com). It’s great to smooth lips, isn’t drying and helps lipstick to last longer. To add an easy-swipe colour, you could try Chanel Rouge Coco Flash (£27.90, johnlewis.com). It’s a light formula that spreads on to lips easily, delivers a good – but not heavy – dose of colour and has a dash of a shiny finish. My favourites are Ultime for a great red and Boy for a good nude.
Get that salon finish… at home
For easy DIY hair styling these two new tools nail it. To achieve a loose, beachy look the Babyliss Cordless Waving Wand (£180, babyliss.co.uk) is simple – no tethered lead makes it less convoluted for cack-handed types like me. It also heats up quickly, is lightweight and comes with a protective glove so a brief encounter with the heated wand leaves you unscathed.
For a more volume-focused style, the GHD Rise Hot Brush (£169, ghdhair.com) is a very trusty steed. It delivers even heat, easy curls and if you go wrong there’s no need to wet hair and restart – just re-swipe the brush, curl and go.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson