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We present the ultimate glamover to get you party-ready… no salon needed!
big part of the fun of party season is the prep – it’s the perfect excuse for a pampering session. So schedule in some bathroom time! Work your way through our whole list or, if you’re squeezed for time (like us), cherry-pick your treatments. Either way, these tips will get you ready to wow!
Everyone loves an excuse for a long soak in a warm bath, but it’s what you do beforehand that makes the biggest difference to your skin. ‘After exfoliating all over with a body scrub, rinse off, apply a thick layer of moisturiser, then get back in the water,’ says Lucy Ayles, spa director at Champneys Tring. ‘It sounds odd but the heat of the water will open your pores and your skin will absorb the moisture, leaving it silky soft.’ If you can do this at least twice in the week leading up to party time, so much the better!
Top tip If you’re planning to go tights-free, ‘use an exfoliating mitt as well as a scrub, particularly around the knees and ankles, then on the day apply a dry body oil to give a sexy sheen’, says Lucy.
‘Take a cool shower and gently scrub your skin with a lightweight exfoliant,’ explains Fake Bake expert tanner and global creative consultant James Harknett. ‘When you’re dry, moisturise your hands, feet, elbows and knees to keep your tan from becoming congealed on drier areas, then apply a tanning mousse with a mitt, sweeping all over in circular motions.’ Even better, applying your tan a few days before will not only help ensure an even, flawless faux-glow, but it’ll also allow time to correct mistakes. To be extra cautious, do a practice run two weeks before your party – that way you can judge how much product to use to get the finish you want.
Top tip Don’t forget to shave your legs first. ‘Before you tan, use a wet razor and shaving gel, then run cold water over your legs to close the pores and prevent them looking speckled later,’ says James.
The kit Soap & Glory Orangeasm Exfoliating Body Polish Boots Exclusive £8/800 points (250ml); Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Self Tanning Mousse, £16/1,600 points (210ml); St. Tropez Applicator Mitt, £5/500 points; Boots Essentials Body Lotion Cocoa Butter And Vitamin E, £1.49/149 points (400ml).
Cracked heels? Sun-starved feet? Toes that have been trapped in shoes deserve a proper pedi! To get them ready to bare, ‘use a foot file to remove hard skin, then exfoliate’, explains Lucy. ‘Allow a light layer of dry oil to sink in for 10 minutes, then apply a cooling foot cream.’
Top tip Prime your feet for painful high heels. ‘Every day, stand on your toes and roll your feet up and down through to the heels and back again,’ says Lucy.
The kit Scholl Pedi Velvet Smooth Electronic Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File, £59.99/5,999 points; No7 Beautiful Skin Softening Foot Scrub Boots Exclusive £8/800 points (75ml); Champneys Cloud Nine Indulgent Dry Body Oil Boots Exclusive £8/800 points (150ml); Burt’s Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion, £11.99/1,199 points (100ml).
Party nails need to be neat as well as painted, so prep before you polish. ‘Applying Vaseline to the skin around your nail will make it easier to remove excess varnish,’ says Metta Francis, Barry M manicurist. ‘Then scrub nails with a nail brush dipped in polish remover to cleanse them, and massage in a generous amount of hand cream. After painting, apply cuticle oil to hydrate cuticles and give your manicure a super shine.’
Top tip ‘Wear a pair of fingerless cotton gloves while you paint your nails – the warmth will help the hand cream sink in while you work,’ says Metta.
The kit Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly, £2.09/209 points (100ml); Sally Hansen Regular Polish Remover, £2.45/245 points (200ml); Bruzz Hygienic Nail Brush, £9.99/999 points; Clarins Super Restorative Hand Cream, £37.50/3,750 points (100ml); Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil, £6.95/695 points (13.3ml).
‘Metallics, chromes and two-tones with a nod to glitter are most on-trend for AW16,’ says Metta. ‘Stay away from “unsurprising” Christmas reds and greens – it’s all about deep, dark and mysterious shades.’ To bring nails to life, layer on two coats of a dark shade, then use a glittery top coat to create a pattern.
Top tip To set your polish, wait a few minutes, then dip nails in a bowl of cold water with a few ice cubes, or blast them with the cold setting on your hairdryer.
Glossy locks need to be hydrated from root to tip. Katie Allan, creative manager at Charles Worthington Salons, has this genius advice: ‘Apply a hair mask, then dampen a towel and warm it gently in the microwave for a minute or so. Check it’s not too hot, then wrap the towel tightly around your hair to help open up the cuticles and allow the treatment to really penetrate.’
Top tip Shampooing your hair a few days before is actually better than doing it on the day. ‘Freshly washed hair is harder to style,’ says Lyndell Mansfield, Schwarzkopf Live colour ambassador. ‘Just try to avoid running your fingers through it to keep it grease-free for as long as possible.’
The kit Charles Worthington Strength & Repair Longer & Stronger Hair Masque Boots Exclusive £5.99/599 points (160ml); Boots Hair Turban £5/500 points; Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo, £3/300 points (400ml).
For a gorgeous 24-hour glow, try a brightening mask the night before. ‘Start by using a foamy facial wash with a deep-cleansing brush, then rinse with water and sweep over a toner,’ says Lucy. ‘Leave the mask on for five minutes, then massage in the excess, moving out towards the ears to help banish impurities and puffiness. Massaging products into your face helps stimulate the blood flow to give skin a rosy glow.’
Top tip Instead of washing off your mask as usual, leave it on overnight (check on the packaging to see if you can do this) so that it sinks right into your skin – you’ll wake up looking really glowy.
The kit Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Soap, £16.50/1,650 points (150ml); BaByliss True Glow Sonic Skincare Cleansing System, £80/8,000 points; Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99/499 points (400ml); Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask, £19.99/1,999 points (4x20ml).
There’s always time for a few final flourishes!
Give party feet a boost
‘Dab a little illuminating cream on the top of each foot to look sleek and elegant,’ says Lucy. Try: Sanctuary Illuminating Moisture Lotion, £14.50/1,450 points (75ml).
Cheat a wash-and-blow-dry
Hair looking a little overdue for a shampoo? ‘Tie it back and wash the very front hairline to help freshen it up,’ says Katie. We love: Aussie Mega Shampoo, £4.19/419 points (300ml).
Top up your tan
‘On the day of the party, spritz a fast-drying tanning mist from 20cm away, spraying across your bust, the tops of your arms and down your legs for a silhouette-like finish,’ says James. Our fave? Fake Bake Lux Golden Bronze Airbrush Instant, £27.95/ 2,795 points(170ml).
Keep your hair in check
Want to keep the bounce in your blow-dry? ‘As you get ready, tie hair into a loose top knot to lift roots,’ says Katie. Opt for: Scünci Comfort Cashmere Elastics in Black, £3.99/399 points (14-pack).
Words Donna Francis Photography Getty Images