Christmas is a lovely but often stressful time! Between making sure all your Christmas shopping is done and ready in time and cooking for a large number of people if you’re hosting, it’s important to take some time to relax. If you’re naturally quite introverted, then it can also be a bit overwhelming just being around so many people. This is how I like to get a bit of me-time in before the main event.
Films, Magazines & Hot Drinks
I love to cosy up in bed with a hot chocolate and magazine and/or a good Christmas movie. I like to have a flick through a magazine to get a bit of blogging, beauty and fashion inspiration. This month's Essentials Magazine* has a huge beauty section full of festive ideas. Also if you're having guests around between Christmas and the New Year, there are some fantastic recipe ideas in there too. I'm seriously obsessed with anything salted caramel so for a hot drink it has to be Whittard's Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate*. It's just SO good! It's not too rich or too sickly; it's just right! Of course I have to top it off with marshmallows and maybe a cheeky dash of Bailey's too, seeing as it's Christmas...
For a Christmas movie, it’s cheesy but Love Actually and the Holiday always get me feeling festive. It honestly doesn’t feel like Christmas until I’ve seen a good old Brit romcom, and yes I still laugh at every joke even on the 50th time seeing them! Next I apply Boots's Oil of Evening Primrose Moisturising Cream*, to allow the formula to sink into my skin fully like a treatment whilst I relax. It isn't too rich (seriously, some creams feel like I'm applying a body butter to my face...) but it's still super-nourishing. During the winter months my skin is so much drier and I've been dying to try some bits from Boots's own brand skincare as I've heard such good reviews. This is a total bargain saviour for dry skin at this time of year.
Whilst I'm watching a film is the perfect time to do my nails as I know I won't smudge them and I have something on to keep my entertained whilst they dry. First I get the shape right by cutting and filing my nails until they're even using the Boots Mini Manicure Set*, which is also great for travel as it comes in a compact little case and has just about everything you could possibly need! Then I paint my nails with a nice festive shade like Essie's Fishnet Stockings, a pretty pinky-red.
Bath time at Christmas means one thing for me: Lush! The Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb* is absolutely gorgeous. I find lavender scents so relaxing, and this contains it along with a more sweet 'candy' fragrance that feels so festive. And I can't say I don't love the multicoloured bath water and bubbles I get from using this! I usually like to light a candle whilst in the bath, but my current pick is my Body Shop Oil Burner (which has since had a bit of a makeover) with a spicy, wintery scent like Ginger and Sandalwood.
I also received this fab little Sanctuary Little Tin of Treats*, which is a total bargain if you're looking for a super-last-minute stocking filler for someone. The three body washes come with a shower puff in this gorgeous tin which I will definitely be using in my bedroom once the body washes are used up. I've been meaning to try Sanctuary for ages and it does not disappoint with these gorgeous fresh spa fragrances. There's Green Lemon and Orange Blossom, White Lily and Damask Rose and Cleansing Burst. My favourite has to be Green Lemon and Orange Blossom as it's so clean and relaxing. Afterwards I like to moisturise my skin as it gets so dry in the winter, especially my legs the NSpa Orange Blossom and Honey Body Butter works gorgeously with the Orange Blossom body wash from Sanctuary and is so nourishing. It's such a shame this seems to have been discontinued but Sanctuary Spa do a Green Lemon and Orange Blossom Body Butter here, which seems similar and would match the body wash perfectly.
Finally, it's time to get ready! First I wash my hair, towel dry it and give it a spritz with my Batiste Shield my Locks Heat & Shine Spray to protect my hair from damage and add some grease-free shine. Next I blow-dry and straighten my hair using the Babyliss Elegance 2100 Dryer and Pro 235 Elegance Styler*. I've pretty much always used Babyliss hairdryers as they're so affordable but great but this may be my favourite. I use the concentrator attachment that comes with it and it helps me get right into the roots when I'm blowdrying my hair (which is important if you're trying to straighten curly hair). The styler is lovely for straightening, curling, loose waves or just adding a bit of shape and movement to your hair. They glide across my hair so nicely, without any tugging or snagging. I've noticed since using this duo that my hair has been a lot smoother and has stayed straight for much longer. It definitely doesn't frizz as easily if there's a bit of drizzle or wind and generally stays much sleeker than usual. So if you've been struggling with your hair in the current weather then check out this bundle.
For the festive period, I keep my makeup relatively low-maintenance so my essentials are the Nars Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturiser (post), for a hydrating base that evens out my imperfections whilst still looking like skin. The B Sculpted Blush and Highlight in Dark is a fantastic cream all-in-one deep peachy blusher and highlighter. For eyeshadow I reach for my Maybelline Colour Tattoo Eyeshadow in On & On Bronze (post) as I can apply it with my finger and it gives a pigmented, long-lasting finish in seconds and I love the brown-bronze shade that goes with anything. For lips I keep it simple and go for the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey (post) as it's so hydrating and has such a natural warm nude colour to it.
All this means I'm feeling chilled out and happy when it's time to spend quality time with my family. And of course for that you can't beat a slightly-too-competitive game of Monopoly*!
I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing, fun Christmas and a big thank you to Twenty Six Digital for the amazing pamper goodies! Have a lovely day and I will be back with a new post on Boxing Day.