If you, like me, are feeling partied out and jaded before we have even hit mid December – here are a few little tips!
The Office Christmas Party
I've probably only looked at 73 different shops online looking for the perfect dress. It was driving me quite potty before I gave myself a good talking to about not really needing a new dress, and that really good hair, make up and jewels will liven up any of the 476 black dresses I have hanging in my wardrobe that just aren't quite right. Let's face it, it will be dark and everyone is pissed anyway.
Get the frock out a few days before and make sure it is spotless. Nothing worse than grabbing it out the wardrobe on the day and noticing halfway through the champagne reception that you actually have gravy stain on your left nork and it slightly whiffs of a perfume you can no longer stomach.
Fail safe styling products are:
Babyliss waving wand - these are soooo hot I actually curl my hair the night before, brush it out in the morning and maybe freshen 1 or 2 of the curls up before I go out. So much easier than dangling in the disabled loo at work with an extension lead trying to do it while the chaps from Accounts are lining up with their hair gel.
What is really important is getting lots of sparkle on the earlobe so as to reflect your eyes as much as possible. If the sparkle is too low you miss out on this effect.
These, from ASOS, are perfect.
Suck in pants
Yes we have all had too much Christmas Cheer by now, just 1 too many Pret Christmas Sandwiches washed down with a mince pie. Sadly the party is looming and other than panic there isn't much you can do about this now. Or so you think.
I was in Monsoon the other day, idly looking around for party dresses (don't bother, their clothes are dire this year) and spotted these tights. I gave them a try and have been so impressed – they really work, don't roll down and don't squeeze you so tight that your intestines get crushed and give you bad breath. We've all been there.
Hot new restaurant
You've left it too late to book something for that special night out with your best friends and can't think of anywhere new, lovely, charming and delicious? Look no further than Plum and Spilt Milk – this is a recent opening. Mr Rose and I had an historic dinner there a few weeks ago – a brilliant little find.
It is now the 13th December so quite frankly if you haven't done your shopping by now you are horridly disorganised and I'm not sure we can be friends. However, help is at hand because many of the big department stores have started their killer sales already.
For the women in your life - Charlotte Tilbury's new make up range is HEAVEN. I repeat – it is HEAVEN. The red lipstick, So Marilyn, is the red lipstick I have been waiting my whole life for. The bronze and glow is fabulous for contouring and grown up shimmer – it works on many different complexions. I know this because when I have it with me in the office most of the women here borrow it. It is that good. You can't go wrong with the eyeshadow pallets, liquid eyeliner – actually all of it is divine. And the packaging is soooo Chritmassy!
If in doubt then I've never met anyone who doesn't like Diptyque's Baies candle which smells heavenly.
Cashmere always goes down well at Christmas, but make sure it is good quality. No one wants to get a hole under the armpit by 4th January, which can happen. So invest wisely.
For men, well who bloody knows what they want! Notonthehighstreet have some lovely personalisable gifts, but quite frankly every middle class chap in England has now got a cheese board with his own name carved into it. So if he already has one of those then really good leather gloves, vintage film posters, first editions of his fave book – all go down well.
All I can say is you need to pray the men in your life have hobbies as it makes it so much easier to buy them things.
Very important to turn up on The Big Day not just with a bottle or two of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – but also something useful for the hostess. A flower arrangement for the centre of the table is really nice idea. Other possibilities are desert wine, placecard holders or musical crackers for Post Lunch Entertainment.
Only thing you need to do is warn her what you are bringing so she doesn't duplicate.
Hope you are all enjoying the festive season!