So, how was it for you? Are you suffused with good cheer and happy memories to carry you through January? Or utterly exhausted, hungover, bloated and longing for half an hour to yourself?
Too Mrs Grinch? I merely suggest that, after a year of disorder, we would all benefit from a period of mindless loafing in the pursuit of self-restoration and good looks. So lock the door, put your phone on silent and follow my guide to your effortless top-to-toe Twixmas makeover.
Christen Those Gifts
If you want results from that sculpting or wrinkle-fighting face gadget Santa gave you, learn to use it as a daily habit. These, research says, take from 18 days to form and 66 days to become automatic. So you won’t seal the deal over Twixmas, but it’s a great time to start.
Too Mrs Grinch? I merely suggest that, after a year of disorder, we would all benefit from a period of mindless loafing in the pursuit of self-restoration and good looks
All skin ‘tech’ stands or falls by using it consistently, but the gadgets most likely to actually be used and show visible improvement over time, as far as I’m concerned, are an LED mask or a vibrating T-bar massage wand.
Race you to it!
Neostrata may be the best skincare brand you’ve never heard of. A favourite of dermatologists for 35 years, it has been relaunched to put it on the radar of the savvy skincare consumer.
Its Restore Bionic Face Cream (£27.60, skincity.com) smooths rough skin and helps prevent dehydration in the long term.
Neostrata may be the best skincare brand you’ve never heard of
Red and near-infrared LED is light at painless frequencies and there’s plenty of evidence that it brings down ageing inflammation while boosting collagen production.
The best value at-home LED product in terms of real clinical proof and ease of use is The Light Salon Boost LED Face Mask (£395, thelight-salon.com). The effort involved? Lying back for ten minutes with your mask on.
It’s a great thing to do before nodding off, as these lights also have a soothing effect. If you build it into your daily routine, plumper, calmer and more even-toned skin will be yours.
Also guaranteed to get results is a daily lymph-drainage facial massage.
With age, puffiness becomes an issue as fluids and toxins don’t drain away efficiently, putting a real strain on your facial tissues. A few minutes spent ridding your face of these fluids every morning is an essential wrinkle-fighting strategy.
Give your skin some ‘slip’ with a face oil or day cream, then slide a cool, circulation-stimulating implement in upward, outward movements from the middle of your face towards your earlobes and then down towards your collarbone.
Gua sha stones and face rollers are good, but the Vibrating Beauty T-Bar (£17.99, www2.hm.com) adds intense buzzy vibration to the equation, which pushes the fluids along and feels so pleasant, you’ll actually look forward to using it. Start the habit now and you’ll notice your bloaty eyes and cheeks diminishing over the first weeks of January.
Inge (pictured) says if you want results from that sculpting or wrinkle-fighting face gadget Santa gave you, learn to use it as a daily habit
If you were gifted with an aromatherapy bath treat, make it go a lot further by using one part posh product to two parts bog-standard Epsom salts. These soften skin and infuse your system with sleep-promoting magnesium while you luxuriate.
Give yourself a facial while you soak — 15 minutes with an exfoliating, pore-purging face mask such as Tula Resurfacing & Brightening Fruit Enzyme Mask (£31, tulaskincare.co.uk) followed by another 15 minutes with a hydrating and regenerative one such as BeautyPro Brightening Sheet Mask with Vitamin C (£5, beautypro.com).
In the meantime, take care of your inner glow by popping an 8Greens Effervescent Tablet (£14 for ten, uk.8greens.com) into a glass of water and downing it — it’s where Michelle Obama gets her daily hit of spinach, wheatgrass and algae (and more) to feed her glow, apparently.
Don’t stop there. I like to make the most of the steamy conditions by combing a nourishing hair masque through damp strands, which I then wrap in a towel for the duration of my bath. Virtue Flourish Mask for Thinning Hair (£55.44, lookfantastic.com) is expensive, but a real saviour for hair that gets brittle with age.
I also like to take my time to really work a body scrub into every inch of my skin, including my feet and my nails, so I emerge slick as an eel. Dizziak Body Scrub (£24, dizziak.com) is satisfyingly grainy but also has deep-peeling salicylic acid as well as nourishing oils and hydrating glycerin — you won’t need a moisturiser or nail oil afterwards.
Going straight to bed for a cool 12-hour snooze? Use it to build your skin barrier with an overnight plumping treatment. Farmacy 10% Niacinamide Night Mask (£40, spacenk.com) will give you a brighter, plumper face.
And nightly use of Dr PawPaw Multipurpose Lip Mask (£9.25, drpawpaw.com) will keep any thoughts of lip fillers at bay.
My Icon of the Week
Stunning at 64, Sharon Stone is a fount of no-nonsense beauty tips and loves a bargain as much as a treat. Among her avowed favourites are Weleda Skin Food for dry, rough patches (£13.50, weleda.co.uk), Nars Velvet Matte Lip Crayon in Cruella (£18.40, boots.com) and IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF50 (£33, itcosmetics.co.uk).
There’s nothing wrong with a nice soap, but I like my body cleansers to come with added benefits. I’m prone to skin so dry it cracks, especially in winter. So I want bubbles that don’t strip my skin, and I want added moisturising ingredients to nourish as I cleanse. A scent that offers a bit of balance and calm is also welcome. Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind Shower Oil (£30, aromatherapyassociates.com) performs all these tricks. The sudsy oil-to-milk formula has jojoba and peach kernel oils to leave skin comfortable, and the brand’s famous frankincense, petitgrain and chamomile aromatherapy blend lingers to take the edge off festive arguments and the rest of life’s stresses.
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01+ Mandarin eau de parfum (from £25, escentric.com) This carries scents of cedarwood and mandarin.
The Body Shop Satsuma Body Mist, (£11, thebodyshop.com) An updated classic, this can brighten the coldest of days. Spray on to clothes to make scent last longer.
Phlur Tangerine Boy eau de parfum (£96, selfridges.com) Tangerine juice tempered with ginger, black pepper and moss, and softened with notes of apple and jasmine
Zara Hibiscus eau de parfum (£12.99, zara.com) Sunny mango and passion fruit, but with a bitter orange top note and a creamy vanilla base
Discotheque Scented Candle in Chez Castel, (£40, phoenix style.co.uk) Pine, incense and amber brightened with lemon and mandarin.
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