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The cheat’s beauty guide to feeling sparkly 

Whether you’re attending a glitzy do or heading to the pub for a prawn ring, Daisy Buchanan has the products to kick-start party season 

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By Daisy Buchanan on

There are some things I must explain, or rather admit, before we start. Firstly, I love Christmas and by that, I think I mean the idea of Christmas – everything cinnamon-scented and shot with bullet holes of glitter and light. Secondly, I love make-up just as much and I would describe myself as an enthusiast, rather than a connoisseur. Thirdly, the one look I have yet to master is “32-year-old woman going out to the pub on a Wednesday night to eat a chewy turkey crown". This description probably covers every single festive event that I shall be invited to during the month of December and yet I can already predict my looks, which will be spectacularly, specifically appropriate to all other occasions: “Elvira, mistress of the dark going out on the pull the day her decree nisi comes through the post”, “Judy Garland singing a song about how to keep Christmas hope in her heart after being abandoned by a boy at a ball” and “every single woman David Bowie plays in the Boys Keep Swinging video, at the same time".

I’m more basic than a 1992 film that features Sharon Stone, but I love wearing the gold as a top coat over a deep crimson, thus becoming my own festive art project

With all of that in mind, here are the things that I think will make most people look and feel brilliant – in the truest sense of the word – when they are getting ready for Christmas parties. These are the products and rituals that will make you feel as though the party you’re attending is a mix of the one that the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to in The Muppet Christmas Carol, and the New Year’s Eve party where Harry declares his intentions to Sally – even if you’re at a gathering at which three people in fleeces are playing Risk on the sofa and you’re pretty sure that you’re on the brink of poisoning yourself with an improperly defrosted prawn ring.

The posh bath oil

If this is the only piece of advice you take from me about the preparation process, please make it this one. Have a bath. I know you’re tired and busy and grumpy and have no time, and you had a shower this morning. But you can set your party-going intentions in the bath. You can make the world stop for at least 20 minutes and think of nice, gloriously selfish things; let the healing powers of hot water relax and restore you. And you can have a gin and tonic. It’s much harder to do that in the shower.

Honestly, I’d go out with a hair octopus (the scruffy, swept-up, five second gym bun that makes me look as though I have an aquatic mollusc living on my head) if I only had time to do my hair or have a bath. I would pick something unctuous, in order to feel lusciously protected from the flaky vagaries of central heating. My new festive favourite is Jo Malone Orange Blossom Bath Oil, with its super-subtle scent of citrus and warm vetiver. This is what grown-up Christmas smells like. Admittedly, it’s on the extravagant side, but let’s call it your Christmas bonus, from you to you. It’s a better investment than the round of Jägerbombs that someone will find a mysterious receipt for on the morning after.


The party-proof foundation

My search for a perfect base is as relentless, tormenting and improbable as Mark Corrigan’s search for The One, but I really think I’ve found it this time. Oxygenetix is a brand that’s developed to help skin heal after an operation, encouraging collagen regeneration. It has an SPF of 25. It comes in 14 shades. It can cover dry skin, eczema, rosacea and, impressively, any honker of a spot that a person might acquire after mainlining cut-price Terry's Chocolate Oranges every lunchtime. Most importantly, it is breathable and sweat-proof, so if someone were to become overly refreshed at a party and accidentally fall asleep in their make up, everything would be OK!


The ludicrous lippy

This is a bit teenage disco, a bit sexy robot and I am so, so in love with it. My favourite shade is the rose gold, because I’m more basic than a 1992 film that features Sharon Stone, but I love wearing the gold as a top coat over a deep crimson, thus becoming my own festive art project. The glitter has serious staying power and I love that the texture is more slidey than sticky. However, if you’re going to kiss anyone’s cheek in greeting, you should give them a heads-up about your sparkly situation first.


The sexy eyeliner

All I want for Christmas is the chops to do a smoky eye without looking like a fountain pen exploded in my face. (And, you know, a house deposit. World peace. That Chanel necklace that looks like it’s made out of sweeties.) As long as you focus, concentrate and don’t go for a big swig of prosecco in the middle, the Bobbi Brown gel is pretty much idiot-proof, it will spend the night on your eyes and it won’t slide down your chin. I adore the mauve shimmer ink, which is great for a rakish, Weimar, louche look, but the classic black will do you a magnificent flick.


The dramatic eyeshadow

Sometimes, make-up is a little bit like a ouija board – you’re split in two, torn apart by twin impulses, as your mind tells you to slam down the lid and run away forever and your body demands that you plunge into an unknown abyss. These heavy, shattered, jewelled plum tones made me yelp, but my goodness, if you were looking for one thing that would transform you into a Dawn Powell heroine on contact, this is it. (If you’re as clumsy as I, do have a bit of a practice before you go out…)


The because-it’s-Christmas unnecessary essential

It’s sexy, it’s shimmery, it will give you blade-like cheekbones when you feel as though the surface of your face is 90 per cent cheese. This is contouring for anyone whose aesthetic reference is a little more Brothers Karamazov than Kardashian. You too can make your skin look as eerily perfect and beautiful as a Victorian Christmas card, and that’s quite a party trick. If this is a little bit budget-busting, I’m also a fan of Barry M's Illuminating Strobe Cream (£3.55) and the world wouldn’t end if you accidentally left it in the loo.



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Photo: Stocksy 
Tagged in:
beauty advice
Beauty cheat
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Daisy Buchanan

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