Your Christmas Day beauty survival guide: How to keep you glowing from morning to night
When you look back over old family Christmas photos, have you ever noticed how few photos there are of your mum with the whole family?
I look back at the last seven gorgeous Christmases I've shared with my son and honestly, nearly all of them are of AJ with other family members. I think the reason mums are often neglected in these treasured family keepsakes is because we are often so busy organising, preparing, feeding, cooking and creating a Christmas environment filled with love and food and fun for our families.
These hard-working hosts are women that want every Christmas to be a memory in the making for their loved ones, or as Alexander Smith wrote, "Christmas is the day that holds all time together". Christmas, however, can also be a very long day! Most of us will stay up late tonight on Christmas Eve - prepping, wrapping and organising - in the full knowledge that we'll be welcoming Santa mere hours later if we have little ones.
Being practical, time for grooming isn't exactly an option for most of us on Christmas Day, so I've put together a Christmas Day beauty survival kit and included products and tricks that will see you looking as put-together as possible during this busy day. You'll be looking good from pre-sunrise opening of Santa presents, to things getting hot in the Christmas kitchen, to evening wind-down.
I wish you all a love- and family-filled, happy Christmas.
10 of the best long-last Christmas essentials
If you're staying up late tonight - and especially if you have little ones that will be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning - a few drops of Optrex Eyedew Dazzling Eye Drops will banish tired, red eyes. NOTE: not suitable for pregnant women. If you are taking medication, check with your doctor before using - a natural alternative is HYLO Fresh Eye Drops with Euphrasia, €9.95, pharmacies nationwide. Optrex Eyedew Dazzling Eye Drops, €13.60, Boots nationwide.
Even if you don't usually use a primer, I would definitely recommend having this in your kit for hard-working days like Christmas Day. It will not only blur lines and even skin texture (acting as a type of Polyfiller), but it will also act as an "anchor" for your foundation making it last much longer.
Primer Giorgio Armani Maestro UV Primer, €46, Brown Thomas.
Dry shampoo and hairspray
Use to avoid either lank or frizzy-looking barnets.
Kevin.Murphy Doo.Over Dry Powder Finishing Spray, €24, salons nationwide and shampoo.ie
A spritz of scent should get rid of any heavy cooking odours for evening time. A small spray of Fabreeze on your outfit is another good little trick.
Perfume Maison Margiela Replica in Lipstick On, €130, Brown Thomas.
Nails and tan should be done in the days leading up to Christmas Day. Irish women seem be to all over this trick already, with a recent Christmas grooming study showing that 76pc of us will get more than two professional beauty treatments in the run-up to Christmas. Request nails to be done in a non-chip, long-wearing finish. O.P.I nail Lacquer, €15, department stores and selected nail salons nationwide.
Powder eye shadows, blush and bronzer products
The cream versions are certainly dewy and fresh-looking but have a lot less staying power and can 'melt' off the skin easily, especially in a hot kitchen. Powder versions are much more practical for long days.
NYX Hot Singles eye shadow in Gold Lust, €5, Boots pharmacies.
Normally I'm not a big fan of using a setting powder as I find them too dry, but they really are so handy for long days like Christmas Day. Look for a jet-milled powder (super fine particles), as these powders won't be dry and cakey. I would apply a light dusting all over the face after foundation, concentrating on shiny areas like the nose and chin.
Powder Clarins' Skin Illusion Powder, €38, department stores nationwide.
Smudge-proof or waterproof mascara
Hot, steamy, sweaty Christmas kitchens and mainstream mascara are not a match made in heaven. Avoid panda eyes and opt for smudge- or waterproof mascara.
Bobbi Brown No Smudge mascara, €27, department stores nationwide.
Matte, semi-matte lipstick formulas or lip liner
They are the only formulas with true staying power - the cream-based lip options need multiple re-applications. Avoid lip gloss, it will just disappear. If you absolutely love your gloss, just apply a quick coat right before taking the family portrait for a camera-ready pout.
NARS Pure Matte Lip, €26, Brown Thomas.
Make-up setting spray
This is a good option tomorrow - it seals make-up in place and acts as a quick beauty pick-me-up if you're feeling a bit worn out at any stage. It creates a light veil that protects the skin against external factors (like a hot kitchen and stress) and helps boost the benefits of make-up all day long. To use as a beauty fixer upper, spritz on over make-up and using a foundation brush blend around your T-Zone - this saves you having to apply lots more foundation and will keep your make-up fresh, blended and clean looking.
NYX Dewy Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray, €10, department stores nationwide.
Backstage beauty with Jennifer Zamparelli
Jennifer Zamparelli is the wickedly funny presenter on 2FM's Breakfast Republic, one half of RTÉ2's hilarious comedy duo Bridget & Eamon, and a gorgeously-groomed new mum. Here, she shares some of her favourite beauty tricks.
My hero products:
I have started using Urban Decay recently and the foundation has the best coverage. It's great to hide the bags and dark circles after my early morning starts on Breakfast Republic. Also, I'm a big fan of liquid liner and would wear it most days - I use the Rimmel Liquid Liner.
I'm a big fan of:
Microderabrasion. I have it done four times a year. I cleanse and moisturise every morning and evening, and exfoliate twice a week. I've tried so many skincare lines, but I always come back to Dermalogica.
This Christmas Day...
I'll be pouring wine for my in-laws, as my husband Lau cooks the dinner. I'll also be re-decorating my tree after my toddler pulls everything down.
My top make-up tip:
The best way to keep make-up fresh-looking all day is to not wear too much to begin with, and apply a really good moisturiser beforehand.
The best make-up trick I picked up from being on TV:
I always use a primer before applying my foundation.
The biggest skincare mistake women make in their beauty routines:
Leaving make-up on when they go to bed. Crusty face is not a great look!
My favourite tool of the trade:
Good brushes - you wouldn't paint your house with a toothbrush.