By Suzy A O'Connor
Preparation. If you are intending to try something new for the Christmas or New Year party we would recommend a trial run prior to the event on a quiet night in, just to check that chosen colours work with your skin tone, hairstyles stay put, and to generally give you a little practice with your overall look. Why not invite a friend over for a 'party dress rehearsal'? You can have great fun together and avoid a last minute panic on your big night out.
Party makeup. At this time of year you can really have fun with you makeup, introducing glitter and shimmer to your look. We also love some of the brights that we have seen this year, including red hues on the eyes, how festive! Try smoky eyes and nude, glossy lips or go for festive gold or seasonal silver, the options are endless. If you like to stay with your usual look why not add a dot of shimmer and blend into the middle of your upper eyelids, it will really open up your eyes. Likewise, a dab of shimmer in the centre of your bottom lip will emphasise your pout. Have fun with your makeup by trying something new, but don't go too far and end up looking like a drag queen - unless that is the look you're going for of course!
Party hair. Your hair can really add to your image so make the most of it with plaits, quiffs or a fabulous up-do. Ask a hair stylist for ideas when you go for your next cut or colour and try something new. Pick up some of the pretty accessories that are around, they can provide an easy way to brighten up your hairstyle. We would not recommend a last minute home dye, it may have worked for Cheryl Cole but that's no guarantee that it will for you. If you are toying with the idea of a colour change always think it through and go to a professional colourist.
Shoes. Just because it's cold outside it doesn't mean that you can't wear pretty heels, just be sure that you have lifts organised both to and from the venue, and please break any new shoes in before your night out. This season's trends include buckled and laced shoes, kitten heels and wedges. Our favourite look for party shoes involves the recent obsession with velvet. If you can find a pair of velvet heels they will really add a touch of modern glamour to your outfit. Embellished shoes always look pretty for Christmas and New Year parties too; think gemstones, mirrors, crystals, and even feathers and bows.
Dresses. Gold and red dresses work really well over the Christmas period but if these colours aren't for you then you can try anything with a little sequin detail, or dress up you LBT with some gorgeous jewellery or an artificial fur wrap.
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