Your 25-day guide to holiday beauty prep

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The key to maintaining your sanity during the busy festive season (besides getting your Secret Santa gift sorted) is to create a beauty calendar that will help you look and feel like a million bucks over the festivities. Here, our step-by-step guide to get you prepped and primed…

One month before: Get scrubbing

Flaunting your new outfit means skin needs to be uber soft and smooth. And to achieve that, it’s time to get your scrub on to slough off all that dead skin – best done once a week till D-day. For some shower time self-care, try the Gentle Mood Bar Soap in Fresh ($13.50), a conditioning soap that gently exfoliates with kaolin clay, conditions with vitamin-rich sunflower oil, and revitalises with lemon and rosemary.

If you prefer something more traditional, Meeth Silky Body Scrub ($48) contains sea salt from Ako city in Japan to whisk away impurities, while nourishing skin with a blend of pear juice, red algae and ceramide. You can also incorporate AHA-infused body lotions to hydrate and refine rough and bumpy skin. Our faves include Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion ($35), and Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream ($43).

Two weeks before: Get glowing

With your skin working overtime with all that feasting, drinking and meeting up, you’ll want to ensure that you’re looking your best in every photo taken (pics or it didn’t happen, amirite?) So go for a glow-boosting facial at least two weeks before your first party. Our pick: the IDS Aesthetics Dew Mist Mi treatment ($267.50).

This extremely hydrating facial focuses on giving dull and thirsty skin maximum hydration, thanks to an oxygen infusion of active ingredients and LED light therapy mask, leaving skin oh-so-smooth and supple, while delivering a luminous glow that can rival your favourite Hallyu star. Glass skin? Check! For slightly troubled skin that needs an extra boost, the IDS Dew Mist Pro treatment ($299.60), includes a dose of probiotics to help combat bad bacteria and improve skin health.

One week before: Try a new hairdo

You’ve got the outfit, the shoes and even the accessories, but what about the most important accessory – your hair? If you’ve been keeping your style simple because of WFH days, why not do something different for the festive season? Book an appointment with your hairstylist to get a fresh look with a cut, perm and/or colour.

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Having this done a week before will give your new style and colour time to settle. Don’t forget to ask your stylist for tips on styling your new ‘do so you can show it off at all the parties you’ll be attending

Four days before: Get waxed

Wax on, wax off. If you haven’t jumped on the laser hair removal bandwagon, this is prime time to get your skin fuzz-free. Waxing a few days prior to your event is always recommended as it gives skin time to calm down. Plus, since waxing removes hair straight from the root, you’ll have smooth and hair-free skin for about two to three weeks, which will see you through to the New Year.

For aftercare, soothe freshly waxed skin with Two Lips Ice ($80), a lightweight rescue cream infused with sea algae, menthol and liquorice root extract to calm irritation. If ingrown hairs are your biggest bane, keep skin smooth with Two Lips Outgrown ($75). Withgrape, honey and Nigella sativa seed extracts, this light lotion stops ingrown hairs in their tracks, while reducing irritation and itch at the same time.

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Three days before: Shape your brows, paint your nails & get your lash extensions

It’s best to tackle those bushy, overgrown brows a few days before your party. This ensures that any redness or sensitivity will be gone by the time you need to get dolled up. For easy DIY brow maintenance, use the Precise Tweezer from the Nudestix x Beauty Magnet 4-in-1 Rosegold Professional Skin Tool Set ($83).

This convenient, multifunctional brow tool grips stray strands and shapes brows with ease. You’ll also want your lashes to look full, so your lash extensions appointment should be made close to D-day. These extensions usually need at least 24 hours to allow the adhesive to cure effectively, so buffer enough time.

When it comes to nails, get them done as close to your first party as possible to prevent chipping. Get beautifully painted digits with the Les Mains Hermes collection. The Nail Polish ($74) formula has 69 per cent natural ingredients, with 24 shades to choose from, including the iconic Hermes Boise Orange. Want to coordinate your new nails with your favourite Hermes bag?

Now you can. The collection also offers a nourishing hand cream, an oil for nails and cuticles, protective base coat, top coat, and nail files for a complete hand and nail care routine. If you’re a bit of a klutz though, consider getting a gel manicure instead as they’re hardy and chip-resistant.

Two days before: Pamper yourself with a nourishing body oil

The holiday season can get stressful. So give yourself a little break and set aside time for some self-care. Slather on The Body Shop Body Butter ($31) and give your skin a dose of extra TLC with a top-to-toe massage. Its 100 per cent vegan formula contains at least 95 per cent ingredients of natural origins, and promises 96 hours of hydration.

Choose from 12 variants, including Almond Milk, Avocado, Coconut, Pink Grapefruit and Olive. Want something more nourishing? The Kenzoki Nourishing Flow Sensual Body Cream ($78) will be your best bet. Combining sacred lotus flower oily extract and rice peptides, it fortifies skin and leaves it smooth and soothed. The result: touch-me soft skin and a less frazzled you.

One day before: Practise your party day makeup

Now that party season has arrived, it’s the perfect opportunity to test out that sparkly shadow (our pick of the season is Dior 5 Couleurs Couture The Atelier of Dreams, $107), bold lip colour (hello Rouge Hermes, $105), and graphic liner, or some combination of the three. And no matter how makeup savvy you might be, you wouldn’t want to wait till party day to try out your new look for the first time, so set aside some time to try it beforehand.

After all, practice makes perfect. “A good run-through can help you avoid mistakes and ensure a smooth flow of makeup application on D-day,” says makeup artist Larry Yeo. Though he also adds that if you have time to spare, start at least a week earlier to prevent your makeup from looking disastrous on event day. Makeup artist Ginger Lynette Leong agrees, and adds that if you’re opting for a red pout, practise shaping your lips prior.

The big day: Skin prep to get that glow & help makeup last

Ensure that skin is hydrated. That said, too much skincare can work against your makeup in our heat and humidity,” says Larry. Instead, apply your skincare products in thin layers. Face looking puffy after a boozy night? Ginger Lynette recommends using face rollers such as the Nudestix x Beauty Magnet 4-in-1 Rosegold Professional Skin Tool Set ($83) to reduce water retention.

Pair it with Clarins V Shaping Facial Lift Serum ($122), which sculpts the face with plant extracts. For the eye area, massage with Clarins V Shaping Facial Lift Eye Concentrate ($99) and the same Nudestix set. To soothe skin, try the probiotics-infused Sigi Skin Tea-Tox ($32 for a box of four sheets) or Kanebo Smile Performer mask ($85 for a box of four sheets), which contains a skin-lifting concentrate of mallow flower, moon peach leaf and rice bran.

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Boost your glow with Foreo UFO 2 ($428) and its Glow Addict Enhanced Brightening Pearl-Infused UFO Activated Face Mask ($30 for a box of six sheets) that’s enriched with pearl extracts, niacinamide,vitamin C and E. To get the most out of your mask, Larry recommends dampening skin with water (or facial mist) before applying it. And don’t forget to prep your lips too. Ginger Lynette says applying a thick layer of lip balm or mask will hydrate your pout and help with lipstick application.

This article was first published in Her World Online.

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