If you're already starting to hear rumblings at work about the office Christmas party, it might be wise to commence Operation Sparkle.
Forget about last year, and the year before that… OK, just obliterate the memory of every seasonal work party since 1996 from your mind. This Christmas you're definitely going to lay off the cheap wine, line your stomach well before picking up that first glass (nb – half a box of Celebrations does not constitute a hearty meal) and there's no way you're getting up on the karaoke machine.
Instead, you're going to glide into the room looking fabulous, make witty conversation with the boss and get home at a reasonable hour having not danced on a table or started a drinking competition with the youngsters. Probably.
To this end, makeover queen Nicky Hambleton-Jones believes the key to a pulled-together Christmas office look is all about the makeup.
"If you're trying to impress the boss, a bold red lipstick can be incredibly powerful and speak volumes. A simple slick of rich, full-red colour over the lips can transform your image and attitude instantly and this is the perfect addition to your modern power suit," she notes.
"If you embarrassed yourself last year, go for smudge-proof and fool-proof makeup and don't attempt to trial the new beauty trends – stick to what you know. Avoid perfecting the berry red lip to prevent you from walking around all evening with smeared lipstick on your teeth."
A 1940s-style look can also be a winner, with bold, defined eyebrows and matt foundation and powder but beware the overdone clown look in this case. Focus either on the eyes or the lips and leave accessories simple and elegant.
Finally, the Christmas party can be a great place to flirt outrageously with the office hotties, so Ms Hambleton-Jones advises revealing some areas of bare skin, such as the shoulders or the nape of the neck, for a sensual but not overtly sexy look.
So bring on the Christmas soirees and remember: no photocopying body parts you wouldn't want your colleagues seeing in the cold light of day.
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