Getting your body Christmas party ready

Get ready for a perfect Christmas party dress with Rachel Marie Walsh’s body-prep kit.

Getting your body Christmas party ready

The ‘All is Bright’ Buffer Frank Body Coconut Coffee Scrub, €17.95 at frankbody.com

Get your party preparations off to a smooth start with this gentle yet effective polish. Frank Body is a Melbourne-based skincare brand that specialises in paper-packaged coffee scrubs.

Some are more aggressive than others, though anyone with dry or sun-damaged pins can benefit from a shot of their Coconut Coffee. Finely ground beans slough off dead cells without threatening skin’s natural moisture barrier, as can be the case with crushed apricot pit or walnut scrubs.

Caffeine has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. The formula contains a jojoba-bead cleanser and is rich in emollients like coconut oil and grapeseed extract, both of which leave skin feeling extra-soft and enhance your post-scrub glow.

This scrub contains no alcohol and minimal fragrance, making it safe for even very sensitive skin. Frank Body even recommends this scrub for eczema and psoriasis suffers, though I advise against using any kind of abrasive on itchy or broken skin.

The ‘All is Calm’ Body Lotion Kiehl’s Crème de Corps, €31.50

Esteemed pop artist Peter Max has given Kiehl’s products a psychedelic makeover for Christmas. Max’s work is often termed “cosmic art” and explores love, community and harmony, making it the perfect décor for holiday gifts.

His early pieces are totems of the swinging sixties and he has painted for six US presidents. One senses he views “the man” pragmatically, having previously collaborated with MasterCard, General Electric and Boeing.

This limited-edition Kiehl’s collection includes a colourful new bottle for Crème de Corps, the luxurious body moisturiser that’s been a favourite with beauty editors since its launch. A rich mix of plant oils and waxes leaves skin soft but not so greasy that you can’t slip on something dry and clean after application.

The ‘Just Been Away’ Bronze Vita Liberata 24ct Instant Wash-Off Tinted Tan Lotion, €25

There are stacks of instant tans to choose from but it makes sense to stick with one that benefits your skin’s texture and moisture levels, especially if you plan on bronzing several nights a week.

Keeping your skin in tip-top condition reduces irritation from hair removal and gives fake tan its most uniform appearance. Vita Liberata’s 24ct lotion has the most impressive formula I’ve seen among products of this type. With ingredients like hyaluronic acid, raspberry and hydrolysed silk, it is as much an high-quality antioxidant moisturiser as it is a tint.

The colour is a one-shade-suits-all ‘Medium’ that looks very natural on fair skin. Rounding out the sophisticated effect is a smooth, slightly iridescent finish and neutral scent.

The ‘Look-Slimmer’ ShimmerUrban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder for Face and Body, €29

You’ve mastered ‘strobing’ your cheekbones but how about your shins and thighs? Highlight your legs to perfection with Naked Illuminated, a micro-fine powder for the face and body. This second-skin shimmer capable of creating all manner of flattering angles when the light hits your collarbone, shoulders or legs.

The luminous fibers are a available in champagne (‘Luminous’) and a universal shade of golden bronze (‘Aura’).

The ‘Party-Ready’ Mani-PediDior Diorific Vernis in State of Gold, €26.50

Dress up your favourite nail polish with one of the season’s many glitter top-coats. There are cute options available at every price point, whether you prefer large tinsel-like flakes or a subtle shimmer.

Diorific Vernis in State of Gold is a fabulous stocking-filler (if you can bear to part with it).

This mix of platinum and gold sparkles is part of Dior’s limited-edition Holiday 2015 collection and looks best with a grey or shell-pink base coat.

For an ultra-glitzy manicure, give Nails Inc New Globe Walk Snowglobe Nail Polish, €18, a good shake before opening.

Beauty Clinic

SAFEGUARD SENSITIVE EYELIDS

Q: I have used the same moisturiser on both my face and eye area for years without any problems. Recently my eyelids have turned red and sensitive. The skin also feels crepey, though the rest of my eye area has not changed. Should I start using a separate eye cream?

A: The skin on your eyelids is uniquely delicate but I suggest looking at your other products before shopping for eye cream, especially as your moisturiser has served you well thus far. Consider the following to be your anti-redness checklist:

  • Is your makeup remover free from potential irritants? Alcohol, heavy fragrance, and fragrant plant extracts (e.g. bergamot, lavender) can all be bothersome.
  • Is your eye makeup old or drying? Mascara should be changed every six to eight weeks. Liquid eyeshadows and liners last about a year, while powders and pencils should be good for two. Makeup with alcohol or heavy perfume is to be avoided. Waterproof formulas can be difficult for some skin types to tolerate.
  • Are your makeup brushes and sponges as clean as they could be? bareMinerals Quick Change Brush Cleaner, €12 at debenhams.ie, is helpful in maintaining hygienic makeup tools.

Crepey skin can be a sign of sun damage as much as irritation. Exfoliating the eyelids is very risky, though a glycolic-acid lotion would be the first thing I’d recommend to combat this problem elsewhere. Try applying a thin layer of Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm before bed to calm and soften your lids’ fine skin.

Use a cotton bud and blend away from the tear duct. For an antioxidant boost, you may wish to consider putting a serum like Clinique Smart Custom Eye Repair Treatment, €46, on your Christmas wish-list. Wearing broad-spectrum SPF25 or higher daily is your strongest weapon in the fight against crepiness and ageing in general.

I advise buying new sun protection if yours does not employ titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as sunscreen actives. These ingredients are ideal for safeguarding sensitive skin. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF30, €34, contains both and has a flattering nude tint.

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