The bubbles are chilling and outfit is sorted, but a party wouldn't be a party without this lot. Here are the products that are always invited to GTG gatherings...
As often acknowledged, getting ready to go-out can be the best bit of any night out. You choose the tracks, you can dance like no-one's watching and heel-fatigue has not yet set in. Some small party additions up the ante in particular; once you've got them on, you're good to go. Here are the disco dealbreakers for team Gloss.
Susannah Taylor, Editor-at-Large
Essie Nail Varnish , from £7.99
I feel a bit naked going out without nail varnish - like I forgot to apply my mascara or something (which btw would be another party essential). I like to think that I’m quite good at painting my nails (if I do say so myself!), but I have some personal nail etiquette rules:
1. Never wear them too long. I can’t bear that spiky long nail thing (I was glad to see that Adele has filed hers down these days). I think nails are more stylish short and neat.
2. Steer clear of faux French. I’m really not a fan of a French manicure. A chic beige nail yes but no white tip, sorry.
3. Colours. I genuinely think that anything goes in the world of nail colours these days. You can wear white, black, dark red, rose gold, whatever you fancy. Mine change on a weekly basis but here are some of my favourites for the party season: Essie A List , a classic bold red; Fishnet Stockings , a deeper sharp red; Wicked , a very dark black red to go with anything; and Bobbing for Baubles , a deep dusky navy blue. If you think that glitter isn’t for grown ups, then do what I did last year and paint one fingernail glitter or metallic and keep the rest to one colour (I chose dark red for all nails and a golden glittery fourth nail). Finally, finish with a top coat to pretend you had it done in a salon. Seche Vite , £9 is my favourite for the fastest, glossiest shine.
Victoria Woodhall, Editor
This mazzy is the complete party package – huge defined lashes top and bottom and a finish that’s soft enough to recoat as the night wears on. I can’t do eyelash curlers (the only thing they curl is my toes) or extensions – but I don’t need to. This is my secret weapon. I’m invariably in a hurry and (joy!) this dries quickly, as I noticed yesterday when I sneezed soon after applying it and it didn’t cause a spider outbreak on my eyelids. Happy days!
Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
I won’t bore you with how much Mother Nature deprived me in the hair department but essentially, all I want is curls and all I was given is poker-straight fine hair. I feel instantly more confident and ready when my hair looks good, and to my mind this is only when it’s curled or waved with the help of this trusty tool from Babyliss. An absolute bargain, I’ve had mine for years and it’s the best tong I’ve used (trust me I’ve tried a few) - it’s fast, easy, and creates a cool, natural-looking curl. With a conical wand, it works for all lengths of hair and the curl really seems to stay in for the night too, so you don’t need layers and layers of stiff hairspray to make your look last. I can’t party without it.
Gemma Bellman, Managing Director
Not being a massive foundation-wearer day to day, the party season brings a new enthusiasm for applying more makeup - particularly where I find myself layering party makeup over work or day time cover. These foundation sticks by Bobbi Brown are the easy way to add some definition and (dare I say) contours to my cheeks, nose and forehead. Though certainly not dubbed contouring sticks by natural-beauty Bobbi, in a couple of lighter and darker shades they do enable easy application of highlight and shadow. When powdered over to settle, this just adds a touch of complexion completeness to my favourite party look.
Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Huda Beauty Lip Contour , £16
I wish a statement lip loved me as much as I love it. A few hours in and it’s usually lost all interest in sticking around, having struck up a flirtation with my wine glass, my fork and even my two front teeth. You’d think I’d get the hint, however this is one relationship I’m not giving up on without a fight. My weapon of choice? This budgeproof lip liner from Huda Beauty.
Pigmented and potent with a texture that strikes the perfect balance between butter and bulletproof, it acts as the perfect middle man for navigating the most troubled of waters. Celebrating my lips’ curves to accentuate and enhance with ease, it increases both the longevity and quality of whatever colour I put on top. Its range of nude and vibrant shades offers ample choice and the fact that it dries to a beautiful matte finish provides all the excuses I need to use it on its own, giving my philandering lippie the boot and providing a great way to wear my statement lip safe in the knowledge that it ain’t goin’ nowhere.
Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Nars Orgasm Blusher , £24
Executing a flawless smokey eye or razor sharp red lip can be all the fun of getting ready, but both are nothing to me without a bit of warmth in the face. Blusher does for me what mascara or fake tan do for others; without it I am wan, and someone in my immediate vicinity is likely to comment that I look tired, flat or full-on ill. Apply blusher, however, and the world goes suddenly rose-tinted, along with my face. I have an army of pinky powders at home, but my blusher of choice for all time would have to be the much imitated but rarely bettered Nars Orgasm. It’s a bright, enlivening espresso for the complexion on a cold evening- plus it’s ever-so-subtly sparkly, which makes skin look smooth and healthy, despite late nights, 35 mince pies and possible booze-induced dehydration. Pigment is strong on a large spectrum of skintones (a huge diversity of beauty industry women will attest to this) and it’s got a hint of something multidimensional. Once this is on, the good times roll.
Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
There’s nothing quite like a classic red lip, and who better than the queen of makeup Charlotte Tilbury to get you into the festive spirit? Charlotte says 'lipstick is happiness in a tube', and I can't help but agree with her. Cliché I know, but I instantly feel that a bold lip gives me more confidence and can transform that post-work office face into one that’s party ready, especially if I've forgotten my heels! My favourite at the moment is the Matte Revolution Red Carpet Red, a modern red that doesn't feel drying on the lips and lasts all evening through copious glasses of wine - win, win.
Alexandra Harrison, Administration Assistant
My number one party makeup pick for the festive season is the Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter Glow Liquid Eyeshadow. This is the perfect party eye in a tube! It is SO easy to use - you just swipe across the eyelids, blend the edges with a fluffy brush and you have a beautiful, glittery eye look that looks as though it took ages of glitter glue and graft to achieve. I’m always strapped for time around Christmas and this product makes it so quick and easy to look like you made a huge effort. The colours are beautiful too - definitely a must-have in everyone's party makeup bag!
What are your favourite party products? Let us know in the comments!