Ultimate A-Z guide to surviving the Christmas and New Year party season

Hannah Britt asks the experts for their top tips to ensure you’re looking and feeling great – even with a hangover!

Avoid overeating

The party buffet can be tempting. But grazing all night can make you pile on the pounds.

“A simple trick is to stay away from anything beige,” says dietitian Juliette Kellow.

“Beige foods, such as pastries or breads, tend to be more calorific. Instead, stick to lean meats, smoked salmon or unsalted nuts.”


According to a new poll by YouGov, 45-54-year-olds are the most likely age group to drunkenly kiss a colleague at their Christmas party, with one in five admitting to having done it.

Ruari Fairbairns, of initiative One Year No Beer, says going booze-free could help you stay in control.

“Best of all, some alcohol-free drinks taste exactly like the real thing,” he says.

Don’t let the mulled wine get the better of you

Cry it out

It may be Christmas party season, but that doesn’t mean you have to be “on” all the time.

“Christmas can bring up a lot of issues around body image, money and relationships, so it’s only natural to feel down some days,” says Fiona Thomas, author of Depression in a Digital Age. “Confide in someone and take time to do something for yourself.”

DIY detox facial

Give your skin a DIY detox facial with pineapple or papaya.

“Both have natural exfoliating properties,” says Charlotte Vohtz, founder of Green People. “Simply rub a thin slice of pineapple or papaya over your skin. Leave for five minutes to exfoliate, then rinse off.”

Eat slowly

“Eating slowly allows foods to be digested properly,” says gut microbiologist for OptiBac Probiotics Dr Kate Stephens.

“The extra timing allows your brain to register that you’re full and signal to stop eating, hence helping to beat the bloat associated with overeating.”

Face the music

Woman with Santa hat asleep
Let’s hope you don’t wake up with a hangover of regret

Made a fool of yourself at the office Christmas bash? “You won’t be the only one feeling like an idiot,” says Lauren Faraday, events manager for Smart Parties.

“But make sure you go in. Calling
in sick will just make it easier for everyone to divert attention away from their own embarrassing antics by talking about you all day.”

Group chat hell

Research from Facebook Messenger reveals that one of people’s biggest bugbears is receiving too many messages in group chats.

Looking for an exit strategy? Etiquette experts Debretts advises: “Before you make a run for it, formulate your exit plan. Offer a brief explanation, then leave – there’s no need to wait around for replies.” If leaving feels too difficult, mute the conversation instead.

Hangover help

That full English breakfast really can banish your hangover. Research from British Lion Eggs reveals that eggs contain cysteine, an amino acid which helps to break down acetaldehyde, one of the culprits responsible for alcohol-induced headaches and nausea.

It doesn’t matter

Don’t beat yourself up about silly little mishaps

“Whether you were mouthing off to someone or dancing on tables, there’s no need to beat yourself up,” says Lauren.

“It was a silly, over-the-top and fun night out.

“Now you have to accept what you did, and hopefully not get yourself into the same situation next year.”

Just your fringe

No time to blow-dry your hair? No problem.

“Washing your fringe or the front of your hair takes seconds and will freshen up your look without the need to shampoo and blow-dry the whole lot,” says Johanne Herald, Senior Master Stylist at Charles Worthington. charles worthington

Keep shoes in your bag

“Party season often means beautiful but painful shoes,” says fashion director Rivkie Baum. “Ensure that you can dance the night away by carrying a pair of Butterfly foldable flats in your bag.” Visit

Lose the ladders

Laddered tights are never a good look

“Laddered tights are never a good look,” says Rivkie.

“Slip a little bottle of clear nail polish into your bag for hosiery emergencies. Paint over the ladder to stop it spreading.”

Mulled wine mishaps


Spilled mulled wine down your favourite dress? Don’t panic. Dry cleaners Jeeves Of Belgravia suggests mixing liquid detergent with cool water and soaking the item until the stain lifts. Then you should be able to wash it as normal.

Nap time

Power naps can be beneficial


Feeling under the weather ? A power nap can perk you up.

“Nap for 20 minutes at some point between 2pm and 4pm – no later than this and for no longer,” says Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan. “This can help revitalise you and reboot your immune system too.”

Opulent nails

Glitter nail varnish will add sparkle to your look in an instant.

It works just as well over bare nails as painted, and covers any chips in existing nail varnish effectively too.

For festive golden sparkle, try OPI Nail Lacquer in Glitter All The Way, £13.50,

Pin it

“With most of us racing from desk to disco at this time of year, we all run the risk of a last-minute party outfit disaster,” says Rivkie. “Make sure you’re prepared for broken fastenings and popped buttons by hiding a couple of safety pins in your clutch bag.”

Ready in red

Quick spritz

Your perfume could provide a much-needed confidence boost. Oriental fragrances have a “grown-up” feel to them. Try All Saints Incense City, £49,, which contains cypress, cedarwood and incense.

And citrus scents make you feel more alert. The lemon and rosemary-scented The Perfume Edit Citrus Fresco, £19.99,, is zingy and fresh.

Red lipstick

No beauty product will make you feel quite as “done” as red lipstick. Choose one that suits your skin tone in a formula that will stay put all night.

For a bright pillarbox shade, try L’Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick in Scarlet Silhouette, £7.99,

Say no

Maybe it’s best to make time for those with which you’re truly close


“Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean you need to see every colleague, school friend or cousin twice-removed,” says Fiona.

“If you’re feeling burned out, take an honest look at your schedule and rearrange meet-ups for January when you’ve got some more time on your hands.”


“A night spent relaxing at home will not only give your body the chance to physically recover from the effects of indulging in food and alcohol, but also gives you some much-needed chill time,” says Holly Housby, sleep expert at Sealy UK.

Use the fruit bowl

Don’t forget to eat some fruit


For sparkling teeth in an instant, look no further than the fruit bowl.

“Strawberries contain malic acid, which whitens teeth naturally,” says celebrity dentist
Dr Richard Marques,

“Apples do the same, while veg with a crunch can have a cleansing effect too. Try celery, carrots and cucumber sticks.”

Vamp up the volume


“Washing your hair twice and using less conditioner will boost volume and make it last longer,” says Johanne.

“And when using dry shampoo, apply on the day you wash your hair instead of two or three days after.

“This will help it to stay fresher for longer.”

Water, water everywhere

“Stay hydrated,” says Dr Rekha Tailor, founder of Health & Aesthetics.

“Party season can result in dry skin. So carry water with you at all times and sip throughout the day. And eat foods that are high in water, such as watermelon, apples, oranges and cucumber.”

Don’t forget your beauty sleep

Xtend your dancefloor time

Are your shoes rubbing? “If blisters are a problem, a spritz of hairspray can reduce friction inside your shoes,” says Rachel Clinkard, footwear expert at Charles Clinkard.

“And if your shoes have straps, cushion them with clear sticking plasters so they don’t dig into skin.”

Yes to exercise

“Exercise outside whenever possible,” says sleep expert Holly.

“Exposing yourself to more light during the day is vital. The natural light will improve your mood and the physical activity will reduce
any seasonal stress and help you sleep better.”

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“Setting a time to leave parties, and sticking to it will help you to feel more refreshed,” says Phil Lawlor, sleep expert for Dormeo.

“Going to bed even an hour or two later each night can make you feel groggy and unproductive, so make sure you’re not pushing your circadian rhythm — your internal body clock — to its limit.”


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