Happy Friday, good people! And thank goodness, hey?! I love that we are now approaching December, and all the magic that it brings, but the Chritsmas rush does arguably come with slightly elevated stress levels all round, and that we could do without!
Today we’ve collected 10 ways to help diminish any stress that might be creeping in (think beautifully scented incense rituals and the deep soothing tones of the late great, Leonard Cohen), as well as keeping you fabulous and cared for as you brave colder climates to run those all important Christmas errands (think moisturising hand treatments and cosmic coloured bath bombs) and a few all important practical style solutions to help make all this running round a heck of a lot easier, while still staying totally chic (we’re talking gorgeous backpacks and an array of the highstreet’s finest wooly head gear!)
So, in essence, you’ll hopefully be feeling a lot calmer, cared for and prepared to rinse the Christmas shopping by the end of today’s post… Sounds like a goer to me! Grab a cup of something yummy and let’s get into it!
One: Golden Handshake
Now, I know I spent a fair bit of time raving about my favourite Lush products in our last 10 Ways, but guys, I just had to talk about this one today…
Hands up if you’ve been struggling with super dry hands these last few months in the colder weather?
*watches an imaginary sea of dry, chapped hands rise tentatively towards the sky*
Friends, I feel you, and there are things we can do to salvage your poor little mitts!
First up, Lush’s Golden Handshake: a nourishing hot hand mask packed full of avocado, argan and castor oil, this warming mask will penetrate and hydrate as you super-soak your paws.
And if your poor hands are still needing a little daily attention, grab yourself a super charges moisturiser (we love this Mario Badescu cream) slather abundantly all over you hands before bed and cover with a set of manicure gloves (these ones are great!) and sleep your way to silky soft mitts!
Two: Those Who Skate Together…
Every year it takes me a hot minute to get into the festive spirit, but there’s one thing that for sure seals the deal; ice skating.
Whether it’s jumping on a rink at Birmingham’s German Christmas market, or planning to spend a day on the ice at London’s beautiful Somerset House, pulling my boots on and gliding round with some of my favourite people, with the twinkling fairy lights and the warming sound of Bing Crosby playing in the distance is like a festive switch-on for me!
It’s escaping the present-buying, food-planning maddness and taking an hour or so to soak up the fun festive spirit! Divine!
Find your nearest (or prettiest!) rink and prepare to be a bit stiff the next day; it’s totally worth it!
Three: Electric Exfoliation
Here to make your cleansing routine a little quicker, a LOT more efficient and probably a bit cuter, please welcome to the floor, the Foreo Luna!
If you haven’t already, along with the hundreds of considerably more qualified beauty bloggers before me, I’d highly recommend switching your facial cleansing routine over to using an electronic device!
Whether it’s something like Foreo’s Luna, delivering thousands of sonic pulsations to your skin every minute to help clean and purge pores while reducing fine lines, or something more ‘brush’ like, like Vanity Planet’s Clarisonic alternative, a rotating brush system that effectively removes dead skin cells from the face (and body!) to promote cellular rejuvenation and leave you squeaky clean… They’re fast, portable, thorough and will leave you glowing ready for all those Christmas pictures!
Oh, and there’s even a super portable black ‘for men’ Luna Go, so even your man’s got no excuse!
Four: Holy Smokes
This month I’ve revived my love for incense and it’s become something of a ritual that I’m quickly falling head over heels for.
Before I sit down to work, before I start my yoga practice, before I start getting ready to go out, before I snuggle down to read in bed… Lighting one of those wonderous little scented sticks has become part of my preparation to do, well, almost anything.
With cinnamon sticks to energise, frankincense to calm and soothe, and clary sage to cleanse and clarify, there’s something powerful in the ritual of choosing which stick to burn according to the mood you want to create, I find it so helpful for setting an intention for my day, or my yoga practice etc.
Plus, that woody burning scent is just perfect for this time of year, so warming!
Five: Head Candy
So, I’m a self confessed, totally proud-of-it internet shopper. For me, sitting on a super comfy couch, glass of wine in hand, netflix on in the background while I peruse hundreds of shops in search of the perfect presents… Thta’s my kinda shopping!
That said, on the few occasions I have ventured out to my local city to shop, boy oh boy has it been chilly!
Enter the ridiculously cool array of beanie hats on the market right now to keep you snug while not ruining your hair (too much!) One word: Necessary.
Be it a huge pom-pom, a cute head band or a painfully cool normcore style beanie, these soft fitting, throw-it-on-and-go styles will keep you cosy while being loose enough that you can whip it off and give your hair a quick ruffle as you enter each shop!
(Click the images to shop!)
Don’t ask me which is my favouirte, it’s too hard to choose! ASOS have totally nailed it this year!
Six: Now Watching
Ummmm, so today is kinda an important day.
Nope, no Thanksgiving food hangovers, and Black Friday, what?
No, today Netflix release four brand new episodes of the Gilmore Girls, and it’s all my friends and I have been talking about for weeks.
Entitled ‘A Year in the Life’ these four, seasonal episodes are set to be an epic revival of our favourite mother-daughter duo, check it out…
Like, whaaaaat?! Serious chills!
And just to remind everyone of the best ever Gilmore girls scene, because one can never see it too many times…
(Ps. I’m so sorry if you’re not a Gilmore Girls fan, and this is all just nonsense to you, but I can assure you it would make your life totally lovely. So you know, I’m only part sorry!)
…If you know, you know! That scene is definite #momgoals.
Seven: Now Listening
Leonard Cohen. The curious, profound lyrical artist has always held a mesmerising place in our hearts.
This, his fourteenth and final album, ‘feels like a pristine, piously crafted last testament, the informed conclusion of a lifetime of inquiry’, as so eloquently reviewed by Pitchfork.
Pitchfork’s review continues, ‘Darkness [is] also apparent in the newly fathomless boom of his baritone […] whereas the rough edges of his younger, nasal reediness suggested chic bohemian nonchalance, now his low caroling is edged in defiance, and Darker’s production is singularly complementary to it.’
Honestly guys, it’s beautiful. It’s deep, it’s spiritual and it’s such a testament to Cohen’s heart.
Eight: The Art of Bathing
Onto, brighter things and I’ve gotta say (way behind of everyone else here!), but I am a newly converted bath bomb lover!
Bathing is one of my all-time favouirte things to do in the evenings at this time of year. The soothing warmth chases away any chills, and laced with the right stuff, the waters can leave dehydrated winter skin smooth and moisturised, ready for tomorrow.
Bathing is an art. It’s an opportunity for rest and relaxation, almost meditative. And, I’ve gotta say, I feel bath bombs take it up a level: streams of hypnotic colour, painting a unique picture with every soak, complex fusions of fragrance to deepen or lift any mood.
Nine: Now Reading
In amongst all the seasonal hustle and bustle, commiting to anything too heavy book-wise is just a no-go for me (I’m an all or nothing kinda gal!), so it’s at this point that I always reach for a good magazine for some pages to turn.
Something you can pick up and put down as you want, that gives you a moment of calm without being anything too taxing, and Dutch magazine, Flow, is just that.
‘Flow is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, creativity and the beauty of imperfection.’
It’s utterly gorgeous. To look at, to touch, to doodle in. A beautiful paper-based escape!
Ten: Back to Backpacks
It’s finally happened. We can resist it no longer.
With (yet another) nod to the 90s we’re embracing the backpack bag.
Chic, functional and leaving you totally handsfree (all the better to carry all those Christmas shopping bags!) we’re total rucksack converts!
That’s it guys! Have an incredible weekend and we’ll see you on the flipside!
Peace + Love