Winter trends

The fashion shows are over and the look books for this season’s trends are in! So what is going to be big in the world of fashion and beauty this winter? Read on for the seven best on-trend tips:

Medium hairstyles: Out with the extremely long or short looks, this season is all about being somewhere in the middle. When it comes to hair, this means chopping between shoulder and ear length. You have many beautiful options when it comes to medium hairstyles, so choose the one which fits your bone structure best – you can always consult an expert hair stylist before making the big chop.

Glitter: From kitsch to trendy, glitter is a must have in the party scene this winter. Apply liberally in a range of colours for a fabulous and glamorous look! You can go for it in your eyeliner, eyeshadow, nails or even lips! It will also brighten your wintery look, since the tendency is to go darker this season.

Dark lips: As the nights are drawing in, there’s no need to bother with under-stated day looks or au natural. Indulge in a more dramatic style with deep shades of lip colour. Plum, maroon and dark scarlet were all in evidence on the catwalks this year so try a few of these exciting shades and see which works for you. And if you do decide to change your locks this winter, choosing between the range of trendy medium hairstyles, do go for a lighter colour as well, to give that fashionable contrast!

Fake fur: Fake fur is one trend that will help you stay warm this winter. Think collars, linings or boots with fake fur round the edges. Anything that will keep you cosy and give you that glamorous edge.

Boyfriend jumper: There’s nothing better than snuggling up in an old woolly jumper during winter and luckily, this year, you’ll be right on trend when you do. Steal from your boyfriend or buy outright. Either way, oversized, scruffy-looking but effortlessly casual at the same time is definitely the way forward.

Dramatic eyeliner: As with lips, eye makeup this season is big, brash and unapologetic. Think dark sweeps across the eye, fishtails and patterns.

Keep warm, look glamorous and stay up to date with the important fashion trends. This winter is full of great styles so head out to the shops and get creative with your look!

Thank you to All Things Hair for writing this post for Little Babble. 

Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland ParisWeek-long lazy holidays aren’t as fun anymore…
…Shorter jam-packed getaways are so much better
Disneyland Paris is truly the most magical place on Earth
Fancy dress dog walks are THE best way to spend a Sunday afternoon
Spending time with, and looking after, a child isn’t as scary as it seemsRupert and Colin in Devil Costumes No job or salary is worth your health
You spend most of your time in work so it’s okay to be picky when it comes to next career steps
If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is
Sometimes you should probably just get the last train home
Bikini waxes hurt
Hangovers are so much worse when you reach 25
Greece Snapshots Rhodes 6Friends weddings are so much better than family members weddings (sorry)
Cervical screenings are uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as receiving the letter saying your result was abnormal (all ok now but go for your smears, people!)
Espresso martinis are not only utterly delicious but they make you feel crazy sassy
Getting surprise flowers delivered to work feels as special and lovely as I always expected it would
Everything is better with a hot water bottle

If you’re anything like me, you’ll constantly be on the lookout for new products, techniques or treatments to keep your eyebrows in good shape. As much as a monthly wax/thread topped up with a daily comb through and filler can do the job of framing your face nicely, sometimes you just want something a little more permanent.

This is where the eyebrow treatment of 2016 (and 2017 too, I bet) comes in. Microblading, if you haven’t heard about it already, is a permanent treatment to give fuller brows that look natural. Microblading involves very thin, short hair-like strokes being tattooed on to the desired shape of the brow. The before and after images of the treatment speak for themselves.

Karen Betts’ Microblading Technique

“It’s incredibly important to me and my team that the brows we create suit the facial shape, thickness and natural colouring of the person; to make the brows look natural.” – Karen Betts

The Queen of Brows, Karen Betts (who also brought us HD Brows, FYI), is the go-to person when it comes to microblading. She has twenty years experience using the technique and has developed her own elite team who aim to create the best natural looking brows as possible. Karen’s technique involves using a small handheld device with a sharp blade at the bottom to draw small hair-like strokes onto the brows. Karen uses KB PRO Pigments that are designed to blend in with her client’s natural hair colouring.

For more information on Karen Betts and her microblading techniques you can visit her website here.

 

If you’re looking for hints and tips on throwing the perfect Christmas party then look no further. Today, I’m handing over the Little Babble reigns to Nat from Help I’m Getting Married to share a post all about her tips and advice on hosting the perfect Christmas party.

Hosting the Perfect Christmas Party

The Best Drinks to Serve at a Christmas Party

image credit

As much as I love giving and receiving presents at Christmas, the real pleasure for me comes from spending time with family and friends. And whilst it feels like getting all of my loved ones in one room is growing increasingly difficult with every passing year, Christmas is the one time where there is no room for excuses. Without sounding like I’m quoting a line from a classic gangster movie, at Christmastime, it’s family over everything. It’s one of the few points in the year where most people will take annual leave at the same time, and will hopefully be in good spirits. It’s a time to catch up with those distant cousins or friends that live on the other side of the country. It’s a time to eat and drink whatever you like before you swear to yourself in January that this is the year you finally get fit.

Of course, all of this extra socializing means that inevitably you are likely to have to play hostess at some point over the festive period. But there is no getting away from the fact that hosting at Christmastime can be incredibly stressful, whether it’s a casual dinner party, or a more civilized drinks and canapes evening. I have spent many an evening running between the kitchen and living room to check on the dinner whilst only catching the tail end of stories, or trying to talk to guests whilst subtly checking if their drinks need topping up.

But after many years of practice, I feel like I have finally mastered the art of hosting a Christmas party, and am all too happy to be able to share my top festive tips!

Winter Warmer Cocktails

If your friends and relatives are anything like mine, then alcohol features heavily at Christmastime. A great way to get your guests in the party spirit is to make some festive cocktails to greet them with upon arrival.  I’ve tried out many options over the years, but the cocktails that have always gone down best are the ones that incorporate the smells and flavours that we associate with this time of year. Rather than mulled red wine, why not serve mulled white wine using dried apricots and honey? Or my own personal favourite, a winter whiskey sour with decorative edible gold glitter to really dazzle your guests.

Christmas Party Decorations

A key player at any Christmas party is the decorations, and over the years I have found that making a little extra effort in dressing the table or room can really add to the festive atmosphere.

If you’re hosting a sit-down meal then think about a festive centerpiece. It shouldn’t take up too much precious table space, but centerpieces are a great way of creating height on your Christmas dinner table. If you’ve got a bigger budget, then you might consider hiring luxury party planners to look after the decorations for you, but DIY decorations work equally as well if you are particularly good at crafts.  Personal taste will off course play a big part, but there are plenty of festive ideas out there if you are thinking about creating your own centerpiece, table settings or decorations.

However it’s equally as important not to be too overambitious. I speak from experience when I say that snow in a can will not make your house look like a winter wonderland, but it will make a huge mess. So make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Christmas Party Music

After you’ve spent a lot of time carefully selecting cocktails and decorations, the next priority for any Christmas party is the playlist. Everyone loves those classic Christmas songs, but walking in to a party that has ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ on full volume before you have even had a drink can feel a little overwhelming. Create a playlist that starts with more mellow songs, and increases in tempo as the evening draws on. Save those big Christmas hits to the end, stand back and watch as your nearest and dearest belt out the lyrics to ‘Fairytale of New York’ with all the festive enthusiasm they can muster.

Party Layout

Whilst this might not sound like a particularly glamourous thing to think about when planning a Christmas party, considering the layout of the space will work wonders once your guests arrive. If your dining table is in a different room to your kitchen, perhaps you can set up a side table with spare napkins, barware and other essentials to stop you running back and forth. Or if you are hosting a drinks evening, think about setting up a bar area so that people can help themselves to drinks as and when they need them.  Doing this will not only save you from a lot of running around, but will enable you to actually enjoy the party that you have so carefully planned!

Guest post written by Nat. Nat lives in Brighton with her husband Mike and cat James. She has her husband to thank for getting in to blogging, as his proposal was the inspiration behind her blog, Help I’m Getting Married. Nat loves travelling, cocktails and of of course, writing! You can find her tweeting @martinnathalie9.

As a regular(ish) visitor to the Trafford Centre, I’ve driven past Chillfactore many a time but have never been brave enough to venture in. I’m not really the most adventurous type but after I received an invitation to Get More Winter with Crystal Ski by partaking in a skiing lesson at Chillfactore, I thought it would be a great way to finally give skiing a try whilst finding out more about Crystal.

Skiing with Crystal Ski

Skii's at Chill Factore

Bunny slope at Manchester's Chillfactore

After arriving at the Chillfactore (and for the first time ever being the first one at the event), having a chat with Kirsty from Crystal over a drink and meeting my fellow skiers it was time to hit the slopes!

We got our ski jacket and trousers, popped them on and then got fitted for our ski boots and skis. I had to get help from the very kind chap who gave me my boots to put them on; not because they were a struggle (although they are very tight and you have to put them on on in a particular way) but because I was trying to put them on the wrong feet. It was around this time that I realised I probably wouldn’t be a natural skier.

Suited and booted we hit the bunny slope for our ski lesson. We learnt the basics; how to put our skis on, walking in skis and just generally getting comfortable with having skis on. Once comfortable – well, as comfortable as you can be with ski gear on – we learnt how to walk up the slope (like a crab, if you’re wondering) then skied down. It was around this time that I realised my earlier assumption was correct; I am not a natural skier.

I screamed my way down the first time, crashed into someone the second (in my defence, I didn’t know how to stop at this point) all the while putting pressure on my knees which meant I was in agony. By my third go, I had to take a step to the side for a ski break. Definitely not a natural. I headed back after a few minutes and went for a few more disastrous skies down the slope. Our instructor, rob, was incredibly patient and really good at showing us what to do and supporting us when we were a bit wibbly (mostly me).

After our hour lesson we shuffled our way off the slopes, took off our ski gear and headed for some well-deserved food and drink. My favourite part of pretty much every event I’ve been to as a result of my blog is sitting about and getting to know the other attendees; as I’d never actually met anyone else at the event it was nice getting to know some new faces (and getting some new blogs to read!)

A big thank you to Crystal for inviting me to my first ever skiing experience – I definitely want to give it a try again, but maybe not until I figure out what’s wrong with my odd ball knees!

Bloggers skiing

The beginners skiing group: me, Naffy, instructor Rob, Asma, Sindy and Tom.