How to be a Cracker This Christmas
How to be a Christmas Cracker

WLR’s Trudi shows you how to be a Christmas Cracker this season

How to be a Cracker This Christmas

By Trudi Purdy, wlr team

As we hit the ultimate party season does your stomach turn at the thought of party invites?

Are you someone that hides away in the corner so no-one notices you?

Or, do you have to get absolutely blotto for added confidence even though you know that slurred words, telling everyone you ‘luff ‘em’ and doing your chicken dance on the dance floor are not terribly attractive?

If any of this sounds like you, we have some tips that will help turn you into the Belle of the ball with no Fairy Godmothers or filters required!

Join the brownies

Who says faking it isn’t making it?

Fake tan can help hide a multitude of sins and make you appear slimmer and leaner. And, because you need to exfoliate beforehand, it helps to leave your skin feeling soft and silky too!

There’s loads of options available, from spray tans to DIY tans and body make up.

A fake tan done at your local salon will cost around £30. When you book, check with them to see what you need to do prior to your appointment. Some salons will include exfoliation which you’ll need to pay a little more for. Could be worth it though, if only for the extra bit of pampering!

There’s also lots of places that offer a spray tan service. You can even find technicians that will come to your home. They’ll bring a spray tan machine and a tent for you to stand in while they airbrush your tan to perfection.

With either of these options, make sure you research the salon or technician and look for reviews. Better still, ask your friends if they can recommend someone.

There are a plethora of DIY fake tan options too. You can pop into your local supermarket, Boots, Superdrug etc and find gradual tans, developing tans and body make up. Alternatively, you can find all of these online too. Again, do a little research first to find the best solution for you.

  • Gradual tans – need applying regularly to build up the colour over a few weeks. You’ll need plenty of time before the party for this option
  • Developing tans – these do exactly as the name suggests. You apply and they gradually develop, normally over a 6 hour period. Most have a slight tint so you can see where you have applied. I would suggest you practice a week or two before the party because once they’re on, they’re on
  • Body Make Up – basically this is like foundation but for the body. You apply when you are getting ready for the party and it washes off afterwards. Again, practice makes perfect. Give it a try a couple of days before

Brownie tips

  • Exfoliate before any of these options. Pay particular attention to elbows, knees, heels and feet as these tend to have rougher skin
  • Do your research – you don’t want tiger stripes!
  • Make sure you’re not allergic to the products by testing them first
  • Moisturise! In the run up to FT Day (fake tan day), make sure you moisturise, especially elbows, knees etc.
  • If you’re doing a DIY tan, practice
  • Make sure you pick the right colour for you
  • If you have a waxing appointment, make sure it is at least 24 hours BEFORE you plan to tan
  • Make sure you moisturise after washing off developing tan to help keep the look for longer

Drink, drink and drink …

Water (sigh!). Drinking water reduces water retention by flushing out toxins. This will make you appear less bloated and help you to squeeze into that little black dress that hasn’t seen light of day for a while.

Bingo wings

Oh yes, the lovely bingo wings that cause so many of us to feel self conscious about the tops of our arms.

There are a few options to help with this issue:

  • Wear an outfit with sleeves. Cold shoulder tops and dresses are fab, as are off the shoulder or Bardot styles. Skinny spaghetti strap styles will accentuate your shoulders and arms so avoid them if you can
  • A halterneck is also a good option, especially if you have nice shoulders. The style will draw the eyes away from your arms to your shoulders and neck
  • Layer up with a camisole and a sheer top. A very sexy, stylish look
  • Wear a stylish wrap to accessorise your outfit and hide the tops of your arms
  • Wear a statement belt, necklace, earrings or a selection of bangles on your wrists. They all help to draw attention away
  • Try to hold your shoulders back. Good posture will help your party look overall
  • A spray or DIY tan can help your arms, and legs, look slimmer

Get pumped

Another way to tackle the bingo wings is to pump some iron!


Yes! For a few hours after an intense workout your muscles swell.

Basically, if you do some bicep curls and tricep exercises until you can’t do any more, your body will transport blood to those muscles. This makes them swell and get bigger temporarily, plumping out the skin in your upper arms.

You may suffer a bit the next day from sore muscles, but you’re worth it!

Wrap up this season

Most beauty salons offer a wrap treatment that is designed to help you lose inches. Give your local salon a call to see what they have to offer.

Losing inches from your waist, hips, bottom and tummy could give you the confidence boost you’re looking for. You can have your arms wrapped too, helping to combat the bingo wings. Many salons offer treatments for the face, body, arms and legs so you could really go for it if finances allow. Wrap treatments normally start at around £45 so not the cheapest option.

You can buy DIY wrap kits on the high street and online that make the whole thing cheaper. You normally get a couple of treatments in the kit so you could do a treatment a week or so before and then follow up.

There’s also the option of things like cold laser, CACI and fat freezing that could be worth looking into. These can get really expensive though as you normally need a course of treatments. Make sure you research the treatments and the practitioners beforehand!

Be a control freak

Your underwear can really help when it comes to going glam for Christmas.

A good bra is an absolute must. It can help round ‘the girls’ up and stop them being quite so unruly!

It can also help with your posture. If you’re wearing a decent, well fitting bra, you’ll naturally hold your shoulders back more, meaning your shoulders and arms aren’t hunched forward.

I would recommend going into town and getting properly fitted. 70% of women in the UK are wearing the wrong size bras without realising.

Places like M&S, John Lewis, Ann Summers and Debenhams will happily make sure you are wearing the right size. You might need to make an appointment first though so give them a call.

Then, of course, there are ‘hold me in’ pants, shapewear and even tummy controlling tights. There are some great options available ranging from body shapers to high wasted shorts and briefs. I’ve even seen a ‘hold me in’ thong! They can be a little uncomfortable sometimes but do give you a smoother silhouette.

A slip is another great investment. It helps to keep the material of your outfit from clinging where you don’t want it to and smoothes out your shape. You can go for a full slip or a half which is like a skirt.

Make up with make up

Applying makeup shouldn’t be rushed. It’s like art, it can either make the ‘canvas’ (your face) look fantastic or a complete mess. This season smoky eyes and dark greens are very fashionable. The natural look has also made an appearance thanks to Dolce and Gabbana, so learning to fake the ‘naturale’ look with a touch of lip-gloss, mascara and a flesh coloured eye shadow will leave you looking like a born beauty. If you’re trying out a new lipstick, test it on the back of your finger as this skin has the same pH as your lips.

To help you feel like a princess, you could go and have a manicure and pedicure so your nails look fabulous dahling! Or what about a makeup lesson on the day so your make up has been done by a professional. Boots No. 7 normally offer something like this for free as long as you buy at least one of the products offered.

What about having your hair done? Beautiful hair can really help build your confidence.

Wear the right size

Wearing clothes that are too small will make you look larger than you actually are. It will also let any excess ‘rubber rings’ you have hang over and be on display for everyone to see, which cannot be comfortable physically or mentally. Wear clothes that are the correct size and you’ll sail through the evening. They say skimming is slimming and they are right!

Hangover cures

The worst thing to come out of Christmas has to be the hangovers. You wake up either hugging the toilet with a wish washy stomach or, if drinking heavily is a regular thing you’ll wake up in bed with a banging head and a furry tongue.

Then, it gets worse you have to do it all again TONIGHT!

Here’s the plan of action: Down a pint of water, have a hot shower, wash the barnet, and go back to bed with a pint of water on your bedside table. When you wake you will feel more revitalised and alert.

Have something to eat to curb the stomach and then a bit later try and take a brisk walk for 30 minutes. Watch some TV and act like a couch potato for the rest of the day.

When getting ready for the party remember, lots and lots of concealer and mints.

Last of all, have a lovely Christmas and Happy Drinking!

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