When it gets to the end of the year there’s no denying the minor slump that ensues just before the Christmas fun and festivities kick in. In the run up to holiday madness – scrambling to organise presents, throwing the perfect drinks and nibbles evenings, tackling the Christmas card list – it’s the small mood-boosting pick-me-up treats that keep us going from now until the New Year and way into a somewhat bleak January. Here are a few of my favourite ‘petite joys’, those little things I gravitate to when needing to banish the end of year blues.
The Power Of New Lippie
Probably one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your winter style, a new lipstick always acts as a ‘pop’ purchase for me. The instant, uplifting fix that doesn’t require hitting the changing rooms or spending hours schlepping around the shops, simply pick up this pocket-friendly purchase when nipping to the high street or supermarket.
I’m pretty hooked on Rimmel London’s new The Only 1 Matte collection right now. Their latest launch focusses on a brand new formula promising intense, high-impact colour with an ultra-comfortable feel. Basically a long-lasting matte that’s non-drying and packed with moisture. Unlike lots of matte lipsticks these are definitely more moisture-infused on application, and I find layering up (I always re-apply every hour or so, it’s a habit) doesn’t get all cakey and dry like other matte lippies I’ve tried.
As you can see from the lip library of shades available, there’s pretty much something for everyone too. Straight in at top place is #200 Salute, the nude rose shade I’m wearing here. Like my go-to Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect – one to try if you haven’t – it’s a goes-with-everything nude that just seems to ‘lift’ the face and complexion. Fast followed by #810 The Matte Factor and #500 Take The Stage, both from the warm reds and berries family which are spot on for lifting my grey and camel knitwear collection at this time of the year.
Beautiful Winter Berries
Ok, if you’re not a flowers person like me then skip this one. But spending a spare tenner on some pretty flora is a fast-track to lifting my spirits every time. Who’s with me? Winter brings with it the most sumptuous berries and delightful springs, and the best bit is that you often only need two or three sprigs of something structural to really make a punch, which keeps costs down. Try Snowberries, red berries of any kind, Holly, Pussywillow, Thistles and gold waxed foliage for a mega festive injection.
Seriously Cosy Knitwear
A new oversized chunky scarf, snuggly cardigan or statement knit goes a long way to boosting moods when Jack Frost becomes a regular morning visitor. I will always have a soft spot for Joules scarves. They just seem to get it right whether winter or summer season, you’ll always find a generously sized scarf buy to reboot any coat or jacket. Plus they double up as great blankets while travelling.
Delicious Hearty Treats
If you can’t treat yourself to pancakes, full fat coffees and slices of cake in the winter then when can you? For fluffy pancakes, berries and bacon (dripping in syrup, of course) I recently discovered No. 11 Pimlico Road. I mean look at these, the icing sugar even makes them feel all frosty and snowy! Also Berners Tavern’s buttermilk pancakes with banana, Nutella and hazelnuts have got to be right up there. For those outside of London, it’s Bill’s.
My latest cake recipe tip-off comes from Nigella, who’s pretty much nailed it with her Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake. It’s vegan, doesn’t dry out and makes a mean centrepiece at a dinner party. I left out the espresso powder and decorated with seasonal blackberries and figs instead of rose petals and pistachios FYI. I’m planninmaking a Christmas version next time with white chocolate snowflakes on top.