Life & Culture

A clean sweep


January 1 is a funny old day. Either you’ve woken up with a hangover or simply vowed that this year will be the year to shed that frustrating half a stone or get fit, shape up, whatever you want to call it. With New Year wishes in the air, you can’t help but get mixed up in the whole New Year, new you, mantra. It seems that this is the time to change your fitness and beauty routine and any other day after the first day of a new year just doesn’t have that same goal, aspiration or inspiration.

From a fashion and beauty perspective, I embrace a new year with excitement of new fashion collections, new young designers, exciting brand launches and innovative products making their mark while keeping wrinkles at bay. What’s not to celebrate? Here are my top tips to getting into the New Year mode, with very little effort necessary. Happy 2016!

Get Kitted
It’s time to throw away that awful grey-ish, black-ish oversized T-shirt that you sling on for the gym and invest in new apparel that is made specifically to bring comfort and style to your workout. Lulu Lemon is the name on everyone’s lips, but it comes with a price too. Sweaty Betty has a great collection of workout gear specifically for runners and yogis while high street favourites Primark, New Look and M&S also offer a great choice of high-trend designs at reasonable prices. There’s no excuse not to look the part, whatever your budget.

Sign up now
As there are currently offers to be found in gyms, now is your chance to take advantage of them. Invest in a personal trainer to kick-start your routine and get you motivated and confident to be applying exercise to your lifestyle without it feeling like a chore. For one-to-ones, Matt Roberts, trainer to David Cameron among other A-listers, is the man in the know. His team will get you in tip-top shape, but you need to be willing to work, or at least try hard. The hotel-like gyms have wonderful customer service that ensure every client feels like a VIP. If, however, you’re the type that prefers exercising in a group, Ace Fitness has a host of classes (London only) that are challenging yet fun and inviting too.

Mask Crusaders
Slather on a luxurious face pack at least twice a week and your skin will give you a big thank you — especially in the colder months. Facemasks deliver an intense pick-me-up to brighten and tighten. To soothe very dry skin, leave the mask on overnight for a deeper treatment. I particularly love GlamGlow Powermud Clearing Treatment, and Clarins HydraQuench cream mask.

Tools of the trade
Fact is, make-up stays on for longer and looks better when applied with a brush, or 10! However, the majority of women understandly use their fingers instead as it’s quicker and easier. To get the best results, invest in a couple of brushes and you’ll soon see the reason make-up artists swear by their tools. To start you off try a foundation brush and an eye shadow brush. H&M and Superdrug have budget brushes that get the job done perfectly.

Shiny Happy Hair
Haircare meets skincare with the recent launch of Salon Science. This new brand uses ingredients found in premium skincare to volumise, repair, treat scalps and make hair shine.

Fashion Sums
It seems that on average women are showcasing £3,600 worth of footwear on their shoe racks. Not convinced? Enter River Island, with its brilliant (or, perhaps, brutal) “Wardrobe Calculator”. It’s an online tool that works out how much your clothing collection is worth. You can even compare your wardrobe’s total to other users in the country to see whether you’re a massive splurger or a modest spender. Either way, I wouldn’t reveal the results to your partner, especially with all the sale bargains now in the stores. Have a play on

DIY Nails
Get back to basics and have some childish fun by creating your very own custom-made nail polish. New British brand Palette London kicks off the trends of 2016 with this make-your-own varnish kit. You get five base colours, empty varnish bottles and pipettes for mixing. A rainbow is at your fingertips.

New Kids on the Block
Childrenswear is having a bit of a fashion moment with pop-up shops and new stores opening up and down the country. North west London mums will be delighted with the super-stylish Parisian Jacadi label setting up shop on Hampstead High Street. While web shoppers will adore the new collections at and

Beauty junkie
If you love make-up, you will always be on the hunt for the next big thing. New CID Cosmetics is exactly this. The brand was born to help women achieve a professional make-up finish with simple to use and easy to understand multifunctional solutions. A complete godsend for busy women.

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