When it comes to beauty, winter is not your friend. Carefully coiffed hairdos get blown to pieces or rained upon the moment you step out the door, half of us are trying to look hot whilst also battling whatever lurgy we picked up on...
...the tube that morning and as for skin? Skincare can just be a nightmare. Blame radiators, blame biting winds, blame all the booze (ahem) but we just need a little more TLC in winter if we don't want to look completely haggard.
The best option is of course to just sack off winter altogether and head to the Caribbean for a few months, but assuming that's not an option here are my top products for giving your skin a helping hand...
Switch to a cleansing balm
I use cleaning balms all year around as I am slightly obsessed, but it's even more important in winter to use something gentle and forgiving than what you may turn to in the summer months.
Try Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm (£36) and prepare to seriously enjoy washing your face.
Invest in a facial oil
No good for morning routines if you're planning on slapping on foundation after, but wearing an oil at night is a wonderfully lovely treat and comes with the added bonus of ensuring you wake up with princess-like smooth skin the next day.
I have a few Aesop goodies on rotation but their Damascan Rose Facial Treatment (£51) is my fave.
Oh...and pick up a body oil too.
Opt for a dry oil and you'll get all the moisturising qualities without so much of the greasy 'ugh why did I do this to myself?!' heartache. Nothing looks worse than scaly shins when you're rocking your best party frock. And don't forget your ankles, knees and elbows for gawd's sake.
Try Divine Oil by Caudalie (£27) and pretend you're on holiday rather than surrounded by unwrapped pressies and a never-ending Christmas to do list.
Think about what goes inside you.
(Not intended to sound as dodgy as that, honest!)
It's easy to knock back eight pints of water in August because it's hot and if you don't then you risk becoming one of those people from the posters that faints on the tube. You still need to keep your water intake up in winter though and this is especially true when we're all boozing more than usual. Obviously drinking less alcohol is a good idea, but we also know it's unrealistic (you are reading this on Late Night London after all!). If you can't cut down on the voddy, do yourself a favour in other areas and keep up the exercise, limit caffeine and eat a wide array of brightly coloured fruits and veggies.
An omega supplement is a good idea too, I take Perilla Oil by Zelens (£28 for a month's supply) as it's vegan, but a sustainable marine-sourced oil is arguably better if you can get over the fishiness.
Don't stop exfoliating!
Too many people associate exfoliators with prepping their skin for a summer tan. Your skin needs help with exfoliation all year round and you definitely don't want to shed dead skin every time someone brushes past you because you didn't sort it in the shower.
My fave winter exfoliator is the oil rich salt scrub by Sanctuary Spa. It's £11.50 for a a massive tub that lasts ages and regularly included in 3 for 2 deals at Boots.
Add some oil to your bath.
Okay I sound like I am sponsored by the oil industry, but bath oils are luxurious AND great for the skin.
Run yourself a bath with REN's Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil and lay in there for hours (accompanying with a glass of Baileys is optional....although in my experience near enough always mandatory).
A note on baths and showers though: don't be tempted to scorch yourself because it's cold out, if the water is crazy hot then you'll do more harm to your skin than good, even if it does feel nice at the time!
This REN shaped goodness better be under my tree this year!
Keep your hands supple.
Once you get used to carrying a hand cream you'll find it hard to believe you ever went without one.
L'Occitane are well loved for their hand creams but my fave scent has to be Cherry Blossom Petal (£14). SUCH A TREAT.
Feet aren't just for summer!
I don't know why people 'let their feet go' in winter but it's kinda disgusting and nobody wants to see hard flaky heels squeezed into party shoes on the dance floor. Keep filing and keep moisturising, it may not be flip flop season but that doesn't mean your feet should look like trotters.
Scholl's Velvet Smooth Intense Serum (£6.99) is particularly good.
Switch the lipstick for a tinted salve.
I know you can buy Vaseline for about a quid, so bear with me as I suggest something so comparatively expensive...
By Terry's Baume de Rose Nutri-couleur (£35) is about as special as special gets when it comes to tinted balms. It really packs a punch in terms of colour so you truly can switch out your lipstick for this super soothing blend of rose flower wax, shea butter and vitamin E. I would have baulked too until I tried it, now I'm hooked and want every colour.
Don't forget your hair.
The elements are harsh on your hair too remember. Once you have split ends you need to fork out for a haircut (sorry, but trims ARE what keeps the ends of your hair in good nick!) but you can prevent split ends and keep your hair looking radiant between cuts with a hair oil. Yep, hair needs moisturiser too.
My absolute favourite for results and scent is label.m's Therapy Age-Defying Radiance Oil (£26.25). It's quickly absorbed and a little goes a long way. Trust me, this stuff is heaven in a bottle!