Every Christmas person out there is waiting for Halloween and bonfire night to be over so that they can officially start counting down until the big day. If you’re a fan of the festive period, you’ll no doubt have your beauty advent calendar ready and the Prosecco Christmas crackers chilling in the fridge.
But there’s always that one person who complains that the Christmas hits have started playing in the supermarket too early, or expresses outrage that you’re already watching Love, Actually.
However, now’s the time to gather your fellow Christmas loving friends because experts actually say that prepping for the holiday season early could be the key to your happiness.
Apparently, getting the Christmas tree and Harry Potter baubles out early could make you happier, and it’s all down to our memories.
Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told Unilad: ‘In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood.
‘Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement!’
See? There’s science behind it and everything. No point in holding back and waiting until we’re firmly in November to get your Christmas on – now’s your chance. It’s time to drag those boxes of tinsel out from the loft and get thinking of your 2018 festive theme.
Psychotherapist Amy Morin also told the website: ‘Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity. For many, putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.’
So what the experts are basically saying is that it’s fine to put your Christmas tree up immediately in the name of happiness.
You’re on the list to make magical cocktails at the new Harry Potter bar, you’ve ditched hygge for the Scottish lifestyle trend coorie, and now you’ve got your favourite beauty advent calendar ready for the Christmas countdown.
Looks like you’re well and truly ready for winter 2018.
But there’s one thing missing – gin. That’s right, as we swap balmy nights out for cosy nights in, you’ll want to make sure you have a nice bottle of gin in the cupboard (because mulled wine isn’t for everyone).
So how do you pick? Do you go for the big brands who we know and trust, or do we chance it with a supermarket own brand version?
Credit: Andy Parsons/Time Out/REX/Shutterstock
It turns out, heading to your local Sainsbury’s is the answer.
Why? Because the supermarket’s own brand gin has beat its premium competitors in a blind taste test.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Blackfriars gin scored a huge 83 per cent when judges from Which? pitted our favourite gins against each other.
Those testing the flavours said that Sainsbury’s offering had an ‘exuberant aroma and freshness’ compared to the other brands. Sounds pretty fancy, eh?
The gin is distilled four times using ten botanicals to create a ‘complex and balanced’ spirit. And, it comes in at just £16 a bottle. Bargain.
Other gins in the competition include a mix of supermarket and superior brands, but surprisingly the top four out of five were own-brand products from ASDA, Lidl, Marks and Spencer’s.
ASDA’s Special Triple Distilled Premium Gin scored 75 per cent; Lidl’s Hortus Original London Dry Gin was given 74 per cent, and the M&S London Gin achieved 71 per cent.
Traditional brands like Gordon’s Special London Dry Gin and Beefeaters London Dry Gin scored 66 per cent and 63 per cent respectively.
Vegan beauty is undeniably one of the fastest growing skincare and make-up categories, with more and more brands making a conscious effort to provide animal-free options to customers. You won’t find any beeswax, propolis or fish scales here.
November is World Vegan Month, so below we’ve broken down the vegan beauty brands you need to know about – as well as the brands offering excellent products that just happen to be vegan, too.
Founded by sisters Sophie and Hannah in 2014, Spectrum brushes are loved by pro make-up artists and vegan beauty lovers everywhere. As well as being animal free they are incredibly good quality and, very importantly, work just as well (if not better) than their non-synthetic counterparts. Whether you like a plain white and copper colour scheme or millennial pink unicorn vibes, this brush brand has got you covered.
Finding great vegan perfume can be a pretty tricky business, but brilliant and boujie perfume brand Le Labo is 100% animal-free. You can spritz that signature Santal 33 or Bergamote 22 safe in the knowledge that every last drop is completely vegan. (Side note: If you don’t already follow the hilarious Instagram account @overheardlelabo you should do so ASAP.)
Skyn Iceland was born after its founder, Sarah, traveled to Iceland after a period of serious illness brought on by chronic stress. She was inspired by the natural beauty of Iceland and the radiant skin of the locals – and so all of Skyn’s products are packed with powerful Icelandic ingredients. As well as being 100% vegan and not testing on animals, the products do not contain mineral oil, sulphates or petroleum. These under eye gels are a personal favourite, waking up tired eyes and minimising bags after just 15-20 minutes of wear.
The Maori word ‘pai’ means goodness, which funnily enough is the philosophy behind this British skincare brand; all Pai Skincare products are made using high quality organic ingredients and optimised for sensitive skin. The cleanser is one of their best-selling products and handily comes with a textured face cloth to help get all the make-up and grime off your skin.
All of The Soap Co‘s delicious-smelling products are hand-crafted by disabled or blind people (note the Braille on every bottle), and they work extremely hard to be as responsible a brand as possible. Packaging is made using old milk bottles, with 45% less of an environmental impact than PET, and they use compostable labels, biodegradeable and non-toxic glue, and paper that is both recycled and recyclable. The new Mulberry and Amber scent is particularly delicious, and they’ve just launched into John Lewis so now there’s even more of an excuse for you to stock up on their soaps, body washes and body oils.
Developed and made in Sweden, Maria Nila haircare is registered with the Leaping Bunny, Peta and The Vegan Society. The True Soft range is a great all-rounder but particularly good for slightly dry hair; other ranges include Pure Volume and Head & Hair Heal for repair. As all formulas sulphate-free, they’re all suitable for coloured hair and every time you buy one of their products, you’re contributing to tree-planting in South America. Be sure to try the hair masks too.
Australian beauty brand INIKA Organic is another great 100% vegan brand with an impressive CV – did you know they’re behind the world’s first certified certified organic and vegan lipsticks? Some of their celebrity fans include eco fashion and beauty fan Emma Watson and Hilary Swank (and us, obvs).
Named after the rahua oil produced by the Quechua-Shuar tribe of the Amazon – who use the precious oil to keep their skin and hair nourished – Rahua is a rainforest-grown beauty brand with sustainability at its heart. The founders believe that clean and non-toxic hair and skin products are essential for overall health, so their products are all formulated using plants rather than chemicals. As well as being vegan, all products are entirely paraben, sulphate and gluten-free too. The new Legendary Amazon Oil, containing rahua, morete, sacha inchi and gardenia flower oils, will nourish and repair your hair to shiny perfection.
Remember hygge? It was the buzzword of winter 2016. The art of Danish living took over and suddenly we were bombarded with cosy candlelit dinners, fluffy pillows and throws, and big, warming dinners shared with friends.
And absolutely no one was complaining, because who doesn’t want to take every opportunity to be cosy around Christmas? Especially during those cold, wet, miserable post-holiday months that seem to last forever.
Grab yourself a sheepskin rug and a hot cup of coffee and you’re basically set until the sun comes back in March, right?
But there’s a different lifestyle concept that will be everywhere this season – say hello to coorie.
The Scottish lifestyle trend isn’t new by any means. It’s a centuries old means of keeping cosy during winter, and literally translates as ‘cuddle’ or ‘snuggle’ – so you can already get a feel of what it all means.
According to Gabrielle Bennett, author of The Art of Coorie, it’s ‘used to describe a feeling of cool, contemporary Caledonia. One that looks forward while also paying respect to our oldest traditions.’
It aims to ‘try and lead a quieter existence where the endless pursuit of work is balanced by small pleasures,’ she told The Times.
Essentially, swapping the chaos of modern living for a simpler, more stripped back life.
So how can you adopt a coorie lifestyle?
Where hygge is all about being cosy indoors, coorie is focused on embracing the outdoors. Coorie believes in appreciating the outdoors and making the most of our surroundings in order to feel content.
Suggested activities include wild loch swimming, camping and Highland walks, followed by wrapping up by a fire in a country pub. When throwing a coorie dinner party, it’ll mean asking your guests to each bring a dish and throwing it all together to be shared.
All the while being tucked up in traditional thick, woollen blankets and Fair Isle knits.
We’re also being treated to a cheese advent calendar for those who prefer brie over beauty when counting down the days (although when you actually see the beauty advent calendars on offer this year, you might find it that bit harder to make your mind up).
So that leaves us to sort out the bubbles. And thankfully, the masterminds at Virgin Wines have created Prosecco Christmas crackers to make all of your festive dreams come true.
Forget the days where the gifts are bits of plastic jewellery or the tiniest notebook you’ve ever seen (seriously, what ARE they for?) – now you can pull your cracker knowing that you’ll be getting a mini bottle of booze inside.
Credit: Virgin Wines
All you have to do is pick your pulling partner and be prepared to get very Prosecco happy.
Hands up if these are going on your Christmas shopping list? Same.
The crackers come in packs of six and cost just £32.99. Slightly more than your standard Christmas crackers, granted, but worth every penny extra for what you get inside.
And if for some reason you’re not a fan of the fizzy stuff, you might be more interested in the brand’s gin and tonic Christmas crackers. Each one contains a little bottle of Bombay Sapphire or Beefeater London Dry gin complete with a can of tonic.
So there really is something for everyone.
Looks like we’ll all be having a very merry Christmas, indeed…
She is of course known mostly though for her accomplishments, being the oldest and longest-serving monarch, reigning for over 65 years since her 1952 coronation.
It’s hardly surprising therefore that people were saddened by the speculation this week that the 92-year-old Queen might be preparing to step down, making way for eldest son Prince Charles to take her place.
Considering that her 97-year-old husband Prince Philip stepped down from royal duties just last year, and her son Prince Charles has gradually been filling in for his mother, the theory that Charles will take over as Prince Regent while the Queen is alive could be plausible.
The speculation was prompted this week by a new book from royal correspondent, Robert Jobson.
According to the Mail Online, Jobson has predicted the Queen’s early abdication, explaining in the past: ‘I understand the Queen has given the matter considerable thought and believes that, if she is still alive at 95, she will seriously consider passing the reign to Charles.’
Tim Graham/Getty Images
He continued: ‘Her Majesty is mindful of her age and wants to make sure when the time comes, the transition of the Crown is seamless.’
Therefore his theory is that the Queen will step down from the throne in three years time, a prediction that has now caused bookies to offer 2/1 odds that the Queen will step down.
Clarence House and Buckingham Palace have made no comment.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set off on their royal tour this month, with the couple currently on the New Zealand leg of their trip, having already visited Australia, Fiji and the kingdom of Tonga.
But with a jam-packed schedule of official events and appearances, it’s hardly surprising that Harry and Meghan haven’t had much downtime – something they surely need, especially following the news of their future baby, expected in Spring 2019.
It has recently emerged however that the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex did actually escape for a mini moon on their tour and we didn’t even notice.
The royal couple reportedly took some time away during their royal tour of Fiji, escaping for a ‘mini moon’ at the Vatuvara Private Islands Resort on Kaibu Island, before returning to royal duties in Tonga.
Meghan has opened about her pregnancy during the tour, explaining how it has made her feel jet lagged, so here’s hoping she managed to catch up on some sleep!
Luckily, it looks like the mini moon did the trick, with the royal couple seeming relaxed and restored when they arrived in Tonga.
Since departing on tour, both Prince Harry and Meghan have spoken about their excitement at their new arrival, with the Duke of Sussex even mentioning their exciting news in his speech at the opening ceremony at the Invictus Games.
‘Thank you for the welcome you have given Meghan and I over the last few days,’ Prince Harry announced in his speech. ‘I have been so proud to be able to introduce my wife to you and we have been so happy to be able to celebrate the personal joy of our newest addition with you all.
Since then, the newlyweds have been melting the hearts of the nation with their excitement, with Meghan telling a local how excited the two are to ‘join the club’ and become parents, and Harry dropping hints that he’d love a girl, and even telling a fan called Harriet that he might use her name as inspiration for his future baby.
But our hearts well and truly melted when Prince Harry let slip a nickname that he has for the future royal baby – ‘our little bump’.
‘From myself and my wife and our little bump, we are so grateful to be here,’ Harry announced to the New Zealand crowd, prompting laughs from the crowd and causing Meghan and Harry to beam.
The Fabled by Marie Claire beauty shopping evening will include 20% off in store for one night only plus a complimentary glass of wine and a goodie bag. Taking place at our 5,000 sq ft flagship beauty emporium on Tottenham Court Road, London, you’ll also be able to meet the Marie Claire beauty team for 121 beauty advice and recommendations.
Fabled by Marie Claire is the one-stop-shop for beauty junkies, with an extensive range of premium and niche brands, including Benefit, ghd, Urban Decay, NARS and Perricone MD. But here’s the game changer: now you can get the products you love, exactly when you want them. As well as our huge store, Fabled by Marie Claire is online at fabled.com to provide you with next-day delivery. You can choose an allocated delivery time slot, seven days a week, so you never have to wait for that all-important parcel again.
Thursday 8th November
Fabled by Marie Claire, 21 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 1BJ
£10; includes 20 per cent off selected brands and a goodie bag, one per customer. You can buy your ticket here.
Terms & Conditions: Tickets are non-refundable.Goodie bag given with every ticket purchase, one goodie bag per person.
There are lots of reasons why this might be happening, and it could be a simple case of not being a morning person, but it could also be something else.
Until now, you probably won’t have heard of the following: dysania, and clinomania.
Dysania is a psychological condition, usually linked to mental health related issues like depression and anxiety, which is used to describe one’s inability to get out of bed. And we’re not just talking about the lazy, ‘can I be bothered to get up?’ feeling we get every Monday. This leaves unable to get up, sometimes for days on ends, and leaves sufferers ‘craving’ their bed.
Clinomania describes someone in a similar situation, but as well as not being able to get up, they’ll also have ‘an obsessive desire to lie down’.
As it stands, the conditions aren’t yet medically recognised, although those who have it are keen to show the world that it’s a very real illness, with very real consequences.
The Rise And Shine has a way of determining whether someone has dysania or clinomania, or whether they’re just a fan of the snooze button.
They suggest writing out the words that you associate with getting up in the morning. If those words are things like difficult, tiresome, frustrating, or challenging, you probably don’t have one of the above conditions.
However, if words like stressful, anxious, overwhelming and debilitating come to mind there’s a chance that there could be a little more to your lie-in.
If you are concerned by anything you have read in this article, please visit your GP and discuss these issues with a professional.