We asked fashion journalist, presenter and author Louise Roe (@louiseroe) to tell us how she strikes a balance between making the most of the festive season and finding time for herself. Here are her tips for avoiding Christmas overwhelm and some suggestions for perfect presents.
'How often do we choose the bath over the bar? After a pretty busy year, I'm taking the time this holiday season to indulge. I'm not talking about chocolate (although there will be a lot of that too) but rather focusing on taking time out for myself and feeling confident not to have to say yes to every social engagement that comes my way. With this in mind, I'm going to talk a little bit about why it's ok to choose the bath over the bar this holiday season.
A change in seasons (not to mention a ten hour flight from LA to London) can play havoc with your skin and so I'm going to try and adopt a hibernating mentality as the weather gets colder. The holidays should be about rest and relaxation, spending time with your family and preparing for a new year (I can't believe it's nearly 2020). Instead, we often feel obliged to go to every festive party so that come the end of the December, we're exhausted and hungover. I'm making a promise to myself that I will take some time for me this Christmas.'
'A little bit of self care doesn't need to be expensive or difficult - you don't even need to leave the house. Reading the book you've been meaning to start, cooking something warming, watching festive films or having a bubble bath are all easy self care rituals that you can work into your holiday. Speaking of bubble baths, I'm loving my new haul from Cowshed. All their newest products come in beautiful botanical wrapping (it’s so pretty) which got me feeling all excited for present buying and their gift sets make for excellent presents. Shop my favourites below and let me know if you buy any for your loved ones this year!'
'The most delicious box of goodies with everything you need for a spa-inspired skincare routine. Six full-sized products full of essential oils and botanical extracts. As well as a cleanser, toner and moisturiser there's a replenishing night cream, clay face mask and their amazing multitasking Kahai Wonder Balm. This is the ultimate gift for skincare junkies.'
'I love a luxurious bath, especially on a cold evening and Cowshed's bath and shower duo make it so much easier to have a relaxing soak. The herbal hit Relax does exactly what it says on the tin whilst Indulge is ideal for a pampering moment. They smell incredible and cleanse the skin whilst still leaving it silky smooth and moisturised. I've bulk bought these for all my girlfriends...and I just had to get one for myself.'
'Anyone who has followed me for a while knows how much I love a face oil. As an overnight treat for the skin, nothing feels more self indulgent than a face oil before bed. Designed to balance the moisture levels and purify the skin, it's like a spa in a bottle. Made from evening primrose oil, it's packed full of Vitamin A, B and C. Apricot essence helps sooth skin and bergamot and lavender essential oils make it a divine little treat. It's safe enough for my sensitive skin so I've been using it religiously!'
'For me, nothing sets the festive mood in motion like a winter candle. Neroli, rose and ylang ylang are some of my most favourite scents (particularly in candles) and this one is blended with cinnamon and clove for the cosiest Christmassy smell. Candles make excellent stocking fillers and this is a particularly yummy one.'
'Dilemmas over what to get for your Secret Santa or what to put in a stocking are easily solved with a fun cracker containing the Refresh hand cream and natural lip balm. Hands and lips can suffer a change in weather the most and so these two products (which are at the top of my festive wish list) are ideal for keeping hands and lips healthy and protected against the cold. Lots of the Cowshed Christmas products come in this beautiful illustrated packaging by botanical artist Katie Scott so they're as exciting on the outside as they are inside.'