Lifestyle

Party season survival guide

No one wants to be the crotch flasher at the party. Here’s how to avoid tragedy...

It’s the best time of the year! Your inbox is clogged with party invitations and the sun is out, along with your Alice McCall mini and your mojito-drinking prowess. But all this fun does come with a seasonal warning: there are more party poopers at this time than any other. From drinking too much in front of your boss, to the pushy aunt who won’t stop asking why you’re still single, Christmas and New Year's Eve can be full of landmines. Never fear, Cosmo’s here to help you navigate all the regular festive-season slip-ups, so you come out on top with all the poise and composure of a Christmas tree angel. The hangover from hell

Last night’s Jäger-bomb challenge with Jenny from accounts seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time. But after spending the morning hugging the toilet bowl and pledging to give alcohol the boot forever (or, at least until 5pm) it’s a mystery how you’re actually going to make it through the day. First stop, the local café for a fried egg and bacon roll. Believe it or not, this combo gets a nutritional tick of approval! Both contain the amino acid cysteine, which metabolises acetaldehyde, an organic chemical compound believed to be one of the main culprits behind your hideous hangover symptoms. If under-eye bags and blotchy skin are threatening to out your secret, don’t fall for the temptation to apply your foundation with a trowel, as this can just make it look worse. “The skin is the first area to show signs of fatigue after a big night,” says beauty expert Michael Brown. “Less is best, so mix foundation into a moisturiser or serum to give more glow. And if your skin’s looking dull, peach is a very uplifting shade for the cheeks and lips,” he adds.

Always stick to a yellow to peach coloured base to counteract dark circles under your eyes, and use a bronzer to lift cheekbones by applying underneath the bone, Brown adds. Finish off with a light dusting of bronzer across your eyelids, a dash of mascara, and a generous swipe of healing lip balm.

The awkward convo

The party is awash with people merrily chatting in groups – and there you are, lurking by the esky, wishing the ground would swallow you whole.

“It’s daunting to enter a crowded room and chat to strangers,” says Minda Lennon, women’s mentor and success coach at figure8wellness.com.au. “But if you take a deep breath and smile, you’ll come across as approachable. When you join a group, say, ‘Hi, I’m [insert name here]. I love your shoes/necklace/bag! So, how do you know the host?’ Keep the conversation going by asking lots of questions to build a rapport with the person you’re talking to. If you need to escape, tell them, ‘It’s been great talking to you but I’ve just seen my friend’s arrived, so I should go grab her.”

The singleton assault
It’s your folks’ Christmas do and you’re bristling with dread as busybody eyes stare at your bare wedding ring finger, then come over to question it or, worse, impart a look of pity.

“If someone puts pressure on you about your single status just say, ‘It’s great you care about my happiness. You’ll be pleased to know I’m happy!’” advises life coach Michelle Landy. “Stay calm and have a few carefree answers ready on the tip of your tongue. They’ll soon drop the topic.”

The morning regret

We’ve all experienced post-session depression: you know, when you wake up regretting your actions or wondering what on earth you did. “It’s human to want to pretend it didn’t happen, or justify why you behaved that way,” says Lennon. “But often a simple apology is all that’s needed. Owning up to actions and apologising for offence caused is the best way.” Lennon says to keep it simple, so try something along the lines of, “I’d like to apologise for my behaviour last night. I’m sorry if I offended anyone, as it wasn’t my intention. Thanks for understanding.”

The boozing peer pressure

Prefer to go home than go hard? “There is often added pressure to break your usual eating and drinking habits this time of year, simply because everyone else is,” says Landy. “Think about how much you want to drink before you go out. What catches people out is sudden pressure.” Explain that you like to drink a glass of water between your wines, adds Lennon. “If you’re still getting stick, be sneaky. Ask the bartender to fix you sparkling water in a champagne glass, or make your soft drink look like it’s a cocktail.”