As the end of the year approaches, everyone’s attention starts to shift towards the festive season and all that it entails. When you've taken care of gifts and hauled your decorations out of storage, it’s time to prepare yourself for a turn on the Christmas party circuit.

One of the best things about December is the accompanying flurry of invitations and the promise of four weeks of non-stop socialising. So, how to look your best from the long celebratory lunches through to the late night cocktail parties? Our guide will help you brush up on all the dress hacks and party makeup tips that you need to approach the season’s merrymaking with confidence – right down to the contents of your handbag.

Style Hack #1 – Keep your face photo-ready with setting products
Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray product image

Meet your new best friends, who go by the names of ‘long wear’ and ‘lasting coverage’. These products will outlast the effects of winter wind, vigorous dancing and regular air-kissing.

Start by mixing your moisturiser with primer, a nifty base product designed to keep your makeup flawless and smudge-proof. After you have applied your foundation and concealer, a light setting powder will do wonders to keep it all in place. If you're wearing lipstick, a matching lip pencil will extend the lip colour’s wear and ensure it doesn’t bleed. Want extra hold? Paint your lips with a lip sealant for a pout that’s champagne glass-proof. A setting spray is the final finishing touch to keep your look on lock-down for the night ahead.

To toss in your handbag: blotting paper (to prevent shininess), lipstick (for touch-ups) and a makeup sealer.

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Style Hack #2 – Keep your outfit sleek with shapewear
Nude shapewear briefs on model

Whether you’re attending a lunch with clients or spending a night on the town with your friends, your clothing will look its best if you pay attention to what’s underneath it. The right women’s shapewear solutions are designed to show off you and your garment to their best advantage, offering support where needed and smoothing your figure for a svelte finish.

Backless designs, plunging necklines or off-the-shoulder pieces can benefit from a little extra help too. Instead of seeking out separate custom underwear, you can opt for a clever multi-way bra that can be styled in countless variations to complement different looks.

To toss in your handbag: if you’re wearing the right undergarments, absolutely nothing!

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Style Hack #3 – Keep your apparel appropriate with scarves and stockings
Model with Issa clutch bag wearing marabou fur jacket

When it comes to how to look your best for yuletide celebrations, there are plenty of party-appropriate womenswear options to choose from. If you've got time to spare, having two separate outfit choices (one for office events and one for social gatherings) is a savvy plan.

However, if you're planning on attending multiple dos in a single day, you can transition your outfit from day to night with a few simple style hacks.

Low cut necklines, bare legs and short skirts tend to be more acceptable outside of the office than in. But that doesn’t mean you need to change your look entirely for work. Simply add hosiery to a short dress or skirt, and pair with an elegant knee length coat. As for necklines, a strategically draped scarf or wrap will provide that extra bit of coverage.

To toss in your handbag: a lightweight shawl or scarf, and tights or stockings. When the time comes to move to your after-hours destination, both items are easily removed and light enough to be stored away for the rest of the evening.

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Style Hack #4 – Keep your feet footloose and fancy-free with a pair of flats
Black flat pumps photographed from behind

If there’s one thing you can count on at any social gathering, it’s that you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time standing around and making conversation. Want to debut your brand new pair of heels? Spend time breaking them in before your big event – even if it means wearing them around the house. Blister prevention is key to a good night out.

Even the most experienced socialite will get tired feet after a while, so you'll thank yourself later for keeping a comfortable alternative to high heels in your bag that you discreetly can switch into.

To toss in your handbag: lightweight pumps or flat sandals.

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3 festive friends holding sparklers

With a few style hacks and a little forward planning, your December celebrations will be seamless. As you breeze effortlessly from the ballroom to the bar, friends will be clamouring to know what your secret to Christmas party dressing is.