The essentials for a great party look

When you've got minutes to transform your look between work and the big bash, you need a perfect party preparation routine. Take a look at our suggestions.

Party season is full of excitement – the only trouble is, it's full of everything else too. However much we wish all the other demands of work and family could be put on hold for a minute, they just won't go away.

So to make the most of the celebrations, we haven't got a moment to lose. Perfecting your party preparation routine means you've got less chance of having to put the finishing touches to your make-up while your other half drives over speedbumps.

To help you get that dancefloor-ready look in record time, we've drawn up this checklist of essentials for party preparation.

Great company

No pre-party routine is complete without a friend or two for gossip and style advice. Getting ready together will help you get in the mood for dancing and you can provide a crucial sounding board for each other's looks.

Plus, it means that when you make your big entrance at the main event, you won't have to do it alone.

Healthy skin

Gorgeous, glowing skin is the foundation of any great party look. But after the first few big bashes of the season, the late nights can start to take their toll. So you'll need some tricks up your sleeve to stay looking fresh, night after night.

Start your beauty routine with Olay Essentials Complete Care Multi-radiance. It's packed with revitalising vitamins and contains light-reflecting particles to give you a party glow. Tired eyes? Get the brightness back with Olay Illuminating Eye Cream.

Magical make-up

Once your skin is refreshed, it's time to turn that canvas into a work of art. When you're heading for a party, you want to light up the room, so why not try a glossy look that's all about glow and shimmer?

Start with a cream blusher in a warm tone for that luminous touch. Add a shimmering eye shadow and finish with a glossy lip. Find out all about the look with this step-by-step guide.

A glamorous dress

It's the main event: choosing the dress is the make-or-break decision of your party preparation. LBD or sweeping floor-length gown?

Of course, there isn't just one dress that works for every occasion. (If there was, we wouldn't have any excuse to go shopping.) So to help you to make the right choice, check out our guide to matching frocks, figures and festivities.

Perfect posture

Your stunning party dress will look its best when you're walking tall in it. But many of us are so used to slumping at a desk that getting that statuesque glamour doesn't exactly come naturally.

Exercises like yoga can be great for improving posture in the long-term. But for a quick fix, check your stance in the mirror, making sure you don't round your shoulders, arch your back or just your chin. Notice how your body feels when it's aligned correctly and try to keep it up.

Stunning hair

Parties are all about volume: a big crowd, pumping music and (of course) luscious, full-bodied locks. Getting maximum volume in a hurry can be a challenge though.

For a quick boost, try twisting your hair into a loose ponytail at the crown just after blow-drying. Then trap the ends in the band to form a loop and leave it for half an hour. It'll shake out for a natural-looking wave. Looking for more tips? Check out this guide.

A packed bag

We've all done it – raced out of the door only to remember five minutes later that we've forgotten something crucial.

So once you've picked out that cute little clutch that goes perfectly with your dress, make sure to pack it early and avoid the last-minute scramble. Credit cards, cash, keys, phone, lipstick? Now you're ready to go.

A feel-good mood

Your pre-party routine deserves a soundtrack. So cue up a playlist that'll get you moving to the beat as you primp and pamper yourself.

Remember to save your favourite songs until last too, so that you leave the house on a high note, ready to make a big entrance.

How do you get ready for party? Share your favourite tips and tricks in the comments below.