Now that it’s dark by about 3pm every day (sigh) and the weather’s only going to get colder, leaving the house, even to socialise, is a pretty Herculean effort, isn’t it?
Instead of battling against the elements (and your own lack of willpower), here’s a bright idea: bring the socialising indoors for a night of DIY pampering.
The perfect ingredients for your at-home spa session? A clutch of friends, a kitchen stocked with sweet treats and vino, and a man-free household.
So gather your girls and get ready to banish the winter blues with our guide to hosting the perfect girls’ night in...
For guaranteed giggles, go old school and embrace an Eighties teen slumber party theme, complete with ghost stories, truth or dare and a jumbo pizza delivery.
The dress code for your sleepover, therefore, is cute and kooky jammies. Think cat cartoons, furry fox slippers and anything with bobbles on.
As hostess, it’s pretty much compulsory that you swan about in Lipsy’s Queen Of Everything onesie. Complete your lounging look with fluffy booties and a scrunchie for retro authenticity.
LOUNGING IN LUXURY
For a more grown-up flavour, turn your pad into a serene spa-inspired haven. Think low lighting, chill-out tunes and posh canapes washed down with a chilled glass of fizz.
In your pampering sanctuary, nothing but the most luxurious loungewear or PJs will do. Make like a modern day Queen of Sheba in The White Company’s Cashmere Jumpsuit, or take a leaf out of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s book (is there anyone else on earth who makes pyjamas look so stylish?) in a Marks & Spencer silk set.
The chicest slippers around? That’ll be the ballet flat style from Holistic Silk, which massage your feet when you wear them. The floral brocade is ever so pretty too.
Before you start getting out wine glasses and filling the crisp bowls, make sure your house is smelling suitably spa-like, by setting a candle or diffuser to work, half an hour before the girls are due to arrive.
Look to the fashion crowd’s favourite candlemaker, Diptyque, for a long-lasting heavenly scent. The latest addition to the family is Rosafolia, a heady rose and ivy blend nicely suited to a night of girly indulgence.
At the slightly more affordable end of the spectrum, Beefayre has a trio of reed diffusers specially designed for the colder months, like the deliciously fig-infused Winter Scent.
It wouldn’t be a girls night in without a face mask. And nowadays, don’t forget you need a group selfie to document your scary but soothing treatments too.
Impress your pals with a pack of the latest beauty innovation, the sheet mask. Originating in Korea (all eyes are on Asia for 2015’s top skincare trends), Masque Bar sheets are applied to dry skin then peeled off after 20 minutes, so there’s no messy mud involved.
If you’re going all-out, treat your locks to a nourishing mask at the same time. Gielly Green’s gloopy brown Repair Mask looks a bit icky, but the lemon-scented paste works wonders on dry hair.
While you’re waiting for your moisturising treatments to work their magic, take it in turns to do DIY manicures. Or, nominate the person with the most precisely painted nails to play chief nail technician (ply them with Haribo if they resist).
Start with a super-strength hand cream, like Purepotions Skin Salvation Ointment, to soothe any winter-worn cuticles, then buff and shape the nails before the painting starts.
If you really want to treat the girls, now’s the time to unveil your UV gel manicure kit, which typically costs around £80 to £100. But if you’re on a budget, see if everyone will chip in to share the cost, so you can part-own a set.