The process of getting ready for a girl’s night out has changed a lot since my late teens. My routine used to consist of finishing my Sainsbury’s till job at 5:30pm, grabbing a pizza from the chilled aisle, spending as little as possible on cheap spirits and mixers, and then rushing home to indulge in a 3 hour getting ready session. Those were the days when I somehow used to make my part-time retail pay check stretch to a Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night session (literally? How? Now I can barely make a tenner last me a couple of hours in Starbucks), but nowadays things are very different.
Adult life gets in the way, and now my big nights out are few and far between (well, that and the fact that I much prefer the comfort of a warm, dark room and the Dominos tracker declaring ‘out for delivery’). With that being said, when the girls and I do get a big night out planned, the process of getting ready is much different. From the drinks to the outfits to the distinct lack of false eyelashes, let’s take a look back at how things have changed from my late teens to my mid twenties, all with the help of a little rum from our friends at RumChata.
This post was kindly sponsored by RumChata. Please remember to drink responsibly.
Value spirits, alcopops, any bottle of wine that was on offer - my stomach curdles when I think about the kind of things I used to pick up for pre-drinks. As we all know, drinking before a night out in your late teens is less about how much you enjoy your drink, and more about how quickly you can drink it. Now, my attitude is much different. The act of getting ready, having friends over at my house and catching up to some good music is all part of the wider girl's night out experience, and so my drink of choice has to match that. I want something that tastes beautiful, and if it looks beautiful for Instagram too? All the better.
I'm definitely a lover of a cocktail, and I actually find mixing drinks a thousand times more pleasurable than cooking. I'm definitely no maestro, however, so the simpler, the better. That's where the RumChata Lattini comes in.
If you haven't heard of RumChata, it's a creamy liqueur consisting of Carribean rum, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, fresh dairy cream and a sprinkle of super secret flavours. The smooth and silky flavour means it can be enjoyed on the rocks (this definitely scores you cool person points in your friend group, too) or as a part of a blended cocktail, the likes of which RumChata have a ton of recipes for on their website.
They were kind enough to send me all of the ingredients necessary for a RumChata Lattini, which is basically your usual Espresso Martini but with a creamy rum twist. As you guys know, I'm a coffee girl through and through, but my hot beverages of choice always come brimming with syrup or sugary accompaniments. An Espresso Martini by itself has always been much too strong for me, but the smoothness of the RumChata takes the edge of the strong coffee flavours, and makes the cocktail softer and easier to drink.
Best of all? You don't need much to pull this little lovely together. If you have a shaker and a strainer then you already have all the tools you need. Just pop it all together, shake, pour, and then add your shot or RumChata. Couldn't be easier.
35ml Vanilla Vodka
25ml Coffee Liqueur
35ml Fresh Espresso
Shot of RumChata
Step 1: Add the vanilla vodka, the coffee liqueur and the fresh espresso to your cocktail mixer and shake.
Step 2: Strain into a glass
Step 3: Add a shot of RumChata and watch your cocktail marble.
Step 4: Enjoy whilst being your sassy self.
A girl's night out used to require the most conflicted mix of military preparation and reckless abandon. Of course, there was the obligatory scrub, shave and tan the night before (or the morning of, if I'd been too lazy or had gone to dinner and had one glass of wine that turned into four), and then there was hair, make-up, lashes - the lot. The bigger and blonder my hair could be, the better. I used to leave purple shampoo on for 30 minutes at a time (it's a mystery why all my hair started breaking off, right?), curl it, back-comb it, hairspray it and then brush it out. That was my ritual, despite the amount of time I had to get ready. Nowadays you can still find me popping on the straighteners for a few curls, but they're all much more low-key and lived in, with not a hairspray can in sight.
I'm still a sucker for a tan, however, so I'll be sure to treat myself to a bath the night before and have the flannel handy for a full-body scrub. My tried and tested tan of choice is the Fake Bake Flawless Darker, although I must give honourable mentions to both the Cocoa Brown Dark and Cocoa Brown Extra Dark, which I tend to pick up whenever the pennies are feeling a little pinched.
Make-up wise, everything is much more toned down. Whereas before I would spend hours perfecting my contour, lip-liner and individual lashes (the devil!), now I'm happy with a dewy base, a statement lip and lashings of mascara. Much like my choice of drink, however, the products themselves have become much more luxurious. I've invested in cosmetics that apply smoothly and last longer, meaning that by the end of the night, I'm not hailing a cab with two raging panda eyes and a few eyelashes laddering down my cheeks. Although my routine is shorter, I invest more time into perfecting my base with serums, moisturisers and primers, ensuring my foundation of choice has the best chance of clinging on through the havoc of sweaty dance floors. I'm more inclined to opt for a red or dark lip in lieu of my previously loved eyeliner, and perfume wise, I'm currently loving the Charlotte Tilbury 'Scent Of A Dream'.
It's all just a little more grown up and luxurious.
Gone are the days of spending £45 on Motel Rocks dresses, crop tops and tiny, tiny shorts - now my styling for going out focuses on comfort above all else. Remember when stilettos bejewelled with weaponous silver studs were all the rage? Or those Jeffrey Campbell-esque boots with the wooden heels? Style over substance was the name of the game in my late teens, but now, I can't think of anything worse than trying to navigate a street full of cobbles and merry revellers in a pair of 6 inchers. Nine times out of ten I'll opt for simple black boots above all else, most likely with a 3 or 4 inch heels so they're high enough to pass for 'going out shoes', but low enough to, you know, be walkable.
In terms of the wider outfit, I tend to keep it simple. Like I said, I'm not a girl that embarks on a big night out very often, and so my repertoire of 'out out' appropriate outfits is fairly limited. For the most part, I'll stick to a simple pair of high-waisted black jeans (the Topshop Joni or Jamie jeans do the trick) with a long sleeved crop top or bodysuit, or if I'm feeling particularly adventurous and the weather isn't positively Baltic outside, I might venture to a sassy wrap playsuit or mini skirt and tee combo. For the most part, however, I'll pull pieces I already own from my wardrobe and team them with dressier accessories to jazz the whole fit up. Think red lipstick, lashings of mascara and big, bouncy hair.
In spirit of all things festive, however, I did pick up a new dress recently (*gasp*, I know) from none other than our dear friend Primark. This tasseled tinsel number came in at only £15, and I popped a £3 white tee underneath to keep it on the more casual side. I used to invest so much time, money and energy into finding the ~ perfect ~ outfit way back when, and now, as long as I can dance in it, drink in it, and go to the toilet without the need for assistance, I'm happy. That probably has something to do with confidence gained by age; I'm no longer concerned about getting that perfect candid shot for my Facebook friends - I just want to see my girls, have a good time, and honestly, be eating some cheesy chips by latest 2am. What I wear is now more on an afterthought, gladly following behind simply wanting to have a bloody good time.