‘Tis the season for holiday parties. Once you put together the perfect ensembles for all your holiday gatherings, the next thing to consider is finishing off your looks with flawless make-up and beautiful locks.
I’m here to help you navigate through the endless sea of beauty products, which can undoubtedly be an overwhelming process with some holiday beauty tips. A good skin care regime is paramount, because no amount of make-up can camouflage a complexion that hasn’t been taken care of. Always remember to wash your face twice a day, use a moisturizer (or a face oil…I love this one), drink plenty of water, and try to get at least eight hours of sleep. These simple steps will make a world of difference!
As for your hair, find a stylist and a colorist who understands your needs and will give honest advice regarding what style best suits you and which products will work for your hair type. When you lay the foundation for glowing skin and a flattering cut and color, choosing the right beauty products for day or night will be a breeze.
- Bare Minerals Primer: A primer is the first step before you even apply foundation. It helps your make-up glide on smoothly and holds it in place throughout the day and into the evening. I like this one by Bare Minerals because it helps reduce those pesky fine lines and combats dryness. Plus, it’s preservative free, so it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. (Available at Sephora with 10% cash back for Splender members.)
- Bare Minerals Foundation: This incredibly light foundation never leaves you with that dreaded cakey feel, and more importantly, it won’t look as if you’re wearing make-up. Instead, it gives your skin a natural finish while reducing redness and evening out your skin tone. It comes in 20 different shades to perfectly match your skin and has a built-in brightening serum to give you a youthful appearance (yes, please). (Available at Macy’s with 6% cash back.)
- Nars Illuminator: I like to mix this illuminator with my foundation to give my skin that dewy look. It’s ideal for boosting lack-luster winter skin. Another great holiday beauty tip –or for year round—you can also use it on your shoulders and collarbones for some added sheen. (Available at Lord & Taylor with 10% cash back.)
- Olivia Palermo Blusher/Bronzer Duo: Instantly add some much-needed color to pale winter skin while simultaneously defining your cheekbones with this blusher/bronzer (#winning). Plus, it has built in oil-controlling bamboo extract, so you don’t have to fret about your face looking overly shiny. (Available at Sephora with 10% cash back.)
- Dolce & Gabbana Red Matte Lip Stick: There’s nothing more sophisticated than a classic red lip. This shade by Dolce & Gabbana is the perfect shade of red to flatter any skin tone, and I love the rounded tip, which follows the lip line without fail. (Available at Sephora with 10% cash back.)
- Nars Lip Liner: Lip liner is a must when properly applying lipstick. It provides a finishing touch that completes a look. This liner from Nars is a classic red that will match a variety of lipstick shades. (Available at Beauty.com with 8% cash back.)
- Bobbi Brown Eye Palette: With five bronze, shimmer and sparkle-infused shades, this rich eye palette is perfect for all your holiday parties or an ideal look for every day. A nude eye is the ideal pairing for a bold red lip…you don’t want to go heavy on both your eyes and your lips. So, this eye palette creates a well-balanced feel while still adding a touch of glam. (Available at Neiman Marcus with 12% cash back.)
- Bobbi Brown Mascara: This mascara never clumps, and we all know that’s a major problem with a lot of mascaras! It also lengthens your lashes and gives them a thicker appearance. Beautiful lashes are a must, whether paired with eye shadow or worn alone, so I never leave home without a quick dab of mascara. (Available at Bloomingdale’s with 9% cash back.)
- Cle de Peau Eye Brightening Serum: With all the holiday shopping and late nights spent wrapping gifts, you’ll need a product that helps reduce puffiness and dark circles. Plus, this serum also includes a light-infused brightness that will give your eyes a much-needed lift. (Available at Saks Fifth Avenue with 12% cash back.)
- Festive Shooting Star Bobby Pins: Whether you’re rocking a fancy updo, or you just want add a touch of glimmer to a chic bob, these sparkly bobby pins are the perfect finishing touch to any hairstyle. (Available at Nordstrom with 5% cash back.)
- Butter Nail Polish: I love a bright, cheerful manicure, especially for the holidays. This red duo from Butter comes in two vibrant shades, so it’ll get you through the season in style. Butter products are also free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBP and camphor, making them not only pretty, but safe, too! (Available at Sephora with 10% cash back.)
- Tarte Self Tanner: This self tanner provides just the right amount of color to combat pale, dull skin. Plus, the built in maracuja oil helps boost your skin’s moisture to give it the perfect holiday glow. I especially love it for my arms and shoulders when I’m wearing a sleeveless cocktail dress. (Available at Ulta Beauty with 6% cash back.)
- Kiehl’s Creme de Corps: The best moisturizer ever and definitely worth the splurge!! This rich, decadent lotion will leave your skin so soft and give it a much-needed boost. I apply it right after the shower and then wait a few minutes before I use self tanner. It also helps extend your faux glow, because a tan always lasts longer with well-moisturized skin. (Available at Bloomingdale’s with 9% cash back.)
- Living Proof Shampoo and Conditioner: This shampoo and conditioner is well worth the investment. It smells sooo good and leaves your hair feeling moisturized without any build-up, while giving you shiny, manageable locks. I pair it with their styling treatment and dry shampoo on those days I want to extend a blow out. (Available at Ulta Beauty with 6% cash back.)
- Bumble and Bumble Blow Dry Cream: A small amount of this blow drying cream goes a long way. Apply this cream right before you blow dry your hair to fight off frizz and achieve a smooth, shiny finish. (Available at Sephora with 10% cash back.)
- Robunda Twirler Brush: A good brush is the key to the perfect blow out. I love this thermal brush from Robunda because it’s really effective at lifting the roots and smoothing out the hair cuticle. It also helps dry your hair faster than most brushes, so you can be out the door in a flash! (Available at Ulta Beauty with 6% cash back.)
- Rowenta Hair Dryer: One beauty product you most definitely need to invest in is a quality hair dryer. It will effectively smooth out your hair, give it that desired shine and cut your drying time in half. This would also make an ideal gift for your mom, sister or BFF. (Available at Bloomingdale’s with 9% cash back.)
- Kiehl’s Silk Groom Serum: The last step to beautiful hair is a finishing cream that will seal in the shine and fight off frizz. This serum from Kiehl’s is super-light and never greasy. Whether you’re wearing your hair sleek and chic, or you’re going for a wavy, tousled look, this product will set your style as you walk out the door. (Available at Nordstrom with 5% cash back.)
Of course, it’s important to remember that beauty starts from the inside out. Be sure to fuel up on wholesome foods that will give your skin and hair a gorgeous glow. Some of the top contenders include blueberries, spinach, kiwi, yogurt, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walnuts and dark chocolate. And always keep in mind that nothing beats an air of confidence and a winning smile!
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Kate Dunphy is the author of Taffeta & Tulips (http://taffetaandtulips.com/), a lifestyle and fashion blog created to inspire and elevate the every day through timeless and approachable fashion choices, healthy and easy recipes, and creative and simple ways to improve your living space.