Between festive outings and the dryness that comes with winter weather, I’ve been cycling through a variety of lip products, looking for the perfect balance of hydration and enhancement. Sure, there a times when my lips feel dry or I’m about to venture out into the cold and I opt for my trusty winter standbys, Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm or Candy Cane Chapstick. I remain a loyal fan of both of these classic balms. But sometimes a girl wants something a bit more glam and holiday-worthy than clear Chapstick.
There are so many pretty lip color options around it can be hard to choose. I tried Tarte Color Splash Lipstick in Ocean Drive, a fierce hot pink. The lipstick is surprisingly moisturizing and has a pretty matte finish. Unfortunately this shade of pink isn’t quite right for me, but I would definitely recommend this collection to anyone looking for a hydrating matte lipstick with nice color payoff.
I couldn’t resist the ultra-glam Gucci Lip Balm in No More Orchids, a pretty medium pink tinted balm in even prettier packaging. This balm is more pigmented than I expected, and quite long lasting, but sadly isn’t very hydrating. I imagine I’ll be wearing it nonstop when spring arrives, but probably not to any holiday parties.
On days when I want to look fresh faced with just a hint of lip color, I’ve been reaching for NCLA Beauty Balm Babe 100% Natural Lip Balm in Pink Champagne. It’s a silky, shiny, lightly pigmented pink balm that protects against the cold and tastes great, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a subtle lip look while standing under the mistletoe.
As much as I like the NCLA balm, more often than not I find myself wanting just a bit more color on my lips. Which brings me to my pick for best holiday lip product: Love + Sage Well Red Tinted Balm. Packaged in a perfectly portable tube, this smooth, hydrating balm features the prettiest slightly brick-red shade that goes on sheer and is easy to layer on for more color. I turn to it again and again because the shade feels just right for every occasion, whether I’m heading to the office or going out for holiday cocktails with friends.
What’s your go-to lip product this season?
Beauty trends come and go, but long, pretty lashes are pretty much always in. Here are my three best tips for making the most of your lashes:
1. Take your vitamins. I’ve been taking hair, skin and nail supplements for ages to help strengthen my nails and keep my hair looking healthy. A couple of months ago I switched to Nature Made Hair Skin Nails Adult Gummies (I can’t resist a BOGO sale) and didn’t think much about it until, a few weeks later, I noticed that my eyelashes looked significantly longer. Soon after that my sister asked me why my lashes were so long. Naturally, these fruity little vitamins are now officially on my must-have list.
2. Curl with a classic. You may not be comfortable with eyelash curlers – a good friend has confessed that she’s terrified of sneezing mid-curl and tearing all her lashes out – but you’d be surprised at how much of a difference a good curler makes. And by “a good curler,” I mean the curler: the iconic Shu Uemera Eyelash Curler. It is hands down the best one on the market. It gives lashes a gentle curve (not a harsh crimp) that will last all day, making your lashes appear longer and your eyes brighter. You’ve got to love a gadget that can make you look polished and well rested in under a minute.
3. Join the mile high club. No, not that mile high club. I’m talking about Wander Beauty Mile High Club Volume and Length Mascara, AKA the best new mascara I’ve tried in years. I love its sleek gold packaging, but that’s nothing compared to how much I adore the formula – a lengthening, lash-lifting black mascara that isn’t clumpy, even if you apply several coats. It stays put throughout the day without flaking or smearing and really does give lashes a noticeable lift. The best part? After months of daily use, this mascara hasn’t bothered my extra sensitive eyeballs, not even when I’ve forgotten to wash it off before bed. It’s the lash-lengthening mascara of my dreams!
In theory, I’d love to be a person who always has her nails done. Nothing makes me feel more, well, polished. But in reality, getting regular salon manicures can be expensive and finding the time to do it at home can be nearly impossible, especially when you take into consideration all the touch ups you’ll likely have to do to keep your nails looking halfway decent.
This is why, on those rare occasions when I find that I won’t need to use my hands for anything for a while and decide to paint my nails, I prefer a nail color that delivers a lot of pigment and shine in one coat. Enter NCLA Nail Lacquer. I received a GORGEOUS bottle of Call My Agent in my January Allure Beauty Box and I couldn’t wait to put it on. I hastily painted on one coat – no base or top coat – and let it dry. I cleaned up my cuticles with a remover-soaked cotton swab (the lacquer brush is just a little bigger than I’d prefer, so clean up was definitely necessary) and went on my way.
The results? I love the color. It goes on true to what you see in the bottle and stays shiny until you take it off. And I cannot say enough how impressed I am with this product’s staying power. I painted my nails Monday evening and the polish didn’t chip at all until Friday morning. I received compliments all week on both the color and quality of my manicure. With a single coat lasting this long, NCLA lacquer makes regular manicures seem possible and worth the effort. Even for a lazy nail painter like me.
The best part? NCLA products are 7-free (meaning they don’t contain formaldehyde and all the other toxins commonly found in nail polishes), vegan and cruelty-free. NCLA also has gels and wraps for nails, and beautiful lipsticks, all in fun and lovely packaging. And as of right now, they are doing a buy one get one free sale on all lipsticks. I just took advantage of the deal. Click here to check it out for yourself. You’ll want to grab yourself a nail lacquer too.