Holiday Preview: Essie Wrapped in Luxury

I know it’s a little early, but the holiday season will soon be upon us. If you’re looking for the perfect nail color for the season, look no further. Essie Wrapped in Luxury is a lovely deep red from the 2022 holiday collection that will have you looking festive and put together from Thanksgiving straight through to New Year’s Eve.

December Kisses

December Kisses

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?

Holiday Party Makeup

It’s holiday party season, which for makeup lovers everywhere means holiday party makeup season. For me, it’s all about pretty eyes and a bold lip this year. Read on for my favorite holiday beauty tips:

Don't forget to do a little pre-party grooming!

Don’t forget to do a little pre-party grooming!

1. Go the extra mile. Before you start getting dressed and ready for your party, take the time to do a little extra grooming. Do your eyebrows need to be touched up? Break out the Tweezerman. Trim any jagged nails or cuticles. You don’t want an errant hair or cracked cuticle to undermine all the work you put into looking your holiday best, do you? Finally, build time into your pre-party schedule to do a face mask. Unsurprisingly, I recommend Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque for this. It really helps build a smooth and glowy foundation for your makeup.

2. Double up. Speaking of foundation, my new favorite method for faking a flawless complexion is as follows.

Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Foundation

Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Foundation

First, I smooth a moisturizing BB cream all over clean skin. I then follow up with a thin layer of the world’s greatest foundation, also known as Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Foundation. The result is soft, smooth, impossibly perfect skin.

3. Triple threat. When it comes to putting on pretty eyes, I haven’t found a better trio than Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in r.s.v.p., a stay-put shimmery champagne; Noir Long-Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir, my all-time favorite black liner; and Eyeko Black Magic Mascara.

Power trio: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in r.s.v.p., Noir Long-Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir, and Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

Power trio: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in r.s.v.p., Noir Long-Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir, and Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

Eyeko knows how to get eyes right, and this mascara is no exception. It darkens, lengthens and curls without clumping, has an easy-to-use curved applicator and doesn’t smudge, even when I absentmindedly rub my eye. Black Magic is perfect party mascara – get it now!

4. Get lippy. I’m really feeling a bold lip this year, and there are some excellent party options available. If you want to keep it classic and go for a red lip, you can go really red with Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso.

Why not go bold with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Anime (top) or Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso?

Why not go bold with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Anime (top) or Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso?

Want to do something a little edgier? I’m obsessed with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Anime, a gorgeous neon pink. I find it surprisingly wearable. Both of these lip colors stay put once they set, so use caution when applying and start with less than you think you need. I also recommend a lip primer before application; try Chapstick Hydration Lock, which moisturizes and helps keep lip color in place. Looking for something a little more subtle? Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment is a lovely red tinted balm, and Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch is a wonderful, less-intense bright pink alternative.

What’s your go-to holiday look?

Holiday Pretty

Happy Holidays! How quickly the year has flown by! Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and before we know it we’ll be ringing in the New Year with midnight kisses and champagne. We’ll have lots of reasons to celebrate — and get dolled up — over the next seven days. After all, as one of my closest, chicest friends likes to say, the best part of the holidays is having an excuse to wear a dress and high heels!

I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping my stocking is stuffed with tinted lip balms (you can’t go wrong with Burt’s Bees), cool nail polishes (anything in the gray family will do) and designer fragrances (I’m looking at you, Dior Addict). But regardless of what I get tomorrow morning, tonight I’ll be turning to some classics to get me looking lovely and feeling festive while I kick off the holiday at not one, but two Christmas Eve parties! I still haven’t made a wardrobe decision; I could keep it cozy in jeans, boots, and a cranberry colored sweater, or perhaps I’ll throw on my new black wrap dress and perfect red scarf for a slightly more glamorous look. Either way, I know I’ll be sporting the following fun holiday makeup looks:

1. Glittery Gold Manicure: I believe that, for the most part, a girl shouldn’t wear glittery nail polish if she’s old enough to legally buy booze. Not only does glitter tend to read really, really young, it can often come across as ditzy, which is never a look that I’m going for.

This Nailtini polish can be layered for a very pretty, sparkly holiday manicure.

This Nailtini polish can be layered for a very pretty, sparkly holiday manicure.

However, we are currently enjoying a season that almost mandates a certain amount of glitter in daily life. I’ll be taking advantage of this with a pretty, glittery gold manicure. I prefer polishes that have smaller pieces of glitter that, when layered, almost look like solid pigment rather than little chunks of confetti suspended in topcoat. I’ll be rockin’ this Nailtini polish. Essie also makes some decent glittery polishes, in both gold and silver. Go forth and sparkle, my friends!

2. Red Lips: I don’t care how you do it. Gloss, balm, lipstick, liner, whatever your preferred method of lip color application, nothing is more timeless, glamorous and holiday-appropriate than a red lip. Being a definite gloss girl, I’ll be sporting my new favorite, this thick Bare Minerals gloss that smells like holiday spices and turns my mouth the most flattering shade of red. The color is a little darker in person than it looks in the photo (please excuse the obnoxious kissy-face) and it really takes any look up a notch, adding a kiss of ladylike sophistication.

This Bare Minerals gloss is a little darker in person and smells like holiday spices - the perfect holiday gloss!

This Bare Minerals gloss is a little darker in person and smells like holiday spices – the perfect holiday gloss!

3. Liquid Liner: I generally wear a little eyeliner during the day. A quick swipe of pencil along my upper lashes and I’m good to go. When I’m dressing up, on the other hand, I want to give my eyes a little more oomph, and nothing does that better than a sleek swoop of liquid liner, which makes a statement that is both sexy and classy, all while making your eyes pop. This year I’ve fallen for a new favorite: Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in purple. The liner itself is unbelievably easy to apply; like my former favorite liquid liners, it comes in a pen-tip style applicator, rather than the skinny brush that I don’t think I will ever master. The color comes out smoothly and evenly, and dries quickly without smudging. I’ve always been a fan of purple eye pencils, and this purple liquid version is just too good not to use. I’ll be sporting a slight cat-eye tonight.

So, will you be rocking any of these looks tonight? What’s your go-to holiday makeup look? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a beautiful Christmas!