You’re on the couch, remote in hand, settling in for a long night of channel surfing when the phone rings. That extra ticket came through and you’d really like to go. The only thing stopping you is you should have been out the door 10 minutes ago.
A last-minute invite doesn’t have to be declined just because you’re sitting in sweats, with undone hair and not a stitch of makeup on. If it’s really something you’d like to attend, by all means say yes, take a deep breath and follow these tips for getting ready and out the door in a flash.
Dirty hair is the holy grail when it comes to creating an updo with some staying power — it puts some friction between you and your style so it lasts a lot longer. Simply pull hair back into a sleek ponytail and finish with a quick spritz of finishing spray. Another option is an easy-to-do top knot, courtesy of Jenny Balding, an NYC based Cutler/Redken Stylist:
- Start with dirty hair or mist hair with a dry shampoo followed by a light hold hairspray.
- Sweep your hair into high ponytail and secure with a band.
- Back-brush the underside of the tail to create a slightly disheveled texture.
- Sweep tail around the base of the ponytail and pin using 2-3 U-shaped hairpins.
Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender & Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo ($19) has a light, clean scent and it brushes out easily with no residue left behind.
John Frieda Keraflex Flexible Hold Hairspray ($10) is formulated with special, flexible polymers so hair has movement and unbeatable hold.
Clear skin, defined eyes, and a bright smile can take you very far. Start with a beauty balm, the ultimate multi-tasker — it’s an all-in-one moisturizer, primer, SPF, and light coverage foundation. Spot apply concealer if necessary. Give yourself two coats of mascara to draw attention to your eyes and finish with a swipe of your favorite bright lipstick, the consummate mood-lifter.
MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 ($30) is available in 12 shades so you can easily find your perfect match. It moisturizes, protects, primes, and perfects your complexion so you look fresh.
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara ($23) instantly makes your eyes look larger, more open, and wide-awake. Besides a smudge-free, clump-free jet-black formula, this mascara features a specially designed brush with staggered bristles that grab close to the root so lashes are lifted, longer, and fuller.
NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Heat Wave ($26) is a bold orange-red in a full-coverage, vitamin E-enriched formula.
I bet you have at least one foolproof outfit hanging in your closet that always works and makes you feel on top of the world. Mine is a little black dress that can be dressed up or down. Yours might also be a little black dress, a smart jacket that upgrades whatever it’s paired with or something with lace, sequins, or leather. Only you know what it is and now is the time to wear it!
A SPRITZ OF SCENT
On your way out the door, give yourself a quick spritz to feel fresh, confident, sexy or all of the above. The sense of smell is plugged into the human limbic system of the brain where emotions and memories reside, giving fragrance the ability to elicit a strong emotional response that can affect your mood, making it a very personal choice.
The holiday season is well under way, and whether you’re staying in-state, heading cross country or leaving the country altogether, it’s important to have an extra special gift to hand over to the hosts who are receiving you, especially if you’re looking for a repeat invitation. Of course we know you know better than to show up empty handed, but a little extra thought and effort can go a long way in making it a happy holiday for all!
We took the guesswork out of it for you by rounding up some extra special gifts we’d be delighted to receive from any guest who was staying with us — from couture teas to artisanal soaps, luxe candles and gemstone vials, we’ve got you covered.
Big T NYC Couture Collection ($65) is a gift set from the world’s first line of couture teas. The set includes 3 of the finest loose leaf, organic, beauty-boosting, antioxidant-rich teas: Tell-Tale Glow is a white tea, berry and currant blend, Unexpected Fling is a green tea, rose and cherry mix, and Baby It’s Cold Outside is made from Vietnamese black and Chinese oolong with maple essential oils, Indonesian vanilla, and California almonds. Trust me…it will be hard to choose a favorite. Also included is an infuser as well as a guide to making the perfect cup of loose leaf tea.
Le Feu de L’Eau Candles ($62 each) are from the luxe, artisanal line that was founded by celebrity makeup artist Jo Strettell and artist-designer Wendy Polish. These one-of-a-kind candles are hand sculpted under water with custom blended colors for unique works of art. One whiff and you’ll experience just how ridiculously gorgeous the naturally fragranced scents truly are. With approximately 80 hours worth of burn time, each candle’s scent is slowly and beautifully released into the air. You’ll love Le Feu Chartreuse (frankincense and cedar), Le Feu Violet (grapefruit and tobacco), or my favorite Le Feu Ivoire (patchouli and amber). The collection includes 11 different custom-blended scents.
Soap & Paper Factory Artisanal Soap ($8 – $12 each) is a collection of soaps that come wrapped in the most gorgeous papers ever. Choose from a huge selection of carefully crafted, hand stirred, specialty soaps or better yet, stuff a pretty basket to the rim for a gift any hostess would be thrilled to receive. They’re made in small batches, and chock full of pampering, soothing Shea Butter so skin stays soft, supple, and healthy.
VitaJuwel Gem Wand ($99 – $399) is for the host or hostess who appreciates the fine things in life. Besides being a statement piece and conversation starter, these lead-free Bohemian glass gemstone vials — created by master glassblowers in the German Alps — create hygienically infused pure, gemstone water that’s been tested by doctors and those in the holistic health community and have been scientifically proven effective. Choose from 15 vials including Beauty, Wellness, Fitness, and Inspiration.
Photo Credit: usa.loccitane.com
We’ve put together the best gift sets that the beauty world has to offer this season — from a nail polish collection inside a music box from Deborah Lippmann to a one-stop-shop makeup set by Sephora. There’s skincare, fragrance, and grooming essentials plus so much more. Here, something for every “beauty girl” in your life:
Deborah Lippmann Until Your Dreams Come True Music Box ($195) is a gift you’ll enjoy listening to, time and time again, long after you’ve used up every single one of these 15 coveted nail lacquers, plus all cream, shimmer, and glitter formulas are long-lasting, quick-drying and coat evenly and smoothly for pro results any place, any time.
Sephora Collection Color Festival Blockbuster Palette ($49.50) contains over $240 worth of the most gorgeous makeup for eyes, lips, and cheeks, organized by tray and color intensity so you can easily find just what you’re looking for.
The Josie by Josie Natori Collection ($105), encased in a modern bento box contains a full size Josie Eau de Parfum and a full size Josie Body Cream. Notes of Asian Pear, Bergamot, and Wild Orchid are combined with Sampaguita, White Musk, and more for a sexy, yet still approachable fragrance.
Tocca Beauty Tocca Meet the Girls ($62) contains 10 portable, pocket-friendly spray fragrances that smell as gorgeous as they look and suit whatever mood you’re in.
L’Occitane The Ultimate Gift of Youth ($182) is just the ticket for youthful, radiant skin. This collection rounds up 4 anti-aging products (Divine Cream, Divine Eyes, Divine Lotion, and Precious Cleansing Foam) to address fine lines and wrinkles, boost luminosity and help you look younger.
Le Couvent des Minimes Hand Cream Trio ($19.50) includes the best-loved hand creams: the award-winner Gardener’s Hand Cream is formulated with shea butter plus seven skin beneficial plant extracts, Nourishing Hand Cream is honey and shea infused with a wonderful honey aroma and Soothing Night Hand Cream contains lavender and acacia making it ideal for slumber.
Lancome Essential Brush Set ($70) is a high-quality set of makeup brushes that contains everything you need to to apply all your favorite products like a professional makeup artist. The set includes a foundation brush, powder brush, eye shadow brush, blender brush, and concealer brush so a flawless finish is easily within your reach. Valued at over $160 when sold separately.
Philip B. Russian Amber Ultimate Volume Collection ($99) gives sexy, bouncy, salon blow-out results in minutes, particularly beneficial during the busy, booked-solid holiday season. Dry shampoo, Mousse and Insta-Thick Spray easily turns limp, lackluster hair into full, moveable, glamorous style.