Holiday Must-Haves

The Holidays call for a different kind of style. It’s cold, you’re more than likely traveling somewhere, and you’re going to see friends and family again who will comment (and scrutinize) your appearance. When preparing for the season, it’s best to stock up like you’re going off to boot camp. Here’s my pick of the best products for the Holidays, whether you’re dealing with massive amounts of family or meeting your significant other’s family or just dealing with cold weather and office parties.

  • Chi ‘Silk Infusion’- a hair styling product that does everything. It preps for blow drying/curling/straightening, smooths frizzies, adds shine and moisture to your hair, and won’t make it look greasy even if you use too much. I use it before and after my flat iron, and my hair looks healthy and fabulous. You can now buy this product at Target, but I prefer getting it from Amazon.com for a little cheaper. Price: Around $20. 

  • S Factor ‘Shiny Happy People’ Spray Shine– this is a double whammy for your hair. It adds shine (and vibrancy), but also perfumes your hair. The spray has a powerful peppermint sugar smell that will make your mouth water and have everyone trying to lean closer to you just to sniff your hair. Hair perfumes last longer than perfumes you spray on your skin, so I use this instead of a normal perfume during the Holiday season. Pick this up online or at Ulta. Price: Around $25.
  • Smashbox ‘HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder’– the perfect mineral moisturizing powder that lasts all day. And in winter, moisture is king! Comes in 4 different shades and blends to perfectly match your skintone. The compact snaps tightly shut for easy travel, and you only ‘shave’ off as much powder as you need for each use. No more messy loose powder! Good for your skin and great for even dry and sensitive skin types. Comes with a small kabuki brush. Pick up at Ulta, Sephora, or QVC, though I will say that QVC offers a couple different types of powder/brush combos. Price: Between $59 and $72. 

  • Perfekt ‘Skin Perfecting Gel’– though supposed to be used as a foundation, I recommend this as a primer. It’s a gel formula that won’t bead up on your skin (like MUFE or Smashbox primers) and does not contain talc, fragrance, parabens, water, or wax. It has vitamins to make skin feel soft, healthy, and moisturized and won’t bother sensitive or dry skin. This is a water-resistant formula that won’t budge unless you scrub with soap and water and won’t transfer to your clothes! Comes in 5 shades- universally clear ‘Translucent’, fair/light ‘Luminous’, light/medium ‘Radiant’, warm medium ‘Rich’ (can be used to fake a tan) and deep ‘Decadent’ (can be used as a bronzer). It’s really, really expensive, so just use it as a base/primer after moisturizer and before foundation. Price: $57.50. Or get the ‘To Go’ mini-bottle for $17.50. 

  • Perfekt ‘Eye Perfecting Gel’- a one-step eye product that will replace your eye cream, under eye concealer, and finishing powder. It seems expensive until you consider how much your spent on those three (or four) products combined to cover dark eye circles. My hereditary nightmare circles are tamed by this product! It soothes the eye, moisturizes it with vitamins and cucumber extract, conceals it, and dries into a powder. It’s water-resistant and lasts until you take it off with soap and water, and it stays smooth and moisturized all day. Price: $45. 

  • Benefit Cosmetics Boxed Powders Collection in ‘Hoola’– an award winning bronzer, and for good reason. You get the right shade of brown (no orange, no super dark chocolate) that you can wear light or layer for darker coloring. Matte, smooth, and long-lasting, this is my favorite choice of bronzer. It’s kind of hard to get out of the box, and do yourself a favor and throw away the cheap brush it comes with. The lid doesn’t stay on the box well, so tape it shut when traveling and avoid putting it in your purse for touch-ups (it lasts all day anywys). For perfect application, use a fan brush to sweep a line down your cheekbones to imitate the look of sharp, pronounced cheekbones. It will contour your face, add definition, and give you a perfect touch of matte, natural warmth. Price: $28. 

  • Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in ‘Mosaic’– a powder with multi-uses, but use this as a finishing powder! The shimmer is light and subtle, so you only get light-deflecting properties without any glitter/shimmer/shine. Gives a soft and dewey appearance without adding color to the face, and won’t aggravate dry or sensitive skin. A little pricey, but a must-have for oily or uneven skintones. Price: $38. 

  • MAC Fluidline in ‘Blacktrack’- a gel liner that lasts and won’t dry out. Every girl needs a black eyeliner, and this liner is the best I’ve ever tried. The pot of gel liner will last you well over a year, even if you use it every day. And no worries about the gel formula drying out (like Smashbox’s)! You get a smooth, even, vibrant line of color with this and it lasts even without a primer. For perfect application, use an angled eyeliner brush (NOT a slanted one!). Sephora’s Professional Platinum Angled Eyeliner Brush #23 ($15) has the perfect brush length. Price: $15. 

  • MAC Eye Shadow in ‘Brun’- a shade to use on your eyebrows! Dark taupe/brunette/black eyebrows can use this shade as a replacement for eyebrow powders and pencils. Simply brush and set your eyebrows, using a wax pencil or clear mascara. Then use a slanted eyeliner brush and gently dip in in the ‘Brun’, then follow the contour of your brow. It’s a dark shade, so use a light hand and then build as necessary. To me, this is the most natural-looking brow shade on the market. It won’t smudge or fade because it’s trapped in the hairs of your brow, and MAC shadows last longer than any other eye shadow I know of. Price: $14.50. 

  • MAKE UP FOREVER ‘Glossy Full Couleur’– a super sheer gloss that doubles as the perfect lip balm. Comes in 12 different shades from translucent to red, but they are so sheer that it hardly matters which color you pick. The gel forumla keeps lips feel smooth and moisturized, and makes the gloss last for a very long time. Not sticky! Not smelly! Has a peppermint taste that freshens your breath and brings a cool, refreshing feeling to your lips. Soothes even dry, damaged lips like a balm but gives long lasting and extremely glassy shine! Can be worn alone or over a lipstick. This is one of the few lipglosses I’ll wear out on a date, because it won’t make your date cringe when he kisses you. No sticky, no smelly, no outrageous flavor, and it makes lips smooth and kissable. Price: $19. 

  • CHI Ceramic Nail Lacquer- a nail polish like no other. I’ve tried OPI, Sephora OPI, Essie, China Glaze, and found them to be adequate, but not fantastic. My new CHI Nail Lacquers, on the other hand, have been amazing! They dry super fast, refuse to chip, and don’t damage my nail bed. I couldn’t get nail polish to last a week on my nails, and now I can get it to last three weeks! The bottle is small, travel-friendly, and less expensive than OPI or Essie. Pick it up at Ulta or online (Amazon.com has some great deals!). Price: Around $2-$5.99.
  • Philips Sonicare ‘Healthy White’ Toothbrush– I don’t know if you’re still using regular plastic toothbrushes, but if you are, stop right now! Sonicare is the way to go for healthier and brighter teeth. I use a regular Sonicare toothbrush, whatever kind they sell at Costco, and it’s done wonders for my teeth. My 8-year-old brother is using one and it’s made a world of difference. I mean, you know how kids brush their teeth- they stick some toothpaste on a plastic brush and let it sit in their mouths for a minute before running away to play. The Sonicare cleans in a way plastic toothbrushes just can’t. The ‘Healthy White’ is an improvement on the regular Sonicare with the promise that your teeth will be two shades whiter in two weeks, and they’ll stay that white. So don’t spend money at the dentists for Zoom! teeth whitening! Don’t waste your money on whitening trays or mouth rinses or toothpastes. Get permanent results and healthier teeth with a ‘Healthy White’ Sonicare toothbrush. Price: Around $119.
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