For being deemed the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can actually be quite the gongshow. It’s not uncommon to feel an overwhelming amount of stress for the whole month of December as your calendar fills to the brim with work deadlines, family gatherings, gift shopping and more. Expectations seem higher than ever – *cough cough* when your mother in-law comes to stay at your house for a full week – but you’ve got to keep your cool. Because the holidays, in fact, are pretty darn special and should be savored. With the right tips and tricks, they totally can be.
We reached out to a group of experts on varying subjects, from skincare to women’s health to fancy dressing, to help you get through this season like the bad-ass boss woman you are. Grab a glass of wine and read on.
SKIN CARE WITH ANNA STEVENETT
As part of the editorial team at Glossier, Anna Stevenett’s job is to know a lot about skin. Here, she suggests three simple but impactful holiday season changes to your beauty routine.
- Keep a hand cream handy. Holidays mean colder weather and, thus, drier skin. I find myself in varying levels of discomfort if the skin on my hands is dry, so I like to keep a hand cream nearby, with which I moisturize with gusto, and often. My favorites are Susanne Kaufmann (smells like bananas!), Weleda (it’s $12 and I can use it on my face in emergencies), and Chanel La Crème Main. As it happens, hand creams also make for excellent gifts.
- Add oil. In the same dryness vein, oils are a kind of a necessary luxury during the holidays. To prevent“hangover face,” I use an oil at night—Pai’s rosehip oil is pretty good. When I’m out of the shower, Imoisturize my body with a dry oil like the classic Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse or Leonor Greyl’s Huile de Magnolia.I like to switch to using an oil version of my perfume around the holidays, too, because it feels fancier andcozier than eau de parfum. Mine is Vanille 44 by Le Labo. Maison Louise Marie makes some great scents, too.
- Mask often. And drink more water! I’m typically stressed, traveling, or drinking too much this time of year, so masking helps combat the consequences. If I’m flying I like Charlotte Tilbury’s Dry Mask because it’s easy no mess. At home I like Sisley’s Black Rose Mask, and for extra moisture and plumpness, I use Glossier’s Moon Mask to help me wake up in the morning.
TRAVEL STYLE WITH LAUREN CARUSO
New York-based fashion writer Lauren Caruso is our go-to for minimalist fashion inspiration. Whether she’s working on set, running to appointments, or even on a late night grocery run, Lauren knows how to look put together without sacrificing comfort. Take note on how below:
- I know this might sound silly considering December is the only month where crushed red velvet and glitter accessories are the norm, but my best tip for surviving holiday travel is to be comfortable. I refuse to travel in or wear anything that might be too tight, short, or otherwise uncomfortable, especially to a holiday party. For me, that usually means packing a ton of high-waisted, wide-leg pants, cropped, oversized sweaters, and the comfiest pair of boots I own. I stick to cozy, natural-fiber separates in neutrals that pair well together and don’t require a ton of steaming to look expensive.
HEALTH WITH JESSICA MURNANE
Jessica Murnane is kind of like our health superwoman. She is the author of One Part Plant cookbook, which encourages people to eat one plant-based meal a day with 100 allergy-free recipes to choose from, and hosts One Part Podcast, where she facilitates conversations with some of the most interesting and inspiring minds in wellness, music, food, fashion and design. She also happens to be hilarious and has kick-ass style, of course. Peep her tips on how to keep things healthy during the season of gluttony.
- BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish). If you want to make sure there is a healthy option for you at the holiday party, bring it yourself. Call or e-mail your host ahead of time and ask if you can bring a dish to share. Don’t make a big announcement about how gluten-free and dairy-free it is… just bring something really delicious.
- Be smart about booze. Before you accept that third or fourth cocktail at your next holiday party, pause and ask yourself these two questions: 1) How will this make me feel in the morning? and then 2) Is it worth it? If the answer is no, grab a glass of club soda with lime or stash a bottle of Kombucha in your bag and pour it into a cocktail glass on the sly. With a drink in hand, you won’t have to field the “Why aren’t you drinking?” questions and will, no doubt, wake up feeling way better the next day.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. If your grandma only makes her famous Christmas cookies once a year and you want one… have one. Constantly asking yourself “Should I or shouldn’t I?” during the holidays can create some serious stress in your head and stop you from being present for all the fun. Be mindful, listen when your belly is full, and remember nobody’s perfect.
HOME DECOR WITH COURTNEY MOLYNEAUX
Interior designer and photographer Courtney Molyneaux strives to create unique and memorable spaces that simply feel good. Her blend of Scandinavian and mid-century design aesthetics has that undeniably home-y feel. With the increased time spent indoors over the holiday season, we thought it would be fun to ask Courtney how to keep your home from feeling like a winter prison cell. Not to mention, she lives in Calgary where the cold is fierce and the winter is no joke. Below she lists her at home essentials during the holiday season:
- A woodsy scented candle (or three)
- A wool blanket or throw
- Fresh flowers or greenery
- Hot chocolate in the pantry at all times
- A good pair of cute, warm socks
GETTING FANCY WITH ALYSSA COSCARELLI
Refinery 29 fashion market editor Alyssa Coscarelli has an undeniably bold style that inspires us daily. With the holidays comes holiday events, which means the need for fancy dressing. Alyssa has some hot tips on how to approach party attire when in that constant holiday season rush, from making what you’ve worn all day at work cocktail-attire appropriate to what to do when you find yourself in jeans at fancy-ish place.
- Keep a pair of just-in-case earrings in your bag. One night, I took a pair of hoops out of my ears and threw them in my bag. Now, they just stay there. It’s actually one of the best things I’ve ever accidentally done. Now, I have a pair of statement earrings that just stay in my bag — and they’re the easiest way to dress up a sweater and jeans.
- Glossier Generation G in ‘Zip’ is a lifesaver. It gives lips a pop of color without being too in-your-face. And, it’s super easy to swipe on in a moving cab without worrying that you don’t have lipliner or a mirror.
- Accept that mini bags aren’t always a reality. Mini bags are one of the biggest trends we’ve seen in handbags as of late, but, to be honest, they’re not always a reality for me. I’m often going to holiday parties or events with my laptop and a tote bag full of gym clothes. Luckily, I’ve found a sleek tote that holds a ton and doesn’t look too disheveled: It’s black leather and always gets compliments wherever I go. But since bumping people with your tote at parties isn’t cute, I either stick it all in a safe corner once I arrive, or take advantage of coat check if it’s offered. Sorry, mini bags, maybe next year…
- It may feel awkward at first, but you’ll be surprised how much you have in common with a stranger. Fancy parties are intimidating, but the good news is that most people in the room feel that way. It may be awkward to break the ice, but once you step out of your comfort zone and talk to people, you’ll be surprised how much you can find in common with someone random at a party — and you may even leave with a new friend or two.