How to Survive the Holidays In Good Health and With Killer Style

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.

The Best Style Advice For The New Year

There are a lot of reasons not to be nostalgic about 2016. However in fashion, where we tend to look back while looking forward, there’s a movement to be thankful for: dress for yourself. Just like every other year, trends have come and gone, but this time it was the notion of breaking the rules and adopting new ones that really stuck with us. So we decided to look back on this year with a new set of style rules, or resolutions if you’re into that kind of thing. Over the year we’ve been quizzing our favorite people – designers, boutique owners, and most importantly the friends that are cooler than we are – on the best style advice they have ever received. They may not have realized they were giving us ours at the same time. Here, six of the best style rules we’ll be taking into 2017.

 

“Opt for a coat in an unexpected color and then wear that color from head to toe.”Sissy Sainte-Marie

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This has been a year of stepping out of our comfort zones and being bold. Choosing colors we’d usually veto or going for a statement coat instead of a basic one. So don’t hold back, pick something unexpected and roll with it. The past year laid the foundation for expressing yourself with bold colours and a matchy-matchy palette. Amp it up in 2017.

 

“Less is always more. I’m a fan of pulling casual elements together with one great accessory or footwear.”Sanam Miremadi

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Minimalism never fails us. Put together a few simple pieces and bam you’ve got a beautiful outfit without having to try too hard. But accessories, that’s a whole other story. Whether it’s a pair of interesting shoes or a colorful bag or unique jewelry, small impact statements took on an important role. Adding one great, wacky and bold accessory to your outfit is the perfect way to add your own touch without feeling like you’re on display.

 

“Reveal and conceal. Thoughtfully choose a garment that reveals only your favorite zones – clavicles, back, leg or face – and leave the rest to the imagination.”Sissy Sainte-Marie

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The past year was about bringing sexy back in your own unique and comfortable way. We’ve said goodbye to mini dresses you can’t move in and low-rise jeans you can’t bend in, and welcomed in open back dresses with high necks and off the shoulder tops with flared pants. A hot look doesn’t have to mean hot pants. Reveal what makes you feel good and it will make that much more of a statement.

 

“Be mindful of fabrics. It should look and feel nice.”Anna Gray

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When choosing to invest in that new piece, we’re all getting more educated on fabrics. There are so many beautiful options that are made responsibly or are sustainable. And we all now the benefits of shopping vintage. Plus, more and more amazing things are being done with natural fabrics like linen and cotton. Now when we’re picking that perfect jacket or dress, we’re picking the fabric too. We know this attitude will only grow stronger in 2017.

 

“Let your skinny jeans go, unless you’re one of the few people they flatter.”Sissy Sainte-Marie

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Let’s be honest, skinny jeans aren’t that comfortable. Aren’t we all ready to leave the hours we have spent yanking up skin tight jeans behind us? Well, this past year the silhouette of jeans changed drastically and for the best. They got looser, wider and flared, and way more interesting. None of us really look the same in our jeans anymore and it’s awesome. Watch out for 2017, where more rad denim is coming for you. Hint: we’ll be channeling our dad’s pants.

 

“Be comfortable. Confidence is sexy and I think it’s important to be comfortable and feel good in what you’re wearing.”Elise Joseph

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You’ve heard it before: looking good means feeling good. It’s not a cliché it’s gospel. Be comfortable, express yourself and most importantly, channel your independence. Cheers to the new year! We’ve got your back.

Mom We Love: Angela Deviatova-Hageali of Mommy Plays Dress Up

If you’re like us, your love affair with stylish women you love has often started on Instagram. Our #girlcrush on Angela Deviatova-Hageali is a prime example. The Dubai-based mother of two caught our eye as we found her active within our beloved community of emerging designers. Along with admiring her sophisticated and eclectic sense of style, we often found her outfit credits representing some of our mutual pals. Suffice it to say, we knew we had to be friends. Lucky for us, we got the chance to sit down with Angela to talk about style, motherhood and those late night Instagram edits that keep our midnight scrolling filled with constant inspiration.

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TELL US ALL ABOUT YOU. My name is Angela Deviatova-Hageali. I live in Dubai with my husband, two boys – Aiden (5) and Leo (4) – and our pets, all of which were rescued locally. We moved to Dubai three years ago from London, our home. I’m originally Russian and my husband is originally Lebanese, so we are quite an international family, which is fun in many ways. The fact that kids get to bounce between Dubai, London, Beirut and Moscow is definitely one of them! My husband and I met through work, we were both in banking at the time. Since moving to Dubai I’ve been a full time mother, an opportunity I’m eternally grateful for. Mommyplaysdressup was born as a creative outlet which was much needed to break up my parenting routine. As mothers, we all have days when the going gets a little tough, I know I do. Children may be unwell or just plain cranky; this is where Mommyplaysdressup comes in – it’s my therapy if you like. Mommyplaysdressup and my beloved pets. If all else fails there is very little a good long dog walk can’t solve. I mean it!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? My personal style is a mix of classic and minimalist. This said, I like to play with unusual color combinations and textures to make my outfits stand out. My personal style may look put together or dressed up at times but in reality it’s fast, thrown together and easy. On average, it takes me all of five minutes to get ready.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER? Hmmmm, I have so many! I’m a huge supporter of the so-called slow fashion movement – independent emerging designers with a good story behind them. Caron Callahan, Miranda Bennett, Mr. Larkin, Sunja Link and Rennes are among my firm favorites. As for the long-established brands, Celine, The Row, Lemaire and, more recently, a Slovakian brand Nehera all get my vote.

WHAT’S YOUR DAY-TO-DAY GO-TO OUTFIT? A loose fitting silk or linen dress with Martiniano glove flats and a pinky ring. I feel naked without my pinky rings.

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WHAT’S THE BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? I’m not sure if this qualifies as a styling advice but my grandmother told me to keep my eye brows thick and my shoulders and back straight. It’s all about your presence and first impression, she told me. Now, the eye brows are very much a personal preference, but a good posture takes you good places, just like good shoes do!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR KIDS. Oh they are wonderful, even if they drive me borderline insane at times! They are 18 months apart in age so they are very close, it’s lovely. Aiden makes me laugh a lot (apparently I am not allowed to correct his grammar because he is not a ‘GROWL UP’ yet) and Leo gives the best cuddles and has a special way with animals.

HAVE THEY STARTED DEVELOPING THEIR OWN SENSE OF STYLE? I think they have! They definitely like their clothes comfortable and non fussy.

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BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? So many things I don’t think I can pick just one. Hearing my children say “I love you” to me without me having said it first. Seeing the kindness in their hearts everyday. Feeling confident that I am responsible for who they are becoming and their values. Knowing that I am raising them to be the very best they can! I love that I learn from them something new every day. And of course all the cuddles and kisses, how did I ever survive without them before?

HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND FAMILY? Multitasking and prioritizing are key! Most of my Instagram posts are edited while I’m putting the kids to bed, after our nighttime reading is done. It also helps immensely that my husband is extremely supportive of me and my work – we work good as a team! This said, I don’t always get the balance right. Hand on heart I would love to be even more active on Instagram, but while the children are still small, I have to put a limit to how much time I spend online. I want my children to remember me as a mother who showed up.

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HAS BEING A MOM CHANGED YOUR OWN SENSE OF STYLE OR APPROACH TO FASHION? Definitely. Once you have children whether you want to or not you become more aware of dressing for comfort and practicality. Flats over high heels, cross body or shoulder bags over totes kind of thing. I’m very hands-on when it comes to raising my boys and this very much dictates my day to day outfits. Funnily enough when I was younger I assumed my style would become more conservative once I became a mother, but the reality is I’m more likely to take risks now than ever before. I guess it’s because I’m getting more and more comfortable in my skin and I am less worried about what other people will think.

WHAT STYLE ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE THEM AS THEY GROW UP? Don’t be afraid of being different.

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We highly recommend following Angela over at @mommyplaysdressup.

Mom We Love: Melissa Sonico

We’ve shared our love for this multi-hyphenate Los Angeleno before, so we were so excited to have the chance to finally sit down with her to talk about all things style, motherhood and everything in between. Melissa Sonico does it all: a writer, professor, jewelry designer, fashion and lifestyle blogger, wife, mother, and a constant source of style inspiration. She’s just as supportive of indie boutiques and emerging designers as we are, so you’ll often find her (and her son) wearing labels of a ton of mutual friends. Here, she shares her best style advice, her new go-to outfits, and the best things about being a new mom.

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TELL US ABOUT YOU. My name is Melissa and I just turned 34. I live in Southern California with my husband Johnny and son Harrison who is turning one on the 16th. I am a fiction writer (I write short fiction), writing professor, fashion and lifestyle blogger, and jewelry designer, all of which takes up a lot of time. I also love to read, go for walks with my boys, and watch everything from Silicon Valley to Stranger Things– lately it’s been Elmo or Beatles videos though because of Harrison! Music is a big thing in our house too. We’re trying to pass that love on to Harrison for sure. Harry Nilsson, Belle & Sebastian, some hip hop– everything.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? My personal style revolves mostly around things I can get away with wearing while still giving easy nursing access to Harrison, which isn’t as difficult as I thought. I wear mostly classic pieces like a tee and jeans or a loose linen blouse that Harrison can fit under comfortably. Comfort and style is easy when your pieces are versatile like that. Minimal, neutral tones with a pop of color here and there.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER? Oh gosh, that’s a tough one. I’m a huge fan of Lauren Winter. Everything she makes fits so well and is super flattering while still being comfortable. Black Crane, of course. Objects Without Meaning. For shoes, St. Agni.

WHAT’S YOUR DAY-TO-DAY GO-TO OUTFIT? Right now it’s my logo tee from Older Brother, high-waisted jeans, and my Caron Callahan jacket or some variation of that, with some mules or clogs. Simple and classic.

WHAT’S THE BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Best advice: comfort above everything else. Not just the feel of the clothing but whether I feel comfortable going out in them.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR HARRISON. He is a doll. Every day, I still can’t get over the fact that Johnny and I made this little tiny being, and he’s perfect. He’s frustrating and demanding, and he’s got a temper but he’s also goofy, smart, and charming– and so sweet. His favorite things to do are watch Feist and Usher on Sesame Street, and alternate between growling and purring. Oh and bath time is a fave. I could go on and on.

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HOW DO YOU APPROACH GETTING DRESSED WITH HIM? The same way I do for myself really. Living in California, we miss out a bit on layering and cute winter clothing, so it’s all about comfort for him. I also like neutral colors for him (just like my own color palette) but with a lot more color and fun prints. He’s a stylish boy, but he can still play and get dirty in his clothes– nothing stuffy.

BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? That immediate love for someone. It’s instantaneous and just keeps growing. I laugh so much with him too. Everything he does is hilarious. I think Johnny and I need to learn not to laugh at everything he does, especially if it’s something he shouldn’t be doing!

HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND FAMILY? It’s rough, and I’m still learning!

HAS BEING A MOM CHANGED YOUR OWN SENSE OF STYLE OR APPROACH TO FASHION? Oh yeah! I have much less time to get ready, and sometimes I dictate what I’m wearing on a certain day based on whether or not he can have easy access to breastfeeding. But the overall aesthetic is still the same.

WHAT STYLE ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE HARRISON AS HE GROWS UP? Less is more, especially for a guy, in my opinion. Basics are perfect– they’re comfortable, durable, and always in style. A tee, jeans, high-top chucks. That’s kind of universal advice actually!

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Photographer: Abigail Halstead