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.



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.




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.



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.



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



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.

Summer Tips, Tricks and Treats From Women We Love

Even on scorching hot days, summer is pure bliss. Free time is spent outside, coupling nature with relaxation, socializing, and plenty of al fresco dining and drinking —  what more could you want from a season? In celebration of the peak of summer, we caught up with some of our favorite cool women to hear what they’ve been indulging in this season (and find out how they manage to keep a fresh face when you feel like a human ice cream cone, melting by the minute).




WHAT’S YOUR MORNING BEAUTY ROUTINE? My feet hit the floor and I’m ready to create good vibes in the morning. I immediately light a Palo Santo stick and turn on some inspiring music, and go to wash my face. I use Urban Skin Rx’s Cleansing Bar, which is amazing for WOC. I went for a micro needling session a few months back with them and it changed my skin.I have used their products ever since.

Next, I vacillate between a serum or a moisturizer. I don’t want to feel weighed down in the summer or like my face is melting off, so I’ll either go with Urban Skin Rx’s Brightening Serum or Dr. Sturm + Angela Basset’s Hyaluronic Serum.

Depending on whether I am headed to the gym or a meeting or my work space, I take a shower and use Marley Natural’s Hemp Seed Oil Wash. I love the smell and the hemp brings even more vibes. Afterward, I usually slather aloe vera gel on to help preserve my tan and then Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil: I feel like butter and it’s weightless compared to a creamy lotion. For makeup, I just use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in “tan” and a dusting of MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in “dark golden.” If I have an important meeting, I’ll use Dior Airflash Foundation Spray first for more coverage — it’s like Photoshop and I love it. MAKE has a great cream blush — Blot Pot — andI line my eyes with Maybelline’s Unstoppable Eyeliner, fill in my eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills’s Brow Powder Duo in “medium brown,” and add a coat of Dior Show Pump’n’Volume on my lashes. I use Lucas Pawpaw on my lips or MAC’s Verve for a bit more color if I have a meeting.

I’ve been taking my Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist with me everywhere, too — it’s great for when you’re sweating and you need to feel refreshed. The bottle is pint-sized and adorable, so you can take it wherever. I’ll spritz water on my hair to activate the curl and then add Shea Moisture’s Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Styling Mousse for a wet and wavy look, and let it air dry. I didn’t know I was going for Rihanna “Wild Thoughts” this summer but here we are! I also use a combination of Jamaican castor oil and shea oil on my scalp and edges. Oh, and I’ll take a Biotin vitamin to help with hair and nail growth.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS? Aloe vera gel to help your tan last longer; Elta MD is the best sunscreen for WOC because it doesn’t leave that gray, ashy film on your skin that most sunscreens do; Lucas Pawpaw for lip gloss; WATER for hair/skin/nails/body; and Herbivore Body Oil to make your skin shine after you’ve been in the sun all day!

ANY TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT YOUR MAKEUP FROM MELTING IN THE HEAT? Avoid using moisturizers in the summer and instead add serums into the mix. Tatcha Dewy Skin is a lifesaver when I’m about to head into a party — it preserves your look and gives you a little glow. Glossier’s Soothing Face Mist spray is great when you’re outside and sweltering. It saved me at Afropunk last year!

Follow @marjon_carlos



1. The entire menu at The Standard East Village garden: Olives, Japanese fried chicken, flatbread… I order one of everything on the menu with friends and it’s always the perfect summer meal (accompanied by frozé, of course).

2. For coffee, eggs, and acai bowls, I love Hole In The Wall, an unexpected little joint in Financial District near my office. Equally delicious and photogenic.

3. Guacamole to start, and churros to finish at Jajaja.

4. Matcha soft serve at Soft Swerve. Hits the spot on a hot afternoon, every time.

5. A latte and egg sandwich at L’estudioA chic, minimal (& yummy!) way to start the day.

6. Avocado toast at De Mariathe most Instagram-y spot of the summer.

7. A must try if you’re in NYC: The pancakes at Sunday In Brooklyn. There are no words… You just have to experience them.

Follow @alyssainthecity


Bottom image by Flory Huang

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SUMMER OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES? I’m a summer baby and something I love doing in and around Vancouver in the summertime is a late afternoon picnic with friends at either Crab Park or Jonathan Rogers Park. There’s a point during the day when the sun is still out but it’s not as harsh, and that’s the perfect time to round up your best pals for a selection of fresh fruits, charcuterie and cold drinks. Great friends and great conversations in a chill environment is the perfect combination for me. Another thing I love doing is finding great outdoor concerts to attend. I’m a bit of a concert fiend and live music set against the setting sun is nothing short of perfection. This year, Malkin Bowl has some really great end-of-summer concerts and I will definitely be checking out HAIM there.

Follow @tokyo_to



The Changeling by Victor LaValle: I just finished this book a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. There’s a huge plot twist, so I think it’s best going into this not knowing much. Just know it’s a great blend of fiction and fantasy and is written really well. A perfect book to sink into!

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong: This was the last book I finished this summer and it was a delight to read. It’s quick, Rachel’s writing style is so great and she’s a local San Francisco resident!

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: One of my all time favorite books. I really like reading darker books in the summer time, it’s a fun contrast to the sunny (if you don’t live in San Francisco) weather and this one is perfect. It’s quite the creepy adventure based on the “real” Dracula and if you’re into historical fiction, please pick this up.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: Another one of my favorite books. Barbara Kingsolver is a classic and I’m bummed I waited this long to read her. This story is about an Evangelical family that moves to the Congo in 1959, and how everything completely unravels for them as soon as they get there. This book made me cry and laugh and cry again and everyone should read it. Another good lengthy book to submerge yourself into!

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Images from top to bottom: @hennitravels, @colonienyc, and @tapestersgrill


1. Watermelon Margaritas. Just three simple ingredients to make these delicious drinks.

  • 5 Tbsp of tequila
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cups blended watermelon

2. Aperol Spritz. Another easy peasy recipe.

  • 3 parts of Prosecco
  • 2 parts of Aperol
  • 1 part or splash of soda
  • Ice and a slice of orange

3. Frozé. Let’s be honest, this is everyone’s favorite this summer.

  • 1 bottle of rose (tip: pour the rose into ice trays and freeze hours before making the drinks)
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Strawberries
  • Fresh lemon juice

’90s beauty trends we love all over again

Everyone has a favorite era when it comes to style inspiration, but there’s something about the ’90s lately that just feels so right. From American sportswear, the original supermodels, grunge, the first return of flared jeans, we could go on and on. Those of us who have already spent our teen years smearing on makeup à la Cindy, Naomi and Kate by way of Sassy how-tos are going to be wayyyy better at it the second time around. The looks we loved so much then are back and ready to wear. From Winona-inspired matte lips to French braids, it’s time to go back to our roots with these four nostalgic spring beauty trends.

BRAID BABE: This classic style was shown on the runways for designers like Celine, Suno and Public School and we were instantly hooked. From French and fishtail to the sporty boxer braid, there are a zillion ways to rock this easy do. For extra credit, sleep with your hair in braids and wake up with perfectly tousled, crimped waves.

via Vanessa Jackman

LADY IN RED: There is no doubt that a crimson pout is a beauty classic, but this season’s vampy look has a specific matte finish. From Acne and Giles Deacon to Jason Wu and Oscar de la Renta, they were all putting their money where their mouth is with rich shades of scarlet, tomato and merlot.

via Never Forever

SLICKED HAIR: Channel your inner Bond girl with this slicked back, fresh from the sea do. Models were rocking this “wet hair, don’t care” look all the way down the runways at Kenzo and Missoni.  Creating this look is simple. All you need is a a sh*t ton of gel, a comb and you’re done.

via Nando Esparza

BLUE CRUSH: Blue eye shadow is a rite of passage. Thankfully this year it’s not the frosty blue you bought with your allowance at the drugstore. This season’s look is just as electric but can be understated. Think subtle blue liner or mascara instead of lash to brow turquoise. Design houses like Chanel and Dries Van Noten all put the spotlight on this bold trend with cool hues that ranged from pale periwinkle to cobalt.

via pilarvillasegura

Paying homage to the perfumes we loved in the 90s (we love you CK One) we’ve rounded up fragrances with notes that channel the raw, gritty vibe of the decade – think ozonic notes, leather, bourbon, and patchouli.

Talking charcoal, coconut and beauty traditions with Woodlot

Discovering charcoal for beauty products is kind of an epiphany. When first using Woodlot’s small-batch charcoal soap you’re distracted by the dark suds for a split second and then totally enveloped by this amazing scent and feel. Local Vancouverite Sonia Chhinji originally began making candles with her boyfriend as a fun side project and lucky for us, it snowballed into a full-blown career and natural beauty company with olive oil soaps and more. The couple (now engaged) draw from the beauty traditions of their heritages and make it their mission to keep everything toxin free. We’re excited to have them as part of our holiday collection of exclusives and we obviously had to quiz them on the whole story. Here, Sonia spills on their process and all her favorite things.

Shop Woodlot >

NOT ONLY DO YOUR PRODUCTS SMELL AMAZING, THE INGREDIENTS ARE ACTUALLY GOOD FOR US. TELL US ABOUT THAT. I’ve been a candle lover my entire life. As a child, I would hand roll cotton wicks with my mom to make tea lights for Diwali and to light around our home. My partner Fouad has been making soap bars for years, a practice he learned back in Lebanon. We’re both pretty conscious of what we put into our body and were starting to apply this way of thinking in other aspects of our lives as well. I quickly discovered that a lot of the products I was purchasing in my home and in beauty were made up of toxic ingredients. We started to play around with a number of plant-based waxes and discovered coconut wax. It’s not the simplest wax to work with, but we loved how clean it burned and went for it.

Meet the calligraphy artist you need to be following on Instagram

We stumbled across Gail Gloria on Instagram recently and fell into her wonderful world of calligraphy, watercolor and flat lay perfection. Based in the Philippines, she uses a mastery of dried flowers and photography to showcase her work. Obviously we had to find out more. So we asked and she answered.

Your expert guide to all things beauty for Fall

We love beach spray and no-fuss makeup just as much as anyone, but at the end of the summer we’re always craving a bit of polish. The kind that you just can’t find when your makeup melts off 5 minutes after you leave for work. So in anticipation of cooler weather and back to school vibes, we enlisted the lovely Sonia Leal-Serafim, makeup artist extraordinaire, to give us the run down on the top beauty trends for fall and the things we should stock up on now. The Vancouver-based beauty has been painting the faces of celebrities for years and has even mastered the art of taking a selfie with a supermodel. Take note.


ORANGE. The two biggest colors we see in beauty this fall is a bit of a surprise: deep plum and all shades of orange. We saw orange around the eyes, cheeks and lips, which is great, because there is a shade of orange that is absolutely stunning for everybody. Tip: Look for an orange that has a bit of gold in it. As we move into fall, natural light becomes a bit more gray. The gold helps to reflect more light, giving the completion a bit of an enhanced glow.

DEEP PLUM. If you’re looking for more of a dramatic statement, then try the deep plum lip. Tip: Keep the rest of your face quite natural. With a full face of makeup, or with a strong eye, the deep plum lip can look a little goth.

GLAMOUR. Fall is always all about glamour. As we’re coming out of summer holidays and low maintenance beauty, fall is like a time of rebirth of our beauty looks. It’s a time to try new things.

THE IMPERFECT SMOKEY EYE. We’ve seen smokey eyes linger around for fall season over the past few years, but this one is different. It’s a little bit imperfect, very achievable regardless of your beauty skills, but still sexy. Tip: Try it with a lighter shade of brown eyeshadow all over your eyelid blending it into your crease and underneath your eyes. Then top it off with a shimmery gold in the center of your eyelid to catch some extra light.

GO NUDE. The nude makeup look is polished, but not like you’ve tried too hard. It’s you, but better. When there’s not a lot of color on your face a total even skin tone is all important. Tip: When applying your foundation or BB cream, don’t forget to apply it to your eyelids, underneath your eyes before your concealer, around and underneath your nose and on your lips before applying lip color.

Beauty Trend We (Still) Love: Pastel Hair

Whether it’s bold lilac locks or going gray, this hair color trend has us hooked. Kelly Osborne has been rocking shades of purple for years, Sienna Miller tried it out in 2013 and Helen Mirren confirmed just how rad she is when she stepped out onto the red carpet with a pink pixie cut. Everyone from Nicole Richie to Cara Delevingne has gone technicolor at the salon, but what works for celebrities and fashion runways isn’t always easy to translate into the real world. So we called up a few experts to get the lowdown on pastel hair IRL.

IT CHANGES EVERYTHING. “My natural hair color is a dark brown and I’ve never had this drastic of a change, but I love it,” says Lily Piyasthaisere of Gamma Folk who has been trying out a few colors over the years. We fell in love with her grayish purple when we visited her studio in Greenpoint this year. “I feel like it’s pretty bold so I will wear more solid color clothes. I do have to say wearing black is much more fun now than when I had dark hair.”

IT’S KIND OF LIKE AN ACCESSORY. “I started with lilac, went pink soon after, and I’ve pretty much tried every color available since!” Alyssa Garrison tells us. Her candy colored hair has become synonymous with her style blog Random Acts of Pastel. “My biggest issue will be choosing what colour have it for my wedding!”

Beauty tips from a GIRLS makeup artist

Breaking down an episode of GIRLS usually looks something like this: clothes, makeup and hair, plot. The one constant we love is how naturally gorgeous Jessa always looks, no matter what her character is up to. We had the chance to catch up with her makeup artist IRL, Dani Levi. She’s also works with Lena Dunham, Shoshanna Gruss, Nivea, Salvatore Ferragamo and NYLON, to name a few, and has shot with the likes of Bruce Weber, so we had to quiz her on all her beauty secrets. “My best beauty tip is always to be shameless. Like, this is me. Embrace your natural beauty,” Dani says. Can we get an amen?

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN MAKEUP? I always had an attraction to beautiful things. I loved watching my mother put on her makeup as a little girl. I would sit for hours in front of the mirror and create different looks on myself. I was a club kid in the ’90s so I would come up with really wild looks for me and my friends. Then it was just decided that this is what I would do forever. I went to school in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The clients just happened.

JEMIMA KIRKE ALWAYS LOOKS SO AMAZING AND UNIQUE. TELL US HER SECRETS. Jemima is a natural beauty. Creating a look for her has become somewhat magical for me. As an artist I never want to take away from someone’s uniqueness or cover it up. So with Jem, I prep and feed her skin with a lot of hydrating products, organic of course. My favorite weapon for applying everything to the skin is the Beauty Blender. Our fave primer is Tom Ford. It’s a bit pricey but I only use it on the cheek bones, bridge of nose. The bottle lasts a long time so it’s worth the buy. I only apply concealer to the areas needed, her skin is flawless and even. I am obsessed with a brand called RMS and the “UN”Powder is a must. It’s a light reflective powder that absorbs oil, it’s talc free, silicone free, perfume free, and paraben free. It’s a dream for every girl who gets oily under eye, middle of the forehead and chin. Jemima loves these products because she always feels like herself, just with a little more shine.

WHAT ARE THE TOP 5 TRICKS OF THE TRADE EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW? 1) Sunscreens that claim to provide “all-day protection” and “water resistance” are not reliable. Don’t be fooled by these claims and re-apply all sunscreens at least every 2-3 hours. 2) Always use a moisturizer with SPF in the morning. Even in the winter! 3) Change your beauty routine for spring and summer months. Your skin needs less coverage during the spring so you can swap out the heavy winter products for lighter ones. 4) Use a facial exfoliant bi-weekly to get rid skin of dead skin cells. Makeup will look better on a clean, smooth canvas. 5) Add a little color to your diet. Major antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E) can help decrease the risk of sun and other environmental damage by disarming wrinkle-causing free radicals.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MAKEUP TRENDS FOR 2015? Naturally polished!!! We really glow from the inside out. Enhance what is already there, pay attention to brows, fill in the and groom, do a thin line of barely there liner in between the lashes with a shade that enhances your your eye color, a lip color that amplifies your natural pout. You will look like you made an effort, but not too much of one.