By Amy Sciaretto

It’s officially the holiday season and you can start planning for holiday party makeup looks NOW! Do test runs. Doll up on Thanksgiving or for the office or a GNO (GirlsxNightxOut) Clarins The Essentials Mineral + Plant Extracts palette boasts 10 neutral shades in shimmer and matte finishes, ranging from burnished gold to sparkly chocolates. I did a wash of the shimmery gold shade, highlighting the brow, while keeping the darker, matte shades dangerously close to the upper lash line. You can do smoky eyes, washes of color for a new take on sunset eyes and pretty much anything you want with this slim case. Endless – that’s the possibilities with this palette. Available at Clarins counters. Added bonus: Purchasing the palette aids the company’s initiative to plant trees in Brazil.

Boots No. 7 Skin Illuminator in Pink can help you prep for the chill of winter by adding the sexiest, dewiest glow! This “radiance boosting beauty fluid” allows you to shimmer flawlessly. Plus, it comes with a supremely easy-to-use, built-in brush. You can apply directly to your face or with your fingers. Play bathroom chemist and mix it with your fave foundation for added oomph. I love it dabbed on my cheekbones. Available via at or Target stores.

If you are like me and don’t like to pile a lot of foundation or powder on your face, then may I introduce you to Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Foundation Powder? It is light as air, covered the “here and there” imperfections and my skin could breathe. I was in a wedding and I had a bruise on my wrist that was purple-y and ugly, so I took a concealer brush and painted all over my wound with this product and watched it disappear! The multi-use, glides-on product can be applied wet or dry. Seriously, I love makeup that doesn’t look or feel like makeup!

It’s rough out there, economy-wise, so we makeupistas need to maximize product and to get every last drop of product out out of the bottom of our lip gloss tubes or shadow primers. There is a Holy Grail product that will ensure not a single smidge of product is wasted and that’s Nikki’s Magic Wand. The lightweight, spatula-shaped tool gets into all those pesky tight spots that a supplied applicator can’t reach. It’s especially awesome when you are working your way through a discontinued product, too. This tool is not glam; it’s necessary! Thanks, Nikki!

Holiday season translates to travel season for many of us. Living out of a suitcase can be a beyotch, but you can indulge your inner Type A and travel in organized style thanks to Built.’s The Gramercy Collection Cosmetic Bags. They’re constructed of neoprene, so they are easy to keep clean, all you germophobes. The quilted look is also super “right now” and chic. I am on the move every weekend, so keeping everything in its right place is an ABSOLUTE must for me, and these bags let me meet that goal. They’re cute and convenient enough for daily usage, as well.

Oh, and speaking of travel! Packing lotions can be a real pain the derriere, with all the FDA restrictions and the general messiness. I’ve swapped out liquid lotions for bars (thanks, LUSH!) and sticks (thanks, Clean George). Since I travel like G. Clooney in Up in the Air, the Skin Stick in Meyer Lemon is essential. I can be moisturized on my trips and while on the germ tube known as the aircraft. This stuff works on elbows, cuticles and MOST IMPORTANLY, LIPS!!! I dotted under my eyes for a subtle glow, too! When I use these, I am soft, supple and rock a dewy look! <3

Lastly, rock chicks that want to sparkle a little this holiday season, you’ve GOT to go with Flower’s Color Play Crème Eye Shadow in Midnight Garden, a glittery black that buffs out for “plume of smoke” look. You can still rock out, even on Turkey Day or at holiday gatherings. My tip: A little goes a LONG, LONG way! Available at Walmart locations. Trust us – Drew Barrymore’s line is more luxe than the location at which it retails.

Originally published November 2013
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