Beauty

By Erin Williams

Who doesn’t love the story of a wooden man who is suddenly transformed to have emotions and then takes a girl on a fun-filled vacation? Though the girl happens to be 12 (don’t worry, no funny business) and her Prince spends most of his days chomping on pecans, The Nutcracker is a lovely story and serves as the inspiration for this year’s Makeup Gift Guide:

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Starting off, there’s Clara Stahlbaum (the aforementioned 12 year old) whose family is having a party and she has to look the part. Mally Beauty’s Holiday Party Color Collection is ideal for our young heroine as Mally walks you through the best ways to apply the two lipsticks (a sheer red and goldy pink), two eyeshadows (a shimmery brown and sheer gold), and two blushes (red and pink) to create a soirée-ready face. Clara could even use the metallic red clutch as her purse at the party! www.qvc.com

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Once she’s at the gathering, it’s time to mix and mingle and Lorac’s Social Butterfly is perfect for Clara’s touchups. With six eyeshadows (ranging from neutral to deep), rose blush, gold luminizing powder, and mauve lip polish, Clara will be ready for her close-up. www.amazon.com

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Clara’s Godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer, joins the group with his handmade dolls that bend and twist all on their own in their striped clown costumes. Chances are good that he used Aveda’s Lip Tints in Rose Swirl and Garneta Swirl to keep their tiny puckers looking perfectly painted. The lip balms blend orange, spearmint, and pomegranate for a tasty finish.

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Then the party ends and Clara falls asleep. Next, clothed in military garb, is the Nutcracker Prince himself as he leaps through the air, freed from the confines of wooden legs. Clara’s a girl and this is a guy she likes – so she’s going to shimmer her face up! Estee Lauder’s Brilliant Shimmer gives her cheekbones some sheen with its gold and platinum powders but keeps it classy.

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A huge mouse comes out of the woodwork and threatens Clara’s life, but the Nutcracker Prince pulls through in a pinch and overthrows him. It would have been easier if she just had a cat! (just bear with me here). Stila’s Perfectly Kitten set includes Kitten Eyeshadow (silvery champagne pink), Kitten It Gloss, and All Over Shimmer #6 (pinky gold) and would stop anyone in their tracks. It gives a new meaning to the game of cat and mouse.

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Once past the danger, the Prince takes Clara on a boat through the Land of Snow and Lancome‘s silver and blue shades in their Color Design Holiday Palette in Diamond match the various shades of sky and snow as the Swarovski jewels shine like icicles.

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Next he takes her to the Land of the Sweets where she is surrounded by all sorts of desserts (my kind of place). They must all wear pieces of The Baked Beauties Collection from Laura Geller in such a food oriented location. The set includes blush (Golden Apricot), bronzer, eyeshadow (blended neutrals) that all start as liquids and then are baked in ovens for an individual powder finish. Mascara, lipstick, and foundation primer are also included. www.sephora.com

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Then they meet the girl with the coolest tutu of the group, the Sugar Plum Fairy. SPF, as her friends affectionately call her, does not mess around when it comes to the looks department and the 8 eyeshadows, gold eyeliner, mini peach cheek stain, and gold and pink lipgloss duo in tarte’s All That Glitters set gets toted around in the included gold clutch.

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SPF likes to enlighten her visitors with an international type flavor so she first invites the Spanish dancers to perform their hot chocolate dance. Guaranteed that they were wearing Clinique’s Colour Surge Eyeshadow Quad in Pink Chocolate with its vanilla, rose, semi-sweet, and milk chocolate shades.

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Next comes the Arabian contingency and coffee is their selling point. Mocha eyes are all the rage with the exotic Arabians and Makeup Forever’s Essential Eyes not only gives you all the colors you need (3 pressed shadows, 2 loose, 1 black eyeliner) but also gives you a DVD so you can do a good smoky eye, and not look like you got hit. It’s an amazing tool! www.amazon.com

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The Chinese Mandarin Tea dance is next and who doesn’t love a box of Chinese tea or takeout? Yellow Box Beauty gives another “box” option and is the perfect gift for makeup junkies. Choose the three, six, or twelve month options and receive a box full of the latest and greatest trends in cosmetics. Our box was full of Besame Cosmetics – eyeliner, lipglaze, lipstick, and eyeshadow (the cosmetic company changes every month) – all in a yellow box with a black satin ribbon.

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And who doesn’t remember Mother Ginger (or Madame Bonbonaire depending on where you’re from) with her huge skirt that all of her children disappeared under? MAC’s Holiday/Formal Black Fishnet 6 Warm Lip palette gives a hint of Ginger’s sassiness! With four lipsticks (nude, brown, pink, and coral) and two lipglosses (apricot and gold) you’re sure to give her a run for her money with her honey colored lips. Hey, she did something right to get all those kids.

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Next come the soulful Russians who, we all know, have great eyebrows. Anastasia’s Incredible Browser will keep yours looking just as good with two brow powders, tinted brow gel, two cream shadows, and a peach lipgloss. You can go as natural or dramatic as you want! www.sephora.com

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Then the various buds and blooms gather for the Waltz of the Flowers. All sorts of shades join together as do the colors in Bare Escentuals’ iQuad I with its yellow gold, silver, green, and golden brown shades. Used dry for a soft shimmer or wet for intensity, all are kept in a travel friendly palette with a brush a mirror. www.sephora.com

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Now, the Sugar Plum Fairy gets her moment with the Nutcracker (or the Cavalier if you’re a Balanchine fan) and I am positive that she keep Scott Barnes’ Glamour To Go in Stunning in her bag with her pointe shoes. The four shadows (grey, copper, mauve, and white) work with the four lipshades (subtle to vibrant pinks) and the neutral pinks give her a rosy glow. A great feature of this palette is that the components fold in to one another so your blush brush isn’t going to infiltrate your lip gloss and get them smushed together.
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At last Clara returns home and awakens to find it has all been a dream. Isn’t it always the way? But lo and behold, tucked under her arm is the Professional Brush Set from Jane Iredale – SPF has hooked Clara up so she can work out all of the “dreamland” looks at home – who needs the Nutcracker?! With 18 brushes (everything from foundation to shadow to blush) she has all she fixings to make her dreams a reality!

Moral of the story, give your girls good gifts because sometimes lipstick stays longer than a boy.

Have an AMAZING holiday!!

Originally published December 2006
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