MUST HAVES: Guide to Perfectly Primping for the Holiday Season

Trina Turk's Braden Vest with simple white t-shirt from The Gap and Kooba bag

So I don’t know about you — but the holiday season can be rather stressful.

It’s fun, and my favourite time of the year, but seriously?

All the preparations, all the “I don’t know what to wear,” “Crap, I already wore that,” “My head hurts,” “My mascara isn’t going on straight,” “Manicure. Like. Right. Now.” “I broke a nail,” “Who plans a holiday happy hour at 5 p.m.? Some of us work,” “Ugh, they will be there? I don’t want to go anymore, must I?” — Yes, all of that. We’ve all been there. Done. That.

Now here’s how to amend the feelings… just a tad.

From moi to você, a guide of must own items to transition from winter to spring to summer to autumn and back again, setting the right moods and surviving aside from ample amount of Advil and other things…

Enjoy :)

  • SCENT THE MOOD

candles on my livingroom table

Scent is a powerful thing. There is a reason aromatherapy exists as we know it.

I find that when dressing during a stressful or busy period, studying or simply reading a book — a good candle can always brighten your day and make you feel a little better.

I really like the scent combinations from Voluspa (Yuzu Rose Bubble Bath was my favourite. Alas, it’s discontinued) and I really enjoy the ‘Stress Relief’ scent collection from Bath & Body Works.

Lately, however, I’ve really been feeling the Thymes Bergamot Vert collection. I have the body lotion, candle and cologne.

Let me tell you. These are so very lovely. They really do evoke that, “leisurely afternoon spent in a Mediterranean garden, the air humid after a sudden downpour,” that they were meant to convey.

The thing about scent, is that I personally feel like if you make a effort to surround yourself with scents outside their season that bring you joy, comfort and luxurious relaxation — then go for it. There isn’t anything stopping you. :)

  • MUSIC MI VIDA

I like to listen to good music in all forms and fashions. Like scent, it helps calm me down, pump me up, make me sad, make me happy or evoke a past memory.

So to start you off, here are a few of my Spotify playlists…

**All playlists open in Spotify. If you don’t have the program, download it.**

  1. 305 - music that reminds me of my hometown, Miami. You know Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee and Don Omar & Lucenzo
  2. Brazilian – music that I love from Brazil including Marisa Monte, Ivete Sangalo, CPM22, Paula Fernandes, Skank and Guilherme e Santiago
  3. Carol of the Bells – music of the holiday season that I love to hear
  4. Classical Crossover - filled with the likes of Sarah Brightman, Il Divo and Josh Groban it’s my relaxing, happy place mix
  5. Rolling in the Deep – pretty much that playlist that sounds like it’s title, if you know the Adele original. It’s my favourite as of late…
  6. Sleeping Sun – my symphonic metal mix with Nightwish on it, Within Temptation, Epica etc.

Enjoy :)

  • WAVE LIKE A PRINCESS

Here’s another thing: I like doing my own manicures… a lot.

It’s therapeutic for me. I’ve spent so many hours doing it myself over the years, I have the skill to do my own perfectly lined, French Manicure.

But more than that, I love the feeling I get after a nail job well done, just looking at the colours and textures on my fingers.

This season I’m obsessing over the Butter London “Holiday 2011″ trio.

The collection actually consists of

  • Fairy Lights (a chrome pink)
  • Tart with a Heart (champagne glitter)
  • The Black Knight (lightly pigmented black polish with glitter in reds and blues)

Here’s the thing, because The Black Knight is less pigmented than a regular polish, I put Chimney Sweep (a dirty, metallic charcoal grey) as a base coat and two (2) coats of The Black Knight on top.

L.O.V.E

Obsessed.

I’ve been tweeting my nails for about 3-weeks now (Oct. 30, Nov. 7, Nov. 8, Nov.20).

I feel like such a princess with them ;)

  • DUSTY OFF YOU SLY FOX!

Speaking of all things princess, makeup is another really important part of feelings ‘it.’

It’s that whole, ‘fake it, ’til you make it’ concept on your face.

Recently, I got my hands on two products from Jouer:

Obligatory-my-camera’s-timer-drove-me-nuts-so-you-get-a-mirror-photo-instead pictures below:

Without flash

With flash

As you can see, the lipstick is natural and shiny [a trait that is very important to me when I get lipsticks (as I'm more of a gloss-girl)], while, the eyeliner, isn’t too overpowering.

These are great products for the season because

  1. You can wear them to work
  2. Add eyeshadow and a deeper blush, to create a more dramatic look with the same products for the nighttime

Remember, it’s not necessarily about buying new makeup, but it’s about using what you have and altering it to make it pop!

BTW, blush is my absolute new favourite I got over the summer, from MAC Cosmetics, called GLEEFUL!

Eye shadow, for the curious kitty in you?

Smashbox’s Girls on Film Softbox Palette.

They are heavily pigmented, you get six shades to mix, match and blend and it’s an ideal palette to take from day-to-night.

One more obligatory photo below :)

Obsessed. I. Tell. You!

  • HAIR I GO-GO

On the same note, one of the things that absolutely sucks, and I mean sucks about the holiday season is that, like traveling, you can’t bloody well drag you hair dryer and flat iron with you in your purse (though some of us try!)

So that’s why, the travel kit from Amika is something I adore.

If fact, the mini-flat iron is responsible for touching up my hair in the Jouer photos above.

Not only are these babies the perfect travel size to take with you from home to office to business trip to anywhere else, but they’re also lightweight, work very well and come in cute designs.

I own the giraffe set above (the hair dryer comes with a diffuser too, for curly hair, btw), but this season they came out with a “Silver Go-Go” set for the 2011 season available at Sephora.

Definitely give it a consideration, you never know where you’ll be, or who you might encounter this holiday season. So try to always look your best, without the psycho stress!

  • DOUBLE F AND AN S

My mum has this thing, where it doesn’t matter if it’s sunny outside or not during the daytime, but she wears her sunglasses.

I never understood this concept until I was older, and understood what ‘glare’ was — of the nature kind.

So last season, Michael Bastian came out with a collection of sunglasses for GANT.

The style is pretty hipster-urban-chic-European-cultured-brouhaha… or at least that’s my description for it.

Either way, get yourself a pair of good sunglasses: big, bold, fun and exciting.

I own a pair of Wayfarers and a pair of 1960s-Chanel inspired ones from BCBG. These are a staple in my wardrobe.

But the GANT by Michael Bastian pair is simply fun, functional and damn sexy. I feel great in them and I love big sunglasses… like a lot. So big aviators are a huge plus in my books.

Do yourself a favor, and give yourself the gift of a double-f-and-an-s too!

In fact, they’re totally  “Danza Kuduro” and you can channel your inner Don Omar and Lucenzo!

*squeeeeee*

  • DRESS YOU UP IN MY LOVE

As someone who lost a little bit of worry-weight recently from extreme stress, whose dress pants don’t fit her at the moment, and thus, is wearing a lot of skirts and dresses, I can appreciate a good dress when I slip into one.

More than that, I can appreciate a functional dress, like this day-to-night piece I own from Karen Millen:

With the right accessories, like a dress jacket, cardigan, tights and jewelry, particular outfits can be universal uniforms now and LATER!

For example, take a look at this 100% wool dress, Benedicta, from AllSaints. It’s on my holiday wish list (friends and family, I hope you’re reading!)

I tried it on in the fitting room at the All Saints store in SoHo.

Why do I like it? Well, after my friend Jennifer suggested it, I went to see it, and I fell in love with it, because it’s the ultimate versatile piece.

Wear it in the winter with boots or stilettos, a dress jacket or a bomber, wool-lined jacket, and you have two completely different looks. Throw on a belt, or wear it without one and again, more possibilities.

OR on the same note of versatility, look at this gorgeous, silk piece from Gaiam.

Again, belt or no belt, boots or stilettos, chunky jewelry or droplets of diamonds and pearls — the choices are up to you.

I dieee!

In fact, I actually wear and pair this with a pair of lace-textured tights from Ann Taylor (on sale 40% off, I got 2 for $24.00 USD including tax! So look out for a good sale, people!)

These same tights, I wear with a denim skirt, wool skirt and business-attaired pencil skirt!

… Even consider this uber chic, sexy, bandage, bodycon piece from GUESS by Marciano

Because the length on this baby, actually varies from below the knee to on the knee itself, it’s less ‘in your face sexy-time’ as most bandage dresses. Furthermore, because its black, you can get away with many more different looks as well.

So when you go shopping, take the time to try on a well-fitting, black, on-or-below the knee dress that you can mold to your moods and the different parts of your life.

Personally, I like to dress these babies up with a good handbag.

If you have the budget for it, Nicole Miller has an excellent selection.

Nicole Miller bags against Karen Millen animal print dress and Gaiam wool sweater

close-up of Nicole Miller bags

For example, pairing that Karen Millen animal print dress, with this gorgeous, crystal-studded, lamb leather clutch from Nicole Miller, is a sophisticated, delicious win.

The same dress, that with a business jacket, some flats and a shoulder bag, can be worn to work.

And speaking of work, take a look at this Wool Draped Sweater from Gaiam that I’m wearing next to the lead vocalist, Dua Boakye, from Bad Rabbits, on an interview I did with the band for #MusicMonday here on Little Pink Blog,

From the R Lounge performance, moi and Dua Boakye from Bad Rabbits

It’s casual with jeans.

However, take that same sweater and add a  urban chain handbag from Nicole Miller and you have one look. Take the same sweater and add a more casual, but chic, bag from Longchamp (in ‘bilberry’ below) and you have another look.

Gaiam wool sweater, Longchamp bilberry, Nicole Miller handbag -- shades of royal purple :)

VERSATILITY is key!

So why not pick up a faux-fur vest?

wearing my Trina Turk vest at my cousin's baby shower

I bought this one recently, and I wore it to my cousin Gemma’s baby showertake a looksy at mine from Trina Turk.

Can you say gorgeous?

Trina Turk vest with Nicole Miller clutch

I get compliments on it all the time.

And I wear it all the time too.

Here I am wearing it, yet again, at the opening of the Calypso St. Barth store in Nolita layered with a simple, white long-sleeved t-shirt from The Gap.

in Trina Turk vest at Calypso St. Barth store opening in Nolita

Faux-fur, chic, classic and sexy, the ‘Braden’ or something similar is a must-have investment piece.

You can dress it up or dress it down.

For example, if you were to take on a pair of shoes –

Dress it up with a clutch and the ‘Kawa’ shoes from GUESS by Marciano, below

black satin pumps against a snake-skin toe and heel from GUESS by Marciano

Even, these Swarovski-encrusted Cinderella shoes from Karen Millen, which are perfect for a wedding, could your over the top gift to yourself from here to eternity. I love them, they sparkle so very, very, very much… *dreamy shoes sigh*

Swarovski-encrusted pumps and clutch from Karen Millen

OR dress it down, with boots from a company like Stetson, or All Saints (below),

… and heck, if your feet hurt after a long night, don’t be ashamed to dress it down-down-down, like Jay Sean says, with some comfy, folding, slip-on flats that can fit into your purse (an ultimate survival tool for every girl out there!) from Kushyfoot!

For $9.99 USD you cannot go wrong.

Do you hear me?

$9.99 — cheap, worthwhile, investment to save your pretty toes!

Oh, yes, yes, comfort is key.

So as you see, holiday primping isn’t about being extra stylish, or being on top of the latest trends.

In fact, if anything, it’s seeking out pieces that you can wear again and transition them from season to season. It’s about  feeling good, being comfortable and ‘faking it, until you make it’ — bad moods, PMS-ing, breaksups, new romances and all.

Happy Hunting :)

_

Sasha H. Muradali runs the Little Pink Blog (formerly Little Pink Book PR). She holds a B.S. Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. International Administration with a concentration in Communication from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter (@SashaHalima), Harry Potter and the colour pink. Get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and find us on Facebook.

Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR are federally registered trademarks of Little Pink Book PR, LLC. © 2009-2011 Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR. All

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Comments

  1. Rmsteinman says:

    Great article!!!!

  2. Great must-haves! Love the Nicole Miller clutches! 

  3. OMgosh those Swarovski-encrusted Karen Miller pumps and clutch — TO DIE FOR! Plus the following 2 shoes! And I can’t wait to try out those nail colours!! Great tips on all. You have such good taste, you must be from Brazil ;) xoxo

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