Much like a dedicated athlete, a holiday hostess spends much of her time and energy preparing for the big event. But while the plate of hors d'oeuvres looks stunning, the hostess can lack pizzazz if she's been concerned about dust bunnies rather than her makeup and hair. You can look your best when the pressure is on with easy beauty tips and tricks -- leaving you plenty of time to wow your friends and family with your culinary skills.
Makeup that'll razzle dazzle 'em
1. Apply it light and right
Using the right products, you can achieve a polished look just minutes before company arrives. Keep your makeup routine simple and light. There is no need to put aside an hour to pile on the "war paint" says Lisa Aharon, makeup and hair artist from www.artistgrouplimited.com. "Don't be heavy-handed when doing makeup," says Aharon. "If it takes you more than 20 minutes to do your makeup, you are doing too much."
2. Face base
Begin by using a product that gives you a healthy glow like Revlon's Skinlights, an oil-free, lightweight skin-brightening lotion that can be worn alone or mixed with foundation. Dust on some lightweight powder to set your base layer and prevent excess shine. If you are not comfortable using a liquid product on your skin, try Benefit's Dandelion, a powder that brightens all complexions.
3. Shining eyes
The holiday season is the time for all-out glamour, so keep matte eye shadows for the office. For younger skin, choose shadows with frost; for mature skin, choose satin finishes that won't highlight fine lines. "Don't wear sparkles," says Aharon. "It's not a sophisticated look. It's not Halloween -- it's Christmas!"
4. Lash out
Dare to be different by trying on a pair of false eyelashes. Aharon recommends M.A.C's #7 Eyelashes because the hairs are of different lengths, offering a more natural look.
5. Get lippy
To finish the look, ditch time-consuming lip liners and lipstick for a luscious lip gloss that can be quickly reapplied between courses. Try Benefit's Limited Edition Dancing Darlings shimmering lip glosses in such energetic colours as Rhumba or Tango or CARGO's Chattanooga, which complements all skin types.
Hair's the thing...
6. Consider a hot bun or bling
A stiff hairstyle just doesn't cut it anymore (sorry, Ivana Trump). This season is all about fuss-free hair. For long locks, Aharon suggests an ultra-easy messy bun: Tease hair at the crown, then smooth over the top and pull into a ponytail, secured with an elastic band. Divide hair in two parts, twist both sections together, wrap around the ponytail base and pin until secure. Pull out as little or as many pieces as you want to achieve the look. For shorter styles, use some fancy hair combs or jewelled bobby pins, which add glamour to holiday fashion.
Page 1 of 2 -- Click to page 2 for holiday skincare and moisturizer tips.
Beauty from the inside out
7. Water wonderful
You can't look your best with lotions and foundations alone -- beauty begins with looking after what is under your skin. Deborah Fisher, an M.D. who also specializes in skin care, is a believer in the rejuvenating powers of water. "This time of year, people tend to drink more alcohol (which dehydrates skin) and stay up late...so water is really important," she says. "Drink up to eight glasses a day." This beauty booster not only flushes away oils from the skin, says Fisher, it helps the skin's surface get rid of toxins and encourages skin-cell renewal.
8. Eat and look sweet
For more beauty boosters, ensure your diet includes antioxidants. According to Fisher, these help rid the body of free radicals, which attack cell membranes, resulting in premature aging. Blueberries, green tea and yummy pomegranate juice are great sources of antioxidants.
Beauty from the outside in
9. Give moisturizer a hand
Hands that are constantly dipping into dishwater need added protection -- look for products containing silicone and/or glycerin like Glysomed Hand Cream or Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve to quickly soothe dry, cracked skin.
10. Beam with a sound skin regime
The weather can dry out skin, leaving it itchy and flaky. Fisher recommends a simple routine that includes cleansing, toning and moisturizing -- look for products specifically made for your skin type. Most importantly, when moisturizing skin that will be exposed to winter sun, ensure the products you use contain a minimum SPF of 15.
For those who are prone to breakouts at tinsel time, Fisher offers up this secret: "A good old-fashioned remedy for a zit is diaper cream," she says. "Dab a drop on the zit and it dries it up." Try Penaten Cream, found in most drugstores.
Having a fuss-free beauty routine during the holidays leaves you with more time to socialize and enjoy the fruits of your labour. These time-saving beauty tips require minimal tools and effort to keep you looking fabulous. Take the time to look good and you -- not your sweet potato casserole -- will be the main attraction.
For everything you need to help you enjoy a beautiful and stress-free holiday season, visit Holiday Central.
Page 2 of 2 -- On page 1, get expert tips for sensational holiday makeup.