gift guide

EauMG’s Holiday Survival Kit

Vikki Dougan

From now until the 1st of the year you will be running yourself ragged, eating too much and probably drinking more booze than usual. It’ll be a 6 weeks of food comas and stretchy pants. You may be traveling to boring locations to visit family who may or may not criticize your career choices and complain about how you never come and see them. Parties. Parties. Parties. Some will be with the people you love, others will be awkward cocktails with coworkers. It’s a wonderful time of the year, however, I think we can agree that it is also a stressful time of the year. Fun-stressful but still stressful. Here’s my “survival guide” to staying sane and looking great:

Holiday Survival Kit

You need a detox – Kusmi Detox Tea – This season is fun but it equates to too much of everything. Too much food. Too much booze. Too much fun. I love this lemongrass/maté/green tea by Kusmi. It’s a refreshing blend with low levels of caffeine. I can drink it throughout the day and feel refreshed without feeling jittery. The tin retails for about $20 at Kusmi. I also like the muslin bags but the box is ugly and apparently suspicious. I had a box out when I was in business in NYC. A client asked me if I was trying to pass a drug test. I was like, “Silly New Yorker. I live in Washington. We don’t have drug tests”.

Too much drinky drinky equals too much puffy puffy eyes. – Freeze 24/7 Eyecing Fatigue Fighting Eye Cream- I have a weakness for salty hors d’oeuvres (anything with caviar) and bubbly booze. I spend 90% of my holidays with puffy eyes due to too much sodium. Too survive the season, you need a really good eye cream. My really good eye cream is Freeze 24/7 Eyecing. I could write this product a love poem, but I don’t think it would appreciate it (expect a review in the future). This cream feels good and does what it claims to do. It keeps me bright-eyed all day. It retails for $115 at Nordstrom.

Damn my new high heels! – Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream– Either it be standing up at some lame cocktail party that has zero chairs in new high heels or standing in line during holiday shopping, your feet will feel it. The cool weather and the lack of “need to look good in sandals” pressure doesn’t help. Winter time = grotty feet. I love to use a rich foot cream like Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream. I like the rich feel, the tropical smell and the slight peppermint tingle. Apply a ton of it, then put on socks at night. You’ll wake up with smooth feet. It retails for about $9 at drugstore.com.

Dry lips are not cute.Lip Balm – The cold weather and wind ruins my lips. This is one of the many reasons I hate winter – chapped lips. And late-night cocktails (dehydration) doesn’t help. My lips are super sensitive. I can’t wear anything with peppermint or sunscreen 🙁 After searching and searching, I find that cheap ‘ole Aquaphor is the best for my winter chapped lips. It keeps my lips ready for festive reds and this season’s fashion-forward oxblood lip colors. The dual tube pack retails for about $6 at drugstore.com.

Take the time to breathe. Calming Fragrance – It’s important during this time to have time to escape, you need a fragrance retreat. Inhale a centering fragrance that clears the mind. The scent you may consider grounding or centering may vary from what I consider grounding or centering. One of my favorite “calm my spirit” fragrances is Pirouette Moss Garden, a cool and crisp “forest” scent made from 100% natural essences. The 1 oz spray retails for $38 at Pirouette.

I don’t feel like washing my hair when it’s 20 below and I’ve overslept.Dry Shampoo – Dry shampoo is awesome in the winter. It can be used to preserve holiday styles, in case you have multiple parties over the weekend  And it can be used on Monday morning when you’re trying to recover from weekend holiday parties, overslept and have no time to deal with your hair. I’m such a fan of dry shampoos. I use them to extend styles and to do styles (like beehives) on freshly washed hair. One of my favorites this year has been a cheapie, Suave Professionals Keratin Dry Shampoo. I love how it extends my time between washings (seriously, hate washing my hair in the winter) and it provides volume to freshly washed hair. I have used many dry shampoos (including expensive ones) and my thick, course hair is happy with this one. It retails for about $4.50 at drugstore.com.

Refresh.Skye Botanicals Rose Petal Toner– I have dry skin even in the summer. Winter weather is awful for me skin. And it doesn’t help that I’m eating crap and drinking too many cocktails and well, stressed. My skin tells the world. I like to refresh throughout the day with Skye Botanicals Rose Petal Toner. This all-natural magic liquid contains botanicals that refresh, regenerate, balance and brighten the skin. Plus, the rose petals of Martha’s Vineyard smell is very calming. A 4 oz. bottle retails for $28 at Skye Botanicals.

When all else fails, fake it.  – Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer– Sometimes you have to fake it. And I won’t judge. We all do it…with concealer. I love this rich, full-coverage skin enhancer. You only use this where you need it – cover up dark circles, redness around the nose, etc. And the finish is so pretty and dewy and looks so youthful. It’s my secret weapon. Kevyon Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer retails for $45 at beauty.com.

Now go out and enjoy yourselves!

*Disclaimer – Nordstrom, drugstore.com and beauty.com are affiliate links. Thanks! Kusmi tea, 24/7 eye cream and Skye Botanicals toner were sent to me for consideration. My opinions are my own. Vikki Dougan pic from www.fanpix.net.