The question that arises every manic holiday season is how to stay beautiful while juggling all the additional tasks, parties, and events added to our already hectic schedule. Keeping things simple (note I did not say sparse) will keep you looking shiny and fresh. Focusing on hair, sleep, skin, nails, and general well-being with a little sparkly fun thrown in should do the trick!
One of the most important elements of a great holiday look is having gorgeous silky and shiny hair. My number one recommendation for this high octane/high stress season is Australian stylist Kevin Murphy’s paraben and sulfate free Angel Wash and Angel Rinse. These are some of the best hair care products that I’ve ever used! It’s no surprise that this line has devoted fans such as Kylie Minogue (she loves the combination of Angel Wash and Angel Rinse and Hair Screen). Angel Wash promises to gently cleanse, control frizz and repair fine damaged hair and it delivers! I’ve been using it for a few months now, and love this delicate recovery shampoo for fine, dry or broken hair. Aloe, milk proteins and olive esters gently protect the hair in a low foam formulation that smells heavenly. Angelica root extract and essential oil of Grapefruit gently cleanse stressed out hair and controls frizz on fine, dry hair. I follow with Kevin Murphy Angel Rinse for Fine Colored Hair, and adore how the cocoa butter and chamomile gently repair my hair. Available online at Amazon.com.
Speaking of shiny hair, the silky surface of Branché’s sleek pillow slips help diminish frizz and keep curls smooth, while gentler movement of the hair during sleep reduces hair breakage. The easy-to-pack cases make Branché the perfect alternative to those starchy hotel sheets we so often encounter and the satiny smooth texture make them a luxuriously sexy addition to any bed. Available in a variety of dreamy colors, Branché’s Charmeuse Cases contain eighteen amino acids and a high copper content that work to restore hair elasticity, luster and body. Branché’s beauty benefits have made it a must-have item for many of the busiest celebrities. With fans such as Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Kelly Ripa and Jennifer Lopez, Branché is quickly becoming the at-home spa and salon treatment that makes skin and hair repair as easy as closing your eyes and drifting off to sleep. For more information please go to branchebeautysleep.com.
If looking 15 years younger is on your holiday wish list, then ARTISTRY Crème LuXury, which promises skin that acts up to 15 years younger is a definite must! In a clinical study, 93% of the women using this product line experienced smoother skin, 88% experienced a youthful glow and 79% saw fewer wrinkles. These benefits are the result of a new CellEffect technology which harnesses the power of cardiolipin, an essential lipid worth 30 times its weight in gold. Cardiolipin is the key ingredient in ARTISTRY CellEffect technology, formulated to help renew skin’s youthful energy. Priced at $340, the luxurious ARTISTRY Crème Luxury is at the forefront of all skin care. To find out more about ARTISTRY Crème Luxury, visit www.artistrybeauty.com.
Who can resist a little sparkle on the nails during the holidays, especially when it’s so on trend this year. OPI has a dazzling array of shades for the holiday season designed to complement winter wardrobes. From sparkling silvers like Bring on the Tinsel, to red hot polishes like Spark My Mistletoe, these festive hues add a magic touch to any occasion. My personal favorite is Teasy-Y Does It, a deep purple taupe with lots of sparkle. Available at fine salons nationwide.
Next to sleep, peace of mind is one of the most important components necessary to exude true beauty. A trip to the spa during this busy season may seem counterintuitive, but the result makes perfect sense! I recently slipped away for some afternoon pampering at the exclusive five-star St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, and am still enjoying the calming benefits of a 90 minute massage. Upon entering Spa Gaucin, guests are greeted by the spa concierge at The Well of Desires. By tossing a coin into the wishing well, spa goers symbolically leave their cares behind as they enter a world of relaxation and well-being. The spa décor is serene and botanically themed with soft light from natural skylights, comfortable furnishings, inviting fireplaces, bamboo floors and a built-in sound system offering eight different genres of music to suit each client’s taste. The centerpiece of the "Tranquility Room" is a fireplace with chaise lounges and easy chairs with ottomans overlooking the spa pool through three chapel windows. Like many spas there are all types of wellness classes in addition to relaxing treatments, but unlike many spas there is also a fantastic wine list that I was lucky enough to try before leaving. For more information please go to www.spagaucin.com.
If you are searching for adorable sparkly stocking stuffers, then I have a couple of great suggestions. For those who love bling and flirty lashes, Tarte’s new “golden” curler with precious purple rhinestones is just the thing! This innovative eyelash curler will still give your lashes that same great curl, but with a tad more sparkle! Never used an eyelash curler? It’s a cinch! To use: Place the open curler on lashes, getting as close to the lash line as possible. The trick is to squeeze the handles together until they touch, then release for the perfect curl (without the "ouch" factor)! Need even more curl? Heat your curler for 5 seconds with a hair dryer for a picture perfect lash. Tarte's limited-edition picture perfect curler is available at tarte.com.
If sparkle means just one thing to you—diamond—then this luxurious pair of creamy South Sea pearl earrings nestled in 18k gold starfish sprinkled with diamonds will make you smile from the inside out. This is one of my all-time favorite designs and a lovely play on the traditional holiday star makes it a gift appropriate for all! Available in several sizes and colors, please go to www.maryjomatsumoto.com for more information.
Wishing you all things bright and sparkling this holiday season!
Fashion designer Mary Jo Matsumoto writes a nationally syndicated style blog at www.trustyourstyle.com. She is debuting her natural perfume, as a new as well as expanding her successful line of fine jewelry, women's couture line, and luxury handbag line. For more information, please visit www.maryjomatsumoto.com.