Every year I tell myself I’m not going to let the winter holidays sneak up on me. I will have manicured nails, a fresh haircut, and feel healthy after a month or two of clean eating and regular exercise. And that will make everything run a little more smoothly when the rubber hits the road.
I don’t know that I’ve ever actually achieved this, but the aspiration persists. And this year I’m putting pen to paper early (ish) and making a list of everything I can do in advance to make life easier when holiday socializing (whether hosting or attending) is upon us. Which it just about is!
1. Dial In Your Skincare Routine
Stress can do a number on your skin, but if you develop a solid routine for morning and night now, you’ll be all the more resilient once things get to be a bit much.
Dermatologist Dr. Lindy Fox, cofounder of Vetted, a new clean beauty brand, explains that while stress doesn’t actually cause skin problems, it can definitely aggravate existing ones.
She and her two cofounders wanted to create an effective but hypoallergenic line of products—they saw too many patients whose skin was made worse by products they hoped would make their face glow.
When it comes to skincare, more is not always more (especially when it comes to exfoliation). So the doctors behind Vetted have created a system with gentle but powerful ingredients including vitamin C and retinoids. All Vetted products are especially safe for sensitive skin. The packaging is stunning and sustainable.
2. Soften Up Your Feet
During winter, I tend to put my feet in hibernation. I take a break from pedicures, since my feet will be bundled up anyway, right? Right, until that holiday party where I decide to wear dressy sandals.
That’s why I was excited to discover Zentoes, in particular their Moisturizing Gel-Heel Fuzzy Socks. I’ve been wearing them with the brand’s Natural Hydrating Foot Balm, and I’m convinced that by the time holiday parties roll around, I’ll be kicking up some very presentable heels.
3. Choose Low-Effort, High-Impact Makeup
Why do I do this: It’s the night of a holiday party, and I feel I need to amp up my makeup. I’ll try a cat eye, I say. The cat eye ends up looking like a black eye. Wash face, start over (probably a couple times), arrive late to party.
This year, I have a plan. I’ve been a fan of Canadian makeup brand 19/99 since it launched earlier this year for their clean formulations, cool colors, and age-inclusive philosophy.
The brand recently released collection of Watercolor Tints that come in four colors for lips and cheeks that can subtle, but are buildable for those times you want more oomf. Just add a little more and smudge it around. Paired with their gorgeous Precision Color Pencils, any makeup look can go from basic to banging in minutes.
4. Smell Good
When I’m running around prepping for end-of-year festivities, sweaty feels like my new normal. I always try to pre-empt those unpleasantly steamy situations with a dash of a beautiful scent. But, try as I might, I’ve rarely found a scent that after 45 minutes doesn’t start to smell weird or give me a headache.
This year will be different because I’ve finally found my signature scent in Fiat Lux’s Circe, with notes of notes of labdanum, oud, amber wood, seaweed, and salt. It’s Fiat Lux founder Marie McCarthy’s second scent in partnership with Yosh. After wearing it all day I was even more in love (and no trace of a headache).
5. Be Ready For Tummy Issues
Stress and busyness, not to mention the availability of so many rich foods, can lead to tummy issues this time of year more than ever. This year I’m leaning on the cute and effective antacids offered by Wonderbelly. Much like Olly makes taking vitamins fun, Wonderfully does the same for antacids. The chewables come in flavors including Strawberry Milkshake, Fruity Cereal, Lemon Sorbet, and Watermelon Mint. They’re also gluten free and vegan, are made with no dyes or artificial sweeteners, and come in sustainable packaging.
6. Start Journaling Now
Why wait for the new year? I rely heavily on my Denik dot notebook and follow the Bullet Method to keep myself relatively on track and prepared for the weeks, days, months and even years to come. I love that you can design-your-own, and Denik’s layflat design is left-hander friendly. If journaling is something you’ve been thinking about adding to your organizational arsenal, I say do it now. The holiday season is bound to run smoother for it.