The holiday season has arrived and you know all that free time you used to have? It’s about to be disappear, along with any thoughts of “me” time and personal space as you pack yourself into a plane, train or automobile to go visit relatives who may inspire you to contemplate homicide within the first 48 hours of arrival.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. What I am saying is that there are some last-minute beauty items you might want to consider before those moments are up. Because even though I’m pulling a Greta Garbo and shutting down and staying in my apartment until Black Friday passes, I have made The Grand Relative Trek many times, and I’d ask you to consider the following sanity savers:
Get a gel manicure - I always want my nails to look decent, especially if I'm feeling frayed and nutty on the inside. If you can make a break for the salon, that’s awesome, but the home gel manicure kits from the SensatioNail Nail Starter Kit are impressive. You can do them super fast and they will last as long as their in-salon counterparts. Because who wants to flip her sister off with chipped nails?
Hydrate - You are about to enter the skincare danger zone of no sleep, no moisture, and foods that will turn your face into a hot mess by New Year’s Eve. This is the time to drink as much water as possible. Drink water on the plane instead of that cocktail you think you need and your skin stands a fighting chance when you’re home.
Get a blowout - Save your sanity by taking care of the hair before you travel. Plus, my hair is always affected by changes in water in different places so not washing is a bonus. And don’t even try to pack all your usual products for your hair routine. Get your hair done NOW and then pack the necessities to make that style last as long as you can: waterproof shower caps, dry shampoo, tiny bottles of Moroccanoil, bobby pins, etc.
Whatever gives you clear skin, use it now - Masques, sleep treatments, serums - whatever it is that you normally use for a flawless complexion, I’d advise you to overuse it before you get into the wild wonderland of other people’s houses and amenities. You can’t pack your entire skincare routine with you, so go in with your best face forward.
Exfoliate - It stands to reason that you’d build up a tough skin to things since your family can really get underneath said skin, but in the literal sense, you’ll look and feel your best if you take a minute to use a good facial and body scrub to go in with your softest skin possible. Just go into the situation calm, because if you’re in the shower thinking about the last fight you had with your family, you may use too much pressure and, well, you want to leave some skin behind. I’m just sayin’...
Only pack new/relatively new makeup - The last thing you want is getting stranded on vacation with your family with caking foundation, the wrong color concealer, flaking mascara or lipstick that’s so dry it crumbles out of the tube. If you need to go shopping for new products, go now or have Sephora deliver them to your destination. They do that, and it’s wonderful.
Take care of waxing and hair removal - A while ago, I went home over the holidays and decided to head out for drinks with high school friends. I ran into a crush from that era who looked just as good as he did when I crushed on him. You know what I was thinking as we were getting "reacquainted" post many rounds of beers? Thank GOD I shaved my legs for this. YOU NEVER KNOW, people.
Anything else that makes you feel good? Get it done. This means workouts, yoga, time in the steam room. Go in with your best beauty face forward and in a calm state and you’ll make it to the holiday party season with one less potential crime on your hands. That manicure? It's for the greater good, trust me.
Did I miss a favorite pre-holiday beauty ritual of yours? Is a manicure before Mom’s pecan pie unnecessary? Let's discuss.