The hectic holiday season is upon us! It feels like it comes sooner and sooner every year, creeping up our butts like a pair of ill-fitting underwear. Between cooking, shopping, decorating, cooking some more, addressing cards, signing cards, and sending cards, you’ve got enough to worry about. I’m here to help your skin look as dazzling as the Griswold family’s Christmas lights and to make sure your makeup is as tasty as a holiday turkey.
When you’re stretched to your limit, sometimes skincare can take a backseat. Pores get neglected and fill up with gunk, skin gets dull, and thanks to a lack of hydration, fine lines start to get noticeable from further and further away. The first thing we need to do is get your skin sorted and address these self-inflicted problems! Thankfully for all us slacking stress balls, K-beauty has some excellent quick fixes, so let’s get glowing with this 5-step, easy-to-do holiday beauty guide.
OK, it’s time to evict these unwanted pore squatters. I’ve always been a huge fan of Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic line. Every product under that umbrella has performed spectacularly for me. The best long-term treatment for blackheads would be a chemical exfoliator like a good BHA, but we don’t have time for that right now, or maybe you do, but you need instant results and that’s where this little 3-step blackhead removal mask comes in. Containing one strip to soften and loosen the gunk, one strip to remove, and a pore tightening treatment (that temporarily gives the appearance of smaller pores), this kit will have your nose looking less like a strawberry and more like a cute little button in no time.
If you’re short on time, there also this interesting AprilSkin option available with BeautytapASAP’s free 3-day shipping. The AprilSkin Pinky Clay Nose Pack Set contains a toner, pink clay-based nose pack, and soothing gel to tackle those unwanted blackheads.
Sorry dehydration, it’s over between us. If you want to make a clean break from flakes and other mistakes, a good juicy serum is going to take you from growing lines to glowing and fine. Since time is of the essence (or is the essence of the time in this case?), I have two options to recommend from BeautytapASAP. The hyaluronic acid in Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum and COSRX’s Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence is exactly what your skin needs for an instant plump. You can expect an even more dramatic transformation with continued use of both of these beauties, but the instant plumping effect we’re looking for is undeniable.
I really like both of these treatments. I know they’re labeled as a serum and an essence, but they are essentially the same thing and serve the same purpose. Both are full of hyaluronic acid, both work beautifully, and both work for all skin types. The Klairs boasts more botanical extracts if that’s what you’re into and is just slightly thicker. I’ve used them both interchangeably in my routine and gotten similar results from the two, so flip a coin or give them both a try and see which one you prefer!
The lights have dimmed on your complexion — how can we crank up the wattage with no time to spare? The world’s greatest mask (according to me), that’s how! JayJun’s Anti-Dust Whitening Mask is my go-to mask for big events or just for days when my skin is struggling and needs all the help it can get. After several days of neglect, this mask has been able to immediately revive my tired skin and flip on the glow switch. I seriously can’t stop looking at the way my skin catches the light after a session with this mask — it’s amazing. And trust me, I am otherwise not a mirror person at all.
I also love that this mask comes with three steps: the mask, a crazy cushy lustre ampoule (that is actually a thick essence that my skin loves), and an under-eye corrector that takes care of my tissue paper-thin eye area. You guys, I currently have three boxes of this mask hoarded in my bathroom with two more boxes on the way, it’s that good! It’s a Christmas miracle!
Now onto makeup. The last thing you want to worry about is runny raccoon eyes, chapped lips, or looking like a pallid zombie halfway through a big gathering. Let me hook you up with some fail-proof classics that will surely serve you (and serve looks) all day long.
There’s nothing cute about bald patches of eyeliner that has either ran or flaked off. I went into a very spendy and expensive Sephora exploration of several very high-end liners in the past two years, and in all honesty, I have never once found one that worked better than Tony Moly Back Gel Eyeliner. I have been a devotee of this eyeliner for many, many years now, but I had to check and make sure it was still my #1.
I’m happy to report that yep, it still cannot be beat in terms of performance and, much to my wallet’s relief, in price and value as well! The gel liner glides on with a rich jet black or warm chocolate brown, and once it sets it stays. For me it lasts through hot yoga and swimming, I’m sure it can last through your holiday gathering, too.
If you like a good, sharp liquid liner, CELLNCO Eye Love Pen Liner is another one that’s stood the test of time and several Western products for me. This liner outwears Fenty Beauty’s Flyliner and Marc Jacob’s Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner! It’s got a much sharper, more precise tip, and it’s only $14! I trust nothing less for my holidays this year, and you can bet my liner will look sharp enough to cut that turkey from the butt crack of dawn till midnight.
I’ll tell you what we’re not gonna do this year: We’re not gonna run around with chapped, angry lips all day. I have a bad habit of neglecting my lips, even when I’m doing a full face makeup look. I keep telling myself I’ll do it before I leave and then just forget to put anything at all on my lips. Then I’ll physically feel my mouth starting to look like that scene where Patrick and Spongebob dry out.
This year I’m going to start off with some color and some treatment. I’m going to slip Laneige Tin Tint Balm in the shade Berry On Top into my pocket and onto my lips. It’s a lip treatment that will moisturize as well as give some color. While I’m initially preparing things, visiting with family, and corralling children, I’ll be treating my lips with this balm.
Then when it’s time to eat I’ll sneak into the bathroom to apply Labiotte Chateau Labiotte Wine Lip Tint in the shade Merlot Burgundy, because just like actual wine this stuff is going to give me the strength to get through the rest of the day. The long-lasting tint will take me through dinner and drinks without worrying about transferring or fading. The little mini wine bottle-shaped packaging also looks cute as hell in my little holiday clutch, let’s be real.
The less time I have to worry about lipstick reapplication, my eyeliner, or how my skin looks, the more time I can lose myself in the joy of the holidays and stay in the moment. And at the heart of it, that’s really what this holiday beauty guide is all about. Happy holidays everyone! ❤️
Got any of your own tips to add to this holiday beauty guide? Let me know in the comments!