Brighten Up

We have decidedly entered the beauty queen’s no-man’s-land. It is winter. Now let out a great big sigh and get over it. There are plenty of ways to have fun with your face despite whipping winds, freezing rain, and generally dismal winter weather. Sure, sparkles are fun (hehe), but what about leaving the confines of the season in the dust and opting for a pop of summer when you need it? Jensy won’t scoff.

The summer of 2011 was ALL about neon, from the bikinis to the cocktails to the lipsticks… everywhere from Dior to Old Navy, neon was the only thing that seemed to matter. And sure, by next summer we’ll all be hanging on tightly to a new trend wagon, but there is no reason you can’t nurse your neon hangover now. Before 2012’s bright color wave announces itself, cling dearly to those neons and use them wherever appropriate. Shall we start with the lips?

I wear a crap-ton of hot pink lipstick for a few reasons. The first is, I really just like it. I think it’s utterly girly, really fun, and it’s one way to beat the blues of a conservative daily lifestyle without offending anyone. I find that a bright pink lip counteracts myriad sins–from undereye bags to pimples, and everything in between. It’s a simple way to appear polished, and it literally takes one sweep to perfection. Personally, I choose to go matte for day because my job requires me to look professional. To avoid being too coquettish, steer clear of hot pink glosses for day and stick with a stick. The two I receive the most compliments on are Chanel Rouge Allure in Super, and Maybelline Color Sensational lip color in Fuchsia Fever.

Now, that’s what I call living in color.

Make like Rihanna and rock a hot pink lip

Post-Present Melancholy

Chrismy has come and gone, and I’m tired and a tad too “well-fed.” The good news is that I got some majorly great presents over the past few days, and I’m really excited about all of them. And while we’re no longer kids, there still is that deflated feeling lingering after all the packages have been opened, and the promise of Christmas morning is gone. How to beat the blues? Enjoy the stuff you have!

Ah, the glory of opening presents under the tree!

This morning I got my Kindle Fire (thank you, Joshy) all sorted out, buying a few books on there to keep me entertained on the train, starting some Words with Friends games, and so on. I’ve been wearing my new earrings and sweaters from Mom, and I put the cash from Dad toward the last bits of my debt. Everything else has been folded, organized, hung on the wall, or otherwise incorporated into my real life. This way, the presents have started to feel like things I own and not just items in boxes wrapped up in love.

The next step is creating a list of everyone who gifted you, and writing thank-you notes. Nothing says “I love you” like a hand-written card explaining how meaningful each individual gift was. Furthermore, you relive the opening of every present as you pen these notes. I find it very cathartic.

Finally, remember that the revelry is not over. New Year’s Eve will be here soon, and in the meantime, there are plenty of great sales and ample excuses to get manicures and other fun treats. Relax this week. Remember the true meaning behind all of this “holiday” madness–friends, family, and love. And enjoy those presents! They were given to you for a reason, and that reason also stems from love.

A Very Sweetsie Chrismy Season

Budgets and kittens and deadlines have kept us from purchasing the grand, real tree we might have imagined. But in Williamsburg with my little brother this Christmas, the choice to borrow a neighbor’s white tree and make everything deliciously sparkly is good enough for me. I came home from work on Sunday to find a delightful little Charlie-Brown-esque white tree in a corner of the great room modestly decorated in sequins, lights, and little silvery swirls of aluminum tinsel. Yesterday afternoon we finished our shopping (everyone is getting a little–or huge–blue box this year) and I have to say, I am quite pleased with the result.

Now, I’ve just finished sculpting and painting my nails in Lilacism, my old standby. I’ve come home from a delicious evening with a dear old friend from my magazine days. And as I sit here looking at my little tree, and watching the cats run around over Oriental rugs and through hanging silk scarves, I have to admit things are looking up. It’s been a long and interesting year, and quite frankly, a pretty dismal month. But December 25th holds promise of family and love, and plenty of booze. No complaints here. Happy season, my beloved readers! I hope you all rally around your trees, Menorahs, and/or family with the same type of appreciation and love that I am lucky enough to enjoy.

Add a Little Glitter

Ready to spice up your day but not quite sure how to do it? A touch of shimmer goes a super-long way. You don’t have to go all out to get into the sparkly season, but you can add bits and bobs to join the trend wagon, while adding some much-needed glitter to your busy, crazy day. Some ideas:

Shadow

A sparkling eye shadow is a great way to brighten up your face. While you might not choose this look for day, it’s a fabulous choice for evenings on the town, a hot date, or a Christmas party. Make Up For Ever is one of my favorite brands, and you can always count on them for eye makeup that has serious staying power. This glittering shadow from the brand, only $13, is a perfect treat you can buy yourself and it comes in a ton of great colors. Sephora.com.

Lips

MAC Cosmetics’ “Glitter and Ice” lipstick is slick and special and works by the light of the moon… or the office. From shimmering silver to a punchy, robust red, there is a hue for you. Swipe it onto well hydrated lips for a perfect shimmer and a pretty smile. $15.50. Maccosmetics.com.

Nails

You know I’m an Essie girl, but I have to give a little love to butter London, one of the best nail polish brands to burst onto the scene in recent years. We knew the Brits had style, but did we have any idea how serious they were about their nails? Now we do. The current collection features some pretty crazy sparkly colors that, when worn with everything from a simple black sweater and jeans to a little spandex dress, will make you stand out in the crowd. $14. Beauty.com.

I Remember… this Day in December

Cool weather has settled in. We’ve had some snow and there is definitely more to come. As December arrives and winter is starting to encroach, it makes me think of times gone by. December is a beautiful month filled with warmth and good feelings. Whatever the “holidays” mean to you, the bottom line to me has always been family. From my dad’s side to my mom’s, from the friends I’ve made who have become family to the colleagues about whom I care deeply, December is the time to celebrate these special people. We can save ruminations and regulations and resolutions for January, facing reality happens in February, and then depression is sure to set in some time in March.

But on this, the first day of December, I would like to wish everyone in my life all of the warmth that you make me feel every day. And to that end, today is World AIDS Day. If you have been looking for somewhere to pour the overflow from your love cup, the AIDS cause is a great place to do it. You can go here for information and ideas on donating and helping out with this important cause. I personally have lost a very dear loved one to this terrible disease and it is extremely close to my heart.

With lots of good wishes for a warm and healthy December…

xx Jensy