Start the holiday party season off right with these easy holiday beauty faves. We’re talking sheer illuminating makeup, a scent that is intoxicating with notes of violet, and a fierce lip all paired together to make you look effortlessly cool at any get together.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Eau De Parfum
The Elizabeth and James brand was launched in 2007 by Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen and Nirvana Black was one of their first fragrances. With notes of vanilla, sandalwood, and violet, this womanly scent makes me think of romantic evenings by the fire and sumptuous velvet fabrics. It’s warm and slightly spicy, and has pretty good staying power throughout the day. I can spritz or rollerball in the morning and it lasts through to evening. As a bonus, it’s in the same scent family as another one of our favorites, Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme, at a slightly lower price point. -M

Laura Geller Beauty Easy Illuminating Sticks
These highlighters are so fun to use and look amazing! A little bit goes a long way and will last several hours. In this photo we are featuring the colors Gilded Honey and Ballerina (current favorite for olive-tone skin). I received a powder baked gellato sample of Gilded Honey in my Birchbox a few months ago and loved the color, but did not like the powder application for my skin. Nothing was wrong with it, just a personal preference. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this comes in a cream stick. All I can say is that I love, love, love this. Laura Geller as a brand has continued to impress me with their long-wearing products. -B

MAC Powder Blush in Fleur Power
I walked into Nordstrom one day looking for a new blush. I had been wearing a coral, peachy blush all summer and wanted to switch to a more dusty rose/light pink color. A great rep from MAC was helping me and as soon as I said “dusty rose”, she reached for Fleur Power. It’s a soft rose/coral color that is flattering on my light olive skin and perfect for the winter months when I have a bit less color; it totally brightens me up. I use a Laura Mercier blush brush for application and lightly sweep the blush on the apples of my cheeks using the flat side of the brush. MAC products are all well pigmented so start with a light hand and you can always add more color, though I find that this particular shade is bright enough that one sweep is usually plenty. -M

NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Vintage
I love matte lipsticks and heard great things about the NYX Suede Cream line from my sister-in-law who happens to be a professional makeup artist. I bought the Vintage color becuase I wanted something edgier and dark for colder months. For $7, it is impressive. First off, it looks like actual velvet on your lips. The color is rich and long lasting. One thing I do have to mention is that it dried my lips out more than usual for a matte lipstick. To combat this I use a lip scrub before application like this one, and a good bit of lip balm before applying this lipstick. For application, having a little product on the applicator and then adding when needed works best for me. A lot goes a long way and once it is on, it is very hard to get off. -B

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