Holiday Beauty Gift Guide


Reporting from Chicago, our Michigan Avenue-based Beauty Stylist Iris Brostowicz breaks out the glitter to show you how to get the perfect holiday glow.

How can you subtly apply glittery eyeshadow?
IRIS BROSTOWICZ: There are a multitude of options to use glitter in a subtle manner that will add radiance to highlight a feature on the face, while also avoiding an over-the-top 2001: A Space Odyssey flashback. Keep in mind that the larger the glitter, the larger the flash of light, and the smaller the glitter, the more understated the look.

Subtlety at its best…
Apply your go-to palette of eyeshadows as you normally would, but add a contrasting touch of glitter directly at the lash line, above the iris, to attract light to the center of the eye. Try Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow in Silver Lilac. An expert tip to make this appropriate 24/7 is: The width of the highlight should not exceed the width of the iris. Use an eyeshadow and/or an eyeliner like stila ‘sparkle’ waterproof liquid eyeliner that has glitter in it, and stick to shades of white, champagne and/or pearl to achieve a hint of highlight.

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With Christmas just 12 (!) days away, we’re sure you’ve made a shopping list. And now’s the time to check it twice—especially if you’re struggling to find that gift for the girl in your life who seems to have everything! Well, we’ve found 6 wrap-worthy options to snag before Santa Claus makes his way into town.

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The holiday season is almost upon us, so there’s no time like the present to get the best deals on some valuable beauty buys. Check out our wish list!

1) Clarins 7 Wonders’ Skincare Set (Limited Edition)
Why buy: Experience the best of Clarins with this collection of perfectly sized skincare products.

2) Laura Mercier ‘Luxe Color Wardrobe’ Cheek & Eye Set
Why buy: Meet your ultimate holiday accessory, which features a range of products for eyes and cheeks.

3) Trish McEvoy Power of Makeup® Planner Collection: Pure Romance
Why buy: This exclusive collection—ideal for a girl on the go—features Trish McEvoy’s classic essentials and newest shades housed in a limited-edition lace Makeup Planner.

4) Nordstrom ‘Ultimate Essentials’ Beauty Palette
Why buy: Enjoy over 150 shades for eyes, lips and face.

5) Smashbox ‘Wondervision’ Eye Set
Why buy: The eyeshadow palette has six shades that will leave you looking glamorous, day or evening.

6) Kiehl’s Since 1851 ‘Greatest Hits’ Collection
Why buy: Get Kiehl’s coveted formulations for skin and hair in one convenient gift set.

Embrace the merrymaking season with the latest Holiday Looks.


Celebrate your inner beauty this holiday season with tips from M·A·C Senior Artist Victor Cembellin.

Let’s face it: Makeup makes the perfect gift. Packaged in art deco-inspired luxury, M·A·C Stroke of Midnight Eye, Lip & Brush Kits and Nocturnals holiday kits are fantastic choices when shopping during this most decadent time of year.

I always say that good makeup application begins with great brushes! With that in mind, the Stroke of Midnight Mineralize Brush Kit is an absolute holiday must. Lending unparalleled precision and refined professional quality, these four artistry tools (with their own elegant graphic case) perform flawlessly with M·A·C’s wide array of mineral products.

Three-dimensional, highlighted skin was a major trend this past fall/winter 2013 Fashion Week. To achieve the look and create a soft, wintery glow, sweep Iridescent Powder in Sparkling Rosé (from the Stroke of Midnight – Cool Face Palette) across the high point of your cheekbone using the #159 SE brush.

Then, using the Duo Fiber Face Brush #187, erase imperfections with Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. Your perfected complexion will remain lightweight and polished all day long.

And because the holiday season is packed full of celebratory gatherings and late-night outings, use the same Cool face palette to create a sultry, smoky-eyed look, worthy of any occasion. Work the palette’s three featured eye shadows (All Races, Scene and Magic Moor) from the lightest to darkest shades, traveling from under the brow to around the eye. Next, use the 286 Duo Fibre Blending Brush and blend upwards to build up depth and drama.


Last but not least: For the girl that’s got it all—the “M·A·C addict”, as we like to call her—the Nocturnals Pigments & Glitter Set are the perfect “tinsel” to decorate any eye shadow combination! Presented in three uniquely different color ranges, these sets are a sparkly five-shade sampler of M·A·C’s most iconic, high impact colors.

Victor Cembellin uses makeup as a way to reveal the hidden facets of a woman’s personality. Keep up with Victor Cembellin on Twitter.


Beauty Gifts to Love This Season

Cheri Botiz, National Beauty & Fragrance Director for Nordstrom, shares insider beauty tips and her favorite products.

Finding the right gift for everyone on your list can be such a challenge. I believe the key is to get something you love yourself; it makes your gift extra special, and you know you won’t be able to wait for that special someone to experience it. So, here is my gift to you: all the things I love this season (that I’m so excited for you to discover for yourself).

Luxurious Gifts

Bobbi Brown Holiday Glamour Set: The perfect set to create a great look for day or evening. I simply love it! Eye, lips and cheeks—with fantastic brushes. It has everything you need. This is the ultimate gift for your BFF. $100

Vicktor & Rolf ‘Flowerbomb Tutu’ Holiday Eau de Parfum Spray: This limited-edition bottle is darling—a great keepsake with a fantastic fragrance included. The pink tutu on the bottle makes this unforgettable. It’s hard to find these hidden treasures. $105

Jo Malone Candle Collection: By far the most luxurious candles—give these gems, and your recipient is sure to light up. The incredible fragrances make any room feel extra special, with a perfect array of scents to transport you to bliss. Who couldn’t use a little of that during the holidays? $85

La Mer ‘The Signature Collection’ Set: The ultimate skincare gift is here, complete with the signature Crème de La Mer, The Regenerating Serum and The Eye Concentrate—all fantastic products. This is great way to give a gift of deluxe skincare. $250

Must-Have Gifts

M·A·C Holiday Brush Set: All the M·A·C brush sets are so adorable this year. You get instant added value because all the bush sets come in a sling bag you can wear out with your favorite outfit. These sets are great for at-home use or for travel. Limited quantities available. $49.50

Nordstrom Color Palette: Talk about value: You will not find a better one anywhere with the quality of this palette. It includes 144 eyeshadows, six blushes, nine eyeliners and four applicators, and the price can’t be beat. It’s perfect for gifting to teachers, tweens and teens. $29 ($150 Value)

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Whipped Body Butter: New for fall, this whipped soy milk and honey body butter is an item no one will want to live without after they try it. It smells so good and leaves a great finish on the body. As soon as that special person opens this jar, they will fall in love. Provides 24-hour hydration. $35

Antica Farmacista Diffusers: Makes the perfect hostess gift for any dinner party. The presentation is so lovely and provides a beautiful lasting impression throughout the home, and these come in a variety of unforgettable scents. (Champagne is my favorite!) $62

Gifts for You

CLARISONIC ‘White Plus’ Set: Complete with a brush for your face and body, you will only find this CLARISONIC® set at Nordstrom. Guaranteed to cleanse your skin up to six times more effectively than using just your hands alone. Use CLARISONIC and achieve the best skin of your life. This is an item I feel everyone should own; I know I can’t live without it. $225 ($315 Value)

Gucci ‘Guilty’ Holiday Set: You must purchase this for yourself. Right now. This is the hottest fragrance out there—a daring, floral oriental scent that everyone can wear. The bottle is so beautiful just by itself. What a great statement on your vanity. $75 ($98 value)

Lancôme Limited-Edition Beauty Box with any $49.50 Lancôme purchase: You can’t beat this, packed with everything you need in a beautiful black train case. This set has 12 full-size Lancôme products and is offered in your choice of Party Pinks or Glamorous Golds. You will have this box for years to come. $49.50 ($300 value)

philosophy shower gels: Moisturizing shower gels that you can also use to wash and condition your hair are infused with holiday-perfect fragrances. From ‘candy cane’ to ‘hot buttered rum’, these gels are deliciously daring. $16

This is just a glimpse of what I love this holiday season. Visit our Holiday Beauty Gift Guide to find all your beauty gifts for everyone on your list in a range of prices.