Sick of my holiday-themed posts yet? Me neither.

Today I’m discussing *aaaaall* my favorite sparkly, shiny, shimmery and glossy beauty products (new and old). I rounded up the best affordable, high-end and luxury goodies to help you bring those kirakira+ selfies to life.

But first, I have to give a shoutout to fellow blogger and Glossier Rep Amelia (Amelia Says)–I got the idea for this fabulous post from her.

Enjoy my top picks for festive eyes, face, lips and body, and be sure to let me know your favorite products for adding that extra touch of glamour to your look during the holidays in the comments below! Xx

Eyes:

  • Golden State Of Mind shadow palette: Fifteen metallic, shimmery shades in romantic berries, icy ivories and not-so-basic bronzes help me create playfully sexy eye looks all season long. ColourPop
  • Super Shock Shadow in Bouncy: This cool-toned bronze with gold and violet duo chrome is the epitome of grunge-luxe. I love packing it onto my lid after sweeping some matte browns into my crease (Buxom’s Gimme Gorgeous and MAC Saddle are my go-to’s). ColourPop
  • Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife: This is intended to be a face highlight, but during the winter months when I’m paler it suits me much better on my eyes. I dust it all over my lid for a quick and easy glam look when I’m in a rush to get ready. It’s also great as an inner corner highlight à la Desi Perkins. Fenty Beauty
  • Chroma Crystal Top Coat in Nude: I’ll be the first to admit I love wearing this product on its own (even though it’s obviously intended to be a topcoat); it’s perfect for adding that subtle eye sparkle when rocking a bold lip. Natasha Denona
  • Eye Vinyl in Bridge: Holiday season is the perfect time to experiment with editorial-style makeup. Milk’s nude eye gloss creates a wearable, healthy-looking dewiness on the lids. Milk Makeup

Lips:

  • Balm Dotcom in Birthday: This cult-favorite, long-lasting and intensely moisturizing salve got a makeover from New York’s Milk Bar bakery. It’s the balm you trust with a heavenly scent and a subtle holographic shimmer. Glossier
  • Lip Gloss: Not your little sister’s lip gloss. Glossier’s version gives your lips glassy, cushion-y, long-lasting shine free from any colored tint, glitter or shimmer. Plus, it’s got vitamin E to moisturize and conditioning polymers so it applies evenly–no goopy feeling. Glossier
  • Lip Gloss in Orgasm: Did you know NARS’ cult-favorite universally flattering blush comes in a lip gloss? And with a name like Orgasm, this also isn’t your little sister’s gloss. The shimmering peachy-pink hue makes lips look full and healthy day or night. NARS
  • Sugar Plum lip gloss: A high-quality shimmering nude gloss that adds moisture and volume to the lips; looks great on its own or over your favorite matte liquid lipsticks. Kylie Cosmetics (part of the In Love With The Koko collection)
  • Frost Lipstick in Pink, You Think?: Coat lips in a hot neon pearlized pink that doesn’t look messy when it starts to fade. Plus, the blue undertones help your teeth look extra white! MAC Cosmetics

Face:

  • Highlighting Blush in Hot Sand: Hot Sand is my go-to for a natural-looking everyday highlight. The powder formula provides a soft-focus-effect that’s perfect for any subtle or no-makeup makeup looks. But, the formula is build-able; I apply 2-3 layers of Hot Sand with a fan brush when I want to intensify its warm, glow-y sheen. NARS
  • Haloscope in Topaz & Moonstone: One word to describe Haloscope is dewy! I love Topaz for a sun-kissed glow (think: on the orbital bone around the eye for a chic spin on a “sunglasses tan”) and Moonstone for a sweaty sheen on my cheekbones, tip of the nose and cupid’s bow. (Huge shoutout to Glossier’s Community Team Manager Kim Johnson for these tips.) Glossier
  • Super Shock Highlighter in Off Tropic: Off Tropic is my go-to highlighter when I want an intense, wet effect glow. This highlight combines the best of both worlds in my opinion: a warm beige hue with an icy sheen. To maximize its effect, I always apply Off Tropic with Real Techniques’ setting brush and top with plenty of setting spray. ColourPop
  • Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Chili Mango & Rum: These sparkly blush toppers are super easy to use; the color is build-able and they blend like a dream. (Plus, they double as eyeshadows.) Chili Mango is a fun, beach-ready orange that looks amazing on its own; Rum, a gilded bronze, pairs perfectly with my favorite bronzers (which are NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna and BECCA Sunlit Bronzer in Capri Coast, by the way). Fenty Beauty
  • Light Chaser Highlighter in Opal Flashes Jade: Speaking of BECCA, their highlighters definitely live up to the reputation they have among the beauty community. So many influencers I watch on YouTube (e.g., my favs Lauren Elizabeth and Katy Bellotte) speak so fondly of BECCA highlighters that I decided to try one during Sephora’s recent VIB sale. I was instantly drawn to Opal Flashes Jade from the Light Chaser Collection because it’s so different than anything in my collection. As the name suggests, it’s a golden opal pearl with an intense teal-sapphire shift. BECCA
  • Holographic Highlighting Powder in Mars: I have heard so much about Milk’s Mars highlighter in stick form, but I wasn’t completely sold until the company debuted its powder counterpart. Mars in an out-of-this-world holographic *warm* golden peach. And because most holographic highlighters tend to be cool-toned, Mars is truly unlike anything else on the market. Milk Makeup
  • GRAVITYMUD Firming Treatment: If you want to look like a sexy version of the Tin Man while you tighten your skin, then this is the product for you. GLAMGLOW’s Firming Treatment mask reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps even skin’s tone and restores firmness and elasticity. GLAMGLOW

Body:

  • Shimmering Body Oil: Why limit the sparkle to just your face? Glow all over with Bali Body’s shimmering body oil. It has all the nourishing and moisturizing properties of BB’s original body oil, plus a bronze tint and gold shimmers for an instant fresh-from-vacation glow day or night. (P.S. It smells incredible.) Bali Body 
  • Daily Perfecting Cream: You know that signature glow only Glossier can give your face? Bring it to the other 90 percent of you! Daily Perfecting Cream is a long-lasting body lotion. And while providing your skin with all-day moisture, it immediately perfects and enhance skin’s appearance–hence its name–thanks to tiny light-reflecting particles. The zero-residue, zerio-stickiness formula melts into the skin to tighten and smooth the surface and increase elasticity. Glossier
Follow:

I know it has been a minute since I’ve shared a monthly favorites with HM readers. But, I just can’t avoid it any longer; there are a *ton* of new things I have really been loving lately that I need to share with my readers.

Besides Prince Harry’s royal engagement (eep!), I put together a post on everything else I’ve been obsessing over this month (hint: there’s a ton from Sephora’s VIB sale). Now excuse me while I go scroll through Meghan Markle boards on Pinterest…

Fiorucci: By now everyone on here knows my obsession with Devon Carlson, one of the designers behind Wildflower Cases. Through her I’ve discovered some of my favorite people, places and things (like Girl At The White Horse, an L.A. bar). Arguably the coolest, though, is Fiorucci, an Italian label that mixes Dolce Vita luxury with British street style.

Back and better than ever, Fiorucci is one of the most unique labels on the market today–and it has such a rich history. As an Italian girl myself, I quickly fell in love with Fiorucci, but held out until Black Friday to order a few things from their site. To me, their pieces are casual, yet structured, with the perfect amount of sexy for everyday life.

Unlike a lot of other high-end labels, Fiorucci creates pieces I actually want to wear and that I can feel like myself in. I’ll most likely end up creating a lookbook (or two!) focusing on the pieces I bought, but for now I’ll link my favorites here, here and here.

Neisy Bra by Are You Am I: I picked this bra up at the AYAI showroom in Downtown Los Angeles last month, and I have barely taken it off since. Like everything from Are You Am I, this piece fits beautifully; it’s seriously like second skin.

And not only is it comfortable, it looks the part, too. Comfortable bras that are also pretty are super hard to come by–especially when you have a bigger chest. Its thick strips complement the thin rib detail on the cup portion (while providing a little extra support), and it has a gorgeous gold clasp detail on the back.

Unfortunately, this baby is out of stock. But, you can’t go wrong with anything from AYAI. I Promise 😉

Bali Body Shimmering Body Oil: You guys already know how much I love Bali Body’s skincare range; while I can’t make it through the summer months without their Watermelon Tanning Oil SPF 6, their BB Cream is my holy grail year-round.

Just in time for the holidays the Aussie cult-favorite brand debut their Shimmering Body Oil, and it definitely delivers. Unlike their tanning oils, though, Shimmering Body Oil is meant to be worn with *or without* the sun.

It instantly bronzes the skin while giving you a shimmering (duh!) golden glow. And because it’s from BB, it’s insanely nourishing, moisturizing and smells amazing–even better than their original coconut body oil in my opinion.

I love using it on top of–or sometimes instead of–BB’s Bronzing Lotion for that fresh-from-vacay look anytime, anywhere. Shimmering Body Oil, balibody.co

Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipstick in Chihuahua: Ever since I picked up MAC’s Persistence over the summer, I’ve been loving a bold nude lip. Too Faced’s Melted formula has been a favorite of mine for more than two years, so during Sephora’s VIB sale I picked up this shade.

Chihuahua is the perfect match for nearly any eye look, and this high-impact formula can’t be beat: it provides a glossy shine without sacrificing bold color payoff.

Unlike other liquid lipsticks, there’s no need to babysit this formula all day (or night!) long. And because it feels hydrating, lightweight and comfortable, has been my go-to lip color all month long–I even wore it on Thanksgiving! $21, sephora.com

MAC Cosmetics Frost Lipstick in Pink, You Think?: While Chihuahua has been my everyday lip, MAC’s Pink, You Think? has been my go-to for special occasions.

I ventured to L.A. twice in November, and I always love experimenting with fun colors when I’m out there (more so than when I am home on the East Coast). So, this lippie came along for the ride both times.

When I wore this hot neon pink lipstick (with blue pearlescent undertones) for the first time, I paired it with a gray cat-eye look. And the second time I went for a semi-coordinating pearlescent pink eye look. On both occasions, though, this lip color was a hit.

The neon pink hue is stunning, and it doesn’t look weird when it starts to disappear; on me it fades into a sun-kissed coral color. I never see this shade going out of style. $17.50, maccosmetics.com

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: This was another Sephora VIB sale purchase. After hearing a ton of my fellow Glossier Reps gush about this product, I finally gave into the temptation (couldn’t resist that 20-percent off deal).

I was a little hesitant at first because my skin can be pretty sensitive, but figured with the discount and Sephora’s killer return policy, the risk was minimal.

Not only does it smell amazing, it actually gets the job done! As I’ve gotten older, I noticed my skin (which is normally on the oily side) gets a little dry and somewhat irritated during the colder months. So, I need something extra in my routine to keep my complexion hydrated this time of year.

Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer is great after cleansing, toning and serum-ing, but Watermelon Glow definitely gives my skin that boost it needs before bedtime. $45, sephora.com

Ouai Hair Oil: If you read one of my previous posts, you know I also *finally* tried a few products from the Ouai during Sephora’s VIB sale. While I love everything I picked up, Hair Oil is the stand-out product for me; I find myself reaching for this guy nearly every day.

The nourishing blend of ingredients protects hair from heat damage while mending split ends. And for me, one pump is enough to tame the fly-aways around my face–the best part? I no longer need heat tools to do that!

I’ll also apply Hair Oil to dry tresses before bed to help strengthen my hair overnight. $28, sephora.com

The Fashion Law (website): I’ve been super busy wrapping up my thesis proposal, so I haven’t had too much time to read for pure pleasure. Thankfully, I love my field of research, especially when it gives me the chance to catch up on The Fashion Law, one of my favorite sites for several years now.

TFL has always been my go-to for keeping up with the industry. But more importantly, it was a huge influence in selecting my research topic.

While big names like Vogue and Marie Claire focus heavily on celebrity and pop culture-related content, TFL provides meaningful, in-depth pieces on the industry’s law and business–and it’s still fun to read. The more I learn about the industry, the more I can appreciate that.

Because TFL has been such a big part of my life lately, I decided to include it in my favorites this month even though I’ve been keeping up with it since 2014.

Honorable mentions: Wowder in Light/Medium by Glossier, Daily Oil Wash by Glossier, Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha by Fenty Beauty, Bronzing Lotion by Bali Body, kirakira+ (iPhone app), Sweatsuit in Camel Khaki by Danielle Guizio NY

What have you been loving this month?

What fashion and beauty items have you been reaching for the most? Are there any inspiring or informative books, magazine articles or blogs I should check out? Let me know your current lifestyle favorites in the comments down below! Xx

Follow:

I’ve got my fair share of vices; I can’t resist shoestring licorice or a glass of red wine. But, my biggest vice of all is definitely the sun. It’s *basically* my therapy.

Being a stone’s throw from Manhattan and experiencing all four seasons are two major perks of where I live, but during the cooler months I really miss bikini weather–and the tan that comes along with it!

So, self-tanner is a necessity for me. I have no shame in admitting I love having a glowing, bronze complexion from head to toe all year long. Plus, self-tanner is *waaay* better for you than tanning beds are (plus, I take pride in saying I’ve never, ever stepped foot in one).

That being said, I’ve gotten pretty good at creating a flawless, long-lasting faux tan over the years. To show Haute Mess readers that artificial tans don’t have to be orange and unsightly, I decided to share my go-to self-tanner routine so that all of us can glow into winter and beyond.

Step 1–Cleanse: You should never, even apply self-tanner to dirty skin–that’s just asking for a breakout. Even if you don’t think your skin is *that* dirty, it is definitely in your best interest to remove any excess oil and grime before you bronze. In the case of self-tanner, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Milky Jelly Cleanser, Glossier & Daily Cleansing Oil, Glossier

Step 2–Exfoliate: It’s no secret that self-tanner applies much more smoothly and evenly on freshly exfoliated skin. But, it can be too easy to skip this step because a full-body exfoliation is so time consuming.

Trust me, though–you’ll feel much more confident in your newly bronzed skin when you exfoliate beforehand; it is one of the best ways to avoid streaks and patchiness. I

love Cup ‘o Coffee from Lush because it’s safe for face *and* body (and it smells ahh-mazing). Cup ‘o Coffee, Lush Cosmetics

Step 3–Moisturize: Self-tanner’s pigmentation has a tendency to break up when exposed to oil-based moisturizer, so I make sure to moisturize my skin a few hours before going in with a self-tanner. Priming Moisturizer, Glossier & Daily Perfection Lotion, Glossier

Step 4–Tan: Like I just mentioned, it is super important to wait a little while in between moisturizing and the actually apply the self-tanner. So that your tan lasts as long as possible and looks flawless, you don’t want it mixing with any oils in your moisturizer.

Having a trustworthy mitt is also crucial; St. Tropez’s has never steered me wrong (and it’s only $6!). Applying bronze-hued foam to your skin may seem like a daunting task, so it is definitely important to take things slow.

Start with a quarter-sized dollop of St. Tropez’s Dark Bronzing Mousse. I love this formula because, not only is it ultra-lightweight, it has a greenish tinge to it, so it never appears orange on the skin. Instead, it leaves you with an olive glow (like one you’d get on vacation in Saint-Tropez).

Begin applying from the bottom up; from your ankles to your bum, making sure to cover yourself front to back (it helps to use a hand mirror in tandem with your wall mirror).

Once all the mousse is applied, run the mitt over the application site several times before going back for more product. This ensures that the tan is spread as evenly and streak-free as possible. Work your way up the upper body using the same technique until you reach the neck.

As it states on the packaging, it’s best to gently glide the mitt, with any remaining product on it, over the tops of the feet and hands for a seamless tan. Self-tanner, no matter how good the quality is, has a tendency to look blotchy on the hands and feet if not applied correctly (or if too much is applied).

Using your fingers, apply St. Tropez’s Bronzing Face Lotion; work from the center of the face in an upward and outward motion. Then, drag some product down the jawline and onto the neck.

Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse, St. TropezSelf Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion, St. TropezTan Applicator Mitt, St. Tropez

I don’t like to touch my tan–or expose it to water!–for at least 6 hours. This means no crossing my legs, no lying face down or on the side of my face and, of course, no sweating or showering.

Follow:

Last year my friend Rachel and I started a new Halloween tradition: a girls’ weekend in Salem, Massachusetts.

Salem can’t be beat this time of year (I promise a travel diary detailing everything as soon as we get back!). And now that it’s our second time, I for sure have a better idea in terms of what to pack. (I did not not pack enough warm layers last year, so I definitely learned my lesson.)

There is so much to do in this little gem of a city! We spend about half our time exploring the sites and shops downtown and half our time learning about the city’s history at museums and through walking tours (and another half drinking pumpkin beer and trying local cuisine). So, I like to pack casual, relatively polished clothes that are warm and comfortable, yet still reflect my personal style.

Thankfully, fall fashion is my favorite (#basic). Layering gives a girl a ton of options, and mixing different prints, textures and silhouettes is the perfect way to liven up what could otherwise be a frumpy outfit.

Beauty:

Salem’s vibe is super cool, so it is the perfect place to experiment with a new and/or bold beauty look. For the most part last year, I kept things fairly neutral, and I plan on doing pretty much the same this year. But, I’ll definitely be throwing a few fun accents in my bag.

In addition to the usual suspects (like Boy Brow, Balm Dotcom, a good primer, my must-have BB Cream and a trustworthy mascara), I added some extras to my makeup bag for this trip.

I’ve always loved a bold lip for fall, so I am bringing both Bunny by Kylie Cosmetics and LBB by Colourpop. Bunny is a cool mauve and LBB is rich berry that gives the perfect wine-stained pout; both are festive fall hues.

And, I cannot get enough of my new Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Mocha and Chili Mango, so of course I have to have them with me, too. Mocha makes contouring a breeze (plus, it looks much more natural than a powder contour in my opinion), while Chili Mango is a spicy, sparkly orange that draws attention to the eyes in one easy swipe across each lid.

A nude, dusty rose blush is the way to go in my opinion, so I’ll be bringing my go-to Amazonian Clay Blush in Seduce by Tarte.

To amp up the eyes for a night out, I packed an eyeshadow primer from Urban Decay, as well as their Naked Heat palette (which quickly became my favorite eyeshadow palette ever when it launched a few months ago) and Marc Jacob’s Matte Gel Eye Crayon eyeliner in (Earth)quake 41, a rich, deep brown.

No look is complete with a killer highlight, so I’m bringing Glossier‘s Haloscope in Moonstone for daytime and Milk Makeup’s Mars (the powder version) for an evening glow.

I also packed a few of my favorite on-the-go skincare products. Simple’s micellar makeup remover wipes (available at drugstores) are a must-have, and so is Glossier‘s Invisible Shield SPF 35+. And the Tea Tree Water spray by Lush is perfect for cleansing, toning and keeping oils at bay while on the go; it’s the ultimate skin refresher.

Clothes + accessories:

There’s no better place to rock your favorite fall pieces than in Salem! So, I packed quite a few fall staples to layer throughout the weekend. I cannot wait to show Haute Mess readers these gorgeous fall looks I put together while in Salem. Stay tuned! 😉

  • A versatile cardigan from Rat & Boa
  • A neutral pullover sweater from Free People
  • Plaid trousers from Topshop
  • A warm knit scarf from Free People
  • (Vegan) leather moto jacket by Blank NYC
  • My go-to winter coat in blush
  • A pair of clogs for daytime from Free People
  • A pair of heeled booties in black for a night out
  • Sneakers by APL
  • Statement earrings
  • My custom Pop & Suki Camera Bag (so I can be hands-free while touring the city)
Follow:

Ok, so, I’ll be honest.

I didn’t own a full-size moisturizer until a month before my 24th birthday.

Growing up with normal to oily, sensitive skin, moisturizer slightly terrified me.

My skin is already oily enough, I thought. Why would I need a moisturizer? Wouldn’t that clog my pores, making me even *more* oily and prone to breakouts?

Wrong.

The first moisturizer I ever tried was Glossier‘s Priming Moisturizer, a product I still use regularly. When I became an official Rep for the company, I received a sample size of this cult-favorite moisturizing primer with an order.

So, I tried it. And, guess what? I really, really liked it–so much so that I began to research the benefits of moisturizing. It turns out, there’s more to it than just mere hydration.

Using a moisturizer daily, after cleansing and toning, helps regulate the skin’s natural production of oil.

You see, when you dry out your skin, stripping it of its natural oils, it kicks into overdrive, producing more sebum than it would otherwise. (Our skin–and hair!–creates sebum naturally, as a form of self-lubrication. As a rule of thumb, individuals with oily skin naturally produce more sebum, while those with dry skin tend to produce less sebum.)

It turns out, drying out your skin to reduce oil or breakouts is actually counterproductive. If you want to regulate your skin’s oil production, you should *actually* moisturize every day.

Not only that, though. Oils are great for our skin in other ways.

Those with oily skin can thank their body’s natural sebum production for suppressing signs of aging. After all, our skin is made of this oil, so, it only makes sense that stripping our skin of it would speed up the aging process.

I’ve learned to love my skin’s natural dewy sheen; I think it looks healthy and glow-y. And letting it shine through looks a hell of a lot better than caking my face with powder and other mattifying products.

After moisturizing, my skin not only looks better, but feels better, too. I never realized how tight and irritated my face was without moisturizer until I began moisturizing. (Typing that out now, I definitely realize how obvious that may seem…especially to those who are in a longterm love affair with moisturizer.)

And, my makeup goes on more smoothly. I’ve never been a huge makeup person (I’m more into skincare and holistic beauty), but I do love getting glam-ed up once in a while. With a freshly moisturized face, makeup no longer looks blotchy or flakey (and it definitely doesn’t cling to dry patches)!

Finishing the sample of Priming Moisturizer took me all of two days. Then, I received a sample of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, which I also loved. This was a travel-size bottle, which lasted me a couple weeks. After I finished it (I actually cut the tube to scrape the last bit of it out), I bought the full size.

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a newer version of Clinique’s original (and infamous!) Dramatically Different Moisturizer. The Gel’s formula, however, is designed to work with oily skin, while the original is targeted at normal to dry skin.

It absorbs quickly and leaves skin hydrated–never greasy.

Like all Glossier‘s products, Priming Moisturizer is great for sensitive skin. Hyaluronic acid plumps skin as it moisturizes; plus, it reduces redness and blurs pores, creating a smooth surface for makeup (or not). It’s also loaded with antioxidants–vitamins A, C and E–that help protect skin from damage.

Both Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and Priming Moisturizer are build-able, meaning you can layer it on for the amount of moisturize your skin needs on a given day (factors like season, climate and hormones all play a role in skin’s moisture levels).

To prep the skin for makeup, I’ve also been using First Aid Beauty’s Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer. It blurs pores and cuts shine, while also moisturizing the skin, creating a smooth canvas for foolproof makeup application.

When it comes to all three of these products, I love to put a layer over my entire face, then add a little more where I’m prone to dryness, like around my nose and between my brows.

Other notable moisturizers in my makeup collection include Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask. But, I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: I don’t use this product as a mask. Instead, I find it works much better as a night cream. Before I go to bed, I’ll add Moisturizing Moon Mask to any problem areas; by morning it’s fully absorbed, and my skin looks–and feels!–super supple.

There’s also Glossier‘s Super Bounce, a hyaluronic acid serum whose concentrated formula really plumps up the skin where I need it most (such as the little fine lines around my mouth and on my forehead).

Last but not least is my holy grail Balm Dotcom. If you know me, you know I can’t go a day without this (and that it’s replaced every other lip balm I’ve ever owned). I’ve talked a ton about this product on Haute Mess and on social media, so I won’t bore you guys too much.

But, BDC is the longest-lasting, most effective salve ever. It does its job for hours on end, and it even holds up through long workouts. (Plus, in addition to the original, it come in five yummy flavors! Birthday and Coconut are tied as my all-time favs, but lately I’ve also been reaching for Cherry quite a bit.)

Follow: