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ALEX’S HOLIDAY BEAUTY BAG

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You know what I love about December in Los Angeles? First, it’s finally cold enough for the sweaters and coats that disappear 11 months out of the year. Second, between Chanukah, Christmas, New Years and an insane number of Sagittarius friends and family, there’s always a party to attend. Here are my picks for getting made up quickly and out the door without sacrificing eco-savvy….

As soon as the temps drop so do the color of my nails. Zoya ($7) has dozens of deep reds and browns, and I’m loving a vampy shade called Norra on short, squared nails. For toes I opt for Eve, a fabulous red with a hint of sparkle. In a pinch, Sally Hansen’s new Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color ($4.99) is fabulous in Mochachino or Rapid Red. One coat coverage dries in about a minute.

For face, I always start with Eris Collection’s Foundation Primer ($25). It’s oil and paraben free, evens out my skin and fills in any pores or fine lines. To conceal blemishes or undereye circles I grab MAC Mineralize Satinfinish Foundation ($29.50) and apply where needed. While the tarte treasure chest ($52) is perfect for eyes, cheeks and lips, sadly I can’t throw it in my bag and go. But at home it offers enough combinations for a year’s worth of party looks. For beauty at home or away, I’m layering apricot-hued cushion and sparkly brilliant from tarte’s Three Carats Mini Cheek Stain Set ($25) on my cheeks. The result is sunkissed with a bit of glimmer (not glitter).

I love the versatility of KORRES eye pencils to create sleek lines or smudgy, smoky effects. My favorites are the basic black and metallic grey. For brows I use tarte’s The Toolbox ($18) which includes pencil, gel, powder, wax…everything to define, tame and create the perfect brow. I love tarte lashhugger mascara for a great basic black. Normally $18, tarte currently offers two lash huggers for $20 in this limited edition set. If you want more color, KORRES Abyssian Oil Volumizing Mascara ($20) comes in purple, blue ad brown as well.

I finish off with a neutral lip, with KORRES Cherry Oil gloss in Light Pink or Nude. If I’m going bare legged, I love Michael Kors Leg Shine in Classic ($32). The moisturizing bar offers a bit of shimmer and shine to my pale winter legs (for $10 you can get a smaller version of Leg Shine exclusively at Sephora).

I keep a canister of Physician’s Formula Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Facial Makeup Remover Towelettes ($9.95) on my nightstand. As , they’re gentle on the earth and your skin. No matter how exhausted I am, they’re incredibly effective for removing eye makeup quickly and easily. After a night of merriment…to all a good night! xo alex.

SHOW SOME LEG

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Most of the year I stay out of the sun and don’t mind my pale complexion one bit. If Anne Hathaway can do it, why can’t I? And if I should feel paler than pale I use self tanner to give myself a bit of color. A few years ago, I was faced with a dilemma when I had a red carpet event to attend in rainy February and while I didn’t want to self tan, my legs needed something. Megan, my genius of a sister, handed me what looked like deodorant and said, “just try it.” Like I said, she’s a genius.

Michael Kors Leg Shine is really a clever concept. It isn’t a bronzer but instead a subtly tinted moisturizing bar that glides over legs, knees and ankles with ease (that deodorant shape makes application a breeze). My legs looked healthier, with a bit of shine that made them look longer and more toned. Thanks, Mae! The Leg Shine comes in three shades: Classic, Shimmer and Bronze, but none are actually bronzers. For that, I’d probably go with tarte’s Glam Gams or LORAC’s Tantalizer, which Sarah raved about here.

I’ve also found that in a pinch, it helps even out color if tanner streaks in a spot if you’re out the door. Personally, I’ve found that giving it a good 20 minutes to dry means no worry about stains on light colored fabrics or the car seat. It has great staying power but it washes off pretty easily. Overall, I am impressed.

The only potential downside is the scent. It is infused with Michael Kors signature fragrance MICHAEL, a heady note of tuberose blended with some spicier and muskier fragrances. Some love tuberose but it isn’t for everyone. Because I only wear it on my legs (some make it an arm and upper body shine, too), I find the scent dissipates pretty quickly. In a perfect world they’d have a fragrance free version. But for now the fact it’s it’s paraben free and not tested on animals makes me happy.

If you’re curious but not ready to commit, try the Sephora exclusive Michael Kors Leg Shine to Go, a small version of the Classic formula for $10. I keep one in my toiletry bag as it’s perfect for travel. xo a.

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