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All I Want for Christmas Is Glitter All Over My Face

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’Tis the Season to Be Tacky

My beauty choices are generally safe, staid even: brown eye shadow, occasionally metallic if I’m feeling wild. No lipstick. Dark and moody nail polish. But come December, I want to wear every sparkly lip gloss I can find, paired with its matching glitter nail polish. 

After years of writing about capital-F fashion and the beauty industry that supports it, I know what chic and tasteful looks like. I also know, in my heart of hearts, that it’s boring. All year long, I suppress my latent glitter and nail art tendencies only to let them run free before Christmas, ideally while buying unnecessary amounts of peppermint bark. The holidays are all about the maximum amount of twinkle lights you can fit onto a surface at any one time. That surface just happens to be my nails.

(Please don’t let your religious affiliation limit your use of tacky adornment. A few years ago, I interviewed the delightful rabbi behind Midrash Manicures, who uses nail art to teach the Torah. She has a collection of Hanukkah nail stickers.)

A childhood spent collecting holographic rainbow and unicorn stickers certainly helped set the stage for my seasonal love affair with glitter. The ornaments I would make every year out of felt coated until it was stiff with Elmer’s glue and craft store glitter is the aesthetic I long to recreate. There’s also the fact that no two shades on the color wheel clash more than the colors of the season, red and green. It’s no wonder I’m devoid of taste and good judgment for three weeks every December.

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The beauty world is absolutely complicit in this. Brands want us to be tacky for a month! Pat McGrath glitter lips are all over Instagram right now. Mariah Carey, the secular patroness of the holiday season, has her second MAC collection coming out on Thursday and it is absolutely dripping in silver glitter.

Even Dior is in on it. Racked’s social media editor Alizah recently did a Facebook Live unboxing of the luxury brand’s holiday collection. Nestled among the tasteful red lipsticks is a nail polish called Nova that looks like a snow globe. I snatched it back from her as soon as she was done. I’m now wearing it layered over a black glitter polish from Essie called Tribal Text-Styles. (You can only find it on eBay now, but this Nars shade is a decent dupe.)

Makeup artist Vlada Haggerty, best known for her dripping lips on Instagram (and now for suing Kylie Jenner for copyright infringement), recently posted a closeup shot of a candy cane-striped glitter cat eye complete with reindeer antler eyelashes. It’s the height of camp and I’d pay her a lot of money to come to my house and do it to me for my family holiday party.

For now, I’m partaking in my favorite ritual of the season: planning what nail art to get before I go home to the Midwest for Christmas. I already have an appointment at Valley Nails here in NYC, which will design anything you want. It’s a total judgment-free zone. You can bet your eggnog there will be glitter involved. —Cheryl Wischhover, senior beauty reporter

I Just Want to Dress Like Elizabeth and Margaret from ‘The Crown’
A still shot from The Crown.

When Kate Middleton (sorry, the Duchess of Cambridge) swept into our lives and took over our closets, her signature style was heavy on colorful sheath dresses and nude pumps. Her blouses were floaty, her evening gowns slinky, and pants, though a rare appearance, were skinny.

But now we’ve got more royal inspiration in our lives, thanks to Netflix’s “The Crown,” which has served up all new — or rather, quite old — style inspiration since it dropped in November.

The young Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, and the style of the era is visible in every scene of the ten-episode season. While the past five decades have seen the queen embrace wholly uncool dress-and-overcoat sets, in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, she and her sister Princess Margaret were impeccably stylish and on point. The cropped trousers, the buttoned-up blouses, the high-waisted pants — those were the looks of the moment.

They also happen to be what I want to wear right now.

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Today's Non-Gift Guide Pick
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Who: Danielle Ayoka
What they do: Astrologer, Mystic Lipstick
What they want:  Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Cleansing Butter, $55

Whenever I want to treat myself to an awesome skin experience, I reach for this product. I get to bathe my face in gold weekly without breaking the bank — who wouldn't find that super awesome? It's the best indulgent item to use on wine night when you get to just relax. Plus, it delivers intense hydration to combat the harshness of the cold winter months, which makes it fitting to receive during the holidays.

Check out the rest of our non-gift guide picks here. Want to make donations your gift of choice instead? We've got you covered on that front too.

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