This time of year brings family and friends together, allowing us to reconnect with loved ones we may have not seen in a while. It’s also filled with decorating, shopping and of course – holiday parties! My colleague Deanna, our buyer for seasonal décor, helped you best prepare your home for entertaining in her recent “Top Five Holiday Décor Trends” blog, but now it’s your turn to get glowing this season. Let me help you get ready for all the holiday and New Year’s parties that are filling up your calendar by introducing you to my top 5 beauty must haves. I’m also sharing pro tips to ensure that you’re getting the most from these products I’ve carefully curated for you (and me too!).

1. Crest 3D White Whitestrips: The holidays make for so many smile-worthy moments and photo opportunities that will create lasting memories. So, how can you ensure you look your best while juggling the chaos of the season? Even amid the hustle and bustle, Sam’s Club is here to get your smile holiday glam ready with Crest 3D White. The exclusive Crest 3D White Whitestrips Sam’s Club Pack is the perfect option for those looking to whiten their teeth, stress-free in the comfort of their homes, while also getting professional whitening results. The Sam’s Club Pack includes two great products to help brighten and maintain your smile so it shines all season long.

Pro Tips

  • Step 1: Brighten with Crest 3D White Whitestrips, ADA Seal Accepted - Looking to holiday multi-task? Why not whiten while you…wrap, bake, online shop…the list is endless. Just use the Crest 3D White Whitestrips once a day for 30 minutes for a whiter, brighter smile. The Whitestrips are the only home-use tooth bleaching product to receive the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance based on the finding that the product is safe and effective in whitening natural teeth when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Plus, its advanced seal no-slip technology helps Whitestrips conform to teeth for noticeable whitening results without the mess.
  • Step 2: Maintain with Crest 3D White Monthly Whitening Boost Whitestrips - Want to keep the smile glowing? Use the Crest 3D White Monthly Whitening Boost Whitestrips to protect against everyday stain buildup from things like coffee, tea, and wine. In just five minutes once a day, you can gradually whiten your teeth and continue to maintain that whiteness.

Now that your smile is Instagram ready, let's get your skin glowing.

2. Our Yes to™ Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask helps deep clean pores in just 10 minutes and it is 96% natural and free of parabens, SLS and silicones. The mask is made up of charcoal, a natural detoxifier and impurity remover, which helps deep clean skin, and tomatoes, which are a natural source of antioxidants.

Pro Tips

  • Gently unfold mask and apply to clean skin.
  • Adjust around eyes, nose and mouth, smoothing to fit the curves of your gorgeous face.
  • Close eyes and relax for 10 minutes.
  • Remove mask and massage remaining product into the skin.

We can’t forget about the rest of your skin, even if you’re covered head to toe during the winter cold.

3. Tree Hut Sugar Scrubs won Allure’s Reader’s Choice Award in 2016 and provide intense exfoliation and great fragrances for instantly smooth skin that smells wonderful. Both the Moroccan Rose (my personal favorite) and the Coconut Lime scrubs are infused with shea butter and a blend of natural oils to nourish and soften skin. Both are free of parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde donors and are proudly made in Dallas, Texas.

Pro Tips:

  • Apply three times a week to maintain soft, smooth skin.
  • Use before shaving for a closer shave and to decrease the chance for ingrown hairs.
  • These scrubs can help control Keratosis Pilaris

On to my favorite buys of the season, our Blush & Glow Collection.

4. The Blush & Glow Collection by Beauty Professional is an exclusive, limited edition set that was designed with every look and makeup technique in mind. Every brush in this collection has a specific function, and some are multi-purpose. Whether you are going for a trending look or just a touch up, you will find the right brushes in this set. The collection includes 8 luxurious brushes that are weighted, so they feel balanced in your hands for better control. What distinguishes this set from others in the market is the department store quality with an incredible value, the combination of classic and innovative shapes, and the matching zippered makeup/brush case that the brushes come with. I also really like the look and feel of these brushes, which are made with tapered wood handles in a sophisticated light pink with white gold jewel-like accents for the ferrules which look beautiful.

Pro Tips:

  • Included in this set is an application brochure which guides you on how to use each brush. It offers some great tips.
  1. Luxury Powder: a large fluffy brush ideal for the seamless application of powder and bronzer to your face, neck and décolleté.
  2. Blush Sweep: ultra-soft and feather-like, perfect for applying blush.
  3. Performance Buffer: one of the star brushes in this set, its extremely dense bristles are perfect for applying and blending foundation, contour and cream products onto your face.
  4. Contour Blender: this unique angled brush is designed to provide expert contour and definition to your face, and to accentuate your features.
  5. Detail Highlighter: a tapered highlighting brush that is shaped to precisely accent the high points of your face or to softly blend eye shadow into the creases of your eyes.
  6. All-Over Shadow: a large plush eye shadow brush that evenly applies a wash of color across the entire lid.
  7. Smoky Blender: this tightly domed detail brush can be used to soften liner or to apply eye shadow to the lash line for a diffused look.
  8. Dual-Ended Bent Liner / Pro Flat Liner: a versatile double-ended brush designed to help you apply all gel, cream and powder liners super precisely.

The price makes it seem like a starter set, but don’t be fooled. These brushes are professional quality and are used by makeup artists and experienced beauty enthusiasts alike.

Lashly (wink), we know that the current trend is lash extensions, but it’s hard to find time to make an appointment and continue the upkeep they require. So, here’s a little tip, with the right primer and mascara, there’s no need to head to the salon.

So, how are we helping your windows to the world look their best?

5. We’ve collaborated with L’Oreal to offer an exclusive set with two of their Voluminous Mascaras and a Primer.

How to use:
Primer- Apply before Voluminous mascara to instantly boost your lash look and to expand the limits of your lashes. It also conditions lashes over time for soft nourished lashes. It doesn’t smudge and is suitable for both sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
Mascara: Apply after Voluminous Primer. The Voluminous Original Mascara is a bold volume-building mascara that’s uniquely formulated to resist clumping and to keep lashes soft. The volume maximizing brush quickly thickens and builds lashes evenly for a full and dramatic look. The formula contains Panthenol and Ceramide-R which helps to protect and condition lashes while leaving them supple and soft to the touch. Like the primer, it is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers and fragrance-free.

Want to take it a step further? Here are a few tips from the experts:

  • For maximum impact, begin by combing your lashes, then create the look of extra-long lashes using an eyelash curler. Carefully align the eyelash curler with your lashes and hold for five to ten seconds.
  • Then Prime your lashes with Voluminous Primer. Hold the wand in one hand, and with the other, gently lift the eyelid back so you have full leverage to coat the lashes from root to tip. Pull the wand out of the tube and wipe any excess product against the opening of the container - you can always add more later on. Once complete, before the primer dries, apply Voluminous Mascara.
  • Apply Voluminous Mascara. Place the brush at the base of lashes and gently sweep up through the ends, wiggling the wand from side to side. This will coat the sides of the lashes too.

Bare Lashes / Mascara Only / Voluminour Primer + Mascara

Keep in mind that mascara is like a toothbrush and you should replace it every three months. This ensures optimal performance and lessens the risk of infection caused by bacteria buildup. Also, using proper eye makeup remover is a must. Be sure to take off all mascara before going to bed. This keeps lashes healthy and strong and prevents breakage. Yes, I’m going to save you some time and give you the link for our Member’s Mark makeup remover wipes!

So there they are! Five great products to help you look your best as you prepare for the fun festivities this holiday. We hope to see you in the club.

Happy Holidays!

- Casey Mcleod