winter and holiday prep

It’s holiday time. As your calendar fills up with events and “to-do’s” before years end, staying healthy and fabulous may not take top priority during the end of year crunch.

As a reporter, I’ve learned it often pays to research and talk with as many individuals as possible, regardless of the topic. Today that topic is beauty and Eva Chen, Beauty & Health Director of Teen Vogue shares what is on trend this season, what’s practical for winter skincare and how to stay sane and healthy during what can typically be a stressful time.

If you don’t know of Eva, now you do. She is an engaging reporter, editor and genuinely chill person. She won’t just tell you about a product, she’ll break down every active ingredient in it and let you know why you may or may not need it. Like myself, Eva graduated from a well-known Journalism School here in New York City and the skills that were drilled into us are evident in her reporting, which will have her in a skincare lab one day, talking to teens across the country the next or at a major couture event in Paris; learning and getting the scoop for her readers.

Between our travel and work schedules, I caught up with my former classmate and learned how to healthily manage the 2010 holiday season.

Eva Chen, Beauty Director of Teen Vogue.

As winter and the holidays approach, how can we keep skin healthy as the seasons change and our lives become all the more busier?

Eva Chen: As winter approaches, humidity levels tend to plummet, leading to dry, flaky, tight, and generally irritated and cranky skin! One thing I always do is use a humidifier overnight. Your skin will thank you in the morning! I also remember to use a hydrating mask at least twice a week; I’m partial to the ones from Decleor, Ren Skincare and Dr. Hauschka. And lastly (yes, clearly I’m a bit of a skin fanatic), I make sure to have plenty of water, Omega-3 rich foods (or fish oil supplements), and get enough sleep. There’s no substitute for healthy habits.

What is on your “to do” list for skincare during the winter months?

EC: Ah, I’ve touched on it already, but additional key skin habits include: avoiding touching my face (a really hard habit to break, but think of the bacteria that’s transferred!), remembering SPF even on cloudy days, and cutting out refined sugar and snacks like cookies or candies, which tends to be a comfort in nasty weather, but terrible for skin!

Regular maintenance is key. What about those of us that are busy and can’t spend an hour in front of the mirror each morning?

EC: Look for all-in-one products. A cleanser can also have exfoliating beads in it, a moisturizer will do exactly that—moisturize—but also serve as SPF. At the end of the day, skincare is the most important thing because if you have great skin, you don’t need as much makeup, which thereby saves you time! So focus efforts on skin, then perhaps curl your lashes, swipe on some mascara, and put on a festive lip color (red is so chic!) and call it a day.

What is hot for holiday this year in terms of colors–lips, eyes, nails. Biggest trend?

EC: Lips: Red red red! Red lips are classic but completely chic right now as well. Look for a red that has a moisturizing formula, because red + winter chapped lips are not a pretty combination. I love Mark’s Cha-Cha shade and Tarte Cosmetics’ lip stain, which is a nice way to play with the color without the fear factor.

Eyes: Nothing beats a sexy smoky eye for holiday parties but try it with an unexpected shade–perhaps a dark and mysterious eggplant purple (Dior has a great palette!) versus traditional black. And, go nude or minimal on the lips so the look stays modern and wearable.

Nails: Anything goes for nails these days! I’m rediscovering red, but in punchy geranium and tomato shades. Black is now classic, but navy’s and purples are lovely as well. Take a cue from Rihanna or Katy Perry and go all-out! After all, you can always change it the next day.

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