I may be the only person who thought that Kanye’s Christmas gift of Netflix and Amazon stock to Kim was romantic. (He cares about her financial future, you guys!)
But if Santa brought you functional gifts (maybe not stocks, but socks and underwear) you might want something a little sparkly now that it’s un-sparkly January. Bummed right out about 5pm sundown? A restorative blast of La Vie Est Belle L’Eclat can help. Spent so long at the bus stop that your lower extremities are forever-numb? Then you need the bottled south of France that is L’Occitane’s Terre de Lumière. (You also probably need the actual south of France, but that’s another post entirely.)
lancôme la vie est belle l’eclat
La Vie Est Belle ($115 CAD and $94 USD at sephora.com) blew up as a hugely successful gourmand fragrance when it launched five plus years ago and has seen its share of spin-offs. But La Vie Est Belle L’éclat goes in a surprising direction, leaving behind the patchouli and the fruit to go brighter and sharper with a bergamot and orange blossom pairing that zings you up and matches that great, legendary Julia Roberts grin that’s in all the ads.
To give yourself some of that Julia wattage, go all-in with shimmer from the NYX Born to Glow! Highlighting Palette ($32 CAD at nyxcosmetics.ca and $24.99 at ulta.com). Apply to the cheekbones, on the bridge of your nose (not on the tip), and heck, dust some into your hair 'cause that would be cool too.
Use this Artis Oval 6 makeup brush ($87 CAD at Holt Renfrew and $57 USD at nordstrom.com) with its tightly packed fine hairs that blend like a dream – and note: the ridiculous softness against your skin may actually soothe you to sleep.
emporio armani because it's you
Emporio Armani Because it’s You eau de parfum ($90 CAD and $69 USD at sephora.com) is an ode to romance, even in the cap encircled with matching rings just like Armani and his late love wore. It’s a perfect fragrance for this time of year as the sweet raspberry, lemon and sunny neroli cut right through the winter cold to lift you up without being too sweet, while the velvety rose heart and amber dry-down will keep you warm.
Armani’s clothing has always been about subtlety and restraint, so this shimmery Maybelline Colour Tattoo Eye Chrome eye shadow in Silver Spark ($9.96 CAD at walmart.ca and $9.99 USD at ulta.com) is a perfect match. It may not be as outré as glitter but it still says "party," just in a quieter voice.
michel germain sexual paris
Michel Germain Sexual Paris ($94 CAD at thebay.com and $97 USD at macys.com) is perfect for party feels, and for brightening these ridiculously short winter days. It opens with bright and chatty blackcurrant and clementines (like meeting over drinks), and then goes full-on with champagne, jasmine and patchouli (like a raucous shindig in full swing) before mellowing into a dry-down of vetiver and sandalwood (the quiet conversations you have as the gathering thins out).
And what’s better for a spirited get-together than a glittery eye? With Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow ($31 CAD and $24 USD at sephora.com), a fine or thick line of sparkle is way easier to apply than black liquid liner (especially if you already have a cocktail in hand – no judgment), and the fastest way to look fun-ready with only one item. You don’t even need calligraphic skills to pull it off. (Did you know that Prince Harry’s betrothed, Meghan Markle, worked as a calligrapher while waiting for her big acting break?)
l'occitane terre de lumiere
Terre de Lumière ($89 CAD and $79 USD at loccitane.com) is meant to evoke the late afternoon light that suffuses the provençal countryside. For those of us not in the south of France right now (poor us) this gourmand aromatic blends hits of herbal lavender and citrusy bergamot with honey and bitter almond to inject a blast of bright clear sunshine and flowers into our wintery landscape.
To mimic the look of sun on your skin – a shoulder, a bare forearm, your legs – Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or ($36 CAD at thebay.com) is the cult favourite oil with added gold shimmer for a glow that is more sun-warmed skin and less glittery disco ball. Sadly for stateside beautygeeks, Nuxe isn't available in the US anymore; The Body Shop Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil ($22 USD on sale for $13.20 at thebodyshop.com) is a great alternative, and easy on a wallet still in post-holiday-season recovery.
creed white amber eau de parfum
As much a work of art as a fragrance, this (real!) gold-accented bottle by a centuries-old glassmaker contains Creed White Amber eau de parfum ($709 CAD at holtrenfrew.com and $545 USD at neimanmarcus.com) a fruity floral bursting with jasmine, amber and sandalwood, that smells as expensive as it is. (Did we mention it's $709 Canadian?) It’s the bottled equivalent of a Tom Ford movie – you can see the money on the screen.
(This house used during filming for Noctural Animals was just sold to a Canadian, in fact, for $85 million.)
So naturally you should pair Creed White Amber with Rimmel London The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in 810 The Matte Factor ($7.98 CAD at walmart.ca and $7.79 USD at walgreens.com), a vivid red lipstick with depth that is so plush, so pigmented and not at all drying, that it’s unbelievable that it only costs $8. And the colour wears really well, so you can eat every last hors d’oeuvre and still look like the immaculately put-together Richie-Rich girl that you are deep down. #buythisnow
prada candy gloss
Prada Candy Gloss ($92 CAD and $78 USD at sephora.com) is a deliriously powdery combo of sweet and sour cherries with almond for a next-level gourmand fragrance that basically says PARTY in giant, pink, sugar-coated letters.
So if you are on a first-name basis with the cobbler who puts protective rubber on the soles of your stilettos, if you have more than one emergency bottle of champagne in the fridge (if you even understand the concept of "emergency champagne"), then this fragrance paired with Shiseido Rouge Rouge Matte Lipstick ($35 CAD at sephora.com and $28 USD at nordstrom.com) in Primrose Sun – a vivid, velvety pink – should be your cheer-up go-to.
carolina herrera good girl
The quirkily collectable midnight blue bottle tells you Carolina Herrera Good Girl ($115 CAD at thebay.com and $90 USD at ulta.com) is not your ordinary perfume. With cacao and tonka bean (imagine if vanilla got a Black Amex card), this could be a playful gourmand fragrance. But mix in some swoon-inducing tuberose and you’ve got a flirty, sexy scent that captures the whole good-girl-staying-out-way-too-late vibe.
And to take your lipstick from daytime to evening, a slick of Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Crème Lipgloss ($25 CAD and $22 USD at sephora.com) in Blush Pearl, Cherry Pearl or Lavender Pearl will transform even the most sedate colour into a shimmering evening shade.
If your bank account is lucky, you've already received one or more of these items as a holiday gift. But if not, is there anything here you'd put on your I'm-on-a-spending-hiatus shopping list? Do you already have go-to mood boosters to temper January (and February) blues? And have you ever "matched" your perfume to your makeup?
(walmart.ca and holtrenfrew.com are non-affiliate links)