My ideal holiday party look is Maggie Cheung from In the Mood for Love, but what usually ends up happening is that I realize there's no way in hell I’m going to be able to eat, drink, or get down in a cheongsam dress. So my look ends up revolving around that rich, romantic color palette of the movie, and then being able to do all those activities I just mentioned. The rest depends on how much time I've given myself to get ready which, by the way, is the main event.

I play one song on repeat to get ready (currently Chris Isaak's Wicked Games), make an Espolon and soda, and circulate between the three mirrors in my apartment while I get ready. Inefficient, but fun! I try to enjoy every second of the getting ready experience because that is the best. The tactile, textural pleasure of putting on makeup is very relaxing and therapeutic to me. I have a lot of time to get ready tonight, so I’m working towards insanely gorgeous.

DRESS
Comfort is key. People always say this about their personal style, but it means different things to everyone. I, for one, hate baggy excess fabrics—I don’t think anything makes Nadine, our Senior Designer at Glossier, laugh more than the thought of me in a flared jean or a gauzy, flowy top. (You laughing right now, Nadine?) Tonight I'm dressed in a 1940s square-neck satin slip dress by Nili Lotan which is slinky and black. Instead of thinking too much about the outfit as a whole, I'll commit to wearing one thing and the rest, I just wing it. In this case, I needed to wear the dress. The boots, which are flat 3.1 Phillip Lim booties, just follow suit. Or dress, I guess, in this situation.

SKINCARE
The night prior, I'll use a Skin Inc Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask that I keep in the fridge. It's a clear gel mask with hyaluronic acid. I apply Embryolisse 24-hour Miracle Cream on top of my regular moisturizer as a primer for Perfecting Skin Tint. I know this doesn't sound like it's skin-related, but I think it affects my complexion: Before a night out, I chug water and have a big meal. Most of the time, it's two spicy chicken breasts from Popeye's. You need to line your stomach BEFORE you drink! On days that I know I'm going out, I'll eat healthy all day so I can grease up later for tequila.

MAKEUP
Tonight I feel peacock-y so along with my usual red glitter eyeshadow, which is Miss Minnie from the Sephora Minnie Mouse palette, I wore a super dark Nars Lipstick in Liv because I wanted to look a little pale. I guess for a moment I felt like a Tom Ford ad—the girl perpetually entering rooms, audible gasps escaping from the onlooking partygoers, they look back and...oh, where’d she go? Who is she? She's gone! I’m a vampire, but I'm dancing and laughing. I'm also wearing a little Honest Creme Blush in Truly Daring and Haloscope in Moonstone.

HAIR
I always want Kiko Mizuhara's bouncy hair, but then I also wanted slick Robert Palmer-girl hair...so I did both on either side of my head because I couldn’t decide! I sprayed my hair down with Verb's Volumizing Spray first, which is the best volume product I've ever used. It feels like nothing at all. Then I blow dried it, curled just the front pieces around my face, and pinned down one side with bobby pins. It’s very very easy—nothing to overthink here.

NAILS
They're painted a dark green Essie shade called Wrap Party. Some might say it's jade. Not me, but some. Come to think of it, I guess it was a lot of jewel tones. For holiday? Groundbreaking!

—Sandra Sou

Sandra Sou photographed by Tom Newton on November 19, 2016. Sandra is wearing a Nili Lotan dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim shoes, and Eddie Borgo earrings. Styled by Lilli Millhiser. Hair by Clay Nielsen.

Part 3 of our Holiday Party Look series. See the rest over here.

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Finding your exact foundation shade is nowhere close to a perfect science. In fact, it can be more like moving target practice with a bow and arrow. Just think of all the things you have to consider: Not only is your skin tone liable to change, but who can keep track of which brands suit your skin when and with how much coverage given the season, time of day, and the rest of your makeup situation? If anyone understands this problem, it’s Glossier Customer Experience Coordinator Jordan Verrilli. The girl has 10 different shades and formulas of foundation—that she regularly uses! We’ll let her explain...

When I was younger, I was given a book to coach me through my biracial childhood. It explained that my hair was different from my father’s, but that didn’t mean it was wrong; that it was perfectly normal that I didn’t have the exact same skin tone as either of my parents… All the good stuff that lets you know that you’re as beautiful as you feel in a really positive way. I actually pulled it out this past Thanksgiving when I sat down to write this and I noticed one small omission that would suit me now as an avid makeup lover. Namely, that I would come to amass no fewer than 10 different shades of foundation to match my ever-changing skin color at any given time.

Which, you know, fine—I get it. It's a book for children. And to be fair, that book could have never known that my father’s Irish and Italian roots and my mother’s African American skin would leave me always searching for the perfect makeup shade. But alas, here I am, and here’s what I’ve learned about having a truly comprehensive foundation collection:

Coverage Level

The higher coverage a foundation, the less you can mess around with shades. If I want a high coverage option, it had better match my skin color at that exact moment, whereas if a foundation provides less coverage I can get away with wearing it even if it isn’t a perfect—blending is a wonderful thing. This is also why I end up keeping my foundations even if though they don’t match my skin tone consistently throughout the year.

Undertones

Like many people I have turned to the help of the internet to determine what my undertones are. While my veins are consistently blue/green (which means that I’m warm), I find that the temperature of my skin fluctuates during the season. I go between cool and gray, then to yellow, and when darkest I’m red and warm. If I use a foundations that matches my undertones in February (cool and gray) in July, I’ll look washed out and deceased.

No mixing allowed

I already manage to get foundation everywhere: my clothing, my sink, the doors in my home, my freezer, ev.er.y.where. The smudge marks of my fingers look like a Law & Order SVU opening scene gone brown. Until I manage the art of transferring foundation solely to my face, I'm not going to risk spreading it further while pretending to be Bob Ross. No mixing naturally leads to more foundations.

--

To briefly go back to that book I mentioned earlier, it did have this really nice analogy that compared skin to milk in coffee. Which is to say this: The almond milk in the coffee that is my skin constantly fluctuates. Find my spectrum below:

Winter: At this point, my skin is much more gray and sallow-yellow than it is warm and golden. Even though I am African American, I do not feel tan (in college, I remedied this by visiting the sole tanning salon in Hanover, New Hampshire, which was dumb). I’ve come to accept this shade (even though it isn’t my absolute favorite) and I embrace it by feeling Parisian. I can sweep my hair in a bun, put on a red lip and black turtleneck. I’m wearing Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX11, Perfecting Skin Tint in Dark, or Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Biscuit. This is the time in my skin spectrum that I’m most attracted to red. I feel like I can pull off a light dusting of Nars Exhibit A (or Benetint) and gloMinerals Suede Matte Stick in Port.

Spring/Fall: I’m either desperately searching for or clinging on to tan hints of summer, depending on which side of the season I’m on. The darker shades I own are too rich, but the lighter ones I own are too yellow, hence time for new foundations. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel is my shade here. If I’ve gotten some sun and my undertones are warm (or I’ve liberally applied St. Tropez Self Tanning Mousse in Dark) then Make Up Forever HD Foundation in N170 is perfect. If I’m a little more yellow and gray, then Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Caramel is my perfect match. While I am armed with plenty of foundations for these seasons, I’m still constantly chasing the sun, hoping to get some glow back.

Summer: I have left the world of beige far behind and entered full on deep. This shift doesn’t happen gradually, but rather in one week, or even a single beach day. To keep things standard, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chestnut is my reference here. I switch to the Deep shade of Perfecting Skin Tint, and SX12 of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. I’m on the browner shade of tan, and my skin tone is much closer to my mother's. This is my absolute favorite shade. I feel that it brings out my eyes and the brown in my hair, and I feel confident wearing colors like orange and pink. My absolute favorite thing about this time of year is my freckles. The dark chocolate spots come out and sprinkle my nose and cheekbones and lips. I love them. I watched this video of women getting tattooed with freckles, and afterwards I highly considered following in their footsteps. In summer, I’m warm, I’m happy, and I’m gleefully ignoring of sun damage. (But, trust, my favorite SPF is La Roche-Posay Anthelios.)

—Jordan Verrilli

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Oily, dry, acneic, ever-changing—the best foundations for every skin type, over here.

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Slick Woods is cool. Cool enough to walk Rihanna's latest Fenty show, pull off a shaved head like it's a t-shirt, and be named Slick Woods. Slick, ITG asked when she swung by our office in November, tell us—are people born cool, or do they have coolness thrust upon them? The answer was a little of both. "When I was growing up, nobody wanted to be me—being me wasn't cool. I used to be the kid that nobody wanted to be around. I've fought so hard to be comfortable being me. Now I'm in your Instagram Discover feed." A comforting takeaway—coolness can happen to any of us.

Not to drive the point home or anything, but Slick is also a McGrath muse—a member of a VERY cool group of women that includes Paloma Elsesser and Naomi Campbell, among others. "I didn't know anything about makeup until Pat taught me where my cheekbones were," she laughed. She took to Pat's Metamorphosis 005 Kit in Copper like a champ, mixing the Mehron liquid with the cream color all over her palm and dragging it across her face. It was a look—and as with everything she does, Slick pulled it right off.

The second technique she tried was more subtle—just a rub of the cream color on her eyelids. That's the beauty of the kit: four great products that play together, but four great products all their own. Slick also deconstructed Pat's Skin Fetish 003 Kit and subbed the highlighter stick for lip balm as a slick (sorry), ultra-moisturized lip. "Pat's shit is the best," she said. On the lashes, Maybelline Lash Stiletto—it's her favorite. Until Pat comes out with one, Maybelline will have to do.

Slick Woods photographed by Tom Newton.

The easiest holiday makeup tutorial you'll ever read can be found right over here.

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It was Nathan W. Morris who said: "Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly—it's your masterpiece, after all." I don't know who Nathan W. Morris is—according to Google, he is either a financial advisor, a wedding and event photographer, or a phantom—but I love him. My life is my masterpiece! Nathan W. Morris makes me feel like no wedding and event photographer has made me feel—like a work of art.

I'm not sure if Nathan was thinking about skincare, but I am never not, so that's where I'm applying his philosophy. I feel John on his polyamorous approach to the products he uses, but I am a man of simple pleasures. An 11 step skincare routine is like, six steps too many. Let's remember the basics: cleanser, serum/treatment, SPF, moisturizer, exfoliant. That's all! Let me show you what it's like to edit your life ruthlessly, but effectively—the skincare routine for minimalists. Follow along with me as I live a simple life during one very festive weekend in Brooklyn and some parts of Manhattan.

Friday, December 9, 2016
Morning
Here's a fun way to eliminate an extra step from your skincare routine: Don't wash your face in the morning! Every facialist I've ever seen, plus my mom, insists that a morning cleanse is essential for managing bacteria at all times, but honestly, I don't get it. Plus my skin is prone to redness, which means the minute I try to strip it in the morning, it freaks out and goes flush. Then I need a whole 'nother 10 products to make it calm down. Stop the madness!

Instead, I'll apply fortifying, moisturizing skincare products as soon as I'm awake enough to do so. Because it's winter, this means a moisturizing serum like Natura Bisse's SOS Instant Rescue Serum because I live for the drama of the name. It's a little heavier than an essence—a lightweight gel basically—and it's a good barrier for cold wind. You can use any serum based on skin preference, but I think something mega-hydrating works best for winter. (Caudalie's Thirst Quenching Serum is a great dupe for a lower price BTW.) My moisturizer is the simple, unfussy, perfect-for-oily-skin Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme. I do a layer and then mix a little more in with Burberry Fresh Glow as a guerilla BB Cream.

Night
Tonight's my annual Christmas party hosted at my home—I leave work a little early to start on the hors d'oeuvres. Trader Joe's Mini Quiches take 11 minutes to bake, so right after I preheat the oven, I apply Ren's Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask all over my face and then I put them in and start the timer. This is my pre-soirée mask—a product that makes my skin look better after I use it. It's a fruit cocktail of all my favorite chemical exfoliants; papain, glycolic, and lactic acid. I don't totally believe in brightening products, but my skin tone looks more even afterwards and is smooth as hell.

Then—a little Bioderma where it counts. I don't want to put on makeup because I know I'll get it on somebody's white shirt. At midnight, my skin looks PHENOMENAL. I wanted to embed a photo, but I look a little sauced in all of them. You'll have to take my word for it.

Saturday, December 10, 2016
Morning
The hangover of all hangovers. It feels like Satan is tap dancing on the bridge of my nose. The closest ibuprofen is in my kitchen, which is roughly 11254930790 miles from my bed, so I will suffer through it for now. Instead, I put a little Hydrabio on all over my thirsty ass face. Back to bed.

Slightly later that morning
It is time to go out into the world, if only to acquire food. The only thing I do this morning is put on Bioré Watery Essence SPF 50, an SPF I just bought from Oo35mm on my coworker Jessica's recommendation. Lightweight doesn't justly describe it—it's nonexistant. But it's not water, either. The water-based formula feels more akin to a jelly serum than an essence, which makes it a great winter sunscreen. Oh, you didn't think you needed sunscreen in the winter? Let me tell you what.

Night
Well, I didn't drink, so I think that's a skincare feat in itself. I just cleanse with my good friend Hada Labo Hydrating Facial Cleanser. It's got hyaluronic, so I feel moisturized even though I didn't.

Sunday, December 11, 2016
Morning
How wonderful it feels to go to bed at 10 and then sleep for a full nine hours! I'm not about to be one of those people who says that sleep and water are the keys to good skin, but they don't hurt. I look well-rested and rejuvenated, like a celebrity leaving Passages Malibu.

I don't have any place to be, so I do the whole thing this morning—hydrating serum, watery SPF, lightweight moisturizer. It's moisture on moisture on moisture, and makeup glides right on. I think that good foundation has nothing to do with the foundation and everything to do with how your skin is prepped and what you're using to apply it. (Beautyblender or Kiko Milano Foundation Brush.) I look like a dewy and fresh Christmas poinsettia.

Afternoon
Saw Moonlight—was very good. I highly recommend to all of you. Not skincare-related, just thought I'd share.

Night
Tonight I washed my face, applied my serum, and then CHEATED by using a sample of Glossier's new Priming Moisturizer Rich. I'm letting you know in the spirit of full disclosure. Maybe everybody needs two moisturizers, one reg and one rich. Is skincare minimalism even possible? Is perfect skincare a meaningless pursuit? What is the meaning of it all? I will let you mull it over while I sleep.

Monday, December 12, 2016
Night
Boom. Skipped right to the eveningtime. You thought I was going to start in the morning and then I tricked you. This is the "ruthless" aspect of Nathan W. Morris' life edit, which I am working on.

Tonight is our company holiday party (I know, my life is full of parties, I am very popular, etc.) so I'm using the Ren mask again—it's effective but gentle enough to use every two or three days, and normally I use it weekly, but I'm jonesing for radiance. Then I apply my serum, and my skin feels great, so I just put makeup on over that; Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation, a little Generation G Cake as cream blush, plus Benefit Dallas over that. I'm wearing all navy, so I'm thinking about putting MAC Navy Glitter in my eyebrows. Good idea or great idea?

Late night
It was a fine idea.

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by the author.

More skincare diaries: Read about every single product writer Phoebe Lovatt used on her face during New York Fashion Week.

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If someone could give me the luxury of time as a holiday present, I would gladly accept in order to properly prep myself for any and all parties that pop up during the month of December. I'd do the whole relaxing bath with a candle, face massage (effleurage), leisurely dressing shebang everyone talks about in their After Dark interviews... Sounds like a great time! But more likely is the scenario where I'm at the office—or at least on my computer—'til the last possible second and need to build upon that foundation to create a ritzy-enough look.

And hey, I'm not complaining. Give me a dressed-up jean any day of the week and I'll give you access to my iCloud folder full of Alexa Chung inspiration photos. Really, is there anyone more adept at nonchalant glamour or wearing coats? No, so here is my best approximation of what I would do if I were Alexa Chung attending the Glossier holiday party.

DRESS
Whenever I daydream about me at a holiday party, it's in a slinky black slip dress and I look killer. But there are two problems here: 1. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect slip dress (The Realreal app, you kill me); and 2. It's not warm anymore! My solution is jeans. And not just any jeans. These fake-Vetements Topshop jeans that look really great with a silky top tucked in and hidden behind a big fabulous blanket coat just so. For warmth, but also for drama. The shoes are Gianvito Rossi, and they are fabulous, and I have nowhere else to wear them.

HAIR
As long as I've gotten a blowout in the last week, I can handle doing something "done" to my hair. In my bob days, I'd've worn my hair down and piecey like Alexa, but right now I'm growing it out just to see what will happen. Now that it's long, my instinct is to pull it back into a twisted chignon, secured with a Blax elastic and five to 10 U-pins, with a little bit of fluff pulled out around my face. My hair doesn't stay controlled for long, so no use in making it perfect from the start—I just used a little Reverie Milk mixed with Ever Oil for grit. It also gives me more time to focus on...

SKINCARE + MAKEUP
ITG favorite makeup artist Ingeborg told me last year that her favorite trick for dewy makeup was to apply Glossier Priming Moisturizer on top of makeup in addition to using it as a primer. And that's what I do if I'm getting ready at the office. On top of whatever I'm already wearing, I'll pat in a layer of Priming Moisturizer, re-conceal using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla and a Beautyblender, and then move on to the fun stuff. Namely, Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow. Yes, I'm finally learning to contour. But only a little, so as not to overshadow my current favorite lip color, the special edition Nars Audacious in Rita. The color is the perfect, not-too-blue red; but the packaging is better. So sleek. And when I do lips, I do very little on the eyes. Just a little brown shadow (from the Tom Ford Nude Dip Palette) under the bottom lashes for definition and a wiggle of Marc Jacobs Volumizing Mascara at the roots.

NAILS
These are really important. I'm not someone who always has her nails painted. In fact, more often than not, my manicure is old and chipped and I've gotten so used to it on my hands that I don't actively see it anymore. But for a party, you better believe they're done, and done festively. Holidays call for red polish, and my current red polish of choice is the Chanel Rouge Radical (unfortunately it was limited run—find it on eBay!). It's a gloss, so not quite as opaque as your standard laquer, meaning it paints on a whole hell of a lot smoother. Two coats sandwiched between the unimpeachable Smith and Cult top and bottom coats and I'm a brand new woman. Bring on the Champagne.

—Emily Ferber

Emily Ferber photographed by Tom Newton on November 19, 2016. Emily is wearing a Jil Sander coat, 3.1 Phillip Lim top, Topshop Boutique jeans, Gianvito Rossi shoes, a Proenza Schouler clutch, and Kenneth Jay Lane earrings. Styled by Lilli Millhiser. Hair by Clay Nielsen.

Part 2 of our Holiday Party Look series. See how Kim Johnson contours with highlighter—and check back for more.

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