Sometimes our house can feel like Grand Central Station during the holidays! With a constant stream of parties, school events and friends and family in from out of town, things can be pretty hectic. Here are some things I always do to make sure I'm prepared ahead of time and can make the holidays feel extra special for my guests. Planning ahead is key!
1. Treat guests with a small gift. When I'm hosting a dinner party, I love incorporating the Lune+Aster Swipe + Celebrate set into my table setting, it creates such colorful, festive pop to the setup. For overnight guests, I leave a small treat on their pillows. I love the mini hand creams from the Tocca Crème de Mana Collection, they're more luxurious than a chocolate on the pillow!
2. Prepare one big healthy dish ahead of time! The holidays usually mean big, rich family meals, so I like having something light and easy ready for next day! My guests and family always love myDetox PowerGlow Soup.
I throw a carton of Imagine No Chicken vegetarian broth in a pot with 2 tablespoons fresh ginger and 2-3 cups chopped carrots (half moons about 1/4 inch thick). I let this boil for about 5 minutes and then throw in 1/2 - 3/4 bag of spinach and/or kale. Sometimes I add garlic, cumin, and cayenne for more flavor and sometimes I don't. You can purée if you prefer a smoother texture, it's great either way! It's so easy and with the added bonus of amazing glowing skin! It also keeps well in the fridge so I always have something nourishing on hand.
3. Create a relaxing atmosphere for guests. I collaborated with LAFCO to create the LAFCO X Bluemercury Spa Candle. The relaxing scents of cucumber, lavender and sandalwood transport you to one of our spas. It's perfect in the powder room to provide a respite from a bustling party.
5. Make sure your guest spaces are fully stocked! One of the easiest ways to make guests feel at home is to take care of all the essentials for them. I love using holiday gift sets to pamper my guests with everything they might need. Acqua di Parma Le Nobili Soaps go in my powder room, I stock the shower with the Oribe Beautiful Color Collection and I leave Jo Malone Christmas Crackersin the guest rooms for a luxurious treat of bath and body essentials.
6. And lastly – Enjoy your time with family and friends creating memories!
I gave Byrdie an exclusive sneak peek into my daily beauty wellness rituals and wanted to share my week. Enjoy!
6 a.m. I wake up at 6 automatically since I am so used to being on the 6 a.m. morning shuttle between New York City and Washington, D.C. I will go for a four-mile run in the morning. I like to do high-intensity interval training on the treadmill. It is a great way to clear the mind and reset for the week.
7:30 a.m. After the kids leave for school, I spend my mornings focusing on product development. We have these fluorescent yellow bags that contain all the different products and formulations we are testing, and we must have at least 20 that go between my house and the office. I still test every single batch of product we produce. When I created M-61 Powerful Skincare in 2012, I chose to include powerful, dermatologist-loved ingredients like glycolics, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and peptides. Plus, plenty of scientifically researched naturals—tamarind, gallic acid, bilberry, red seaweed, and soy. The brand is clean and vegan. This morning I am testing a batch of PowerGlow Peels. We sell one every eight seconds, so my team is texting me earlier than usual this morning to make sure the peels are the first thing I test today!
8:15 p.m. My husband and I are walking addicts. We go for a walk almost every night together. We started this tradition when we started Bluemercury. We were in the startup phase, with a lot of stress, and we’d walk every night to blow off steam. We have continued the tradition for 19 years! We don’t just talk about business. We catch up on each other’s day, we talk about the kids, and we bounce ideas off each other. I feel like something’s missing when we don’t walk. Plus, I always sleep so well after our walks!
11 a.m. I start round one of conference calls with our Bluemercury store managers to talk about our new M-61 launch. Since launching our PowerGlow Peel and PowerSpot Pad, I have always wanted to create a skincare routine using a pad format! We are on the go more than ever before, and our clients are addicted! After four years perfecting the formulas and revolutionary delivery system for travel, convenience, and purity, the result is a new skincare category—Serum Pads! The pads are available in two formats: the Hydraboost HA Serum Pad and our Radiance Boosting Vitablast C Pad! From a clinical study, our Hydraboost HA pad provides up to 48 hours' hydration! My dream is to travel with my entire skincare routine in a pad. I am almost there!
3:30 p.m. I like to take a quick tea break when I feel like I am no longer productive or thinking clearly. This is much needed after a morning of calls. Today’s pick: Yogi Relaxed Mind Tea. I keep tea bags in my purse, and when I am on a plane or train, I always ask for a cup of hot water so I can savor my tea. In 2013, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted the many ways in which tea may improve our overall well-being, including the conclusion that people who drink tea could see improvements in mood, concentration, and performance. I love peppermint tea for a daytime pick-me-up and relaxing teas at night, especially ones containing gotu kola and shankhpushpi—Ayurvedic herbs that increase mental concentration and reduce anxiety.
8 a.m. I text a “love note” to my daughter. My kids may be teenagers, but I like to text love notes to them when they are on the bus, but before they have gotten to school. I usually mention an activity they did well the night before or how I am proud of a chore they helped with. For me, I like to make it a priority to take a step back to think about something my kids, husband, family, or colleagues have done and write them a note. Researchers have found that praise triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the pleasure center of the brain. We have a Love Award at Bluemercury, where employees can nominate others for doing something outstanding. I love to read the submissions and pick a winner each month.
11 a.m. We have a planning meeting to kick off the fall 2018 Lune+Aster launches. I created Lune+Aster with vitamin-infused, paraben-free formulas. The entire line provides a foolproof application to get you out the door fast! Our Formidable Lengthening Mascara, a vegan lengthening mascara launched earlier this year, had to be restocked after it sold out across all Bluemercury doors! Our team is making sure we are poised to replenish our October launches of the new Prepstar Lash Primer and Superstellar Volumizing Mascara.
7 a.m. Reflection and mindfulness makes us better leaders. If I have five minutes after getting the kids off to school, I spend the time reading and reflecting on a nugget of wisdom from someone I respect and admire. Charlie Munger, a lifelong learner, has said, “I think it’s a huge mistake not to absorb elementary worldly wisdom if you’re capable of doing it because it makes you better able to serve others, it makes you better able to serve yourself, and it makes life more fun.” I keep Telushkin’s Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living on my devices. There is a lesson for every day of the year. I truly believe if you spend a couple minutes every day reading a snippet of wisdom, you will be calmer, more grounded, and wiser.
8 p.m. I help my daughters and son with their homework. My two teenage daughters love our Lune+Aster Rescue Sheet Masks and use them while they are doing their math homework and FaceTiming their friends! Instagram and digital technology have completely changed the mask category in skincare! I choose the Soothe, while the girls choose Detox after a busy week of sports!
2 p.m. I end the week by welcoming our new Bluemercury associates, who have just completed training at our East or West Coast training locations! For 15 years, I interviewed each new store manager, but with 175 stores, I call in on their final day of training at Blue U to discuss Bluemercury’s mission and answer any questions!