Mixing Business with Pleasure
A special by our Content Manager

It's been a long day at the office. It's cold outside. And you're still recovering from last night's party. Sounds like the perfect time to rent a movie, eat soup, and model your new pajamas, right? Not so fast. It's office party season, and tonight happens to be the big shindig for your spouse/client/friend, or maybe that friend-of-a-friend you ran into on the elevator the other day. Whatever or whoever, you've gotta go, and you need to get jolly in a jiffy. 

For starters, keep your work attire elegant and versatile. A black suit can go from serious to sexy with the addition of a rhinestone hair clip, glittery hose, or a flirty chiffon scarf. Those brown wool pants and sensible flats, on the other hand, aren't going anywhere--at least not to a party. 

The simplest way to take your face from business to pleasure in a few short minutes is to increase the wattage of your makeup. Color and contrast equals drama, so stick to cool, smoky shades like charcoal, bone or plum, which stand out more on the skin than earth tones. Before applying fresh makeup, spritz your face with Evian spray or wipe off any excess oil and grime with a cotton pad and alcohol-free toner. Clean up any mascara flakes or creased eye shadow with a cotton swab soaked in eye makeup remover, and take off all left-over lipstick, because we're starting afresh with the lips. With all the eating, drinking and talking that go on at cocktail parties, your lips will be the focus of a lot of attention, so we want to make sure they look good and stay that way. After all, what's the point of a gorgeously made-up mouth if you wipe the whole thing off after the first bite of curried shrimp? And don't forget to brush your teeth before beginning!

Once lips are clean, dab on a layer of foundation, which provides a surface for lipstick to adhere to. Always begin with lip liner to keep color from bleeding, and use a lip brush for nice even coverage. Between coats, blot lips with a single-ply tissue, and "set" the color with a dusting of loose powder. Reapply color and blot again. Your lipstick should now remain on your lips and not on your glass. 

So now you're dressed to kill, but what if your body's already feeling dead? All those hours at a desk can really stifle one's energy flow, so try a couple yoga-inspired stretches to get that glow going. The lion's pose is basically just stretching your face as wide as you can, as if you're screaming silently. The instant rush of blood to your face will make you feel alert and will also bring color to your cheeks. The sun salutation is nothing but a more disciplined version of the stretching most of us do instinctively each morning: raise your arms above your head, lean back and open your heart outwards. This action increases circulation and opens energy channels. If you need an external stimulant, try sipping ginger or mint tea while you're making up, or if you feel like you could really use a caffeine boost, drink green tea, which provides 20 milligrams of caffeine vs. coffee's 200, and won't leave you feeling wirey. 

Finish off with a squirt of perfume or a couple drops of your favorite oil, and by now you should feel ready to leave the work day behind. And if the urge to head home hits, just remember, you never know who'll be passing under that mistletoe.