I’ve accepted the fact that the holidays are going to be very different this year. I won’t be surrounded by all my friends and family or traveling to Europe to visit my in-laws. Instead, like many, I’ll be lying low with my husband and dog. You won’t find me party hopping or cooking a big Friendsgiving meal, but you will find me at home with a glass of wine and a whole lot of beauty products. If there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that we all need to take better care of ourselves, physically and mentally. And if there’s anyone I thought might have a few tricks up their sleeve for staying happy and sane during the holiday season, it’s Sarah Yang, the managing editor of THE/THIRTY, who prides herself on finding ways to de-stress. (It’s her job, after all.) In an effort to make the most out of the season while at home (or away), Sarah is sharing her self-care tips and go-to product picks from Ulta Beauty to get through the season while looking and feeling your best.
"You might find yourself traveling this holiday season (safely, of course!), which can really disrupt your normal routine and make you feel out of sorts. But the one thing you can stick to is your skincare routine. This travel set from Mario Badescu has everything you need to keep your skin in tip-top shape—yes, even if you've been indulging in the holiday foods and cocktails. Along with a cleansing gel, cleansing lotion, and moisturizer, there's also a soothing rosewater facial spray included. I love using a soothing spray to calm my skin (and my nerves) throughout the day!"
"I don't know about you, but I tend to wear a lot more makeup than I usually do over the holidays. Taking it off with makeup remover and a cleanser can really dry out my skin. This hydrating gel cleanser from Peach & Lily doesn't strip or dry my skin. The last thing you want to stress about is dry, flaky, and irritated skin!"
"A face mask is one of my favorite wind-down activities. After a long day, I put one on, lie down, play some soothing music, and let the mask work its magic for a few minutes. I love that this set has a mask for every skin need, whether you're dealing with breakouts or the winter weather is really drying out your face. The best part is you only need to leave the masks on for five to 10 minutes, so if you're short on time, you can still get a self-care ritual in."
"Trying different at-home treatments is another fun self-care option. When I test one out, I tend to forget about my to-do list or other daily stressors, and I get to focus on the task at hand and whether it's really working. These foot-peeling shoes will slough off dead skin—it might even be better than an at-home pedicure! The process is kind of fun, too: You put the sheets on your feet, wait until the skin absorbs the liquid (about 60 to 90 minutes), and rinse off. After four to six days, your skin will start to peel, revealing the softest skin ever."
"One way I like to be kind to myself during the holiday season is by treating myself to little gifts or acts of self-love. This advent calendar kind of does the whole job for me because every day you get a new nail polish to try out. While I'm not going to be painting my nails every day, it's fun to think that by Christmas you'll have 25 different colors to experiment with for your next DIY manicure."
"My skin gets dry a lot, but during the holidays, it gets even worse! A self-care nighttime ritual I like to do is apply a luxe body creme after I take a calming bath or shower to soothe my irritated skin. This one from Ouai smells so good, and it's an extra bonus that it comes with a small travel fragrance as well. The set is also a great gift idea—I'm definitely getting some for my friends this year."
"For me, I like to do most of my self-care rituals at night so that I can go to sleep calm and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed. Part of that ritual is using overnight products that will work its magic while I sleep. This serum repairs and protects against the signs of environmental damage, stress, and aging. It leaves your skin glowing in the morning—that would give me a little boost of confidence to take on whatever is thrown at me during the holiday season."
"Aromatherapy has so many benefits. It can help with anxiety and sleep problems and also leave you feeling refreshed. I like to add my favorite essential oils to a diffuser as part of my unwinding routine. I turn it on, play some relaxing music, and either read, journal, or close my eyes for a bit."
"Sticking to a routine when life gets stressful helps me stay grounded. I've been using Clinique products ever since I was 13, so having familiar products at hand provides me a lot of comfort and a little bit of nostalgia. Following my morning and nighttime steps can have a soothing effect on me—I try to use them as a time to clear my mind and prepare for the day ahead or unwind and get ready for bed. It's also worth noting that there are two types this set comes in, one for very dry to dry skin and another for dry and combination skin. "