5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef One of my favorite things about the holidays is how everything gets elevated to the next level, making even the most ordinary things feel special. One area that is especially fun to glam up is holiday beauty. Whether it’s for a Christmas party, the annual family photo, or a quick change from work to a festive get-together, here are a few effortless ways to elevate your holiday glow. Bonus: I’ve included a few links to beauty-themed gifts at the end of the post.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glam Hair} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glam Hair} || Runway Chef Glam up your hair // If you don’t have time to throw you hair into a fancy up-do, simply add a bit of glam to your hair using a jeweled hair pin (lots of good options here), or, if you don’t have a hair pin, use a fancy vintage pin. Carefully secure it with a bobby pin and you’re good to go. 

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glitter Nails} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glitter Nails} || Runway Chef Boost your mani // Add on a coat of glitter nail polish. Not only will it quickly make you look party ready, but the glitter will also help distract from any small chips in your base coat color. If you’re really short on time, just give one or two nails a coat for an accent nail.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Red Lips} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Red Lips} || Runway Chef Power up your pout // If you don’t have time to do a complete face of makeup, make sure you pump up your pout. Red is a no-fail classic this time of year (see tips on how to find the perfect shade of red), but to make sure the color stays you’ll want to triple up on your products. First, line your lips with a nude pencil. Next, apply a thin coat of chapstick or vaseline. Follow that with a couple of applications of your favorite red lipstick (I’m loving this one right now), and finish the look with a red lipgloss.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef Add a little holiday shimmer // Another way to quickly take your face from everyday makeup to party-ready makeup is to add on highlighter. Dab it on your cheekbones, in the corners of your eyes, under your nose, and under your lips. Just don’t go overboard or you’ll look shiny instead of sparkly.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef Putting on the spritz // No holiday outfit is complete without a spritz or two of your favorite fragrance. Or, use the holidays as a time to be bold and try a new scent. Current one that I’m loving: Elizabeth Arden Untold (which, by the way, also makes a great gift!).

Bonus tip: While you’re wrapping presents, make sure you save any scraps of tissue paper. They work perfectly as blotting paper.

Gifts for Beauty Babes

Happy Hour

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Making gingerbread cookies}

Well, it worked. I got some snow after I ranted on and on about not having any last week. Sadly, it was barely here long enough for me to step outside and enjoy it. But it did motivate me back into more festive spirits. Of course, baking cookies, enjoying more of the Christmas lights in our neighborhood, and listening to carols by our tree didn’t hurt, either. Also, can we talk about the fact that Christmas Eve is one week from today?! Holy red santa claus! I am so not ready! If you’re still gift searching (like me, per usual), don’t forget to check out my gift guides, Hostess Gift Ideas, Grab Bag/ Secret Santa Gifts, an easy DIY gift, and the Rugged Retro Men’s Gift Guide, for more ideas.

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Brown paper packages tied up with string}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Birch bark for Christmas decorating…full decoration reveal coming Friday}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {An early Christmas present (seen in the Grab & Gift Gift Guide) that I’ll be especially thankful to have on next week’s 11 hour drive}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {These scentsicles (c/o) have been filling our whole apartment with one of my favorite scents of the season}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {via

Date Pinwheel Cookies

Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef I wanted to write something totally profound and mind blowing to entice you into making these cookies, but the only thing that keeps coming to my mind is, wait for it, it’s totally epic…. “Roll Out”….as in the Ludacris song, not as in “rolling out the dough”. I think it came into my head as I was rolling out the dough for these pinwheel cookies, and it hasn’t left my head since. That was 2 days ago. Also, it should be noted that the only lyrics in my head are “Roll out! Roll out! Roll out!” because I don’t actually know any of the lyrics to the song, nor can I rap. So besides those two little words, the only thing that’s stuck in a blog post that has now been written and rewritten 4 times is that I love these cookies….like a lot….a lot, a lot, a lot. But I bet you already figured that out, because weird, I only put things I love on here (funny concept, I know). Like many of the recipes I share, these date pinwheel cookies are a recipe that my family has been making for years. And for all those years they’ve stayed firmly planted at the top of my list of favorite Christmas cookies, right between Russian Tea Cakes and Rum Balls. With a buttery dough that becomes crunchy while it bakes and a filling that is sticky sweet, it’s hard not to put these at the top of a favorites list. Go on. I dare you. 

Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef

Date Pinwheel Cookies
Yields 36
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
  1. 1 pound dates, pitted and chopped
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Start by making the filling. Combine the dates, water, and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts, and set aside to cool (you can put the mixture in the fridge to speed up the cooling).
  2. To make the dough, cream the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and keep mixing on medium speed until everything is well-combined and the dough is smooth.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap, then allow the dough to refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge. On a floured surface roll one half of the dough out into a rough rectangular shape that is about 1/4 inch thick. Spread half of the date mixture over the entire surface of the dough, then roll up, lengthwise, like a jelly roll. Set aside and repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Wrap both dough logs in plastic wrap and allow them to chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  7. When you are ready to bake the cookies, turn the oven on to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat (I prefer the parchment paper for these as the filling can get a bit sticky).
  8. Remove the cookie logs from the fridge and, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices about an inch apart on the cookie sheet, then bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cookie rack.
  9. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
  1. I used Medjool dates to make these but I recommend using whatever is cheapest as you'll be chopping them up and cooking them down.
  2. These cookies taste best within the first two days of baking so I usually like to only slice of a few at a time and keep the rest of the dough tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. The uncooked dough will last about 2 weeks in the fridge and about 1 month in the freezer, as long as it is well wrapped in plastic wrap.
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Party in Sequins + Velvet

Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef I know it’s pretty cliche, sequins and velvet for the holidays (I never….), but I couldn’t help myself. I scored this skirt on major sale (we’re talking less than $10) last year and anytime something super festive (hi holidays!) rolls around, it just begs to be worn. Since I’m becoming all grown up and shiz, all sequins all the time doesn’t cut it the way it did when I was 5 (well, except maybe if I’m visiting Vegas…) so I decided to slightly simmer down the sequins with a festive touch of velvet (a vintage blazer that was my Mom’s), the classic white shirt (did you catch Thursday’s 3×3 post on 9 ways to wear this closet staple?), and my favorite blue booties

What’s your go-to holiday look? I’ve included a few festive pieces at the end of this post if you’re still looking for something.

Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef Vintage Blazer (similar) // H&M Blouse // Joe Fresh Skirt (similar) // Kushyfoot Tights c/o // Report Signature Booties // Chanel Bag // Forever 21 Sunnies // Old Navy Earrings // Etienne Aigner Bracelet c/o // Elizabeth Arden “Red Door” Lipstick c/o

Festive Frocks & Party Pieces

22 Things To Do in NYC in the Winter

22 Things To Do in NYC in the Winter || Runway Chef #nyc #winter Whether you live in NY or you visit the city in the colder months, no one can deny that it is a winter wonderland overflowing with magic come this time of year. Christmastime in the city has to be one of my absolute favorite things about living here. The decorations, the store windows, the festive activities…I love it all! The Mr. and I have done a few of the things on this list before, but there are many still waiting to be checked off. Have you done any of these things in NY? If you don’t live in NYC, what special holiday things do you do where you reside?

1. Go in search of the best hot chocolate…I hear City Bakery has one of the best but so far we’ve only tried (and loved) the Max Brenner one at Bryant Park.

2. Check out the trees- Of course I’ve seen the Rockefeller Center one and The Plaza one, but the Mr. has yet to see the Plaza one and neither of us have checked out the one at the Met or The Palace Hotel.

3. Take a walk while it’s snowing

4. Photograph Central Park after a snowstorm

5. Walk over a snow covered Brooklyn bridge

6. I still have yet to go skating here in the city, but I’m determined to make it to at least Bryant ParkCentral Park, or Prospect Park this year.

7. Look at store windows (Bergdorfs always has some of the best, in my opinion

8. See the holiday trains in Grand Central

9. Go to Rolf’s (I’ve avoided in the past because it is oh so cliche and touristy but I’ve decided it just has to be done)

10. See the lights in Dyker Heights (we loved them so much last year that we couldn’t wait to go this year)

11. Visit Gingerbread Lane at New York Hall of Science

12. Fondue and wine by the fire at Black Mountain

13. See a tree lighting (our neighborhood is having theirs this weekend)

14. Visit the Veuve Clicquot Pop-Up Champagne Bar

15. Walk around our neighborhood, hot chocolate in hand, to check out the Christmas lights

16. Warm up with the French onion soup at Balthazar

17. Check out used bookstores for old Christmas books and records

18. See a showing of the Nutcracker

19. Spend an afternoon cozied up by the fire at the Bowery Hotel

20. Donate a coat to the New York Cares Coat Drive

21. Get the epic-sounding pot pie at the Nomad Bar (if I can convince Mr. RC that’s truly worth a full $36, which, hello truffle and foie gras, it is!)

22. Head to Camp for s’mores by the fireplace