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Last-minute holiday party prep

Yup, it's that time of year, when shopping and working and playing leave little time for party prep. Here are some easy ways to wow-from the perfect hostess gift to the best appetizer-when you're short on time.

Step 1: Grab a little something for the hostess
If you really want to be the perfect guest, you'll bring along a little gift to make your host feel special. Here are a few we love.

Big Dipper Wax Works Beeswax Candles
Intricately sculpted candles are the perfect addition to their holiday decor. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Zen Zen Vetiver Sachets
These aromatic, fair trade sachets infuse the air with vetiver's naturally healing, stress-reducing properties.
Pre de Provence Soap and Lotion sets
Time-tested favorites! Choose from a number of different sets, from the Guest Soap Collection to the Shea Butter Gift Set.
Republic of Tea
Let them brew themselves a relaxing cup of Comfort and Joy Black or Dream by the Fire Red teas. Throw in a Tea for One set and they'll love you forever

DECEMBER BONUS: Buy any Primavera Body or Skin Care product or gift set, and get one (of equal or lesser value) free! That means they get to experience Primavera's amazing botanicals and you get to keep one for yourself. Done and done.

Step 2: Throw together a tasty dish
Whatever your audience, here are a few ideas that'll impress even the toughest crowd. They only need a few ingredients and a few minutes.  

Healthy option - We love this simple White Bean Dip from Giada De Laurentiis. Serve with whole wheat pita chips or veggies!

Easy option - Throw together the right ingredients and you can't miss. Try these Mini Brie and Apple Quiches-made with frozen phyllo cups-and you'll have them salivating.

Indulgent option - It's the holidays right? Just this once, let yourself fall in love with these Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Sage.  Just don't forget to bring some digestive support!

Step 3: Make yourself look pretty
Want a quick makeup fix that lasts? Christina Leiva, licensed esthetician at our Seattle - Madison store, loves jane iredale for just that reason. Here are her tips for a quick day-to-night makeover.

First, smooth on some Liquid Minerals to provide good coverage. "Add a glow to your face with the warm colors of the Sunbeam Bronzer," says Christina. She recommends finishing with a hydration spray like POMMIST to set makeup for the evening.

Next, sweep on one of the vibrant Lip Fixations from jane iredale. "One side is a lip stain, which is great because you don't have to keep reapplying," says Christina. Lip Fixations come in vibrant colors with a clear gloss on the other side to shine things up.

Finally, add some fun to your lids with liquid liners from ZuZu Luxe in vibrant colors like electric blue Azure or gold Luxor. Finish with some jane iredale 24K Gold Dust to make eyes sparkle in the candlelight!     

Step 4: Prepare for the morning after
If you tend to overindulge on more than just good eats and need a little help recovering, we've got some suggestions. In addition to rehydrating with electrolytes (try O.N.E. Coconut Water or Emergen-C), ease pain with aromatherapy. Sheila Devitt, herbalist at our San Francisco store, likes Aroma MD's Body Soother blend, or Pharmaca's Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender essential oils. For alcohol-related nausea, she suggests a homeopathic remedy like Nux Vomica.

You can also be proactive by taking an antioxidant-rich herbal formula that helps combat those alcohol-induced free radicals. Sheila suggests Source Naturals Hangover Formula. In addition, fill up on B vitamins to support recovery. Sheila recommends Pharmaca's Vitamin B Stress Formula as an extra boost the next morning.

Need more recovery tips? Read our Hangover Helpers article.

Visit with Pharmaca's estheticians and practitioners for more great tips on being the perfect holiday party guest.

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