The Secret to a Flawless Holiday Look That Only Gets Better with Time
This family matriarch mastered it with a steady hand and a vanity full of classics
Hollywood, Florida, circa 1963
"Grandma has never been clouded in mystery. She's as sharp as a tack with a recall that I'm convinced has never allowed her to tell the same story twice. Her tales of dances and debutante days fixed my childhood imagination on her bathroom vanity, a place where I believed all elegant ladies kept their secrets. I remember sneaking into Grandma's room years ago during her annual family Christmas Eve party. To avoid the bogeyman I thought hid in Grandad's old office, I took off down the hall at a full sprint. What I found when I arrived was well worth the heart-pounding journey. The bottles, the jewelry—it was a little girl's dream come true. It still is."
"This exfoliant is brand-new, but Grandma still deems it vanity worthy. Tiny grains of rice in the formula work to illuminate her natural olive complexion."
Buy It: The Rice Polish: Deep, $65; tatcha.com
"An overdone face? Never. One coat of mascara is just enough to set off Grandma's hazel eyes."
Buy It: Hydro Boost Plumping Mascara, $9; ulta.com
"For years, her daily look has consisted of a pencil skirt, silk blouse, and pumps. A red lip is the obvious final touch."
Buy It: Rouge Dior Ultra Rouge in 999 Ultra Dior, $37; sephora.com
"Her elegant hands are the stuff of the genetic lottery. My sisters got those winning numbers. As for me, I'm a bona fide hand cream addict."
Buy It: Limited-Edition Blissful Pomegranate Satin Hands Nourishing Shea Cream, $12; marykay.com
"She mastered the at-home French manicure, but for those of us with shaky hands, a holiday red also receives her stamp of approval."
Buy It: OPI Nail Lacquer in Candied Kingdom, $11; ulta.com