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Holiday party dress

This time of year is all about tinsel, glitter, and flashing ornaments. And that’s just the average holiday party outfit. What if the de rigueur sequined top, smoky eye, and up-do aren’t for you?

Don’t fret—we’re here to help. Because a holiday soiree should not cause you to sleep in curlers or fork out for a blowout, we asked Sandra Sanchez, the editor-founder of (and Miss Los Angeles 2003!) for some simple ways to tone down that packaged holiday sparkle.

“There are so many great ways to ‘sparkle’ without the use of toxic chemicals and additives,” says Sanchez, starting with a bright colored dress, which warrants a low-key makeup look. Read on for five of Sanchez’s tips for holiday style without a sequin in sight.

Sandra Sanchez
Sandra Sanchez, editor-in-chief of

1. Reveal Your Inner Beauty

Eliminate dry and dull skin with the exfoliating Osea Black Algae Mask ($48), free of synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, parabens, and sulfates, which leaves skin looking healthier, fresher, and rejuvenated.

2. Give Skin a Natural Glow

Tarte’s Natural Cheek Stain ($30) is one of my favorite products: Not only is the generous, gel-like stick foolproof to apply, it imparts a dewy, youthful touch of color and can easily be used to add a punch of color to lips as well.

3. Rock the Ponytail

Forget the blowout. A slick ponytail always looks chic. Just run a flat iron from Rusk’s Go Green Collection ($49.90) through your hair. (It’s an energy-sensitive straightening iron with petroleum-free straightening plates.) Then slip on a hairband that blends with your hair color, and you are ready to wow.

party dress
EcoSkin's work-to-party dress

4. Forget the Little Black Dress

California-based EcoSkin makes chic understated pieces that are perfect for work and the hippest holiday party. The cranberry 100% cotton boatneck Rue dress ($210) is my personal favorite. The point is you can bypass the plunging neckline—a scoop neck and Dolman sleeves are sexy, too—and wear a happy color instead of been-there black.

5. Accessorize. Once.

Wear one great piece of jewelry or a pair of earrings—and you’re done. Too much, is, well, too much. I’m a sucker for the repurposed vintage baubles from NYC-based designer Lulu Frost, particularly the Collage Necklaces (about $700—yikes). But any one gorgeous piece will do. —Lisa Elaine Held

For more fashion and style tips, visit Sandra Sanchez at