December's Best Beauty Buys
Get gorgeous this holiday season with festive nail polishes, the perfect lipcolor, ultra-flattering mascara and more.
festive nail polishes
Holiday Handiwork
It's beginning to look a lot know. We're not suggesting you mix and match the polishes we're showing here, but how festive would it be to adorn your nails with any one of these three rich, dazzling new shades? Merry, merry!

Green: Julep Nail Vernis in Emilie, $14; Red: Lancome Mini Le Vernis in 102, $15; Gold: Face Stockholm Nail Polish in Toast of the Town, $10;
Dolce and Gabbana lipsticks
Hidden Asset
O's beauty philosophy has always emphasized what's on the inside. No wonder we were so impressed with Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick. What looks at first glance like just another tube of creamy lipcolor has a core of satiny gloss. The two textures, in complementary shades, stain your lips with a color that's not just rich, but soft and shiny, too.

Burberry mascara
Eye Opener
"My eyes disappear if I don't wear mascara," a blonde colleague lamented recently. "But it's impossible to find one that looks natural." Impossible, that is, until we slipped her Burberry's new Effortless Mascara in Midnight Blonde. First she raved about the color (a dark slate). Then she raved about the texture (thick enough to tint from root to tip, clump-free). And then she begged for three more tubes.


airplane soaps
Plane Good
These shea-butter-enriched, limited edition airplane soaps help raise money for ORBIS, an NGO working to end preventable blindness. (The soaps are inspired by ORBIS's Flying Eye Hospital, a jet outfitted with medical equipment.) One hundred percent of proceeds goes to improve access to opthalmological services in rural Africa.

$6 each;

The Mini Pak
Saved by the Bag
Beauty disaster preparedness just got a lot easier. The Mini PAK measures only about 4 by 4 1/2 inches, but contains 23 mini beauty products and fashion fix-it items (all refillable or available for repurchase on the brand's Web site). Pop the kit in your purse and you'll always be ready for high winds (hairspray), popped buttons (double-sided tape), blisters (bandages), and even a poppy seed bagel (floss). Tweezers, hand sanitizer, lotion, facial tissues, wet wipes, nail polish remover, and stain remover are also included. (Bottled water and a flare gun, however, are not.)

Bottega Veneta fragrance
Scent to Bed
Bottega Veneta's first fragrance is called "a leathery floral chypre"; if I knew what that meant, I'd tell you. Here's what I can tell you: It's the cleanest sexy scent—not musky or heavy—I have ever met. And it's the only scent I'd ever consider sleeping with. One spritz makes you feel as if you're slipping into freshly laundered linens. But your dreams—guaranteed to be a lot less starchy.

$95 for 50 milliliters;
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
Can't Live Without My...
"I've been using this cleanser every day for years. It's really hydrating, but it doesn't leave a residue. And it's very gentle. You apply the cream to dry skin, then polish it off with a muslin cloth. I love the ritual." —Makeup artist Pati Dubroff

$25 for 3.3-ounce starter kit;