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12 days holiday beauty gift guide and giveaway: Day 4 | skyn ICELAND

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Between ice skating in Central Park and the legendary tree in Rockefeller Center, winter holidays in New York City are truly some kind of magical. They are also some kind of stressful. The crowds and traffic, both standard issue for city life, compound exponentially as the calendar ticks down towards December 25th.

Enter skyn ICELAND, a beauty brand specifically dedicated to help alleviate the stresses of modern city living.

When New York City entrepreneur and self-described beauty product addict Sarah Kugelman found herself facing a stress related health crisis in 2005, she founded skyn ICELAND, Solutions for Stressed Skin. Using her vast work experience in beauty product development and marketing, Kugelman has elevated skyn ICELAND from an idea born from a personal need to an award winning brand in the span of seven years.

Examiner took a little spa moment with some of skyn ICELAND's legendary Hydro Cool Firming eye gels (oft-spotted in the green room makeup kits of celebrity makeup artists and backstage at fashion week), and asked Sarah herself about her holiday traditions and how to escape to the New Year unscathed.

EXAMINER: Which winter holidays do you celebrate?

SARAH: Both Chanukah and Christmas

EXAMINER: Interesting! How do you celebrate them?

SARAH: We light Chanukah candles and give my daughter a gift each night. My sister and her husband have an annual family Chanukah party where we eat latkes, and spin dreidels. My stepmother does a big Christmas Eve dinner-- we go and decorate the tree, have an amazing family dinner and then open gifts. My cousins hold a dinner on Christmas day. We arrive early so all of the kids can play! We eat, play a British Christmas game, and then the children perform, and we open gifts. Then, my husband and I go away to a warm location with my daughter to recover from all of the eating and festivities!

EXAMINER: What is your pick this year for a fail proof holiday beauty gift for your favorite gals?

SARAH: LOVE the new Clarisonic pedisonic set

EXAMINER: Do you have a favorite gift the fellows?

SARAH: Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Body Oil

EXAMINER: You have 15 minutes to get ready for a holiday soriee, what do you do?

SARAH: Moisturize with skyn’s Pure Cloud Cream to set the canvas and give a natural glow. Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer to even skin tone. Brush on some bronzer for warmth. Shimmer eye shadow over the whole lid, dark volumizing mascara (I love the new Marc Jacobs one) and a bold lip (I’m loving Chanel right now!).

EXAMINER: It is actually the annual office holiday bash--what is an appropriate makeup and hair look?

SARAH: I always say play it safe. For makeup, don’t try the newest look that night, stay with something familiar that you know looks good on you and don’t over do it. Wear neutral shades on eyes and lips, but add some shimmer. If you want to go for a red lip (because it’s so ‘in’ this season) just play down eyes and the rest of the face..go for soft, neutral, matte. For hair, up or down works but nothing too poofy or too sexy. Splurge for a blow out and go for the new beach wave.

EXAMINER: Do you believe in Santa?

SARAH: I do for my daughter because it’s a lot more fun to believe than not to believe.

EXAMINER: Last but not least, talk about your dearest wish for this holiday season.

SARAH: It sounds trite but I really do wish for peace and happiness on earth. There is so much sadness, despair and violence. I hope that 2014 is a better, happier, safer year for all.

In the spirit of holiday giving, skyn ICELAND is partnering with Examiner Alice An to offer a giveaway. Swing by Made (Up) in NY to enter to win one of two skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming eye gels, and stay tuned, a new giveaway will be posted every day leading up to December 25th.

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