Ask Jeanne

ASK JEANNE Party Hopping

Dear Jeanne,
I’m undertaking a minor holiday miracle this month: attending multiple cocktail parties on a single night. Do you have advice for how I can keep my makeup looking fresh, my shoes from killing me and bring hostess gifts, too?



Dear Francine:


Amazingly enough, this is one miracle that many of us manage to perform each holiday season—some with more aplomb that others. And though the challenge always seems a little daunting at first, once you get the hang of it, “party hopping” can be a fun and lively pastime, if a little exhausting. First of all, you must wear something relatively comfortable if you really do plan to run around town. Of course, you’ll want to be in party mode in the wardrobe department, but just make sure your outfit is one that you not only feel good in, but one that feels good “on”. Ditto for shoes. While many of our evening shoes are not exactly comfy, try to go for the ones that aren’t as brutal and don’t usually end up killing you. You and your feet will be much happier. If your evening bag’s big enough, you might want to try taking a little pair of those handy little roll up ballet slippers with you that you can put on in the car between parties, just to give those tender tootsies a rest.


Also, it’s important to give yourself a little touch up in between appearances, so make sure your evening purse has wee mirror and a baggie with a couple of make-up remover pads or Q-tips dipped in make-up remover in it. No one wants to see Rocky Raccoon at their door! There are various light face oils you might want to bring with you as well, in a small vial, just to dab ever so lightly over your make-up to alleviate any dryness and give you a fresh, dewy look. Rodin, carried at Gee Beauty, is a great one. And of course, a fresh hit of lipstick is always a must. I also always carry a small pocket comb in my bag to help freshen my tresses.


As far as hostess gifts go, that’s a tough one because you don’t want to look like Mrs. Claus lugging a sac of gifts around. What about gift certificates as hostess gifts? Not only are they always welcome, but they’re easy to transport and will hardly take up any room in your bag! Ditto for holiday music CD’s. They always make great gifts this time of year, and there are so many wonderful new ones out there, from Barbra Streisand, Judy Collins, Susan Boyle, Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson to Johnny Mathis, Il Volo, Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra. I also love giving precious little ornaments when I go to holiday parties. If you can fit few of them into your evening bag, perhaps in little pouches, they would be easy to transport. Or what about finding some lovely little vintage brooches—maybe some whimsical old Christmas pins—for your various hostesses? They’d certainly be easy to fit in your bag and carry around. Or, another lovely gesture is to have flowers delivered to your hostess’s home the day of the party. That way, you’ll be giving something that will not only help enhance the party décor, but help make your presence felt long after you leave! It’s also lovely to send flowers the next day, thanking your hostess for the enjoyable evening and sending warm wishes for the impending holiday ahead.