Take just one glance at her channel and it’s clear that Melanie is a girl who absolutely loves this time of year! She’s been gifting fans for weeks now with everything from make-up ideas to recipes and hauls, to help them make the most of the holiday season. We got a chance to chat with everyone’s fav Irish beauty and lifestyle maven about her must-haves for the holidays and much more! Check it out below!

First off, what would you say is your favourite part about this time of year?
I just love the atmosphere! I’m very nostalgic and I’ve got wonderful winter memories. For me, the holidays are all about family, movie marathons, snuggling up on the couch in new pajamas, baking and reflecting on the year gone by!

The holidays are filled with celebrations, from work parties and friend gatherings to New Year’s Eve. Can you tell us a few makeup tips for these special occasions?
For parties, I always bust out a strong red lip! It’s so statement and classy and it pairs perfectly with the theme of the holidays! Thoroughly exfoliating the lips, using lip balm and filling them in entirely with lip pencil before applying the actual lipstick will help it to last throughout the night. I’ll always use a primer on my skin so that my foundation stays put, and I’ll apply a long wearing foundation such as Estee Lauder Double Wear. And I love pairing a strong brow and rose gold eye makeup with the red lip and the flawless foundation. It’s my go-to right now!

As far as hosting parties, do you have a go to dish that you like to make for your guests?
Of course there’s the boring, usual holiday staples which I do love making, but for something a little bit different that they’re not expecting, I can whip up a pretty amazing vegan Mac & Cheese! The ‘cheese’ sauce is made using a host of various ingredients including blended cashews for the texture and nutritional yeast for the cheesy flavour. My subscribers will know that I do my best to avoid dairy because I’m intolerant and it breaks my skin out, so this is such a lovely alternative! And my non-vegan friends and family go mad for it!

What other healthy recipes would you suggest for the holidays?
I like to jazz up brussel sprouts with Sicilian flavours, I’ll make vegan cranberry tarts, also, vegetarian nut roast can be extremely delicious and full of whole foods as well! On top of the traditional meats, I’ll always do a Christmas spiced duck because after all, the holidays are about indulging and celebrating food! For desserts I love to bake dairy and gluten free cacao based recipes that are chocolatey and full of healthy fats such as coconut oil. Adding cinnamon to desserts instantly makes them more Christmasy!

Gift giving is a tough task for many people. Can you suggest some good gifts for under $15?
I think some of the best gifts come for under fifteen dollars. A homemade card or a decorated letter is always a nice, personalized touch! I like to give pamper products from Lush cosmetics, which often fall in and around this price or less. I also love to make little care packages, so I’ll include the person’s favourite sweet treat, a DVD or a book, some cute socks! It’s always the thought that counts, so shopping around is a must, so many brands do great deals during the holidays! And you can also do something very unusual, for example, one of my girlfriends really loves the red Skittles but none of the other flavours. So I bought Skittles in bulk, got a cute, cheap jar, and I sat and went through all the bags, removing the red ones for my friend and popping them into the jar! A little bow…boom! Best gift ever. She loved it.

What about presents for a Girlfriend or Boyfriend? Also, not forgetting a Bestie?
I’m happily single right now but in my past long-term relationships I loved to buy my partner a good scent and a ticket for a show or a concert, or even a holiday! Things that they’ll get a lot of use out of. I find men more difficult to buy for, absolutely, but I’ve actually done two gift guides on the ICON YouTube channel, one for men and one for the ladies!

Any last Holiday tips for your fans?
To manage the stress that this time of year can bring, walk for an hour a day and invest in a mindfulness colouring book (something I’ve been raving about on my social media, wonderfully relaxing and great for anxiety-prone people!). Also, pick up a good body butter like those from The Body Shop to keep your skin soft through the cold winter months. Finally, don’t leave it until January to get ‘on a health kick’, take baby steps now to build or maintain a good routine…eat breakfast, drink lots of water, don’t overindulge in sugar and do little bits of strength training each night before bed. You’ve got this! ENJOY!

See what else Melanie Murphy has in store for the Holidays on her channel!

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Celebrate with Melanie Murphy – Holiday Q&A

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