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From the kitchen to the table in five easy steps

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Speed up holiday dinner prep

When it comes to hosting holiday dinner, between chopping, cleaning, prepping, basting a turkey and setting the table, there's not much time to get gorgeous before guests arrive.
Woman cooking holiday dinner

But we're here to help ensure you get ready and to the table in no time flat (and ideally not wearing your apron).

1

Plan your outfit in advance

There's no sense in running around your bedroom minutes before guests arrive trying to figure out what you're going to wear. The more rushed you are, the harder it's going to be to decide on an outfit. Instead of scrambling, pick out everything you're going to wear in the morning, lie it on the bed (or hang it on the door) before you even start cooking. That way when you're ready to transform from chef to fabulous host, you just have to slip into your stylish picks and pour yourself a glass of wine while you wait.

2

Wash and blow dry the night before

Let's face it, you likely won't have much time to spare the day of, so washing your hair and blow drying it the night before can save you a ton of time the day of. Don't worry, you can breathe new life into your tresses before guests arrive (see step four), but get the bulk of the work done before you hit the sack so you don't end up with a head of wet hair 10 minutes before the doorbell rings.

3

Shower and prep your skin

Once you've done your last baste and done a last once-over of everything else, it's time to hit the showers. Throw on a shower cap and exfoliate top to toe (even your face, but use your facial exfoliator for that). Smooth skin feels great any time, and when it comes to your face, your makeup will go on smoother when there's no dead skin to get in the way of your glow.

4

Revive your locks

Since you shampooed and blow dried last night, you'll likely need to give your tresses a little TLC, but that will still be a much faster task than starting from scratch. Dampen your hair slightly all over and re-dry to fluff things up. Next, go for an ultra-quick but party-ready look by tying your hair back into a low ponytail, and twisting that into a super-chic bun at the nape of your neck. Give everything a light mist of hairspray and add a jeweled headband or oversize barrette with some bling or sparkle.

5

Put your face on

Next it's time for the five-minute face. Skip foundation in favor of tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Add concealer only where you think you absolutely need it (blemish, dark circles), apply two coats of volumizing mascara, some cheek and lip stain to give yourself a natural glow and finish with a light dusting of translucent powder. You can keep shine at bay through the evening with oil blotting papers. Now you're ready to pour yourself a glass of wine. Give everything in the kitchen one last peek and wait for friends and family to arrive.

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