With the holidays right around the corner, filled with last minute shopping and decorating, adding the stresses of hosting a lavish soiree is no easy task. However, when it comes to effortlessly preparing for a festive dinner party, leave it to Shirin von Wulffen, co-founder of Bastide Aix-en-Provence—a clean, natural and non-toxic beauty brand, crafted in Provence—and wife of celebrity hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai, to pull it off without a sweat in the most French way imaginable. From crafty guest lists to ambience lighting to a classic glass of rosé, von Wulffen offers her best tips on how to host in style this season.
Create a lively and eclectic guest list
We always try to mix up the crowd—bringing in an artist, someone who loves politics, someone who loves travel, and so on. We don’t try to keep the crowd all the same. It makes for more lively discussions this way, and we can bring people together that wouldn’t normally meet.
Make a thoughtful seating chart
We always seat everyone and don’t just let people choose their own seats. It makes the table feel more thoughtful, on why we chose to sit them with someone else that we think they should meet.
Set the mood with lighting
I learned this from my public relations days—the ambiance is everything! We dim the lights so it always feels cozy, and have candles all over the house, as soon as they enter, we have our candles lit. When we made our candles, we made sure they didn’t smell artificial and would complement a dinner party!
Start with rosé
A tip from Provence we take with us everywhere—we always start with rosé before dinner, and often in a different room so we keep the crowd moving.
Have the kids help!
We love to get the whole family involved – we ask our kids to help serve appetizers or draw and write on the place cards. When we host, it’s really about bringing people into our lives, and our lives are so much centered around family, so it’s an authentic reflection of us. It’s always great for guests to relax and makes for good conversation.
The 16 Best Beauty Buys to Gift This Year
Renew your skin as you sleep with GlamGlow’s brand new Good in Bed Passionfruit Skin Softening Cream, which contains skin-plumping Hyaluronic Acid that will give anyone a refreshed glow.
Buy now: GlamGlow Good in Bed Passionfruit Skin Softening Cream, $54, sephora.com.
Who doesn’t want whiter teeth for the holidays (or ever)? Thanks to this handy device, you can help give the gift of a better smile to anyone on your list.
Buy now: GLO Brilliant™ Teeth Whitening Device, $199, sephora.com.
There’s nothing quite as festive as a shiny red nail for the holidays, and you can’t do much better than this limited edition shade from Chanel.
Buy now: Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color in Opulence, $28, barneys.com.
What’s the point of an ultra-luxe beauty routine if you don’t have an ultra-luxe mirror to do it in? Enter simplehuman’s sensor lighted vanity mirror, which stimulates natural sunlight to make sure you get the perfect makeup look every time.
Buy now: simplehuman Sensor Lighted Makeup Vanity Mirror Pro Wide View, $399.99, amazon.com.
Sure, normal advent calendars filled with chocolate are great, but how about one that’s full of celebrity-beloved skincare guru Dr. Barbara Sturm’s best-selling products? Consider this a gift that keeps on giving well after the countdown is over.
Buy now: Dr. Barbara Sturm 2018 Advent Calendar, $600, netaporter.com.
We all have that friend who is addicted to doing facemasks, so this year gift her the holy grail of masks with Dr.Jart+’s pack of top-selling masks that covers everything from peeling to exfoliation, and more.
Buy now: Dr.Jart+ Maskapalooza! Every Mask, Every Concern, $139, sephora.com.
A fragrance can be tough to buy for someone else, but when a bottle looks this good, anyone will want to display it on their vanity. And it smells as good as it looks, with a rich scent made with natural tuberose and jasmine.
Buy now: Gucci Bloom Deluxe Edition, $140, saksfifthavenue.com.
No need to stress about a perfect New Years Eve outfit when you have a high-shine gold lip gloss. This limited edition shade comes with an alluring hint of pink.
Buy now: Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer in Shine A Light , $28, bergdorfgoodman.com.
Make sure your bestie’s makeup stays put all night long with the best makeup setting spray on the market. And if you’re feeling a little naughty, feel free to keep the extra one for yourself.
Buy now: Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray Duo, $39, macys.com.
2018 may just have been the year of the highlighter, so give the gift of glowing skin as we head into the new year with this limited-edition gold hue from Dior.
Buy now: Dior Rouge Blush Midnight Wish, $45, sephora.com.
For the girl looking for perfect waves, give the gift of ease and perfect tousled curls with the Beachwaver wand, which delivers the ultimate curl with a flick of a button.
Buy now: Beachwaver S1-Dual Voltage, $129, ulta.com.
Need a gift for your mom? Look no further than a festive lipstick from Pat McGrath, widely considered to be the mother of the fashion industry (just ask Hailey Bieber, or Karen Elson, or Amber Valetta, or…).
Buy now: Pat McGrath Labs BlitzTrance™ Lipstick in Rebel Red, $38, sephora.com.
Have a friend dying to try something new for 2019? Try Kristen Ess’s non-committal rose gold spray, which delivers just the right dose of color (and washes out when she gets bored).
Buy now: Kristin Ess Temporary Rose Gold Tint + Celestial Bobby Pins, $14, target.com.
For that friend who is still really into Fall Out Boy: a set of Kat Von D’s best-selling black eyeliners in a variety of formulas and application techniques.
Buy now: Kat Von D Trooper Black Eyeliner Obsession, $88, sephora.com.
Winter months can be harsh on even the most moisture-obsessed’s skin, particularly on the lips. A lip mask is the treat they didn’t know they needed.
Buy now: Tatcha Kissing Lips Blushing Duo, $68, tatcha.com.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t a fan of cult favorite beauty line Drunk Elephant, and this set comes with all of the brand’s biggest hits.
Buy now: Drunk Elephant The Big Reveal Kit, $88, sephora.com.