I'm so focused on preparing a great meal and setting a beautiful table that I usually have only 10 minutes to pull myself together before guests arrive. I quickly refresh my skin with blotting papers (Tatcha beauty papers, $12; tatcha.com) or spritz my face with Caudalie Beauty Elixir ($18; sephora.com) for an aromatherapy boost before applying my makeup.
I'm a creature of habit when it comes to makeup. I like a clean foundation (YSL Touche Éclat Foundation, $58; yslbeautyus.com) that's not dewy. Next, it's either a bold red lip or a rosy cheek -- I never mix the two. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl ($26; narscosmetics.com) is my signature shade. When I'm feeling more casual, I'll wear a bright pink cream blush (Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek, $24; sephora.com).
My natural texture is quite wavy, flyaway, and frizzy. Living Proof Curl Defining Styling Cream ($15 for 2 oz.; livingproof.com) tames the frizz and adds definition. And I'm a slave to my little ½-inch straightening iron (BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Mini, $30; stylesource.com). It's perfect for quickly smoothing my bangs and little flyaways.
Coconut oil (Spectrum Coconut Oil packet, $1.39; Whole Foods Market) makes an amazing hand cream. I use a spoonful to season my cast-iron skillet, then rub the excess into my hands and cuticles. It helps protect my skin as I'm washing produce or dishes. I prefer understated nails. My go-to neutral polish is Essie Allure ($9; essie.com) because I am constantly working with my hands. If you chip it, no one notices.
The last thing I do before guests arrive is light a candle (Carrière Frères Orange Blossom, $45; carrierefreres.com). Herbal and citrus notes complement the culinary experience.