You're psyched about heading home for the holidays, but slightly less psyched that you'll have to hide some of your vices from your more conservative family members. Fret not, though. It's not necessary to swelter in a stuffy turtleneck or drab up your makeup routine to placate your buttoned-up brethren. You can preserve your fabulous style (though you may have to lose those political bumper stickers — just for a week or so) with a few tricks for pulling off conservative-chic.
1. Covermark's Tattoo Cover Kit ($30) is a must-have when tattoos are taboo. In-laws don't know you're inked? Simply apply this coverup system — primer, concealing lotion, flaw-fighting smoother, and finishing powder — to your body art and, poof! A painless, temporary solution to that somewhat controversial form of self-expression.
2. Indulge in the occasional cigarette or glass of red wine and think the evidence shows in your less-than-pearly whites? Zap them with a quick whitening touch-up. Rembrandt's two-hour whitening kit ($20) offers intensive whitening with instant results. Prep the whitening trays, settle in with your holiday wrapping supplies, and blast tell-tale stains in the time it takes to watch Christmas Vacation.
3. Just because chances are good that everyone else will be wearing hideous reindeer-, stocking- or mistletoe-themed sweaters, don't think you have to stifle your style to fit in. Sure, it's probably not the best idea to flash that sparkly decolletage that's been such a hit at your friends' holiday get-togethers, but you don't have to hide under shapeless, chunky sweater to appease the aunts and uncles. Instead, opt for something sleek and stylish, like D&G Dolce & Gabbana's charcoal cashmere twinset ($378), that you won't have to banish to the back of the closet once you get home. A little lace embellishing on the ruched cami makes this set sweet and holiday-friendly for the fam, and you can add your sexy twists (lacy bra, rockerish multi-strand necklaces, spiky stiletto boots) when you're not so obligated to be on your best behavior.
4. Dark, dramatic nails are hot this season, but in order to avoid unwelcome pearl clutching and tsk-tsking, you may want to tone it down a little. The good news is that pretty, feminine shades are in for winter, too, and there are lots of choices for soft, snowy nail color that won't illicit a sneer from the family members who aren't as up to date on their trends as you are. Try a light baby pink like Sephora's nail lacquer in Chamallow ($4) for a sweet, girlish effect. Reminiscent of those delish white chocolate peppermint lattes, it's a nice holiday treat and a welcome break from vampy dark nails.
5. 'Tis the season of fabulous boots, and those sexy heels you bought to wear to all your holiday parties are to die for, but give your feet a rest while you're at home and opt for some demure flats instead. You don't need to be towering over your diminutive relatives in sky-high stilettos, so choose something a little more down-to-earth. Mossimo's Dasha jewel-toed flats ($27) won't set you back a bundle, but their black rhinestones and decidedly comfortable height allow you to show your sparkly style and give your feet a much-deserved vacation.
Oh yeah–and when it's time to dress up a bit for the annual family sing-a-long, be sure to have some stylish party shoes. You've toned down everything else, so we see no reason not to let a little of your personal flair shine through on your tootsies.