Pop the Champagne! The Best Bottles for Every Budget

New Year’s Eve is all about the bubbly, but, let’s face it: Scanning the myriad options at your local wine store can be exhausting, not to mention confusing. That’s why we solicited the expert advice of Jordan Lari, who serves as Beverage Director of The Gander, Jeremy Schenker’s brand-new restaurant in N.Y.C.’s Chelsea neighborhood. The drink maestro carefully selected the best bottles to pick up at a range of prices. Scroll down to see his picks!

Dr. Lippold Sparkling Riesling (2011); $ 19.

“What I love about this wine is that it really screams, ‘I’m Riesling!’ It’s a touch dry, but packs a dazzling acidity and a palate that makes it very pleasing and leaves you wanting more.”

Pehu Simmonet Brut Rose; $ 38.

“This rosé is undoubtedly one of the best value buys on the market. It’s 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and tastes of tart red fruit flavors like strawberry and raspberry. There’s also a floral quality almost like lavender. It’s super delicious!”

Pascal Doquet Brut, Le Mesnil Sur Oger NV; $ 39.

“This is an excellent everyday champagne. It has rich, full notes of toasted brioche and golden apple, as well as citrus and acacia accents.”

Guy Larmandier “Vertus” Rose; $ 60.

“Larmandier has always been a go-to for classic, elegant, and relatively affordable Champagne. This bright, crisp, slightly fruity but refined rosé combines the richness of Chardonnay with the bright red fruit of Pinot Noir. It features strawberry and red cherry fruit with hints of toast and brambly raspberry accents.”

Doyard “Collection de l’An” Oeil de Perdrix; $ 75.

“This wine is made mostly of Pinot Noir, which gives it fine, racy structure. Raspberry and brambly red fruit notes mix with toasty notes of autolysis.”

Nathalie Falmet “Le Val Cornet” Brut NV; $ 80.

“This bottle is made from equal parts Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The wine is fermented in tank and then in old Burgundy barrels. It’s a rollercoaster ride of flavor: honey, spice, and pear can all be detected. The taste is lush and rich and ranks as a great value in comparison to wines from top Champagne houses.”

—With reporting by Anne Kim

Holiday How To: Apply False Lashes Like a Pro in 4 Easy Steps

Unleash your red lips, gilded eyes, and sparkly nails. The holidays are the prime time to experiment with show-stopping beauty looks that, in any other season, may be a bit over-the-top. Lashes are one of the easiest ways to glam up your look, and add serious drama to your peepers, but don’t let the glue scare you offit’s surprisingly easy to master the look. Just follow this insider advice from Executive Editor Amy Synnott.

Why We Love Them …

1. They’re like a shot of 5-Hour Energy for your lids. A few well-placed lashes on the outer corners of your eyes give the illusion of lift, making you look more wide-eyed and alert.

2. They can take years off your face. Did you know that thinning lashes-along with droopy lids and hot flashesis a sign of menopause? No need to lose your flutter: Think of falsies as hormone-replacement therapy for your lash line.

3. They’re festive. Like a crystal-encrusted minaudiere or giant sparkly danglers, faux lashes boost the glam factor of even the simplest LBD.

RELATED: 15 Celebrity-Inspired Holiday Makeup Ideas

Think Small

What, you’re not hosting a live New Year’s Eve webcast from the heart of Times Square? Then put down the Jumbotron strips and grab a few small clusters. After all, you want people to notice you, not your obvious strip fringe. Follow these four steps for look-at-me lashes that are believable too:

1. Curl. It’s best to curl lashes before you apply mascara and fakes; otherwise, you risk ripping the falsies out. We are obsessed with this new tool from makeup artist Troy Surratt ($ 25; barneys.com): It’s slightly less curved than the typical curler, so it never pinches the skin on your upper lid.

2. Coat. To keep the drag queen effect in check, choose a lengthening formula (avoid waterproof versions, which tend to clump). Apply two thin coats (MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Multi-Effect Lash Mascara in Charged Black, $ 22; maccosmetics.com), then separate lashes with a teensy comb.

3. Apply. Put a drop of tinted lash glue (Duo Eyelash Adhesive in Dark, $ 6; ulta.com) onto tin foil and pick up a cluster with tweezers or a lash tool (Sephora Bulls Eye Applicator, $ 12; sephora.com). Wait 45 seconds for glue to get tacky, then dip the root into it (Eylure Pro-Lash lashes, $ 6; ulta.com). Nestle strip into the base of lashes (it shouldn’t touch skin).

4. Line. Apply three or four clusters moving from the middle of the eye outward. Mix it up: short ones closer to the nose, longer ones at the outer edges. Don’t clamp the lash. Let it dry naturally, then outline with a thin swipe of black liquid liner (Lancome Artliner Precision Felt-Tip Liquid Liner, $ 31; lancome.com) to fill in gaps and hide the glue.

RELATED: Shine On! The Prettiest Winter Metallics for Your Makeup Bag


From Cupcakes to Couture, See InStyle’s 14 Most-Liked Instagrams of 2014

Another year has come and gone, but we can’t close out 2014 without a look back at our most-liked Instagrams!

RELATED: 15 Instagrams to Follow That Blend Fashion and Art

Over the last 12 months, we’ve covered countless awards shows, parties, previews, and fashion weeks. We started our shoppable Instgrams, so you could purchase the must-have items we’re showcasing with the tap of a finger, and we made you drool with delicious shots of everyone’s favorite treat — cupcakes. Even so, Prince George was the real star of the year: His adorable chubby cheeks earned two spots in our top 14 Instagrams of 2014.

PHOTOS: The 20 Cutest Photos of Prince George from 2014

Relive our best Instagram moments of 2014 by scrolling down, and be sure to follow @instylemagazine so you don’t miss a ‘gram in 2015.

14. We celebrated the first day of fall with some foliage and a F. Scott Fitzgerald quote.

Happy First Day of Fall!

Tech, Yeah! 4 Incredibly Useful Apps for Stress-Free Holiday Travel

With the insufferable crowds, never-ending lines, and imminent flight delays, holiday travel can be so unpleasant that you often wish you had never even made the trip in the first place. But before you’re forced to endure a hellish series of events on your way to a much-needed vacation, download these four apps. Without the worry of your flight costs, hotel room, house, and pet, the upcoming days may just have a chance of being merry and bright after all.

To nab a flight upgrade: TPG To Go

Those who favor cheap flight deals may already be familiar with Brian Kelly, a.k.a. The Points Guy. A self-proclaimed “frequent flyer mile and credit card point ninja,” Kelly specializes in maximizing your hard-earned loyalty points and airline miles to ensure you get the most bang for your buck in terms of your flight and accommodations with his tip-heavy site, ThePointsGuy.com. Now, his team has joined forces with credit card rewards company Wallaby to roll out TPG To Go, a new app that advises you to use the optimal credit card for rewards and track and manage your points to ensure you’re on track to earn more. Say hello to first class.

Download TPG To Go for free on the iTunes app store or follow Kelly on Twitter at @ThePointsGuy for more travel tips. 

To book a room: Roomlia

If your travel accommodations somehow fell through (or even if they didn’t), it’s worth perusing Roomlia for last-minute hotel deals before you take off. The mobile app features rooms that you can reserve seven days from your check-in date, for up to five nights, in 35 cities (including New York, Las Vegas, and Miami). All you need to do is select your destination from the drop-down menu, specify the duration of your stay, and swipe to the left on your hotel of choice. If you’re pleased with the total cost, you can finalize your payment with the hotel directly through the app. Don’t worry, you can always cancel that overpriced resort you booked months in advance.

Download Roomlia for free on the iTunes app store or on Google Play.

To control your home: Honeywell Lyric

Forgot to turn off the heat before you rushed out of the house? Don’t sweat it. Honeywell’s new Lyric app lets you rejigger the temps from your smartphone by pairing with the Lyric thermostat, an extremely high-tech device that displays the current weather so you can select the appropriate degrees Fahrenheit for comfort. Using the app, you can create shortcuts for certain temperatures at just one tap (for example, if you like to work out at 72°F and not a smidge less). Lyric even senses when you’re approaching home by detecting your smartphone location, so it can pump up the heat (or cool it down) upon your arrival.

Download Honeywell Lyric for free on the iTunes app store or on Google Play.

To take care of your pet: DogVacay

Consider DogVacay your own virtual kennel. The networking app boasts a canine-loving community of thousands of dog sitters across the U.S. who can take care of your pup in your absence and give you up-to-date info on his or her whereabouts with daily photo updates. To get going, you can browse hosts in your area (complete with starred reviews), schedule a meet-and-greet or contact them via the app, and book them by paying for their service through your phone. Not a dog owner? Fear not: cats and other animals are allowed, too.

Download DogVacay for free on the iTunes app store. 

The Style 100: Amal Clooney Is the Most Fascinating (and Stylish) Person of 2014

Sure, Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) married George Clooney in Venice, but we’d drop him in half a second for a tour of her closet. There’s no question that the new Mrs. Clooney is a powerhouse in the courtroom, but the newlywed also has other strong suits—like her sophisticated style choices, which is why she claimed a spot on InStyle’s annual Style 100 roundup, featuring all the looks, trends, and pop culture moments that defined the past year.

RELATED: Go Inside George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s Wedding with 11 Never Before Seen Photos

With a wardrobe full of flirty dresses, tailored pantsuits, chic separates, and plenty of off-duty staples, the British beauty has fashion nailed. Dressed up or down, this smart, successful, and completely gorgeous star has already been spotted in a multitude of winning looks (along with her unforgettable bridal gown). And her quartet of wedding weekend looks still has us swooning—all were utter perfection, whether it was her Dolce & Gabbana striped midi dress, red-and-black siren number by Alexander McQueen, little lace Giambattista Valli Haute Couture dress, or matching cream separates by Stella McCartney. Recently declared Barbara Walters’s Most Fascinating Person of 2014, Amal’s style is as remarkable as her career—its no wonder George fell in love!

PHOTOS: Amal Alamuddin Is Officially a Style Star! Check Out All Her Fashionable Looks

If you don’t want to miss a thing next year, subscribe to InStyle to keep up with all the fashion, hair, makeup, and style trends you’ll need to know about in 2015.

PHOTOS: See the 100 Best Style Moments of 2014

Last-Minute Holiday Gifts They’ll Never Suspect Were Last-Minute

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring—except for the frantic procrastinator trying to figure out where to get gifts for their friends and family with mere hours to spare. Sound familiar? Trust us, we can relate!

The hunt for a last-minute gift during the holidays is almost as inevitable as the one for an outfit to wear to an ugly sweater party, and the thought processes for both are often the same. Though we’ve had months to prepare for this, we’re always scrambling to pull something together the eve before.

Nothing says “I had no time to find a present” like a wrapped bottle of Chateau Diana, so to spare you the trouble of carting a bottle of drugstore wine into your next holiday party, we put together a list of great last-minute beauty gifts you can pick up, whether you’re shopping at a department store, the mall, or the drugstore around the corner. The best part? The recipient will never be able to tell the gift was picked up only minutes before being unwrapped. Just remember to remove the price tag.

RELATED: Holiday Gifts for the Beauty Junkie

If you’re at a department store:

Though it feels like a scramble, you’re in a good place if you opt to shop for a last-minute gift at a department store. Swing by the fragrance counter to pick up a set like Marc Jacobs’ rollerball trio ($ 44; dillards.com), or look for makeup mini sets like Tom Ford’s Lips & Boys Set ($ 96; nordstrom.com)—the mini-tubes fit in even the tiniest clutches, perfect for any party touch-ups.

Not sure of the fragrances or makeup your friend likes? Opt for a gift set that does the body good. You can never go wrong with a Kiehl’s Creme de Corps bundle ($ 59; nordstrom.com), or the Moroccanoil Luminous Body set ($ 90; nordstrom.com) for that matter. Each box is so pretty, you won’t even have to wrap it! For an extra-festive gift that won’t hurt your wallet, seek out Molton Brown’s Pink Pepperpod Cracker ($ 25; saksfifthavenue.com), which combines a fun tradition with a price tag even Scrooge would love.

RELATED: Gorgeous Gift Wrapping Papers

If you’re at the mall:

You may have to elbow a few shoppers in your way, but luxurious beauty gifts from the mall is a totally possible feat, just be sure to hit up the usual suspects, and don’t get distracted by any too-good-to-be-true deals. Sephora never disappoints in terms of options, and we certainly wouldn’t mind being gifted Soap & Glory’s Three for All bodycare set ($ 25; sephora.com) or Buxom’s massive Lip Gloss Roulette kit ($ 59; Sephora stores). The latter makes a statement on its own, but is equipped with such a wide rainbow of shades, you can break up the set and split the glosses among three or even four of your friends.

The Body Shop’s Wild Argan Premium Selection ($ 27; thebodyshop-usa.com) is another one of those gorgeous gifts that doesn’t need to be wrapped, and same goes for the Victoria’s Secret Fearless Fragrance Ring ($ 45; victoriassecret.com), which combines a trendy accessory with a sexy solid perfume. When in doubt, bring a candle—the Bath and Body Works 3-Wick version in the Peach Bellini scent ($ 23; bathandbodyworks.com) is decked out in a gold motif that adds a touch of luxury to any surrounding, even after the holiday season has passed.

RELATED: The Best Holiday Hostess Gifts

If you’re at the drugstore:

Avoid succumbing to those “the struggle is real” types of thoughts—finding a gift at the drugstore is possible if you believe in yourself and seek out the right products. If you happen to find yourself at a Target, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that the retailer carries CHI’s full lineup, so after picking up a pretty patterned version ($ 100; target.com) for your BFF, head over to the home section to get a Caldrea candle ($ 16; target.com) for that colleague who unexpectedly got you a gift, and you need to pick up something in return.

Fragrance gift sets like Elizabeth Arden’s ($ 22; walmart.com) can be found behind a glass cabinet at most drugstores, but if you don’t have time to get an associate to unlock the case, make a beeline to the makeup aisle and find Iman’s Deja Vu Lip Kit ($ 5; imancosmetics.com). Makeup tools and bags always prove to be useful gifts, so grab a few of Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty brushes ($ 7 to $ 12; walmart.com) and stuff them into the brand’s Foldover Makeup Bag ($ 10; Wal-Mart locations nationwide), which can double as a clutch depending on the outfit.

PHOTOS: Holiday Gifts at $ 25 and Under

Brad Pitt Turns 51! See His Life in Hair

Happy birthday, Brad Pitt! The three-time Oscar nominee and star of Fury turns 51 today. The actor and producer first stole our hearts in 1991, when he starred in his breakout film role in Thelma and Louise. Since then, the actor has demanded our attention for more than two decades, but for much more than just his smoldering good looks.

Following critically-acclaimed performances in Interview with a Vampire, 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, and later Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Moneyball, the actor has become one of the most renowned and highest-paid players in Hollywood—in addition to becoming one of our most-watched celebrities.

RELATED: Brad Pitt Holds Down the Fort at the Unbroken Premiere for Chicken Pox-Stricken Angelina Jolie

Earlier this year, the father of six married longtime partner Angelina Jolie in a intimate ceremony in Chateau Miraval, France. Apart from their respective acting careers, the pair are active humanitarians and philanthropists, having started the Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2006.

In honor of his birthday, take a look back at Pitt through the years and watch him go from a handsome newcomer to Hollywood’s number one leading (and, of course, ever-so-handsome) man.

PHOTOS: See Brad Pitt’s Transformation Through the Years

Jessica Chastain On Why She Won’t Be Making Any New Year’s Resolutions

Don’t count on this star to be making a list of her goals for 2015! In a behind-the-scenes video filmed during the photo shoot for our January 2015 issue (on newsstands now), cover girl Jessica Chastain reveals the reason why she no longer makes New Year’s resolutions.

RELATED: For the Full Feature, Subscribe to InStyle Now

“I stopped doing New Year’s resolutions,” Chastain shares in the video above. “I used to do them a lot, but then I stopped…I would make the New Year’s resolution and I was like, ‘I’m never going to go to the gym six days a week so why bother saying it.’”

RELATED: Jessica Chastain Reveals the Best Gift She’s Ever Received (And It Will Surprise You!)

Instead, the star has a new take on what ending one year and beginning another should really be about—spending quality time with those you love. “Now, I’m more excited about the idea of New Year’s Eve—what have I done in the past year and who do I wish I’d seen more of,” the actress says. “So for me, definitely the holidays are about getting together with my friends and my family, trying to connect with them. And that’s the most fun part.”

Watch the full behind-the-scenes video above, and for more of the beautiful Jessica Chastain, pick up the January issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.

PHOTOS: Style 100—The Best Looks and Trends of 2014

Jingle Ball 2014 Rocked! Ariana Grande, Charli XCX, Taylor Swift and More

‘Tis the season for… amazing music performances! The annual iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City last night (Dec. 12) brought a serious line-up of heavy-hitting pop stars worth fangirling over. The red carpet was literally jam-packed with the likes of Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Charli XCX.

It’s tough to pick but here were some highlights: “Boom Clap” singer Charli XCX (below) walking the red carpet in a sheer white slip dress with marabou puffs over, ahem, strategic areas. Onstage, the Brit did a wardrobe change into a peppy cheerleader uniform with “Sucker,” the title of her recent album, emblazoned on the chest.

Then there was Swift, who knew how to “Shake it Off.” She sang her bona fide hit at midnight just as she turned 25– talk about a sweet way to ring in a quarter of a century.

But perhaps our fave was the adorable Ariana Grande (top), who channeled the best of the season in sequined antlers and was flanked by backup dancers dressed like candy canes. The petite Grande wowed with her voice of course, but also took it to a personal level, dedicating her last song to brother Frankie Grande. Her number one fan, Frankie raved earlier to us on his sis’ performance at the recent Victoria’s Secret fashion show. “It was really phenomenal,” he said. “She really killed it; she looked gorgeous, she sounded amazing. I wasn’t prepared for her to sing four songs—I had no idea what was actually going to happen, and it was a rainbow runway, and it was a lot for me to process. It was amazing.”

RELATED: InStyle Stays Up All Night with Ariana Grande

Jessica Chastain Reveals the Best Gift She’s Ever Received (And It Will Surprise You!)

In a behind-the-scenes video filmed during the photo shoot for our January 2015 issue (on newsstands now), cover girl Jessica Chastain spills on the greatest gift she’s ever received. While she admits it was difficult to decide on just one, she settled on something every teen dreams of getting: a car (though it was far from shiny and new).

RELATED: For the Full Feature, Subscribe to InStyle Now

“This is going to be a hard question to answer because my family is very into giving gifts,” Chastain says in the video above. “I remember I got a car when I was 16, which was huge. It was a beautiful, used green Volvo that I named Vern. That was probably, like, the most exciting gift I’ve ever had.”

RELATED: Read an Excerpt from Jessica Chastain’s InStyle Interview

Not only is the star grateful for the gifts she’s received over the years, but she’s also a pro at giving them, too. “Last year I surprised my family—they all opened boxes at the same time and it said, ‘We’re going to Disney World tomorrow’ if you added up all the words. That was the most fun I’ve ever had and I filmed it all,” she says. “That’s probably the best vacation I’ve ever had, and my favorite moment of gifts.”

Watch the full behind-the-scenes video above, and for more of the gorgeous Jessica Chastain, pick up the January issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.

PHOTOS: 100 of Jessica Chastain’s Most Amazing Looks Ever