Last-Minute Beauty Gift Guide

So Christmas is just a few short days away and you still haven’t finished shopping. Fear not! If you’re wondering what to get the beauty-obsessed on your list, I’m here to help!

If you’re looking to wow your most high-maintenance loved one, why not give the gift of great hair? Drybar’s Peace on Earth Good Hair to All! gift set is sure to make her year.

Great for beauty enthusiasts of all ages, Ciate Pick & Mix lets you create your own 3-piece nail polish set. Ciate is my favorite high-end nail color brand. I recommend adding one of the fun sparkly shades to your set to make it extra festive.

For the natural beauty on your list, you can’t go wrong with the Caudalie Winter Duo. She’ll stay soft and smooth all winter long in a natural, French-girl sort of way. Editors Note: this gift is actually on the top of my list, but it seems to be sold out online, so if you find it somewhere, let me know!

Of course, if you don’t have time to shop and/or need your gift to get there fast, you can’t go wrong with a Birchbox gift subscription or a gift card to Sephora or Ulta!

What beauty gift are you hoping Santa brings you this year?

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Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water: Summer Skincare in a Bottle

Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing WaterI’ve always liked the idea of waterless cleansers. In theory, they require very little effort and make your skin clean and flawless with the swipe of a cotton pad; in practice, they are often either ineffective or far too harsh. Yet my inner lazy girl keeps me going back again and again, trying to find the holy grail of cleansing waters: one that removes makeup, cleans effectively, and isn’t overly drying.

Enter Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water. I read about it in this article about how French girls do beauty, and I was intrigued. And after a few weeks of daily use, I have to say I’m hooked. Now that summer is finally here – and my skin no longer resembles the Sahara – I don’t have to worry so much about slathering on heavy moisturizers. This means that before bed I can soak a cotton pad or two (I usually use two – one to remove makeup and one to cleanse) with this cleansing water, swipe it all over my face and neck, and then hit the pillow. No extra steps. My skin never feels tight after cleansing, and in the morning I wake up with smooth, clear skin. Not oily, not dry. Just clean. I love it.

No wonder French-girl beauty seems so effortless.

Eye Spy

It’s no secret that one of my greatest beauty woes is my endlessly tired-looking eyes. Dark purple smudges are a permanent fixture below them, and some unfriendly crinkles are showing themselves around their corners.

I decided it was time to do something about it.

Over the past month or so, I’ve been testing a variety of eye creams that promise to brighten, tighten, de-puff and generally perk-up my peepers. Here, the lowdown on which eye creams really work – and which ones don’t.

Benefit B.Right It’s Potent! Eye Cream: I applied this luxurious cream in the morning with my pinkie finger, dabbing on from the inner corners outward. The result? My eyes looked significantly brighter immediately, and stayed that way for hours. It didn’t irritate my sensitive eyes, nor did it make my makeup run. This one gets top marks from me.

Caudalie The Eye Cream: I applied this lotion with my ring finger (as instructed) from the inner corners out. While the cream felt smooth and did not bother my eyes, I saw absolutely no difference in their appearance.

Ole Henrikson Visual Truth Eye Serum: I applied this serum before bed using my ring finger, from the outer corners working in. While I did notice an increase in brightness, the serum started burning my eyes within three minutes. In my opinion, the pain was not worth the slight improvement in appearance.

Murad Eye Lift Illuminator: I patted this lotion around my eyes in the morning. It felt incredibly silky and softened the lines around my eyes, but I didn’t notice an increase in brightness. Additionally, the cream never absorbed into my skin, causing my makeup to cake up in little pills. Not a good look.

Clinique All About Eyes Rich: This cream is a must-have. I applied it morning and/or night, dabbing in either direction. It made my dark circles brighter, my eye crinkles softer, and had a great, non-irritating feeling. I’ve used the All About Eyes Serum in the past, and it works well to soothe puffy eyes, but this cream is hands down the best bet.