Something for Everyone

I know, I know, it’s been weeks since I posted last, and many of you are probably jonesing for your weekly dose of gloss. Have no fear, my lovelies! I have been working on a major upgrade to the blog, which will be launched in the new year. In the mean time, I thought I’d help you finish off your holiday shopping with some gift ideas for everyone on your list.

For your best friend: I love a good holiday gift set, and this year my favorite is the Philosophy Peppermint Bark gift set. It comes in a cute candy cane striped tin, and contains a mint-chocolate bubble bath/body wash, as well as a matching sheer red lip gloss that I LOVE. You might want to get one for yourself as well – I did.

For your brother/boyfriend/husband/dad: There are many more man-friendly products and gifts on the market these days than you might think. Brands like Nivea, Axe, and Old Spice all make gift sets. I particularly like Old Spice, which comes in a variety of new scents that are amazing. Check out the Matterhorn and Denali scents; my boyfriend and I both agree that these smell the best.

For your mom/sister/grandma: Why not give the gift of lovely hands this year? A gift certificate for a manicure is always appreciated, but if you want to give a gift that’s a bit more hands-on (pun intended), there are several great hand products to choose from. Tweezerman makes mini nail-files that come in a matchbox and couldn’t be cuter. Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat is my absolute favorite when it comes to day-to-day nail maintenance – it is a clear gel that strengthens nails and leaves them with a healthy, sheer pink shine. And a nice hand cream rounds out any at-home manicure kit. I like Aveeno Active Naturals Intense Relief Hand Cream, and the full line of Arnica hand creams (available at yvesrocherusa.com).

Stocking Stuffers: If you’re like me, you love walking down the sample-size aisle of any drugstore. Mini bottles of shampoo, shaving cream, and body lotion are not only adorable and affordable, but they make great testers and stocking stuffers. If you want to snazz up your stockings this year, you can also check out the beauty minis section at sephora.com. You can find anything from itty bitty perfumes and moisturizers to travel-sized mascaras and lip balms.

Merry Christmas, and happy shopping to all!

Simplicity

If you’re anything like me, you’re a little bit lazy. Not super lazy, but the kind of lazy that comes from being busy and tired, and from not having enough days off from work. Sometimes, at the end of the day, instead of making the full, nutritious meal I’d planned for dinner I throw a frozen pizza in the oven and call it good. And sometimes, even though I know it’s bad for me, I go to bed without washing off my makeup.

I know it’s not worth it. I mean, the consequences are not pretty. Clogged pores. Red, burning, sensitive eyes as a result of mascara rubbed into them. But when I’m tired, and worn out, and just want to fall into bed, taking the time to cleanse, tone and moisturize just seems like too much work.

Enter my favorite new skin care product, Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths. The geniuses at Philosophy have taken their fantastic Purity Made Simple  facewash and turned it into a clean-smelling, face-freshening wipe that leaves skin soft. I find that many one-step cleansing cloths dry out the skin, but Purity Made Simple does not. In one simple step I can wipe off my makeup and be done with it.

So now I get to be lazy and have great skin. Which is a plan I can commit to.

That Really Chaps my Lips…

Here we are, mid-January, smack dab in the middle of indoor heating season and sub-zero temperatures outside. Despite gulping down as much water as I can stomach each day, and even with diligent application of lip balms and glosses, I’m being plagued by a persistent case of chapped lips. Even my trusty ol’ standby Burt’s Bees isn’t solving the problem. Here, some helpful hints on how to heal (and prevent) chapped lips.

1. Exfoliate. There are many ways to do this, and you may want to vary your technique depending on the severity of your situation. You can gently brush a dry toothbrush over your lips, or rub a dry, rough wash cloth over them to loosen dead skin and create a smoother, less irritated surface. If your mouth is really dry and burning, you can get some relief from Laura Gellar Lip Strip, a cooling sugar scrub designed especially for exfoliating dry lips. After massaging the scrub over your mouth for 30 seconds, you will enjoy a pleasant cooling sensation and a noticeable reduction in any flakes of skin that might have formed on your mouth. It is not a permanent solution, though, and you will definitely want to follow up with a balm of some sort.

2. Moisturize. Keep adding balms and glosses to your mouth to ease the dryness and help create a barrier against elements that worsen the situation. Right now I’m alternating between Burt’s Bees, an Avon lip moisturizer, and Philosophy Red Velvet Cake gloss (see page Glosses & Balms for more info). When my lips are really dry, I find that layering vaseline or a thick lip gloss on top of Burt’s Bees before bed is an extremely effective way to heal and moisturize chapped lips. After a few nights of that treatment and you should be back on track.

3. Hydrate. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, drinking plenty of hydrating fluids can help boost your health and your beauty. It helps keep your immune system up, keeps skin (and lips!) from becoming overly dry, and really adds a nice glow to your overall appearance. Keep a water bottle on your desk. And to all of those water-haters out there, do your skin a favor and try Crystal Light or some other on-the-go water flavoring trick. For about 5 calories you can turn a bottle of plain water into a delicious fruity drink. All while saving yourself the trouble of having to repair your poor chapped lips.