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!

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ALERT: Sephora Sale!

Hello my pretties! Just writing a quick post to let you all know that Sephora.com is having an awesome sale right now. I just decided to peruse it to see if there were any good finds, and yes, yes there are. Many great brands are represented, with a variety of products, many at less than half price. There are lots of great Stila and Korres products, so if you’ve been wanting to try that fig bodywash I recommended a few weeks ago, now’s a perfect chance!!

If, like me, you’ve been wanting to treat yourself to something new for spring, check out the sale. And here are some current promo codes I’ve collected, so if you do order you can get a little something extra for free!

BODYLIFT: this code gets you a free Clarins High Definition Body Lift

ESSENTIALC: this code gets you a free Murad Skincare Travel Set

SUPERSERUM: this code allows you to choose from two Shiseido skincare serums

Happy shopping!

Brand Crush: Clinique

It started a few weeks ago, when I went to the Clinique counter to buy my breast cancer awareness lip glosses and was rewarded with a gift with purchase: an apple-printed cosmetics bag filled with free lipstick, mascara, eye shadows, blush, and skincare products. I’m a sucker for free gifts, and those glosses were perfectly pink, moisturizing, and glossy. They have replaced all others in my purse.

Then, when my face turned scaly when I was plagued by the flu, it was Clinique Dramatically Different Moisture Lotion that soothed and repaired the damage.

The deal was officially sealed this past week, however, when I tried the tiny tube of Lash Doubling Mascara that came in my gift with purchase.

I have a brand crush on Clinique.

The glosses and moisturizer are great, but the mascara is PERFECT. It doesn’t clump, it doesn’t flake off onto my face, and it doesn’t irritate my extra sensitive eyes at all. I’ve been using it for about a week, and I’m loving the natural-but-better effect it is giving me.

My crush is sure to be continued once I open my mail today – I’m expecting a package from Sephora, containing, among other things, a jar of Clinique’s Even Better moisturizer, which is supposed to help even out skin tone. Plus Sephora offered a gift with purchase as well, so I’ll also be getting a Clinique cream blush.

Stay tuned for product reviews.

I’m sure I’ll love ’em.

 

Trial Sized

I have a ridiculous love for products in tiny packaging. Maybe it’s because they’re so cute, or perhaps it’s because I’m not great at sharing and thus prefer individually sized portions, of everything ranging from snacks to detergents to, naturally, beauty products.

Of course I’m a sucker for free samples, but I’m also a huge fan of beauty minis and trial sizes. They are good for travel, or for tossing into your purse, but most of all they are great for testing. When a hot new product comes out, or a big brand boasts its quality, I certainly want to see what the fuss is about. But I don’t necessarily want to drop a huge amount of money on a product I’m not sure I’ll love. Which is why you’ll often find me in the 99 cent aisle of the drugstore, stocking up on deodorant and conditioner minis. Or ordering travel sets from my favorite online beauty stores. Sephora has a beauty-to-go section that features pages of hair, body, and skin products, not to mention makeup and perfumes. Sephora also puts together deluxe sample kits that you can purchase for a pretty reasonable price – you usually get around 10 products for between 30 and 40 dollars.

My favorite mini set, also available at Sephora, is the Bliss Sinkside Six Pack, filled with travel sizes of 6 very popular Bliss Lemon  & Sage products. The products work great, the smell is refreshing, and for $25 you get to revamp your whole shower experience.

And those bottles are adorable.

Oh, Sephora…

Sephora is a beauty junkie’s ultimate fix: a limitless supply of products and tools all gathered into one store. I love ordering myself a big ol’ box full of treats from www.sephora.com; it is not unusual to find me gleefully tearing open a package filled with lip glosses, eyeliners, body lotions and various other beauty tools. This past week I ordered myself a variety of new products to try, and yesterday I came home to find them neatly packaged along with two perfume samples and a slew of haircare samples designed to keep my hair from frizzing. Sephora’s selection and service are what got me hooked initially, but the generous samples (you can pick three free with every order, and deluxe samples are often available with new promotions) and free shipping (with 50 dollar orders) have made me a loyal Sephora customer for years.

Of my latest beauty purchases, one product already stands out as worth mentioning: Benefit’s “Hello Flawless!” powder makeup. It comes in a cute mirrored case, with both a powder brush and an applicator sponge included. I found that the velvety powder did almost nothing for me when I used the brush, but when applied with the sponge my skin looked, well, flawless. It’s very smooth and natural looking, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone that  likes coverage but isn’t a fan of thicker liquid foundations.

A word of caution to fair skinned ladies: I chose the lightest shade available, and it’s still bordering on being too dark. It’ll work for me in the summer months, but come winter (and pasty skin), I’ll have to go with something lighter.