Wednesday, December 23, 2015

HOLIDAY HIATUS and what's coming in January

Hello my fellow beauty vixens.  I have been having a heck of a holiday season and haven't blogged in far too long- so so sorry.  There was plenty I wanted to write about but unfortunately it is not to be.

And I leave for vacation in two days. It's the type of vacation where I will be racing around not chillin' so I will have to resume blogging in mid January.  Some posts you can look forward to are:  magnificent mascaras, my holy grail products (lately), January empties, splurge! January, and my skincare routine. 

I wish you the happiest of Holidays and the best New Year.  Mwah!

Friday, December 11, 2015

sensational stocking stuffers 2015

I love shopping for stocking stuffers!  It is the perfect excuse to shop for a whole bunch of (not too pricey) stuff.  It requires both imagination and savvy.  It's a real chance to play Santa!  And do you want to know what the most memorable stocking stuffer gift I ever got was?  It was not a beauty item, or even anything pretty, but was a very practical roll of stamps.  They were forever on hand because I hate having to go to the post office to wait in line - its a total pain in the ass.  Of course this was back in the day before you paid all your bills on line, but still I would appreciate getting another one.  Go figure.
However, on to more exciting stuff.....

Stila Eternally Yours Liquid Lipstick Set comes with six vivid colors including reds, plums, and nudes.  It is a bit of an extravagant stocking stuffer for $39 but would definitely make quite an impression. Better yet, break up the set and toss one or two tubes in each person's stocking.  That comes out to $6.50 - $13 a gift.  FYI:  liquid lipsticks are all the rage in the makeup world (they dry down matte and indestructable) and would be much appreciated by the makeup maven in your life.  I chose this particular set because Stila makes some of the best liquid lipsticks around.

Jo Malone London Cologne Gift Set has a selection of five .3 oz spray bottles of her popular colognes.  Another pricy item ($115) it is also perfect for breaking down into several loved one's stockings equaling $23 each.  Jo Malone is a luxury fragrance house and pretty much everybody likes at least one of her scents.  This coffret includes:  Lime Basil & Mandarin, Pomegranate Noir, English Pear & Freesia, Peony & Blush Suede, and my personal fave Wood Sage & Sea Salt.

Tony Moly I'm Real Face Masks.  The Korean skincare brand Tony Moly has a wide variety of sheet masks that do a wide variety of different things.  An individual packet is not a bad price at $7.50, especially because it comes with two individually wrapped sheets.  Plus it is fun packaging to find in a stocking.  Also you could get super cheap sheet masks at Korean stores and throw a whole handful into the stocking.  Sheet masks are the thing right now!

Sephora Collection Wishes Come True Eye And Face Makeup Palette is just so beautiful and compact.  For $15 it has six gorgeous and useable eyeshadows, a universally flattering blush, and two awesome highlighters (who wouldn't want to glow for the holidays?)  It is perfect for an on-the-go makeup bag, or takes up virtually no room in a makeup drawer.

Agraria TasselAire room fragrance defusers make a unique and unexpected stocking stuffer.  A very classy find at $40 the perfumed silk cord tassel is a lovely decoration to hang around your house:    door handles, certain window locks/handles, dresser drawer knobs etc.  These come in eight different scents, including interesting ones like Mediterranean.

OPI Infinite Shine PRIME + GLOSS Duo Pack Top & Base Coat is the set to make any (well preferably OPI Infinite Shine) nail polish look like professional gel nails.  It claims to make your manicure last for up to ten days!  Nail polishes are the perfect stocking stuffers and this special duo definitely takes things up a notch.  Most suppliers charge $19.95 for the pair, but if I'm not mistaken you can get them on Amazon for half that.

The Body Shop Mango Body Butter.  Of course these body butters come in all different scents but I am making a plug for my very favorite delicious mango.   It is sooooooo sniffable!  For $21 the 6.9 oz fits perfectly into a stocking.  The consistency is to die for, silky/creamy, not too heavy, and absorbs easily.    Ulta and the Body Shop are both having limited-time sales on them right now.

Aveda Stress-Fix Concentrate roll-on.  Love this stuff!  It's the perfect blend of natural essential oils for total relaxation.  I keep one in my purse and one on my bedside table.  It's $24 for .24 oz and whoever you buy it for will be sure to thank you.  Let's all de-stress!

I was at Nordstrom yesterday and in their cosmetics department they had several tables of the most wonderful, exciting, INEXPENSIVE, little do-dads for stockings.  Total abundance and something for everyone.  Check it out!

For more stocking stuffer ideas check out my super star stocking stuffers 2013
A few of those products are no longer available but they still might give you ideas,
and the ones that are available are terrific!  

pics stolen from Sephora, Aveda, Google, Selfridges, and Neiman Marcus dot com

all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews

Sunday, December 6, 2015

great holiday gifts for men 2015

Before I got really into the beauty biz I used to think men were impossible to shop for.  But now I find that there is always a little something grooming related a man would want.  And sometimes even perfume/cologne.  My brother-in-law loves it, so I either buy him a full bottle or a bag or box of samples that he can use for travel.  I even send my lost and wayward 20-something nephew a bunch of fragrance samples every year and although I never hear from him I like to imagine that he enjoys them.  Anyway, the gist of it is that I love to shop for men these days, especially when there is so much out there.  Here are a few of my ideas for this year:

Let's start with perfume (yes men's fragrance is also called perfume) seeing I was just talking about it.
 A no-fail, everyone-loves-it selection is Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme.  It is a fresh, modern, woody scent that is not too citrusy (like many colognes are) and not too strong.  I'd say it's even ok to wear to work.

But my personal all-time and forever favorite is Prada Amber Pour Homme.  It is sex-on-a-stick with softly blurred edges. But not sleazy at all - quite classy in fact.  Vetiver, saffron, orange blossom, and suede!

And if you want him to try something unconventional I would go with a unisex perfume.  Bond No.9 makes some of the most accessible ones and the bottles are works of art; terrific for display.  Their selection is wide and varied and even though their website breaks them down for women or for men, pretty much all the formulas are considered unisex.  Very upscale but worth the investment.

More and more men are getting into skincare these days, especially when it concerns their pores.  Clairsonic Alpha Fit Cleansing System For Men is perfect for them.  The very famous Clairsonic brand has come out with a compact, more masculine looking sonic technology brush that is designed to use with or without beards.  Because of the super deep clean, it is recommend to use before shaving for a cleaner,  smoother, less irritating shave.

Kheils (since 1851) is a skincare/grooming brand that men usually love because of it's no-nonsense packaging and non-froo-froo smelling products.  Plus it is all very effective.  This year I am impressed with a couple of their things.
#1 Amino Acid Shampoo and Conditioner Collection counts coconut oil in it's ingredients and has a very mild, non-floral coconut scent to it.  Other than that no real scent at all.  This set is loved by many because the shampoo gives a good lather but is gentle on the hair, and can be used on any hair type.  The conditioner doesn't weigh hair down, which is a big thing for men (well, women too actually).  Buy the huge 33.8 oz sizes!

2#  Body Fuel All-In-One Energizing Wash For Hair & Body would make a great stocking stuffer.  Because I admit there really are some guys who don't care so much about fancy grooming.  This is for the no-fuss kind of guy but will give him something fun and new to try, and with it's many cool benefits it'll make you feel like you are doing something good for him.

Ok here's a weird one (or maybe I should say unique):  Frank Lever Bavarian Sausage Hand Soap.  Beautifully and expensively packaged, it makes the perfect luxury gift.  And maybe upon unwrapping, good for a laugh.  But don't be grossed out, the predominant scent is spice.

L'Occitane Zesty Cedrat Gift Set is a crowd pleaser.  L'Occitane is a natural brand from the Provence region of France and Cedrat is the newest scent in their collection of products for men.  The scent is an agreeable light citrus, woody, smokey smell, and it's not hard to imagine it coming from Provence.  The set includes:  3.4 oz Eau de Toilette, 5.1 oz Shaving Gel, 8.4 oz Shower Gel,  and of course the reusable gift box.  It's a great deal!

Baron Shave Kit is the most sleek and sophisticated shave kit I've ever seen - very special.  It blows The Art Of Shaving stuff out of the water!  The old fashioned way of shaving with a safety razor, brush, and soap is taking over.  It is an extremely hip trend men are curious about and feel good about.  And this particular set comes with a year's worth of razor blades - you can't beat that!

all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November favorites 2015

For some reason I am particularly passionate about this November's favorites.  I can't recommend them highly enough.  Which is weird because I was numb from the flu for half of the month.  But no matter,  I did manage to eek out some enjoyment and comfort from my beauty products.   If you are curious about what surpasses the flu, read on.....

NAILS:  Essie "Going Incognito" nail polish.  It's my favorite dark green - perfect for Fall and Winter.  It's not a forest green but more like a really dark emerald - very flattering.

HAIR:  Oscar Blandi Dry Texture & Volume Spray.  Would I prefer to have the famous Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray?  Of course.  But it's $42 so I go with the Blandi.  And I actually like the Blandi a ton.  I like how it looks even better than a dry shampoo plus it holds the style.

WATCHING:  Chopped Junior on the Food Network.  I've been a fan of the regular Chopped competition for years but these precocious kids are hilarious and have mad cooking skills.

EATING/DRINKING:  Ever since my bad flu I have been super hot all the time so a morning cup of tea heats me up too much.  I have taken to making a refrigerated hibiscus and white tea blend the night before.  I have become addicted!

BODY:  Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR Multi-Purpose Dry Oil smells like Summer sunshine and the "OR" here means gold in French.   It has micro-fine gold specks in it.  It smells so good I love putting it on before bed instead of a perfume, and besides, who doesn't need a little sparkle to sleep in.  Plus it hydrates and absorbs instantly.

READING:  The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs is a fun escape.  Good characters (interesting).  Knitting (comforting).  NYC (cool).

FACE:  Dermalogica The Sponge Cloth.  Used with a gentle cleanser, I find this reusable micro cloth the gentlest way to cleanse my face.  It is soft and smooth as can be, and is bacteria resistant and machine washable.

MAKEUP:  color! color! inexpensive color!  I am especially loving my drugstore palettes Wet N' Wild "Comfort Zone" and Pixi "Plum Quartz" (at Target).  The quality of these is surprisingly good (Wet N Wild makes terrific eyeshadow pallets).  The textures are soft, the colors are vivid, all with good lasting power.  "Comfort Zone" has 8 shades of dusky greens and browns.  "Plum Quartz" has 6 shades of plum, burgundy and rose gold - a lot like the much more expensive Lorac "Unzipped" palette.

What were your favorites in November?

all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. I am not financially compensated for my reviews