Holiday Gift Guide for Beauty Bombshells

If you have a beauty bombshell to buy for this holiday season, I have ten products that will make you her most favorite person ever. I’ve got five picks for cosmetics and five picks for body products, with something for every budget, whether you want to splurge or save. (Items under $50 are marked SAVE, and those over $50 are marked SPLURGE.) (Some items PR samples; affiliate links)

Paula's Choice

Paula’s Choice

1.  Start with the eyes and go for the Paula’s Choice Nude Matte Eyeshadow Palette (SAVE!  $40). This eyeshadow palette is a perfect choice for EVERYONE.  All the shades are matte and they range from light ivory to deep black, each shade a staple that should be in every makeup stash. This palette takes eyes from morning coffee to evening nightcap. Paula’s Choice teamed with Youtube star Wayne Goss to create this slim, chic palette of truly outstanding eyeshadows – I love this palette so much I’m on my second one, and I’ve purchased several to give as gifts.

GRANDElashes

2.  Give the gift of gorgeous lashes with a GrandeLASH Enhancer System that also comes with a free mirror (SPLURGE! $130)  ure, you could go with just a mascara to help that beauty bombshell create long lashes, but why not go even bigger with this trio from GrandeLASH? This set has a 3 month supply of  GrandeLASH-MD to encourage luscious lashes; GrandeLINER to enhance lashes plus give definition; and GrandeMASCARA for major volume and length. Plus, a beautiful GrandeBLING Mirror will help her admire those gorgeous lashes. Even better, right now you can get 20% OFF Any Holiday Gift Set with the Promo Code HOLIDAY20, which is good until 12/31/15.

Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizer

Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizer

3.  A great stocking stuffer for that ‘holiday glow’ is the Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer (SAVE! $26)  This is a gorgeous luminizer that gives skin a great halo of radiance. It is terrific on its own, and it turns any moisturizer or foundation into an instant illuminizer. The Champagne shade works with all skin colors, giving a healthy glow that any cosmetics aficionado will love. The Argan Oil is a terrific hydration boost for skin, too.

Cover FX

4. The budget-conscious beauty bombshell will really appreciate the Cover-FX Custom Cover Drops (SAVE!  $44), a bottle of concentrated pigment that turns any moisturizer, serum, or primer into a foundation. She can also add a few drops to turn any tinted moisturizer or sheer coverage foundation into full coverage.
 Kismet Liquid Lipsticks
 5.  Put luscious lips under the tree with Kismet Cosmetics The Succulent Collection:  6 Liquid Lipsticks (SPLURGE!  $120). These highly pigmented, creamy, long-lasting lippies are a lip junkies dream. The Succulent Collection has every color needed from neutral nude to burgundy red. They are highly pigmented, creamy, and long-lasting.
Tatcha Pure One Step Camelia Cleansing Oil

Tatcha Pure One Step Camelia Cleansing Oil

6.  She will love the gift of Tatcha Pure One Step Camelia Cleansing Oil (SAVE!  $48) first because of the exquisite packaging.  Then she will really love it because it’s the best – and easiest to use – cleansing oil out there. Just massage this oil into dry skin, then add a tiny bit of warm water for some lather. It rinses off cleanly and leaves absolutely no trace of makeup behind, yet skin is soft and moist. It’s like a Christmas miracle. Right now, Tatcha has a very cool offer for a free cosmetics pouch when you purchase 3 travel size items. Make the Pure One Step Camelia Cleansing Oil one of the three items (my other recs – Classic Rice Enzyme Powder and Soothing Triple Recovery Cream) and you’ll have a gorgeous travel set for that beauty bombshell.

Karin Herzog 7 Creams of the Week Set

7.  Give her the gift of seven days of skin care treatments with this truly impressive skin care collection from Karin Herzog, The 7 Creams of the Week (SPLURGE! $100). Any true bombshell beauty will swoon over this luxurious six-week system that has a different facial cream for each day of the week — kind of like a skin care version of the ‘day of the week’ underwear!

Repechage Vita Cura Triple Action Foaming Seaweed Bath

Repechage Vita Cura Triple Action Foaming Seaweed Bath

8. True luxury is found with the Repechage Vita Cura Triple Action Foaming Seaweed Bath (SPLURGE! $50). It’s already gift wrapped and holiday ready. Fifty dollars sounds like a lot for a bath oil, but this is a HUGE bottle and ingredients include seaweed harvested from the fresh seawaters off the Brittany Coast of France. The wonderfully clean scented bath oil has 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids and 42 trace elements and minerals for silky smooth skin.

Farmaesthetics Cinnamon Girl

Farmaesthetics Cinnamon Girl

Farmaesthetics Cinnamon Girl

Farmaesthetics Cinnamon Girl

9.  She will love getting a body beautiful with the Farmaesthetics Cinnamon Girl Set (SAVE! $39 ). Inside the pretty gift box are five fabulous body exfoliators:  Handmade Rainwater, Rose & Cinnamon Soap,  organic rose petals that you can  brew into a bath time tea with the included cinnamon stickSweet Soy, Geranium & Rose Bath & Beauty Oil that mixes with the Cinnamon Rose Body Scrub to make an exfoliating paste that removes dead skin and hydrates wonderfully. This is a truly impressive gift that she is going to LOVE.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter

10.  A terrific treat for hydrated, sweet-smelling skin is Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter (SAVE! $35). Body butters can be heavy and sticky, but this beautifully whipped concoction is creamy and light. The beauty bombshell will be thrilled with the 100% Pure Argan Oil inside, and your gift will be unique thanks to the unusual scent combinations. I absolutely love Honeysuckle Vanilla, but you can also choose from Vanilla Apricot, Sweet Citrus, Lavender, Red Rooibos, Cucumber Aloe, Jasmine, Ginger, Tropical Orchid, and Apple Crisp.  – Lisa

*PC and Cover FX purchase by me, others PR samples.

Makeup Wars – making up your undereyes

Makeup Wars - under eye products of the month

Makeup Wars – under eye products of the month

What products do you have use that are strictly for under your eyes? What products do you have that will multi-task so that you can use them under your eyes and elsewhere on your face? That’s what this week’s Makeup Wars is taking on. I went through my drawer that I keep most of my concealers in and pulled out what you see in the above picture. These are the items that are in current use but oh baby, there are more. Let’s take a look though to see what Marcia’s eyes are sporting these days.

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

I had to start with the eye serums that I’m using lately. I didn’t really realize until I took my pictures that I was using an eye serum day and night.In the morning I’m using SUSTAINABLE YOUTH ANYTIME LIFT EYE TREATMENT with ALASTA*. I’ve chosen that for mornings because it doesn’t interfere with makeup and it helps with puffiness and dark circles. At night I’m loving ATAL ADVANTAGE VELVET EYE SERUM* which will get a complete review soon.

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum is a cross between a serum and an eye cream. I took to this like a duck takes to water. I’m loving how the ingredients are helping to moisturize my undereye area and fighting my fine lines.

Next are my correctors. At the moment I’m going between two different ones. PIXI CORRECTION CONCENTRATE in BRIGHTENING PEACH* and BECCA UNDER EYE BRIGHTENING CORRECTOR.

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

PIXI Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach is a thicker product and needs an eye cream under it to make it go on smoothly. This really does a great job of cancelling out dark circles. I always use a foundation with this since it can look a little too peach otherwise on my fair complexion.

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector is a softer product. The texture is creamier so it glides on easily and the color is more brightening. The price difference is substantial ($12 and $29) so if you are on a budget go with Pixi.

I can’t seem to get enough concealers, it’s one of my weaknesses. While I chose 6 here there are more that I use and love. I use all of these concealers under my eyes and some I’ll use elsewhere on my face too. When we leave the house at night the first thing I do is grab a concealer and fix my face.

Concealers from IT Cosmetics, Nars, Dior, tarte, CoverFX

Concealers from IT Cosmetics, Nars, Dior, tarte, CoverFX

1.  IT COSMETICS CC+ EYE* … Originally this was only available in a TSV but IT got smart and it’s now available separately. I have 3 different IT Cosmetics undereye concealers but chose to show this one because it has SPF50+ and it’s got amazing coverage. This is the concealer that has a slanted metallic applicator though I seem to get too much out if I apply it with the applicator. This is a full coverage concealer which may be too heavy for some people in summer but I use a very small amount and blend well.

2.  COVER FX CAMOUFLAGE CONCEALER aka Conceal FX is one I use anywhere and everywhere. This is a terrific general concealer so you really can buy this and be done. When I saw that they manufactured this in X-Light I was instantly sold.

3.  TARTE SMOOTH OPERATOR AMAZON CLAY CONCEALER is one of two tarte concealers I love, the other being Maracuja Concealer in the tube. This is the only stick concealer that I use even though I have much more expensive ones. I love the portability, the ease of application and that it comes light enough for me in Fair.makeup wars undereyes concealers all4.  NARS RADIANT CREAMY CONCEALER in Light is one I didn’t take to right away. I bought it because of the raves but it took me a while to like it. It will never be my favorite but it’s the wand concealer I find myself using the most these days. It’s very creamy and long lasting.

5.  DIORSKIN NUDE CONCEALER has gone through a few changes. I bought this originally and within weeks they came out with a new improved version so I exchanged it. It’s a great undereye concealer and one I like to use a lot to touch up with at night.

6.  DIORSKIN STAR CONCEALER is an even newer version of concealer for Dior. I use this interchangeably with Dior’s Nude Concealer and don’t see much difference between the two.

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Dior Skinflash, YSL Touche Eclat

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Dior Skinflash, YSL Touche Eclat

Last are my highlighting concealers from Charlotte Tilbury, Dior and YSL. YVES ST LAURENT TOUCH ECLAT has been a favorite for years and years. I’ve gone through half a dozen of them. I like the original formula, Radiant Touch, because it brightens my undereyes and gives them a lift. I wear this any time I want to look and feel my best. CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER is my newest one and I think I bought it because of the brand. I have it in #1 Fair and it’s a got good concealing properties along with a touch of brightening. DIOR SKINFLASH RADIANCE BOOSTER PEN is Dior’s answer to YSL. I bought this in #2 which has just a small touch of peach to it.

It takes a lot to be presentable these days!!  Which of these have your tried? Which of these do you want to try? Check out what the other Makeup Wars bloggers use so you can find a favorite. — Marcia


*starred items were sent for consideration, rest are personal purchases

 

Favorite travel size products

top ten tuesdayTop Ten Tuesday decided to share our top ten travel products but I just can’t do that. I have way more than 10 so I’m going to share what I’ll be buying and taking on upcoming trips. I have a 3 day weekend trip in August and then in the winter I’ll be going south for about 8 days so I’m in planning mode.

Let’s first start with what travel size treasures I’m taking for my 3 day weekend trip (I’m sure more will be added though). There aren’t a lot of mini cosmetics around but you can easily find travel sizes of skincare and haircare. My best sources for these small products are subscription boxes like IPSY and Glossybox. I also watch Sephora’s emails carefully because they often have codes for deluxe samples that are great for travel or to stick in your purse. Even though I don’t travel that often I like to be able to try new things by using samples.  — Marcia

Travel minis

Travel minis

SKINCARE:

1) ADVENTURESS SWIPES* are great to stick in my purse. They are the size of my palm and thin enough that they take up almost no space. My favorite is the YouVee Sunscreen Swipes which you can open, use, close, use later. They won’t last for more than a day but it’s a great day trip product. (A box of 24 is $33)

There are three types of swipes:

Naturally Liberating Cleanser Swipes are a fragrance free creamy cleanser that will leave your skin hydrated.

Boldly Nourishing Moisturizer Swipes are anti-aging and contain a number of good for your skin ingredients.

YouVee Sunscreen Swipes are SPF30 and are invaluable. This is a great way to refresh your sunscreen. Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9.7% Sunscreen, Titanium Dioxide 6.5% Sunscreen.

Adventuress Swipes

Adventuress Swipes

Adventuress YouVee Sunscreen Swipes

Adventuress YouVee Sunscreen Swipes

2.  ALGENIST SKINCARE products are fabulous. I use a lot of different types of skincare and Algenist is one of my very favorite brands. I’ve gotten travel sizes through Sephora points and codes and on the Algenist website where they have 17 different travel sizes for sale. They also have travel kits and I’ve purchased those. Three of my favorites that will be coming on both my trips – Retinol & Lifting Serum ($33 mini that’s twice the size of mine), Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream ($40 for the mini that’s twice the size of mine) and Complete Eye Renewal Balm.

Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum, Genius Anti-Aging Cream, Eye Renewal Balm

Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum, Genius Anti-Aging Cream, Eye Renewal Balm

3.  KLORANE SMOOTHING AND RELAXING PATCHES FOR EYES were in a recent IPSY bag. Since my weekend trip is a wedding I’m bringing one of these to use the afternoon of the wedding so I’ll look more refreshed. I have other options like the eye patches from ToGoSpa that I love but for this trip the very thin Klorane will slip into a pocket of my purse easily.

Klorane Eye Contour patches

Klorane Eye Contour patches

4.  SUPERGOOP EVERYDAY SUNSCREEN was also in one of my IPSY bags and I was so excited. I’ve gone through several of these in the past. When it comes to samples in those subscriptions, when they send a brand like SUPERGOOP it’s A-OK with me. This size is perfect for a 3 days trip. I’ll put this on in the morning and then keep my Adventuress YouVee Swipes with me during the day.

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen SPF50

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen SPF50

HAIRCARE:

5.  LIVING PROOF FRIZZ SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER and PRIME STYLE EXTENDER are samples I received not that long ago with a Sephora code. I’d been wanting to try Living Proof and the code came at the right time. There were 12 nice size samples in the package. I’ve been testing it and one packet has lasted me through 3 shampoos and there’s probably enough for 2 more. I’m very impressed with Living Proof and now I see what the fuss is all about.

LIVING PROOF FRIZZ SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER and PRIME STYLE EXTENDER

LIVING PROOF FRIZZ SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER and PRIME STYLE EXTENDER

6.  AMIKA PERK UP DRY SHAMPOO is something I’ve actually given away in the past but when I recently got this in an Ipsy bag I realized I needed it. It’s going on my winter trip to refresh my hair when I get up too late to wash.

Conair Detangling Brush, Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

Conair Detangling Brush, Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

7.  CONAIR TRAVEL SIZE DETANGE BRUSH* is my favorite travel companion. Now that I’ve learned how great wet brushes are I want one on every trip. It’s a compact size brush that works great for me after I wash my hair or on dry hair. Love this baby!

Conair Detangling Brush

Conair Detangle Brush

COSMETICS

8.  COVER FX ILLUMINATING PRIMER was a code sample from Sephora. I’d been dying to try it and I’m so glad I had something I wanted to buy when the code was available. This is a terrific, unfragranced, primer that will be perfect under my foundation at night for the parties I’ll be at.

Cover FX Illuminating Primer, Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

Cover FX Illuminating Primer, Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

9. LORAC BEHIND THE SCENES EYE SHADOW PRIMER is one of my favorite primers so having this travel size from my LORAC Pro eyeshadow palette is wonderful. I know my eyeshadow primers aren’t that big but the way I overpack pack, I need to make space.

10.  IT COSMETICS BYE BYE CONCEALER was in a kit I bought from the IT Cosmetics website. I prefer the concealer in Fair but this one in Light is great too. I’m a huge fan of this concealer anyway so having this in my kit was a great bonus.

IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes and Bye Bye Undereye Concealer

IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes and Bye Bye Undereye Concealer

11.  IT COSMETICS HELLO LASHES MASCARA was in the same kit. I’ve named this my favorite mascara in the past and it’s still way up there. It’s the perfect size for travel.

12. URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE ON LIP PENCIL in OZONE – another IPSY delight. This clear liner means I don’t have to travel with other lip pencils and can still bring my umpteen lip colors without worry.

Urban Decay Ozone Lip Pencil, TheBalm Nude Dude e/s in Flirty

Urban Decay Ozone Lip Pencil, TheBalm Nude Dude e/s in Flirty

13.  TheBALM NUDE DUDE EYESHADOW in FLIRTY is a beautiful bronze sparkly dude. I get tired of shadows quickly so this will be in my bag just in case I want a change.

14.  BIODERMA SENSIBLO H2O MICELLAR WATER is a mini that is now available for $6.95 on the Beautylish website. When I bought my Bioderma Micellar Water my mini was a bonus and I was afraid to use it up. Now I know I can replace it since it’s not refillable and I’m doing a happy dance about that.

BIODERMA SENSIBLO H2O MICELLAR WATER

BIODERMA SENSIBLO H2O MICELLAR WATER

Since you can only purchase a few of the ones I’ve shown I’ve made a Beauty Set picking out 10 11 of my favorites from ULTA’s website that I’d recommend for travel too.

Beautysets - Travel mini favorites
1.  tarte Maracuja Oil travel size ($15)
2.  BeccaTravel Size Shimmering Skin Perfector Opal ($19)
3.  IT Cosmetics Travel Size CC+ Cream ($15)
4.  LORAC Travel Size TANtalizer Highlighter & Matte Bronzer Duo ($13)
5. tarte cosmetics How Sweet It Is lip and cheek duo (14)
6. Smashbox Mini Double Exposure Palette ($24)
7. IT Cosmetics Ulta Your Face & Eye Essentials Mini 5 Pc Travel Brush Set ($30) includes complexion, shadow, crease, smudger, liner/brow
8. Almay 15 count eye makeup remover pads ($1.49)
9. DermOrganic Try Me Set ($9.99) contains Conditioning Shampoo 1 fl oz, one Masque Hair Repair 1 fl oz, and one Leave-In Treatment 0.17 fl oz.
10.  AG Hair Travel Simply Dry Shampoo (8.95)
11.  WHISH Coconut On The Go Set 2 ounce coconut body wash, coconut shave cream, and coconut body butter ($20)


*starred items were sent by PR, rest are purchases;  IPSY is a referral link

 

 

 

Makeup Wars – a favorite foundation of 2014

makeup wars logo

This week the Makeup Wars team is doing a series of articles. We are supposed to pick a favorite foundation for Monday, a favorite lipstick for Tuesday and a favorite blush for Thursday. Picking only one is a chore and it makes me feel like I’m slighting all the others that I call favorites. I’m sort of playing by the rules but maybe not exactly.

IT Cosmetic IT-O2  foundation and CoverFX CC Cream

IT Cosmetic IT-O2 foundation and CoverFX CC Cream

I’ve chosen two of my 2014 acquisitions that I haven’t reviewed before. To pretend I’m not cheating only one is a foundation and the other is a CC Cream, which is a form of foundation but who’s counting?

IT Cosmetics IT O2 Ultra Repair Liquid Oxygen Foundation

IT Cosmetics IT O2 Ultra Repair Liquid Oxygen Foundation

IT COSMETICS O2 ULTRA REPAIR LIQUID OXYGEN FOUNDATION was a gift to me from a wonderful blogger. She knew I wanted to try it and she had it in Fair which was too light for her. When she offered it, I jumped at the chance to try this out.  Like all IT Cosmetics products, it has anti-aging skincare built in, “It’s infused with Anti-Aging ingredients and the proprietary IT Cosmetics® Drops of Light Technology® reflecting pigments to optically blur away the appearance of imperfections.

The foundation starts off sheer but you can build it up to a full coverage if you want. I wore it a lot this summer since I liked that it was lightweight yet gave me good coverage. The formula is dewy and it allows skin to breathe. Ingredients include Peptides, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Niacin, Hyaluronic Acid and Grape Seed Oil plus Vitamins A, C, & E. The foundation is Paraben-free, Talc-free and Sulfate-free and Fragrance-free.

CoverFX CC Cream

CoverFX CC Cream

COVER FX CC CREAM, TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT is my newest CC Cream. While I love the CC Cream from IT Cosmetics, I needed to try the Cover FX after all the raves from my friend Phyrra. Since there are 10 shades that this is available in, I went to Sephora to buy mine. I decided that the closest match was N Light which is for fair to light skin with neutral undertones. I actually have a very adaptable skintone since I’m freckled. My swatch makes it look yellower than it actually is.

from left Cover FX, CC, IT O2 foundation

from left Cover FX, CC, IT O2 foundation

My favorite way to apply the Cover FX CC Cream is with the Urban Decay Good Karma Blending Brush (which deserves an award for best brush!), although it goes on just as smoothly with my fingers or a Beauty Blender Sponge. It has beautiful coverage for a CC Cream and the bonus is it has SPF 30 plus it’s fragrance free. It’s oil free, contains no parabens, sulfates or phtalates. CC Cream Time Release is clinically tested, vegan, and free of mineral oil, fragrance, gluten, and talc. I have used this so many times that I don’t bother putting it away. I know several times a week I’ll want it.

Both of these deserve to be in my top foundations of the year. They both give a great finish and didn’t melt away in the heat of the summer. They last well throughout the day and contain ingredients that are good for my skin.

I can’t wait to see what the others pick since there’s always room for another foundation in my life! What would you choose if given only one choice? — Marcia