Ten holiday gift ideas for the practical fashionista!

Beauty Info Zones Practical Holiday Gift Guide
Pretty things are great, but sometimes function is more important.  Here are some awesome stocking stuffers, Hanukkah gifts, and holiday gifts that are BIZ tested and recommended!  Any one of these options will look fabulous all wrapped up and are sure to become staples items for your down to earth, practical-minded giftee.

Natracare Makeup Remover Cloths

1.  Natracare Organic Cleansing Makeup Removal Wipes ($7.49):  These are some of the softest, gentlest makeup remover wipes I’ve tried.  They are more on the ‘wet’ side, and while they remove makeup and dirt they don’t irritate the skin.  Available at drugstore.com, Walgreens.com, and Amazon.com.

Coast to Coast Soothing Aqua Serum 2

2.  Coast to Coast Soothing Aqua Serum ($40):  This is a beautiful serum that leaves skin moist, plump, and healthy.  It is a particularly excellent gift for those who do a lot of traveling – awesome for a little lift on the plane while flying from coast to coast!  You can find this at Ulta.com.

The Magic Pads

3.  The Magic Pads ($19.95):  How about some magic under the tree?  These skin treatment pads have wonderful ingredients including glycolic acid, organic willow bark, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E in an organic aloe vera juice base. The Magic Pads clear up blemishes, shrink the appearance of pores, and exfoliate skin all in one swipe.  You can find these at www.themagicpads.com

Mad Hippie Eye Cream 2

4.  Mad Hippie Eye Cream ($24.99):  Perfect for the non-traditionalist on your list, this eye cream features a slew of peptides and antioxidants in a truly elegant formulation.  The packaging is beyond cute, and this is an eye cream that really delivers.  Available at www.madhippie.com

Strivectin Tightening Neck Cream

5.  Strivectin TL Advanced™ Tightening Neck Cream ($95):  I slather this on every morning and every night and I am loving the results!  The neck and decolletage show age more quickly than any other body part, and this beautiful thick cream is just what is needed to keep that delicate area moisturized and free of crepey skin – plus it rebuilds elastin fibers.  Available at StriVectin.com

Le Beurre Shea Butter Body Cream 2

6.  Le Beurre Shea Butter Body Cream (8 oz. $22):  This shea butter cream feels like luxury, but it’s a major workhorse for dry winter skin.  It melts right in, making skin super happy with grapeseed, jojoba, and vitamin E.  Choose from five beautiful scents, including Lavender, Vanilla, Lemongrass, Sage and Unscented. Available at www.lebeurreshop.com (pick up a Shea Butter Lip Balm while you are there!)

Scala Rain Hat

7.  Scala Collezione Rain Hat ($25):  Talk about fashionable and functional!  This jaunty rain hat is a truly perfect holiday gift that will be hugely appreciated. LW281 is one of Scala’s best-selling rain hats, and is available in black, charcoal, wine and khaki.  Made of nylon, it protects your hairdo while looking pretty darn awesome. Get yourself one while you are at it!

Mally Citychick Smokey Eye Kit 2

8.  Mally City Chick Smokey Eye Kit ($40):  Now here is a perfect eyeshadow palette for any chick, city or rural.  There are ten different color combinations from which to choose.  Every combo of creamy eyeshadows has wonderful neutral shades that are both beautiful and practical.  Available at www.mallybeauty.com

Priti neutrals 5

9.  Priti Nail Polish neutrals ($15 each):  What is a great practical stocking stuffer?  Some fabulous neutral nail polish.  My pick is Priti Nail Polish, particularly the shades Ginger Snap Orchid, opaque light creamy nude, Nodding Lilac, opaque soft lilac, and Moss Campion, opaque creamy light taupe.  Available at www.pritinyc.com

Dove White Beauty Bar

10.  Dove White Beauty Bar ($5.00):  You can’t go wrong with this classic!  What a great stocking stuffer.  People swear by this bar soap that removes makeup without stripping the skin.

Stay tuned for more great holiday gift guides, including a list of fabulous finds for the glam girl on your list!  – Lisa

*items sent for editorial consideration

Clinique Black Honey nail polish and a set giveaway

When I first think of the Clinique brand what comes to mind are the 3 step system that I was brought up on and the color Black Honey. Black Honey has always been synonymous with Clinique since it was first developed as a lipstick. It was unique compared to what other companies were creating and unusual for Clinique. Now Black Honey is almost a brand of its own. It’s become ubiquitous in the same way that “Naked” is for Urban Decay.

When this set became available a group of bloggers started discussing it and decided to join together to review this color and have a giveaway.

Clinique Black Honey Gift Set from clinique.com

Clinique Black Honey Gift Set from clinique.com

The set contains

  • Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, .07 oz. / 1.9 g
  • Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Black Honey, .21 oz. / 7 ml
  • A Different Nail Enamel in Black Honey, .14 fl. oz. / 4 ml
  • Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Black Honey, .01 oz. / .14 g

I decided that my review would be for the Different Enamel in Black Honey. I don’t love the look of the lipstick on me but I always love nail polish and hadn’t tried anything from Clinique.

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

Black Honey is a great winter color. It is a darker version of the burgundy that you see in the lip products. On my nails it’s mostly black but it’s also obvious that it’s not all black. You can see the burgundy popping through.

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

The polish needs to be worn with a base coat since the darkness of it can make it stain. I had no trouble removing the polish after a week but I had some pooling in my cuticles that was harder to remove. The polish wore well and made me eager to seek out other polishes from Clinique. While it was a typical cream polish because there’s the duality of sometimes seeing black and sometimes seeing the blackened raisin it was an interesting shade to wear.

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

Clinique Black Honey Nail Enamel

You’ll find this in the set if you are the lucky winner. The lipstick is an Almost Lipstick so it has a sheer glossy finish to it.  The Superbalm Gloss and Quickliner in Black Honey are unique to this set, making it even more of a win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Color Me Monthly captures October exactly

The colors of fall are so interesting especially if you live in a state with a changing climate. In Michigan we are lucky enough to have a true fall and the color changes are magnificent. Colors are more vibrant than ever as the trees lose their chlorophyll. While it’s sad for me personally that winter is coming, I love seeing what Mother Nature has provided for us to enjoy.

Color Me Monthly has created a shade for October’s monthly subscription that is spot on for this season. The shade they sent for review is named Pennywise and it’s one of the most beautiful copper tones I’ve seen. While it’s based on the copper of a brand new shiny penny, it is so reminiscent of fall that people can’t help but notice and admire it.

Pennywise, Color Me Monthly October

Pennywise, Color Me Monthly October

Pennywise is a duochrome copper metallic that shines with colors like pink, gold, orange and even some green depending on the light.  I love polishes that aren’t static.

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Pennywise

Pennywise

The name Pennywise was chosen because it is from the Stephen King movie IT, the scary clown. Yikes. I’d rather think of it the way they do with their haiku

is it heads or tails

lying on the street corner

abraham lincoln

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Color Me Monthly October 14 Pennywise

Each month Color Me Monthly brings one new polish to subscribers for $7 (including shipping). You receive one beautiful polish (16.5mL / 0.56 fl. oz. full size bottle) that is always different and always appropriate for the time of year. I’ve been lucky enough to receive several of the polishes and have a beautiful collection that I go back to often. The nail polish is free of toluene, formaldehyde/formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor.

For September the shade, shown below, was a gorgeous deep blurple. If you miss a shade you can often find it in The Vault for $9. But why spend extra when you can get it for $7 and be assured of not missing one?

Color Me Monthly's September polish, Annapolis

Color Me Monthly’s September polish, Annapolis

I’ve found that Color Me Monthly polishes wear beautifully. They are as pretty after a week as the day applied. I love that it’s a cruelty free, toxin free company too. You won’t be sorry trying this subscription. — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration

 

Wantable Cosmetic subscription for 10/14 – another winner

I’ve been a Wantable subscriber since I first learned about it shortly after they opened their website. I’ve been lucky enough to get some boxes for review but even when I don’t, like today’s box, I’ve kept my subscription up since the $36 a month that I pay for a box always contains more than my money’s worth.

Wantable Cosmetics October 2014

Wantable Cosmetics October 2014

What I love best about Wantable’s subscription is that it’s 100% cosmetics. I don’t have to worry about receiving more skin products, hair products or bath/body. It’s not that I don’t like and appreciate those items, I do, but I love cosmetics and that’s where my main interest is. Whenever I open a subscription box my excitement is really for the cosmetics within. With Wantable you get to customize via your profile. My profile says that I love eyeshadow, eyeliner, nail polish and tools; that I like complexion products, brows, lash products, blush, lip color; and that I don’t want highlighter or bronzer. For October I received 1 Love item and the rest from my Like list. Let’s check these out.

opening my Wantable cosmetic box

opening my Wantable cosmetic box

Inside are 5 full size items. Wantable is only going to send full size! I was excited to see that my box carried Vincent Longo, Ofra, Chella, and Liberty Republic. These are all name brands that I’ve bought or definitely would buy.

Wantable goodies

Wantable goodies

LIBERTY REPUBLIC is a nail polish brand created by Jordan Liberty. The new collection, placed in the October boxes, is the Welcome to the Darkside collection. Interestingly enough my shade is a light one rather than a dark shade. There are 6 shades in this exclusive to Wantable collection and they are said to use a technique that helps it last for 7-14 days. I’m excited about being able to wear this beautiful peach shade, Aura. ($14)  I don’t have nail wheels available right now and the swatch on paper didn’t look good but trust me, this is pretty.

Liberty Republic Spellbound polish in Aura

Liberty Republic Spellbound polish in Aura

The item that stood out the most in this month’s box is a BB Cream from OFRA ($40), this is a huge tube at 2 oz. I received this in Light. Light is a good description for this since it’s not Fair enough for me and it is on the yellow side. I’ll be able to wear this if mixed with a little of my Face Atelier Zero foundation but for now it’s not quite right. The ingredients in this BB Cream are great for skin (aloe vera, vitamin E and C, avocado oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, chamomile extract and shea butter). There’s flower extract to reduce bacteria and prevent breakouts. I’ve been wanting to explore more OFRA though and this is a good way to do it.

OFRA BB CREAM

OFRA BB CREAM

OFRA BB CREAM in Light

OFRA BB CREAM in Light

OFRA BB CREAM in light

OFRA BB CREAM in light

VINCENT LONGO does double duty in my subscription box. First is the VOLUME PLUS MASCARA ($25) which I’m looking forward to using. My mascara dried up when I was hospitalized so having this is an exciting option for me.

Vincent Longo Volume Plus Mascara

Vincent Longo Volume Plus Mascara

One of the top sellers for Vincent Longo is their Lip and Cheek Stain ($24) and this month I received it in Angel’s Touch. This is more of a berry stain than I’d expect an angel to impart. The color is intense when first applied so you need to pat it to make it appear more like a stain and to set the product. Directions say to make sure your cheeks are well hydrated; begin at the apple of your cheeks and dab 2-3 dots on with the doe foot applicator. Immediately blend them outward and upward toward the temple. Add more as needed. This new gel formula is gluten free and paraban free.

Vincent Longo Lip and Cheek Stain in Angel's Touch

Vincent Longo Lip and Cheek Stain in Angel’s Touch

The last product but the first I used is CHELLA EYEBROW COLOR in Luscious Light Brown ($18). When I returned home from my many weeks away the hair on my face had exploded. I was able to get to a beauty salon and while there had my brows waxed. They look good but certain areas are more sparse than I like. This Chella Eyebrow Color looks good, is easy to apply and needs no sharpening. Sending my husband on wild goose chases to find all my items is frustrating for us both. This solves one of those problems.

Chella Eyebrow Color

Chella Eyebrow Color

Chella Eyebrow Color in light brown

Chella Eyebrow Color in light brown

My Wantable subscription has $121 worth of product in it. This is probably the highest value yet. These are all products I’ll use even though I’ll have to adapt the Ofra BB shade so it makes the box even more valuable. Wantable made a welcome package to open upon my return and I know I’ll be welcoming them more as the months go by. — Marcia

*nothing to disclose but we do have an affiliate link to help us earn credit off our future boxes. If you like what you see, we’d love if you subscribed via our link. thanks

 

Pixi Beauty for October gives you reasons to be creative

October is really the most magical month of the year because you can make it the way you want it. It can be sweet and sassy, it can be monstrous, it can be spooky or it can be a perfectly beautiful fall month. You make it be what you want it to be. Pixi Beauty sent over some of their October offerings and I find a little of everything in these selections – sweet, spooky, and fallish.

Pixi Beauty

Pixi Beauty

First is a Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo. This is a double ended pencil with one side meant for lining and the other defining. The Line end is thinner and pointier. If you’ve never tried Pixi Beauty pencils you are totally missing out on something fabulous in the world of pencil eyeliners. I’ve bought many including sets of them. This is my first one that’s double ended and meant to be worn two ways. The Line end, a matte black, is for your upper lash line while the thicker charcoal Define end is for blending into your lower lashline as well as into the crease to contour.It’s a great charcoal with a luminous finish. Using the pencil this way would be for my spooky aka Smoky eye. The pencil is waterproof, hypoallergenic and like most Pixi products has no preservatives or mineral oil.

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Keeping on the Spooky track for October, or any month, chose the Pixi Beauty Polish in Matte Black. What’s great about a matte black polish is that it can be used in many ways – nail art, matte polish, or top it with a shiny top coat and have a shiny black. A gorgeous manicure is to use this Matte Black polish on your nails and then do the tips only (like a French manicure) with a shiny clear top coat. It’s both dressy like a black tie party and attention getting for daily wear. The polish is thick and you could get away with one coat if you wanted. Pixi polishes wear well on me since I find them to be chip resistant. Plus there’s a built in UV protection to prevent discoloration. Pixi makes their polishes 3 Free (Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP free) ($8).

Pixi Matte Black Nail Color

Pixi Matte Black Nail Color

For the sweet and sassy I’d look into Pixi’s Fairy Dust. For October they are featuring Snow Sparkle Fairy Dust ($10). This has a luminous glow to it. It looks like there’s a touch of lavender in the bottle but what appears on the eye or cheeks is a subtle platinum. It isn’t glitter but it is pure shimmer. Use this on the inner corners of your eyes and/or on the lid. You can also dust this along your browbone for an uplift to your eyes or even over your lips to create a glow. Since it’s not glitter it feels smooth on your lips, not crunchy.

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Beauty Snow Sparkle Fairy Dust

Pixi Beauty Snow Sparkle Fairy Dust

A fabulous choice for your lips is a true fall shade – Tinted Brilliance Balm in Soft Sienna. I’m a huge fan of crayon lip products and Pixi Beauty knows how to do them right. Their lip balm crayons ($14) are glossy, moisturizing and hydrating. Soft Sienna is a beautiful shade for the season since it has a touch of brown, a touch of red and a touch of coral. But it’s not too much of any of those shades, it’s just a brilliant combination that makes an easy to wear and unique color. This has a slight fragrance that reminds me of peaches. I like a subtle shade on my lips so Soft Sienna hits the jackpot for me.

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Soft Sienna

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Soft Sienna

swatch of Pixi Soft Sienna

swatch of Pixi Soft Sienna

Pixi Beauty used these products on the runway in a spring 2015 look they called their Futuristic Fall Face. Eyes used both the Super Smoky Crayon Combo and Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle – black and white and luminous glow. The lips in Soft Sienna added a perfect pop of color for the white items that were featured with the look.

Make October your month to be whatever you want to be. Don’t be stuck in orange and black – change those up to sienna and charcoal to lead the way. — Marcia

*items sent for editorial consideration, products can be found at some Target stores and on Pixi’s website

Please excuse unedited pictures, at the moment I only have an old iPhone to get photographs

CND Vinylux Modern Folklore Collection

I am a big fan of CND Vinylux Nail Polish, and the Modern Folklore Collection just cemented that superfan status.

CND Modern Folklore Collection

Modern Folklore has rich jewel tones and subtle shimmer inspired by ‘lavishly embroidered and beaded velvets and brocades’.  There are six shades in this collection, and Beyond Polish sent us three of them for review:  Crimson Sash, Plum Paisley, and Rose Brocade.

left to right:  Rose Brocade, Plum Paisley, Crimson Sash

left to right: Rose Brocade, Plum Paisley, Crimson Sash

This is a 5-free gel hybrid nail polish.  You don’t need a base coat, but you do need the Weekly Top Coat, which is UV activated so it actually becomes harder as it is exposed to natural light.  The polish dries in about eight minutes, and it lasts for at least a week without chipping.

Crimson Sash

CND Crimson Sash

Crimson Sash

CND Crimson Sash

Crimson Sash

CND Crimson Sash

Crimson Sash is a warm shimmery burgundy red that is a beautiful seasonal shade.  The pigmentation is so awesome you can get away with just one coat of polish.

CND Plum Paisley

CND Plum Paisley

CND Plum Paisley

CND Plum Paisley

CND Plum Paisley

CND Plum Paisley

Plum Paisley is a real surprise – what a gorgeous plum with red and blue shimmers!  This polish is definitely a Dr. Jeckle/Mr. Hyde because the shimmer pops in direct light, yet it’s a shiny cool plum in indirect light.

CND Rose Brocade

CND Rose Brocade

CND Rose Brocade

CND Rose Brocade

CND Rose Brocade

CND Rose Brocade

Rose Brocade is a cherry red creme.  This is a bright, cheerful red that just makes me feel happy when I wear it.  I have a lot of red polishes, but nothing exactly like this one, which also makes me happy!

The Modern Folklore Collection is available at BeyondPolish.com in both the Vinylux ($5.95) and the Shellac ($13.95) formulas, about a third cheaper than what I find in other stores.  And right now, you can use the coupon code IGLOVE12 for 12% off your next order.  Take advantage of the code and get some of these perfect fall shades.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Looking for fall color? Check out Bellapierre Mineral Cosmetics

photo from Pinterest.com

photo from Pinterest.com

How is this for some seasonal makeup inspiration?

I love autumn shades, and I am finding tons of great options from Bellapierre Cosmetics.  Bellapierre Cosmetics is a pretty fantastic mineral makeup line that actually manufactures their own products.  That means everything is not only high quality without a bunch of ‘filler’ ingredients, the shades are also totally on trend.  They have a huge range of colors and the line is built around the concept of a completely natural appearance.  Each product is designed to deliver a healthy, natural glow.  I am beyond impressed with the products they sent us – this is a really cool line that deserves attention.

Here are some of my favorite items and shades for this season.

Bellapierre autumn shades

The Compact Mineral Blush ($49.99) is a talc and bismuth-free powder mineral blush that has amazing pigmentation.  Use a light hand and blend for a fantastic, glow-from-within effect.  The compact has two compartments, one with the blush and one with a powder puff you can use in a pinch.  It has a nice, big mirror which is always something I appreciate.

Bellapierre Cosmetics Mineral Blush in Amaretto and Autumn Glow

Bellapierre Cosmetics Mineral Blush in Amaretto and Autumn Glow

Bellapierre Cosmetics Amaretto Mineral Blush

Bellapierre Cosmetics Amaretto Mineral Blush

Bellapierre Cosmetics Autumn Glow Mineral Blush

Bellapierre Cosmetics Autumn Glow Mineral Blush

Bellapierre Cosmetics Amaretto and Autumn Glow Mineral Blush swatches

Bellapierre Cosmetics Amaretto and Autumn Glow Mineral Blush swatches

My picks for the ultimate fall shades are Amaretto, a natural soft matte orange-toned bronze, and the aptly named Autumn Glow, a beautiful matte red/orange copper.

Bellapierre Cosmetics Catwalk Lipstick

Bellapierre Cosmetics Catwalk Lipstick

Bellapierre Cosmetics Envy Lipstick

Bellapierre Cosmetics Envy Lipstick

The Mineral Lipstick ($19.99) is currently on sale – 2 for $20 for a limited time!  These lipsticks have natural waxes and mineral pigments, iron oxides and antioxidants including Vitamin C and Vitamin E. While the packaging for all the other Bellapierre Cosmetics products seems super sturdy, the lipstick packaging is not very substantial.  The lipstick makes up for what the packaging lacks, however – these are creamy, smooth, pigmented lipsticks that really last.  It’s definitely worth noting that the Mineral Lipsticks do NOT have any animal products, lead, lanolin, or synthetic parabens.

Bellapierre Cosmetics Catwalk Lipstick swatch

Bellapierre Cosmetics Catwalk Lipstick swatch

Bellapierre Cosmetics Envy Lipstick swatch

Bellapierre Cosmetics Envy Lipstick swatch

There are 14 different shades available, but my fall picks are Catwalk, a neutral pinky brown, and Envy, a soft wine cream.

My Bellapierre FOD with Autumn Glow Mineral Blush and Envy Lipstick

My Bellapierre FOD with Autumn Glow Mineral Blush and Envy Lipstick

So here is my Bellapierre Cosmetics fall face of the day – but I don’t consider my look to be complete without nail polish!  Luckily, Bellapierre has an amazing array of nail polish shades, and right now you can buy 3 single nail polishes for just $25 – normally 3 polishes would cost $45, so it’s a great deal.

Bellapierre Cosmetics Nail Polish in Cadillac Pink and Fire Red

Bellapierre Cosmetics Nail Polish in Cadillac Pink and Fire Red

Bellapierre nail polishes are toluene DBP, and formaldehyde free.  They apply smoothly and are very durable.

Bellapierre Cadillac Pink Nail Polish

Bellapierre Cadillac Pink Nail Polish

Bellapierre Cosmetics Fire Red Nail Polish

Bellapierre Cosmetics Fire Red Nail Polish

Two shades I am loving are Fire Red, a true fire engine red, and Cadillac Pink, a glittery pink party in a bottle.  I love using contrasting polish textures together.  Fire Red is a cream polish, while Cadillac Pink has a textured finish.

Bellapierre Nail Polish swatches, left to right:  Fire Red, Cadillac Pink, then Cadillac Pink over Fire Red

Bellapierre Nail Polish swatches, left to right: Fire Red, Cadillac Pink, then Cadillac Pink over Fire Red

Bellapierre Fire Red Nail Polish, second from left topped with Cadillac Pink

Bellapierre Fire Red Nail Polish, second from left topped with Cadillac Pink

Bellapierre Cosmetics has a wonderful selection of shades, and I find all the products to be high quality stuff.  Get into the fall season and head over to the website for some beautiful autumn colors.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration