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

Best of the Year 2012: Lisa’s picks

 

2012

It’s the new year, so you know what that means – a bunch of people with hangovers and a ton of ‘Best of 2012′ lists!  Beauty Info Zone is jumping right into the pool with our own lists.  Here are my personal picks for Best of the Year 2012, stay tuned for Marcia’s choices tomorrow. 

Shimmer, color, extensions, scents…it’s all here!  I have much to be grateful for, much to be thankful for, and here is my big virtual hug to all the products and product lines that brought me so much joy in 2012.

best-of-the-year

Best new (to me anyway) cosmetics lines

 

lipgloss

Christina Choi lipgloss

Christina Choi – beautiful lip glosses, gorgeous eye shadows (love the duo with a coordinating cake liner), plus so much more.  I am very, very excited about this line.

in my Z Palette

My gorgeous Makeup Geek eyeshadows in my Z Palette

Makeup Geek – love the lipsticks, and the eyeshadows are truly the bomb.  If you don’t have any yet, they should be first on your list of new purchases for 2013.

Best old (to me anyway) cosmetics lines

 

Le Metier

Le Metier eyes

Le Metier de Beaute – 2012 was a Le Metier year for me, from fantastic makeovers to awesome facials to workhorse products that I can’t do without. 

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

It Cosmetics - I am constantly amazed by this line.  There hasn’t been ONE thing that I didn’t love.  I think I look forward to new products from It Cosmetics more than from any other line because they never, ever disappoint.

Dan Read Icy Lilac eyeshadow

Dan Read Icy Lilac eyeshadow

Dan Read Cosmetics –  another line that never lets me down.  I always have my Dan Read Silver Screen Series foundation with me – in fact, on Christmas Day I bought myself another one as a Christmas gift to myself.  I also love the eyeshadows, they are fantastic.   Dan Read is on my ‘best of’ list every single year.  He rocks – and so does his cosmetics line.

Make Up For Ever Iconic Red

Make Up For Ever Iconic Red

Make Up For Ever – did you watch Syfy’s Face Off this past season?  I think it was the best ever thanks to Make Up For Ever.  Dany Sanz is brilliant, and I love all of her creations, particularly the Aqua Rouge lip colors.

Best skin care

 

reviva-primerReviva Labs – I have probably tried 15 different things from this line and I love everything. I think that is amazing. My absolute favorites are the Makeup Primer, Hyalauronic Acid Serum, and the Willard Water.

cooling metal tip applicator

Love the StriVectin cooling metal tip applicator – and if you look closely, you can see my camera reflected in it!!

 StriVectin – oh boy do I love the 360 Tightening Eye Serum - it’s a great serum with the best applicator ever.

Jewelweed Topical Mist close upCreation Pharm – this is a terrific organic line with intriguing products. I still use the Jewelweed Topical Mist every day. I am probably on my 20th bottle.  If you look close, I do believe that is my photo of my fingers holding the Jewelweed bottle on their website!!!

Love my Kleraderm

Love my Kleraderm

Kleraderm – one of the very best skin care lines there is.  I have used it for years and will always be a ‘Kleranet’.  I have an appointment for a facial with Joanne Recchia-Kallabat in a few days and I am so geeked.  She gives a $200 facial for just $20, plus I will be finding out about the latest new products – and I will be sure to share!

Best brushes

 

Domed Shadow Brush

Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush

Real Techniques (Pixie Woo) Domed Shadow Brush – this is by far the very best eyeshadow crease brush I have ever used.  I say thank you for this every day.

212 up close and personal

212 up close and personal

Hakuhodo 212 – the supreme brush for blending eyeshadow.  If you don’t have this — you need it.

Best hair care

 

I will never be without this hairspray

I will never be without this hairspray

Unite – the Go365 Hairspray is the primo hairspray ever. Period.

Cristopher Glossing Shampoo

Cristophe Glossing Shampoo

Cristophe  – the Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner never fail to make my hair super soft, shiny, and bouncy.

Leonor Greyl makes for a good hair day!!

Leonor Greyl makes for a good hair day!!

Leonor Greyl – gorgeous products that smell amazing.  So many of her hair products are cult favorites, and for good reason!

Biggest personal influences in 2012

 

soft waves

Soft waves?  No problem!

Verge One – I would say that two lines dramatically changed my daily appearance in 2012.  The first is Verge One.  Their ‘texture wands’ have completely changed the way I wear my hair.  Now pretty much every day I am curly or wavy, and I love it.  The texture wands are truly fabulous finds for which I am extremely grateful!

More lashes = love!

More lashes = love!

Novalash – the second line that dramatically changed my daily appearance in 2012 is Novalash.  I had what I thought were nicely dramatic eyelashes thanks to Latisse…and then I found Novalash.  WOW.  My lashes are huge and beautiful and easy to care for every single day.  This is a ‘get down on my knees and say THANK YOU‘ find!!

Most fun

 

Everything is better on a stick!

Everything is better on a stick!

Lush – Reflecting back on 2012, I remember so many awesome, entertaining products from Lush.  Seriously, everything they make is not only useful and practical, it’s also a blast. 

blue

Who knew blue hair could be so fun?

HairUWear – another surprising super fun discovery for me this year were hair extensions.  I adore the ones I have tried from HairUWear, whether they are lively and funky bright colors or seriously hair-enhancing extensions.  Absolute enjoyment that reminded me I need to step outside my comfort zone to make new discoveries.

My top product picks

 

OCC Skin:  Conceal Y series

OCC Skin: Conceal Y series

OCC Airbrush Foundation and Conceal Concealer – two of the best finds of 2012.  The foundation is a fantastic water-based foundation that works with every application technique, it looks totally natural and wears like iron.  And the concealer is nothing short of amazing – it’s the perfect concealer times twenty. 

Magic

Tarte Magic blush really is magic!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushfirst-rate blushes with lots of different shades and perfect pigment.  This is a blush that will keep you blushing all day long.

Lisa Hoffman bracelet2

Lisa Hoffman Fragrance Jewelry – so gorgeous, clever and unique!  One of my favorite fragrances of all time is Lisa’s Tuscan Fig, and to be able to have that inside beautiful jewelry?  Fantastic.

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara – this is the best mascara I have ever found for my lower lashes.  It’s pretty amazing.

Tarte concealer top

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Concealer – another pick from Tarte.  This concealer is creamy long-lasting goodness that saved my eyes this fall when they were going crazy with allergies.  It’s a total winner.

My perfect tube of 3Lab Perfect BB Cream

My perfect tube of 3Lab Perfect BB Cream

3lab Perfect BB Cream – my very first BB cream and the best one out there.  Yes, it’s expensive – but it’s also worth every single penny.

CV Skinlabs bottle

CV Skinlabs – sunburns, bug bites, hives, rashes, it’s all so much easier to live through with Rescue + Relief Spray.  I have a bottle of this in my refrigerator at all times.

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer – the snake serum is far more than a marketing ploy. This stuff works. If you want less wrinkles in 2013, get yourself some Wrinkle Killer.

If 2013 is even close to as good as 2012 was, then we have a LOT to look forward to.  2012 was chock full of great discoveries, wonderful ‘old faithfuls’, tons of joy and nothing to complain about.  Life is good!  – Lisa

Tighten up with StriVectin 360 Tightening Eye Serum and Tightening Body Cream

 I don’t know what it is about this fall, but I have had allergies like crazy.  My eyes have been so puffy it’s awful – for a while it constantly looked like I had been crying nonstop…not pretty.  So I started using StriVectin-TL 360 Tightening Eye Serum ($69) and I was thrilled with the results.

I adore the applicator for this anti-aging eye serum.  It has a metal tip that feels very cool on the skin.  Squeeze a little serum out and smooth it on with the metal tip, and puffiness instantly subsides.

cooling metal tip applicator

This serum tightens up the skin around the eyes, so while it reduces puffiness it also firms and hydrates.   StriVectin has some pretty amazing before and after pictures, check them out here:

See how it takes away that puffiness and crepey look?

360 Tightening Eye Serum swatch

360 Tightening Eye Serum is a light serum that sinks in quickly.  It has no discernible scent, and it’s easy – and very soothing – to apply.  This is a real winner.

So, puffy, droopy eyes conquered, I looked to see what else was drooping…and realized my ENTIRE BODY was succumbing to gravity.  Enter StriVectin-TL Tightening Body Cream ($59).

Body

This is an extremely rich body cream that helps to tighten up the skin on any part of your body that needs firming, like knees, elbows, and arms.

body cream

I was skeptical, but the before and after pictures looked very impressive.  Check it out:

StriVectin says that the “NIA-114™ + protein tighteners enhance skin density and restore skin barrier to help retain vital moisture.”

I have had excellent results, especially when I got disciplined and began to use this every morning and every night.  Now my knees, thighs, elbows and upper arms look so much better and a whole lot younger.

Tighten up!

I think both the 360 Tightening Eye Serum and the Tightening Body Cream are great.  If you have problems with puffiness, crepey skin, or just need a little extra assistance in your fight with gravity, you need to check these out.  – Lisa

* pr samples

360 Tightening Eye Serum ingredients:

Tightening Body Cream Ingredients:  Aqua (Water, Eau), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Myristyl Nicotinate, Propanediol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, C14-22 Alcohols, Cetearyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Cetearyl Glucoside, Caprylyl Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Phytosterols, Panthenol, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Linoleic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Linolenic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Arbutin, Algae Extract, Rutin, Ubiquinone, Resveratrol, Caffeine, Pullulan, Palmitoyl Carnitine, Tocopherol, Dipeptide-4, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Parfum (Fragrance), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, BHT, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzoic Acid, Chlorphenesin.