Some holiday ideas that aren’t quite run of the mill

We’ve reviewed a few brands on Beauty Info Zone that don’t come to mind instantly when you are thinking of products to buy as gifts. They aren’t owned by the big cosmetic companies and don’t have big advertising budgets but their products are fabulous. We thought we’d share a few items with you that might be nice to see under a Christmas tree/Chanukah bush.

VMV Hypoallergenics is a brand we’ve shared before. They have gifts for the people that have sensitive skin. My favorite is the MistleGlow gift but that’s currently out of stock.

VMV Hypoallergenics Mistleglow

What is in stock at Dermstore though are three different sets of skincare: Very Merry VMV Happy HoliDew kits for combination skin, dry skin or oily skin at $25.00.

Very Merry VMV Happy Holiday kit

One of the products most sensitive women moan about is mascara since most won’t work on their eyes. That’s where VMV Ooh La Lash shines. Finally a product that won’t burn or turn their eyes red. ($23 at VMV Hypoallergenics) This will help the person who normally can’t wear mascara have a special holiday look. This would be a great stocking stuffer.

VMV Hypoallergenics Ooh La Lash

“Each application adds a new sleeve, coating each lash, building an ever-thicker cocoon of rich, beautiful color, and creating s-tube-pendous, non-smearing volume. Non-clumping, smear-free (and therefore skin-friendlier). Why? Because instead of applying layers of looser pigments across a swath of lashes, it creates a clean, “sealed” tube around each lash.” 

SKEEM is a brand that makes beautiful candle sets that your candle loving friends won’t find in every store in town. Here’s one of our favorites:

Pillar Pack 2

This is the Pillar Pack 2 that includes Night Jasmine and Fig & Black Pepper Pillars, and a Night Jasmine Half Pint. This set may be our favorite but there’s also 5 other sets ranging from $25 to $48. Read Lisa’s reviews on Skeem and you’ll see why it’s a favorite.

For your friend that would never wear Estee Lauder, Lancome or even Dior; the one that wants to be noticed; check out these amazing OCC Metallic Lip Tars.

OCC Metallurgy Lip Tars (photo borrowed from

These lip tars have a metallic sheen and give you the amazing long lasting color of the original Lip Tars. “Apply even less product than usual in this newest iteration of our groundbreaking Lip Tar™ formula for a fully metallized lip look.” These are available at OCC’s website and at for $16.00. ICED: OPAQUE SNOW WHITE FROST

Last but not least, we love everything from Mont Bleu. We’ve recently reviewed some great files and gorgeous mirrors but they also have amazing jewelry, tweezers, hair brushes and cosmetic brushes. Plus they have a Black Friday sale at Design Glassware. You can’t go wrong with Mont Bleu.

Two Hearts Key Ring by Mont Bleu

Have fun shopping – only 36 days left!! — Marcia

VMV Hypoallergenics Lipsticks – another side by side review

One of our recent favorite discoveries here at the BIZ is VMW Hypoallergenics, a fabulous line with products that will even work for those with the most sensitive skin.  We first reviewed the eyeshadows here, and today we are excited to tell you all about the lipsticks.  Here’s what Lisa and Marcia found.

Lisa’s Side:

I tried the Sheer Lip Tint ($24) in Kitty Cat.  I wanted this lipstick for the name alone!

VMW Lipstick packaging

As with the eyeshadows, the packaging is really cool – the box unfolds almost like a puzzle.  The Sheer Lip Tint is meant to resemble how lips looked when Victorian-era women would bite their lips to give them color.

VMW Kitty Cat Lipstick

Kitty Cat is a sheer berry red that gives lips a hint of color.  The formula initially applies very shiny, but it quickly dries down to a matte stain.

Kitty Cat up close and personal

The formula is perfect for women who have sensitivities to regular lipstick.  Kitty Cat is 100% dye-free, and 100% free of irritating waxes including beeswax, phthalates, parabens and preservatives.

Kitty Cat in indirect lighting

It’s also completely fragrance-free.  The formula has sun protection thanks to the titanium dioxide and iron oxide pigments.  Green tea and virgin coconut oil provide moisture, although I don’t find this to be a super emolliant lipstick.

Kitty Cat in direct light

The color is very pretty, it’s not too pink and not too red.  It is really perfect for the summer season, and even more perfect for those of you who are sensitive to typical lipsticks!

Marcia’s Side:

What makes VMV HYPOALLERGENICS™  so unusual is their place in the market. It’s not often that you can find a brand that guarantees that their  ingredients will be free of fragrance, will be  100% Dye-Phthalate-Paraben + Preservative-Free. In addition it is  Non-Comedogenic and Non-Drying. They have several formulas of lipsticks including Sheer, Velvet Matte, Glitz and Subtle Shine.

The lipstick I have been wearing is Melonade which is one of their Sheer Tint lipsticks. Lisa has Kitty Cat which is the same formula.  What amazes me is how a company makes Dye Free lipsticks and in such beautiful shades. In the Sheer Tint formula alone there are 18 choices.

Everything about VMV is earth friendly, from their paper packaging (shown above in Lisa’s side and below) to their ingredients.


VMV Hypoallergenics Lipstick box


Melonade is a great choice for me since I prefer lighter style lipsticks and I like them to feel moisturizing and light on my lips. I know Lisa didn’t find this to be super emollient but I think it’s quite moisturizing actually. Being a sheer lip tint what it’s not though is necessarily long lasting. It lasts and feels great until I eat or drink, then I have to reapply. That isn’t exactly unusual with lipstick and my lips.

VMV Hypoallergenics in Melonade

Melonade is a light melon color sort of like a cantaloupe. It’s got more melon than it does pink to its tint.


I like that this is lipstick and gloss in one for me. It gives my lips the shine that I like without being sticky or catching my hair in it. I’m also very happy that it contains sunscreen (titanium dioxide and iron oxide pigments) so that I can wear it during the day without worry.

VMV lipstick in Melonade

Since we wrote our first review of VMV Hypoallergenics I found out another friend of mine has severe allergies to cosmetics. I showed her the article on the eyeshadows and she was practically in tears knowing that she could safely buy products that she could wear without fearing bright red eyes and swelling. She went home and ordered mascara and eyeliner that day.

VMV HYPOALLERGENICS™  is a full service line – cosmetics, skincare, bath & body, sun protection and products for the whole family. You can order samples of products too. If you or someone in your family has sensitivities we recommend that you take a close look at the line. We think you’ll be thanking us.

*PR samples