Foolproof Beauty Gifting (Last Minute!)

I’m moving Wednesday’s post to Tuesday due to its urgent nature. Did you wait until zero hour to accomplish your holiday shopping? Or did you maybe think you were done only to realize, “Damn! I forgot someone,” where that someone happens to be a beauty enthusiast? You’re down to the wire.

Buying foundation or concealer for your recipient is generally a bad idea unless you know their EXACT shade or unless you leverage an e-Gift feature like Urban Decay’s that let’s the recipient pick their shade. Lipstick can be equally challenging because subtle nuances can take a product from wearable to NOPE pretty easily (but this 4pc Clinique Honey, Honey set [$25] is a safe bet!).

I got you. In addition to the guide I did a couple weeks ago, I’ve put together a foolproof beauty gifting guide. Most of these products can be purchased from retails offering shipping in time for Christmas to save your ass, and the ones that aren’t are available at retailers. Buy online and pickup in store where possible to save your sanity, and to also reap the benefits of eBates.

Mascara

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Recent Repurchases – Fall/Winter 2016

Us beauty bloggers talk a LOT about new things we’ve tried, or NEW(ish in my case!) favorites, but I think we collectively do a poor job of talking about what we loved enough to repurchase. I might really enjoy a product for a few months, but by the time I get to the end of the bottle or hit pan, things may have changed.

Here’s are my recent repurchases as of last week.

 

Recent Repuchases - Million Dollar Tan Cabana TanMillion Dollar Tan Cabana Tan

Some of my hunt for a more cost-effective sunless tanner has been chronicled. I’m not unhappy with Million Dollar Tan in the slightest, but accessibility and cost are key items that factor in my buying choices. St Tropez is more accessible didn’t blow my mind. Vita Liberata is more accessible, but also more costly. Many drugstore options are hit-or-miss. On Thanksgiving, Million Dollar Tan featured a 40% off discount – so I snagged the already-discounted 2-pack of Cabana Tan for only $30 TOTAL with the 40% code and free shipping. Normally $32 EACH (I’ve never paid full price, but still) this is a solid deal. With my usage, it takes me forever to get through the product, so it will be about two years before I need to replenish.

For those who would prefer to order through a retailer, Nordstrom carries it now too.

 

2016 Holiday Gift Guide - Big Sexy Hair Volumizing SetBig Sexy Hair Root Pump

I’m utterly helpless when it comes to hair, but I’ve figured out how to be presentable for work. One of the consequences of insisting on having long hair is that long locks tend to weigh down roots, so I need help in that department. I’ve bought a few travel-sized bottles of Big Sexy Hair Root Pump before, too gun-shy to shell out for the a full-sized can. This gift set from JcPenney (fluctuates between $22-25) finally got me to bite the bullet with some promo code and rewards cash for ultra-cheap.

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki

Sigma F80

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Costco Beauty

I’ve shared a a few of my finds at Costco (like the makeup wipes I was using) but I keep coming across more Costco beauty finds that I never thought would be there. I discovered a few more recently, and I couldn’t resist sharing these steals with you.

Clinique
moisturesurgeintense

Moisture Surge Intense

I used a sample packet of the regular Moisture Surge just before my flight home from California in March. Between the ultra-dry air out there and the dry plane cabin, my skin was thirsty. Like all Clinique skincare, Mositure Surge/Intense is unscented. I probably wouldn’t use this as a day cream unless you either a) live in a very dry environment b) are a flight attendant or c) have pretty dry skin. Moisture Surge Intense is normally $52.50, but Costco has it for $29.

Dramatically Different Lotion+

I personally use the gel (which is not sold at Costco as far as I can tell), but the Lotion goes for the same price at usual retailers, but you can grab 2 for $40.

St Tropez

sttropezexpressThis isn’t news on this blog, but the fact that you can get St Tropez at Costco for a fraction of the cost that you would spend on it at, say, Sephora? Worth it! I’ve seen the classic mousse on their site before – it isn’t on there now, but you may be able to find it in stores. They do have a few other St Tropez items in stock online, though – like the Express formula for $26 (regularly $44) and the facial cream for $22 (regularly $30).

 

Beautyblender Two-Pack

beautyblender2 for $30 isn’t as great of a deal of the 8- or 12-packs available to the pros, but us mere mortals will take what we can get. They carry all of the silly novelty colors. Skip the red, it bleeds.

StriVectin

strivectin

The stretch mark cream turned wrinkle reducer is available in a 2 oz two-pack for $99. StriVectin has been a highly rated product for over a decade, so if you’ve been considering buying it or want to restock? This is a pretty good value (compared to $79 for one from Macy’s or Amazon).

bareMinerals Serum Foundation

bareskinThe samples I tried didn’t play nicely for me, but if you’re already happy using this, it’s worth checking to see if they carry your shade. At $22, it’s cheaper than anywhere else. Downside is that they carry a very limited shade range. I’ve seen the Original foundation here in the past, too.

The Bottom Line

By Costco’s nature, inventory does not stay the same forever. If you keep an eye on their site, though, you’ll find (as I did) a slew of products that slay their normal prestige pricing. Unlike Costco stores, Costco.com accepts all major credit cards making this inventory fairly accessible.

Also, Costco doesn’t know who I am, none of this is affiliate stuff. The Costco beauty deals are just too good to overlook.

Skincare Arsenal Update – June 2016

I needed to take my own advice and get back to basics. My skincare routine became too complicated and had too many moving parts. I was vacillating between Cetaphil Gentle, philosophy Purity, Noxzema Triple Clean, and random cleanser samples I had received from Sephora and Ulta (because that’s what you do when you’re a beauty blogger who reviews things). I was inconsistently using this toner, that moisturizer. Exfoliant roulette. Masque roulette. You get it. I was all over the place.

All that combined with a stressful eight months and my skin just wasn’t my biggest fan. It was making me crazy, and it was preventing me from having as much fun with my makeup. So I revamped my skincare arsenal and process to get back to consistency, and I’ll just need to go longer between trying new skin products for science. Tomorrow, I turn 25 – and I’m doing so with skin that is behaving.

Makeup Removal & Cleansing

Skincare Arsenal Update - Cleansing

Micellar Water – I am really impressed by how well the Garnier one I reviewed is treating me. As I don’t use waterproof mascara or go hardcore, full-face every day, I’m delighted with the way this stuff has been (oh-so-gently!) treating my skin. A lot of people have eschewed their other face products in favor of this minimalist product; I can see why. I’ve picked up the one by Simple (I liked their Micellar wipes, after all) to try, but I’m not remotely unhappy with the Garnier one. I still have Kirkland Makeup Wipes; they’re effective, inexpensive, and convenient – but I’m growing tired of the fragrance. They’re still a good product and a great value, but I am scaling back my usage in favor of micellar products. Personally, I’m also not in love with something so disposable for everyday use.

Cetaphil Gentle – Tried and true. Just as good without water as with. Plays nicely with both my Clarisonic and my Luna Mini.

philosophy Purity – For when I need a deeper clean. This is about as ‘hardcore’ of a clean as I want, these days. Also plays nicely with both aforementioned tools.

Keep reading for more on my Skincare Arsenal Update…

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March 2016 Favorites

 

March 2016 FavoritesMarch 2016 Favorites
Milani Luminoso
, $9 \ bareMinerals Prime Time eye primer, $18
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil, $8.50 \ St Ives Nourish & Soothe, $5

Despite March possibly being more hectic than February, my March 2016 Favorites are less boring than last month’s. Ch-check it out.

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