2016 Holiday Gift Guide

With Thanksgiving coming up, I’m adjusting my posting schedule for the upcoming week. There will be this post (Saturday evening), the normal Monday post, and the normal Wednesday post, but no Friday post.
We’re officially in holiday shopping season! In the interests of self-preservation, I completed my holiday shopping a month-and-a-half ago. Here’s the Beauty Skeptic 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for those of you still in the thick of it.

Before You Shop

eBates

If you aren’t signed up for eBates, go sign up now. Their commercials are weird, but they are absolutely legit. I’ve been a member since January 2012 and am just cents shy of earning $900 cash back over the lifetime of my membership. Here’s a screenshot from my eBates dashboard:

ebates

It is free to join, and just like not contributing to a contribution-matched 401k, to not do so is to throw away free money! Don’t leave money on the table, sign up and earn cash back on nearly all of your online shopping. They pay out quarterly via PayPal, Check, or gift card. Disclosure – I do get a referral credit if you use the link above and YOU get $10 in your eBates account, too.

Honey

If there’s a promo code, I find it. That said, finding them does take time; usually several websites and then time to apply them to check for validity. Honey makes the process easier via a browser plugin that auto-applies the best-available promo codes for you. It operates via user submissions, so you can add your promo code finds to help the community if you’re so inclined.

It’s also free, and you can sign up hereDisclosure – Like eBates, I get a small referral credit if you sign up with that link. Whether or not you sign up with that link, I use and recommend it myself.

Shop!

Skincare

biore aqua rich watery essence

It isn’t often that you can give the gift of health. I love sunscreen as a skincare gift particularly for those who may be a bit lax with their skin. If you’re interested in prestige options, Coola apparently makes some good ones; that said, when it comes to facial sunscreen I can’t be talked off the Biore AQUA Rich ($9) ledge. It’s SPF 50, suitable for all skin types, and not something you can just grab off the shelf in CVS or Target…but even being imported, it is really inexpensive!

Everyone can benefit from some Vitamin C, but especially if your recipient has expressed anti-aging concerns, this is a good pick. This duo from Ole Henriksen ($25) is a cute gift that can boost collagen production and make the skin appear more radiant.

Palettes

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Naked Basics vs Naked2 Basics

I am not a self-proclaimed, “beauty guru.” I’m not here to convince you that I, “totally love,” or that you, “definitely need,” every damn beauty product under the sun. That said, I do enjoy neutrals quite a lot and (probably) own more than I need (insert excuse about variety being the spice of life here). When I was shopping, ages ago, for a small neutrals palette, I was disappointed to find new resources comparing Naked Basics vs Naked2 Basics.

Naked Basics vs Naked2 BasicsNaked Basics vs Naked2 Basics
bottom to top because I make sense

If you’re trying to prioritize Naked Basics vs Naked2 Basics and decide which (if either) to buy, take a look at the swatches from my archives.

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Urban Decay Naked Basics

So my approach with Urban Decay Naked Basics was a little backwards, having bought Naked2 Basics first. Don’t judge. I’ve really been feeling matte neutrals lately. My energy’s been zapped lately, so I need foolproof…and mattes are exactly that. Let’s be honest – you know what the packaging looks like, so let’s jump right into it.

DSC_0378Urban Decay Naked Basics

Urban Decay Naked Basics isn’t a new palette. I’m not going to hold your hand through it. But even though it isn’t new, I AM excited about it.

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