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.


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July 2016 Empties

I don’t often do empties posts because I don’t tend to run through a ton of products in a close enough time-frame for it to be worth it. I don’t tally up my empties for months. This month, however, was one such month where the stars aligned and I ran out of a handful of things.


Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel – I first tried this in Spring 2015 and really liked it. It ultimately became my daytime moisturizer. Since I revamped my skincare process, it’s become my go-to everything moisturizer; I add in a few drops of oil if my skin is feeling super-parched. I purchased a second bottle a couple months ago since I knew this was coming. Like all of Clinique’s skincare, this is a fragrance-free product. It contains no SPF, so you will need to wear a separate one.

July 2016 Empties - Clinique Black Honey
Clinique Almost Lipstick – Also on the Clinique train, I didn’t realize it until yesterday but my tube of Black Honey is almost spent! I had restocked during a recent Ulta haul without even realizing how far gone my existing one was. Good thinking, past me. Black Honey is effortless.

See the rest of my July 2016 Empties after the jump…

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2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 25

Those of you in the United States, I hope you had a delightful Thanksgiving. I’m still working on my tryptophan coma. No, I did not go shopping yesterday (I vehemently disagree with shopping on Thanksgiving). No, I did not line up or go shopping today (as someone who, in a past life, worked Black Friday at a big-box store… never).

ANYWAY. The $25 and under price point is where value really starts to kick in. Admittedly, I was wanting to add most of these to my own cart (especially the candles & Black Honey set!) – but I’m on a bit of a no-buy for myself for the time being.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under $25

LORAC Pocket PRO and Pocket PRO2, $18 ea

I’ve hosted giveaways for each of these, because, frankly, they’re a great sampling from their big sister palettes, LORAC PRO and LORAC PRO 2 (which I also reviewed & gave away). They’re a great value, and a nice way to expose someone to prestige-quality products without busting your own budget. Quite stuffable, as far as stockings are concerned, too.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 25

Primal Elements Santa’s Cookies, $20

This one is the scent of warm cookies (side note, who’s ready to put those holiday baking skills to the test?!) and it is divine. Really, practically anything from Primal Elements. I found Primal Elements years and years ago – actually carried some of their smaller candles on their site back then. I picked up a small pair of their Tahitian Vanilla candles – the’re so unique, a blend of wax and that weird, fun-colored jelly-goo… and they smell amazing. Most of the candles in my house are Yankee due to the sheer accessibility and price-point, but I’d say Primal Elements candles are my true candle love.

More of my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 25 after the jump…

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2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 15

I’ve thrown out some things here-and-there that could make decent gifts, but I haven’t set out to make a whole guide. But because I’m a skeptic, I have to look past the enticing glittery packaging.

Maybe you’re looking for gifts for your friends or family. Maybe it’s a gift exchange with a coworker you don’t know so well. If you need to stuff a stocking, too, there’s a lot of good ideas in the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under $15.

Also, before we get into the list – if you’re in the United States, don’t go shopping tomorrow. It’s a dick move. Tomorrow is a day for a lot of things, and shopping isn’t one of them. Happy Thanksgiving!


The Wet Brush, $9

I’ve sung the praises of this brush, and even gave one away. If your recipient that has hair that requires brushing, this is a win.

Turbie Twist Stock Photo

Turbie Twist, $12.50, pack of 2

Keeping to the theme of haircare, this is something I think many people (at this point) might not buy for themselves (because of the understandable As Seen on TV stigma). That said, it is an inexpensive, practical beauty tool that I’m really satisfied with. If you wanted to make this part of a larger gift solution, maybe pair it with a leave-in treatment and a facial masque.

More after the jump…

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Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel has been the holy grail moisturizer of many, many women for many, many years. Assuming that was the case for a reason, I’ve been interested in it for a few years (prior to my interest in makeup, even) but never went for it. Counters intimidated me, then. Used to exclusively buying drugstore, I wasn’t yet comfortable with the idea of investing in products (though really, compared to a lot of products on the market these days, $26 for 4.2oz of moisturizer is nothing).

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

As much as I love Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, it isn’t a great daytime moisturizer for me if I’m leaving the house or want to wear makeup. It does wonders for my skin, but isn’t the best makeup base for me. It could be great at both of those things for you if your skin is drier than mine, but I needed something lighter that would play nicely with those products and not make me look too, “dewy.”

I’ve been able to digest spending that much money on a single product for a while, now, but still didn’t get around to doing so until April, when we visited the Cosmetics Company Outlet during a trip to our local outlets. There, I got a tiny tube of Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel to try for only $3. After using it for the whole month, I bought a bottle at my local Macy’s Clinique counter.

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel - DispensedDramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Clinique recently revamped their Dramatically Different Lotion (it’s now Lotion+, ooh), but the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, I hear, is untouched. It is lightweight and this tiny amount on my fingertips is one pump – and is plenty for my face, and covers a bit of my neck. It absorbs quickly, but not so much so that it feels like I just participated in an exercise in futility – my skin feels moisturized and supple.

Supple is a weird word.

Anyway – Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is perfect for preparing your skin for makeup application, providing enough moisture for your skin to be a good canvas, but not so much that your products are prone to sliding around and not staying where you placed them – even in my oily T-zone. It’s just right.

Clinique skincare products are unscented; this does not have added fragrance, but it does have a bit of a smell that dissipates. It isn’t unpleasant, but you may notice it when you’re applying it. If you happen to find it unpleasant, don’t worry – like I said, it doesn’t last.

I’ve only used it for a month now, but it has definitely lived up to my expectations and the hype. I love that Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel doesn’t have any crazy, outlandish marketing claims – simple, straightforward, it does what it says it will – and can we ask for more? I think not.