If you’re looking to spend up to $50 on beauty gifts, I’m keeping the gift guides going – here are some gift ideas in the Under $50 range.
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray Duo, $39
Normally $30 for one, this is a pair of full-sized UD All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. I picked up one of these and split it with a friend during Sephora’s VIB sale, but still $39 for two is a great price. Anyone who needs their makeup to last a little longer (who doesn’t?) can benefit from this.
Want to give a little luxe? Britain’s iconic, classic luxury brand has an outstanding makeup line. The chic packaging of the product is pretty enough, but this particular lipstick comes in 28 shades. All you need to do is decide to get a color your recipient will wear and enjoy all the time, or something more preferable for special occasions.
The LORAC PRO was my first palette, and then I purchased, swatched, and reviewed the LORAC PRO Palette 2 when it came out. From the standpoint of owning both, they would both make great gifts for someone starting out or who has an established collection.
More of the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under $50 after the jump
This is not the original formulation of the product. Evidently what I purchased is (at minimum) a second generation of the Josie Maran Argan Milk. I set forth to use it in the same manner as I have been using the original Argan Oil – at night, after removing makeup and cleansing my skin, apply a thin layer to my face (a tiiiny bit more around my eye area), and massage in for 30-60 seconds.
With the, “pure,” oil, it usually sinks in and feels absorbed, which is within 5-10 minutes. I can go to bed (I take evening showers) without getting my pillowcases oily.
With the Josie Maran Argan Milk, however… we’re looking, optimistically, at thirty minutes. I find that this tends to sit on top of my skin doesn’t have the decency to bother fully absorbing.
After two weeks of religious, nightly use, I noticed no difference in my skin’s overall condition or level of moisture. Without any other changes in my skincare routine, I also noticed a few minor blemishes near my jawline; they did not become large or inflamed, nor did they come to a head; several days after discontinuing use, they seemed to disappear.
The Bottom Line
Looks like the once-loved-by-many Josie Maran Argan Milk is not what it once was claimed (by fans) to be. I’ve since read recent reviews from other disappointed customers who echo my sentiments of it sitting atop the skin rather than sinking in, and having little real efficacy beyond the superficial. Alas, it isn’t worth it – unfortunately, I can’t speak to the original formula, but now? Don’t waste your money.
As for me? I’m someone who rarely returns products, but this is going back.
Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil Duo Box
I received the Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip And Cheek Creamy Oil duo set as a gift a few months ago. It wasn’t something that I had, “wish-listed,” so it came as a surprise; as someone who had really only ever used powder blush, I was extremely skeptical about it.
It isn’t the fact that it is oil-based, or even that it is a cream-type blush product. But, you know, it isn’t in a compact like, oh, any other cream blush I had been familiar with. Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip And Cheek Creamy Oil is packaged in a metal tube. How the hell do I use this?!
When I first unboxed them, I unscrewed the small black caps and tried to squeeze them out, not really knowing what to expect. At first, from Timeless Coral, there was a tiny bit of oil, then came the pigment. Everlasting Honey, on the other hand, seemingly wanted to give me only oil until I recapped, randomly squeezed and kneaded the tube around to recombine the product…only then, and after a far-heartier squeeze than it should have needed, did I get pigment. Even today, same thing – I usually have to be a little rough with the Everlasting Honey tube before use to get pigment, whereas Timeless Coral just pops right out with little coaxing.
I don’t have a stippling brush so I tried, on several occasions, to apply to my cheeks with my fingers. No offense to the finger-application wizards that may be reading, but there’s a reason why a lot of face products are applied with brushes or sponges; fingers just can’t get it even, ESPECIALLY blush. I resigned myself to using it as a lip product – but it had a strange flavor and escaped my lips too easily.
December 2014 Favorites
1. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, $16 / 2. Kat von D Foiled Love Lipstick in Adora, discontinued /
3. OPI Gelcolor in I’m Not Really a Waitress, $15 (varies) / 4. Red Carpet Manicure Glitz and Glamorous, $10 /
5. L’Oreal Infalliable Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe, $7
Rather than waiting a week to get these out, I decided to publish my December 2014 Favorites today. I feel like I should have more on my list, but they kind of overlap with last month…and I imagine next month’s will overlap with this month, too. :P I hope 2014 has been awesome to you, and that 2015 is even more fulfilling.
Before moving on to my favorites, today is the final day for my Urban Decay Naked2 Basics giveaway – it ends at 11:59PM EST, go check it out!
I mentioned in my Birthday Haul that I picked up an 0.5 oz bottle of Josie Maran Argan Oil Light. I’ve had some time to use it and at the beginning of August, I mentioned it in my July 2014 Favorites.
Josie Maran Argan Oil Light, 0.5 fl oz
I am pleased to report that not only do I like it (obviously, it was in a Favorites) but that I like it better than the original – at least for summer time. The thinner consistency of the oil helps it, “move,” easier and it applies quicker.
I have normal/combination skin with a slightly oily T-Zone – I don’t feel as though I have to use the Josie Maran Argan Oil Light super-sparingly on my forehead and nose area like I sometimes felt I did with the original Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (at least in the fairer months). I still apply the same way before bed. Starting with a clean face and hands:
2-3 drops onto a fingertip.
Rub fingertips together to distribute product for application.
Dab one finger over my scar (I had a mole removed in November 2013).
Pat eye area with two fingers.
Using a rolling-pressing motion, apply to cheeks.
Glide fingertips over forehead, nose, and chin to apply remaining product.
If your hands still feel a little, “dewy,” rub anything left into your cuticles.
That’s it! You can wash your hands again if you want, but I prefer not to, at least lately. Despite being summer, the skin on my hands has been crazy dry. Then, wait a couple minutes before laying down so you don’t transfer it to your pillowcase. I consistently wake up with happy, hydrated skin that is never too shiny.
I do wear this on my skin in the daytime if I am not going to wear makeup or if I am wearing lazy makeup; otherwise, this is not really suitable under makeup for my skin. Those of you with skin that is dry on its own may be able to wear it under makeup without issue, though. As for me, I’m still searching for a good solution for daytime moisture. Do you have any recommendations?
I absolutely plan on replacing this when I run out eventually (which, like its older sister, does not seem like something that will happen any time soon); I hope Sephora sells a duo of the original and Light again come the holidays. I look forward to seeing how it works for me as we transition into the cooler (drier) months. I kind of hope I will be able to use Josie Maran Argan Oil Light in daytime during the winter, and the original 100% Pure Argan Oil at night.