2016 Favorites

I’m sticking to last year’s annual favorites format because it worked well.

2016 Favorites - Garnier & Simple Micellar Water

Garnier Micellar Water, $7; Simple Micellar Water, $8

If I had to pick a single type of product to name as a favorite in 2016, I’d have to say micellar water is it. I like both of these and purchase whichever is a better value at the time. I’ve totally given up makeup wipes in favor of using this with cotton pads or a reusable makeup removing cloth.

Pantene Pro-V Stylers Mousse, $6

This mousse is my, “daily driver.” Out of the (average) 135 days per year I blow-dry my hair, this product is in my hair at least 95 of them. (The remaining ~40 is either hyper-lazy, product-free, or calls for the big guns.) It is accessible, inexpensive, and reliable – and it works well on my hair.

Gimme Brow

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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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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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Worth it? Wet Brush

A similarly skeptical friend (the one who alerted me to the Silkn Flash & Go Freedom) recently got her hair done. At the salon, post-wash, her stylist used an amazing hairbrush on her hair. It made quick work of detangling (finishing in just a few brush-strokes) and didn’t tug or pull a single time – she found out that it was called the Wet Brush. She was so impressed that she bought one from the salon on the spot and shared her experience with me soon after.

The Wet Brush - Stock Photo

She tried it out at home to ensure that it was not just some hairdresser magic, and enjoyed the same results – both with wet and dry hair. She found that the bristles flex as needed to gently pass through hair without tugging.

I’ve been using a classic Denman for the past year or so, being tired of yet another $5 Conair that inevitably breaks, is hard to clean, or whose nubby-tipped bristles lose their tips, scratching my scalp and yanking my hair. The Denman is fine, it works, but it isn’t winning any Outstanding Hairbrush awards in my book. I wasn’t really looking to replace it, though (if it ain’t broke, etc). I figured if I wanted to, I’d look into a Tangle Teezer or a dupe of it.

But with her endorsement of the Wet Brush, I was curious. I found that it is not a salon exclusive, but that you can buy it from Amazon.com, Sally Beauty, and Target, among other places for about $8-9. That’s not bad. I still wasn’t planning on it right away, but kept the idea in the back of my mind.

I renewed my Sally Beauty membership last month and still had the resulting $5 off coupon to use, plus their nearly-always-available 15% off circular coupon. I stopped in when I was nearby and rather than getting even more gel nail polish (though their new Nail Studio is pretty neat!), I picked up the Original Wet Brush – between my membership discount, the 15% off, and the $5 off, I got the brush for $2.69. They had one that had boar bristles (says it is great for Dry Shampoo users) as well as the ones I was looking to try, but I opted for the original for the sake of science.

The Original Wet Brush Packaging

The Brush Itself:

I prodded the Wet Brush’s bristles in the packaging. They do flex, but they seemed to flex a little differently each time I touched, depending on the angle and amount of force I applied. It was neat, I thought. The brand says the unique flexibility is owed to their IntelliFlex bristles tipped with SofTip nubs to ensure gentle use. To be frank, I don’t care for the silly marketing names. The bristles aren’t, “smart,” bristles. They are, however, a neat polymer that does allow them to flex as needed to provide just the right amount of resistance. I’m more interested in how they achieved that than I am in them passing it off like it is an intelligent device.

When I unpackaged it at home, I was pleased to find that the brush has a relatively slim profile – the bristles are by no means short, but the plastic back is flat and not bulky.

The Wet Brush - Profile

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