Holiday Gift Ideas for the Beauty-Obsessed

It’s about that time again, folks! Starbucks is playing acoustic Christmas tunes and every large man with a white beard is at your local mall taking photos with screaming children in a red suit. I thought I’d get a head start before Thanksgiving and bring you some of my favorite holiday sets that are available this season.

I scoured the nearby Sephoras, Ultas and Naimies and after careful consideration, chose two gift sets for each of these five categories: Eyes, Lips, Face, Nails and Brushes. Read below for the good stuff…

EYES

Lorac Pro Palette $45

As a makeup artist, I haven’t been very impressed with most of the eyeshadow kits that have been released, simply because almost every shade in them is a frosty shimmer. A good eyeshadow palette should consist of mattes and shimmers that you can use together without your eyes turning into a glittery, muddy mess. Lorac pulled through with this beautiful collection that comes with an eye primer.

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes $48

I love that the top row is all light shimmers and the bottom row is mostly dark mattes. This is how it should be! Don’t be fooled by other brands’ eye catching packaging, these two palettes may look simple but as the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

LIPS

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lips Gift Box $25

This is a thoughtful gift for a young woman who is just starting out in the makeup world. It gives her teen-friendly nudes and pinks (which happen to be Sephora’s best-sellers) that she can add to her budding collection. And at $25 it’s truly a steal.

Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection $48

True to its name, these Fresh Sugar lip balms are addicting. I rarely buy the same product over and over again, but I buy these like my life depends on them. I use the clear one at bed time, and the tinted ones under every lipstick. They feel amazing and really soften your lips. What’s great about these minis is their  size is perfect for traveling or just throwing in your purse. All ages will benefit from this band of lip balms.

FACE

Too Faced Holiday Face Kit $46

I adore this cruelty-free brand! Their makeup is moderately priced and the products are of great, non-animal-abuse quality. This particular set comes with everything you need for an everyday, girly look. What’s included: Shadow Insurance Eye Primer, Primed and Poreless Face Primer, a black waterproof eye liner, LashGasm Mascara, a face brush, six neutral eye shadows, two blushes (one peachy-pink and one bronzer-ish), two lip glosses and this baby blue plush velveteen bag that looks to be machine-washable. SIGN ME UP!

Makeup For Ever HD Complexion Kit $79

Here’s another product I keep going back to: Makeup For Ever’s HD line of face-wear has my heart, now and forever. This is a great way to give the makeup lover in your life a fresh start for the new year. This kit comes with their famous HD powder (nothing compares to this, I promise!), a cute kabuki-style fiber-optic brush for air-brushed-looking application, the HD primer and the love of my winter skin-life, the HD foundation. What’s cool about this kit is that it comes standard with the first three products, then you pick up your own shade of foundation and stick it in the box. Genius, right?

NAILS

Illamasqua Nail Duo $25

Spoil the nail art-obsessed person in your life with these fancy, limited edition nail varnishes by Illamasqua called Viridian and Glitterati. Chances are that your nail lover already has a ton of the drug store brand variety, so she’ll swoon over these.

Red Carpet Limited Edition Portable Starter Kit $59.99

What’s that you say? Your nail lover already has every color in the world? Then why not give her a gel manicure starter kit instead? Red Carpet’s version comes with everything she will need to get a salon-status gel manicure, including a portable UV light to effectively cure gel polish that will last up to two weeks. She’ll light up over the technology of it all. Sold exclusively at Ulta.

Sephora Collector’s Edition Premium I.T. Brush Set $68

Every girl needs fancy brushes. This luxurious seven-piece brush set is dipped in a sexy, gold finish. This set includes brushes for Powder, Foundation, Face Contour, Concealer, Shadow, Crease, and Angled Eyeliner. It also comes with a cute Lucite stand.

Sigma Travel Brush Kit in Make Me Classy $65

I adore Sigma brushes and I really loved the simplicity of these. This is great “starter brush set.” Includes all the basics: angle brush, shadow brush, crease brush, smudge brush, contour brush, powder brush and foundation brush. It also comes with an innovative container that turns into a holder for your new tools.

Check out my Pinterest board for more Holiday Gift set ideas HERE

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My Favorite Newbies for Fall 2012

August’s miserable heat-filled and muggy nights are slowly fading and making way for September’s cooler days and crisper evenings. This is always a fun time of year for beauty lovers: we put away our shorts and burn-out tanks and bring out our jackets and boots. We tuck away our bronzers and coral lip glosses and slap on metallic shadows and dark ,matte lipsticks. Here’s a quick collection of autumn-worthy goodies that I’m stoked about and think you should be too!

Maybelline Baby Lips

With a six-shade variety, Baby Lips visibly renew your lips with 8-hour hydration in 4 weeks. SPF 20 included, making this a great primer for lipstick, or wear alone on “light, no-makeup” days.

Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Stoic

A highly pigmented metallic cream, you can use this baby alone or under other shadows. I prefer using this teal color “Stoic” under duo-chrome pigments and eye shadows to really make them pop.

Lady Gaga Fame

I’m not a big perfume girl, but this black liquid intrigues me. When sprayed, it turns clear! Its delicate floral scent has apricot undertones.

Makeup For Ever Aqua Rouge 

MUF’s answer to long-wearing lipstick. The Aqua Rouge comes in 12 shades. It’s double-ended:  the color with a doe-foot applicator helps your fill in your lips with precision, the clear top coat “locks in” the color while moisturizing.

Boscia Bright White

This cruelty-free product is an advanced, anti-aging mask that brightens, hydrates and smooths skin. All of which you will need when the summer’s humid heat turns its back on you in the coming months.

Phyto Dietary Supplement: Hair & Nails

Frustrated with nail breakage or can’t wait for your “chic” bob to grow out? Enter Phyto Dietary Supplement: This unique vitamin is packed with fatty acids and antioxidents that will illuminate skin, strengthen nails and help hair (and lashes!) grow.

Wen

Now, I know Wen has been around for a couple of years, but  I have yet to try it. I must say the QVC commercials intrigue me. I have a feeling this stuff works because its creator, Chaz Dean, used to do my own mother’s hair when I was little, and I remember how great his work was, even in the early nineties. This multitasking cleanser and conditioner was designed to “impart shine, luster, and softness.” The low-lather formula claims to be a universal product that caters to all your haircare needs, regardless of hair type. “Herbal extracts like aloe leaf juice and sweet almond oil help your locks retain moisture, while protecting them from daily and future damage.”