5th Annual Beauty Gift Guide Vol 5: Skin & Bath

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gifts for women gifts for men holiday skincare and bath bombs

Gift Ideas: Skin & Bath 

Over the years I've kind of fallen into this grove of giving skincare and bath products as gifts to people I'm not totally sure of what to buy. Honestly, it's always ended up being a huge hit! I know when it comes to skincare it can be hit or miss buying for someone else, but usually if I don't know the person's skin type very specifically, I'll buy something more general like body lotion or a mask. And who doesn't love a good bath bomb?

Here are some of my suggestions from this year's holiday launches!

5th Annual Beauty Gift Guide Vol 4: Thinking Inside the Box

gift ideas holiday beauty 2016

Gift Ideas: Thinking Inside the Box!

Each year we do a "thinking inside the box" volume of our gift guide and not just because I'm so amused with this play on words, but because each year we come across some super boxed gift ideas! This year we have a mix of makeup and food--trying to give you a guys a great mixture.

I personally love everything we're featuring in this guide, so hopefully you will, too!


5th Annual Beauty Gift Guide Vol 3: Top Gifts for Lipstick Addicts

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gift guide 2016 lipstick swatches review

Gift Guide 2016 Lipstick Addict Edition

Lipstick is a personal favorite of mine, which I'm sure you've gathered over the years. 😉 I love to collect it (aka hoard it), wear it and stay up on new releases. 2016 has definitely been the year of the lips with so many lip-focused collections making major waves in the beauty-verse, so I thought it would be only be appropriate to dedicate an entire volume of this year's gift guide to lip products!

The majority of products I've included are lipsticks, but I threw in some lip care products as well because I am completely neurotic about keeping my lips in good shape and I think it's important in general to take care of those babies!

1. NYX Liquid Suede Vault - Retail: $49.99

NYX Liquid Suede lippies are NYX's version of matte liquid lipsticks. This 24-piece set includes a wide variety of shades from nudes to vampy; bright to classic. I know quite a few lippy addicts that love this formula and given the incredible volume of shades you get in this set I thought it could be a great gift suggestion for someone looking to either dive into the world of liquid matte lipstick or hoping to expand their color range. Despite the fact these are mini tubes, I did find the doe foot applicator as easy to work with on these as most full-size lippy tubes I've worked with--keep in mind doe foot applicators aren't my applicator of choice (I will always prefer lip brushes for all lip products). 

Where to Buy: Ulta/

gift guide 2016 nyx liquid suede vault swatches review

2. Dr. Lip Ban's Lip Freak Buzzing Lip Balm - Retail: $9.50

I'm a huge lip balm hoarder--I really don't think you can have enough! These caught my eye between the name and claim that they leave your lips buzzing like nuts. I gave them a try and ... they do! Be warned, if you don't like the sensation of most lip plumpers you will not like these, but if you don't mind, then you'll definitely find these interesting! I did actually get some slight plumping along with some added hydration and plenty of buzz when I tested these out. The mustache theme is quirky, too. Just a fun little unique gift that isn't gender-specific and will likely spark some conversation!

Where to Buy - Ulta/

gift guide 2016 dr lip bang's lip freak lip balm

3. Lorac Pro Liquid Lipstick - Retail: $19 each

Lorac's version of matte liquid lipsticks, this formula really surprised me with how easy it was to work with and how only moderately drying it was (I'm super sensitive to drying formulas, don't mind me). The colors are really gorgeous and the formula dries fairly quickly, but not so fast you can't tweak a bit beforehand. I do recommend 2 layers for super even, opaque application. I didn't have any cracking with these, but my lips were really well prepped beforehand. I also suggest, for people like me that want to claw their lips off the second they get dry, that you pat your favorite balm on top to provide some hydration. This formula worked really well that way and while it wasn't as matte as some might like, it was incredibly comfortable this way and quite pretty.

I mentioned these in an IG story (follow me if you don't already because I do lots of sneak peeks on their and talk about things that never hit the blog) and I'm still surprised these are a Kohl's exclusive only because I think they'd do so well if they were available everywhere.

Where to Buy - Kohl's/ (this is a Kohl's exclusive)

gift guide 2016 LORAC Cosmetics matte liquid lipstick swatches

4. Make Up For Ever Red Hot lip Collection (Artist Lip Balm 940, Lip Blush 941, Lip Acrylic 942) - Retail: $21-24

Make Up For Ever began releasing coordinated balm/blush/acrylic mini lip collections earlier this year if I'm not mistaken (at least that's when I began to take notice) and I'm in love! Their formulas on all three products are fantastic in my opinion and I love having a similar shade in 3 different formulas based on my mood/look/general level of energy for the day. 😁 I had previously discussed an orange set earlier this year and I'm totally in love with the fact they recently released 3 gorgeous reds for the holidays--all 3 are cool-toned with a tiny bit of pink to them (my favorite kind of red)! Whether you buy/gift 1 or all 3, I think they're all stunning and sure to be hits. All 3 formulas are ones I personally love and find easy to work with.

gift guide 2016 make up for ever lipstick swatches

5. Anna Sui Lip Rouge Pen - Retail: $32

Anna Sui, one of the most whimsically feminine brands that continues to blow me away year after year, has released the most beautiful collection this holiday season, which includes these beautiful lip rouge pens. The packaging is gorgeous and the formula is really lovely! The finish is described by the brand as velvet-like, but the shades I tried were creamy and demi-satin, which I found super flattering. These all had delicate floral fragrances that weren't super overpowering once they set. The formula overall was very comfortable to wear and easy to apply. While I'm generally not a fan of built-in brushes, they're quite popular with many brands and though I still prefer to use my own lip brushes, I was able to use the applicator on these without issue. Overall, super stunning packaging and a really flattering, stress-free formula!

Where to Buy:   

gift guide 2016 anna sui holiday 2016 lip rouge swatches

6. Sugarpill Pretty Poison Matte Lipstick - Retail: $20 each

Sugarpill recently released their matte lipsticks and for those like me that have been following the brand for years these have been highly anticipated for some time! The original launch included 6 shades, 2 of which I was instantly drawn to--Cubby and Nurse. If you're a fan of matte lipsticks, but hate drying formulas, these are basically exactly what you're look for--think Lipstick Queen's fantastic matte lipstick formula or MAKE Beauty's formula (assuming neither have changed since the last time I purchased from either). This formula is light-weight, super pigmented, smooth as butter to apply (who rubs butter on their lips? beauty hack! 😂) and not at all drying. I know we waited a long time for these, guys, but they were worth the wait! Get these for yourself or as a gift because they are amazing! And that packaging--a glittery lipstick bullet that isn't at all cheap feeling? So cute in person!!!

Where to Release:

gift guide 2016 sugarpill matte lipstick swatches nurse cubby

7. EOS Holiday 2016 Limited Edition 2-Pack Set - Retail: $5.99

Each year EOS releases their holiday sets and I fall in love! This year one of the sets includes Vanilla Bean and (new) Winterberry--so cute. I think these are great for gifting, stuffing stockings or separating out and including in multiple gifts. Gotta keep those lips hydrated and lipstick-ready!

Where to Buy - & select stores that carry EOS products

8. MAC Nutcracker Sweet Viva Glam Compact - Retail: $25

Of all the items released in the Nutcracker Sweet collection this year this lip compact was one of my favorites! Not only is the packaging super cute and convenient for tossing in your handbag makeup bag, but the colors are so flattering (Viva Glam II, Viva Glam VI & Viva Glam I). The price is actually really great as well, making it a fabulous gifting option in my opinion! I know some of the face compacts were the items to buy, but I think this little lip compact is seriously underrated and well worth nabbing for yourself or someone else before they're gone. 

Where to Buy - MAC/ (you can also check other stores that have MAC counters)

gift guide 2016 mac nutcracker sweet viva glam compact review

9. LUSH Santa Baby Lip Tint - Retail:  $9.95

I've been a fan of the Santa Baby lip tint for years now (which is why it's been in several guides over the years), but I love that it came in a tube this year! I'm not a fan of lip tins on-the-go because I don't like introducing germs into my products, so a tube really appeals to my germaphobic side. The tint itself is a very pretty red and while I've never found it to be incredibly hydrating, it is quite long-lasting!

Where to Buy - LUSH/

gift guide 2016 lush cosmetics santa baby lip tint review

10. LUSH Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub - Retail: $8.95

Honestly, if there's one thing you have to get from the LUSH Christmas collection it is this lip scrub. Their lip scrubs in general are always at the top of my must-buy list, but this limited edition flavor is so gooooood! Seriously! Plus, with all the matte lippies you'll likely be wearing in this cold, dry weather you're going to need to treat your lips to a little TLC. Unlike Santa Baby lip scrub, which dyed my skin in past years when I used it, this one hasn't done it to me! Get this for yourself and for anyone on your list. Love it!

Where to Buy - LUSH/

gift guide 2016 lush cosmetics lip scrub sugar plum fairy review

That's it for now, guys! Hopefully I've given you some fantastic gift ideas for the lipstick addicts in your life (or for yourself). Stay tuned for our next segment and don't forget to check out the gift guides we've already released this holiday season

 Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand for consideration. All opinions are my own based on my personal experience.


5th Annual Beauty Gift Guide 2016 Vol 1: Hair Care

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Gift Guide 2016 Hair Care Edition

I am a total nut about my hair--complete and total nut! Products have to work well, not irritate my sensitive skin, not dry out my overly picky hair and and somewhat tame this textured mess. The struggle is real! It's also expensive, which is why I tend to include a hair care volume in our gift guide each year. Yes, the rest of the year we shell out for our own hair care, but for the holidays wouldn't you love it if someone else picked up the tab? I've compiled a shortlist of hair products I personally love that you can get for the complicated haired person/people in your life.