Wednesday

Best of Holiday Beauty Gift Guide 2017

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It's that time of year again and we're excited to share some of our top gift suggestions with you! Each of these items have been handpicked by us because they're products we really enjoy ourselves and believe the lucky people on your gift list will, too. We've been progressively adding to our gift guide, so be sure to check back for new additions as the holidays go on!


Included in Our List:

Sephora Dark Rainbow Antibacterial Brush Set ($49 retail) - This set is perfect for the beauty lover just getting into makeup as it includes 7 staple brushes for both face and eyes! Available at Sephora/Sephora.com

Slip Sleep Mask ($45 retail) - Whether you travel frequently or simply need complete darkness to sleep at home, this silk sleep mask doesn't create lines on the face, feels buttery-smooth on the skin and makes for a gorgeous, luxury gift. Available at SlipSilkPillowcase.com and other retailers.

Joico K-PAK Color Therapy Holiday Duo ($31.98 retail $22 sale) - Each year we feature Joico's holiday hair bundles because not only is Joico one of our hair care brands of choice, but their holiday bundles are incredibly great value-wise! You don't want to miss out on the current sale if you're looking for holiday hair care. We recommend any of the sulphate-free formulas such as K-PAK, Curl Cleansing, etc. Available through Joico's site as well as other retailers.

Tweezerman 3-Piece Glitz & Glam Gift Set ($48 retail) - We love Tweezerman tweezers, but we picked this set in particular because it includes their ProMaster Lash Curler, which is particular great for almond eyes (which can be hard to find!). Available at Tweezerman.com and other retailers. 

Sugarpill Liquid Lip Color ($18 retail) - If you've followed us here over the years then you already know that Sugarpill has been one of our favorite indie brands for quite some time. We were so excited to see them launch liquid lip colors a couple years ago, which we find to be some of the prettiest and most comfortable liquid lip colors out there--and we've tried most of them! While Trinket is our favorite shade followed closely by Kim Chi, they recently launched a more expansive line that includes the shades from their Pretty Poison lipstick line! We're eyeing a handful of the newly launched shades. Available at Sugarpill.com and other retailers.

Elemis Frangipani Treasures ($137 retail) - Elemis is a British luxury skincare brand we became better acquainted with a couple years ago and fell in love with, which is why we had to include this amazing gift set (which values at over $200) in our guide this year, which includes everything from shower gel to body lotion to a beautifully scented candle! Available at Elemis.com and other retailers.

Sephora Fox in the Box Sponge Set ($18 retail) - If you're looking for a fabulous set of face sponges to gift this holiday season check out this adorable set from Sephora! It comes with 3 bulb-shaped sponges in what has got to be some of the cutest packaging we've seen from Sephora in a while. Available at Sephora/Sephora.com.

Make Up For Ever Dany's Pouch ($31 retail) - No, this isn't a new product, but it is one of our all-time favorite ways to store and travel with our beloved brushes and we think every beauty junkie should have at least one (or four!). This pouch keeps brush heads from getting crushed and even fits some of our most fluffy, over-sized powder brushes! Truly a must-have in our opinions. Available at MakeUpForEver.com and other retailers. 

Makeup Geek Highlighter in Psychedelic - Duochrome ($20 retail) - When Makeup Geek released their duochrome highlighters we went nuts for them ... and talked about them a lot! These highlighters are silky-smooth and offer the most flattering duochrome shifts. Psychedlic is one of our favorites, though we own and love LIT, Moon Phase, Celestial and Electrify just as much! Available at MakeupGeek.com.

Anna Sui Makeup Coffret Set K ($54 retail) - Anna Sui makes some of the most delicate shades in what has become our favorite packaging of all time. If you want elegantly feminine products with a touch of Victorian grace, these are a must! This set was of our favorite of the items launched for the holidays as it includes a beautiful face powder, lipstick and collection-worthy cosmetic bag. Available at Beautylish.com and other retailers. 

*Little Beauty Lover Gift Idea* 

"Pro" Beauty Mermaid Eyeshadow Brush Set ($20 retail) - While the name includes the term "pro" we wouldn't personally consider these to be pro brushes (for the simple fact they're not kit-friendly), however, we do think they're a budget-friendly option for a tiny, budding makeup lover to play with! The bristles are super soft and the handles are super adorable--who doesn't love mermaids?  They remind us of some of the brush sets we've seen Sephora put out in the past quality-wise. Available at OneSpotBeauty.com

Feel-Good Gift Ideas

If you want to give a gift that gives back consider these options!

Love with Food ($7.99-$19.99 subscriptions vary) - We've talked about Love with Food in the past, but if this is your first time hearing about them you're in for a treat. Not only do they offer healthy snack options and a gluten-free version, but for every box purchased they donate to a food bank! While we may not fall in love with every snack we receive, we find that between the four of us we enjoy 90% of each box--which is pretty good! You can get your subscription or gift one at LovewithFood.com.

MAC Viva Glam ($17.50 retail) - Viva Glam has been MAC's longtime charitable program, which donates the entire selling price of each lipstick sold to its MAC AIDS Fund! Not only are the shades some of the most popular staple shades MAC sells (in our opinions), but the cause is certainly a worthy one. MAC Viva Glam lipsticks can be purchased from MACCosmetics.com/MAC stores/MAC counters as well as retailers that sell MAC.


We hope you find some of our suggestions helpful as you go through your holiday shopping list! Make sure to check back as we continue to add to this list throughout the holiday season.

Happy shopping!


Note: Products in this post were sent by PR/the brand for our consideration. All opinions are our own.

Top 5 End of Summer & Early Fall Must-Haves - Featuring Veil Cosmetics, PopSugar Must Have, MAC & More!

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End of Summer Must Haves 2017

Summer may be coming to a close, but we have a little while before the cool, crisp fall weather comes blowing in. I've been testing out different products this summer and I've discovered a few new ones and fallen back in love with old staples that I want to share with you today. Every product on this list is a product I used regularly and swear by. While many are fantastic for summer, they're also versatile enough to be used year-round, which to me marks a truly fantastic product!

1. PopSugar Must Have Subscription Box (Special Anniversary Edition shown - $39.95/month)


PopSugar's Must Have subscription box has been a favorite of mine for a long time, but this month's box was extra special to mark PopSugar's 5th anniversary! It came with a variety of fun, festive goodies and I've already used most of them. 

My box included:
  1.  PASTEL Cheers Lacquered Tray (suggested retail $28)
  2. First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Bouncy Mask (suggested retail $38)
  3. Dogeared Friendship Bracelet (suggested retail $34)
  4. Meri Meri Gold Glitter Candles (suggested retail $7.50)
  5. Fringe Studio Free Spirit Journal Sponsored by Jeep (suggested retail $16)
  6. Goodie Girl Cookies (suggested retail $2.95)
  7. Shoptiques.com $25 Gift Card - Special Extra item

For those unfamiliar with PopSugar's Must Have Subscription Box, it is a monthly subscription box that includes a variety of lifestyle, beauty and occasionally fashion pieces that are truly must-haves. The monthly cost of $39.95 is always far less than the typical box value (as you can see above), making it an excellent treat for yourself or gift for others! You can subscribe through their site HERE.

You can even use promo code PARTY to get $10 off your subscription now!

As if that wasn't enough, PopSugar Must Have is offering something extra special in celebration of their birthday...

The August Must Have is a special box because POPSUGAR Must Have turns 5 this month! This August box marks Lisa Sugar’s 5th year in curating her and her team of editors favorite items for you! 


This month’s box features surprises from some of Lisa’s favorite brand obsessions to celebrate POPSUGAR Must Have’s birthday! 


Weekly Giveaway Details All current Must Have subscribers are eligible for a chance to win! If you're not already signed up, you can simply sign up before the end of August for a chance to automatically win a *major* surprise each week from following brands


Week 1: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Pehr Designs Week 2: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from First Aid Beauty Week 3: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Kendra Scott Week 4: Limited # of lucky subscribers subscribers will win something from Tarte cosmetics Week 5 (8/31): 5 Grand Prize! Limited # of subscribers something from Cambridge Satchel Co + 1 year Must Have 


Good luck to those eligible!

2. Skindinavia Setting Spray (Retail $29)


Skindinavia setting spray has been my go-to for years! I use it daily under my eyes year-round, but it's especially crucial in the summer when it gets hot and humid. I swear by the original and bridal formulas--they're amazing!

You can purchase it directly from Skindinavia through their site--shipping has always been super fast for me, which is awesome.

Tip: Spritz your makeup sponge with it prior to applying your under-eye concealer and then dab a little more on to set once you've finished applying. 

3. MAC Lipstick & Lip Liner (Retail $17.50 - $21)


MAC has always been one of my holy grail brands when it comes to lipstick and liners. While I'm not a fan of some of the changes the company has made over the last few years, I still think they have one of the broadest selection of shades at their price point and some of their formulas are still my absolute favorite. MAC recently launched their Lips Lips Lips campaign to highlight their lip products and I feel it was long overdue because their lipsticks are something I can confidently recommend to anyone looking for a solid range of liners and lipsticks!


4. Joico Cleansing Curl Shampoo & Conditioner ($14.99 - $31.99)


I've been a fan of Joico for some time, but I started using their Curl Cleansing formula a couple months ago and I absolutely swear by it! I don't have curly hair, but I do have naturally textured, super thick hair with some save to it and this cleanses, hydrates and improves my overall hair texture and appearance pretty significantly. I know a lot of people that use curly hair formulas even if they don't have curly hair because it tends to be sulfate-free and very hydrating. This formula has seriously done some wonderful things for my hair and I'd suggest giving it a go if you're looking for something new!


5. Veil Cosmetics Complexion Fix (Retail $40)


Veil Cosmetics Complexion Fix is a really interesting concealer/foundation/highlighter hybrid that is absolutely perfect for anyone that, like me, doesn't tend to wear a lot of products on their face. I'm going to be honest, unless I'm going some place special, I generally conceal under my eyes and call my complexion good! I'm lucky to have fairly clear skin, but the older I've gotten the more those horrible circles have darkened. 

This formula is so smooth and natural looking, I absolutely love it for light to light-moderate coverage! I also want to make note of the fact I have a natural crease under each eye and I very rarely find anything that doesn't settle horribly into them without pulling out all my tricks. This stuff has not creased one me once so far! That's impressive. The only thing I'm not in love with is the applicator--I'm not a fan of built-in brushes--but the formula is worth getting past that one detail in my opinion. 

Veil Cosmetics Complexion Fix can be purchased directly from their site and through several pro makeup retailers I'm aware of. 


There you have it! My top 5 end of summer must-haves. What about you? Do we share any of the same must-haves? Do you have any product recommendations I absolutely have to try?


Note: Some of the products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions are my own.

How to Throw a Killer Cookout with a Gluten Free Menu - Plus Savings & Cashback!




Walmart Cash Back Coupon Rebate Gluten Free Cookout Menu

Ready to Throw a Quick & Easy Gluten-Free Cookout That Earns You Cash Back?

Summer is here and that means cookouts! Time to roll out the burger buns, grab a spoonful of macaroni salad, slap together an ooey-gooey s’more … oh wait, you’re gluten-free!

Yes, being gluten-free definitely changes the way you do summer cookouts in some ways. At least it does for me! When you think cookout what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably juicy hamburgers on thick buns or delicious pasta salads—not anymore!

While the bad news is you have to watch what you eat, the good news is when you throw your own cookout there are plenty of ways to enjoy gluten-free versions of many of the cookout staples you know and (used to) love! And even if you’re not gluten-free, if you plan to throw a cookout this summer it’s always nice to offer some gluten-free alternatives for your gluten-free guests.

New to throwing a gluten-free cookout? We’ve done some of the work for you and created a gluten-free cookout men/shopping list that you can purchase almost entirely from Walmart (click the links below to go directly to their locations on Walmart's site--no searching necessary)! And because we love you guys so much we’ve even partnered with brands to include ways for you to conveniently earn cash back on your cookout by purchasing your necessities from Walmart with Ibotta!

Here are our top 10 gluten-free cookout must-haves…

1.     Clorox Clean Up Cleaner & Bleach Spray (earn$.75 cash back on this purchase from Walmart). You’re probably asking, “Isn’t clean up for after the cookout?” Well, yes, but let’s be serious, do you really invite people into your home without going on a made cleaning spree first? I thought not. ;)

2.     Viva Paper Towels (earn $1.50 cash back on thispurchase from Walmart). There are sure to be tons of messy hands and spills during your average cookout, so having plenty of paper towels on hand is a must! Besides, Clorox Clean Up Cleaner & Bleach Spray and VivaPaper Towels go together like peanut butter and jelly for pre-party cleaning—you can’t have one without the other. I prefer not to use sponges when it comes to cleaning surfaces we eat or work off of. Why? Because I am a serious germaphobe and the idea of putting a bacteria filled sponge on my counters or table makes me cringe. That’s just me! So we always keep paper towels on hand and let’s be real, if you’re anything like us you probably need a big package of paper towels because we seem to go through them like crazy!

3.     Lettuce wraps. Why put your burger on a bun when you can wrap it in crisp romaine lettuce? Even if you aren’t allergic to wheat, this is a much healthier choice—and better tasting in our opinions, too!

    4.     Gluten-free hot dogs. Yes, there are a number of gluten-free hot dogs out there and they taste amazing! Applegate has some good ones and Boar’s Head aren’t bad either.

    5.     Gluten-free hot dog buns. Unless you plan to eat your hot dog in a bed of lettuce (which, we don’t but no judgment if you do) there are quite a few gluten-free hot dog bun alternatives out there that look, feel and taste just like the “real” thing! Most stores carry them now, so check your favorite grocery store and you’ll likely find them. 


    6.     Gluten-free potato chips! You need a little crunch to go with your burger or hotdog, right? Thankfully our favorite potato chips are already gluten-free—Cape Cod potato chips!

    7.     Grilled vegetable kabobs are a great healthy alternative to chips if you want to add a little variety to your cookout. We like to grill peppers and mushrooms on skewers coated in a little avocado oil, Himalayan salt and fresh, crushed garlic.

Walmart Cash Back Coupon Rebate Gluten Free Cookout Menu8.     Gluten-free marshmallows. Yes, even if your beloved marshmallows can betray you and have gluten in them. The good news is that we actually find gluten-free marshmallows to be tastier than their gluten-filled counterparts! Something about the tapioca used in some of them makes them have a better flavor and a better consistency! Elyon Marshmallows are very good and roast over a campfire very well in our experience. Some consider Kraft Jet-Puffed marshmallows to be gluten-free as they technically don’t contain ingredients with gluten in them according to sources, but others are wary since they aren’t labeled gluten-free and therefore could have gluten contamination. Use your best judgment!


9.     Gluten-free graham crackers. What would a s’more be without some yummy grahams to squish it between? Again, tons of great gluten-free alternatives out there and they taste just as good from our experience! Kinnikinnick Foods and Pamela’s both make great graham crackers that taste like the real thing in our opinions.

10.  Fresh lemonade. We don’t really drink soda as a family, but you can’t have a cookout without some sort of refreshing summer drink! And if you make it yourself it’s better than the stuff you buy in the store … right? 


That’s it! You’ve got the makings for a truly delicious, gluten-free cookout that is sure to wow any of your guests—not just your gluten-free guests. And what’s even better is you’ve managed to score amazing prices and earn cash back if you used our links above! Now that your cookout is over you can clean up the messes and scrub away the crumbs with your handy Clorox Clean Up Cleaner & Bleach Spray and VivaPaper Towels, which earned you cash back just for purchasing at Walmart using Ibotta rebates.  



What are some of your favorite cookout treats?


Note: We partnered with Clorox and Viva on this post. All opinions above are our own.