Holiday Most Wanted: Skin Care Gifts

Everyone’s skin suffers in the winter and a skin care gift is a fantastic way to take care of it.

REN x Kangan Arora Moroccan Rose Otto Duo
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Skin care experts teamed up with London based textile designer Kangan Arora to bring together some pretty great looking gifts. This Moroccan Rose Otto body wash and lotion will leave you clean, hydrated and smelling delicious all winter. It’s also great for sensitive skin.
Amopé Pedi Perfect Gift Set
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If you know someone whose feet need help but don’t go for pedicures, you need to get them this gift. It comes with a rechargable foot file, charger station, Daily Moisturizing Foot Cream, suction shower hook and an Amopé and Veet coupon book.  Since the foot file is waterproof, you can use it wet or dry, meaning there are no excuses not to use it. I wish I had about five of these lying around, I know some people who would love it.
Biotherm Aquasource Skin Perfection Holiday Set
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A lot of us have dry or oily skin with a ton of issues but if you’re shopping for someone with the covetable ‘normal’ skin, this Biotherm set is a great way to go. With an Aquasource Skin Perfection, Night Spa, Cleanser and Toner all in a holiday pouch, they’ll have everything they’ll need for soft, glowing skin.
Boscia Balanced To Pore-fection
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I’m constantly trying to find products that’ll help minimize my pores and one of my holy grail items for that is Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask. I’ve been using it for years and it’s hands down my favourite. This gift set has that mask plus the Detoxifying Black Cleanser, White Charcoal Mattifying Makeup Setting Spray and Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel, all teaming up to whip my pores into shape. If you know someone who wants to minimize their pores or a teenager who might be a little self conscious, you might want this one.
Fresh Rose Skincare Ritual: Daily Essentials
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Fresh’s Rose products have been cult faves for years when it comes to dry skin beauty junkies and their Soy Face Cleanser is also pretty legendary. This gift teams them up for an essential winter hydration boost. It includes the Soy Face Cleanser, Rose Hydrating Gel Eye Cream, Rose Face Mask and Rose Floral toner. Anyone would be happy with a gift of bright, hydrated skin!

Holiday Most Wanted: Makeup Gifts

To say I love holiday makeup is an understatement. If I could only buy makeup once a year, it would be holiday stuff and these gifts are perfect for any makeup junkie.

Lipstick Queen Smokey Lip Kit
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There are actually two of these kits, one comes with Black Lace Rabbit and Pinky Nude Sinner and the other with Black Lace Rabbit and Bright Natural Sinner. I like both options but for this post went with Pinky Nude. You can use both these lipsticks on their own or layer the Black Lace Rabbit over Pinky Nude for a deeper, smokey look. If you’ve never tried Black Lace Rabbit before, this is a great way to try the sheer, transforming black lipstick that’ll at least double you lipstick options.
Tarte Color Vibes Amazonian Clay Palette
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This palette has been out for months, so it’s getting a little difficult to find, but keep looking because it’s worth it. With twenty eyeshadows in Tarte’s amazing Amazonian Clay formula, there’s a shade for every look you want. I personally love the shades on the Monet, Seascape and Mosaic but there isn’t a single shade I wouldn’t use.
Arbonne Midnight Muse Holiday 2016
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It’s pretty rare for a holiday kit to give you a complete makeup look but Arbonne’s Midnight Muse does a pretty good job of it. The kit includes an eyeshadow duo, a pencil liner and a matte cream & sheer lip gloss duo. All you really need to add is mascara and some blush (or at least I do) and you’re good for any holiday party.
Kat Von D Hello Canada! Set
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This really isn’t a holiday kit, but it’s a fantastic way to introduce someone to Kat Von’s makeup. Available only at Sephora in Canada, this kit includes some of my favourite Kat Von D products. It has deluxe mini versions of Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lolita, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare and Tattoo Liner in Trooper (everyone needs to try this one) and it’s all wrapped up in a vegan leather bag. Did I mention it’s only $30?
Too Faced Grande Hotel Cafe
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I look forward to Too Faced holiday releases every year and while they do seem somewhat similar, there’s always something special about them. This year my favourite was the Grande Hotel Cafe. You open up the cafe to reveal three palettes, a deluxe sample of Better Than Sex mascara and a leaflet with three makeup look instructions. Each of the palettes is scented differently (Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Coffee and Peppermint Mocha). You can also carry around each palette separately or use them together. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next year.

Holiday Most Wanted: Gifts For Guys

Buying for guys can be pretty difficult but now that a lot of them are really into grooming, we can help you out with a couple ideas.

Les Industries GROOM Shaving Care Trial Kit
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For the guys who love to try out new shaving products, Montreal’s Les Industries GROOM have a new shaving cream and it comes in their Shaving Care Trial Kit along with Aftershave Balm, Aftershave Splash and Shaving Oil. It’s the easiest way to get a guy’s beard looking great, while they get to try new things.
Beardhood Graille N°3 Beard Oil Gift Pack
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If you’re shopping for a guy who likes as few things crowding his bathroom as possible, Beardhood’s Beard Oil Gift Pack might be the way to go. It includes four of their beard oil packs which can be used for multiple things ie: beard oil, cologne, hair conditioner, skin moisturizer, aftershave and probably a few more things. Best of all, it’s a Toronto company.
Jack Black Beard Grooming Kit
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If you’re buying for someone who’s a little insane about their beard (my brother), this is a great travel kit for them to keep things looking good on the road. In the travel bag comes an All-Over Wash that they can use on hair, face and body, Beard Oil, Beard Lube and a Beard Comb. It might be the only way to get them to stop talking about how rough their beard is looking during the holidays.
Lush Ice Cube Gift
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If you’re not buying for a beard loving guy, this minty, guy friendly gift from Lush might be the perfect thing (and you might want to steal it for yourself). It includes Christingle Body Conditioner, Whoosh Shower Jelly, Salt and Peppermint Bark body scrub, Candy Cane Shower Smoothie and Outback Mate soap. Plus it’s already wrapped, which is less work for you.

Holiday Most Wanted: Hair Gift Sets

We’ve put together some hair gifts, perfect for someone who wants to start the new year off with great hair.

KMS Color Vitality + Hairplay Trio
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Available at Trade Secrets, this trio includes the KMS Color Vitality shampoo and conditioner and Hairplay Playable Texture spray. A new year can bring new color and this is a great way to lock it in and keep your style looking great. It comes with a cute little travel bag as well.
Sebastian Limited Edition Tattooed Styling Products
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With new package designs by tattoo artist Maxime Büchi, you can get cool new versions of your favourite Sebastian styling products. Items included are Craft Clay, Drynamic +, Shaper Fierce, Volupt Spray, Sublimate and my favourite, Potion 9.
Kérastase Discipline Gift Set
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If you know someone that can’t live without their Kérastase Discipline (I’m one of them), this is a great way to get their basics all in one place. With the Discipline shampoo, conditioner and thermal spray; it’s also a great way to introduce someone with unruly, frizzy hair to the products that will give them super smooth hair.
ColorProof Glam Girl Gift Set
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if you know someone with coloured hair that’s also in need of smoothing, the ColorProof Glam Girl gift is a great place to start. It has the CrazySmooth shampoo and conditioner plus the PlushLocks Leave-In Smooth. Perfect for dried out winter hair.

Holiday Most Wanted: Stocking Stuffers

I’m not sure where December went, but with Christmas and Chanukah both this weekend; we’ll be posting a bunch of gift guides this week. Our first one is all about stocking stuffers, or if you celebrate Chanukah, one of the little mid-holiday gifts.

Fresh Zodiac Oval Soap
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I love the idea of these soaps. There are twelve scents to go with each zodiac sign. I’m both an Aries and a Taurus and I love the Mangosteen scented Aries soap. I actually found that I liked my signs the best, so maybe there’s something to this. This is a great personalized gift for anyone.
Burt’s Bees Kissable Lip Color Trio in Warm
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This little trio is great for anyone who wants moisturized lips with a hint of colour. It comes in warm and cool varieties and I love the warm version. It includes the classic Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers in Rhubarb, Peony and my favourite, Fig.
Arbonne Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set
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If you know someone whose lips have taken a rough turn during the winter, this delicious coconut scented lip duo will definitely help them out. With a lip smoother and matching salve, you can give them super soft lips with one little gift.
Invisibobble Time To Shine Collection
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Ever since I started using these weird little hair elastics (they look like old telephone cords), I’ve been hooked. No more ponytail bend in your hair and I love using them with wet hair because they don’t feel damaging when I pull them out. The Time To Shine collection are really pretty metallic shades, and they’re tiny enough to fit in a stocking.
Tarte Limitless Lippies
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If you know someone who loves the matte lip trend, you get eight of Tarte’s mini Tarteist Matte Lip Paints. You can either split these up or give all of them as a gift. There’s everything from nudes to reds, so everyone can find a shade they love!

MAC Cosmetics Blind Score Casual Colour

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This multi-purpose pod is supposed to provide you with lip and cheek coverage all in one place. I love this colour for fall with its rich purple hue and I was pumped when the weather got cool, so I could try it. If you can still get your hands on this product I would rush to the store and find it. Last I looked, it was still available online!

I was surprised by all of the reviews saying that this wasn’t true to the colour they thought it would be. On my skin, it was exactly the shade MAC promised. I love this colour most on my cheeks. It gives just the right amount of blush. A little goes a long way, but the sheerness is forgiving so you don’t have to be worried about making mistakes.

MAC’s Casual Colour is more casual on the lips. The colour is very light on the lips and a bit sheer. I personally prefer darker purple tones on my lips, but this would be great for a Sunday afternoon when I want something with less commitment. This is a great investment piece for people who don’t wear a lot of blush or lipstick, because you get the best of both world in one convenient place.

Avon Gifts Most Wanted

Nowadays everyone is shopping online, but there was a time when very few company would let you shop from the comfort of your pyjamas. Avon was always there for you to be able to shop from home for beauty products, bath essentials and great gifts. We have turned to Avon this holiday season to see what we can find for everyone’s wishlists.

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For Mom – Avon Anew Ultimate Supreme Advanced Performance Creme – If your mom is anything like my mom than she has a soft spot for Avon products regardless of what other beauty line are on the market. And she will love this Creme from Avon. It’s a cool night creme that has a powdery soft scent, smooth finish and is supposed to improve signs of aging with rare black pearls. For just $60, it’s worth the treat for mom!

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For the little diva – Avon Ultra Sexy Body Mist – Help her feel grown up, while still keeping it light. This collection comes with three bottles for $20 and the scents are young and light and fresh. They will make any young lady feel all grown up without the cost of a designer fragrance. Notes include cherries, pear, raspberry, and chocolate marshmallow, so you know she will love it.

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For the classic belle – Avon Prima Fragrance Pack – If you need a stocking stuffer for a girl who likes the classics look no further than this fragrance which has ballerina Courtney Lavine as it’s face. The scent is just the right mixture of rose and patchouli to be soft and luxurious feeling. Get the trio pack for just $30 before Christmas so she cam pamper herself in it.

St. Tropez Everyday Tinted Body Lotion

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It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of St. Tropez. I’m not loyal to many brands, but St. Tropez is the only one that I trust my tan to in the off-season. It wasn’t surprising to me then to find another winner in the St. Tropez line with this Everyday Tinted Body Lotion.

I usually avoid tinted moisturizers because I think they are a bit of a waste of time. I would rather invest my time and money in actual tanners. This time, I thought about it differently. I got my regular St. Tropez tan. Once I noticed my tan starting to fade, I opened my container of the Tinted Body Lotion.

It’s easier to think of this like a moisturizer than a tanner. It smells like a moisturizer, it applies like a moisturizer and it feels like a moisturizer on your skin. The only difference is that after you apply this moisturizer, you need to remember to wash your hands. It dries quickly on the skin and after a few hours you can see the golden glow on your skin. The colour lasts for a few days and helps to rejuvenate your tan.

This product is perfect for that transition period between tans. It was great on parts where my tan faded faster or that are too pale. It’s a great product to keep in your arsenal over the winter when your skin feels a bit too pale.

Trade Secrets Twelve Days Of Giveaways Sneak Peek

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We just did our Most Wanted Advent Calendar post and while Trade Secrets doesn’t have one of their own, starting Sunday December 4th they are doing a Twelve Days of Giveaways contest. We can’t tell you what prize they’re giving away each day but a little birdie exclusively gave us the prize list! So here’s a list of all the goodies you can win from Trade Secrets.

AG Moisture Infusion Kit
Color Club Scented Nail Polish Duo
ABBA Gentle Duo
Wet Brush Limited Edition Droplet
OPI Breakfast At Tiffany’s Mini 10-pack
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Relaxus Makeup Brushes
Sexy Hair Powder Play Duo with Root Pump Bonus
Upper Canada Trio Soap (London, Paris, New York)
KMS Color Vitality
Moroccanoil Gift Set
Puff Me (volume powder in spray form)

And what everyone will probably hope to win:
Babyliss Italia Brava Ferrari Blow Dryer
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We don’t know what day each prize will go up, but you’re going to want to enter every day. Even if you don’t want them for yourself, who doesn’t want to save money on gifts?

You can find more on how to enter on the Trade Secrets Facebook,  Twitter or on their website.

Makeup Most Wanted November 2016: Alyssa’s Picks

I can’t believe it’s already the end of November; it feels like it was just summer and now we’re working on holiday posts. These are my favourite things from the past few months.

Korres Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir
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Right now my anti-aging needs are mostly preventative but considering I’m a skin care junkie, I love to try new products. Boosters seem to be the new serums lately and I’m seeing them everywhere so I’ve tried a couple. Korres has my favourite of them so far. The Golden Krocus Elixir is pretty delightful. I love everything from the packaging, to the texture, to the slightly spicy scent. Made with Greek Saffron, you really only need a drop or two of this booster to get results. Now obviously I’m not looking for major results in wrinkles in my skin because I don’t have any; but my skin looks brighter, feels smoother and really just glows. It’s so light that it absorbs within seconds and you follow it up with whatever serums and moisturizers you’d normally use. It really feels amazing. I love the scent so much, I’ve been reaching for my unscented options.

Clinique Lash Power Flutter-To-Full Mascara
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I have so much mascara that I actually have trouble on a regular basis deciding which one to use but I’ve been using this one for months and absolutely love it. I generally like Clinique’s mascaras but they all seem to serve only one purpose. I have one for volume and one for length but Flutter-To-Full is kind of a three-in-one. There’s a dial with three options that let’s you control how much intensity you get. The lowest form gives you a barely there, natural look. The next one amps it up a bit but still stays fairly natural and the third gives you major night look drama. I tend to always use the third option because I love big lashes but I appreciate the options. It also stays on forever without smudging or flaking. Clinique says 24 hours and I totally agree with that. They also say it comes off with warm water and I would like to disagree, I have the hardest time getting this one off but that also means I can trust it not to disappear on me.

Sephora Collection Double Time Double Ended Brush Set
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I think one of the most underrated things about Sephora is their variety of Sephora brand brush sets. There’s something for every need and every budget and while they’re not always the highest quality, they usually do a decent job. I really love this Double Time set because each brush is double ended, so you get twelve travel brushes that look like six full size ones and handle like full size. This is a great set for travel because you have every brush you could need in one place and the faux leather is super soft and durable; just like the brushes themselves.

Avon Skin So Soft Winter Soft Nourishing Hand Cream
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I think one of the first hand creams I ever used was from Avon (my mom sold it when I was in high school) and it’s really nice to know that it still works as well as I remember. I’m so picky about hand cream and this one works quite nicely. It goes on smoothly, absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave my hands feeling greasy. It has Shea Butter, Babassu Oil and Vitamin E to soften and hydrate your hands. While it doesn’t last 24 hours for me like it claims, I only have to use it a couple times a day and my hands don’t feel dried out.

Maybelline The Loaded Bolds in Gone Greige
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As much as I love a matte liquid lipstick, the winter dryness isn’t really letting me use them as much as I did in the summer, so I’m back to a creamier, more traditional lipstick. Maybelline’s The Loaded Bolds aren’t really a typical lipstick. They’re matte but they’re also extremely hydrating and comfortable. I keep forgetting that I’m wearing them because they feel like lip balm. The shades are also incredibly pigmented. One swipe and I have full coverage and zero patchiness. But it’s my favourite shade that surprises me the most. Greige anything doesn’t look good on me, it really washes me out and makes my skin, well, grey. I tried Gone Greige because I really wanted to love it. It’s such a 90’s inspired shade and I am a 90’s kid. So I was completely shocked when the grey-ish brown actually looked good on me. I hope they end up releasing more shades, because ten just doesn’t seem enough. At least I have a winter lipstick that I’ll be using a lot. And it’s not red.