Gifts for under $20? It can’t be real, right? We know how expensive the holidays can get. So these gifts and mini-stocking stuffers are perfect for a tight budget.
Hard Candy Party Ready Set – Fuel the makeup passion of the next generation with this fun glam set. For under $10 you can get this eyeshadow palette, setting spray, eyeliner and liquid lip colour. It also comes with a cute silver bag. The makeup is all fairly neutral to allow new makeup lovers to experiment without going overboard. It’s the perfect affordable gift.
Schick Intuition Winter Gift Set – Every girl has gotten one of these razor gift sets on Christmas morning, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. They are a staple present. This year Intuition has upper the game with a pair of coy fluffy pink socks that I can’t wait to get my toes into. Every girl will love this!
Lipsmacker Disney Holiday Gift Sets – Lipsmacker has the cutest Disney co-branded products for the holidays. They are perfect for beauties of all ages from young to old. I will be adding the little Lip Balm Trio Bags into all of the gifts for my nieces. I know they will love it! I might just snag a few for myself too.
Scunci Hair Accessories – Find all of the stocking stuffers you could ever want with Scunci’s wide range of hair accessories. Skip the basics for the holidays and share some of the more unique products that will help friends try different styles or trends. You could try hair shimmer spray, a fun head wrap or a rose braid accessory that they can use to go glam on New Year’s Eve.
Calgon Bath Products – Calgon is another holiday staple that you can share with just about everyone. This year they have more great products and scents at an affordable price. I love the bag of Lavender & Honey Bath Fizzies as an unexpected choice. Their new Costal Gardenia scent is perfect to transport you away to warmer climates for a few seconds. It comes in everything from body spray to moisturizer for pure pampering.
Today is International Women’s Day and just like last year, L’Occitane has released another Solidarity Balm that goes right along with it. This year’s balm is Shea Butter Violet and it smells amazing. I was first introduced to the yearly Solidarity Balms last year with the rose scent. I literally use this stuff for everything; lips, cuticles, scrapes, chapped and broken skin. I haven’t found a limit to what I can use it for and I still haven’t finished last years. I love nearly anything rose scented so for me to love this violet scent even more in unprecedented.
What I love even more about the actual balm is that L’Occitane will use 100% of the profits to fund NGO’s projects to support women’s leadership in the world in partnership with UN Women and the L’Occitane Foundation. Not all of us can or will participate in women’s marches around the world but we can all try and spend $6 on this balm to try and support other women.
You’ll probably want to pick up more than one though because the Solidarity Balms are amazing and you’ll feel like you’ve contributed a little.
March was a weirder month than usual for Toronto. It warmed up significantly and then got really cold. It really ended up affecting the products I used the most, so here’s what I couldn’t live without last month. Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme
This serum isn’t new, but it is recently reformulated. I’m slowly starting to incorporate more serums into my skin care routine now that I’m almost into my mid-thirties. Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme is helping me prevent some of the bigger aging issues while keeping my skin glowing. It’s also not too harsh for my sensitive skin and absorbs instantly. REN Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream
I’d been wanting to try REN for a long time, especially their Evercalm line which is for sensitive skin and protects against environmental pollution. So to say I was excited to try the Global Protection Day Cream could be considered an understatement. Luckily, this cream more than lived up to my expectations. It’s a little thicker than you might expect from a day cream but it absorbs really well and I did actually notice a reduction in redness and sensitivity. It has so many amazing ingredients in it that I’m not surprised at how well it works and the scent definitely has an herbal tinge to it but not enough that it bothered me. I’m definitely going to get my hands on the rest of this line. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in L.A. Sunset
March is one of those transitional months where it’s so hard to decide what shades of makeup you want to wear. And while I wasn’t completely ready to ditch my red lipsticks, I definitely needed something brighter some days. Enter L.A. Sunset, which is a gorgeous creamy coral red. It’s a perfect in between shade, not too red and not too coral. The formula is super comfortable and even though it was a cream lipstick, the wear time was better than most. I’ll be wearing this shade long into the summer as well. John Masters Organics Lip Calm Collection
When I wasn’t wearing the Smashbox lipstick, I was wearing a ton of matte lipstick which really did a number on my lips. If you know me, you know I live off lip balm. My desk is covered with about 8 different kinds and I leave them everywhere, purses, my car, my nightstand, etc…The Lip Calm collection comes with the original citrus Lip Calm and three new flavours, Raspberry, Vanilla and Peppermint. While I would normally gravitate towards anything mint, I’m actually completely obsessed with the citrus and raspberry and have really only been using them. The lip balm is really soft and smooth, easy to apply and kind of melts into your lips and leaves them really hydrated. These never get hard or drag on your lips and they’re probably my new favourite lip balm. Too Faced Candlelight Glow in Rosy Glow
I’m not into the contour/highlight thing at all. Partially because I’m so pale everything is too dark for me. But when people start telling me I look paler than usual, I need to do something. Rosy Glow is perfect because it makes me look like, well, I’m glowing. I use it with a really light hand and it makes my skin look amazing and not like I’m halfway to being a ghost. The Warm Glow shade is nice as well but Rosy just looks better with my skin tone. This is the only highlighter I’ve used on a regular basis and I’m ok with that.
Lush and L’Occitane are two companies that are known for giving back. Lush’s Charity Pot is a permanent product where the proceeds to go to different charities and L’Occitane has different causes they donate to each year. Right now, they each have a product out where the proceeds go to good causes. You’ll want to grab both of these before they run out!
Lush Hand Of Friendship Soap
Canada just accepted 25,000 Syrian refugees and 100% of the proceeds from Hand Of Friendship (minus taxes) will go to Lush’s Friendship Fund that supplies the relief to their most pressing needs. Hand Of Friendship is a sweet smelling (cherry blossom), highly moisturizing soap that lathers really well. I had to cut mine up to make it easier to use and I love the hand design so much I was really sad about it.
L’Occitane Solidarity Balm
L’Occitane launched their Solidarity Balm just in time for Women’s Day on March 8th. 100% of the proceeds to this balm will finance NGO programs for women’s leadership in Burkina Faso with the support of the L’Occitane Foundation and it’s program ‘Women For Burkina.’ The balm itself it pretty amazing. Rose scented and full of Shea, this balm is perfect for lips, cuticles, hair or anywhere that your skin is dried out from winter. Considering it’s only $6, I’ll be stocking up on these.
I love when companies match products we’re going to buy anyways with giving us a chance to give back and these two are pretty amazing.
I love a lip crayon, it’s my favourite way to put on lipstick but most of them are matte and can be a little drying and when you add a lip balm the results aren’t necessarily the ones you want. Cover Girls new Jumbo Gloss Balm Creams (there are sheer ones too) are the perfect combination of lip crayon, lip balm and colour.
I love how easy they are to use and how creamy they are. We tried shades Caramel Cream (a medium nude) and Strawberry Frappe (bright pink) and while I liked both of them, Strawberry Frappe is by far my favourite. They feel like a balm while you’re applying them but the pigmentation is pretty great. You get a pop of colour while your lips are being moisturized.
Since these are balms, the wear time is pretty minimal but actually longer than I expected. Since they’re so creamy though, reapplying isn’t an issue.
If you need a change from matte lip crayons, you should probably try these.
One of the things I love about L’Occitane is their commitment to fragrance collections. I love layering the same scent and it drives me crazy when I can’t find products that compliment each other. L’Occitane’s recently released Peony collection is pretty big, with over ten different pieces and four versions of Pivoine Sublime. Pivoine Flora Eau De Toilette
I don’t think I ever put much thought into what peonies smell like and if I like them in perfume but Pivoine Flora is a really great scent for summer. It’s light, floral and sweet but not cloying. It’s not the longest lasting scent but it stuck around for roughly four hours in really humid weather before I stopped noticing it. The bottle itself is so pretty to look at and the scent matches. Pivoine Sublime in Rose Nude
Pivoine Sublime looks and almost feels like Fresh’s lip treatments but there are quite a few differences. Yes, it’s the same metal tube and yes, it’s a really soft lip balm that I have a feeling will be on the melty side during the summer but it has peony extract and a light floral scent. Rose Nude is perfect if you want something subtle but not invisible, it just leaves a hint of rose on my lips and moisturizes for hours. It also has SPF 25 which I feel like more products need. There are four shades to pick from and all of them are gorgeous.
After trying these out, I guess I like peony more than I thought and I definitely love that this collection is perfect for summer.
Most lip products are pretty straightforward. Lipstick, gloss, crayon, lacquer, etc.. But I’ve never come across anything quite like Yves Saint Laurent’s Volupté Tint-in-Oil.
These tubes pretty much do it all. They go on like a super sheer tinted lip balm but with a light oil texture that actually feels a lot more hydrating than most balms I’ve used. Once the oil wears off, you’re left with a lip stain that’s quite a bit deeper than when you first apply it. I noticed a difference in colour between swatch on my arm and wearing it on my lips and I’m thinking there’s something in it that’ll adjust the colour so it suits you better.
If you want to keep the hydration but want to change up the colour a bit, I’ve tried wearing these over lip liner and and my lips don’t dry out at all.
I’m not a fan of how sticky lip gloss can be and these don’t have any stickiness at all. Add in the tinted stain and I’m definitely going to be wearing Volupté Tint-in-Oil all summer.
Have you heard of Royal Apothic? Don’t worry if you haven’t. I hadn’t heard of them until recently either. Consider this your introduction to your next big beauty obsession: Scrubbies and Balmies. Seriously does it get any cuter than those names?
These are the lip scrubs and lip balms from indie makeup line Royal Apothic. They come in great scents like the sweet and creamy Strawberry Cream and the subtle and pretty Earl Grey that I received.
The Scrubbies are sweet sugar scrubs. You just apply a little on your lips and scrub. This Scrubbie couldn’t have come at a better time. My lips are getting pretty dry as winter comes to an end. This Scrubbie is getting me through the remainder of the season. A little goes a long way luckily because the tubes are not nearly big enough. I need a giant sized Scrubbie that will last me a lifetime.
Follow up your scrub with the Balmie lip conditioner. This isn’t your other lip balms that are thick or sticky. This conditioner is a thin layer of lovely moisture. My lips feel so smooth and soft.
If you live somewhere that suffers through extremely cold, dry winters, even if you don’t already have dry skin you’ll end up with it. My skin already has dryness issues so by the time mid-winter hits my skin is itchy, flaky and generally unbearable. RoC’s Enydrial collection has pretty much saved my skin from the worst of it and it’s made for sensitive skin so it doesn’t cause other issues. Rich Shower Cream
I love that this comes in a pump and lathers really well. There isn’t a scent (which I normally love) but my skin feels moisturized even before I add lotion. Moisturising Body Lotion
This isn’t supposed to have a scent either (none of the line is) but there is a really faint one that I actually love. This lotion isn’t nearly as thick as I was expecting but boy does it get the job done. It’s extremely hydrating and you don’t need a lot of it and there’s absolutely no stickiness. Moisturising Cream
This face cream was the biggest surprise for me. You really don’t need to use a lot and your face feel so soft and hydrated. I have combination skin that’s almost an equal amount of dry, oily and sensitive and this works perfectly for me. Repairing Lip Care
I’m not a huge fan of stick lip balms but this one is fantastic for putting on before you go to bed. It’s pretty thick so I can usually still feel it in the morning and if you have really chapped lips, you might want to try it. Hand Cream
This hand cream is not only my favourite product in the line, it’s also by far the best hand cream I’ve ever used. It’s glycerin based, so it has a little of that slick feeling at first but it absorbs almost immediately. If I put it on at night, I still feel it most of the next day and it’s healed every dry skin issue I had on my hands, along with scrapes and cuts. I don’t know if my hands would’ve made it through winter without cracking if I hadn’t had this cream.
January has been all about skin care for me, so it’s not surprising that my Most Wanted products this month have almost nothing to do with makeup. These are my Most Wanted this month. Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Multi Correcting Cream
The first time I used this balm-like cream I was convinced it wasn’t right for my skin type because it didn’t feel like it was doing anything at all. But the next morning my skin looked better than normal so I kept using it. Literally every time I use it at night, I’m glowing the next morning. My skin tone looks more even, clearer and I’ve been getting a ton of compliments. I don’t know how it works but I’m loving the results. Eve Lom Radiance Perfected Brilliant Cover Concealer in Ivory 02
This might be called a concealer but I’ve been using it as a cream foundation. I typically don’t wear a ton of face makeup but I have a lot of redness and this concealer completely covers it up and leaves my skin looking flawless. It doesn’t crack and leaves a silky finish that doesn’t feel cakey. mark. Naked Love Hand Cream
This apricot scented hand cream smells delicious. It’s not too thick but not runny and absorbs really well. I love that this works as well as it smells. Live Clean Fresh Face Refreshing Facial Wipes
A lot of makeup remover wipes don’t have any texture to them which makes my skin feel not so clean sometimes. Luckily these wipes have an open weave to them and get every last bit of makeup off. They don’t irritate my skin, especially around the eyes, at all. The fact that there’s a snap lid to keep them fresh is a bonus. Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm
I received this balm in my Ipsy bag last month and I haven’t stopped using it since. It has a really nice slip to it and keeps my lips hydrated for hours. I can even feel it on my lips after eating but it isn’t sticky at all. I just wish there was more in the tube so I wouldn’t run out as fast.