Every Christmas, I always end up stumping myself on stocking stuffer gifts ideas for the influential women in my life. Turns out, the answer was a trip to Ulta Beauty! There are so many great beauty gift ideas for every budget—from primers to shimmering powders, I’m sharing a few of my personal favorites from the Young & Fab category, all available at Ulta Beauty.
On average, I sample 10-15 products a week. Sometimes 20 if it’s a busy month. Now, I’m no mathematician, but that adds up anywhere from 520-1,040 products a year. That discovery explains why my stash keeps growing. And why I have no money in my bank account. But this post is not about my spending habits, it’s about my top beauty finds of 2013. See which makeup, hair and skincare products made the cut!
1. I still spritz myself with Estee Lauder Modern Muse. This girly fragrance is perfect for any occasion, day or night.
2. Earlier this year I sampled a bevy of BB and CC creams and Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 is still my go-to complexion perfecter. I highly recommend if you have combination to dry skin.
3. To this day, I’m still using Stila Cosmetics “All You Need is Love” Valentine’s Day Cheek Palette. It was limited edition (but it’s on sale now on their site!) so I’m hoping they make a similar version of this in 2014.
4. The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Scrub smells so good and I can not get enough of it. I just ordered the body oil version of it.
5. I was constantly on-the-go this year so finding an easy-to-use eyeshadow palette was a top priority. Earlier this year I splurged on this Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Sepia. This has become my go-to everyday eye look.
6. I bought this Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish spray on a whim but I haven’t looked back since. This formula instantly lifts my roots and gives my hair some extra grit when I’m styling it. I also use it as a dry shampoo spray.
7. My smooth and even complexion wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for my Real Techniques Stippling Brush. The affordable price point also makes it an easy must-have for everyone.
8. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser has always been gentle on my skin and removes any and all makeup with its rich soy proteins. And it smells divine!
9. Alchimie Forever’s Gentle Refining Scrub is another skincare favorite. I discovered it during my first Alchimie Forever facial earlier this year and stuck it with ever since. It’s my twice-weekly ritual that results in smooth, glowing skin.
10. No more hand burns and awkward crimpy hair thanks to my Jose Eber Clipless Curling Iron. Hello, sexy tousled waves.
What were your best beauty discoveries in 2013?
The perks of applying makeup in the winter? Glossing your face with highlighter and knowing that it won’t melt down your face like it does in the hot summer months (been there, done that). So it’s no surprise that this post is dedicated to all you illuminating lovers out there. I’ve rounded up my tried and true luminizers (from an extremely affordable $1 pick to can’t-live-without high-end goodies) that are perfect for a night out on the town or for on-the-go appearances. I find that shades of pearly pinks is universally flattering on almost any skin tone. For the ultimate winter glow, make sure you apply moisturizer prior to highlighter to prevent flaky or dry skin. Blend around the temples, top of cheek bones, bridge of nose and cupid’s bow (the outline of your upper lip) for a sweet and dewy finish.
When I think of October, fall leaves, chilly weather and pumpkin loafs at Starbucks are just a few things that come to mind. But probably the most important and recognizable thought about the month of October is (and always will be) Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are so many ways to help support the fight against breast cancer, whether it’s participating in an athletic fundraiser, donating money to an organization or buying products that support various charities, everyone can contribute to the fight. But the most beneficial thing you can start doing, is performing a breast self-exam monthly. 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are actually detected by women who feel a lump so it’s important not to wait until your next GYN or mammogram appointment.
I believe makeup is pretty powerful. It can transform your day, give you a new look and above all, make you feel (and look) good. That’s why I’ve rounded up my favorite makeup, skincare and beauty tools that will benefit you, your sister, your mother, your daughter, your girl friend and even a breast cancer charity. Here are my top 8 Breast Cancer Awareness beauty buys.
1. China Glaze United in Purpose Breast Cancer Awareness collection, $7 each.
2. Yankee Candle Breast Cancer Awareness Candle in Mandarin Cranberry, $15.99. A “light of hope to those affected by the disease,” Yankee Candle supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
3. Stila Courage & Beauty Palette, $16. Five pretty in pink shades for your eyes and a convertible color lip and cheek stain. A portion of proceeds benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
4. Alterna Caviar Overnight Hair Rescue, $15. A must-have treatment for color-treated tresses, 5 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the NBCF.
5. Philosophy Shower for the Cure, $20. Philosophy’s classic shampoo, bath and shower gel concoction is back in a limited edition, “she is unforgettable” scent.
6. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Inspiration, $19. Smashbox will donate $5 from your purchase to the BCRF.
7. Tweezerman Breast Cancer Awareness Slant Tweezer, $20. Don’t let unwanted hairs get you bent out of shape. For every product sold, $1 will be donated to Susan G. Komen For the Cure.
8. Estee Lauder Perfectionist Serum, $65. With each purchase, Estee Lauder will donate 20 percent of the retail price to the BCRF.