Holiday Gift Guide (Sister)

Post + Graphic Design, Norah Curlee

They can be closet raiders, tattle-tailers, secret blabbers, boyfriend stealers, attention hogs, pranksters and bathroom monopolizers…but they can also be best friends, confidants, shoulders to cry on, listeners, biggest fans, advisers, and supporters. We love them for that! Treat yours to something special this holiday season and show her just what she really means to you. This one’s for the sista’s!

Este Lauder Zodiac Compact: What’s her sign? The stars align with these gawgeous limited edition zodiac powder compacts from Este Lauder. These are the perfect addition to her handbag’s beauty party. RSVP yes!

Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Train Case: For the sister who has everything. We cannot get over how amazing this metallic gold limited edition train case is. Something pretty to house all her pretties and more!

Guerlain Meteorite Illuminating Pearls: Guerlain knocked it out of the park this year with their Crazy Paris holiday collection. These little illuminating powder pearls are at the top of our list for sissy!

YSL Golden Gloss Holiday Trio: Things are getting glossy with this trio from YSL…and we aren’t mad about it! Nothing says you’re special like some designer shine!

Ciate Nail Lab: This set includes everything she’ll need to play mad scientist with her nails. She can mix custom colors and sort out all her nail art whims and more! And let’s face it, she’ll probably invite you over for a mani party. Just sayin’.

Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Holiday Set: Ohhhh these are good. You’ve probably heard the raves about this product (unless you’ve been living under a beauty rock) and we particularly <3 the shade in Amethyst. She’ll have four mini’s to glam up her eye looks. Score.

Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends Set – Orange Flower & Lychee: Kiehl’s has long dominated skin care shelves…now they are taking over bath tubs and shower caddy’s as well! She can max and relax with this yummy smelling bath treats!

Laduree Othello Candle: The makers of our favorite little macarons are now venturing into the candle arena! This holiday candle has a warm and inviting scent that is super lush!

Shu Uemura New Generation Eyelash Curler: The lash curling gods at over at Shu have done it again. The latest and greatest tool for va-va-voom peepers is here! Sissy needs it.

Eight Hour Cream Gift Set: What did we do before EA’s 8 hour cream?? Get this set into her grips ASAP this holiday and her skin will be sending you thank you cards well into the New Year.

Chanel Rouge Rubis: We think Chanel beauty always saves the best for the holidays. This limited edition shade may very well be the perfect red. It’s a beauty, trust us.

Clarins 7 Wonders Gift Set: When a brand puts all of their best selling/cult products into one package, its more of a must-have than a wish-list contender. Clarins packs this set full of minis to pamper into the new year!

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette: Speaking of Clarins…get ready to drool. This stunning, light-weight pressed powder is the perfect accomplice for a winter glow. Plus the lush packaging doesn’t hurt!

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette: Brand new and limited from Smashbox alert! We love the matte/shimmer ratio and gorgeous rich, neutral colors. Complete with double-ended brush and mini mascara and we would say that’s a wrap!

Glossybox for Net-A-Porter: When Glossybox + Net-A-Porter team up you know that it’s only magic in the making. Enter this limited edition box filled with goodies any sister (or any girl for that matter) would love to have.

RiRi Hearts MAC Superslick Eyeliner: RiRi hearts MAC but TBD hearts this rose gold liquid liner. Big time! This is such a unique product with serious pigment pay-off. One please!

Holiday Haul

POST + GRAPHIC DESIGN BY NORAH CURLEE

With the weather changing and holiday music starting to croon everywhere you go, we beauty/style junkies know one thing: the limited editions are coming. Companies and beauty brands bust out the big guns releasing holiday value sets, new product releases, palettes, limited time quantities… and just the cutest packaging you’ve ever seen. These little bundles of joy are coveted and limited so if you like it…GET IT (while you can). If you find yourself in the spirit of self-less giving (we know, its hard with some of these goodies), they make amazing gifts for any fellow beauty babes in your life.

LUXE LIST: Often times these holiday sets give you more bang for you buck. This is especially handy when buying pricier brands that you maybe wouldn’t have tried. We love this YSL Love and Laquer Reds Set, which has your tips, lips and lashes covered for holiday party-going. While you’re in luxury mode, check out famed photographer Guy Bourdin’s holiday collection for NARS. Our favorite is the Limited Edition Promiscuous Lip Pencil Coffret:  5 shades (four matte, one gloss) + a killer makeup bag. You’ll have your pick of eye shadow palettes, but we are loving this Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood beauty. You get shimmer and matte shades for hundreds of holiday eye-look possibilities!

PAMPER SESH: Skincare brands definitely join in on the fun of holiday bundling and we suggest taking full advantage of their generosity! Like this Ole Henriksen Glow from Head to Toe Blockbuster Set which is packed full of their most popular must-haves. Let’s not forget about certain aromas that only appear once a year (you know all the sugary, spicy, bakery scents). Origins aim to please with their Best of Ginger Set which smells like an oven full of gingerbread men. Only this will make your skin soft, calorie free! We love sets that come with multiple scents to try! This Philosophy Limited Edition Hand Cream set has Homemade Honey Buns, Cranberry Medley, and Spiced Gingerbread Cookie…triple the luxe.

TRENDY TIPS: Nail fanatics will flip over some of the collections this year. You can always count on Essie to bring it on the shade front a la this holiday set. If “the more the merrier” is your motto for your varnish collection then check out newly launched Formula X for Sephora: The Twenty Two set. Twenty-two polish pretties to paint, paint and re-paint. The ELF Party Nail Cube is a budget beauty buy packed with 14 shades of jeweled toned lacquer love (other shades available). Deborah Lippmann has you covered on the glitter front this year with this Starlight Glitter Nail Lacquer Set. Shine on!

WINTER ESSENTIALS: Did someone say ’tis the season? We love us some seasonal goodies! Amp up your winter stash with Birchbox’s Limited Edition Snow Day set. When the weather outside is frightful, this box has fun goodies like comfy socks, hot chocolate and hand cream to warm up your day. Cozy up your pad with this Christmas Home Collection from Jo Malone. Three of their signature scents in candle, room spray and diffuser form. Yes please. Speaking of comfy, how amazing are these Dyptique holiday candles? With limited time only scents like indian incenseorange chai and pine bark…we think its time to stock up.

STOCKING STUFFERS: Our favorite category: the extras. Cute mini gifts perfect not just for stockings, but to have on hand for last minute swaps! So many budget friendly beauties to choose from and there is one for every scenario. Here are a few we just HAD to share. (clockwise) Body Shop’s Cranberry Joy Gift Cube,Jouer Poutin’ on the GlitzBumble and Bumble Polished Two-StepLush’s Christmas KissesCaudalie Stocking Stuffer Set

WINTER DRYNESS? NO PROB, HONEY!

post/graphic design: Norah Curlee

What better way to beat the winter blues than indulging in some beauty bits with a common denominator of: HONEY. Sure, bees are busy in spring and summer…but we can reap the benefits all winter long. Mother nature seriously knocked it out of the park with giving us beauty-junkies this versatile ingredient. Hair, skin, scent…it does it all. As having both antibacterial and moisturizing properties, honey makes a guest appearance in so many of the beauty products we crave. We’ve put together some of these sweeties that we think are the bees knees. Sorry we couldn’t resist.

1. JO MALONE NECTARINE BLOSSOM AND HONEY COLOGNE: When it comes to the scent biz, no one does it better than Jo Malone. With notes of succulent nectarine, peach, cassis, delicate spring flowers and, of course, acacia honey, this scent is playful and SO YUMMY.

2. LUSH’S FAIR TRADE HONEY SHAMPOO: Dry haired gals meet your new best friend. Remember we talked about honey being a moisture hero? Case in point, enter this shampoo. Over half of the bottle contains fair trade honey giving hair shine and luster. With all that honey you can only imagine how delicious it smells. Trust us, it’s divine.

3. FARMHOUSE FRESH HONEY HEEL GLAZE: This delicious little jar will be your savior for dry, cracked tootsies this winter. It’s an ultra intense moisturizing serum for your feet {we hear its a wonder for cracked knuckles too}. It comes with the cutest little application brush so you can slather to your hearts content!

4. RODIAL BEE VENOM EYE CREAM: OK, you caught us. So there isn’t any actual honey in this one, but we couldn’t do a post without a nod to the bees that make it all possible. The bee venom in this revolutionary eye cream immediately plumps and reduces the appearance of fine lines and puffiness. Bzzzzz….amazing.

5. KIEHL’S CREME DE CORPS BODY BUTTER: First thing, a word of warning. This stuff smells so good that you are going to want to grab a spoon and dive in {but please don’t}. Whipped soy milk and honey sink quickly into the skin to restore, protect, and soften. Definitely the creme of the crop!

6. THE BODY SHOP’S HONEY BRONZE SHIMMERING DRY OIL: We love dry oils when it comes to moisturizing the skin. Give us one with a bronzy-shimmery finish? Sold.  Lots of fair trade honey in combo with some essential oils gives that supple texture to the skin. Glow on with your bad self!

7.  LAURA MERCIER ALMOND COCONUT MILK HONEY BATH: Oh, Laura. You’ve done it again. By far the most luxurious product of the bunch; prepare to amp up bath time. It’s a decadent, foaming bath milk that will leave your skin ultra soft. A pretty sweet addition to your home-spa lineup!

HOW TO USE FACIAL OIL

POST & PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

I know there are those of you out there terrified of using oil on your face! Because I used to be you! I used to be an ingredient sergeant and if I saw oil listed anywhere, I ran for my life. Then I got educated. Mineral oil is pore-clogging and I avoid it like the plague. But most oils out there do not cause breakouts. Period. And the only way to come to this realization yourself is to cross over and try one.

Moreover, oil might actually work to clear up acne. Say what? Yes! Sometimes, especially if you fall under the “oily skin” type, your body is making more and more oil because you’re overdrying it. So you actually have dry skin now, which is devastating because now not only do you have acne, it’s really irritated on top of it and your face is desperate for oil. Since you’re not giving it any, it’s working overtime to create its own, hence the heavy oil production. As soon as you add oil to your skin regimen, it will calm down and produce less oil.

On the other side of the equation, there are those of us with dry skin from life, not from overdrying it (we actually moisturize it constantly but it’s never enough!). The dry winter season, using heaters in our cars (or space heaters under our desks) and not drinking enough water are all culprits. Which is why facial oil crucial to stopping the cycle of dry skin. And the most effective way to use it is after you apply your moisturizer. Why? Because if you apply the oil before the moisturizer, you’re preventing the moisturizer from penetrating into the skin cells  because it can’t pass through the oil. But if you apply the moisturizer first and then pat the oil on top, the oil creates a moisture barrier, sealing the moisturizer into the skin and preventing the air from making it dissipate. And if you’re really into anti-aging, try applying facial oil over your nightly glycolic acid cream or retinol! It will lock it in and you’ll instantly feel it. Genius! Here’s how to apply it (day or night, but start with just night):

TOOLS:

  • Your Favorite Moisturizer — I love Tata Harper Reparative Moisturizer because it’s 100% Natural and incredibly hydrating.
  • Facial Oil — I used Orico Superico Facial Oil on Lacy above because it’s also 100% Natural, rich with vitamins and plant oils and super nourishing for really thirsty skin.

STEPS:

  1. Pump the moisturizer a couple of times into your fingertips or the palm of your hand.
  2. Rub your fingers together to warm up the product so it soaks into your skin more easily.
  3. Spread the moisturizer all over your face and neck (please don’t forget your neck, it’s the first thing to show your age!).
  4. Pump a couple drops of the facial oil into your fingertips or the palm of your hand.
  5. Rub your fingers together to warm up the oil.
  6. Pat the oil all over your face and neck. Patting places the oil on top of the moisturizer instead of rubbing and smearing them together.

I’ve tested out dozens and dozens of facial oils out there and these are my top four favorites. Click on each link to read more about their different superpowers!