When it comes to last minute shopping, my go-to gifts are almost always beauty related. Whether it’s stocking stuffers for mom or that secret santa you just can’t crack, a pretty little box o’ beauty is enough to make any girl swoon. Make no mistake – one size does not fit all. Would you dare give your au natural sister a set of artificial skincare products? I think not. The good news is that during the holiday season our favorite brands really lay on the loot, most offering stellar deals & discounts. The bad news? All those gift sets can be a real pain to weed through. I’ve pulled my favorite into one collection, as has fellow OTY Expert Heather. Don’t forget to check out what our community members are quick to pick when it comes to gifting. Read of for a taste of the magic.
1. For the Flower Child: Claudalie Divine Oil Set
If the aforementioned crunch rang any bells, try grabbing this gift set from Claudalie. The company prides itself on creating a natural and environmentally friendly product, and for each Divine Oil that is purchased a tree is planted in the Amazon.
2. For the Lipstick Lover: Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar
Beauty blogs are a buzz with this infamous product. Combining the “longevity of a lipstick with the easy application of a gloss,” this Lip Tar gift set is not for the faint of heart.
3. For the Beauty Beginner: Sephora Prestige Luxe Brush Set
If you’ve got a buddy who just needs to go back to basics, surprise her with this excellent brush set – it’s amazing what a great set of bristles will do. It’s pricey, so reserve this pretty prez for those you truly adore.
4. For the Hard Worker: L’Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet
Winter can be tough, and it’s even tougher on our hands. I never leave the house without (at least) one tube of hand lotion. Gift this yummy set of mini hand creams (in scents like almond, mango and rose petal) to keep her running smoothly.
5. For the Nail Art Enthusiast: Sephora by OPI Tinsel Town Collector’s Set
You know that friend whose nails are always polished to perfection? Well I bet she’d swoon over these dazzling shades from Sephora by OPI, packaged in miniature bottles that help avoid the dreaded dry-out. Conveniently, OTY is giving this set away in our holiday nail art contest, so shoot us an entry and you just might win it for free.
It’s no secret that the holiday season takes a toll on our minds (helllllo relatives) and our bodies (helllllo Christmas cookies). If you’re a product junkie like me, you may find yourself digging through that suitcase you call a makeup bag in search of the few items that will keep you sane in the coming weeks. December comes chock full o’ cocktails and chaos, causing everything from under eye circles to a lack-luster complexion. Whether you’re suffering from flakey skin or stinging cuticles, there are a couple old standbys to help ease the pain. Personally, I’m not sure what I would do without Dr. Perricone’s Super Hyper Hydrator. This is the moisturizer to beat all moisturizers. Not only does it smell good enough to eat (coconut, anyone?), but what you’re smelling comes from naturally derived extracts and oils. And forget about greasy residue – after leaving its adorable glass jar, it sinks right into my skin never to be seen again.
So now that your skin is happy, how do we solve the aforementioned holiday dilemmas? Well, our OTY experts have gone on record with their most trusted products. I’ve also taken the liberty of assembling a little collection of the top ranking holiday-themed items from across the beauty board, incase you’re in need of some additional inspiration. Because, unlike the above image implies, it does not snow beauty products. But don’t worry – we’re working on it.
We’ve heard it time and time again- when it comes to beauty products, choose oil-free. For those of us dealing with acne, this was more of a requirement than a request. So when the market suddenly flooded with oils claiming to not only moisturize our skin, but unclog pores, reduce redness and increase collagen production – we had to wonder. Compared to creams and lotions, which often use wax to retain moisture and protect against the elements, oils help to naturally nourish your skin’s outer layer without preventing moisture absorption. With the popularity of these products steadily increasing, it’s about time we checked some of them out. Whether you’re suffering from an uneven complexion or the effects of aging, you’re bound to find an oil that suits your skin type. Don’t forget to check out my OTY collection to see what other oils made my list.
During the summer, our skincare concerns were focused on sun protection and decreasing shine. Now that it is almost winter, we have to reconsider the products we relied on before and address new skin issues that come from bitter winds and cold temperatures. To combat winter’s frost, I’ve rounded up the best moisturizers on the market. Don’t assume that one cream suits all skin types. Like any good product, these not only hydrate but address other common skin problems as well. Want more moisturizing ideas? See my Oh That’s You moisturizer collection.
I’m not much of a makeup junkie, but when our OTY Beauty editor, Emily, tipped me off about Zuneta, I was actually psyched. For someone like me who tends to stick to the basics (foundation, blush, black liner) it was cool to be able to watch a tutorial video as I was shopping the products to learn how to wear them correctly. And even if you’re still not sure after that, head to their “Ask” section to submit your own personal beauty Q’s. Now that’s online shopping.
I spotted a few of my favorite brands (Korres, Malin + Goetz) right away along with a whole slew of newbies. This is definitely the place to go the next time you want to make a well-informed beauty splurge.
Want more Style Radar? Check out my collection on OTY here!
As part of my Less Common Beauty Treatment series, I gave advice on treating acne with a professional blue light therapy. Going to the dermatologist for treatment isn’t your only option. Recently there has been an influx of blue light therapy devices you can use in the comfort of your own home. Here are the key facts you need to know:
For the final installment of my Less Common Beauty Treatment Series, I’ll be discussing how you can get rid of unsightly breakouts with blue light therapy.
About: Blue light therapy works by killing acne-causing bacteria in the sebaceous (oil) glands. Blue is the most common wavelength used because of its strong infection fighting properties. In addition to combating acne, blue wavelengths also shrink enlarged pores, help prevent future breakouts, and promote relaxation. Red wavelengths are sometimes used alongside of blue, as they reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Prior to treatment, your doctor may apply a cream that will make your skin more sensitive to light in order to increase effectiveness. Your dermatologist will often target acne using a handheld device, with sessions lasting for approximately 15 minutes. Goggles are worn during treatment to prevent potential damage to the retina.
Cost: Blue light therapy isn’t cheap. It will require multiple sessions in order to notice a significant improvement in your skin, and each session generally starts at $100. Most people are looking at 3 to 6 sessions, depending on the severity of their acne.
Side Effects: Redness and swelling are common, especially if your skin is sensitive.
Effectiveness: The results can vary widely depending on the severity of your acne and the number of treatments you undergo. It is more effective on mild to moderate acne, not including blackheads, whiteheads or cysts. Additionally, while we can help alleviate the symptoms, there is no cure for acne. Blue light therapy can help stop future breakouts and is still a fairly effective method used in conjunction with other treatments, including oral and topical medications. Looking for more acne advice? Check out our our beauty editor’s trials and tribulations with her troublesome skin.
Well, here we are: September. Cliché as it sounds, I cannot believe we are once again rounding the corner of another autumnal season. But ready or not, here comes fall, and with it shorter days and nippier temperatures. While the need for bronzer and body oil fades a little further into our past, we find ourselves craving lotions over serums and rich plums over soft pinks. True – my beauty regimen remains relatively consistent when it comes to basics (Lancome concealer, Clinique moistuizer), but each month I like to audition a few newbies to join the ranks, perhaps even winning a coveted spot on my dresser. Though I do generally have a “less is more” beauty mentality, I’d be lying if I said the new Essie collection or Chanel shades don’t make me a little weak in the knees. That being said, I’ve decided to create a monthly beauty column spotlighting a handful of products that I’ve deemed worthy for the coming 29-31 days (and maybe even beyond.) So without further ado, here are the lucky six chosen for the September edition of my monthly must-haves: Read More
If, like me, you’re looking forward to jetting off to someplace new during the upcoming long weekend, you are going to have to face the tedious process of airport proofing your dopp kit. With the 3oz and under rule going strong, the last thing you want is to have to toss your favorite pricey products into the trash. Luckily, since mini containers became mandatory our favorite brands have stepped up their game, making the hunt for quality, bite-sized beautifiers that much easier. I’ve found the best place to hunt for these bad boys is your local Ulta beauty supplier. Of course, if you’re looking to save some cash, simply squeeze a bit of your favorite products into a set of smaller bottles, like these from Japonesque. Another tip: Sephora has a section reserved for travel sized goodies, so if you’ve got a little extra time, feel free to peruse this page for higher end products. Below are my own personal travel size must-haves, along with some perfect prepackaged sets.