beauty beauty beat

Beauty Beat - Holiday Gift Guide Edition

Tuesday, December 08, 2015 Jen Lezan

 It's about that time readers! Time to share my monthly roundup of products that I've enjoyed and a special highlight of some products that are must tries for your holiday hair needs. This Beauty Beat Holiday Edition is focusing on stocking stuffer ideas for the beauty maven in your life and products to work with for the perfect holiday hair.

Beauty products are such a great option for stocking stuffers because they are often small, compact and fun! You can buy a bunch of small things, focus on packaged sets or roundup spa treatments for at home.

Stocking Stuffers For Her


Boots No. 7 Instant Glamour Collection  - Boots is one of those drugstore brands that goes above and beyond the call of makeup duty. It's products are beautifully packaged, high quality and an amazing price point. This beautiful six-piece set is a must-have for the beauty lover on your list. It has everything you need to create a glamorous look, including a step-by-step guide that takes you through application. The kit features No7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eye Pencil in Black, Limited Edition Lip Gloss, Stay Perfect Eyeshadow, Natural Blush Tint Powder and Blusher Brush. The shadows are a gorgeous shade of tawny beige and a deep chocolate brown with a touch of shimmer that build up and blend out easily.



Skinn Cosmetics - I've talked about Skinn Cosmetics in past Beauty Beats, but I just can't help myself. The brand is just so damn well made. The products are formulated by industry pro - Dimitri James and he put his years of experience into developing products that are high quality. His goal when he started Skinn was to make the finest skincare formulas and bring them to the world at prices real people could afford—and he’s proud to say he’s accomplished that mission. As the company’s founder, he’s involved in every step of creating new formulations, from visiting the organic farms that grow some of their ingredients, to traveling the world to promote Skinn and learn new beauty trends.

The latest items I was able to test out included the primer, the latest shade and blush collection in flushed, the plasma soft focus FXblush  and setting powder. I've used many primers and this is by far one of the best formulated versions. I haven't had any skin sensitivity and it feels like silk on your skin! I apply Skinn’s Orchid Gel Mattefying Treatment before I apply foundation to help reduce the visibility of pores and imperfections and keep the shine at bay.

The Shade & Blush Collection in Flushed  is a great addition to your purse as it is compact, but has blush and a beautiful array of highly pigmented shadows that are perfect for cold weather glam looks. The FXblush is a beautifully formulated cream blush that is perfect for layering. Start with just a bit and rub it on the apples of your cheeks and layer on a powder blush for lasting power. And finally, you want to ensure all your hard work is built to last by setting your makeup with Skinn’s Plasma Fusion Setting Veil. This lightweight formula infused with anti-aging properties to ensure that your skin appears more balanced. This is a great setting powder - it goes on translucent and leaves you looking matte without looking like you got into a food fight with flour.

Frownies - Aging is a fact of life and the best way to go about it is to do it gracefully. I turned 30 this year and although I can't say I'm really concerned with my skin, I have noticed fine lines here and there. Mostly, those lines are on my forehead. I think it stems from the fact that I am a natural worrier and I tend to furrow my brow when I'm thinking really hard, which is pretty much all the time. So, when I had the chance to try out the frownies product, I was worried about it being a gimmick. Then, the researcher in me kicked in. This brand has been around for over 125 years! There had to be something behind that.

Launched in 1889 by Margaret Krosen, the product was developed for her daughter Alice who had formed frown lines after years of concentrated playing in her career as a concert pianist. Initially just created for themselves, Alice inspired her mother to take them public. Frownies Facial Patches for the forehead and between the eyes and Wrinkies for the corners of the eyes and mouth, remained a relatively well-kept beauty secret between Broadway and Hollywood stars and makeup artists.



The way the product works is ingenious. Frownies apply the basic principles of fitness by working the muscles of the face. The patches work like a splint for the face and train the skin to smooth out creases by regaining the control of the muscles. With all the talk of comsetic surgery, I think these are a fun addition to your beauty routine. The patches are made using natural skin friendly materials that adhere to the face with veggie based adhesive. The brand also carries an assortment of anti-aging and skin care products that have evolved over the years and are organic and non-gmo.

After using them for about the 2 weeks, I can see some difference in the overall appearance of my skin. I'm also upping my skincare for winter by adding in thicker moisturizers and continuing my weekly exfoliation to ensure the deadskin cells aren't dulling my face. I would also suggest checking out their moisturizing aroma therapy cellulite cream. It doesn't magically make the cellulite go away in one night, but it does tighten and firm the skin over time! Add some squats in and you're bound to see a difference in the feel of your bottom and thighs!

Lisa Hoffman Trio Perfume - Lisa Hoffman's world travels have definitely influenced the beauty brand she has launched. Her fragrances each of an underlying story that is meant to sweep you away to an exotic location just through the power of scent. Each fragrance is inspired by a specific adventure. This season, Lisa is offering a trio of perfumes. Each trio includes three travel sized versions of Lisa's award winning fragrances. Featuring complimentary scents, the Scent Trios allow you to explore the world of Lisa Hoffman to find your new signature scent.




Available in two unique gift sets ($49 each), the trios are the perfect gift for the fragrance lover in your life. The complimentary scents can be worn alone or layered for a more complex, unique fragrance. Choose your fragrance adventure with the refreshing scents of the Serenity Trio or the sultry, exotic scents of the Floral Trio.The exotic scents are perfect for those of you who like darker notes whereas the serenity trio offers brighter vibrant notes.


Spinster Sisters Soap - A hot shower is such a simple luxury.  I love complimenting it with aromatic soaps for a touch of luxury and relaxation after a long day at work or a particularly tough run. The Spinster sisters have some of the best smelling and skin nourishing soaps on the market. While they do have your typical girly scents like oatmeal and vanilla and lavender, they recently released a set that is perfect for the guys!




Spinster Sisters introduces "Grit and Suds" a gift-wrapped box of four all natural, handcrafted soaps produced with renewable energy and feature some items that are just manly enough for the gentlmen in your life.  This set included:

Beer Soap - Spinster Sisters collaborated with local microbreweries, including Golden City Brewery and Mountain Toad, to create new blends for its rotating batch of Beer Soap. Instead of water, beer is used in the soap making process, with hops and barley mixed in for exfoliation.

Workshop Soap - A proprietary blend of essential oils result in a smoky scent with hints of sandalwood, citrus and vetier, while pumice and oatmeal are added for a good clean scrub.

Pine Tar- Using creosote-free pine tar, Spinster Sisters creates a soap with a strong campfire/woodsy scent. Pine Tar soap also helps soothe skin irritants such as bug bites.

FeetTreat Pedi by Look Beauty - If you like an at home spa treatment that is specially formulated to give your footsies some TLC, then look no further than FeetTreat Pedi. This is one of those products that takes a little bit to work. This Exfoliating Foot Mask sloughs off dead and dry skin (all your calluses will be gone in a week after your treatment -seriously feet peeling bliss), leaving feet feeling soft and hydrated. Leave the foot mask on for 60-90 minutes and let the formula soak in and do the rest. Depending on the shape of your feet, it may take a couple of days for the peeling action to set it, but oh it will happen. 

Secret Sexy by Simone is a skincare line made of essential oils. It's used for anti-aging, scaring, acne, rosacea, and more! The products are all organic, and work for all skin tones. It's a fantastic moisturizer that nourishes your skin and helps aid in skin healing. After being diagnosed with Cancer Simone wanted to be more careful about what she put in and on her body. She developed her first oil, Magic Mender, to reduce scaring after her double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. Her second oil, Pink Lemonade, helped get her through 6 weeks of daily radiation with nearly no residual effect on my skin. Pink Lemonade is my favorite. The scent is light and airy and the the coconut oil a lemon essential oil soaks beautifully into the skin.

Prep Cosmetics for Girls - If you have a little lady in your life, who is just starting to get into the concept of routines, PREP cosmetics is the perfect product range to introduce her to skincare. The brand encourages young girls to take ownership of their skin, providing beauty basics that jump start an effective regimen. This summer, I started implementing an evening and morning skincare routine with my 8 year old. We've been discussing health and grooming in Girlscouts and this has been the first year we started talking about why it is important to take care of your skin. She absolutely loves the PREP skincare line. It's gentle on her skin, but gets the grime off and the body lotion and lip gloss with sunscreen have been new additions to her purse that she takes to school during these cold weather months. The lipgloss is clear so it is age appropriate and moisturizing. The lotion has helped keep her hands feeling hydrated as well.





Hydropeptide firming lotion is another product that is helpful when it comes to taking care of your skin during the cold weather months. HydroPeptide’s Firming Moisturizer addresses and corrects the appearance of imperfections including scars, discoloration, stretch marks and wrinkles. The formula features anti-cellulite peptides and caffeine to effectively diminish the appearance of cellulite, while ultra-nourishing cocoa butter hydrates, replenishes and rejuvenates to lock in smooth, tightened skin. With continued use, there is a noticeable difference in the overall appearance of your skin. This is a great product to add to your day and night time bath routine.

 Holiday Hair

Getting the prefect holiday style is simple when you have the right products. The colder weather tends to dry out tresses, so it is important to stay hydrated and keep your hair moisturized in the winter. A good shampoo and conditioner, a leave in conditioner that doesn't drag your hair down and products that help style to perfection are all great items to have on hand for the holidays.

Infusium 23 gives you salon hair care right in your home at a bargain price. During the cold season, it's all about strengthening and repairing. The Infusium23 Repair + Renew Collection ($6.99 - $8.99, Target) helps to Repair and strengthen stressed hair with the damage-defying powers of Infusium 23 Repair & Renew collection with Keratin proteins and Argan Oil. Protein-rich Keratin fortifies hair while Argan Oil prevents future damage. Scientifically formulated to accelerate the renewal process, Repair & Renew delivers brilliantly transformed, healthier hair. Using this daily or 3 times a week, pending your hair needs, your hair regains shine, feels stronger and isn't as limp.

1907 Copper Core Thermal Round Brushes by Beauty Brands are the perfect addition to your styling arsenal. These copper beauties are more than just a pretty brush, they help cut down styling time. Featuring a unique copper core barrel, these brushes take style to new heights with unparalleled advantages over brushes with traditional aluminum ceramic coating. The copper coated barrel ensures even heat distribution to dry hair 30% faster, while reducing hand and wrist fatigue and minimizing hair damage. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial, destroying 88% of bacteria, preventing dandruff, itching and flaking. These brushes are a wonder to work with, make styling quicker and create a beautiful shine!



Pro Beauty Tools Blow Dryer- when it comes to heat, the less time you expose your hair to it the better. Because of this, it is important to utilize heat tools that are efficient and in turn effective. The Pro Beauty Tools dryer has a high powered airflow that allows you to save time which exposes your hair to less heat and in turn less damage. This is a really lightweight, high power dryer that gets the job done. It has helped cut my styling time, even more so, when combined with the 1907 copper barrel brush.

Nios Shield leave in conditioner - I like using the Nios leave in conditioner on my wet hair prior to styling. This leave in conditioner offers year-round color and texture protection with a light, natural hold combined with SPF 15 sunscreen. Vitamin E and B5 hydrate and nourish your hair, while the built-in SPF sunscreen protects hair color and texture and scalp sunburn. The Moroccan argan oil helps tame frizz and leaves a healthy, shiny glow. I apply it from midshaft to my ends and style as usual. I also combine it with Nios Shield Whipped Hair Gel for a stronger hold. Moroccan argan oil, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B5 ensure sexy, vibrant, and healthy hair while the built-in SPF sunscreen protects hair color and texture and scalp sunburn. This gel styles with a medium-strong hold and is formulated for styling short hair or for adding volume or hold to long hair;




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