Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers ($20 and under)

Stocking StuffersI absolutely love stocking stuffers! They’re such fun, whimsical surprises. These would also make great coworker gifts as they’re cute and affordable.
  1. Faux Fur Pom Beanie from Nordstrom ($15) – This is perfect for winter and such a pretty color!
  2. Voluspa Macaron Candle from Anthropologie ($16) – Smells amazing, burns well, pretty packaging. Check, check, and check!
  3. Euphoria by Lily King ($9) – One of my favorite books ever! It’s a mix between anthropology/historical fiction and a love triangle.
  4. Cozy Socks ($9) – A cute spin on a traditional gift. I wear these all the time in the colder months. I love the Nordstrom Butter Socks and this Target set with a sleep mask.
  5. Essie Gel Couture Set ($18.50) – Pearls of Wisdom is a gorgeous shade for the holidays and this top coat lasts for over a week on my nails with no chips.
  6. Benefit Get the Pretty Started Palette ($20) – Minis of the cult classic Hoola bronzer, the new Galifornia blush, and Watt’s Up highlighter in one convenient travel palette. Review coming soon!
  7. See’s Sour Stars ($6.55) – Delicious holiday candies that aren’t your typical chocolate or peppermint.
  8. Recover Phone Case ($20) – I love the evil eye design and iridescent colors, plus a new phone case is always nice to receive.

More gift guides to come! Let me know your favorite stocking stuffers below.

Ulta Haul and First Impressions (video)

My 2nd Youtube video is up featuring a bunch of makeup, haircare, and body products from the recent Ulta Cyber Sale! Did you haul anything? Let me know your recommendations for my next shopping trip!

November Birchbox

Unboxing and first impressions

My November Birchbox finally arrived this week. I chose the curated box (which is rare because I like being surprised), but I really wanted to try the Smashbox liquid lip, Laqa & Co blush/highlighter, and Marcelle eye cream.

The Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lip in Driver’s Seat is described as a Warm Pink. However, it’s darker and more orange than I had expected. I don’t really like the color on me, but I’m still glad I could try the formula. It’s highly pigmented, long-lasting, and dries down quickly. The pointed doe foot applicator has a pocket in the center so you have enough product and don’t have to double-dip.

Laqa & Co is one of my favorite niche brands that I discovered through Birchbox years ago; I love their Lip Lubes and Avocado Lip Butters. The Laqa & Co B’Lighter in Peacher’s Daughter is interesting because it acts as a blush and highlight in one. You can see how reflective this product is when the light hits it, but the peach tint shows up as well. The texture is creamy and easy to blend as well, but on my skin tone, it’s almost too dark/pigmented for a highlight and too glowy for a blush.

The Marcelle Hydra-C Eye Contour Gel-Cream has a super lightweight texture that sinks right into the skin. It’s hydrating but doesn’t make my concealer crease thankfully. The cucumber extract helps with puffiness and vitamin C corrects wrinkles and brightening. I’ve only used it twice, so I can’t say much about those claims yet.

From the left: eye cream, body butter, and hair product

I’ve received the Juara Candlenut Body Cream before and love how thick and moisturizing it is. The scent is sweet and warm which is perfect for winter. Sadly, this sample is tiny and only lasted two uses.

My last item is the Living Proof T.B.D. Multi-tasking Styler. I had been wanting to try this and really appreciate the generous sample size. On wet hair, it is supposed to tame and smooth. On dry hair, it adds definition and, in my experience, helps with frizz as well. It also provides heat protection, so this really is a multi-tasker.

Overall I’m happy with this month and look forward to December’s box. If you’ve been wanting to try Birchbox, you can subscribe through my link and receive a free eyelash curler! If you’re already a subscriber, let me know what you received this month in a comment!

Travel-sized Product Reviews

Reviewing some cute minis

I spent the weekend in Chicago after Thanksgiving and have been using these travel-friendly products for the past few days. I recently switched up my carry-on kit after running out of several products on my last trip in October, so here are some mini reviews.

I finished up my favorite dry shampoo (Living Proof phd) and replaced it with the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk I’d saved from a recent Birchbox. This one is so chalky – even though it’s for dark hair. It takes care of oiliness pretty well, but you really have to work it through your hair to get rid of the tinted beige powder. Maybe it works better for blondes, but I’m definitely going back to the Living Proof one which is really effective and hardly leaves a white-cast.

For skincare, my usual routine is sometimes lacking on a whirlwind trip, so I always bring a mask for a quick fix. Flying dries out my skin and can make it look dull, so I look for a moisturizing or brightening mask. This Fresh Vitamin Nectar Mask has AHAs for resurfacing and makes my skin look glowy. The texture is pretty chunky with bits of crushed oranges and lemons. It smells refreshing and only takes 10 minutes.

One of my favorite cold weather scents is the Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Coco perfume. I have the full size and bring this little rollerball with me when I travel. I love vanilla but don’t want to smell too much like cookies; the addition of coconut adds a tropical warmth that’s not too sweet. The scent also lingers for over a day which I love.

A makeup mini I’ve been loving is the W3ll People Bio Brightener – a pretty, natural highlighter. The cream formula is blendable, glowy, and looks great on eyes too. The full size comes in a convenient stick which I’m thinking of adding to my next Birchbox order because this sample is over year old (🙈🙊).

Mostly hits and one miss, so overall that’s not too bad for this trip!

 

Sephora VIB Sale Haul (video)

Hi there! I’ve uploaded my first YouTube video featuring some makeup and skincare I picked up during the Sephora sale. For more in-depth reviews, see my last couple posts here on the blog.