Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Guide...a Relaxed Approach!


Above: Jethro embodying the Valentine's Day spirit.
With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, the frenzy of gift giving is on the cusp of reaching a fever pitch.   It's my aim to reduce the stress of this enterprise with a relaxed approach...lovely, completely usable gifts that reflect both style and substance for you and/or someone you love!  

Kindly scroll on for gifts from $21 to $500...

Above: The Gressa Lip Boost in Bare...an extremely well-executed Vegan cosmetics option!
1. Gressa Bare Lip Boost ($21): I have sung the praises of the ultra-organic Gressa line in the past (HERE) and its latest product, the Bare Lip Boost, is divine.  Infused with 100% certified Vegan cacao butter, sea buckthorn, coconut and castor oils and plush nude pigment, this is the perfect non-sticky lip option for all hours of the day.  Rich enough to be a hydrating balm, opaque enough to pass as a lipstick, it's the healthy embodiment of the best of both worlds!

Above: A swatch of Gressa Bare Lip Boost in direct sunlight...a lovely blend of pink, peach and nude.
Above: My small two drawer Muji in the bathroom.
2. Muji Small Two Drawer Case ($15.95 and up, also reviewed HERE): Perennially sold out (I suggest calling a Muji store location in your area to track this down!), the two drawer option is perfect for small spaces like the bedside table or bathroom counters.  I love putting my makeup "regulars" of the week in the one in my bathroom for easy access.  The one on my bedside holds my glasses (a must!), a plethora of lip balms and a favorite nail polish or two for late night painting session.  Organization is the gift that keeps on giving ; ) 
Above: The Fake Bake Flawless Kit.
3. Fake Bake Flawless Gift Set ($24.99): This highly-rated self-tanner line is known to create a believable glow in a single application.  It boasts a bronze tint that allows you to know where it's been applied and a fast-drying, transfer-resistant finish that is both paraben and preservative free.  The Flawless Gift Set comes with a professional mitt and a bonus gloss (!) and mirror, especially for Valentine's Day.  I will be doing a full review of this product in the very near future. 

Above: A stunning swatch of Le Metier de Beaute Hydra Creme lip color in Cardinale.
4. Le Metier de Beaute Hydra Creme Matte Lip Color in Cardinale ($25, reviewed HERE): This is the quintessential red for those of you Valentine's Day purists.  The smooth, moisturizing formula resists feathering and the classic true red is flattering on every skin tone.  As reds go, there may be nothing better! 

Above: Amore is an excellent option for nude lip color lovers. 
5. Le Metier de Beaute Hydra Creme Lip Color Matte in Amore ($25): If nude, rather than red, is your cup of tea, then the LMdB Hydra Creme lipstick in Amore must be mentioned.  In addition to its name being utterly Valentine's-inspired, the smooth, matte pink-peach-nude hybrid is the ultimate to create full, delicately-tinted lips. 

Above: Badrick's Beard kit caters to those who like a little hair on their face.
6. Badrick's Beard Kit ($30): With the polar vortex in full swing, men of America are embracing beards at an unprecedented rate.  In turn, why not show them some love with the Badrick's Better Beard Kit? This one-two punch features the Mug Scrub, which combats dry skin, clogged pores and imbedded facial hair and DaBalm, an antibacterial formula designed to encourage healthy beard growth while pampering the skin underneath.  This kit also comes with a Badrick's towel for good measure!

Above: The Koh Gen Do Aqua Illuminator...liquid light in a bottle.
7. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator in Sheer Beige ($39, also reviewed HERE): This is, hands down, the best liquid highlighter I have experienced to date.  Like liquid rose gold, the light formula seamlessly blends into the skin, adding a believable glow that looks amazing on its own or mixed into foundation.  Since receiving it in the late fall, I have already run through half of this bottle...truly lovely for those seeking a radiant, dewy complexion. 

Above: Three of my favorite Surratt Beauty items...together they create a dramatic cat eye and pale pink lips.
8. Surratt Beauty Favorites (prices range from $32-42, also reviewed HERE and HERE): I have loved everything I've tried from the Surratt Beauty line thus far; that being said, three carefully curated favorites that would make but a beautiful Valentine's Day gift are the Lipslique in Bon Bon (a light marshmallow pink), the Autographique liner (the smoothest, darkest, most indelible liquid line around) and the Lip Lustre in Teinte (a pale lip color lover's dream, as this shade makes everything a lighter, creamier version of itself).  Sold separately but recommended together, his trio is an excellent foray into the Surratt Beauty line!

Above: Swatches of my curated Surratt Beauty collection.
Above: The By Terry Spring 2014 Collection...gorgeous, indeed!
9. Anything from the By Terry Spring 2014 Collection (prices range from $58-$117, also discussed HERE):  The CC Lumi-Serum, Cellularose Blush Glace and 10th Anniversary Baume de Rose are sure to bring some love into your life...one simply cannot go wrong with these gems! Thorough reviews of each of these products in the very near future! 

Above: The Illuminage pillowcase releases copper ions to reduce wrinkles.
10. The Illuminage Pillow Case ($60, also mentioned HERE): I've been using this copper oxide-infused pillowcase for a few months now and am pleased to awaken to noticeably smoother skin.  When I side sleep, the dents in my face are far less pronounced and I love the fact that the technology behind this wonder (copper ions) ensures that my skin is getting a proper level of moisture!  Also, the smooth texture of this case has resulted in far less tangles in my super long, extremely tangle-prone hair.  A daily luxury worth investing in!

Above: The sophisticated,  neutral champagne tone of the Illuminage is sure to compliment any bedding color scheme.
Above: The EvolutionMan Sports Guy Kit...masculine and utilitarian.
11. EvolutionMan Sports Guy Kit ($80...a $131 value): For the active man in your life, consider this masculinely-branded EvolutionMan kit, cleverly packaged in bold black to welcome even the most resistant male into the skincare fold!  Facial wash, moisturizer and lip balm are collectively housed in a handy dopp bag that's perfect for travel and the sports bottle is a bonus, sure to be used on a hike or at the gym.  


12. Tweezerman Luxe Edition Pink Crystal Slant Tweezers ($100): These ultra-precise stainless steel tweezers are embellished with bright Swarovski crystals, making them the most impossibly luxe tweezers in town.  For those that value groomed brows and a love a unique statement piece, this is a worthy splurge, indeed. 

Above: Dior Dream Skin works on both short and long term levels to fight dullness and combat the effects of aging.
13. Dior Capture Totale Dream Skin ($110): This newly released skincare gem fights aging while instantly perfecting the skin.  It smoothes pores, reduces fine lines and brightens the canvas, making it aptly ready for makeup application.  I love how quickly it absorbs, leaving a matte yet slightly dewy visage in its wake.  Full review soon! 

Above: Dream Skin is a pale pink but once dispensed, it completely and invisibly blends into the skin.
Above: The Quasar MD Plus is the strongest red light on the market for private consumers. 
14. Quasar MD Plus ($795, also discussed HERE): Is this expensive?  Absolutely!  That being said, regular treatment sessions with this red light laser offer the same medical grade results that one might spend thousands of dollars on at a medical spa.  After using this faithfully for the past few months, I have noticed a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, a increase in collagen (or firmess/plumpness) and an heightened sense of evenness in my complexion.  I love the fact that I can use this in the comfort of my own home and am truly impressed by my results thus far.  I concede...it's a major gift (akin to jewelry perhaps), but absolutely well worth it. 

Above: The Quasar MD Plus comes with a travel case and charger.
Above: Jenny Patinkin brushes...the utilitarian All-Over Face is in the foreground.
15. Jenny Patinkin Brushes ($22-$465): These stunning, Japanese-crafted natural hair brushes embody thriving Makeup Artist Jenny Patinkin's "Lazy Perfection" approach to beauty; this perspective celebrates beauty as a simple, accessible process in which minimal effort can yield maximum results (a girl after my own heart!).  Two of my absolute favorites from this collection include the All-Over Face Brush, which can be used to apply foundation, contour, blush and powder with veritable ease and the Domed Multi-Blender Brush, capable of seamlessly blending concealer and eyeshadow (both cream and powder) to the point of "complete oneness" with the skin.  Her brilliant travel cylinders (shown below) are additional genius...they make for beautiful brush holders on your vanity, but when snapped together create the quintessential travel case to protect the precious cargo.  Full review and video soon!

Above: Jenny Patinkin brushes resplendent in their storage cylinders...so chic!
Above and below: Wearing a collection of products from this guide including the Koh Gen Do Aqua Illuminator, Gressa Bare Lip Boost, Surratt Beauty Favorites...skin, courtesy of regular doses of the Dior Dream Skin, the Quasar MD Plus and the Iluminage Pillowcase ;  ) 

Bottom Line: Valentine's Day gift giving should be effortless.  Since we are privileged to live at a time in history when a host of incredible beauty products are at our disposal, the beauty lovers of the world have an infinite supply of options both for gift giving and receiving!  I truly hope you enjoyed this Valentine's Day gift guide and can't wait to hear what is on YOUR list of desirables ; ) 

xoxo,

--The Beauty Professor

**A few products mentioned  are PR samples provided for review (the rest purchased by me), however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  This post contains  affiliate links; my disclosure policy contains additional details on how these work.



6 comments:

  1. I've been wanting a quasar for years! A girl can dream!

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    Replies
    1. The Quasar is an amazing investment, Erin...hope your dream comes true sometime soon ; )

      xoxo,

      --The Beauty Professor

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  2. Your makeup looks flawless - what foundation are you using here? Any concealer?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I am wearing the Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Cream Foundation and a bit of the Cle de Peau concealer in Beige (two lifetime favorite formulas!).

      xx,

      --The Beauty Professor

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  3. Great list.. Now everyday should be Valentine's day :) Have a fantastic one :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you and I wholeheartedly agree ; )

      Have a beautiful Valentine's Day...xoxo,

      --The Beauty Professor

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