Odds + ends: Seven small filler gifts for the holidays

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So you have your major gifts down but need those smaller, filler gifts?

I don’t actually celebrate Christmas and contrary to popular belief, I don’t get eight presents when it’s Hanukkah time. Usually I’ll get one big one and then two or three little ones. Last year I was tasked with getting my boyfriend little things for his stocking. I ended up getting him car wash gift certificates from my dog (who made a mess of his back seat) and candy.

If gift cards aren’t your jam (they can be so impersonal, plus the recipient will forever know how much you spent on them), there are tons of small items that are so cute and would make amazing gifts.

eos

EOS Holiday 2016 Limited Edition Three-Pack

Who doesn’t need lip balm!? EOS is one of my favourite brands to gift since they smell delish, keep your lips moisturized, and they are the cutest things to pull out of your bag.

This holiday three-pack (also available as a duo and single in their vanilla bean set), includes the Visibly Soft Honey Apple, as well as Organic Wildberry and Passion Fruit lip balms.

If you’ve never tried an EOS lip balm, their organic formula is 95 per cent organic and 100 per cent natural. Each balm includes vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil.  The Visibly Soft formula is 99 per cent natural and is enriched with natural conditioning oils, shea butter and vitamins C&E.

fab-skincare

First Aid Beauty FAB Delights set

If you’re looking for amazing skincare, take a gander at First Aid Beauty.  I received one of their holiday sets a couple years ago from Sephora and this brand is seriously top notch. Although they have a ton of different sets available, this two-piece collection includes a deluxe size Ultra Repair Cream and a tinted version of their Ultra Repair Lip Therapy.

Both of these products come in different scents from the original formulas. The Ultra Repair Cream, which hydrates and provides immediate relief and long-lasting protection of dry skin, is perfect for not only your face, but all over your body as well. It’s available in the Vanilla Citron scent, which will have you wanting to smell the container all day. The Ultra Repair Lip Therapy comes in the colour Rosy Red, which is a long-lasting lip balm in a semi-matte finish.

house-of-lashes

House of Lashes Holiday Gem Lash Set

This one will get any girl who loves makeup over the moon. In case you didn’t know, Sephora has a collab with House of Lashes and for the holidays they have released this amazing little set which includes a gold-tinted eyelash case with a set of lashes and two little lash glues.

I’ve tried the House of Lashes x Sephora lashes before and they are quite amazing. They apply very naturally so you’ll have people thinking all night if those are your real lashes. Plus, the case is totally something you’ll want to keep in your collection to house all your favourite faux lashes.

The set also includes two minis of their lash adhesive, a black and natural one, which I’ve heard is amazing, but haven’t had the opportunity to try out yet.

You can find this set at Sephora (run, don’t walk since it’s sold out online).

sephora-small-palette

Sephora Collection The Romantic Eyeshadow Palette

I received this palette a couple years ago and still use it for travel since it’s so small.  A little bigger than a credit card, this opens up to eight shadows both iridescent and matte formulas.

There is a good selection of shadows in here, both for warm and cool looks, plus the envelope style will totally have your recipient wanting to pull it out of any bag they toss it into.

Find it at Sephora on sale for C$9.

sephora-stuff

Sephora Collection Sparkle & Shine Eyelash Curler, Sparkle and Shine Mini Multitasker Brush and Gnome for the Holidays Airbrush Sponge Set

These Sephora Collection items are all sold separately, but make excellent stocking stuffers!

The Sparkle & Shine Lash Curler is a sparkly twist on their classic version.  I’ve used their lash curlers before and found them quite similar to the Shu Uemura ones, but at a fraction of the price.  Pick up this glittery gem for C$23.

The Sephora Collection Mini Multitasked Brush #45.5 is another product I’ve received previous years and still use in my travel makeup bag. This brush, which comes in a glittery case, is perfect for foundation, loose powder, bronzer, blush, highlight, etc.  It really is a jack of all trades and definitely a product everyone should keep in their kit. Unfortunately it’s sold out online but I’m sure your local Sephora store will have it.

Finally, the Gnome for the Holidays Airbrush Sponge Set doubles as a hangable ornament and contains three makeup sponges from Sephora in different sizes. Obviously the Beauty Blender is still queen in the sponge world (although the Real Techniques sponges give them a run for their money), but Sephora has definitely been upping their game with these must-have applicators.  Their sponges used to be quite stiff and not very bouncy, however, recently they have been a lot more softer, applying cream and powder products very naturally. This set is no longer on Sephora online, but you may still be able to find it in stores (retails for C$23).

If you’re stuck on what to give someone for their stocking this year, there are tons of beauty options out there. Let me know what catches your eye!

What are you gifting for small gifts this year?

Please note, I was sent these products from PR. All opinions are my own.

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Fresh + clean: Three skincare gifts for men

men-titleShopping for men can be hard. Of course there’s the typical gifts of socks, cologne, gift cards, anything beer related, but with barbering being so popular right now, men have seemed to step up their skincare game.

Gone are the days of just soap and water (okay, not really), and lots of guys are turning to beauty products for smoother skin and more polished facial hair. Us women have known it all along, but suddenly skincare is making a comeback in the men’s world and there’s tons of brands and products out there to help your guy look more clean shaven and have amazing skin.

Since this is a beauty blog first and foremost, I took a look at what’s out there for men and let me tell you, there’s tons! From beard oils to shaving creams to face cleansers, here are my top three skincare gifts to give the man in your life this season.

groom

Les industries Groom Shaving Care Set

If you love Canadian-made products (who doesn’t?!), this Montreal-based men’s skincare and shaving company has come out with the perfect set to gift anyone who cares about maintaining their facial hair.

Handcrafted from natural ingredients, Groom’s products contain no parabens, no artificial perfumes, colouring agents or petrolatum. They are also small-batch produced (super exclusive) and not tested on animals.

Since this is a Canadian company and not as well known as others out there, gift their shaving care gift set, which includes a selection of beloved products.  This set retails for C$80 and includes full sizes of their shaving cream (145 ml), aftershave balm (90 ml), and minis of their aftershave splash (15 ml) and protective shaving oil (7 ml). There’s also a branded shaving towel in the box, which really ties the whole set together.

You can order this set, and browse their other products, at their site, lesindustriesgroom.com. If you would like to see the products in person, visit their site to find a retailer near you.

clarisonic

Clarisonic Alpha Fit Cleansing Device

Clarisonic is the number-one face cleansing brush in the world, so it’s about time that the brand came out with a device just for men.

The Alpha Fit Cleansing Device is engineered exclusively for men’s skin. I believe this is the first Clarisonic targeted just for men, and it’s geared to get their skin cleaner and healthier looking. This is perfect to pair with the shaving sets I mentioned here as the Alpha Fit cleanses six-times better than hands alone while prepping the face and neck for a closer, smoother shave (meaning that the skincare products will work way better on your guys’ skin).

This device retails for C$229 and it’s different from the other Clarisonic as there is no handle. This device fits right in the palm of the hand and it also comes in the classic version as well, just in case you want his and hers.

jack-black

Jack Black Beard Grooming Kit

I talk about Jack Black products a lot on here because I know they are amazing for men. They items can be a bit pricey, but they have a set for the holidays which would be amazing to gift under the tree.

The Beard Grooming Kit includes three essentials for keeping facial hair in check. First cleanse skin with the Pure Clean Facial Cleanser (3 oz.), then shave using the Beard Lube Conditioning Shave (3 oz.), then condition your skin with the Beard Oil (1 oz.)

This set retails for C$43 and you can find it at Hudson’s Bay, Sephora, or Jack Black’s site. Although these aren’t the full size of the bottles, they are about half and are available in these sizes for individual sale. If you were to buy all these products separately though, you would be paying more.

Men can be tricky to buy for, however, since skin care and facial hair is so in right now (barbering is making a major comeback), these gifts will be so on trend.

What are you getting your guy for the holidays?

Please note, I was sent these products from PR. All opinions are my own.

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First impressions: Get a whiter, brighter, bolder #DesignerSmile with Colgate* Optic White* PlatinumTM/MC High Impact White TM/MC

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Please note, products and compensation were provided to me by Colgate* Optic White, all opinions expressed are my own.

Okay so with Christmas being less than a month away, is anyone else getting excited for the holiday season?! I don’t actually celebrate Christmas, but I love the lights, the music, and just the sheer magic of the whole season.

Since holiday parties started in November, it’s time to start thinking about and planning your look. Tons of stores are stocking up on glittery frocks and fancy outfits, but it’s important to start thinking about your appearance too. In need of a haircut? How about new highlights? Maybe even a spray tan? For me, a big one this season is all about having white teeth.

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Pair your designer handbag with a #DesignerSmile. Colgate-Palmolive recently sent over their new Colgate* Optic White Platinum High Impact White anticavity toothpaste, which I love pairing with the Colgate* Optic White™/MC Toothbrush + Built-In Whitening Pen (I’ve been using this for over a year and love it!), as well as the Colgate Optic White High Impact White Mouthwash. (Remember to use the mouthwash before the whitening pen!)

Let’s be real here, you want to make a good impression when you show up as your beau’s date to his company Christmas party. It’s been said many times that the first thing people notice about you is your smile, so it’s important that you keep those pearly whites in tip-top shape. The Colgate Optic White Platinum High Impact White toothpaste is the brand’s latest innovation that delivers four shades visibly whiter teeth, when using twice daily for six weeks, starting to work in just three days.

shayna-and-ziggyIf you want to speed up the process, and get whiter teeth in just one day, try out the Colgate* Optic White* regimen and pair it with your favourite red lipstick, your chicest black or glittery dress, and make a fabulous impression!

What are your holiday appearance staples?

*with the Colgate® Optic White® Toothpaste, Mouthwash and Toothbrush + Whitening Pen. Use mouthwash prior to whitening pen. Find the Optic White® Toothbrush + Whitening Pen in the toothbrush aisle. For best results, continue using products as directed.

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