Tag Archives: holiday 2010

4 Holiday Travel Essentials for the Glamorous Jet-Setter

The past month has been a whirlwind of travel for me, and I know for many of you, there’s only more holiday travel coming in the days ahead. Whether by rail, road or air, a journey can make even the most well-traveled beauty buffs cringe with the thought of leaving behind their complete beauty stash. So what’s a gorgeous jet-setter to do? Snag one these four travel must-haves, and you’ll be ready for a luxurious excursion.

1. Stylish Luggage

You’re going to be lugging around your loot throughout your journey, so why not get a bag you can be proud to show off (sorry — grandma’s flower tapestry luggage just isn’t cutting it). While I don’t own one, I’m digging the latest addition to the Dooney & Bourke 1975 Signature Collection: the Travel Juliette ($345).


Available in black, brown, bordeaux, cobalt, red, plum and taupe, this classic bag features a stylish silhouette and should be spacious enough to hold your carry-on items or your belongings for a weekend getaway.  With both small handles and a large, adjustable strap, this versatile piece of luggage should be a snap to carry. And if it isn’t? Well, then that hot TSA agent can help you with your tote after your pat down.

2. A Soothing Skin Care System

Between swigging eggnog, munching on fatty, sugary treats and staying up all night watching the ball drop (not to mention all the champagne and bar hopping in freezing temps), your skin will be screaming S.O.S.! When I’m on the go, I stave off a dry, lackluster complexion with Amala Rejuvenate Travel Spa Treatments for Face and Hands ($48).


Featuring products made from cocoa bean and fresh organic Jasmine (which smells potent, but DIVINE), Amala’s TSA-friendly hydrating kit is designed to replenish moisture, renew elasticity and smooth skin. Normally a $118 value, for just $48, you’ll get four, luxurious 15 ml products:  Hydrating Hand Cream, Rejuvenating Hand Cream, Hydrating Face Cream and Rejuvenating Collagen Mask. The products are decadently rich (a little goes a long way!) and will hydrate even the driest skin, making you feel like you brought along your own personal esthetician.

3. Glow on the Go

This time of year, it’s pretty easy to be blinded by both blizzards and your own vitamin D-deprived complexion. But just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to forgo your faux glow. Lose your wan pallor while saving precious luggage space with a travel-size bottle of Fake Bake self-tanning lotion.


This 2 oz bottle is carry-on ready and is sure to keep your complexion warm — even if the temps dip below zero where you’re heading. For longer trips (did someone say a two-week beach vacay?), play it sun-safe, and stash a larger bottle of Fake Bake Sunless and Skinny self-tanning lotion (6 oz) in your checked bag. And don’t forget the SPF!

4. Mini-Sized Makeup

Every time I travel, I spend a painstaking hour figuring out which makeup I want to bring that is 1) versatile enough to go with all my planned outfits, and 2) can fit in a single, small makeup bag so I can avoid checking a bag. Needless to say, this is a very stressful process for a beauty buff like me. But no more. Enter the Lorac Box Office Hit Full Face Palette, sold exclusively at Ulta.

lorac box office hit

For a mere 35 smackers, Lorac gives you everything you’d possibly need and/or want to create different makeup looks each day you’re away from home sweet home. The Lorac Box Office Hit comes complete with 12 generous-sized shimmer eye shadows, eight lip colors, two eyeliners, a blush and a bronzer — all in one super-compact crocodile embossed “book” that’s smaller in height and length than an iPad. In all, the eye colors are fairly sheer and in what I’d consider the “neutral” category (even the darker colors are fairly “safe”), so there’s bound to be a fit for even the most discriminating shadow wearers. Go soft and subtle for day, and amp it up with a smoldering look when you hit the town at night. The best part? You can stash this kit in an over-sized clutch and bring it with you anywhere!

Photos: Dooney & Bourke; Amala; Fake Bake; Lorac
Disclaimer: Amala and Lorac products furnished complimentary for review

Bottle the Holiday Spirit with Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar

HopeInAJar_Oprah_8ozBoxOpen_noWtDo you have Hope?

The holidays are quickly approaching. In a few days, families will be gathering around their tree opening gifts and reaching into their stockings to see what goodies they have received. Are you still looking for a few last minute gifts? One great stocking stuffer is Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar. Recently featured in Oprah’s “Ultimate Favorite Things,” Oprah loves this product and so will you.

Philosophy created a commemorative, limited-edition “Hope in a Jar” moisturizer for Oprah in a dazzling box covered in sparkling red glitter, honoring 25 seasons of hope, joy and love.

Immediately after using the product, my hands felt soft and smooth. I don’t have particularly dry hands, but even hours after applying the lotion my hands felt silky smooth.

lotion on hand

While this product might seem expensive to some (2 oz -$38, 4 oz -$60, and 8 oz -$105), it is a multipurpose lotion that can be used anywhere. Instead of having to buy a facial lotion, a hand lotion and a body lotion, you can just buy this product and use it anywhere. With this product, less is more. You only need to put a dime-size dot on your hand when applying. I put too much on the first time and my hands felt a little greasy after.

image of hope in a jarMy one complaint with this lotion is the smell. One note — I do have a ridiculous sense of smell, so that might be part of the problem, but I am not a fan of the smell. It is a strong smell, and after applying it on my hands, anytime they came close to my face, I smelled it. The smell didn’t go away. If I had to describe the smell, I would say it’s a mix of suntan lotion and strong baby-wipes.

Nonetheless, it is a great lotion and does a great job of moisturizing. If smell isn’t an issue for you, this is a great product and will make a great stocking stuffer. You can buy it at any Sephora store or online at sephora.com or Philosophy.com.

Photos: Philosophy; Jennifer Gorden/BeautyXpose
Disclaimer: Product furnished complimentary for review purposes

Fab Finds: 4 Holiday Gifts for Your Boyfriend

Your boyfriend (if he’s worth keeping around) has spent the past year listening to your girl fights, counseling you through personal and professional pickles and being all-around amazing. It’s time you show him how much you love him with one of these guy-friendly gifts…seriously ladies, he doesn’t need another framed photo of you two.

1.  Gunmetal FlaskThings Remembered: $30

You might not be the only one who needs to drink away your problems anymore. As your dearest listens to you lament, allow him to sip on the alcohol of his choice. For an additional charge, you can personalize his flask so he remembers you fondly every time he is out having a good time.

boyfriend flask

2.  Netflix MembershipNetflix: Prices vary

You’ve had your boyfriend sit through enough chick-flicks, so it’s time to hand over the movie-picking power. You can select a variety of memberships differing in price and length, catering his movie-watching gift to his needs.

boyfriend netflix

3.  The Art of Shaving 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ Carry-OnSephora: $50

While your boyfriend might look manly with his 5:00 shadow, you’re face won’t look as lovely with stubble rash. Help your boyfriend spruce up with this shaving kit.

boyfriend shaving

4.  Beer of the Month ClubClub Offers: Prices vary

Boozing again! Help your boyfriend relax after a hard day’s work with a beer-of-the-month membership. Each month a new 12-pack will arrive, meaning that there is at least one to spare for you to enjoy as well.


Fab Finds: 5 Gifts for the Budding Beauty Buff

If you know someone who is just starting to dip their toes in the beauty pool, make sure to help them acclimate themselves to the polished, glittery waters. You don’t want to push them in over their heads with products for the pros, so make sure to give them just the right treats that will act as their beauty life jacket as they try to keep their head above water.

1. Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System – Clarisonic: $149

Beauty starts with clean skin, so give the gift of a flawless face this holiday season. Anyone who receives this magic-worker is bound to be bowing at your feet.


2. Lip Glaze Trio – Korres: $24

These little tubes won’t just add some shine to your giftee’s lips, they will leave them moisturized and healthy as well. There is no better gift than the gift of shiny, healthy and moisturized lips! You never know who you’ll kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve, after all.


3. Eighteen Piece Mini Nail Colour Set – Sephora: $48

You can’t let your beauty prodigy go unfinished without any nail polish. Keep her covered with this wide array of colors to work for every season of the year.


4. Travel Palette- Fabulous in Fiji – Stila: $10

With the holidays being such a busy travel time, there is no need to bog down your budding beauty buff with a heavy-duty makeup set. This travel-friendly palette is colorful and fun, just the pop of color she will need for New Year’s Eve.


5. Slant® Tweezer – Tweezerman: $20

If you’re going to show somebody the ropes of brow-sculpting, what better way than with the best tweezers out there? These bad boys will grab every last hair and leave you with a clean, crisp look.


Fab Finds: 4 Holiday Gifts for the Dapper Dad

Drawing a blank on what gift to give the dashing, dapper dad in your life? Worry no more. The following gifts will help spruce Dad right up — as if he could any more handsome.

1.  Jack Black First Class Five Gift SetSephora: $48

This wonderful line of skincare will allow your dad to wash up without washing away his masculinity. This isn’t your (or his) mother’s face wash.


2. Orvis Shoeshine Kit – Orvis.com: $79

Before your dad steps even just a foot outside the door, make sure his shoes are shined and ready to lead the way.


3. Tiffany 1837™ Tie Bar – Tiffany & Co.: $85

Nothing finishes off a nice suit like a quality tie, and nothing finishes of a nice tie like a classic tie bar. Watch out ladies — you’re not the only ones who will be hoping for that iconic blue box this Christmas.


4. Fossil Magnetic Money Clip – Fossil: $25

When he is bringing home the bacon (or at least some of it), make sure your dad has a stylish, yet efficient, way to store all his dough. Wallets can get bulky, so help your dad slim down on his wallet size without slimming down his stack of bills.


Get in the Holiday Spirit with the Estee Lauder Holiday Collection

In the words of the queen of pop Madonna, “Holidaaaaaa-iiiiiieeee. Celebraaaa-eette.” Okay, so while it might not yet be Halloween, we can certainly look ahead and lust after all of the pretty holiday makeup palettes that already hit the shelves.

Take the Estée Lauder Holiday 2010 Collection, for example.


We all know I love me some Estée Lauder, and this new collection does not disappoint. This year, the brand unveils Pure Color Extravagant by Tom Pecheux, a collection featuring shimmering golds and deep winter reds fit for a luxurious holiday season.

In my humble opinion, the Pure Color Five Color EyeShadow Palette in Extravagant Gold ($42) is the highlight of the collection.

estee lauder 2010 holiday eyeshadow pure color extravagance

Featuring shimmering shades ranging from gold to pewter to a center matte chocolate brown, these Pure Color shadows could work for any occasion all year round. Simply layer on lightly for day, and amp it up for night with a more dramatic look with the center brown swept in the lid crease. Here’s a look using every color in the palette:


estee lauder 2010 holiday

Gorgeous, no? The one thing to note here is that all of these shadows are definitely on the “warm” side, so if you tend to gravitate toward cooler tones, then this probably isn’t for you. But that just brings us to the new lip products, which work with almost all tones.

Take a look at this gorgeous Pure Color Lipstick in Extravagant Berry ($22):

estee lauder extravagant berry lipstick

The color lasted for about four hours (granted, I was being very careful not to drink anything), at which point just a quick re-application was needed to touch it back up. If a true red is more like it, you’re covered with Pure Color Lipstick in Extravagant Red.

My favorite part of these lipsticks (just like any Estée Lauder lipsticks) is the formula. Seriously, guys — this doesn’t feel like lipstick. At least not the way lipsticks typically feel. There’s no waxy, heavy feeling at all, and I often forget I’m wearing anything because it just has the perfect balance of moisture without feeling glossy or dry.  Isn’t that what all lipsticks should do?

If you’re more of a gloss girl yourself, the new Estée Lauder holiday collection also features three limited edition shades of Pure Color Gloss ($20). Check out Extravagant Plum (my favorite):

extravagant plum pure color gloss

If you just can’t make up your mind, try the Pure Color Five Color Lip Palette in Extravagant ($42), which is a compact with five gloss and lipstick shades in three textures (all in one spot!


To polish the collection off (yes, bad pun), pick up one of the limited edition shades of Pure Color Nail Lacquer ($18), available in Extravagant Pearl (shimmery opal) and Extravagant Night (glittery plum). I love that these aren’t the typical reds you see this time of year.

pure color estee lauder nail polish

Just looking at photos of the Estée Lauder holiday collection makes me feel luxurious and opulent! Of course, with a collection this gorgeous (especially the eye shadows), I can’t keep it all to myself. Mom — if you’re reading this, I guess you already know what I’ll be buying you for Christmas!

Photos: Estée Lauder; Anne Houseman/BeautyXpose
Disclaimer: Select products furnished complimentary for review purposes