Filed In: Grooming

16 Beautiful Stocking Stuffer Ideas


As the saying goes: If you want something done right, do it yourself. Here’s what I’ll be stuffing my (and my husband’s) stockings with this year. Which beauty product picks will you add to your list?

korres masks


Korres Beauty Shots, $36

Four mini facial masks with active fruit ingredients will get your skin glowing. The nectarine version moisturizes while the watermelon cools, grapefruit brightens and cranberry firms and lifts.

Kiehl's Hand Salve and Lip Balm #1


Kiehl’s Soothing Essentials Duo, $18

Perfect for you, or your other half, this duo contains two of my all-time favorite products from Kiehl’s. The Lip Balm #1 and the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.

by terry baume du rose

By Terry

By Terry Baume de Rose Colour Collection, $89

I pretty much love everything from By Terry. I’m a sucker for anything infused with rose. So this ready-to-gift set of five tinted baumes is a must-have.  (more…)

5 New Beauty Hacks I Picked up This Week


Thanks to award season, I have lots of (even more) reasons to talk to celebrity hairstylists, makeup artists and manicurists. They’re seriously a never-ending source of great beauty tips and tricks, which makes since because they literally live and breathe beauty. They also find themselves in tricky situations that force them to be very resourceful, MacGyver types. Their hacks turn into great tips for us non beauty gurus. Here are five handy tricks I learned the past couple of weeks that I thought were worth passing along:

Trick #1: Ditch puff in a pinch

If you wake up with majorly puffy eyes, grab a couple of cold soda cans and hold them on the puff for a couple of minutes. Makeup artist Jake Bailey says it’s his go-to trick when he’s in a pinch and says it works every time.

Trick #2: Set your curls up for success

If you think your hair doesn’t hold curl, you might just be setting it up for failure, according to hairstylist Charles Baker Strahan. Straight out of the shower, you should avoid brushing it straight and blow-drying it straight before curling. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle, and then diffuse hair to bring out any natural texture you may have. This will help your curl take and last. Oh, and prep hair with a volumizing mousse to start. Try Herbal Essences Naked Volumizing Souffle, $6.99.

Trick #3: Elongate your nails

Use a nude nail polish that’s  a touch lighter than your skin tone to really elongate your fingers and nails. It does the same thing a stiletto does for your legs, says manicurist Tom Bachik. Try: Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Fashion, $17 or L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail Collection Privee in Eva’s Nude, $5.99. 

Trick #4: Go for the glass

Foundations in glass bottles last much longer than those in plastic. Keep it in the fridge and it’ll last up to five years, according to Bailey.

Trick #5: Make sure your guy is camera ready

Listen up guys (or gals with guys) – makeup artist Billy B says that the L’Oreal Paris RevitaLift Miracle Blur, $24.99 product is the “biggest breakthrough for men in cosmetics”. It’s a no-makeup way to perfect skin. It does what the blur tool in Photoshop is designed for. A great way to make sure your guy is camera ready for a big event without having to torture him by powdering his nose with your makeup.

Grooming 411: Quick Ways To Get Your Man’s Nails In Shape — Just Don’t Call It A Manicure.

Most guys I know wouldn’t be caught dead getting their nails done at a spa. But buffed and filed nails look really nice on a man — especially compared to the dirty, scraggly nails I spot on some guys. Nails and cuticles get dry when guys do things like pull their hands in and out of their jeans, like my husband does a thousand times a day. And that’s just the least of it. As the weather cools, it’s a good time to suggest a little hand grooming to keep them looking healthy. Backstage at the J. Lindeberg spring 2013 show, the male models had their hands quickly, and magically transformed by Katie Hughes, global color ambassador for Butter London. She offered a few quick tricks you can suggest to your guy:

Tip 1: Cut nails short and mimic the shape of his cuticle line — that will make them look natural. Then have him buff the free edge to take away roughness and hard edges.

Tip 2: Don’t touch the cuticle. “The more cuticles are cut, the thicker they grow back,” says Hughes, so your man should avoid messing with them if he can. If the cuticle bothers him, Hughes recommends just gently pushing them back with his thumb nail.

Tip 3: Moisturize. Hook him up with a cuticle oil, like Butter London Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil, $18 to use around the nail bed as a moisturizer when hands and cuticles are dry, suggests Hughes. It’s a good habit to apply right before bed to make sure nails look nice and supple by morning.

Does the guy in your life get manicures?

— Carrie Stern Kleiner

Beauty Problem Solver Of The Week: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

I flip-flop back and forth between being a total deodorant connoisseur and not wearing any at all. Lately, I’ve been back on the hunt in a serious way. I’ve been searching every tiny apothecary and local beauty boutique in New York for something new and different of the all-natural, non-antiperspirant variety — one that actually works. I’m happy to report that I found a true winner. Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, $12 is my new favorite deodorant in the whole world. I actually found this Brooklyn-based deodorant on Etsy, of all places, and realized it’s getting a lot of buzz in elite organic beauty circles. This vegan, clay-based cream uses superfine vegetable powders, along with lavender, peppermint and tea tree essential oils to absorb moisture, inhibit bacteria and ensure you stay dry and smell fresh all day. And it really works. Do you use all natural deodorants or do you stick to the hard stuff?

– Carrie Stern Kleiner

Grooming 411: Sunscreen Alert

Even though he tans at the drop of a hat, my husband Dave is a sunscreen convert — I got him to change over years ago, mostly because I burn so easily, the only thing I would allow in our house was SPF 50. But he’s not the norm. A new survey by The Skin Cancer Foundation reveals that nearly half of men in the US admit to not using sunscreen in the last 12 months and 70 percent of men don’t even know what skin cancer warning signs to look for. So all those dudes spending Saturday and Sunday on the golf course? Um, that’s scary. If the man in your life (hubby, boyfriend, dad, brother, friend, co-worker, you get the point) isn’t wearing sunscreen, you are the biggest influence so make sure he knows what’s what. So share the wealth about how important it is to cover up. For more sunscreen facts, check out What You Should Know About Sunscreen Before Slathering It On. And here are three guy-friendly sunscreens we recommend:

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55 sunscreen, $9

Banana Boat Sport Performance UltraMist Sunscreen SPF 110, $11

L’Oreal Men’s Expert Comfort Max Anti-Irritation After Shave Balm with SPF 15, $8

For more sunscreen facts, check out What You Should Know About Sunscreen Before Slathering It On

Does your man wear sunscreen?

– Carrie Stern Kleiner

Grooming 411: Miracle Gel for an Achy Neck

The husband came home after a long day (actually, after multiple long days) at the office with tightness and serious pain in his trapezius muscle (likely caused by hunching over at his desk). I suggested he rub some Tiger Balm on it, but then remembered I had something in my medicine cabinet that might be even better. Or it at the very least wouldn’t stain his clothes since it’s lighter in color. The product: China-Gel, $15.95. It contains menthol, camphor, ginseng, angelica, lavender oil, witch hazel and aloe vera, and when massaged into skin, it’s meant to help soothe aches and pains with a icy-hot feeling. Here’s what the hubby says about it:

  • “It’s stronger than Bengay, and it smelled good.”
  • “It rubbed in easy.”
  • “The coolness (that’s also hot) intensified after I put my shirt on over it.”
  • “Because it’s strong, you become more conscience of the rub than the pain.”
  • “It’s similar to Tiger Balm, but rubbed in easier and is lighter in color.”
  • “It soothed the pain enough that I forgot about it, and after using it for two days, the pain was gone.”

The company says it can be used on a multitude of things from muscle pain to headaches and insect bites, so I think we’ll be ordering another tub of this hard-working rub.

Grooming 411: Daily Face Moisturizer Worth Trying

Today we’re kicking off a new column — one that my hubby Justin will contribute to from time to time when he tries a grooming product worth sharing or when he has a question that I think other dudes out there will care to know the answer to.

What he wanted to talk about today, through me, since he wouldn’t dare write this up himself, is the Ahava Men Age Control Moisturizing Cream SPF 15, $32.

Here’s why he can’t stop talking about this face-protecting moisturizer, which he’s been using for about a month:

  • “It rubs in very easily after I shave in the morning without any stinging sensation even though it has SPF.”
  • “I get my sun protection for the day.”
  •  “It has an awesome scent that isn’t overpowering. It’s a fresh scent that sticks with me … and the wife digs it.” [Note from the wife: The scent is fresh and a bit peppery/spicy. Very sexy, but in a subtle way.]
  • “It doesn’t take up much space in my drawer. And, it’s light for traveling, which is huge.”
  • “The pump doesn’t clog like a lot of others do after a few days of not being used.”
  •  “You never have to pump it more than once for the product to come out.”
  • “One pump is the amount you need for your entire face.”

Bottom line: “There’s nothing not to like. It’s kick ass.”

Full disclosure: The company provided a sample of this product for us to test. See the complete disclosure policy here.