Filed In: Skin Care

16 Beautiful Stocking Stuffer Ideas

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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

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

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…)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Beauty Bargain Bonanza

Get ready! This is our biggest collection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals ever. What beauty products are you going to grab this week?

ahava_mineral_body_lotion

Ahava Mineral Body Lotion

Who: Ahava:

What: On Black Friday, get 35% off any order (hello, Dead Sea bath salts). Use the code BFRIDAY14. On Cyber Monday you can snatch up 35% off and get a free Ahava Triple Mineral Body Lotion using the promo code CYBRMON35.

When: November 28th – December 1st

Where: Ahavaus.com

anthony_algae_facial_cleanser

Anthony Algae Facial Cleanser

Who: Anthony

What: Take 30% off awesome skincare for the man in your life — they will thank you.

When: November 28th – December 1st

Where: Anthony.com

arcona_triad_pads

Arcona Triad Pads

Who: Arcona

What: Arcona is offering 40% off Arcona-brand skin care purchases of $200 or more online, in stores on over the phone (check the website for exclusions).

When: November 28th – November 29th

Where: Arcona.com, the Arcona boutique and over the phone (877-272-6620)

(more…)

In Honor of National Eczema Awareness Month: My Family’s Go-To Eczema Products

eczema-productsDid you know October is National Eczema Awareness Month? Yeah, didn’t think so. I didn’t either until a few days ago. It really gets lost in the hoopla surrounding Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Halloween and Oktoberfest. In my house though, eczema is always top of mind. My son has it (so does one of my sisters), and we’ve been trying to figure out a miracle combo to tame his red, itchy, sometimes cracked and bleeding skin since the day he was born. I thought I’d share what’s worked for us in honor of Eczema Awareness Month. I can’t say it’s eliminated the issue completely, but we’ve got it so much more under control.

Here’s what’s worked: (more…)

Good to the Last Drop: 4 Beauty Products I Just Emptied

The biggest compliment a beauty product can receive — especially from a product-obsessed gal like myself — is to have every last drop, swipe, dab, etc. used. So with that in mind, here are the four products I just finished off:kiss my face lavender & shea moisture shave


Kiss My Face 4-in-1 Lavender & Shea Moisture Shave, $7.95

I’ve written about other nice natural shaving creams in the past, but this one blew those out of the water. It offers up a substantial lather and has a fantastically subtle, but lovely lavender scent. Need another bottle stat!Redken-Diamond-Oil-Shampoo

Redken Diamond Oil Shampoo & Conditioner, $18-19

Truth be told, I have one or two more shampoos left in the bottle, but the conditioner is totally gone. I hate having a mismatched set, but I can’t ever seem to use enough shampoo. They should just make those bottles smaller. Or give us more conditioner. Yeah, more conditioner! Anyway, this wash and conditioner smell divine — they have a warm nutty, yet subtly perfume-y scent — and make my dry, straw-like hair feel so much softer.  (more…)

Reader Rave: Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub

goldfaden md doctor's scrub

All this week I’ll be featuring the beauty products that you, my gorgeous readers, covet and just can’t live without.

First up: Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub, $75

“I’m loving the Doctor’s Scrub. It feels like I’ve just had a facial every time I use it! If my skin weren’t so so sensitive, I would use it everyday. I also love the gritty texture (the ruby crystal) it actually feels like it’s working as I’m scrubbing. Also, you can’t beat a natural product! Perfection!” — Colleen

Do you have a beauty product to rave about? Please share!

The Beauty Problem Solver of This Week is …

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque 3The Product: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque, $35

Why: Although I’ve been lucky enough to escape the polar vortex by living in SoCal, I did get a nice taste of it while visiting New York City last month. And, that’s where I was first introduced to this masque. Perfect timing, indeed. Not only was my skin dehydrated from a long flight, but it was immediately blasted by frigid air. A recipe for serious dryness.

After a day of trekking around the city in the cold, I slathered a very generous amount of the gel-textured mask on my skin after cleansing. (I love overdoing it when it comes to masks, it just seems more luxurious to apply a nice thick layer.) This hydrating mask contains fountain plant, which is used in Chinese medicine to clear heat and irritability in the body (if only this mask could do that, too!), but in this formula, it increases your skin’s ability to attract moisture from the environment and hold on to it.

After applying the mask, I let it set for 10 minutes, as the directions suggest, and then I wiped away most of it (but not all!) before bed. The remaining product is meant to be left on your skin while you sleep. Though I did stick to my pillowcase a bit — I should have removed a bit more before hitting the hay — my skin felt like butter the next morning. It was the tall glass of water my thirsty skin needed. Now that I’m back in Calif. I use it when my skin feels a little extra dry from all of the acne-fighting topicals I’ve been applying lately. Works wonders for that tight, dry feeling.

“Do You Know of Any Good Exfoliating Toners?”

peter thomas roth gentle complexion correction padsA colleague recently asked: “Do you know of any good exfoliating toners? I bought a huge bottle of Mario Badescu a while ago, which works, but i’d love to pick your brain.” — Jackie

My answer: I’m a long-time fan of Mario Badescu and have actually used their toners on and off for years. But, I’ve actually been using a Peter Thomas Roth product that’s pretty darn good. The product: Peter Thomas Roth Complexion Correction Pads, $36 (for 60 pads). The pads contain a 10 percent glycolic acid and .5 percent salicylic acid concoction that’s blended with soothing ingredients like arginine, allantoin, aloe vera, chamomile and green tea. So, this isn’t one of those does-nothing toners. With this combo of ingredients, you’ll keep skin pimple and blackhead-free without totally overdrying or irritating your skin. I’ve been using these for about a month now, and the breakouts I mentioned previously, have been more under control than usual. And, the pad form makes the extra step of using a toner so much more convenient. I say, give ‘em a try and let me know what you think.

How to Deal With Neckne (Neck Acne)

turtleneckI have (what I’m calling) neckne. Yup, neck acne. It started when I was pregnant and I thought it was exclusive to that crazy hormonal period. But, after taking a brief hiatus after my son was born, it returned. It’s beyond frustrating because the neck traditionally isn’t a place where people break out. That’s due to the fact that we have less oil glands in our neck skin. After chatting with dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D. though, I’ve learned why neckne happens and how to treat it.

Graf explained that neckne isn’t all that uncommon in adults. She too has battled with it. “I wore a turtleneck for a year,” she said. What’s different about neck acne though is that it’s the plugging of the hair follicles as opposed to the clogging of pores. But, let’s get into what causes it and how to deal with it:

Causes

There are two types of acne that commonly appear on the neck area. The first might look like smaller, minor little breakouts – similar to ones you might find on your back. This type is often caused by sweat or clothing not made of cotton (like scarves, turtlenecks). The second type is of the large, painful, cystic variety. These breakouts are caused by hormonal shifts that might take place during adolescence, pregnancy, post-pregnancy when you have estrogen withdrawals or perimenopause, according to Graf. “Stress also makes it worse,” she adds. I, unfortunately, have the second type.

Solutions

If you have the first type of breakouts — the minor, smaller pimples, those can be eradicated pretty easily. You’ll basically treat the area in the same way you’d treat backne (back acne). Stick to wearing cotton fabrics (which are breathable and less likely to plug hair follicles) and treat the skin on your neck with a salicylic acid-based product. Even one of the sprays designed for use on the back would work, according to Graf. Try Neutrogena Body Clear Body Spray, $8.99. You’ll also want to be sure to regularly exfoliate the area by using a gentle, chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Try Glytone Exfoliating Lotion, $40. And, always gently cleanse and moisturize the area morning and night. “The skin on your neck is dryer to begin with, so you need to add moisture,” urges Graf.

If you have the larger, cystic acne like I do, it’s going to take a few more dollars and doctor visits to keep them under control, says Graf. “There’s not a lot you can do at home,” she says. Your first move should be to see a dermatologist. They will be able to prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic to help prevent additional breakouts. She has even prescribed Spironolactone (aka Aldactone), which is actually a potassium-sparing diuretic that is commonly used in combination with other drugs to treat high blood pressure. It’s taken orally and she’s seen really good results from it. (Side note: I took this years ago and it seriously worked. I had forgotten about that until Graf and I talked.) A derm can also inject any current cysts with cortisone in order to help them heal faster.

In addition to the prescriptions, you’ll want to take vitamin D3 (or at least make sure you have a good supply of D3 in your body), which controls the anti-microbial (bacteria-fighting) system in the skin. And, if you do take an oral antibiotic, pair that with a probiotic, says Graf. She also totally believes that a good diet can improve skin, so stick to a high fiber, low sugar/dairy diet. Things like soda, refined foods and sugar can cause breakouts, so those should be avoided. And, drink lots of water (Graf recommends water with lemon) and take time to de-stress with meditation, yoga or whatever helps you chill out a bit.

Have different skin gripe? Tell me about it in the comments and I’ll chat with a derm to get some expert advice for you.

Do-Gooder Beauty Gifts I’m Giving This Year

If you’re looking to earn some gift-giving extra credit this year, pick up these six beauties. They’ll make your mother, sister, friend, etc. look and feel gorgeous while going way beyond that. Together these products’ proceeds support women affected by breast cancer, childhood hunger, artists from marginalized communities and much, much more.

kiehls-creme-de-corps-grapefruitKiehl’s Creme de Corps “Grapefruit” Whipped Body Butter – Limited Edition, $ 38

The original version of this whipped body butter is one of my all-time faves. This subtly citrus-y remake is delicious and makes skin feel fabulous. And, 100 percent of the net proceeds go to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, which works to help end childhood hunger in America.

_8383297Jane Iredale Bright Future Eyeshadow Set – Limited Edition, $30

What makes a better gift than five stunning eyeshadows housed in a rose-colored Swarovski crystal-embellished package? Add to that the fact that 100 percent of the profits are donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, an organization supporting women affected by breast cancer. Beautiful.

s1553254-main-LheroSephora Values Inside Out You + Sephora Cosmetic Collection, $20

Glitter eyeliner, check. Metallic nail polish, check. Add a few more dazzling items and the fact that sales benefit the American Heart Association, and you’ve got the perfect stocking stuffer.

RS_LAYOUT_001_NEW_V4_4WEB_3products_WHNomad Two Worlds Raw Spirit Collection of Fragrances, $35 each

The three newest additions to the Nomad Two Worlds Raw Spirit fragrance collection are sure to please even the pickiest of family members and friends. The travel-friendly rollerball design makes them convenient, but the scents inside are anything but ho-hum. Bijou Vert combines Haitian sourced vetiver along with grapefruit, mandarin, geranium, lotus flower, black pepper, benzoin, patchouli and cedarwood; Citadelle also utilizes Haitian sourced vetiver in addition to marigold, pear, bergamot, lemon, spices, amberwood, musk and cedarwood. Both scents will be used to support sustainable Haitian agricultural projects. And, Wild Fire sources premium wild harvested sandalwood from Australia along with creamy amber, ylang ylang, jasmine petals, cedarwood and musk. Part of the proceeds from Wild Fire sales are used to support sustainable Australian Indigenous agricultural projects in collaboration with Essential Oils of Tasmania. 

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MAC Kids Helping Kids: Greeting and Gift Cards, $10

For the gal who loves to send actual handwritten notes. The colorful designs on these cards were created by children affected by HIV/AIDS. And, every cent (seriously, every cent) of the selling price goes toward helping women, men and children who are also affected by HIV/AIDS.
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Cyber Monday Beauty Deals That Will Blow Your Mind

Happy Thanksgiving! Now get shopping!

birchbox-rebecca-taylor-cyber-mondayWho: Birchbox

What: Spend at least $55 on all full-sized products and receive an exclusive Birchbox + Rebecca Taylor makeup pouch. Use code REBECCAGIFT.

When: Beginning December 2nd

Where: Birchbox.com

e.l.f-cyber-mondayWho: e.l.f.

What: Get 50% with a minimum purchase of $30 on the website.

When: December 1st – December 3rd

Where: Eyeslipsface.com

drbrandt-bbcream-cyber-mondayWho: Dr. Brandt

What: Enjoy 40% off eye cream and also receive a full-size BB or CC cream with any purchase over $150.

When: December 1 at noon – December 2nd at midnight EST

Where: drbrandtskincare.com

butter-london-cyber-mondayWho: Butter LONDON

What: Launching Black Friday, Butter London’s Fashion Size Duo combines the perfect lacquer pair of Slapper and Knackered, to give your holiday look the sparkle and pop it needs for only $10. Also, get 20% off of all products and  50% off of last-call products using the code CYBER13.

When: November 29th – December 2nd

Where: butterlondon.com

bobbi-brown-extreme-party-mascara-cyber-mondayWho: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

What: Kick off black Friday with a mini Long Wear Makeup Remover and a full-sized Extreme Party Mascara with any order.

When: November 29th

Where: bobbibrowncosmetics.com

miss-jessie's-cyber-mondayWho: Miss Jessie’s

What: Scoop up 40% off ALL items on the website

When: Now while supplies last

Where: missjessies.com

Happy Black Friday/Cyber Monday, etc., etc.