Sales and Steals for the Last Minute Holiday Shoppers (Hey, Sometimes it Pays to Wait!)

I know, so much gifting content! I have lots of fun stuff up my sleeve for you guys coming up … but for now, in the thick of holiday gifting season, I have a lineup of some cyber sales and discount codes for you guys. Some of these are time sensitive (expiring soon), so look soon.

(note: some links are affiliate links; you don’t pay more but the retailer may kick back a bit to me).

The most time sensitive is funky, vintage style clothing & housewares retailer ModCloth … they’re giving a free grab bag out ($100 USD value) with any $150 domestic purchase 12/7 ONLY.

Get your GWP Grab Bag with any $150+ purchase at Modcloth! 12/7 – 12/8 Only.

Nordstrom is always a good bet during the holidays (anytime) because of their fast, free shipping and free return shipping. Their customer service is top-notch as well. They’re currently offering personal 10 point days for Nordstrom Rewards cards members. They also have a number of beauty brands marked down 15% (price matching with Macy’s), which ends 12/11. No code required for that.

NORDSTROM REWARDS – Personal 10 Points Day. See Details.

High end Korean skincare company Laneige is doing a 12 Days of Delights program. Similar to Sephora programs, each day has a different special gift with purchase.

Curly haircare company Ouidad is offering 20% off site wide (excluding liters) with the code TWENTY17. This expires 12/10.

AFFILIATE ONLY 20% OFF SITE WIDE (Excludes Liter Sizes) Expires: Dec. 10, 2017 Coupon Code: TWENTY17

FOREO, the premier silicone face cleansing (and other devices) device company (like a Clarisonic but no brush heads to mold or replace), has GIFT SETS up to 34% off right now. Try code 15SNOW for 15% off and free shipping over $50.

Super affordable (and surprisingly good, for the most part) e.l.f. cosmetics is running free shipping on ANY order (this is pretty rad as filling up a cart with enough e.l.f. products to make a free ship minimum can be tough, it’s so inexpensive). This promo is running through 12/18. They have a few other sales if you spend more: Spend $25+ and get a FREE 4-Piece Gift Set or Spend $40+ and get a FREE limited edition e.l.f. hat. Use code 25REWARD or 40REWARD. Use code: 25REWARD on orders $25+ or 40REWARD on orders $40+. Valid 12/5-12/11.

Our gift to you! Free shipping on all orders. No code required. Shipping discount applied at checkout. Valid 11/27-12/18.

Are you a Bare Minerals girl? They aren’t giving away the store … YET.  They are running free shipping through 12/21. They have a small free GWP over $100 through 12/7. BUT … if you use the mineral foundation and/or mineral veil, they have super rad, limited edition holiday versions of these right now. And, between 12/8-12/12 (patience, patience …) you get 20% off your whole order and a free eyeshadow palette of your choice over $75. Their newest, gigantic eye palette has gotten really great reviews so far (probably not up for free though, le sigh).

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They’re so pretty!

25 Karat Gifting! Receive 20% off your entire order, plus spend $75 and get an eyeshadow palette of your choice at bareMinerals.com! Enter code 24KRT at checkout. Offer valid 12/8-12/12.

Amazon has a few interesting sales going on … first, if you’re prime you may be asked at checkout to, in exchange for a longer wait for your items (a handful of days), they will send you a $5 coupon to be used for beauty items. (This has happened just once to me this week with multiple orders so I’m not sure how this works). They also have clippable coupons for a bunch of stuff you can stock up for if your skin is dryer than the Sahara this time of year:

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray, 3.7 Ounce 25% off Eucerin Original Healing Rich Creme 16 oz (Pack of 2) 25% off

Some L’Oreal (mostly complexion products, definitely not mascara) has 20% coupons: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation Makeup, 102 Shell Beige, 1 fl. oz.

French company Mustela has a few of their great baby skincare products on sale like Mustela Newborn Arrival Gift Set, 15% off.

Still need gifts? A ton of The Body Shop gifts are 30% off, like this one:The Body Shop Satsuma Festive Picks Small Gift Set.

Well, that’s what I’ve dug up so far … have you found any stellar deals or sales this season on gifts? I find that the closer to Christmas we get, the more likely the deals are going to be on express shipping charges. Not all of us are as organized as others, you know (cough, cough, me).

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 (Yes Virginia, It Really IS That Time Of Year Already)

Uh … yeah. It’s that time of year … the holidays. How did this happen already? I have a couple of birthdays to shop for this time of year in addition to shopping for my tribe of children (as my friend calls them) and nephews and niece. I like seeing gift guides to get ideas for people on my list, and I thought you might like to see one too. So here it is, in time for shipping cutoffs, Sephora VIB sales, Nordstrom and Amazon black friday deals … my 2017 Holiday (Beauty) Gift Guide.

Beauty Gifts for (gulp) Teens
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Is it just me?

Oh boy, sometimes the toughest to shop for, depending on the kid and how well you know her (or him). The MAC holiday collection I wrote about last week has lots of great items in it for teens.

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Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (don’t be alarmed … it’s very sheer and very wearable by pretty much everyone).

Another beauty option, especially if the teen you’re shopping for isn’t super experienced with makeup or crazy bougie yet, is to pick up one of the gift with purchases offered by some of the bigger department store brands. For instance, Clinique is doing a gift (that you have to pay for, $39.50) with purchase at Nordstrom called Merry and Bright for. If you spend at least $28 on Clinique shit you also get an actually free gift with purchase you can throw in. Might I suggest the cult classic Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey (looks amazing on literally everyone) as your purchase ($17.50)? You can keep that one for yourself and gift another. Merry Christmas to you!

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Clinique’s Merry and Bright holiday set

If your teen is older or leans a bit bougie, you can let them indulge in name brand flashy makeup with this set from Dior ($29). Dior is iconic for their mascara, and this set comes with a mini eye shadow set as well.

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Click on the picture to link to the product.
Stocking Stuffers and Ye Olde White Elephant Gift

If you need a smaller gift, there are lots of great beauty items that would be perfect for almost anybody.

Burts Bees makes, arguably, one of the best lip balms every. My husband gets a new one in his stocking every year (surprise, honey! A new lip balm! Yayyyyyyy!). There’s a four balm set of flavored and tinted balms out for the holidays for just under $9 right now that would be a great gift.

 

(If you are shopping for somebody not into colored balms, here is the original):

Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm, Beeswax, 2 Tubes in Blister Box

 

If your recipient likes a little sparkle or has a busy ball season or night life each year, Stila makes a super rad sparkly topper and it comes in a cute set of three bitty colors for $25. I personally like sparkly or on-trend stuff even better in minis as there’s no way I would ever finish a full size.

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No primer or glitter glue required; these do it all (and won’t make you look like the love child of a stripper and a disco ball).
Gifts for Her

Need a gift for your sister, wife, or sister wife? If you don’t have anything solid in place yet, check out these fun ideas.

Kiehl’s has a super cute new Mickey Mouse collab out this season. The collection is huge with something for just about everyone, but if you need something for somebody with super dry skin (or lives in a cold climate), this set is super cute ($35):

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One of Kiehl’s super cute Mickey collab

Do you have somebody on your list that appreciates good makeup and/or has a shit ton of it (a highly technical and scientific amount, by the way)? Beauty advent calendars are a super fun option. This one is from skin/body care company L’Occitane ($69), but there are others out there as well if this isn’t quite right.

 

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This advent calendar from L’Occitane means a fun sized beauty item to open everyday in December until Christmas!


If your gift recipient likes nail stuff (or just doesn’t like dealing with chips), a gel manicure kit might be a good option. These have been on my radar for a while; I may be asking Santa for one this year myself.

Gifts for Him

If your giftee is a “typical” sort where beauty items may not be on his radar, this (outside of Burt’s Bees, yo … it’s a good stocking gift, I swear!) might not be a super exciting gift for him. But … it may be as well.

My husband is not into pretty much anything in my skincare lineup, but he does really like one product that he can use for hair, body, face … he’s lazy, and he showers more days than not at the gym in the morning. This is one thing he (says) he likes (he also likes ghetto cheap mens shampoo that he uses as both, but that’s not the best gift).

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TURRRRRRBO!

A nice shave cream and a brush are a nice option if you have a dude that shaves in your life. This one from Kiehl’s runs $9-24 depending on the size, and is a really nice option. The Body Shop also makes a nice, giftable mens shaving cream.

This last one is bougie as shit … a beard oil from Tom Ford. If you have a beardy-weirdy on your list (or goatee aficionado) that likes the finer things in life, this $52 beard oil (it comes in all of the TF mens scents) would likely be highly appreciated.

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Daaaaaaaaaaamn but it’s Tom Ford, son!

What have you been eyeing this season, for yourself or a friend or loved one? Comment below and let me know!

Fall Fashion Fix (thanks, Stitch Fix!)

It’s fall and it’s time for a Stitch Fix post! It’s been a minute since I got a fix from Stitch Fix (it’s a subscription service that sends you clothing and accessories based on your style). I kind of felt I had enough summer clothes all summer (and I kind of felt I didn’t have money all summer) so I kept postponing my next fix. Which is one of my favorite things about this subscription, vs. others: you can get one whenever you like. There’s no commitment. My kind of subscription.

Anyway … I was feeling a little unimpressed with my fall-ish options in my closet (which probably haven’t been updated in over four years, since I’ve been living in the sub tropics for over four years). Long story short, I got a new stylist with this go and she really delivered. This is my favorite fix so far, it’s amazing. Here’s what I got:

Continue reading “Fall Fashion Fix (thanks, Stitch Fix!)”

Fall Picks: Best of Nordstrom Women’s Fashion ’17 (if you’re uber casual/lazy AF)

Perfect for Fall: Zella Hatha Cardigan, $69.

If you don’t have something similar to this yet, why not? That’s what I’m asking myself too. Super versatile; you can wear it almost anywhere. Lightweight enough for hot climates in the fall or layering in colder ones.


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Perfect for Fall: BP Moto leggings, $39.

Are these more esspensive than your regular pair of plain leggings? Probably, unless you’re shopping from a fancy athleisure shop like Athleta or Lululemon. But your run-of-the-mill LuLaRoe definitely doesn’t have these rad details. These come in black, too.

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Continue reading “Fall Picks: Best of Nordstrom Women’s Fashion ’17 (if you’re uber casual/lazy AF)”

Water Blend Foundation Showdown: Comparing Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude to the Rest of the Market

Recently, my local exchange had Estee Lauder’s latest addition to their extensive Double Wear foundation line on sale … a crazy sale, so good it seemed too good to be true (it was, sort of; it was a misprint I hear, but they honored it). It’s a new water blend foundation: the ridiculously long named Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup SPF 30. I had been wanting to try it after the rave reviews I had been seeing, and the price meant I couldn’t say no (I tried, lovely husband, I really did … I waited until the last day of the sale to pick it up. Almost made it).

Note: some links are affiliate links, which means I could earn a small commission if you purchase through them … but you will not pay anything extra.

It’s an interesting market, water blend foundations … and an interesting addition to the Double Wear stable, as the OG Double Wear is known for it’s matte finish, full coverage, last all day through Okinawan heat and humidity-ness. While this foundation is super popular, I personally do not like OG Double Wear at all; it looks like thick, chalky cake face at it’s worst on me. Not cute. But water blend foundations are a different animal entirely. Literally formulated with more water than anything, they offer a light, totally skin like finish … they aren’t going to hide cystic acne or raccoon eyes after an all-nighter, but they will even out your skin tone, balance redness, and make you look like you. But better. That’s the claim anyway, I think you look amazing without it (do I sound like your mom?).

The OG to this market is the cult classic MAC Face and Body. With 13 shades (and a white mixer shade available in the large size to pros), it is also the most economical choice at $29 for 50 ml or a honkin’ 120 ml bottle for $38. The coverage is extremely light, but it is also very buildable, with some people using several layers when they are looking for a more medium plus level of coverage. The shade range is a little bit of a bummer if you are fair or deep in complexion as you will likely be excluded from the Face and Body party (without mixing in something else anyway).

Make Up For Ever used to sell a foundation also called (not-so-creatively) Face and Body, but recently replaced it with Water Blend. This new foundation has been blasted by a few well-known You Tubers recently for being … well … not much more than water (the company markets it as a waterproof formula that is made of 80% water). $43 will get you 50 ml, and it comes in 20 shades (MUFE has long been very inclusive for all skin tones). I personally LOVE this foundation (I don’t like makeup-ey looking skin too much for myself), but yes, it is very, very sheer. I call it my “why bother” foundation.

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Make Up For Ever Water Blend, or my affectionately-dubbed “why bother” foundation

Even more sheer than MAC Face and Body, it feels nearly undetectable on the skin, looks undetectable, and just evens out redness for me very well. It’s buildable too, if you have areas that have a little more pigmentation you would like to not hang out. I get a lot more coverage using it over my Shiseido Ibuki holy grail primer, so if you want a little more oomph, that’s a good option. Buyer beware though … this is a true watery foundation, and it will not play nice with super siliconey primers like NYX Angel Veil, Smashbox, etc. AT ALL. Don’t do it.

So enter Estee Lauder’s new kid on the block, the Nude Water Fresh blah-blah-blah (I hope you read that in Adam Sandler’s Dracula voice like I said it in my head when I typed it).

What this foundation has in common with its water blend sisters: it’s practically undetectable on the skin, and feels very lightweight. What it doesn’t share: it offers significantly more coverage than MAC and MUFE. All three, for me, have a demi matte, also very skin-like finish to them (not too dewy, not too matte … juuuuuuuust right). It comes in just 12 shades, but the top and bottom end of the spectrum go a good bit farther than MAC’s Face and Body do (and the upside to a very sheer formulation means you can get away with less of an exact color match … though Estee Lauder in my opinion could do a lot better). $42 will get you 30 ml (that’s the standard size for a foundation, but here in water blend land, this one is by far the most expensive per ml of the bunch). It also comes in Estee Lauder’s stupid, cheap-ass (but pretty) frosted glass bottle without a pump. Gross. Seriously, at this price point (at any really, can we be hygienic here, people), this shit should have a pump.

So, which do I like best? Hmmmm. Well, I’m cheap, so if I could wear MAC Face and Body that might be my choice … but they don’t go light enough for me so pfbbbbb to you, MAC. Out of MUFE and EL … I think more people will like the EL foundation. It really is fantastic, and offers a lot of coverage without looking or feeling like makeup. If you have an event, I definitely would go with this over the MUFE one. But … I might be in the minority, but I really love the Make Up For Ever Water Blend. It perfectly matches my skintone (my actual skintone, MUFE is very good at looking at real undertones that people have … with most lines, I have to just buy the lightest and hope for the best … this was not the lightest in the range even, and I had a couple different (realistic) undertones to pick from, not just pepto bismol mixed with white out or mustard mixed with white out options).

I hope this was helpful and you can narrow down the field to a water blend foundation that will work well for you and your skin type and tone. If you’ve tried any foundations from this segment, what did you think?