Shopping for a beauty queen? A woman who's favorite past times include primping, curling and diving through the aisles of Sephora? I know the type. In fact, I'm that type. That's why you can trust me to help you shop for the lipstick-loving, eyelash-curling femme in your life.
The following is a list of products that have been vetted, tested and thoroughly enjoyed by yours truly. Some are splurges while others make the perfect stocking stuffer, but either way, each product is bound to put a smile on your gift recipient's perfectly applied lips!
Claro's IPL Acne Clearing Device
Every beauty queen knows that clean and clear skin is key to a pretty face. With the help of Claro's IPL Acne Cleaning Devic
e, your gift recipient can blast away blemishes in 24 hours.
The device uses a powerful, zit-zapping combo of heat and light to treat mild to moderate acne quickly and naturally. In fact, Claro is the only FDA cleared over-the-counter Intense Pulsed Light device that clears pimples fast and when correctly self-administered.
Reviewers on various websites and YouTube swear by Claro, which comes in pink, black and blue. Priced at $195.
NEOCUTIS Lumiere Riche Bio-Restorative Eye Balm
Gift your beauty queen a product that's truly luxurious -- the award winning NEOCUTIS Lumiere Riche Bio-Restorative Eye Balm
. Recipient of InStyle Editor's 2011 Pick for Best Beauty Buy, Lumiere Riche zaps puffy eyes, reduces fine lines and revitalizes the delicate area around the eyes.
It does so with the help of PSP, the most complete protein blend of Human Growth Factors, Cytokines and Interleukins available on the market. The product goes on lightly and doesn't leave a chalky or sticky residue like some balms can.
It's beloved by many a beauty queen and we're sure yours will be equally as thrilled with this fine product. It retails for $80, but a little goes a long way and you'll be hard pressed to find a better product at such an affordable price.
Joanna Vargas' Skincare Products
I fear I cannot adequately express my obsession with Joanna Vargas' skincare line
, but let me try, dear reader. I'll begin by admitting that I've used a lot of skincare products in my day. In fact, my arsenal of products is large enough to give any professional organizer a few week's worth of work.
With that said, I am, on occasion, impressed with the results of my new finds. Seldom do I actually look forward to washing my face at the end of the day, though. The fact that I get excited about exfoliating and applying serum pre-bedtime should serve as proof of just how good these products are. There's no way your beauty queen won't love them.
Though the line is relatively small with only four products, each serves a purpose and you honestly don't need more than that. The products include Vargas' Vitamin C Face Wash
($65), a lightweight cleanser. The Exfoliating Mask
($75) -- my personal favorite -- is a delicate scrub/mask that uses ingredients like volcanic ash to purify, tighten and rejuvenate skin. The serums are amazing, as well. The Rejuvenate Serum
($100) is intended for dry or aging skin. It fights wrinkles and aging and smells absolutely incredible. The Daily Serum
($85) incorporates ingredients such as green tea and chlorophyll (the stuff that helps plants absorb light and provide energy).
JOICO Hair Products
Tired hair plays a mega toll on a person's overall appearance. Let your giftee's hair shine -- literally -- with a little assistance from JOICO's hair line, including their newest product, the K-PAK RevitaLuxe.
From shampoo to conditioner, reconstructors to split-end menders, shine serums to smoothing balms, the 30-year-old JOICO brand knows hair and delivers on its promises.
Their new K-PAK RevitaLuxe
product, in particular, is a winner in my book for its ability to quickly correct years of damage to sorry hair. It also protects against future damage, leaving your gift recipient's hair soft, strong and moisturized. Priced at $22.95, the RevitaLuxe/K-PAK Shampoo Duo is the perfect boxed gift set for her. JOICO is also available at ULTA stores.
Effortless Extensions "Slip On" Hair Extensions
Salon-bought hair extensions look good, but paying for them is like an assault on your wallet. Instead of doling out big bucks for your beauty queen, opt for Effortless Extensions
, whose name says it all. No glue required. No sewing, new clips. And your gift recipient definitely doesn't have to be a professional to use the extensions, either.
The "slip on" synthetic extensions do just as their name implies - slip on. Once securely placed on the head, the locks blend seamlessly into natural hair and can even be curled, blow-dried, flat-ironed and washed to keep them in pristine condition. Priced at $79.95 -- and with one enough for a head -- Effortless Extensions
are a cost effective alternative to exorbitantly priced options.
Remington Style Products
Speaking of hair, why not consider a styling tool -- courtesy of Remington
-- for your gorgeous gift recipient? Remington offers affordable hair styling products in fetching and flirty designs. And really, every woman can always use another styling product. (I speak from experience).
Products I'm especially digging include the Remington Pearl Ceramic Ultimate Curling Wand
($19.99), perfect for when she feels like sporting a curly do; Remington's Wet 2 Straight Limited Edition Flat Iron
($27.99), ideal for busy women who'd like to save precious time; and the Remington Pretty Fierce Cheetah Print Hair Dryer
($21.99), also available in travel size
Bath & Body
Soap & Glory Products
If you and your giftee are suckers for adorable, chummy packaging, you'll find that anything from Soap & Glory's beauty collection is downright irresistible.
Bonus: The products are super affordable, making their gift sets, such as the Peace Hand Love duo
($18) and Soap & Glory You Cube Set ($25) an easy gift for the beauty queen in your life. Daughters, moms, grandmas, co-workers, girlfriends -- you can't go wrong.
Soap & Glory also makes small and super inexpensive goodies perfect for stocking stuffers. Your beauty queen will adore their Righteous Body Butter
($5 - $18) or their travel size Hand Food Hand Cream
Phytomer Body Milk and Toning Scrub
Phytomer offers only the best and your gift recipient will thank you for gifting her with such luxurious products. Today I'm talking about two different products.
The HydraContinue Moist urizing Body Milk
($45) is a fresh, light moisturizer that protects and enriches the body via Pheohydrane, a natural active ingredient that maintains and regulates the skin's moisturizing functions. She'll feel silky smooth and smell amazing, to boot!
This moisturizer pairs perfectly with Phytomer's Toning Body Scrub
($49), which is rich in OligoMer and sea salts. It buffs away all those unpleasant dead sells while simultaneously replenishing the skin. In addition to moisturizing and softening the skin, this scrub fortifies and renews cells, resulting in a toner body. Buy separately or together for only $70.50 (a 25% savings) at LeSpaUSA.com
Philosophy Amazing Grace Fragrance Lathering Set
Amazing Grace is one of Philosophy's top selling fragrances, which is really no surprise. The light, feminine scent is a flawless fusion of shower-freshness, garden blossoms and a hint of musk.
Anyone who wears it is bound to have both men and women begging, "Tell me what perfume you're wearing!" Yeah, it's that good.
The Amazing Grace Fragrance Lathering Set
-- priced at $49.50 despite its $72 value -- comes with an 8 oz. perfumed shampoo, bath & shower gel, 2 oz. perfumed body butter and 2 fl. oz of the perfume. It comes packaged in a lovely, pink box and holiday casing with red and silver snowflakes.
CIBU International Products
In the market for a high quality, inexpensive bath and body product that's just as sophisticated as it is chic? Then you and your giftee will adore CIBU's Water Lily Hand Soap and Lotus Flower Lotion duo
, an argan oil-infused hand soap and lotion set that uses citrus-derived cleansers to simultaneously soften and strengthen skin.
Priced at an easy $18 for the set, this CIBU product is perfect for the earth-loving beauty queen in your life.
CIBU also offers an affordable, extensive hair care line that targets dry hair, curls, volume, color protection and shine. Use CIBUONETIME to get 20% off your entire order
through December 31st.
Lime Crime Lipstick
Invite your giftee into the candy-colored world of Lime Crime makeup via one of their fabulous creamy opaque lipsticks
, priced at $16 a piece.
The colors of this quirky line range from kitschy shades like lilac purple (D'Lilac), minty green (Mint To Be) and techno blue (No She Didn't) to more traditional colors like vampy red (Glamour 101), pinkish-nude (Coquette) and hot pink (Countessa Fluorescent). Make your giftee really happy with the entire lipstick rainbow gift set (pictured at left). It's priced at $140.
Lime Crime also sells other cosmetics, including an eyeshadow primer
($17) and their super pigmented Magic Dust Eyeshadows
Addiction NV Cosmetics "Naughty, But Nice" Candy Cane lip Balm
I'd like to introduce you to Addiction NV Cosmetics
, an independent cosmetic brand that's somewhat under the radar, but is bound to blow up on the cosmetic scene in the very new future. The whole line is downright adorable, but their new, "Naughty, But Nice" lip balm is perfect as a holiday gift.
Let's start at the product's package design. It opens by clicking the bottom, which opens the lid to expose the lipstick-shaped balm. Cool already, right? The product is just as nice.
As the name implies, the lip balm smells like a creamy, minty candy cane. It's red and white swirly design also hints at the traditional holiday candy. It retails for $18.
Luxury Candles: Gift Another or Yourself
Winter Trends Forecast: 9 Trends for Winter 2012
Alternatives to 5 Cult Beauty Products
Nobis Winter Hats: A Winter Weather Must-Own