A Few of Our Favorite Things…Toolbox Edition

I’m known for gifting beauty tools. I find that they make amazing gifts because it’s often something we’re not willing to splurge on otherwise. I came to realize pretty early on as a beauty fanatic that we are nothing without our tools. So we pulled together some of our top tool picks for the holidays, in the spirit of gift giving. Be it for your wishlist or something for others, we think that these beauty tools in particular are pretty spectacular.

  1. Eco Tools Beautiful Expressions Kabuki Set – I can’t get over how cute and mini these are! Let’s also add incredibly functional. These brushes are shaped to target every area of the face, and at just under $15 a set, pick up one for yourself to keep! I found this at Target.
  2. Blow Out In A Box T3 x Living Proof Featherweight Styling Set – If you think about how often you use a hair dryer, it is so worth it to invest in a good one that will treat your hair well. The best set I’ve seen this season is easily the T3 x Living Proof Blow Out in a Box. For the price of the T3 Featherweight dryer ($200), you also get a set of T3 styling tools and a full size Living Proof Straight. This is exclusive to Sephora
  3. Twistband Hair Ties – Call it the anti-scrunchy, the next generation of hair bands. Ever since I received this innocuous stretchy ribbon in my Birchbox earlier this year, I’ve been obsessed. I’ve since abandoned all of my other elastics in favor of the Twistband, which doesn’t crease my hair and is just that much more interesting. You can find these in the Birchbox store.
  4. Chanel Le Coton – Fancy cotton pads are not something you’re likely to shell out the dough for, but what a delightful treat they are. Cushy, soft and embossed with the iconic Chanel logo. $20 for 100 at Chanel.
  5. Shiseido Foundation Brush – This brush may be what foundation-wearing skin dreams are made of. At $30, this is a perfect gift for any woman that wears makeup – be it liquid, cream or mineral. It makes getting an airbrush finish simple and will forever change you. It’s that good. It’s slightly hard to find, but is available on Sephora.com for $30.

For more of our favorite things, check out our previously posted gift guides:

Holiday Gift Guide, Part One
Animal Instincts Edition

New! Shiseido Fun in the Sun Kit

The cadillac of sunscreens has to be Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55.  I can’t get enough of this stuff, especially during oily season, a.k.a. summer. Lucky for us gals, this Shiseido Fun in the Sun Kit is now available at Sephora. Not only do you get the caddy, it’s loaded with other summer essentials too, including:

  • Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55 – 2.0 oz
  • Sun Protection Eye Cream SPF 32  – .6 oz
  • Ultimate Cleansing Oil – 2.5 oz
  • Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 60 – .23 oz.
  • 10 x Sheets Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Paper
  • 4 x Pureness Refreshing Cleansing Sheets
  • UV Protection Factor Card
  • Beach Tote

I love that it includes a very generous size of the cleansing oil – which for me, is really  the only way to fully remove sunscreen and all of my makeup at the end of the day. This retails for $69 at Sephora, but you can snag it for 15% less during the upcoming sale which starts for VIB’s tomorrow!  Can you tell we’re excited?

Shiseido is Pretty in Pink

Shiseido The Makeup Lip Gloss in Pretty Pink Every year we see companies doing their best to support Breast Cancer Awareness and this year is no different. I always look forward to seeing which companies will roll out something special in October.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Shiseido will be giving back to CEW’s Cancer and Careers through the sale of it’s Shiseido The Makeup Lip Gloss in Pretty Pink for the second year in a row. For every lipgloss sold, Shiseido will donate $5 to CEW’s Cancer and Careers. The formula contains what Shiseido calls Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE for hydration and 3-D Power for depth and highlights to the color. You can purchase Pretty Pink for $20.50 and it will be available online at Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sephora throughout the month of October.

Were you lucky enough to scoop this up last year? What did you think?

Silky, Long Lasting Shadow

I’ve never given much thought to powder eye shadow. I know that some stay on longer than others, some have more pigment or create different effects but I really thought it was all kind of the same. Until now. I was poking around Macy’s, vaguely scanning the makeup counters for something new and different. I found it at Shiseido.

Shiseido's TheMakeup Eyeshadow Quad Among all the beachy, bronzey, summer shimmer looks at every other counter, Shiseido’s collection of sorta wacky, very dramatic colors drew me in. Throwing caution (and my usual selection of brownish nude tones) to the wind, I dove into a compact of The Makeup Silky Eye Shadow Quad called Flora and Fauna. The colors seemed unwearable: dark forest green, pale lime green, buttercup yellow and peachy pink. I grabbed an applicator and dug it right into the palette – kicking up the creamiest powder shadow ever! The formula is so incredibly silky that my usual stroke across the pan pulled up more color than I’d wear in a week.

I tapped off the excess and began to apply the yellow shade over my entire eyelid. I couldn’t stop sweeping the applicator over my eyelid – it felt so good! I slid the dark green into the crease, the peachy pink right above it and used the light green to highlight my brow bone. The effect was not at all dramatic, just very pretty and wearable. And wearable it was! The shadows did not budge. Not even a little. Throughout the day, I would swipe a finger across my eyelids just to marvel at the lasting silkiness.

The Makeup Silky Eye Shadow Quad’s summer and core collections are still in stores, but look for their fall collection to hit shelves any moment.

Hydro Powder Power

Shiseidohydropowder Shiseido’s Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow is a fabulous product and I think everyone should play with this at least once just. While this eyeshadow goes on like a cream, it dries to a powdery finish that helps this eyeshadow last much longer than most other similar eyeshadows… creasing is almost a thing of the past with this product. This product comes in 5 gorgeous shades but my favorite by far is Tiger Eye, a beautiful shimmery bronze color. If you’re looking for a sheer wash of color or a bold look, the difference is all in the application.