Holiday Gift Guide: The Party Girl

Our holiday gift guide continues with the perfect presents for The Party Girl in your life. The girl who has plans every night of the week and craves sparkly things. These gifts are part glam on the go and 100% fabulous. And naturally, we want them all!

Inspired by the British “holiday cracker” tradition, Jouer Sparkle & Pop is filled with all sorts of treats, including a cocktail ring, beauty fortune, mini champagne bubbles and one of three potential deluxe Jouer samples. The latter is a surprise — the Body Butter, Essential Lip Enhancer or Glisten Lip Gloss will be inside. Jouer smartly packaged these in a value pack of four, in addition to singles, so you can split up for gifting.

Objects are smaller than they appear with the Bobbi Brown ‘Uber Nude’ Lip & Eye Palette but it has literally everything you need for a night out. We love these classic neutral shades — this is perfect for packing in a clutch or on a trip!

How fabulous would it be to pull this sparkly Stephanie Johnson SNAP Mirror out of your bag? A portable mirror is such a functional gift and the sparkles make it that much more fun. Everything Stephanie Johnson makes is perfection.

The Party Girl is always known for fabulous hair, right? We can’t think of a better duo than Living Proof Prime and amp2, the brand’s newest styling launches. Prime acts like a face primer but for your hair strands and amp2 creates texture and major volume with the help of a tiny molecule that creates friction and space on every strand.

Leave it to the folks at Benefit to come up with the yet another must-have holiday kit. Benefit She’s So…Jetset has everything for The Party Girl — like Life on the A List Lip Gloss and They’re Real Mascara, which lengthens lashes like nobody’s biz.

For more holiday gift inspiration, see our recommendations for The Product Girl.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Living Proof Restore Revitalizing Spray

The list of multi-use beauty products we love are almost entirely for the face. Stains that work on the lips and cheeks or highlighters that double as eyeshadow, usually. When it comes to hair, it’s generally more prescriptive. Shampoo to cleanse, conditioner to hydrate, serum to smooth, etc. One product I rarely use is hairspray, even thought it would definitely help my curls hold a little longer. Which is why this week’s Beauty VIP, Living Proof Restore Revitalizing Spray, is so brilliant. It’s a styling hairspray that protects against heat and UV damage and can be used on wet or dry hair. It gets major bonus points for being odorless and not building up in the hair. I only wash my hair (using water) a few times a week, so products that leave residue in my hair are not welcome in my routine.

This spray + Beachwaver waves = pretty, shiny, smooth, protected hair. I’m not surprised that it’s Living Proof to come out with such an inventive product. Check it out here.

Save your Strands with Living Proof Restore

Just because its beach weather, doesn’t mean your hair has to suffer. Sun, heat, salt and chlorine all are cuticle killers. Just examine your strands after a day at the beach or pool and you will see the stress in your hair. Especially if you try to work a brush or comb through it in the moment (I’ve learned my lesson doing that – DON’T!) Adding to the summer stressors, I’ve also been giving my hair a lot of heat lately with various curling wands and my newest obsession, the Beachwaver.  Great waves, but my ends are thirsty. Luckily, there is a secret weapon in my arsenal that women everywhere NEED on standby. From none other than Living Proof, of course. They’ve taken their nourishing Restore line, previously Shampoo, Conditioner and Mask Treatment, and added three products to save your hair from stress and bring it back to health.

Restore Revitalizing Spray with Heat and UV Defense ($26) – Perfect for dry + damaged hair, defends against heat and UV damage. Just spray on wet or dry hair to protect your strands from the sun.

Restore Targeted Repair Cream ($28) Fights breakage and helps seal split ends while restructuring and reinforcing weakened hair strands. Think of this as a protein shake for your strands.

Restore Recovery Regimen ($38) This is for intensive hair repair — strengthening the most damaged hair (a.k.a. over-processed). Living Proof claims this regimen will make your hair 20x stronger.

The science behind Restore is Living Proof’s “miracle molecule” which creates a weightless shield around each strand of hair to protect compromised cuticles and regulate moisture levels. The 20x stronger comes in after just 14 days. They promise it will do the trick, and even launched a fun 14-day “Restore the Love” challenge on Facebook. Check it out, maybe win a Canyon Ranch Vacation, and of course, make your plan to save your strands this summer!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

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 for $30.

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

Holiday Gift Guide, Part One
Animal Instincts Edition

Spurge vs. Steal: Living Proof Root Lifting Spray & Samy Fat Hair "0" Calories Root Lifter Spray

My locks always need a little help in the volume department, which is why I fell pretty hard for Living Proof’s Full Line. The line dominated our “best of” list for hair care in 2010 for good reason — it really does amp up your strands. In particular, Living Proof’s Root Lifting Spray boosts hair at its base using a blend of resins that give a flexible, long-lasting lift. I really notice a difference in my look when I use this before blow-drying, especially as my hair gets longer and needs even more help being lifted. But at $26, this isn’t always a budget-friendly option.

Coming in at nearly a quarter of the price is Samy’s Fat Hair “0” Calories Root Lifter Spray. I found that this little $7 wonder works just as well as my beloved Living Proof. Just spritz this on your crown when hair is damp or wet and blow out to maximize volume. I do think this formula is a tiny bit drying, and while it really hasn’t had an effect on my hair, be sure to only use it on the roots to help prevent any damage or breakage. To help mitigate, I always massage a droplet of oil into the ends of my hair — a habit I’ve carried with me from this previous winter. Healthy hair = less haircuts = long, voluminous locks! What I do love about Samy’s formula is that it is lightweight, long-lasting and leaves no sticky residue behind. This is a steal!

Rescue Your Hair from the Dry Winter Air

Yesterday, one of my coworkers asked me for a solution to help heal dry winter hair. As you can see, she has the best hair — long, wavy and blonde.  From my perspective, every day is a good hair day for her. But for those who have dry hair to begin with, like my coworker, winter can be so tough on the locks.

She does all the right things — washes infrequently, uses a deep conditioner regularly and always applies heat protectants before styling. But even this regimen isn’t able to do the trick as it would in the summer.

I thought I’d put together a list of products that work great for me, but also invite everyone reading to give some recommendations. I am able to combat dry hair fairly easily because it’s not something I suffer from. But I know that I am in the minority.

Here’s what works for me, but please — pile on in the comments!

I’ve been really happy this winter using Phyto Phytolactum + Intelligent Shampoo. It’s designed to purify and gently cleanse dry hair without stripping. I like it because it’s also good for those who wash their hair frequently. It smells amazingly of almond, which is because it contains 35% hydrating almond milk. For my coworker, I’d probably recommend looking into other Phyto shampoos, specifically ones for color-treated hair.

A leave-in conditioner goes a long way to infusing moisture and also preventing static. I love Living Proof’s Leave-In Conditioner. It is intensely hydrating and does so without weighing down the hair. When I use this, I always seem to have a better hair day.

For hydration and shine, I’m all about the oils: Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Serum and Josie Maran Argan Oil. I first tried Oscar Blandi’s in the January Birchbox and it is a fast favorite. It smells like heaven and helps smooth my ‘do. I like using a few drops of Josie’s Argan Oil on the ends of my hair to moisturize them. I don’t trim my hair often and I’m convinced these oils help keep my ends from splitting.

These are the products that work great for me, but please help my coworker out by letting us in your dry hair saviors! Thanks in advance. 🙂

Best of 2010: Our Favorite Hair Products

As a couple of ladies with super straight hair, and lots of it, what we really want is some lift. And of course, healthy locks. In 2010, it was all about the quest for big hair. And as the saying goes, it’s a journey, not a destination. The quest continues, but there were a few standouts in 2010 that I’m happy to welcome to my haircare arsenal. Here’s our picks for best of hair, 2010.

Living Proof  Full Root Lifting Spray – Ooh nelly. Promises, promises with this styling spray to bring your roots to new heights. This is an interesting product, and yes, it works very well. It’s a bit sticky when you spray and due to the blend of resins in the formula, you can feel the hair thickening immediately. But once you blow-dry or style, it smooths out and lifts your hair from the root. .

Hair Bungees – As I grow my hair out, I become more and more reliant on throwing it back in a ponytail of some sort throughout the day.  But with the wonderous Hair Bungees, I don’t get any creasing in my hair. These are really cool — you literally just bungee them in your hair and secure as tightly as you need depending on the thickness of your hair. I even did a tutorial to show you what I mean!

Garnier Triple Nutrition Nutrient Spray – This started as a summer must-have, but now it’s just a must-have. It contains olive, avocado and shea oils and infuses your hair with an insane amount of moisture…weightlessly. It’s a budget beauty steal at less than $5 too.

Living Proof Full Thickening Cream – This was the second stop in the quest for big hair, and like the Root Lifting Spray, this product works wonders also. A few dabs blended into your hair about mid-blow dry, and the end result is truly thicker hair. Both of us have a lot of hair, but the individual strands are fine, so this really pumps up the volume.

Let us know your hair faves of 2010!

Quest for Big Hair Continues: Living Proof Full Thickening Cream

Last week, we had our first real blast of fall weather in Chicago. The air was cooler and the high humidity was absent. It was great to finally wear a pair of jeans comfortably and my hair was looking instantly better too. If there was any week to try a volumizing product and get accurate results, that was it. I had been holding onto a small bottle of Living Proof’s Full Thickening Cream from a trip to Sephora and I finally put it to the test.

There are no explicit rules or directions with this product, but for best results you should apply it to damp hair and blow out. It’s also less of a volumizing product as it is a thickening product (hence the name). I apply a large dollop about halfway through my blow dry  and distribute throughout my hair. In fact, it’s better to apply this to your strands because it plumps up your actual hair rather than lifting it from the roots. I got amazing results with this. It does what it says – simple as that.

This product is a new staple in my routine. But the quest is not over. While this plumps up my hair and gives me the allusion of thicker locks, I still need some lift. Any Texans out there with some advice? I want BIG hair!

Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner: The Proof is in the Results

When Living Proof’s revolutionary products hit Sephora last year, frizzy-haired women nationwide got an ally in hair care. But seeing as I have stick-straight hair that behaves quite well I wasn’t sure this line would really do much for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have my hair problems but frizzy, out-of-control locks isn’t one of them. To my dismay, I even gave my free full-sized samples of the styling spray I got from Sephora to my mom. I just didn’t quite feel like it was doing anything for me.

But then I tried the No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner and I developed a new appreciation for this line. The hair problems I refer to? Yeah, they include flat, dull, un-voluminous hair that’s unable to hold any sense of curl and is very static-prone in the dry winter months. But the Leave-In Conditioner works wonders. Usually, when my hair is damp I apply a balm of (generally Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother) to help texturize and protect it from the blow dryer. But the No Frizz Leave-In conditioner does a better job – and conditions my hair.

No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner pretty much does it all: detangles, smoothes hair, boosts shine, protects against the sun and heat styling and contains breakthrough technology to effectively block out humidity. It’s recommended for highly processed or color-treated hair, but neither of those issues apply to me and I love it.

I’m currently savoring the sample I received and will probably purchase this myself when it runs out. At $24 for 4oz., I get a smidge more for my money than I do with the Aveda product I’ve been buying for years.

How about you guys – any hair traumas to share? What hair product can’t you live without?

Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner Giveaway

Welcome to day 1 of Product’s Girl Birthday Giveaways! 🙂 By now, you’ve probably heard or even seen how good Living Proof’s products are. Today we’re giving away a No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner set to one lucky reader so this is your chance to find out for yourself. The new No Frizz Shampoo and Condition feature the same technology that’s in their styling products and leaves hair feeling soft and silky smooth.


To enter our giveaway, just send an email to Your email must includeLiving Proof Giveaway” in the subject of your email along with your full name and address in the body of the email. Any emails without the giveaway specified in the subject will be discarded so make sure to include that. The giveaway will end on September 25th at 12:00am PST so emails received after that will be discarded. Also, only one entry per person and this giveaways is only open to US residents. Sorry Canadian gals, I’ll get you next time.

Come back tomorrow for our next giveaway from Philosophy. Thanks for reading Product Girl over the years and good luck!