Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Of Beauty!

Christmas is the best time of the year for beauty maniacs since so many great new sets are available (that give serious bang for the buck). There are also tons of new products available in a lot of well-established lines for those who are diehard fans of certain cosmetics brands. Many single items make great stocking stuffers. Smart beauty mavens know they can ask Santa for multiples of their favorites so that they have a stash that lasts all year long.

There’s nothing quite as colorful as a Lights Lacquer nail color set and this female owned beauty company has always has several different types of exclusive, collectible sets coming out each year. The packaging is always super fun as well and you can save the boxes for personal items on a dresser or desk. The current holiday collection is called Sugar Shop and features six Candy Land vibes inspired colors that have been created for the “sweetest” holiday manicure ever. Each shade in the The Sugar Shop collection is as follows:

Candy Girl – Icy Bubble Gum Pink
Toot Sweets – Bright Tarte Red
Everlasting Gobstopper – Deep Candy Apple Green
Gingerbread – Warm Gingerbread with Jelly Finish
Peppermint Patty – Light Mint Blue
Clara – Sugared Opalescent with Blue Shift

The collection is available for $52 exclusively at this link: Sugar Shop Holiday Collection.


Wen has been a legend in the hair products biz for something like 20 years and the “original gangsters” of the co-wash. Once someone tries a Wen Cleansing Conditioner, there is not turning back as no other product protects hair color so well or leaves your ends in minty condition. Every year there are great new scents introduced and most recently, head honcho Chaz Dean did virtual press conferences to announce his latest and greatest products. The Fall Plum Pear Cleansing Conditioner is my favorite new product–it’s antioxidant-rich four-tea complex and amino acids work to hydrate, lift, and add lustrous shine. I also happen to love Mr. Dean’s dogs so I am always happy to try any of the Bella Spirit products named in honor of his friendly lab Bella. My favorite Bella Spirit item (and an excellent idea for a stocking stuffer I might add) is the Bella Spirit Cleansing Conditioner and you will see five star reviews for it not just on the Wen site but on haircare sites all over the net. You will fall in love with the refreshing cucumber products as well! Extra large sizes of many of the Wen Cleansing Conditioners are available for a bargain price (about $60) on QVC and on the Wen site. This is the perfect gift for any diehard Wen fan! You can see all the recent Wen Haircare launches as well as “classic” products that have been around since the brand started at http://www.chazdean.com.

There is a great reason that Wander Beauty’s Baggage Claim Eye Masks are their superstar product and can’t stay in stock! They really work, especially when paired with Sight C-we Vitamin C Concentrate! Now you can get 10 masks with a 15 ml Sight C-er in Wander Beauty’s Golden Hour Skincare Kit for only $35 . (Also included in this set is an adorable pink satin headband that will make you feel like a glamorous 1950’s movie star!) You will be grateful that you have one of these kits after overindulging during the holidays (and especially after New Year’s Ever)! I love the cooling effect of the Baggage Claim eye masks since they have a gel texture and I love that the Sight C-er contains both squalene and aloe abstract to help get rid of redness! I say to buy a Golden Hour Kit for yourself and a skincare fanatic friend. The kit contains $89 worth of items so it is an amazing bargain. Order here: Wander Beauty Golden Hour Kit.

Step into the holiday with a radiant glow using Solvasa’s products and mindfulness practices to achieve inner and outer beauty! Solvasa’s range of products paired with intentional practices offer a multitude of benefits fit for an Integrative Beauty lifestyle. With their Clarity Soothing Eye Wipes, Fastify pouches, Crystal Energy Wand for lymphatic massages, and more, Solvasa supports mindful self-care and radiant well-being. I know that many of you are aging conscious are interested in rollers, wands and electric devices to help reduce fine lines and Solvasa’s Crystal Energy Wand is a superstar product in this arena, especially when paired with their amazing Destressance Serum. I have been using the Energy Wand for six months and have gotten amazing results on my forehead wrinkles and under eye lines. It is also fun to use and has a cooling effect as it travels over your skin. You can read up on the wand and also order it here: Solvasa Crystal Energy Wand.

Hard Candy Glosstopia Ultimate Lip Shine has become a go to product of many makeup artists–and they are now available in a new selection of shades which have a formula infused with hyaluronic acid. Not surprisingly, they still have the same great high shine finish. I think that Glosstopia is the until Under $7 stocking stuffer for any beauty fan. You will simply not find any gloss that is as long lasting, tastes as great or that comes in a variety of colors. You can layer Glosstopia if you want a richer color, too. While you are busy looking at Glosstopia in your local Walmart where it is exclusively sold (other than on www.hardcandy.com), be sure to check out their fabulous Marilyn Monroe X Hard Candy collaboration collection that includes a delicious Strawberry Lip balm and a Liquid Eyeliner that lets you draw a “cat eye” line so easily. The prices on the super fabulously packaged Marilyn line are super reasonable and needless to say, these items will become highly collectible! Hard Candy has great items coming out for spring as well including a gel brow pencil that has a spoolie on one end and is light enough for the fairest of blondes!

A Dreamland of Giving awaits inside Kiehl’s Limited Edition Advent Calendar. Featuring holiday-inspired designs by artist Marylou Faure, this collection houses more than two dozen customer favorite skincare products behind each door for the ultimate gift that keeps on giving! Featuring iconic Kiehl’s formulas including cleansers, face masks, facial serums, moisturizers and more, this Advent Calendar is what I personally call a “greatest hits” package. Not a single Kiehl’s favorite is missed and if you had to buy all these products separately, it would cost you $250 (it’s very reasonably priced at only $99). Included are my two “go tos”–which are the Avocado Eye Cream and the Ultra Facial Cream–but the real beauty is that you get to try some more expensive anti-aging products like Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. Purchase this ASAP at any Kiehl’s store, fine department stores like Bloomingdale’s or at www.kiehls.com because they are going fast!

Good Kind Pure is a brand new Coty-owned line that just launched in November. These unique natural scents are formulated with clean ingredients and is cruelty-free. Since they are inspired by nature, the Good Kind Pure fragrances are made without the use of phthalates or dyes and come in three options. The Good Kind Pure fragrance collection includes Wild Peony, a vibrant floral fragrance that contains notes of peony and grapefruit against sandalwood and tonka; Vanilla Ginger, a rich gourmand fragrance that is laced with notes of Casablanca lily and warm vanilla; and Iris Petals, a woody floral fragrance that features iris petal and nectarine blossom notes, as well as a warm background of fig and amber woods. All three fragrances are in an eau de toilette formulation that retails for $20 and in a fine fragrance mist for $11. (You cannot beat those prices for fine natural fragrances!) For those who are particularly concerned about their boxes being earth friendly, Good Kind Pure’s fragrances come in packaging that is FSC certified. You can find all three fragrances at such national retailers as Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon. Right now I am leaning towards the ginger as my favorite for the holidays just because it gets a lot of attention plus it reminds me of gingerbread men, LOL! These scents are cheap enough that you can buy all three and rotate them, though!

Perricone MD’s best-selling superstar Cold Plasma Plus+ collection is a line devoted to multi-tasking powerhouse products and their latest introduction, Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ The Intensive Hydrating Complex, is their most luxurious yet. The Intensive Hydrating Complex is designed to promote the ultimate in skin renewal–this ultra-rich, balm-like texture thoroughly comforts and soaks into skin for the ultimate hydration. It truly delivers deep nourishment while dramatically smoothing, firming and evening skin tone, leaving skin looking supple, vibrant and rejuvenated. This revolutionary ultra-thick skin cream is formulated with 15 active ingredients including Peptides to help rebuild and repair damaged skin, Vitamin C Ester to brighten, smooth and help minimize the appearance of discoloration, and a groundbreaking Vegetable Triglyceride Complex of jojoba, soybean and olive oils to intensely hydrate and boost the skin’s barrier function. I have to say from personal experience, Cold Plasma Plus+ is a game changer, especially the line’s neck cream! So you just know that I am dying to try the brand new Intensive Hydrating Complex. I am sure that any Cold Plasma Plus+ lover would be super excited if Santa put one of these in their stocking! For more info or to order (price is $179 for two ounces), go to www.perriconemd.com.

All year long, the creative folks at L’Occitane have been on the lookout for the ripest plants, most compelling scents, and highest quality essential oils. They’ve come across deliciously enticing fragrances and incredibly effective ingredients, and have combined them into incredible products that have made it to the finish line just in time for the holidays. Their Holiday 2021 collections include both the new and innovative and the old “tried and true” products. The natural ingredients in their most-loved skincare, body care, and fragrances are what L’Occitane fans hold close to their hearts (this revolutionary company even grows their own lavender in the French countryside). Some of the current L’Occitane holiday products flying off the shelves include their large and luscious Signature Advent Calendar (which features 24 classic products and is on sale for $74 as we go to press) and a slew of classy $30 and under sets including the Holiday Ornament series which are tins you can actually hang on your Christmas tree with three items of the same scent! I am personally in love with the Hand Cream Trio and Wrapper In Shea Soap which are part of the “Under $30” group. There are dozens of $54 gifts like the amazing three piece Neroli & Orchidee Set and an amazing series of luxe gifts including the Immortelle Divine Collection for $199 which featured five Immortelle Divine products in a beautiful gold box (I do not have to tell you that this line is considered state of the art anti-aging skincare). Got check out this link dedicated entirely to the L’Occitane Holiday 2021 Collection to take in all the great gift sets and more: L’Occitane Holiday.

Gelo’s Hand Soap Refill Pods are packed with super concentrated cleansers, plant-based ingredients, and essential oils. Drop a pod in your hand soap bottle (which you get in one of the Gelo starter packs), fill with water, and, in a matter of moments, experience a great clean without the need to lift, pour, or clean up liquid soap. Gelo’s fragrant pods are made with concentrated cleansers, eliminating the excess fillers found in traditional soaps–plus they feature essential oils, shea oils and oats, which soothe and replenish skin with every wash. Dermatologist and performance tested, they’re ideal for frequent hand washing but can be used as a body cleanser as well. The starter kit, which retails for about $7, features a foaming hand soap bottle and enough Gelo refill pods to fill up to four bottles. (You can find packs of refill pods for only $3.47 at Kohl’s!) There are so many great scents and I cannot think of a better holiday host/hostess gift or stocking stuffer! To order your starter kit in the refreshing Lemon, Basil & Geranium scent, go here: Gelo Starter Kit.

Who’s got my favorite holiday beauty set of basics that you need for everyday glam for the holiday and beyond? It’s Benefit, of course! It is so easy to give the gift of glam with Benefit’s Winter Glammin’ 4-Piece Bestsellers set (pictured above)–for only $50, you get their bestselling pore primer, The POREfessional, for smoother-than-smooth skin, award-winning Hoola matte bronzer for a natural-looking bronzed skin, fan-favorite volumizing mascara BADgal BANG! for volumized lashes and the bestselling brow pencil called Precisely My Brow Pencil in Shade 3 for easy brow defining. (Precisely My Brow Pencil is amazing because it helps you get dramatic brows that still look really natural–even if you do not have the steadiest of hands!) Benefit also has great stocking stuffer size beauty sets including The Hot For The Holidays 3-piece set featuring their famous primer in mini size, full size curling mascara and full size matte bronzer for only $30. One of my favorites is Merry ‘N Precise featuring both a full size and mini brow defining pencil for only $25. You can peruse and purchase all the great Benefit holiday sets right here: Benefit Holiday Gift Sets.

Most of the lash growth serums on the market today don’t actually work or only give very slight results. When I heard from beauty influencer friends and online beauty product reviewers that FACTORFIVE’s Lash And Brown Serum actually worked, I had to try it for myself. I started noticing results in a week–this product really helped achieve eyelash growth and thickness. An added bonus was that when applied under my mascara, it seemed to keep the mascara on longer! I was also happy that FACTORFIVE helped fill in the beginning of my eyebrows, which are always sparser than the ends! In case you are not familiar with this innovative product, FACTORFIVE’s Lash And Brow Growth Serum is professional grade and is backed by both aestheticians and dermatologists as a product proven to help achieve longer, fuller lashes. Through the use of stem cell technology and proven hair growth factors, the serum gives consumers visible results in 4-6 weeks (but like I said before, on me it seemed to start to show results in a week)! FACTORFIVE Lash And Brow Growth Serum contains ingredients such as panthenol, biotin, ocimum basillcum hairy root extract, and other natural ingredients that help strengthen, thicken and condition hair. It is created without parabens, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA or TEA and is NOT tested on animals. One tube has lasted me over two months with once per day usage so far, by the way. Order it for $79 here: FACTORFIVE LASH/BROW SERUM.