Holiday Gift Guide 2018 — Skincare Stocking Stuffers

Hi all! I hope everyone is having an amazing Thanksgiving weekend! I’m back with another holiday gift guide — this time skincare that would make wonderful stocking stuffers – or gifts for someone who loves skincare!

Below are some amazing skincare from drugstore to higher end that she (or he) will be happy to receive in their stocking:



Enjoy a spin on the traditional lump of coal this holiday season with the beauty essentials that everyone will love – whether they’ve been naughty or nice! Bioré Charcoal Products are the perfect stocking stuffers to pick up during your holiday shopping trips. The invigorating scents of peppermint pays homage to the holiday season while having a fun twist on giving them the gift of char-“coal” that also cleans and smooths skin. 

  • Bioré Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar ($6.49)
  • Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask ($7.99)
  • Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips ($6.49)

Purchase at mass market retailers near you.

Erborian Glow Crème

Erborian Glow Crème ($42 USD) — This multi-benefit crème primer combines Korean ingredients with French luxury to create the perfect all-over illuminator, highlighter, and makeup base. The lightweight crème will help skin glowing through the winter as it gives the skin a pearly radiance, and the licorice root extract  in the formula helps leave the skin brighter looking.

Purchase at Sephora and

DERMAdoctor Lucky Bamboo Jukyeom 9x Water Gel
DERMAdoctor Lucky Bamboo Jukyeom 9x Water Gel

DERMAdoctor Lucky Bamboo Jukyeom 9x Water Gel ($54 USD) — Powered by Jukyeom 9x, the result of the 1000-year-old process created by Korean monks, Lucky Bamboo’s rejuvenating electrolyte, antioxidant and mineral-rich composition helps create a cushion of smart hydration and provides the ultimate health and wellness boost for skin. Skin feels soothed, hydrated, and cool and appears luminous with absolutely no sticky residue.

Available at

Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35
Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35

Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 ($69 USD) — A triple threat product that addresses, corrects and protects the entire eye area and works to improve the overall appearance of dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. Help restore skin health while immediately brightening and correcting imperfections to reduce dark circles and puffiness for a refreshed and rested appearance. Protect the delicate eye-area throughout the day with 100% mineral SPF 35 that defends against UVA/UVB and environmental stressors that contribute to skin aging.

Purchase at and



Uncle Bud’s Belize Seaweed Detoxifying Mask ($2.99): Detoxify and moisturize your skin with this creamy, agave-scented mask, formulated with seaweed and antioxidants that leave your complexion radiant, fresh and intensely hydrated.

Uncle Bud’s Topical Pain Reliever ($15.99): This fast-acting pain reliever works faster, penetrates deeper and relieves aches and pains better than any other over-the-counter pain relief product on the market.


Get Summer Ready With Beauty Essentials

As I write this getting ready for summer post I’m having a little laugh, because it’s already in the 90’s in Kansas City.  And it doesn’t look like it’s cooling down!

So are you ready for summer beauty?  I find that what I need right now is hydration.  The heat and my allergy meds are drying me out!  Here our my current faves (that were sent to me for my honest review):

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème ($39 USD) —  This is a primer that helps to minimize the appearance of pores with a blurring, soft-focus effect. Enriched with camilla japonica seed oil, skin looks smoother with a subtle glow—and is prepped for makeup application. I like that I can wear this on it’s own or with a bit of powder on top for hot days that I don’t want to wear makeup.

Purchase at Sephora and

LAVANILA Laboratories Healthy Body Butter
LAVANILA Laboratories Healthy Body Butter

LAVANILA Laboratories Healthy Body Butter ($19 USD) — These 100% pure Shea & Cocoa Butters are velvety smooth and instantly absorbed into the skin resulting in deeply hydrated, luxuriously soft skin. Each blend has powerful antioxidants and essential oils for long-lasting hydration. With super soft scents and a non-greasy formula, prepare for the ultimate indulgence. Available in four variations/scents, including: Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Coconut, Vanilla Grapefruit and Fragrance-Free. I love Vanilla Grapefruit and Vanilla Coconut for the summer.

Available at

Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer
Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer ($7.99 – $10.99) — This unique moisturizer is activated by water on freshly-showered skin and penetrates deeply into the skin’s surface to heal dryness for soft, healthy skin you can only imagine. After showering, apply on wet skin, then towel dry off.  It leaves skin so soft!

Available at all mass retailers & drug stores nationwide


LAVANILA Healthy Deodorants
LAVANILA Healthy Deodorants

LAVANILA Healthy Deodorants  — The Elements Collection ($14 USD) features fresh, energizing deodorants where health and wellness collide, inspired by some of the core elements of nature: air, water and earth. These aluminum-free, healthy deodorants are infused with carefully curated blends of pure essential oils to awaken our connection to the Elements and the immense power within them.

Purchase at

Ban Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant, Purely Gentle
Ban Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant, Purely Gentle

If you’d rather use a roll on, try Ban Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant, Purely Gentle ($10.58 on Amazon for two) — With a new, gentler formula, Purely Gentle provides 24 hour protection against underarm perspiration even for those with sensitive skin. The roll-on glides on smoothly providing instant freshness, transforming  hot, overworked skin to smooth and refreshed.

Purchase at Amazon

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo

It is essential to have dry shampoo in the summer! John Frieda Luxurious Volume Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo ($6.99 USD) — Give your hair an uplifting boost and touchable body that lasts while you’re on the go with just a spritz of this dry shampoo. The revitalizing formula instantly refreshes, revives and restores limp locks while getting rid of dirt and oil for hair that feels clean, healthy and light.

Purchase at ULTA and food, drug and mass retailers nationwide

What products do you like to use in the summer?

My Beauty Favorites — December 11-17, 2017

As we inch toward Christmas, I have been trying products that help me look and feel better during the hectic season!

They include a luxe primer and setting spray, cruelty-free makeup that makes you look glowy, luxe skincare, a fun steam mask and hair care that will help with dry, winter hair:

Elcie Cosmetics Pearl Radiance Primer ($38 USD) — An oil-free, water-based primer that acts as lingerie for your skin, providing a smooth, seamless and satin-like finish. The formula brightens the complexion with a touch of pearl, boosting luminosity for a healthy and radiant glow. Minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles.

Elcie Cosmetics Hydra Enhancer Setting Mist ($35 USD) — An innovative hydrating and setting mist that balances the complexion, sets makeup and refreshes the skin. This alkaline facial water is an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals. It has smaller molecules than tap water, so it absorbs more easily into your skin giving you maximum hydration with a quicker effect, while holding your makeup in place all day. Suitable for all skin types.

What I think:  I love the packaging of these products.  They are very luxe! The primer smoothes skin for makeup and leaves a soft glow.  It so nice under foundation, or on it’s own for a bit of polish.  The mist is so refreshing! It’s a soft mist and instantly hydrates and sinks into the skin.  It holds my makeup in place all day!

Available at

Did you know the amazing and affordable line essence is cruelty-free?  A lot of their products are gluten-free and/or vegan, too:
essence blushplay sculpting blush palette ($5.99 USD) — This palette includes three tonal shades for individual use or the perfect blend to create a multidimensional look. Available in 2 fresh color combinations.
essence shine shine shine lipgloss ($2.99 USD) — This high-shine, wet-look gloss glides on smooth with a highly-pigmented finish. The flocked applicator ensures precise application. Available in 6 shades.
What I think:  I do love a blush palette, and this one is fresh and fun to blend and use together, or separately.  The one above is the Play in Peach, and it also comes in Play in Pink.  The glosses are very shiny, but pigmented too.  There’s also a nice clear gloss for a more natural look, or to wear over other lip products.
Vertere Skincare Travel + Discovery Kit

Vertere Skincare Travel + Discovery Kit ($51 on sale for $28 USD) — This set includes Travel + Discovery sizes of our patented Dramatic Transformation Cream SPF 18 and Refining Treatment Cleanser. This two-week introduction to VERTERE is a perfect companion for traveling, or to gift to friends in need of portable yet highly effective and hydrating wrinkle smoothing and dark spot brightening that won’t clog pores.

What I think: This little kit comes in a cute bag!   The cleanser is so nice, it comes in a handy pump despenser and has a refreshing citrus scent. It leaves my skin clean, but hydrated, too.   The night cream is not greasy at all, it actually hass a bit of a matte finish, which is interesting for a night cream.  In the morning, my skin looks amazing!  My skin tone in more even and looks younger!

Purchase at


Erborian Pate au Ginseng Concentrated Black Mask

Erborian Pate au Ginseng Concentrated Black Mask ($61 for 1.7 oz) — Formulated with Ginseng root, used for ages in Korea to help fight visible signs of aging, PÂTE AU GINSENG helps improve the appearance of skin’s firmness and elasticity through its tensor effect. With a concentrated dose of Ginseng, and its instant tensor effect, this mask helps your skin feel firmer and smoothes out the appearance of the skin, providing immediate comfort and vitality for tired complexions. As if plumped from within, the skin looks visibly smoother, more luminous and younger.

What I think:  This is so hydrating, but I can also feel it firming my skin.  It makes it look smoother and younger.  This is amazing before going out or photos, too!  It’s also great for those of us who are older and need a bit of help firming skin.

Purchase at


MegRhythm Lavender Gentle Steam Eye Mask
MegRhythm Lavender Gentle Steam Eye Mask ($10.99 for a pack of 7) — MegRhythm self-heating eye mask is the perfect way to relax the eyes and hydrate surrounding skin. Its advanced self-heating technology heightens relaxation and relieves hard working eyes with the warm and soothing sensation of steam heat.
What I think:  This is such a fun product.  It’s very easy to use, just open, unfold and place the tabs around your ears.  It does get pretty warm, so fair warning.  It’s very relaxing and soothing on my eyes.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Shampoo and ConditionerJohn Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Shampoo and Conditioner ($5.99 USD each) — Cold, dry air also dries out your hair. Quench your hair’s thirst and give it a daily dose of intense hydration with this duo that provides humidity resistance, breakage reduction and improved conditioning. This shampoo and conditioner will help keep your hair continuously soft, silky and smooth through the winter months.

What I think: I love this hair care duo!  It’s so great when my hair needs extra moisture.  I find that my hair is soft and manageable afterwards. They smell nice, too, but not an overpowering scent.
Available at Food, Drug and Mass Retailers Nationwide

Brand Review: Erborian

I recently received Erborian products for my honest review. Erborian is a Korean skincare and makeup company that uses natural ingredients along with technology to make skin look and feel amazing!

These are the products I have been testing out:

Erborian Bamboo Matte Lotion

Erborian Bamboo Matte Lotion ($34 USD) — a true velvety lotion for normal to oily skin. The mattifying powder, combined with an aqueous phase enriched with extracts of Bamboo – known to be a natural moisturizer – helps to reduce excess sebum and tighten pores. Skin looks perfectly mattified, with a velvety feeling.

What I think:  This needs to be shaken each use to mix the powder with the liquid.  It smells lovely and instantly mattifies my skin!  My skin is combination and gets oily in the hot and humid summer months.  This is perfect for me now and I use it after cleansing and before serum.  It keeps my skin fresh for hours.

Erborian Black Cleansing Oil

Erborian Black Cleansing Oil ($29 USD) — combines the Korean cleansing technique with Charcoal, known for its purifying properties, to offer radiance and comfort. On contact with warm water, its silky texture transforms into a light emulsion, for delicate yet effective cleansing action. Gently removes impurities, excess sebum and traces of even stubborn and waterproof makeup. Skin feels clean, supple and nourished, as if enveloped in a non-oily veil of protection. The complexion looks fresh and radiant.

What I think:  I use the Bamboo Matte Lotion in the daytime, but I use this cleanser at night to remove makeup and really cleanse my skin when it’s oily.  It is safe for my sensitive skin, too.

CC Crème High Definition Radiance Face Cream Skin Perfector

Erborian CC Crème High Definition Radiance Face Cream Skin Perfector ($44 USD 1.5 oz) — This high-definition color correcting primer helps create a flawlessly luminous canvas by blurring the appearance of fine lines to leave skin prepped and ready for makeup application. With two shades, color-matching pigments help create a seamless match to a wide range of skin tones. Broad-spectrum SPF 25 helps to protect skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, and the finished product is a complexion feeling soft with a non-oily yet radiant finish.

What I think:  I have been loving this lately, because it blurs lines and pores, and gives a little color too.  I use it under foundation for days I want more coverage, or on it’s own just to run around.  It has SPF to protect and it is not oily.  The pigment also helps cover my redness so I look fresh and gorgeous!

Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng Clair

Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng Clair ($39 USD 1.5 oz) — This lightweight, five-in-one primer provides a buildable and mattifying coverage for your perfect base to be worn alone or under your favorite makeup look. With three shades formulated to match wide ranges of skin tones, the creamy texture blends easily and helps to minimize the look of pores and skin imperfections for a primed canvas. Broad-spectrum SPF 20 helps to shield skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, and the result is a protected complexion that feels soft with a velvety, non-oily finish.

What I think:  I use this as primer and foundation.  When it’s warm, I don’t like to use much on my face, and this helps me to look flawless in one step.  It blends well an gives a matte look — I do set it with my IT Cosmetics Bye Bye pores powder.  I love that it has SPF, too!

Erborian Touch Pen Complexion Sculptor and Concealer

Erborian Touch Pen Complexion Sculptor and Concealer ($31 USD) — Enriched with centella asiatica, known for its smoothing properties, Touch Pen leaves a fine, translucent veil on the skin that evens out skin tone for an ultra-light, adjustable finish. This high-precision beauty tool helps to conceal dark circles, imperfections, and visible signs of aging and fatigue, revealing a radiant look by visibly contouring or zoning. Great for both concealing skin imperfections and sculpting the look of the complexion, the sponge tip applicator allows for precise product distribution.

What I think: I love these pens with sponge tip concealers that are so popular lately.  (Here’s the review for the new Julep one).  This has a soft sponge tip that I love. I have it in Clair, which is their light shade.  It is very creamy and blends really well with my fingers or a brush. The coverage is amazing and it can be used all over the face, or just in spots, like under eyes or to cover redness.  I love to keep this in my purse for touch ups. It sets well and doesn’t really need a powder over it.

I really enjoy these Erborian products.  I think my faves are the Bamboo Matte Lotion and the Touch Pen.  I think they are pretty high tech and really make my skin look amazing and am looking forward to trying more products from them in the future.

Have you tried Erborian?  Which products do you love?

Hydrating Skincare For The New Season

I try a lot of new skincare each year, and LOVE it! There are so many amazing brands and products available that can change the texture of skin and help with fine lines and wrinkles.

The products below are my current faves:

Erborian Bamboo Crème Frappée
Erborian Bamboo Crème Frappée

Erborian Bamboo Crème Frappée ($43 USD) — With a unique slush-like texture that melts effortlessly into skin on contact, the Bamboo Crème Frappée instantly helps revive dehydrated skin. This intensely moisturizing cream helps to energize and refresh the skin while providing comfort and hydration. Apply the fresh gel to your skin in the morning and at night, or use as a makeup base to reveal smoother and softer feeling skin.

What I think:  This is a cool moisturizer.  It has a slushie gel consistency that melts into skin.  I like using it in the morning, since it is so refreshing, plus it softens my dry skin.  Great for every day!

Purchase at

JUARA’s Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum
JUARA’s Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum

JUARA’s Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum ($65 USD) — Get glowing radiant skin! This reparative oil-free and fragrance-free serum addresses the visible signs of premature skin aging. It boosts radiance, reduces the appearance of fine lines and increases firmness using a powerful combination of turmeric, clove flower, watermelon extract, sea algae, hyaluronic acid, goji fruit and palm peptides. Clove flower and turmeric help brighten and even out the appearance of the skin.  Plant Peptides, Goji Fruit and Golden Bamboo help firm and smooth skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines, while Sweet Pea naturally exfoliates. Fresh sea algae, watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid plump the look of the skin and infuse skin with immediate vitality and hydration. After only a few applications your skin will look smoother, more radiant and vibrant, while feeling firmer and more plump to the touch, results get even better with prolonged use.

What I think:  I use serums twice a day, so am always looking for a great one.  This serum is light and fragrance-free, which is so helpful with my sensitive skin.  It helps firm and hydrate my skin.  I love to apply a moisturizer over it to lock in the hydration and keep my skin smooth all day.

Purchase at

Votre Vu Tragic Magic Rescue Crème ($40 USD) —  It soothes, decongests, desensitizes, rebalances and stabilizes the flush of hyper-reactive skin. That’s not all. It will also reinforce the protective barrier of your skin to ward off those pesky free radicals and save the day. Tragic Magic Rescue Crème is designed to correct the excessive sensitivity of the facial skin and restore equilibrium to the self-defending barrier of highly reactive skin. Immediately, the skin is calmed with lime, then desensitized and decongested by a blend of skin defenders. Jojoba, rose hips, calophyllum, soja and avocado insaponifiables protect and balance skin’s defenses and, with the protection of vitamin E against cell-damaging free radicals, your skin can re-hydrate to regain a balanced moisture level.

Votre Vue Attentive Crème de Nuit ($49. USD) — Designed to lavishly attend to the needs of your sensitive skin, this organic night crème is here to save face. Luscious and delicate with a soft, velvety texture, Attentive Crème de Nuit completely calms and moisturizes even the most sensitive skin all the way through to morning light. A select group of active moisturizing plant agents including borage and tamanu oils, in addition to shea butter, blended with milk proteins and algae extracts, produce a superlative essential night treatment. Instantly comforting, this crème is ideal to help skin recover and reform.

What I think: Votre Vu is a French skincare company that I haven’t tried before.  Both of these creams are rich and soothing.  The Tragic Magic (great name!) cream is very rich, but not greasy at all.  It is nice to use at night when my sensitive skin is irritated.  The Attentive Crème is lighter and so nice to use every night.  I wake up in the morning and my skin hydrated, clear and ready for the day!

Purchase at

Talika Bio Enzymes Mask Hydrating
Talika Bio Enzymes Mask Hydrating

Talika’s Bio Enzymes Mask ($13.75) includes Chamomile and Arnica, helping to soothe and heal the skin. It has a three dimensional structure to retain a very high concentration of active ingredients which are spread evenly over the skin.

It acts like a “second skin”. With alpine herbs, sodium hyaluronate and hydrophilic sugars, it restores dry, sensitive skins. After use, the skin is perfectly mosturized*, softened, soothed and infinitely more beautiful.

What I think: This is an interesting mask.  It is almost like a gel sheet.  When I placed it on my skin, it molded to my face.  I left it on for about 15 minutes.  After I removed it, I rubbed in the excess serum.  Then I let my skin dry and afterwards it was very soft.  It even hydrated rough spots on my forehead.    This is fabulous for dry and dull skin.

Available at and