I’m kicking off the holiday season with my first Holiday Gift Guide! Today’s edit has a roundup of cozy gifts for the home. I’ve included a lot of my personal favorites to put on your radar. There are a few things I’ve bookmarked myself to keep an eye out for sales.
A cozy blanket or cashmere scarf are two things you can’t go wrong with (no matter how picky the person is!). Long time readers know I LIVE for our Barefoot Dreams. These are blankets we use all the time and I’m 100% obsessed. We love the classic CozyChic Throw Blanket the best for the softest option. I also really love the In the Wild Prints. I have the Everlane Cashmere Rib Beanie, Scarf and Throw on my radar for the season. I linked a few more cute options below!
Fuzzy slippers are on my wishlist this year. I have so many on my radar and bookmarked a ton of cute ones to keep an eye out for sales. I already ordered these mule slippers from Naked Cashmere and these from Sherpa Scuff ones from Madewell so far. I am hoping the others will be on sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday – although I have to admit they are already in my online shopping carts. If you have tried any or have favorites please let me know in the comments.
The best cozy scents I’ve tried are Diptyque Santal or Le Labo Santal. I also think Byredo Bibliotheque is one of the most unique warm cozy scents I’ve ever smelled – it makes the prettiest luxe gift. For those who prefer room sprays both Andrew and I love the ones from Diptyque for the strongest throw. They come in a few variations and every single one is amazing. This year they launched a Best of Baies Trio set that has a mini Baies room spray.
For coffee lovers I have done a few highlights on my Instagram Stories (also saved in my Highlights under HOME if you want to see some demos). I’ve had the Nespresso Pixie from the day it launched and loved it for YEARS! A few years ago I stopped drinking espresso because it was too strong for me but I recently bought the Vertuo Next because it makes BOTH coffee and espresso. I 100% recommend it! Stores like Bloomingdale’s, Williams-Sonoma and even the Nespresso website have incredible deals during the holidays – this is the best time to buy one! (Currently on sale online at 30% off at the Nespresso website!).
There’s nothing quite like a good bougie candle to make your home feel extra fancy, warm and cozy all at the same time. By popular request I have an updated favorites roundup for the holiday season! My tried and true favorites remain the same with my top three favorite brands being Diptyque, Byredo and Cire Trudon. Many of these I started burning in late fall and will continue using many of these through early spring.
1. Diptyque Baies is in my top three favorites and this one is my most burned, repurchased and recommended candle ever! It has notes of rose and blackcurrant, it smells like berries and rose to me. I’ve bought this in almost all the different sizes. If you are new to Diptyque this is the one I recommend to everyone.
2. Diptyque Feu de Bois is one of the best firewood smokey scents. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it always feels like Christmas to me! It smells warm and cozy.
3. Diptyque Vanille is a smokey vanilla. It’s not your typical sweet gourmand vanilla. It’s almost like a leather smokey kind of vanilla that has a warm vibe.
4. Diptyque Ambre is my favorite amber scent. It has the perfect mix of wood, vetiver and patchouli with a hint of spice. It’s another warm one – I bought the large colored glass version a few years ago and found it a lot more potent than the standard size (which is still very good).
5. Diptyque Santal is the best sandalwood candle. It’s not too strong or spicy and is perfect year round.
I bought the Mini Carousel Set and standard size Lucky Charm carousels last year and love them! They usually have them out only during the holiday season. Both are still available right now at Nordstrom.
6. Cire Trudon Ernesto is the best candle of all time to me. It’s a magical mix of leather and tobacco – but I find it hard to describe. I have yet to try all the Cire Trudon candles (I have also tried minis of Positano and Rose Poivree which were lovely!). They’re the most expensive candle splurge I’ve made for the home in past years. Every Christmas they launch special edition packaging for a selection of scents. The Cire Trudon team was generous enough to send this year’s for review and it’s GLORIOUS! I have the Classic size but it also comes in two larger options.
7 / 8 / 9 Cire Trudon Gabriel, Nazareth and Fir have been on my radar for years but every time I’ve decided to buy one I always go back to Ernesto. They have a beautiful Odeurs D’Hiver Christmas Trio which is boxed in the most beautiful packaging I have ever seen. Every candle in the box is carefully packed with inserts around the edges and also in the top to protect the wick/wax. Gabriel is glorious mix of leather, chestnut and wood. Nazareth is a mix of clove, oranges and cinnamon (smells like Christmas!). I’ve always been more of a pine lover for Christmas scents but Cire Trudon Fir is so unique and sweet while still being very green.
10. Byredo Tree House is my favorite one from the line. When I first smelled it years ago I actually did not like the way it smelled straight out of the jar. It wasn’t until I smelled it burning in their New York store that I decided to give it a try. It has the most amazing mix of cedar, bamboo, sandalwood, guaiac wood, hay, spice, myrrh and labdanum. It’s warm and cozy with wood and spice mix.
11. Byredo Bibliotheque is almost like a smoky candle version of Bal D’Afrique perfume to me. It’s not as sweet but to me it has a similar vibe that is so unique and unlike anything else I’ve tried. Even the little one has amazing throw.
12. Aesop Room Sprays – For those who cannot burn candles room sprays are a great alternative. I’m completely obsessed with all the Aesop Room Sprays and was thrilled to find they launched a mini trio this holiday! I’ve also loved Diptyque Baies and 34 Boulevard St. Germain sprays as well for our home. I’ve been dying to try one from Byredo but haven’t yet.
How I recycle and clean out wax to recycle/repurpose candles in this post here. What are your favorite home scents for the holiday season?
Cire Trudon candles gifted. All others purchased by me.
Today I have a holiday gift guide featuring luxury splurges to treat a loved one or yourself! This one has a mix of different things I’ve loved this year. I have some accessory and fashion finds included.
The Chanel Fresh Body Cream has been a staple for me for years so when they launched a Gentle Oil Huile Douce* version I could not be more thrilled. It’s a gentle lightweight oil with a super light fresh scent to it and I’m 100% obsessed. It leaves the body smooth, hydrated and very soft. Their Hand Creams have also been a huge obsession of mine since they launch and I’ve collected every formula. I love the regular La Creme Main because it dries down to a velvety finish. This year they added the Le Lift La Creme Main and I find it is a lot more hydrating.
For fashion finds I found mini bags were the way to go for me this year. I fell in love with the Tory Burch Perry Bombe Bag that Andrew bought for me for my birthday. It’s reviewed here and worn here. It’s quite tiny but I have 2 colors and use them all the time. I later bought the Gemini Link Mini version which has a bigger opening and I also loved that one all summer/fall. Since going with smaller bags I found I had to buy a smaller wallet. I had sold most of my bags and accessories in a few blog sales to make room for new things and realized I no longer had any card cases. I love the Gucci Card Case (I actually had it in a different pattern before) – it works for everything I need!
The sunglasses I get asked about the most are my Celine Round Sunglasses (worn here) and my brown or beige Raybans (brown ones worn here). I love them both. For me Rayban is a great line – I love the round style in the havana brown and dark brown too. Quality is great and they stay on the nose better than a lot of other brands for me.
The best sheet masks I’ve had in rotation this year are from 111Skin. If I had to use 2 sheet masks the rest of my life it would be the 111Skin Bio Cellulose or the Rose Gold Brightening. I scored a few of the sets on Black Friday for a killer deal. I would still pay full price to replenish. You can buy individual sheets if you don’t want to commit to the full box set. The Subzero De-Puffing Eye Mask is among my favorites for the under eye area. I’m contemplating the Energizing Bag Set for myself.
Last but not least I’ve fallen in love with APL and if you want to truly treat yourself I think these are 100% worth splurge. I’ve tried a few styles now and like the Techloom Breeze and Techloom Pro the best. I also love their Slides for wearing around the house or to the beach. I ordered some for Andrew and he’s even hooked! If you use this referral link you can save $20 off a purchase of $140 or more.
I’m doing another giveaway! One person will be selected via the widget below to win:
Away Mini Pink Suitcase (note this is a backup I have from last year’s variation) filled with minis including the Laura Mercier Glow Set, Laura Mercier Red Velvet Lip Liner, Glossier Balm dot Com Berry, Glossier Pro Tip Liner, NARS Rita Lipstick, NARS Mini Balm Duo, By Terry Mini Baume de Rose, By Terry Mini Rose Hand Cream, 1 Joanna Vargas Sheet Mask, Mini Bum Bum Cream.
Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. To enter simply use the widget and complete at least 1 of the steps. The more steps you complete the more entries you receive. Will run through 12/18/2019 and ends 11:45 PM EST. I’ll select a winner within 24 hours and email them. Winner must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be selected in their place. Prizes ship within 1 week. Not sponsored or affiliated.
Today’s Holiday Gift Guide features cute beauty stocking stuffers! I’m rounding up some cute beauty finds for makeup, skincare, hair care and more. Minis are my weakness in general. I usually buy hair care in a mini form first if I can find it, that way I can try before committing to the more expensive larger sizes.
If you know your friends really well you can’t go wrong getting them minis of their favorite fragrance! If you know they love to try new perfumes but don’t know what scent to get them the holiday season offers the best sampler sets. If scent isn’t their thing body care is a great option. I love First Aid Beauty face creams for the body (they’re multi-taskers). Hand creams are also a great no-brainer. Love the options from L’Occitane, Laura Mercier and Kiehl’s this year.
Everyone needs lip balm! I love the sets this time of year. In particular Fresh has amazing gift options at multiple price points and size variations. I’m a huge fan of the NARS Afterglow formula. They made Mini Blush + Balm Sets in Orgasm, Torrid and Dolce Vita exclusive to Sephora. The colors are now available in Full Size in their Afterglow Collection which I’ll be reviewing soon.
Some cute stocking stuffer sized sets I’ve found linked below.
Hair Care & Accessories
Another great grab-and-go kind of gift is dry shampoo, hair texturizer, sampler sized sets and more. There are options at every price point. I really can’t emphasize enough how much I love the Slip Scrunchies. This has been a tough year for my hair with the color treatments and it’s never been more prone to breakage. The scrunchies are life savers for me!
Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Any good finds for yourself or others that you’re really excited about?
Continuing my Holiday Gift Guide series and rounding up some gift ideas for the home. If you have any favorites to add please let me know. I know everyone’s home decor style is different and unique but here are some gifts I think anyone would love to receive.
My absolute favorite things I’ve ever bought for our home are the Barefoot Dreams blankets. I’ve bought both the Classic Cozy Chic Throw and the Ribbed Option and both are amazing. They are hands down the softest and warmest throws we own. Even our fur babies love them. There is no better cozy feeling than to snuggle up in one on the couch at the end of the day and have some hot chocolate or ice cream while watching a good TV show. I’ve been tempted by one of their cardigans but haven’t tried one yet. Instead I bought two more blankets this season to give as gifts.
Candles are the easiest thing to gift during the holiday season for me. Nest makes the best affordable options and they have seriously strong throw (this trio set is $44). The Nest Holiday candle is lovely this time of year. My personal favorites of course are Diptyque Baies and Cire Trudon Ernesto. If I had to pick 2 scents to burn the rest of my life, those two would be it! Byredo Tree House would be a close third. The Cire Trudon Christmas launches come in the most beautiful holiday jars. They are quite the splurge but hands down THE best of the best.
If burning candles aren’t an option, room sprays or diffusers are good alternatives. I still think candles have more throw with the fragrance lingering longer, but I really like Aesop and Diptyque. Aesop has the cutest States of Being Set with three mini room sprays which I am absolutely obsessed with. We also love the Melodist Set for the home, I think it would make a great gift for anyone.
For mirrors I get so many questions about the Riki Skinny vs Simplehuman options. Even after reading my Favorite Makeup Mirror post, some of you are still undecided. I truly think they are both great brands. My recommendation depends on how important the magnification option is for you. If you find it essential go with the Simplehuman Round options. The magnification detail and clarity is truly phenomenal and extremely good. However this makes it hard to see your entire face at a glance. If you’re more like me and like to see the whole face while doing makeup, then opt for the Riki Skinny or splurge on the Simplehuman Sensor Wide Pro. The angled panels in the wide Simplehuman mirror make things so much easier like doing your brows or contouring the side of your face.
I think fuzzy slippers always make for the cutest gifts. I love the look of these ones from Madewell. Right now I’ve been living in my APL Slides (I own them in so many colors it’s a little embarrassing). They’re so comfortable and perfect for Florida weather but I’m looking for something that covers the whole foot. We’ve had some cold bursts here in the 50s so my toes need something more cozy! If you have any favorites please let me know!
Some more favorites linked below. I think there are so many nice cozy throw options especially this time of year, but the Barefoot Dreams is hands down the best.
A few more gift guides coming soon over the weekend as I know the shipping cutoff deadlines are approaching for Christmas! Will be rounding up some more for ideas and inspiration.
I cannot believe Christmas is almost here! Today I’m doing my first holiday gift guide of the year featuring the Best Beauty Sets $50 + Under. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my favorites in case you’re still doing some holiday shopping whether it’s for friends, family or to treat yourself. Nordstrom is truly the best one-stop shop for me. I can find something for everyone on my list. They make it really easy to navigate their Holiday Gift Shop by recipient or price point. I often use the filter Gifts Under $25, Gifts Under $50 and Gifts Under $100. There are tons of options to pick from.
Fresh Beauty Picks
Here are my top picks for any beauty lover. Options included even for the girls who have everything or the picky ones too! Up first are some finds from Fresh Beauty. They make my favorite shower gel and their lip balms are great options for anyone. No matter what age, skin type, skin tone – everyone can use a little extra care for their lips. Their tinted Sugar Lip Balms come in some super cute sets.
I’m so thrilled to find that MAC has tons of gift options under the $50 price point. I bought the Starlit Lip Bag Set in the neutral color option for myself as it has a full size liner in Dervish, lipstick in Aspiring Star and lipglass Among the Stars for a value price. There is a red option too which looks gorgeous! The Lucky Stars Lipstick Kit has 3 miniature sized lipsticks in a zipped pouch. The neutral kit (shown in the top corner) has A Star In Your Name, Once Upon the Stars and Jar of Stars (all new colors). The individual Holiday Collection items come packaged in a festive clear star packaging which makes for great stocking stuffers. They have limited-edition colors of Lipglass, Lipstick, Eyeliner and Opalescent Powder to name a few.
Fun Luxury Gifts
I’m a huge fan of Slip Silk Scrunchies ($39) and think they make for a cute simple kind of gift. I’m never without these – I keep some in my purse and in our car for whenever I need to reach for one to tie my hair up. They also make such beautiful Silk Sleeping Eye Masks ($50) I have a couple of these and love them.
Hand creams are another great universally great gift option. For the person who loves sweet scents the Laura Mercier Tres Riche Travel Hand and Body Cream ($38) is the ultimate treat. L’Occitane also makes a great Holiday Trio ($29) this season and if you have someone who needs something unscented, I highly recommend Kiehl’s. They have a cute Smooth Skin Delights Travel Trio ($35) with one unscented and two scented. You can split them up in stocking stuffers or keep one for yourself!
Hair Care Loves
When it comes to hair care I feel like for shampoo and conditioner it really depends on hair type to pick something as a gift. Styling products are easier to gift because virtually every single girl friend I have is obsessed with dry shampoo, volumizers or texturizers. Bumble and Bumble has some really affordable options including the Reign, Dear Duo ($20) and the More the Merrier Trio ($33). I have the full size thickening shampoo and conditioner on my wishlist to buy when I finish up some bottles. Oribe also makes some great options. I’ve gifted the Dry Texturizing Spray ($22 to $46) numerous times in the full size and travel size option.
NARS Holiday Makeup Sets
I usually feel like NARS is often at the higher luxury price points but am always thrilled when they launch value sets or minis to gift. The All Access Powermatte Lip Pigment Set ($45) has 3 full sized options with American Woman (one of my favorite rose long-wear lip colors), Fly Robin Fly and Funkytown in a bright red sequins zip pouch. For those who want to try minis before committing to full size products, the Past Curfew Travel Size Mascara and Eyeliner Set ($20) is a great stocking stuffer option to try for yourself. For lips/cheeks it doesn’t more classic than their Dolce Vita color and the Travel Size Dolce Vita Cracker Set ($24) is super cute. I’m a huge fan of the Afterglow Lip Balm and they still have the Afterglow Mini Lip Balm Duo ($22) available which I still use on a weekly basis because I bought backups!
That wraps up some of my favorite finds for Holiday Beauty Gifts $50 and Under! There are tons of options for men’s grooming, fragrance, skin care and more at Nordstrom. I hope this gave you some ideas if you’re looking for gift ideas!
Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. As always all opinions are my own.
Up first is a look at the Gem Glow Trio Compact Highlighter. It’s a stunning mix of pink, pearl and soft peach shimmers. The little yellow spots are overspray but it’s very soft so what you see in the compact is pretty true to what you will find underneath. I swatched each portion individually and swirled.
By Terry makes some of the most beautiful complexion products but they’re all very expensive. I do really love their Compact Expert Dual Powders (I still do) even though they cost an arm and a leg. This holiday season I found myself truly overwhelmed with all the highlighter options and for the first time in many years I did not review or purchase the holiday ones from Chanel or Tom Ford. After trying the options from NARS, Hourglass and Marc Jacobs combined with the dozens launched this year alone I feel like they’re all starting to look the same. I probably would have not purchased this By Terry Gem Glow Highlighter as I’m really set for life with highlighters in general, but out of all the ones I’ve seen this year this one has the prettiest presentation. Like many of her other face products there is more than one color in the pan with a small divider in the compact. The small spacing makes it virtually impossible to get individual colors which I don’t mind. But you will most likely have to swirl or mix shades with a regular face brush.
The pigment and color payoff are excellent. On my skin this translates into a beautiful pearly glow. It performs well, applies smoothly, stays put and doesn’t emphasize my pores. I find it has enough sparkle to be perfect for holiday. The shimmer is truly stunning on the skin making this a beautiful option I think will suit a wide range of skin tones. I do really love this one but the color can probably be duped.
Next is a look at her Gem Glow Brightening CC Serum. It’s a pearly rose gold that is very sheer. I’ve purchased several of her CC Serums in the past and they are extremely expensive but beautiful. They are sheer enough to use all over the face for a very soft subtle glow. It’s rose scented and it does not irritate my skin.
I do like the way it gives the skin a lit from within glow without any greasy emollient finish. The dry down has a soft almost velvet feel which is nice because any added shine with a shimmer product can often translate into a greasy look. If you’re looking for a liquid highlighter this is not the product for you, it’s too sheer to be used as a highlight. If you want something more glowy or visible I’d recommend Armani Fluid Sheers or a stick cream highlighter like the Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighter sticks.
As beautiful as this product is I think you can get a nearly identical effect with the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow or Brightening Youth Glow Primer for a fraction of the price. I know ingredients aren’t the same so it might not be fair to compare them, but effect is similar. I do think the By Terry Brightening CC Serum is a beautiful product. I love that it comes with a pump and the bottles I owned in past years lasted for a long long time.
Swatched on the hand straight from the pump and then blended out you can see how it just adds a luminous sheen to the skin with barely any color.
For holiday she usually launches a Mini Baume de Rose packaged in a cute ornament form. It took me many years to bring myself to splurge on the full size but it’s 100% worth it. The minis are $24 each which is easier to justify as a splurge even though it’s tiny. I think it’s one of the best treats you can gift yourself. A look at the mini vs full size:
Next are some swatches of her Eye Light Palette Terrybly Paris 2. I haven’t tried any of her shadow palettes before as they’re usually out of my price range. This one retails for $49 and I’ll say up front it doesn’t swatch well on the arm or hand but on the eyes it’s MUCH much better. For those who are tired of the red, orange, pink or glitter palettes that seem to have taken over the beauty world today, you’ll find this one different for the neutral lover. It is very natural but has a nice range of colors for a polished muted classic eye. The colors are soft but they do give a beautiful wash of color you can layer or mix. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I think it would look really nice especially on fair skin tones. They have varying degrees of sparkle but the overall feel is very soft, airy, lightweight and has a subtle sheen.
Last but not least she has some of her Ombre Blackstars in a Trio this year with Blond Opal (shimmery pale champagne gold), Misty Rock (metallic purple) and Bronze Moon (shimmering bronze taupe) for $95. They usually retail for $38 each so you do get a little price break. For some reason I remember these being more expensive individually, I’m not sure when the price changed. Most of her colors have an intense shimmer pearl. These are some of the prettiest cream shadows that stay put on my lids without any issue. I’ve included swatches of a few other colors that I still have.
Overall I think these are beautiful quality pieces that are well made. If you splurge I think you’ll be happy with any of these items although I do think there are more affordable alternatives just as good to pick with other brands. The highlighter is such a beautiful piece to look at especially with the design and I think it’s a really pretty color with excellent pigment. Photos cannot do the swatches justice – the sparkle is so gorgeous and mix of colors a sight to behold. I do think you can get a similar effect with other shades though.