Best treat to me are flowers whether you’re looking for something simple or something a little extra! Some of you may remember Andrew bought me a box from Venus Et Fleur when we were still in San Diego and they truly last at least a full year. They have a special preserving process that keeps them looking fresh and beautiful for a long time. I love the single Le Mini Round Rose and the Le Mini Square too.
I recently ordered a few bouquets from Urban Stems and really liked them! They come nicely packaged in a delivery box and you can add on extras like candies or vases.
Favorite lip products
I think the best thing to treat yourself with is a new lip product. The best long-wear mattes are from Pat McGrath Labs and she just launched her new Divine Rose II Collection with some new colors! (Review coming soon.) Anytime someone wants a recommendation for the best matte lip I always recommend the Pat McGrath MatteTrance.
For the person who doesn’t wear makeup you can always pick out a fun nail polish or hand cream. OPI and Essie are my friends’ favorites. I’m personally team OPI and they just launched their Hollywood Collection for spring and I’m in love with all the colors! Hand creams from Molton Brown and L’Occitane are a few of my favorites to gift away. If you want to splurge extra Chanel makes the most chic hand creams (and the formulas are really good!).
Things for the Home + Fun Gifts
A few useful and functional things I use everyday are my makeup bags from The Daily Edited, Lululemon Water Bottle and Yeti Tumblers and Diptyque candles. To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Diptyque they’ve launched their Hypnotic Graphic Collection with their best sellers in limited-edition jars. Roses is the prettiest one! Available in the standard size and also a cute Trio Set with the small candles.
Mother’s Day is approaching and if you’re looking for a gift I have a roundup of some fun ideas! I think any mom would be happy with something simple like flowers or a nice brunch date, but just in case here are some ideas.
Some safer scent options include bath and body products or scented hand creams. You really can’t go wrong with the Fresh Sugar Lychee Bath Cubes or the Fresh Sake Bath. I’ve loved both and there’s a GWP going on at Nordstrom (I think it ends today May 7th for their triple points).
Molton Brown makes some of my favorite shower gels and hand washes. Their latest is The Perfect Picnic Bathing and Hand Gift Trio. They always have good GWP promos on their site. I planned on gifting this to my mother-in-law and I really want to keep it for myself.
Byredo came out with a Hand Cream Duo for Mother’s Day – I picked this up for myself in New York at the Soho boutique a couple weeks ago and think the aqua green tint is just SO pretty. You can also buy it at Neiman Marcus. I believe it is limited-edition.
Skincare is another tricky one as it’s also very personal but you can’t go wrong with sheet masks. Also while in NYC I picked up the Peach and Lily Sheet Mask Trio from Barneys New York at their Mask Bar which has 3 to try. It’s super cute and really affordable. Just pair it with a box of Godiva Chocolates or flowers and it will make a nice gift. (You can also find it at Macy’s or Peach and Lily)
If you have a mother or mother-in-law that literally has everything, you can always stock her up on beauty staples, like if you know what her favorite perfume is or mascara is, there’s no need to be super creative. Tried and true staples are always a safe bet. Chanel Le Volume is a classic you can’t go wrong with. I’m putting this in a gift set for my mother-in-law.
I hope you found this gift guide roundup helpful! Do you have any fun traditions with mothers, grandmothers or mother-in-laws?
Press samples include items from Creed, Edward Bess, Molton Brown, and Chanel.
I have my first holiday gift guide of the year today featuring some great discovery gift sets. Birchbox and Sephora each have their own curated box sets with hand-picked items. They’re often grouped and boxed by themes such as dry shampoos, berry lips, nude lips, sunscreen, skincare etc. They’ve basically taken their best sellers and packed them into sampler boxes with minis at a value price. I love these for myself because it allows me to try a lot of items without having to buy the individual full sizes I’m unsure about. Each store has their own exclusive selection which makes them unique.
There are tons of boxes and kits to choose from. Many are pretty affordable and tons at the $25 price point. This year I shopped sets early as I know there’s a good chance the value sets of them will sell out early. My friends this year are all about hair styling and highlighters. It seems like every single female friend I have doesn’t have time to wash and dry their hair on a daily basis. The good thing this year is that there are TONS of dry shampoo sets and holiday styling sets for all hair types. Highlighters are also as popular among my friends as they are on Instagram lol. Sets are great because even though I think I can find the perfect highlighter or dry shampoo for my close friends we all have different tastes and preferences.
Up first are some of the Birchbox Kits. Birchbox is known for their monthly subscription boxes and for the longest time I thought that was all that they offered. Not true. The Birchbox Collection has an entire shop of discovery kits, limited-edition box sets, and much more. If you visit their store you’ll see their products grouped by product type and then brand. An entire wall will be dedicated to suncare and they’ll split it by types of sunscreens. Their value sets are really cute and well put together. You can also buy individual full-sized items as well.
Up first is The Dry Shampoo Starter Kit for $32 ($74 value) you get an amika (Fort)Tress Shower Cap, amika Perk Up Dry-Shampoo, R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo (one of my favorites), Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, Living proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.
To date the R+Co had been my favorite but has been replaced with the Oribe Dry Shampoo that just launched a couple months ago. Neither leave my hair looking dusty or matte and there is no white residue. One of my friends swears by the Living Proof one which I tried. It left my hair looking too matte. As this set is a gift I won’t be reviewing the other items but thought you would like a peek at this one.
Next is the one I’m just beyond obsessed with. In my What’s In My Bag post I mentioned this Birchbox + Oribe Styling Kit. It has five minis of Oribe – cute beyond words!! I ordered two of these, one for me, one for a friend. I suspect I will be ordering a few more as you just can’t go wrong with Oribe. It’s priced at $35, each bottle is tiny but if you’ve never tried Oribe before this is a great way to try out the line without having to buy individual bottles which are around $20 each for the minis.
One kit I received as a press sample was the Complete SPF Kit. When I visited the Birchbox Soho Store over the summer I was just blown away by the presentation and display of the store. If you’re in NYC definitely make a stop there. The bottom floor is for men’s grooming and skincare so bring your boyfriend, husband, brother or male friends with you. They can build their own Birchbox too!
This one is priced at $18 – you get mini sample sizes of Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream, MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50, Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day SPF 30 UV Sun Fluid, Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50, COOLA Face SPF 30 Unscented, COOLA Daydream SPF 30 Mineral Makeup Primer. I have yet to try all of these but I’ve tried both the Coola ones and find them suitable for my sensitive skin.
Next are the Sephora Favorites. I think one could seriously get carried away with the sets because they have SO MANY good things in them! One of the complaints my friends have about makeup is that the size of some things are just too big and it take them forever to use something up. Minis are popular among friends who like to rotate items frequently because you can use them up faster.
Up first is the Sephora Favorites Scouted by Sephora set which is $24 for five minis. This one features 5 up-and-coming brands at Sephora. I received this one as a gift and haven’t had a chance to try the items yet, but have been really curious about Milk Makeup so I’m eager to try the mascara. It has a Bésame Cosmetics Red Matchbook, GrandeLIPS Hydrating Plumper, Makeup Eraser Mini in Pink, MILK MAKEUP Ubame Mascara, Wander Beauty Lip and Cheek Mini in Pink City.
Next is the Sephora Favorites Glow for It. This one sold out online but I spotted it in store and picked up two. It’s since been restocked online and I can see why it’s been a popular one. For $30 you get minis of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Moonstone, Benefit Watt’s Up, Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops in C+ Lemongrass – Radiance, Hourglass Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder in Incandescent Strobe Light, MILK MAKEUP Sunshine Oil and a full size Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Crème Highlighter in Glowing Lights 06. The Lancome blush itself is $30 so the set is a steal.
I already have 3 of the items in the full size (Hourglass Strobe Powders swatched here) but almost want one for myself.
Another one is the Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue Masks on the Go ($25). This one is listed as being an $85 value. It has quite a lot of product to sample – to date I’ve tried three of the items from Ouai, Phyto and Christophe Robin and all three are great. This one has Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque, Phyto Phytokératine Extrême Exceptional Mask, Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Masque, Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil
, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day® Night Cap Overnight Perfector, Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask, Ouai Treatment Masque, VERB Hydrating Mask, and two packet sets of Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy Treatment For Deep Hydration & Superior Shine Treatment Step 1 & 2.
I wish I had this set last year when I was traveling for a month. It would have been perfect as it has packets small enough to pack in a carry on. One of my friends is obsessed with masks – skincare and haircare. She is going to freak out when she gets this one.
Last but not least is the Sephora Favorites Ready, Set, Style! This one was a bit pricier at $29 but the sizes of each spray was pretty impressive. You get five sprays for hair refreshers, volumizers and texturizers. It includes Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, IGK Down and Out Dirty Spray, Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray.
That wraps up my first holiday gift guide. I hope these give you a better idea of what the sets look like compared to stock photos although I do think that both Birchbox and Sephora do a really good job at giving us accurate stock images on their websites.
The Sephora VIB Rouge 20% off sale starts tomorrow November 4th and runs through November 7th. If you’re shopping online use code 20ROUGE. I received an early code from a Sephora employee so was able to shop the sale early. I’ll have my Sephora shopping recommendations roundup up later this afternoon for those who are trying to research early.
For now I hope this sets post give you some ideas for affordable gift options. The ones I featured are all very reasonable in price ranging from $18 to $35 which won’t break the bank if you buy multiples. They’re great for holiday gifts or to treat yourself. I’m seriously tempted to keep a few of these for myself – I may order one or two more once the Sephora sale starts.
The Birchbox Complete SPF Kit and Scouted By Sephora Set gifted as press samples. Remainder featured purchased by me.
I have one last roundup of gift ideas for Mother’s Day in case you’re looking for some more options. There are a number of gift guides on multiple retailers by price point with lots to choose from. I did a Mother’s Day Gift Guide with Ulta Beauty last week with lots of picks for warm-tones and cool-tones so I’m set for gifting this year. I personally fell in love with the Tartelette In Bloom Palette and ended up picking up one for myself. I had to repeat it in this round because the quality and pigment is really really good!
In the event you’re looking for a pre-made gift set, the Molton Brown White Alba Truffle Hand Regime Duo is one of the best I’ve tried in hand care. I reviewed it during last holiday season and still really enjoy both the Hand Exfoliator and Hand Treatment to keep the hands looking groomed and healthy. For value deals, Birchbox has a Limited-Edition Beauty in Bloom Set for $64 that covers a little bit of everything from makeup, hair care, body and home fragrance so it makes gifting super easy.
For those who have moms that aren’t really into makeup, fun summery accessories are always nice as a spring-to-summer update. Even those who aren’t into makeup can always use a fun bright mani/pedi color. My favorite pink of the moment is Chanel Camelia (swatched here). If your mom loves Chanel and already has almost everything there is, the summer collection just launched online – there’s a really good chance she doesn’t have anything yet because I just saw it pop up today.
Hope your week is going well! Two more reviews to come this week for Charlotte Tilbury and Becca – I’m working on labeling and editing the swatches today!
Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away which is just around the corner and I started my gift search a bit early this year. Shopping for gifts for my mom is one of the most challenging things ever because she usually says she has everything she wants. To this day she would rather have me make her a nice card rather than buy her something (she still has almost all the little drawings, paintings and clay sculptures I made when I was in grade school!). Gifting a basket of little beauty goodies has always worked in the past – she loves OPI nail polishes and anything new for lips is always fun to try out for her. I’ve teamed up with Ulta Beauty to create a Mother’s Day Gift Guide for both my mom and my mother in-law. They are on opposite sides of the color spectrum for skin tone, my mom has fair skin, dark hair and prefers cool tones. My mother-in-law has medium-tan skin, blonde hair and I’ve always seen her wear warm tones. Both are classic beauties in their own unique way – I thought my picking items for both based on different undertones it might also help give you ideas of what to gift to your mom!
I stopped by my local Ulta last week to check out the new launches and promotions going on. There are a lot of new beauty items that were released, but I usually discover something new everytime I visit the store. Right now they have a Spring Bag Gift with $40 Fragance Purchase which is a large tote and small zip pouch. Buying fragrance as a gift can be a bit tricky but the one scent I find that is a hit with everyone I know (at every age) is Philosophy Amazing Grace because it’s such a fresh and clean uplifting scent. Tote featured in this post is the Blue Gift With Fragrance Purchase Option, there are three colors to choose from:
For Mother’s Day gifting ideas, Ulta has four gift categories by personality type including On Trend Mom, Natural Mom, On the Go Mom and Classic Mom. I feel like both of my moms could fit in a few of the categories – they both have a hybrid of classic or on-the-go personality.
First I picked up a few classics that I personally really like I thought would be great for them to try out. I bought 2x of each of these shown below, one for each mom.
The Lancome Eau Fraîche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water is a classic gentle but effective cleansing water good for a double cleanse or for quick makeup removal on days you are short on time. I like that it comes in a fairly large size and has a well-designed pump dispenser. Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water is something I discovered recently which doubles as a makeup priming spray to hydrate the skin or set makeup after application. It comes in a mini travel size which I think has enough to give it a thorough test drive. I think it’s a great multi-tasking product suitable for multiple skin types. I like to use it both ways as suggested and it’s a great face refresher.
For the face/cheeks Ulta has the Best of Becca Radiance Set which includes trial-sized minis of their best sellers for a natural luminous glow. The set is a steal at $32.50 and has Mineral blush in Flower Child, Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal, Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight Wand in Moonstone and a small Backlight Priming Filter. (I almost want to keep this one for myself! How cute is the backlight primer!)
For eyes, I think deep plum tones look amazing as a liner no matter what skin tone or eye color you have. It’s softer than black, not quite as boring as brown, but still conservative enough to wear for everyday. The Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Darkside/Blackheart has two shades of deep plum, each side has a different shimmer effect but nothing crazy.
For brows, the Anastasia Brow Wiz is one of the most highly rated brow pencils. I recently bought Medium Brown and find it really easy to use. There’s a handy shade guide in store and online to help you decide what color to try based on hair color. I bought Taupe for my mother-in-law and Medium Brown for my mom.
For beauty picks for my mother-in-law I picked out warm tones. She has blonde hair and tan skin and I’ve always seen her in neutral to warm tones. I think my husband’s mother is really one of the coolest people I know and lucky to have a mother-in-law like her. Anyone who has twins (and twin boys at that) deserves a medal. I don’t think raising two boys at the same time is something I could ever handle – and she did a great job. Since these items are going to be gifts I wasn’t able to swatch anything. I do have reviews coming of the Becca Luminous Blushes though so stay tuned for a review in an upcoming post.
Shown below is the Tarte Tartlette 2 In Bloom Amazonian Clay Palette which has the most glorious combination of mattes, shimmers, neutral and warm shades. I swatched this one in store and each color has an ultra smooth texture. It has 9 matte shades and 3 shimmers which makes gives it a little sparkle but makes it still conservative enough for a classic beauty. It’s so gorgeous I am going to have to go back and buy one for myself.
Becca launched new Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blushes which are amazing in color and have serious pigment! Shown below is Snapdragon (pink) and Tigerlily (peach). These are literally what dreams are made of. They give the skin a luminous glow with a pretty flush of color. For those concerned about shimmer – they are on the shimmery side but are not overly frosted.
For nails OPI Bubble Bath is a neutral classic you can’t go wrong with. For the lips Tarte has new Double Duty products called The Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick and Gloss – perfect for on-the-go. Below are two rosy shades in Voltage and Sass. I swatched these on my hand in store and the lipsticks were extemely soft and creamy.
Up next are some cool tone beauty picks for my mom. She loves mauves and plums and brighter pinks for the lips. For eyes she likes to keep things simple but does like to add a bit of color. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear shimmer eyeshadow so I picked up the Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette for her. It also has ultra smooth shadows in a wide range of color options which seem to be neutral-cool. All of the colors are shades she would wear. For that matter I think they are shades I would wear too. For quick reference – I think these colors would suit a number of skin tones and under tones but she has fair skin, pink undertones, dark hair and dark eyes.
For cheeks she likes pinks and mauves that are soft but add life to the complexion. When I was younger she would always tell me I needed more color and dab some of her lipstick on my cheeks as a bit of a stain. Urban Decay Afterglow Powder Blush in Fetish is a soft mauve plum pink without any shimmer while Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Blush in Camelia has a luminous glow which is more pink and brightening.
If you’re searching for some beauty gifts for Mother’s Day I hope you this roundup gave you a few ideas! There are a lot of options to pick from in skincare, makeup, hair care, fragrance and beauty tools – many of which are budget friendly. These days there are so many brands to pick from at Ulta Beauty including Anastasia, Buxom, Benefit, OPI, Lancome, Becca, Tarte and Essie etc. Everytime I go in store I find I discover something new.
I shopped for my mom and mother-in-law but found a few items I think I’m going to have to pick up for myself in the next week, mainly one or both of the Tarte Eyeshadow Palettes. If you’ve tried them what did you think? Do you have any gifts planned for Mother’s Day this year? Would love to hear your ideas or plans whether it’s beauty or non-beauty related!
If you’re a mom – do you have anything on your wishlist for Mother’s Day?
Created in partnership with Ulta Beauty. Many thanks to the team for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own.
I’m still in new year mode mentally but it’s already almost February! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I’ve rounded up some Valentine’s Day gift inspiration whether you’re looking for something to hint for, treat yourself with or gift to girl friends. I’m a sucker for pink sunglasses and there are quite a few to choose from right now. J.Crew just launched a sunglass shop and I love the imagery on their site!
Charlotte Tilbury just launched two new lipsticks that are exclusive to her site called Between the Sheets and Kiss Chase. I just ordered them and can’t wait to see them in person. They look so feminine and girly.
For spring Diptyque launched the Rosaviola candle and it’s to die for. How cute is the pink?! It comes in two sizes and unfortunately the small one has been so popular it has sold out almost everywhere (I couldn’t find it anywhere in stores near me). You can still find some online at Space NK (at least as of this morning). Full review soon.
If you have a sweet tooth and need a quick pick-me-up, Sugarfina has some of their best selling candies in the prettiest pink packaging for Valentine’s Day. You can’t go wrong with any of them. My top three favorites are the Strawberries, Peach Bellinis and Champagne Gummies. (Not shown above, but they also have some cute items for Chinese New Year!)
Hope you enjoy the roundup of some other ideas. I have this bag on my wishlist in the mini size. I told myself I would not buy anymore small bags because this one is just so pretty. We’ll see how long I can resist.
If you’re looking to get organized, these Weekly Desk Pads (2) by Rifle Paper Co. have been a lifesaver for me. I use them constantly and they are immensely helpful in planning out my weeks. These cute 2015 6-inch Pocket Journals from Gigi New York + With Love From Kat (3) are now 50% off (I just ordered one).
For the home, you can’t go wrong with a luxury candle. Diptyque Baies (5) is a splurge but once you try a Diptyque candle, you won’t want to burn anything else.
Net-A-Porter has a limited-edition Valentine’s Day Kit (7) that is quite amazing. It contains nine different luxury hair, skin and makeup sampler sized beauty items. I was lucky to receive one as a gift from Net-A-Porter, a more detailed review to follow soon.
For the hands, a new scented hand cream can do wonders for your skin and mood. L’Occitane’s Delightful Rose (8) is a classic with pretty pink packaging. If you’re looking for something that doubles as a hand and body moisturizer, the Aerin Rose Hand & Body Cream is a sweet rose that I really like.
Essie Nail Polishes (9) are raved about constantly by my readers. I recently decided to give the line another try and am smitten with the opaque colors. (If you have a favorite please let me know!)
If you’re a fan of the Elizabeth and James Nirvana line, there are new Nirvana Black (10) and Nirvana White value gift sets that have a body lotion, roller ball and Eau de Parfum spray.