Beauty-Lover Gift Guide

Even though this blog mostly talks about butter, flour, and booze, I wanted to put together a gift guide focusing on another thing I love: beauty and cosmetics. So here are some of my picks for great gifts or stocking stuffers for moms, girlfriends, coworkers, whatever! Most of these things are products that I've used and love, but there's also a handful of things that I've been eyeing up lately.

Most of these gifts are under $25 and would be great on there own, mixed together, or as something to wrap and stick a giftcard onto. Hope this helps with your holiday shopping!

  1. Bite Beauty Best Bite Redux
  2. LUSH Sex Bomb Bath Bomb
  3. Stila Morning to Moonlight Waterproof Eye Liner Trio
  4. Smashbox Full Exposure Travel Palette
  5. LUSH The Olive Branch Shower Gel
  6. LUSH Lord of Misrule Shower Gel
  7. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo Ornament
  8. LUSH The Experimenter Bath Bomb
  9. Smashbox Double Exposure Travel Palette
  10. Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish Kits
  11. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler with Refill
  12. Herbivore Detox Dead Sea Bath Salts
  13. Herbivore Calm Dead Sea Bath Salts
  14. BeautyBlender with Mini BeautyCleanser Solid

Booze-Lover Gift Guide

Thanksgiving is over and I'm ready to be in full-blown Christmas mode. Christmas shopping has started. I'm itching to take my tiny pink Christmas tree out of the box. I want to look at Christmas lights and wander around Rittenhouse Park and look at the decorations. 

This year I put together a few gift guides that focus on different things I love (and conveniently all begin with Bs): Booze, Beauty, and Baking. This week we're looking at gifts people the Booze-Lover or Party Host/Hostess in your life. I wanted these guides to focus on gifts under $35. Most of the items are very affordable and can be thought of as an add-on to a larger gift or something to stick with a gift card. Cheers!

  1. Brass-Dotted Barware. Gold and polka dots? Sign me up! Would be a sweet gift to add to a bottle of wine or a 6-pack of fancy beer.
  2. Belvoir Pressé Gift Set. All wrapped up and ready to go. This cute set would be a great gift for a party host/hostess during the holidays.
  3. Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Great for someone who already has a bar cart set up. A way to gussy up an Old Fashioned.
  4. Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History. Written by Philadelphia's own Steven Grasse (Hendrick's Gin, Art in the Age, Tamworth Distilling), this book is great if you know someone who's interested in American history and the history of alcohol. An easy read, it's filled with historical recipes and tales of how booze built this country. Loved reading this book.
  5. Threshold Marble & Wood Coasters Set of 4. An easy gift for the person who has everything or is maybe hard to shop for. Simple, but really on-point design-wise.
  6. Hummingbird Glass Straws. An upgrade from the paper straw. These glass straws would be a great addition to a glassware set or a bottle of booze.
  7. Carry On Cocktail Kit: Champagne Cocktail. These cocktail kits are just so freaking adorable. A gift for the traveler.
  8. Real Dill Bloody Mary Mix. Sampled this at a recent Terrain event and it was mighty delicious. A quirky gift, but something fun for the bloody mary lover.
  9. Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker with Gold Finish. There's obviously a love of gold going on in this gift guide. A standard shaker with a golden finish. Maybe paired with that gold bare tool set? Or that muddler?
  10. Marble & Wood Muddler. I always like gifts that are something practical, but slightly upgraded or nicer than you would buy yourself. This muddler fits the bill.
  11. Carry On Cocktail Kit: Bloody Mary. Again, just too cute. Attach a liquor store gift card and you're good to go. 
  12. Fee Brothers Bar Cocktail Bitters Set of 6. For someone who loves to experiment with cocktails at home. 
  13. Disco Ball Tumbler. I feel like this tumbler was made for me. A really fun gift for someone who just screams fun and party. Or someone who spends a lot of time on the internet because these babies have been posted everywhere.
  14. Marble & Gold Barware Tool Set. For your friend who's just starting building a bar/ bar cart at home. This gold all-in-one kit is both functional and pretty.

My Everyday Makeup

So I know that this blog usually focuses on my love for making sweet treats and cocktails, but today I wanted to pause the baking brain and talk about what I've been loving in the cosmetics department lately. So if you aren't interested in some old fashioned product reviews, you can probably just close out this blog window and check back next week.

Although I don't talk about it much here, cosmetics are some of my favorite things to try out and mess around with. I follow a lot of beauty blogs and love seeing what normal people are playing around with and keep in their everyday beauty bag. And since this blog is part recipe/part my life, I wanted to spend today talking about some of my favorite things that I've been using lately. Below I'll talk about some favorite recent purchases, and then list what my normal makeup routine is looking like right now. If you're not interested in cosmetics, thanks for bearing with me :)

I'll start by talking about some of the brand new things that I've added to my everyday makeup arsenal in recent weeks. Most of these can be purchased at Target or the drugstore, which is pretty new for me. I'm usually a Sephora type of girl, but these are all pretty affordable options.

I had been searching for a nude, my-shade-but-better lipstick for a little while now that was long lasting, not matte or uncomfortable to wear, and not too expensive and I found all of that in the Lasting Finish by Kate Nude Collection lipsticks. Easy to pick up at the drugstore or Target, it's a lovely formula and a great color for me. I use the shade 47, which is one of the darker shades in the collection.

Bronzer has always been something that made me nervous. So many options, so many tones and shades, so many possibilities to be too orange and glittery. But I've watched enough beauty bloggers use bronzer in a way that looks lovely on the face and really adds dimension and warmth so I wanted to give it a try. I picked up this Hourglass Ambient Luminous Bronze powder in Light and I really love it. I found a mini travel size (which is so tiny and cute) in the check out line.

I had been using a tinted moisturizer for most of the summer, but I wanted to pick up something that would provide a little more coverage and the L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion really does the trick for me. The idea of a cushion foundation was really interesting to me and I like that it's really buildable and doesn't have too matte of a finish, or too glowy. I will say that I don't need a full coverage foundation so if you did, I would imagine you would want something different. I use the shade W2 (light ivory).

Doing my brows is something I rarely leave the house without doing. I have pretty thick brows naturally (because I barely touched them during the 10+ year period I had bangs), so I like to just fill in any gaps and define the shape of them. When I picked up the foundation and lipstick, I also grabbed the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Pencil in the shade Dark Brunette and I'm so happy with it. A bit of an adjustment since I was previously just using a powder, but once I got the hang of it I love it. The pencil has a tiny little nib and the other end is a great spoolie brush on the other end.

I'm always on the look out to try new dry shampoos because I use them A LOT. This tiny Amika: Perk Up Dry Shampoo was just too cute and pretty to pass up. I'm not crazy about the scent, but it goes away quickly and seems to work pretty well!

Here's a look at everything I throw on my face on an average morning! Most of the products here are things I've been using for a long time, except for the new things that I spoke about above, and really work for my needs, skin tone, and desired finish. I also should mention that my skin ranges from combination for most of the year with drier spots popping up in the winter.

Face: The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion with SPF 15, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Captivating, Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Neutral and No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder in Translucent.

Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay Shadow Box, Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler (the best eyelash curler!), Lashblast Volume Mascara in blackest black, and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (shown in first photo).

Lips: MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl and Makeup Monster Liquid Lipstick in Sedona (shown in first photo).

Brushes: All my brushes are Sonia Kashuk for Target brushes, except for my powder brush, which is a really old Mary Kay brush that I believe came from a set. Of the Sonia Kashuk brushes, I believe I own the Medium Angled Multipurpose Brush, the Large Domed Eyeshadow Brush, and the Small Eyeshadow Brush.

Lipstick Obsessed

So, I'm pretty positive I have a lipstick obsession. These are all the lipsticks that I carry around with me on a daily basis. I know, I know. Even I recognize how ridiculous it is to be carrying 15+ lip products around with me at all times. I started getting into lipstick maybe 2-3 years ago when I wanted to learn more about cosmetics and started watching videos and following blogs about cosmetics and beauty. I've always been drawn to a classic red lip and after being nervous for a while about pulling it off, I decided to get over myself and do what I wanted. I'm a firm believer that "pulling something off" is 97% confidence and fake it 'til you make it and 3% knowing what looks good on you, which is really your personal opinion about yourself. 

My problem with lipsticks is that I have longevity issues. I don't know if it's the way I move my mouth when I speak, or something I do subconsciously, or if my lips are just more moist than other people's but I have a seriously hard time keeping lipstick looking good. I'm definitely not a "put it on in the morning and don't check on it until bedtime" kinda girl. Most of the time, I need a lip liner. And even with liquid lipsticks, I cannot for the life of me keep lipstick on the center of my bottom lip. So, unfortunately, many formulas of liquid lipsticks stay on 75% of my lips, except the bottom center, which within 20 minutes is completely washed away and I'm left with a seriously hard to get off outline around my lips. Not ideal.

One of the main things that's helped me with my lipsticks is to keep my lips moisturized and exfoliated. Every night I use a heavy coating of Vaseline to keep my lips from drying out when I sleep and moisturize them. In the mornings, I exfoliate my lips with a LUSH scrub, wipe it off with a damp washcloth, and apply an agave lip mask to soak in while I do the rest of my makeup. When it's time to apply my lipstick, I apply the Prep and Prime, let it get a little tacky, then apply lip liner and lipstick. 

Below is a list of my current lipstick favorites that I'm towing around in my bag these days along with some of my favorite tools and "helper" products. In the fall/winter, I tend to use mostly reds and plums, but now that spring and summer are upon us, I'm happy to be throwing my pinks and oranges back into rotation. Also, I spoke about my main lipstick combination in this post, but that Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain has been such a problem solver for me. It's a gloss that dries like a liquid lipstick or stain, but it helps with that center of the lip problem! I use it with most of my red liquid lipsticks.👄 

Nars Pencils: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella; Satin Lip Pencil in Yu, Timanfaya, and Luxembourg.

Liquid Lipsticks: Stila Stay All Day in Beso; Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Blackberry Sorbet; Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Rouge Gouache; and Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in Mon Cheri.

Lipsticks: Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Marmalade and Confection; MAC lipstick in Craving; and Buxom Full-On Lipstick in Barcelona.

Lip Liners: MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Kiss Me Quick; MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil in Catfight, Bang, Anarchy, and Gash (must be discontinued, similar: Bad Blood)

Tools: NARS Pencil Sharpener; MAC Prep and Prime Lip (not pictured); LUSH Mint Juleps Lip Scrub (not pictured); Bite Beauty Smashed Agave Lip Mask (not pictured); good old fashioned Vaseline (not pictured). 

Most of these links link to Sephora since that's the main place I buy my cosmetics and it's one of my favorite places to shop. Two items are discontinued, but I found them on Amazon or a similar color.