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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Him ;)

Okay, so first off, sorry for the lack of proper posts, my life has been sucked into the black hole of holiday madness and job hunting. Oh my gosh, I’m tired already…

Anyways, in case the world doesn’t go poof! in the following days – hehehe,  my apologies to the Dec 21 doomsday prepper’s on high alert, but I find it mildly amusing 😉 – so, back to it, you may be like me, in that you are still holiday shopping, especially for some of the most difficult of the bunch – guys!

So, just as before with my Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Her ♥ I gathered some easy – under $50 – gift ideas for the men in your life.

ArtsyArchitette Holiday Gift Guide for Him Under $50

1. For the man that loves books

Whether he’s into crime, mystery, history or fantasy, if he likes to read and its a topic he loves – a good book is always appreciated. Maybe get him a new one he hasn’t read or perhaps an old favorite that he’s lost somewhere between high school and a life full of moving boxes.

Men are fairly transparent in their interests, but when in doubt cross reference the NY TimesAmazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers lists.

Featured Books Above: The Millenium (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Series by Stieg Larsson, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand,  On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

2. For the scent conscious guy 

If he likes to smell good, cares for his place enough to own cleaning supplies, and isn’t afraid of a dash of feminine, then he might love a man-friendly scented candle to warm up his place.

Bath & Body Works have had some yummy candles lately that really do smell like men’s cologne!

Featured Candles Above: Mahogany Teakwood, Fireside and Black Pepper Bergamot.

3. For the guy in need of a little pampering

Guys often neglect their skin and especially their hands, unfortunately, so sometimes they need a little push – next thing you know – they’re hooked!

Nowadays, there are some great men’s skincare lines and around this time – gift sets galore!

Featured Items Above: Kiehl’s Men’s Refueling Kit and Helping Hands Essentials.

4. Movie/TV Junkie?

Easiest thing ever! His favorite show’s latest season or perhaps a special edition blu-ray.

Featured Item Above: The Dark Night Trilogy Blu-Ray Limited Edition (just got this exact one – thanks to my awesome brother – for $27!!)

5. The Gamer

If he is a gamer, no doubt he has been raving about the latest game out that he just has to have, but maybe just can’t afford at the moment.

If you’re unsure – get him a points/gift card for his most used game console.

Featured Games Above: Call of Duty Black Ops II and EA Sports Madden NFL 13.

6. For the workaholic and the traveler 

Whether he commutes, or just has that never ending job that requires him to mainline coffee – a quality insulated travel mug that could take a beating and his favorite coffee is guaranteed to be welcome!

Featured Items Above: Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend Whole Bean Coffee and Stainless Steel Insulated Travel Mug.

7. For the sports fanatic

No brainer – his favorite team gear!

Featured Items Above: San Antonio Spurs T-Shirt and Chicago Bear Cap.

8. For the musician 

Why not opt for the unexpected, but totally awesome gift! Maybe hunt down a vintage record shop, or a bio on his favorite musician, or maybe just a nerdy novelty gift you know he would just love.

Featured Item Above: DIY Guitar Pick Punch from ThinkGeek.

9. Guy friendly Coziness 

Whether he is unprepared for the cold/dry weather or maybe you just want to spruce up his winter wardobe, pick up some non-holiday guy-friendly gear.

Featured Items Above: Lightweight sweater from Old Navy and Scarf from Gap.

10. And for the man who loves a good beer

If he enjoys the beer craft and is practically on his way to becoming a beer connoisseur, why not get him a new beer sampler?

This isn’t for the drunk guy in the bar, who you should NOT encourage with more beer, this is for the man that likes to buy 2 very good beers at the bar with a quality steak; and enjoys discovering new brews.

Featured Sampler Above:  World Market’s Winter Brews 9-pack Seasonal Beers.

Well guys – and ladies – hopefully that helps out, in case you are still in need of a few gift ideas 😉

x Sam

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Beauty Confessions – “This Or That” Tag

It’s Friday!! And since I can’t go shopping today 😦 (major bummer) I thought I would tackle this beauty confessions tag from Tianna @StorybookApothecary 🙂

Beauty Confessions Tag Cover

It was fun reading through these by other bloggers (links below!), but grrrr…. this tag is a tough one for me.

1. Blush Or Bronzer? Hmmm… if I had to only choose one, it would be BLUSH. Blush can be extremely versatile and having a bit of a flush to your skin just helps to achieve that healthy look. When applied correctly to specific areas of your face, you can draw out your bone structure and naturals contours without having to turn to a bronzer. Though I do love my bronzers!

2. Lipstick or Lipgloss? LIPSTICK! You can wear it matte, satin, or even glossy. I also love “staining” with lipsticks and you can create a longer lasting illusion of fuller lips with lipstick. I do love lipgloss for certain looks or occasions, but I have strict lipgloss requirements, which are rarely met. I have to say that 98% of the glosses I own are MAC Cremesheen Glass – they are non-sticky, don’t become tacky, smell yummy and have quality pigment.

3. Chapstick or Lip Butter? LIP BUTTERS!! I don’t think I even own a “chapstick” – the closet thing would be my Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer, which comes in a chapstick type packaing, but I would never actually call it a chapstick formula. Lip butters are amazing, come in so many shades and keep your lips soft/smooth for longer.

4. Matte or Sparkle Eyeshadow? Gahhhh… this is a tough one, but first off I dislike the word “sparkle” that sounds cheap. They both have their place, matte are more versatile and you can create more polished and sophisticated looks with matte shadows, plus they are great for crease and liner work. “Sparkle” shadows are great for highlighting, fun looks and brightening the eye area up, and can be more forgiving on youthful skin, BUT the level of “sparkle” can create a mess and can draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles. So I guess, if forced to choose between the two, it would be matte.

5. Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner? This is impossible to really answer! Gel, cream and pencil are tied for me. Liquid is great, especially for those not as skilled with liner, but once you have the hang of a liner brush and a quality gel/cream liner, the possibilities are endless! So liquid liner, I do like it, great for a quick look or a quick fix, and easy to use. Gel and cream liners are awesome, but you have use a quality gel/cream pot and store it properly – and yes, it might take a bit of practice to get it right, but they can be used in so many ways and I love them!! Pencil liners are classic and as long as you have a quality pencil, you really can’t go wrong with a pencil. They are quick and easy to use, but if you are looking for a long-lasting look (and you don’t have a long-lasting pencil) – topping with an eye shadow is best!

6. Foundation or Concealer? Foundation can be wonderful, especially for long-busy days and certain occasions, but I would have to go with concealer!! My skin is fairly clear, with the only odd spot here and there, and I often use only concealer to cover the under eye area, slight redness around the nose and brighten the center of my face (center of forehead, nose, chin). Concealer is great because you can add a lighter concealer in the places you want to highlight, like the tops of the cheekbones and brow bone, creating a natural highlight and illusion of contour without adding your bronzer. After setting my concealer and finishing up the rest of my make-up, I realize I don’t actually need foundation, and my skin has a very natural look/feel since I did use any foundation at all.

7. Liquid or Powder Foundation? I like both, but I lean towards liquid nowadays (if I wear it at all, usually I opt for concealer and tinted moisturizer, or concealer only). I used to use bareMinerals for 2 years, a couple years ago when my skin was a bit more oily, but my skin had normalized and stopped reacting as well to the bareMinerals, so I moved onto liquids. You can also get gorgeous finishes with liquids!

8. Neutral or Statement Eye? This question is mean! I can’t choose. I LOVE both! Same goes for lips!!

9. Pressed or Loose Shadows? I dislike this question… they both have their uses, but pressed are a bit easier to use and less of a mess. While loose shadows can be very vibrant and fun to use wet!

10. Waterproof or Non-Waterproof? Non-waterproof! I only buy a waterproof mascara if I have a specific need for it, then I use it and it sits there until I have to throw it away – being mostly a waste of money. Eyelashes are very delicate and waterproof is just a no go for me, I already wear mascara practically everyday, so the added resistance and need for a waterproof remover is no fun for me. Side note: I do use the Clinique Bottom Lash mascara, which is water-resistant.

11. Brushes, Sponges or Fingers? I am a brush fiend! I have dozens for every application possible! Sponges are rare for me, with the only few times I really use them is when applying other peoples make-up. I only have one that I use often enough, or well kind of two now, my MAC Pro Performance Sponge and the beautyblender (comparison review coming soon)! Fingers are easy and quick, great for warming up products and working them into the skin when needed.

12. Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters? LOVE them all! They all have their purpose, occasion and weather. Tip: I tend to add a bit of liquid/gel highlighter (Favorites: Benefit High Beam, Sun Beam or Moon Beam) into foundation for a little glow.

♥ Spill your beauty secrets! (Additional Q for you by D (Sweetjellybean.com)♥

Can’t Live Without Skincare Product?

This one is kind of easy for me. I only have a few skin care products and I stick to a strict rountine, so I would say my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate!! Love it, won’t go a night without it – and it is a bit pricey at $70 a bottle, but the bottle lasts me a good 9 months – so worth it!!

Favorite Makeup Blusher?

Too many to choose! From MAC, to NARS, to Tarte and Maybelline… powder and creams…. I love a lot of them.

Take-it-with-me-always beauty product?

I’m going to cheat here and name a few… MAC Fix +, Laura Mericer Tinter Moisturizer Oil Free, Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer and Korres Lip Butter!

Bonus Question from Tianna @StorybookApothecary!

What Is One Beauty Item You’re Willing To Splurge On Even Though It’s Expensive?

I will probably have to agree with Tianna here and say my Clarisonic, as I think its the only thing I would consider a splurge that I use daily/regularly. I justify most of my beauty purchases very well hehehe…

There you have it! I know, I didn’t exactly follow the rules, but for a beauty junkie this was hard!

Checkout the tag chain and send a little love to these ladies:

Beauty Confessions – “This Or That” Tag

Something Fun: This or That, Beauty Tag – You’re It!

TAG: THIS OR THAT

This was fun to do, albeit a little frustrating, but overall so much fun! Oh, and of course, I TAG ALL OF YOU!!!!  


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Product Spotlight: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque

I have finally found my holy grail of face masques!!

About a month ago, my skin was acting up majorly (which is not normal for me) and I was in need of something that would clear up the issue and quickly! I wasn’t interested in using spot treatments, anything harsh or drying, and I did not want to wait to wash away to problem with my normal cleansers – so I opted to look for a super mask!

I found it! Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque 🙂

Being a Kiehl’s lover, I don’t know how I hadn’t discovered this one yet… I have tried A LOT of masks/masques, but none have come close being the type of miracle this one is.

Kiehl’s Claims: 

Our Rare Earth masque helps purify and detoxify skin while minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores. Formulated with Amazonian White Clay to gently draw out oil, dirt and toxins that can clog pores. The addition of Oatmeal and Aloe Vera will help soothe, hydrate and protect sensitive skin.

This thoroughly cleansing masque may be used for normal to oily skin types to help eliminate debris and dead surface skin-cell accumulation that can clog pores and leave skin dull-looking. With ingredients sourced from the Marajo Island at the mouth of the Amazon River, this unique formula is rich in minerals and helps eliminate surface toxins from skin. Our deep cleansing masque helps to purify skin, leaving the appearance of pores minimized and skin refined.

Everything they claim has been true for me!

The best thing I like about this masque is that it combines deep cleansing with gentleness. As with many clay based masks, they can be immediately drying or irritating to skin – but not so with this one.

You should apply a thin layer on cleansed – damp skin and allow to dry fully, about 10 minutes, then remove with a warm wet towel and pat dry. It applies very easily – glides on and a little goes a long way. As with many Kiehl’s products, it has the expected natural-earth-clay scent of the ingredients.

It has a cooling and slightly tingling sensation on the skin, as expected with deep cleansing masques. After you remove the mask, you can see and feel the difference in your skin.

The first night I used this mask, the very next day my skin had cleared up and improved dramatically. I was hooked!

My skin has been doing amazingly well the past month and this has been the only new product I have added to my routine. I use masks once a week and have only chosen to use this one from now on, unless I need to test a mask product.

I would also recommend using this mask as a spot treatment for unexpected or stubborn blemishes. Apply to the spot(s), allow to dry and go to sleep. Wash off in the morning and I can (almost) guarantee that the spot will be gone or at least diminished.

Also, as with all deep cleansing, make sure you properly moisturize after using the masque.

The masque sells for $23.00 (5.0 fl. oz. Jar) and I definitely think it is worth the price tag! Since you apply the masque in a thin layer, I can see the jar easily lasting 4 to 6 months, using it once a week.


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Long Overdue – July/August 2012 MyGlam Bags

As in my my overdue Birchbox post, again, sorry for this being soooo late. I’ll keep this one as short as possible, considering it will be a quick review of the last two MyGlam months 🙂

July was a really good one… 

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion (Deluxe 1.0 fl oz. Sample)

I use this product already – so I loved getting this one. Great to have a small bottle on hand for travel or just your bag. I use this when I am going to be at home mainly, in the evening or just not really going out (since it does not contain SPF).

This moisturizer really feels like you are applying a barrier layer – locking the moisture in and everything else out. It is non-greasy, with a natural somewhat medicinal/botanical scent, and has a cooling affect on the skin. It works well under some make-up, but not all.

It is oil-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free and colorant-free; and helps keep oil in check.

Full Size: $26.00 (4.2 fl. oz.)

NuMe HydroPunch Hydrating Conditioner (Deluxe .7 oz. Sample)

I hate having to judge conditioners I only get to use once or twice, but this one was clearly a very nice conditioner. I definitely felt the effect of its “hydro punch” ingredients (Argan oil, strengthening bamboo and conditioning sage) after I used it. I would definitely consider purchasing this conditioner, though considering how much conditioner I go through, it may get a bit pricey.

Caution: It is quite heavy on the fragrance/ perfume – but the scent is pleasant.

Full Size: $24.99 (8.45 oz.)

Yes To Cucumbers On-The-Go Facial Towelettes (Travel Pack – 10 Towelettes)

LOVE THESE!! I use them already – so I was excited to get them! I always carry a Travel Pack with me and have the full 30 count pack on my bedside table.

Read more on them in my Brands I love: Yes To post here.

Travel Pack: $2.99 (10 count).

Full Size: $5.99 (30 count).

Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain in “Quickstep” (FULL SIZE)

Quickstep is a rich plum – which comes off a bit warmer in tone when I apply it – considering my yellow undertones. It is a nice, but pretty standard, lip/cheek stain pen. It has good staying power once set, fragrance, cruelty and paraben free, and vegan friendly.

Though it is a good stain pen/marker, there are others just as good for less.

Full Size: $19.00.

Circus by Andrea’s Choice Nail Polish in “Reverso” (FULL SIZE)

White nail color. Vegan and cruelty free. Bold and quite pigmented, dries semi-matte and sets fairly fast. Good polish overall.

Brand “Circus” was created by Andrea’s Choice – one of the “YouTube Beauty Gurus” behind MyGlam.

Full Size: Price Unknown – not available for purchase until this fall.

 

and onto August… which was okay. 

Demeter Roll On Perfume Oil in “Dragon Fruit” (FULL SIZE)

Nice, but as expected, very fruity and a hint of floral. An oil, so very little is needed. Made with Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E,  so it is skin softening and non-drying.

Full Size: $10.00 (.29 fl oz).

S.A.L.T.Y. Cosmetics Glama-ZOID! Eyeshadow (.035 oz. Sample)

Packing and branding seems a little cheap, but product is okay. Simple enough – extremely fine milled mineral shadow. Color is an iridescent violet pink.

Could be used as an extremely subtle highlight, but overall staying power seems to be lacking!

Full Size: $14.97 (Large 2.5 grams).

Full Size: $4.50 (Small 1.25 grams).

Sample: $3.97.

Eclos Cellular Activator Facial Serum (Deluxe .5 fl oz. Sample)

Unsure about this one… I tried it but, ehhh – undecided. It applies well. It is a very thin, non-greasy, serum that absorbs very quickly. The real thing the irks me is the scent – a strange semi-natural lemony funk.

This lightweight serum helps wake up skin’s self renewal process to revitalize fatigued, stressed skin. Unique plant extracts help boost firmness and tone to smooth out fine lines and damage. Exclusively formulated with rejuvenating Apple Stem Cells, clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture in two weeks. Comfrey, Gotu Kola, Tumeric and Green Tea antioxidants shield against skin aging environment assaults, helping to prolong a youthful appearance.

If you haven’t figured out yet, I get put off by things with unpleasant scents – no matter how great the product may claim to be.

Full Size: $24.99 (1.7 fl oz.)

Eclos Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream (.25 fl oz. Sample)

Same sentiments as the serum – undecided. Has the same semi-natural lemony funk going on that just puts me off.

This medium-weight moisturizer with restorative benefits helps smooth and brighten for a youthful finish. Hydration replenishes dry, dulling skin suffering from the signs of aging. Powerful extracts and antioxidants boost collagen levels for noticeable tightening and firming. Exclusively formulated with rejuvenating Apple Stem Cells, clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture in two weeks.

Full Size: $24.99 (2 oz.)

Circus by Andrea’s Choice Nail Polish in “Ringmaster” (FULL SIZE)

Same sentiments as the Reverso white polish. Neon pink nail color. Vegan and cruelty free. Bold and quite pigmented, dries semi-matte and sets fairly fast. Good polish overall.

Brand “Circus” was created by Andrea’s Choice – one of the “YouTube Beauty Gurus” behind MyGlam.

Full Size: Price Unknown – not available for purchase until this fall.

MyGlam BONUS: MyGlam Glam Gloss (Full Size )

Pardon the photo quality. Bright, fuscia pink gloss that is quite pigmented. Only slightly sticky, but overall quite smooth. Does get tacky after a bit of time on the lips. Smells of strawberries and bubblegum – so I’ll be holding onto it.

Not available for purchase.

😉