Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For that Personal Touch

One of my favorite web shops, Pink Loves Brown, has great gifts at almost any price point.
I love their personalized stationery-- especially the paper airplane design!
Makes a great gift for a classy friend, a hip aunt, your favorite blogger...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Give some sparkle and send it free!

Anthropologie is offering Complimentary Standard Shipping on orders over $150 on all domestic orders until 10am EST on Thursday, December 23rd. Their Gifts For The Hostess picks make me want to have comp'ny over!

Dogeared Jewelry is offering Free Priority Shipping from Friday through Monday at midnight. Love their recycled glass ornaments!

Green Friday from Soap Hope

From the wonderful Soap Hope, saving you money while saving the world:

We've got some great "Green Friday" deals for you to choose from. Pick your favorite special and share some Hope!
  • Get our Stocking Stuffer Special - normally $20 - for FREE! It's a five-gift ten-piece stocking stuffer collection, free with any order over $30.
  • Or ... get a FREE Acure lotion bottle with any order over $60, plus all Acure products are on sale!
  • Or ... spend $99 or more on your order and we'll include a ten-pack of Hope Pourri - worth $25 - free in your package. Just use coupon code 10HOPE when you check out.
  • Or ... get a $36 facial cream from Pangea Organics for just $2.99 with any purchase of $50 or more.
Do all your holiday shopping at Soap Hope - beat the crowds and Share the Hope!
Every dollar of profit from every sale at Soap Hope is invested into anti-poverty programs for women around the world. Our mission is to teach 1,000 businesses to follow our lead and deploy one billion dollars to end poverty through non-profit microlending programs that help women start and grow businesses in their own communities.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Avoid Black Friday-- Start Cyber Monday early!

It is a quarter after 10 on Thanksgiving night.
My plans are to digest and sleep for many hours, then watch some Rankin-Bass Christmas movies.
Standing in line for a 4 am store opening?
Not unless they were selling Manolos for $5.00.

But, I do feel as though it is my patriotic duty to help bolster the economy...

My solution:
1. Shop online.
2. Wait a week, then go to small stores-- helping to save bricks & mortar. For information on shopping locally in Michigan, go here. For you folks not lucky enough to live in the mitten, check on line--counter-intuitive, I know, but...

A few to get you started:
Burke's Decor (use code GIFTOUT for 15% off until Tuesday morning)
Etsy.com (of course)
Dale & Thomas Popcorn (Use code FRIDAY10 and receive 25% off these items)

If you wait until Monday (i.e., something to do at work):

Clarisonic --All "Skincare Pairs" that are purchased this Cyber Monday will be 20% off. Products such as the Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System, Opal Sonic Infusion, brush heads and cleansers bought in pairs will be included in this special. There is free shipping on all orders as well as a free gift with purchase: a Limited Edition Pink Brush Head (Normal), 6 oz. Gentle Hydro Cleanser and travel bag ($65 value).

Glowology-- On Monday, November 29, buy one product online and get a 2nd one free! In order to receive this offer, use the discount code: nov29. This code is not valid with any other offer.

Shobha--For Cyber Monday only, buy 1 at-home hair removal or after care product online and get a 2nd free (same product). Simply choose “buy one, get one free” from the drop down menu before putting the product in the shopping bag.
Also, enjoy free shipping on all domestic orders! Enter coupon code “FSH2010” during checkout when choosing shipping.
CleanWell-- All CleanWell products purchased on Cyber Monday will be an additional 30% off. Use the discount code CM30 at checkout.
Lovely Skin-- Lovely Skin will be offering 25% off and triple rewards points on all purchases placed on Cyber Monday. There will also be a free gift with purchase on all orders over $150.
Tweezerman-- Enjoy free shipping on all orders over $45 and a free gift with any order over $75.

And don't forget to keep checking back here for more ideas!

Sephora takes on Farmville.

Sephora is encouraging you to be more naughty than nice this holiday with Beauty Envy, a fun, new interactive Facebook App that allows you to keep, swap and even steal the most spectacular virtual beauty gifts of the season.

And as a reward, Sephora is offering players a free gift with any online purchase and a chance to win the real version of their virtual gift – one winner a day for 30 days.
Download the free App beginning November 23, 2010 directly from Sephora’s Facebook page and immediately start receiving virtual gifts! First, play to find out what your virtual beauty gift is from one of more than 200 coveted items randomly selected by Sephora. The gift can be kept or swapped the following day when you have a chance to virtually exchange your gift again. Sephora’s gift to all who play is a promo code for a free, limited edition tokidoki beauty tote bag with any online Sephora purchase, while supplies last.
Next, share the App with your friends via Facebook. The Beauty Envy App tracks the gifts your friends have received and allows you to view them by clicking on “My Beauty Envy Friend.” From there, you can decide if you want to keep what you have, swap it for a new random selection from Sephora, or if you’ve got beauty envy, steal something you like even better from one of your friends.

Take your fb'ing self on over to Sephora's fb now!

For everyone! Gifts that give double.

Loving Lush's Charity Pots!
Made with Cocoa Butter (Fair Trade & Organic), these little pots of super-moisturizing cream are awesome!
Neutral scent, utilitarian black pot--perfect for everyone with skin.
Added bonus: every cent you pay (except taxes), goes to charity!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide~A lil' sumpthin' for every lovely lady in your life!!

Are you stumped on what to get one of the fabulous females on your holiday shopping list??

Here are a few of my absolutely favorite, great smelling things!  Oprah: eat your heart out!

 Pink Sugar by Aquolina.
This perfume is a marriage between gentle, warmth and sweetness and bold spiciness. My biggest pet peeve is a personal scent that is overwhelming (or painful) and this delicate and special product is most definitely not going to offend your coworkers at the coffee machine or your lady friends at brunch.

 Pink Sugar is the perfect gift for the nice and sweet candy-type girl, but I would also recommend it for the bold, confident go getter chicks too!

 Massage Bars by Lush
I am a huge fan of all things Lush and their Massage Bars are a personal addiction of mine. This product is fantastic as a massage tool, but I also use a Lush Massage Bar in the winter to give my dry, thirsty skin a deep quench or on my aching feet after a long day in killer heels!! My fave is Strawberry Feels Forever. In true Lush fashion, this particular flavor is made with real strawberry and hibiscus flowers, so a few rubs of this bar will leave your skin left feeling deeply moisturized and smelling good enough to eat!!

These bars come in endless blends and scents, making this a great little treat for any gal in your life!

My all time favorite perfume is G by Harajuku Lovers. Another soft, sweet smell, but like nothing else I've ever worn! There are 5 scents in this line-all amazing, but this is the one that I cannot get enough of! I've actually shed tears over realizing the bottle has gone dry...which reminds me of the funnest part!! Each Harajuku Lovers scent comes in an over-the-top adorable bottle, resembling one of Gwen Stefani's entourage members (Angel, Music, Love, & Baby), or Gwen herself!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gift Guide 20101- For the mom

She washes the dishes, changes diapers, cleans furiously resulting in hundreds of hand washes a day. Her hands need help!- especially as it gets colder. This is THE hand cream *. It's heavy and thick with a sea kelpy scent. Tell her to keep it on her nightstand. She'll thank you within the week.

* Featured to rave reviews on this blog before.

Gift Guide 20101- For just about anyone

If you haven't seen the trendy folk wearing these, you must live under a rock. Toms shoes are not only cool because the hipsters are wearing them, they are cool because for every pair you purchase, a child in a developing country gets fitted with a pair. I am LOVING these herringbone pair. There are tons of styles to choose from and they are like slippers. Ask anyone.

2010 Gift Guide - For the fashionista

Is your bestie ever the trendsetter? Is Vogue her bible? Then why not get her a gift certificate to the newly open stateside British import ASOS? There are tons of high end brands but don't discount the house brand. She'll love you for it.

2010 Gift Guide - For the hostess

She's the one among your friends and/or family that loves to entertain. She has a fluffy 50s apron and a huge smile on her face when she greets you at the door. Why not get something she can incorporate into one of the many parties she loves to throw? Old school red and white paper straws. Perfect for the holidays. Just imagine them in eggnog.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blow Mane Tame Soft Pomade


I tend to be a little hesitant about messing with pomades when my hair is longer. I find them fun and useful with my shorter styles but easily messy and greasy with my longer locks. This however, is a nice lightweight pomade that I found easier to control and was more likely to use to finish of my blown out style. I have fine hair so I have to be careful to not apply to much and I still found I needed to use another anti-frizz serum to get the final smooth look I was hoping for. But definitely my favorite pomade thus far.

Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Spray (by Paul Mitchell)


I have fine, curly hair so was curious to see what this lightweight style booster could do. While the lemon sage aroma is zesty and refreshing, I honestly didn't find much improvement after using the product. In fact, I think it may have dried out my hair a bit too much so I stopped using it. So I would not personally recommend this product for those looking for assistance with their thinner locks.

Surya Entensive Treatment Restorative Mask


Oh my gosh, this stuff is amazing. I have fine, curly hair and so it is often quite dry and frizzy and this sumptuous creamy parabens-free conditioner leaves it ridiculously soft and supple. Seriously, after I use it I find myself constantly stroking my own hair. It amplifies the shine and color in my hair and is well worth the 15 minutes needed for deep treatment. I highly recommend this product and plan to keep myself well stocked.

Boom Boom Brow Bar- Brow Boostiers Brow Powders


I have very fair eyebrows and this luscious little creamy brow tint does a wonderful job at highlighting my brows. The stylish little application brush helps me perfectly define my brow line and now my blue eyes really pop. I have the "Dolly" shade and plan on keeping myself stocked with plenty of Boom Boom for my eye wear arsenal.

Tarte Emphas EYES Smoldering Clay Liner


I really like this eye liner. It has a nice, even creamy application and the brush tip helps to create the smooth or smoky look you are going for. The dark bronze color I had made my blue eyes really pop. Tarte is an eco-friendly company, which I love, and this I believe is clay extracted from the Amazon river, so you have that extra bit of exotic-ness going for you. I plan on purchasing the liner in the other available shades.

Talika Eyebrow Extender


So this was a bit of a disappointment. I have very fair eyebrows and was really excited to use this product but with application, and even adding some brow tinting, I still didn't see much difference. It's a rather wet application but didn't bother my sensitive skin. I just didn't really see any results which was sad.

Tarte Lock and Roll Creaseless Cream Shadow and Loose Powder


This is a fun little combo stick of eye cream shadow and loose powder. I had the forest green and bronze sticks, appropriate for fall. The colors were a lovely blend but the application of the powder and eye cream was a little messy. The roller that dispenses the powder is a little rough on the skin of the eye lid and takes a little coaxing to get out in an even amount of powder and the cream shadow can be a bit gloppy in application. You have to blend and use a few tools to get the right look. I ended up reaching for other liners to blend with the loose powder as it was an easier application process. But for a fun pop of shimmery color, it could be worth the extra time spent.

Yoghurt Moisturising Face Cream by Korres


This is a nice rich moisturising face cream. I have dry, sensitive skin and a small amount of this goes a long way. Leaves skin soft, with no greasy residue. I was sad when my sample ran out. I could see a difference of smoothness and brightness in my complexion after a week or so of daily use. It contains real edible yogurt (though I didn't sample ;o) but I prefer natural ingredients so was very happy with the results. Will definitely buy more.

After Sun Soothing Lotion


OK, so I've only been on the board a few times, but I'm a big sun and water gal and this Aloe enriched lotion is in fact very soothing after a day at the beach. I tried using it as just my daily lotion, but it didn't quite feel like enough moisture. It does have a nice cocoa butter beachy scent to give you that bronzed blissed-out feel and I would say a good productg to have in the beach bag for after the shower to wash off the sand and salt.

Lovely Body Lotion by Glowology

lovely body lotion glowology Pictures, Images and PhotosFrom RENEE:

OK, first off, this lotion smells phenomenally yummy. That alone is enough for me to want to purchase a few gallons. It's incredibly creamy and smooth without being greasy and does in fact leave a lovely, healthy glow and sensual softness to my autumn dried skin. I will absolutely purchase it for myself and likely as gifts for girlfriends for Christmas.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Small and wonderful

Some of the best things come in small packages--and not all of those packages are a certain blue;)

Here are some small gifts, perfect for stockings, but also worthy gifts by themselves:

Lush knows how to make bath products into art!
Their Matryoshka is a Russian nesting doll made of soap and bath bombs.
fizzy.It is seriously cute and cool.
If you can bring yourself to use it, the soap lathers well and the bath bombs are great and
Even if you can't bear to suds up with the Matryoshka, it will make your bathroom
smell great.
It smells like winter when I was five. There's a hint of cinnamon, apple, crisp... It makes me think of putting up garlands of cranberries and popcorn.

Also from Lush, solid Gorilla perfumes are wonderful!
The solid sticks are sleek, travel-friendly, and can work for the boys & girls on your list.
Even Vegan-friendly.
My favorites are Tuca Tuca and The Smell of Freedom.
Added bonus: fun colors!

Tweezerman's Brow Beauty Bubble is the new go-to gift for the well-groomed.
These tweezers are perfect-- Tweezerman, need I say more?
Plus the coolest magnifying mirror with startling clear reflection-- kind of HD for your face.
Festive, thoughtful, useful!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

For your Host/Hostess

Friend or family member putting you up for the holidays?

Bring (or send ahead) an assortment of Bon Ami cleaning products:

Clean the bathroom after you use it, do a load of dishes... Make yourself useful and leave some loveliness!

Gifting made easy

Between yesterday and today, the temperature in MI has DROPPED. The stores are getting crowded. THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!!!

Just for you, dear readers, the BrainyBeautys will post daily gift ideas and advice to help you avoid the panic gifting-- I once gave a set of fancy glasses to someone with toddlers, because the glasses were the first thing I saw. That one did NOT go over well ;)

So, my first and best bit of advice is to Know Your Audience!

The person
with the menagerie of pets probably won't be able to keep a china egg safe, the hard-core vegan doesn't want the summer sausage gift basket...

Now, the recommendations for the day:

Tarte, a perennial favorite, is offering great gift sets, some exclusive to Sephora.
Our favorites:
The Jewelry Box (left)--Amazing kit, dazzling case, even a detachable
necklace. Wonderful colors, so many looks! Perfect for a glam friend, or a daughter/niece-type who deserves quality and beauty.

Grab Bag (right)-- Perfect for the traveler who doesn't want that jet-lagged look! Even comes in a reusable clear bag!

The Royal Collection-- It's all about the eyes, but has a lip gloss and primer for a
polished finish. Beautiful packaging, sure to make anyone feel like a million bucks!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Soap Island Nectar

Temps are dropping and so are the moisture levels in my skin. This moisturizing hand soap is perfect for Fall and Winter. So great that it's anti-bacterial too-now that it's cold and flu season. The smell is coconut, honey and musk. The perfect combo.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tarte Lip Sheer

This post is long overdue, but I've been using Tarte's natural lip sheer for several months now. It's advertised as a cross between a lip balm and a lip gloss, and it pretty much delivers on that. It doesn't feel quite as moisturizing as some other lip balms that I've used, but it is more moisturizing than a regular lipstick. This lip sheer has an SPF-15 rating, and comes in a variety of shades named after days of the week. (I've got the Thursday, which is a light rose shade.)

I try to stay away from things that are super chemical-laden, so I appreciate that this has no parabens, phalates, or sodium laurel sulfate. I generally don't like wearing lots of makeup, so for me, this lip sheer is a perfect way to get some moisture and a little color at the same time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

LUSH Massage bar

Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage Bar

I was very skeptical about this-- it looks like a bar of soap with pomegranate seeds stuck in it, and feels like a bar of goo.

VERY strong, but good cinnamon smell. Real cinnamon, not that fake crap.

I tried it because of the smell-- I have been battling a cold & am achy and stuffy. This was one of the first things I could smell!

It is like icy-hot, but without the icy. And good! Really good.
I am at work right now, really wishing I had it with me!

Tarte Lipsurgence lip tint

Tarte is AMAZING!
I've tried both the Matte (Fiery) and Natural (Moody).
I really like the Matte, soft & light feeling.
I have completely used up the regular!
Almost cried when I got rid of the empty tube.
Luckily, Tarte makes more!

For your radar: Tarte has wonderful gifts on their website as well as a completely different, yet equally great collection on Sephora.

Mad Men lives on...your head

While you’re out there scoring the perfect cocktail dress and sweater set, don’t forget to revive your hair color! Celebrity hairstylist Umberto Savone makes it as easy as 1-2-3 to achieve the Blonde Bombshell (Betty Draper) or Radiant Redhead (Joan Holloway) look with his cutting-edge line of foolproof professional at-home hair color, U Color by Umberto Beverly Hills!
With shades like Natural Light Blonde, Mid Blonde, Red Mahogany Brilliant and Red Cayenne these vibrant, demi-permanent hair colors will be sure to turn heads!
U Color by Umberto Beverly Hills retails for $12.00 and is available for purchase at Ulta stores nationwide and Ulta.com

U Color is easy to use as well as coloring beautifully, check our previous review.

Pureology November Giveaway

Visit http://pureology.com/discover/styling and win one of the following miniature products of your choice:

• FORTIFYING HEAT SPRAY protective primer
Thermo-protective spray provides mild hold with Xylose Sugar. Primes and protects hair up to 400ºF when using thermal styling tools.

• ANTI SPLIT BLOWDRY styling cream
Lightweight humidity resistant cream that provides mild hold and adds moisture and reflective shine for an effortless blow-dry.

• NOURISHING NECTAR sculpting gel
Conditioning gel formula shapes and conditions hair with structure and shine while giving medium hold.

• CUTICLE POLISHER shine serum
Lightweight cream-to-serum formula seals and smoothes hair with intense shine and mild hold.

• STRENGTHENING CONTROL zero dulling hairspray
Non-dulling finishing spray with a fast-drying formula that shapes hair with flexible hold and a radiant finish. Medium control with special no-water formula to protect haircolour.

Keep your fingers from cracking

Tips from Skyy Hadley:

Keeping nails in tip-top shape can be a little tricky once the temperature drops. It is super important during fall/winter months to make sure your nails stay hydrated (to prevent nails from splitting/cracking):

The best way to ensure hydration is to exfoliate the hands and condition the cuticles to keep them soft. I recommend softening cuticles before you get in shower: load your hands with a cuticle oil, face oil or Vaseline and then rub in when you get in to the shower. The steam will help penetrate the oil/Vaseline into dry and cracked nails and skin. (Even lip balm works as well when you’re in a pinch). Do not use a loofah as the product will get lost within the holes, be sure to use hand-on-hand action that way you utilize the product thoroughly. Always focus on cuticle around the nails and gently massage in – those who are in a rush for time can apply dot by dot by dot.
Have a great day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Keep the Girls Up!

With over 44,000 hits on YouTube for their first single, Check Me Out, Mama Mio’s Belle and The Buttons are proud to announce their next “skin flick”, These Boobs Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. The film’s goal is to raise money and awareness for the beauty industry charity Look Good… Feel Better ® Mama Mio will donate $1 for every Boob Tube (classic or shimmer) sold at mamamio.com through December 31, 2010.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Burlesque hair & contest!

The movie Burlesque will be in theaters November 24th!
Quick synopsis: Ali (Christina Aguilera) a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to LA. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theater that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess (Cher), the club’s proprietor and headliner. Burlesque’s outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingenue, who vows to perform there one day. Burlesque features an all-star cast including: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Peter Gallagher, Alan Cumming, with Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci.
Visit http://www.sebastianprofessional.com/en_US/burlesque_sweeps/index.jsp for a chance to win two tickets to the “Burlesque” movie premiere in LA with round-trip airfare and accommodations for the winner and a guest courtesy of Sebastian Professional!

I am excited to see this! Especially Cher! And Cher's hair!

Loving Length

The #1 complaint from clients is that stylists take too much length off. Here’s a tip from Sam Villa, founding partner of the Sam Villa® brand and Education Artistic Director for Redken 5th Avenue, for those who love their length, yet want fresh ends and interest in their cut:

“When a client says they want to grow their hair out to one length, most stylists will advise that the shorter the hair is cut, the sooner it will be one length. While this is absolutely true, it pushes the limits of most clients’ comfort zones,” says Villa.

“The natural average of hair growth is ½ inch a month, so if a client visits their stylists every 8 weeks and only has an inch taken off, they can stabilize length and grow hair at the same time. They key is for both client and stylist to agree on the size of an inch is, so use the tip of your thumb to the knuckle as a guideline.”

“Another tip for stabilizing length is altering the interior of the cut – leaving the length and weight of the perimeter and adding interest with disconnected layers or extracting weight with blending shears on the inside of the cut. Fringe can also be added – side swept for conservative, as it’s flattering on all face shapes and grows out easily, and bold and dramatic for the trendy,” concludes Villa.

Aspire for more with Sam Villa! Villa is the founding partner of the Sam Villa® brand, Education Artistic Director for Redken 5th Avenue and a Stylist Choice Award Winner for Favorite Platform Artist and Educator. Discover his coveted hot tips and techniques, along with Sam Villa Signature Series brushes, combs and thermal irons on www.samvilla.com