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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Dawn

Gift Guide 2016: Beauty and Skincare

Oh Beauty Gift Guides! I love you. I've assembled a large amount of beauty related products that I think would be great as a gift under the Christmas tree. I have five makeup categories, a hair category, and a section for skincare. Some of these things I've talked about before and others I've never mentioned, but I love. I've really tried to keep everything relatively balanced between drugstore items and high-end items. I also, tried to balance out products you can get in smaller cities and things you can order online. I know beauty can be so daunting, please don't think you need this makeup, you don't, you're already beautiful, this is just supposed to be fun; I just wanted you to have the tools for a good time.


Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. It's light, but high coverage. It makes the skin look flawless.

Revlon Colourstay 24H Foundation. It sticks like glue all day and night and is high coverage without being cakey.

NYX Conceal. Correct. Contour. Perfect for anyone who needs to hide some under eye circles with an orange pigmented shade, cover some hyper pigmentation with the yellow shade, and contour with the darkest shade. Overall, very versatile and the the pigmentation is very consistent.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder. One of my all-time favourites for it's stay power and for being so lightweight.

Kat Von D Lock-it Concealer Crème. It's incredibly pigmented and stays like no other. Perfect for under eye circles.

L'Oreal TrueMatch Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer. A great spot concealer because of its crayon shape and creamy wax consistency. It's also very pigmented and doesn't look cakey.

Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer. It's my favourite primer of all time. It does an excellent job of priming the face and keeping the foundation from patching.

NYX Matte Bronzer. It's not orange! Yay, you won't look like a crayola coloured your cheeks. It's very pigmented, and comes in many shades.

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Splits Shimmering Skin Perfector Mineral Blush Duo. I swatched this, didn't buy it, and it actually bothered me that I left it at the store. Don't worry, I myself got this for Christmas and it's absolutely marvelous. The highlight is super intense, but the blush is so pigmented and so soft and blendable.

Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer. It smells like chocolate! It's also so beautifully pigmented and blends really well.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Blush. This has always been one of my favourite blushes because it's beautifully pigmented and light and natural.

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops. It's like liquid gold. So beautifully pigmented and you can apply it over or under your pressed powder because it does dry like a powder. You can also add it to your products to make them more luminous.

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner. You never need a sharpener! It self sharpens and it's the most smooth liner that stays in place. It's everything one needs for an everyday liner.

Peek Expresso Natural Stain Brow Powder. It's so perfect because with an angled brush, it applies so evenly. Also, it photographs well and you don't need a lot.

Stila Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palette in Soul. I cannot explain how magical these colours are. There is an even amount of matte shades and shimmery, they are all pigmented and soft, and the black shade doubles as a liner if you need a liner in a pinch. Also, it lasts all day even without a primer.

Covergirl Trunaked Eyeshadow Golden Palette. These colours are so beautiful and you can wet them to give a foil effect or a more lasting shadow. There are quite a few shimmery colours and just enough matte shades to do your crease. It comes in two other colours as well.

Nylon, Patina, and Satin Taupe from M.A.C. These three colours together make a great everyday eye with a little shimmer. I love these shadows because they last so long! They are wonderfully pigmented and last forever (I've never hit pan).

Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara Volum' Express Waterproof. It doesn't flake off and the lashes are so plum and not clumped together. It's as if it takes your lashes, doesn't move them together and makes them look like you've applied false lashes.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara. This mascara lives up to it's name. I really like it for it weighted handle and for it's brush shape. The formula and brush work together to give your lashes a plumped look without having to add lashes.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil. It smooths and comforts the lips, which is great for when your lips hate the cold weather. It's a luxurious oil for night or day.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. It comes in a variety of colours and isn't incredibly drying, which is perfect when you just want a matte lip that will last through a meal. The colours are pigmented and the consistency is good with a lip liner underneath.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick. The colour of these lipsticks is so incredible. It's a cream which moisturizes and doesn't leave the lips feeling dry or chapped. Plus, when the colour has worn off, there's this nice little stain that is left over and is perfect incase you don't have time to re-apply.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick and Colour Riche Collection Exclusive lipstick. These colours are so pigmented and last really long! I'm always so impressed by the colour payoff and the selection of colours both the regular collection and the exclusive collection are worth it.

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick. I love the regular melted lipstick they have, so it was no surprise that the matte version is just as amazing. The applicator is wonderful and the length between re-applying is amazing. I love the pigmentation and consistency of the lipstick.

NYX Suede Cream Lipstick. It's so matte, it's probably the most matte lipstick I've ever tried. Not for the faint of heart, this will dry your lips, but the colour! Ohh the colour is so worth it. So is the longevity of the product.

Formula X Nail Polish. I love this polish because it lasts so long without any chips. The colours are also really nicely pigmented, so less layers.

Deborah Lippmann. I love the glitter polishes from Derorah Lippmann, they are really pigmented and don't really chip until a few days of wear. Also, they apply really nicely, you only need a few coats.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Formula. I got seven days out of this and that was super unexpected, with a little patience, this is really nice. I really enjoy that you don't need a base coat with this and the colours come in so many varieties. You can also use the top coat with other polishes.

O.P.I Nail Lacquer. A classic by any standard, the array of colours is endless and they have really mastered not chipping. It's so creamy and so easy to apply.

Essie Polish. A drugstore classic, I love how many colours this company has and how well they apply, you will find this one chips a little early, but the pigmentation and consistency are all too incredible.

Disclaimer: I have combination skin. My T-zone is oily and my cheeks are dry. My skin is also really sensitive, so a lot of the products here are non abrasive and nourishing. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. This is so nice to cleanse with. It's a luxurious treat that really works. It's not drying and doesn't leave the skin feeling tight. It leaves your skin radiant.

Origins Modern Friction. Such a nice exfoliator that actually dissolves! It's so nourishing and doesn't irritate the skin, it just gently removes the dead skin, leaving it bright and smooth.

Olay Moisturizing Lotion. You'll love this if you have sensitive skin. It's a great day moisturizer and isn't heavy. The skin soaks it up and then you can add your sunscreen afterward.

Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal face mask. What a wonderful face mask for when your skin is acting up. It purifies the skin, without drying it.

Olay Regenerist Serum. Your skin cells need to be constantly active to give your face a radiant glow. Because we wash our faces and remove all the moisture, we need to re-introduce it to our skin, that's where a serum comes in. This one from Olay is really nice during the day and all you need is one pump to cover your face.

Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Eye Cream. Yes, you need eye cream. The skin around your eyes is very thin and needs to be moisturized, plus, the sooner you start, the better your eyes will stay. Yay no wrinkles!

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil. It's inexpensive and melts the makeup off of your face! This is what you use before you cleanse and it's holy grail worthy. If I could tell you to buy only one product, it would be this one because it doesn't strip your skin.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. Your face deserves a deep clean every day! This stuff doesn't leave the skin feeling tight, but tingly. It gets into the pores and is just wonderful.

Clinique All About the Eyes Rich. This is perfect for night use when your eyes are really dry from the cold winter months. It's so nourishing and creamy.

Olay ProX Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System. If you're not ready to buy a more expensive cleansing brush, this is a great product! It comes with two heads and the handle. Oh and batteries, it comes with batteries! It's great to exfoliate and cleanse and leaves your skin bright and smooth without being abrasive.

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer. It smells like citrus and is so wonderful in the morning. It refreshes the skin and gives it a nice glow.

Disclaimer: I don't use aerosol cans and most of my products are actually hair and scalp friendly. Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder. It's a dry shampoo, it adds volume, it smells really nice. Ultimatly, it keeps the hair from looking greasy and adds volume all at the same time. It's also not iritating on the scalp.

götb Gardian Angel Gloss Finish Flat Iron Balm. I really like this product because it saves my hair from the heat I apply to it almost everyday. It's a nice product that smells nice and isn't heavy.

Aveda Thickening Tonic. This is for you if you have thin hair and you need to thicken it. It does exactly what the bottle says, it thickens the hair without being heavy or crunchy. Perfect everytime you wash your hair.

Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo. Amazing to soak up all that oil in your hair without irritating your scalp. It doesn't leave a film and actually absorbs into the grease instead of just laying on the hair fibres. It also lasts longer because it's a powder and not a spray, so you get more for your money.

OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. Great as a leave-in oil after a shower. It's not heavy and does really absorb into the ends of the hair to save them from damage when styling.

L'Oreal Evercrème Leave-in Conditioner. I've talked about this a lot! It's great because it's sulfate-free, it isn't heavy, and the ends stay hydrated for a long time.

Pantene Intensely Strong Repair Creme (My bad, wrong picture). Need a hair cut, but don't have time? This is great to drag out your hair before a hair cut. It's not a permanent fix, but it does act as a buffer and your split ends do look invisible.

Salon Selectives Hairspray (you can purchase this at Walmart, but I can't find it online). A classic that holds the hair in place! It's a little crunchy, but a light mist is all you really need. Plus, it smells nice.

Aveda Invati Collection. If you're feeling really generous, may I suggest this line for someone who's hair is thinning and they would like to keep what they have? This collection has an exfoliating shampoo, a thickening conditioner, and a scalp revitalizer that really invigorates the roots of the hair to plump them and keep them in place. This is amazing as a gift.


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