I think I like the countdown to the holidays more than the holidays themselves. It is always a bit sad that you can’t be with everyone you adore on the big days. My family is scattered across the US. Plus, Christmas, especially, is so much pressure with presents and glitz and festivities. Maybe another reason I prefer the build up rather than the main event, is that I love Advent, the Christian celebration of the four Sundays leading up to the big celebration. A favorite childhood memory of mine is advent calendars – opening a door each day of December for small treats and the contemplation of what this time of year means to me, my family and my friends.
This year, The Body Shop, created the most extraordinary advent calendars for grown-up beauty junkies. Each day reveals a product that can celebrate the spirit of the season (or perk up from a holiday slump). There are 25 treats that delight. And little daily gifts are along the theme of nature inspired by the Enchanted Forest – something I always love being reminded of any time of the year.
I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but for those of you who want to know what is in it, the list is below. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
- Mini Peppermint Candy Cane Shower Gel 2 FL OZ
- Mini Mango Body Butter 1.69 oz
- Mini White Musk® Body Lotion 2 FL OZ
- Bunny Nail File
- Mini Strawberry Shower Gel 2 FL OZ
- Coconut ath Bubble Coconut 1 OZ
- Mini Camomile Gentle Eye Make Up Remover 2 FL OZ
- Green Tea Bath Bomb Green Tea 1 OZ
- Mini Almond Milk & Honey Hand Cream 1 OZ
- Mini Pink Grapefruit Body Lotion 1 FL OZ
- Bath Lily Red
- Eyeliner Liquid Black .8 FL OZ
- Lip Definer Hot Date .03 OZ
- Mini British Rose Body Scrub 1.69 OZ
- Born Lippy™ Lip Balm Strawberry .31 OZ
- Mini Almond Milk & Honey Body Butter 1.69 OZ
- Brow & Lash Brush & Comb
- Mini Shea Hand Cream 1 OZ
- Eyelash Curler
- Mini Mango Shower Gel 2 FL OZ
- Eye Definer Black .03 OZ
- Strawberry Smoothing Face Mist 2 FL OZ
- Matte Lip Liquid Tahiti Hibiscus .2 FL OZ
- Full Size Coconut Body Butter 6.75 OZ
- Owl Face Towel
Available at The Body Shop and $173 value.
I haven’t shared a fragrance update in ages – still hooked on Le Labo Santal. But this summer, my friend gifted me Twilly d’Hermès as a thank you for being part of her wedding. I couldn’t imagine a more thoughtful gift as we share an admiration for the brand. And the scent could not be any more perfect for me.
I was a little surprised at this as I usually shy away from florals, but this blend matches tuberose with ginger and sandalwood, giving it a spicy and soft finish. It dries down sweet on my skin, which I love in the hot weather. It is worth a sniff if you are like me and need a summer update to woody, spicy winter favorites.
While on a tear through Sephora a couple weeks ago while visiting a friend in Kansas City, we both dove for setting sprays and ended up with two different versions. I love both, but for different reasons.
First, I settled on KAT VON D Lock-It Makeup Setting Mist. This soft mist goes on easy as the spray is super fine. The cucumber scent is so refreshing in the mornings, which are never easy for me. Once it hits the skin, it totally disappears while still boosting complexion. My makeup (which is fairly minimal) stays put and looking fresh all day.
Cathy picked up Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray which goes on before makeup or as a setting spray post-makeup application. We played around with hers, using it right after cleansing and were blown away how even and glowing our skin looked. The coconut water and probiotics revived and hydrated skin. Plus, used throughout the day, it refreshes.
Next time, I will snag the Too Faced Spray, mostly because I wear limited makeup and just am looking for a natural glow. But for those who wear a little more makeup and need staying power, I really love KAT VON D Lock-It Makeup Setting Mist.
As long as I have lived in Tulsa (over six years now!), I have been seeing Gabe for all my skin care needs. Several years ago, he struck out on his own in the most adorable building in mid-town and it is always a treat to visit after a long day at work.
As I have approached my late-thirties, Gabe has worked with me to adjust skin care and heal my main skin beefs. We used many peels to fade sun damage from my twenties quite successfully. But now that I have a more client-facing role at work, I can’t use peels due to the downtime required.These days I rely on his microderm and amazing products from ZO Skin Health. In addition to highly recommending Gabe to local readers (he does fabulous eyebrows), I also want everyone to know what a great brand ZO is. Here are some of my favorites from the line up:
- Gentle Cleanser: this cleanser removes makeup but is still gentle and leaves skin refreshed, but not dry. I also love that it is slightly foaming.
- Exfoliating Polish: this is probably my favorite products of the line up. It exfoliates using magnesium crystals and provides a healthy glow while removing dead skin cells.
- Complexion Renewal Pad: these pads are perfect for on-the-go or summer travels. They exfoliate while calming skin – ideal for jet-lagged skin.
- Smart Tone Broad-Spectrum SPF 50: this is one of my favorite sun screens. It adjusts to your skin tone while reducing redness. And the protection is physical sunscreen, gentler on sensitive skin.
Contact Gabe for products!
It seems that everything is about the glow lately. And I have to admit, it is harder to come by for me. My skin tends to irritate and beam redness more than glow. But I will not end the fight. While nothing has really blown me away in a while, the return of my Clarisonic to my routine has impressed me. And as a refresh, I added their new brush set to get it back in working order.
These brush heads are some of the most popular in Clarisonic’s range. Radiance Brush Head is built with fine and soft bristles that fight dullness and are gentle on skin – helpful for skin like mine prone to redness. The Revitalizing Cleanse Brush Head also has fine bristles but works against signs of aging. The highlight of the set it is cleanser – it is foaming, my favorite. But still creamy.
Have a mom who loves her Clarisonic? Great last minute Mother’s Day idea! Available at Sephora.
Pamela is probably my favorite friend/reader to dish beauty about. Not only does she have great skin and is always up to date on products, she lives in New York and gets to do all the latest treatments and fitness classes! I can’t wait to get back to New York soon to check out some of her favorites. But her latest recommendation to me not only is fabulous, but can be found around the corner at anyone’s drug store.
I picked up PanOxyl 4% Acne Creamy Wash Daily Use on her recommendation without much research. I was thrilled to see it is creamy – my favorite formula for face wash. I was a little fearful of the benzoyl peroxide as my skin is slightly sensitive and I don’t suffer from much acne. But the product indicated that this wash is designed for those with “slightly sensitive skin” and “mild to moderate acne like whiteheads or blackheads” ***raises hand***.
While 4% benzoyl peroxide is strong medicine, it is not as strong as their more powerful formula offering 10% benzoyl peroxide (the strongest available with a prescription). For those with more serious acne, ask your dermatologist if this might work for you.
I loved the foaming, cream formula and used it with these little sponges (thanks She’s In The Glow!). Between using this new favorite and PanOxyl, but pores are unclogged and skin is exfoliated and fresh. As a note, I use P50 in the morning and PanOxyl at night – probably too much to double up with both at the same time as it is already pretty aggressive to have these two in a routine. Despite the powerful ingredients, the addition of 3 humectants and 4 emollients in the formula leaves my skin soft and not dry. I don’t notice any tingling or a smell but some might find it slightly acidic.