Blogmas: Gifts That Don’t Suck for Every Makeup / Beauty Junkie in your Life & Every Budget + Mini Holiday Rant

bblogger, blogmas, Christmas, Gift, Gift Guide, Uncategorized

It seems we’re nearing the madness-induced period of December when shoppers willingly wait in never ending lines and wear themselves thin trying to find the perfect gift for everyone.

They’ll brave fights for parking spots in jam packed parking lots (I’m talking to you Los Angelenos), and that’s not to mention decorating, wrapping gifts, sending Christmas or other holiday cards, and attending holiday themed events all while holding down a job.

Image from southbrucetourism.org.

For some, the holidays signify the added pressure of hosting elaborate dinners and special gatherings. That means slaving over a stove and baking a menagerie of treats for a hungry and demanding load of customers who don’t pay, their own families. Though supposedly the holidays stand for merriment, warmth, and rejoicing, they can be downright stressful. 

Image from Minnesotamonthly.com.

This is not such a high price to pay when you see the smiles on your family member’s faces however, especially the little crew. Some in contrast,  keep it low key and the holidays might be a quiet dinner between two. I kind of envy these types.

Perhaps the hardest part is indeed finding those perfect gifts for those particular people in your life who have everything, are hard to read, or maybe are themselves particular. I will be doing separate gift guides for spouses/S.O.s and pretty much every person in your life if my schedule allows. You may have already read my foolproof gift guide for your coworkers. Hope you enjoy this one and it helps you get through your gift list. I personally researched each product and/or brand to make sure it was highly requested, highly rated, and have used many of these myself.

Here are my suggestions for every makkeup/beauty junkie in your life:

Over $100

Mia 1 Skin Cleansing System by Clarisonic. $129.

Hands down, the Mia Clarisonic system is widely approved as the best skin cleansing system. Beauty guru Tati aka Glam Life Guru swears by it. It seems to be effective indeed as bet skin is constantly glowing from within. Any makeup/beauty lover and his or her pores will thank you.

$75-100

That Bling Set 7 Piece Limited Edition Brush Set by Morphe $99

Bling on the makeup junkies! Any one of them will obsess over this gorgeous brush set by Morphe. Well respected and touted by the beauty community, especially for their brushes and eyeshadows, it’s no secret why. Morphe makes incredible products at insanely great prices. If you don’t feel like dropping a Benjamin on this makeup fiend, consider these options below.

$60-70

Tarte’s limited edition 

treasure box collector’s set.$59

This set is a luxury quality version of the makeup set of every little girl’s dreams. I remember getting “kid’s” makeup sets for Christmas that smelled like fruity candy and plastic and I loved it. I would love this even more. With a palette full of pigmented intensely creamy shadows, effective blushes and bronzers to sculpt out the cheeks, a limited edition lipstick, and the other goodies in the set you can literally create an infinite array of looks all year round.


$30-50

Morphe’s 39A Dare to Create Eyeshadow Palette. $32.

This incredible palette offers limitless possibilities when it comes to makeup looks. Anyone eyeshadow obsessed will happily get a lot of use out of this palette.

Fenty Beauty by Rhianna Galaxy Eyeshadow Palette. $39.

Any makeup lover knows Fenty came out with an amazing beauty line and has eyed this palette up and down. Everyone has enough mattes in their collection so these fourteen shimmery metallic shades are the perfect complement. It’s perfect for creating out of our galaxy holiday looks. 

$20-30

Too Faced is My Life Set (Online Only). $25.

These Too Faced favorites are tried and true by makeup lovers everywhere. Any Too Faced fan, avid beauty guru, beginner, or someone wanting to get into higher end beauty would welcome this set into their collection. 

Colourpops’s All I See is Magic Pressed Shadow Palette. $20.

There aren’t enough good things to say about Colourpop IMO. They are affordable, cruelty free, their products are unique and amazing, pigmentation and blendability is insane…I could go on. 

$10-$15Edit

Edit

Wet n Wild’s Limited Edition Beauty Blockbuster Set. $9.99

 

Wet n Wild’s MegaGlo Highlighting Palette. $14.99.

If your makeup loving friend does not own either of the above products, believe me, you are about to make him or her very happy. Everything in the blockbuster set and the highlighting products set has rave reviews for good reason. Killer price and amazing performance is basically unbeatable IMO. Wet n Wild kills the drugstore beauty game.

I hope this list helps a little to cross some names off your list!

Though it goes without saying that love makeup and fashion I think it’s important to remind myself about why we even celebrate Christmas. If you celebrate Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or even if you don’t really believe in anything, we can all agree that we all need a little love and loving your neighbor as yourself never hurt anyone.

For Christians, the birth of Jesus is supposed to be celebrated, but we often clutch material ideals so closely and hold societal norms in such high regard that this becomes blurred over the years. 

It’s easy to forget. I think doing a good deed or two this holiday season might be just what I need.

Thanks for reading, love you all!

πŸŽ…β„οΈπŸŽβ€οΈ

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Blogmas: How to Deal with Common Awkward Holiday Gathering Mishaps

blogmas, Christmas, festive, Gift, Holiday, Party, Uncategorized

Are you attending your boyfriend’s parents’ holiday gathering for the first time? Do you anguish over the questions that are almost intrinsic to holiday gatherings? (How’s school? How’s your job? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Why don’t you have any kids yet? Why aren’t you married yet? Etc. Etc.) 
I know I do! All I want is to eat my pie in peace! I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

It seems that I’m far from the only one concerned with these conundrums. Here are some great and funny articles I found about how to make the most of the holidays and seeing yourself out of unpleasant situations on BuzzfeedEventbrite, and Styleblueprint.com.

I decided to weigh in on these issues as well and here’s how I suggest you deal with these very common and annoying awkward holiday situations:

Attending an S.O.’s family’s gathering for the first time
Not only are you meeting new members of the family and seeing the whole clan together for the first time, it will take place in a holiday themed setting so stakes are higher. I’ve been there and survived this scenario once or twice. 

Whatever you do don’t ask intrusive questions, criticise or embarrass your S.O., or bring up politics or religion. That goes for every gathering! 

Do dress up and do your best to look your best. That means no old sneakers or two day old greasy hair. Shower, choose an attractive outfit, and highlight your best features. 

Also, it doesn’t hurt to gift your host or hostess with some wine or a nice box of candy everyone can share. 

Smile and be courteous and if asked an intrusive question, shake it off with a vague answer. For example, if asked “When are you getting married?” you can say, “When the time is right.”, “I don’t feel equipped to answer that quite yet.”, etc. That takes the pressure off you and your S.O. and provides no real time reference.
The aunt or uncle who won’t stop asking you about your job, getting married, having kids, etc.

Just as I mentioned above, provide a vague answer such as “When the time is right”. Also, gently see yourself out of the conversation or guide it to general topics. For example, ask the person about him or herself. Another option is to remark how lovely the food is and to switch the conversation over to food and/or ask for a recipe. Remember, you don’t have to answer any questions or even feel obligated to attend a gathering where you feel pressured, anxious, and on an emotional rollercoaster.

If you do go, remember, pay attention to your feelings and take care of yourself. Avoid arguments at all costs. Take a deep breath and be the bigger person should a touchy subject arise.
Avoiding party guests who monopolize your time and/or talk too much

This might be the only time during a holiday gathering to break out a little white lie. I’ve been the sounding board for some seemingly never ending monologues. I won’t call them conversations as  that requires two people. Clingy party guests who don’t know when to shut up have apparently not learned this as they won’t let you get a word in edgewise.

 Here’s when to say, “I forgot something (charger, present, anything!) in my car! Be right back!”, or if that doesn’t work say you have to excuse yourself to the bathroom or have a terrible headache and make a break for it. 

When a fight ensues.

Whatever you do, do not fuel the fire! Tensions are already high and expectations have already been blown. The last thing you want is to sever family ties with certain people forever.

Try defusing the fight by reminding everyone about why you’re gathered to begin with. If all else fails, leave before you get involved. 
When you receive a gift you honestly do not like or a regift

Regardless of whether or not you like the gift, thank the person. The thought really does count. Avoid making any promises about using or wearing the gift of you aren’t actually planning to. Instead make a vague remark such as, “How thoughtful!” which conveys your gratefulness without making any claim to liking the gift. 

That concludes my suggestions on how to deal with awkward holiday situations! If you have any suggestions of your own or any funny awkward family stories, please comment below.

Thanks for reading and I hope your holiday gatherings at straight out of a Hallmark movie! (I mean that in a good way)

πŸŽ„πŸŽ„β›„β›„πŸŽπŸŽ

Blogmas: 5 Gifts your Coworkers will Actually Like

Christmas, Gift, Gift Guide, Uncategorized

Though I’ve skipped a few days due to my crazy schedule, I’m going to attempt blogmas anyway. Just like with gifts, it’s the thought that counts right? Everyone on your Christmas gift list could benefit from extra love around the holidays, but that doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. Simple yet elegant and thoughtful gifts are best for people you work with. 

Here are 5 gifts you can’t really go wrong with:

Wine

I don’t know anyone who will say no or “I don’t like it” to wine.

If you want to make the gift a little more special you can create your own wine label for your intended recipient on 

gifttree.com.

No matter who you’re trying to impress, be it your boss or your favorite coworker, you can’t go wrong with wine. Find out whether he or she prefers white or red win casually (this may require some snooping around) and you’re good to go. If you can’t, go with a happy medium, RosΓ©

A Massage, Spa, Hair Cut/Color or Hair Treatment

Pink & purple balayage image found on hairstylehub.com

There’s nothing like a day  all to yourself and a massage, spa treatment, or cut/color is the perfect excuse. Many people would happily go for a new hair color or an expensive facial but they deny themselves the luxury due to the shock of dumping that much money.

Everyone needs some TLC. The holidays can be hectic and at times may make everyone from the evidently overworked to the most happy go lucky people feel stressed and worn down. A gift card to a massage or other pampering treatment is an easy gift and a way to show you care about a coworker.

Spafinder.com makes it easy to give the gift of treating yoself.

3. World Tastes Box

World Market has such unique easy gifts like World Taste boxes from around the world. Tasting the offerings in the box is like going on a mini vacation. Some cool ones include World Tastes France, World Tastes Japan, and World Tastes Australia. Some delectable treats in the World Taste Italy box shown above include Casa Giulia Sicilian Orange Marmalade, Lazzaroni Amaretti Cookie Snap, Regioni d’Italia Trofie Pasta, and Regioni d’Italia Basil Pesto. I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for pesto and would love to try everything in that box. 

For gifting choose a country based on where your recipient has had favorite vacations or find out what type of cuisine he or she likes. 

4. Tickets to Recipient’s Favorite Team’s Game or Favorite Musician’s Concert

This is pretty a much a foolproof gift. The only way you could screw this up is if the tickets are for the wrong team or artist. Make sure to get it right which should be easy enough. 

If you’re unsure you can find pretty much anything by stalking around their social media a bit.

How sick is this Riri ensemble by the way?

This is probably the fastest and easiest way to make your coworker smile.

5. Makeup kit or grooming kit

Tarte’s Limited Edition Treasure Box Collector’s 
Set

What woman wouldn’t want a limited edition makeup set replete with goodies like those above? No one, unless she doesn’t wear makeup. If so, a grooming kit would be a great gift and the same goes for any male coworker. 

Essential Burt’s Bees Kit

No matter who we’re talking about, we all have to groom ourselves at some point. Make the gift nicer by choosing a luxurious gift bag or adding some good chocolate. (This goes for any gift really unless you’re giving chocolate). 

The Winston Set by Harry’s

I hope this helps give you some ideas to knock some gifts off your list. 

Happy gift giving!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ

Love is In the Air

art, Date, Dress, Dresses, Dressy, fashion, Fashion design, Fashionillustration, Gift, Illustration, life, Love, Retro, style

Even though the world as we know it has been turned a little on its side as we go forward into a new year and a controversial (to say the least) presidency, I’m trying to remain grateful and feel the love that remains. Today I felt loved after receiving so many birthday wishes. I truly appreciate each one and think it’s time to plant some seeds of hope. 

I’ve been feeling a bit disenchanted the past few days. (Lack of sleep didn’t help). I started thinking of all the things I love today, including this blog, and my readers, and realized, when some things suck, you can always turn a new page. You can choose to look at things differently. That’s what I’m doing today, on my birthday.

I made this illustration to illustrate a dress a feminine, slightly kitschy retro dress I envisioned for Valentine’s Day.

Have a lovely day! πŸ’•

Maggie

Merry (post) Christmas & Happy New Year!

art, Christmas, Date, Dressy, fashion, Fashionillustration, Holiday, Illustration, Love, Sweater, sweater weather, Uncategorized, winter fashion

I’m hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas/holiday with your loved ones and families, as I sit here trying to be thankful for everything I have, despite my not-so-picture-perfect Christmas. I’m still here though, and as a grown up, I should be able to handle grown up setbacks. We spent Christmas Eve & some of Christmas fixing my ever-broken down car, but at least I got to spend it with someone I care about. Not everyone gets to. It’s about the little things right?

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with embellished sweaters, like this one by Dorothy and Perkins (dorothyperkins.com);

There’s something about winter that makes it okay to add a little more girly extras. I love it, and I love mixing mrnswear classics and basics with feminine touches.

Have a beautiful day!

Maggie

Xoxo

Comprehensive Gift Guide Continued

Uncategorized

My favorite part of the holdiays is honestly holiday baking. Chocolate + peppermint = heaven. πŸ«πŸ¬πŸŽ„ I’m literally obsessed with Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.

8. The techie. This year’s tech wathes are so cool, likable, and wearable, you don’t even have to be technologically inclined or even like fitness to like them.

They’re sophisticated, sleek, and smart. My favorite this year, the Misfit Ray in rose gold, pictured above measures distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned, and even sleep cycles. Wouldn’t it be fun to really find out how well you’re sleeping? They’ll make a great gift for any bonafide techie on your list, and could be a great option for fitness freaks too.

9. The parents. I think the goal of gift giving when it comes to family should be making your loved ones’ lives a little happier and showing you care, not out doing one another or seeing who spent the most. That defies the purpose of the season. 

Pay close attention to what your parents need to update and what they’re neglecting. Has Mom been using the same wallet for years? Could Dad’s coat use an upgrade?

A timeless quality wallet or other useful gift is an easy way to show you care.

 10. Teenagers. Teenagers are some of the toughest people to figure out when it comes to gifts, and to appease in general. Remember you were one, and how picky you were? Maybe you only wanted money or specific things? Even though today’s teenagers may be more exposed to technology and the adult workd world than ever, some things remain the same. Teens still love music, makeup, and fashion.

The elegant rose gold Beats by Dre.

Like us, teens still want to impress their friends too. Beats by Dre, a teen’s first high quality palette, or some Nike or other shoes of their preference would be well received.

I would like to remind you even though you’ve heard it before, I’m sure, that gifts should not be at the at the center of your holiday celebration. At the end of the night, it won’t be the presents that will be most remembered, but the quality of time you shared with your loved ones and the memories you made. Make your celebrations count & don’t stress!

More gift ideas to come! I hope you’re enjoying this series. Thanks for reading. Love you all!

Maggie

πŸŽ„πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ

A Comprehensive Guide to Holiday Gift Giving (for Everyone On your List)

Christmas, Food, Gift, Gift Guide, Holiday, Makeup, Party, Present, Uncategorized
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Too Faced’s Merry Macarons palette, only available at Ulta. Isn’t it swoon worthy? Perfect for any makeup addict in your life (and me).

As many of you have probably gathered after past holiday seasons, it’s never too early to start thinking about buying your Christmas/holiday presents. Nobody likes a long line, angry coupon ladies, not finding the right size, being perplexed by what to get some of the people on your list, etc. Trust me, I know from working in retail.

mkt5004-0622_1

Michael Kors’ Access Bradshaw Rose Gold Tone Smartwatch; A gorgeous & elegant unisex watch for any refined techie.

To hopefully help you on your gift-giving journey this year and make the whole process a little more filled with cheer, as it should be, I’ve compiled a list of my top picks this for every kind of person in our lives. Here we go! πŸ˜ŠπŸŽπŸŽ„

1. Best friend; Sometimes the people closest to you are the hardest ones to buy presents for. The advantage; you know them well. The disadvantage; there’s an inherently greater expectation to get the perfect gift. My tip; pick something you both love to do, and give them something that will enable you to do it together. Are you coffee junkies?

cold-brew-coffee-1

A DIY cold brew coffee kit would be an awesome gift. So would a personal espresso machine or a year subscription for a monthly dose of gourmet coffee.

e002828_a03_a_1

This “coffee sock” cold brew kit can be found on Thrivemarket.com for 10.95

Do you both need some TLC? Get them a gift certificate to your favorite spa. Do you love music? Get them some concert tickets.

2. The makeup lover. There are so many good options for this person. Any makeup junkie knows NYX has some of the best drugstore-brand makeup period. Their soft matte lip creams are beyond good. This lovely box below would be welcomed heartily in any girl’s makeup collection.

nyx-soft-matte-lip-cream-vault

These are tried, tested, and makeup vlogger approved. I’ve used this product too, and I love it all around. Desi Perkins, one of my favorites, just included them in her holiday gift/gifts for yourself haul.

The formula of this lipstick is perfect for when you want a matte lip, but don’t want a super drying finish. My lips are constantly dry, so it’s perfect for me.

3. The cook. Who’s the cook in your life? Your grandma? Yourself? Your boyfriend? Either way, this gift is perfect for the holidays for any home baker.

image1.jpg

This adorable apple pie kit comes with all you need to make a delectable apple pie, and was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine. Find it on Kerbersfarms.com

The kit comes with an all natural pie filling, crust mix, a genuine Pyrex glassΒ pie plate, a kitchen towel, an instruction booklet, and a sustainable wooden crate.

4. The boyfriend/husband/significant other. This is probably the hardest gift to give. Sometimes you know the person’s taste perfectly, but there’s always that ounce of doubt. Especially when the person is picky. You can just never know for sure. I highly suggest making wish lists and trading them. You can never go wrong because no matter what, it’s something he/she actually wants/will use.

Its-a-Wonderful-life-foto.jpg

A heart-warming scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life”, one of my favorite holiday movies.

5. The mother in law or father in law. My top recommendation in buying a gift for this person is first, get to know this person a little bit. I know sometimes this isn’t an easy prospect, but trust me, it’ll any family time when you’re expected to interact with this person/people easier.

6. The sophisticated fashion addict. For me, this is the easiest one. I can be assured that pretty much anything I want, will probably sit well with any fashion addict. When it comes to picky or sophisticated fashionistas, finding out who their favorite designer is would be a good start. A candle by their favorite designer would be a lovely gift.

NMC0XBE_mu.jpg

This candle is described as a feminine and sophisticated scent. At $65, it’s a little pricey, so pick someone who appreciates the finer things in life to give it to πŸ˜‰

The candle’s scent is described as “…leathery violet with vibrant woody notes.” on NeimanMarcus.com, where you can purchase it.

7. The bargain hunter. This is a tough one. I definitely find out their favorite go-to store is for bargains and get them a gift card there. Normally, I’m against gift cards since they’re a bit impersonal, but I think in this case it works.