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Holiday Gift Guide: For the Practical Beauty in your life

These are now staples in my beauty routine, and I am amazed that I continue to buy them year after year; I don’t like experimenting with products because I feel like it’s a waste of money but when something works, or smells great, it works.


I have all three in my repertoire.

I like to mix up the smells when I feel more like lavender, or primrose, or the zinc & sage one is the most heavenly vanilla scent (my favourite, but more expensive).

These shampoos are paraben and sulfate free, and THEY WORK. Other organic shampoos are pretty crappy — they don’t clean as well and leave residue, even if they smell nice.

The conditioner I use is their lavender one because I just put a tiny drop on the ends of my hair.


The Nars Rikugien colour is the PERFECT better-than-my-own-lips shade of pink, and their Cruella shade is the perfect red but it needs a transparent lip liner, like this one from Dior.

You can continue using the lip pencils after they wear down, so you need to sharpen them with a larger sharpener:

If you like a really good clear lip balm that WORKS with SPF 20, there is none better out there than Maybelline’s Baby Lips:


The best cream for the hand that smells incredible is Jurlique.

I have a penchant for the Rose scent, but the Jasmine, Lavender and Citrus are just as nice, not at all cloying or cheap. Really expensive, and luxurious (just a little is enough).

The very best body moisturizer I have just recently found doesn’t have a lovely flowery smell or anything, but IT WORKS for my eczema, it’s called GlaxalBase.

It smells very medicinal, but it works for Baby Bun’s skin, his eczema, and my own as well. I’m considering adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to make it smell nicer.

The smell disappears after a while.

If it works, it works.

My skin is baby soft, it stays moisturized, doesn’t feel like it flakes/crumbles off or wears off my skin after a while the way some organic moisturizers do, and it has very few ingredients in it.


For an exfoliant, I recommend the O.R.G. Mineral Skincare.

I stocked up on 5 bottles recently, because I NEVER want to run out.

Your dead skin cells peel off with rubbing and it is NOT A TRICK. It actually works, I keep rubbing this gentle exfoliant on my face until my skin is clear and smooth and no more dead skin rolls off.

One big bottle (buy the Body one, it’s the cheapest and works the same as the Face one), lasts me at least one year. ONE WHOLE YEAR, using it daily.

For everything else, I am a huge, huge fan of Paula’s Choice.

I have never found another brand for my skin that has worked so well for the price. Vitamin C? Retinol? Masks? They have some of the best, most effective skincare products out there.

My regimen & review of their products are here. I now have ZERO acne.


My favourite products which I regularly restock on:

  • SKIN BALANCING Oil-Reducing Cleanser – Best cleanser ever, for the best value.
  • RESIST C15 Super Booster – Makes my skin glow
  • RESIST Hyaluronic Acid Booster – Boosts moisture during winter months
  • RESIST BHA 9 – I use this as a spot treatment for acne (actually works)
  • SKIN BALANCING Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – GREAT daily SPF
  • SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant – The base on my face after each time I cleanse

Psst: If you use my referral link, you get $10 off, and they are having a major blowout sale of 20% off their products.


I am very picky about perfumes. I rarely wore them until I found these ones.

They mostly make me sick, with how sweet and strong they are. My favourite ones, hands down, are not anything that smells like it is too sweet or juvenile (anyone remember BabySoft back in the day? Yeah, not that).

I also don’t like standard perfumes like Chanel No. 5 or anything because the bottle looks incredible and chic, but the smell stinks for me.

My picks are true favourites for me:

  • Amazing Grace (Philosophy) – Smells clean and soapy, very fresh
  • Warm Cotton (CLEAN) – Smells like clean, fresh cotton laundry. I like layering this one with lavender essential oil
  • Beach Walk (Replica) – Smells like salt, the beach, vanilla and warm sunny skies


I love using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder as my blush AND bronzer. Gives me a nice glow that isn’t too dark, contoured or unnatural.

I sometimes just wear it alone with nothing else. If I don’t wear this HD Microfinish MUFE powder over my skin, I look like an oil slick by noon.

My favourite cream to powder finish that gives me a nice glow and covers most imperfections is my silicone-free Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel foundation. It’s light to medium coverage (if you layer), and it is easy and quick for me to slap on a little pea-sized amount before I go out the door. Time is of the essence with a toddler, and it even has SPF in it.

If I REALLY don’t want to wear any foundation because I’m lazy, but still need to add SPF or touch up mid-day, I like using Jane Iredale’s Powder Sunscreen. It is like putting a little face powder over top your foundation mid-day, rather than re-applying it altogether just to have a freshly done face.

For a plain blush, I like Tarte’s Amazonian Clay in Exposed for a natural glow and flush.


For eyeliners, I still love Urban Decay’s eyeliners in these three perfect dark colours, but if you find your eyelids are oily, I find Stila’s liquid eyeliner amazing, and easy to use.

For mascara, I use whatever I get as a free sample. I haven’t found a favourite yet. I haven’t found a great concealer either, I keep going through the gamut but coming up with nada.

Same with eyebrow pencils. I’m eying Anastasia’s version but haven’t bought anything yet.

P.S. See all my other Holiday Gift Guides here.

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