Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays and Good Wishes for the New Year from Prime Beauty!

May the peace and joy of Christmas be with you today and throughout the New Year. I wish all women 40 and over the confidence to enjoy their age and the wisdom that age brings. Embrace and enjoy this time; the prime of your life. I will leave you with this quote which I think describes most women that have lived 4 decades or longer:

"The most beautiful stones

have been tossed by the wind

and washed by the waters

and polished to brilliance

by life’s strongest storms”

Happy Holidays from Prime Beauty!! I am taking some time off during the holidays but will return in the New Year with a brand new look and a week's worth of giveaways so stay tuned!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review: Rock & Republic Cosmetics

Hi Prime Beauties! I'm excited to bring you a review of Rock & Republic's cosmetic line. You know, the same Rock & Republic of jean and clothing fame. I have been curious about this line for quite some time but the prices prevented me from trying it. I realize this makes no sense whatsoever as I will voluntarily fork over $56 for a Chanel or Dior eye shadow palette--but those are known entities, know what I mean? Rock and Republic was untried and untested--a mystery, or to me at least. So, when my favorite online sample sale site, Hautelook offered R & R cosmetics at 50% off, I jumped! I mean you wouldn't expect any less of me would you? Originally launched in 2008, I've been seeing R&R show up on several discount sites so it makes me wonder if the brand is in trouble. I don't know but I'm going to take advantage of these sales!

I ordered Spank blush and Exile eye shadow on my blogger friend Karlasugar's recommendation. Rock & Republic's packaging is ultra luxe and the sizes are huge! The black and chrome compacts were enclosed in round cardboard packaging with a silver logo--very nice presentation. I feel a little like royalty using these compacts--the logo reminds me of the monogram of someone from a royal family--a mysterious Russian princess whose family was slaughtered in the revolution; Anastasia perhaps? Umm, except her initials weren't RR--maybe her REAL name was Ranastasia Romanov? Okay, whatever.


Enough chatter, on to the review! The Contrived Pressed Blushes come in matte and shimmer textures. Spank is a neutral matte true ballet slipper pink blush; it is highly pigmented and applies flawlessly. R&R blushes are $40 at regular price, but I got it for $20 on Hautelook. Even at regular price, you get twice the amount of product in a NARS blush for $25---at $20 it's a fantastic value and comparable to MAC prices. The texture of these blushes is excellent. Spank is a very wearable shade, a wonderful choice for an everyday blush. All of the Rock & Republic blushes are pigmented and most are bright--Spank is the softest of the line.

Saturate eye shadows are $28 at regular price, I picked up Exile, a lovely peachy, goldish bronze shimmer for $14 at Hautelook. Saturate eye shadows come in three textures; matte, satin and shimmer. The texture is medium-soft; soft but not so much that they crumble. This is good shimmer for us 'mature' women--not sparkly or glittery, but a slight shimmer and not to loud. There is a fairly large selection for a new line and there are several nice colors in the line-- I will definitely pick up more of these at the next sale.

Here is a swatch of Spank and Exile:

Originally I thought exile wasn't very unique but as you can see from my swatches, I really don't have anything like it. It looks like a combination of MAC Honeylust or Stila Oasis to me, what do you think?


Comparision swatches:
Left to right: Urban Decay Half Baked, R&R Exile, Smashbox 35 mm, Benefit Dandy Brandy, Cat Cosmetics Peace (very coppery). You can see too that Exile has less shine than the rest.

Packaging: ultra luxe and classy, but may be a bit too heavy for some--I'm a sucker for nice packaging

Value: buy from Hautelook, Gilt, Idelli or any of these sites for a great deal! Click here for an invite from Hautelook

Quality: excellent--just as good an any high end brand

Overview: excellent quality, beautiful packaging and great prices--give this brand a try!! I will definitely buy more blush & shadows and I want to try the lip gloss too!

Grade: A

The Rock & Republic cosmetic line includes; Contrived Pressed powder blush, Imitate Mousse blush, Saturate eye colour, Bound Gel eyeliners, Extremist mascara, Luxe Lip Gloss and makeup brushes. Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and BUT wait for the sample sales!!

MAC Lovely Love Lace Collection

“Every couturier has forever had a fascination with the mysterious and alluring qualities of lace. From Evita to marlene Dietrich to some of the best-dressed of our red-carpet modern stars, it’s a long love affair. This salon-intimate collection is all about a dramatic, intense, smoky eye, with shadows that flash frosty grey to deep blue. Kohl Power is brought back for a limited time in a favorite shades plus a new blackened marine blue.

And naturally, 44 Lash adds the depth and desire. Lips stay pleasingly pale and nail lacquer in Light Affair adds ahit of danger. If ever there was a moment to do away with the winter doldrums and add some instant intrigue, this is it.” –MAC Cosmetics

The collection has a release date of Dec. 26 and includes:

Lipstick ($14)
Pretty Please Pale – pearl pink
Intricate Frosted – cool taupe

Lipglass ($14.00)
Icescape Sheer – pale pink with pearl
Utterly Discrete Sheer – icy mauve

Eyeshadow ($14.50)
Pincurl – dusty white
Hypnotizing – frosty grey mauve
Love Lace – frosty grey-ish blue
Suave Intentions – frosty silver blue

Kohl Power Eye Liners ($14)
Sense of Style – deep dark blue
Raven – red with black pearl
Feline – black

Nail Lacquer ($12)
Light Affair – creamy taupe grey

Swatches at The Next Best Thing to Going Shopping Yourself.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New MAC Releases--Warm and Cozy

NEWS FLASH: Available now---early!! This collection should launch on Dec. 26th (that's soon!). I tend to choose warm shades as evidenced by my ridiclous collection of bronze eyeshadows and coral blushes. I also think this is a great name for a winter collection!  It includes:

Lipstick  ($14.00)
Spiced Tea Warmed bronze brown (Glaze) (Limited Edition)
Warm Me Up Creamy mid-tone neutral pink (Amplified) (Limited Edition)
Siss Muted golden beige (Satin) (Permanent)

Lipglass  ($14.00)
2N Creamy neutral yellow pink (Cream) (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
Feeling Dreamy Pale neutral pink with pink pearlized pigments (Frost) (Limited Edition)
3N Neutral brown with gold and pink pearlized pigments (Frost) (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
Light That Fire! Mid-tone burnt coral with pearlized pigments (Frost) (Limited Edition)

Eyeshadow  ($14.50)
Chamomile Creamy pale yellow (Satin) (Limited Edition)
Modelette Mid-tone warm camel (Satin) (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
Milled Cider Dark warm brown (Satin) (Limited Edition)
Embark Deep rich brown-black (Matte) (Permanent)

Shadesticks ($16.50)
Nurture Frosted pale neutral pink beige (Limited Edition)
Relaxed Frosted dark chocolate brown (Limited Edition)
Cuddle Frosted light golden yellow (Limited Edition)
Warm & Cozy Frosted burnt amber with red and gold pearlized pigments (Limited Edition)

Mineralize Skinfinish ($27)
Comfort Golden bronze (Limited Edition)
By Candlelight Golden pink (Limited Edition)

Nail Lacquer  ($12)
Blissed Out Creamy light nude (Limited Edition)
Dim the Lights Creamy warm dark chocolate (Limited Edition)

Tinted Lip Conditioner   ($14.50)
Close for Comfort Pinkish brown (Limited Edition)
Feelin’ Good Light neutral beige (Limited Edition)

Lip Conditioner Stick SPF 15 &Tube ($13.50)

Mineralize Face & Body Lotion  ($29.50)
This gentle non-sensitive, rich moisturizing lotion can be used on the face and body and is free of fragrance and colour.

Care Blends Essential Oils  ($19.50)
Sweet Orange + Lavender This nourishing oil leaves skin feeling energized and moisturized with the look of a healthy glow

Grapefruit + Chamomile This oil will help soothe, calm and clarify the skin with a soothing aroma

As usual, check out swatches at my friend Karla's blog here.

I'm Baaaaack!!

Hi Beauties! What's been happening in your world? My computer has some new inerds and is back up to speed again so let's get started!!

Unfortunately, some sad news to report--Brittany Murphy died on Sunday, Dec. 20 from a fatal heart attack, at age 32!! . This leaves me so sad. I really liked Brittany--she seemed so down to earth, sweet and happy with that slightly raspy voice. I saw a TV bio of her and she just touched me--she just seemd sincere and genuine. She was wonderful as Tai in Clueless and I was excited when she and Ashton Kutcher were engaged, I was rooting for them. I think the movie I liked her best in was Uptown Girls with Dakota Fanning. Here's what Ashton tweeted about her today:

"Today the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon," tweeted Ashton Kutcher, Murphy's "Just Married" co-star and former off-screen boyfriend. "See you on the other side, kid."

Goodbye Brittany, you brought joy to many.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Technicial Difficulties.....

Geez Louise! Why is it that when you really really want something to work, it dies? I'm so sorry beauties, I am having computer problems again! I thought I had it fixed but apparently in some evil plot against me, my computer has decided to revolt and just quit working.  I hate it, uhhh I mean love it...I mean hate it....I mean love it---arggggg!!!  I am borrowing this one and as I am typing this I am getting the "hurry up, when are you gonna be done" look from The Boyfriend, so I will dash off but I will return ASAP!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

REVIEW: Bliss Peeling Groovy

By now you should know that I'm really into skincare, fighting the good fight against sun damage, wrinkles, enlarged pores, etcera, etcera, etcera. So, what if there was a product that could do all that and hydrate your skin? It would be a miracle, right? Well Bliss may not have come up with a miracle, but this is prvery good product. Peeling Groovy is a dermatologist-developed, oil-free, non-irritating, amino acid exfoliating serum for all skin types. ($65)

From the Bliss website:

•like a 1-step liquid microdermabrasion

•smoothes fine lines and minimizes pores

•gently exfoliates to address uneven skin texture

•attracts up to 3 times the normal moisture levels for supple skin

•brightens skin discolorations (age spots, sun spots, post-breakout dark spots)

Peeling Groovy has a clear watery texture, absorbs well and reveals a clear bright complexion virtually overnight. I take care of my skin so I wasn't expecting a dramatic difference, but I had read so many rave reviews I wanted to give Peeling Groovy a try--that and the fact that I was offered a free gift for signing up for an online subscription--we'll talk about that later. Back to the results; bright, clear, fresh, smooth. The only other time my skin looked so radiant was when I was getting regular glycolic treatments. I applied the serum before bed and followed with my regular moisturizer, I did this for two nights and in the morning I was amazed! I don't know about looking younger, but I sure looked better!

Bliss recommends using the serum twice daily--once in the morning and once at night. That's a bit too much for me, and I do not have ssensitive skin, in fact I could probably use battery acid on my skin and still not have a reaction. Hmmm, that probably is cheaper--the battery is the black box under the hood of the car, right? Oh nevermind, I don't have a funnel--but I digress. As I said, teh recommended usage is twice a day, I find this to be too harsh to use that often. I have only been using it at night 2-3 times a week and that works fine for me--me with not the least bit sensitive skin. Bliss also claims Peeling Groovy this is gentle enough for sensitive skin--I think not. I haven't noticed any change in my sun spots but then I am not using as recommended twice daily so it may take longer to get those results. Ingredients: Deionzed Water, Alpha Amino Acids, Cellulose, Urea, L-Ascorbic Acid(Vitamin C), Alcohol, Dead Sea Minerals.

Now on to the free stuff!  I was offered a free gift for signing up for an email subscription and placing an order over $50. My gift was the Youth Group--this is a very generous GWP! I had almost purchased this set at Sephora for....$68!

The set includes: 1 oz Cleanser, 1 oz Toner, 0.5 oz Concentrate, 0.34 oz Moisture Cream, 0.17 oz eye cream, and a cute signature makeup bag! I've tried the Youth As We Know It Concentrate and love it so I'm anxious to try the accompanying products.

Packaging: Hygienic pump bottle
Value: At $65 not cheap but much cheaper than spa treatments and results (for me) pretty much the same
Quality: Using AAE's (amino acid exfoliators), instead of AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids) is a better option as AHA's tend to be irritating and cause redness and flaking.
Overall: An effective daily exfoliator for all skin types--I would say not suitable for sensitive skin even if Bliss says it is
Best For: Anyone who is interested in an effective exfoliator that does a fantastic job of brightening snd smoothing skin.

Grade: B

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Prime Beauty Holiday 2009 Gift Guide - Stocking Stuffers!

Beautyblender Hot Pink Holiday Kit ($25)  The famous beautyblender sponge has become the beauty addicts go-to tool for a flawless complexion. It's the difference between wearing makeup that looks like you're wearing makeup and wearing makeup that looks like your skin. The kit comes with the beautyblender and a 3 oz. cleanser in a cute organza bag for giving!

Bath & Body Works Shea Socks ($6) These super-soft, ultra-pampering socks are made twice as thick for extra warmth. Contains enough shea butter to last up to 25 washes. Imported.

Foot Petals ($12-24) Comfy cushion insoles for feet that make wearing heels bearable and actually comfortable! Available in 8 sizes for heels, arches, full soles.

Shu Uemura Compact Mirror ($15) This limited edition adorable compact mirror is embellished with a cute kitty.

L'Occitane Rosebud Hand Cream ($10) this sweet rose secented hand cream hydrates and nourishes dry hands.

Philosophy Recipe Box ($12-new price!) a set of of shower gels in Red Velvet Cake and Sweet Creamy Frosting in a keepsake box with real recipe cards to make the cake at home.

Essie 4 pc Mini Winter Collection ($17) This set is sure to please anyone. Includes: mint candy apple (creme de menthe), lollipop (candy cane red), rock candy (sweet treat pink) and 3 way glaze.

Monday, December 14, 2009

SALE ALERT: YSL on Sale? Oui Oui!!

In keeping with their luxury image, most high end cosmetics companies, such as Chanel do NOT discount. However, for the first time that I know of, Yves Saint Laurent is having a Friends & Family sale. Ladies this is BIG! December 14 – 20 take 20% off your order with code FF2009. And get free shipping too!  Is this a sign of our economic times or just the Christmas spirit in action? Who cares!  In honor of the sale, my friend Karla at The Next Best Thing to Going Shopping Yourself is swatching YSL this week. Click here to see the Rouge Volupte lipstick swatches.

Another year another wrinkle....or two

I'm so sorry I haven't posted in the last few days, I had technical difficulities with my computer.  Anyway, $80 and 3-4 days later I'm baaaack!

It was my 50-something birthday last week and I have THE BEST family and friends. I spent virtually every night last week out to lunch or dinner and getting phone calls and cards. I had a few Sally Field moments--"you like me, you really really like me!"

I thought I would reflect on the past year and what I've learned as a middle-aged woman. (oooh, that hurt).

  • Faith is the only thing that gets me through the hard times. Here is a quote I'd like to share: A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey, but a woman of strength has faith that in the journey she will become strong. 

  • Love changes with age, as I get older 'romantic love' has become a mix of companionship, trust, and deep committment--and that's okay.

  • Menopause sucks.

  • I have mellowed and I like it. I think this comes from the knowledge that nothing will last forever--good or bad. I truly don't sweat the little things anymore.

  • I'm okay with myself. Oh sure, I'd like to lose 15 lbs, but if I don't, I don't really care. 

  • I've learned to take care of myself. This year I had a basel cell carcinoma (cancer) removed from my hand. A few months later I had two more 'spots' on each leg and had those removed. The two on my legs were pretty superficial but I will NEVER go out without sunscreen again. Everything you read is true--use sunscreen!!!!!!

  • Life is short, surround yourself with positive people who support you.

  • At least wrinkles don't hurt!
Oh and look at the great gift The Boyfriend got me, I love it! It's by Guess and the numbers are actually big enough to see-haha!

What is the best thing about your age? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meet Poppy King--The Lipstick Queen

You gotta love Poppy King. I find her fascinating and inspiring. Here is a glimpse of her success story:

Excerpt from Poppy's website:
As you may know....I am obsessed with the glamour of the lips. From the moment I was seven years old and playing dress ups with my mother’s lipsticks until now, I have been mesmerized by how transformative an amazing lip product can be. So much so that I started my own lipstick brand at 18 and have been designing lipsticks, glosses and other amazing, unique and wonderful lip products ever since.

I am far from alone with my passion and if you are on my site then I know you share it with me. Welcome to my brand! Please enter here to discover lip products like you have never seen before. Every single one of you is in my heart when I design them.
 Stick with me and my lipstick will stick with you.


Why a love for lipstick? "It was the superhero feeling I got when I put it on as a little girl," says King. "The whole ritual just fascinated me. It's a rite of passage—a conduit, to me, of the experience of being female."

After not finding any lipsticks she liked, at 18 she found herself a business partner and founded Poppy lipsticks. She ran that business in her native Australia for 12 years. She was then approached by mega cosmetic conglomerate Estee Lauder and joined them in 2002. She soon was a top New York cosmetics executive but found that the corporate world didn’t suit her "As you go up the ladder, you get further and further away from the end user. That's not what I'm in the business for," she explains. Poppy left in 2005 and penned her first book Lessons of a Lipstick Queen: Finding and Developing the Great Idea That Can Change Your Life. How inspiring is that? In late 2006 she launched Lipstick Queen with Saints and Sinners, a collection of lipstick duos in a single shade with sheer and opaque options. And you gotta love her personal style--she looks like a 40's movie star!

Lipstick Queen products include Sinner lipsticks—matte full color, Saints—sheer and creamy, Big Bang glosses---full color shiny glosses in ‘test tube’ packaging, Chinatown Glossy Pencils—soft, shiny chubby pencils that come with a sharpener (see swatches here), the new Butterfly Ball lipsticks released for holiday and Fifteen Minutes of Fame glosses inspired by Andy Warhol’s quote about everyone in the future being famous for 15 minutes. Poppy says "This is my version of how to bring color back onto the lips without being so full-on." See swatches here

Poppy we love you too!

REVIEW: Lipstick Queen 3-piece Discovery Collection

I have been intrigued with the Lipstick Queen brand for some time, especially since I don't have access to the brand living in the Pacific Northwest aka-- shopping desert. So, when I was home sick watching QVC, (always a dangerous endeavor) I ordered the Three Piece Discovery Collection of Lipstick Queen’s sheer and stylish lipsticks. I think founder Poppy King made these exclusively for me! (ha!). I’m a true lipstick girl—oh don’t get me wrong, I have and use glosses but they aren’t my preference; give me a substantial tube of lipstick and I feel like a sexy classy woman. I get the whole ‘layering’ thing--apply lipliner, then fill in with lipstick and top with gloss for shine. I get it, I just don’t want to take the time or spend the money for three lip products when I can use one Lipstick Queen lipstick and get the same effect. I haven’t been this excited about lipstick for a loooong time. These lipsticks are smooth, moisturizing and the consistency feels more like a balm than a lipstick. They apply like a dream and are fairly long lasting—they last for about 3 hrs on me through my my required 49 (okay 4) cups of tea. I like the fact that they do leave somewhat of a stain on the lips so when they do wear off you have a little color left behind. Poppy King has managed to effectively combine a gloss and a lipstick in one—these have the shine and sheerness of a gloss but the rich color of a lipstick. The consistency is perfection; light and emollient with a nice slip and just the right amount of pigmentation. Don’t be scared by the color in the tube—it applies very sheer and all the shades are wearable by all skintones--yay!

Medieval is a sheer rosebud red and it imparts the look of just bitten lips—perfect for light skinned girls who have been afraid (that's me) of red lips. This red doesn't shout "look at my ruby red lips, aren't I sexy"  but murmurs "my naturally flushed lips are just one thing that makes me a hottie".

Saint Pink is a neutral pink leaning toward cool; this is definitely a MLBB (my lips but better) you’ll wear when you want to look natural but up the ante just enough to win the hand without letting everyone know they’ve been taken. Ha!

Sigh is a shimmering mauve/rose shade from the new Butterfly Ball collection. I would describe this as a neutral mid-rose/mauve with slight shimmer. This shade won’t be released until Spring 2010 so if you buy this set, you'll be the first to have it. It may be my favorite of the set although it’s really tough to choose just one because I love them all!

Left to right: Medieval, Saint Pink, Sigh

Packaging: Lovely chic metal tube with the Lipstick Queen logo

Quality: Excellent—Fairly long lasting (3-4 hrs), very emollient, good pigmentation

Value: The QVC 3 piece set is $39.32 + shipping which averages $14.49 each—a great value for a quality lipstick! Regularly $20 each

Overall: I am so impressed with Lipstick Queen lipsticks, that if I were the Lipstick Queen, I would decree every woman in land must own at least one!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This sale was too good to not tell my faithful readers about! Tarte Friends & Family sale is 40% off online with code FFDEC. Sale  runs Dec. 7-13 and you get a free card case with a $25 purchase.

For all of you who missed the blockbuster gift we’re pleased to offer – FOR ONE DAY ONLY – a 10 piece Bonus free gift with purchase – over a $105 value! Shop now and receive this deluxe collection with any purchase of $45 or more plus free shipping!* Enter Code BONUS

China Glaze Spring 2010 Nail Collection

I love these colors, they remind me of ice cream, spring flowers and summer beach balls. Yummy! There are 12 creme shades in the collection:

Grape Pop-bright plum

Sugar High-petal pink

Something Sweet-cotton candy

Light as Air-periwinkle

Heli Yum-raspberry

Flyin' High-teal

Four Leaf Clover-kelly green

Re-Fresh Mint-spearmint

Peachy Keen-nectar

High Hopes-guava

Happy Go Lucky-sunshine yellow

Lemon Fizz-banana

Fellow blogger Temptalia has swatches and reviews of the entire collection here.

Navy Nail Trend with China Glaze Indian Ocean

I will be the first to admit I know next to nothing about nail polish. And I will also admit that I am rather boring when it comes to nail color. Until recently I only did french manicures---I know I know, I'm sure all you nail polish aficionados are appalled by my backward lackluster nail habits and ready to throw me out of the beauty blogasphere. But wait....I can change...I wore red last week and just look how I have embraced the latest trend! And what a gorgeous trend it is. I never would have thought navy nail polish could look so classy and trendy at the same time. China Glaze has created a very complex shade--Indian Ocean is a deep indigo blue with a black base, and yet one coat showed deep purple on my nails and with two coats I got this lovely rich deep blue with a lovely slight pearl sheen to it. It's both dark and bright if that's possible. This is really out of my comfort zone, but I feel hip wearing it and after 3 days I have developed an affection for this color. I was worried blue nails would make me look like a corpse or very very cold but me thinks it looks very classy. If this is what the Indian Ocean looks like, I'm booking  my next vacation there! Would you or do you wear blue nail polish? Let me know in the comments.

After some research, I found out Indian Ocean is an older polish but still available at salons victoria nail supply.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Prime Beauty Holiday Gift Guide--Beauty Gifts Under $50

Welcome my prime beauties to the Prime Beauty Holiday Gift Guide 2009. Just because you may be cutting back on the amount you spend this year doesn't mean you can't give great gifts, especially for the beauty addicts on your list. Here are some of my favorite picks for beauty gifts under $50.

Make Up For Ever Best Of Set ($49) This limited edition features five of MUFE's best selling products and is a great value! The girls on Makeupalley rave about this brand so I succumbed and ordered this set at Sephora's Friends and Family sale--review to come soon! This set includes:

Aqua Eyes eyeliner in Mat Black
Smoky Lash mascara
HD Microfinish Powder
Travel HD Microperfecting Primer
Sens'Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser
Available at

NARS I Want You Lip Gloss Set ($45)  A limited edition collection of five mini glosses in best selling shades Striptease, Greek Holiday, Turkish Delight, Orgasm, and Dolce Vita. Available at Sephora and

Dior Little Luxuries Coffret ($45) Limited Edition Four classic mini fragrances from Dior are sure to please any woman! Set includes: 0.17 oz J'adore Eau de Parfum,  0.17 oz Miss Dior Cherie Eau de Parfum, 0.17 oz Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette and 0.17 oz Dior Addict 2 Eau de Toilette. I'm a bit partial to this set because for years J'adore was my signature scent and now I wear Miss Dior Cherie often. Available at

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II ($48)  Urban Decay expands the book of shadows collection with Volume II, a huge and unique selection of eye shadows. This set includes: 16 shadows (eight exclusive to this set), travel size 24/7 eyeliners in Zero and Bourbon (my fav eyeliner of all time) and a mini primer potion for eyes. Available at Sephora and

Sephora Complete Starter Brush Set ($45) 10 of Sephora's most popular brushes packed in a travel friendly brush roll. An excellent value!
Laura Mercier Soufflé Body Crème Sampler Set ($50) A trio of Laura's favorite ultra-rich whipped Soufflé Body Crèmes in Almond Coconut Milk, Crème Brûlée and Crème de Pistache. Available at Nordstrom,,

Sephora Limited Edition Scent Sampler Best Sellers For Her and Him ($50) Perfect when you're not sure what scent to give. This set includes ten samples of top-selling women's fragrances to try, a gift voucher of equal value that can be redeemed at any Sephora store for a full-size bottle of any one of the samples included, and a fragrance guide. Also available at I have given this to several different friends and family and everyone loves it plus it's great for those hard-to-buy-for guys on your list!

Chanel Les Deux Scintillantes Glossimer Duo Set ($50)  Spark and Praline glossimers with a mini nude lipliner. Praline was formally not available in the United States so here's your chance to snag it--it has quite a following.