Beauty

Gift Guide: Best of Beauty

This gift guide is for the beauty lovers in your life and of course you! ;) It’s a roundup of my absolute favorite makeup items that I re-order time and time again from Nordstrom. These are my beauty cabinet staples, and will make perfect gifts for your loved ones. Most of them are under $100, and several are under $50 making them great stocking stuffers. PS if you love my robe you can get it here! Beauty gifts from Nordstrom: Fragrance My favorite perfume of all time is Diptyque “Eau Duelle.” It’s got a rich vanilla bourbon smell, and I get compliments on it from men and women everytime I wear it. For room spray, I love Diptyque “Baies.” I keep this in my bathroom, as well as our guest bathroom. For diffusers, I can’t get enough of the Antica Farmacista Vanilla, Bourbon and Mandarin reed diffuser. It’s not overpowering and makes your entire home smell divine. Candles My favorite candle is by Diptyque – it’s the Vanille scent. I talk about it nonstop for a reason – it’s pure heaven. If you’re over Diptyque, then I suggest Byredo’s Bohemia scented candle. It’s the chicest candle next to Diptyque and smells really subtle and sexy. Body I am constantly re-ordering this Aesop hand + lotion duo. It smells SO good and everyone comments how much they love it when they come over. It’s earthy, and nourishing. I recently bought the Necessaire body wash and lotion and let me tell you – it lives up to the hype. It left my skin SO soft, smells incredible, and is also a CLEAN beauty product. Win, win, win. Face I’m obsessed with the Tata Harper resurfacing serum. You notice an immediate glow right after using it. Plus it’s all natural. I also love the resurfacing mask. I got the gift set for my sister! For the woman who has everything…get the Sisley face mask. Google it and you will see the thousands of positive reviews. It instantly works, and leaves your skin feeling SO soft and supple. I’ve been using it for years. This Indie Lee face oil is also a clean product and a great stocking stuffer. It’s only $14 and super gentle. For the girl who is prone to breakouts and always traveling, get her this gem from Sunday Riley. I bring it on every trip and it immediately clears up a zit within minutes. I’ve been using the Dermalogica Microfoliant 2x a week for 8 years. It’s gentle, effective and makes your skin stay bright + clear. This little gift set is perfect for the skincare junkie! Vintner’s Daughter Serum. Elemis Cleansing Balm. Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. Hair I love the T3 ceramic curling iron! Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. For shampoo – I use a few, but I’m a big fan of R+Co and Alterna Caviar. Mason Pearson hair brush. Makeup YSL Saharienne eye palette. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Charlotte Tilbury highlighter and mascara. Bobbi Brown bronzer. Laura Mercier caviar eye sticks. Mac lipgloss in C-Thru. Cle de Beauté concealer. And if you’re looking for quick, one off gifts sets from Nordstrom under $100: I love this Bobbi Brown travel friendly kit. This is a fancier version of my fave YSL eyeshadow palette. A special edition BLACK Diptyque Baies candle. Laura Mercier bath + body skincare set. Tata Harper daily essentials set. Diptyque mini candle + perfume set. R + Co hair travel set. Gift sets under $50: Deborah Lippmman polish kit. Laura Mercier caviar stick set. Supergoop sunscreen kit. Basic purity energy cleanse meditation kit. Indie Lee discovery kit. Fresh lip balm set (a Nordstrom Beauty exclusive!) Be sure to shop my picks below and check out Nordstrom’s Gift With Purchase page which is full of extra goodies!
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What is Retinol?

When it comes to skincare, retinol is one of the most frequently Googled words – and for good reason. So what is retinol? Retinol is in the Vitamin A family and it is proven to smooth fine lines plus prevent new ones from showing up, brighten skin, treat acne and fade dark spots. Sounds pretty amazing right? Olay Retinol24 Now let’s be real here – I’m not someone who jumps on the latest trend bandwagon, especially when it comes to beauty and skincare. I tend to find products I like and stick with them for years and years. When Olay approached me about their gentle, but effective new Retinol24 cream, backed with TONS of positive data, I was intrigued. My mom has been using Olay for 30+ years and looks incredible (she honestly looks at least 15 years younger than she is), so I already trusted the quality. I tested their Retinol24 eye cream, moisturizer and night serum for 4 weeks and here’s what I found… Results from Retinol Like the 96% of women who tested these products, I had zero irritation. Retinol has seemed scary to me, in the past because I’ve heard it can be harsh and cause redness, but I honestly experienced none. My favorite product was the night serum because it was fragrance-free, lightweight, compact (which made it great to travel with), and I could use it alone and wake up with brighter, clearer skin. After 4 weeks, I 100% did notice a visible difference in my fine lines – especially around my eyes and forehead. How To Use Retinol If you’re using products with retinol in them, you should absolutely be diligent about applying sunscreen because it does make your skin more sensitive to the sun. For the Olay Retinol24 serum, just drop a pea size amount in your palm and apply a thin layer over your clean face. You can use this alone, or wait a few minutes and layer with the moisturizer and eye cream should you choose. It really just depends on how your skin is feeling that day. All in all, I am SO happy that I finally tried retinol, because it really does wonders for your skin. I am all about aging gracefully and naturally, and retinol 100% helps with that.
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Wedding Nail + Beauty Prep

My little sister Kameryn is getting MARRIED! I wanted to share everything we did beauty wise to get ready for her big day! My sister is a total minimalist when it comes to beauty, so it was really fun to introduce her to some of my favorite products and rituals. It’s amazing how a few small additions can make such a huge difference in person – and especially in photos! Wedding NailsFirst things first, let’s talk about wedding nails! Beautiful, manicured nails are SO important on a wedding day. Whether you’re the Bride, Maid of Honor, Bridesmaid, or Guest – you’re most likely going to be photographed up close holding champagne, flowers, huggings friends and family, etc. so having pretty nails is a MUST! In terms of color, I LOVE Essie’s Gel Couture shades, particularly; Lace Me Up, Lace Is More, Matter of Fiction, and At The Barre. What’s great about Essie’s Gel Couture polish is that it’s a two-step, longwear polish that lasts almost as long as a gel manicure, but applies and can be removed like regular polish! It’s ideal because it’s made to last and won’t chip through all of the important wedding festivities. I just love the fact that you don’t have to use UV lamps or do any harsh scraping/damage to your nails to remove the polish!!! The Big DayFor the big day, my sister and I chose the same color – Lace Me Up. We loved this classic light pink shade, and would 100% wear this in our everyday life too. It had just the right amount of pigmentation so it really stood out. (You know how some light pink colors can be too pale? This one was not at all!) We matched our nails to our toes, and got mani/pedis the day before the rehearsal dinner so they would be super fresh! Kameryn decided to get a hair + makeup artist to do her wedding look the day of, and then I am going to do my own (I generally always like to do my own hair + makeup!) We both got lymph facial massages by my friend Erin earlier this week to de-puff and hydrate our skin. These massages really sculpt your cheekbones, drain out any water retention, soothe jaw tension, and give you a gorgeous all over glow. Other than that, we honestly kept our wedding beauty routines pretty simple, and both just wanted to look NATURAL! Feeling comfortable in your own skin is SO important on your wedding day and really shows through in photos. I cannot wait to see my sister on her special day – and I just know she will be on cloud nine this entire weekend!!!
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Beauty Pie Favorites

If you haven’t already heard of Beauty Pie – well then you’re in for a real treat! This members only club is a one stop shop for affordable luxury beauty. It’s the brainchild of Marcia Kilgore; who is a legend in the beauty space and started Bliss, Soap & Glory, and Fitflop (just to name a few!) So how does membership work and what makes the prices so reasonable?! You can choose which membership you want depending on how much product you use per month. All of the products are super high quality and they have everything from makeup to skincare, accessories, candles, and fragrance. The products are so affordable because they’ve eliminated the middleman, don’t have stores, don’t do celebrity marketing, and instead just focus on giving you great products without the markup. Beauty Pie Favorites After hearing Helena, Grace, and Krystal rave about Beauty Pie, I was so excited and intrigued to test out goodies from the line. I ordered a nice assortment of skincare + makeup items and fell in love with their Super Healthy Sleep Oil, Superglazy Lipgloss, Pro Glow Superstrobing Drops, and Multiglow Strobing Stick. You all know I LOVE face oil, and this one was so light and packed with antioxidants. Bonus it’s a clean product, which makes me love it even more. If you’ve been hesitant to try a face oil, I highly recommend trying this one! I can’t leave home without a nude lipgloss and this smells AMAZING, has the best texture/consistency, and is a beautiful neutral shade for day or night. It has just the right amount of shimmer to it, which really makes your lips pop. The two products that totally blew me away me were the highlighters. The Pro Glow Superstrobing Drops come in this cute little bottle with a dropper and a few dabs on your cheekbones give you the most gorgeous bronze glow. I also like putting a bit on my collarbone and shoulders for date nights. What’s nice about these drops is that they blend beautifully so you don’t have to be a makeup expert to apply them. The other highlighter; the Multiglow Strobing Stick is IDEAL for everyday, particularly that all natural daytime glow we all want to achieve. Just run the stick down your nose and cheekbones and WALLAH you’ve got a fresh faced look in 2 seconds!!! This stick is now permanently in my purse for quick touch ups throughout the day, and you can even use it on your eyelids or in the corners of your eye for that extra pop. It’s amazing how highlighter just makes you look so much more awake. You can sign up for Beauty Pie here, and use code KATSENTME for an additional $50 spending allowance for your first month of membership! A few other products I loved were the Ten Best Neutral Eyeshadows Palette, Wondercolour Cream Eyeshadow Stick, and Superbrow Color Mousse. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
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