I treasure my candles to the point where sometimes I burn them so slowly I probably don’t enjoy them as much as I should. Which is completely silly. I should be lighting them up! I’ll never forget when I came back from Toronto one weekend to find my friend Kevin, who had been staying at my place housesitting, burning my Diptyque candles. I quickly blew them out and slowly let my blood pressure ease. Oh, Kev. It was both funny and shocking – seeing as I consciously light those infrequently and then carefully up cut the wick after each burn. Funny, though, because why I am so dainty to use the things I love the most? Candles are so pleasing to the senses when they’re burning so it’s a genuinely sad moment when that party ends. Unless, that is, they can have another life as a beautiful piece of home décor. That is the reason Illume is on my list of favorite gifts to give (and get) this holiday. I actually thought this gold etched ceramic box was for jewelry until I opened it and saw a two-wick candle. There’s also this etched jar that I would burn furiously just to I could store makeup brushes inside. And I completely lost it over this opulent geometric glass dish – so luxe! There are seven wicks in that candle so you know it’s going to be incredibly cozy to snuggle up on the couch with that and Netflix. My lesson: don’t hold back on enjoying things in life because you don’t want them to go away. Experiences may be temporary but live them – and light them – to the fullest.
P.S. All holiday gifts on Illume are 20% off today (Dec 14) with code GIFT20.
Catch up on all of 312 Beauty favs for holiday here.
This Christmas is going to be the balm (dot com). Topping the list of one of my favorite beauty discoveries this year is Glossier. I recently became a devotee of the digital beauty company, the brainchild of Into The Gloss’ Emily Weiss. It’s minimalism, modern no-makeup makeup and inspired by real life. The entire line is just over a handful of products – the core collection being this set of essentials designed to be the backbone to your beauty routine. It’s highly edited – staples to fit into how you start your day: with a perfectly primed canvas. As they say, the formulas are meant to live with you, not on you, and really enhance what you already have. That’s a powerful POV and it shows in the products. The simplicity of it all is universally appealing and flattering. The Priming Moisturizer is like a drink of water for skin. The Perfecting Skin Tint is lightweight (extremely, miraculously so!) and lives in that space between bare skin and makeup. It doesn’t hide anything but gives a smooth dewy finish. The Balm DotCom is that salve you’ll squeeze every single last drop of because what doesn’t it do? Use it on lips, face, dry spots, cuticles, eyelids—everywhere, anywhere. The kind of do-it-all staple that you’ll curse if you forget it at home. The one you’ll want multiples of. And another super awesome Glossier perk: all orders come packaged in this pink bubble bag with a set of stickers to adorn your tubes and bottles with your personal mark.
More 312 Beauty Favorite Things this holiday here!
Favorite things are in full effect and I couldn’t continue this holiday theme without talking about EcoTools. I use these brushes every time I put makeup on and continue to be so impressed by the quality, aesthetic (they’re cute as heck!), price and variety. I like to gift beauty treats to friends and if I’m giving any type of makeup, I love adding in the perfect tool to accompany. It’s like giving someone a jersey and also a ticket to the game.
It’s going to be a very EcoTools holiday this season. The Beautiful Complexion Kit even wraps itself. You can fold the box up and loop the silver ribbon through the openings to tie it all together. Instant presentation! I use these four brushes the most – the Mattifying Finish Brush is awesome to apply all types of powder and the Skin Perfecting Brush is a dream to blend in tinted moisturizers and cream blush. The set is a steal at under $20 for all four brushes and EcoTools also has a $3 off coupon at WALMART that you can snag here. Even better!
I grew up more excited by my stocking on Christmas morning than any gift under the tree and it’s a tradition my mom has carried into adulthood for me (and me for her). Sometimes the tiniest presents are the most thrilling. EcoTools Mini Essentials Holiday Set is stocking material to a T. And unlike other mini brushes, these are the same high quality as the full size just with mini handles. I use these minis to apply this BECCA highlighter trio (which sold out instantly…kicking myself for not grabbing another as a gift for a special BECCA-obsessed friend).
The wintry pattern on the Festive and Flawless Face Set is adorable. These brushes are somewhere in between minis and full-sized and they come housed in their own booklet with some tips on how to use. There’s an awesome holiday tutorial from Teni using this set that I watched for some inspiration. She always has some new ways of using these brushes that I never think of.
Happy cyber Monday, guys. If my inbox is any indication, today’s deals are better than Black Friday!
This post was sponsored by EcoTools. All opinions and tips are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.
Did someone say favorite things? If only you could hear my bellowing Oprah voice building right now.
Chances are your inbox is filling up with deals upon deals. It’s overwhelming isn’t it? Madewell already got me good earlier this week and I also did a mini holiday spree this past weekend at Show of Hands. Michelle Starbuck had a booth at the Show and used the show as a time to launch her holiday collection before it went online. I basically want every piece. I say that every season but it’s always true. Holiday is extra special. She found these charming vintage box clasps and created a bracelet around them, aren’t they sweet? There’s also the clear quartz druzy which may be draped around my neck indefinitely. Oh, and earrings upon earrings upon earrings.
Michelle Starbuck jewelry is one of my very favorite things and the maker is as kind as she is talented.
This year, MSD is participating in the Good Karma sale, a chance for owners big and small to consciously redefine their relationship to the holidays. To give more purpose to the frenzy that is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, she’s offering 25% off everything with code GOODKARMA and donating 10% of sales from 11/27 – 11/30 to the Chicago Women’s Health Center.
I can’t help but think of this story my boyfriend told me last week. He was walking downtown on one of our colder days so far and saw a homeless man eating something in an alley. The man started tossing some of the food to a pigeon in the alley. It’s funny how that man, with likely little to no possessions, no home and probably a grumbling belly shared food with a pigeon. It’s because he knew what it was like to be hungry and didn’t want the pigeon to experience that either. Sometimes, the people with the least give the most. Regardless if this sentiment is a universal truth, I see it in as the spirit of the Good Karma sale.
Check out more of 312 Beauty Favorite Things this holiday here.
I approach every holiday as my own personal Oprah’s favorite things. You get a lip balm, you get a blanket, and YOU ALL GET A HAND CREAM. Essentially. Nothing makes me happier than giving a gift that is loved. Last year, I gave everyone on my teams at work Michelle Starbuck jewelry. I carefully selected each piece for the person and feel so happy when I see it being worn and loved.
The 312 Beauty guide to holiday gifting is kicking off today and continuing for the next several weeks with snippets of all of my favorite things. I’m going full on O, it’s going to be a blast! Winter showed up this past weekend and the snow really accelerated my holiday spirit. I put my Christmas tree up on Saturday because I wanted it to be up and waiting for me after Thanksgiving. Cozying up in my living room with only the light of the tree is bliss and I’m perfectly content with it up this early.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and travel, my very first gift pick is from Stowaway Cosmetics. Have you heard of these guys? Stowaway is confronting a huge beauty dilemma. The reality is that we all have a ton of half used expired makeup that we can’t (and shouldn’t at that point) finish. When is the last time you finished an entire tube of lipstick? Stowaway’s right-sized essentials are more than minis but not so oversized that you can’t finish or weigh your makeup down trying.
They make a compelling case for minimalism. Stowaway’s Cheek & Lip Rouge is one-third the size of an average blush. Their Effortless Eyeliner? Size of a q-tip. The Crème Lipstick: smaller than your pinky finger! And the Creaseless Concealer may look like a sample but it is crazy concentrated so a little bit goes a long way. Stowaway absolutely mastered pint-sized pretty and put a bow on it (literally) with their right-sized winter gift sets.
It’s entirely acceptable if you have the urge to gift this to yourself.