Beauty & Style

Stuff It.

I love Christmas!  I love giving gifts, wrapping gifts, thinking about gifts… I love it all.  But my favorite part of it has always been the stocking stuffers. Why, well stockings stuffers are the perfect excuse to get the special someone in your life all sorts of fun beauty stuff.

 

Yes, beauty stuff… It is my specialty after all.

 

So if you’re opting for beauty products as stocking stuffers too, try to get travel or sample sizes otherwise that stocking you’re stuffing will cost you a fortune.  It’s not uncommon to leave Sephora with the tiniest little shopping bag full of $500 worth of stuff.

 

And in case you’re struggling for ideas, here’s a list of my best stocking stuffer ideas to get you going:

 

Best Stocking Stuffers

Stocking_stuffer_one

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, 1 oz for $12

Perfect size to take along everywhere, L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream will heal even the toughest dry skin.  Even after all the work we did on our house, my hands are still not destroyed thanks to this stuff.

 

stocking_stuffer_two

Cuccio Sea Salts, Milk & Honey, 8oz for $10

With a uniquely creamy/lathery texture, Cuccio Sea Salts are ultra gentle, but also very effective. This is the first time exfoliating in the shower doesn’t feel like you’re ripping your skin off with a belt sander.

 

stocking_stuffer_three

Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair Regeneration Serum, 1 dose for $9.49

The ultimate (and instant) leave in treatment for parched/ damaged locks.  This Regeneration Serum gives a dose of moisture that will make your ends feel like they’re just been cut.  But, you should still get a haircut!

 

stocking_stuffer_four

Batiste Dry Shampoo, 1.6oz for $5.59

This is still my go-to dry shampoo.  It’s lightweight, easy to use, and smells wonderful. I love that they make a travel size now, I keep Batiste Dry Shampoo in my purse to freshen my hair after work if I’m going out.

 

stocking_stuffer_five

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil, .25oz for $5.35

The main culprit in dry, brittle, horrific nails is unconditioned cuticles.  Having Avoplex Cuticle Oil ready to go at a moment’s notice will whip your nails in shape.

 

To make it extra simple, all these wonderful things are on amazon here.  You can’t go wrong with the Cuccio Sea Salts… they are my current winter fave.  Happy Stuffing!

Yellow Fever.

What do I have in common with Katy Perry, Olivia Wilde, and Heidi Klum?  Well, besides a rockin’ body of course, we similar taste in jewelry.

 

yellow gold engagement rings

From Left: Katy Perry, Oliva Wilde, Heidi Klum

From Left: Katy Perry, Oliva Wilde, Heidi Klum

 

It has been so lovely to see more and more yellow gold pop up on the scene.  For decades, yellow gold has been the ugly stepsister to platinum and white gold.  But, look out world: It’s back and as beautiful as ever!

Green Amethyst Forest Jewel Ring, ALEX MONROE

Green Amethyst Forest Jewel Ring, ALEX MONROE

 

Wearing yellow gold is like taking a nap in warm sunshine, or basking in the glow of a late summer’s night.  It’s rich and full of depth.

Yellow Gold Ring Set: Photo by Katie Pietrowski

Yellow Gold Ring Set: Photo by Katie Pietrowski

 

It is also flattering.  If you have a not of blue undertones in your skin, like me, yellow gold will compliment your complexion.

Marquise diamond wedding ring: HN JEWELRY

 

When Mr. Heatherland was in the market for my ring, he got the name of an AMAZING jewelry maven in the Diamond District named Sabrina.

My Ring: Sabrina and Mr. Heatherland

My Ring: designed by Sabrina and Mr. Heatherland

 

He came to her armed with two bits of knowledge: I wanted a band and I wanted yellow gold; and she knocked it out of the park!  He tells me that going to Sabrina was a much better experience than going to a jewelry store to pick out a ring from a case.

Vintage Art Deco Ring: Etsy

Vintage Art Deco Ring: Etsy

 

He and her talked about my ring, she showed him binders full options for the setting, then she brought him samples, and only when they had a solid idea of what he wanted, she sourced the diamonds and had all it put together.  If you are hunting for a talented jeweler in the NY area, please email me for her contact info- I’m happy to share the love!

ring trio: lover.ly

ring trio: lover.ly

 

However, if vintage is more your thing, there are plenty of pre-loved yellow gold settings to be had.  My favorite spot to obsess over antique little lovelies is Market Square Jewelers.  They’ve been in the jewelry business for over 25 years, and they have acquired a pretty impressive selection.

Flush Vintage Gold Ring: Market Square Jewelers

Flush Vintage Gold Ring: Market Square Jewelers

 

Like this jaw dropper, could you just die?  It’s incredible!

Vintage Beryl Ring: Market Square Jewelers

Vintage Beryl Ring: Market Square Jewelers

 

I know, I know… it is highly unlikely that I will be forking over $15k for almost 50 carats worth of awesomeness, but I love to stare at it!

 

Hail to the yellow gold engagement rings!

How to: Pick a New Blowdryer.

So you’ve finally decided to trash that old clunker of a blowdryer, eh?  Most people wait to replace their blowdryer until it either breaks, or sounds/smells/looks like it’s about to break.  But if you are trying to keep your hair from being cooked, a blowdryer should be replaced every three to five years depending on how often you use it.

 

The toughest part is deciding which new one to get.  Most of them seem to be using the same technological tag lines, and the only thing that’s differentiating them is the price.  You can’t help but wonder: Are they all created equally?  Maybe… Maybe not.  Manufacturers have gravitated towards key features, so let’s define and find out why they are important.

photo credit: andrea morales

photo credit: andrea morales

Wattage

Wattage is power, and more power is a good thing.   A blow dyer’s wattage directly affects how powerful it is.  The faster the motor, the faster your hair dries.  While wattage varies among hair dryers, a general rule is sticking with 1800 watts and above will render the most efficient results.

 

CERAMIC

Ceramic has the remarkable ability to conduct heat.  Unlike metal and plastic, ceramic allows heat to penetrate the hair shaft safely because it produces a gentle, far infrared heat to facilitate drying hair from the inside out.  Blowdryers without ceramic will heat the hair from the outside in, and actually boil the water off the hair, which over time causes brittleness and breakage.

 

Tourmaline

Tourmaline was introduced to blowdryers because it has incredible capability to generate negative ions. A great, lasting blowout, has a lot to do with a blowdryer that puts out negative ions.   Negatively charged ions help evaporate the water from the hair strand as you’re drying, which means hair will dry up to 70% faster, and the end result will be sleeker and shinier than blowdrying with a tool that does not put out a significant amount of negative ions.

photo credit: andrea morales

photo credit: andrea morales

When you’re shopping for a blowdryer, you’ll see the contenders that offer a high wattage, ceramic blowdryer, with ionic technology.  So, what’s the difference between a $20 dryer and a $200 one?

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but put your big-girl-pants on and get ready to fork over up to $200 for your next blowdryer.  The cost matters because none of those key features won’t be beneficial unless the manufacturer is using high quality parts, and as we all know: High quality costs money.

 

So, what’s the best blowdryer of 2014?  I have tried them all, and for the last six years I have loyally used a Super Solano ($140), and I adored it.  Recently, because of peer pressure mostly, I have jumped ship and I’m using One Styling’s Legacy Pro ($200).  So far, so good.  The Legacy Pro dries hair faster than the Solano, but the Solano has a better design for me.  It ultimately comes down to personal preference.

 

 

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