| Beauty
MB-enzyme-cleanser.jpgSince we first discovered Mario Badescu’s drying lotion in college, MB has been our skincare mainstay. Visits to their small, yet official skincare store/spa in Manhattan only made us love the brand even more. 

We’ve tried most of their products - kiwi scrubs, seaweed cleansers, honey moisturizer - but the star of the Mario Badescu line, in our honest opinion, is the Enzyme Cleansing Gel

We first fell in love with it when it came as a sample with our first drying lotion purchase. It has a soft, clean scent unlike other cleansers we’ve tried, that makes you want to smell it over and over again. It’s non-drying and non-stripping formula is also non-foaming. It was a little strange at first to cleanse our face with no lather. Rubbing a green, pearlescent gel on t-zone wasn’t too convincing, but seven years later, it’s still our number one favorite cleanser of all time. 

The packaging is simple and not in the least fancy, but the costumer service is fantastic, you always get samples to try with your order, and the price just can’t be beat.

If you wear heavy foundation or eye makeup, you’ll need a makeup remover beforehand, but it’s the only cleansing product we have found to not leave our face feeling tight and in desperate need of moisturizer (though we always apply anyway…and so should you.) Paired with their Special Cucumber Lotion (it’s really a toner, and not a lotion, fyi), our face has never (and probably will never) looked so good. $12 for 8 oz; $20 for 16 oz;

Dermalogica-Clean-And-RefreshKit.jpgIt’s rare that every product in a gift set is exactly what we would want. There’s usually at least one product in the mix that just doesn’t get our engines revved, so to speak. But that is totally and completely not the case with the Dermalogica clean and refresh kit. The three products in this kit are exactly what we would choose to create our perfect Dermalogica kit … it’s honestly like the fabulous folks at Dermalogica read our minds!

Contained within the cheerful red box are, without a doubt, our three standout products from the skincare line. A full-sized bottle of the line’s cult favorite PreCleanse sits alongside 1.7 oz. bottles of Special Cleansing Gel and Multi-Active Toner. Believe us when we say these three products are all you need to reveal fresh, glowing, absolutely GORGEOUS skin.

What we love most about all three of these products is that they’re so light and gentle — not a harsh chemical or stripping agent in sight. Each is perfect for all skin types — trust us, our skin is uber-sensitive, and we’ve never broken out from any of these three! The toner helps to tighten pores and hydrate the skin; PreCleanse liquefies sebum and oil-based debris from the skin’s surface with kukui nut, borage seed and rice bran oils; and the Special Cleansing Gel is a concentrated, soap-free cleanser designed to remove all impurities from the skin. (Side note: we love using the Special Cleansing Gel with our Clarisonic Mia.)

So, in a nutshell? This kit contains our three hero products from Dermalogica. Why not check it out?

The Dermalogica clean and refresh kit retails for $34 at This is an amazing deal when you consider the PreCleanse retails for $34 on its own!

Read this: 5 bad skin habits
Body-Scrubs-Image.jpgWhen temps dip below about 55 degrees, our skin starts to resemble the Sahara Desert. Dry, cracked and without an oasis in sight! Luckily, these two body scrubs really work to keep unsightly dryness far, far away … as far away as the Sahara, as a matter of fact.

And that’s not the only thing these two scrubs have in common! No, both The Body Scrub by Sara Happ in Vanilla Bean and the Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Vanilla Verbena Sugar Scrub are formulated with — you guessed it! — vanilla. The scent that just always reminds us of our grandmother’s freshly baked cookies is present in both rich, fragrant body scrubs and really helps to bring a homey feel to our hot showers.

You’ll find that both of these scrubs are rich, thick, lush … totally and completely perfect for skin in need of a little extra moisture and nourishment.

Sara Happ’s has kukui nut, macadamia and sweet almond oils in addition to sizable sugar crystals — it goes on a bit rougher than its Bath & Body Works counterpart, so we recommend saving it for the tough-to-moisturize areas like knees, elbows and ankles.

If smooth, silky skin is what you’re after (and, let’s be honest, who isn’t?), you’ll die over the scrub from Bath & Body Works. Sugar crystals combine with sunflower, safflower, sweet almond and jojoba oils to create an unbelievably rich, sensual experience — and it’s just a bonus that your skin will be softer than ever before.

The Body Scrub by Sara Happ in Vanilla Bean is available for $46 at Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Vanilla Verbena Sugar Scrub retails for $16 at
There’s nothing we love more than the holidays. And whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or don’t celebrate at all, we hope you’ll just indulge our Christmas spirit for a little while … because these red and green products are to die for.


Caswell-Massey Cucumber Eye Pads
There’s nothing more cooling or refreshing than cucumbers on your eyes. And especially during the stress of the holiday season, why not treat yourself to these uber-adorable cucumber pads?
$12 for 24 at

H20+ Sea Marine Spa Trio
Shower Cream, Sugar Scrub, Body Cream, even a pouf — this set thinks of it all, doesn’t it? Plus, we love the cooling scents of fresh eucalyptus and green mint.
$25 at

Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens
Scared of looking too shiny in your holiday photos? Never fear … Boscia’s blotting linens are here! One of these babies and your skin will be dewy, not greasy.
$10 at

Jennifer Ouellette Covered Button Satin Pony
We can’t think of a better way to accessorize our ponytail than with this super-chic holder from one of our very favorite hair accessory designers.
$25 at

Bobbi Brown Metallic Eye Shadow in Mint
Give your eyes a subtle wash of green shimmer with this gorgeous glittery hue.
$20 at


Sarah Happ Red Velvet The Lip Scrub
Truth be told, we can’t get enough of lip scrubs by Sara Happ. This delectable one tastes exactly like red velvet cake — and leaves your pout kissably soft and smooth.
$24 at

Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers Nail Polish
Can you honestly tell us there’s a polish more apropos for the holiday season than this glittering, sparkling red? Whatever you say, we’re going to disagree with you.
$18 at

mark Lip to Be Square Lip Tint in Sheer Red
Give your lips just a hint of color with this fun cube of gloss!
$7 at

Mary Green “Kiss Me” Silk Satin Sleep Mask
Every gal needs her beauty sleep … and what better way to get it than with this cheeky sleep mask from celeb favorite Mary Green?
$16 at

Votivo Red Currant Color Candle
With notes of red currant, vanilla bean and golden fruit glaze, it’s easy to see why this candle is a cult classic.
$25 at

Got some last minute gifts to take care of? We love Sephora Favorites samplers. Our two picks in particular are the LashStash and Glitz & Glam. With New Year’s Eve less than two weeks away, we’re already planning our ultra-glam look. There is really no other day of the year where you can go all out with glitz (sparkle shoes, anyone?) than on the last day on the calendar. If you have a makeup addict on your list, check these out. $40 and under, both kits (as well as most of the others available) come with a little bit of everything. LashStash is equipped with 10 of Sephora’s top selling mascaras and a handy eyelash curler. Some of our personal favorites such as Benefit BadGal Lash (great for volume!) and Blinc Kiss Me (wonderful separation, and no smudging, we promise) are packaged up for sampling. 

To get (or give) a gorgeous glow, the Glitz & Glam kit comes with everything you could need to be photo and spotlight ready for the holidays, or the whole year (though these little jars won’t last that long.) Overall, both are great values, and any beauty junkie would squeal at the variety to play with. $39 (Glitz & Glam) and $40 (LashStash);

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