Showing posts with label Giorgio Armani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giorgio Armani. Show all posts

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Foundation and Maestro UV Skin Defense Primer



This is the season of glow foundations and many of you have been anxiously waiting for my review on the new Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup Foundation SPF 30 ($64 for 30 ml/1 fl oz) and the Maestro UV Skin Defense Primer ($64 for 30 ml/1 fl oz). I've been putting these to the test for a few months now - I appreciate your patience as it has taken me a long time to post this review. I had very high hopes for both as I've been a fan of a few Armani foundation formulas. The description of the Glow Foundation seemed absolutely perfect described as a bi-phase foundation that gives a rich glow with a thin silky texture. It's infused with oils and pure pigmented to nourish the skin. As soon as I saw it launched, I stopped by my local Nordstrom for a shade match, after trying a few shades I found 5.5 was the best for me. At the counter the artist also applied the Maestro UV Skin Defense Primer which has Broad Spectrum SPF 50. I explained my hesitation with white sunscreens because they almost always leave a white cast on my skin. She assured me this one did not have any residue or white cast and she was right.

The combination of both resulted in a very natural luminous glowy look. The formula of the Maestro Glow is very sheer but it evened out the skin to a soft dewy glow. Even with powder foundation set on top, it looked natural and glowy without being too greasy. Coverage-wise it's too sheer for my personal taste, but it still evens out the skin. By the time I got home I saw tiny little red bumps surface on my face. I thought it was possible the cleanser and toner she used to remove my makeup caused it (it's often something I react to). So I let my skin clear up for a week before I tested the new foundation and primer just to make sure.

Quick thoughts on the Maestro UV Primer - it disappears completely on the skin but makes the foundation apply better and smoother. Not just the Maestro Glow but a number of other formulas as well.  Unfortunately both the primer and foundation caused a really bad allergic reaction on my super sensitive skin. Tiny little red dots and bumps form along my cheeks and forehead. I tested both on my face for 4 days to make sure and my skin just got worse. After that I took another week break from both to let my skin heal and tried the foundation separately, hoping perhaps I was just allergic to the primer. No luck. I'm allergic to both formulas - so for these I have to give them a thumbs down which is a shame because the finish and look of both is really really good. It looks like skin but better and even though these are very hydrating and moisturizing I found the formula wasn't too rich for my normal combination skin and the lasting power was pretty good. I haven't tried every Armani foundation formula, but the ones I have tried didn't cause any allergic reactions - however it's probably been at least 4-5 years since I've tried one of the regular foundations and since I haven't kept up on new launches I don't know if the formulas of any have changed.

In case you still want to check these out  a closer look at both and swatches. For the Maestro Glow foundation since it's bi-phase you have to shake it up to mix the oil and pigment:


Both come in a dropper style bottle:



Comparison swatches below to:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (review here)
Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation (review here)
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tints (review here)
Becca Aqualuminous Foundation (review soon)


Ingredients on the boxes:



Because the formulas don't work for my skin, I can't give these a positive review. In testing these I tried application with a beautyblender sponge which I found was better than any foundation brush. After the last round of testing it took my skin around 2-3 weeks to heal completely and for the bumps to disappear. If you have very sensitive skin you may want to do a patch test first. I do recommend you read other reviews though because this new formula has worked on a number of other people. Depending on your specific skin type your mileage may vary. Allergic reaction aside, if my skin didn't get bumps I still would give this a lukewarm review - I personally need coverage for foundations. I don't need 100% full coverage but something that can be built up to medium is what I look for. The Maestro Glow is sheer - it's not transparent, but just a tiny bit too sheer for my taste.

Have you tried either of these yet? Do you have a favorite Armani foundation formula? I purchased both of these from Nordstrom but you can also find these at all Armani retailers now. I'm undecided whether or not to return these even though Nordstrom has a good return policy. One of my friends has super dry skin and loves all the Armani formulas, I'm going to ask her if she want to give these a try.

(P.S. Gray Malin's Prada Marfa prints are on sale today and tomorrow!) 


Monday, February 8, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016 Armani Highlighting Palette and MAC Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer for the Year of the Monkey


Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the day many of us celebrate Chinese New Year and this year's zodiac animal is the monkey. There are some cute beauty items that have launched to celebrate this event, I have two to feature today. One being the Armani Chinese New Year Highlighting Palette ($88 for 8.5 g/0.3 oz, made in France) and the other is MAC Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer ($17 for 3g/0.1 oz, made in Canada).

Up first is the new highlighting powder from Armani. The Chinese New Year Highlighting Palette comes in a mirrored compact with a compartment for a small brush. The packaging design is similar to that of other highlighting powders and the powder foundation. It's a very soft and subtle highlighter in a gold shade. It does have quite a complex mix of shimmers from champagne and gold. I found the finish to be on the sheer side but it is buildable. Depending on how the light hits the compact, sometimes the color will look more golden and yellow, other times the shimmers will reflect to show more of a champagne colored shimmer. It comes cased in a stunning red lacquered compact. On the top is embossed the Chinese character for good fortune. It was difficult to capture the shimmer in this one but depending on how you apply it, you will see tiny bits of micro sparkle, almost like superfine tiny bits of glitter. It's very smooth on the skin though, there's no texture or chunkiness to the feel.


A look at the packaging design:

Swatched with a heavy hand otherwise it would not show up on camera:



A few swatch comparisons below to:

Armani Fluid Sheer #2 (also swatched here)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light (review)
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder Brilliant Strobe Light (swatch)
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder Euphoric Strobe Light (review)


I think it's a nice collective piece to own if you celebrate Chinese New Year or if you simply love Armani highlighters. I find it special because of the packaging design and since I am Chinese, I do think it's a fun piece to own. In terms of the color and quality, it's a high quality powder with a finely milled texture to add a nice glow. On me I find it very subtle. I suspect some may find it too subtle or may not like the tiny gold micro sparkles. I like that it doesn't emphasize pores and it feels very smooth on the skin. That being said, I do prefer the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders to this one.

Next up is something from MAC. They've curated a collection of some of their top-selling items (repromotes and permanent items) for the Year of the Monkey Collection - shades inspired by Chinese opera. Online and in MAC stores they have a special gold envelope (while supplies last). I ordered Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer online as it's always been on my radar but I never caved and ordered. It's a beautiful sheer grapefruit color. It's bright but not too bright. You can find the color at all MAC counters and online. It's just the envelope that is limited-edition and exclusive to MAC online/stores. This comes in the lustre lipstick formula which is sheer but buildable. Your natural lip color will show through if you only swipe it across the lips once and it has a naturally glossy finish.




Swatch comparisons to:

Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick in Coral Confession (swatched here)
YSL Glossy Stain 42 (swatched here)


I think the Armani palette is a nice item to have, but not a must. I ordered mine sight unseen as I did not see it available at any counters near me. Had I been able to test it in person I suspect there's a good chance I still would have purchased it because of the packaging and personal meaning. MAC See Sheer is a good wearable coral that adds life to the complexion. It's a brighter shade compared to my natural preference for nude lips but I still find it very wearable and easy to pull off for everyday.

The Armani Chinese New Year Palette retails for $88 and is limited-edition. You can find it online at Nordstrom, Giorgio Armani and Saks Fifth Avenue.

MAC Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer retails for $17. You can find it at MAC stores and online (they will send a gold envelope with any Chinese New Year collection purchase while supplies last). If you're just interested in the lipstick, it's widely available at all MAC counters. Online at Nordstrom, Macy's and MAC Cosmetics.

Did you check out any of the Chinese New Year beauty items this year? Happy New Year to those who celebrate!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday Makeup Must-Haves for a Glowing Beauty Look



During the holidays the bold red lips and gold sparkles are always in for beauty, but as a neutral makeup lover, I opt for colors that make the skin glow naturally for a fresh-faced look. It's this time of year that I start to lighten in skin tone so I like to add and layer colors to give the face a little life. Also being someone who likes to wear red clothing during the holidays - I find that neutral makeup goes best with a red dress or sweater (although brighter pinks also complement red outfits). I've teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my favorite beauty items along with a few new discoveries.

For glowing skin I like to layer bronzer and highlighters. The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Duos are incredible for adding life to the face. I have both the original Filmstar Bronze and Glow and the newer Medium to Dark version and like both. Either would make beautiful luxe gifts too for any beauty lover - especially the Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set that comes with the sculpting brush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, Bronzers and Blushes are in my top picks for a natural glowy look. The Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light is the perfect mix of bronzer and highlighter swirled into one compact. It gives the complexion a radiant bronzed glow. I also really love the Ambient Lighting Blushes, Luminous Flush (shown below) and Incandescent Electra are my favorites. If you don't own any yet, I highly recommend the holiday Ambient Lighting Edit Palette. It's oh so gorgeous!!! I own 5 of the 6 shades individually and although it would make an excellent travel companion, I decided to pass this season.

Hands down the best highlighting duo launched this year is the Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight. It has a pearly opal color and a medium light tan champagne. Together they give the skin a candlelit glow that's just so so so pretty.

Armani Fluid Sheers are always a favorite to add a glow on top of the cheek bones (I apply after foundation and powder and dab it onto the cheeks). They're also great to mix in with foundation to add luminosity in a natural way. #2 is the classic champagne ivory shimmer and #17 is a newer one that's the prettiest neutral pink. I have a few more shades swatched below.




For eyes, I like to keep things simple and light. I'm all about a champagne base and I've finally mastered the liquid liner application (success!). The best neutral quad is Tom Ford Nude Dip (brand new fresh one shown below). It is on the shimmery side but I don't think it's over the top. Armani Eye Tints offer a nice wash of color, there are lots of neutrals - many of which look similar but have slight variations in undertone.

Other champagne favorites include NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Goddess (pretty much budge-proof once it sets), Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold (super creamy and easy to blend, if you have oily lids it might be too emollient), Burberry Wet and Dry Glow Eyeshadow in Shell (the perfect shimmer for the lids) and if you want something more glitzy Armani Eyes to Kill in #8 is pretty awesome.

I've been experimenting more with different kinds of liquid eyeliners this year. I've found so many good ones. Tom Ford Eye Defining Liquid Pen still remains at the top of my list. Burberry's Effortless Liquid Liner has a felt-tip stiffer tip which is also super easy to use. Both colors are super rich black shades and stay true-to color (some liners I've tried dry to a lighter color and look grey on my skin).

To add a bit of definition or color, just add a smudge of something deeper along the upper lash line. I am really loving the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Rouge Noir that is new for holiday. Charlotte Tilbury Color Color Chameleon Color Morphing Eyeshadow Pencils are super long-lasting. They are creamy enough that you can apply and smudge/blend with ease, but once it sets, it stays put with impressive lasting power.



Reds and berries and plums are always in for holiday. I love a good plum, but as one with full lips, I always feel so self conscious with reds or brights. I feel like they draw extra attention to my lips. I prefer fresh colors that make the face glow. I've been obsessed with the Tom Ford Lips and Boys launch this year. There are 25 new shades, I will have swatches of 12 of my picks soon (I promise!). Most of the new colors have shimmer in them, but it's a luminous shimmer for most. From what I recall there were only a few glitzy colors in the bold range. Demsey is the perfect peachy color (it's a darker and less frosty version compared to last year's William). Ansel is a gorgeous bright warm pink shimmer (this fits the gap I've seen in the Tom Ford line for something that's in between pale and super bright). Malik is the most intriguing cool lavender mauve with gold shimmer (not the most holiday-like color, more for spring, but layer a gloss on top and it transforms into a gorgeous mauve). If I found this 10-piece Lips and Boys Set under my Christmas Tree I think I would die of happiness.

I've been playing with some of the Burberry Kisses Glosses. They were reformulated along with the Kisses Lipsticks (which I think are the best scent-free lipsticks on the market). Pale Nude is my kind of color - shimmering gold nude. Coral Rose is a sheer but pretty shimmering pink. Antique Rose is a mauve with a hint of silver sparkle. They are scent-free and taste-free. Texture is glossy and smooth. Lasting power is average for a gloss, but I don't mind reapplying after a few hours.




For holiday fragrance I've been loving the Chanel Allure Parfum Bottle which is a concentrated version of the perfume. It comes in a bottle with a dabber. I bought mine which is the larger size in Paris over the summer (which is still compact in size). I was thrilled to see it available in the US in the smaller size. Another layering combination I've been loving lately is Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede spritzed over Blackberry and Bay. These minis are in the Cologne Collection Set (5 colognes) which are perfect for putting in your clutch.


I hope you found this roundup helpful if you're looking for ways to add a natural glow to your beauty routine this holiday. I am always trying to be braver in wearing bold reds and plums on the lips, but I like makeup that makes me feel comfortable and a better version of myself. There are a number of ways to add a bit of color but still look natural and there are tons of options to pick from at Nordstrom (it's my favorite place to shop because they have the majority of my favorite brands). If you're shopping for gifts online, take note of their holiday shipping deadlines here.

What's your beauty routine for the holiday season? Do you like to add bold shades for a glamorous bright look? Or do you like to keep things neutral too? If you have any favorites or go-to's you've been loving please share! I always get such great recommendations and ideas from you :)

This Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Rosegold also looks like the perfect glowy gloss, I've had my eye on it but haven't tried it yet - if you have what did you think? Is it a must-have?



Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. All opinions my own.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Armani Luxe is More Holiday Collection - Luxe is More Palette, Eye Tints and Lip Maestro


Armani's holiday collection this year is called Luxe is More and the items launched are definitely luxury beauty pieces. I've been a fan of Armani for a long time but found that my favorites were previously released items such as the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows and older blush formula. Many of the items have gone through reformulations and revamps and I haven't kept up with new launches as much. The holiday collection did catch my eye and I splurged on four items:
  • Luxe is More Palette ($140) has ten eyeshadows, one finishing powder and two shades of cream foundation
  • Eye Tints ($38 each) come in shades 16, 17 and 18, I picked up 17 and 18
  • Lip Maestro ($36 each) launched in six new shades, each color has a velvety matte finish, I picked up one Pearly Nude 508
Up first are the individual items for lips and eyes, Lip Maestro 508, Eye Tint 18, Eye Tint 17:


Swatches of the three colors below, Lip Maestro 508, Eye Tint 17, Eye Tint 18:


I'm an Armani Eye Tint lover. These are shimmery cream eyeshadows that come with a sponge-tip applicator. They look super shimmery and frosty but blend out to a smooth finish with a glow. Swatches and review of some other shades in this post here. There are three new shades with the holiday collection, I picked 17 and 18 even though I suspected there might be duplicates in my current stash. I'm a sucker for a good neutral shimmer and these looked so pretty at the counter. Eye Tint 18 is a silvery cool shimmer. Eye Tint 17 is a champagne pink shimmer.

Some swatch comparisons below:

Burberry Wet and Dry Glow in Optic White (review)
Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #9 (review)
NARS Velvet Eyeshadow Stick in Goddess (review)
Armani Eye Tint #12 (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Angel (swatched)
Burberry Wet and Dry Glow in Shell (review)
Armani Eye Tint #8 (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Twilight (swatched)
NARS Velvet Eyeshadow Stick in Oaxaca (review)
Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #4 (review)

I think the Eye Tint 17 has a similar effect to Eyes to Kill Intense 9, the Eye Tint has less frost/shimmer and a tad bit more pink, but the overall finish is almost identical. Eye Tint #18 pulls more silver/cool on my skin but that's because I have a lot of olive. If you're more pink it will probably look more neutral.


Next up is the Lip Maestro in Pearly Nude #508. The Lip Maestros this round have a matte finish and are more like a velvety matte liquid lipstick. Finish is sheer to medium but you can build the color. Lasting power is pretty good, much better than the regular Armani Glosses and the thick texture adheres well to the lips. Pearly Nude is more like a pearly pink with a very slight cool undertone. There is a slight sheen to it because of the pearl shimmers, but the finish is definitely matte.


Swatch comparisons below to:

Armani Gloss D'Armani 503 (discontinued)
Surratt Beauty Lip Lustre in Soigne (review)
Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Enamored Lip Lacquer Rebel Rebel (review)
NARS Lip Gloss in Baby Doll (swatches)
NARS Lip Gloss in Ophelia (swatches)
NARS Lip Gloss in Risky Business (swatches)


Last but not least is the Luxe is More Palette. I swatched this in store and fell head over heels in love with the colors - I think any neutral makeup lover would gasp with awe at how pretty this palette is. The pigment of the shadows is medium but buildable. The shimmer is very fine - visilble on the skin but not frosted. All the colors have shimmer with the exception of two (top row has a matte cream, middle has a soft matte black). I've been playing with this for over a week and have mixed feelings. It's no doubt beautiful, stunning and gorgeous for an understated glowy eye look. The price is over the top and even though you do get 10 eyeshadows, a powder and two cream foundations in a large sturdy double-tiered mirrored compact, it's over priced and you can dupe the shadows with other brands. Also the bottom tier has a powder and foundation that seems like it will only suit light to medium skintones. I'm lucky in the sense they are a perfect match for me, but if you're super fair or tan to dark, the bottom deck won't match your skintone.

The palette does come in a black pouch with two eyeshadow sponge-tip applicators. The bottom deck has two black sponges for the face products. For me they are all too small to be super useful, although they are good for touch ups.

After playing with this, I think based on my past reviews of other natural palettes like the Chanel Fall Les 5 Ombres and Dior Eye Reviver Palettes, most of you will either love or hate this. I find the overall feel to be similar to the Dior Eye Reviver Palettes in the sense that it's natural with a subtle shimmer (versus high shimmer frost). The Armani Palette does have more shimmer and the pigment is slightly richer than the Dior. Compared to the Chanel, the Armani has better pigment, but it's still a very natural-looking palette. If you want high impact color and pigment, I would not recommend this for you. Still if you can get to an Armani counter, definitely test this.

I am really happy with this palette, but I do think it's extremely expensive and very splurgy. By comparison, you can get the MAC x15 in Warm Neutrals or Cool Neutrals for $85 each. Or if you want to build your own MAC palette, you can do so at the MAC stores or online for $160 (palette + insert cost $10, each pro-palette shadow is priced at $10).



Swatches of the shadows in the top deck include: matte cream, shimmering shell, shimmering gold, shimmering pale gold, silver, white frost, shimmery cool mauve, shimmery taupe, satiny plum, matte black


Bottom deck has two shades of cream foundation, I like these under the eyes as brighteners for me, and one finishing powder that disappears completely on my skin, it's a nice setting/touch up powder


Palette ingredients:



Bottom line, I love the Eye Tints, but I knew that I would. I do think they are very similar to other shades so if you already own a good champagne shimmer or silvery shimmer, no need to get these as they will be dupes. The Lip Maestro in Pearly Nude is a gorgeous neutral pink with a very slight hint of cool undertone. The formula is strange to me as it's a matte, but has a sheen to it. I'm usually not a fan of matte lip colors but this one is nice. I did find that I had to layer the color to get it to show up on my pigmented lips, but I didn't have to pack it on. If your lip pigment is light to medium, you probably won't have to layer like I did. The Luxe is More Palette is the ultimate splurge. So many of my readers are almost anti-shimmer with eyeshadows, if you are ultra conservative with shimmer and like a soft glow, you will really like the colors in this palette. They are natural and understated but give the eyes a brightened look effect. If you're one who likes more pigment and color payoff, I recommend you try it in person before splurging.

You can find the Luxe is More Collection at all Armani counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges and Giorgio Armani Beauty.




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday Beauty and Grooming Gifts from Nordstrom


The holiday shopping season has begun and there are a number of great beauty and grooming sets this year to suit every kind of recipient at multiple price points. I wish there was a one-gift fits all to make holiday shopping easier and more efficient but this is rarely the case for me. If you want a one-stop-shop, Nordstrom makes it really easy to find gifts for everyone in one place. They will gift wrap your gifts or give you beautiful silver boxes and ribbon to pack things up yourself which makes gifting easy. I've teamed up with Nordstrom today to share some of my top picks for gifts by recipient.

For the home, you can't go wrong with the holiday scents and gift sets from Diptyque. The Holiday Colored Glass Trio ($100 for 3) for this year is absolutely stunning with a huge wow factor. It comes with three 2.4 oz candles in this year's holiday scents Sapin, Oliban and Liquidamber. I can't get over how beautiful the packaging is this year. The Diptyque boxes are always beautiful as well.


There are a number of options and if you're new to Diptyque you might be slightly confused with the options. I've done a size comparison post before, but the quick version is shown below.
  • 1.2 oz is the smallest size available and only available in the 5 Piece Mini Candle Set (5 pieces for $75) or 10 Piece Mini Candle Set ($130). These sets are usually only available during the holiday seasons.
  • 2.4 oz candles are sold individually or in sets. Holiday scents with special packaging are usually priced higher ($35) than the ones with the clear glass jars ($32). There are sets available usually in trios.
  • 6.5 oz candles are the standard size and priced at $60 for the ones with clear glass. Holiday or seasonal editions are priced higher, this year's version is $70. These are typically sold individually although this year there are a few fragrance + candle sets available.


For the beauty lover who travels a lot, the Laura Mercier Stroke of Genius Set ($98) comes with six short-handled brushes in a dark brown pebbled clutch. I've bought many Laura Mercier Brush sets over the years, they always make really good high quality travel size sets. The ones included in this year are Flat Eyeliner Brush, Eye Crease Brush, All Over Eye Colour Brush, Ponytail Brush, Cheek Colour Brush, Secret Camouflage Brush. I've bought previous season sets for my mom and aunts and the brushes are well-loved.


For your BFF there are a number of good mini color sets from Laura Mercier. Picking makeup for friends or family can be tricky but Laura Mercier has several sets under $50 that have universally flattering shades. One is the Laura Mercier Haute Lips Trio ($38) which has a full-size Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour in Petal Pink, a deluxe size Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Pink Dusk and mini Lip Pencil in Baby Lips. I picked up one below but don't have swatches because it is indeed a gift for one of my friends. Another good trio set is the In the Glow Trio ($38) for cheeks and eyes, these have clutch-sized minis perfect for on-the-go or evening touch ups.


A luxe gift for your BFF is the Chanel Turn Up the Shine Glossimer Set ($92). This is a luxurious splurge, but for that someone extra special you can't go wrong with Glossimers. This year's set has Beige Star, Rose Tendre and Murmure, all creams and non-shimmers. I have all three shades and love them. For the person who wants natural color and shine this is a good one. If you think shimmer is preferred, the two shades from the Vamp Attitude holiday collection are stunning. I'll add swatches below.



For the extra extra special someone or beauty lover who has almost everything, the ultimate splurge is the Armani Luxe is More Eyeshadow Palette ($140). When I saw this pop up online I thought there is no way this palette is worth the high price tag. I swatched it in store and was so amazed by the shimmer and pigment. The palette is pretty large too and the colors have the most exquisite shimmers. I'll have a detailed review soon. For now a sneak preview of the top and bottom layers. It has 10 eyeshadows, two concealers and one powder.


For the men in your life whether it's a boyfriend, husband, brother, dad, uncle etc. you can't go wrong with Kiehl's or Jack Black. So many of my friends have asked me for grooming recommendations for their boyfriends or husbands. They often want to help steer them into better grooming habits without being too pushy or hurt feelings. I've found starter sets with good packaging often get used - no extra nudging or pushing required. The Kiehl's Men's Starter Kit ($43) is something I bought for my husband and he's discovered a number of good staples. It's priced just right and has a little bit of everything for face, body, hands and shaving. Jack Black's The Jack Pack ($49) is also another good one, my husband swears by the Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser but it's not for everyone (some people like my brother-in-law don't like the thick mask-like texture).

Either way, both Kiehl's and Jack Black have good sets to fit everyone's tastes. There are a lot of unisex sets and I've found the holiday offerings have a good sampling of products for those just starting out or looking to try something new. (The Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Cream also comes in a trio this year and it's my husband's favorite hand cream formula.)


Last but not least, one thing I like to do for smaller gifts is split up sets and mix and match things. It's like giving stocking stuffers but one step up. I'm completely obsessed with Sugarfina Champagne Gummy Bears ($7 to $20 depending on size) and I'm so excited Nordstrom has these!! There are a few sweet sets which you can't go wrong with. I think it would be really fun to mix a small box of gummies with a hand cream and mini candle from a set or mini lip gloss.


I hope you found some ideas from my first holiday gift guide this season! What do you have on your list? I'm up for more inspiration or suggestions as I've just started my holiday shopping and have a lot more on my list.




Many thanks to Nordstrom for teaming up to sponsor this post. All items purchased by me. As always, all opinions my own.

 

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