Last-Minute Holiday Gifts That Will Save The Day — As Seen On CBS Austin’s “We Are Austin”
Yes, Christmas Eve is just 10 days away, but never fear — these fun gift ideas are just calling for you to wrap them up, tuck them inside a fuzzy stocking, or place them gingerly in a festive gift bag. Earlier today, I stopped by CBS Austin’s “We Are Austin” to discuss these options, so make sure to check the segment out for yourself — both parts of the segment are embedded above or, if you prefer, you can click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. And, as usual, keep reading for more details on all the items seen on air!
LET THEM FIND COAL IN THEIR STOCKINGS — AND LOVE IT! — WITH THESE ITEMS FROM BIORÉ SKINCARE’S CHARCOAL COLLECTION
As the story goes, when my older brother was about five years old and at the height of his mischievous childhood, he wrote a letter to Santa asking for a yellow bike (no clue why it had to be yellow) and waxing poetic about how well he’d behaved that year and how he only got spanked twice. It was, in essence, a version of a “Santa, I can explain…”note. See, my brother was terrified of waking up on Christmas morning and finding a lump of coal under the Christmas tree because, well, he knew he’d been naughty!
No matter how well-behaved, most of us grew up dreading the possibility of finding lumps of coal in our stockings, and yet now, as young women, we actually welcome the idea. Okay, maybe we wouldn’t be thrilled to discover a hunk of carbon like the ones you’d use to fire up a grill, but charcoal-based beauty products? Yes, please! These charcoal-based products from Bioré, then, will be a welcome surprise for all, and you can gift them to everyone — whether they’ve been naughty or nice.
What’s so great about charcoal, you ask? Well, activated charcoal, which is carbon that has been treated with oxygen to increase its porosity and render it safe for cosmetic and medicinal use, can absorb 100 to 200 times its weight in impurities. In other words, it acts like a magnet, attracting dirt, oil, and toxins, and hence it’s great for exfoliating the skin, decongesting pores, and balancing oily skin.
The Bioré Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar is a fantastic cleanser for women with combination or oily skin as it detoxifies the skin, leaving pores 2 ½ times cleaner than a basic cleanser. The black-colored, mint-scented cleanser also contains exfoliating jojoba beads and refreshing, soothing peppermint oil. If you’re buying for someone who wants gorgeous skin in a flash, consider picking up the Bioré Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask, which comes in single-use packets. The mask comes in powder form, and it’s activated by water, so that you want to apply the contents of a packet onto your damp face and then massage it using gentle motions. As you do, the mask will begin to warm up so as to open up tpores. In just one minute, the mask will remove surface toxins as well as any dirt, bacteria, and oil lurking inside pores. To conquer pesky blackheads along the nose area, meanwhile, there’s the Bioré’s Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips, which remove a week’s worth of build-up and eliminate any clogs that could lead to blackheads.
The products range from $6.49 to $7.99 and are available at select food, drug, and mass retailers nationwide.
GIVE THE GIFT OF SILKY SOFT AND BOUNCY HAIR WITH NOT YOUR MOTHER’S NATURALS BLUE SEA KALE & PURE COCONUT WATER COLLECTION
All women want to be the mane envy of other women, boasting silky soft strands that are bouncy and lustrous. That’s why the Not Your Mother’s Naturals Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water collection is such a great gift. Comprised of a shampoo, conditioner, and mousse, this collection is designed to offer weightless hydration, so it’s perfect for all women but particularly those with fine strands.
The products feature plant-based ingredients — chiefly sea kale and coconut water. The former is rich in vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and hence plays an essential role in our hair’s health, and it also contains sulfur and iodine, both of which are known to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. Coconut water, meanwhile, has a high concentration of lauric acid, which improves circulation along the scalp, strengthening hair follicles and promoting hair growth. Moreover, it’s rich in electrolytes like potassium that moisturize hair without making it limp, flat, or greasy.
Containing no sulfates, silicones, parabens, or gluten, these products are gentle enough for daily use. They retail for $9 each at ULTA stores and Ulta.com but, this week, you can take advantage of ULTA’s BOGO50 promotion, so that you can buy one product and get another for 50% off retail price.
PREPARE THEM FOR MISTLETOE SEASON WITH THE ARTISTRY BY AMWAY HOLIDAY 2017 VELVET KISS LIP TRIO
It’s officially mistletoe season, so there’s bound to be plenty of smooching going on around the holiday tree — not to mention those special kisses to ring in 2018! Buttercups can pucker up in style with the Artistry by Amway Holiday 2017 Velvet Kiss Lip Trio ($47 at Amway.com), which contains three full-size liquid lip colors that deliver high-impact coverage and have a velvety matte finish. The three shades in this gift set capture the festive spirit of the season: Kiss is a bright holly red, Love is a rosy mauve, and Joy is a ripe berry hue.
PAMPER THEM WITH THE ARTISTRY BY AMWAY ULTIMATE 10 MINUTE FACIAL
Know someone who could use some “me” time? Then give them a kit so they can pamper themselves from the comfort of their own homes! The Artistry Ultimate 10 Minute Facial ($55 at Amway.com) is just the ticket since it provides everything needed to enjoy two complete, professional-level facial experiences so that, after each 10-minute session, skin is left energized and appears visibly younger.
This kit features a Massaging Facial Cleansing Brush along with mini versions of three star products formulated using Artistry’s most innovative formulas to date. First, there’s the Artistry Advanced Creamy Foam Cleanser, which contains African baobab fruit extract, known for its high concentration of antioxidants. Second, there’s the Artistry Intensive Skincare Renewing Peel, which is powered by a mushroom enzyme that works in harmony with each individual’s skin so as to self-neutralize and hence prevent any irritation (in other words, the peel exfoliates the skin until it reaches a pH of 5.5, at which point it stops). And last but certainly not least, the set includes the Artistry Supreme LX Regenerating Cream, which contains gardenia stem cells that resynchronize the skin’s biorhythms, accelerating the cell renewal process, along with antioxidant-rich acerola cherry extract, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, quinoa seed extract, oat extract, hyaluronic acid, and much more.
HELP THEM STAY SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN WITH NUBIAN HERITAGE BAR SOAPS
They say cleanliness is next to godliness, so set them on the right path with some Nubian Heritage Bar Soaps ($4.99 each at Vitamin Shoppe stores and VitaminShoppe.com). These fragrant soaps not only cleanse the skin, but they also nourish and hydrate it. They’re made with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients like shea butter, African black soap, chia seeds, Abyssinian oil, neem oil, Arabian honey, and buriti oil, and they contain no sulfates, parabens, artificial colors or synthetic fragrances. There are numerous options available — from Mango Butter (my favorite!) to Coconut & Papaya (another star offering), Honey & Black Seed, Raw Shea Butter, Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver, Patchouli & Buriti, Olive Oil & Green Tee ( a go-to in my home), Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed, African Black Soap, Goat’s Milk & Chai, and Lemongrass & Tea Tree.
Not only do they make great stocking stuffers, but these soaps are a gift that pays it forward. See, through its Community Commerce business model, Nubian Heritage has partnered with 15 women in shea butter co-ops in West Africa. Thanks to Nubian Heritage, not only are these women earning fair wages, but they’re receiving the tools, training, and education needed to develop self-sustaining businesses. By supporting Nubian Heritage, then, you’re also helping these communities — and that’s something you can feel great about.
HELP THE FELLAS STAY ON THE CUTTING EDGE WITH THE BEVEL SHAVE SYSTEM
Ladies, we feel inconsolable when we have razor bumps on our legs; now imagine having to deal with those pesky bumps on your face! Sadly, that’s a common gripe among many men — particularly those with curly and coarse hair. Luckily, Bevel founder Tristan Walker devised a three-step system and some breakthrough tools to help men like himself enjoy a clean shave without any irritation or ingrown hairs.
The Bevel Shave System ($89.95 for 30-Day Starter Kit or $129.95 for 90-Day Starter Kit; available at GetBevel.com, Amazon.com, and Target.com) includes three must-have skincare products (a Priming Oil, Shave Cream, and Restoring Balm), as well as the innovative and sleek Bevel Safety Razor, a Bevel Shave Brush, and a 30- or 90-day supply of razors depending on which starter kit you choose.
The star of this grooming gala is the Bevel Safety Razor, which is a reengineered single-blade razor that cuts the hair at the skin level, so that it won’t tug and pull hair out from the roots and, hence, it will prevent curly and coarse hair from growing back under the skin, which would result in razor bumps. Though the razor is the key component in the system, every single item in this kit works together and was carefully designed and/or formulated to soothe and protect the skin.
The Priming Oil, for instance, contains a blend of castor, sunflower and olive oils to soften the hair and prevent nicks, while the Shave Cream is infused with aloe vera and vitamin E, and the alcohol-free Restoring Balm contains skin-calming tea tree oil and witch hazel along with shea butter.
For ideal results, you want to make sure to apply a nickel-sized amount of the Priming Oil to clean and damp skin, then reach for the Shave Brush, which is made with premium badger hair, and wet it for 20 seconds. Once the brush’s bristles are damp, you can apply the Shave Cream directly to the brush and begin to dispense the product onto your face, using circular whipping motions to exfoliate the skin while working the cream into a rich lather. Once you have sufficient Shave Cream on your face, you can begin to shave, making sure to hold the razor at a 30-degree angle and to employ short gliding movements.
TURN THEIR KITCHEN INTO A HAPPY PLACE WITH A SKURA STYLE SPONGE SUBSCRIPTION
We’ve all dealt with our fair share of musty-smelling sponges, but here’s some info that should serve as a wake-up call: studies indicate that a typical kitchen sponge can have up to 200,000 more bacteria than a toilet seat. Are you cringing yet? Just think of all that bacteria being redeposited onto the plates you scrub (they don’t seem quite so clean now, right), your countertops, and so on.
Aiming to remove the “ick” from the kitchen, the two women who launched Skura Style set out to design a better sponge, along with a more convenient system for routinely replacing sponges. The good news: they succeeded admirably!
Skura Style sponges are foam-based and feature an antimicrobial technology that inhibits odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew, so they don’t get smelly or lose their shape. Plus, they have a monogram logo that fades with use, indicating when it’s time to replace that particular sponge. Best of all, because it’s a subscription-based system, it eliminates all the guesswork, so you don’t have to stare at your sponge suspiciously. You can visit SkuraStyle.com, buy a monthly subscription for just $12/month, and you’ll have a box with 4 chic sponges delivered to your door every month.
This holiday season, the brand has a special Gift of Scrub promo whereby you can gift someone 3 months of sponge deliveries for $36, and you can print a gift message to include in their holiday card, letting them know a package is on the way!
Visit SkuraStyle.com for more info and to sign up for a subscription or take advantage of the Gift of Scrub deal!