5 Gifts Under $20 for the Beauty Buff in Your Life

Christmas is officially two weeks away and it’s time to start finalizing the gifts for all the loved ones in your life. I spend plenty of time each year preparing a list of potential gifts for my friends and family. Recently, I was searching for a beauty set that I could give as a gift and found a ton of options. Check out these five gifts under $20 perfect for any beauty buff in your life.

1. Freeman Peace, Love, Glow 10 Piece Kit ($13.99)

This set includes three of the best selling masks Freeman has to offer: Clearing Sweet Tea + Lemon Peel-Off Clay Mask, Hydrating Glacier Water + Pink Peony Gel Cream Mask, and the Detoxifying Charcoal + Black Sugar Mud Mask. In addition, you will receive six other single use masks ranging from the Anti-Stress Dead Sea Mineral Clay Mask to the Soothing Watermelon + Aloe Cooling Gel Mask. Give your loved ones a spa day in a box with this amazing Freeman 10 piece set.

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2. The Body Shop Vanilla Marshmallow Delights Gift Set ($17.63)

Body Shop has a ton of festive gift sets to choose from. The Vanilla Marshmallow Delights Gift Set consists of four sweet surprises: Shower gel, body scrub, body butter, and hand cream. Each item features a mix of vanilla from Madagascar and toasted marshmallows perfect for the holiday season. To top it all off, these products come in a cute, reusable sack that will fit right under the tree!

3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Winter Gift Set ($19.99)

Harsh winters can lead to dry skin. Give the gift of hydration this winter with the help of Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Winter Gift Set. Featuring the Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer, Hydrogel Face Mask, Overnight Gel Mask, and Lip Treatment; this set will leave skin looking smooth and moist.

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4. NIVEA Pamper Time Gift Set ($12.50)

Nivea has put together the ideal set for any woman in your life. Don’t worry, there’s a kit for men too! The Nivea Pamper Time Gift Set includes five luxury products: The original NIVEA Creme, body lotion, Foaming Silk Mousse Creme Moisture Body Wash, In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion, and lip balm. All these products are packed in a beautiful travel bag perfect for a romantic getaway.

5. Body & Earth Rose Spa Gift Set ($15.99)

Body & Earth has prepared a beautiful spa gift set with all the products necessary for a luxurious bath experience. This set includes soap, body butter, body lotion, hand lotion, and shower gel infused with the scent of rose. The rose soap petals are my favorite part of this box. This set will leave your loved one feeling relaxed and pampered.

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This Wet n Wild Highlighter Is Not Your Basic Witch

We are nearing the end of spooky season and soon all of the Halloween-themed products will be gone. Among other products in a recent VoxBox from Influenster, I received a wet n wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in the shade “Not Your Basic Witch”.

Wet n Wild “Not Your Basic Witch” MegaGlo Highlighting Powder

As wet n wild’s website states, this shade builds off, “Our fan favorite MegaGlo Highlighter, now with a fright night twist.” Yes, as you can see this is a black “highlighting powder”. There are many color variations for highlighting powders including white, pink and even blue; but a black highlighter? I just do not understand.

“Not Your Basic Witch” is actually a really pretty shade. In fact, I can see many uses for this as an eyeshadow to darken the outer crease or create a beautiful smoky eye. It’s sparkly, almost metallic finish adds more flare than a traditional black shadow, but I personally would never seek out a such a dark highlighter.

It is clear that wet n wild planned the launch of the “Not Your Basic Witch” highlighting powder to coincide with Halloween. Many people do buy makeup around Halloween to achieve a particular look; however, outside of this holiday, I see little use for a such a dark highlighter.

In my opinion, this shade should never have been marketed as a highlighting powder. A highlighter provides contrast and draws light to areas of the face including the cheekbones, eyes, and nose. “Not Your Basic Witch” does quite the opposite. Rather, it acts more like a contour powder if anything. I think a dark highlighting powder defeats the purpose of a highlighter.

Aside from creating a nice smoky eye, I cannot think of many uses for this product. Yes, you could use this to achieve a spooky makeup look, but you probably have a black shade in your inventory that will do the trick. Unless you use black shadows on a regular basis, I recommend saving the five dollars and picking out a different shade of wet n wild’s MegaGlo Highlighting Powders.

Note: I received this complimentary product from Influenster for testing purposes.

Save Damaged Hair with Pantene Intense Rescue Shots

Let’s face it ladies, we put our hair through a lot. From coloring to styling, our hair loses nutrients over time becoming rougher and duller in the process. The new Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots set out to repair over-styled and over-treated hair. According to the website, “Pantene Intense Rescue Shots provide deep conditioning [and] noticeably repair extreme damage in just one use.”

The instructions are very simple; shampoo and condition as normal, spread the rescue shot throughout your hair, then rinse. It does not specify on the bottle how long to leave the product in your hair. I made sure to apply the product evenly and waited a couple minutes before washing it out. Even after a good rinse, it felt as if I had leftover conditioner in my hair, but I decided to let my hair dry and see the results.

After my hair dried, I could immediately tell it looked more healthy. My hair is naturally wavy but after using the Pantene Intense Rescue Shot I had little ringlet curls. In addition, the rescue shot tamed my normally frizzy hair, making it much easier to manage. I noticed the biggest difference on the second wash after using the rescue shot. My hair appeared more sleek and shiny. I decided to put my hair to the test against the flat iron, and to my surprise, I found less breakage and my hair looked great after styling.

If these Pantene Intense Rescue Shots were available when I was in high school, I could avoided so much hair damage. Since I did so much damage to my hair years ago, I have used many deep conditioners and other hair treatments. These rescue shots actually work and I found a noticeable difference in my hair after just one use. Personally, I can see myself using this product every 2-4 weeks, but they can be used more often if needed. For about $2 per rescue shot, this is a much easier way to achieve a deep condition without taking a trip to the salon.

Natural vs. Traditional: Which Deodorant is Better?

Within the last few years, the idea of using natural deodorant rather than the traditional kind spread rapidly. Walking through the deodorant aisle, you are sure to see a host of “natural” deodorant brands taking up more shelf space. However, there are several misconceptions about the differences between natural and traditional deodorant. Let’s clear the air:

1. Deodorant and antiperspirant are the same.

With so many deodorant or antiperspirant brands, it can be easy to confuse them. In fact, people tend to use deodorant and antiperspirant synonymously; however, these two are not the same. Deodorant does as the name implies; it blocks odor. Most brands of deodorant do not contain aluminum at all. An antiperspirant seeks to reduce sweat by using aluminum to block sweat glands.

2. Aluminum in antiperspirant leads to cancer and Alzheimer’s.

People often believe that the aluminum in antiperspirants is harmful to the body with some claiming that the skin can absorb the aluminum leading to Alzheimer’s or even cancer. According to a study conducted by Klotz, Neff & Drexler, there is no conclusive evidence to show a connection between aluminum exposure in antiperspirants and these diseases. In fact, aluminum appears all around in the environment and can be absorbed through water, food, cosmetics, and more.

3. Natural deodorant is better for you than traditional deodorant.

It’s important to refer to the list of ingredients on the deodorant labels. Make sure to check whether it is simply a deodorant or a 2-in-1 deodorant and antiperspirant. Natural deodorants may include more natural ingredients such as essential oils that can be better for those with sensitive skin. However, if sensitive skin is not an issue for you, rest assured that your go-to drugstore brand is not harmful.

Overall, the type of deodorant you want to use depends solely on your personal preferences. I enjoy natural deodorant, especially Schmidt’s, because of the consistency and long-lasting scent; however, I still use traditional deodorant or antiperspirant on occasion, especially when I am exercising.

Recently, I have seen brands of natural deodorant in stores charging nearly $12 per unit. In my opinion, one stick of natural deodorant is not worth $12 no matter what it’s made of, and you can achieve similar results from any other natural or traditional brand. Regardless, the choice is yours. There are a ton of great brands, both natural and traditional, to choose from.

I Found the Perfect Travel Razor

Summer may be over, but there is still time left in the year to plan a weekend getaway or begin making holiday preparations. Of course, with travel comes packing, and if you’re like me that is the most stressful part.

Whenever I travel, I tend to overpack. Clothes, shoes, toiletries – it seems I can never pack enough. In fact, I’m one of those people that barely manages to sneak under the 50-pound weight limit at the airport. Lately, I have been trying to minimize the number of items I take in my suitcase, and toiletries serve as one of those problem categories where I always pack too much.

I struggle with packing toiletries because I worry about losing my daily use items; therefore, I tend to buy disposable toiletries to last through the trip. The same rule applies to my razor. Generally, I pack a travel razor to easily dispose of once the vacation is over; however, this also means that I must pack some kind of shave gel to go with. There has got to be a better way.

To my surprise there is a better way; it’s called the Schick Intuition razor. This product combines the razor and shaving cream into one package, eliminating the need to buy or pack both. With the help of the shaving cream, this razor glides effortlessly across your skin, leaving the area nice and smooth. The shaving cream also contains Aloe, which gently moisturizes sensitive skin as you shave.

I primarily use a men’s razor because I can achieve a much closer shave, but for travel purposes, I think the Schick Intuition will become my new go-to. It’s also super affordable! The Schick Intuition starter pack, containing the handle and two razor blade refills, retails for under $7.50 on Amazon. Aside from a great deal, this shaving cream/razor duo means no more stressing over whether I remembered to pack all of my toiletries. Give this razor a try on your next vacation and you can travel carefree just like me!