I’m going to keep this intro short because this is going to be a long one.
Basically, the holidays are fast approaching, and I’m busy spending all my money on presents for my parents, my SEVEN siblings, and my boyfriend. It felt really nice to take a break from that and think about what I secretly want to get this year--and of course I had to ask other gorgeous xoVain ladies (including some familiar faces you haven't seen in a while) what’s on their wish lists (and take fervent notes).
Without any further ado, here are the top beauty products some of us here at xoVain are crossing our fingers for this year!
I don't celebrate Christmas, but I'm not opposed to an end-of-the-year gift, because I'm gracious like that. I would joyously accept…
• The Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Collection: 13 Lip Gels, which are actually lipsticks, but Marc Jacobs could call them Fart Balms if he wanted and I'd still covet them.
• Lisa Hoffman Fragrance Earrings in Madagascar Orchid: Little fragrance beads hidden inside pretty, gold-plated earrings? I'm convinced these will help me keep my New Year's resolution of seducing men more effectively in 2014.
• A Blissage 105-minute massage at Bliss: I mean, duh.
• Frederic Malle Carnal Flower: This is my dream perfume. It's expensive, so it remains on a wish list forever!
• LUSH Bath Bombs: In the winter, I love long drawn-out baths, especially those scented by LUSH bombs like Twilight.
• Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope lipstick in Entourage. I have one of these fancy new lipsticks from Poppy King the ultimate lipstick queen and I want more more more!
I hope I'm not the only weirdo who has a hard time picking out actual gifts that SHE would like to get. But I overcame the challenge, and here are the three beauty gifts I would most like to receive:
• Naked3 Palette by Urban Decay: I wrote about this bad boy when I did my holiday palette roundup, and my longing for it has only increased. These gorgeous rose-gold shadows would make my mostly-green eyes look look especially bright and beautiful, even from behind my glasses, which I am a huge fan of.
• Fresh Sugar Scented Candle: You all know how I feel about things that smell--I DISLIKE THEM STRONGLY. But I have to balance that with the fact that I have a dog, and so sometimes my house gets a bit pup-stinky. You know what I'm talking about, dog owners. This candle is expensive, but I've never found a fragrance that I like more--the only word for it is luxurious--and it lasts for AGES. There's something really nice about lighting a fancy candle and relaxing on the couch to watch Reign at the end of a rough day, and this is my fancy candle of choice.
• A trip to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab. Marci wrote about it, and I want to go so badly, it's unreal. I don't even know what I'd make of all the options! Matte! Shiny! Hot pink! Cool red! Smells! Finishes! WE WANTS IT, PRECIOUS. WE WANTS IT FOREVER!
• A paraffin wax bath: I can't justify getting mani/pedis anymore. It's just too pricy; strictly an occasional treat now. But I do my own bi-weekly pedis and attempt to do weekly manicures, and I try and really make them count. Anywho, adding a paraffin bath would up the luxuriousness of it all, and I have a hunch that it will help darken my nail henna to the hardest to achieve bright reds.
• A new blowdryer: Not a necessity, but mine has already been repaired twice. I prefer featherweight models, since I have a nice case of carpal tunnel from hairstyling, sewing and bartending--yeah, all hard on your hands and wrists. Plus the airflow on the featherweight models tends to be gentle, which I also prefer. It allows more control and dries the hair softer. Not everyone feels this way, but with patience and brushstrokes, even a 4c could dry smooth with a medium-airflow dryer.
• A Mason Pearson brush: If you don't know about these brushes, look them up. I have had many brushes in my day, and these are known to last the longest and best distribute extra sebum down the hair shaft, essential for healthy growth and developing a washing routine that doesn't over stress hair strands.
So I really hate asking for anything for Christmas. It's not that I don't want anything, it's just that asking for things feels very... gauche. But since Kelly is MAKING me write a wish list, here's mine:
• Stila Artist Signature Set: I used to do a lot of art-ing around. Now I feel like I rarely have time to, but makeup is such a cool creative outlet for me. Lately, I've been drowning in BASICness and I feel like this kit would help perk me back up because it looks like the art kits I used to love getting when I was younger and not so jaded.
• Lollia Relax Evening Bubble Bath: Just look at this list of ingredients! "White Orchid, Tahitian Vanilla, Bee Blossom Honey, Indian Amber, Olive Fruit, Avocado, Almond Oils and Vitamin E." Those are, indeed, a few of my favorite things, and bubble baths are pretty much my only reason for even living. This is one of OPRAH's favorite things, and she is The Lord, so I trust in her. Plus, it comes in a gorgeous fancy wine bottle that would look much classier on the side of my tub than my typical $11 double barrel cab sav.
• Kre-at Beauty 24 Karat Gold Lashes: I wanted these for so long as a joke that now I think I actually want them? If anybody actually bought me these, I'd be so pissed because I'd obviously just rather have $300 in cash, but this on my wish list as a signifier of my ultimate wish, which is to be the kind of person who, one day, can buy $300 GOLD false eyelashes and just wear them to, like, some random party. I mean, soiree. Yes. Oui.
1. Too Faced Teddy Bear Brush Set: Oh, how I want a new brush set, and which brush set is better than a vegan, cruelty-free baby-pink set that uses TEDDY BEAR FLUFF?! Has there ever been a cuter way of describing faux animal hair? I don't think so.
2. Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Babette: I have a lot of pink lipsticks, but Christmas is about wants, not needs, right? "Babette" is the perfect light ballet pink shade of lipstick. I tried to buy it not long ago during Lime Crime's insane Black Friday Sale, but it was sold out (of course) when I hit "checkout". I guess this Christmas wish can only be granted by Santa and his team of expert cosmetic making elfs.
3. Philosophy Pink Frosted Animal Cracker Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath: All I want for Christmas is a super-frothy pink bubble bath that smells like cookies. Unfortunately, this means asking Santa not only for this incredible bubble bath, but also for an overnight bath installation in my tiny, crappy apartment.
• Bundle Monster 20pc Nail Art Design Painting Dotting Pen Brushes Tool Kit Set: This kit is precisely what I need to keep my nail work as precise as possible. Nothing ruins a great design faster than an old, tired brush, and nothing ruins a brush faster than improper storage. I hope Santa likes his manicures with a little flare!
• Ciate Mini Mani Month Set: It's like an advent calendar for your nails--a new shade every day! Just make sure you protect your nails with a fortifying base coat every time, and a nourishing polish remover.
• Butter London Kitten Heels Foot Cream: Even in the warm California sun, my feet need some serious TLC this time of year. This foot cream is to die, babies...to die. And at $30 a pop it better be! I mean BUTTER be. (I'll show myself out.)
• Urban Decay Naked3 palette: I really need it. Like, my life depends on it, and I may throw a temper tantrum if I don't get it, even if that means buying it for myself!
• TOCCA "Meet the Girls" parfum collection: It's a full set of all TOCCA's fragrances in purse-sized atomizer form. I am obsessed with this brand!
• Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils: I could definitely use some more eyeliners. I'd love the Urban Decay complete eyeliner set.
• Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream: I hear about it SO MUCH but have yet to try it.
• A facial at Mario Badescu: They always take care of my skin in a way that is both gentle but intense.
• More Diptyque candles: I fear the day mine burn out. All though I am the only person who will buy them for myself since everyone else thinks the prices are ridiculous.
• Hermès Un Jardin en Mediterranée fragrance (the BIG bottle): This scent is perfectly spicy and sweet, plus oceany, but not in a gross fishy way. It smells like I’m an elegant women who has some majestic estate on Corsica with a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean sea and she sleeps with her huge french doors open so the sea breeze can wisp in so everything smells like this always. Sigh.
• Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+: I want to look 35 when I’m 50, so I’m into fancypants sunscreen that works well under makeup. I’ve been told Shiseido rocks at this (mineral-based not carbon-based, so it’s stronger and longer-lasting), and they’ve never let me down before. If they made a higher SPF than 50 I would totally get it because that is my idea of living in excess.
• An appointment with Aura Friedman: Colorist to the stars, Aura does color for Soo Joo Park, who incidentally is the model who made me want to go blonde (it’s just something I’ve always wanted to try before I’m 30, WHAT).
• Fresh Creme Ancienne: It's on my wish list, as it is a MIRACLE product; especially when one lives in the DRY DESERT that is Los Angeles. It's a dense creme, and just a tiny dab goes a long way. It's not for under makeup; I use it overnight to rehydrate my skin. My husband (I'm a newlywed!) stuffs my stocking with it every year. And although it's expensive, it's only as bad as, say, ONE spa appointment. So imagine a spa appointment that lasts ALL YEAR.
• A bespoke perfume created by the DIVINE Mathilde Laurent, Cartier's mistress of parfum: This is IMPOSSIBLE, of course, unless I come into a billion zillion dollars. She's a badass not only in the international perfume racket, but also one of the most coveted bespoke perfume creators in the world, working exclusively out of the house of Cartier. She's Parisienne, of course, and comes from a family of artists. She's also one of my girl crushes, as I LOVE powerful women.
• My own hyperbaric chamber: Studies show hyperbaric therapy cures all manner of ills. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy places people in a pressurized chamber where they breathe 100% oxygen. The treatment delivers more oxygen to the body's tissues, which can help save the limbs of people who have diabetes, heal wounds, and reverse the effects of a life-threatening event such as an air or gas embolism; it's been shown to help cancer patients, and assist in stroke recovery. Heck, rumors circulate that Michael Jackson slept in one and that Magic Johnson used one to inhibit his HIV. I, however think it'd keep me looking dewy and young.
• Lush’s Igloo gift set: I love me some baths, and if anyone knows how to give good bath, it’s Lush. I think this is the absolute cutest gift set they have out this year. I mean, a BUBBLE PENGUIN? You guys, I am happy just thinking about it. Also, glittery bath stars and snowmen and other deliciously scented bath yummies. Want.
• Fresh Rose Face Mask: I’ve tried this mask before as a sample and looooooved it. Unf. I don’t think I’ve ever used a product that made me feel more posh and queenly in my life. So soothing and so heavenly. I have dreams about this mask--the only thing that’s kept me from buying it so far is the price tag. So if it could magically Santa its way into my life this year, I wouldn’t mind.
• Phyto Phytodefrisant Botanical Straightening Balm: There’s a reason I don’t write detailed how-to’s about my glorious hairstyles here: it’s because I have none. My hair is a mess. I’m trying so hard to embrace the natural curls--I ditched any and all heat tools years ago--but the curls have not embraced me. Reviews for this product say it’s miraculous for air-drying curls and waves, providing major de-frizzing power without any heavy silicones.
•Urban Decay Naked3: I am always going on and on and on about the Naked and Naked Basics palettes. They are a staple to practically all of my tutorials, so naturally I need these rose neutrals in my life.
• GLAMGLOW BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment: Apparently, this stuff instantly targets dark circles, puffiness, tired eyes and fine lines. I feel like this is something I need in my life. Plus, they come in little cute little pods that look like contact lens cases.
• Memoire Liquide perfume: I spent about an hour at their counter, oohing and ahhing over their gorgeous scents that work perfectly on their own, or blended to make something unique to you. I bought Nudite Absolue, which, to me, smells like clean skin or a baby. But there are about 10 more scents on my wish list, for sure.
All I want for Christmas is an extra three or four hours in the day. Since I don't know anyone who can actually mess with the fabric of time (Alle maybe?), I'm wishing for products that can inject my life with some quickie wintertime luxury.
• Aveda Hand Relief: As the weather grows colder, my hands start to look like those of an aged crone. This smells faintly of rosemary and thyme and is instantly, incredibly hydrating. Say "hey" to baby hands.
• NARS The Multiple: A great all-purpose instant pick-me-up for the face (and heck, legs and collarbones once the weather warms up). South Beach is a wonderful shimmery apricot that adds warmth and a bit of shimmer to brow and cheek bones. I'm going to throw it in my gym bag and hopefully simplify my daily routine, or use it to pull together a glam, monochromatic look for an evening out.
• Cuir Velours from Naomi Goodsir: I want a perfume that goes well with crisp nights and cashmere sweaters. Cuir Velours is described as a deep scent that "encases the skin like velvet suede." Um, yes please. Suede sweetened with tobacco, rum, apricot, incense. Skin but better. This eau de parfum is smoky and sexy and perfect for snuggling into the significant other's flannel shirt.
• Cryotherapy treatments: I love checking out new technology when it comes to beauty, and I went for a media review for a cryotherapy treatment. You get in a chamber that is lowered to a numbing negative 110 Celsius or negative 166 Fahrenheit and it breaks down fat cells without harming the skin. It gets a teensy bit painful, but no pain, no gain, right?
• A personal blowdryer person: Is that weird? My arms get tired blowdrying my hair.
• All the colours in YSL's Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain collection: I cannot play favourites, and I have a lot of space in my Xmas stocking.
My Christmas wish list is the one time of the year that I let myself get fancy. Although not as fancy as Allegra--DAMN!) The rest of the year, I limit myself to drugstore makeup, but when it’s time to ask an imaginary fat man for stuff, I don’t even consider the price. Here are the extravagant items I’ll be daydreaming about while I unwrap books and pajamas:
• A limited-edition perfume gift set: Sephora has a ton of awesome perfume gift sets right now. I’ve wanted a bottle of Tom Ford Black Orchid for months--it’s a very strong but sexy scent. The gift set comes with both the perfume and the body lotion. I’d be upset if someone spent over a hundred dollars on my Christmas gift, but I might try to save up the money to put it under the tree for myself. A more affordable option at only $12 is the TokyoMilk Dark Perfume Set; I’m definitely getting that and then gifting whichever scents I don’t like to my boyfriend or my sister.
• Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer: I need a really good concealer to hide my many acne scars these days, and this is apparently the one to beat. Too bad it’s almost $50, or else I’d have it already.
• Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask: I love my Dr. Jart+ moisturizer, so when I saw this sleeping mask in Sephora, I immediately wanted to try it. An overnight gel that uses hyaluronic acid, olive leaf and cranberry (as well as nine essential oils) to moisturize your skin all night, it sounds like exactly what my dry skin needs this winter. However, it’s even pricier than the moisturizer, so for now, it remains on my wish list.
I hope you enjoyed seeing our Christmas beauty wish lists and that it gave you lots of ideas for gifts for others or even yourself. Now it’s your turn to tell us: what beauty items would you like to receive this year for the holidays? Be as practical or totally impractical as you like!