F- It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose of Retail Therapy (Holiday Beauty Edition)

It's a little over a week until Christmas and Hanukkah (which happens to start on Christmas Eve this year). No matter what holiday you celebrate (or pretend to celebrate, or just want to get over with already), we all know the Pony Express (aka the post office and every single courier I've ever dealt with) does not always deliver on time. So, please consider this your warning and get yourself together right now. If you couldn’t find something on my $25 and under F-It Friday last week or the Gift Guide For Special Snowflakes, then consider any one of these fabulous beauty sets. They're all fool-proof favorites. Seriously, if someone doesn’t like any one of these gifts, you probably need to re-evaluate your relationship with them. And between us… I won’t tell anyone if you are naughty and end up buying a little something here for yourself. 

Laura Geller So Scrumptious 6 Piece Color Collection

Laura Geller’s So Scrumptious Set is worth $173 and currently on sale at Ulta for (don’t faint when you read this number) $39. It has everything you need for a party-ready look including primer (seriously, we all need more of that), foundation (fair or medium options, LG totally hooks it up), blush, an eyeshadow trio, lip gloss and a double-ended face brush. Run, don’t walk (or just click) to your nearest Ulta right now. 

Decleor Merry Oils Premium Gift Set

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I like Decleor’s Merry Oils Premium Gift Set because oils are so luxurious. Also, the winter dries your skin like no other season can (thanks a lot, Winter!). The person who receives this gift will actually be appreciative because Decleor will save their face and body from the inevitable frost. You might actually receive a thank you card in the mail for this fabulous find (or a text, at the very least). The set includes Aroma Cleanse Micellar Oil, Aroma Nutrition Satin Softening Dry Oil, 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator (as opposed to 1000 grain bread, sorry I can’t help myself), Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Night Balm and Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum. 

Flowerful by FLOWER Colorful Nail Collection

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Are you looking for an under $10 gift for a White Elephant or grab bag? Look no further than Flowerful by FLOWER Colorful Nail Collection. Flower is Drew Barrymore’s beauty line and might even contain some of her magical goddess power (Drew Barrymore is a magical goddess. End of story). With eight nail shades and two glittery nail files, it will make your hands sparkle. 

SkinCeuticals Gold Standard Kit – Fine Lines & Wrinkles

You know that friend who is more afraid of aging than getting by a train? SkinCeuticals Gold Standard Kit – Fine Lines & Wrinkles is the perfect gift for that person. This kit contains two heroes of the SkinCeuticals line. C E Ferulic is an antioxidant serum that neutralizes free radicals, helps build collagen and makes holiday parties more tolerable (because skin compliments). The Hydrating B5 gel is like the personal assistant of C E Ferulic, making it work better, harder and more efficiently. Containing hot ingredient du jour, hyaluronic acid, it helps moisture bind to the skin.

Anthony Head To Toe Survival Kit

Do you have a dude in your life that likes fancy grooming products? Don’t make him survive without an Anthony Head To Toe Survival Kit. It has all of the essentials he needs including Rush Hair + Body Wash, Glycolic Facial Cleanser, Facial Scrub, Shave Cream, and All Purpose Facial Moisturizer. It’s perfect for traveling, especially if he tends to “borrow” your products.

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

The past seven days have been exhausting for so many of us. As I said in a post earlier this week, if you are feeling stressed or anxious, it’s totally okay to take time out for yourself. Take a yoga class, meditate, get a fancy massage or even just a give yourself a few moments to take a break and read something that has nothing to do with politics. Here are a few suggestions.

Petite Style Script: Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide To Home Manicures With CND Shellac

You don’t have to be petite to appreciate Petite Style Script’s post on home manicures. That being said, I’m terrible at doing my own nails and desperately need to try this method. #goals

Pop Sugar: 12 Ways You're Using Your Beautyblender Totally Wrong

Fun Fact: I’m the only blogger who doesn’t use a Beautyblender, so I will probably never have a post about the best way to use one. Instead, listen to the experts at Pop Sugar.

Lauren Conrad: I Was the First One In My Friend Group to Get Married…Here’s What I Learned

I’m married, but some of my friends are still single. This post written by Jess Burrone rang so true to me.

Mind Body Green: 5 Reasons You Can't Find Lasting Love (And How To Overcome Them)

This essay by Shannon Kaiser is a must-read guide for singles about how manifesting the love of others can only happen once you truly love yourself. While it sounds like a grand concept for a blog post, this essay is incredibly well written and digestible.

Man Repeller: Why Do We Call Our Moms When Bad Stuff Happens?

In this post, a psychologist explains why we still need our parents even when we are adults.

Is there a link I should include in next week’s post? Please email suggestions to AmandaLauren212 [at] gmail.com.

Three Tools That Will Change Your Life, Or At The Very Least Your Hair, So That's Close Enough

Do you know those people who have hair that always looks like an Instagram post? Do you feel a slight pang of jealousy and then muster up the courage to ask their secrets? Then they say something like, "I go to bed with wet hair and when I wake up , it just looks this way." You think, "WTF?" and then you decide you hate this person, but feel slightly bad because it’s not their fault they were born with amazing hair.

It’s totally okay if you aren’t blessed with naturally beautiful hair. I’m not. Trying to get my hair to look good is harder than going to Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills and not buying anything. It’s not impossible, but it’s really freaking hard. I color my hair and over the years, I’ve fried like an over easy egg. But, I’ve recently discovered getting my hair to look good is a matter of using the right tools.

CHI DURA CHI HANDSHOT HAIR DRYER

For the better part of my life (not even kidding, since 4th grade, you can ask my bff), I used a certain hairdryer that has a brush attached. It was a godsend in many ways because I’m not coordinated enough to style my hair using a brush in one hand and a hair dryer in the other. But unfortunately, that appliance was more of a hair fryer than a hair dryer. Luckily, I’ve found a replacement that is everything I’ve ever wanted and more.

The Chi Dura Chi Handshot Dryer is brilliantly designed. It has a built-in stand, so it’s 100% hands fee. No coordination. No problem. The nozzle blows the air up, so you stand over it to style. I clip most of my hair back and then dry it section by section. The Handshot comes with diffuser and concentrator attachments, both of which are incredibly helpful. Just to you a heads up (no pun intended), Using it is nothing like the old-school dryer you are probably used to and it might take a few tries to feel comfortable. But once you do, only good hair days are in your future.

For the first time in my life, I don’t have parched hair because I’m not applying heat directly to it. There are multiple heat and air settings, which you control using a little touch screen (so high-tech). It’s really easy to give myself a blowout, which lasts for days, so I don’t have to wash my hair as often. My hair has never looked or felt this good. 

DAFNI STRAIGHTENING BRUSH

If you have flatiron fry and ends split so far apart, they might as well be in different zip codes, then the Dafni is about to become your new bff. This product was designed Sharon Rabi, a true #girlboss who wanted to find a faster, less damaging way to straighten her hair.

Instead of clamping down on your hair and killing it, the Dafni works like an old school hairbrush but with superpowers. In less than a minute, it heats up to 365 degrees (and yes there’s an indicator light, so you don’t have to stand there and guess). All you have to do is brush it through your hair (like any other brush) and it comes out straight, sans frizz and super soft. It’s actually much easier to use than a typical flatiron. And no, you don’t have to be afraid of burning yourself because the Dafni is designed to prevent that. I trust my Dafni so much that my old flatiron recently broke and I have no plans to replace it.

DRYBAR 3-DAY BENDER CURLING IRON

I’ve raved about Drybar’s 100 Proof Treatment Oil and Mai Tai Spray in a previous post, so it’s not a surprise their 3 Day-Bender Curling Iron is also a game changer. I love curly hair, but the problem with most curling irons is that I’m always afraid of burning three things, which are my fingers, my hair and my house down. The clever design of this product prevents all of that.

Featuring a rotating barrel you move with your fingers, the 3-Day Bender gives the look of wand-curls without the fear of injury. Because it’s so easy to use, you won’t have to ask yourself if you are doing it right. The two ceramic plates and multiple heat settings prevent you from singeing your hair. Finally, because this tool shuts off automatically after 30 minutes, you don’t have to spend your entire day wondering if you accidently left it plugged in. All you have to worry about is how you are going to respond to all of the compliments you’re about to receive.