Best Beauty Buys: The Only Gift Guide You Need

High Value, Low Cost Beauty Gifts for the 2014 Giving Season

Best Beauty Buys: The Only Gift Guide You Need

Less than a month to go!

Every year I publish a list of the best beauty buys on the market right now.

These never last beyond the first week of December - the stores sell out very quickly - so go right now and get these deals!

Best Blockbuster

Estee Lauder Luxe Colour

Estee Lauder always releases the best block buster purchase with purchase promotions every year.  2014's collection is a $325 value for only $69.50 (with any EL fragrance purchase - you could buy a fragranced shower gel for $40 and still be saving over $200 in total).

This year you will get a beautiful travel cosmetics case containing:

  • 12 Eye Shadows
  • 2 Blushes
  • 3 Lipsticks
  • 3 Lip Glosses
  • 1 Eyeliner
  • 1 Nail Lacquer
  • 1 Mascara
  • 1 Eye Makeup Remover
  • 1 Night Cream
  • 1 Day Cream
  • 2 Eau de Parfum Travel Sprays

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Seriously the best beauty buy available this season! Available wherever Estee Lauder fragrances are sold.

Best Gift With Purchase

The Hudson's Bay Beauty Bag

The Bay has rounded up 18 of their most popular products, from various companies, and created a special gift with purchase that does not require you to buy from one specific cosmetics company.  Simply shop at the Bay's fragrance department and with any fragrance purchase of $90 or more (from any brand) the Bay will give you $247 worth of products as their thank you.  No other store is running a promo like this.  Available only at The Bay Online.

Don't Get Duped! 3 False Cosmetic Claims

Best Budget Buy

Lord & Taylor Beauty Binder

For that young lady on your list who wants lots of make up but isn't quite ready for the top tier products or maybe just for you to add to your collection, this is true beauty on a budget.  99 items all in one travel case for only $23.  Enough make up for a full year and lots and lots of choice for any look you want to create.

Available wherever Lord & Taylor products are sold.

Best Shameless Plug

What list would be complete without the inclusion of DTB?

This year I have released a special skin care set that gives you the benefits of 8 separate skin care products.  The DTB Cosmeceutical Essentials contains a full size The Moisturizer - my in stasis skin cream which is a Day Cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream and Serum all in one - and my brand new Facial Castile - a baked cleanser which is also a toner, eye make up remover and exfoliator all in one.

A $141 value for just $112 - available at DTB retailers across Canada.



5 Warning Signs You've Already Got Sun Damaged Skin

Overlooked Warnings Your Skin Has Been Damaged

5 Warning Signs You've Already Got Sun Damaged Skin

For 21 years I've been telling people to limit sun exposure to help maintain the health of their skin.  It seems it is a mantra I have to keep speaking.

I was reminded this week again about the dangers of over exposing the skin to UV radiation.

Until this week I had never been to the Carribean - a sun-drenched vacation has never really been high on my priority list - but I was very lucky to be invited to Cuba for a week and who am I to say no to such a generous invitation.  Once I arrived I realized I would need to be extra vigilant at protecting my skin - the sun was high in the sky at 8 am in the morning and by 11 it was very, very dangerous to be outside.

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Yet, from my balcony, I could see the pool invaded by sun seekers who remained exposed for the entire day.

By the end of the week the once fair skinned denizens of the resort had turned an array of shades from pink to bright red to deep brown.  All of which made me want to add a sun safety lecture to the activities menu.

For the record:  I did not get a tan and wore long sleeves and long summer pants all week- I only went to the beach once and that was at 4 in the afternoon as the sun was setting.  I did not lay around the pool and, in fact for the last two days (when the weather was the worst) I remained safely in my room until the sun started to set and I knew the UV index was dropping to a safe level.  Before you ask "what did I do all day?" let me tell you Cuba has a great many things to offer aside from all day drinking at the swim up bar.  How about a guided tour of the historical architecture of the cities, or a day trip to a sustainable farm (which was the highlight of my trip - and I bought fresh coffee beans direct from the plantation), or a walking tour in the mountains to see the Mayari forest and the highest waterfall in Cuba?  All of which were activities that had little or no sun exposure for  the day.

Be More Sustainable: How Many Of These Things Are You Guilty Of Throwing Out Today?

All that aside - while we all know a sunburn is serious sun damage there are a great many types of serious damage most people ignore. If you are planning a warm weather holiday this winter be aware of this list - it is important:

1.  Freckles - people with freckles are more prone to much more serious types of skin damage.  Freckles are sun damage unto them selves - an no - no one is born with freckles.  They appear as the skin is exposed to UV light.  Usually in early childhood.  Freckles are always brown in colour and flat in texture.

2.  Age Spots - this name is misleading because this discolouration has nothing to do with age.  It is a very severe type of sun damage that should be check by a dermatologist annually.  Age spots are always flat and dark brown to grey in colour.

3.  Actinic Keratosis - often ignored and confused with age spots (which is why age spots should be checked annually) this is precursor to serious skin cancer.  This discolouration often appears in clusters on the face, neck, scalp and hands.  The definitive difference between AK is that the discolouration is surrounded by obvious red inflammation.

4.  Tan - this is serious sun damage.  There is no such thing as a healthy tan.  A tan is the body's response to absorbing UV radiation.  Period.

5.  Wrinkles - 90% of wrinkles are caused by excessive sun exposure.  Want to save money on Botox and other anti wrinkle remedies?  Avoid excessive sun exposure.

So cover up exposed skin with light UV protective clothing, use a good-quality sunscreen on exposed areas, and maybe take in a museum instead of 7 days straight of high-noon sunbathing at the pool!

Read more from Dan at Beauty Busted.


Don't Get Duped! 3 False Cosmetic Claims

More Beauty Myths Busted

Don't Get Duped! 3 False Cosmetic Claims

beauty myths busted

My blog post last week on Beauty Busted about cosmetic claims sure filled my email with lots of questions about sales pitches.  So many people wrote to ask if the information they had been receiving was accurate.

I answered every email personally and I thought I might share, with you, the most questioned sales pitches from those emails:

1. "You have to use products all from the same company to get the best results."

FALSE!  All over-the-counter cosmetics are formulated using the same approved list of ingredients. Granted, some formulations are superior to others, with regard to ingredients used, but the idea that if you use a moisturizer from one company and a cleanser from another you will not get clean, hydrated skin is just plain silly.  Each product does its task independent from the other.  Your moisturizer does not work more effectively based on which cleanser you use.  Also - and here is something worth noting - the top 50 cosmetics brands are owned by one of only two companies.  The reality is that you are probably buying your products all from the same company anyway.

Bio Oil: BUSTED!

2. "Rare extracts provide intense anti-aging benefits."

FALSE! There is no proof that an orchid extract or honey extract or a special form of silk (used only by the Japanese Royal Family - yes there is actually a product out there formulated with this ingredient) can in some way make the skin look younger.  In fact there are no products you can buy over-the-counter that will achieve that end goal.  Skin aging cannot be reversed with topical products.

What NOBODY tells you about aging

3. "It has taken our scientists over a decade to create this formula."

SO WHAT?!  The length of time it takes for a lab to create a formula is not an indication of its ability to care for your skin.  Just because something takes a long time to create does not mean it is a powerful skin care product.  In fact this marketing ploy tries to imply that the lab has been researching and developing the products ingredients for a decade when this is not actually the case.

Buyer beware at the beauty counter! Doing some research pays off - in both money and results - and you can start here by seeing five phrases you should never believe at a cosmetics counter.

Image Source: WikiCommons