My friend Karen has a fun blog, FriendsFavz, where she and her sister talk about their favorite things. Last week, we attended a charity event together that raised money for Hurricane Sandy relief. Karen liked my nails and assumed I’d had a manicure, so when I told her about my new favorite nail product, she featured it on her blog. I’m no hand model, but I do like how my nails look. In the spirit of sharing, here are some of my favorite random beauty items that would make perfect stocking stuffers, starting with…

1. Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Anti-Chip Top Coat –  I’m really hard on my nails (I have a horse), but this top coat is ultra shiny and dries in about 2 minutes. Seriously! I do reapply it to the tips every other day and am able to get almost a week out of a manicure. For us low-maintenance girls, this is perfect! And at only $3.99 at Target, it’s a bargain too.

2. Cera-Ve moisturizer – Cera-ve lotion When I had an allergic reaction to some eye cream, I had to go to the dermatologist because it just wouldn’t go away on its own. He told me about Cera-Ve, saying it’s a fantastic moisturizer that won’t irritate my skin. Thinking it was fancy product that needed a prescription, or at the very least, something I needed to buy from them, I asked if he had any samples and how expensive it was. Turns out that any well stocked drug store, like my local Bartell Drugs, has it for under $15. Score! It comes in a heavier cream or a liquid with or without SPF. My husband, who never used moisturizer before because it was “too greasy,” loves this too. It’s moisturizing, absorbs quickly, and if your skin is sensitive like mine, it’s not irritating either. We also use the facial cleanser now.

3. Argan Oil  – picture of argan oil I discovered this a few years ago when my hairdresser received a sample of Moroccan Oil from a sales rep and had me try it. I loved it. I’ve found no better product to coax out my hair’s natural wave, tame fly-aways, and make it shiny and soft–and I’ve tried a lot. It’s a low-maintenance girl’s best friend, because I no longer use hair driers, curling irons or straightening irons. It can be fairly expensive ($40), but you use so little and it lasts a long time. Since then, it’s gotten really popular and many more companies are making it. (Be wary though, a few of the bargain brands don’t work as well, probably because they’re using a lower percentage of Argan Oil in the ingredients.) I go back and forth between Moroccan Oil and One ‘n Only, depending on the price and availability. (For a while, you couldn’t find Moroccan Oil anywhere.) One ‘n Only runs about $16-20, but I found it on sale at Sally’s Beauty supply for $8, so I stocked up!

4. Maybelline’s Baby Lipspicture of Baby Lips My daughter turned me on to this because all her high school friends use it. At Target, the salesperson said they can hardly keep it stocked, it’s so popular. When I tried it, I knew why. It glides on like a vitamin e stick, isn’t greasy or goopy, and it keeps your lips moisturized for a long time. At $2.99, it’s a steal and makes the perfect stocking stuffer. We’ve only tried the clear, but it comes in sheer colors as well.

5. Burt’s Bees Body Washphoto of burts bees body wash  I used to think I was prone to body break outs until I realized I’m allergic to products with sodium lauryl sulfates. SLS is a surfactant used in many liquid soap products including the body wash I was using. A quick check online about this ingredient is scary.  When I switched to Burt’s Bee Body Wash which doesn’t have any SLS, I noticed a big difference. My skin isn’t itchy or inflamed when I get out of the shower, and I hardly ever get break outs. If you’re the same way, check the ingredient label of your liquid soaps (body wash, shampoo, hand soap), because you might be sensitive too.


Do you have a favorite beauty find? Tell me in comments and I’ll pass them along to Karen.