Holiday Gifts Under $50

Hi friends! I get a lot of questions about holiday gifts that you can *slyly* hint to your husband, boyfriend, mama that you want for Christmas! And some of you are making wish lists for Secret Santas and White Elephant gift exchanges and need some inspiration. So here are five suggestions (and three splurge ideas!) from Beautycounter that will get you high quality, safer skin care and makeup in your stocking or under the tree!

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For the makeup newbie:

Nude Eye Trio

$38 // Includes Volumizing Mascara, Liquid Eyeliner, Silk Cream Eyeshadow. Made with safer ingredients, this timeless eye trio delivers glimmering lids, dramatic definition, and full, fanned-out fringe.  All-new Liquid Eyeliner in black creates precise definition, from classic lines to cat eyes. Silky smooth with a hint of shimmer, new Silk Cream Eyeshadow glides on seamlessly, blends like a dream, and lasts all day (and night).

 

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For the makeup pro:

Smoky Eye Trio

$38 // Includes Volumizing Mascara, Liquid Eyeliner, Silk Cream Eyeshadow. Made with safer ingredients, this timeless eye trio delivers glimmering lids, dramatic definition, and full, fanned-out fringe.  All-new Liquid Eyeliner in black creates precise definition, from classic lines to cat eyes. Silky smooth with a hint of shimmer, new Silk Cream Eyeshadow glides on seamlessly, blends like a dream, and lasts all day (and night).

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(& if you’re looking to splurge…)

Ultimate Nudes Palette

$88 //  This ultimate anytime, anywhere eyeshadow palette includes 18 all new neutral shades, a double-ended brush, and a removable mirror. A trifecta of finishes—satin, metallic, and matte—creates endless looks for every skin tone. All shadows get their luxurious texture from naturally-derived cocoa seed butter.

 

Winter Jewels Palette

$58 // A jewel-toned color collection for the entire face, this limited edition palette includes 11 all-new shades —8 eyeshadows, 1 eyeliner, 2 highlighters—and a removable mirror. It’s an ideal palette for any occasion, day or night, all wrapped up in gold-foil artwork exclusive to Beautycounter.

 

Best of Brushes Set

$58 // These are the four brushes every beauty needs—in one giftable (or keepable) set. Powder Brush is designed for applying blush, bronzer, or finishing powder. Angled Blush Brush fits the angles of your cheeks for easy color application and contouring. All-Over Eye Brush blends base shadows over eyelids and brow bones, while Crease Brush precisely blends contour shadows. Each brush is made with soft, animal hair-free taklon bristles.

 

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For the no-makeup, let-the-skin-breathe junkie:

Glow and Go Mini Oils

$28 //Reveal your best skin yet with these potent treatment oils in take-anywhere, try-me sizes—all wrapped up in a red sliding-drawer gift box. No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil blends hydrating  marula oil with vitamin C, which helps illuminate and even skin tone. No. 2 Plumping Facial Oil contains jasmine oil to replenish moisture and omega-rich argan oil to help minimize the appearance of fine lines. No. 3 Balancing Facial Oil features ylang ylang flower oil and wild chamomile to calm and nourish skin.

Shop One, Share One. With every purchase of this set, Beautycounter will donate a set to patients at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC)—a trailblazing destination for research, education, and patient care.

 

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If you’re thinking you’re getting coal in your stocking:
(OR for the fella in your life)

Clean Slate CharCOAL Duo

$48 // Formulated with binchotan charcoal from Japanese ubame oak, this duo of best-selling products gently washes away impurities without harsh surfactants. No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask absorbs excess oil and unclogs pores. Charcoal Cleansing Bar detoxifies skin without drying it out, resulting in a smoother, clearer complexion. Both come packaged together in a red sliding-drawer gift box.

 

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For teacher gifts, stocking stuffers, etc:

Holiday Soap Trio

$30 // This is a GREAT gift set to buy and then break up, creating smaller gifts for teachers, stocking stuffers, or coworkers. Includes Lavender & Vanilla, Ylang & Mandarin, and Citrus & Chamomile scented soaps. Each finely milled formula contains organic shea butter, and organic coconut oil to gently cleanse, hydrate, and soften from head to toe.

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Why Beautycounter?

Last week I announced that I joined Beautycounter. I’m a total introvert, so this is wayyyyy out of my wheelhouse. But you guys, this mission is so important to me.

I wanted to share some more background on why I chose Beautycounter. A few months ago, I learned that my hormone levels were all over the place. At the advice of my doctor, I started eating hormone-free meats and dairy and slowly switching to “clean” products that go on/in my skin. Around that time, my friend Madison started posting about Beautycounter products. The timing was impeccable, so I purchased some lipstick and tinted moisturizer (more about why those products later).

Y’all, I wasn’t expecting much. I don’t know why I thought “natural” products wouldn’t work. But these products truly wowed me. I bought more products and have yet to find something that I don’t LOVE. I think I expected some Mary Kay-esque products, but this is far from your mother’s makeup. It’s high end, with modern packaging (I’m a sucker for packaging),  and IT WORKS. Like really works. Look, allure agrees!

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Madison had talked to me about partnering with Beautycounter but I was insanely hesitant. Here’s why:

  • I’m an introvert.
  • I HATE when people DM me on social media about their makeup/oils/jewelry/clothing.
  • Just the word “sales” makes my skin crawl, so there’s that.

She never pressured me, and we just kept talking about it over a few weeks. But then I read more about Beautycounter’s powerful mission, and about their cool partnerships with J.Crew and Target (hello, my two favorite stores).

This process was helped by the fact that my master’s degree is in health education & behavior. We learned so much about health policy, so I was shocked to learn in my research that the US hasn’t passed a major federal law regulating the cosmetics industry since 1938. That’s 78 years, folks!

Why does that matter? Because most of the chemical compounds used in skin care have been created in the last 50 years or so. That means that the laws have not caught up to the science. And that’s kind of scary.

I love what CEO and founder Gregg Renfrew said: “Like many of you, I’m a wife and mom—and, like many of you, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. As I applied sunscreen, lotion, and any number of beauty products on myself and my kids, I never thought for a second they might not be safe: After all, I thought, we live in a country that regulates everything. So imagine my surprise when I learned that when it comes to the personal care industry, that’s simply not the case. Companies are allowed to use harmful ingredients and make their own judgments about safety.”

And that kind of did it for me. I want to be a part of this mission because I want people to simply have the knowledge about safe beauty.

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I mentioned earlier that the first two products I bought were lipstick and tinted moisturizer. Why?

Because the easiest way to “go clean” is one step at a time. It’s not to replace every product in your makeup bag or shower all at once. The best way to make the change is to do it one product at a time. Ran out of mascara? Buy a clean version. Need moisturizer? Buy a clean version. Running low on face wash or blush or eyeliner? Buy a clean version. Need to get a gift for a girlfriend? Buy a clean version.

I want y’all to join me on this mission. So much so, that the first three people who place an order will get a free goodie from me! Huzzah!

Here’s a handy shopping list for my personal “go-to” products:

  • Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (an allure Best of Beauty award winner!): I’m shade No. 2 for reference
  • Lip Sheer (best seller, and another allure Best of Beauty award winner!): I use the Twig shade for everyday use. This lip sheer was a game changer for me since I have super chapped lips and have never found a lipstick that doesn’t accentuate that, until I found this.
  • Nourishing Cream Cleanser: Safe to use to remove eye makeup!
  • Charcoal Cleansing Bar: This is a gentler version than what you might be used to, because it also uses green tea and coconut oil.

Want a sample of something? Just message me!

And shop all of their amazing products here: www.beautycounter.com/amandaredinger

I’m so excited for y’all to fall in love with their products and their mission.

PS: Have kids? This is equally (if not more) important. Baby products are not held to a higher standard–the same toxic ingredients found in your skin care and makeup can be found in your baby wash and oils. Feel better about what you put on your littles by clicking here: Beautycounter Baby & Kids

In good health,

A.

2016 Gift Guide: Girlfriends!

I *think* I’m done with Christmas shopping, and that’s mainly thanks to online gift guides. I don’t know why I can’t figure out what to buy people, BUT if you’re in the same camp, here are some fun gifts for your girlfriends/sister/mom!

PS: All of these gifts are under $75!

1. The Leather Pouch Wallet from Madewell

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This is SUCH a classic gift to give, and you can even go a step further and get it foil-pressed monogrammed. This is 100% on my Christmas list.

2. Beautycounter Winter Warmth Palette

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This is a great option for two reasons: 1) women love makeup and 2) this makeup brand is totally SAFE and free of harmful chemicals. Getting this for your girlfriend/sister/mom shows that you not only understand their love for beauty products, but also that you care about them and their safety.

3. Threshold Art from Target

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Getting someone art is such a unique gift. It’s a bold statement that will provide a lasting reminder of your gift-giving skills. Plus, this is a huge piece of art for only $70 (with free shipping!), so you’ll look like much more of an impressive gift-giver with this luxurious piece.

4. “Thankful” Print by P + Co

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Show your lady how thankful you are for her with this “Thankful” print by P + Co.

5. Beautycounter Band of Beauty Membership

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This gift takes it a step further with the makeup deal, because your lady friend will get some serious perks just for buying (safe!) makeup and skin care. For $29, she’ll get:

  • 15% product credit with every order
  • Free shipping on orders over $100
  • Complimentary gift just for signing up
  • Special offers exclusive to members

 

PS: Want help picking out makeup/skin care products for your girlfriends? Email me at amanda.p.redinger@gmail.com and put “Gift Guide” in the subject line!

 

xo, A

Friday Faves #8

Hallelujah, TGIF.

Work is *literally* stressing me to death, so I am thankful that I have this place to come to and think about some of my favorite things for a hot second. So, here we go!

1. This recipe for homemade marinara sauce

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Okay, soooo some of you might be rolling your eyes at the thought of making your own marinara sauce. BUT–it’s almost the same price as jarred, and this is incredibly delicious. And? Making it was cathartic. There’s something very real and cerebral about making something from scratch, and tasting and chopping and stirring. It’s beautiful and I think it’s crazy relaxing. Plus, it just takes like 15 minutes.

Matt and I have both vetted this sauce and, indeed, it is as delicious as it sounds. Make it exactly as it instructs you to, and then after that first batch you can tweak if needed (we didn’t need to!). Enjoy!

 

2. Body weight circuits

That's my hubs.

That’s my hubs.

I worked at a gym for almost five years, so I really do love gyms. But I don’t love the price tag. My favorite workout (currently) is body weight circuits, because you can do them anywhere. Here’s my current favorite (targeting legs):

400m warm-up run
10>1 squats (10, then 9, then 8, then 7, and so on)
10>1 curtsy lunges (this is how to do them)
When you hit the middle, run up a hill and back (or just do another run)*
400m cool-down run

*I usually do 10>1 and 1>10, so that I don’t front load my exercises before running up a hill! So it would look more like: 10 squats, 1 curtsy lunge, 9 squats, 2 curtsy lunges, 8 squats, 3 curtsy lunges, 7 squats, 4 curtsy lunges, 6 squats, 5 curtsy lunges, 5 squats <NOW YOU DO YOUR HILL RUN> 6 curtsy lunges, 4 squats, 7 curtsy lunges, 3 squats, 8 curtsy lunges, 2 squats, 9 curtsy lunges, 1 squat, 10 curtsy lunges.

The best part about this circuit is that it’s easy to add another exercise (say, burpees) or to switch out the exercises completely, and focus, for example, on arms (doing 10>1 dips and 1>10 push-ups). It’s very mold-able! And, you can go at your own pace.

 

3. Fresh SUGA(RED) Lip Treatment SPF 15

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There’s no way around it: this stuff is expensive. $24 for some lip balm is a high price to pay, but it is 1000% worth it. I have terribly chapped lips and this stuff is a lifesaver. Literally I was using a toothpick to get every last ounce of it before I bought a new one. I buy this in the untinted color, but I’d bet the other colors are fun too! Just head to Sephora to test this bad boy out.

PS: For every purchase of SUGA(RED), 25% of the retail price will go to the US Fund for the Global Fund, which can provide more than 2 weeks of life-saving HIV medicine. To learn more, visit fresh.com/RED.

 

4. Downy Wrinkle Releaser

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If this is something you’ve never heard of, I am about to change your life. This magical spray has saved me from countless hours of ironing. Just spray on your wrinkled clothes, pull, and smooth. VOILA. No more wrinkles. // I’m not quite sure that it works on heavy duty wrinkles, but for your everyday “I left this in the dryer too long” this is a lifesaver. And they make it in travel size, so it’s FANTASTIC for suitcase wrinkles.

 

5. Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Wristband

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I used to use the Jawbone UP, but it had some flaws that I wasn’t a huge fan of (mainly the fact that it doesn’t show the time, but totally feels like a watch, so I look like a goober when I’d look at my wrist to check the time). So I bought the Fitbit Charge (not the Fitbit Charge HR) and I love it! It has a lot of features that are better than the UP, and I love that it tells me the time. Bless. Also, it has Caller ID–which is a great feature since 90% of the time my phone is on silent. Now, if someone is calling, my Fitbit will buzz and tell me who it is. So good! PS: It’s way cheaper on Amazon (link above).

xo, A

 

PS: Sometimes I will use affiliate links for these products that I will earn a commission off of from Amazon. Transparency! But don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you any more than if you just found it on Amazon on your own. This way, B+B earns some mo-nay!

 

Friday Faves #6

I’ve been suuuuper exhausted this week, so really my Friday Fave is that IT IS FRIDAY AND I CAN TAKE A NAP. God bless.

This week’s list is a teensy bit random, but hope you love it anyway.

1. NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita

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I’m 27 years old. At some point last year, I decided that I had reached the ambiguous age at which a woman should know how to wear lipstick. I resisted at first, since basically ALL of the stinking lipsticks I bought dried out my lips. But then I met NARS.

This lipstick is essentially lip balm to me, but with the coverage of a lipstick. I can’t get enough. It comes in 34 different shades and these types of style: satin, sheer, shimmering, semi-matte, and matte. So basically anything you could ever want.

2. Jessica Simpson Mandalaye Ballet Flat

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These shoes are insanely comfortable. I actually walked 3 miles in them a few days ago. And I get lots of compliments on how cute they are. They come in five different colors, and when I pulled up the link for them I realized they now come in navy soooooo I might have to buy those.

3. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

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I have VERY sensitive skin. This was recommended by my dermatologist and I love it. It’s the one cleanser that I’ve found cleans my skin without leaving it dry. I also love that I can buy it at Target or CVS.

4. Panera Iced Green Tea

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Okay, let’s not kid ourselves and think that this is *healthy* green tea, but it is *delicious* green tea. So refreshing. Add some Bacardi Limon and you’ve got a party!

5. American Eagle’s Soft and Sexy Line

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When I was in middle school, American Eagle was allllllll the rage. So much so that I made my parents take me to Bealls Outlet, where I found a men’s XL graphic tee and bought it (it was orange. i hate orange.) just so that I could have SOMETHING with an AE logo on it. Bless those days.

I haven’t stepped foot in an American Eagle in years, but I magically stumbled upon their soft and sexy line when I found two incredible shirts at a local store (Urban Thread–go, you’ll love it). In fact, I’m wearing one of them now! I cannot describe how actually soft these fabrics are. It’s silly. The best part? MACHINE WASHABLE. <All the praise hands>

Doesn’t that shirt look comfy? Even with the wrinkles at the bottom? Yes! I also just found out they make dresses that are soft & sexy, too.

xo, A