V-Day Gifts for the Fashion Girl

Why does the world assume girls love pink? My closet is home to four pink items—I counted—and I can’t remember the last time I wore one of them. As a result, I’m rarely excited by Valentine’s Day gift guides.

For the ladies on the edgier side of the spectrum—or the significant others who want to know what to get them!—I’ve compiled affordable options you might actually want this year. It mixes items I’ve featured with new standouts I’ve been eager to share. Frosted lipgloss and floral perfume not included.

Glamorous Black Box Messenger Bag Shashi Solitaire Necklace Frends 'Layla' Gold Flake Headphones Diptyque 'Roses' Candle Daniel Wellington 'Classic Sheffield' Leather Strap Watch H[AMP]M Jacquard-Weave Coat Catbird Yellow Gold Alphabet Ring Smith [AMP] Cult 'Kundalini Hustle' Nail Polish Komono 'The Bennet' 54mm Sunglasses GiGi New York Slate Embossed Python iPhone 6/6s Hard-Shell Case McCrea's Candies Classic Vanilla Caramels Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon '500 Hidden Secrets of Paris' Book Le Labo Eau de Parfums Discovery Set BDB Eyelash Jewelry Dish Set Oscar de la Renta Classic Button Earring Only Hearts So Fine with Lace Bralette Nine West 'Shiso' Peep Toe Bootie Image Map

Beauty—Anastasia Beverly Hills’ contour kit makes sculpting your features Kardashian-style easy. Bite Beauty’s clear crayon turns any lipstick you own matte.

Fashion—H&M’s jacquard jacket is perfect for date night with all black everything and Nine West’s snake-embossed booties. Daniel Wellington’s classic watch is ideal for everyday. It comes in rose gold as well.

Home—Few things scream glam decor like a diptuqye, and their rose-scented candle smells delicious. Marie Farman’s 500 Hidden Secrets of Paris is the coffee table book topping my wish list.

Jewelry—Catbird’s alphabet rings are a forever favorite. Personal, stackable and so special. They come in sterling silver as a more cost-efficient option. Store them in BDB’s adorable eyelash jewelry dish set.

Tech—Frends’ limited-edition marble gold-flek headphones—a Nasty Gal exclusive!—are amazing in person. GiGi New York’s python-embossed phone case comes in seven colors, but I love the grey and gold.

As always, just click on each item directly to shop it! Happy Wednesday!

Glamorous Black Box Messenger Bag Shashi Solitaire Necklace Frends 'Layla' Gold Flake Headphones Diptyque 'Roses' Candle Daniel Wellington 'Classic Sheffield' Leather Strap Watch H&M Jacquard-Weave Coat Catbird Yellow Gold Alphabet Ring Smith & Cult 'Kundalini Hustle' Nail Polish Komono 'The Bennet' 54mm Sunglasses GiGi New York Slate Embossed Python iPhone 6/6s Hard-Shell Case McCrea's Candies Classic Vanilla Caramels Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon '500 Hidden Secrets of Paris' Book Le Labo Eau de Parfums Discovery Set BDB Eyelash Jewelry Dish Set Oscar de la Renta Classic Button Earring Only Hearts So Fine with Lace Bralette Nine West 'Shiso' Peep Toe Bootie Image Map

Holiday Gift Guide: Hello, Gorgeous!

This week’s gift guide is all about the beauty fiend in your life. I’m an avid user of most products featured below with the exception of some special holiday gift sets. Any one of them would make for a great present or small addition to something you’re already giving.

J.Crew Calf Hair Pouch Chevron Wet Brush Moroccanoil Luminous Body Collection Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist Philosophy 'Coconut Frosting' Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath Somme Institute Holiday Set CosmoCube Posh Makeup Organizer Jenna Hipp Essential Nail & Hand Cream Set Kate Spade New York Silver Street 'Hello Sunshine' Mirror Compact Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Coquette Shiseido Benefiance 'WrinkleResist24' Pure Retinol Eye Masks Sephora Collection 'All Hands In' Deluxe Manicure Kit Deborah Lippmann 'Get Nailed' Set Bliss 'Buttah-Bling!' Body Butter Set Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pen in Universal Light Tweezerman Ultra Precision Slant Tweezer Kiehl's Since 1851 'Creme de Corps' Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish bareMinerals Prime Time™ BB Primer-Cream Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 MAKE UP FOR EVER Redefining Red bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 bareMinerals Full Flawless Face Brush Image Map

I carry a small pouch in my purse with everyday makeup essentials and just snagged the calf hair clutch top right from J.Crew. It’s so luxe in person—it can double as a statement bag on its own—and it’s 30% off! right now online.

Tweezerman’s limited-edition gold tweezers are another favorite. I love the look—no surprise there—but the precision slant gets the job done with little effort like nothing else.

Lime Crime’s ‘Coquette’ lipstick bottom center is also a standout. My little sister turned me onto this brand (it’s carried at edgier websites like Nasty Gal and Urban Outfitters), and they’re famous for rich, super matte pigments. Click here to see how this nude shade shows up on an actual pout (very mod!).

Jenna Hipp’s Essential Nail & Hand Cream is something I use before bed each night (she’s a celebrity manicurist who’s collaborated with my favorite polish brand, RGB). It works wonders to soften and moisturize skin, and it strengthens my cuticles and nails. Everyone steals it, so buying a pretty set of three for a bundled price sounds just about perfect right now.

Other than that, the Somme Institute skincare regimen I raved about last month is featured middle right (you get a $298 value for $198). It rarely goes on sale, so if you’re eager to try it, I recommended snagging it during the holidays. Click here to check it out!

And as always, just click on each item directly to shop!

The Somme Institute

I noticed a difference in my skin a few hours after first performing the four-step Somme Institute skincare process. I had to try it after reading about it on countless beauty blogs. My fiancé’s bathroom has one insanely bright spotlight above the sink that makes me feel like I’m being abducted by aliens each time I wash my face. My face-washing ritual at his house usually ends with me looking in the mirror, seeing every imperfection imaginable, then shuffling out of there with way less pep in my step than when I walked in.

It was under that light that I took a long look at my skin after ‘Somming’ (that’s what I’m calling it) earlier that day. I noticed, after one application, that my complexion seemed smoother, slightly more even and sort of… glowy.

I ‘Sommed’ again before bed that night (you’re supposed to do it in the AM and PM) and woke up the next morning looking even more fresh-faced. Everyone slowly noticed—my fiancé, my sisters, my mom, my friends—and I knew I was onto something. I decided to use the line for a few months before blogging about it to ensure it delivered consistent results. Things have only gotten better since I started.

The Somme Institute Review: Nourishing Cleanser, Transport Pads, Serum and A-Bomb Moisturizer

From Left to Right: Somme Institute Nourishing Cleanser, Transport Exfoliating Pads, Serum and A-Bomb Moisturizer. The dots make the products easy to remember and recognize.

The Somme Institute works wonders in the most innovative way. The line has a formula perfected over a decade called Molecular Dispersion Technology (MDT5™), a compound of 5 engineered vitamins (A, B3, B5, C and E) attached to specific proteins that enables the vitamins to penetrate deeper into the skin at high concentrations than conventional products allow. Potent vitamins reaching more of your skin’s layers makes them much more effective at doing their jobs.

The Nourishing Cleanser, $40

You start with the non-foaming Nourishing Cleanser—it deep cleanses skin without irritation or over-drying. It also dissolves dirt and oil without clogging pores. I learned through research that starting with the right gentile cleanser is essential. Harsh face wash can suck the life out of your skin and prevent serums and moisturizers from working properly. Using cleanser packed with abrasive chemicals is like quitting the race before you’ve begun.

The Transport Pads, $58

After cleansing, you move on to the Transport Pads, which I’m convinced are the secret to the entire Somme system. These pads gently exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. Simultaneously, the MDT5™ vitamin complex they’re saturated with helps improve the tone, texture and clarity of your complexion. Exfoliating promotes cell renewal and preps skin for hydration.

The Serum, $82

The Serum packed with vitamin C comes next. Vitamin C improves skin’s elasticity and softness, evens its tone and builds collagen. It also eliminates redness associated with acne. In my opinion, the serum is like magic in a bottle that makes my complexion feel cool, calm and collected. Other serums I’ve tried have dried out my skin, but this one makes it feel moisturized.

The A-Bomb Moisturizer, $70

The last step is the A-Bomb Moisturizer. I couldn’t live without it. This cream is light-weight, but it packs punch. It has high concentrations of vitamins A & E, antioxidants that fight free radicals in the environment that can cause breakouts. Vitamin A also speeds cell renewal to reveal flawless skin, combats fine lines and wrinkles, and helps prevent acne by reducing the production of pore-clogging sebum in the skin. This moisturizer gives you the famous Somme ‘glow’ users rave about (exfoliating every day with the Transport Pads also helps).

The Results

By day three, any blemishes I had were healing or no longer visible. Within a few weeks, I was waiting for a breakout to occur, but there wasn’t one. It’s been over three months, and I can’t begin to describe my obsession with this system. Yes, a four-step regimen twice a day might sound like a lot, but it takes less than two minutes and is worth the effort.

The products work in tandem perfectly, and for someone who’s skin tends to be dry in the fall and winter, my face has never felt softer or more smooth. I sit here typing sans makeup, and my skin looks fresh and much brighter than before. I could walk out of the house with a quick dab of under-eye concealor (and a swipe of mascara, of course) and be on my merry way.

The Somme Institute is a bit expensive, but there’s a bundled kit available for the holidays that’s the perfect way to get started while saving money. It gets you $298 worth of full-size products for $198 and includes every item featured above + the line’s Double Defense SPF 30. You can shop it below! And feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!
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