5 Holiday Grooming Gift Sets For Men

men grooming gift sets holiday 2014

I hate buying Christmas presents for men. Ask them what they want, and they’re like, “Oh, I don’t know… I need nothing really… But hey, this new techy gadget has just come out and I know it costs an arm and a leg, but… Maybe you could get me that? Just an idea, eh?”

That’s not gonna happen. But how about getting him a nice grooming set instead? It may not be what he asked, but at least he’ll always be clean, shaved, and smelling good. And, if he doesn’t like it, he’ll learn to make reasonable requests next time. :)

Here are 5 of my favourites:

JACK BLACK IT’S THE BALM TRIO ($19.50)
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm is my new favourite lip balm. Sooo moisturizing and longlasting. This set contains three tubes, in three different flavours: Natural Mint & Shea Butter, Asian Pear & White Tea, and Shea Butter & Vitamin E. Although designed for men, they can be used by women too, so you’ll be getting a present for the both of you. ;) Available at Sephora.

ANTHONY THE ESSENTIAL TRAVELER KIT ($56.00)
The set features all you need to keep your man looking sharp and feeling refreshed on the go: 2 oz Glycolic Facial Cleanser, 3 oz Shave Cream, 3.4 oz Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash, 3 oz All Purpose Facial Moisturizer, and 0.25 Advanced Formula Lip Balm SPF 25 Mint and White Tea. Available at Sephora.

THE ART OF SHAVING THE 4 ELEMENTS OF THE PERFECT SHAVE CARRY-ON SANDALWOOD ($60.00)
Your man may think he doesn’t need moisturizer or lip balm, but he needs to shave. This set contains all the essentials for a close, but gentle, shave: 1.0 oz Pre-Shave Oil, 1.7 oz Shaving Cream, Shaving Brush, and 1.0 oz After-Shave Balm. All the products (minus the shaving brush, of course) are infused with a beautiful masculine sandalwood scent. Available at Sephora.

BILLY JEALOUSY BEARD ENVY KIT ($25.00)
Does your man have a beard he’s proud of? Then, he’ll appreciate this set, which features everything he needs to take good care of it: 3.0 oz Hydrating Beard Wash with aloe and soy protein to soften and smooth his beardsome face, an extra-firm, boar bristle brush, and 3.0 oz Beard Control with aloe and jojoba oil to hydrate and lightly style the beard. Available at Ulta.

L’OCCITANE L’OCCITAN MAN’S RITUAL SET ($39.00)
If your man into spicy and aromatic scents? Then, he will be pleased to find this set under his Christmas tree. It features 8.4 oz L’Occitan Shower Gel, 1 oz L’Occitan Shaving Gel, 1 oz L’Occitan After Shave Balm, 3.5 oz L’Occitan Soap. Available in Nordstrom.

Do you like these sets?

5 Skincare Sets For Holiday 2014

skincare sets holiday 2014 01

The holiday season is the perfect time to stock up on new skincare products. With every brand releasing gift sets featuring their best-sellers, you can try new things without breaking the bank. Here are my favourites:

DR DENNIS GROSS FERULIC PLUS RETINOL DISCOVERY KIT ($65.00)
The set contains Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution (0.5 oz.), Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum (0.25 oz.), and Ferulic + Retinol Fibroblast Anti-Aging Moisturizer (0.5 oz.). Apart from ferulic acid and retinol, a potent anti-aging combination, all products also contain a good mix of other antioxidants to prevent premature aging. My only gripe is that the moisturizer is packaged in a jar, which won’t keep the antioxidants stable and effective for long, but still the set is worth getting just for the other two products. Available at Dermstore.

MEDICELL LABS BRIGHTENING SET ($49.95)
This set features Brightening AHA Facial Pads (60 count), Brightening Foaming Face Wash (6 fl. oz.), and Instant Brightening Peel (2 fl. oz.). They all contains AHAs, such as Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid, that exfoliate skin, leaving it smoother, brighter, and more even-toned, and a mix of antioxidants that help prevent the signs of aging. Available at Dermstore.

SEPHORA FAVORITES DARE TO OIL ($32.00)
Do you dare to oil? If so, check out this wonderful set by Sephora. It features some of the best-selling oils available in the shop: Ole Henriksen Pure Truth™ Youth Activating Oil (0.5 oz), Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light (0.5 oz), Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repair Oil (0.23 oz), and Tarte™ Maracuja Oil (0.23 oz). These versatile oils boost moisture, radiance, and even cleanse skin, and can be used on skin, hair, hands, and cuticles. Available at Sephora.

OLAY PROFESSIONAL PRO-X INTENSIVE WRINKLE PROTOCOL ($44.99)
This kit features Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, Deep Wrinkle Treatment, and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. They are all infused with antioxidants, niacinamide, and peptides that help skin look younger for longer. The lotion also features SPF, making it a great choice for daytime, while the Deep Wrinkle Treatment a form of Vitamin A that can reduce the signs of aging. Available at Ulta.

PAULA’S CHOICE RESIST SUPER KIT FOR WRINKLES + BREAKOUTS ($136.85)
Do you have to deal with both wrinkles and breakouts? Then, this is the perfect kit for you. It features Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner, Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA, Resist Ultra-Light Daily Antioxidant Serum, Resist Youth-Extending Daily Fluid SPF 50, and Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. Infused with antioxidants, niacinamide, peptides, and salicylic acid, they keep both wrinkels and breakouts at bay. Available at Paula’s Choice.

Which of these sets would you like to try?

5 Lip Sets For Holiday 2014

lip sets holiday 2014

Lip sets are some of my favourite holiday offerings. And this year, they are particularly pretty. Here are my fave picks (and there’s something for the nails too!):

THE TOM FORD LIMITED EDITION LIP AND NAIL BOX ($656.00)
This set is not just a treat for your lips, but your nails too. The elegant case contains 8 lipsticks and 8 nail polishes in nude, red, and dark shades. The lipsticks included are: Pink Dusk, Spanish Pink, Bruised Plum, Nude Vanilla, Casablanca, Indian Rose, True Coral, and Cherry Lush. The nail polishes are: Toasted Sugar, Mink Brule, Bordeaux Lust, Smoke Red, Carnal Red, Pink Crush, Viper, Fever Pink. Available at Neiman Marcus.

BEAUTY BITE LIP LOVE KIT ($36.00)
This kit features everything you need to keep your lips soft, nourished, and protected. Deluxe Whipped Cherry Fruit Scrub exfoliates your lips, leaving them smooth; the leave-on Agave Lip Mask replenishes moisture; BB for Lips protects them; two Lush Lip Wipes remove colour. Available at Sephora.

KAT VON D STUDDED KISS LIPSTICK SET ($39.00)
This lip set contains an interesting shade selection. It features both classic nude and red shades that scream holidays, but also edgy purple and black shades for daring women who like a dark and mysterious look. The shades included are: Countess (matte hot orange red), Agatha (matte pale peach nude), Adora (metallic golden red), Sexer (iridescent fluorescent pink), Wonderchilde (iridescent neon lilac), Bachelorette (matte reddish fuchsia), Mötorhead (matte black cherry), Lovecraft (matte mauve pink nude), and Hexagram (matte blood red). Available at Amazon.

OCC PRO’S PICKS PORTABLES LIP TAR TEST TUBE SET ($59.00)
This set contains 12 portable Lip Tar Liquid Lipsticks in different finishes, plus a lip brush to apply them! The shades are: Interlace Matte (palest peach cream), Zhora Metallic (peach/pink shimmer), Annika Matte (pale neutral peach), Cha Cha Matte (pale tangerine), Grandma Matte (clean, classic coral), Vintage Matte (deep burgundy), Harlot Matte (neon popsicle red), Nylon Matte (neon bubblegum pink), Digitalis Matte (pink-tinged lavender), Sebastian Matte (plum-toned taupe), Iced Metallic (pure white frost). Available at Sephora.

FRESH SUGAR LIP LEGENDS SET ($55.00)
The set features seven Fresh Tinted Lip Treatments shades, infused with a tasty lemon flavour, to keep your lips soft and hnydrated. The shades included are: Sugar Berry (berry), Sugar Passion (vibrant yet sheer rouge), Sugar Cherry (sheer red), Sugar Honey (warm nude), Sugar Rosé (sheer rose), Sugar Tulip (sheer hot pink), and Sugar Petal (pink blossom). Available at Sephora.

Which set is your favourite?

6 Spooky Beauty Treats For Halloween 2014

halloween treats 2014

Have you started making plans for Halloween? I don’t celebrate it, but I’m not gonna let that stop me from enjoying some of the spooky treats beauty brands have just released for this holiday. Here are my top picks:

E.L.F. ESSENTIAL VAMPIRE BEAUTY BOOK ($6.00)
Thinking of dressing up as a vampire? Then this scary palette is for you. It features 8 eyeshadows in sultry and mysterious dark hues, 1 eyeshadow applicator, 1 brightening eyeliner pencil, 1 red lip colour, 1 set of false eyelashes, and 1 tube of adhesive eyelash glue.

LUSH SPARKLY BUBBLE BAR ($7.95)
Bring a splash of sparkle to your bath with this glittering jack-o-lantern. Fruity and energizing juniperberry blends magically together with grapefruit and lime oils to pack a fragrant punch for those long, lingering soaks.

LUSH WIZARD BUBBLE BAR ($7.95)
Let this cute wizard cast its relaxing and pampering smell on you. A crackle of popping candy, energizing tangerine oil, and juniperberry and fennel essential oils help balance the skin, while its warming and uplifting scent banishes stress and helps you recover from the day.

E.L.F. ESSENTIAL WICKED BEAUTY BOOK ($6.00)
Haven’t decided on a costume for Halloween yet, but know it’s going to be something wicked? Then, check out this palette. It features 8 eyeshadows in mysterious and dark shades, 1 eyeshadow applicator, 1 brightening eyeliner pencil, 1 black lipstick, 1 set of false eyelashes, and 1 tube of adhesive eyelash glue.

NYX WICKED LIPPIES ($6.00)
NYX has created a new lipstick range featuring 12 jewel-toned, shimmering hues with great colour payoff. Most of the colours are crazy and difficult to wear, but that just makes them perfect for Halloween. My favourite shades are those pictured above: Betrayal (deep purple), Risque (forest green), and Envy (royal blue with silver shimmer).

BATH & BODY WORKS HALLOWEEN TREATS ($5.00)
Scare away germs and keep your hands clean with this spooky hand sanitizers. The set includes Franken Kitty (Candy Apple); Ghoul Friend (Berry Scary); Hoot Berry; Trick-Or-Treat (Pumpkin Spice); Vampire Blood (Wicked Plum).

Are you going to pick up any of these treats?

9 New Perfumes For Fall 2014 + Scentbird Promo Code

perfumes fall 2014

Which fragrance will you be wearing this fall? Here are 9 new ones to try:

LABORATORIO OLFATTIVO PATCHOULIF
Fans of patchouli will love this new scent by Italian niche brand Laboratorio Olfattivo. Developed by perfumer Cécile Zarokian, it opens with a sparkling and spicy mix of bergamot, cinnamon, and cloves. It then blooms into a frangipani, iris, and rockrose bouquet, before ending in a cedar and musk base. But the star of the show is, of course, patchouli.

A LAB ON FIRE PARIS*LA
This fragrance is so not up my alley, but I’m sure it will appeal to those of you who like gourmand concoctions. Paris meets LA in this creation developed by perfumer Laurent Le Guernec. The brand describes it thus: “LA, captured through Parisian eyes, succumbs and is made new. A refreshing Coca-cola marries a smooth-shelled macaron. When you look around, are you still in the same place you started?”

AESOP MARRAKECH INTENSE
Developed by perfumer Barnabé Fillion, this new flanker to Marrakech starts with a spicy but refreshing accord of bergamot, cardamom, and clove. Neroli, rose and jasmine make the heart bloom with their exquisite aromas. Finally, the fragrance ends with a smooth cedar base.

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO SILHOUETTE
Christian Siriano is one of my favourite designers from Project Runway. I just love his sophisticated but dramatic aesthetic, and am really excited about the launch of his first fragrance, Silhouette. He wanted it to be “something that was signature to my brand and my world that could last 50 years. We’re about dressing all types of women, and I wanted the fragrance to feel the same way.” It features notes of grapefruit, cassis, green apple, freesia, purple berries, oakmoss, green notes and woods.

HISTOIRES DE PARFUMS OPERA COLLECTION
Are you a fan of the opera? Then you’ll love this new collection by Histories de Parfums. It features 5 scents inspired by 5 different operas:
1831 Norma: pink pepper, aldehydes, rose, ylang ylang, jasmine, labdanum, vanilla, patchouli and benzoin
1875 Carmen: inspired by the Habanera aria, it features saffron, lemon, ginger, davana, white flowers, incense, sandalwood, patchouli and gaiac wood
1890 La Dame de Pique: spices, flowers, incense, patchouli, leather, amber and musk
1905 Madame Butterfly: mandarin, neroli, iris, heliotrope, cedar, sandalwood and musk
1926 Turandot: jasmine, orange blossom, narcissus, patchouli, amber, leather and incense

Which scent would you like to try?

Scentbird Coupon Code

scentbird promo code
I’ve always loved perfumes but I rarely buy one. Usually I stick to samples. That way, I can actually finish it. Those huge bottles look great on your vanity, but they last forever. And I just feel guilty buying more, unless it’s something I really LOVE. Somehow it feels like a waste.

Enter Scenbird. For only $14.95 a month, they will send you a 30-day supply of the luxury fragrance of your choice. There are more than 300 designer scents to choose from! You can pick a different scent every month, stick to an old favourite, or let Scenbird surprise you with their Scent Of The Month. It’s your choice.

With your first order, you will also receive a free luxe perfume case you can use to bring your new fragrance with you wherever you go. Cool, isn’t it?

Scentbird has kindly offered Beautiful With Brains readers a 50% discount on their first box. To take advantage of it, use the code “NEW PERFUME”. It is valid until 15/10.

Happy perfume shopping!

More Palettes For Fall 2014

palettes fall 2014

I love palettes. I feel I get better value for money when I buy a palette with lots of different shades rather than a single eyeshadow or blush. Just as long as I like and use all the shades, of course. They also make it easier to figure out what colours go well together. This fall, there are plenty to choose from. I have already showed you four eyeshadow palettes that caught my eye, but there are more than have made it on my wishlist:

GIVENCHY LES MINI PRISMES ($39.00)
This is the most beautiful palette I’ve seen this year. It’s a mini compact drawer box that features must-have shades for eyes, face, and cheeks, plus applicators. The first drawer houses the Purple Show 71 Eyeshadow Quad. The second the Beige Mousseline 84 powder. The third the Vintage Pink 22 Powder Blush. Finally, you’ll find brushes for an easier application in the bottom drawer. It’s available at Sephora.

SMASHBOX ON THE ROCKS PHOTO OP EYE SHADOW PALETTE ($36.00)
Add a touch of luxe to your eyes! This gorgeous palette features 12 neutral and jewel-inspired shades of Smashbox’s Photo Op Eye Shadows: Vanilla, Opus, Obsidian, Blacktop, Mist, Coronation, Confectionette, Bourbon, Midnight Emerald, Chianti, Sapphires and Nutmeg. I also love the packaging. It reminds me of an old CD case. The palette’s available exclusively at Ulta.

JASON WU FOR LANCOME SIX-PAN EYESHADOW PALETTE ($51.00)
This beautiful palette features six eyeshadows in rich autumn colours, such as luscious browns, a lavish green, and a mysterious dark blue. They have metallic and matte finishes to give your eyes a sophisticated, but slightly shiny, look. It’s available at Nordstrom.

URBAN DECAY SHADOW BOX ($34.00)
This versatile palette contains 12 colourful, rich, and neutral shades that are perfect for fall: Sin Champagne (Shimmer), Indo Emerald (Shimmer), Bordello Pale mauve with gold micro-glitter (Sparkle), Tornado Vibrant deep purple (Shimmer), Smog Deep coppery bronze (Shimmer), Blackout Blackest black (Matte), Flash Bright iridescent purple (Shimmer), Mushroom Warm pale grey (Shimmer), Lost Medium metallic brown (Shimmer), Freelove Golden vibrant peach (Shimmer), Moonshadow Bright navy blue (Shimmer), and Baked Cowboy Golden bronze (Shimmer). It’s another Ulta exclusive.

Which one is your favourite?