Holiday Gifting 2014: Indie Brands

indie brand holiday gifts

I’m sure your holiday shopping is in full swing by now, and if not—it will be very soon! Are you stumped on gift ideas for someone special because you don’t want to give something that’s unoriginal, or something that can be found at every retailer in town? I’ve got some great gift ideas for you, and they’re all from indie brands—almost guaranteeing that you won’t be gifting them a dupe they’ll want to return!

I’ve searched for some unique items, and these are a few I fell absolutely in love with. Check out my picks from these indie specialty brands!

gnarly whale hair products

Hair Products from The Gnarly Whale

All of the products from The Gnarly Whale are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and they smell delicious! This husband and wife team creates unique haircare and bath products with minimal ingredients for low-impact on the earth, yet still yield full efficacy. 10% of their sales each month are donated to earth and marine-friendly charities, like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

My fave pick is this awesome haircare gift trio with their signature shampoo, detangler, and beach wave spray in their Thai Coconut fragrance. Just $20 will score you this substantial gift, and you can select your product fragrance from a list of 13, or opt for the unscented versions. Once you see the list of available scents though, I have a feeling you’ll go for a fragrance! Coconut Lime VerbenaCoconut Milk & Peaches, or Bubblegum anyone? $20,

strawn soaps

Olive Oil Bath Soaps from An Ancient Art Handmade Soap Company

My amazing hairstylist turned me on to the soap bars from this tiny artisanal shop out of Strawn, Texas. She gifted me a bar of their handmade Red Wine soap, and I immediately ordered more! I love supporting this small business, they have over 30 scents available in their handmade olive oil soap formula that I’m obsessed with! You’ve got to look at the list of soap fragrance varieties they offer. I’m also a fan of their Vitality Cuticle Cream, and their lip balms. I’ve got the banana lip balm on my desk (which I use very often), and due to its high shea butter and olive oil content, my lips feel like buttah! Soaps—$6.50 each ($6 each for 3 or more—mix & match),   [Read more…]

Win It! Crest Sensi-Stop Strips w/ $75 CVS Gift Card GIVEAWAY


I occasionally suffer from sensitive teeth, and this time of year makes them even more sensitive! My bottom teeth will inevitably go crazy as I sip spiced hot apple cider next week, when I bite into our delicious holiday pies, and while enjoying special dinners and chilly desserts. Even with my morning coffee, my teeth can send terrible twinges of pain to let me know just how unhappy the are with me. So to be able to use something over-the-counter that really helps and doesn’t create a mess or require several steps—is a blessing!

I’ve got a GREAT giveaway at the bottom of the post, where you can win all of the items pictured above—so keep reading!

crest sensi stop

With just 10 minutes, and one strip, Crest Sensi-Stop Strips™ can provide up to a month of sensitivity relief. I can barely feel them on my gum line, they don’t hurt, or leave a bad, chemical taste in my mouth. And—I’ve noticed less tooth sensitivity on the bottom row when I reach for my morning cup of hot coffee this week!

Sound good to you? CVS is your best bet for purchasing in your area, because…

When you purchase Crest Sensi-Stop™ strips at CVS ($21.99) from Oct. 10 through Dec. 14 you can earn $4 in CVS ExtraCare bucks!

Giveaway details & how to enter…

[Read more…]

Quick Picks Under $5: Suddenly Smooth Intensive Hand / Foot Treatment

Suddenly Smooth Intensive Hand Foot Treatment

What’s a girl to do mid-month when she’s already blown through her monthly beauty budget? I head over to Sally Beauty to treat myself to something really small. I was bored out of my skull and was tired of cleaning and doing laundry for the weekend—so I figured I deserved a tiny treat. Somehow, I always find myself there.

For $2.99 each (with my Sally card—regular price $3.29), I picked up these fantastic little hand and foot treatments from Suddenly Smooth. Each pack contains either one pair of gloves, or one pair of booties. They’re infused with moisturizing shea butter, marine collagen, Vitamin E, argan oil, ginseng, soy extract (and more!), and they make my hands and feet feel like buttah! Granted, the booties aren’t the most secure fitting in the world, but it gives you incentive to just rest for a few. You’re not going to want to walk around in them anyway.  [Read more…]

Beauty Quickies: Sole Goddess Blister Protection Foot Balm

sole goddess balm

When I wear cute shoes, two things happen: my feet hurt and I get blisters. (Sound familiar?) I’ve tried just about every insert I can find to help stop the friction that makes the ball of my foot hurt, and the blisters that inevitably form on my heels—no dice! The good news is, I did find a balm that helps out in that department, and it’s called Sole Goddess Blister Protection Foot Balm.

sole goddess foot balm 1

Sole Goddess

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Have a Spooky Good Time with these Lush Bathtime Treats

lush halloween collection

I know I keep bobbing back and forth between upcoming holidays, but there are still just a few last minute Halloween treats I want you to see. These spooky bathtime treats are from Lush, and they smell oh-so-magnificent, I had to share them with you!

lush pumkin pumpkin bubble bar

Pumkin Bubble Bar

Meet the Pumkin Bubble Bar. Crumble this delish gardenia and orange flower-scented cutie into your running bath water, and enjoy fluffy bubbles and orange-tinted water. A little bit of ylang-ylang scents your skin after bathtime, no follow-up fragrance necessary! Pumkin looks good enough to eat with its black licorice top, candy leaf, and dairy-free chocolate chip eyes—but don’t! Pumkin is sold out on the Lush site, so head into a boutique to pick one up.  [Read more…]

Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel Review

renee rouleau luxe minte cleansing gel

Those with oily or combination skin types, listen up! I found a great facial cleanser for you—it’s Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel, and it’s unlike any of the facial cleansers I use. Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel features several refreshing ingredients that make me say “ahhh”, and I’m kinda hooked on it because it’s so minty. (You know how I am with anything that has mint!) You’ll find peppermint, rosemary, and spearmint oils among the many skin-loving ingredients inside.

This soap free cleanser is both sulfate and paraben-free, and it stimulates blood circulation to give your skin a healthy glow. Since it’s sulfate-free, I don’t get that tight, squeaky-clean feeling—but it still does a great job of cutting through the excess oil and daily gunk that makes an appearance. [Read more…]

Beauty Quickies: bliss Total Bliss Give Me Strength Hair+Nail Boosting Bites

bliss give me strength

I am probably one of the worst vitamin takers you’ve ever seen. If they’re not gummy vitamins (yes, I take the big girl version), I’m not taking them. If I get a regular vitamin down, my stomach hurts 20 minutes later, and then…you know the rest. So many times, I’ve skipped regular vitamins because of this, so thank GOD for those gummy things.

bliss just came out with a new kind of supplement for vitamin-phobes like me, only they’re specifically for hair & nail health. (Also, perfect for me.) They’re from their new nutri-cosmetics line, and they’re called Total Bliss Give Me Strength Nail+Hair Boosting Bites. They’re quite yummy (pomegranate-blueberry)! So delicious in fact, I haven’t forgotten to take a single one in the two weeks I’ve had them. [Read more…]

Hand Perfection Rejuvenating Night Cream Review

hand perfectionHey guys! Dilara is back periodically, she just had a beautiful baby girl! Let’s all wish her a congrats, as she enjoys mommy-hood, it really suits her well. –Amber

We spend so much time slathering lotions and creams on our face and neck, we tend to forget the place where age shows the most—our hands. Hand Perfection Anti-Aging Skincare Rejuvenating Night Cream promises to restore and repair your hands to make them look younger and supple.

I’m always eager to try a new hand cream because my hands always seem to be dry. In the harsh Ohio winters, it seems like my fingertips are like Velcro, they are so damaged! I was ready to put this product to the test. [Read more…]

What’s New: Kooba for AHAVA Limited Edition Set

ahava kooba 1

Give me a Kooba bag, and I’m a happy girl. Give me a Kooba bag filled with AHAVA products, and watch my face light up like a Christmas tree! AHAVA is known for their incredible line of body and skincare products loaded with rich Dead Sea nutrients and minerals that skin just loves.

ahava kooba 4

AHAVA Deadsea Water Mineral Body Exfoliator, Mineral Body Lotion, Mineral Hand Cream

Made with unique, scientific Dead Sea extract blends, the nutrients derived from their process translates into deeply moisturizing products that are naturally rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium to restore suppleness, moisture, and comfort to the skin. See why I love AHAVA so much? Check out this packed clutch further—  [Read more…]