Just A Chi Town Girl’s Last(ish) Minute Gift Guide

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2015 Holiday Gifts

For those on your list that didn’t specifically ask for a robe (again), Christmas shopping can end up snowballing (holiday pun intended) into an ordeal. Here are a few things that are on my gift go-to list that I think are great for everyone from your sister to her boyfriend that you have never met to the co-worker who you know is getting you something so you should probably have something wrapped and ready to go.

Cooking Like a Master Chef: Chef Graham Elliot has won Michelin Stars, cooking shows (any heard of a little thing called Master Chef?), James Beard nominations all while running 2 very successful Chicago restaurants and now he has another winner on his hands- his new and first ever cookbook. It’s equal parts inspiring and accessible which means this is something your pro-in-the-kitchen dad will eat up as well as your roommate who is hoping to make something other than ramen in the new year. Our holiday menu is filled with recipes from this cookbook!

KeySmart: I know, I know- getting someone a key chain for Christmas sounds lame but I have been using my KeySmart for 6 months and I love it. Fishing in my bag for a jingle of keys that resembled that of a janitor was annoying so when I saw a co-worker with this neat stack of keys that fit cleanly in his pocket, I ordered one immediately. With the extensions, up to 20 keys can fit in there and it will hands down be the most useful thing under the tree this year.

Duke Cannon Soap: It’s pithy, honest, American and doesn’t give a f*ck. Did I mention its soap? With product names “Big Ass Bar of Soap” that “smells like victory/productivity/accomplishment”, this men’s skin care company is for dude’s dudes. Aaand  I am going say women who like dude’s dudes too because I most certainly bought 2 bars, one for my dad and one for my husband, and while my dad did get his I definitely took ownership of the one in our house because it smelled so damn good. And who doesn’t want to start the day smelling like victory?

NARS Gipsy Lipstick:  My best friend always gifts me the best beauty products. I mentioned this to her on my birthday this year and she said that she loves giving people something they can love, use up and then not have it laying around the house. I think she is on to something. This sheer red lipstick is my daily go-to and the perfect new color to play with after you change out of your Christmas jammies.

Club W: The gift that keeps giving, Club W is a wine club that allows the recipient to select what wine arrives each month. With videos of sommeliers discussing the bottles available via their sleek app, there’s no surprise when a shipment arrives and it’s a really great way to try new varietals you’ve never heard of. Winter is coming (in theory)- the people on your Christmas list might as well be well prepared, right?

Summer Travel Beauty

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When packing for my honeymoon, I set out to maximize space. I wanted to have what I needed but not be weighed down. Then I went to pack my makeup bag. Weighed Down should actually be what I call it because it’s filled to the brim. Some serious editing needed to happen and after 10 days of vacation with my scaled down bag, I can confidently say the above 13 products are all you need to rock a polished summer look on the go.

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Summer Lip Color

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One of my favorite things about summer (in addition to warm weather, ice cold rosé and not having to dry my hair) is that all you need to do to be “ready” is throw on a pair of sunnies and a great lip color. After a winter of reds and my favorite bright pink, I set out to find my summer shade.

NARS Salamanca: a berry shade with a light kick, perfect for just enough color.

fresh Sugar Rosé: It goes on like chapstick so it’s about as un-fussy as you can get and the color gives a natural summer flush.

NARS Tasmania: a perfect pink cantaloupe, this shade gives more of a neutral lip. Perfect for a fresh face with the aforementioned big sunnies or for when you break out the big guns and do a smokey eye.

EOS lip balm: No color here but I have these Spherical little balls of moisture in every room & bag, I am including them in every gift I give…it’s basically chapstick but fun. Sweet mint is my favorite and you can find them at any drugstore for 4 bucks. Win-win.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Love

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Nordstrom had their Beauty Event on Saturday so I popped in to see what Steven and his NARS crew had up their sleeves. Their just-released Satin Lip Pencils blew me away. I’ve become a bit of a lip color girl but while I may love a color, I don’t really love the stickiness of gloss or smudging of lipstick. This Satin Lip Pencil is the solve for this. Every color was gorgeous and I ended up choosing a punch of pink for spring with Yu.

6 hours later and nary a touch up. My lip stayed on through a cup of tea, dinner, an episode of Mad Men, and a round of drinks at Watershed. I even woke up the next day with a slight rosiness still on my lips (I washed my face the night before, I swear). Review conclusion: fab colors, serious staying power, love how it felt and looked, can’t wait to pick up more colors.

Other beauty products I can’t live without:

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Benefit They’re Real mascara
Trish McEvoy Correct and Brighten pen
Dior Skinflash
– NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Madrague

*All opinions are my own and this post was not sponsored in any way.