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About Face: Sparkly Holiday Stocking Stuffers

Christmas and Hanukkah are coming (and even Festivus, for the rest of us), and you better get your list ready and check it twice.

by Roxana Hadadi

What’s the easiest thing to start buying? I’m personally a fan of getting stocking stuffers out of the way first: You can buy gift sets of miniatures and split them up, or purchase items in bulk and divide them among your friends. Plus, it’s always OK to buy a few extra things for yourself, right? Right.

My suggestions will start out whimsical and cute, because you can never go wrong with those two themes — and because if you’re getting stocking stuffers together for tweens or teens, nail polish and lipglosses are the way to go. They’re generally affordably priced and come in a wide variety of colors and flavors, so you can pick and choose a number of different items. Let your imagination run wild!

rsz 1nails1+ For younger gift-getters, colorblock! (first photo, top row). I was in fourth grade when I started noticing nail polish, and I remember begging my mom to buy me some whenever we picked up school supplies; when I hit middle school, I just started hoarding my own. (It’s an obsession that has never stopped.) For tweens, you could spend a few dollars on bright, glittery or shimmery colors that they can wear on special occasions, like Hard Candy Just Nails in purple-green Beetle, olive Mushroom or pink glitter Fabuluxe; each polish comes with a plastic ring ($4, Walmart). Stop by Target for Sonia Kashuk Nail Polish in murky green Fatigued, purplish grey Violetta or coral pink Tutti Frutti ($4.99, Target), or consider Milani High Speed Fast Dry One Coat Formula Nail Lacquer in bright purple Violet Dash, canary yellow Yellow Whiz or juicy Jiffy Orange ($4.99, Milani).

+ Consider buying a collection (first photo, second row). If you have two or three people you want to give nail polishes to, consider buying a company’s fall or winter collection (some companies offer a discount if you buy all the polishes at once) and dividing up the items. For teens, BB Couture’s Eye Candy collection for women is youthfully exuberant: glittery grey Busty Bombshell, bright blue Junk in the Trunk, juicy pink Scorching Strawberry, bright purple Feathered Vixen, sparkly purple and silver Trim and Tassled and metallic teal Sweet Silicone ($8.95 each, BB Couture). Buy them all, separate them out and you’re done. Or, if you want to buy a small collection for just one person, consider CND’s The Look for fall and winter, a group of three new colors: Deep blue crème Midnight Sparkle, vampy purple Dark Amethyst and glittery gold topcoat Sheer 24K Sparkle ($29 for the set, available at salons nationwide). It’s a luxe set that helps you create sophisticated, chic nails.

+ Don’t forget about red (first photo, bottom row). Because of Christmas, red and green are clearly the colors most associated with the holidays, so tap into that by considering an intriguing red polish. Red nails always make a statement, and you can go bold with any of these options: Perfect Formula Classic Collection Nail Polish in Stiletto ($15, Perfect Formula); L’Oreal Pro Manicure Nail Polish in burnt rust shade Owl’s Lust ($4.99, Ulta); CND Colour in Bloodline or Rouge Red (about $8, at salons nationwide); L’Oreal Pro Manicure Nail Polish in Target Red ($3.94, Target); Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in NSFW ($8, OCC); or SpaRitual Break of Dawn, part of the recently launched Twinkle collection ($10, Beauty.com).

rsz lips+ Give some gloss (second photo, top row). Tweens and teens covet lipgloss just as much as they do nail polish, but some brands can certainly be pricier — and more sophisticated — than others, so consider if you want your daughter wearing clear gloss or color, how often they’ll be allowed to wear it and so on before making a purchase. When you do, think about making the world a better place with PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics Lipgloss in pinkish Global Women, bronze Fairness and mauve Women 4 Women ($10, PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics); the company gives a portion of each purchase to charity. If you’re on a tighter budget, consider Wet ‘n Wild Glassy Gloss, in orange Mow the Glass, red 3, 2, 1, Glass-t Off! or clear Through the Looking Glass ($2.99, Drugstore.com), or COVERGIRL Natureluxe Gloss Balm, in 265 Sandstone, 215 Hibiscus, 260 Clay or 225 Anemone ($5.99, Drugstore.com). Or if you’re going to splurge, how about Jemma Kidd Lip ID Colour Adapt Gloss, which changes shades based on its user’s body chemistry ($20, Target)?

+ Adults need lip love, too (second photo, second row, four items on right). Lipgloss is more of a young thing, but lip-themed items work for adults, as well — who doesn’t want to be pampered? LUSH Cosmetics always serves up new, intriguing items, like Pow Wow Lip Scrub, made of real candy bits that help exfoliate ($8.95, LUSH), or Chilli Lip Tingle, with herbs and cocoa butter to simultaneously plump and moisturize your lips ($8.95, LUSH). And after you soften and moisturize, apply some sophisticated nudes, like Topshop’s Smoke & Mirrors Collection lipsticks in Rumor Has It, a mauve, and Pillow Talk, a pink ($15, formerly at Topshop).

+ With American Apparel, you get so. Much. Color (second photo, second row, four items on right). American Apparel is known for their plethora of different colors, on everything from T-shirts to leggings to sweatshirts, and with their nail polish, you get the same wide variety. Blues, greens, reds, pinks, purples, yellows, oranges — I just named the entire rainbow because that’s basically what American Apparel offers in their own nail polish line. If you have very specific ideas for what the person you’re buying for wants, you’ll probably find it here, with bright green Crescent Heights, bright pink Angeline, dark Imperial Purple, aqua The Valley, coral-tinged Pink Ladies, banana Sunshine State, orange Sunset Blvd., a whole line of neons (which may stain nails if you don’t wear a basecoat, so beware) including Neon Blue, Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Red, Neon Green and Neon Coral, and richer shades like grey 7th and Alameda, rusty Lopez Canyon and purplish Lipstick ($6, American Apparel).

+ There’s always the British Invasion (second photo, final row, seven items on the left). Nails Inc. has been a cutting-edge brand in the U.K. for years, but now that it’s available stateside at Sephora, you can experience the brand for yourself. Aside from a wide range of colors and finishes, the brand also features super-exciting concepts like magnetic nail polish — but before you get to something that adventurous, look over their sophisticated options. Subdued but always in style are crèmes like gray Porchester Square, bright yellow Carnaby Street, darker mud Foubert’s Place and mauve Cadogan Square; for more punch, there’s also 3D Glitter Nail Polish, in purple and red Bloomsbury Square, blue and purple Connaught Square and silver and gray Sloane Square ($9.50 each, Sephora).

+ And just in case you forget … (second photo, final row, five items on the right). Maybe it’s the night before Christmas or the beginning of Hanukkah, and you’ve looked all through the house, and you just need one more stocking stuffer — simply run out to your local pharmacy that offers Wet ‘n Wild Beauty, grab some Fast Dry Nail Polishes and you’re set. The brand’s affordable cosmetics offer up cutesy names and color combinations, like The Gold & the Beautiful, Silvivor, Hannah Pinktana, Everybody Loves Redmond and SaGreena the Teenage Witch — and at only a few dollars each, you can’t go wrong (about $2, at CVS Pharmacy, Giant Food and other retailers).



EDITORIAL NOTE: The product/s reviewed in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s reviews are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company or any other organization unless mentioned.

Product photos by Adam Fried.

roxana hadadi blogIn middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.






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