Chanty’s gift guide: last-minute beauty products every girl needs in her Christmas stockings

Hold the phone- it’s Christmas in 6 sleeps and I still haven’t done all my shopping! Yikes, talk about last-minute. Am I alone here, or what?

Personally, it’s not the shopping that takes time, it’s the thinking process. I actually take more time to choose the right gift for the person, because I believe strongly in the ‘thought’ that counts part. You will never see me aimlessly wandering the malls, looking for that perfect gift. I do a LOT of research online to find neat gift ideas, whether it’s the latest in gadget trends or even innovative beauty products that I could buy someone or put on my Christmas list.

Here are my top 12 last-minute beauty products that every girl needs in her Christmas stocking

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Chantsy’s Gift Guide: Have yourself a Uashmama Christmas

Ugh, I have a soft spot for these little paper bags, and I can’t shake it off! When I was unemployed over 3 years ago, I started a marketing and virtual assistant business, and Uashmama was one of my favourite clients to work with. See, the Canadian distributor is located right here in Ottawa! Although I didn’t have the chance to do some groundbreaking work, I did help the humble team with a few proposals and odd marketing jobs. I have to say, I do miss those days, but I am so grateful for my stability today. It’s sort of has come full circle, now that I get to work with them on the blog!

For those who don’t know, Uashmama (pronounced Wash+Mama), is a line of lifestyle goods made of leather-like paper. The paper fibre is treated like leather and offers a durability and similar look to leather and it’s all the way from Italy.

UASHMAMA IS NOW OFFERING FREE SHIPPING ON ALL HOLIDAY ORDERS!

Uashmama makes different products for the household like their famous paper bag meant to be used as a gift bag, container or basket. They are both practical and beautiful! The toughest part is making a decision because you will want them all. There are so many great colours and sizes to choose from. I have some all over the house. In the bathroom, I use them to hold my hairbrushes, my hair products, makeup brushes and small towels. In the kitchen, I use them as a bread basket or a plant holder.

PRO TIP: I use a Uashmama bag to ripen my avocados! See? They are so very versatile!

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And last but not least, they also have a gorgeous selection of handbags, wallets, purses, clutches, lunch bags, hampers, and.. backpacks! I have had my eye set on this chrome backpack since last year and finally it’s all mine! It will be travelling with us this January on our trip to Hawaii! (More on that later!)
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These Uashmama bags are the perfect and original addition to your holiday gift giving this year. Two years ago, I used them as the container to my Christmas gifts, and for a joke, I put one as the star on top of my Christmas tree! That’s how much I love these little guys.

The main message here is that Uashmama is offering FREE SHIPPING for all your purchases until the end of the year. So if you hate paying for shipping, like me, this offer is for you!

A big thank you to Uashmama for supporting this post.

The photography on this post is brought to you by Debra Cowie, Ottawa’s famous product and food stylist! She has been a great photography and flatlay coach and is lovely to work with. Stay tuned for more of her great work on the blog!

I dug up some old photos from my Instagram, from two years ago… back when I used to get a whopping 7 likes! Bahahahaha

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Acing your Holiday Glam Look: Smokey eye & red lip makeup tutorial

There is nothing that excites us more than the sparkle, shimmer and glitter, that is the backbone of the holiday season. We find it in our clothes, in our homes and most certainly in our makeup. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices or get a little trigger-happy when we have so many options to choose from.

Whether you’re a newbie at makeup, or a pro who wants to get inspired with new techniques, this easy smokey eye & red lip combo makeup tutorial will be your ammunition for party season!

Usually, I wouldn’t combine a bold lip and dark eye, but the subtle green tint in this eye shadow palette perfectly balances the red tones on the lips. There’s a reason why we naturally gravitate to green and red, they are contrasting colours that look great together! If you don’t believe me, ask Christmas!

I love the convenience of a perfectly curated eye shadow palette. They provide loads of options and colour combinations to choose from. And when you’re feeling bold and inspired, you can use them all (just like I did in the tutorial)!

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For this look, I used the following products:

    1. Mac Cosmetics new Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in Greenluxe
    2. Mac Select Lip Palette (Lady Danger mixed with Ruby woo)
    3. Mac Skin base (face primer)
    4. Select Cover-Up (N20)
    5. Studio moisture tint (tinted moisturizer with SPF)
    6. Mac Paint (Untitled)
    7. Blush (Mac Shy beauty)
    8.  Mascara
    9. Eyebrow pencil

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If you’re more visual, you can watch the entire makeup tutorial 

5 Tips for makeup newbies

  • Invest in a good set of brushes; you’ll thank me later!
  • Practice makes perfect. Smokey eye can be a more difficult look to achieve, so start with lighter colours and get used to your technique and application.
  • Invest in high quality makeup. You’ll be amazed at the pigments, coverage and how easy they are to work with.
  • Light colours open up the eyes, and dark colours will make them smaller. Use this advice wisely depending on what look you are going for.
  • If nothing else start your makeup routine with mascara, blush and lipstick. Add more as you see fit!

 

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Amore Pacific: Why I don’t mind spending $500 plus on my skincare routine

I should clarify, I am not a baller, but there are some things I like to splurge on, if I can justify it. I should also add that this is NOT a sponsored post, and albeit I get gifted a lot of product, I have not made it to the big leagues yet. I would faint if Amore Pacific sent me their products to review. But really why should they? I am already sold on it and dishing out the Robby Bordens (i.e. Benjamins) to make this face look flawless and ever youthful.

How did I discover Amore Pacific? I was invited to a beauty event at Nordstrom Ottawa in the summer and gifted a luxury Amore Pacific facial. The young lady was super sweet and informative. She walked me through all the steps of the facial and tried almost every product on me. When we were done I was like “I’ll take everything!”, then I asked how much it was and almost fainted. I settled with half the products, but regret the hand cream until this day, it was divine! Expensive, but divine. My purchases sat in the Nordstrom bag in my office for a good month, before I used any of it. You know, the buyer’s remorse had to dissipate before I unboxed it all. Finally, the products made it in my medicine cabinet and are now a part of my skincare routine.

Because I am constantly in product testing mode, I’ve been sporadically using my Amore Pacific ritual when I have time, but I really love treating myself after my shower. My face is super clean but feels dry and only the concentrated formulas of Amore Pacific can quench its thirst. And I say ritual because Amore Pacific has purposefully broken down all their products into individually highly-concentrated hard-working formulas that are meant to be applied in layers. See, layering beauty products is just as trendy as layering for Fall!

My friend Dom, from Style Domination, made me laugh in her post “The Art of Getting Ready” when she admits to being lazy when it comes to her morning routine. In her ideal world, she would “be able to enjoy the 10-step Korean skincare process that goes directly against her lazy North American sensibilities.” So much wisdom in that statement, we do need to slow down, don’t we?

So, what does my Amore Pacific ritual look like?

Some of these products I purchased and some I got samples of. But for the most part, I do the following:

  1. On a dry face (if I have makeup), I cleanse with the oil and work up a foam with a dab of water. Then rinse! I know cleansing with oil seems counter-intuitive, but it actually breaks down makeup and pulls more dirt out of your pores, without drying your skin! If you’re not sold on cleansing with oil, you would love the foaming cleanser.
  2. On a clean face, I use the eye cream. You can go up really close to your eyes with this very gentle formula. It’s highly concentrated and known to work miracles on fine lines when used consistently.
  3. I then moisturize my entire face with the Age defying creme.
  4. Then I apply the serum all over my face. I can’t tell you how much I love serum!
  5. Lastly, I spray my face with the hydration mist. You can use this after your makeup is done to set it on your skin. Apparently, this is a #1 seller at Nordstrom.

The rest of the products like the neck cream and tea oil, were given as samples and the toner and eye essence (rolling ball) were used on the trail. I am sharing them because I truly do love them and are worth sharing. There is also a nice starter kit available, which is a great way to get introduced to the brand. And as I said, I will be back for that hand cream!

My final disclaimer is that I was blessed with healthy skin, on the normal to dry side, and do not rely on product claims to keep my skin looking great. I use what finishes I like, what smells yummy and what makes me feel happy. If you have a troubling complexion, I would strongly suggest getting samples of products to see if your skin agrees with them, before splurging.

AMOREPACIFIC All Day Balancing Care Serum • Amore Pacific • $200
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Time Response’ Intensive Hand Renewal Crème • Amore Pacific • $90
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Future Response’ Age Defense Creme SPF 30 • Amore Pacific • $195
AMOREPACIFIC Green Tea Seed Treatment Oil • Amore Pacific • $195
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Moisture Bound’ Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System • Amore Pacific • $60
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Time Response’ Eye Renewal Crème • Amore Pacific • $260
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Moisture Bound’ Rejuvenating Serum • Amore Pacific • $100
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Time Response’ Skin Renewal Toner • Amore Pacific • $180
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Time Response’ Introductory Regimen • Amore Pacific • $175
AMOREPACIFIC ‘Treatment’ Cleansing Foam • Amore Pacific • $50
AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Cleansing Oil • Amore Pacific • $50
AMOREPACIFIC Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence • Amore Pacific • $95

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