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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This Ginger's Gift Guide: Guy Edition

Yes, it is November. And no, you will not see me decking the halls until after Thanksgiving. That being said, I'm a firm believer that it's never a bad idea to start accumulating gift ideas ASAP. Especially with black friday sneaking up faster than anyone working retail* wants to believe, the official shopping frenzy will be here before we know it. So what better time for me to attempt my first shot at a gift guide for this holiday season. Let's start off with the guys, shall we?
gift guide, guys

1. Somehow, Ryan worked 3 years outdoors, all without the protection of a pair of sunglasses. I feel like squinting just thinking about that. So if you have a guy in your life that loves being outside, looking cool, or taking care of his eyesight, do him a favor and buy him some sunglasses. And in my opinion, you can't go wrong with a pair of Ray Bans -- they're classic!

2. Unless they're sporting an impressive beard, they need to shave. Why not save them the money and get them a subscription to a service like the Dollar Shave Club? Orders range from $1-$9 a month for 4 blades, including shipping! You seriously cannot find blades that cheap at the store for the quality. And the best part is that you can steal their razors, too. We've been surviving just fine off of a $6 subscription for months now, and I will never go back to buying blades at the store. Nevaaaaahh!

3. Since idea #2 is so affordable, why not tack on some other quality shaving materials. The initial pocket price may be more expensive than a typical bottle of shaving cream, but they will also last a lot longer, too. Try something like the starter kit from The Art of Shaving to get their feet wet. Bonus, the starter kit comes in various prices and sizes, so you get get him as much as you want.

4. A new wallet is never a bad idea, especially if the current wallet is falling apart to the point of embarrassment. I like the ones you can find from Fossil, but places like Frank and Oak and J Crew have some great options as well.

5. How do ties cost so much? Really, how? Especially when you can get all the colors/patterns you could possibly imagine from awesome places like The Tie Bar for $15 a pop? And yes, you heard me right, $15. And if he's fully stocked on ties, they also have a good variety of items to keep him looking put together, like socks and belts.

6. If you don't know the shame that comes with luggage that is falling apart and scraping the sidewalks as you hurriedly try to get around New York City, consider yourself lucky. And if you do know that shame, it's time you did something about it. There are a lot of nice weekender bags out there, but I personally love the simplicity of Everlane's weekender bag. Also, they make great affordable t-shirts, but that's unrelated.

7. You can find many a dapper gentleman's accessory on resources on Etsy. I think these collar stays would make a unique gift that you could customize to fit their personality. And hey, look at you, supporting small business!

8. For the man who has everything, what about a place for him to put everything? I got this catchall from Pottery Barn for Ryan a couple of years ago and it still looks in tip top shape sitting on his nightstand. Bonus points to things like this that you can get monogrammed, too. Nothing says "good luck unloading this on ebay" like a monogram!

Anyone have a gift they've gotten for a guy that you've patted yourself on the back for? I'd love to know what it is!

* Bless you all, by the way. I was lucky enough to work retail at LOFT for several black fridays, and the frenzy was entirely manageable. But my first job was at the Disney Store, and boy if you every wanted to see adults cry out "WHERE'S ARIEL?!" at 4AM, then the Disney Store on black friday was the place to be.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Look Away, I am Ashamed

Nah, just kidding. I regret nothing.

I waited very diligently for the Sephora VIB sale to come along, and took advantage to get some new staples. I've only bought 2 HE foundations before this, and those purchases were made a very long time ago. I'm almost out of both, and one has pretty much reached its point of no return. It was definitely time. I was also out of concealer, so I took this opportunity to get my first Nars products. Yes, I have never owned anything from Nars before. I mean, I can't be the only person who doesn't own Orgasm, right? ...Hello? Ahem.

Sable, Rhubarb, Winterberry, Pomegranate

The other two things were "just because" items. I completely missed the boat on Bite's mini lip tin last year, so I made sure to get it this year. And I do not intend for this blog to go into reviews, but I just have to swatch them because I am in love. Worth every penny. And for 20% off of $25, it wasn't that many pennies! But now I'm crossing my fingers that Sable eventually becomes permanent, because it's the nude I've been looking for.

Also got a lot for my money with the Josie Maran argan color collection. Some stuff I use regularly (oil) bundled up with some stuff I've wanted to try (eye color and luminizer)? SOLD. Besides the lip crayons, the coconut water eye color is the other thing I'm looking forward to trying the most.

Did you get anything from the sale? Are you keeping a lookout for Ulta's 20% off sale, too? Personally, I tend to swoop in just in time to secure platinum with Ulta and VIB with Sephora, so these end of the year sales are usually when I shop the most.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pining For: Garance Doré

Untitled #14

I mean, how beautiful is this Garance Doré collection? I thought it was worth sharing that the entire collection is 10% off through friday at Rifle Paper Co. No code needed, just your money. If you're in the mood to browse through some beautiful cards/prints/notepads, you're in luck.

Rifle Paper Co. also recently released three iPhone 6 and 6 plus cases. I'm anxiously waiting for mine to ship (and risking my phone's life in the meantime).

The anticipation is killing me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Petit Vour Introduction + Unboxing

Subscription boxes, let's talk. Up until recently, I wasn't tempted by any subscription boxes. I think Birchbox and Ipsy are probably the biggest players in the beauty game, and most "unboxings" I've seen haven't really appealed to me. But when mah gurl Mayette got her Petit Vour box shipped to our office, and I saw what was inside and immediately thought "Okay welp I'm getting in on this."

Petit Vour is a monthly subscription box that offers an option for people looking for high quality products from exclusively cruelty-free brands. In their own words:

"Beauty is bold. Beauty is kind. Beauty is self-expression and emotion, inner glow then outer glow. We strive to enhance these elements for you and help make it easier in maintaining a compassionate lifestyle. Every aspect of our beauty box is thought out and constructed to provide you with the highest standards. To us, that means no animal testing, animal products, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, sulfates, and so much more."

For $15 a month, you'll receive 4-5 beauty and skincare products based on the profile you fill out. Birchbox and Ipsy are $10/month, so although the price is a little higher, I think the extra perk of getting items that fit the guidelines the company set out for itself is well worth it. This is a great box for someone who is interested in cruelty free and greener items. I also appreciate the fact that it gives lesser known, but high quality, brands a spotlight. "Like what?" you ask. Well let me show you:

Forager Botanicals Eau de Parfum
If I'm being honest, I'm not a huge perfume sample lover. I just never end up wearing it because I use bottles I already own, and perfume is something I only set out to explore every once in a while. With that lackluster introduction, I should clarify that I actually like this! The scent I got was nectar, which is described as "succulent florals, citrus and honey." To me, that sounds sweet and floral, which are two things I rarely go for. Instead, I would describe it as a feminine version of a man's cologne. Which, as a cologne lover, I prefer.

Pacifica Devocean Lipstick
This is my first Pacifica product, but I've eyed the brand many a time at Target and Sprouts! The Devocean lipsticks (Like devotion, get it? ...Because I didn't.) come in 5 colors, smell like coconut, and claim to have high pigment that won't feather. Personally I think it worked more like a very tinted balm that was buildable, rather than a lipstick that was opaque on first swipe. I got the color Rebel Sol, which reads on me like a coral-y red orange. I personally don't find the color very flattering on me by itself, so I'll have to pair it with a gloss or wear it more sheer.

Flo+Theo Body Butter
FLO+THEO's body butter has the meltiest texture. When I scooped some of this in my hands and rubbed them together, I instantly was reminded of coconut oil. Which, as is turns out, is the 3rd ingredient (out of 5 total). And unlike the other body butters I own, this sinks into my skin, so that I can actually put on a pair of jeans after without feeling greasy and gross. I got the Wild Mint scent, which smells exactly like you would imagine. But I would also love to try the Lemon Harvest or Orange Orchard scents.

Schmidt's Natural Deoderant
I've heard green and non-green beauty bloggers alike talking about Schmidt's deodorant for the last couple of months, so I was really excited to get to sample it with my first box. Let me just start off by saying that I love the scent. Bergamot lime smells so soft and fresh and maybevaguelylikeamargarita. The application instructions say to take a pea sized amount and run it under each arm. So yes, you're gonna have to use your hands with this, but I really don't have an issue with that. Chances are you're fresh out of the shower when you apply. And if you're not, just wash your hands after. The texture on mine was a little stiff, so I dug mine out by scraping with the back of a fingernail. I thought this melded into the skin so well!

Lavina Argan Oil
Every brand who's any brand seems to have their own argan oil. This is not a criticism, I love argan oil! It was the first oil I really dared to put on my face and I attribute my love of other oils to that fact that it treated me so well right from the start. Personally I've been buying bottles of Josie Maran's Argan Oil Light, since I primarily use it on my face, which is combination/oily. But I'm taking this opportunity to use the Lavina argan oil I got (in the most adorable bottle ever) as a hair/body treatment. While my hair is damp, I take about 4 drops worth in my palm, and apply it mostly from the middle of the strands to the ends. Now, I have very fine hair, but I haven't had any issues with greasiness, which is my concern with any hair product. I just recently got a haircut which snipped all of my dry, dead ends, but I'm intrigued to see if this will help extend the life of my hair.

CONCLUSION: I. Love. This. And I definitely feel like you are getting the value for your money. All of these are good quality and sizes, and the worst thing I can say is that I don't think the lipstick shade looks the best on me. Not too shabby. In addition to the monthly box, you can also purchase full sizes of all the products they sample out in their shop. And like other subscription boxes, you can rate the products you're sent to earn points for said shop. And after I signed up and had already begun writing this huge post, they're ambassador program emailed me a referral link to their sign up page. So hey, if you're interested, you can sign up here!

Disclaimer, blah blah: I purchased this box all by myself, with my own hard earned cash. I received the affiliate link by pleasant surprise!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Don't Call it a Comeback

I won't go into where I've been because a) no one cares, and b) there's no explanation beyond:

But I have been compelled to return to the world of telling the internet what I see/think/purchase/eat, so I'm gonna run with that feeling and just enjoy it. If you're reading this, I hope you stick around!

It's funny how you can look back on blog posts of yesteryear (literally) and feel like that's not even the same person. I mean, yes, obviously it is, but interests can change. Priorities can change. The standard you feel like you have to live up to can definitely change. And these are all very good things. It's not like I'm doing this to pay rent, right? I have a job for that. This should be where I have fun, and gush over things I like. Maybe occasionally curse about things I don't like. This is the beauty of a hobby. And the more pressure I put on myself regarding what I should write about how how I should write it, the less I want to write at all. So I'm just going to try things a little different and see if it makes me happier. Alright? alright.

Let the writer's block commence!
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