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The holidays are pretty much here, which means it’s time to get glammed up for all of the celebrations and cocktail parties that are bound to be coming at you from every direction. I find that getting dressed up for the holidays can always be a bit of a challenge, as you’ve just about blown your budget from shopping for presents and don’t want to spend a lot on something new to wear.

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Cue Dixie Outlet Mall, a fantastic shopping centre just outside of Toronto that brings together great looks at an even better price. With a fab selection of retailers ranging like Winners, Nine West, and GUESS to choose from, it’s easy to score some amazing deals to fit any style and budget!

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Dixie Outlet Mall gave me a bit of a challenge this year – with a $100 gift card in my pocket, I had to put together a gorgeous head-to-toe holiday outfit that would be perfect for all of the parties I’m planning on going to this year. Normally, this might be a bit of a challenge, but I knew that the amazing deals at Dixie would make it easy – and I was right!

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I love all of the pieces that I found, and can’t believe I was able to pull this all together for less than $100, but these killer deals made shopping a breeze!

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Are you feeling up to the challenge? I’m giving away a $100 gift certificate to Dixie Outlet Mall so that one of you can get glam for the holidays and try your own $100 shopping challenge! Want to take it on? Enter via the form below. Please note that this contest is best for GTA residents as the gift card must be picked up and spent at Dixie Outlet Mall.
Dixie Outlet Mall Shopping Challenge

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Want to spoil a lady in your life this holiday season, but not where to start? I’m sharing some of my top gift picks for every budget today so you can find the perfect beauty gift (within your budget)! Read on to see my top picks.

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  1. mark. Nailed It Trend Mini Nail Lacquers ($11) – Two picture perfect mini nail lacquers in complimenting colours will have her creating gorgeous nail looks in no time!
  2. Olay Essentials Holiday Gift Set ($10) – Make sure she has what she needs to keep her skin looking great throughout the holidays with this set containing Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes & Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer.
  3. Fresh Sugar Rosé Ritual ($23) – She’ll love you for this Fresh gift set & will gladly show off her smile all holiday season long, thanks to the Sugar Rosé Lip Shine Treatment & Tinted Lip Treatment.
  4. Birchbox Membership ($10/Month, available in 3, 6 or 12 month options) – The gift that keeps on giving! Each month, she’ll receive a box full of deluxe beauty samples right to her door.
  5. QUO Lips All Around set ($25 at Shoppers Drug Mart) – This set of 8 QUO lip glosses will have her starting the new year with a brilliant smile – and lots of choice!
  6. Philosophy Amazing Grace Ornament ($22) – This purse size version of Philosophy’s Amazing Grace fragrance smells great – plus, you can hang it on the tree before you gift it!

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  1. The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry Tin of Delights ($39) – Who doesn’t love finding a treat from The Body Shop under the tree? This set, in the limited edition frosted cranberry scent, comes complete with shower gel, body butter, lip balm and a shimmer fragrance globe (which you will LOVE).
  2. Mary Kay Cream & Sugar Gift Set ($30) – This limited edition set contains the Chocolate Cocoa Body Scrub & Marshmallow Body Whip – can you say delicious?
  3. Benefit Cosmetics Real Cheeky Party Kit ($50) – As any girl knows, Benefit’s blushes are top shelf, which makes this set a must-have under the tree. Seriously. It contains 5 of their fave powder blushes, Watt’s Up highlighter and They’re Real! Push-Up Liner & Mascara. Plus, they’re housed in the cutest keepsake tin.
  4. Vichy Christmas Boxes ($39.50 each, available at drugstores) – She will so thank you for gifting her one of these tins, especially when you choose her perfect match. The boxes feature Vichy’s amazing lines – Liftactiv, Neovadiol, Aqualia, Proeven & Normaderm – so can find the one that matches her skin’s needs!
  5.  Avon Makeup Design Palette ($30) – The perfect set for someone who’s starting to play around with makeup or who loves changing up their look! This set contains 21 shadows, 6 lip glosses, 3 blushes, 1 bronzer and an instructional booklet.

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  1. QUO Backstage Brush Set ($70 at Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques) – As if this 8 piece brush set (with gold handles) wasn’t enough, it comes in this stunning geometric clutch  that will definitely come in handy on NYE!
  2. Mary Kay Limited Edition Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush ($60) – This limited edition colourful version of MK’s Skinvigorate brush is the perfect size for travel and gives a great clean!
  3. Saje Wellness aromaGem Gift Set ($85) – I’m going to start off by letting you know that I’m absolutely crazy for Saje Wellness. I have the aromaGem and l-o-v-e it – and I can guarantee she will too. This nebulizing diffuser even comes with two holiday-ready diffuser blends: Tree Scents & Peppermint Twist. Get. Her. This. You’ll thank me.
  4. Pearls for Girls Armona Bracelet ($70) – Let’s be real here; What gal doesn’t want a little bling around the holidays? This bracelet is so unique, with a great combination of stones that’s perfect for layering. LOVE.
  5. Too Faced Le Grand Palais ($72) – This set is enough to make my Too Faced-loving heart jump around in my chest. I mean, 18 eye shadows, 2 blushes, bronzer, highlighter, plus deluxe Better Than Sex Mascara, Melted Lipstick & Shadow Primer Insurance – need I say more?

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  1. Clarisonic Smart Profile Set ($299) – This set really takes on 3-in-one gift status. The Smart Profile comes complete with a facial brush head, a brush head and the pedi disc/buffing head combo, meaning she’ll be taking care of from head to toe.
  2. My Burberry Festive ($135) – My Burberry smells amazing enough as is, but through in some luxe gold flakes and this limited edition version will be sitting pretty on her vanity.
  3. Sephora Glitter Happy Brush Set ($106 in store) – Oh you guys. This brush set is just so pretty. The 6 makeup brushes have found their home inside this beautiful rose gold glitter-filled acrylic base, and they’re oh so soft. I’ve made mine a permanent fixture on my desk.
  4. Bobbi Brown Bobbi’s Runway Beauty Secrets ($118) – This amazing set of BB’s perfectly on-trend products will have her creating a gorgeous look in no time!
  5. LUSH Under the Mistletoe ($130) – Give her the gift of relaxation and let her pamper herself with this collection of LUSH’s holiday favourites. Between the bath bombs, soaps, massage bars, shower gels & other treats, she might never leave the bathroom again.

What are your top beauty picks for gifting this holiday season?

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Shopping for your gal pals isn’t necessarily an easy task, especially when you’ve got a handful of friends you want to give a little something to! I’ve pulled together some of my fave value sets that make it easy to share a treat with your best chums without breaking the bank!

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Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks: Your pals are going to love this Too Faced set, which contains 3 deluxe size Melted Lipsticks & 3 matching deluxe sized Love Flush Blushes. Give each friend a matching set and you’ll be in her good books for the new year!  $45.00 ($75.00 value)

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The Body Shop Lippy Star Wand: Yes, the packaging of this Body Shop gift set is adorable – but even better than that is the 5 Born Lippy lip butters included inside! Bonus: Each of these holiday gifts sold gives one day of safe water to a family in Ethiopia through WaterAid! $25.00 ($30.00 value)

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L’Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet: With the winter month here, you know that your friends are going to be dealing with dry skin, especially on their hands! Gift them a bit of moisture with L’Occitane’s luxurious hand creams – they’re worth it! 6 creams means 6 friends – and you might want to keep one for yourself. $60.00 ($72.00 value)

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Sephora Collection Gift-A-Gloss Lip Gloss Sampler: One of the sets that will give you the most bang for your buck, this set features 8 flattering lip glosses from Sephora. The best part? They’re all individually packaged and ready to gift. $30.00 ($70.00 value)

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Atelier Cologne Necessaire Azur Gift Set: This set of 4 purse perfume travel sprays will have your friends smelling great all season! Pair the scents to match your friends’ personalities and watch them fall in love. $32.00 ($70.00 value)

What do you plan on gifting your girlfriends with this holiday season? Do you have any fun DIY gifts?

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Guys, can you believe that December starts tomorrow? I’m finally ready to get into the holiday spirit and am all set to start the decorating and baking.

Now of course, we can’t make it through the month of December without an advent calendar – and I’ve pulled together what I think are the 5 best beauty advent calendars. Go on, you’ve been good all year – treat yourself to one of these! And if you start a little late or happen to want to open all of those beauty-filled little doors ahead of time I won’t blame you…

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Benefit Cosmetics Party Poppers 12 Days of Gorgeous ($58)  – Instead of the traditional 24 day calendar, Benefit decided to cut it down to 12 party-filled days this year. The 12 days are jam packed with minis of Benefit faves, like the POREfessional, high beam, rockateur & lollitint, that are perfect for throwing in your clutch for touch ups during your next holiday party. Oh, and did I mention it sings a seasonal “Bene-song” when you open it?

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The Body Shop 24 Happy Days Advent Calendar ($99) – If you’re looking for the ultimate in advent calendar & deserve a little pampering this season, the Body Shop’s advent calendar is for you. This giant of a calendar is a must-have for any beauty lover and will keep you smiling every day until Christmas with deluxe size minis of both their most beloved & seasonal products… Plus there’s an extra little gift hidden inside.

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LUSH 12 Days of Christmas ($99.95) – The perfect calendar for those of you who need a little push to unwind and relax when the season gets a little crazy, LUSH’s holiday calendar contains a combination of seasonal bath bombs, bubble bars and soap – each day is a little reminder to take some time to yourself to soak in the season.

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Hard Candy 12 Days of Beauty ($9.97) – A little bit on the more affordable side we have Hard Candy’s contribution to the advent calendar craze. This 12 day calendar contains minis of their best-selling products that will have you completely holiday ready – I’m talking everything from concealer to eyeliner & mascara!

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THEFACESHOP Beauty Advent Calendar ($69) – Korean beauty lovers will go gaga for this 23 day calendar, featuring some of the brands must-haves. Treats like nail polishes, face masks and skincare goodies will keep you feeling beautiful all the way through the 25th!

 

 

 

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Back in August (yes, I know, it’s taken me a while to get to this… but with good reason) I attended an amazingly fun event hosted by The Body Shop.  Why did it take me so long to get to this?  The event showcased The Body Shop Holiday offerings and gift ideas, and I decided I would wait until now to share them with you so they would be fresh in your mind.  Hopefully you can get some great gift ideas out of this, or you can always choose to grab an item or two for yourself.  You know, to help deal with the holiday season.  *Also – Canadian readers looking to grab anything may want to try heading to your nearest store for Black Friday – from what I’ve heard you can look forward to a 3/$30 sale and an amazing gift bag for $25 with a $30 purchase! I’m probably going to be stocking up on some Satsuma body butter this Friday…

Anyways, as always, The Body Shop is going to be bringing out some amazing gift sets which are perfect for giving joy this season.  A few of my favourites:

  • Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub & Moisture Collection, $20 (limited edition scent) contains Ginger Sparkle Body Butter, Shower Gel and Body Polish.  Not overwhelmingly ginger-y and with the tiniest hint of citrus, I’ve really become taken with the Ginger Sparkle line.  Oh, and it’s housed in an adorable gingerbread man tin.
  • Cranberry Joy Body & Lip Care Collection, $50 (limited edition scent) is perfect for someone in need of pampering.  This set comes with a Cranberry Joy Body Butter, Body Polish, Shower Gel and Lip Balm and smells fruity and fresh.
  • Born Lippy Fruity Lip Balms Set, $20 is perfect for stuffing stockings.  Packaged in a lollipop box, this set contains 5 moisturising lip balms – perfect timing to help someone get rid of the chapped lips winter just loves to bring.
  •  The Joyful Gingerbread House, $20 is a really unique gift which comes with Cranberry Shower Gel and Body Butter, Ginger Sparkle Shower Gel and Body Butter and a Mini Crinkle Lily.  The schoolhouse boxes this comes in were designed and handmade by artisans at Get Paper Industries, which is a traditional handmade paper products co-operative in Kathmandu, Nepal.

And to help put you on Santa’s nice list, all purchases made help out The Body Shop’s School Project.  How does it work?  $300,000 from the sales of these and other Christmas gifts will help to build 5 schools around the world in areas where The Body Shop has Community Fair Trade Partners – Ghana, Honduras, Nepal and Northern and Southern India.  I think this is a fantastic idea – when you buy someone a gift, you aren’t only giving joy to them, but you’ll be helping to give a child in one of the locations the gift of education.

Besides these gift sets, The Body Shop has other great products which will make lovely gifts or stocking stuffers (including the totally adorable Festive Reindeer Sponge) – check out a few of my favourites below!

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle, The Body Shop Cranberry Joy

Ginger Sparkle Body Butter – $20, Cranberry Joy Shimmer Lotion – $12

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Absinthe Manicure and Moisture Gift Set – $10

The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette,  The Body Shop Slanted Kabuki Brush

4-Step Smoky Eye Palette – $28, Slanted Kabuki Brush – $28

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Heart Soap, The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose Eau de Toilette, The Body Shop, The Body Shop Christmas, The Body Shop Holiday

Cranberry Joy Heart Soap – $4 and White Musk Smoky Rose Eau de Toilette – $17.50

Will you be doing any holiday shopping at The Body Shop?

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