Showing posts with label Beauty Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty Reviews. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Awesome, Affordable Beauty Gifts to Fill Her Christmas Stocking

Now that November is upon us, it's time to start thinking about what to buy for the friends and family members on our holiday gift lists.

Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to give special things that our gift recipients would love to have but might not treat themselves to. While larger, more expensive Christmas gifts might need to be a bit more practical, stocking stuffers are the perfect vehicle to treat giftees to something a bit more fun and indulgent that won't break the bank.

Affordable Beauty Gift Stocking Stuffers
Image generated using Canva AI tools

Many women and teen girls love and use makeup, skincare, and other beauty-related products, while others who might feel guilty spending money on something so impractical might secretly love to receive beauty gifts to enhance their appearance.

Even women who don't wear much makeup might enjoy some nice skincare, bath, or spa products to make them feel a bit more pampered and special.

Following are some wonderful affordable beauty gift stocking stuffer ideas handpicked to delight the women and teen girls on your Christmas list.

The Best Makeup Stocking Stuffers

Whether your gift recipient wears just a quick swipe of lip balm or enjoys a full face of glam makeup for special occasions, I've got makeup stocking stuffer ideas that your favorite woman or teen will love.

Nearly all of these makeup gifts are priced at $25 or less, and most cost less than $15, so it's easy to put together a nice selection to fill her Christmas stocking without busting your holiday gift budget.

There are so many little-known brands on Amazon (mostly from China) that knock off high-end palettes and other makeup but are of questionable quality and safety. It's hard to know whom you can trust!

The brands I am recommending are excellent quality, established, and trustworthy companies that make products that perform as well as much more expensive brands and offer very similar products at value prices. So, you can order these affordable beauty gifts with confidence.

Lip Balm, Gloss, or Oil

I feel positively undressed without something on my lips, especially since mine tend to be dry and chap easily in winter. I own a large collection of lip balms, glosses, and lip oils ranging from drugstore to high-end, and I'm very picky about quality! Here are some of my most affordable favorites.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm Stocking Stuffers
Burt's Bees Lip Balm Stocking Stuffers

Burt's Bees Lip Balm Stocking Stuffers is a 4-pack of Burt's Bees beeswax lip balms available in different flavor combinations, including the Best of Burt's Bees combo of original with vitamin E and peppermint, strawberry, coconut & pear, and vanilla bean. These lip balms are great to keep by the bedside, in a purse, in a coat pocket, etc., so it's great to have a four-pack! There's a reason these have stood the test of time. (I've used them for decades!) Even women and teens who don't wear makeup will appreciate a good set of lip balms, especially in the winter months.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Fat Oil Lip Drip is a real bargain! It has all the moisture, shine, and gorgeous shades of high-end glosses without the premium price tag. 

This lip gloss is also vegan and comes in a range of shades to suit any taste. I own three colors and am tempted to add a few more to my collection. If you're not sure which color your gift recipient might like, the clear version will add a beautiful shine to bare lips or over a favorite lipstick. Or, choose a few different shades to add to her stocking.

Set of 3 NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Butter Glosses
NYX Butter Gloss set of 3
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Butter Gloss set of 3
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Butter Gloss is a cult favorite among beauty influencers and makeup artists, for good reason. This gloss keeps lips soft and smooth, adds a hint of flattering color, and isn't sticky. This set of 3 NYX Butter Glosses in packs of three extremely wearable shades is a winner!

Another extremely affordable gloss that looks and acts like those from more expensive brands is the Rimmel Stay Glossy Lip Gloss. The shades range from neutrals and pinks to reds that are flattering to many different complexions. The formula is long-lasting, moisturizing, and non-sticky while providing lots of shine. This gloss is also cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny-approved (i.e., the company has made a genuine commitment to ending animal testing), and looks beautiful on bare lips or over lipstick or balm. Rimmel is a very popular brand in Europe that more and more beauty editors are recommending in the affordable beauty category.

Makeup Palettes

Makeup palettes are extremely popular beauty gifts for the Christmas holidays. They feel like an indulgence that your recipient might not buy for herself but would love to receive as a gift. They're also great to take on vacations, business trips, etc.

Fortunately, the affordable makeup palette selections are getting better and better, with shades and formulations that rival those of expensive luxury brands. The shades available at any given time may change, but you're sure to find some wonderful options among my top recommendations.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP palettes are a fantastic choice. The quality and selection for the price can't be beat. The NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Ultimate eyeshadow palettes each contain 16 highly pigmented eye shadows that glide onto the lid silky smooth and blend out effortlessly. There is always a wide range of options, from neutrals to brights, with something to suit any taste. Some palettes are all-matte, while most include a mix of matte, satin, shimmer, and/or metallic shades. Your gift recipient will have fun mixing and matching the 16 shades to create a whole wardrobe of eye looks for different moods, outfits, and occasions. Tip: Most teen girls would love the gift of a good eyeshadow palette!

NYX Professional Makeup 8-pan highlight and contour palette
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP
Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

If your gift recipient is really into makeup, she would probably love the NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Highlight & Contour Pro Palette. It contains eight "creamy" powder highlight and contour shades that are pigmented enough to make a difference, but not so pigmented that they are hard to blend out (one of the keys to effective face contouring). Learning how to contour subtly can help you slim (or shorten) your nose, accentuate (or fake) cheekbones, minimize jowls, and other artistic "magic tricks." This set has a wide enough range of shades to work for many different skin tones, too.

Physicians Formula is another of those affordable beauty brands loved by magazine editors and influencers that looks and acts like formulas costing much more. 

The brand is known for its silky powder formulas, and a Physicians Formula Face Palette is a great way to give a beautiful selection of coordinating powders in a range of finishes. 

For example, the Physicians Formula All-Star Face Palette Holiday Gift Set for 2023 includes six stunning pans of bronzers, highlighters, face powder, and blush to flatter a wide range of complexions, although they are probably best suited to light-to-medium skin tones.

ColourPop "Of Quartz" 9-pan eyeshadow palette
My ColourPop 9-pan "Of Quartz" palette, now discontinued
(but there are always plenty of new choices!)

ColourPop Eyeshadow Palettes are amazing quality for the price. The brand is famous for its stunning palettes and, especially, its fabulous shimmer shades. 

I have one of the 9-pan palettes (called "Of Quartz") and absolutely love it. I love the versatile mix of mattes and shimmers and how easily I can blend out the formula, even on my crepey, hooded lids. 

There are also larger palettes, including "mega" sizes with 30 shades (which won't fit in a stocking)! You can choose from sets that would appeal to women who prefer subtle makeup or colorways with bold, bright hues that fashionistas and teen girls would enjoy.

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Eyeshadow Palette
Physicians Formula Murumuru
Butter Eyeshadow Palette

The Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Eyeshadow Palette comes in a smaller choice of shades, but these eyeshadows have the same luxe feel as the brand's acclaimed face powders, blushes, highlighters, and bronzers. It's a    wonderfully blendable formula that's extremely easy to apply and manipulate to achieve the desired look.

I also appreciate the mix of matte, satin, shimmer, and metallic shades in these versatile palettes that would flatter all skin tones.

 Like all Physicians Formula makeup products, these eye shadows are clean, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, safe for sensitive skin and eyes, and dermatologist-tested.

Tips on Choosing Eyeshadow Palettes as Gifts

If you're not sure which palettes your gift recipients might prefer, here are some guidelines to help you choose.

  • Green and hazel eyes are complemented by purple shades, taupes, and earth tones, including bronzes, golds, and burgundies.
  • Blue eyes are flattered by warm, orangey browns, like amber or copper, or gray and silver shades for a smokey eye look.
  • Brown eyes can wear almost any shade, especially warm browns, golds, purples, and blues.
  • When in doubt a neutral color palette is the most versatile and flatters most eye colors and skin tones.

Just remember, there are no hard-and-fast rules when choosing eyeshadow colors, especially for beauty lovers!

Affordable Skincare Stocking Stuffers for Women and Teen Girls

An effective skincare routine makes a huge difference in our skin's appearance and health. A stocking filled with a good quality makeup remover, facial cleanser, micellar water, facial serum, and moisturizer would be a wonderful gift for teens as well as for any woman who still washes her face with soap. (Most soaps are too harsh for facial skin, disrupting the protective skin barrier and causing excessive dryness, oiliness, acne, sensitivity, and other problems!)

A set of sheet masks would be a wonderful treat to encourage someone who's feeling stressed or overextended to squeeze in a few minutes of much-needed, relaxing, self-care and "me time."

While you might want to tailor products to the recipient's skin type, the following recommendations are appropriate for most.

Oil-Based Cleansing Balm/Makeup Remover

Cleansing balms are a great first step to remove sunscreen, makeup, and skincare at the end of the day. One of my favorites, Farmacy Green Clean makeup meltaway cleansing balm, is available on Amazon in a cute 0.4-ounce sample size that's perfect as a beauty gift stocking stuffer.

This popular makeup-removing balm dissolves even stubborn, long-wear makeup, waterproof mascaras, and mineral sunscreens. It's the first step in a two-step cleanse, to be followed by a gentle facial cleanser.

This cleansing balm is effective without stripping the skin of its natural moisture or damaging the protective skin barrier. It leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth, not dry or tight. It's also free of parabens, sulfates, and artificial coloring and is not tested on animals.

Farmacy Green Clean cleansing balm starts to melt into an oil as you massage it into your skin with your fingers, and then it turns into a milky cleanser as you add water and continue to massage. Just rinse with warm water and continue with step two (your gentle facial cleanser). I also recommend following with micellar water on a cotton pad to remove any cleanser residue before applying your nighttime skincare routine.

Facial Masks

SpaLife Holiday Treats Facial Masks 12-Pack
SpaLife Holiday Treats
Facial Masks 12-Pack

The SpaLife Holiday Treats Facial Masks 12-Pack has the cutest, most festive packaging! It's also more wintry than specifically Christmas-y, so it would also make a great gift for other winter holidays and gift-giving occasions.

The set comes with a dozen face mask packets in four yummy holiday scents, so it's easy to split up into multiple gifts to help stuff several stockings.

It includes three of each of the following:

  • Eggnog-scented anti-aging facial masks
  • Peppermint cocoa-scented nourishing facial masks
  • Gingerbread-scented soothing facial masks
  • Candy cane sundae-scented brightening facial masks
 These would make great gifts for anyone who loves a bit of holiday whimsy! 

TONYMOLY I'm Real Sheet Mask Collection
TONYMOLY I'm Real
Sheet Mask Collection

TONYMOLY is an extremely popular Korean skincare brand that's PETA-certified and 100% cruelty-free (no animal testing).

The TONYMOLY I'm Real Sheet Mask Collection is a fun way to introduce the women or teen girls on your Christmas gift list to sheet masks—skincare-infused paper masks that hold the serum against your skin and let it soak in as you lie back and relax.

This set of 5 different sheet masks focuses on deep hydration and includes one each of the following:

  • I'm Aloe, infused with aloe extract and a water-based essence to hydrate the skin
  • I'm Avocado, an "avocado-infused micro emulsion-based essence" that nourishes the skin
  • I'm Watermelon, infused with watermelon extract to hydrate, refresh, and condition
  • I'm Lavender, with lavender extract to relax, soothe, and deeply hydrate
  • I'm Coconut, with vitamin E and coconut extract to "remove dirt and revitalize skin"

To use them, start with a freshly cleansed and dried face. Lie or lean back, open and unfold the sheet mask carefully, and place it over the face, aligning the cutouts with your eyes, nose, and mouth. Gently smooth the mask against the skin and let the serum soak in for 20–30 minutes. (I recommend listening to music or an audiobook to enhance the relaxation effect.) Then remove the paper and pat/press in any excess serum into the face and neck.

Gift-Worthy Skincare Sets

e.l.f. SKIN Hydrated Ever After Skincare Mini Kit
e.l.f. SKIN Hydrated Ever After
Skincare Mini Kit

The e.l.f. SKIN Hydrated Ever After Skincare Mini Kit includes small sizes of everything a woman or teen girl on your gift list will need to keep her face soft, smooth, and hydrated. It includes a makeup melting cleansing balm, facial cleanser, hydrating booster drops, face cream, and eye cream.

These products are infused with hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and plump the skin, ceramides to help strengthen the skin's moisture barrier, and peptides to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

While these products would be ideal for someone with dry skin year-round, they are also excellent for all skin types during the cold, dry weather months. (Did you know that even oily skin needs hydration to help regulate oil production?)

Even if your gift recipient already has a skincare routine, she will appreciate this complete set of TSA-approved travel sizes for packing.

All of e.l.f.'s products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny-certified, and they're very good quality at surprisingly low prices. At less than $20 (at the time of this post's publication) for the entire 5-piece kit, the price for this stocking stuffer can't be beat!

COSRX All About Snail Kit
COSRX All About Snail Skincare Kit

Korean skincare is known for its innovation and high quality at reasonable prices, and COSRX is a popular brand recommended by many dermatologists and beauty influencers. The COSRX All About Snail Kit would make a wonderful gift for women with more mature or sensitive skin.

The hero ingredient, snail mucin, may sound off-putting, but it's a powerhouse skincare ingredient with multiple benefits. In the medically-reviewed EveryDay Health article "Snail Mucin 101: A Detailed Guide," Georgia Smith, a Sydney, Australia-based cosmetic chemist and founder of Skin Sister, described snail mucin as "a complex mix of proteins, enzymes, hyaluronic acid, copper peptides, antimicrobial peptides, iron, zinc, and proteoglycans." It can help strengthen the skin barrier; retain moisture; improve plumpness, smoothness, fine lines, and wrinkles; promote collagen building; enhance wound healing; and improve the appearance of scarring. It is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, potentially helping with acne and redness.

The COSRX All About Snail Kit includes TSA-approved travel sizes of four of the brand's most coveted skincare products: Advanced Snail Mucin Gel Cleanser, Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream, and Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream.

Pampering Body Care Stocking Stuffers

Skincare isn't just for the face, especially during the cold, dry winter months. A gift of a body wash, body scrub, exfoliating gloves, or moisturizing body lotion can soothe and smooth dry, crepey skin all winter long. A moisturizing hand cream, cuticle balm, or foot cream is something every woman or teen girl can use.

Here are some gift-worthy body care stocking stuffer ideas.

Aromatherapy Shower Steamers or Bath Bombs

Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers

I only recently learned about shower steamers, which are similar to bath bombs but designed for use during a shower instead of a bath. 

Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers are beautifully packaged and are available in several different assortments of different sizes and scents. 

The boxed sets of six Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers are the perfect size for stocking stuffers, but you might also consider splitting one of the larger assortments into several gifts.

I really like the set of six aromatherapy shower steamers that includes one each of the following scents:

  • Menthol & eucalyptus
  • Peony & pear
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Cocoa & orange
  • Lemongrass & coconut

Hand and Foot Care

Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit
Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit

The Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit is a boxed, six-piece set that's perfect for gift-giving and costs much less than you might expect. It includes a full-size pomegranate tinted lip balm to soften and smooth lips while adding a hint of color, plus five mini sizes of the following products:

  • A cute little tin of almond & milk hand cream that's perfect to tuck in a purse
  • A tube of honey & grapeseed hand cream
  • A tin of hand salve
  • A tin of lemon butter cuticle cream (a long-time favorite that's perfect for massaging into dry cuticles on the go)
  • A tube of coconut foot cream

These travel-size products would also be great for a frequent traveler.

You could also put together a set of high-quality nail care tools for a woman or teen who either loves having pretty nails or wishes she did. Check out my in-depth guide to The Best Manicure Tools to see my personally curated, tried-and-true picks. Consider adding a bottle or two of nail polish. Essie nail polish kits always include some great holiday gift sets at affordable prices, and the quality is excellent.

Spa Accessories

Consider filling her stocking with one or more spa accessories to up her beauty and skincare game. Check out my in-depth reviews of the best spa headbands for face washing, skincare, and makeup application, the best silicone face cleansing brushes, the best reusable microfiber facial cleansing sponges, and my favorite microfiber face washing wristbands to keep your arms and sleeves dry.

Need an Elegant Christmas Stocking to Stuff?

Check out my recent product reviews of The Most Beautiful Christmas Stockings for Elegant Holiday Decor. You’ll find a selection of festive picks to hold these beauty gift stocking stuffers.


❆❅❄ Here's wishing you and those you love a beauty-filled holiday!


Awesome, Affordable Beauty Gifts to Fill Her Christmas Stocking by Margaret Schindel

Read More Beauty Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Christmas Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Gift Reviews From Our Contributors




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

How to Soften Dry, Callused, Cracked Heels the Easy Way

As we age, we're more prone to developing dry, cracked heels that can be painful as well as unsightly. There are many contributing factors, some within our control and others not. However, if you suffer from cracked heels, you know they can be challenging to treat effectively.

I've tried many different treatments for this annoying condition. In today's review, I recommend some simple tips that have helped me the most. Here's to healing our dry, cracked heels!

How to Heal & Soften Dry, Callused, Cracked Heels

Background photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

What Causes Cracked Heels?

The helpful WebMD article "What to Know About Cracked Heels" explains that cracked heels can develop "When the skin around your heels becomes dry and thick...Extra pressure on the fat pad of your heels can cause dry, thick skin to form cracks, or heel fissures."

According to the article, contributing factors may include:

  • Wearing sandals, clogs, or other open-heeled footwear
  • Taking hot baths or hot showers
  • Using soaps with harsh ingredients
  • Standing for long stretches of time
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, athlete's foot, heel spurs, Sj√∂gren's syndrome, or juvenile plantar dermatosis

How to Treat and Repair Dry, Callused, Cracked Heels at Home

After consulting multiple reliable sources, here are the at-home foot care steps I have followed to heal my dry, cracked heels successfully. I repeat these steps periodically, as needed, to prevent and heal my heel cracks.

The best time to do these steps is just before bed to allow the healing foot cream or ointment to soak into the skin and do its work while you're sleeping.

Caveat: The WebMD article explains that "Occasionally, severely cracked heels can get infected and lead to a skin infection called cellulitis" and advises talking to your doctor "if your heels are severely cracked or don’t improve after you’ve treated them for a week."

Step 1: Use a diamond foot rasp to remove the top layer of thick calluses.

If your calluses aren't too thick and your heel cracks aren't deep, you can use a pumice stone after soaking your feet in warm, soapy water (see step 2). However, if your heels are extremely dry and have thick calluses, use either a Diamancel Diamond Foot Buffer #11 Medium Rasp or, for even thicker calluses, a Diamancel Diamond Foot Buffer #22 Coarse Rasp followed by the #11 Medium Rasp.

These files are an investment, but they will last for many years and can be easily washed in hot, soapy water and then dried and disinfected with isopropyl alcohol after each use.

Note: I have tried but do not recommend the "cheese grater" style metal foot file. It removes a lot of skin quickly and has sharp "teeth" that make it easy to accidentally remove too much callus and possibly cut into your skin, which could lead to infection. This type of foot file also leaves the surface very rough and requires a lot of effort to smooth with a pumice stone or fine diamond foot buffer.

Step 2: Soak your feet in warm, soapy water for 20 minutes.

Use gentle soap and warm, not hot water, in a tub or, if you prefer, a dedicated foot bath. Consider the affordable HoMedics Bubble Mate Foot Spa, a splash-proof, heated foot bath with water jets and raised massage nodes to pamper your tired feet. This is on my holiday wish list and would make a great gift, especially as part of a spa gift basket! 

(My mom had a heated foot bath many years ago that she used to bring with her to the nail salon when she got a pedicure since she was extremely conscious about good hygiene at the salon. She also loved using it at home to soothe her aching feet after a long day.)

After soaking your feet for 20 minutes, use a pumice stone to smooth away any calluses or, if you used a diamond foot rasp in step 1, to smooth any roughness left by the rasp(a).

Step 3: Towel-dry your feet well.

Use a clean, absorbent towel to dry your feet very thoroughly, especially in between your toes to help prevent athlete's foot.

Step 4: Apply a healing ointment or moisturizing cream.

I have tried numerous foot creams to heal dry, cracked heels. Based on my experience, if you have very dry, callused heels with fairly deep cracks, I highly recommend starting with the Kerasal Nighttime Intensive Foot Repair, Skin Healing Ointment for Cracked Heels and Dry Feet. I discovered this fantastic ointment thanks to the recommendation of a well-known and highly respected board-certified dermatologist on social media. I'm very grateful to her for introducing me to this miracle cracked heels treatment!

It contains 5% salicylic acid, 10% urea and soft white petrolatum to exfoliate, soften, and moisturize hard, dry, cracked, and callused heels, and is approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. It comes in a small tube, but a little goes a long way.

Another good option is Ebanel Urea Cream 40% plus Salicylic Acid 2%. It has a consistency that one Amazon reviewer likened to Elmer's glue, which helps it adhere to the skin while it does its work. It may not be the most cosmetically elegant formulation, but it's extremely effective!

Once your feet are in better shape and your cracks have healed, you can switch to something less heavy-duty and more economical for daily or nightly maintenance. Good choices include Dr. Scholl's Dry, Cracked Foot Repair Ultra Hydrating Foot Cream, Miracle of Aloe Miracle Foot Repair Cream for Dry, Cracked Feet & Heels, or Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Foot Magic Moisturizing Foot Cream. All of these are available on Amazon, and most can be found at a well-stocked drugstore.

Whichever cream or ointment you use, make sure to massage it in very well before putting on your heel socks or sleep socks.

Step 5: Put on heel socks or thin, breathable bed socks and wear them overnight.

I prefer wearing thin cotton or bamboo socks to bed if I'm applying my foot cream or ointment to the balls of my feet as well as my heels. Bamboo or cotton bed socks allow the skin to "breathe," and thin socks are less absorbent so your foot cream or ointment stays on the skin of your heels vs. on your socks.

My favorite socks for this purpose (and also my favorite summer or warm weather socks) are the SERISIMPLE Women's Bamboo Ankle Socks. They come in a pack of five pairs for less than $17 (at the time of this post's publication), so $3.40 a pair, and they are excellent quality! They are thin, soft, and lightweight and slip on easily over foot cream or ointment. They also come in a very large selection of pretty pastel, mid-tone, and dark color assortments.

But if my feet are in really rough shape and I'm applying the ointment just to my cracked heels, I'll put on toeless, silicone-lined heel socks before going to bed.

For the latter, I really like the ZenToes Moisturizing Fuzzy Sleep Socks. The outer shell is a soft, fleece material, while the heel is lined with a silicone gel infused with jojoba seed oil, olive oil, and vitamin E to add an extra layer of softening and moisturizing ingredients where they are needed most.

ZenToes Moisturizing Fuzzy Sleep Socks
ZenToes Moisturizing Fuzzy Sleep Socks
(2 pairs) on Amazon

The silicone gel creates a warm, hydrating environment that helps your foot cream or ointment penetrate while you sleep. These open-toed sleep socks are also washable and reusable, and one size fits most. Even after the infused oils are used up, they still work perfectly with your preferred foot cream.

I also love that these are made by a small, woman-owned business based in Wisconsin. Although the socks are not manufactured in the USA, the company prides itself on doing three product quality checks before they are shipped out to customers: before they leave the factory, when they are received at the USA warehouse, and when they are packaged in that USA warehouse.

In addition, ZenToes uses individuals with diverse abilities who work for Opportunities, Inc. in Wisconsin, a Community Rehabilitation Program, to package their products "with dignity and purpose."

For a short-term quick fix, replace steps 4 and 5 with an intensive repair foot mask.

There are Kerasal Nighttime Intensive Repair Foot Masks that can be used instead of steps 4 and 5, although as single-use products they are less economical (and less environmentally responsible). But they're great if you want to try out the Kerasal Nighttime Intensive Foot Repair ointment to see how you like it before investing in heel socks or thin cotton bed socks.

Also, if you want to wear sandals, go to the beach, etc., and notice at the last minute that your heels are cracked, you can use the Kerasal Daytime Intensive Repair Foot Mask (pack of 2 pairs). These won't deliver the same results as steps 1–5, but they can definitely improve the way your feet and heels look and feel in less than half an hour.

To use them, start by washing and drying your feet thoroughly. Then, remove one pair of the foot masks and put them on. Put your feet up and relax (they're too slippery to walk around in) for 20 minutes, then remove the covers and massage any residue of the healing cream into your feet.

Helpful Tips to Prevent Heel Cracks

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To keep your feet and heels soft, smooth and healthy, here are some habits to adopt that can help prevent or reduce calluses and heel cracks:

  • Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces
  • Wear closed-heel footwear
  • Take warm, not hot, baths or showers
  • Use mild soaps
  • Dry your feet and in between your toes thoroughly to avoid athlete's foot
  • Keep your skin at a comfortable temperature and moisturize your feet daily and/or nightly with a foot cream after showering or bathing and drying the skin well

Disclaimer

I am not a medical professional and this article should not be construed in any way as medical advice. When in doubt, consult your doctor before attempting to treat your cracked heels at home.

How to Soften Dry, Callused, Cracked Heels the Easy Way by Margaret Schindel

Read More Beauty Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Health Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Product Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Gift Reviews From Our Contributors




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Best Spa Headbands for Face Washing, Skincare, Makeup Application

Today's product review is for my favorite spa headbands, which I use both morning and evening to hold my hair back while I cleanse my face and apply my skincare, sunscreen, and (sometimes) makeup.

The spa headbands I tried before discovering these were uncomfortable and/or unattractive. Fortunately, my new spa headbands are both comfortable and cute and come in a range of color choices.

The Best Spa Headbands - Cute and Comfortable

One of My Favorite Beauty Accessories

Recently, I have been sharing product reviews of several of my favorite affordable beauty and skincare tools and accessories, including microfiber spa wristbands that keep your arms dry during facial cleansing, soft microfiber-covered face washing sponges and silicone facial cleansing and exfoliating lip scrubbers that cleanse your pores gently and effectively and make your lips smoother and fuller.

Now, I'm pleased to share the spa headbands that I use twice a day to keep my hair out of my face during cleansing and then application of my skincare products, sunscreen (every day, rain, snow or shine!), and makeup (if I'm wearing any).

3 different styles of spa headbands
The terrycloth wrap (left) has a hook-and-loop closure that snagged my hair. The soft microfiber plush band (right) was too tight, despite the elasticized back. Fortunately, the padded headband (center) is perfect—comfortable, easy to get on and off, and even cute!

Before discovering these, I had been using either terrycloth or microfiber spa headbands that encircle the entire head. Some were too small (even though I don't have a large head), making them uncomfortable. One had a Velcro-type hook-and-loop closure that often snagged my hair. The other wasn't adjustable and, despite the small length of elastic at the back, was hard to get on and off and gave me a headache. Also (admittedly a secondary consideration), neither was very attractive while I was staring at my face in my magnifying makeup mirror, lol.

Recently, I started seeing beauty influencers on Instagram and YouTube wearing these cute, padded spa headbands to keep their hair away from their faces while demonstrating skincare or makeup application. 

Honestly, my expectations were low, especially when I looked on Amazon and saw how inexpensive a set of two of these headbands was. But after I messaged one of the "mature beauty" influencers I follow who assured me that they were, indeed, both comfortable and secure, I decided to give them a try.

I'm so glad I did!

Key Features and Benefits

Here are the main reasons I love these affordable padded spa headbands.

Spa headbands in 3 colors
Three of my four padded spa headbands (I have two in black)

Comfortable

The spa headbands I had tried before either were too tight or had a Velcro-type hook-and-loop closure that often snagged my hair. One of my hesitations in ordering these was that I often find semi-rigid (plastic or metal) headbands uncomfortable and they tend to give me a headache after I wear them for a short time. 

Fortunately, these padded spa headbands are quite flexible and don't give me a headache.

Secure

Even though these bands are flexible enough to be worn comfortably—even throughout the day, if you wish—they also hold my hair securely, keeping it away from my face while I am cleansing or doing my skincare, sunscreen, or makeup application.

Attractive and Versatile

Even though I prioritized function over looks when searching for spa headbands, the fact that these are much cuter and more functional than the others I tried is a nice bonus. In fact, these look nice enough for younger women and girls to wear as a casual fashion accessory. Even as a senior, I sometimes wear the black one when I go out for a walk.

They’re also great for keeping your hair off your face while exercising or soaking in a tub.

Note: When I wear these in any color other than black, my husband has been known to teasingly call me Lady Liberty. 

Choice of Colors

These come in sets of two in a range of color options. At the time of this post's publication, there are seven color combinations to choose from:

Set of two terrycloth spa headbands on Amazon
Purchase this set of 2
spa headbands on Amazon
headbands
  • Black and light blue
  • Black and lime green
  • Black and white
  • Black and bright yellow
  • Light blue and white (although the product photo on Amazon shows one white spa headband and one pair of microfiber face-washing wristbands)
  • Light pink and black
  • Light blue and light pink

Inexpensive and Good Quality

As of this post's publication, nearly all the color choices sell on Amazon for $9.99 plus free Prime shipping for Amazon Prime members. Since they come in a set of two, that's less than $5 per band! The pink and black combo currently is even less expensive at $7.71 for the pair.

Given the low price, I was nervous about the quality. When my order arrived, however, I was delighted by the quality of the materials and finishing. Although I have only had mine for two months so far, they have held up well. 

In fact, I like them so much that I recently ordered a second pair so I could get a light blue one.

Affordable Beauty Gifts for Women of All Ages

Any woman or teen girl who enjoys beauty, skincare, or makeup application would probably love to receive a set of these cute, comfortable, padded spa headbands as a gift. 

If the women or girls on your list are avid skincare or makeup enthusiasts, consider putting together baskets of beauty gifts including some or all of the following spa accessories to create luxurious "gifts for her" at an affordable price. The plush VOLO Hero microfiber hair towel is the most expensive item at $44.25, but most of the suggestions below come in at around $10-$15 (as of this post's publication).


The Best Spa Headbands for Face Washing, Skincare, Makeup Application by Margaret Schindel

Find More Great Gifts for Her in My Health and Beauty Product Reviews

The Best Silicone Face Cleansing Brushes for Better Skin and Smoother Lips

The Best Reusable Microfiber Facial Cleansing Sponges for Better Skin

These Inexpensive Face Washing Wristbands Keep Your Arms Dry

The Best Travel Toiletry Bag for Women Is a Bargain!

You’ll Love These Insanely Comfortable Memory Foam Slippers

How To Get Bright, Younger-Looking Eyes In 60 Seconds

The Best Dentist Approved, Inexpensive, 5-Mode Electric Toothbrush

The Best Manicure Tools for Strong, Healthy Nails

Read More Beauty Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Product Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Gift Reviews From Our Contributors




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Best Silicone Face Cleansing Brushes for Better Skin and Smoother Lips

I recently reviewed two of my favorite products for washing the face, reusable microfiber facial cleansing sponges and microfiber face washing wristbands.

Today's health and beauty product review is about another favorite tool in my skincare routine: silicone face scrubbers that I use a few times a week to help gently yet effectively deep clean pores around the oilier T-zone and to gently exfoliate and plump the lips.

These inexpensive silicone facial scrubbers are also hygienic and can't harbor bacteria like face towels, so they're great for anyone who deals with acne or blemishes.

Silicone Face Cleansing Brushes and Lip Scrubbers

Proper Cleansing Is Key to a Clearer, Smoother, Brighter Complexion

As I mentioned in previous reviews, the most important steps for achieving and maintaining your best complexion are 1) cleansing your face properly both morning and night (and after exercising), 2) using good skincare products targeted to your skin type and skin concerns, and 3) applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will provide UVA, UVB, and blue light protection 365 days a year, rain, snow or shine.

Washing your face properly means cleansing gently and thoroughly with lukewarm water and a good facial cleanser, lathering and massaging your face for 30-60 seconds, either once (single cleanse) or twice (double cleanse), either with the same cleanser or with two different cleansers, usually an oil-based cleanser for the first cleanse to break down sunscreen and/or makeup and a water-based cleanser for the second cleanse to break down excess oil and sebum.

The Right Tools Help Cleanse Your Face Thoroughly and Gently

I like to wear a terrycloth headband to hold my hair back away from my face and microfiber face-washing wristbands to keep my arms dry when I am cleansing my face. I also use soft microfiber facial cleansing sponges rather than a washcloth as part of my facial cleansing routine, for reasons I explained in my recent microfiber facial cleansing sponges product review.

At age 69, my former peaches-and-cream complexion with virtually invisible pores is no longer. Inevitably, the pores in my T-zone have enlarged with age. And, despite never having had so much as a blemish or a blackhead through my teens and twenties, I now have to deal with periodic, random blemishes.

That's why I have also started using silicone face cleansing brushes to gently but thoroughly clean the pores in my T-zone.

I have two kinds of silicone facial scrubbers, as they are often called (although I caution against using them to aggressively scrub your skin): a silicone facial brush and a silicone lip scrubber.

How to Use Silicone Face Cleansing Brushes and Lip Scrubber Brushes

Here is how I recommend using these types of brushes for cleansing the skin effectively, applying skincare products after cleansing, and exfoliating and massaging the lips before applying lip balm, gloss, or lipstick.

Silicone Face Cleansing Brushes AKA Silicone Facial Scrubbers

The facial cleansing brush is an oval pad with small, fine silicone bristles covering most of it and a smaller section at one edge with larger, round nubs.

The small, fine brush bristles deep-clean pores around your nose and the rest of your T-zone more deeply than by using cleanser and water with your hands or the microfiber face washing sponges I recommend. If you have oily or combination skin or are blemish- or acne-prone, adding these silicone facial cleansing brushes will help keep your pores clear and avoid spreading bacteria from your hands or a cleansing cloth.

Silicone Face Cleansing Brushes and Lip Scrubber Brushes

The small silicone brush bristles are also great for applying your skincare products after washing your face. It allows you to cover more surface area with the same amount of product by spreading it without absorbing it (like your fingers and palms do), which makes your investment in your skincare products go further. It's also a more hygienic way of applying these products to your face.

The section with the larger nubs is great for giving yourself a gentle facial massage, either with cleanser and water immediately after you have used the fine silicone brush bristles to cleanse your pores or with a facial oil, serum, lotion, or cream when you are applying your skincare. A facial massage will increase circulation, giving your skin a more youthful glow.

lip brushes

Silicone Lip Scrubbers / Lip Brushes

One side of the silicone lip scrubber has small, fine brush bristles. The other side has larger, round nubs.

The small, fine silicone brush bristles can be used with your facial cleanser to gently and lightly exfoliate lips and remove dead skin. You can also use them to gently dry brush your lips before applying lip balm.

Keep in mind that the skin covering your lips is extremely thin and delicate. Don't rub hard and don't over-exfoliate!

I also like using this side of the lip brush to deep clean the pores around my nostrils.

The side of the lip brush with the larger, round nubs can be used to massage lips, increasing circulation that will temporarily give you plumper, fuller-looking lips.

Note: Although there is an oval hole in the handle of the lip scrubber for extracting blackheads, I strongly recommend against using it for that purpose. Using a combination of gentle but effective chemical and physical exfoliants is much safer and less likely to damage your skin!

Benefits of Silicone Face and Lip Brushes Recap

  • Helps to cleanse pores gently yet effectively.
  • Hygienic and antibacterial.
  • Perfect for oily, combination, blemish- or acne-prone skin.
  • Improves circulation for a more glowing complexion.
  • Bonus: Can be used to apply facial oils, serums, lotions, or creams to make your skincare products go further.

A 5-Piece Silicone Face and Lip Brush Set at a Great Price

I bought my silicone face and lip scrubbers on Sephora a while back. The ones I bought, which are hot pink in color, are no longer available (although Sephora does carry other versions). However, I found almost identical ones on Amazon in a 5-piece set that costs less than either the single face brush or lip brush I purchased on Sephora!

For just $6.99 with free Amazon Prime Delivery (at the time of this post's publication), you can get a set of three silicone lip scrubber brushes and two silicone facial cleansing brushes. It's a fantastic deal that lets you keep one set in the bathroom, one set at your skincare or makeup dressing table (if you have one), and an extra lip brush for your purse (to massage and plump your lips before reapplying lip balm, lip gloss or lipstick during the day).

Thoughtful, Affordable Gifts for Beauty and Skincare Lovers

If there is a woman you know who enjoys skincare products and taking good care of her skin, she would probably love to receive a gift set of these silicone face cleansing brushes and lip scrubbers, along with the plush microfiber face-washing puffs and microfiber spa wristbands I reviewed previously and a pair of cushioned terrycloth headbands.

The Best Silicone Face Cleansing Brushes for Better Skin and Smoother Lips by Margaret Schindel

Get More Gift Ideas From My Product Reviews

The Best Reusable Microfiber Facial Cleansing Sponges for Better Skin

These Inexpensive Face Washing Wristbands Keep Your Arms Dry

The Best Travel Toiletry Bag for Women Is a Bargain!

OontZ Ultra — An Affordable, Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker That Sounds Fantastic!

Your Back Will Love This Practical Laundry Bag Backpack

You’ll Love These Insanely Comfortable Memory Foam Slippers

Solaire Mattress and Adjustable Base Plus Product Reviews

Saatva Organic Cotton Bedding Product Review

Holiday Gift Guide: Thoughtful, Affordable Gift Ideas They Will Love

Long, Lined Leather Gloves - A Luxurious, Affordable Gift She'll Love

How To Get Bright, Younger-Looking Eyes In 60 Seconds

The Best Dentist Approved, Inexpensive, 5-Mode Electric Toothbrush

The Best Affordable, Super Sharp Kitchen and Steak Knives Set

The Best Powerful, Lightweight Stick Blender With Versatile Attachments

The Best Bone-Conduction Bluetooth Headphones Review: Shokz OpenRun Pro

The Best Dentist Approved, Inexpensive, 5-Mode Electric Toothbrush

The Best Tool Roll Organizer To Store & Protect Your Tools

The Best Affordable Programmable Large- and Small-Batch Coffee Maker

The Best Manicure Tools for Strong, Healthy Nails

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

Flippy Tablet, Kindle, Phone, and Book Stand Lap Pillow Review

Hamama Microgreens Starter Kit and Seed Quilts Review

Read More Beauty Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Product Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Gift Reviews From Our Contributors




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Review This Reviews Quick View Home Page

The Review This Reviews Contributors



Cynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWomanThe Savvy AgeMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieTreasures by BrendaSam MonacoTracey BoyerLou16BarbRadBev OwensBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsHeather426Coletta TeskeMissMerFaeryMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the
Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner


We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten





“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X