Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that some people love and others couldn’t care less about. I fall somewhere i the middle. The holiday comes four days after my birthday, so those two occasions combined always give my husband and I a great excuse to go out for a nice dinner. Over the years we’ve opted for vacations over big gifts, but because many of you out there are likely getting or receiving gifts to loved ones or even friends, I wanted to share a very pink gift guide with items I’m loving right now.

Shop the gifts using the links below – hope you all have a great long weekend and Valentine’s Day! XOXO

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Shop the Gifts:

PJ Set / Water Bottle / c/o Lauren B. Nail Polishes

Necklace / Ring / Sunglasses / Earrings / Sweatshirt

Lipstick / Watch / iPhone Case / Bag / Flats / Sneakers

Last-Minute Beauty Gift Sets & Stocking Stuffers

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I’m usually so organized about holiday gift giving, picking out and buying presents for everyone in my list way in advance. For some reason, this year that just wasn’t the case. But thanks to a few of my favorite stores with great free, expedited shipping policies (placed a big order at J.Crew Factory on Monday and it arrived today!) and stores that carry pre-packaged gifts, I’m still good to go.

Today I went into Sephora and there were lots of fun gift sets still available – and they’re even open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, so you can still pick some up before the holiday! And I love that most brands package up their most popular products into pretty stocking stuffers. Two of my favorites are bareMinerals’ Pop of Passion, with one of their new lip launches from this year, and Precious Pearls, with their top-selling powder eye shadows – both are actually ornaments! I also love Bliss Spa’s Citrus Stars, which comes with the body butter and soapy suds that I currently use daily, and Bite Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo, also with fun, sparkly packaging.

If you don’t have time to head to the store on Christmas Eve, I recommend you check out my gift set picks below, because some are already on sale and available while supplies last. The Sephora Favorites are always great because they include their top products and colors in any given beauty category (lips shown below), giving you the opportunity to try sample sizes before you buy your next lip color. And speaking of lips, the past few years I’ve stocked up on Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polish and Creams with their gift sets because of the value – and this year the Leave Your Mark set is perfect.

Shop my last-minute beauty gift set and stocking stuffers using the links below and Merry Christmas Eve!

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Shop the Gifts:

Maison Martin Margiela Rollerballs

Sephora Collection Kiss Me Balm

Buxom Look All You Want & Leave Your Mark Sets

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo

Bliss Citrus StarsbareMinerals Pop of Passion

Sephora Collection Breakups to Makeups Bag

 

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Need more gift ideas? Below are a two more recommendations – Josie Maran’s Whimsical Wonder The Complete Argan Skincare Ritual and ARQUISTE’s Holiday Candles. And you can also check out my gift guide on Fit & Fab Living!

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**Samples provided for review; all opinions are my own.**

All that Glitters Gift Guide

I can’t be the only one with a minor obsession with all things gold, so today I’m sharing a gift guide with all things glitter and gold. My current iPhone case is glittery and everything about it makes me happy, and I need to get my hands on these glitter sneakers. Also, gold works for pretty much anything around the house since it goes with browns, blacks and other neutral colors.

In particular, right now I’m loving the Sephora Formula X Bottle Service nail polish set. I’m wearing “Ignite” in the second pic below and it’s the perfect deep red for winter and the holidays. The set comes with 10 different mini nail polishes and the festive champagne bottle packaging makes it an easy, fun gift. Just throw a ribbon around it and you’re good to go! Bonus points if you also give it with a real bottle of champagne.

All of the items below would make great gifts for a friend, coworker, yankee swap or for yourself! Shop them all using the links below.

All that Glitters Gift Guide

Shop the Gifts:

Earrings / iPhone Case / Water Bottle

Sneakers / FitBit Bracelet / Coasters

Pineapple Tumbler / Wine Bag / Blazer

Sephora Formula X Bottle Service Nail Set (c/o)

Champagne Flute / Bag / Notebook

Tray / Coffee Mug / Eyeshadow Palette

 All that Glitters Gift Guide

Beach Travel Style Essentials

Life was apparently really busy after we got back from our amazing trip to Hawaii (more to come on that in my upcoming travel guides!), and now all of a sudden a month flew by and the holidays and almost winter are here. The temps aren’t too bad yet here in New England, but I’m still dreaming of Hawaii and plotting our next warm-weather getaway.

Whether you have a trip booked or are lucky enough to live where the sun is always shining, today’s post includes some of my beach destination essentials, including cover ups, sunglasses, bikinis and my favorite sunscreen (yes, it’s possible to have a favorite).  Shop the items in the pics using the links below (minus those palm trees – you’ll have to head to Maui for those)!

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Views at the Grand Hyatt Kauai - shop the romper in the post on DailyKaty.com

Taking it all in at the Grand Hyatt Kauai‘s beach in Poipu… Loving that my P.J. Salvage romper is not only perfect for lounging around at home, but also makes a great beach cover up because of its super soft, lightweight material.

P.J. Salvage Wanderlust Challe Romper (c/o)

Enjoying drinks at the Grand Hyatt Kauai - shop the romper in the post on DailyKaty.com

Enjoying a post-beach/pool drink on the deck at sunset. Other than when I was in just a bikini on a beach chair or in the water, I wore this romper from morning to night! The sun sets early at this time of year in Hawaii, we we stayed in our bathing suits for it almost every night.

Bikini Essentials for Beach Travel - Shop them on DailyKaty.com

Just a few of my favorite bikinis I brought along with me (all c/o)… Each one of these is perfect in their own way: the leopard print Malai bikini has literally the best fitting bottoms I’ve ever tried (size up for this one – top and bottom run small). I love the colors and crocheting in the blue WET Swimwear bikini. And Mi-Ola bikinis are perfect if you’re active, whether you’re surfing or jumping off a boat for a swim, because the bottoms have gripper elastic to hold them on.

LeopardMalai Neon Leopard Bandeau Bikini from Cabana Chic Swimwear

Blue: WET Swimwear Faith Top & Bottoms

Pink: Mi-Ola Reversible Wrap Top & Double String Bottoms

Cruising along the Napili Coast in Kauai - shop this romper and sunglasses in today's post on DailyKaty.com

Cruising along the Napili Coast by boat in Kauai… This romper is super lightweight and comfortable over a bikini and now I’m wishing I got it in all of the patterns!

Romper (on sale!) / c/o Woodzee Sunglasses

c/o Mi-Ola Reversible Wrap Top & Double String Bottoms

Waiting for sunset at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai, Hawaii - shop this romper and sunglasses in today's post on DailyKaty.com

Waiting for sunset and toasting to an amazing trip at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai! You can see the low back of the romper here, which I love, along with the wrapped back on the Mi-Ola bikini. And this resort is a must for sunsets, views and basically everything else.

Best sunscreen around - learn more at DailyKaty.com

My favorite sunscreens - which I never thought I’d say – but these smell so good and don’t leave your skin all oily and gross! The spray sunscreen is my favorite because it smells like pina colada. And the face sunscreen is lightweight, dries quickly and is refreshing with its cucumber scent.

Coola Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30,

Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30,

Mineral Sport Sunscreen SPF 35+ and

Liplux Sport Lip Treatment SPF 30 (all c/o)

Sunset at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Hawaii - shop this romper on DailyKaty.com

Another day, another cover up worn for sunset on the beach… This time at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui. If only I could end every day like this!

Fringe Cover Up (sold out – similar here + here)

 

What are your favorite beach travel style essentials? Let us know in the comments below! And come back over to the blog – and Fit and Fab Living – to read more about my trip to Maui and Kauai, as well as lots more about hotel recommendations, sights to see, etc. Stay tuned!

Cyber Monday Sales

Happy Cyber Monday! I’ll keep this short and sweet since it is Monday morning… use the list and links below to shop lots of sales today – enjoy!

Cyber Monday Sale Roundup

  • American Eagle40% off holiday collection, no code needed
  • Ann Taylor50% off with “EVERYTHING”
  • Anthropologie25% off sale with “XTRAGOOD”
  • Athleta20% off with “WORKIT”
  • ASOS: 20% off everything with “CYBER”
  • Banana Republic40% off with “BESTCYBER”
  • BaubleBar35% off 2+ items with “GOGIFT35″ and 25% off 1+ item with “GOGIFT25″
  • Bloomingdales25% off regular and sale items
  • Frye40% off select styles
  • Gap: 40% off with “BESTCYBER”
  • GiltExtra 40% off with “GOLD40″ ($100 discount max)
  • Gilt CityExtra 20% off with “GOLD20″
  • J.Crew40% off 500+ items and 30% off everything else with
  • J.Crew Factory50% off with “TODAYONLY”
  • Kate Spade30% off with “SHINE”
  • Kendra Scott15% off with “SALE15″
  • Loft50% off with “CYBER50″
  • Lord & TaylorExtra 25% off with “CYBER”
  • Lucy40% off favorite pants, discount taken at checkout
  • Macy’sExtra 25% off with “CYBER0
  • Minted20% off holiday cards and 25% off everything else with “CM2015″
  • Neiman MarcusEarn up to $500 gift card with “GC4YOU” – spend $200, get $50 (and upward from there)
  • NordstromUp to 40% off designer brands
  • Nordstrom RackExtra 30% off clearance items, no code needed
  • Old Navy40% off with “BESTCYBER”
  • Saks Off FifthUp to 70% off
  • SephoraLimited-edition, limited-quantity gift sets
  • Snapfish70% off orders $200+ with “MERRY70″; 60% off everything else with “MERRY60″
  • Sole Society30% off, no code needed
  • Saks Fifth AvenueEarn gift card up to $700 with purchase with “NOV15,” plus lots of other deals
  • Tobi50% off with “THANKFUL50″
  • TopshopUp to 50% off

November Beauty Finds

This month’s beauty haul brought me lots of new favorite products that I’m excited to share with you all today. From powder foundation that makes your skin look flawless to under eye cream that brightens up any skin tone, there’s something for everyone. Read on for my reviews of the seven products below and shop them all using the links below this pic!

Monthly Beauty Finds on DailyKaty.com

Shop the Post:

Bronzer Palette / Foundation / Lip Glosses

B.B. Eye Brightener / Mascara / Nail Set

2-in-1 Lip Color / Fragrances

 

Airbrush Foundation… in a weightless powder format. If I go to the gym in the morning, I have a 30 minute window to great ready and out the door, so in the past I’ve stuck with tinted BB cream for my weekday face makeup. But now that I’ve tried tarte’s Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation, my everyday routine has included foundation. It’s so light that it doesn’t feel like a foundation, it lasts for 12 hours and covers up my redness with just one layer. The foundation comes in 16 shades and their shade finder makes it easy to pick the right one without even going to a store (I use medium neutral). And I think my skin could actually pass off as being airbrushed!

B.B. Eye Brightener… OK so earlier in this post I said that mascara is my top priority when it comes to makeup, but right behind that is under eye concealer/brightener. I’m a great sleeper, but the older I get, the bigger those bags get. Boscia’s All-In-One B.B. Eye Brightener Broad Spectrum SPF 20 conceals, brightens and hydrates that delicate area under and around your eyes, helping to prevent dark circles, puffiness and pigmentation, all while giving your antiaging benefits. I love that it comes in one self-adjusting shade, so you don’t even have to test out shades before buying.

Lip glosses… that soften, nourish, protect and repair your lips, which is exactly what I need for the dry, winter weather that’s on it’s way. I’m loving the Le Couvent des Minimes Smile Lip Balms, which come in four different scents: Apple and Pear, Rose and Berries, Orange Blossom and Citrus. I’ve been keeping one in my bag and another in my jacket pocket so I always have them handy.

Monthly Beauty Finds on DailyKaty.com

Bronzer set… that gives you just the right amount of color for any occasion, from a subtle, sunkissed glow to a deep tan effect. The bareMinerals California Bronze trio comes with two bronzers – The Ocean View (sheer matte bronze) and The High Dive (tan) – and one luminizer – The Shining Moment (golden champagne). Bronzers and luminizers from bareMinerals have been in my makeup rotation for years and I love how they’re all universally flattering. With this palette, you can wear them on their own or mix them together to get the look you want!

Nail polishes… that highlight your tan and smell good – and the Ciate London South Beach Socialite Collection does just that. It comes with four nail polishes – two rose gold shades with glitter and foil finishes, a white and a top coat. I love the look of the white with the rose gold glitter for a statement nail, finished off with the coconut top coat. The top coat has a coconut smell that brings me right to summer months, Hawaii and the beach – and I was surprised that the scent actually lasted beyond when I was applying it.

Monthly Beauty Finds on DailyKaty.com


Mascara…
a.k.a. the one makeup item that I rarely leave the house without, and that’s mainly because I have very blonde eyelashes, so without it I look like I’m either eyelash-less or asleep. I use both drugstore and Sephora-worthy brands and oftentimes find myself layering different types to get the perfect eyelashes, especially if I’m going to dinner or a night out. But for my everyday work week look, I usually stick with just one, and the CoverGirl Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara is perfect for that. I got so many compliments on day one of using it! The key to getting the maximum impact of this mascara is to twirl the wand as you put it on. Then you just keep layering it on to get the level of volume you want (I used one coat for daytime and three for night).

Two-in-One Lip Color… I love products that do double duty because it means less in my makeup bag. Ciate London’s Lip Locked Tint and Balm Lip Duo is also part of the South Beach Socialite Collection and comes in two shades: In the 305 (berry) and SoBe (fuchsia). Start with the semi-matte lip tint then top it with the shea-butter-infused tinted balm. I love how smooth the balm makes my lips, and the tint can be layered on to get the level of color you want. Tip: if your lips are chapped, you can apply the balm first and last so the tint goes on evenly.

Fragrance to go with your personality… after you take a quiz on Archetypes.com to determine your top three archetypes, or “patterns of behavior that explain why you do the things you do and love the things you love.” My top archetypes were explorer, creative and visionary, which fits my personality pretty well – especially considering the quiz was only three questions. Shop the 12 fragrances here, then head over to your archetypes’ sections of the site, where you’ll find curated lifestyle content just for you, from beauty and fashion, to recipes, home decor, travel and more.

Monthly Beauty Finds on DailyKaty.com

Monthly Beauty Finds on DailyKaty.com

*Samples provided for review; all opinions are my own.*

Go Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

If you’ve been following along for at least a year or so, then you may remember that I had been contributing to Fit & Fab Living from time to time. I’m so excited to be writing for them again – starting with a fun post about “pink” products that give back to various breast cancer-related nonprofits to raise funds and awareness for research, etc. Head on over to Fit & Fab Living’s “11 Ways to Give Back During Breast Cancer Awareness Month” post to learn more about the pink products below from Drybar, Cureology Beauty, Morgan Taylor Lacquer, Avon, Paula & Chlo, HydroPeptide, Handful and Pilot Pens. And be sure to follow me on Facebook, as well as Fit & Fab Living, for more posts from yours truly!

11 Ways to Give Back During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

*While samples were provided for review, all opinions are my own.*

September Beauty Finds

It’s been a while since I shared a round-up of my latest beauty obsessions, so to close out the month of September (how did that come so fast?!), here you go! I try out lots of beauty items and this month I’m sharing the new products that I’ve found myself using on a consistent basis – everything from eye shadow and nail polish, to lip color for fall, mascara,  eye liner and more. Read more and shop these items using the links below!

September Beauty Finds

Shop the Post:

Nail Polishes / Mascaras / Eye Liner

Eye Shadow Palette / Lip Gloss

Face Primer & Perfector

Nail polishes… These ones from the Ciate London Olivia Palermo collection became three of my go-tos the day they arrived in the mail. My nail routine usually consists of a good, professional mani/pedi every month or so and then I give myself a DIY polish change during the weeks in between. The nude color – “Sundaysmy off duty nude” – has the perfect amount of pink in it and it’s honestly the best neutral, everyday color I’ve found – I get compliments every time I have it on. I also love “Nantucketmy hot vacation coral,” and while I haven’t tried “Hutchmy go to red” yet, I have a feeling it will be exactly what it says – my go-to red. My favorite thing about these nail polishes is how easy they are to apply thanks to a wide, flat brush. And my nails feel strong and the color lasts!

Mascaras… I’ve only had fake lashes twice, one of which was my wedding, and I swear they instantly make you look 100% more put together and done up. Well, the reality is I have no clue how to do that myself, nor do I think I would have the patience to do that even if I did. To get a similar effect, I’ve been using Too Faced Better than False Lashes Extreme, which has one tube of mascara and another with lash extending fibers. It just takes three steps – mascara, fibers, mascara – and you get the look of fake lashes. I like to add at least one more coat of mascara at the end just for fun.

Eye liner… I’m no eye liner pro and it usually takes me a bit to get used to anything new in this category. But once I got the hang of it, I became a big fan of CoverGirl’s Intensify Me Liquid Liner. It came out faster than I expected, but it just took a couple times to figure it out. And the best part is that it has a paddle shape so you can turn it one way or another to get a thick or thin line.

Eye shadow palette… I have so many beauty products around the house taking up all drawer space in two out of our three bathrooms, so I appreciate a good palette that has makeup I actually use and cuts down on clutter. The tarte tartelette Amazonian clay matte palette is a great eye shadow palette, with a nice mix of 12 new shades that include lots of matte neutrals with a few pink and purple color options.

Lip gloss… Aside from mascara and a good mani, having a good lip color on instantly makes me feel put together. I always have a few favorites in my bag, and right now one of those is Laura Mercier’s Lip Glace in Black Cherry. The color is great for fall and when I just need a little bit of color and shine, I swipe one layer on, and if I want more color, I add a few more. Don’t worry, this is not a sticky gloss (hair getting caught in sticky lip gloss is the absolute worst).

Face primer & perfecter… I’ve been a fan of YSL’s lip stains for years now, but it dawned on me that I hadn’t tried out any of their other products until recently when I was introduced to their Touche Eclat Blur Primer & Blur Perfector.  The Blur Primer goes on before foundation (one small pump is plenty!) and it has four different oils to fill in your skin and leave it looking luminous. There are sparkles in the bottle, but thankfully those don’t actually show up on your face (that would bring me back to middle school…). Then the Blur Perfector redirects light and blurs imperfections – and it can be used three ways: on its own as a complexion perfecter, to set makeup and as a touch up throughout the day to get rid of shine, etc. Plus there’s no need to go through the process of figuring out what shade you need because the color works for all skin tones. So far, I’m loving both of these!

 

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**While samples were provided for review, all opinions are my own.**

September Wedding Style

If you know me or you saw my last wedding style post back in June, you know that I am a big fan of Rent the Runway. I won’t go into all of the details on how the service works since I previously did here, but basically, Rent the Runway allows you to rent designer dresses at a fraction of their regular cost so you don’t have to spend lots of money on something you’ll only wear once. So when I found myself with nothing to wear to a wedding that was just a week away, I went right to the site and picked out a couple options (here and here), which arrived on my doorstep a couple days before (and they now ship in a package that doubles as a garment bag!).

Rent the Runway has been growing and they now offer lots of accessories that you can rent with your dress, so this time around I tried out some earrings, which I loved. They also have lots of nice clutches, which I find myself only really using at weddings/fancy occasions, so next time I might have to rent one! This time around I went with my go-to quilted black bag. And for shoes, I was a little torn on the color, but picked up a pair of nude wedges (my fav for weddings!) that I know I’ll wear again and again.

p.s. See the leaves on the ground? It may have been hot out this weekend, but fall is officially here…

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Shop the Look:

c/o Hunter Bell Dress via Rent the Runway

c/o Slate & Willow Earrings via Rent the Runway

Shoes (under $50!) / Bag (smaller version here)

Nail Color / Toe Color / Lipstain

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Holding Onto Summer Style

Wedding, bridal shower, baby shower, repeat. Sounds like life these days – but no complaints here! Not only are my friends going through lots of exciting life events, most of these events give me a reason to get a little more dressed up than usual. Today I’m sharing a style idea with this floral dress that I recently scored for just $15. I added a braided belt and wore this to one of my best friend’s baby shower – it was so fun to celebrate my soon-to-be baby niece!

Aside from the dress, two of my favorite things about this look were my lipstick and nail color, which just to happened to go perfectly with one of the colors in the florals of the dress. For lips, I’ve been all about bright pinks this summer, and Smashbox’s Be Legendary Cream Lipstick in Mandarin, a bright coral, is a great shade for transitioning into fall. This was my first time trying out the brand’s popular lipstick and I’ll be going back for more colors soon! And if you read my last outfit post, you know that I’ve been loving the nail colors from Ciate London’s Olivia Palermo collection.  The Vacation Coral-Nantucket color is similar to the lipstick shade, so it was fun to pair them together.

Shop the look using the links below! And for more outfit ideas, follow along on Instagram @dailykatyblog.

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Shop the Look:

Dress / Belt – similar / Necklace – similar / Bag – similar

Wedges / Nails c/o Ciate London  / Lips c/o Smashbox

 

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}

Holding Onto Summer {Shop the Look on DailyKaty.com}