With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to get a leg up on our holiday shopping! And while Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals tempt us to consume, consume, consume, we must make conscious decisions about which retailers to support.

Shopping is necessary this time of year, so being a consumer is unavoidable. After all, we need gifts for our loved ones, and it *is* O.K. to treat yourself to something you’ve been eyeing once in a while. However, @bonfirebeachkids shared an important message via Instagram last week:

Every purchase you make sends a message. And for every great point about what we [as brands and retailers] are doing to help the planet and the people building our goods, there is a valid counter point. Everyone is a critic, but very few are taking accountability for our actions. Here’s what I believe – Every one of you is going to shop anyway. Whether for yourself, or for others. So shop with your heart, and make buying decisions you believe in…PLEASE [GO] SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD RETAILERS. Because if you don’t, they aren’t going to be around much longer! But whatever you do, buy what you believe in and GIVE BACK to charities and those in need along the way. Be thankful we live in a world where we actually have all the options that we do, and follow the path that feels right for you.

This is advice all shoppers can (and should!) take to heart this holiday season. That being said, I rounded up quite a few products–in all price ranges–from amazing brands that I love and trust. And because these brands are so careful to craft their products, these are gifts you’ll *actually* looove to give (and receive)!

Similarly, giving back to our communities as a whole is just as important as buying gifts for our loved ones this season. One thing that holds me back, however, is not being able to trust 100 percent of charities out there.

Although it flat-out sucks we have to be careful when choosing a charity, there are quite a few out there that have rightfully earned a bad reputation. So, I added info on four of my favorite charities to this his-and-hers holiday gift guide!

Happy shopping! Be sure to leave your favorite holiday gifts (to give and receive), as well as your favorite charities, in the comments below. Xoxo

Under $35

Stabilo Pens, set of 30: For anyone who likes to stay organized, this set of 30 fine-point markers are a must-have. The .4 millimeter tip ensures writing is a breeze, while an array of colors makes getting the job done a little more fun. $13.58, amazon.com

Bite Beauty The Perfect Pair Amuse Bouche lipstick & lip pencil $15, sephora.com

Pop & Suki Pouf Pencil $18, popandsuki.com

ColourPop All I See Is Magic eyeshadow palette: This jewel-toned eyeshadow palette, complete with 15 individual hues, definitely isn’t something she’ll pick up for herself. $20, colourpop.com

Free People Agate Powerbank Charger: Every 21st-century gal needs a portable phone charger. This one looks just as cute as the purse in which she’ll put it. $24, freepeople.com

Pop & Suki Soup Tin Candle $25, popandsuki.com

ColourPop Golden State Of Mind eyeshadow palette: Another gorgeous ColourPop palette–this one is full of 15 glittery and metallic shades! $26, colourpop.com

Bali Body Shimmering Body Oil: If natural skincare is her thing, she’ll love this luxe body oil. With a hint of bronze for an instant, wash-off tan and gold shimmer, this fast-drying formula is unlike anything she has in her collection. $29.95, balibodyco.com

Glossier Custom Balm Trio: A good lip balm is a must-have, so give her three fun flavors of your choosing! Pick from tinted, un-tinted and even sparkly flavored balms. $30, glossier.com

$35-$50

Glossier Body Hero Duo: Upgrade her shower with these one-of-a-kind products! Daily Oil Wash fills her shower with a gorgeous neroli scent, while Daily Perfecting Lotion gives her skin a glow-y, moisturized sheen from the neck down. $35, glossier.com

Bite Beauty Champagne Discovery Lip Set: This universally flattering 3-part set has something for every occasion. The matte Multistick can be used on her eyes, cheeks and lips; the lip pencil preps her pout for any lip color she’ll add afterwards; and the gloss is perfect for any special occasion from date night to New Year’s Eve with the gals. $35, sephora.com

Glossier Mask Duo: One for when her skin’s feeling dirty, and another for when it’s feeling dry. $40, glossier.com

Pop & Suki Leather Notebook: This personalized leather notebook will keep her organized–and stylish–in the new year. $40-$50, popandsuki.com

Dady Bones Puff Ball Earrings: As seen on mega babe Behati Prinsloo! $45, dadybones.com

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: Not only does this unique mask smell like a dream, it actually works–and it will look ultra-luxurious on her top shelf. $45, sephora.com

St. Tropez Award Winning Kit: For the self-tanner junkie on your list, this kit has everything she needs for a top-to-toe glow. $49, ulta.com

$50-$80

Glossier Cloud Paint Quad: These user-friendly, utlra-pigmented cheek tints are unlike any other product on the market. Save on all four hues when you shop the Quad, and the ladies on your list can create custom hues by mixing their favs together. $55, glossier.com

Glossier You: The ultimate personal fragrance. $60, glossier.com

Bali Body Sunshine Trio (SPF 6) bundle: Give her her choice of scent with this set of three nourishing body and tanning oils. $65.95, balibodyco.com

Bali Body The Complete Glow bundle: She’ll glow even when there’s no sunshine with this cult-favorite BB Cream, instant bronzing lotion and body/tanning oil. $69.95, balibodyco.com

Hot As Hell Comin’ In Haht Bodysuit: Bodysuits are the must-have fashion item because they’re so versatile. Embrace “slow fashion” by gifting her this gorgeous lacy number from sustainable label Hot As Hell. $70, shop.hot-as-hell.com

Pop & Suki Zip Pouch: This wallet and travel pouch also doubles as custom clutch for her next night out. $75, popandsuki.com

$80-$130

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil: Negin Mirsalehi created the ultimate luxury hair oil. This multitasking formula is infused with honey to keep hair healthy. And because beekeeping has been the Mirsalehi family business for generations, you know she can trust it. $84, gisou.com

Bali Body The Golden Traveler bundle: For the beach babe in your life. Your girl will have everything she needs for her next vacay (or stay-cation) with the ultimate BB bundle. BB Cream and Moisturizing Lotion will be her daily saviors, while Moisturizing Sunscreen and a choice of tanning oil will keep her skin glow-y and smooth on the beach. $99.95, balibodyco.com

Reformation Pajama Set: Every gal needs something cozy up in this time of year. In Ref’s classic pajama set, she won’t have to sacrifice style–or sustainability–for comfort! $128, thereformation.com

Are You Am I Cruxe Choker: Dainty chokers are the It accessory. Start (or add to!) her collection with this beauty from AYAI. $129, areyouami.com

$130 and Up

Prynt Pocket Smartphone Instant Photo Printer $150, bloomingdales.com

For Love & Lemons Vanessa Bra $95, and Vanessa Thong $77, shop.forloveandlemons.com

Fiorucci Angels Sweatshirt: She’ll be cozy while she sets trends in this cool-girl label. $175, fiorucci.com

Pop & Suki Camera Bag: This surprisingly spacious cross-body bag will quickly become her go-to for every occasion. $195, popandsuki.com

Hot As Hell 1 Track Mind Pant $198, shop.hot-as-hell.com

Various

Crystals: A unique way to decorate her space while channeling positive energy, crystals are available in all shapes, colors and sizes. Prices vary, celestial-awakenings-crystals.com

Literally Me, coffee table book by Julie Houts: “Instagram’s favorite illustrator” depicts life in the 21st century life (as well as tales from her childhood) in her first official publication. Prices vary, juliehouts.com

Wildflower limited edition iPhone cases: These Insta-famous iPhone cases are cute and durable. Prices vary, wildflowercases.com

Byredo fragrances and home fragrances: Staple pieces on every It girl’s top shelf, Byredo’s high-end perfumes and candles are everyday luxuries she’ll love. Prices vary, byredo.com

And for him…

Personalized water bottle by S’well: He’ll never misplace this drink bottle because it has his name on it! (Plus, it keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.) $35-$55, swellbottle.com

Lush Cosmetics Five O’Clock Whisle Shaving Smoothie: The cruelty-free, eco-friendly label says it best! Per Lush’s website, “soothing lavender and invigorating coffee with nourishing jojoba oil and olive oil for the closest, softest shave possible. Kiss razor burn goodbye and say hello to silky smooth, perfectly soothed skin.” $13.95, lushusa.com

Lush Cosmetics Veerappan Moustache Wax: Help him soften and sculpt his facial hair with this blend of nourishing waxes and oils. But beware–you’ll want to borrow some of this for yourself because it also helps seal split ends. $17.95, lushusa.com

Fiorucci Playing Cards: A deck of cards emblazoned with Fiorucci’s signature angels puts a trendy twist on an old-school favorite. $32, fiorucci.com

Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch 3-pack Boxer Brief: The #MyCalvins gang isn’t just for us gals. $42.50, calvinklein.us

Fiorucci Robot iPhone Charger: Your guy needs a portable charger, too. This one from Fiorucci features art from the label’s archives. $50, fiorucci.com

Patagonia Men’s Houdini Jacket: A lightweight, durable and water-repellent jacket folds into its own pouch so your guy can save room in his backpack or luggage. $99, patagonia.com

Don’t forget to give back!

This time of year is about giving back to your community and to charities close to your heart. For the past several years I’ve supported Kelsey’s CHRISTmas. Kelsey and I met during our undergraduate studies at West Virginia University and became fast friends.

After losing her older sister to leukemia, the med student launched her namesake charity to make the holidays brighter for the children (and the ICU staff!) of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Kelsey’s CHRISTmas, which is in its 11th year, raises more than $20,000 annually. In the years to come, Kelsey hopes to bring her CHRISTmas to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Click here to make a donation to Kelsey’s CHRISTmas via PayPal, and here to learn more about the charity. If you are in the Pittsburgh area and would like to donate your time to Kelsey’s CHRISTmas, visit the charity’s Facebook page.

Growing up with a father who works in tech, I’ve always been computer-savvy. But, it wasn’t until recently I discovered all girls (and women!) are not so lucky. That’s why I love Girls Who Code, an organization that inspires, educates and equips girls for careers in STEM fields. Visit the organization’s website to learn more and to make a donation.

After a semester-long project that focused on food access problems and solutions, I fell in love with Feeding America. This organization helps resolve hunger in the U.S. via 60,000 food banks and meal programs across the country. Together, they provide healthy, nourishing foods to millions of hungry Americans. To learn more about Feeding America and to make a donation, visit the organization’s website.

The holidays in America would be nothing without those who fight daily for our safety and freedom. As 1 in 3 military vets suffers from PTSD, supporting our troops is necessary. Wounded Warrior Project is a trustworthy charity that cares for America’s bravest. Click here to support this organization.

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Instead of dressing up this Thanksgiving, I went the comfy route in head-to-toe vintage.

I sported a borrowed-from-the-boys multicolored sweater and slashed overalls in a pale blue color palette.

The patterned sweater also has an interesting texture. So, it really added cozy, winter-y vibes to the look by balancing out the overalls (which showed a little skin).

Slashed on the front and back, the overalls definitely made a statement. But, they are baggy enough that they are still daytime-appropriate. From vintage band tees to delicate camisoles, these bad boys can be styled a million different ways (and look absolutely killer with anything)!

For ease I slipped on my go-to snake-print booties. These shoes are super worn-in, so they fit the vintage theme of the rest of the ensemble. I love how the brown leather softens up the look for daytime, as opposed to a black shoe.

To dress myself up a little bit (it’s a holiday, after all), I created a smoky, sparkly winged eyeshadow look with ColourPop’s new Polite AF set. The cranberry-pink hues in this collection are perfect for the holiday season! Tutorial coming to HM soon 😉

I polished everything off with a deep nude lip color. Too Faced’s original Melted formula is one of my all-time favs because it’s ultra-glossy, yet still richly pigmented. The shade Chihuahua is an absolutely gorgeous bold nude that complements any eye look!

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to all my U.S.-based readers! I am truly thankful for your continued support.

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Thanks to Sephora’s recent VIB sale, I was finally able to try a few products from OUAI–just in time for party season.

I love sporting sleek, straight hair for a night out, so I invested in Dry Shampoo Foam, Memory Mist and Hair Oil from OUAI’s line of multitasking products.

These babies have been in my life a little over a week, and I am so excited that they have already become a regular part of my haircare routine. In fact, they made the cross-country trip with me to L.A. for the Sony Music release party this past weekend.

For the black tie affair I said goodbye to my natural wavy locks and went with pin straight, shiny locks reminiscent of the early 2000s.

Because my hair is so thin, I used OUAI’s Dry Shampoo Foam for a little volume before I started styling. Dry shampoo has always been a must-have in my lineup, but until now I’ve only used drugstore products (many of which have been super disappointing).

OUAI’s foam formula is really unique; it gives my hair weightless volume without the grittiness other dry shampoo’s tend to produce. Similarly, it doesn’t leave a white cast or any residue on my dark locks. And, like any good hair product, it smells amazing 😉

I also went in with Memory Mist to protect the hair from my flat iron. And since I don’t use heat on my hair on a day-to-day basis, a protectant is necessary to keep my fragile tresses looking healthy when I do go in with heat tools.

From root to tip, I coated my hair with Memory Mist before finding my middle part, then straightening in small sections. (Tip: Straightening in small sections, while it may take longer, is better for the hair because it reduces the need to go over the same section with the flat iron twice.)

When I finished straightening I polished off my tresses with OUAI’s Hair Oil–which might be my favorite product right now (or ever). A trustworthy oil is so important to the hair’s health, especially my brittle locks, so I rubbed 1-2 pumps between my hands, then run it through my hair from mid-shaft to end.

To tame the fly-aways that frame my face, I added a little more Hair Oil from the roots down so they stay put all night long. This weightless oil improves the look of hair by adding shine, while also allowing movement and keeping it soft to the touch.

Even when I don’t style my hair, I’ve been using this oil every day to keep my hair healthy and strong; it is so lightweight and easy to use. Unlike coconut oil (which I love!), the OUAI’s Hair Oil is virtually undetectable on the hair–it’s not a gloopy mess. It’s the perfect your-hair-but-better product.

The party, which took place at Culver City’s Unici Casa, was a huge success–and I couldn’t have done it without the OUAI.

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Party season is in full swing, and I am so happy to have ColourPop’s new Golden State of Mind palette by my side through it all!

Golden State of Mind is without a doubt without one of the most gorgeous palettes I’ve ever seen. While it is definitely possible to create daytime looks with these colors, it’s also the perfect companion for a night out during the sparkliest time of the year.

So my makeup could really shine, I kept things super simple with a nude dress and heels (think: Carrie Bradshaw’s “naked dress” on season one of SATC) for a night out in L.A. It’s cliche to say, but the City of Angels does get pretty chilly at night–especially this time of the year–so I layered my gorgeous embroidered moto jacket from Blank NYC over top.

I was invited to a Sony music release party, a black tie affair, last Saturday night at Unici Casa, and I took total advantage of the opportunity to go full glam. In addition to this makeup look, I sported sleek, straight hair with a middle part (more on that in an upcoming post).

Products I used:

Step 1: Prep the skin by applying Pore Refiner Primer evenly to the t-zone, working towards the outer perimeter of the face. Apply Balm Dotcom to the lips.

Step 2: Using the same technique used to apply Mattifying Gel Moisturizer, apply a light layer of BB Cream. If necessary, apply an additional layer where more coverage is needed.

Step 3: Conceal the under eyes, blemishes and redness with Shape Tape. Blend with the fingers.

Step 4: Set the entire face with Wowder, focusing on the t-zone and under-eye areas. Finish with a generous amount of setting spray and allow to dry.

Step 5: Carve out the cheekbones with Mocha by applying it directly to the skin. Begin application from the upper corner of the ear, working downwards diagonally. Tap with the fingers to blend.

Step 6: Continue to apply Mocha to the temples and under the center of the lip for a subtle plumping effect. Again, tap with fingers to blend.

Step 7: Apply Capri Coast to the hollows of the cheeks, the temples and the hairline in a circular buffing motion.

Step 8: In a “C” shape along the orbital eye bone to the cheekbone, apply Watt’s Up! directly to the skin, then tap along the edges with the fingers to blend. Add Watt’s Up! to the cupid’s bow using the pinky finger.

Step 9: For an intense glow, lightly dust Off Tropic on top of Watt’s Up! with a setting brush. Finish with setting spray.

Step 10: Apply a little Primer Potion to the eye area.

Step 11: Using a fluffy blending brush, apply Gimme Gorgeous to the crease and blend onto the lid. Continue to buff the eyeshadow upward and outward for a blown out, cat-like effect.

Step 12: Wet a crease brush with water using a spray bottle. Then, while making sure to blend evenly, apply Heads Or Tails into the crease, continuing into the outer “V” of the eye.

Step 13: Slightly dampen the ring finger, then use that to pack Lust In Time onto the center of the eyelid.

Step 14: Again, with a slightly dampened ring finger or pinky finger, apply Watch Out to the inner portion of the eyelid. Tap to blend.

Step 15: Smudge Gimme Gorgeous on the outer corner of the lower lash line using a pencil brush; blend downwards, towards the inner corner of the eye.

Step 16: With the same pencil brush, apply Lust In Time to the outer half of the lower lash line. Be sure to keep this color closer to the lash line than Gimme Gorgeous.

Step 17: Complete the outer “V” of the eye by applying a little Heads Or Tails to the outer corner of the lower lash line with the pencil brush. Keep the color extremely close to the lash line by only blending outwards–not downwards.

Step 18: To highlight the brow bone, as well as the inner corner of the eye, apply Off Tropic with the pinky finger. Blend with a clean fluffy brush.

Step 19: Beginning in the center of each brow and working towards the inner and outer corners, apply Boy Brow in an upward motion. Add a second coat for a more dramatic look.

Step 20: Finish with more setting spray.

Step 21: After combing and curling the lashes, apply two coats of mascara to both the top and bottom lashes.

Step 22: Line the lips with Oh Snap to create an even stencil for lipstick.

Step 23: Apply 2-3 coats of Pink, You Think? to the lips. Be sure to angle to the applicator so that you fill in your lips neatly with the product.

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I’ve been having so much fun creating fall makeup looks this year! This seasons allows beauty junkies like myself to play around with an exciting array of colors. While I love the classic vampy reds and purples for the cooler months, I decided to try something blue this week.

While pre-teen me loved blue eyeshadow in the 90s and early 2000s, I traded my sky-hued shadow of the past for a (slightly more sophisticated) rich, jewel-tone shade. To complete the look, I polished it off a classic dewy highlight and a 90s brown lip.

ColourPop’s Super Shock Shadow creme-powder formula is like no other; it is extremely pigmented, has a gorgeous finish, and it’s easy to blend, too. For this eye look, I used Coconut, a one-of-a-kind deep teal with a pearlescent finish.

PRODUCTS I USED:

(*I received this product as a part of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program during my birthday month.)

Step 1: Prep the skin by applying Pore Refiner Primer evenly to the t-zone, working towards the outer perimeter of the face. Apply Balm Dotcom to the lips.

Step 2: Using the same technique used to apply Mattifying Gel Moisturizer, apply a light layer of BB Cream. If necessary, apply an additional layer where more coverage is needed.

Step 3: Conceal the under eyes, blemishes and redness with Shape Tape. Blend with the fingers.

Step 4: Set the entire face with Wowder, focusing on the t-zone and under-eye areas. Finish with a generous amount of setting spray and allow to dry.

Step 5: Carve out the cheekbones with Mocha by applying it directly to the skin. Begin application from the upper corner of the ear, working downwards diagonally. Tap with the fingers to blend.

Step 6: Continue to apply Mocha to the temples and under the center of the lip for a subtle plumping effect. Again, tap with fingers to blend.

Step 7: Apply Paaarty to the apples of the cheeks in a circular buffing motion.

Step 8: In a “C” shape along the orbital eye bone to the cheekbone, apply Moonstone directly to the skin, then tap along the edges with the fingers to blend. Add Moonstone to the cupid’s bow.

Step 9: Apply a little Primer Potion to the eye area.

Step 10: Using a fluffy blending brush, apply Gimme Gorgeous to the crease and blend onto the lid. Continue to buff the eyeshadow upward and outward for a blown out, cat-like effect.

Step 11: Take Coconut on a flat shader brush and apply it to the eyelid.

Step 12: Then, blend Coconut with the same fluffy blending brush used before to eliminate any harsh edges.

Step 13: Smudge Gimme Gorgeous on the outer corner of the lower lash line using a pencil brush; blend towards the inner corner of the eye.

Step 14: To highlight the brow bone, as well as the inner corner of the eye, apply Valley Girl with the pinky finger. Blend if necessary.

Step 15: Beginning in the center of each brow and working towards the inner and outer corners, apply Boy Brow in an upward motion. Add a second coat for a more dramatic look.

Step 16: Finish with more setting spray.

Step 17: After combing and curling the lashes, apply two coats of mascara to both the top and bottom lashes.

Step 18: Apply 2-3 coats of Leo to the lips. Be sure to angle to the applicator so that you line your lips neatly with the product.

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