Jan 2, 2019

The Best Beauty Products of 2018

I love my job because I get to hoard beauty products and nobody bats an eyelash. Well, actually, I do get harassment from my coworkers. (Sorry for the 24/7 mess!) But in all seriousness, testing products is not as easy or fabulous as Instagram or videos may make it out to be. There are plenty of times I try out products and they wreak havoc on my face or body. For skincare, I spend at least two weeks testing products to make sure it's 100% free of any adverse reactions; if a product claims to do something, like remove dark spots, grow hair, etc., I give it at least six weeks if not more, based on what's directed on the packaging.

Why am I telling you this? Because it's 2019 and everyone considers themselves an "expert." For clarity's sake, I did not go to cosmetology school, I am not an esthetician or dermatologist. But I have spent the past 10 years of my career interviewing experts in these fields and reporting, honestly and unbiasedly, on what I've found and learned. My reports are based on facts and research, and my opinions are based on my personal experience (obviously), but also backed up by the facts and research that I have done over the years. I'm not a (traditional) blogger or a guru.

I say this because I get a lot of questions about my job, my background and why I know so much about this industry. I didn't wake up one day and magically get put on PR lists — I developed relationships over the years and have worked with many amazing, knowledgable, intelligent people and have strived to tell the real story through those experiences.

Now that I'm off my soap box, let's get to the goodies! This are my favorite launches of 2018. They're worth trying out now, given we'll have a new crop of beauty launches arriving soon. Some of these were new launches, some are brands or products I finally got around to getting my hands on. I've tested them all so you know I'm not just recommending them for the hell of it. They're worth the price, they're effective and they will make your life better by using them. There's a lot, so I didn't include a full review.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Mattifying Hydrator
Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum
Dr. Lancer Corrective Brightening Treatment
Doc Block by Dr. Garth Fisher
Skin Inc. Tri Light
Renée Rouleau Pore + Wrinkle Perfecting Serum
Kiehl's Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream
Kiehl's Youth Dose Eye Treatment
CO2 Lift Mask
Biologique Recherche (These products are potent, and you have to buy them through an approved spa. The brand requires education on how to use them, hence why you won't find the easy to access. The standout is the P50 lotion, but if you have sensitive skin, consider getting P50W.)
Flawless Finishing Touch

Kristin Ess Hair Tools
Dyson Air Wrap
T3 Cura Luxe Hairdryer with Auto Pause
dpHue ACV Rinse
Rahua Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner
Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo
IGK Expensive High-Shine Top Coat
Harry Josh Wave Setting Clips
Oribe Power Drops

Hourglass Caution Mascara
Huda Beauty Power Bullet Metallic Lip
Make Up For Ever Star Lit Diamond Powder
Fenty Stunna New Shades
Mary Kay Brow Gel
Fenty Diamond Bomb
Milk Kush
Milk Longwear Gel Eyeliner
Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara
Urban Decay Lo-Fi Lip Mousse
Marc Jacobs Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick
MAC Cosmetics Patrick's Powder (Limited Edition)
BeautyBlender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation (This is a great formula if you can find your shade.)
L'Oreal Unlimited Mascara
Maybelline Superstay 24 Liquid Lipstick
Lawless Beauty Woke Up Like This Foundation
Huda Beauty The Overachiever High Coverage Concealer
IT Cosmetics CC Cream Oil-Free Matte Foundation
Fenty Beauty Flyliner Liquid Eyeliner
Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Cream Lipstick and Poutliner Longwear Lip Liner in Cream and Sugar

Nov 26, 2018

The Best Beauty Products on Sale for Cyber Monday (2018)

Hi friends,

Holy hell, it's been a minute since I've blogged. I know I've been slacking, but do people even blog anymore? I miss writing so I want to get back into the swing of things, but not if blogs are irrelevant. Please comment and let me know if you appreciate these posts are nah.

Anyway, it's ~Cyber Monday~ and although the term "cyber" truly creeps me out (early millennium AIM convos, anyone?), the deals today are fabulous. You don't even need to leave your couch to take advantage of them, which is great, given people are absolutely terrible when it comes to holiday shopping. Keep your faith in humanity and shop on the internet!

All of these products/brands are tried and true, meaning I tested them and I personally recommend them. Happy holidays!

BeautyBlender All.About.Face Set - $25 (originally $42)
This is a deal I've been looking for! BeautyBlenders — a single blender — is $20. This set gives you the original blender, the beauty.blusher for your cheeks and the micro.mini which is for highlighting, contouring and concealing, however I keep it in my purse to get rid of oil, similar to a blotting sheet.

Dermstore - up to 30% off sitewide + 25% off Harry Josh Pro Tools using code CYBER
Dermstore has a gaggle of great products and brands, like Sunday Riley, Harry Josh Pro Tools (the iconic mint green hair dryer, hello!) and Kevyn Aucoin. Participating brands (like the ones I just mentioned) are eligible for 30% off! I'd recommend getting Sunday Riley Good Genes and CEOKevyn Aucoin The Volume MascaraCaudalie VinoPerfect Radiance Serum and EltaMD (my favorite sunscreen).

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara - $12.50 (originally $25)

Bite Beauty Four Little Bites Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set - $15 (originally $25)
Bite is one of my favorite lipstick brands. If you are in LA, definitely stop by the Bite Lip Lab to create your own lipstick. It's a great experience and it's totally customized to you! (There are other locations around the country -- look it up.) If you can't get to a lab, the next best thing is buying their decadent pre-made lippies, and as a travel fiend I'm a huge fan of these little tiny guys.

Best of Kiehl's Set - $39 (originally $66)
If you want to test out Kiehl's for yourself or want to give someone an offering, this is the set to do it with. It includes all of Kiehl's best-selling favorites like Creme de Corps and the Ultra Facial Creme. You'll be a Kiehl's stan in no-time. (And if you want more Kiehl's recs, the Youth Dose Eye Treatment and the Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate are my faves.)

Anthropologie Capri Blue Scented Jar Candle - $21 (originally $30)
By far the best smelling candles EVER. Makes a great host/hostess gift, too!

Becca Ultimate Glow Trio - $38 (retails for $57)
Becca makes some of the best highlighters in the game, and if Chrissy Teigen is willing to partner with you, it's a win in my book. The Ultimate Glow Trio includes three (duh) pressed highlighters in best-selling shades Moonstone, Opal and Champagne.

Oribe Space.NK Apothecary Signature Essentials Set - $39 (retails for $51)
I spend my own hard-earned money on Oribe haircare because it's one of the best on the market. I'm obsessed with the dry texturizing spray, which could double as a fragrance. This set includes travel sizes of the spray plus the signature shampoo and conditioner which moisturizes and adds shine.

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Mascara Madness Duo - $36 (retails for $60)
Kevyn Aucoin was before his time and left too soon, but made a permanent impact on the beauty industry as a whole. His line is filled with staples that are just as classic as he was. I'm a mascara junkie and cannot get enough of The Volume Mascara because it of the thin wand -- it coats very lash with a tubing effect. It's paired with another best-seller, The Essential Mascara.

LightStim For Wrinkles LED Light Therapy Device - $186.75 (originally $249)
Light devices are crucial for aging gracefully, as I learned back when I was 21 and had no business caring THAT MUCH about aging. Light therapy can be used to boost collagen production and help with acne. This device from LightStim focuses on wrinkles while smoothing your skin's texture, evening out your skin tone and helping with under-eye puffiness. Dermatologist and estheticians highly recommend LightStim and it's FDA approved, THANK GOD. This is a great deal for this particular device imho.

Impressions Vanity Co. Slayssentials Pro 18-inch Rolling Makeup Case - $109 (originally $129)
If know an aspiring makeup artist, one by trade or know someone who hoards makeup (like moi), this rolling makeup case will be their best friend, and easilly one of their most-used products. Traveling and containing makeup is a major pain in the butt, but in this case they can keep it organized without having to pack 45 small makeup bags in their suitcase.

Kat Von D Everlasting Obsession Lip Liner Collector's Edition - $140 (originally $200)
Kat Von D's lip liner formula is so smooth, so creamy that I typically wear them alone. The range includes 15 shades so you can unleash your inner artist, from a navy blue to a flouresent pink and my personal mainstay, Lolita II.

Make Up For Ever Glitter Dust Set - $27 (originally $39)
Time to start thinking about holiday partys and New Year's Eve! For me, that often means thinking of how much glitter I can pack. I am truly obsessed with Make Up For Ever's Starlit Diamond Powders. They are finely milled and look so, so stunning on the skin. You can use them as highlighters! This set also includes two glitter pots for a more dramatic lewk.

Eborian Liquid BB Créme Au Ginseng Cushion Compact - $26 (originally $48)
Eborian does NOT get enough credit for the amazing skincare products they tout. They create gorgeous coverage products that provide serious skincare benefits. The cushion compact is a hot product in Korea and is majorly discounted -- don't sleep on this!

t3 Singlepass Curl 1.25'' Professional Curling Iron - $129 (originally $160)
I wrote about t3 years ago because they were one of the first brands to start the rose gold trend. Their tool are so goregeously crafted and have a great shelflife, meaning they aren't going to start creaking or break after a few months. I love their curling irons because I feel that they actually help my hair to look better because it eliminates frizz. This size is perfect for those effortless "cool girl" waves.

Lime Crime Velvetine Lipstick - $10 (originally $20)
Ulta isn't playing around. 50% off? Hell yeah!

Dose of Colors Desi x Katy Lipstick - Buy 1 Get 1 Free
I really love this collection from Desi x Katy. The shades combined with Dose of Colors' formula is *chef's kiss.*

Bold and Bad Lash Mascara - FREE Gift with Purchase after you spend $45 on MAC at Ulta
This is another mascara that I'll always have in my library. The wand for the main applicator is perfection, feathering every single lash. The baby wand is perfect for bottom lashes on those pesky corner lashes.

Ardell Lash Wispies 12 Piece Pack - $24 (originally $40)
Lash fiends, get yourself an entire library of lashes. This set could easily get you through half a year.

Dyson Hair Dryer - $399 plus two free gifts
Sadly the Dyson Hair Dryer and AirWrap are not discounted, however, if you purchase a dryer you get the option to pick out two free gifts, like a display stand (which retails for $80), a detangling bomb, storage back or presentation case.

t3 Cura Luxe Hairdyer - $229 (originally $285)
Another great hair dryer that I think is sorely underhyped is t3's Cura Luxe. The best thing about this dryer is it has an auto pause sensor. So if you put down your dryer, you don't have to worry about turning it off; the airflow pauses automatically until you pick it back up again.

Apr 26, 2017

Loving Boy Bands as a Teen Made Me a Stronger Woman

I was driving Patrick to the airport a week or so ago, and we were listening to John Mayer in the car. When I hear John, or Dave Matthews, or Counting Crows, I'm instantly transported to when I was 16.

I remember my dilemmas at that age: having a "cool" car, having a crush on a boy that wouldn't reciprocate; and serious issues, like one of my close friends enduring a very aggressive eating disorder.

That story is for another post, though. This post, on a lighter note, is all about my love of boy bands, and how it's affected me as an adult.

Most of us chain memories to songs. Most of my memories are, at least. For instance, we'd drive to San Marcos and watch Counting Crows with our lawn seats most summers. The boys we were with would drink, and everyone else was high as hell. My friends and I, on the other hand, happened to remain somewhat relevant to the more popular kids without having to engage in either.

The point is I became fans of these bands — John, the Crows and Dave, as I fondly know them now — because they were impressed upon me by someone else. Taylor, a girl a year older than me, introduced me to Room For Squares when I was a freshman. I would listen to that CD through my computer speakers because bluetooth didn't exist then. I might have had a boom box, but I was obsessed with being online at that point, and I wasn't allowed to have Napster, either. Dad's rules — and thank the lord, because many of my college friends got served with a massive fee for all the illegal music they downloaded.

Counting Crows were introduced to me by one of my best friends. The guy she dated and his group of friends were really into them. My first real interaction hearing them was on the Clueless soundtrack, and even then I thought they were a whiny college band. Once I took some time to actually listen to their music, though, I was addicted. I'd drive my Sebring Convertible, thinking I was hot sh*t, down dirt roads to bonfires while blasting "Up All Night" and "Good Time." You know I love them red head girls, I'm just another boy from Texas...

And Dave. DMB was my first boyfriend's absolute favorite band. Hearing songs from Under the Table and Dreaming transport me to the end of my sophomore year, meeting said boyfriend at my long-lost friend Amy's house, and then spending every waking moment I could with him that summer before he hauled himself off to college.

I avoided going to my job as an usher at the local movie theater, but recall the movies playing that summer: Charlie's AngelsThe Fast and the Furious (number God-knows-what) and Finding Nemo, based off the songs that would play during the credits, when I had my broom and dustpan and went in to sweep popcorn out of the aisles. (For the record, the songs were "Any Way You Want It" by Journey, "Somewhere Beyond the Sea" by Robbie Williams and "Pump It Up" by Joe Budden.)

As you can tell, the soundtrack to my teenage years was heavily influenced by other people. Which is not a bad thing! But that's why boy bands are so special. When I became a fan of *NSYNC, I was 12, or maybe even 11, and that decision — embarrassing or not — was all mine.

Nobody told me to like them. Nobody else was really listening to them, and if they were, they weren't openly admitting it. (I take that back. People were listening to them: 2.1 million people were, at least.) My best friend and I bonded over our mutual love and adoration of this band — of these five grown-ass men, who wore outfits in similar yet different fabrics and color patterns, who sang about space cowboys, cyber sex and having no strings to hold them down. (I always say that I wish *NSYNC performed Backstreet Boys songs, because BSB's music has produced many earworms and is lower on the cheese scale than, say, "Bye Bye Bye" or "Tearin' Up My Heart." Although we wouldn't have this Justin Timberlake meme, so never mind.) Just reading that sentence makes me cringe a little, because I am imagining how deeply obsessed and emotional I was over these men, whose schtick was unadulterated, cheesy pop. There's no denying it — they even wrote a song about it!

But I loved them. And loving a boy band as a teenager shaped me into a better person. I know... That's a stretch! I mean it, though.

When I went to my first *NSYNC concert in March of 1999, I was beyond excited. I can't remember how I got turned onto this band. Maybe MTV? But I had the opportunity to see them in concert and meet them before the show, and I was downright giddy.

I wore the worst outfit ever, but I was dedicated. I wore a JC necklace I bought at Claire's. It was a cheap silver and painted in blue and sparkly blue. I brought a CD I ordered off eBay, which was from another country. I wanted to make sure they knew my dedication. (Are you cringing reading this? I don't blame you.) While signing my CD, Lance commented that he hadn't ever seen the CD before and said it was cool, and my efforts were validated.

We got a ton of photos with the boys afterwards; I got mine with JC and was so excited to put them in my binder and show everyone when I returned to school that week. Because, yes, we did not have social media. We couldn't Snap/IG/Tweet/post to Facebook what we were doing the exact second we were doing it. We actually had to physically verbalize our actions to the people we wanted to share the information with. Novel concept!

When I returned to school, I was absolutely dying for someone (anyone!) to see my photo collage in my binder pocket. Just ask me what this is about so I can word-vomit that I met the love of my life. And someone did!

"Who's that?"
"JC from *NSYNC. I met him this week before their concert!"
"Oh. What a loser."

And from that one interaction, I realized that loving this boy band was not the cool thing to do, even in 6th grade, when it's basically your job to love stuff like this. The boys who recognized I was a fan of this band would call them "gay" as a derogatory term, as young, dumb boys did (and maybe still do?) to the guys all the girls loved back then. (I heard that about Leonardo Dicaprio and Jonathan Taylor Thomas as well.) I didn't care if they were gay or not. I loved them.

While that event did keep me from going to school and yelling from the rooftops that I met (or loved) *NSYNC for some time, it didn't deter me from doing things I loved involving the band. I recorded every TV program they were ever on. I recorded TRL daily, on the same tape, in hopes that it would be the day my message would be broadcast on the ticker on the bottom of the screen. I bought merch from other countries. And I went to every concert they had in the state of Texas each year — usually three — and tried to meet them every chance I could. I would go to the concerts with my close friends, and it was something we all legitimately looked forward to. My mom says one of her favorite experiences with me as kid was going to *NSYNC concerts. They were fun even for the people who weren't in their target demo. (They would often cover hits from the 60s/70s/80s. They're the reason I know Michael Jackson's "PYT," "Sailing" by Christopher Cross and legitimately every Bee Gees song.) I even became pen pals with friends I met online through *NSYNC forums.

It was the equivalent of what you might be doing as a One Direction or Harry Styles fan today: looking up concert clips on Youtube and saving them to different playlists, buying merch from Instagram stores, learning songs like "Teenage Dirtbag," obsessing over photos and finding leaked songs online, or finding Twitter friends to bond over 1D news with. In fact, you guys are sleuths and have so many different ways to keep up with your favorite artists than I did.

Don't let being "uncool" keep you from loving your favorite bands, or celebrities, or whatever it may be. I was inspired to write this post from Harry Styles' comments to Rolling Stone about teenage girls.

Styles is aware that his largest audience so far has been young – often teenage – women. Asked if he spends pressure-filled evenings worried about proving credibility to an older crowd, Styles grows animated. "Who's to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That's not up to you to say. Music is something that's always changing. There's no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they're not serious? How can you say young girls don't get it? They're our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don't lie. If they like you, they're there. They don't act 'too cool.' They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick."

Right on, Harry. We need more idols that teens worship to speak of young women this way. I would have loved to hear Justin Timberlake say something like this when he went solo. Maybe he did? But I would bet I would have the quote engrained in my head. After all this time, I still love Justin, but it felt like when he transitioned into the Justified era, he was ready to grow up, and he was ready to leave the *NSYNC fandom behind — almost like he wouldn't be respected if teenage girls were still his target demographic. (For the record, they were.) With Harry, it's thrilling to hear that while he might be maturing musically, he's not throwing his babies out with the bathwater, so to speak.

My best memories came from finding a band that genuinely made me happy. It helped me embrace my love of dance and entertaining. It made me passionate about writing and interviewing. I'd write faux profile pieces about my favorite artists, aspiring to emulate a piece a la Cameron Crowe's account of Harry, and ask questions to imaginary celebrities in my car. And it helped me find my way to Los Angeles. The feeling I got when I went to their concerts gave me a high. I was straight-up emotional when it were over, because I wanted so desperately to make other people feel the way I felt after watching them. I was transported to another world for an hour and half, where I wasn't worried about anything other than enjoying the show.

So, friends, both young and old: enjoy being in a fandom. Even as an adult. I am.

Apr 11, 2017

"I'm a Dude... What the Hell Do I Wear to Coachella?" 2017

Coachella weekend 1 is about to commence, and since my original post from 2011 decided to stop showcasing the mood boards I created, I figured I'd dust off the ol' blog and come up with some fresh outfits.  YAY FASHION. You know, Coachella is basically becoming NYFW. Music? What music?

Below is visual inspiration; most of those items have sold out, since I'm repurposing this post for 2017. I did include some links, though, should you want to shop.

Let's start with...

Preppy (Shop the look by clicking on this link)
If you're going for a preppy vibe, plaid needs to be a major part of your weekend uniform. Plaid shirts, shorts, shoes — not altogether, though. Actually, who cares? Be a plaid lad and deck yourself out. Prints in general are popular at Coachella parties, so don't be afraid to wear a Hawaiian getup or something tropical or floral, either.
Shorts: jorts are totally kosher at Coachella. Linen is another go-to.
White lace-ups are clean and crisp, but don't expect them to go without a little dirt to not be completely destroyed by the end of the festival. If you're worried, buy a cheap pair you can toss after the weekend ends. And don't forgo socks! You'll end up with blisters, and that ain't cute. (Especially if you plan on wearing sandals at some point.) Also, on the grooming front, moisturize your damn feet before you gallivant around the fair grounds. You can thank me later.

If you want the "IDGAF" look, pack 1000 muscle tees and you'll be fine. This look is for the man who doesn't want to spend a ton of money on clothes and would rather repurpose items he already has. Go with cutoff jean shorts and pair them with Converse or boots. Pink is a big theme this year, so if you're willing, sport a "millennial pink" tee, pink shoes or pink sunglasses.
Chill outfits are meant to be casual (duh) so play with accessories to add some personality. Dad hats are all the rage again — thanks, 1992! — and adding a pendant necklace will jazz up any boring shirt that's sitting in your closet. Patches are also a good idea.
I included moisture-wicking underwear because I hear you guys getting a little schweaty down there.
Don't forget to bring something warm for the evening, because while you're a sweaty mess during the day, you will freeze your gonads off at night.

Guys: for the love, just got for it. Imagine you could do whatever you wanted, fashion-wise. Coachella is the place. Curious about overalls? Do it! Want to wear a gold sequined kimono? Get on with your bad self. I couldn't find an option to share, but this would also be the time to wear one of those cute short-sleeved/short-short onesies from the 60's. 

Bust out your fake vintage rocker shirts and rip a bunch of holes in them — you should be fine. Bonus points if they have cigarette burns. Pair with black, shredded-knee jeans and a leather jacket at night. If you want, throw on a beanie during the day. It will be 1000 degrees, but it will complete the look — and you won't have to shower! If you're concerned about your skin, because let's get real, any guy who goes to Coachella is 90% vain and there for photo-ops, try this giant fedora to protect yourself from the sun. Combat or Chelsea boots are your best shoe options.

Dec 5, 2016

Kirbie's Dream List: Jewelry Edition (2016)

Hello heathens. I'm back.

It's been a hot minute. Work has well, been work, therefore my dedication to the blog has been slacking. But the holidays are coming up, and I love a good gift guide, so I figured it was time to pinch off the acrylics and get typing. 

Jewelry is always a touchy subject for the holidays. It tends to be a deeply personal gift for both the gifter and the giftee: usually, the piece is more expensive than a votive candle, so it requires some type of emotional or monetary investment. Also, if you pick a piece that doesn't "speak" to the giftee, there's a 100% chance they will shove it into the jewelry box that they hide in their TV stand, along with all the other outdated baubles they will never wear. (And, frankly, are too ugly to re-gift or donate.)

The skinny on moi: I love dainty pieces. I'm not a huge statement necklace person, unless by "statement" you mean a v. delicate chain and a tiny charm. I've recently gotten into embellished chokers, but when it comes to adorning my body, the smaller, the better. You'll see a lot of there here, as well as chokers. Chokers for EVERYONE! Hopefully, you'll find something that caters to your personal tastes, or at least the person you're buying for. Enjoy!

In LA? I highly recommend these jewelers. They specialize in gorgeous custom pieces:
Edward Avedis Jewelry
XIV Karats


Bare Collection
Arithmetic Studs (Small), $525

I was introduced to Bare Collection in 2014, after I attend a press trip in which I got to attend the Emmy Awards. Stylist Ilaria Urbinati allowed each attendee to pick out a piece of jewelry for the show, and we were all thrilled to learn we'd get to keep the piece.
I fell in love with the Arithmetic Studs. They're the perfect mix of glam, but still small enough that I can wear them on a regular basis. I have the small studs, which, to me, are the perfect fit. I ended up losing my "X" and the cuff it came with, so I plan on picking those up again for my 30th birthday.

State Necklaces, $395

I wear a necklace with a heart-shaped, flat pendant on it every day. I only take it off to spray tan, and it has quickly become my signature piece. For the longest time, everyone asked where I got it. I didn't know because I had received it as gift. (Tough life.) By the grace of God, Instagram came to the rescue when Maya Brenner showed up on the Search page and I was able to identify the piece. 
Maya is an LA-based artist, known for creating designs that include letters, numbers and charms to personalize each piece. 
The State Necklaces are made with 14K gold and hang perfectly on the décolletage. They're perfect for someone who misses home or has pride in this home state. She also makes a pave option

The Iconery x Striiike
Striiike Mes Soeurs Necklace, $315

The Iconery is a favorite amongst the fashion set, like Emily Ratajkowski and Chiara Ferragni. And the Striker sisters (Ashley, Jen and Kristie) are a favorite amongst celebrities like Mandy Moore and Emily Blunt. This collaboration includes a mix of their iconic "Striiike" logo, pieces inspired by their favorite vintage pieces that they've picked up around the world, and this necklace. The Mes Soeurs necklace ("my sisters") was inspired by the electric pink sign that hangs in their Beverly Hills bungalow, and has taken on a bigger meaning since the election. "We're all sisters, in this together," said Ashley.

The entire collection is lovely, but this gift would be perfect for your siblings or your besties.

Split Layer Ring, $95

I was introduced to Miansai two years ago and fell in love with the brand. Juxtaposing the idea that jewelry is supposed to be "feminine" with pieces that resemble hardware — many of the bracelets include a screw to fasten them — is a great twist. I personally love the bracelets, some of which are thick enough to get engraved. But the Split Layer Ring is an awesome accessory for someone who loves stackable rings, but doesn't want to risk losing one. The split of the piece makes it look like it's two separate pieces.

For those of you who are having a full-on stroke regarding the prices of the first three gifts, perhaps some of these chokers are more in your lane. Chokers are considered a hot item among the millennial set (please note that I say this like I'm not one) and while some of them can look super cheap, you can find chic and edgy designs that are made well and sit at a nice price point, too. There are some expensive options here if you want to give a big ticket item.

Below are some of my favorites. Numbers correspond to where they sit in the grid:

Fringe Choker Necklace, $89

2. Vanessa Mooney
Lovetta Choker, $45

5. Frasier Sterling
Jett Lace Choker, $36

7. Chan Luu
Crystal-Embellished Black Lace Choker, $145

What other guides do you want to see? Let me know!

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