My trip to Trinidad is fast approaching, and I want to come good with the Christmas gifts this year. I’ve decided that part of this year’s gift to the women in my family will be a makeup/hair product basket including some of my favorite things. Custom tailored for mom, aunties, sister, and sister-in-laws, of course! The only issue is, I can’t spend more than $15 on any individual basket item. So here are a few fantastic, affordable products for all you bellas on a budget – the stuff I’ve been raving about since this blog started.

I love the L’Oreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation. So much that I plan on buying each of my relatives their very own, and judging from my shade I think Sun Beige should work great. At $14.49, it’s the priciest item in the basket by far.

A little goes a long way with this stuff, and through trial and error I have figured out how to avoid looking like a gray-skinned zombie. Now I just use it sparingly to cover my spots and flaws, and it works to perfection (and lasts for hours!).

This might seem odd, but I gotta include Secret Sparkle Deodorants for everyone. The stuff my dad buys in Trinidad is less than sub-par, and this stuff comes in cool scents like Peach Shimmer, Berry Sparkle, Tropical Radiance, Luminous Lily, and my fave, Vanilla Sparkle. Plus it’s $2.99 at Walgreens! For my mom I might get the Secret Platinum and Olay Conditioners. It claims to ” Noticeably improve the condition of underarm skin by using Provitalin – a revolutionary blend of skin conditioners including ProVitamins B5 and E”, and she’s obsessed with underarms as you realize from her five beauty tips.

I’ve raved over Milani lip glosses at length before, so I will definitely get one for each of my relatives. Hell, at $3.29 I might get two. My mom’s been seeking a bronzy shade, so I think she would love this shade, El Dorado.

My sister Petal is all about pampering her hair. I’m going to get my family a selection of conditioner packets from Sally’s, and I’m definitely getting her my beloved Beyond the Zone Last Call Hair Masque. Just last week there was a buy-two-get-one-free deal at Sally’s, so my advice is keep your eye on the upcoming sales, bellas! It’s much less stressful to do most of your Christmas shopping now rather than wait till December. Hell, the malls are already packed to the gills!

Part of the fun of Christmas shopping is giving your relatives something they would never buy themselves. My Aunts Opal and Gemma (there was a jewel theme on that side of the family – Gemma, Opal, my grandmother’s name was Pearl, I already mentioned Auntie Ruby…I digress) OK Opal and Gemma are both beautiful ladies with wonderful, sparkling brown eyes. I want to get them Rimmell Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencils in cool blue and jungle green. Why? Because they would shy away from those colors under normal circumstances, and nothing brings out beautiful brown eyes like blue and emerald green. Try it, you’ll see!

I usually line the top lid, but fitting in with recent trends, I’ve been using them to line my lower lids. Especially if you’re a darker-skinned beauty, the look is subtle and effective. Guaranteed compliments, trust me!

I know I’m going to find a ton of other little knick-knacks and pretty hair accessories (like the flower my mom’s rocking in her hair in this picture… I forgot that I gave it to her as a Christmas gift until she reminded me!) to throw into the holiday gift basket – some Garnier Fructis Curl & Shine Leave-In Conditioning Cream for my sister-in-law Lindsay, the only other person with natural locks in my family at the moment (I’m working hard on convincing my mom and aunts to finally end their relationship with the creamy crack!) and Softsoap Pure Cashmere Moisturizing Body Wash for my mom. I haven’t tried that yet, but I like Softsoap stuff and my mom loves any rich body wash for dry skin. But that’s the general idea.

If you ladies have any additional suggestions for my holiday gift, please let me know!

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themakeupgirl says:
November 8, 2006, 10:46 am
Hey Bella! Try the softsoap body wash in shea butter (really nice) or the Revlon super lustrous gloss. Those are two of my favorites. The Revlon gloss has great colors and a consistency close to the Dior gloss that is WAY more expensive.
FenixStar says:
November 8, 2006, 12:23 pm
i'd recommend leaving out the toxic deoderants & going with something that's a bit more gentle on the lymph nodes and the skin... my personal favorites are the calendula or rose or lavender scented numbers from toms of maine. they dont keep you from sweating, they just make your sweat smell good. and i once worked for l'oreal (parent to garnier) and i can tell you for CERTAIN that they have no interest in making quality products for natural hair. i'd buy cantu shea soft products instead... they're yummy, buttery, filled with good things for natural and processed hair & come in formulations for thick, leave-in slickback-ability as well as light conditioning for natural curls. here's a link to their products - i am in LOVE with their leave-in, break cure AND the stay strong, depending on how i am styling my hair. OOOOH AND (i like products 2, as u can tell!) NOTHING is as good as bumble & bumble's curl conscious haircreme if anyone has naturally curly hair like mine that has a tendency 2 stretch out as it gets longer. apparently the main ingredient in this potion is the same stuff in curling mascara that works on your lashes... it's like MAGIC!
HottieHottie says:
November 8, 2006, 3:55 pm
Anything by Body Shop. Could I be part of you family and get a basket too? I can cook.
Coffy says:
November 8, 2006, 6:49 pm
please treat yourself to Ojon, hair treatments, everything in the collection is great. FenixStar, you are so right about Cantu,it is so good alone or mixed with Garnier Soft Curl Cream.
70ssoulchild says:
November 8, 2006, 7:28 pm
Bella, Can you adopt me as your older sister?? LOL. Your baskets sound lovely and will wow your family. Might I suggest a lovely scented candle for the baskets?? I'm a candle freak and ALWAYS ask for candles as a gift.. When your dear family members are using the products that they could have a candle or two to light around the tub or wherever. You are gem, just like your Aunties and Mother. Be Blessed
Pets says:
November 8, 2006, 9:50 pm
Giftbasket items sound lovely as usual! Well you know that Dad doesn't like the candle stories so nix on that..or incense the mineral powder suitable for all our skin shades? also what about mascara? brown for for the others and one that gives me even more defined lashes *grin*..what about those scented body sprays from VS? yes and I would like to try Olay Ribbon Bath Wash..those things are like close to $100 here!!! ..ok i'll stop *grin*
SimKai says:
November 9, 2006, 2:33 pm
OK, no comments about the gift basket, sorry. :) Great idea though, I may have to use this sometime. But I'm heading to Trinidad TOO!!!! Not until the new year, but I am super excited.
Fitnessgirl says:
November 16, 2006, 3:31 pm
Dear Afrobella, I heard you talk about the Loreal Bare Naturale powder before and how it was the hotness. So I was really eager to try it and finally went to CVS to buy some. For a little history on me, I am a Haitian medium skin toned woman and all my life have had problems finding a loose powder that was not too pink not too orange and masky looking. So I was eager to try this product. I went with Natural Beige which was a close enough color (i have never found the perfect color) for my complexion and put it on with high hopes. Initially, I like the way it went on and looked pretty good, but as the day wore on and I looked in the mirror, I noticed the powder had settled and you could see every little pore in my face! It looked terrible and I was so disappointed at yet another failure. Bella, did I do something wrong with the application? Has this ever happened to you? Please keep searching for more near perfect beauty products - especially powders and foundations. I am back to my Coty Translucent and still searching. Thanks.
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