For this week’s super-sized edition of Fab or Flub? I took a look back at some of the best products I’ve reviewed over the past year in the hope that it might provide inspiration for your Christmas lists.
My roster of product reviews has ranged from fitness accessories for efficient workouts to the latest and greatest cosmetics, so narrowing down my picks proved a challenge. After much deliberation, I’ve settled on my top five Fabs from 2015, plus a few bonus gift ideas.
No more frizz
Spritzed directly onto styled hair, the lightweight spray creates a protective, invisible barrier around each strand of hair to safeguard it from the effects of humidity and moisture. After trying out the spray this past summer and witnessing its miraculous abilities, I’ve become a devotee of the product.
Brighten their day
Show your loved ones just how much you care this Christmas by sneaking some Miss Spa Eye Brightening Patches ($3.39, Walgreens) into their stockings. Delivering results in just 20 minutes, these easy-to-use patches help transform tired eyes into perky peepers by reducing the appearance of dark circles.
If emails we’ve received from readers are any indication, these popular patches have been flying off the shelves since we reviewed them back in October. (They’re also available for purchase on the Miss Spa website).
Keep it clean
For the beauty lover who has as many makeup brushes as Instagram followers, the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat ($32, sigmabeauty.com) is a great way to make cleaning brushes easy and fun.
Equipped with suction cups that secure it to the inside of your sink, the brightly-colored mat features seven textures for washing eye and face brushes. Each texture has a designated purpose (rinse, wash and refine) that helps make the whole cleaning process faster and more efficient.
Pop of color
Available in six flattering shades, this silky smooth blush proved its long-lasting claims were true when I wore it to the gym and emerged over an hour later with my blush still perfectly intact (no smudging or fading). If you’re looking for shade suggestions, I highly recommend starting with Baby Love (a natural nude with a hint of gold sparkle) or How Deep Is Your Love (a watermelon pink).
Too fit to quit
When you’re in the middle of an intense workout, you don’t want anything slowing you down. That’s why the FlipBelt ($28.99, flipbelt.com) is an essential gift for anyone you know with a commitment to workouts.
Designed as a sleek alternative to bulky armbands and pouches, the FlipBelt is perfect for carrying items like phones, ear buds, cards and keys. As an avid runner and newly-recruited gym member, I wore the FlipBelt with positive results during morning runs through my neighborhood and while lifting weights in the gym.
The Flipbelt comes in nine colors and ranges in size from xx-small to x-large.
Made to last
Know a pup that’s always destroying its toys? Then consider giving them the Kong Football Jumbler ($17.99-$21.99, Petco). After searching high and low to find a toy durable enough for my corgi, Gizmo, I finally found a winner when I stumbled upon the Kong Football Jumbler.
The colorful squeaky toy has provided my dog with hours of tail-wagging fun and withstood the incessant gnawing of sharp teeth threatening to tear it into tiny little pieces.
Hair like an angel
Used at this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the ceramic curling iron makes creating beautiful waves/curls easy and fast for everyone with the help of its button-controlled rotating barrel.
Featuring temperature settings for every type of hair, the magical hair tool makes a great gift for someone who has yet to master the curling iron or even a loved one who suffers from arthritic hands that make curling hair a difficult task.
Cold winter months mean more time spent indoors for our furry friends. Now you can help your dog combat the boredom of being inside with the iFetch ($115, at goifetch.com). Designed so that dogs can play fetch with or without their owners present, the automatic tennis ball launcher shoots out miniature tennis balls at different distances.
Balls are retrieved and then placed back in the launcher’s funnel by either you or your dog. For larger breeds, there’s the iFetch Too ($199.99, goifetch.com), which works just like the iFetch, but uses regular-size tennis balls.
Whether you have a selfie-obsessed cousin or an amateur photographer boyfriend, you can’t go wrong with Photojojo’s Magnetic Phone Lens Series. Designed to take your phone’s camera to the next level, the series includes five pro lenses (Fisheye, Super Fisheye, Polarizer, Telephoto and Macro/Wide Angle) that work by attaching magnetically to any phone or device that has a lens on it. Individual lenses are available for $20 each on the Photojojo website, or you can splurge and buy your favorite person all five lenses for $99.
Creating full, fabulous lashes can be hard if you don’t have the proper tools in your makeup bag. That’s why we are head over heels for Tweezerman’s No-Mess Mascara Guard ($9.99, Ulta) and Folding I-Lashcomb ($12, Ulta).
The No-Mess Mascara Guard helps you apply your mascara perfectly without getting it on your face, while the Folding I-Lashcomb keeps your eyelashes separated and defined. Used together, they will help your loved ones finally achieve the beautiful eyelashes they’ve always wanted.
Holiday gift guides!
Dec. 5: Presents from North Texas
Dec. 7: DVD box sets
Tuesday: The best of “Fab or Flub?”
Wednesday: Homemade goodies from the kitchen
Thursday: Video games and gear
Saturday: Purr-fect presents for pets
Dec. 13: Cliburn pianists’ CDs, Dave Barry’s Gift Guide