Not-So-Secret Santa Swap: 5 Gals and 1 Pup Have a Beauty Product Reviewing Party

All I want for Christmas is to review nighttime beauty products with my friends.

What happens when five girls, one dog, one very large bottle of rosé, and 50+ beauty products get together in one room? Cuteness pandemonium, that’s what!

I asked four of my squirrelfriends to drop by before their holiday breaks to swap product, gossip, and have a reason to chill one more time in 2015.

Each chica was tasked with reviewing a stash of overnight products so we could have a long-distance slumber party, and here’s what they thought.


"I would like to begin by saying this Memory Sleep Mask has a $90 price tag. I like that. Honestly, I will use any expensive skincare product just for the princess factor and little plastic spatula.

"Sometimes high-end products actually work. So far my Biologique Recherche three-step routine has been working, and I didn’t think it was possible to breach my level of glow-y perfection.

"WELLLL HUNTY, my expectations were thrown into the trash because this Erno Laszlo shit is marvelous.

"The mask itself is like baby pink shimmering gelatin, which was even more exciting than the spatula. It feels like silk, but with absolutely no greasy grossness. I applied the mask on top of my moisturizer to lock everything in, and I swear my skin looked so smooth and airbrushed that I thought I needed my glasses.

"Then I actually put on my glasses while applying more product to the back of my hand; it really did blur every fine and pore. I’m a Barbie now."


"Being an IRL unicorn is super-difficult, especially on your hair. I have gone from platinum, to Jem and the Holograms pink, to my now current obsession of Princess Peach blonde.

"When Danielle handed me Alterna Overnight Hair Rescue, she handed me the key to the Mushroom Kingdom. My hair was totally in need of a rescue!"

"I have always been weary about overnight products. Will it stain my pillow? Will I resemble a greasy butterstick? Will my significant other rather Netflix-and-sleep?

"The answer is, thankfully, NO! The product absorbed instantly and didn’t leave residue. After showering, my hair feels softer and more manageable. I'm now closer to the magical unicorn mane I have always envisioned for myself with a bonus: visible shine."


"Goldfaden MD's Hands to Heart goes on so smooth and is velvety-soft. Thick without being rough and grapefruit scented, it smells subtle but wonderful. The cream left my hands silky immediately after use.

"I also liked the easy application of The Body Shop's Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil. The serum is thick, which is great because otherwise it would drip down your face before you could massage it in, and I hate that. Because I typically use a creamy face wash and coco butter as a moisturizer, I noticed this left my face a little drier but it wasn't tight.

"I'm always on my feet and I never find time to treat my feet with the luxury they really need after a long day, but this Dermelect Runway Ready Luxury Foot Treatment was so pleasant and easy to glide on my thirsty toes. It has a really nice peppermint smell, just in time to kick up my feet for the holidays."


"I got to try Elizabeth Arden's Skin Illuminating Brightening Night Capsules. The instructions were difficult to read, but the capsules are very easy to open. Although they look small, it is more than enough to spread around.

"I've been using it a couple of days and I don’t see a big difference, but it does leave my skin soft and fresh when I wake up. I plan to keep using it and see what happens in the long run.

"And I just want to say, thanks for the hook up, Dani!"


I grabbed the only long-haul product, probably so I can chime in down the road to let you know how I liked it. Dr.Hauschka’s Renewing Night Conditioner is a 30-day renewal ampoule system. I find it to be a great toner as its got witch hazel and rose, two things I already use. Flower essences, honey, royal jelly and silver are all up in there waiting to make your day.

Though it’s so-far-so-good in the short term, I will have to complete the cycle to see if it’s really worth the hype.

I passed out a pair of Earth Therapeutics Moisturizing Foot Socks with Footprints and Aloe Moisture Aloe Socks to every attendee, (Alanna got the Hello Kitty set!). Can't have a holiday with bunk-ass feet! Also, I don't allow shoes in my apartment so it was insurance policy for my rugs.

Here are some sock highlights:

I put this bad boys on after using the Luxury Foot Treatment, and I haven't taken them off yet. The design is great! They don't pinch or sag off, making them wearable with slippers around the house or in boots to the corner store. - Anya

Let's just say after the mixture of rose, shots and even more shots, I woke up in my bed wearing the aloe socks, and I never felt more comforted in my life. In all seriousness, these socks feel like dipping my feet into pink clouds. After wearing them to sleep for the past couple of days, I found my feet softer and smooth. I stand on my feet all day at work, so wearing these at sleep has helped. - Maria

Dude, my feet felt soft for two days in my normal socks with blister-y boots on. WIN!

I love to clean out my stash a few times a year, and decided to start this new tradition of swapping products among some friends to celebrate the holidays. It’s a great way to hear what someone else thinks about a product, and maybe a way to find your new beauty best friend

I hope your 2015 was full of beauty triumphs and that 2016 will bring you happiness!

  • Do you and your friends swap product?
  • Anyone still have slumber parties? Our apartments are too small :(

Photos: Maria Penaloza