Gift Guide

Here is a great “Gift Guide” including gifts in all price ranges for you all to enjoy. Get these for yourself or for the woman in your life. I tried to incorporate many different types of items that all of us can enjoy.

1. Proactiv+


Proactiv has a brand new and improved line called Proactiv+ they have added advanced skincare ingredients including glycolic acid, prebiotics, kojic acid and other nourishing botanicals, to help heal skin damage related to acne.
*They have added medicine
Antimicrobial benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) in Steps One and Two kills acne-causing bacteria. Now, a different acne medicine, salicylic acid (0.5%), has been added to Step Three to help prevent breakouts by helping keep pores clear of excess oil and dead skin cells.
*Smarter way to heal
Exclusive encapsulated benzoyl peroxide with Smart

TARGET™ technology is designed to guide acne medicine off the skin’s surface — to help minimize dryness and irritation — and deliver it with laser-like precision directly into pores, the target site for killing acne-causing bacteria.
*Built-in hydration
Each step in Proactiv+ contains hydrating skincare ingredients formulated to attract, lock-in and help sustain healthy levels of moisture in your skin.
You can get the 3-step program for under $30! So this would be a great gift for yourself if you are an acne sufferer, or for someone you know that is having skin difficulties. While I am pregnant I am steering clear of as much medicine as possible, but as soon as I can try this new line you can bet I will be. Especially with the breakouts I am sure to face after the depletion of my pregnancy hormones. Can’t wait to let you all know my thoughts on this later! I will say I have used Proactiv for years and it has never ever disappointed me in the past.
2. Valslides workout “Hot In a Hurry” program, slides &/or travel kit with bands


For those of you that aren’t familiar with celebrity trainer Valerie Waters, just know she is the amazing woman behind bodies such as Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Ben Affleck just to name a few. Enough said right? Well she has these amazing slides that she uses to train such clients and amazing bands that come in a travel kit called the Hottie Total Val Gym ($59.95) that I have used and absolutely love! Here is a link to a little overview about how the slides are used which I find useful and hilarious. This is Jennifer Garner on Ellen showing her some of her workout secrets she learned from Valerie Jen Garner on Ellen. Plus she has a brand new 10-day workout plan featuring workouts catered towards and named after different celebrity clients that us normal people can do in our very own homes (which I will be doing after baby Hudson and let you know all the details about) called Hot In A Hurry ($47). Plus one lucky reader/follower will be winning a ValKit for Travel from me very soon so be sure to share/retweet this post!!!! Or if you just want the slides you can get them for just $29.95 in pink, green or black and it comes with workouts mapped out for you to do right away, you can’t go wrong with these Valslides.
 3. Suave Keratin Infusion Line


This line is perfect for winter weather frizz! I don’t know about you but I get some major static this time of year and this smoothing line is perfection for taming wild hair without making it greasy. The Keratin Infusion Line infuses hair with keratin protein and leaves it sleeker, smoother and easier to style everyday. I just recently bought the shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner and dry shampoo at Walmart for $9.88 in a gift set they have for sale right now. Here is a link to the Walmart Keratin Infusion Gift Set. Once you try out this line you will be addicted like me so stock up on the Walmart deal while it lasts, it would be an awesome stocking stuffer for your mom, sister, girlfriends etc.
4. Hunter Original Tall Rain Boots (Glossy in black)

I have been wanting some of this high-quality brand’s wellies for quite some time now. They will run you about $140 at but they are so worth it in my opinion. They are very well-made, high quality boots that you can purchase fleece liners for to turn them into hardcore snow boots as well. They aren’t just for wearing in the rain or snow either, they can be worn just like any other boot you wear on a day to day basis (all the celebs do it). I am in love with mine (I got black) and I would highly recommend them for you or for the woman who has everything that is difficult to buy for. 

5. Wrapped In Red by Kelly Clarkson CD


I am in love with this cd by one of my favorite all-time voices (Kelly Clarkson). Anyone would be happy to add this Christmas cd to their collection (under $8 on itunes by the way and Amazon). I personally think this is the best thing since Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas album from the 90s (maybe even better). Don’t miss out on this one yourself, and give it to the Christmas-lover in your life.
6. OPI Nail Polish Sets

What girl doesn’t love cute nails? They just make you feel put-together and complete…and while other brands like Essie and China Glaze are amazing too, OPI still stays on the longest in my opinion. Here are some gift sets that you cannot go wrong with at Ulta. Most of these will run you just $10-$20. The first one, however, is $49.95.

7. Sexy Little Things Noir Spray

Everyone wants to smell nice, but some perfumes are so expensive! Sexy Little Things Noir packs all the punch of an expensive perfume in an affordable price at Victoria’s Secret. It smells amazing and will only cost you $25! I have several expensive perfumes but this is what I always seem to grab on a daily basis, I always get compliments on it as well. I am addicted and maybe you will be too. Also, a great Christmas gift for friends and loved ones!
Happy shopping everyone!



As many of you know, in addition to Audra’s Picks, I have begun a new job as a Contributing Writer for LovingYou as well. My first article just went live so you can click here to read it (please) Audra’s LovingYou article. I will not post on Audra’s Picks about every LovingYou article…so if you want regular updates please follow me on Twitter (because I am on there all the time) @AudraMcElyea Click here to follow @AudraMcElyea. Thanks for all the support and I hope you enjoy my first article. I will have three more coming next week! Also, for Audra’s Picks I will have a special guest post for me very soon…so keep your eyes peeled for updates on that by following Audra’s Picks on Twitter or Like my Facebook page (info. on this on the right sidebar of the blog)! Thanks for all the support!


Slide Into Shape!

This is one of my all-time favorite picks.  If you know me at all, then you are aware that I am a huge Jennifer Garner fan.  If you have ever seen “Alias”, “Elektra” or “Daredevil” then you know that JG is known to rock some serious muscles, while also being long and lean.  If you have ever wondered what her secret is… I am here to tell you that it is none other than celebrity trainer Valerie Waters.  Valerie has created “Valslides” which are the best and most convenient piece of workout equipment you will find.  These are great if you travel frequently, or if you don’t want a lot of bulky equipment in your home.  Valslides are slides that you literally slide your feet on in many different ways to build muscle, tone up and raise your heart rate.  The best way to understand how they work is to watch the videos below. If you go to Valslide and get the “essentials kit” you will find everything you need.  The essentials kit includes the Valslides, instructional dvd, instructional chart and booties for use on hardwood floor (since they were designed for carpet).  This would be a great gift for someone wanting to get into shape or for yourself (after you get all that Christmas money to spend).  I have added two videos below showing you a few of the moves featured on “Access Hollywood” and “Ellen”.  Also, there is a big sale going on this weekend over at Valslide so slide on over and get yours today!  They are a great way to get a total body workout and they are very affordable!

Valerie on “Access Hollywood”

Jennifer Garner training Ellen




Audra’s Picks Contest

Subscribe to my blog and follow all my upcoming posts by entering your email over on the right…and you will be entering to win these fun-sized favorites of mine! Essie-(Wicked and Ballet Slippers with file), Dove Deep Moisture Bodywash, Curel Daily Moisture Lotion, and Wet ‘N Wild lipgloss in Rose Gold!!!!! Plus if you like Audra’s Picks on Facebook and Follow @AudrasPicks on Twitter you can get two additional entries!!!! If you already like and follow RT or Share my post and it’ll enter you…

Audra’s Picks Facebook link

Audra’s Picks Twitter link



The winner for the giveaway is………….. Courtney Epps! Thanks to all who followed/Facebooked/Tweeted I will have another giveaway very soon!


Diana Warner Jewelry


Men, this is an easy assignment. If you want to buy your lady a gift go to Diana Warner Studio, Altar’d State, or Obligato (Knoxvillians) and buy her a piece of Diana Warner Jewelry. It really doesn’t matter what you pick- she will love it. There isn’t a piece I don’t like. Diana is a New York designer from Knoxville who styles stars from tv and movies like…Natasha Bedingfield, the “Gossip Girl” Cast, Susan Sarandon and more. You can’t go wrong with her unique and artsy pieces. I got to meet her and look at many pieces yesterday and I was in seventh heaven! You can personalize a piece of jewelry for your special lady or buy a finished piece. You can’t go wrong with Diana Warner guys…Happy Shopping!


Say Wen

Like you, I have seen bits and pieces of the Wen infomercials on TV, and like you I was skeptical.  I seriously doubted that the people who achieved clean hair from a lather-less shampoo had very dirty hair to begin with.  When I received this product I decided to really put it to the test.  I used it with two days worth of greasy hair that had a ton of hairspray in it.  Plus, I used the amount recommended for normal length hair, knowing that there are few people I know that have longer or thicker hair than I do.  I used the Cleansing Conditioner one time and it cleaned my hair very thoroughly to my surprise.  If anything, it dried it out a tad so I also used the SixThirteen product as a heavier conditioner after I rinsed out the Cleansing Conditioner.  My hair has never felt so clean or light.  Plus, the scents are so amazing that I keep smelling my hair throughout the day.  After about a week of usage, I already notice less frizz and damage.  I wish I had this six years ago when my hair wasn’t healthy like it is now.  If you have damaged hair this would be a great investment for you to make.  Unlike certain ordinary shampoos, the WEN® formula contains NO sulfates, NO harsh detergents and NO harsh chemicals.  It is great for rejuvinating your hair, or to simply keep it healthy.  You can purchase Wen alone or in packages at Wen Hair Care, QVC or go somewhere like Sephora.  I would recommend that if your ends tend to get dry that you get the Cleansing Conditioner and SixThirteen.  Use both as directed and you cannot go wrong!  If you don’t want to invest in everyday usage you could also reap the benefits by using Wen once a week, since it isn’t exactly cheap.  I must say that I am a believer in Wen and absolutely love it!


Get Bombshell Hair

My first “Holiday Gift Guide Pick” is by Sultra and it is called “the bombshell cone rod curling iron.”  This is an absolutely genius curling tool.  I have so many good things to say about it that I hope I can effectively relate them all to you.  First of all, you can tell by looking at the bombshell cone that it is no ordinary curling iron, it has no clamp.  There are many such irons on the market today but this is the “best of the best” for many reasons.  First of all, the copycats I have seen have tips that are hot.  I like that the tip of this iron is not heated.  There isn’t too much space, but there is just enough space at the tip that doesn’t get hot.  So… if you need to grab the tip- you can without getting burnt.  Sultra’s bombshell cone is also great because of it’s cone shape, this gives you a tighter curl as you get to the ends of your hair.  I love looser curls around my face and this gives you that look.  The curls you get can range from ringlets to loose waves depending on how tightly you wrap your hair around the wand.  I love this because you can throw out all the different sized curling irons you already have (if have several like me) and you can create all of their looks with just one tool.  Sultra’s bombshell cone also features a no-slip ThermaGrip tapered barrel (so your hair doesn’t constantly slip through the iron like most).  It also features a revolutionary Kyocera Ceramic Heater Technology that keeps the cone at an evenly proportioned 360 degrees.  This technology actually mends hair with infrared rays as you style it, so it is perfect for those of us with damaged/color-treated hair.  One of my favorite features is that it curls your hair much faster than a traditional curling iron.  I wrapped a piece of hair (1-2 inch sections at a time) and counted to about 2 and it was done.  With my curling irons I usually could count to 15 per section.  Once you get used to the process it is much faster than a regular curling iron.  I also love that I can curl more hair in the bombshell cone than in my other curling irons.  This allows my curls to start closer to my root than when I use other irons (where I usually have 1/3 of my hair straight then the bottom 2/3 is curled).  Sultra also offers a 2-year warranty with their products and even throws in a styling glove and iron pad (glove so you don’t burn your fingers, and iron pad so you don’t damage countertops).  Honestly, I didn’t use the glove but I wouldn’t recommend you do the same for the first few times at least.  I posted a how-to video below on how I use this product if you are interested in seeing how it works.  The Sultra bombshell cone can be purchased online at Sultra, Nordstrom, or in stores like Sephora or Nordstrom for around $130.  I know you are thinking that is pretty steep, but I actually think it is worth more.  Like I said before, you can throw out all of your different sized curling irons and replace them all with this product (plus any rollers you have).  I love the wavy curls that I was able to create in just minutes with this tool, and if you want to make a special lady feel extra special for the holidays you should definitely consider buying one for her (or yourself).  Happy Shopping everyone!  I will be posting on most days for the next several weeks to share some more wonderful products with you!


Sultra Bombshell Cone How-To Link


Holiday Gift Guide

I just wanted to announce my Holiday Gift Guide 2012! I am so excited to pair up with some really great companies and share some of their best products with you. As usual, I will only be sharing the ones I love, if I don’t like something I simply won’t blog about it. I am very excited about the things I am trying out. Be on the look out (beginning very soon) for my first Holiday Gift Guide Pick. These will be great gifts to purchase for the women in your life. Share with your husband/fiance/boyfriend if you want them to be aware of some really great gifts. Also these are things to buy for your fellow girlfriends or for yourself! I hope you enjoy!