By Stevie Wilson
(Catherine Rigod and Tami Yu also contributed to this article)
It's holiday time and the time for shopping. That's never a problem for Angelenos!! But wait - you are shopping for everyone! Now, that can be a huge problem - particularly when you run out of steam, or dinero, or "“ worse - both!! Here are some ideas from your thoughtful, helpful, and oh-so-kind (of enabling) BeautyNewsLA staffers!! So sit back, read, and copy/paste the items you like best and send them to yourself as your shopping list. Some require in-person shopping, some are online. Any way you slice it, we are here to save the day!!
Unisex - for Him or Her or Anyone on your list!
The holidays are a great time for cheer and merriment. But, for some reason, if the man in your life is lacking a little in the jolly department, try a natural mood elevator - an "Uplift" by Caswell-Massey. (No, not that kind of lift!) The famous perfumery is offering a mood-lifting mister and balm, in a nifty little gift set that is sure to brighten anyone's spirits just in time to hit the nice list, even if you were feeling a bit naughty. ($22.00) www.caswellmassey.com (Catherine Rigod).
Pleasure Pillows: plush little plackets of plumage and perfumes - ok enough with the alliterations. These little pouches are filled with organic ingredients like buckwheat, and are designed to heat and soothe aching muscles. Heat in the microwave for a few minutes and you get relief in no time! Your quick-fix comes in designer looks, from 1960's inspired swirls to man-eating purple polka-dots. ($28.00) Mette Vangso - San Francisco - www.mettevangso.com (Catherine Rigod).
Elemis holiday his/her gift sets:
For the gals: No time for tropical travels? Don't fret. 'Time for Exotics' from Elemis is the answer. This sumptuous feast of body care products will prepare you for your island getaway. The kit comes with the Exotic Island Flower Bath Oil, Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow (limited edition), Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt, and a super-sized Exotic Island Flower Body Balm. Instead of shivering in the snow, you can now glow in your bikini and sip a frou-frou drink. It's a deal and a half (maybe more) for all these spa treats! ($120) (Tami Yu).
For the boys: Elemis' new men's kit is the ultimate grooming tool for your special
darling. A spa favorite, "˜Time for Men' offers a comprehensive approach to combat the harsh effects of daily shaving. Packed with the Smooth Result Shave Oil, Ice-Cool Foaming Shave Gel, Deep Cleanse Facial Wash, Post Shave Recovery Mask, Energizing Skin Scrub, and S.O.S. Survival Cream, this is guaranteed to make even the most flaky skin bounce back to life. This limited edition collection also comes with a stylish mulberry washbag. No fuss, no muss. Awesome clean-shaven results for the busy executive, on-the-go types! ($160.00) (Tami Yu).
***Both kits are available at: www.timetospa.com
For the ultimate chic stocking stuffer, Diptyque is the answer. The venerable
Parisian parfumeur has been wildly popular with celebs since day one. Their
mini candle set, featuring 3 popular scents (Lavender Leaf, Fig Tree, and
Baies) are a steal at $80, while the holiday edition of the silver Feu de
Bois (firewood) candle ($52) will spice up any home. For the body, the new
Do Son will charm any perfume enthusiast with tuberose notes (1.7 oz./$60,
3.4 oz./$90). Ooh la la! Barneys NYC; 310.276.4400; or call Diptyque San Francisco flagship, 415-402-0600, which provides their signature gift-wrapping service. (Tami Yu).
For those who aren't into candles, but love fresh scents, check out the spicy-fresh scent of the Nectarine and Red Currant Diffuser from Anthousa Collection. This rich, orchard-fresh scent is a blend of oil presented with sticks that are immersed in the scent and emerge through the thin-necked bottle. The scent is softly diffused through the sticks' wicking action. It's an intoxicating way of scenting a home, and a whole lot better than spray air fresheners. ($60) www.beautyhabit.com; Barneys NY, www.anthousacollection.com (Stevie Wilson).
One day, an impressionable young man (or if you like, substitute girl for guy) was faithfully walking to his classes at the cold, stodgy boarding academy he attended. Though classical music had always been dear to him, he wondered what magnificent, unabashed sounds awaited him outside the moss-covered buildings. He yearned to hear guitar riffs and base-laden tracks. He had read about these things in magazines smuggled into his school. Seeking desperately to satisfy his curiosity, the man didn't know what to do. One day he received a package containing a Chocolate Argyle Collection I-pod Case by InCase (an I-Pod had arrived, but that's another tale). He was so impressed by the exceptionally detailed suede interior, leather strap, and traditional design that he scaled the school walls, hitch-hiked to city, and got a job as a music promoter for local lo-fi and synth bands. Today he's a huge music promoter and makes gazillions of dollars. ($30.00) www.goincase.com; www.karmaloop.com; The MOCA Store - LA 213.666.9585; Fred Segal Baggage - LA 323.651.1298; Barracuda - LA 323.852.7179 - 80s Purple, Huntington Beach, 714.373.3083 (Catherine Rigod)
Have you been naughty or nice this year? Santa knows, but tell us the honest truth - have you been good?? If you are hesitating, don't be surprised if you find some coal in your stocking or from that gift exchange. Your "Santa" isn't being a "grinch" - they are actually looking after you. Call it the Lesser Evil. (Huh? What is she on? I know what you are thinking!) Lesser Evil is a company that provides treats for any sweet tooth that are either low carb or low fat, and are actually tasty! From the wide variety of treats you can have, the most holiday appropriate is the Lesser Evil Coal, or to be more accurate, Cocoa Coal, with the darkest cocoa they could find, plus it's low fat, all natural, and is trans-fat free. So even if you have been bad, this lump o' coal in your stocking will have you feeling good in no time! ($9.99-29.99) www.lesserevil.com, or 914-779-3000 (SW) (Stevie Wilson)
Guys and girls who are into fitness - well those who say they are - would love to test drive new programs like the Gyromania class at Equinox Santa Monica. Gyromania is a cardio/sculpt class that involves gyrotonics-type movements using typical - and atypical - gym equipment like body bars, dumbbells, rebounding medicine balls, step benches, and 5-pound hula hoops (yes - hula hoops!)! Work your core and body in an integrated workout that gets your heart pumping and brings out your "inner child." Equinox, 201 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, 310.593.8888 (Stevie Wilson).
Update someone's workout with a visit to Frontrunners for fitness gear, shoe, and clothing for men, women and kids! A gift card to this place makes a great gift, allowing anyone to find the perfect thing to add to their fitness "“ or fashion "“ wardrobe of gear and clothing. Frontrunners, 11640 San Vicente Blvd., LA, 310.820.7585 (Stevie Wilson).
If the woman in your life loves to combine fitness with fashion savvy, then Couture Activewear workout clothing from fitness pro Janis Saffell (Brand New Butt and More; Quick Fix Total Cardio Kick) is the way to go! This edgy, new line of fitness clothing bridges the gap between workouts and shopping/meeting your girlfriends for coffee. Cargo pants, capris, shorts, camis, bra-tops, and jackets are available in supplex, stretch corduroy, and French terry in fabulous colors, prints and color-block patterns. Hot seller: supplex cargo jazz pant with the signature back pockets. www.janissaffell.com; www.coutureactivewear.com (Stevie Wilson).
If you know someone who needs a stress-less hobby, or who is a crafty type but sometimes feels like classes are too boring and books don't really " teach" you enough, the Art of Knitting DVD is the perfect gift for the hard to buy for person on your list. This easy and interesting DVD provides step-by-step guidance on how to knit. It's easier than books, because you can see it in 3-D, and if you have trouble on a stitch or project, you can quickly refer back 24/7. Piece of cake - or yarn! ($25) www.amazon.com, theyarnmarket.com (Stevie Wilson).
Girly Girl Gifts:
Hey guys! Here's some gift-giving advice for you. Need some sweets for your sweet, but don't want to do the same ol' box of chocolates? Want to give a bit of indulgence and comfort of dessert without the caffeine and calories? Try bath truffles by Treat Beauty! They come in tempting flavors like Cocoa Sorbet, Cordial Cherry, or Blueberry Bliss. Thanks to the soothing properties of cocoa butter extracts, these truffles will melt away troubles and soften the skin at the same time! Please remember: use in your hands, not in your mouth! ($12 for 0.3 ounces; $16.00 for a combination pack). Available at www.treatbeauty.com and cute LA bath shops and spas! (Catherine Rigod)
For the girly girls who love to get themselves in hot water literally, JillianWithaJ.com is probably the most unique spot for bath "non-essentials" like bombs, salts, soaps and kits. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, you can get "bath take out," in fragrances like Coffee & Dessert, which include 2 bath bombs, a sachet and a fragrance diffuser in a collection of scents that might make you want to chow down immediately. Bath bombs are $5-ish, gift sets $35-75 (the Princess Survival Set). For those who love their pooches just as much, Jillian has bath bombs for the canine set, as well, in one packs ($5) and two-packs ($10). Find it all at www.jillianwithaja.com (Stevie Wilson).
Lulu Guiness has a sly, whimsical touch in handbags and accessories. Perfect for holiday mistletoe, this metallic makeup bag with a zip-top that is embroidered with lip prints and an interesting quote. It's definitely a conversation starter. www.zappos.com ($78). (Stevie Wilson).
Toe Brights crystal floral bracelets make the perfect stocking stuffer, or a great gift, for any age. The fun, funky bracelet is strung on leather and has got just enough attitude! ($54) Nordstrom. www.toebrights.com (Stevie Wilson).
For the Geisha "“ inspired moments:
If you fell in love with the book Memoirs of a Geisha, and/or loved the movie, there are a number of lines out there that have amazing gifts to put you in the "˜geisha' sort of mood! The Nikki Slip-on shoe from On Your Feet (sister brand of Chinese Laundry) is a Geisha-inspired flat brocade mule in four fab colors with delicate embroidered embellishments. These shoes are totally hip for the holidays, and will work with skirts, jeans, and drawstring pants, year-round! www.onyourfeet.com (Stevie Wilson).
For the Glamour Girl "“ or why can't you pry her from her bathroom:
Mei's Holiday Basket provides the ancient Chinese foundation of youth - MEI Camellia Seed Oil. The phonetic pronunciation for 'beauty' in Chinese, Camellia Seed Oil nourishes and protects against UV rays, scarring, age spots, and wrinkles - good news for everyone from soccer mom to the urban diva. Try unscented camellia oil for facial care, or the lavender as a massage oil. It even works as a leave-in hair conditioner. It's quite the modern-day multi-tasker! Gift bag includes Oil (Original scent, Unscented, Wild Camellia or Lavender), Clarifying Shampoo (Regular or Ginger), and Detoxifying Mask (Rose or Lavender). ($50 for the gift bag - retail value $71). Exclusively at www.victani.com through December 31. (Tami Yu).
Girls love to play with their make-up. With Chantecaille products, some are almost too beautiful to use (well almost too beautiful!!). Les Papillons Shine Eye Shadow compacts are incredibly beautiful works of art, but it would be a shame not to use them, as the works of art they are, for your eyes! The incredibly light - textured powder provides a unique iridescence, with a pearlized finish, that provides creaseless performance! With 3 gorgeous colors to choose from, it's hard to decide - maybe just buy all three and promise to share! Papillion Rose is a rose background with white butterfly, Bordeaux detail, and gold body. Papillion Bleu has a silver background with dark blue butterfly, light blue detail, and a gold body. Papillion Violet features a gold background with a violet butterfly, gold detail, and a turquoise body. Exquisite to look at and exquisite gift to receive! ($39) Exclusive to Neiman Marcus. (Stevie Wilson).
More than just a trusted nail brand - OPI now offer thirst quenchers for your skin, and a good reminder to go drink your juice with Avojuice by OPI! Such sweet scents as Peach Juice, Coconut Melon Juice, Grapefruit Juice, and Cran & Berry Juice offer loads of anti-oxidants and healing properties from the natural fruits that they gain their mouth watering strength from! Offered in three sizes: 20 oz, 6.6 oz, and little 1 oz. wonders, so you can try all flavors! Pick a flavor, and let your skin drink your juice this morning!
www.opi.com/avojuice.asp (Catherine Rigod).
Sugar Plums aren't just dancing through your head, or for eating! Now you can beautify your sweet selves with the latest confections from Eminence Skin Care, the Sugar Plum Collection, featuring luxurious treatments such as the Whip Moisturizer, Soufflé Massage Cream, and the Revitalizing Masque. Made with fresh plums and cinnamon, these yummy gifts are perfect for brides-to-be, spa addicts, and just about anyone who wants to be pampered from head to toe. Treat your loved ones (or yourselves!) to this lovely offer - buy any 2 Sugar Plum products and receive a free Sugar Plum & Spices holiday tea. To find Eminence products at your local spas email, call 888.747.6342 or email email@example.com. (Tami Yu)
If one of your friends is "addicted" to her flat iron (c'mon! We all have one that is!)
Get her Yuko System's Protein Enriched TSUYA PATA Spray. This collagen blended, powder-based, conditioning spray provides moisture to the hair, as well as a glossy finish. (3.5 oz travel size, $15; 7 oz, $28) www.yukosystemusa.com (Stevie Wilson).
What better way to take your Tsuya Pata Spray on the road than with your castanet-sized Phiten Yuko Travel Iron. This adorable piece will keep your hair looking like perfection, thanks to the special YUKO design, and it makes perfect sense for the office or tote bag! ($95) www.yukosystemusa.com (Stevie Wilson).
She's a NYC girl in disguise. She's bi-coastal. She's an angel - or wants you to think she is. She's all of the above! She's an Anna Sui girl, and the latest color collection, Manhattan Angel, is perfect for her. Choose from the cool eye duos (all the better to flutter those lashes), or the luscious lip duos. (Stevie Wilson).
FYLO is the hottest gift "“ particularly for that gloss junkie you know! These cozy compacts fit easily into the tiniest handbag or pocket. FYLO = For Your Lips Only is a line of lovely lip liners, glosses, and colors that are girl tested; girl approved! These mirrored kits hold your choice of 2 or 4 lip glosses, treatments, or colors, along with the brushes. Lip colors are creamy, glosses come in shimmer, shine, or sparkles, and all are infused with essential oils. Some can even be used as eye shadows! Lip colors and glosses are $8 per cubicle pot; lip treatment is $6; pencils are $7; brushes are $1; cubicle compacts range from $10-14; and gift sets are $26-128 www.fylocosmetics.com.
800.644.0854 (Stevie Wilson).
Manly Men Gifts
PhiTen for Guys!? Yes we are Phiten for guys and girls. Guys love Phiten products - which is a line of apparel, accessories, and body products that contain titanium, which heals and improves the body's performance and energy levels. The special technology decreases pain and fatigue, while improving stamina and energy, whether at work or play. Available in an array of products including jewelry, clothing and body products, Phiten will make him feel, work and play at his highest potential! ($10-75, depending on product category) www.phitenusa.com or 1757 West Carson St., #N, Torrance, CA 90501 (1-310-783-0145). (Stevie Wilson).
Time is of the essence, and the essence of keeping time is having a good watch to keep time with. If you could only teach that husband of yours this life lesson, life with you could be a lot more timely "“ not to mention relaxed! Give him a dependable timepiece - Nautica's Tank watch. Featuring a finely crafted croc leather band, and a cream-colored face, this watch is a keeper. (Now, maybe your husband is too!). Just tell him that he's more handsome than the watch. ($75.00) Call 800.248.3775 for stores near you!
Winter is fast approaching (heck, it's here!) and with the wind comes dry air, along with an occasional sprinkle or two (would love to see some snow here in LA, huh?!). Thank goodness Nautica Sportswear has come up something to protect those precious blue, greens, or browns: a new collection of eyewear. Nautica Sunglasses are engineered with a high-tech style, yet maintain the original, signature, masculine feel that's all Nautica! Auckland features rimless metal and sporty navigator styles. Now if you just had a yacht"¦($120). Call 800.248.3775 for stores near you! (Catherine Rigod).
For the man in the suit - who must wear a suit, Stayclip Signature Series Collar Stays might just be your ticket. Whether you wear a suit daily, or wear one frequently for events, looking sleek and elegant is a requirement (you never know when you will be "caught" on the red carpet "“ or off!). Featured in 14K gold or platinum, this is a heavy-weight gift and can be customized with diamond or monogram enhancements. Created by Lester Lampert, the Stay Organizer Set includes an organizer to keep 16 pairs of collar stays organized, and makes an elegant gift for the true gentleman in your life.
Call 866.344.7829 or check www.stayclip.com for prices and stores near you (Stevie Wilson).
The Holiday's are here, and for some West Coasters, that means getting on a crowded and noisy plane and flying to their typically eastern destination, spending innumerable hours in transit. The seats are teeny, the tray won't stay up, you hate the movie, the kid behind you is kicking your seat, the guy next to you is "bogarting" the arm rest (not to mention his body odor). What to do? Chill! Grab the I-Pod, find a soothing Jolie Holland song, and let the monkey do the rest. Paul Frank has provided a nifty little travel case for jaunts. The hipster set will love the comfy socks, plastic bottles, satin eye mask, and "this seat is taken" marker. If the kid behind you just won't behave, try bringing out the printed barf bag. It either scares the daylights out of the kid, or he's like you and thinks it's cool - in which case you make a new friend - lucky you! Enjoy your flight ($40). www.paulfrank.com, www.karmaloop.com, All Paul Frank stores (Catherine Rigod).
Families Stay Tight: Whether it's mom, dad or baby, we've got you covered!
Give Dad his due with this Family Dude Tee in steel with asphalt text from Molly Anna. It's the least he should get now that he's a DAD!! It makes a great stocking stuffer for the guy with a new baby in the house ($34).
Make Molly Anna tees a family affair with this Night Owl tee that best describes the baby who never sleeps (and neither do the parents!) ($22). Or, if you truly want show family solidarity, get this matching baby and mommy tees. Baby's says Gift across the chest, Mom's is clearly for the "lady in waiting" with Gift emblazoned across the belly (Set $85, approx.). www.mollyanna.com; Belle Gray; Intuition; Jennifer Kaufmann (Stevie Wilson).
For your littlest princess, who dreams of owning her own castle, now she can, and she can take it with her, too, with Oilily's Fleece Castle Backpack. This plush castle makes the perfect carryall for books, toys and, clothing. What more could any princess want? ($98) Oilily Beverly Hills, 520 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, 310.859.9145 (Stevie Wilson).
Is it hard to find cute duds for your baby or toddler? Hi-Fi Baby provides sets for "Mommy and Me," or baby-only, featuring vintage inspired designs with legendary musical figures like Ella Fitzgerald, and Jimi Hendrix. The Mommy and Me set includes a red and black baseball tee for mom, and a matching one for baby, with a coordinating diaper cover. The tee features a licensed Jimi Hendrix image and the trademark Hendrix signature on the back. Diaper cover has a Hendrix quote embroidered on the butt. These pieces have more than enough 'tude for every music lover! Find these items at www.hifi-baby.com ($55). (Stevie Wilson).
For those with small children who love to go for walks, check out these adorable Parker Grace Sunglasses for the hip toddler in your life. The glasses provide 100% protection from harmful rays, and feature impact resistant lenses. The only thing that touches baby's delicate skin is soft cloth. Available in a number of styles - from the original Goo Goo Goggles, to the Shady Baby (built in hat!!), to personalized versions, the glasses come in colors/fabrics suitable for both girls and boys. ($20-40) www.parkergrace.com. (Stevie Wilson).
Living in LA, we have fab weather most of the year, and our sandals get a lot of wear. Crocs Cayman Clogs work for boys and girls (dads and moms, too). The Closed Cell Resin (proprietary material) warms and softens when worn and molds to the foot, providing a comfortable, well-fitting shoe. It's orthopedically correct, with an orthotic heel, built-in arch support, and tarsal bar position (for toes). The shoes cover a lot of ground: beach, boat, home, and puddles, without a slipping or scratching. Lots of color choices make them kid-friendly - and adult friendly, too, since there are sizes for the entire family! ($30) www.crocs.com for stores near you. (Stevie Wilson).