There is a saying that a good gift is one you’d like to receive. That particularly makes sense if you’re a lover of beauty products, because there are so many covet-able things that you might love to own, but somehow, can’t justify buying when the rent has to be paid, the holiday gifts have to be purchased, and the budget if maybe a bit depleted. But the holidays are a time for grand gestures. As an Editor and Publisher of The Advice Sisters Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Website, I have been grappling with the notion that my readers really may be feeling “the financial pinch” this year. Some sites may be suggesting $1,000 pet beds, and $500 face creams, but I’m guessing most of my readers really don’t give (or get) those types of gifts, no matter how many celebrities (in glossies like Vogue) insist that these are the gifts you should be buying.
The textbook definition of luxury is something that is an indulgence rather than a necessity. However, one person’s indulgence is another person’s necessity. Maybe you need a pricey face cream because you have a skin condition that really warrants it. Then it’s not a luxury, although it still may be an indulgent product. So for holiday 2013, I’m suggesting some beauty products that are definitely “indulgent” for what they are. After all, you can buy a moisturizer, a lip gloss, or a skin treatment in the supermarket for a couple of dollars, and if it is the right type for your skin and situation, and if you use it properly and regularly, you may get some decent results. But the products below combine the best of technology with luxurious and nurturing ingredients to give you maximum results, even if you have to pay more for them. You will want them, even if you have to save for then. But if you’re lucky, someone will give you one. So be particularly nice to those you love, because if you’re extra-nice you may get the beauty gift you’d do just about anything, to get. These particular products are so very special!
The Algenist Anti-Wrinkle Collection ($100) – mini size ($52.00 $100 value) This three-piece set provides everything you need to combat advanced signs of aging. This boxed set provides you with three serious skincare products that offer powerful alguronic acid derived from microalgae, for a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, and for radiantly smooth, more youthful-looking skin. The set contains: – 4 oz Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser; – 1 oz Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer; – 0.23 oz Complete Eye Renewal Balm. The products don’t have any parabens, suflates or phthlates. They’re good for all skin types. Algenist skincare is formulated with alguronic acid, an algae extract claimed to have major anti-aging benefits for the skin that are similar to those provided to microalgae cells. The alguronic acid works the way microalgae cells do, with the ability to protect and regenerate themselves, even in in harsh environmental conditions. The idea is that alguronic acid can also provide those same benefits to the skin, including increasing skin smoothness, decreasing fine lines, and minimizing wrinkles *with proper and regular use, of course. It can be used for anyone who is worried about aging, or whose skin is already showing signs of aging.
The cleanser comes in a flip top tube. It has Alguronic Acid plus Oat Amino Acids and Witch Hazel to help condition and soften while leaving skin refreshed and perfectly prepared for treatment. I lovely, all around cleanser. – Works on integrin proteins to lift collagen and create an inner support network for beautifully redefined contours – Superior moisturiser – Ensures comprehensive anti-ageing treatment from within
The Regeneratiive Anti-Aging Moisturizer has Alguronic Acid, combined with Vitamin C and Apple Stem Cell Extract, to help smooth skin texture, address imperfections and restore radiance. (use it morning and evening –there is also a version with SPF 20 but this one doesn’t have the SPF).
The Complete Eye Renewal Balm is a very rich cream hthat nourishes the delicate skin around the eye area, while de-puffing and helping to reduce dark circles. It has Alguronic Acid combined with vitamin C, caffeine, as well as cucumber, aloe and green tea extracts. This all sounds pretty wonderful .But back to reality. Biotechnology isn’t inexpensive and neither are Algenist products. For example, a full sized, 1 fl. oz. serum purchased on it’s own, is $95.00,while a 4 oz. cleanser is $25.00, and a 2 oz. moisturizer is $90.00 –and that’s just for starters. One way around this if you love the idea of luxurious, high tech, unique skincare, is to try one of Algenist’s “value-priced” skincare sets. That said, the full sized The Algenist Anti-Wrinkle Collection is ($100) but the mini-sized sampler set is just $52.00 and can be found at places like QVC and Sephora. and a great way to introduce someone (or yourself) to this excellent skincare line. For more information on Algenist skincare visit http://www.algenist.com/
Sensai is a high end, high performance line from Kanebo International. What makes Sensai unique, is that the skincare method is based on the concept of doubling up: double cleansing, double moisturizing and double treatment application. This is inspired by the Japanese tea ceremony where there are an elaborate set of rules called “Saho,” required to make a truly perfect bowl of tea. The rules guide one’s actions from beginning to end – from the preparation and decorum in the tea room to admiring the utensils. The idea of using Saho in a skincare line is to create a pampering ritual requiring the user to be mindful and thoughtful, not just slather on some “stuff.” The Sensai skincare program is also designed to calm the spirit and sharpen the senses. But there is nothing old fashioned about the high tech methods and ingredients Sensai uses to maximize the skin’s self-protective and regenerative power.
A lip treatment might not seem like much of a glamorous gift, but really, it is. Sensai by Kanebo Total Lip Treatment ($68.00) is a very luxurious way to deal with those tiny little lines that show up around your lip area, and that your lip gloss and lipstick like to gravitate into. More than that, the luxurious balm works like magic to repair rough, chapped lips . During thie holiday season, and into the Winter, your lips really get a workout from wind, cold, and probably a lot of lipstick, kissing, and maybe lack of sleep and too much over indulgence. This little balm immediately smooths and soothes anything and everything that’s not quite right. At $68.00 it isn’t inexpensive, and that’s why I’m suggesting it as the ultimate luxury for a lip-obsessed friend, the one who has everything, or thinks she does. But she doens’t have this…and when she tried it, she’ll be hooked for life.
Another product from Sensai with a high price tag but one that that will produce high expectations for great results, is the Sensai Cellular Performance Deep Lift Filler ($140.00 .70 fl. oz.). This is the third step in a trio of products (the other two are moisturizers). This product comes in a tube with a slated tip. It approaches firming of the skin in a totally different way from a lot of other products. Instead of targeting the facial muscles, it works on restoring density, firmness and resilience to the skin, and lifting collagen to create an inner support network for beautifully redefined, natural-looking contours. Without getting too technical, the key is a Micro-Mesh Uplifter that increases the integrin proteins that pull up collagen fibres and that produces a more lifted appearance. The product also promotes hyaluronic acid synthesis in both epidermal and dermal cells which means your skin will look more plump and youthful.. It also has Shikuwasa Extract that stimulates epidermal cell proliferation and can help to restore skin thickness. Just FYI:The Kanebo Sensai Collection is based on the precious qualities of Japan’s Koishimaru silk combined with the most advanced skincare technologies (this product has the Koishimaru silk ingredient, too). Use this product as the last step of skincare routine morning and evening, apply an appropriate amount to any areas of concern which lack volume (in particular around the eyes, around the mouth, the cheeks and nasolabial lines) after Double Moisturizing. Editor’s Note: if you can’t spring for the trio of products, the Deep Lift Filler is still a good last step with your favorite moisturizer.
You may not be able to gift a Marc Jacobs handbag, or a designer dress, but you can make a special woman’s day with a coveted makeup item like a Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl ($28.00). The Lust for Lacquer comes in an intense, fully pigmented version, and a lip sheer (which the Advice Sisters sampled in the color “#306 Heart Shaped“, a shimmery baby pink with barely-there color, a lot of shine, and a decadent vanilla scent that smells like the real thing.
You’ll also get a champagne-grape-infused formula that tingles a bit with lip plumping properties, while it delivers antioxidants (e.g. papaya fruit extract) and essential oils and cocoa butter, to hydrate and nourish your lips. The tube is clear and wanded, but definitely “designer.” It is a slim oval with the tactile feel of a river stone, and the color shimmers in the clear plastic tube. patented, pillowed applicator provides a smooth application of the gloss. The color is available in six shades apparently inspired by Marc’s favorite music. This is the sort of item that makes you feel pampered and luxurious and special, even though it’s just a lip gloss!