Luxurious Holiday Gifts for Lovely People @LauraMercier, @QVC, @CliveChristian, @Mexico

Gold and glitter are glamorous, but deliciously decadent holiday gifts come in all shapes and sizes, for lovely people of all types.  The Advice Sisters have selected 7 sensational, luxurious holiday gift suggestions for the lovely people you want to pamper, in different categories and price-points.  Soft slippers, sensational fragrances, fur (faux, of course),  dreamy books for armchair travelers,  unique watches, and one amazingly stunning face in a case kit, will make sugarplum dreams come true. The Advice Sisters think these items will really delight the most deserving,  and  discerning,  people on your gift list:

 

 

Velvet slippers are fit for a Queen. Treat the ladies who are “queens of your heart” royally, by offering them The Real Deal Velvet slippers by Daniel Green  ($48 to $65) Daniel Green is a company that was founded in the 1880′s by Daniel and his brother William and it is synonymous with high quality, luxury footwear.  Their slippers (more than 100 million pairs of them) have delighted and warmed the feet of the rich and famous,  as well as other lucky folks, everywhere.

>The full slipper style in the photos above, are available in four color, and the style is called: “Kiki,” with a srp. of $48.00 *I personally have had Daniel Green slippers in metallic gold, and in leather, which is a style called: “Meg,” $50.00. My slippers lasted literally for, years.  These are not just ordinary slippers of the kind you find in drug stores and mass market retailers. They’re super-luxe. Kiki for example, is crafted of velvet corduroy that feels like a soft blanket for your feet. After a night in stilettos, coming home and donning a soft, elegant, padded slipper, is a bit like heaven!  The inside is lined with soft plush velour in a contrasting color, over a comfy, padded foot-bed of latex/foam so your feet will stay warm, but not stifling hot. You feel like you’re walking on a cloud. There’s a subtle elastic nestled into one side of each slipper, making it easy to slip on and off, but also offering a customized, snug fit once on the foot. A somewhat flexible, but still durable, indoor/outdoor sole is a nice plus if you are going to go outside to get your newspaper in the morning.  Kiki comes in four colors, but my choice is “Ruby,” a burgundy so elegant it wouldn’t be a stretch to wear these with velvet pants, to a party!  Kiki is the choice for holiday gift giving. It is available in sizes 6-11 (they run true to size).  Delight someone!  Visit the Daniel Green official web site or your favorite retailer

 

Laura Mercier literally has a Santa’s bag-full of  holiday beauty gifts for face, body, and home. The Advice Sisters has featured some of these already in other articles, and there is more to come!  But the big ticket item for the season is certainly her eye-popping face in a case kit called:  Glamour Wardrobe ($95.00). For women who travel a lot, or who like to touch up eyeeyes, lips and face, this zip around, dual-decker travel palette has infinite possibilities. It will be a lucky lady’s “go to” for a long time, at home or at work and “on the road.”  The brown, faux-crock “pleather” looks plausibly real, and when you unzip the case a large mirror is revealed in the top cover. The other side holds the dual-decker face palette. The top has eight sheer-ish, layer-able and blend-able silky shadows in: Buttercream (Soft yellow), Peridot (soft khaki), Heather Plum Igreyed plum), Midnight Navy (deep navy), Coffee Ground (mid matte rown), Cherrywood (coppery brown), Sandstone (softly perled nude) and Sable (soft taupe). These are mostly matte and high perle (not glittery) formulas, so even those with less than taute eye areas, can rock an evening look (and of course, the colors are universally flattering).  Nestled into two wells are mini Double-Ended Crease/Smudge Brush,  and a Single Ponytail Brush.

Before I continue with the second level, featuring lipsticks and blush, I just want to mention a detail I love: Every single item, including the brushes and all the colors, are labled, so you know exactly what you are working with. Thanks, Laura!  Swivel the top tray down and to the right, and find five of Laura’s lovely Lip Glazes (from left to right in the photo): Chambord (wine), Sugarplum (peachy pink), Papaya (apricot), Dolce (soft rose), Brick (bold red). If you love Laura’s silky, shiny, hydrating, lip products as I do (and who doesn’t?!) you’ll love these colors with something for every outfit and mood. In a well in the middle is nestled a lip brush, or just dot these on with your finger. You’ll also find 4 Sheer Crème Cheek Colours in universally flattering shades of Rose Glow (shimmery rose with gold), Pink Veil (peachy pink), Golden Glow (gold highlight), Bronze Veil (contour, bronzer).  The most amazing thing other than the products, is that all of this fits in a square case the size of two decks of playing cards. You can’t go wrong gifting this gorgeous palette that will make her feel special, but splurge on one for yourself, too. This Laura Mercier Palette will pay beauty dividends, for a long, long time. Visit your favorite Laura Mercier Makeup counter or http://www.lauramercier.com/

 

Whether you are too busy to deal with holiday shopping, you just loathe the lines, or you want to find something very special that the local stores don’t carry,  QVC is a perfect way to get the gifts you are seeking.  QVC always has a mind-boggling array of products to purchase, but during the holidays they have even more amazing arrays of “gilty pleasures” to suit every personality, interest, and budget. For me, the holidays are the most horrible time to be in stores, but when you shop at home through QVC on television, or online, it’s effortless.  It is very easy to become deeply obsessed with QVC!

In the early days of shop-at-home, not all items were as lovely in person as they appeared on the displays, but those days are long gone. QVC doesn’t just have quality and luxury, it also has plenty of exclusives (so you won’t find these items anywhere else).   And while you can spend a lot on gold and other pricey items, there are plenty of things that are affordable and just look expensive.  In case you are still waffling about online shopping, be assured that  QVC is also reliable. Products arrive properly packaged, with good communication on delivery status, in-between.

One item that I saw at the QVC editor’s preview that I really liked, is actually priced under $62.00, even though it looks like it should be outrageously expensive.  This is the one to treat yourself to for the holiday season  The  Dennis Basso Faux Fur Textured Fur Throw  50″ x 60″ ($61.00 QVC Item #H193700) is soft, sexy, versatile, and covet-able. I nearly fell over when I was at the preview, spied these throws, and then saw the price-tag.

Dennis Basso is one of America’s premier couture-fur designers. He also has a line of ready-to-wear separates and dresses. For QVC, Mr. Basso has created a glorious line of faux fur outerwear, accessories, and home décor. Not everyone can afford real fur, and not everyone wants to own it. My own family were furriers, and believe me, I know what real fur feels like. These faux fur throws look and feel almost like the real thing. They actually fooled me at the QVC holiday launch (and my grandfather was a furrier)!  From afar, and even wrapped around you or thrown over a chair or couch, these throws look incredibly luxurious. There a are different color combos, and they are as soft as fur and look realistic, and very expensive.  Being wrapped in one of these (or even better, lounging on it) will make your day and your evening, special.  It’s a wonderful gift idea and it’s one size fits all.

No detail has been spared to make the throws look like they cost thousands of dollars.  It is large enough to cover an entire twin bed, or use it to cover up the back of a couch, or make sensuous seating for two, on your next evening in with a special someone.  If  it’s cold, wrap it around your body and just enjoy feeling “decadent.” One side has the animal print design, the other is solid plush with a large, satin, couture label just like the ones featured on expensive fur coats.  The throw is made of 75% acrylic/21% polyester/4% modacrylic with a 100% polyester back/lining.  TIPEven though this is faux fur and you can machine wash and gently tumble dry, I’d dry clean it so it won’t get matted in a washing machine.

Also from QVC are two “comfort” products that are styled with plenty of glamour, but not a lot of cost. Whether you’re making your wish list, or making your gift list, watches are always high on the list. Far from being just practical time-keepers, watches have become fashion statements, Like shoes and handbags, no woman can have enough watches.

One that I saw at the QVC holiday gift preview that really caught my eye, was the Melania Curved Case Python Strap Watch *QVC Items #J267470) .   The retail value is over $70.00 but at just $49.50 it is a great value. The watch looks impressive and expensive, but for a decent watch, it’s a  steal, not a splurge. This Melania Watch arrives in a shiny white hard-sided presentation box with “Melania” in elegant gold metallic script on the top, and inside, the box is satin-lined.  The watch inside incorporates some of the hottest trends of the season.  The fashionable, very large face (case:  1-1/2″W x 1-1/2″L) looks chic, but it  fits comfortably on even on a slim wrist, thanks to another trend feature: a wide leather band in snake-embossed cowhide with lots of holes to fit small to large wrists.  Snakeskin is yet another trend that shows you’re in step with style. The photo of the watch here is pink (because who doesn’t adore pink?) but you can also get this same watch with a Blue, Orange, Black, or Silver band. This watch looks expensive, and I’ve gotten a lot of “wow, that’s a great watch!” comments from mine, but if a watch doesn’t tell time, reliably, what’s the point. This one has a stainless steel case-back with reliable, Japanese movement (*the watch is made in China).  There is a silver case (for the pink/blue or orange bands) or goldtone case (for the black and silver bands). Each watch features the curved, domed crystal, that is surrounded by dozens of tiny, sparkling crystals, elegant, black Roman numerals,  make it easy to see the time. A subtle “M” marks “Noon” in the middle of the watch.  There is a 5-year Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty. There are other Melania watches you can choose, but this one is the fashionistas choice. Maybe it’s not a Rolex or a Patek Philippe, but it is looks luxrious, and adds holiday bling to whatever you wear.

Speaking of “bling,” the glitter girls in your life are going to love the  Dearfoams Sequin Velour Clogs with Faux Fur Cuffs, by Dearfoam (QVC Item #A227842 $24.50). Dearfoams are beloved for slippers that make you feel warm and comfy, and pampered. But these Dearfoams Sequin Velour Clogs with Faux Fur Cuff are the ultimate lounge shoe/slipper. Anyone can make a plush slipper with lots of cushioning , lined in soft plush, but the addition of a galaxy of sparkling sequins, plus a plush faux fur cuff that surround your foot, make you feel glamorous. There is a practical side, of course, a plushy-soft velour lining and upper that keeps your foot warm, and a sturdy, black, outsole that provides reliable traction and is durable enough to wear outside (at least to get the morning paper or the mail, even if it’s snowy or icy outside). Also, you can machine wash these, even though they’re festooned with sequins.  The slippers are available in sizes small medium large and XL (size 5 to 12). The inside padding makes tired feet go “aaah” after a long day, but I’m willing to bet that you will find these so much fun to wear, you’ll just keep wearing these sparkling slippers,  as much as possible!  Slippers may not be one size fits all (so check and be sure that you have the right size if you’re going to give these as a gift), but slippers are a classic, welcome, useful, and now, glamorous option! *Last I looked on the QVC web site these were sold out, but QVC is constantly getting new shipments, so don’t give up — try back, and visit www.qvc.com or check out all the holiday specials that will be featured this month and next, on QVC’s television channel.

My last gift suggestion in this feature truly is pricey, and luxurious.  This bottle holds a lot of history and tells the story of a very special perfume house. Their triple absolute perfumes even enchanted a young Queen Victoria of England, who received what might be the world’s first “his and hers” scents from the perfumer when she and Prince Albert were newlyweds. In 1872 she awarded that perfume house the country’s highest honor, the approval to use the image of her crown on their bottles.  How romantic!  Those triple absolute fragrances  are highly concentrated, and have been re-imagined and resurrected today in the Clve Christian Perfume collection. The bottles of their unique and luxurious fragrances still have the crown topper.  Queen Elizabeth has added honors to the perfume house, and received a No. 1 perfume to commemorate her Golden Jubilee.  Kate and William received their own “his and hers” Clive Christian No ! perfumes in honor of their wedding.

Designer Clive Christian and his Daughter Victoria (named after the famous Queen),are ready to thrill you and treat you and those on your gift list royally, with fragrances such as “1872″ based on a formula created over 130 years ago!  But they also have created a number of other scents, based on the long traditional of the perfume house like  X, and No 1 Imperial Majesty (named the world’s most expensive perfume with only 1,000 bottles products annually). More recently there is “V” and “C” ( feminine accords of rose and jasmine absolute.)

As you might imagine, these beautifully bottled fragrances are not just long lasting, they are beautifully blended fragrances with precious notes. I can’t tell you which will suit you the best, although I love the fact that they’re paired in complimentary men’s and women’s fragrances.  Some are unisex in nature, and many are sophisticated, spiced with precious woods and herbs or rare florals.

When I met Victoria, she made it clear that in choosing a fragrance from Clive Christian,one must invest the time to actually smell them and test them on the skin. “One will speak to you,”  she said. I tried them on paper strips and all smelled wonderful, but when I put them on my skin, I was surprised that the perfumes translated very differently.  The prices range from a low of $190 for a 1 oz 1872 perfume spray for men or for women, to $355.00 1.6 fl. oz. of the glass and gold-topped bottles, and up to a pricey $865.00 for 1.6 fl. oz. of the No 1  in the Gold Bottles, and beyond, to a lofty  $1,700 for “The Connoisseur’s Choice” of a 1 oz. pure perfume with a silk handkerchief (available exclusively at Clive.com).    The good news is that you can also get a luxurious gift, and one that collectors can and will covet in a trio of minis. The Traveler Set  (srp. $310) is beautifully boxed in a satin lined presentation case, with an 0.34 fl. oz. bottle each of  X, No1 and 1872.  This set is fit for the  king or queen (of your heart).  Clive Christian Fragrances are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and you can get more information on the Clive Christian WebSite.

 

Do you know someone who really needs a break from every day life?  Maybe a spa vacation?  Gina Diez Barroso de Franklin, President and CEO of GYA Editores, driven by her passion for Mexico, as well has her interest in the history of this country and love for its people, wants you to consider the beauty and variety of spas in Mexico. She’s just published a gorgeous, large, coffee-table-sized book called: Harmony + Serenity + Balance: Spectacular Spas of Mexico ($59.97). The color pages provide everyone from the armchair traveler, to those who expect and demand nothing but the best in travel, with eye candy that will make you longing to leave for Mexico, right now!  The book isn’t inexpensive, and neither are the spas that are showcased, but even if you don’t have the resources to visit in person (some of the spas charge thousands), you’ll learn a lot more about the mix of Mexico’s ancient healing traditions and modern beauty therapies,  at the very best spas in Mexico.  Contact information is also provided, in case you’re ready to grab your bikini, and go. The photography is gorgeous.  This is a wonderful gift book that is also informational. You’ll want to showcase it a tranquil bedroom or guest room for warm and relaxing thoughts, all season long. Get it at amazon.com

Whether you’re gifting an e-reader, or you are just looking for a special, and personalized gift for someone who already has one, Lands End has you (and the e-reader) covered. I mean that, literally. Lands End has a line of e-readers covers crafted in 100% wool needlwork on the front, and the rest is padded, and made of cotton velvet. There are several different designs, including dogs, partridge in a pear tree, or even a map of the United States.  Slide the e-reader in and snap the loop closed for travel and storage, unsnap and pull the e-reader out, to use. It’s  6½″ x 9½″ and best fits Nook®, Kindle Fire®, iPad® mini and maybe a few other types.  You can add a monogram to make it personal, if you wish. I just love the penguin, and every time I pull this out of my tote, I get amused looks.  At $39.50 it’s a substantial, luxurious, and unique gift for someone special, but it won’t bankrupt your budget, either. Lands End has so many different items to love. Check out our other Lands End Gift suggestion (unique wine totes) from our December 8th articleabout unique, luxe gifts actually under $30.00!  * Lands’ End is offering holiday shoppers a stress-free shopping solution – online holiday gift shops featuring curated gifting collections. With its nine new gift shops categorized by price and theme, Lands’ End makes it easy to find the perfect gift in just one spot, landsend.com/gifts. Or simply go to the Lands End web site and see everything!  http://www.landsend.com/ You still have time!

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About Advicesisters

Alison Blackman Dunham aka. “Advice Sister Alison” and “The Advice Sisters” is a writer, photographer, online advisor, and lifestyles consultant. She has built her reputation offering readers a unique perspective on life, in print, in person and through the camera lens. Her focus is on advice, beauty, fashion, lifestyles, relationships and things that help make life easier, more successful and more fun. Please follow Alison on Twitter @advicesisters and check out her other web (advice-related) sites: leatherandlaceadvice.com & leatherandlacespice.com

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