What do These Items Have in Common? @Silpada, @Boyfriend @L’Occitane

What do these gift suggestions from Silpada, Kate Walsh’s Billionnnaire Boyfriend, and L’Occitane, have in common?”Not much,” you might be tempted to reply. But I have put them together because they represent some of the best and still affordable gift options that will please glamazons of all types who want to serve up some chic real-ness in the weeks and months to come!

The Advice Sisters discovered Silpada in 2011, at a holiday event last year also featuring Avon and Mark.  We were impressed!   Silpada’s sterling silver jewelry is available both online and through at home parties, where jewelry reps can make money and satisfy their desire to acquire new jewelry for themselves. The jewelry is, for the most part, trendy but not over the top, and the prices range from very modest (under $20.00) to substantial pieces that cost several hundred dollars.

There are attractive items in every jewelry category, but the one that we recommended to our Advice Sisters readers for the holidays last year,  was a set of earrings benefiting the Silpada Foundation.  This year, there is another charity earring set, called:  “Ablaze” ($59.00).  The substantial, teardrop shaped and faceted peachy crystals  are softly rounded and bezel-set in textured sterling silver with slim silver ear wire hooks.  But while the earrings are very attractive and would make a great gift (*throw in a Silpada Signature Polishing Cloth for just $5.00 — $1 of the purchase price will support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).  Silpada will donate $10 of your earrings purchase to the Silpada Foundation, to help support a variety of causes benefiting women and children through the Silpada Foundation.  There is also a nice charm collection including initials, crystals, and all sorts of meaningful symbols and shapes. A few on a chain make a memorable gift.  If you are interested in purchasing Silpada jewelry or might want to consider hosting a jewelry party to make extra cash, visit www.silpada.com . You can learn more about the Silpada Foundation at www.silpadafoundation.org.

Not long ago, The Advice Sisters reviewed the Ambre Vanille Trio by Laura Mercier .  This would make a lovely gift for the holidays, but so would other Laura Mercier bath and body gift-ables. For example, this Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Trio ($65.00) . Laura Mercier is the queen of gourmand bath and body fragrances, and ($60.00).  This nicely boxed set includes two mini sized 6 oz. glass apothecary jars (Laura’s signature, square glass ones with matte silver tops, inspired by antique French ones),  filled to the brim with Body Scrub and Body Creme, plus a full size,  8 oz Creme Body Wash, in a plastic flip top bottle.  Laura Mercier was inspired by the sweet, fresh, intoxicating scent of Fig and the fragrance is something like figs draped in heavy cream.  Yes, it’s sinfully delicious but it’s also fairly fresh and even somewhat “green,” so it’s not sticky sweet.  Even men are going to want to drink the fragrance into their nostrils, so ladies, be sure to share! The notes are essence of fresh Celeste Figs mingled with a dewy fruit bouquet of Apricot Nectar and sensuous Ylang Ylang. The Crème Body Wash foams gently, and leaves skin soft and moisturized, with a fleeting scent of fresh fig. During the Winter months you really need to exfoliate as well as moisturize a lot more often. Slough off dead, dry, itchy skin cells with the  Body Scrub that is just gritty enough to do the job, but won’t rip your skin to shreds, Enjoy the fragrance as the heat of the water warms the fragrance. When your skin is still moist, slather on the Soufflé Body Crème. This product is one of the Advice Sisters’ favorites. It is an ultra-whipped scented body crème that soothes your skin all day long (shea butter is in it, and other good-for-your-skin ingredients), and adds more fresh fig fragrance to soothe your senses, too. Laura Mercier has so many different gift-ables, we couldn’t fit them into just one gift category, so we are suggesting our favorites in several Advice Sisters features.  Hopefully you visit The Advice Sisters web site regularly, for our original, editorial content that arrives on a daily basis.  We are working on getting a search button for this web site, but for now, find all our holiday gift suggestions, including those from Laura Mercier, by Googling “advicesisters” + Laura Mercier) or better still, follow us on Twitter @advicesisters where links to all our daily features are automatically posted, or subscribe to our feed (see the top of this page).  Then, visit your favorite Laura Mercier makeup counter, or go to http://www.lauramercier.com

Back in June 2011, The Advice Sisters introduced our readers to Boyfriend, a new fragrance by actress Kate Walsh. Boyfriend was a big hit, especially on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) where there were values in exclusive gift sets. According to Kate Walsh herself (and she’s even more gorgeous in person than on your television screen), the idea was to create a mixture of masculine and feminine. Notable among celebrity fragrances, Kate Walsh’s involvement with the creation of the scent didn’t stop with the creative side, she bankrolled it, too. Instead of working with a large company, she did it herself, she worked with consultants and Givaudan nose Mary Pierre Julien, to create a scent that startles with it’s spicy, sensual notes, soothes with vanilla, excites, with woods. In time for the holidays, there is a new fragrance: Billionaire Boyfriend. This time I didn’t see Kate in person, but according to the quotes in the press literature,  Billionaire Boyfriend is a “Luxurious and Richly Emotional Fragrance, evocative of the finer things in life….”I created Billionaire Boyfriend for women to experience a fantasy – one that involves a glamorous, new boyfriend, one that happens to be a billionaire. The scent immerses those who wear it in ultimate, unsurpassed luxury,” Kate is quoted as saying.

Billionaire Boyfriend is a re-imagined version of the original, but both are noted for creating the feeling of notes reminiscent of a man’s scent that lingers on a women’s skin. The original is a mildly spicy oriental scent. But Billionaire Boyfriend has some of those notes, but it smells more feminine, creamier and warmer.  The first fragrance was created after a breakup, and clearly, this newbie is for a happier time,  with more of a floriental feel.  Also crafted with the fragrance house Givaudan and perfumer Mary Pierre Julien,  black jasmine amber is at the heart of  Billionaire Boyfriend, with bergamot and tangerine wrapped in lush green leaves, plus velvet orchid, gardenia and a touch of patchouli flower. Vetiver, cistus, sandalwood, and golden amber notes finish the fragrance, making it soft and warm, and just a bit spicy, with less edge but a lot of allure.  I sampled the slim, Pulse Point Oil Rollerball, but the actual flacon looks elegant, with an antiqued platinum-mirrored finish and the funny, faux Latin phrase that made me laugh: “Dira Neessitas.”   Here’s the lineup:
Eau de Parfum, 1.7 oz. / 50 ml: $75.00
Eau de Parfum, .5 oz. / 15 ml: $45.00
Pulse Point Oil Rollerball, .4 oz. oz. / 12 ml: $22.00
Travel Body Crème, 3.4 oz. / 100 ml: $25.00 (HSN.com exclusive)

Billionaire Boyfriend is available at all Sephora stores nationwide and Sephora online, and in February, it will on the Home Shopping Network.

The Advice Sisters have been offering gift suggestions all season long, but L’Occitane has so many in so many different price points, we’ve included them in a number of different gift guides. To find them, google “advicesisters.net + L’Occitane” or even better, why not take a moment to follow us on Twitter (@advicesisters) or subscribe to our web site feed (see the top of this page).

If you’re in a BIG hurry and you really don’t have the time to shop at your favorite L’Occitane store, or perhaps you’re traveling and you just can’t bring liquids and other gift-ables with you in your carry-on, L’Occitane has a solution (if you have an iPhone). You can order with any phone or computer (visit http://usa.loccitane.com) but if you’re in Manhattan’s Grand Central Station, you’ll find a special kiosk outside of the L’Occitane store with a poster that looks like the one above.  The colorful cart has photos of a couple of boxed, limited edition,  L’Occitane gifts, along with a QR code for each. Use your iPhone to scan the QR code for the gift you want to send and you will be taken directly to that sales point, where you can make your purchase with your phone, and have the gift sent (for free!) to whomever you want (*believe it is United States only).  It will take a couple of business days to get your gift to it’s destination, so don’t procrastinate too long. But if you’re in a hurry, or you can’t make it into the store, or you can’t take it with you, this is a fabulous idea! Editors tried it at a holiday preview, and it worked, very well.  L’Occitane has plans to roll the QR code ordering option out in front of other locations where they may be planning a store that isn’t quite open yet (I suggested they put these in airports, but I’m guessing it’s pricey to do that). Oh..,.and every L’Occitane boxed gift (the photo to the right is just of my favorite, Lavender Spa Gift Set – $68.00).  This one includes six lavender-scented goodies:  Foaming Bath 16.9 fl. oz;  Cleansing Hand Wash 10.1 fl. oz; Hand Cream 1 oz; Body Lotion 2.5 fl. oz;  a lovely square Bonne Mere Lavender soap 3.5 oz; plus a sachet.  All the boxed gifts also include a $15.00 off gift card, so it is like you’re giving two gifts in one! For more holiday gifts, Visit your favorite L’Occitane Store, or http://usa.loccitane.com


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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