Gift-able y goodies of all types delight those on your gift list. Will they thrill to mini-sized luxury creams in multiples, or perhaps, bath and body goodies in fantasy scents made just for the holidays? Do your special someones have a sense of humor? Like jewelry ( who doesn’t?) love to cook? read? adore Hello Kitty? The Advice Sisters have gift suggestion for them all in this affordable goodies gift guide. Feast your eyes, then go out and shop (or even better, stay in and shop online)!
The Advice Sisters adore gifts that are in multiple, and we love mini-sized treats, and of course, we love anything from Laura Mercier. For Holiday 2015, out of the myriad of gift-ables Laura Mercier is offering from her Holiday Colour Collection and Holiday Body & Bath Collections comes this simply sensual, sinfully luxurious, and still under $60 (at $58.00) gift set of six mini-sized ultra-rich whipped Soufflé Body Crèmes called the La Petite Patisserie Souffle Body Crème Collection to instantly hydrate and nourish the skin. The little apothecary type jars are 2 oz. plastic, so they’re good for travel (the full sized jars are glass–lovely but they need to be in a secure place). The product is a very, very, luxurious all-day moisturizing cream that has Vitamins A, C and E to smooth and protect the skin, and each individual fragrance has something extra special to help pamper your skin. The Set include one each of all of the favorite gourmand scents: Crème Brûlée, Fresh Fig; Ambre Vanillé; Almond Coconut Milk; Tarte au Citron; Crème de Pistache . There is really something to please just about every “nose.”
I personally like the creamy and almond-y scent of the Almond Coconut Milk which smells like cream of coconut mixed with almond essence, not like suntan lotion! Creme de Pistache reminds me of my favorite Pistachio Gelato full of crushed nuts ( istachio Butter in this one helps moisturize). Fresh Fig and Tarte au Citron are less “creamy” and slightly more fresh but still dreamy. Fresh Fig offers Vitamin A, C and E derivatives. Grape Seed, Macadamia Nut and Rice Bran Oil condition the skin while Fig Extract and Honey offer soothing benefits. Sweet Almond and Rice Proteins, along with Pro-Vitamin B-5 provide moisture balance and protection. Tarte Au Citron The most gourmand scents are Ambre Vanille (. Grape Seed and Rice Bran Oil condition the skin while Vanilla Extract and Honey offer soothing benefits. Sweet Almond and Hydrolyzed Rice Proteins, along with Pro-Vitamin B-5 provide moisture balance and protection. ) and Creme Brulee (Grape Seed and Rice Bran Oil condition the skin while Vanilla Extract and Honey offer soothing benefits. Sweet Almond and Hydrolyzed Rice Proteins, along with Pro-Vitamin B-5 provide moisture balance and protection).
If you want to know more about these fragrances and the fabulous Whipped Soufle Body Creme, check out other reviews which the Advice Sisters have done. Most of these are in our What Works Beauty, Cosmetics and Fashion Review Column archives (Click Here to get to the archives and the search box at the bottom of the page) or check out what’s in our Search Box in the upper right hand corner of this page “type in Laura Mercier.” This would make a great gift for a couple, too. Budget Tip: Although these are really nicely boxed, if you are truly strapped for cash, you can break up the set and offer one or more to deserving friends. To find this set, visit your favorite Laura Mercier Department Store Counter or visit the Laura Mercier Web Site
Although we are suggersting the luxurious Kat Burki Private Collection Lilac & Rosemary Body Cream as a luxe holiday gift over $50.00, there are plenty of Kat Burki goodies to be had under that price as well The new, Glossy Lip Treatment by Kat Burki ($28.00) is more than just a mere squeeze tube of clear lip gloss to put a high wattage shine on your lips. It does that too, of course, but this super-shiny, clear gloss also protects the skin on your lips. The glossy and super chic gloss is in a cooling, ceramic rollerball designed to stimulate micro-circulation. We can’t say much about that, but we can say that the smooth, liquid-y, coconut oil-based formula has a high concentration of Vitamin E. The non sticky formula feels great, while it hydrates. A cooling ceramic rollerball gives your lips a gentle massage that helps to stimulate blood circulation and actually enhance your natural lip color. Some high shine glosses are gloppy, but this one just leaves your lips pouty, hydrated, and super-shiny in a silky and luxurious product that we are quickly getting addicted to! You can get yours after August 26th. Visit http://http://katburki.com
QVC has so many amazing gift ideas, and The Advice Sisters are highlighting them throughout our gift guides (to find them, simply type “QVC” into the search box on the right hand corner of the page and every one of them will show up). In this guide, we are showcasing two holiday-centric scented gifts from Philosophy, available from QVC:
One of the most beloved (and I really mean that) gifts for the holidays is a holiday-centric, multitasking, 3-in-1 shower gel from Philosophy, being offered by QVC. This year, we are suggesting several, including Have a Cherry Christmas (QVC philosophy have a Cherry Christmas 24 oz. 3-in-1 gel Item #A228473 $21.00 Shipping & Handling: $6.72). The stunningly peralescent pink bath and shower gel that is infused with a nicely sweet, cherry scent. This bath and shower gel is unique because you can use it on your hair, as a bubble bath, and as a bath and shower gel. It’s really works well for all three tasks, and makes a rich, foamy lather. Women love it. Men love it. Kids love it. The high quality, moisturizing formula really works hard to gently clean and condition hair and skin. The holiday-cheery cheery scent is fun, and the outer carton with the cherries and ribbon accent graphics looks well…cheery! Just add a box because the box is so cute you won’t want to cover it in wrapping paper. Also, the generously sized 24 oz. bottle with flip top cap lasts a long time so it really does make a great gift. Visit the QVC Web Site to get yours or watch QVC, on TV!
For the “angel” in your life, Philosophy’s Snow Angel Gel Body Duo from QVC ( Item #A334837 $22.73 Shipping & Handling: $5.97) is a nice gift set that will make her feel very special, indeed. The set includes a generously sized 16-oz snow angel 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath and a 7-oz snow angel body lotion. Snow Angel is described as” ” a body layering duo scented like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter’s night.” Fanciful as that might be, Philosphy is known for subtle fragrances and this one to my nose smells like fresh, clean laundry. The gorgeous, pearly white gel looks like crushed pearls — elegant and luxurious. You really can’t go wrong giving this to just about anyone. It’s just one of those gifts that any “girl” of any age is going to love. Visit the QVC Web Site to get yours or watch QVC, on TV!
Although I didn’t know it, Josie Maram’s Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil is a cult favorite. The innovative formula in a little tube is made with pure argan oil, and can be used hydrate and “luminize” almost every part of your body, from lips to face and body, to fly-aways on your hair, to conditioning cuticles, to transforming powder shadows and luminizers into creams, and even as a subtle face highlighter. Now that the Winter weather is coming, and about to dry out everything on our bodies, this product will help reduce that dry, dull, scaly look and feel.
For the holidays however, instead of mixing your own, Josie Maran developed two shades of this amazing cream into a two tube set of Josie Maran Argan Oil Infinity Lip and Cheek Tint (Item #A240193 $28.00 available through QVC ) in two different color tones,t o apply directly to lips and cheeks. This cream will melt to an oil for a soft flush of hydrating color when applied to the lips or the apples of the cheeks. The two available tints are “Forever Rose, and Honey. Basically, They smell wonderful, citrus-y, and the colors are so sheer you really can use either one, rose is of course rose, honey is a nude.
I hadn’t tried the original product, and when I hear the word “oil” I always worry it means greasy or sticky. Not on this one! The product blends into your skin leaving just a sheer, natural tint and no residue at all. They feel great on lips, especially if yours are chapped. Amazing, and great for yourself (pop one into your purse and your travel bag and you will always have a touch up tint), and of course, the set is great for a gift. Get the set and give one each to a friend, or of course, give the two to one special person. At $33.00 for the set, it’s still a great deal. Visit the QVC Web Site to get yours or watch QVC, on TV!
All that glitters may not be actual gold, it may be base plated metal, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look really good. LuLu Avenue, for example, sells costume jewelry that looks expensive, but really isn’t. This LuLu Avenue by Jude Frances High Wycombe necklace is just under $30 at $29.99 but it looks like you bought it in a high end jewelry store. The slim, oval, hammered circled pendant in a gold finish is made of plated base metal, and adds just a bit of sparkle. The size is appropriate for younger girls but will be substantial enough for more mature women who don’t like large pieces. It is 16 inches with 2 inch extender. Lulu Avenue is sold through Independant Style Advisors and you can get one through the website, or become one, yourself: http://www.luluavenue.com/
When I met Jac Vanek at an editor’s preview, I was captivated by her sense of humor, and her very witty items that had sayings I couldn’t help but agree with, and smile about. When she showed me a simple cloth bag that said “A Bag Full of Useless Shit” I began to laugh so hard, she gave it to me, along with one of her signature, # Grumpy Mug. Both are under $20.00, you will certainly brighten someone’s day, maybe your own. Visit Jac’s web site to see all the adorable tees and accessories she has for sale. None will ruin your budget, all will make your day.,
Books made great gifts, but you have to find the right book for the right person. Two that are exceptional are Sharing Morocco: Exotic Flavors from my Kitchen to Yours by Ruth Barnes (Greenleaf Book Group Press, October 2014 $29.95 hardcover) and Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories Plus One For Good Luck ((Perfect Square an Imprint of VIZ Media LLC, October 2014 $29.99 Hardcover).
It is rare that you find a cookbook where almost every recipe is one you would actually like to make, and eat. But that’s actually true in Sharing Morocco: Exotic Flavors from My Kitchen to Yours. There is something not just interesting, exotic and flavorful, but compelling about this collection of recipes that are really user-friendly for even beginning cooks who want to add some new recipes to their dinner tables. The photos make the recipes look literally mouth-watering, but what Ruth Barnes does is simplify recipes that might otherwise use ingredients that are hard to find or difficult to execute, by substituting common ingredient and demystifying the complex spice combinations so often found in Moroccan cuisine. The recipes are fast and easy, but the results will re-energize your family, and your guest. The idea is healthy, delicious food that will excite and delight and that is more than just the favorites like ganoush, baklava, and kebabs. I wanted to make every single recipe, and I’m working my way through the book. No one in my house is complaining! This book is available at bookstores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
If you really want to make this a more impressive gift, package it with a traditional Tagine, an earthenware cookpot…this one is a hand painted one from Tunisia, from Williams Sonoma for $59.00
Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty? Generations of people have adored her little kitty face. Hello Kitty was created 40 years ago to inspire happiness, friendship, and sharing across the world. Since her first appearance on a coin purse in 1974, she has become a global phenomenon and friend to millions. Now, on her 40th Anniversary, Sanrio has created a host of collectibles and one of them is this lovely, hardcover book called: Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories Plus One For Good Luckthat will delight children to grandmothers (and grandfathers, too). Although I personally am not familiar with the artists offering their colorful tributes in this book, art aficionados and Hello Kitty fans definitely will be. They will enjoy hearing their answers to the question: “what does Hello Kitty mean to you?” and seeing the artistic expression of that answer on the pages of the book. Everyone, from comic artists to muralists to toy creators, has a tale to tell about the little girl who speaks from her heart. Even if you’re not sure if your recipient is a true Hello Kitty fan, the adorable and collectible nature of the book just reeks of cool as a coffee table conversation piece. It will make an unusual, special gift. The introduction is by Babymouse co-creator Jennifer L. Holm. You can purchase this book on a number of web sites including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. For more information you can also visit the official Sanrio Web Site
“Brown” spirits are the spirits most requested right now in bars across the country from both men and women of all ages, but do you know what brands to order, or what cocktails you’d really like? That’s what I’m recommending a brand new book that was just published this November, called The North American Whiskey Guide from Behind the Bar: Real Bartenders’ Reviews of More Than 250 Whiskeys–Includes 30 Standout Cocktail Recipes by Chad Berkey, Jeremy LeBlanc (Page Street Publishing $21.99 US; Hardcover). This book features reviews of 250 American and Canadian whiskeys from real mixologists and provides the expert guide and information to choosing the best types and brands of whiskeys. Aside from information about the brands, there are also 30 cocktail recipes from classic to new and exciting, and even some advice on how to pair whiskey and cigars. Just like a great wine guide, this book shows photos of the products, tells where each product is made, and provides information about price, barrel type, origins, age, alcohol content, even the type of bottle and fun facts. Even if you are not really a whiskey fan you will become an expert just from reading the book, and will impress your friends, dates, clients, etc. It will make a fabulous gift for someone who loves Whiskey but it’s also a way to learn about something new and it makes a nice coffee table read. If you are not sure what to get the boss or even a boyfriend, this could be it (pair it with a nice bottle of whiskey, of course)! Get this fab book on amazon.com
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key words include: Laura Mercier, books, Ruth Barnes, Jac Vanek, Kat Burki, QVC, Hello Kitty, Philosophy, LuLu Avenue, Jewlery, body cremes, lip balms, luxury, Ulta, mega-makeup kits, Josie Maran, argan oil