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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide 2009: Bath and Beauty

Even though I do consider myself a beauty blogger, I find it can be difficult to pick out beauty-related presents for other people.

There are four people I'd say I've had good luck with: Kati, Karen, L., and my mom. Kati and Karen are fairly easy to buy for, and I've done pretty well by them in my little gifties. I gave L. Viva Glam V and VI a few years back, and I've had success buying Bare Minerals color kits for my mom, as well as a full-sized bottle of Jo Malone Blue Agave and Cacao cologne from the (dearly departed and much missed) Gloss.com. That's not even to mention the times my mom and I have teamed up and bestowed Jeanne-and-Mom-approved cologne onto my brother at Christmas. (He is probably the only twenty-something boy with Hermes and L'Artisan in his bathroom cabinet. We've done the girls in his life a huge favor.)

That said, I've had success with people I know in real life -- it's always a little harder to put together a gift guide for the Invisible Internet People out there, with their own likes and dislikes and favorite scents or refusal to wear scents. And again, unless you know someone really well, dropping a perfume or a lovely batch of bath and beauty products into their laps could be met with a "so, you think I smell bad?". Gift-giving is hard! Be nice to me! But these are some pretty rad things I've got here this year...

CB I Hate Perfume Gingerbread- First off, the 2009 CB I Hate Perfume Gingerbread is out! I have the 2 mL of the 2008 Gingerbread, which is probably one of my most favorite scents ever (it is, in fact, my jam.) It's only made once a year, and only available through December. If you want the 2 mL, it's available at cbihateperfume.com for $15, as well as the larger sizes for $75. Well worth it.

- But maybe you'd rather have a variety of small perfumes. I am a huge fan of the decants you can purchase from The Perfumed Court or The Posh Peasant. All of my experiences have been lovely, and the variety is stunning. You can search by note, by fragrance house, whatever you like. Lots of good stuff and at great prices. I am terrible at picking up either "big" samples (like Elixir des Merveilles -- I bought a decant without trying a sample first, and I love it) or "small" bottles (am I really going to need a big bottle of Shalimar? no, so a little decant will do).

- For glittery stocking stuffers, the Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection from China Glaze has returned! Not only does it have the classic Ruby Pumps, which is a fantastic holiday (or any day, really) pedicure, but lots of other sparkly colors. I'm very tempted by "Dorothy Who?" (blue!), "C-C-Courage" (purple!), and "Good Witch?" (pink!). All of them can be purchased at Head2ToeBeauty.com.

- While it's always hard to pick out make-up colors for others, I don't think you can go wrong with the NARS The Multiple Coffret at Sephora. It's three of the rockstar NARS Multiples -- Orgasm, Copacabana, and South Beach -- which are all fab colors. I know I have Orgasm (great for cheekbone highlighting) and Copacabana (great for cheeks and also brow highlight), and I believe Karen has South Beach, so we are already fans.

Tsumori Chisato for Shu Uemura- Shu Uemura and Tsumori Chisato (that's very odd to write, since technically it's "Uemura Shu and Tsumori Chisato" or "Shu Uemura and Chisato Tsumori") have collaborated on a gorgeous holiday collection featuring Tsumori's Lucky Cat illustrations and what look like universally-flattering palettes and lipsticks. I'm dying to get my, uh, paws on some of these pieces, especially the lipstick...

- It's holiday time at Lush, which means it's time for Snow Fairy! I know some Lushies wait for this time all year. There's shower gels, bath melts, solid perfumes, and gift sets available in this sweet pink limited edition concoction.

- Speaking of limited edition, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has released its Yule scents at their Limited Edition page. Or, if you have a Neil Gaiman fan on your shopping list, BPAL also offers scents inspired by Neil Gaiman's works, including Good Omens, the Newbury-winning Graveyard Book, and Stardust, with all proceeds going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. But hurry -- BPAL has announced that you must order by midnight PST on Monday the 7th in order to get your scents in time for Christmas.

- Finally, here's a little something from one of my most favorite people on Twitter, Dita Von Teese. She's super-sweet and friendly, helping fans with pronounciations ("Loo-boo-tahn") and lipstick/foundation recommendations (MAC Russian Red, L'Oreal True Match in N1) as well as sharing her beauty secrets and favorites (her favorite fast food? In'n'Out Burger). And so when she tweeted that she has her own haircare line, I had to include it! After all, we do love her hair.

images from luckyscent.com and sephora.com

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