A Few of Our Favorite Things….Holiday Gift Guide

There are a few camps of people. For some, the holiday season begins after Thanksgiving. For another subset, it begins before….and that’s quite the subjective date. I’m in the latter camp, and am THISCLOSE to actually putting up my tree. But, I’ll wait until after Thanksgiving. (Maybe.)  I have, however, already picked up some Christmas gifts for family and friends. I love Christmas shopping, or shopping in general, so this time of year is just “want” overload. I try to channel that into good energy for others though. So in the spirit of the season, we are going to be sharing a few of our favorite things each week. May it serve as inspiration for your holiday shopping list or personal wish list!

This week’s focus is definitely a hodge podge or beauty goodies, home and personal accessories that make great gifts for yourself or others!

  • Slatkin and Co. Apple Crumble Candle – This is the best-smelling candle EVER. It smells true to form — baked granny smith and mcintosh apples topped with vanilla crumble, cinnamon and nutmeg. I burn this constantly, and it makes me feel more comfortable in my own home, like someone is baking goodies while I get to relax on the couch with a cozy blanket. Do yourself a favor and stock up on this for yourself and everyone you know. Available at Bath & Body Works, $19.50 (though ALWAYS on sale!). 
  • AHAVA ‘Salt Celebration’ Mineral Bath Salt Wands – I am a bath ‘fene; there’s nothing more relaxing and indulgent on a chilly evening. And AHAVA Bath Salts are among my tub staples. These wands are just TOO adorable, and limited edition. They’d make for a perfect stocking stuffer. Available at Nordstrom for $10.00
  • Glitter iPhone Case I cannot resist the charm of this uber sparkly metallic iPhone case. I think it’s perfect. There’s a silver option, too. Hmm….I could justify both.  Available at J Crew for $25.
  • MAC Dazzlesphere Ornament Mini Nail Kit – It’s tradition in my family to get/give an ornament every year — my tree is literally filled with 29 years of memories. I love that this is not just five covetable polishes, but also an ornament. Check it out at Nordstrom for $25.50.
  • NARS ‘Mie Kabuki’ Mini Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil Coffret – Mini shadow pencils! I am really digging the variety of color. I will defnitely be checking this out on my next trip to the NARS counter. I think my niece would love this — she’s adventurous with color. A girl after my own heart! Available at Nordstrom for $55.

That wraps up our first edition! Let us know what you think. And, I’m also curious, which camp do you fall in? Please tell me SOME of you are already listening to holiday music, too. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Summer Beauty: Bath & Body

I am a steam fiend, and a hot shower can be one of the most relaxing, refreshing moments of the day. But with all the heat and humidity, I haven’t been finding showers all that refreshing lately. I’ve been trying to use products that smell fresh and that are good for my skin. And I want the moisture and benefits of a moisturizer without actually having to slather it on post-shower. So here are the products I’ve been relying on this summer to recharge my skin.

Not only does Korres Melon Showergel smell absolutely incredible, it’s also enriched with aloe, vitamins C, E and Zinc and wheat proteins to protect and retain your skin’s moisture level. I first got a sample packet of this from Sephora a few months ago and was enchanted by the smell. It’s on the sweet side but unbelivably fresh so I picked up a big bottle from Korres. I really like this for summer.

I’m all about invoking the spa feeling on my own turf, and a great at-home treatment is AHAVA’s Dead Sea Mineral Mud. It’s packed with minerals and deeply purifies the skin. I loved how my skin felt afterward, but it’s sort of cumbersome to use at home. I slathered the mud all over my body (at room temp) and waited about 10 minutes to hop in the shower. So during that time, it’s not like you can sit down! I read my book on the counter, and made sure my dog didn’t try to lick my legs.

I’ve been loving Bath & Body Works Exfoliating Shower Gel in Deep Aqua. It’s a gentle scrub and you can easily use it everyday. But what really attracted me to this product was the smell of Deep Aqua. It’s so fresh – compliments the Korres well with its scent of melon, water blossoms, dewy gardenia and white woods. Bath & Body Works has a winner on their hands with this one — I can hardly find it anymore and it’s sold out online too.

I’ve been loving Lush’s Buffy Body Butter for a blast of in-shower moisture that lasts all day. I can’t be bothered with putting on lotion – it just melts off throughout the day and weighs me down. Lush’s Buffy is the perfect solution – I scrub it on as the last step in the shower and rinse it off just before getting out. It literally feels like I just bathed in shea butter – I love the ease of use!  It does make the shower floor a little slippery though — proceed with caution.

Do you use any special products for summer? As always, we’d love to know what you’re loving.

Disclosure: We received a sample packet of the AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Mud

Ahhh Ahava

My skin has been at its absolute driest lately, which calls for mega doses of exfoliation and lotion. The lotion part, I have no problem with. Exfoliation, though, is another story – slathering my body in oily, coarse salt scrubs in the shower is so unappealing. I also usually spill half the container of scrub in the shower, making the floor slippery and downright dangerous. Which is why I fell in love with Ahava’s luscious Butter Salt from their Pure Spa line.

Ahava's Uplifting Butter Salt Ahava’s body scrub is completely different for several reasons. It comes in a hearty tub, and the product is dry – no runny oils and slipper salts. Instead, dig your fingers into the tub and pull out a handful of solid product. Wet it lightly and begin to rub into your skin. The Butter Salt begins to melt and slide over your skin, moisturizing and exfoliating at once. The scent is soothing – Mandarin and Cedarwood – and clings lightly to the skin. By the time your scrubbing is complete, the product has evolved into a lotion consistency, sealing in moisture.

Ahava’s product line is based on the healing and anti-aging benefits of natural ingredients pulled from the Dead Sea. If you’ve never explored this line, check it out an Ulta near you.