Our year-end wrap is an amazing time to look back and select our favorites, the indispensables that we could not imagine life without. The Best-of-the-Best list is all about tried and true products in every category. There’s something for everyone!
Skincare. La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Luxe Cream has maintained a cult following among the beauty-obsessed for good reason; it has legendary transformative properties which start skin glowing after only 3-4 days and with consistent use, lasts for years. I refer to it as my miracle cream, because it’s saved me from breakouts from pregnancy hormones and keeps me looking rested despite sleepless nights.The caviar extract coupled with La Paririe’s exclusive Cellular Complex recontours by working on age-lines and tightens skin. The amount of moisture it retains is nonpareil, and it’s really a long term investment in your skin to maintain and augment dewy, youthful, and well-nourished skin. The caviar is perfect for dry and sensitive skin, especially with cold snowy days in our near future. A small pearl of the luxe cream will go a long way, and the 1.7 oz jar will last for months, keeping skin looking much younger than its chronological age. The clean and luxurious scent doesn’t linger long, but the effects of the creme, under makeup and overnight, can rival a facelift.
Bath & Body. My favorite holiday set this season is L’Occitane’s Nourishing Shea Butter Gift Set. The collection contains the whole arsenal of L’Occitane’s most effective skin-softening products for head-to-toe moisture. I love the chic holiday boxes that package all the goodies together that can be reused for photographs (remember those?) or cards. Included are the Shea Ultra Rich Shower Cream, Shea Extra Gentle Milk Soap, Shea Butter Hand Cream, Shea Butter Foot Cream, and the piece de resistance, a full tub of the Shea Ultra Rich Body Cream to slather on after a moisturizing shower! The products carry the light scent of French lavender, which I love because I associate it with my honeymoon on Nevis when I first discovered L’Occitane. The company holds high standards for sourcing its products, obtaining Shea Butter from a fair-trade partnership with women in Burkina Faso. In addition for this season, with each purchase of the gift box, L’Occitane will donate $10 to Dress for Success to give women across the globe the tools they need to get one step further in life. What a great reminder that the holidays are not just about us!
Hair. I know I’ve come across a great hair product when throughout the day as I absentmindedly touch my hair, I’m shocked out of my daydreaming by how soft and smooth it is! This year’s best in show for hair products is the Pai-Shau line, for any girl who’s ever dealt with frizzy or dry hair. The philosophy behind Pai-Shau originates in Vietnam, where ancient bathing rituals utilized tea leaves applied to the hair for a rejuvenating effect adding moisture, smoothness, and shine. Pai Shau’s shampoo-conditioner combination is gentle enough to use every day, and supplies weightless nourishment to parched tresses. Its signature complex includes black tea for luster, shine, and body, green tea for scalp circulation and cleansing and aiding in hair growth, Pu-ehr tea to smooth, white tea as an antioxidant for environmental stressors, and rooibos to strengthen hair with natural proteins. The multipurpose primer, Enhance Ritual Biphasic Infusion, is a lightweight formula which is activated when shaken to attract moisture and lock it in the cuticle, and provides thermal protection for heat styling. I use it for my baby hairs which crop up in the front. They’re gently tamed and primed for growth, and I don’t have a greasy feeling at all!
Kids Fashion. I first discovered the cute Hatley line when shopping at Saks, and it quickly became a family favorite for its bright colors and prints, amazing quality, and ability to be warm but lightweight. My daughter goes running to her Running Horses Down Ski Jacket every time we head out the door. I love the contrast piping and the horse print lining, and of course the faux-fur hood which can be snapped off. The down 450 fill power keeps the jacket soft and cozy. Whether it’s holiday shopping in the city or going down the ski slopes (it’s waterproof!), this versatile and durable jacket keeps little bodies warm in style. Best part for mom? It’s machine washable!
Kids Education. I’ve always been at a loss when thinking about how in the world I’m going to teach my toddler to read. She’s got her letters down pretty well, and loves pretending to read. After hearing enough raves over My Baby Can Read set, I brought it home to try. I couldn’t believe when my daughter pulled out the sliding cards herself and started naming letters! She self-entertained for a while until I sat down with her to start with the sounds. The theory behind My Baby Can Read, is that seeing the word itself (almost like recognizing an image) can be a learned association with the word itself. That’s precisely why even babies can start to use this set alongside looking at a picture of a tree and identifying it correctly. I learned that most of brain development happens in the first two years, during which time it’s like a sponge and soaks up new information. Educational DVDs are especially useful in taking the place of cartoons and other filler. Vocabulary and reading take off so quickly, and even two-year-olds can start to read signs!
Baby. I’ve been around the block a few times with baby washes, shampoos, and soaps, almost like Goldilocks trying to find the perfect fit. At long last, I now reach for Kiehl’s Baby Wash. First and foremost, the wash is gentle on my baby’s eczema-prone skin and fine hair and is effective at the same time. It is formulated without parabens, and is tear-free. I appreciate that it washes off of baby skin without leaving a slippery feeling behind, and I am nuzzling my baby for that sweet, clean baby smell somehow made even better with the wash!