Stories for: Gift Guides

Bath & Body, Gift Guidesa philosophy-cal holiday!

Philosophy-Christmas-Cookie-Shower-Gel-OrnamentThe delightful smells of cinnamon, Christmas cookies, and fresh pie are such lovely associations with this time of year. I love walking into the warmth of a home from the grey cold outside to be enveloped by laughter, holiday scents, and the promise of fun to come. philosophy captures the nostalgic smells of the holidays in the form of beauty (no calories!)- lotion, lip shines, and my favorite 3-in-1  Christmas cookie shower gel (also a shampoo or bubble bath) packaged in an ornament box. This adorable stocking stuffer is age-versatile as it would certainly bring a smile to a little girl’s face and same for grandma. philosophy gives back to the community by donating 1% of all philosophy.com sales to mental health efforts- so your gift gives gives back!

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Books, Gift GuidesTable that Book!

Looking for a last minute gift? I don’t know about you, but I love to receive a good coffee table book. It’s not something that I often splurge on, and it’s always a great addition to any home. Here’s a couple of books that would be beautiful on anyone’s coffee table!

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Blow Me a Kiss by Alice Harris – Provocative and sensual, this book celebrates and explores the iconic “red lip” by featuring notable art and photographs – including those of celebrities. Boys, perhaps this makes a great gift for a new girlfriend?

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National Geographic’s World’s Best Cities by Annie Fitzsimmons – This visually stunning book is a tribute to the cosmopolitan destinations. Ideal for the jet-setter in your life, the book reveals gorgeous photos and vital stats, best local foods, oddities and more on chic cities around the globe.

Bath & Body, Gift Guides, SkincareObsessions: Luxe Holiday Gifts

carlyNaked Undies. This is the perfect gift for the girl in your life that knows how to unwind and relax in style (or needs that incentive to do so!). The essential loungewear line is unbelievably light and feather-soft, not to mention sexy! The Carly T is my favorite long-sleeve tee for its creative back opening- think two graceful semi-sheer panels overlapping for comfort and ease. This piece fits true to size and is flattering at just the right length without trying too hard. The fabric hugs skin but doesn’t feel constricting in the least, so it’s perfect for traveling, lounging, and rewarding oneself for getting through the holidays! The chic pieces can be machine laundered with care and come in a variety of neutral shades. Naked Undies was founded by two fashionable ladies from LA whose eco-friendly philosophy and charity go beyond the luxurious threads. I love their ideas for giving back, and ten percent of proceeds go directly to the animal rescue organization Banfield Charitable Trust. Naked Undies is a treat for a woman of any age, and makes every day into a spa day whether that’s on the to-do list or not!

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Fitness & Health, Gift GuidesStuff Your Stocking with bkr!

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Ahh the holiday season has arrived! Are you thinking about what to gift yet? Let’s start with a simple stocking stuffer. Sometimes, they’re filled with goodies – and sometimes, not so much (err, dental floss, mom?).  This year, consider these water bottles by bkr!

Part of Neiman Marcus’ Love to Give Collection (which was curated by Ken Downing), 10% of proceeds of purchases will benefit the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which supports art education nationwide. I love that these bkr bottles are totally chic, but also a healthful gift that works for men, women and kids. Plus, the receiver can use all-round – whether it’s at the desk or on a hike. Best of all…you won’t be breaking the bank, since they’re only $30 each! A happy stocking stuffer option, indeed.

 

Gift Guides, Mom & KidsMagnolia the Bunny – Limited Edition

Magnolia Easter-2I almost melted into a puddle when I first laid eyes on Magnolia the Bunny, dressed in her Easter best! Magnolia is the latest limited-edition member of the Walnut Animal Society family, whose gifted creator Lauren Bradshaw takes the art of stuffed animals to a whole new level. Each animal is handmade of the highest-quality materials (to stand up to years of hugs!) and no two are exactly alike. Darling Magnolia is perfect for kids but even I felt a tug at my heart as she brought back so many whimsical memories of childhood imaginary friends.

My two-year-old actually let out a squeal when she first saw Magnolia, as even she could appreciate the rabbit’s charming cuteness (plus bunnies are her favorite right now). Last night, I managed to put her to bed without her beloved bunny so I could snag myself some quality time to admire her. Standing at two feet tall, Magnolia feels substantial, well-built and is just the right size for little arms to hug. She is impeccably dressed in Liberty of London-cut garments, and this styling rabbit knows how to mix prints in the most chic and adorable way! I had to smile at the bunny-print lower on her dress which was designed by Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag.

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Gift Guides, Mom & KidsRousskine

rousskineJ’adore Rousskine, a delightful boutique I discovered recently whose owner Dominique pulls from her imagination to create handmade animals, scarves, and other cute friends. I introduced Arielle, a beautifully made super-stylish little fox to my daughter recently, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. I really appreciate the softness of that materials used, and details like a floral lining for the ears is so sweet. Arielle’s proportions make her cute and hip at the same time! I was so curious to get to know the creator of this chic collection, Dominique was kind enough to indulge some of my curiosities, all the way from Montreal.

Can you briefly describe your background? I studied fashion design but found my real passion when I studied textile design. I had the chance to work in a small handmade toy company one year later. So I still learn everyday, and get to do what I love full time.

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Gift GuidesLast Minute Holiday Gifts for All Budgets

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Still shopping for the holidays? Me too. In fact, I just ordered another box of these last night! Sure, it’s the 11th hour, but there are still plenty of gems out there just waiting to be gift-wrapped and rushed to your friends, family and co-workers. In case you’re at a loss, here are my top picks for crowd-pleasing gifts (counter-clockwise from top left):

1) WILT Slub Jersey Slouchy BF, $105 — One of the most comfortable brands in my closet this season, WILT makes these versatile hi-low tops in many different fabrics and shades — all of which look and feel different! Take your pick, or just spring for this little black number. (They’re roomy so you can just ballpark the size.) It will be a lifetime staple in your favorite fashion lover’s closet, promise!

2) Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Candle, $80 — Ask any candle or fragrance fanatic; you can’t go wrong with Diptyque. Named after the brand’s first boutique location, this unique, gender-neutral scent is at once fresh, spicy, calming and oddly addictive. Available online (or check your local Bloomingdale’s).

3) Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne, $29.99 — With New Year’s Eve coming soon, a bottle of champagne is on every party lover’s subconscious wish list. However, if a highly rated Cristal or an ever-popular Veuve Clicquot are out of your price range, go for this solid pick. Not only is its red label festive around the holidays, it’s widely available and consistently tastes good, if not better, than several more expensive brands I’ve tried.

4) Head Massager, $4.50 — These are super cheap stocking stuffers, and while they might seem tacky at first glance, believe me — the person you give them to will hunt you down and thank you later. They are instant stress reducers. Don’t believe me? Have someone else run one over your head; you’ll be amazed!

5) Bodum Pavina Cups, starting at $7.50 — Inspired by the chamomile mint tea I recently ordered at Alma, Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant in America 2013, these double-walled, temperature- and scratch-resistant cups are pure genius when it comes to holding hot beverages. I prefer the tiny 2.5-ounce espresso cups but they also come in 12- and 16-ounce sizes, as well as this handy tea version with an infuser.

Food, Gift Guides, Los AngelesThe Sweetest Gift: Sugarfina Beverly Hills

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I don’t know about you but I seem to have outgrown the candy emporiums of my youth — where color-coded M&Ms graced the walls, waiting to be dispensed into a plastic bag for my movie-snacking pleasure. But what I haven’t outgrown is really good candy. And that’s where gourmet candy curators and founders of Sugarfina, Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick, found their sweet spot.

Recently engaged, Rosie and Josh met on Match.com four years ago and dreamed up the idea for Sugarfina, a gourmet candy haven for grown-ups, after watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on their third date. A combination of marketing savvy (she used to be a marketing director for Barbie) and entrepreneurial success (Josh sold the now-defunct Pandemic Studios, a video-game design firm, to Electronic Arts in a deal valued at $860 million), they had great potential for success.

Sugarfina launched in August 2012 online, and just this weekend, these lovebirds opened the first-ever Sugarfina candy boutique for grown-ups in Beverly Hills. I stopped by during their fourth hour of operation, got a tour from Rosie and sampled as much candy as I could. (Tough job, I know.) Here are the highlights: READ MORE

Beauty, Gift Guides5 Beauty Gifts for Your Most Discerning Friend

We all know that woman–impressive resume, incredible wardrobe, impeccable style, and…impossible to shop for. But this is beauty and there is something for everyone–even the girl who has it all. Below, we’ve rounded up our five favorite beauty treasures of the moment that are guaranteed to delight even your most discerning friend.

 

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1. AERIN Fragrance Collection: Aerin Lauder is, plain and simple, a style icon. She is the epitome of timeless American style and ever since the world of Aerin launched, discerning girls everywhere have wanted to live no where else. Her inaugural fragrance collection invites users on a sensory journey through her life and memories, with each scent inspired by her experiences and traditions. From sparkling white flowers and wet marine notes (Gardenia Rattan) that invoke the carefree happiness of a summer day in the Hamptons to a rich blackberry, cognac and rose elixir (Evening Rose) that captures the intoxicating buzz of a glamorous evening city gala, the collection is meant to transport and inspire. Each of the five eau de parfum sprays (Ikat Jasmine, Evening Rose, Gardenia Rattan, Amber Musk, and Lilac Path) is encased in a heavy beveled glass bottle topped with a tumbled stone cap, making the packaging just as luxurious as the fragrance. READ MORE

Beauty, Gift Guides, Makeup, ShoppingTarte Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection: One-Day Sale

Tarte QVC One-Day Sale

Yes, this is happening! I’ll make this quick …

For those of you who have never been in my bathroom, I have an entire drawer full of Tarte Cosmetics — and I wear their eye shadows almost every day. So you can imagine how delighted I was to receive a sample of their Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection, three gorgeous gift boxes filled with full-size, vegan-friendly, cruelty free products. The set includes a box of Amazonian clay eyeliners and Lights, Camera, LASHES mascaras (two each), a box of four LipSurgence Lip Cremes and a box of 16 Amazonian clay eye shadows.

And get this, for today only, they’re available at QVC for only $49.98. That’s, like, almost a $200 savings. (What?!? Is the world ending?!?) I suggest you get over there and buy at least one before the price goes up. They make great gifts — and since there are three boxes, you can keep one for yourself. (The hard part is choosing which one!)

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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