• Chris

HOLIDAY 2019 GIFT GUIDE


And without blinking, the holiday season is upon us. If I'm honest I'm not as on top of things as I have been in years past. I've been busy, but so have you! I still haven't quite tackled my holiday to-do list, which includes gift giving, and I'm sure some of you may be in the same boat.

So I pulled together a few items that I thought would be particularly nice to give (or receive) as gifts, across a range of price points.

I tend to favor bath & body, home, and wellness products as gifts because they often seem what people are least likely to splurge on for themselves. It also takes the guesswork out of having to estimate the perfect shade of lipstick or the fragrance that will suit someone's tastes.

Below are some of my picks for Holiday 2019. Happy gifting!

UNDER $100

Diptyque Eau Plurielle ($95)

This is a sophisticated nod to classic toilet waters of centuries past, and looks incredible in bathrooms and living rooms alike. The multi-use eau de toilette can be sprayed on skin, linens, or to fragrance the air. Eau Plurielle, meaning Plural Water, is a soft, slightly sweet rose scent with a touch of smooth green ivy. I think the fragrance sits somewhere in between relaxed and elegant, and would suit most people's tastes. Just a spritz or two on a blanket is enough to scent the room for days - this stuff is concentrated. It comes packaged with a screw-top cap and separate atomizer spray so you can dispense as you see fit.

Available from Diptyque and Nordstrom

Susanne Kaufmann Body Butter ($81)

The ultimate treat. With a dense, buttery, creamy, and ever-so-slightly whipped texture, this is like giving the gift of a hug for the whole body. This Body Butter would be perfect for someone who would never splurge on something indulgent like this for themselves. The hefty glass jar makes such a satisfying sound as you unscrew the domed lid with each use. There's a delicate fruity aroma that feels like a nod to our youths. Personally, I love slathering a thick layer of this butter on my arms and legs before an evening of relaxation so that it has completely absorbed by the time I'm ready for bed. It turns the chore of moisturizing the body into a moment of bliss. It's the kind of gift I'd want to receive!

Available from Credo and Dermstore

Wildflower CBD Cool Stick ($60)

For the one in your life who is always operating at maximum capacity. Whether it's neck strain from working a desk job, forehead tension from a fast-paced home environment, or swollen ankles after a day in fabulously uncomfortable shoes - this portable balm tackles them all.

I always love to tell the story of my 80 year old grandmother who has been dealing with shoulder pain after a fall earlier this year. It took a few swipes of product and about 30 minutes' time for the pain to become dulled out. The soothing effects of full-spectrum CBD paired with calming peppermint, menthol, and arnica tackle discomfort rapidly, especially if the pain is localized. I keep mine in my travel bag so I can fix anything at any given time. An essential.

Available from Wildflower

UNDER $50

Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Rose ($35)

It's timeless. It's iconic. It's 8 ounces of Italian rosewater that can be used in a multitude of ways: to freshen the skin after cleansing, to gently fragrance a room, or even to enhance the water in your clothing iron or steamer. What more could you want?

I love it spritzed on pillows when I want a fragrance that's not aimed at bedtime, but when I just want to relax on a Saturday afternoon. It’s a classic rosa centifolia scent - think watery, softly sweet, and slightly vegetal. The oversized glass bottle and signature green label kind of make your heart sing, and would nestle beautifully amongst any style of decor.

Available from Santa Maria Novella and Smallflower

Fur Bath Drops ($34)

For the person in your life who deserves a bit more "me" time. Bath Drops are so easy and enjoyable to use, that the gift recipient will have no reason not to take a moment to unwind. These seaweed-based bath beads contain Fur Oil plus extra grapeseed oil, which softens skin and hair all over your body and is great at soothing winter itchiness. Plop 2 or 3 under running water and watch them cocoon open and soak in the softness.

Available from Fur

Jordan Samuel Skin Granita di Caffè Body Scrub ($34)

For the coffee lover in your life, look no further than this body scrub. Like bathing in a fresh cup of Italian espresso, the gritty texture throughly buffs away rough skin but leaves behind a comforting layer of balmy moisture. It’s great if you’re in a rush and don’t have time to apply lotion or oil after the shower. The formula contains coffee seed oil and astaxanthin, both potent antioxidants, so it's all pleasure plus protection for the skin.

Available from Jordan Samuel Skin

UNDER $30

maude Burn Massage Candle ($25)

If you don’t come for the fleshy sweetness of ripe dates and smoky tonka bean, you’ll stay for the dry heat of cedar and clove. The sticky date aroma really develops once the wax is on your skin, invoking a sense of passion. It’s comfy and warm while spicy and sexy. The wax itself melts with ease, so it doesn't take very long to have an adequate amount of massage oil. Whether you give this to a couple or an individual, I think all would enjoy taking a bit of time for themselves with this candle at hand.

PS: I’ve also been known to wear Burn as a solid perfume on my neck.

Available from maude and Verishop

The Organic Pharmacy Ultimate Skin Brush ($19)

There's something so invigorating and revitalizing about a full-body dry brush in the morning before a shower to get your day started. And frankly, we all know someone who could use a bit of pep in their step. The idea is that you start buffing at your feet in circular motions and move upwards, always toward the heart, to aid in circulation. The detachable handle means you can reach every part of your body with ease. You'll also get the bonus of mild physical exfoliation from the natural bristles. This skin smoothing definitely helps lotions or body oils absorb more effectively after bathing too, which is an added bonus.

Available from Credo and Dermstore

Weleda Skin Food ($13-19)

Who couldn’t use a do-it-all healing skin cream this time of year? This dense buttery cream is great for all kinds of skin woes - dry patches, rough elbows, cracked hands, parched heels, you name it. You’ll only need a small amount at a time so it’ll last at least all winter long. The incredible citrus and chamomile aroma is bright and enlivening, bringing light to the bitter cold.

As a bonus, I'll occasionally do a thick layer as a face mask, then thoroughly remove it with a warm washcloth. It's a nice way to soften and nourish the complexion without fear of its richness overwhelming the skin.

Available from Credo and Ulta

Lepaar Velvet Sole Lip Balm ($15)

This elegantly packaged lip balm from Lepaar is a great way to give something that feels precious and luxe without dropping an exorbitant amount of cash. The olive and papaya oils create a super smooth plushness on the lips without feeling waxy or buttery. The texture is amazing before a matte or velvet lipstick, for example. There’s also Himalayan crystal salt within, which contains tons of beneficial trace elements that can be absorbed by the thin skin of the lips.

My jar came from Boxwalla, and was part of a 3-product set for the month of December. The $49 box also contains their Face Balm (valued at $103) and Body Oil (valued at $35), which you could either keep for yourself or gift to two others. An idea for those who want to maximize their holiday spending!

Available from Credo and Boxwalla

Happy holidays to all. I hope you enjoy spending time with your loved ones and get a moment to relax.

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