Holiday Shopping From A To Z — Arriving At X, Y, Z
Over the past few weeks, we’ve escorted you through an alphabet-themed safari of holiday gift ideas in which each letter corresponded to a theme, pattern, style or art movement, color, aesthetic, or trend.
We began with the ABCs, guiding you through a coded world in which A stood for Art Deco, B for Blossoms, and C for Color Blocking. We picked up momentum with the next installment, in which we focused on letters D through F, with D standing for Dainty, E for Egyptian, and F for Fur-trimmed. Next, we sped along to the G through I round-up, in which G stood for Green, H for Haute Hippie, and I for Ikat. A glamorous excursion followed as we embarked on the J through L piece, in which J stood for Jewel-Toned, K for Kabuki, and L for Leather and Lace. Things took a modern turn in the M through Q installment, in which M alluded to Metallics, N referenced Neons, O corresponded to Op Art, P stood for Polka Dots, and Q alluded to Quirky. A sea of scarlet followed by pops of black-and-white ensued in the R, S, and T round-up, in which R stood for Red, S for Stocking Stuffer, and T for Tuxedo. Most recently, we started winding down the tour with a parade through the streets of U, V, and W, in which U stood for Urban, V for Velvety, and W for Western.
Today, our alphabet adventure comes to an exciting end with the final three letters: X, Y, and Z. What do they stand for? Read on!
X IS FOR XOXO
Finn Jewelry Carved Ox Blood Heart and Arrow Studs, $795. Available at Finnjewelry.com.
Robb Bass said it takes two to make a thing go right, but no one has ever claimed that the two people or items in question have to be identical. The opposites attract theorem is one of the guiding principles behind this whimsical pair of stud earrings by designers Soraya Silchenstedt and Candice Pool, the duo behind 6-year-old fine jewelry brand Finn Jewelry.
Buxom More To Love Gift Set, $42. Available at Sephora.com
There may be a shortage of mistletoe this year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of smooching going on this season. To make your pout look all the more enticing, create smoldering bedroom eyes, and extend those lashes for an added coquettish factor, gals need to look no further than the Buxom More To Love set, which includes: a Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Clair, a reddish mauve saturated with ultra-fine gold glimmer; a Big & Healthy Lip Tarnish pencil in Scandal, a glaze-like plum-meets-mauve color; a jar of Stay-There Eyeshadow in Collie, a sparkling champagne nude; an Insider Eyeliner in Onyx, a stark black; and a Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black for statement-making lashes.
Lisa Pearl Black and White Striped Pillow with Bright Red Lips, $190. Available at RonRobinson.com
The faded black-and-white stripes atop this pillow conjure up memories of rockabilly style, while the plump red lips graphic atop these adds a decidedly Pop Art feel to the decorative piece.
Doe Feather Heart Tee, $24.50. Available at Delias.com
We’ve seen a billion heart designs over the years, but this one is among the smartest, freshest renditions of the classic shape. We love the watercolor-esque quality of the colored feathers creating the heart graphic and how they add a Bohemian charm to the tee.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Kisses On My List Lip Gloss Set, $30. Available at Sephora.com
Formulated with Anastasia’s Balkan Botanical Infusion, these lip glosses rely on conditioning sunflower seed oil, vitamin E-rich jojoba oil, firming brown algae, and soothing camellia extract to moisturize, soften, and smooth lips, allowing for any gloss color to go on smoothly, without feathering, smudging, or dehydrating lips to ultimately create a cracked and flaky pout.
This holiday gift set contains six Hydrafull Gloss shades: Barely, a beige-tinged peach cobbler color; Nectar, a pale seashell pink with tonal shimmer; Lychee, a sheer, near-clear pink with golden shimmer; Sugar, a mid-tone honeysuckle pink; Guava, a coral pink nude with opalescent shimmer; and Cameo, a sheer pearl color with silver shimmer that’s strikingly similar to the Lychee shade but lacks the subtle pink undertones. Each gloss features a clear, rubbery applicator top that feels surprisingly soft against lips and that won’t run the risk of fraying like a brush tip would.
Knock Knock Sweet Nothing Sticky Pad, $3.75. Available at KnockKnockStuff.com
Don;t just whisper sweet nothings into your beloved’s ear. Put those thoughts on paper with these sticky 3″ x 3″ sticky notes from Knock Knock, which feature dotted lines for you to write your original thoughts, along with boxes you can check such as “I’m Proud Of You,” “Go Get ‘Em,” and “Just Breathe.” Each sticky pad features 100 sheets, so you’ll have plenty of reassuring memos to offer your honey.
Ban.do Heart Clips, $15 each. Available at Shopbando.com
Put a little love in someone else’s heart with these sequin-covered, heart-shaped metal clips, which feature a dual hair clip and brooch closure along the back so that they can be pinned onto clothing, scarves, shoes, and handbags or worn as hair accents.
Rebell Yell Te Amo Rocker Tee, $69. Available at ShoptheTrendBoutique.com
FCUK Friction Eau de Parfum Spray Her, $45 for 1 fl. oz. and $75 for 3.4 fl. oz. Available at FCUKFragrance.com
The scandalous imagery adorning the box of FCUK’s latest fragrance, Friction, should serve as an indication of the fragrance’s feeling: illicit, hot, spicy, succulent, exotic, and confident of its sexual prowess. The fruity floral scent incorporates notes of pink honeysuckle, apple blossom, red berries, creamy coconut, spun sugar, vanilla absolute, pink jasmine, white vetiver, blonde woods, sandalwood, amber, and magnetic musk.
Kicks and Tells Wedge Sandals, $49.99. Available at Modcloth.com
Don’t judge a wedge by its uppers! Though it features two powder pink straps in an “X” like shape over the toe area, with triangle cut-outs along the sides and a triangle peep toe, as well as soft mushroom brown, faux suede uppers with an adjustable, belted ankle strap, a deep slit along the center, and rounded cut-outs along the sides, this wedge is anything but dainty. The 5.5″ wedge heel is covered in a pale beige fabric with a lips print in funky pastel shades of blue, pink, orange, and green, so that you’re essentially kissing the ground with every stride.
Felix Rey I Heart You Clutch, $77. Available at Endless.com
Whether used as a cosmetic case or an evening clutch, this brass mesh piece will surely be the object of some serious affection. The box-shaped clutch measures 3.5″ in height, 4.25″ in width, and 1.25″ in depth, and it features shiny golden metal discs that shine brighter than a disco ball, along with an oversize heart-shaped accent adorned with black crystal studs.
Caudalie Once Upon A Vine… Gift Set. Available at Sephora.com
Treat your loved one to an at-home spa experience with this Caudalie gift set, which includes four all-natural products to leave her body, hands, and pout silky smooth and positively glowing. Package in a window box bearing images of the lush greenery in a vineyard, the Once Upon a Vine set includes: a full-sized tube of the Vine Body Butter, a rich cream featuring shea butter, grapeseed oil, and Caudalie’s Vinoluvere complex, for results so great we’ve raved about them in past posts; a tube of the Hand and Nail Cream, which features shea butter, grape polyphenols, avocado, grape seed oil, olive oil, and sweet orange oil; a Crushed Cabernet Scrub, which features crushed brown sugar and crushed grape seeds to condition, polish, and firm the skin; and a Lip Conditioner tube, which is shaped like a lipstick for easy application and features sunflower seed oil, castor seed oil, shea butter, carnauba wax, rice bran wax, and grape seed oil to keep that pucker in tip-top shape.
Dirtee Hollywood Emoticon Hugs Tee and Emoticon Kisses Tee. Visit DirteeHollywood.com for retailers.
If you’ve ever flirted via BlackBerry Messenger, you’re quite familiar with these two emoticons: the red-pouted girl puckering up for a juicy kiss, a Cindy Crawford-like birthmark on her cheek and her eyes closed shot to reveal her long, curled lashes; and the affectionate, smiling boy with the white gloved hands outstretched to mimic an embrace. Dirtee Hollywood has now brought these digital characters to life with its line of Emoticon tees, which feature baseball-style colored short sleeves and a slight V-shaped neckline.
Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Liquid Nude Eau de Parfum, $72. Available at BergdorfGoodman.com and NeimanNarcus.com
Lighter than Cashmere Mist, which itself was intended to mimic the sensation of soft, warm fabric against the flesh, the new Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Liquid Nude moves further into the ethereal, sensual, powdery territory, with a stronger emphasis on light florals that seem to dance on the skin, mingling with the warm woody and amber notes. Cashmere Mist Liquid Nude features top notes of orange flowers, pink cyclamen petals and lily of the valley that lead the way to the sandalwood, ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, woody labdanum, and pure Indian jasmine at the heart of the fragrance, and the white amber, skin musk, suede, tonka, and benzoin base notes that give the scent its tactile quality.
Solange Azagury-Partridge “Love” 18K Gold Necklace, $2800. Available at Net-a-Porter.com
Say it with jewelry. Solange Azagury-Partridge’s “Love” necklace allows you to say those three little words without the awkward pauses and nervous sweating. The necklace features a 9″-long chain and a 1″-long, 18k gold pendant with the word “Love” spelled out in cursive, lowercase letters, the “O” shaped into a dainty heart.
Y IS FOR YOUTH IN REVOLT
Cubannie Links Black Guerra Necklace, $32. Available at CubannieLinks.com
Are you No. 1 with a bullet? Then show your stripes (and fend off any werewolves lurking about) with this bullet-shaped charm, now available in a gunmetal shade.
Mackage Leather Jacket, $580. Available at TheOutnet.com
This Mackage jacket epitomizes biker chic with its belted collar, front zipper closure, the triple ribbed details along the elbows, and the vertical zippers at the sleeves. Unlike many biker jackets, however, this one is considerably more body conscious, with a fitted waist, slightly puffed shoulders, and vertical zippers marking the openings of the front pockets.
Madstone MadSpider Ring with 18K Black Gold, Black Diamonds, and Rubies, $2,950. Available at the Diana Heimann Jewelry Salon in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in White Plains, New York. Call 914.467.5880 for more information.
There’s a sinister and goth quality to this 18K black gold ring, which features eight articulated “legs” on either side, a teardrop-shaped body encrusted with faceted, round black diamond and tiny clear diamonds, and a head with two ruby stones resembling spider eyes.
HUE Color Wash Jeans Leggings in Mulberry, $40. Available at HUE.com
Usually, leggings fashioned to resemble denim miss the mark rather tragically, but Hue got it right this season with its Color Wash Jeans Leggings, which feature a retro acid wash look. Made of 70% cotton, 25% polyester, and 5% spandex, these leggings even feature a faux zipper tab, side seams, and pockets. Rock them with an oversize black tunic and a slouchy cap for a grunge-y but chic look.
Stella McCartney Faux-Python Baby Bella Tote, $1435. Available at NeimanMarcus.com
The soft taupe, beige, and charcoal colors of this faux python bag’s surface are jolted by the hot pink whip-stitching around the sides and top, while the silvertone curb chain trim infuses an air of youthful, fight-the-system defiance.
Rebecca Taylor Leopard Cowl Sweater, $295. Available at RebeccaTaylor.com
If you consider black-and-brown leopard prints too over-the-top, then experiment with a quieter, more muted interpretation of the animal print trend. This cozy sweater (made of 40% nylon, 30% wool, and 30% viscose) features an oversize, draped cowl neckline, long sleeves, dropped shoulders, and a relaxed fit that gives it a sense of ease.
Lauren Merkin Eve Bronze Disco Velvet Clutch, $180. Available at LaurenMerkin.com
It’s all about Eve — no not the plotting ingenue portrayed by Anne Baxter in the 1950 film, but the scene-stealing clutch designed by Lauren Merkin. Measuring 9.5″ in width and 4.5″ in height, the Eve boasts a hexagonal top frame opening an light ruching along the bottom. This rendition of the Eve style features a bronze velvet fabric with a lustrous sheen and black leopard spots
Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection, $175. Available at Sephora.com
The charcoal-and-black snakeskin print on this set’s tin box is just one of the dozen or so reasons why it slithered its way to the top of our Christmas wish list. The ten most important reasons, however, are the Aqua Cream shades tucked inside, a delicious array of richly pigmented, waterproof, resplendent cream eye shadows in alluring metallic hues. Last year, we raved about Make Up For Ever’s revolutionary Aqua Creams: how they stayed in place on rainy days or in sweltering humid climates, how they remained vibrant throughout the day without becoming dull and faded, and how a single brush stroke could deliver an unexpected blast of intense color. The Wild & Chic Aqua Cream collection zooms in on all of these qualities, highlighting all the positive attributes of these makeup game-changers.
The set includes the following shades: 01, a deep gunmetal color with silver and black shimmer; 02, a slightly dirty-looking nickel shade; 04, a frosty white hue that’s as pigmented as a mother of pearl but feels steelier; 11, a yellow gold with a greenish, tarnish-like tint; 12, a glistening copper; 13, a pink champagne hue; 14, a russet brown with bronze undertones; 15, a walnut brown with golden and bronze tones; 16, a light metallic pink; and 17, a full-bodied sangria color. Check out swatches of the Aqua Cream 01, 02, 04, 17, and 14 shades here, then get acquainted with the 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16 shades via these swatches.
Amanda Joy Chelsea Clutch in Magenta Python, $995. Available at AmandaJoyInc.com
This magenta-colored clutch feels as precious as a purplish pink Mozambique tourmaline gemstone, and its elegance is further accentuated by the python skin used to craft it. Measuring 13.5″ in width and 7″ in height, the Chelsea features an envelope-like shape with a double top flap and rounded sides.
B Brian Atwood Paradis Boot, $496.90. Available at Nordstrom.com
Footwear designer Brian Atwood presents an exciting fusion of two of the season’s most dominant trends —color-blocking and animal prints — in one wild boot. The pull-on calf hair boot features a partially wrapped 4 3/4″ metal heel, a purple leopard print along the front and the vamp, a forest green leopard print along the front of the shaft, and a solid traditional leopard print along the back of the 15 1/2″ tall shaft.
J. Crew Leopard Print iPhone 4 Case, $25. Available at JCrew.com
This pull-on, thermoplastic polyutherane cover fits perfectly atop the iPhone 4 an 4S, protecting your beloved gadget from any scrapes or cracks, while also giving it a fierce wardrobe update.
Eugenia Kim Evelyn Knit Hat, $165. Available at EugeniaKim.com
This slouchy, 100% baby alpaca hat will keep your head nice and toasty this winter without you having to sacrifice your sense of personal style. Instead, you’ll practically be begging for snowy days just so you have an excuse to cover your head with this leopard print topper.
Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum, $203.20. Available at Rodial.co.uk
Keds Champion Slither Sneakers, $65. Available at Keds.com
These classic, laceless. slip-on sneakers have a modern sensibility thanks to the embossed reptile print on the leather uppers. The streamlined kicks are available in Taupe, White, or Blue.
Nepali by TDM Design Cashmere Milli Round Zebra Scarf, $195. Available at TDMDesignInc.com
Handmade in Nepal, this 100% cashmere scarf features swirling zebra stripes that help to create a clever optical illusion. The Milli Round Zebra Scarf is available in a large rectangular shape with fringed ends, a square shape, and as a rounded, infinity-style loop.
Nanette Lepore Handbags Contrast Hair-Calf Cross-Body, $178.75. Available at Endless.com
This black leather cross-body bag features a pentagon-shaped top flap with a cheetah print hair-calf center panel. Measuring 13.5″ in width, 8″ in height, and 4.5″ in depth, the sophisticated bag is roomy enough to carry all the essentials. Design accents like the silvertone shoulder strap, with its chain links braided in black leather, and the leather tassel accent along the side, with is long fringe strips and metal tips, give the piece a rocker edge.
Kangol Animal Print Cloche, $180. Available at KangolStore.com
This fuzzy, gray-and-black leopard print cloche features a black pleather trim at the base of the round crown and a slim bell-shaped brim with a gradient tonal effect.
Body Rock The Imani Bra, $64, and The Pam Bra, $42. Available at BodyRockSport.com
Even your workouts can take a savage turn with these fun sports bras from Body Rock, both of which feature a scooped neckline and a racerback, as well as front pockets (a zippered pouch in the tiger print Pam bra an an open iPod pouch in the cheetah print Imani bra). Made of nylon and lycra, these sports bras will give you the type of support you need for high-impact workouts while also addressing such common concerns as where to tuck any spare change or electronics, how to wick moisture away from the body, and how to take the garment on and off with ease.
Leopard Kensington Universal Headphones Collection II, $29.99. Available at MerkuryInnovations.com
The music may just sound better with these headphones, which feature a leopard print design along their rounded ear cups, cushioned foam pads, and sound-insulating technology for optimal sound quality.