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Holiday Gift Guide Part 4 — Picks For The Stressed-Out Gal In Need Of Some R&R

Whether it’s your mom, sister, best friend, or co-worker, chances are you know a lady who is juggling so many obligations that she can’t remember the last time she slept over 5 hours — much less the last time she took a vacation, had a massage at a spa, or even went to the nail salon for a manicure. This holiday season, give the over-worked, sleep-deprived, stressed-out lady in your life something she really needs: rest and relaxation.

Below, you’ll find some excellent gifts that will allow her to turn her home into a soothing spa, one where she can pamper herself and indulge in some much needed “me” time; as well as small tokens that facilitate meditation and should help her harness a Zen energy.



Votre Vu Embrace Moi Limited Edition Gift Set, $59. Available at VotreVu.com

When you’re getting only a few hours of sleep a night, it’s easy to forget the basics. Mismatched shoes become an actuality and not just a sitcom punchline. You find yourself accidentally applying face wash to your toothbrush or trying to open the front door with the mailbox key. And basic rituals like applying moisturizer (or even buying it) fall by the wayside. Remind the overworked gal in your life about the small luxuries in life and encourage her to take a breath and pamper herself with the Votre Vu Embrace Moi kit, a three-piece map leading to silky soft skin.

Packaged in a red box with a white ribbon (yes, it’s pre-wrapped!), this gift set incorporates the Votre Vu Amour D’Ore Petite Multi Vitamin Oil, a dry oil infused with vitamin E, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, and borage oil, which is readily absorbed by the skin and is ideal for use immediately after a warm shower; the Votre Vu Tarte D’Amande Almond Pie Body Soufflé, a rich and buttery but non-greasy cream formulated with shea butter, macadamia oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and vitamins A, D, and E; and Votre Vu’s  Bébé Duette, a hand lotion and lip butter packaged in one portable tube. To complete the motifs of softness and sophistication, this limited-edition set comes with a white circle scarf that’s chic, warm, and ever so inviting.


Eberjey From The Heart Lace-Trimmed Robe, $115. Available at Net-a-Porter.com

Sweatpants, flannel pajama pants, and boy shorts may do the job when it comes to catching some Z’s, but they hardly make a woman feel seductive. But, realistically, who can sleep properly in garter belts and bustiers with underwires?  To feel like the queen of the boudoir without compromising comfort, gals can rely on silky camisoles and babydoll nighties — and, to stay warm, they can cover themselves with a feminine but comfortable robe like this one from Eberjey, made of black stretch jersey and featuring blush lace trim to create a romantic vibe.


Essence of Beauty Shea Indulgence Kit, $9.99. Available at CVS.com

Shea butter, which is rich in essential fatty acids and is nearly unmatched as a skin moisturizer and softener, is at the heart of all three products in this affordable kit. First, there’s a 3 fl. oz. bottle of Shea Indulgence Cream Shower Cleanser, a gentle body wash that lathers ever so slightly and cleanses the skin without stripping it of its moisture, a 3 fl. oz. tube of Shea Indulgence Radiant Butter Scrub, which lets you polish off dead and dull skin without being too harsh or abrasive on delicate skin; and a 3 oz. bottle of the Shea Indulgence Enriched Body Lotion, a delectable lightweight cream with aromatic notes of shea, coconut milk, creamy vanilla, and gardenia.


Umbra Aqualab Bathrub Caddy, $50. Available at Umbra.com

Bubble baths aren’t just for toddlers! After a stressful day, few things will help you unburden your mind, relieve muscle tension, and calm nerves as effectively as a warm bubble bath. This special bathtub caddy will help make any bubble bath all the more relaxing by allowing for even more small indulgences. Designed by Luciano Lorenzatti, this expandable bamboo caddy features a built-in wine glass holder and fold-away book stand, along with a slot for bar soap.


Tilly by Rosie Jane Soy Candle, $38. Available at B-Glowing.com

Scents are gateways to other worlds, transporting us to new destinations via their aromatic compositions. This slow-burning soy wax candle will make any gal feel like she’s on vacation, laying on a hammock in a tropical beach, feeling the sunshine on her face and hearing the ocean waves crashing nearby like a beautiful lullaby. The Tilly by Rosie Jane candle features the creamy, sweet, milkiness of coconut blended with the sunny and zesty smell of grapefruit and the romantic, delicate, feminine scent of gardenia. Whether taking a soak in the bathtub, meditating, or curling up and reading a book, this clean-burning candle will allow gals to feel like they’re escaping the bitter winter cold and savoring the joys of summer.


Marc by Marc Jacobs Sleeping Bunny Slippers, $198. Available at Nordstrom.com

Whether kicking back and watching TV, reading a book, or surfing the Web, ladies can keep their toes nice and toasty in these adorable faux shearling-lined slippers, featuring velvety uppers with a sleeping bunny motif.




SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Dead Sea Salt Nourishing Soak and SheaMoisture Lemongrass & Ginger Dead Sea Salt Soak, $10.99 each. Available at Target.com

All of SheaMoisture’s bath soaks are formulated to nourish and soften the skin, combat fluid retention (which can lead to sore muscles and inflammation), and boost circulation thanks to a combination of shea butter, a natural moisturizer, and Dead Sea salts, known to be a rich source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium and to help detoxify skin. But, of course, each bath soak variety targets a specific concern. The Lemongrass & Ginger Dead Sea Salt Soak, for instance, helps to invigorate and energize the senses via the zesty and slightly spicy aroma while soothing muscle spasms and joint stiffness. The newest addition to the bath soak family, the Coconut & Hibiscus Dead Sea Salt Nourishing Bath Soak, features coconut oil to moisturize the skin and improve elasticity and hibiscus extract to help improve skin tone and boost radiance.


Bentwood Breakfast Tray, $39. Available at WestElm.com

Who doesn’t love the idea of breakfast in bed? This maple veneer tray is designed to serve precisely this function, with angled legs that leave plenty of room to accommodate the torso and hips, two cut-out handles that allow for easy transport, and a long smooth surface on which to pile plates, bowls, spoons, mugs, and tiny vases filled with flowers.  


Aveda Give Baths of Beauty Kit, $52.50. Available at Aveda.com

Does it seem like the topic of relaxation always goes back to napping and bathing? Well, there’s a reason for that!

This wonderful Aveda bath kit is centered around one of the brand’s cult favorite products, its Beautifying Composition Oil, an earthy, herbal-smelling product with aromatic hints of lavender, rosemary and bergamot that helps to seal in moisture thanks to a combination of healing botanicals like organic soybean oil, organic olive oil and organic safflower oil. This oil can be applied to the skin after a bath or shower, massaged into dry and chapped cuticles, and even worked into the scalp. In addition to a 30ml bottle of the Beautifying Composition, the Aveda Give Baths of Beauty Kit features a limited-edition Beautifying Body Cleanser and Beautifying Body Lotion, both featuring the same lavender, rosemary, and bergamot notes for a relaxing dose of aromatherapy.


Lisa Hoffman Kerala Ashok Garden Eau de Parfum 15ml Spray, $22. Available at LisaHoffmanBeauty.com

The latest fragrance in the Lisa Hoffman family, Kerala Ashok Garden is designed to help you find your center, to attain a sense of reflective calm and even spiritual enlightenment, if you will. Inspired by India’s sacred gardens, this fragrance — available in a portable 15ml spray — introduces Westerners to the beauty of the Ashok flower’s scent, while enveloping it in the mysteriousness of deep violet, the powerful femininity of jasmine, and the juicy, mouth-watering, sweet smell of apricot and pear. These fruity and floral notes are all tempered by musky amber, sandalwood, and incense notes that create the type of mood you’d expect to find in a place of meditation.


crabtree-and-evelyn-holiday-2013-avocado-trioCrabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive & Basil Mini Trio, $22. Available at Crabtree-Evelyn.com

Packaged inside a retro-flavored cosmetic bag with a fruit print, this travel-friendly kit includes miniature versions of three offerings within Crabtree & Evelyn’s beloved Avocado, Olive, and Basil line, which features products formulated with shea butter, olive oil, and avocado extract, then infused with a hint of basil. Thought the line also incorporates haircare products, the focus in this set is skincare and so the trio consists of a 50ml tube of the Avocado, Olive & Basil Body Lotion, a 25g tube of the Avocado, Olive & Basil Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy, and a 50ml bottle of the Avocado, Olive & Basil Bath & Shower Gel.


First Aid Beauty FAB Aglow Kit, $34. Available at Sephora.com

No matter how tired she might be, there’s no reason why the workaholic in your life should also have to stress over dull-looking skin! With the First Aid Beauty FAB Aglow Kit, you can help her turn on that bright light inside of her and let it radiate from there, making her complexion appear healthy and luminous. This paraben-free kit incorporates FAB’s Face Cleanser, which gently removes dirt and impurities; a 28-pad jar of Facial Radiance Pads, moistened wipes that contain cucumber and gooseberry extract to soothe and tone the skin, lactic and glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and promote cellular regeneration, and lemon peel and licorice root extracts to help diminish the appearance of dark spots and even skin tone; and the new Facial Radiance Serum, a super-charged serum that contains licorice root extract, water soluble vitamin C, and Chromabright, a patented skin brightening ingredient that is safe for those with sensitive skin. Together, these three skincare musketeers help to break up those melanin clusters and promote cellular regeneration, thereby helping users lessen the appearance of acne scars, sun damage, and all other unwanted dark spots and patches.

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