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Last-Minute Holiday Gifts for Beauty-Obsessed Gals

If you waited until the last-minute to start buying holiday gifts for all the ladies on your list, don’t panic. Sure, you’re playing beat-the-clock, but there are plenty of amazing gifts you can pick up at local boutiques, department stores, and seemingly ubiquitous chain stores that will make any woman smile on Christmas morning. Below, you’ll find an assortment of breathtaking goodies that are perfect for beauty buffs!


L’Occitane Arlesienne Collection Holiday 2014 Gift Set, $98. Available at L’Occitane stores and USA.LOccitane.com

In addition to including a range of bath and body products in L’Occitane’s newest floral aroma, this kit comes in a stunning box with a festive print (and a golden ribbon and bow to boot!), so you don’t even have to worry about whether you have enough wrapping paper and Scotch tape at home (or, if you’re like me, whether you can manage to wrap the gift without the end result looking like it was the handiwork of a toddler!). Another plus: this is a gift that gives back, meaning that, when you purchase this set, L’Occitane will donate $5 on your behalf to the American Foundation for the Blind as part of the company’s charitable holiday initiative.

So what’s in this treasure box? Once you remove the gloriously illustrated top lid, you’ll find four products in L’Occitane’s new Arlésienne scent, a floral bouquet that incorporates an elegant and feminine rose note, a mysterious violet note, and a hint of spicy and bittersweet saffron for a bit of kick. Inspired by the women of Arles, the scent feels distinctively feminine without being overly heady or pungent. The emphasis, then, is on the elusive trail the scent leaves behind, that lingering aroma that’s delicate but enchanting.

The kit includes a 2.5 fl oz. bottle of the Arlésienne Eau de Toilette, a 1.7 oz. bar of the Arlésienne Soap, a 1 oz. tube of Arlésienne Hand Cream, and an 8.4 fl oz. bottle of the Arlésienne Beauty Milk, a shea-enriched moisturizer with a uniquely fluid texture that seems to melt onto skin instantly, leaving no stickiness or heavy residue behind.



Mehron L.I.P. Color Cream Palette in Night Palette, $43.95. Available at Mehron.com and select beauty supply and theatrical makeups stores.

Beloved by makeup artists working on everything from fashion shows and editorial shoots to awards show appearances, and theatrical performances, Mehron offers cutting-edge products that are as versatile as they are memorable. This holiday season, women can experiment with dramatic pouts in a variety of red, plum and cocoa shades with the eight-color Mehron L.I.P. Color Cream Night Palette. The eight creamy colors in the palette are arranged into two rows of four, the first concentrating on iterations of red and the second flirting with plum and chocolate tints. All of the colors are buildable, so that they can be layered to achieve as translucent or opaque a finish as desired. And, of course, the design of the palette lends itself for a lot of mixing and matching to create unique, never-before-seen colors.

The travel-friendly palette features four creamy, long-lasting red shades with a satin finish: Poppy, a perky and warm coral red that’s slightly sheer; Valentine, a deep vermilion red reminiscent of a cardinal’s plumage; Raspberry, a blue-toned, medium red with a berry-like quality; and Big Apple, a classic old Hollywood red that’s robust and full-bodied. Check out these four shades below:


After exploring a lovely spectrum of red hues, the palette moves on to showcase deeper plum and chocolate hues on its second row of creamy lip colors. First, there’s Wild Plum, a delicious plum purple hue that’s slightly sheer, reminiscent of the sugarplums we associate with the holiday season. Next, there’s Velvet Rose, a deeper aubergine hue with more of a wine tint. The final two shades start to incorporate earthy brown undertones, starting with Cherrywood, a Marsala wine red with brown undertones, and finishing with Chocolate, a molten cocoa hue. Check out these four shades below:


Now imagine how many looks you can create with this palette, especially when you start experimenting with mixing different tonalities!


Michael Kors Collection Limited Edition Sexy Rio de Janeiro EDP Spray, $98. Available at Macy’s stores, Ulta stores, and Macys.com

Inspired by the lively music, colorful fashion and architecture, refreshing cocktails, and beach-centric culture of Rio de Janeiro, this fruity floral aroma provides a sensory escape from the drab wintry landscape, mentally transporting its wearer to a tropical paradise. The playful and sensual vibe of the fragrance is achieved primarily via a combination of succulent mango, sweet honeysuckle, romantic jasmine, and creamy vanilla. Additional notes include mandarin for a zesty, invigorating initial impression; flowers like rose, gardenia, and lily of the valley to create the desired femininity; and sandalwood, amber, and musk to ground the scent and give it a carnal quality that compounds its sexiness. When a woman wears this scent, her frisky side will likely emerge, that cheeky coquettish part of her personality that may be slightly suppressed in the winter, when her incandescent flesh is covered by layers and layers of clothing. And what woman doesn’t want to feel a bit sexier in the winter?



Urban Decay Full Frontal Lisptick Stash Set, $39. Available at Sephora stores and Sephora.com

It’s nearly impossible to try an Urban Decay Revolution  lipstick without becoming a bonafide hoarder immediately thereafter. You might start with a single shade and, before you know it, you’ve bought another 3, 4, and 5 colors. What makes these so addictive? Well, these lipsticks have it all: they come in adventurous, in-your-face, bold, hues that are truly modern and fashion forward; they’re saturated with pigment for the most striking impact (as opposed to so many wimpy, sheer, translucent lip colors); they last for hours at a time without fading, creasing, flaking, or feathering; and they feature moisturizing ingredients like  jojoba oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter so as to condition, soften, and plump lips.

The Urban Decay Full Frontal Lipstick Stash, then, is the ultimate gift for Urban Decay lipstick lovers since it incorporates three best-selling hues along with three never-before seen shades. All of the lipsticks are a pocket-friendly mini size, and they’re accompanied by a full-size 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone, a clear, creamy lip pencil that primes lips and also locks color in place, preventing any unsightly feathering.

The three new shades introduced in this limited-edition kit are: Ladylover, a raspberry sorbet shade; Crush, a sizzling hot pink that borders on magenta  thanks to its blue undertones; and Illicit, a semi-sheer baby pink with a blue-toned base. Check out the new hues below:



Next, check out the three best-selling colors included in this must-have kit: Gash, a deep blood red with tonal shimmer; Liar, a creamy, brown nude; and F-Bomb, a classic blue-toned red. Here are swatches of these three lipstick colors:


As if the colors weren’t enough of a selling point, the kit’s packaging is spectacular, with both the box and the kit itself featuring a photorealistic print of overlapping flower petals in a black-and-white scheme reminiscent of an X-ray.


Crabtree & Evelyn Summer Hill Duo, $40. Available at Crabtree & Evelyn stores and Crabtree-Evelyn.com

By December, most women are already dreaming of spring and summer — and this sunny duo captures the smells of a summer afternoon in the English countryside, blending together green notes reminiscent of freshly mown grass with delicate white floral notes, and hints of ripe and mouthwateringly sweet orchard fruit. The pre-packaged set contains a 200ml bottle of the Summer Hill Bath & Shower Gel and a 200ml bottle of the Summer Hill Body Lotion. The sulfate-free shower gel gently cleanses the skin without stripping it of moisture. In fact, it incorporates honey, a natural anti-bacterial agent and a powerful humectant that draws moisture to the skin and locks it in; and mallow extract, which helps to soothe dry skin and reduce any existing inflammation; and linden extract, which is rich in flavonoids that protect the skin from free radicals and promote cellular turnover. The accompanying mineral oil-free lotion contains such humectants as glycerin, peach kernel oil, honey, and linden flower, along with soothing milk proteins.


LORAC The Royal Lip Lustre Creme Set, $25. Available at ULTA stores and LORACcosmetics.com

Packaged in a Bordeaux-colored, velvety box with ornate golden lettering, regal scrollwork, and even the suits you’d find in a deck of cards, this lip gloss set is fit for a queen. The set includes six high-shine shades with an indulgently creamy consistency that almost feels like that of a liquid lipstick. Each gloss is formulated with antioxidant-loaded açai, pomegranate, and grape seed extracts, as well as Vitamins A, C, and E, thereby hydrating and protecting lips while coating them with sheer color. The Royal Lip Lustre Creme Set includes three existing shades (Reign, a raspberry red; Crown Jewel, a cranberry red; and Tiara, a warm golden nude), as well as three shades exclusive to the kit:  Empress, a guava pink; Princess, a bright honeysuckle pink; and Enchanted, a peachy nude.

Check out swatches of all six shades below:




Philosophy Sweet Vanilla Fig Trio with Bag, $46. Available at QVC.com

This bath and body care trio from Philosophy is ready for gifting since it comes with a festive red-and-white bag featuring cheeky shimmery polka dots. Inspired by the vanilla and fig tarts and cobblers traditionally served for Christmas in England, this trio of products emulates that sweet but tangy aroma. The set incorporates a full-sized, 16 fl. oz. bottle of Philosophy’s Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath in Sweet Vanilla Fig; a 7 fl. oz. tube of Sweet Vanilla Fig Body Lotion, which features macadamia seed oil, olive oil, and shea butter to strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving the skin nourished and velvety soft; and an 8 fl. oz. Body Spritz bottle in Vanilla Fig, so you can mist your body with the scent for a longer-lasting aromatic experience.


Paul & Joe Limited Edition Holiday 2014 Makeup Collection in Little Star, $54. Available at Bergdorf Goodman and B-Glowing.com

Packed in a vintage-feeling makeup bag with a watercolor floral print, this beauty set incorporates a Lip & Cheek Color formulated with a mousse-like texture so as to create a subtle, stain-like effect on cheeks or pouts, as well as a multi-color eyeshadow pot with an embossed star design that speaks to its goal: that of giving eyelids a hint of magical sparkle. The Little Star set features a Lip & Cheek Color in 001, a honeysuckle pink with a matte finish, and the Eye Color T in 001, a round eyeshadow pot with shimmery lavender, pink, and pale yellow tones.

The shades in the Paul & Joe Eye Color T 001 can be blended together to produce a pearlescent, lavender-toned pale pink that gives lids a pearlescent, dainty, angelic effect. Check out the resulting hue below:


As for the Lip & Cheek Color, it’s packaged in a lip gloss tube and features a sponge tip applicator for greater precision when smoothing onto lips, but it can also be applied onto the apples of cheeks and diffused with a sponge or even with fingertips for a more subtle and sheer effect. Check out the 001 shade below:


Because of its matte finish, the Lip & Cheek Color pairs well with the Eye Color in the set, balancing the shimmer in the latter and adding a bit of warmth to the complexion in order to balance the cool wintry feel of the eyeshadow shades.




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