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Holiday Gift Guide Part 3: Edgy Buys For Trendsetting Gals

The girl that follows the beat of her own drum merits a holiday gift that stands out from the yawn-inducing fray. Skip the dainty monogrammed necklaces, the fitted cardigan sweaters, the personality-less picture frames, and the precious bow-adorned ballet slippers in favor of more adventurous, unexpected, attention-grabbing items that celebrate her fierce individuality and non-conformist attitude. Here, a few choices for that risk-taking gal who is always one step ahead of the rest.


Dylanlex Falkor Necklace, $980. Available at Dylanlex.com

If you follow “it” girls like Kendall Jenner, Zoë Kravitz, and Rihanna on Instagram, chances are you’ve come across some photos of them wearing designer Drew Ginsberg’s bold-as-can-be statement necklaces, fashioned out of antiqued metals and adorned with Swarovski crystals. Part of Dylanlex’s fifth collection, the Falkor necklace shown here measures 13.25″ in length, practically grazing the navel. Made using oxidized silver-plated metal, Swarovski crystals, and Dylanlex-branded coin details, this head-turner draws inspiration from the over-the-top extravagance of Greta Garbo’s intricate headpieces, drop earrings, and bib necklaces in her turn as Dutch exotic dancer and German spy Mata Hari.



Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Essence Absolue, $69. Available at ShuUemura-USA.com

Co-founded by Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki in 2002, apparel brand Maison Kitsuné has earned a cult following thanks to its ability to fuse together Eastern and Western aesthetics, modern and classic influences, and its flair for incorporating references to music, pop culture, and design movements. Thanks to a collaboration with Shu Uemura, the remix-ready attitude towards design that distinguishes Maison Kitsuné has now been applied to a limited-edition collection of beauty products that incorporates skin cleansers, eye shadow palettes, pigment-rich eye pencils, and more. Among the items in the collection is the iconic Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil, a best-selling leave-in hair treatment and styling aid infused with camellia oil and designed to nourish strands, prevent frizz, boost shine, and protect hair from damaging UV rays. This holiday-ready edition comes in a perky bottle featuring interlocking diamond shapes, each with a symbol in its center that represents either the East or the West: a pink kimono inside a red diamond shape, for instance, is strategically placed next to an orange diamond with a yellow A-line frock at its center, while a forest green diamond featuring a pistachio green tea kettle and two cups of tea is juxtaposed against a gray diamond with a pale blue coffee cup. The classic Essence Absolue, then, got a new party dress right in time for the new year!



United Nude Jacky Hi Black + Silver Bootie, $369. Available at UnitedNude.com

Girls who like to play it safe wear sensible black ankle booties, but trendsetters? They take the concept of a “basic” bootie and flip it on its head — which is why they’d swoon over this architectural bootie, featuring black split suede and mirrored silver uppers joined together thanks to triangular-shaped, stretchy cobalt textile inserts. The sculptural black leather heel, meanwhile, completes the sleek, modern, daring design.


Banana Republic Plaid Moto Jacket, $298. Available at BananaRepublic.Gap.com

Tired of plaid being used to adorn country club-ready garments or punk-inspired gear? Then check out this wool-blend Banana Republic jacket, which features the asymmetrical front zipper, belt-adorned waist, and zippered cuff details that we associate with rebel chic motorcycle jackets but fuses these elements with a dramatic spread collar featuring a faux fur lining and a plaid print in an unexpected gray-and-chartreuse color combination.



Benefit Cosmetics Party Poppers Makeup Set, $45. Available at BenefitCosmetics.com

Forget the swans a-swimming, the geese a-laying, the partridges, and the pear trees. This holiday season, beauty lovers can count down the days until Christmas with this clever advent calendar from Benefit cosmetics. Like any spunky trailblazer, this advent calendar gets the party started immediately, playing an original “Bene-song” that will get feet tapping, hands clapping, and hearts racing, Once you open the box, meanwhile, you’ll find illustrations of plenty of dancing queens (and even a king!), along with oversize numbers that indicate the “doors” that should be opened during each of the 12 days of fun. What’s behind door number 1? Well, we won’t spoil the whole surprise, but expect to find deluxe-sized samples of such Benefit all-stars as the POREfessional Face Primer, High Beam Face Highlighter, Ooh La Lift Under-Eye Brightener, Lollitint cheek & Lip Stain, and They’re Real! Mascara.


Zero Gravity Atlas iPhone 6/6S Case, $24. Available at ZGLA.com

They say feathers appear when angels are near, so why not give the gadget-loving cherub in your life the chance to spread her style wings with this dreamy printed case? Designed to fit the iPhone 6 and 6S models, the 2D-printed design features layers of bird feathers in iridescent, fantastical, almost holographic colors.


Molly Shaheen Metallic Blue Texture Leather Circle Belt Bag with Mouse Ears, $165 Available at MollyShaheen.com

This metallic blue fanny pack may have rounded, Mickey-like ears, but it’s certainly not “quiet as a mouse”! This coy bag features an adjustable (and removable) strap that, when shortened, allows for the pack to be worn along the hips so as to keep hands free for dancing, snapping selfies, drinking Pumpkin Spice lattes, or holding a beloved’s hand. When the strap is lengthened, however, this cheeky accessory can be transformed into a shoulder bag or cross-body. Who wouldn’t want to be a Mouseketeer if it meant pledging allegiance to this little rascal?


Topshop Textured Velvet Bomber Jacket, $115. Available at US.Topshop.com

Modern-day Bobby Vintons will serenade any woman who wears this sporty, city-slick bomber jacket, which features a velvety  azure fabric reminiscent of the lyrics, “She wore blue velvet/Bluer than velvet was the night/Softer than satin was the light/From the stars.”


IT Cosmetics Your It Girl Lips Perfect Lip Duo, $24. available at ITcosmetics.com

What do Sophia Loren, Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, and Rita Ora have in common? They all know that rocking a sumptuous red lip is a bit like driving onto a highway that leads to Bombshell City. Sexy, glamorous, and a bit naughty, the right red lip can make any woman feel confident, desirable, and in control. This duo, then, features two universally flattering red lip colors that, together, help to create a long-lasting, high-impact pout. The set includes the Blurred Lines Smooth-Fill Lipstick in IT Girl, which contains collagen and hydrolyzed filling spheres that smooth out any fine lines and wrinkles, creating a more even canvas for the rich, creamy, lustrous color. A travel-sized YLBB Your Lips But Better Waterproof Lip Liner Stain in Cherry Flush accompanies the lipstick so as to lock the color in place and give it a more demure matte finish. Check out swatches of the shades below:



Laruicci Santiago Earrings, $110. Available at Laruicci.com

Dainty pearl earrings and diamond studs just won’t cut it for a woman who insists on constant innovation and reinvention in regards to her style choices. Instead, she’ll love the unapologetic audaciousness and showiness of these 3″-long Laruicci Santiago earrings, which feature exaggerated perspex cylinders arranged into a triangular form, then finished with  golden-toned, cylindrical metallic pieces forming arched, cage-like shapes.


Atelier Cologne Necessaire Azur Gift Set, $25. Available at Sephora.com

There’s a lyric in the Song for Sleepers song “Keep Your Voices” that goes, “Where the sea meets the sky, I’ll meet you there with opened eyes/ To tell our love tonight.” This idea of complete seamlessness, of no horizon in site, of no clear division between the deep blue ocean and the sky above it, has fascinated poets, songwriters, and authors for centuries. So what happens when the artistic soul of a perfumer embraces this very same image? Well, the result is Atelier Cologne’s masterful Collection Azur, which features four rollerball fragrances formulated with ingredients hailing from places with watery expanses — be they oceans, lakes, lagoons, rivers, or canals. The Atelier Cologne Mandarine Glaciale scent, for instance, fuses together mandarin from Italy’s Calabria region, known for its breathtaking coastline, with ginger from China and vetiver from Haiti for a citrus aroma that’s watery yet zesty and a bit spicy and which tempers down to a greener, more lush aroma. The Sud Magnolia, my personal favorite, combines the creamy sweetness of the bloom we associate with Louisiana and Mississippi, both regions traversed by the Mississippi River, with bitter orange from Seville, which is known for its meandering canals and Venice-like bridges, and atlas cedarwood from Morocco. The result is a floral scent that’s coquettish and vivacious but with a mysterious woody underbelly. If your goal is seduction, try the Figuier Ardent, which combines fig leaf notes from Provence, bergamot from Calabria and cedarwood from Virginia, creating a scent that’s earthy but floral, intriguing and intoxicating. To complete the quartet, the set includes the Cèdre Atlas aroma, a woody and citrus fragrance with notes of atlas cedarwood from Morocco, lemon from Sicily, and white amber.

suno-ny-cutout-dress SUNO Cutout Dress, $417. Available at SUNONY.com

Yes, the bold-faced names in fashion (think Carolina Herrera, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Giorgio Armani) whip up phenomenal garments, but so do some lesser-known brands that have amassed notable followings by virtue of their innovative aesthetics and their aptitude for speaking to a modern clientele. New York-based label SUNO figures among this set, and it’s easy to see why with pieces like the midi dress shown here, a figure-hugging 100% viscose number with a firework floral print that practically begs for a celebration. The cut-out placed strategically above the waistline, meanwhile, shows just a hint of skin for a naughty touch.


Tartan + Twine Wild Nye Double Zip Organizer, $24. Available at Ulta.com

Make your wild thing’s heart sing with this Tartan + Twine makeup bag, made of a cheetah print micro-suede material that’s just begging to be petted. The chic pouch features two zippered sections that fan out to reveal a main compartment and two sides, each with compartments and pockets. One of the zippered sides features a large slip pocket and two smaller slip pockets while the other side contains a single zippered pocket. Not only can you stash powder compacts and makeup brushes into these compartments, then, but you can keep smaller items like lipsticks, hair pins, and Q-tips organized within the slip pockets.



Invisibobble “Around the World” Collection Hair Ring set, $7.95 per box of 3 hair ties. Available at Nordstrom.com

Scrunchies? Nylon-wrapped hair ties? As if! This forward-thinking femme knows that the key to tying one’s mane into a ponytail or bun without making a major fashion faux pas or pulling, tearing, and breaking delicate strands lies in using Invisibobble hair rings. Resembling colorful coils, these hair rings provide the required grip and control without tugging at the hair and provoking mind-numbing headaches, becoming tangled in one’s mane, or leaving behind dents and marks (the kiss of death after spending hours perfecting soft waves or executing a pin-straight look). Each “traceless hair ring” is also water- and sweat-resistant, making it a great choice for trips to the gym. Invisibobble’s new “Around the World” collection features four new colorful hair ring sets — Letter from Grey, Burgundy Dream, Universal Blue, and Silky Season — each packaged in a clear box with stunning graphics by an artist hailing from Austria, Belarus, the Netherlands or Portugal. The artists in question were selected as the winners of a global contest during which Invisibobble fans were acted to select a hair ring hue and design the product packaging. Pictured above are the Burgundy Dream and Silky Season sets, the former showcasing an illustration of a woman daydreaming of escaping to a seaside locale and the latter paying tribute to the beauty found in nature with lovely illustrations of baby deer, pastel-toned branches, and fantastical foliage.


Simply Vera Vera Wang Sport Wedge Hiker Boot, $49.95. Available at Kohls.com

No one will mind “getting the boot” if it looks like this lug-soled number from Simply Vera Vera Wang. Featuring an audacious 1.75″ heel and 1″ platform, cord laces, an adjustable Velcro strap, and plush Sherpa trim, this boot will make girls want to stomp the yard.


Rebecca Minkoff Like A Boss Business Card Holder, $45. Available at RebeccaMinkoff.com

Who’s the boss? We all know Angela ran that ship! Whether or not she’s the head of a major company, the saucy and goal-oriented woman in your life is the boss of her own destiny, so give her some kudos with this cheeky card holder.  Measuring 5″ in width and 2.5″ in height, the card holder is made of genuine leather and features a main snap closure to keep its contents safe and organized.


Living Proof Happy Hair Days Kit, $32. Available at Sephora.com

With great hair comes great responsibility. Help your bestie live up to hers and be the “mane” attraction with this travel-ready Living Proof kit that does for strands what Twizzlers accomplishes for mouths: making them happy. The kit includes  2 oz. tubes of the Perfect Hair Day Shampoo and the Perfect Hair Day Conditioner, both of which are formulated to hydrate, strengthen, and improve the texture and manageability of strands. The Perfect Hair Day Shampoo is formulated without sulfates that strip hair of essential oils and proteins and without silicones and oils that actually attract dirt and oil, weighing hair down and hence requiring more frequent washing. Instead, the shampoo contains a patented Healthy Hair Molecule (OFPMA) that repels dirt and oil, thereby allowing you to shampoo less often while also promoting healthier and stronger strands. The conditioner, too, relies on the OFPMA molecule in order to extend the time in between washes. Next, the set incorporates the Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo for those days in between shampoos, when hair needs a bit of a pick-me-up. To use, you simply shake the can and spray onto any oily areas (like the roots), diving your hair into sections, lifting each one and spritzing the area at a distance of six to ten inches. Once you’ve coated all of the requisite areas, wait 30 seconds and start massaging the product throughout tour head and shaking off any excess. Finish by brushing your strands to remove all residue and enjoy bouncier strands that also smell delicious. The final product in the PhD travel set is the 5-in-1 Styling Treatment, which you can apply to damp strands before styling to get the desired frizz protection, volume, and polish and which you can also dab onto dry strands for a quick pick smoothing touch-up. These Perfect Hair Day products are so smart, so thorough, and so effective, it’s no wonder their acronym is PhD!


Minnie Rose Cashmere Beanies, $98 each. Available at MinnieRose.com

This girl isn’t afraid of a bit of color, nor is she willing to resist the joyfulness of bright accessories to the sunny days of summer. Let her paint the gray winter skies neon pink or yellow with one of these 100% cashmere Minnie Rose beanies, which feature a ribbed cuff that can be folded over for a closer fit.


Buxom Holiday 2015 Don’t Miss A Beat Kit, $32. Available at Sephora.com

This girl is so tuned into pop culture, that she’s practically a human dial, one that’s always set to a static-free station of soon-to-be-breakout hits.This six-piece lipgloss set, housed inside a funky boom box-inspired packaging, is the perfect choice for the girl who approaches the world as her own dance floor, rockin’ to the music every new day brings. The set includes six mini Full-On Lip Polishes, all sheer and shimmering shades: Destiny, a peach-y, golden pink, near-nude hue; Nicole, a sheer medium honeysuckle pink with a strawberry sorbet feel; Ava, a tawny, fig-tinged coral pink; Jennifer, a flirty, cool-toned magenta; Kayla, a dainty, ballerina-worthy pink with warm golden shimmer; and Dolly, a shimmering mauve shade.

Check out swatches of the glosses below:




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