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By Erin Williams

As a bride, you make them throw you parties, wrangle your “registered” gifts, and wear icy blue satin empire-waisted dresses (which, despite what you tell yourself, they will NOT being wearing again). Ah, the plight of the bridesmaid. These girls need some incentive – and you need to get more creative than a framed picture of yourself in your wedding gown. I’m here to tell you how you can make these special women feel appreciated and loved, without spending a fortune.

Some of the most beautiful packaging as of late is from a new line called Lollia, 1-888-8LOLLIA, who carry everything from candles and hand lotion to lavender sachets and bubble bath. The “Breathe” Peony and White Lily Shea Butter Hand Crème will become a staple in her purse with its lovely scent and avocado oil. The candles come with a pretty teardrop-shaped crystal tied to the wick and they smell wonderful – check out Sweet Pea for a fresh clean scent. Looks AND talent?!! This line has it all.

Gianna Rose Atelier (http://www.giannarose.com) “couture” soaps are triple-milled for the ultimate in luxury, which is all fine and good, but they are so pretty you won’t want to ever get them wet. Two bridal favorites are the 6 oz. “Rose dans le Jardin“, which comes in a pink box with ribbon that holds a young girl with a basket of roses, and the “Hand & Heart”, which is actually two individual bars of soap that were pressed from an original vintage die will let your friend know how much she means to you. This luxury soap line has a design for every occasion…and what girl doesn’t like fancy soap?

For a more laid back and whimsical take, Miso Pretty from Blue Q, http://www.sugardaisy.com, has fanciful Asian imagery and a great ingredient list. The line, new this spring, has a peony scented, bamboo oil “Luxury Body Cream,” a “Deep Sea Body Wash” complete with dune grass, thyme, and pearl powder, a persimmon and wild orchid “Luxury Beauty Bar,” and “Blossoming Cherry Lip Balm.” Everything smells amazing and you can put together a jet setting basket with all of the goodies or mix and match to fit your ladies.

If your girls are more cosmetically inclined, Diane Von Furstenberg‘s newest palettes are sure to make her happy to wear the satin dress of your choosing. Complete with 4 eyeshadows, 3 lipsticks, 2 blushes, and a translucent powder, they are available in 4 different sets of colors one of which will make her look ravishing as she sashays down the aisle accompanied by your near-sighted cousin.

Those are all pleasant presents that would make any girl happy but there’s always at least one girl in the group with some sass and, being equal opportunity brides, you’ll need some other gift options. Sweet Spot Labs, http://www.sweetspotlabs.com, leads the pack with its new “Gentle Wash,” “Eau de Spot” and “On-the-Go Wipettes.” It sounds a little racy, but in reality it’s about as tame as it gets. The product line was created to work with a woman’s pH levels and not disturb any of the goings on down under. Now breathe because if you’re anything like my aunt and me you are rolling on the floor at this point. But, as their website asks, do you use shampoo to brush your teeth? No. So this shouldn’t be that scary of a concept. The products are available in citrus, lavender and unscented and are sure to get a giggle out of the its chosen recipient. Trust us, she’ll thank you later.

Odds are that said bridesmaid will also want to look hot in the prom dress that you’ve chosen for her to wear, and a tan from Fake Bake, http://www.fakebake.co.uk, is the best way to get her there. Used by the likes of Britney and Jennifer Lopez (who we will refrain from cracking any marriage jokes about), Fake Bake has just the right combination of oils and pigments that give a great, streak-free bronzy glow to the whole body. The “Self-Tanning Lotion Set” contains body polish, self-tanning cream, skin smoothie oil (to even everything out), and plastic gloves. You may want to borrow this pre-wedding day.

And as you know, as soon as the ceremony is over, your bridesmaids are going to be headed straight to the bar at your reception and looking for a good looking boy in a tux to dance with. After dinner they’ll need some Dessert, http://www.sephora.com, and the “Kissable Whipped Body Cream with Candy Sprinkles” might just have you handing her this list next. Available in chocolate, vanilla, and citrus, one of these is sure to please.

And for the rated G world of the flower girl, Urban Decay‘s, http://www.urbandecay.com, “XXX Slick Pot Gloss,” ignore the racy name, its cute packaging and yummy sheer colors, and Pinkie Swear’s “Cutie Pie Color Wheel” with its lip/eye/cheek combo are great gift ideas.

So, you’ve chosen the guy, picked the dresses, given the gifts, all you have to do is walk down the aisle! Good luck!!

Originally published May 2004
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