By Kim Taylor
Health is truly wealth, and these beneficial holiday gifts are a treasure trove of products that will keep on giving.
Besame Cosmetics has a glamorous, high-quality, green tea-infused matte lipstick line ($20) that is not only good for your lips; but lasts 8 hours and comes in a tiny gold bullet adorned with red floral print. The packaging is reminiscent of the glam post-war starlets in the ’40s. They’re sophisticated, elegant, and stylish. The lipstick’s red velvet pouch and thick gold twine provides the ultimate holiday presentation. Shipping is free through December. If you only check out one website this holiday season, make it www.BesameCosmetics.com; enjoy the spectacular view and short film.
Another great holiday gift idea is from Practical Nature. They’re a line of high-quality, environmentally-friendly personal care products derived from nature’s bounty. Nelle Davis, a reflexologist and massage therapist created the line to solve every day problems. The amazingly effective line includes a natural bug & tick repellent, muscle relief cream, after sun cream, lip balms, bath oils, lavender spritz, and foot and hand creams. Products range from $15 for 5 oz., to $24 for 12.5 oz. To learn more about their line or to buy products, check out their web site at www.practicalnature.com. Practical Nature can also be found at Sephora and www.spehora.com.
The therapeutic Zia Natural Skincare line is chock full of herbal extracts and essential oils that leave you smelling fresh and looking radiant. All are created without artificial fragrances or harsh ingredients. They contain a multitude of beneficial skin-boosting blends. Zia offers a potent C-Serum lotion that contains 12 antioxidants, four vitamins, and green tea. Zia’s moisturizing mask contains shea butter, honey, cucumber extract, aloe and algae extract. This line utilizes juices, berries, 9 citrus sources, marine sources, flowers, and teas. Each of Zia’s products seem better than the other-it’s impossible to pick and choose – so fill a bag with these products and give the gift of beauty. If you do, you’ll be in good company; Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson, Kylie Minogue, and Zooey Deschanel also swear by them. Zia is a socially responsible company that hires Tibetan refugees and gives to numerous charities. What’s not to love! Go to www.zianatural.com, or call 1-800-334-7546. You can also check them out at your local Whole Foods.
The benefits of gemstone crystals are put to beautiful use in the Artemis Woman gem therapy skin care line. This is an ancient idea retooled for the modern age. Facial scrubs ($20)–made from amethyst for relaxation, topaz for power, rose quartz for sensuality, clear quartz for energy, and tourmaline for balance–refresh and renew. There’s also foot, face, body, and hand creams. Artemis Woman also offers an at-home spa kit called the Healing Gems Microdermabrasion System ($80), which will leave you glowing like a newly polished gem. This is the first company to use gemstones in skincare products, so find these and other sparkling Artemis Woman offerings at Ulta locations, major department stores, natural product outlets, and www.artemiswoman.com or call 1-877-212-1560.
The Origins “Twice as Calm” holiday kit imparts season’s cheer with a soothing selection of vanilla and lavender scents in body soufflé or cream, nestled in a green felt satchel ($22.50). Another seasonal delight is the Origins “Present Perfect” collection, boxed in a gorgeous round green, red and yellow gift case ($23-$55). This includes creamy body cleanser, hydrating cream, white tea skin guardian, firming moisture treatment, and a soft chenille washcloth. The origins manicure kit ($10) is a clever stocking stuffer, encased in a light green cotton carrying case for an on-the-fly manicure touch-up. Note that Origins wraps for free-very nice! Available at Origins stores and www.origins.com.
Here’s something unique and memorable from an inspired Creole herbalist in Louisiana; old world skin care and wellness potions from the Soothe Your Senses line. Products include tub tea balls ($3), eye teas ($11), bath salts ($8-$90), linen fingertip towels ($15), cane sugar scrubs ($20), body oils ($21), salt loofahs ($22), a guided journey CD for your relaxing bath ($12), and holistic spa gift sets ($30 -$52). Products are packaged in clear, crisp translucent paper which gives them a precious feel. Anything from this nurturing line would make an ideal gift-either for you, a loved one, or both. Check out www.sootheyoursenses.com; It’s also available in fine department stores.
Mixed Emotions was founded by the four twenty-something Singer sisters, and their Celebrate Me! Collection includes three body products in eight different blends, including an aloe and vitamin-drenched body cleanser ($20 for 12 oz), body scrub ($25 for 8 oz.), and luxe body cream ($22 for 8oz). Other flavors in the collection include chocolate with clary sage and sandalwood (delicious!), tutti frutti, crème brulee, sweet tea, vanilla cloud, peach champagne, café au lait, and marsh “mellow” mousse. Check out the perfect-gift sampler sets and other blends at www.shopmixedemotions.com, www.spehora.com, Lord & Taylor or Sephora stores.
Put a little sugar into someone’s holiday with Rich Mango or Sweet Vanilla Sugar Cubes from the Archipelago Sugar Skincare Collection ($28, at www.inner-self.com). These aromatic cubes slough away tired skin, while the antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids soothe and restore.
The unbelievably dense and heavenly-smelling Sugar Cane Body Lotion ($17 for 16.9 oz at www.aiibeauty.com) from Body Drench would make a long-lasting, ultra-hydrating, sweet-smelling gift. Ideal for hands and feet, this lotion also contains jojoba seed oil, cocoa seed butter, rosemary leaf extract, and nettle leaf extract.
A quick web surf to http://www.samsoap.com will lead you to an astounding natural product site for great holiday gifts. You can have your bottles of body scrubs and soaps and creams customized with your name or your lucky recipient’s. You can choose from a vast array of fresh herbs, scents, sizes, and textures. Sam Soap’s energizing eucalyptus shower gel ($20) is as potent as inhaling a faceful of fresh eucalyptus, and when combined with aloe vera, proves to be a genuinely soothing body balm.
Colonial at Home touts the psychological benefits of aromatherapy with their chunky, ultra-fragrant “multi-scent” candles in heavy oval-shaped glass containers with lids (Colonial Candle of Cape Cod, $21, www.colonialcandle.com), delightfully blending vanilla and mint to suppress appetite, vanilla and cashmere to induce sleep, cucumber and melon to relieve anxiety and increase sensuality, and so forth…check out their web site for a mind-boggling assortment of spicy holiday scents and sizes. These candles seem to last forever and will look sleek for holiday parties.