Skin Care

By Allison O'Rourke

What kind of Santa Claus are you? A grinch or a fairy godmother? Lavish or prudent? Regardless of your intrinsic nature, BeautyNews has scoured the market to bring you the best of the “naughty” and “nice” gifts, designed to fit snugly into your stocking and within your own budget.

We’ve listed the necessary gifts that will leave skin spotless, clear and dazzlingly beautiful throughout 2007. These tried and true products are a sure bet to work. Period. So relax, enjoy the yuletide literature, and shop happy!

The “Naughty” List (spend away, bad girl!)

Clarisonic Skin Care Brush

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We brush our hair, our teeth…why not our skin? The makers of the famous Sonicare toothbrush have created this brush that expertly cleans your skin to make it zit-free, smooth and refine pores. The brush works deep within pores to loosen dirt and oil (bye, bye blackheads) and helps your skin absorb products faster. The best part about this brush is that it contains two heads (one for sensitive skin), and has an inbuilt timer that beeps when you’re supposed to move on to another spot on your skin. Yes, it’s smart!

StriVectin-SD Skincare Holiday Gift Set

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We didn’t believe it at first, either! If you haven’t used Strivectin to help you erase your stretch marks and wrinkles, then there’s no better time to start than this Christmas. The four-piece gift set includes all the goodies that will help you or the lucky recipient turn back the hands of time: Strivectin-SD stretch mark cream (expect magical results – really and truly!); Strivectin-HS Serum that whittles away deep wrinkles and large pores with the speed of light; a NanoExfoliant that improves hydration and elasticity of the skin; and a Hand Cream that improves discolorations. The set retails for $129 and is a steal, considering the results you get. Naughty or Smart? You decide. Available at Sephora.

Laura Mercier’s Limited Edition Body & Bath Gift Sets

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The richness of honey, crème brulee and almond coconut milk is brilliantly reduced to a six ounce glass jar filled with joy. The Almond Coconut Milk Trio ($65) comes in a striking deep red faux lizard box, and contains three jars with a honey bath, a souffle body crème and a scrub that leaves a deep and rich fragrance long after you’ve rinsed off the suds. My favorite, the Crème Brulee Trio, contains an unexpected treat: a sugary candle, along with a honey bath and crème. The Clementine Collection Gourmande Duo ($50) contains a Clementine Honey Bath and Honey Dipper.

Life is rich, savior it.
Life is lovely, revere it.
Life is a mystery, uncover it.

- Mother Theresa

Lancome‘s Secret De Vie

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This Super Luxe cream combines six ingredients that intensely restore skin to give it instant and visible results. Soft as silk and rose petals, the cream gives instant radiance to the skin, and makes a perfect stocking stuffer for that special someone. Retails for $225.

Claus Porto 12 Month Soap Gift Box

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Don’t know what to buy for that finicky mother-in-law of this year? If she’s less than merry, give her the gift of clean with the 12 Months of Soap Gift Box from Claus Porto, the ultra-chic Portuguese purveyor of luxury fragrances and bath accessories. Their most popular fragrances are all captured here in this exquisite gift box of rich shea butter soaps, one for each month of the year, gorgeously wrapped and perfect for displaying in the loo during the holidays. Her winter nights will be clean and bright, so sit back and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Claus Porto Soaps are available at www.lafcony.com.

Fresh Pink Jasmine and Cannabis Santal

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‘Tis better to give than receive, and every beauty junkie will have the new Holiday Gift Collections from Fresh at the top of their wish lists this season. The embellished jewel boxes were inspired by 18th century brocade embroidery, wall coverings, and steel plates. The Pink Jasmine Gift Collection includes the entire Pink Jasmine fragrance portfolio, the Pink Jasmine eau de parfum, nourishing Pink Jasmine body cream, and shea butter enriched Pink Jasmine soap all to pamper that special someone on your “Nice” list. And put the spark in his holiday with the Cannabis Santal Gift Collection which features the eau de parfum of this knockout scent, as well as a limited-edition vegetable based shea butter Cannabis Santal scented soap to keep him smelling divine when you’re snuggling around the fire. For more information visit fresh.com.

The “Nice” List (you’re good. good with money, good gift-giver, just plain ole good)

MD Skincare’s Cult Classic
Dr. Dennis Gross‘ iconic two step Alpha Beta Daily Facial Peel combined with the new All In One Facial Cleanser With Toner will leave your skin clear as a summer’s day, zit free over time, and erase fine lines and wrinkles. A $97 value when purchased individually, it retails for $72 at Sephora. Don’t give this to the girl with highly sensitive skin, but for the rest of us, it’s probably the best facial peel out there.

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If you want to achieve flawless skin, try the new All Over Blemish Solution, which has a consistency of air! It feels like silk and silicone gliding over your skin (you won’t believe this lotion contains 2% Salicylic acid). But try it to believe it. There’s nothing on the market quite like it.

Earthworks Bath Truffles

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These truffles will melt any girl’s heart. They look, smell and feel like patisserie winners and they melt delightful under running water to sweeten your bath. Filled with natural oils, shea butter and cocoa butter, each truffle is handmade. Because they don’t crumble, you can remove them from the water, store them in a dry place and reuse them for another bath. Choose from Sweet Lime, Mandarine, Limone, African Jasmine, Japanese Flower and Rose Fragrances.

LaLicious Holiday Gift Set

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Give her a delicious combination of LaLicious Sugar Souffle Scrub that will moisturize every inch of your body and Vanilla Body Butter. Choose from six different flavors that will make her mouth water. Only $50 and available at www.lalicious.com

Carol’s Daughter Moments Set

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For a moment, let her experience the scent of the Caribbean this winter. Give her a bodycare set replete with body cleansing gel, shea soufflé, EDT atomizer, sponge and funnel to get her skin beautifully clean and smelling of the tropics. The set comes in six fragrances: Almond Cookie, Ecstasy, Groove, Jamaican Punch, Mango Mélange and Ocean.

L’Occitane’s Harvest Soap Set
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Don’t break the bank on holiday shopping this season! Check out L’Occitane’s Harvest Soap Set featuring twelve mini guest soaps in four of their signature scents- verbena, honey, olive oil, and lavender. These top selling scented soaps are super elegant, so give them to even the meanest of Grinches on your list and we promise his heart will grow. For more information visit www.sephora.com.

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all.
And sixty cents of it was in pennies.
There was clearly nothing to do but flop down
on the shabby little couch and howl.
So Della did it. – (The Gift of the Magi, O’Henry)

Vermont Soapworks Gifts

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Who said good gifts have to be expensive? Vermont Soapworks is an organic line sure to please everyone with all-natural, heavenly-scented bath and body products. The Organic Lemongrass Zen Aloe soap is an all-purpose pleaser! See the complete line at www.vermontsoap.com.

Moonshine Soaps also make thoughtful gifts for people you care about because they’re crafted with the finest ingredients and most aromatic fragrances. Packaged in silken bags with bows, they’re even presented as noteworthy and memorable. Visit www.moonshinesoap.com to choose your favorite type.

Philosophy Winter Skincare Set

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Get the basic essentials to maintain clean and clear skin for only $30! The travel tote bag houses a one-step facial cleanser, the Hope in a Jar skin cream, and a luxurious Kiss Me lip balm, a week’s supply of the peptide/ vitamin c microdelivery peel (we give this an A+), and a bottle of the Amazing Grace shower gel. This is what we call a real steal of a deal!


Judith Jackson Scentual Soap Set

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Fa La La La La in love with the Judith Jackson 3 piece Scentual Soap Set, featuring an adorable gift box complete with 3 Citresse soaps with a peaceful blend of coconut, palm oil, grapefruit, orange, and lemon to lift your spirits and relieve stress from your holiday travels. For more information visit target.com.

Lush Holiday Sets

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For a real steal, treat the beauty junkie to a hatbox filled with fresh handmade soap and bath bombs from Lush with the Snow Wonder gift box. The Holiday gift sets range in price from $6-$60, and are filled with luscious bath fare from the Champagne Snow Shower jelly, red Holiday Bar, Puddy Holly Bath Ballistic that fizzes your bath water with spice and pudding fragrances, Egg Snog Lip Balm and Ice Blue Soap. We can’t get enough of Lush’s soaps, which moisturize every inch of your body (there’s no need to apply a lotion post shower), and they smell so festive to boot. Plus you could be one of the 20 lucky Golden Ticket winners (you’ll get $1,000 towards Lush products if you spot a ticket in your package). Now that’s a Christmas to remember!

Originally published December 2006
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