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Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Friends

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Friends

There are a few characteristics that come to mind when I’m looking for gifts to give my favorite gal pals:  cute, fun, and budget-friendly. Even though we’d all love to lavish our friends and family with any gift they desired, it’s easy for holiday spending to get out of control.  I always make sure to set aside a budget for friends and I try to determine a good spending level and keep it equal.  (Of course, that very best friend might get a little extra!)

Philosophy Gift Sets are one of my favorite gifts to give (and receive!). Philosophy does an amazing job creating cute, holiday-themed packaging and keeping their sets high on the value side while they’re at it. They also have special scents/flavors that only pop up during the holiday season, too.

  • I like their Holiday Cookbook ($35.00) is a six-piece shower gel set (each with 2 oz.) housed in a cardboard “cookbook.” It contains the following scents: Red Velvet Cake, Cinnamon Buns, Spicy Pear Cobbler, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Gingerbread, and Double Rich Hot Cocoa. Delicious!  (You can read my review of last year’s here.)  You can find this gift at: Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, Sephora.
  • My next recommendation is The Recipe Box Set ($18.00) is a good option if you’re on a slimmer budget (or you just have a lot of friends and would like to spread the love a bit more). It’s a cute little set in a gift-ready box and red bow tied on top. It contains two 6 oz. shower gels: Sweet Creamy Frosting and Red Velvet Cake. It is available at Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, and Sephora.

Korres has a lot of value-packed sets available for holiday as well as year-round (nothing wrong with giving one of those, y’know), so if you’re thinking about giving the gift of Korres this holiday season, there’s a good variety of sets to choose from.

  • Korres Cherry Lip Kisses ($19.50) is a trio of Korres’ Cherry Oil Lipgloss (includes Fuchsia, Natural Purple, and Nude shades). These are fun glosses, and when they’re available in a set? Totally worth it!  (You can read my full review here.) You can pick this set up at KorresUSA.com (save 30% on $35 or more with code TEMPTALIA til 12/31!) and Sephora.
  • Another Korres set I’m loving for an affordable gift set is their Best Of Korres ($25.00) which gives a nice taste of Korres’ product line without splurging on full-sizes. It’s a particularly nice set to receive, too! I also like it because it is travel friendly, and I know I can never have too many travel-sized products.

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Kiehl’s Limited Edition Creme de Corps Holiday Collection

For the holidays, Kiehl’s has collaborated with New York artist KAWS to lend a helping hand to children in need. Through their partnership, they are raising awareness with Creme de Corps Holiday Collection, which is a limited edition launch where 100% of net profits from the sale of each product is donated to children’s charities worldwide.

Limited Edition Creme de Corps Holiday Collection

Considered the most hydrating, rich body moisturizer in the Kiehl’s line, this super-enriched, nurturing body treatment is formulated with Beta-Carotene, Squalane and nurturing oils derived from Sesame Seeds, Soybeans, Almonds and Avocados; ideal for extremely dry skin; leaves skin soft, smooth and elegantly hydrated; the original, classic formulation and customer favorite for decades. 8.4 oz. $26.50; 16.9 oz. with Pump $44.50; 1 liter $70.00

In the US, 100% of net profits will support RxArt, a non-profit national organization, committed to fostering artistic expression and awareness through the challenging, yet rewarding task of engaging young patients through contemporary art in pediatric hospitals.

Additionally, Kiehl’s has several holiday gift sets available for the season:

  • 40th Anniversary Lip Balm #1 Set Includes six Lip Balm #1 formulas in Coconut, Cranberry, Mango, Mint, Vanilla, and Original ($32.00)
  • Men’s Refueling Kit Includes Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, Facial Fuel, Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap, White Eagle Shave Cream ($28.50)
  • Kiehl’s Delights Includes Creme de Corps, Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Amino Acid Shampoo, Lip Balm #1 ($29.00)
  • World of Kiehl’s Includes Ultra Facial Cleanser, Lip Balm # 1, Ultra Facial Moisturizer, Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Creme de Corps, Creme de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream, Amino Acid Shampoo, Amino Acid Conditioner ($45.00)

China Glaze Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection Photos, Swatches, Reviews

China Glaze Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection debuts this November, for the holiday season. The collection consists of six shades: Ruby Pumps (an all time red glitter favorite), The Ten Man (silver frost with specks of micro silver glitter), Cowardly Lyin’ (gold frost with specks of gold micro glitter), Good Witch (pink frost with specks of pink micro glitter), C-C-Courage (purple frost with specks of purple micro glitter), and Dorothy Who? (blue polish with massive amounts of silver and blue glitter).

It’s a re-release of a collection by the same name from 2001. I never owned the original set, so I couldn’t tell you if there’s any variance between the two. The materials I received said it was “very similar to the original version that was released in 2001,” so I imagine they may have revamped or improved their formula in the past eight years and that’s why they’re not identical.

Overall, I really liked the formula, texture, and look of the shades included in this collection. I absolutely loved Ruby Pumps, Cowardly Lyin’, and Dorothy Who? — those would be my top three picks out of the six. While I normally love, love China Glaze and its formula, I do feel that a lot of these run on the sheerer side.  Ruby Pumps and C-C-Courage are the biggest exceptions to this, as they meet my expectations from China Glaze!

I have to say this, though: why is there no Emerald City? I know China Glaze has Emerald Sparkle, which would have certainly been fitting to this launch. I don’t know; I really expected to see a green in a collection about the Wizard of Oz, you know? Kind of left me hanging in that respect.

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