With the first snowfall of the season here in New York, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
Let’s face it, you haven’t started Christmas shopping yet. I know I’m not the only one guilty of leaving the store with presents for myself when I was looking for gifts for my family and friends.
So here’s a quick gift guide to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Christmas is only 14 days away people, start shopping. Maybe pick something up for yourself as well? Don’t worry, I won’t tell.
I love lingerie. It’s a magical moment when I find a bra that fits perfectly: the straps aren’t digging into my shoulders, the cups aren’t too small, and the underwire sits snugly underneath my boobs. As most women will agree, going bra shopping on the other hand can be a nightmare. Especially when it comes to women who have larger bust sizes.
Empreinte aims to solve all that. The 70 year old French lingerie brand caters to women with larger bust sizes offering sizes from 34C to 46H. I tried on the famous Empreinte bra and was pleasantly surprised at how well it fit. The bra was super lightweight and thin, yet provided amazing support. The bra fit amazing over all; the straps didn’t dig into my shoulders and the underwire actually sat snugly against my chest.
Finding a good bra is hard. It’s especially more difficult finding a bra that is both beautiful and not bulky in larger sizes. Empreinte succeeds in delivering both style and comfort. The bras start at $125 and the panties start at $55. A bit pricer than the average bra but definitely a better investment.
There’s something romantic and beautiful about a good watch. With more and more brands releasing smartwatches, I was worried that we would give up the beauty of the classic dial for a clean digital interface.
The Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch Q Commuter has alleviated all my qualms. The minimalist smartwatch looks like a traditional watch but has the power to take pictures, play music, and send social media updates throughout the day.
The smartwatch connects instantly with the Fossil app, allowing users to then customize the watch by assigning three of their favorite functions to the side buttons on the watch itself. It also has an activity tracker built in that records everything from calories burned to daily steps taken, all of which is then stored in the app for easy access.
The Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch Q Commuter starts at $155 and comes in 8 different colors and finishes, including a really cool Smoke Stainless Steel version. To further customize the watch, users can also switch out the watch straps for any of Fossil’s 22mm straps. The Q Commuter is compatible with both Android and iPhones, truly making it the perfect gift for anyone looking for a smartwatch.
Snow Fox Skin Care
Snow Fox Skin Care is the minimalist brand that sensitive skin sufferers need to try ASAP. The chic brand aims not only to de-clutter your medicine cabinet but also treat common skin care issues like dryness, redness, and oily T-zones.
The brand is so confident that the collection can solve all your ailments, it only developed three key products: the Arctic Detox Cleansing Mask ($30), Soothing Facial Mousse ($35), and Snow Fox All Day Defense Cream ($55).
Having had sensitive skin all my life, I’m always wary when products claim they are for sensitive skin. But I was pleasantly surprised when I looked through the ingredient list. The first ingredient listed in all three products was water. Snow Fox is also paraben, SLS, phthalates, and petrochemical free. Keeping in line with their Good Karma Consumption, Snow Fox is 100% vegan and doesn’t test on animals.
Have a loved one with sensitive skin? Or rather someone who wants a simpler skincare routine? Get them the Snow Fox All-in-One DIY Giftbox ($120). The Giftbox comes with Snow Fox’s three key products along with four different powders. Combinations like Organic Matcha Powder and Organic Blue Butterfly Pea Powder not only smell amazing but also deliver key benefits for a quick pick me up.
Known for it’s fun and affordable cosmetics, Essence Cosmetics has curated amazing stocking stuffers this year for the makeup junkie in your life. Whatever product your friend or loved is obsessed with, Essence has a gift box for them.
The matt matt matt lipstick holiday kit ($10) has four matte lipsticks in an adorable gift box. The brand also has cute themed sets: the perfect host, the fashionably late, the wallflower, and the party animal. All four sets are $10 and each contain five products based off of the different themes. Stumped on which one to pick? Essence has the it’s a mystery box that comes with a mix of five different products. It’s the perfect gift to give to someone who loves surprises or has a hard time choosing what gift box to choose from.
The ultimate gift though is the Essence Advent Calendar ($39.99). The calendar comes with 24 full sized goodies to count down Christmas Day with. Since we’re now already ten days in, it has the added bonus of being able to open ten days worth of product the day you get it.
Oh and did I mention, Essence is cruelty-free? Score.
European Wax Center
I’ve been going to European Wax Center for years now. Their signature formula has worked wonders for my sensitive skin.
While the brand is known for their brow waxes, European Wax Center is now taking brow care a step further with their new Strut Boldly Brow Collection.
The full collection includes: Sucha Tweeze Slant Tweezer ($28), Brow Pals Dual-Ended Brow Brush ($16), Browfection Brow Powder Duo ($22), Browfection Brow Liner and Shaper ($20), Oh My Brow! Brow Highlighter ($19) , and Ready.Set.Brow! Perfect Groomer ($19). The collection contains everything from shaping your brows to the perfect brow gel. I love the dual-ended Brow Liner and Shaper. The smudge-free tip fills in the smallest of gaps while the brush helps tame unruly hairs. The liner also comes in six shades.
Know someone who’s yet to experience the magic of a European Wax Center Experience? Gift them with a Wax Pass. Options include Student Wax Pass, Unlimited Wax Pass, and Pre-Paid Wax Pass. Each option allows you to pick the amount of visits you’d like to purchase and European Wax Center adds in a little something extra.
I absolutely refuse to leave the house without sunscreen. I lather a thin coat on each morning on top of my moisturizer. I was proud of my routine till I realized I was skipping my lips. It seems that I’m not the only one either. Dermatologists say that lips are often the most missed area when it comes to sunscreen, which is dangerous because the skin there is thinner than the rest of the face.
I am obsessed with Coola’s Mineral Liplux SPF 30 in Bonfire ($18). It’s quickly become a staple in my routine and gives an amazing brown tint to my otherwise dry winter lips. The liplux is also cruelty free and over 70% organic, proving itself to be both good for the environment and your skin.
Coola also has a great variety of sunscreens for your body. The Eco-Lux SPF 30 Pina Colada Sunscreen Spray($36) is super easy to put on. I normally spray some on my chest and arms before heading out. It smells like summer. For days I want a more neutral sunscreen, I switch it up with the Face SPF 30 Unscented Moisturizer ($32). It’s unscented but packs the same SPF as the spray and liplux.
IRC Rescue Gifts
This has been a tough year, both here in the United States and globally. With the holiday season among us, it’s also important to think of those we don’t know, and whose needs exceed our own. While we are blessed to be able to think about what we want, there are children and families worldwide that don’t even have access to basic needs like food, water, and shelter.
The International Rescue Committee is aiming to fix that. Founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein, the International Rescue Committee has worked in over 40 countries worldwide to restore safety, education and health to people devastated by natural disasters and political conflicts. This year, they’ve come up with several donation gifts that provide everything from clean water to emergency shelters.
The Clean Water Rescue Gift allows IRC to provide families with clean water and proper sanitation, to prevent dehydration and the spread of deadly diseases through proper sanitation. A donation of $110 can give three people who have been uprooted by crisis water for a year.