Holiday Gift Guide: Life’s Little Helpers

Just a bit of luxury, a little extra treat in your day, is a fabulous gift. It doesn’t matter whether the item is actually expensive or not…anything that makes you smile and gives that feeling of being taken care of is such a treat. I’ve put together a holiday gift guide full of my picks for this sort of little helpers in life, with a mixture of goodies that are budget-friendly and others that satisfy the urge to go all out and splurge.

Scala Pronto Beret

Scala Pronto Beret

Scala Pronto Beret

Scala Pronto Beret

1.  Scala Pronto Beret  (SAVE! $32)  Slouchy berets are a super hot trend right now and I love the Pronto Beret from Scala. This knit hat has metallic lurex thread throughout – the perfect thing to bring a smile on dreary winter days. It protects my hair from the wet snow and the harsh wind,  and slipping on this cute beret immediately makes a bad hair day something I don’t have to deal with.

Aroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower HeadAroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower HeadAroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower Head2.  Aroma Sense Opus Wall Mounted Vitamin C Shower Head (SPLURGE! $79.99)  Oh my is this a fabulous gift!! The box includes 1 shower head, 2 microfiber filters and 1 Vitamin C shower cartridge. The Vitamin C cartridge is excellent aromatherapy, plus it is very beneficial for hair and skin. Not only that, the shower head removes chlorine and rust while conserving water by 25%!  I was sure the water pressure would be lessened, but this shower head does the opposite – it actually increases pressure by about 1 1/2 times. It even helps breathing and blood flow by producing four times more negative ions, which results in less stress and anxiety. A great shower is always pure luxury to me and this shower head definitely helps me have a great day! My husband is a contractor who regularly installs bathrooms and he is totally impressed with this magical shower head.  https://aromasenseusa.com/

soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer

soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer

soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer

3.  Soho London Love Fest Hanging Organizer (SAVE! $19.99)  Who doesn’t need a hanging cosmetics organizer? And who can resist one in animal print called the Love Fest?? This neon trimmed tiger print hanging organizer is a fabulous gift. It has a small zip pocket for jewelry, a makeup brush organizer with a protective cover, plus a removable clear zip pouch.   The Love Fest is a handy little helper that anyone on your list will be thrilled to get.

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles

4.  Farmhouse Fresh Cozy Sweater Candles (SAVE! $29) Oh Em Gee. There really isn’t a better way to light up those holidays than these ultra adorable candles with their very own knitted sweaters. Each candle comes in its own box with tiny windows…geez I’d almost buy these just for the outside packaging!! The candle with the red sweater is the Spiced Rum Candle and it smells like sweet orange, honey, clove and spice. The candle with the green sweater is Home Fir the Holidays and it smells like a fresh-cut Frazier fir tree. They are beyond fun and they smell AMAZING. These candles are made of a soy-blend wax, with phthalate-free scents that provides up to 50 hours of light, love, and delicious holiday fragrance.

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

FOREO : LUNA ™ for Women

5.  FOREO LUNA for Women (SPLURGE! $199)  The FOREO LUNA™  is my favorite facial cleansing tool of all time. A typical skin care brush is battery operated with a cleansing brush that eventually wears out and needs replacing. I have owned my FOREO LUNA™ for four years now and it not only doesn’t show any signs of wear, I’ve only had to charge it one time — and that’s with using it almost every single day.  This unique little pink machine is truly beyond impressive.  There is also a LUNA™ for Men made for men’s skin, and it comes in black, a more manly color. Here is a great FOREO Holiday Offer for you – 15% Off On LUNA & ISSA Devices + Free Shipping with the Promo Code: HolidayBeauty15.  Expiration Date: Until 12/31/15.

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser

6.  Gurunanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser (SAVE! $19.99)  Talk about all the rage…we all know the fantastic benefits of essential oils, and the best way to get all the benefits from them is through a diffuser. GuruNanda has a terrific set that includes calming lavender and uplifting peppermint essential oils, plus a really cool diffuser with a color-changing LED light that turns 7 different shades. This is a perfect gift for a teacher, co-worker, or anyone you know who needs some stress relief. I am going to bring one as a hostess gift for the New Year’s Eve party I am going to – I know she will love it. You can find this great set at Walmart.

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

7.  C.O. Bigelow Musk Scented Candle (SAVE! $42) I always think candles are the ultimate little luxury. I love getting them as gifts and then feeling so indulgent when I burn one, luxuriating in the beautiful scent. A great choice for a minimalist friend is the C.O. Bigelow Musk Scented Candle. The candle is very chic, housed in a clear glass jar with the C.O. Bigelow signature. It has a lead-free wick and a 60 hour burn. The Musk Candle’s fragrance is a beautiful combination of bergamot, ylang ylang, muguet petals (lily of the valley), patchouli, vanilla bean, white cedar, and also of course musk. The combination creates a light musky scent that is surprisingly fresh.

Soho London Disney Wristlet

Soho London Disney Wristlet

Soho London Disney Wristlet

Soho London Disney Wristlet

8.  Soho London Disney Wristlet (SAVE! $7.99)  I don’t care if you are 6 or 106, you will be completely enchanted with the adorable Soho London Disney Wristlets. I have pictured two different styles featuring Cinderella, and the other Disney princesses have their own wristlets available as well. All the girls in my house are fighting over these adorable little bags….they are exactly what is needed for a tiny bit of magic in your day.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration, affiliate links

Why not let C.O. Bigelow take a shower with you?

C.O. Bigelow Grapefruit Body  Cleanser

C.O. Bigelow Grapefruit Body
Cleanser

I remember the first time I bought a shower gel. I was a latecomer to the world of bath and body products and basically just used an unscented bar of soap in the shower. When I learned I was missing out on a whole world of products I started shopping around but everything was too perfumey or artificial smelling for my nose. I finally came across C.O. Bigelow aka C.O. Bigelow Apothecary and realized I’d found a brand that I could tolerate. I don’t remember if the first Body Cleanser I bought was Lemon or Grapefruit but I know it was one of those.

When C.O. Bigelow offered to send a Grapefruit scented Body Wash I was absolutely thrilled to have this experience again. It woke up all my memories and my senses once I started using it in the shower after all these years.

C.O. Bigelow Grapefruit Body Cleanser

C.O. Bigelow Grapefruit Body Cleanser

This $12 bottle of cleanser has been living in my shower for a few weeks now and seems quite content there. My body is also content with using this. I am very happy that this is a more natural smelling shower gel without any of the artificialness I dislike. Instead it’s a zesty grapefruit scent that I love on my body. It even leaves my bathroom smelling so pleasant afterwards.

C.O. Bigelow Body Cleanser

C.O. Bigelow Body Cleanser

This lathers up beautifully and a little goes a long way when I’m using a shower pouf. If you aren’t a citrus fan there are other fragrances besides lemon and grapefruit like Lavender, Lime & Coriander, Mentha, Coconut, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary Mint. My skin feels nicely moisturized after my shower and I love that they use Aloe Vera Gel to produce this effect.

C.O. Bigelow Lip Balm

C.O. Bigelow Lip Balm

As the weather cools I’m finding that my C.O. Bigelow Lemon Lip Balm ($7.50) is getting more and more use. This contains Shea Butter which helps to nourish and condition lips. It also is Vitamin C rich and has a concentration of lemon oil and lemon extract to provide a dose of Vitamin C to my lips. I find this to be very soft and easy to apply. I mostly wear it alone but I’ve also used it as a base for a lip color or to add a little shine and moisture to a lipstick. It does contain sodium saccharin though so be aware of that.

A big surprise to me is that the official C.O. Bigelow site carries dozens of other brands besides their own so getting to free shipping will be easy! C.O. Bigelow products are cruelty free, reasonably priced and trustworthy.  Do you feel like jumping in the shower with C.O. Bigelow too?? — Marcia

 

Body Cleanser Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Oleth-10, Polysorbate 20, Lauramide MEA, Lauramide MIPA, PEG-40 Castor Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyquaternium-7, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Sodium PCA, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG 20 Sorbitan Laurate, Octadecyl Di-t-butyl-4-hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Dipropylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Triethylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Propylparaben, Citral, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Red 40 (CI 16035), Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730).

Lip Balm Ingredients: Hydrogenated Polydecene, Petrolatum, Octyldocecanol, Polyethylene, Ozokerite, Beeswax (Cera Alba, Cire d’abeille), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Saccharin.

*sent for editorial consideration

 

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle and Soap & Paper Factory Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream

musk_lit_duo_800It’s funny, I always associate C.O. Bigelow with their own namesake products, forgetting that it is actually the oldest apothecary in America. Online and in store you can find a wealth of products from all sorts of different lines, featuring unique and often hard to find items. If I lived in New York I would spend every free moment I had wandering through their store, making a new discovery with every step.

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

An iconic fragrance from the C.O. Bigelow line is their Musk Perfume. I think this scent is so popular because while it has the lovely qualities of musk, it isn’t heavy and overpowering. It’s a great scent to wear and an even better one for adding some fragrance to your home with the Musk Candle ($42). C.O. Bigelow recently sent this to me to review, and the candle is very pretty, housed in a clear glass jar with the C.O. Bigelow signature. It has a lead-free wick and a 60 hour burn.

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

C.O. Bigelow Musk Candle

The Musk Candle’s fragrance is a beautiful combination of bergamot, ylang ylang, muguet petals (lily of the valley), patchouli, vanilla bean, white cedar, and also of course musk. The combination creates a light musky scent that is surprisingly fresh.

Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand CreamOne of my favorite lines that C.O. Bigelow carries is Soap & Paper Factory. I love their hand cream and am really impressed with their Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream ($16). This is a shea butter based cream that is free of parabens, phthalates,  and petroleum.

Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream

Farmacie Marigold Calendula Hand Cream

The packaging totally belongs in an apothecary and the cool retro squeeze tube is wonderful.

The hand cream itself is thick and rich, with an elegant shea-based formula that totally soothes dry skin. I love the Marigold Calendula scent, which is a combination of cyclamen, peony, and ylang ylang. It is a sweet floral with some spice from the ylang ylang. It smells feminine and just a little mysterious. The combination really is perfect for this velvety hand cream.

Head on over to the C.O. Bigelow website at bigelowchemists.com, and plan to stay for a while…the fabulous products go on forever!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Welcome to my shower

Welcome to my shower. While I won’t invite you in to take a shower with me, I’m happy to introduce you to the products I’ve been using in it.

  1. C. O.  Bigelow Body Cleanser ($12). Back in the dark ages, aka when I grew up, we didn’t have body cleansers, we had soap. I think I’ve probably used 10,000 bars of Ivory or unscented Dove soap in my life. Well now that I’m out of the dark ages I use Bigelow’s Body Cleanser. I’ve got this in both Grapefruit and Lemon. I find these  scents to be  refreshing without being  cloying in any way. They foam up nicely and wash away without leaving any residue behind.They are loaded with humectants to draw moisture to your skin.  This also comes in Lime and Coriander, Lavender, Coconut and Rosemary Mint. I also have a small size in Mandarin but I don’t see that on the Bath and Body Works or Bigelow’s  websites.  Here’s my rave review of this from the winter. I love it just as much now as I did then.
  2. Venus razor: My favorite razor from Venus is the Vibrance one. I know it was a gimmick but I like the way it works. I like the little vibrating action and I think that it gets a closer shave.  Unfortunately I don’t think you can find Vibrance any more but I’ll continue to purchase Venus.  You can use any of the Gillette Venus razor blades in this or their other razors. I buy the disposable Venus razors to take in my travel kit but at home I use this type. Look for sale prices at your favorite drugstore on these.
  3. Speaking of shaving: Whish Shave Crave Pump ($24). I was turned onto this by my friend Patty who was turned onto it by our friend Denise. I have it in Pomegranate and it’s luscious. The shaving cream isn’t drying, it lathers wonderfully and moisturizes my legs properly for a close shave. It comes in a pump which I like because it’s so easy to dispense the product. It’s loaded with things good for you: shea butter, green tea, vitamin E, coconut oil… sounds like something you’d want to eat. It’s also available in Lemongrass and Almond. The website has a long list of places you can purchase these. I will be repurchasing this again. Read Patty’s review here and you’ll see why I had to purchase this for myself.
  4. One of these days I’ll review my experience having a Brazilian Blowout done on my hair but in the meantime I’ll tell you about the 2 products that I use: Acai Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Acai Anti-Frizz Conditioner. These are made by Brazilian Blowout for the after care of your hair after having the process done. You need to use special products if you want to extend the life of the smoothing treatment. These leave my hair incredibly shiny and soft. The conditioner isn’t the most moisturizing I’ve used but I follow the rules (retired teacher that I am!!) The effect of using this brand is an accumulative one to help the process  last longer. I bought mine from my hairdresser for about $20 each.

I hope you’ve enjoyed  being in my shower with me.  I guess nothing’s a secret anymore. I’d love to hear your comments on what’s in your shower.— Marcia