Holiday Gift Guide for the Fragrance Fanatic

Ah, the sweet smell of the holidays!  From the sweet and savory scents wafting through the kitchen to the clean and crisp scents of pine and berry, it’s a great time for fragrance.  It’s also the perfect time to buy perfume and cologne, and today I have my top 5 picks for the ‘Fragrance Fanatic’ in your life – maybe it’s someone on your list, or maybe it’s just YOU!

Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio

Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio

Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio

1.  Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio (SAVE!  $49)  I think this is the ultimate fragrance set for the traveler.  These tall, thin spray fragrances are perfect for carrying in your purse or backpack, and the scents are wonderfully calming…and who doesn’t need a little calm over the holidays??  The packaging is exquisite, and the fragrances can be worn alone or layered.  The Serenity Trio includes French Clary Sage, which is a clean and refreshing watery linen.  My most favorite Lisa Hoffman scent is Tuscan Fig, which is a combination of Vanilla Bean, Honeysuckle, Coconut Wood and Gardenia. It’s a sophisticated coconut scent that is great year round.  And the final scent is Japanese Agarwood, which is unique and spicy woody zest.  The trio comes gift-giving ready inside a wrapped white gift box complete with a pretty ribbon.

Valentino Uomo

2.  Valentino Oumo (SPLURGE! $77.99) This gets my vote for best men’s cologne this season.  The top notes are woodsy, with bergamot and myrtle, mid note is creamy roasted coffee, and base notes are cedar and leather.  This is a scent for the guy who can take care of everything from building a bonfire to cleaning the gutters to fixing an elegant dinner.  Come on, wood, coffee, and leather?  I don’t think there could possibly be a better combo for a man.  Or for me to get to smell…or wear myself.  Yes, this is one of those gifts you can buy for him but then use for yourself!

Carolyn Herrera 212 VIP Rose

3.  Carolyn Herrara 212 VIP Rose (SPLURGE! $72.99)  Love the packaging on this one – the bottle is very unique!  The scent is fresh, fruity and floral.  This is playfully feminine and a wonderfully sexy scent.  The top note is pink champagne, which is always fun.  The giddiness is grounded with some sophistication from the mid note of peach tree blossom and base notes of musk and amber.  Overall, this is a fun, laid back scent that is perfect for the party-going 20 or 30-something gal.

Rrrr!  Carmen Electra for Women

4.  Rrrr! Carmen Electra for Women Eau de Parfum Spray (SAVE! $39.99) Oh come on…could there be a cuter bottle???  This is – as my 11-year-old says – adorabolical!!!  I was telling Marcia about it the other day.  I said you would not believe the packaging, and she said, “But it’s exactly Carmen Electra – the woman who would actually marry Dennis Rodman!”  Just launched this year, the top notes are mandarin orange, peach and blackberry; middle notes are gardenia, jasmine and orchid; and base notes are amber, musk, caramel and sandalwood.  Cute but sexy, sweet and warm.

Viva La Juicy Grande

5.  Viva La Juicy Grande (SPLURGE! $135)  You want over the top?  The Viva La Juicy Grande is over the top in every single way.  The bottle is HUGE, the packaging is bling times 100, and the scent is really pretty. Top notes are wild berries and juicy mandarin. Mid notes are honeysuckle, gardenia and jasmine, and base notes are amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood and pralines.  The end result?  A beautiful mix of orange, honeysuckle, and caramel vanilla.  This is a fragrance that is suprisingly sophisticated for such a young-looking bottle.  Seriously, anyone from a 12-year-old to an 80-year-old will love this (and just think of the awesome reaction when your 80 year old grandma opens this box!!).

Travalo Milano

Travalo Milano

Travalo Milano

6.  Travelo Milano (SAVE!  $49.99) No true fragrance fanatic is without a way to take those beautiful scents traveling.  The perfect solution for any TSA issues is a great decanter – one that allays fears of spillage or a TSA  pat down.  Filling it is easy and it holds 65 sprays. It has a ‘pump to fill’ system that doesn’t expose your fragrance to the air, which can change the scent. The spray is super fine and the decant is air tight. I love the beautiful leatherette bottle which feels substantial – it has all metal parts, no glass so it is totally TSA perfect. Plus there are nine different colors available.  All fragrance fanatics will be thrilled to be gifted this awesome find.  – Lisa

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Holiday Gift Guide for the Fragrance Fanatic

Five essential tips for transitioning into fall – with a little help from Meijer

Everything you need to transition into fall from Meijer!

Everything you need to transition into fall from Meijer!

I guess it is officially fall…I saw my first Christmas display at the store today!! I also saw my first red and orange leaves on the trees in my yard. I’m breaking out my heavy jeans, sweaters, and jackets – so much fun to rediscover a whole new season’s wardrobe. Meijer sent me a fabulous box of goodies with everything needed to also change my skin care and cosmetics wardrobe and it reminded me of the five essential tips for transitioning into fall.

Rethink your skin care

Rethink your skin care

1.  Rethink your skin care.  With the weather turning cooler, the air inside gets drier which changes your skin care needs.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

A terrific option for makeup removal and toner is Simple Cleansing Micellar Water ($6.29). It’s all the rage right now and for good reason. This is gentle and easy to use, and most importantly it doesn’t dry out skin. In fact, the micellar water boosts skin hydration 90%. The price is right too, making it a no-brainer for fall.

Switch your hair products

Switch your hair products

2.  Switch your hair products to compensate for dry indoor air.  Just like skin, hair changes with the seasons, and fall brings dry, frizzy, static-filled hair. Go for moisturizing hair products, like Pantene Expert Collection Dry Defy Shampoo and Conditioner ($8.39). This ultra-moisturizing duo tackles even the most parched hair, taking care of frizz, split ends, and static.

Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant

Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant

3.  Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant. My daughters have completely switched to Tom’s of Maine products and swear by the AntiPlaque and Whitening Toothpaste ($4.49) and Natural Deodorant ($4.49). The toothpaste is flouride-free and fights both cavities and plaque, and the deodorant is aluminum-free with 24 hour odor protection that really works. Not only do these natural products truly perform, Tom’s of Maine walks the talk as a planet friendly line that is truly natural, sustainable, and responsible.

Update and invest in new fall colors

Update and invest in new fall colors

4.  Update old products and invest in some fun fall colors.  It’s a great time to invest in some new makeup brushes, and definitely time to throw out your old mascara, lip gloss, and foundation and get some fresh new shades.

Fun fall shades and products to update

Fun fall shades and products to update

I am so happy to see that the Real Techniques Travel Essentials Makeup Brush Collection ($12.59) is available at Meijer. Marcia first introduced me to these brushes several years ago and they are absolutely fantastic. This set comes with a cool travel case and it includes my favorite brush of all time – the Domed Shadow Brush.

Mascara needs to be replaced every 2 months or so, and there are great sales at Meijer for the fall season so take advantage! Two picks for long and lush lashes include Covergirl The Super Sizer ($6.99) and Maybelline Volum’ Express the Colossal Chaotic Lash ($6.99). Why not go big this fall?  The Super Sizer makes lashes as long as they can get.  Don’t give up on the Colossal Chaotic Lash…once I figured out how to use the brush both vertically and horizontally my lashes went from ok to incredible.

Lippies need to be updated too…throw out those gross old lip glosses and sticky lipsticks and try something a little different. I can’t stop raving about the Covergirl Outlast Lipstick in Into the Fuchsia  This is a bright, bold shade with a hint of shimmer and the opaque coverage really lasts. It’s a cross between a lipstick and a gel-based balm and it feels divine on the lips.

And how perfect is that Revlon Colorstay 16 Hour Eyeshadow Palette in Surreal ($6.59)? Interestingly, this was part of the Summer 2015 Collection, but I think the gold and green shades are truly perfect for fall.

New season, new scents!

New season, new scents!

5.  Switch to new scents for the new season.  It’s time to say goodbye to soft summer scents and go a bit bolder. For women, I love Versace Bright Crystal ($73). The top notes are pomegranate, Yuzu and frosted accord. Mid-notes include peony and magnolia, and base notes include amber extracted from plants, musk and red woods. I think of this as a ‘frozen flower’ scent…great for transitioning into colder months!

For the man in your life, I am totally gaga for Hugo Man by Hugo Boss ($19.99). The top note is green apple, with aromatic notes and a base of fir balsam. Makes me picture a buff guy in flannel, riding a horse, stopping to pick me an apple as we ride through an orchard…ah, you get the idea. It’s fabulous and you want your guy to smell like this.

If you need an excuse to go shopping, you’ve got two here – you need new things for the new season and Meijer has great sales going on right now. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get ready for fall!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration