Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Gift Guide 1

The first gift ideas guide of the season. A wide mix of gifts I think are really nice and that most all giftees should love, whether they be stocking stuffer or wrapped up.

DKNY Be Delicious- A dual rollerball in Be Delicious and Be Delicious Fresh Blossom at $ 20.00 or a cute keychain solid of Be Delicious at $ 30.00 ( keychain only at Sephora)

- Kings and Queens Soap $ 6.00 (Pepper Bergamot shown, Cinnamon Orange or Honey also. At select Targets,,, Dillards .

-L'Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet-I am firmly of the mind that a gift from L'Occitane is one of the best to give. The Hand Cream Bouquet is a variety of 6 hand creams for $ 45.00

- Victorias Secret Fragrance Mist Set- 5 for $34.00 - A set of some of their most popular fragrances in a lighter body mist. You don't need to know which scent they love, give them one of each.

- Bath and Body Works CO Bigelow Ginger Mentha Body Wash- Amazingly good smelling. A lemony ginger with a hint of the mentha mint. A creamy wash that is highly moisturizing . $ 14.00

- Rance soaps- True luxury soaps, made in France dating back to 1795. This is no ordinary box of soaps. A wide variety of true , strong smelling scents like Gardenia, Lavender, Freesia and special blends. Box sets range from $ 44.00 to $ 85.00.

- Armani Lip Wax Set of 3 for $ 59.00 . Because everyone could use a little Armani.

- Bond No.9 The Now-and-Forever Pocket Spray- A refillable gold-tone pocket spray, patterned with multiples of the Bond No. 9 token. In its own white leatherette pouch.
Available in these 10 eaux de parfums: Astor Place, Brooklyn, Nuits de Noho, Chinatown, Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue, Chez Bond, Hamptons, The Scent of Peace, Wall Street, and Andy Warhol Union Square . Each is 7ml $ 85.00.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Body Shop Holiday

The best sale deal out there may be The Body Shop's buy 1 get 1 free. The deal applies to all holiday items and holiday gift sets. Sets begin at $ 15.00-50.00. So you can spend 15.00 and get 2 gifts. Thats a bargain. This sale lasts thru Nov. 29th .

The holiday line is one I look forward to, and every one of my friends always has the Body Shop on their wishlist. The Cranberry, this year called Merry Cranberry is my all time favorite. Not just from the Body Shop but from any. I stockpile every year. New this holiday and really nice as well is Black Velvet Apricot. A potential stockpile scent. Not sweet fruity but that of a very ripe Apricot. Lovely and not a scent I've seen done before.

New packaging has debuted and it looks more elegant . All scents come in scrubs, shimmer or regular lotions, body butters, soaps, lip balms in tins ( really, really good) and there is a Cranberry Hand Cream this year for the best smelling hands ever.

Head over to The Body Shop to check it out or at your nearest retail spot.

Friends & Family/ Sale Codes Thru Dec.2

-Armani Friends and Family . At use code: FAMILY for discount of 20% off, free shipping with NO minimum . Good thru 11/30/09

-Kiehls - Friday, Nov 27- Tues. Dec 1st and free standing Kiehls stores.
Code: FAMILY for 20% off, and free shipping with $30 or more. Valid: 11/27/09 - 12/01/09

-Bobbi Brown - has 20 % off any order from 11/30- 12/2. No code needed.

-Shu Uemura - starts Friday, Nov 27- Black Friday thru Dec.1
Enjoy free shipping and 20% off purchases of $50 or more made at
Enter the promotion code WISH09 upon checkout.


Cyber Monday ( the 30th)- A special deal:
shu uemura will give 7 deluxe samples to customers who spend $125 or more plus free shipping and the 20% discount! The deluxe items include:
-mesh bag
-brightening cream
-red:juvenus intense vitalizing concentrate
-pleasure of Japanese bath – hinoki
-cleansing beauty oil premium A/O
-depsea water mist in chamomile
-powder foundation
Enter the promotion code WISHDELUXE09 upon checkout.

-Lancome-20% off plus free shipping on all purchases on . Promo code: HOLIDAYJOY2. Good from The 24th-29th Nov at 11:59 PM.

-Anne Taylor at has 40 % off entire purchase thru 11/29 with code TURKEY

-Smashbox-Code SBFF9 for 20% whole order at thru Dec. 1

-L'Occitane: Black Friday- Special Priced Set, while supplies last- Dreamy Hands Set – $8 ($24 value) and Holiday Weekend Specials– Up to an additional 30% off select Holiday Gifts!– Stocking Stuffers Buy 2 Get 1 FREE
Cyber Monday-FREE Shipping on ALL Orders Over $25. Plus Holiday Value Gift Sets . Shop L'Occitane 25% off entire order with code HOL2009A! Plus, Free Standard Shipping in the continental US.

-GoSmile-25 %off for next 2 weeks with code Holiday plus free samples and free ship over $ 50 at

- Victoria's Secret- online take 15 % off with code VSSAVE15

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving with Godiva cake and a recipe

Today is Thanksgiving , and I wish all of you a very happy one. In a break from our regular programming, and since today is the day of Food( with a capitol F) I thought I'd share some cake porn and a recipe.

Earlier this week I told you about the new delish Godiva candles. Well also new are Godiva cakes. I previewed ( umm, tasted) these in summer and yes that cake tastes as good as you think. It's a fudgy layer cake. There are also cupcakes. I refrained from tasting them. The cake was enough. The Bakery Shop at is the only place to order these. Send one of these, and you know you will be the gifter extrodinaire.

The Chocolate Ganache Layer Cake is $ 45.00 ( 13 portions)

Cupcakes- 6 for $ 28.00

Brownies and macaroons available too.


Our recipe is one geared towards kids. If you are looking for something even the pickiest kid will hopefully eat, then British kitchen wiz and cookbook author Annabel Karmel has this recipe for Chicken Dippers. Many of her recipes are geared towards kids and are broken down into age ranges. You can see loads more at

Chicken Dippers


2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 grated Cheddar cheese
4 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
½ tsp paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp flour
6 tbsp sunflower oil or other oil for frying .

-Cut each chicken breast into ½ inch strips
-Mix together the parmesan, cheddar, dried breadcrumbs, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
-Place the egg in a shallow dish, the flour in another and the cheesy breadcrumb mixture in a third.
-Dip each chicken finger first into the flour, then in the beaten egg
and finally coat the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture.
-Pour the sunflower oil into a frying pan and fry over a medium heat in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan.
-Saute for about 2 minutes each side until golden and then drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Makes 4 portions

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty/Carmindy Lip Balm Set

Bargain alert. Sally Hansen Natural Beauty inspired by Carmindy has this fun gift set called The Super Balm that has 3 tinted lip balms for $ 12.99.
How cute is this? I love that it's not only inexpensive but readily available at CVS. You can pick up your aspirin and your gifts all in one go if you're incredibly short on shopping time. Perfect for tweens and teens, and the friends and family who do the little to no makeup thing .

The shades are fresh pink, nude shimmer and berry shine. The two lighter shades are very pale and the berry leaves a deeper tint. The formula is Moisture Plump and has avocado and shea butter.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Glamour Squad Weekly Reads

Clumps of Mascara shows you the magic that can happen with eye shadow palettes and velcro.

DivaDebbi finds the Holy Grail of Frizz fighters and her hair never looked better.

The Beauty Alchemist is giving away 3 sets of MISSION Skincare to giveaway

ThinkThruFashion styles a sequin top from the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection.

Krasey Beauty spotlights a gorgeous Makeup Designory eyeshadow palette perfect for gifting this holiday season.

The Product Pasha faces her retrograde ways and plans her very first online purchase.

Butterflydiary uses a Secret Weapon to fight frizz – and wins!

Urban Decay 24/7 Super Stash Set

Call it a box of Crayola Crayons for your eyes. The Urban Decay 24/7 Urban Decay Super Stash Eye Pencil Set. This has 9 mini eye pencils in a fun, pretty array of colors. So many favorites are here as well as 4 brand new ones including a bright navy( Binge) and a fab gold( Eldorado).

The mini size makes it easy to carry a few with you for touch ups or makeup change ups. Each pencil is about 3 inches long.

Colors are: Zero, Oil Slick, Corrupt, Eldorado,Graffiti, Binge , Ransom, Rockstar and Stash.

Set is $ 36.00 and available at

Monday, November 23, 2009

Godiva Home Fragrance Candles

Best smell ever- Godiva's new candles. Seriously. They are that good. Plus it's chocolate without the guilt. We all want that, don't we ? Godiva normally comes laden with calories , but not this version. Inspired by various Godiva flavors, these will brighten your world and make a so good gift for almost everyone on your list.

I have the Black Almond Truffle sitting un- burned in the kitchen dining area and it's giving off very strong scent & throw. This is not simply strong chocolate but a nutty, spicy version. It has hints of honey and pepper as well as dark chocolate. The wax inside is super dark chocolate colored as well.

The other scents are Milk Chocolate Truffle, ,Raspberry Ganache , White Chocolate Magnolia and Peppermint Bark( this one is in a red container). The Peppermint Bark is next on my list.

These were created by Laura Slatkin of NEST candles among others and she is someone who knows what she is doing.

They smell high end, but luckily they don't cost it. When I heard Godiva was making candles I assumed a high price tag. The larger one( 7 oz) is $22.50 and a small travel version( 4.40z) is $ 12.50. The price point under $ 25.00 means the gifting options are endless.

They are available at Neimans, Belks, Dillards, and more. I have seen them also on Bath and Body , and

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rue La La & ELLE's Little Black Dress Boutique

Need the perfect LBD or Little Black Dress for all the upcoming holiday bashes and don't feel like hitting the mall ? Well Rue La La might be able to help. Lets face it , LBD's are our fashion closet workhorses.

They will launch the exclusive ELLE Little Black Dress Boutique on Monday, November 23 at 11AM…available for 48 hours only at . Selections will be priced at 30-80% off retail.

Rue La La partnered with Violet Moon Gaynor, Senior Fashion & Accessories Editor at, to hand pick 16 dresses from top fashion designers creating a covetable selection of LBDs from Badgley Mischka, Carmen Marc Valvo, Laundry and Robert Rodriguez.

Hair Trend Styles from Across the US

So many hairstyle shots I put up are from backstage or with models in NY and done by the top hairstylists. This is great but most of us can't get to those stylists. We look to them for inspiration but what are they doing in the salons across the country? Salons frequented by ladies looking for a great haircut and not on a photo shoot? Here we have some photos from various salons. Ones you may know of or might be nearby.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Timetospa & CARE Partner for Clean Water

Water is a basic need and so many don't have it., which it frightening, really. Did you know over 10 million people around the world essentially live without it ?

So during the months of November and December timetospa will donate $1 for every order placed online ( or by phone (1-888-880-5814) to CARE’s Water Resource Program.

$1 may not be a huge donation, but in these times every dollar does count and it's better than no donation. Timetospa is the home web portal to buy Elemis products. There are so many great products from Elemis, so I have highlighted just one here- the Body Secrets Collection featuring some of the most wonderful smelling Monoi body items. This is one gift set she (or you) is bound to love.

Elemis Spa Body Secrets Collection -
An indulgent collection of luxurious spa at home bodycare to help you relax, de-stress and unwind. The perfect gift for that stressed out and busy women in your life. The Spa Body Collection makes gift giving easy, with the box decorated with a bow you can just buy and gift – no need to wrap.
• Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt, 100ml
• Exotic Frangipani Monoi Bath & Shower Cream, 200ml (new)
• Skin Nourishing Milk Bath, 400ml
• Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow, 150g
• Pro-Collagen Hand and Nail Cream, 20ml

Price: $95 ($76 in savings), available at Bergdorf Goodman, select Nordstrom and on

Erickson Beamon & GWP

If you've long admired Erickson Beamon jewelry( even Mrs. Obama is a fan) then this makeup bag is one you want to check out. It's the latest designer collab from

Available with a 100.00 or more purchase.

Here's the details:

The" Glenda Party" bag features whimsically printed duchess satin, a bijoux zipper pull, embossed gold logo tassel, and lace and pearl embellishments.

Samples inside:

1. dr.brandt® Microdermabrasion Body Exfoliating Cream
2. FULL SIZE Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil
3. Talika Eye Decompress
4. Nick Chavez® Beverly Hills PLUMP 'N THICK® Thickening Hairspray
5. Jack Black® Industrial Strength Hand Healer
6. Rene Furturer Myrrhea Anti-Frizz Silkening Mask Tube
7. DIANA B. Scented Candle
8. Smashbox Lash DNA Mascara
9. StriVectin® Neck Cream
10. DDF Daily Protective Moisturizer
11. PHYTO Phytolisse Finishing Serum
13. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

The Erickson Beamon ‘Glenda Party Bag’ is one of many one of the perks available to customers this holiday season. In addition to the usual categories, offers a shop by personality gift finder, a video library with dozens of clips from top brands and industry insiders, skincare and hair care diagnostic tools, and more.

Other year-round benefits include “Everyday Free Shipping,” 5% back on every purchase, the free sample center, 100% color match guarantee, and a shared online shopping cart with’s partner site,

Shop at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bath and Body Works PocketBacs & LeSportSac

Everyone needs Bath and Body Works PocketBacs. These cute , tiny little germ killers seem a must. It helps that they are cute and smell great.

For a great holiday gift idea Le SportSac has teamed up with Bath and Body Works to offer its cute collection of bags with PocketBac waterless hand gel. Paired with matching LeSportsac bags, the formulas kill 99.9% of germs. This is a good thing and perhaps a way to get the younger set to keep those hands clean.

From November 16th to December 24th, stop by LeSportsac stores or log on to to snag the bags plus a PocketBac waterless hand gel and a bounceback card good toward your next Bath & Body Works purchase—a savvy solution to winter germs.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mission Skincare by Serena Williams Giveaway

To start off your holiday gifting, a gift from me to you.

Beginning today( Nov. 19) and running thru Monday Nov.30, I have 3 sets of MISSION Skincare by Serena Williams to give to you.

Tennis star Serena was named Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year this year and to celebrate that , MISSION wants to share her creations with you.

Each winner will receive :

- One new MISSION Active Daily Facial Cleanser- the 90 second wonder cleanser created by Serena Williams for the fastest , on the go cleansing.

- Two MISSION Lip Balmers. One each of Pomengranate and Pink Lemonade. I have raved more than once about these. I have several and use them almost every day. They have great flavor and SPF , plus are very moisturizing.

All you have to do to enter is the usual- leave a comment. Any comment will do ( nice ones preferred). You can leave your email or wait until winners are announced and check back.

I will randomly pick 3 winners and notify you , as well as post the winners name here on the drawing day.

Good Luck.

The rules:
-Winner agrees by entering ,that if they win their name and address will be given to the shipping company.
Winners from US only and over 18.
- The Beauty Alchemist is not responsible for lost or incomplete entries, shipping of your prize, any damage to prize incurred during shipping.
- W
inner will be picked randomly.
- I will announce winner on Nov. 28th. Winner has 5 days to come forward before I will need to pick a new winner
-Each person may enter only once.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Polo Red ,White and Blue

Many of the men I know love Polo in some iteration. They are happy to get it for gifts and so this holiday season we get a new one Polo Red,White and Blue.

This new one is crisp, sporty and has a mountain air feel. It's not overly aquatic but has a bit of those notes. More like cold, winter air with some herbs and woods. Not too wildly different but not the same as any Polos before either. It is said to be a cooler variation of Polo Blue. I rather liked it. It was fresh without being watery.

The scent was made with Winter Sports in mind ( after all an Olympic year is coming) and the logo is done with patriotic racing stripes.

Notes include:
Red apple,cucumber, clary sage, lavender tonic, creamy white woods and white musks.

4.2 oz EDT $ 69.50
2.5 oz EDT $ 52.50

Available at Macys, and

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Printemps Paris Dept. Store Holiday Windows Video

For your viewing pleasure - The Christmas windows from Printemps dept. store in Paris as well as all the initial turning on lighting spectacular. It all looks beautiful as does Natalia Vodianova who co-hosted.

Joyeux Noel a little in advance.


CVS Essence of Beauty

One of the great things about going to Fashion Week or any other beauty/fashion event is that sometimes you get introduced to products that you've either not yet heard of, or not yet tried but should have. CVS Essence of Beauty line falls into the should have category.

Who knew they had such great tools and fab smelling bath and body products? Clearly not me. I do own the Kabuki brush and posted on it 2 years ago, but thats it.

They hosted a ReInventing Beauty Lounge and so I got to see and try some of the line . I got a sample of their Hand Cream and like many of my fellow bloggers had the same reaction- we were all raving about this heretofore unknown to us product.

I have the Jasmine Ginger scent one. The hand cream is thick but dries really fast, the fastest I've ever tried. It soothes and softens with shea butter and aloe and has a nice slightly floral / citrus scent. Holds up well under hand washing too. Reminds me a bit of lemon iced tea. The Citrus Coconut scent is great too.

I then hit my local CVS to do more recon. I've always thought CVS was a great drugstore. I mean they have carpet. Carpet is good. Nicer. Rite Aid is fine, but it's so industrial .

The Essence of Beauty scented line contains the usual line up of bath/body products along with tools, hand soap etc. I loved this Faux Sea Sponge. Something so simple, yes, but cute.

Now the holiday sets are out and there are some good deals in there. Sets start at $ 4.99.

3.4 oz Hand Cream is $ 5.99

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nordstrom Color Blockbuster Palette

I saw this back in summer at a holiday preview. It was , of course, reminiscent of Sephora's blockbuster palette but this one is a bit different. It's less expensive and has more eyeshadows but not all the lip products. I thought it would be a holiday hit. This is perfect especially for someone just getting into makeup or young teens. They can play with shades to their hearts content. It also saves packing. Take the whole thing on a trip and have all your colors handy.

The info:

Be prepared for every cosmetics situation with the Nordstrom Color Blockbuster Palette. Packed with 156 colors (Yes, we said 156), this palette is will keep you glamorous with 144 eyeshadows and 12 of your favorite blush colors.

Developed by professional makeup artists for everyday use, it includes every color option imaginable. High in pigment shades range from trend setting cutting edge cools to basic everyday warm colors, perfect for any and all occasions.

Open the satin touch, button locking lid to find 4 stackable sliding trays, a vanity mirror, 2 double ended professional quality applicators and a blush brush. This is truly a cosmetics masterpiece, packed with value, and offered for a limited time.

Price: $29.50 ($150.00 Value) at Nordstrom stores and

Shu Uemura Contest & Holiday

From November 16th to December 27th, 2009, when you sign into your personal account at, you will be invited to select your favorite Shu products, up to five (5) or a $250 value. Each week, a winner will be drawn at random so… “make your list, check it twice”, and shu will notify each winner if you're one of them. Now I don't lnow about you, but $250 worth of Shu Uemura sounds good to me.

There are darling Holiday collections as well. Shu collaborated with acclaimed fashion designer Tsumori Chisato, and have created a collection called “Wish Upon a Star”. These are already selling out I hear. Not hard to imagine as they are so cute and actually useful. A small pallette loaded with Shu products is great to have. The couture palettes have eyeshadows, liners, highlighter and blush.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Glamour Squad Weekly Reads

Aly shares the free gift-giving e-book she helped to write!

The Beauty Alchemist loves Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm

The Product Pasha welcomes the simplicity of Estee Lauder's Ultimate Red Holiday Collection.

DivaDebbi rediscovers a hidden hair treasure.

Butterflydiary eliminates frizz with a single stroke of a hair brush!

Clumps of Mascara thinks women should toss their scales out of windows.

ThinkThruFashion shops for the perfect sophisticated cocktail dress.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Urban Decay Friends & Family

It's Friends and Family discount time all over retail. Urban Decay is having theirs through Nov. 20th for 30 % everything. Use code FNFW1.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dior Serum de Rouge Lipstick

Serum de Rouge is the new, deeply moisturizing and conditioning lipstick from Christian Dior. I got my chance to try one at a counter a few weeks ago. These are very creamy but have good pigment. Most of the colors are fairly neutral . In other words, very wearable.

The Serum part is the active skincare ingredients . Said to be 10 times more than other lipsticks. There is mango butter to soften and ingredients to boost collagen levels among others. That makes Serum de Rouge a perfect winter lippie. You get chic color and can fight the drying aspect of cold and wind.

I loved the creamy texture and definitely want to pick up at least one. It doesn't hurt that these are packaged in a slim wand done up with the elegant Dior cannage pattern.

$ 32.00 at Dior counters

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jason Naturals Holiday Sets at Target

On a recent Target trip I saw these cute new gifts sets from Jason Naturals.
I felt a little odd snapping pictures in a Target, but all in beauty blogger days work.

Jason Naturals is a great organic/natural line. I've used their lotions for years and of course we all know and love Celestial Seasonings. It seems too, that people who love scent, and scented products tend to be big tea fans as well.

The Candy Cane Lane tea is a favorite . It tastes and smells beyond good . I didn't get to smell the matching body products, but there is real potential there. At 19.99 a set these make a great, easy gift for so many people for the upcoming holiday.

Some sets are online at Target but I did not see these particular ones.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LORAC Holiday Smoked Out Kit Special

LORAC is having some fabulous deals at their website. You can get this top line basically for the price of what you might pay at the drugstore .

There are several "kits" available. One is the Holiday Smoked Out Collection. This has :Starry Eyed Baked Eyeshadow Trio, Midnight Sparkle pencil, Lip Polish and a Cheek Stamp tucked in a black makeup bag.

The whole kit is $ 18.50 and only online.

Also brand new is Everyday Eye having 9 eyeshadows, a liner and the black croc train case. $ 22.50