The Beauty Gypsy’s last minute Christmas gift guide for literally everyone on your list: Part 1

Let’s get real: Have you finished started your holiday shopping yet? If you’re like me, there are miles to go on that list before you can actually begin to enjoy the festive season. But no worries… with a whole week left till Christmas, there’s plenty of time to find the perfect gift for everyone (yes, I am not kidding). Simply traipse through The Beauty Gypsy’s curated lists, which cover everyone from your minimalism-loving BFF to that jet setting boss and you are sorted.

And I am definitely not judging if some of these gorgeous goodies end up on your personal shopping list as well!

beauty giftsBeauty gifts for the beauty junkie who has everything

Dior Diorific Illuminating Pressed Powder, $80: Pretty and luxe… who wouldn’t want to find this beauty treat under their tree?

Butter London Gears & Gadgets Ultimate Lacquer and Tool Trunk, $150: This one’s going to keep her happy for days, weeks and months, creating bespoke nail effects.

Jo Malone Scented Bauble, $40: Pine & Eucalyptus? Or Frosted Cherry & Clove? Whichever one you pick, it’s sure to be the star of any beauty junkie’s Christmas tree.

GHD V Rose Gold Hair Styler, $160: It’s rose gold. And it’s GHD. What’s not to adore?

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence with Printed Bottle, US$205: What’s better than the glowy-skin goodness of SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence? One that’s dressed up in the season’s limited edition art print. This year, the theme is natural flowers by modern Taiwanese artist Po Chih Huang. Take your pick from red tulips (for passion), yellow freesias (elegance) and purple hydrangeas (compassion).

Rouge Louboutin Starlight Nail Polish, $675: With 1,500 two-tone Strass crystals hand-applied to a sculpture-worthy bottle of Christian Louboutin’s iconic red nail color, this one comes with an inbuilt dilemma: Wear it? Or keep it as a collectible?

Rae Morris Signature Kabuki Brush Set, $249: Every beauty junkie needs a fabulous set of brushes and it simply doesn’t get better than makeup artist Rae Morris’ kabuki collection. Hello, flawless makeup!

Burberry Beauty Charm, $95: A beauty junkie’s dream product? One that’s too pretty to remain hidden within the depths of a handbag. This glossy lip colour doubles up as a handbag or key charm, with metallic leather and cube details in the signature Burberry House check.

beauty-gifts-2Beauty gifts for the world traveler

Glam Glow Gift Sexy, $69: With a face mask for every skin concern – whether it’s hydration, exfoliation or deep cleansing – neatly packaged into one streamlined set, this is basically every globetrotter’s dream.

Fresh Skincare VIPs Set, $70: It has a cleanser, scrub, oil, lip treatment and eye gel all packed into one pretty package, making it perfect for covering all bases.

Tata Harper Globetrotter Gift Set, $100: The Hydrating Floral Essence and Replenishing Nutrient Complex keep skin moisturized and glow-y despite dehydrating airplane air, while the Aromatic Irritability Treatment helps keep your cool despite long lines and delays. Win-win all around.

Bobbi Brown Travel Brush Set, $100: The eight-strong kit of luxury brushes is packed inside a gorgeous croc-print clutch – perfect for dropping into the suitcase or carry-on!

Make Up Forever Makeup Station, $300: Not only does this set house 30 must-have products, including everything from lip colours to fake eyelashes, the box also doubles as a makeup station (complete with pop-up mirror).

Fresh Face Mask Essentials, $120: Three of Fresh’s cult face masks – Rose, Black Tea and Sugar Face Polish – packed into a travel size kit for easy portability.

beauty gifts 4Beauty gifts for the minimalist

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare Kit, $75: With five essentials – No Foundation Foundation Serum, No Blush Blush, No Mascara Mascara, No Lipstick Lipstick and Face Finishing Moisturizer – it’s perfect for even the most fuss-free minimalists.

Tata Harper Very Naughty and Very Nice Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint Set, $65: These limited edition lip and cheek tints can be dabbed on lightly for a soft flush or built up to a bold look. And they are tiny enough to fit into the tightest clutch.

Too Faced Everything Nice Set, $74: With all the shades a woman could desire, this miniature makeup kit is both cool and comprehensive!

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Limited Edition, $19.50: Take a cult multi-tasker, add extra-special packaging for the festive season and what do you have? A gift that even the most stringent of minimalists will want in their stocking.

Formula X Paint Party 24 Press Pods, $20: 24 cream and pearl-finish nail polishes, each of which adorns 10 nails in two generous coats – all stored in a fun paint bucket.

Tory Burch Lipstick USB, $148: She’s organised enough to pack all her documents in a tiny USB key, so why not let her do it in style?

Chanel Give It Shine Glossimer Trio, $90: Shimmer, shine and sparkle… all with this one gold-pouch-encased lip trio.

beauty gifts 3Beauty gifts for all the men in your life

Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Refueling Set, $60: So you get to keep your own moisturizer and soap!

L’Occitane Men’s Soap Trio, $24: Gorgeous yet non-feminine soaps that are sure to be a hit with the guys.

ESPA Smooth Encounter Kit, $72: Shaving mud, moisturizer and shower gel… it’s his own personal spa.

The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil, $25: Stubbly beards and razor burns, banish thyselves!

Commes Des Garcons Pocket Set, $330: Sexy and gorgeous in equal measure, these cult-status scents stand good for all seasons.

Czech & Speake Leather-Bound Travel Manicure Set for Men, $306: From the nail scissors to the cuticle care tools, he’ll be well stocked for years.

C’mon ‘fess up: What’s YOUR gifting cred this year? All done with the shopping? Or still struggling?

10 rules by Givenchy on how to recognise a gentleman

How do you recognise a gentleman? Why, with a little help from Givenchy, the long term muse and mentor for chic ladies and dapper gentlemen, of course. At Milan Fashion Week, the couture house revealed this 10-point test for gentlemanly quotient.

givenchy gentlemen onlyWhile I can think of a few more essential gentlemanly traits (does not grumble while shopping with you, even if its for perfumes and lipsticks; does not allow you to lift heavy suitcases after a trip to Singapore; readily gives lends you money for casinos visits and shopping sprees; does NOT hog the TV or air conditioner remote… !), Mr. Husband scores 8/10 on the Givenchy list (tuxedo, yes; drive his vintage Delahaye 135 MS or detach him from the iPad… are you kidding?). Of course, he would score considerably lower on my own set of requirements but since Simon Baker seems to be a more universally accepted authority on chivalrous nuances, let’s go with this one for the moment.

And yes, it helps that Mr. Husband has fallen completely in love with Gentlemen Only by Givenchy, nudging aside his treasured bottle of Penhaligon’s Sartorial to give this new fragrance pride of place on the dressing shelf. Which brings me to men’s fragrances in general. There’s a reason you’ve not been seeing them on this blog lately – most of the new launches in this category just seem to insipid for words. Literally. A vast majority are too bland and boring to be even disliked properly.

geivenchy gentlemen only simon bakerWhich is where Gentlemen Only stands out and makes its mark. Not surprising, considering that Givenchy has always been a trailblazer in the genre of men’s perfumes. Decades back, when every perfume house was busy going the cologne and lavender route for men, Hubert de Givenchy broke with tradition to craft the original Gentleman (launched in 1975). The potently aromatic and woody concoction made everyone sit up and take notice, paving the way for male perfumes that were both audacious and elegant at the same time.

Now, almost 40 years later, Givenchy is rebooting the formula to give it a thoroughly contemporary feel. Gentlemen Only takes the signature tree bark that underpinned the ’70s Gentleman (patchouli, cedar and vetiver) and lightens it with a crisp blend of mandarin oranges, pink peppercorns and nutmeg.

Consequently, where Gentleman comes across as deep, earthy and leathery, Gentlemen Only is fresh, spicy and woody. It’s like the difference between a cloak-ready English aristocrat and a man-of-the-world dressed in a sharp black suit and crisp white shirt. With a naked woman sitting on his lap. After all, Hubert de Givenchy did believe that a gentleman should aim for “Sir Walter Raleigh’s manners, Casanova’s seduction techniques and Beau Brummel’s wardrobe”.

In fact, there is only suggestion that comes to mind for this otherwise superlative formula – the choice of Simon Baker as spokesperson. The Aussie actor does nothing for me (so lynch me!) and would much prefer to see Patrick Dempsey instead (he even owns a LOT of vintage sports cars). But then since I am a little obsessed with McDreamy Dempsey, maybe this suggestion should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Price: $67 for 50ml EDT, $88 or INR 5,695 for 100ml EDT, $57 for After Shave Lotion, $25 for Deodorant

What about you? What’s on your list of essential qualities to be a gentleman?

10 seriously wacky beauty products you should (and shouldn’t) try!

When I did that last post on weird and wacky beauty products, one wouldn’t imagine it was just scratching the surface. Because, it seems, the world of beauty and fashion has a remarkably infinite capacity to both humour and horrify us – often both at once!

Kitchen safe: The cruel-meets-genius cookie jar

Ever had all those good and healthy intentions derailed by some tantalising Oreos? Bring home David Krippendorf’s Kitchen Safe, a cookie jar that comes with a foolproof (rather, glutton-proof) timer. Put in the cookies, set the timer for say 2 hours and the lid seals shut till those 120 gruelling minutes have run out. Bye, bye binges?

smart-cookie-jarTheradome laser helmet: Making the world bright & hairy

A brilliant group of innovators (complete with a NASA scientist) may have found the cure for hair loss: the first (actually, the only!) FDA approved clinical-strength laser hair therapy situation that works right in your own home! Use the Theradome Laser Helmet ($375) for 20 minutes twice a week and it will double the follicle size of existing hair, slow down hair loss and start growing new hair. Only catch: it would take around 50 treatments to see a visible difference but I could live with that for a headful of luscious locks.

laser hair helmetAge-ru: The face maker

I am just going to put the manufacturer copy here: “Perfect for wearing in the bath or shower, this Age-ru Face Maker will pull on your skin and muscles, tightening up your face and making you look younger. Just 10 minutes a day of this exercise and you will notice the difference. It stretches the skin, making you sweat through its “face sauna” design. This thus lifts (“ageru”) your skin and combats the signs of aging.” Seriously?

wacky beauty 1Pillow jammies: Overnight hair treatment pillow

Love those overnight coconut oil hair treatments but dread what they do to your pillowcases? Pillow Jammie founder Aneela Rajusth totally empathises, which is why she has created these pillowcases from ultra-absorbent microfiber towel fabrics. Added bonus: waterproof and stain-resistant liners. The reverse side is made of 100 percent cotton so it can be flipped over for regular use on the non-hair-treatment nights. Cool? Or crazy? I can’t make up my mind.

pillow-jammiesPaul Mitchell’s Mitch: Tequila-infused soap

While this is ostensibly for men, I don’t see why we ladies can’t go around sprinkled with tequila. And apparently it’s not just about the oomph factor – agave, as in the plant that produces agave tequila, prevents moisture loss and helps soothe the skin. Whatever! I just like how the Mitch by Paul Mitchell Patrón Agave Bar ($9.49) brings back happy vacation memories.

tequila soapDong deodorant: Because you never know!

On the other hand, we will happily leave this for the men only. Personally, I would prefer a shower but as the company points out in the tagline – “Because You Never Know!” – this handy-dandy Dong Deodorant ($14.99) is perfect for action that pops up when he least expects it (maybe because he is wearing tequila-spiked soap?). Anyway, this spray is formulated with vitamins and aloe to “enrich the skin of the penis, at times when it needs extra care and refreshment.” Enough. Said.

wacky-beauty-2Ball shaver: uh, um, ugh… !

Yes, this is exactly what it sound like: a shaver for your man’s you-know-what. No. Words.

ball-shaverHermès basketball: The $12,900 indulgence

An average Spalding basketball used by NBA players costs $169.95. Hermès’ new basketball costs $12,900. What do you get for the upgrade? Blue calf leather (to symbolise the sky, ocean and pools in LA), hand stitching and an embossed “H” – the designer brand’s trademark – along with the inscription “Beverly Hills”. It was originally created for a newly renovated Hermès store on Rodeo Drive but “someone asked me to keep it aside for him”, says brand boss Axel Dumas (to AFP), adding that they would make 2-3 more. And why not, asks Hermès US CEO Robert Chavez: “It can certainly be used for play – the leather is sturdy, and why not make such a unique item come to life on the court?” Well! Unless it comes with both Ryan Gosling and Patrick Dempsey, I would stick with my battered old Spalding, thank you very much.

hermes-basketballDesigner drugs: Faux or fair?

When I first saw these “designer drugs” on Pinterest, my first reaction was to freak out about how bizarre the fashion world was getting. The second reaction, exactly 30 seconds later, was to scour the virtual racks at Amazon, hoping I could turn up some ibuprofen or vitamins like these, which would then be shipped in by the caseload. Fortunately or unfortunately – depending on your personal point of view – these aren’t for real. They are “artworks” of Desire Obtain Cherish’s Jonathan Paul that “reflect a darker, albeit more humorous slant on middle-class American values versus a spiritual or expressive essence of a highly individual artist.” Nope, I didn’t understand all the goobleydock either.

designer drugsRaise: Armpit stain remover

One that may actually be useful: the Raise Armpit Stain Remover ($12.50) purports to remove those stubborn sweat stains that most often afflict t-shirts and camisole tops. Soak dingy clothes for 20 minutes and then wash for the vanishing stain phenomenon. I know of some delegated to “home only” wear tops that could use this one.

MrsKnow any other wacky beauty products? Tell us here by commenting below.