Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty Gifts Under $150

We've talked about some of my favorite picks for holiday beauty gifts under $50. Now it's time to talk about some of my favorite beauty gifts that will require a little more of your budget. But, I'm assuming, if you're looking at this list, you have the budget allotted for these items and you're probably shopping for someone on your list with whom you have a closer relationship. That's usually how the bigger budget gifts work, right?

But don't worry, I didn't go all crazy. Most of these gifts are still quite reasonably priced.

  1. Best of Hourglass set ($59) - I think this is a great gift for the sophisticated beauty gal in your life. Hourglass cosmetics aren't as readily available as other brands. You can't just walk into any department store and get them. But don't fret, you can find them at Sephora (or Barney's if you choose). Giving these as a gift is sure to impress. They're a little more obscure, but rank up there with is competing high-end brands. This set features two of the brands best-selling primers -- mineral primer and No. 28 primer (which has 28 hydrating ingredients) -- along with the Film Noir mascara and a pretty lip gloss (all best sellers). 
  2. Clarisonic Mia 2 ($149) - No list would be complete if it didn't include a Clarisonic. These cleansing brushes are magical. They deep clean while gently exfoliating leaving you with softer, healthier looking skin. And, let's be frank, good skin is what we're all looking for. The better our skin, the less makeup we need to pile on. I have the regular Clarisonic Mia and I love it. But they've since released the Mia 2, which offers two speed settings for extra cleanliness. I love this peacock colored one, but you can choose from a variety of colors and patterns these days. Available at Sephora, ULTA, and Nordstrom. 
  3. Burberry "Lip Cover" Soft Satin Lipstick Set ($72) - You're giving a little bit of luxury when you gift this set. From the box they're packaged in (the cardboard feels like fancy stationary), to the velvety smooth quality of these lipsticks, to the sophisticated packaging (with it's iconic print also embossed on the lipsticks themselves), these just ooze luxe. Plus the three colors are absolutely gorgeous and totally wearable. Available at Nordstrom. 

  1. Urban Decay Naked 2 ($50) - You can't compile a gift list without at least one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes. Well, I guess you could, but honestly, this is a fail safe beauty gift. Lots of neutral shades that are wearable for any occasion. Wear it soft and subtle to the office or dark and dramatic for a night out. The collection of neutral shades are good for just about anyone. Of the two palettes, the Naked 2 is my favorite. It comes with 12 shadows, a dual ended Good Karma shadow brush, and a mini lip gloss. I love that I have a matte black and I just gravitate to the colors in this palette more than I do to the original palette (which I also love, by the way). I just wish it had a better balance of matte and shimmer shades. However, Urban Decay heard everyone's pleas for more matte neutral shades and released the Naked Basics palette this holiday season (retails for $27). It's a smaller palette, containing only six shadows, but they are all matte. The Naked 2 palette is available at Sephora and ULTA. Naked Basics is currently available on Urban Decay's website. 
  2. Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Burnished Amber ($75) - Beauty aficionados went crazy over Tom Ford's  eye color quads this fall. Twitter and the blogosphere was abuzz, and with good reason. These palettes are absolutely beautiful. The shadows feel soft and smooth, the color payoff is fantastic, and they blend nicely. I'm personally drawn to the Burnished Amber quad. The colors are warm, rich, and versatile. Plus, amber is an incredibly flattering eye shadow on pretty much all skin tones. Give this and you'll be a hero. Available at Neiman Marcus, selected Saks Fifth Avenue stores, and Bergdorf Goodman. 

I love that holiday season means you can get your hands on some great fragrance deals. I know selecting a perfume for someone is a very personal matter. What smells great to some, can be offensive to others. But, since we're talking a little bit of a higher price point, I'm going to assume the person you're shopping for is someone you know pretty well. So, you should be better equipped to discern their scent preferences and decide if they are in line with mine.

  1. LaVanila Vanilla Grapefruit Eau de Parfum ($58) - Of course the first fragrance I list isn't available in a gift set. But, I chose it for two reasons. First, I adore this scent. It's fresh and uplifting thanks to the citrus scent of grapefruit, and still warm and sweet thanks to the vanilla.  You almost smell like an amazing dessert. This is more of a fun perfume than a sultry, romantic scent. I love this for spring and summer, but I'll wear it year round. Second, it has quite a following and is the best selling of all the LaVanila scents. If this many people like it, can you really go wrong? Available at Sephora.
  2. Elie Saab Eau de Parfum set  ($120) - Oh my goodness. I adore this perfume. Adore it. I first spritzed it on a ribbon at Nordstrom and tied that ribbon to my purse. I could smell the perfume for weeks and I was hooked. I wouldn't stop talking about it until my husband kindly gifted it to me. He was superman that day. This perfume is sophisticated, refined, and feminine. I personally feel you can wear it day or night. It's a bit strong, but not overpowering. The fragrance notes include: orange blossom, jasmine, patchouli, rose, and cedar wood. I get a lot of compliments when I wear this scent. The set includes a 3 oz bottle of eau de parfum, a mini spray bottle (0.33 oz), and a body cream (1 oz). The 3 oz bottle alone costs $120, so you're essentially getting the travel sized mini perfume and body cream for free. Available at Nordstrom.
  3. Laura Mercier  Le Petit Patisserie Almond Coconut Milk Quartet ($50) - If you want to be transported to a tropical island escape without having to travel to far off places, give this gift set a whirl. The warm and succulent scent of almond, coconut, milk, and vanilla are rich and seductive. It simply smells divine. The set includes a body wash, soufle body creme, and deluxe travel-sized hand cream and fragrance mist. Available at Nordstrom.
  4. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball Set ($58) - Flowerbomb is just that, a floral explosion with a bit of sweetness. But it's not candy or sugar sweet. It's more of a sultry sweet floral scent. I love this scent so much, I gifted it to myself last year. It's great because you get three rollerball vials (0.34 oz each) for a fair price. It's more affordable than the full bottle of the perfume, which retails for $105 (for the 1.7 oz; $160 for the 3.4 oz). And those little vials will last you. If you're like me, and you prefer your perfumes in a spray, spend an extra $5 for a small atomizer. I pour the perfume in the atomizer instead of using the rollerball, and carry it in my purse. Scent notes include: bergamot, tea, jasmine, orange blossom (I sense a recurring citrus theme in my fragrance choices), orchid, rose, and patchouli. The trio set is available exclusively at Nordstrom.

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