Welcome to another episode of Holiday Gift Guides- this time, it is all about the ladies! If you are looking for a gift for your BFF, mom, sister, wife, partner or even boss, I have personally tested everything in this gift guide. This is not a sponsored post, no one is paying me to say lovely things about their brands…just my favorite items from 2017! Let’s dive in, shall we?
Facial Cleansing Oil
Under $10, this takes off all of my makeup and moisturizes like crazy. Best product at TJ’s, hands down and a total bargain since most cleansing oils cost 3x this.
This is a miracle product. I don’t know how it takes off ALL of your makeup with just water, but you need this item in your life. It is ideal for travel because you don’t have to bring your big ol’ bottle of facial cleanser!
Fatty’s Soap Co.
Natural Perfume Oil
My fave store went out of business, but this Etsy store has high reviews with a similar product. Traditional perfume smells horrible on me, seriously like vinegar. Who knows- something with hormones because everything was cool before I had kids. Anyways…I adore natural perfume oil in a rollerball applicator. Portable, not too potent, easy to apply.
Jo Snow Syrups
Drink more water!! This is one of my goals, and I use these all natural, zero calorie extract drops to give my H2O a little boost. PS- Melissa, the owner, is one of the coolest chics out there. She is basically a one-woman show, making batches of these (and snow cone syrup!) in her Humboldt Park facility.
the zen of slow cooking
Slow Cooker Spice Blends
If you love your slow cooker or Insta Pot, this product is for you. The ladies from the zen of slow cooking create hand-crafted spice blends that supply you with all the flavor you need for tons of dishes. My favorite? Sweet & Spicy for their Maple Vanilla French Toast, or the Southwest Fiesta for Chicken Tortilla Soup. Each $7 packet comes with two spice packs inside.
Eda and Betty
Heirloom Couture Jewelry
SUCH a unique twist on traditional jewels! This boutique is one of the pop-up vendors at the Chicago French Market, which is part of the Ogilvie Transportation Center. I was given a gorgeous cameo ring, and have my eye on their bracelet flask. OMG YES!!!!
Cast out of hand-carved wax designs, these rings are EVERYTHING in my book. I originally saw them on a makeup artist who stacked a few across her digits and knew I needed them in my life. Mine says “Hot Mess,” but there are sooooo many other options. How about “Babe With The Power” or “Damn Gina”? They also do custom jobs!
Bye Bye Under Eye
If I don’t wear concealer, I look like I was punched in the face. Or I am on drugs. Or both. This concealer WORKS- I use it for morning TV segments and look 10x more awake than I actually am.
I don’t understand the Beauty Blender. I mean, I kinda get it, but the sponge always ends up sucking all the makeup off my face. I found the Evie Blender and it is a true gift from the Gods. This is made of silicone, which is a kajillion times more durable than the foam sponges. It does not absorb your makeup and has an incredible skin-like texture. These sell out FAST, so sign up on their site to get notified when they re-stock.
Have you ever headed to the pool, only realizing once you arrive that you neglected to shave? Or missed a major spot? I always have this portable shaving system in my beach bag to eliminate this issue. It has a wheel on which there is a refillable water spritzer, a pre-shave moisturizing bar, and 2 razors.
I recently had the best blowout of my life at Blo Southport, and they gave me an Aquis Hair Turban to test out. I have about 5-6 hair turbans in my closet, and they all went in the recycle spot after I tried this. My hair ends up about 80% dry after I take the turban off, cutting my blow drying time down significantly.
Did you know that 90% of women don’t wash their hair every day? I am a member of that club. I have tried everything from a crackly plastic shower cap to tying a t-shirt around my head to prevent my strands from getting steamy in the shower. A millennial hit up Google to find a fashionable shower cap for herself and came up empty, so she decided to reinvent this dated product herself. The SHHHOWERCAP is made from a premium nanotechnology fabric that is antibacterial, waterproof, noise reducing, and washable. And most important? The chicly printed turban style is absolutely adorable.
Bombay Taxi Boutique
My fabulous friend Shibani started this incredibly elegant yet affordable jewelry boutique by importing unique pieces from India. I always knew she had the best bling, and she is sharing her exacting taste with the rest of us! I own a pair of gold cuffs from her and wear them as my Wonder Woman bracelets almost daily. The Megha is similarly striking- order two for the lovely lady in your life (or yourself…)!
I have an incredible talent (habit) for having a few cocktails and ordering “unique” items online. I totally forgot that I ordered a Brass Knuckle Phone Case off eBay that I saw briefly in the movie Training Day. About a month later, a package arrived from Shanghai with this gem inside. Note: it takes forEVER to ship…so maybe consider this as a Valentine’s Day gift.
The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations
My mom adores Oprah, and I think the Super Soul Sunday series is pretty darn touching. This book is a compilation of aha moments and insights. The ideal book to cozy up with next to the fire and get your hygge on.
Well Played: The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family’s Playful Spirit
Ok, so last winter I sucked. I was tired all the time and let my kids watch cartoons while I napped. I lost my fun side and definitely lost my playfulness. I read this book and it inspired me to kick play into high gear. Meredith is a contributor to the Today Show so you might have seen her fun-filled playtastic segments. She also lived in my hometown until heading to LA, and although we miss her, she is continuing to inspire play in the everyday.
I will most likely never buy another pair of winter boots because I LOOOVE my Sorels. I own the Joan of Arctic which is apparently a requirement on the North Shore where I live, but they are a bit clunky when you just want to run around town. I found the Whitney Boots, which are a cross between a sneaker and boot (snoot?). SO comfortable, easy on and off, and they are waterproof. Sigh. Warning: You will not want to wear anything else.
Faux Leather Leggings- Regular & Moto
About two years ago, a friend of mine told me about the Spanx faux leather leggings. I smiled, nodded, and in my head said “$100 for a pair of leggings? You are BATSHIT CRAZY.” I recently received an Amazon gift card for payment for a project and decided to test them out. And they are worth every penny. I have always purchased those cotton leggings that stretch out and get baggy around the knees, then end up tossing them when they no longer look good. The Spanx leggings keep their shape and make your bootie look bangin’. The Moto style is incredible as well!
I love socks with snappy sayings on the bottom! Here are a few of my faves: “If you can read this…bring me a glass of wine” and “If you can read this…go ask your dad.” Hilarious and stocking-stuffer priced!
Get those quotes offline and into your home! I adore these letter boards that allow you to express any feeling, sentiment or quote. Light boxes are fabulous, but trying to hide a cord is impossible in my home.
Handmade Felt Laptop Cases
Chic laptop cases are few and far between, so I decided to hop on Etsy and see what was available. These cases are around $50, HANDMADE in Poland and customizable. They are incredibly sturdy and a unique bag that is anything but boring.
Cheers to giving a gift that will make her SWOON!
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, although it may contain affiliate links. All opinions are honest and my own, and in the words of the brilliant and iconic Salt n’ Peppa (who probably stole the quote from Dirty Harry)- “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.” Just because I love or hate something doesn’t mean it is right or wrong- it is simply my opinion!