I hope you’re doing so well. This month has positively flown by…from finishing the semester and turning in final grades to launching my latest collaboration collection and preparing for the holidays with a nearly two and a half year old who is reveling in the joy of the season in the most cognizant of ways, the last couple of weeks have been wild.
Today, I am excited to bring you my most comprehensive gift guide yet, just in time for last minute ordering before Christmas. With over 100 products that have been personally tested and vetted by me, I hope you see something, perhaps, that you’ve never seen before and are inspired by the array of beauty, skincare, lifestyle and style elements from a vast range of brands and designers.
Kindly scroll on for more details–as they are captured in personal settings around my house–as well as the Bottom Line…
// DESK SIDE //
I am at my desk. A lot. To make my space more functional, there are always a few things near at hand including my Riki Loves Riki LE Rose Gold Skinny Mirror, which I use for video calls, Instagram lives and to film content as well as to apply makeup in the most perfect lighting. I have purchased this for a few close friends and they all find it as functional as I do. For quick touchups, the compact-sized *Riki Loves Riki Superfine Mirror is marvelous; the finger rings allow for easy use and the circle of lights is perfect for application on the go. Because–like many of us–I am in front of a screen so much, I rely on blue light blocking glasses and this oversized pair from The Book Club is a stylish gem; paired with a chunky Lele Sadoughi Chain, they are a modern-meets-classic accessory.
To care for my skin during long work days, I begin with a soothing, lifting and revitalizing treatment with my *ZIIP (use code BP20 for 20% off). The microcurrent and nanocurrent device syncs to the ZIIP app on my phone, walking me through personalized treatments that target my skin concerns. Everything from eye puffiness and uneven skin tone to sculpting and firming the contour of one’s face is tackled with a ZIIP. Talk about instant (and long term!) gratification. I then work my way through the *Amanda Harrington Buff and Bronze Face Set, which adds a subtle and lasting bronze glow to the face without even the slightest hint of self-tanning smell and the color the formulation produces is a beautiful true tan. For hands that are ever on the keyboard, I love the refreshing hydration of *Serumkind Black Blossom Hand Serum and my *BY TERRY Hyaluronic Hydra Powder Mini is always nearby to blur pores and banish shine on contact while remaining completely invisible on the skin.
// DREAM POWDER ROOM //
Ever since moving last year, I have been on a quest to make my new bathroom (which had been remodeled right before we bought the house) into an organized sanctuary of skincare and beauty. One way of doing this adeptly was to invest in a Dust-Free Makeup Organizer, which houses quite a few products in a dust-free environment. I have since purchased this for both my mom and sister-in-law and they love it as much as I do. The clear domed top allows me to readily see my products on heavy rotation and I can easily switch them in and out as my needs and interests change. Some of the pieces that have made the current cut include Kilian Angels’ Share (reviewed HERE), a luscious gourmand fragrance with notes of vanilla, brandy and cinnamon (so right for the season), my trusty *Dr. Janine Mahon Breast Oil, which works wonders on the décolletage while balancing hormones from the outside in, the splurge-worthy *La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift, which firms, lifts and tightens on command and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray, which is my post-makeup routine must to keep everything in place for hours on end. Some beauty favorites that are usually in my organizer but were left out when I took pictures include the effortless Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light (on my fourth compact of this glow bronze wonder), *Saint Terracotta Bronzer, which has a velvety matte finish and the crystal encrusted *BY TERRY Twinkle Glow CC Powder, which yields the most delicate and ethereal glow to complement a spectrum of skin tones.
I also am enjoying the alluring *Maison Sybarite Spicy Calabria (marvelous for those who prefer warm, spicy fragrances) and have a rediscovered love for an original foundation favorite: the consistently gorgeous La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation in Golden Beige.
I also found an acrylic Dust-Free Brush Organizer (it comes with pearls to make sure everything stands upright…genius!) for the brushes that I reach for most including my lifetime favorite Surratt Artistique Cheek Brush (nothing better), the new *Sonya G Holiday Brush Set (a brilliant gift for others and self) and my Jenny Patinkin Multi-Blender Brush which blends concealer and other cream products flawlessly. I also keep my fluffy white *Claudio Riaz Powder Brush and GrandeBROW serum (swear by this for the fullest, most natural brows) in the case for easy access.
Some body formulations that I use all week long include the Agent Nateur Ageless Body Serum, which has a light oil texture and is immediately absorbed (use code Agentrachel for 15% off), the rich and luscious *Sisley-Paris Velvet Nourishing Body Cream (halfway finished with my tube…so good), the *Alchimie Forever Firming Gel for Neck and Bust (a weightless gel to firm the neck and décolleté area post-bathing) and the innovative *Kate McLeod Grounding Stone (reviewed HERE).
At my sink, I embrace the *Augustinus Bader The Cream Cleansing Gel and *Augustinus Bader The Body Lotion regularly along with *Oribe Cote d’Azur Hand Wash (it’s like taking a European vacation while you wash your hands) and the French Lebon Toothpaste of which I’ll need to purchase a new one soon as this tube has been lovingly used up.
Finally, my skincare regimen as of late has been whittled down to three key components: the Agent Nateur (holi) C (effective for brightening and firming), Agent Nateur (holi) Water (rife with hyaluronic acid for major hydration) and Agent Nateur (holi) Serum (a glowing blend of oils for a radiant and complexion). I am an ardent fan of the brand and am happy to share the code Agentrachel for 15% off.
// KIDS CORNER //
Some things that Johannah Elle has been loving and I wholly recommend include the *Smartfelt House, which allows her to learn common home items by placing them on the 3D house. It provides hours of entertainment when she’s in my office with me. I’ve been reading her a lot of *Claris Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris. This book features a chic French mouse, an array of gorgeous designers and an important lesson about sharing and doing the right thing while set in NYC at Christmastime. What’s not to love? In terms of accessories, I highly recommend these sunglasses for the little one in your life…they’re polarized yet affordable and super adorable on. Joey has a few pairs on rotation! Finally, once I saw that they still existed, I couldn’t wait to buy Joey a Monchichi! This cute little creature is lights up a room and Joey loves cuddling it daily.
// BEAUTY //
When it comes to makeup, I rounded up products that I use regularly that would also make excellent gifts to give and receive.
For eyes, I recommend the clean and subtle *Saint Blessed in Burgundy Palette (whose soft tones work for the most minimalist of makeup users), the warm rosy *Ah-Shi Beauty Moon Dance (adore this independent beauty line), the pinky nude *LAWLESS the Baby One palette (the luminous taupe-meets-rosegold shade Baby Love is an absolute favorite for a single wash of color) and the brand new LAWLESS Bioglitter Eyeshadow in Sparkling Rose and Champagne Dreams, which is the absolute cleanest kiss of micro-milled glitter radiance available on the market. I also recommend the bronzy gold and regal purple hued in *Viseart Etendu Palettes in Minxette and Violette, respectively. The buttery formulas blend like a dream, wear all day and have absolutely no fallout. Finally, for the dramatic smoky-eye lover in your life, the sophisticated *Goss The Luxury Eye Palette in Imperial Topaz and Pearl Moonstone is an excellent option. The luminescent blue is unparalleled and looks incredible alone or built over the swath of grey tones in the palette.
My lip picks are a combination of luxurious gift-level splurges and tried and true staples that are ever in my makeup bag. I love the pocket-sized *RMS Kiss of Color Gift Set, which features five tiny balms with lovely washes of color, the resplendent *Valde Beauty Lipstick in Irreverence, which involves a breathtakingly beautiful wing-adorned lipstick case (it can be personalized!) and a creamy pinky coral shade, the true baby pink *LAWLESS Baby Lipstick (on my lips multiple times a week), the peachy coral 1960’s inspired Christian Audette Golightly Lipstick (proudly created collaboration with me, last year!) and the opulent crystal enshrined orange bow case holding the rich pinky nude *House of Sillage Nude Siren Lipstick (swatched and reviewed HERE).
I also love glosses for an extra dose of hydration including the volumizing *City Lips Lip Plumper in Tinsel Town and Watermelon, the plush peachy pink *Deborah Lippmann Duets in Touch Me, Tease Me (which also comes with a matching nail polish by the same name…gifting perfection) and the *Doll 10 Lip Authority Set liner/lip color/gloss triad in a universally flattering my-lips-but-better hue.
For liners, I cannot recommend the waterproof (no transfer whatsoever!), slightly radiant Jouer Pink Champagne Shimmer Lip Liner, which I purchase in bulk (never want to be without), the warm beige *Sisley-Paris Beige Nature Lip Liner (so very pigmented and looks gorgeous with LAWLESS Baby Lipstick!) and the neutral and long lasting Estee Lauder Fig Lip Liner (where have you been all my life?).
I interspersed some newer jewelry discoveries that make excellent gifts, including the wearable fragrance Veronique Gabai St. Tropez Necklace (reviewed HERE), which I fill with a vial of the warm amber Sexy Garrigue and the clever, Hawaiian-made Fleurings, which hold a single bud and water so you can wear a garden all day.
// STYLE NOTES //
Loungewear is my new go-to, especially since the temperatures have dropped and I am at home more than ever. This demure and creamy brown LUCYPARIS set includes ultra soft ribbed pants and a cropped cardigan top that function separately to fortify one’s wardrobe while also working oh-so-well together as worn here. I threw on my ever-present Fendi Sandals (so glad they’re finally back in stock…talk about the gift to give and/or receive!) to finish this comfortable look.
Some other new makeup I must mention includes the freshly launched *BY TERRY VIP Expert Paris Mon Amour Palette, replete with rosy neutral hues embossed with iconic images from Paris (my heart cannot wait to return!), the fascinating *Grande Cosmetics Plumping Blush (also available at ULTA), which adds a natural flush of color while making cheeks look youthful and juicy (Mauvesicle is a MUST), the glowing *Grande Cosmetics Plumping Highlighter (also available at ULTA) and, for feathery brows in a snap, the *GrandeBROW-FILL in Dark (also available at ULTA).
For the skin-obsessed in your life, consider the *Skinn Divine Elixir Luminous Skin Oil with Manuka Honey + C, which feels silky and restorative on face and body alike and the hydration, illuminating, lightly tinted Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge, which I am happy to discover is still in production! You know how much I have adored this brand for years and I am over the moon to see that it has reemerged. Watch this space for more updates on LMdB in the coming days.
Another skincare formula that I wholly recommend use daily is Serucell (reviewed HERE). This serum effortlessly integrates into all existing skincare routines, firming, lifting and brightening while heightening the efficacy of all subsequent products applied. Check out the *LE Holiday Collection (a $370 value for $300) and, if you’re interested in stocking up or trying single bottles of the *KFS Serum or *KFS Eye Serum, use code BP20 for 20% off (valid on a single purchase and cannot be applied to the gift set).
Finally, I must, yet again, share my Beauty Professor x Au Naturale Collection (reviewed HERE), which has sold out twice (!!) since its launch on Black Friday. It should be replenished by the time this gift guide is published and I hope you get a chance to try it. It’s packaged as a set, making it a special and unique gift for those seeking the best of clean beauty in textures and hues that every complexion will find easy, wearable and exceptionally flattering. When it comes to Au Naturale, I also adore the Au Naturale Foundation Stick in Mallorca (reviewed HERE) and the Au Naturale Luminous Cream Bronzing Stick in Trail Blazer, which creates a multidimensional bronze and contoured effect in a single swipe.
// AROUND the HOME //
I am generally a design minimalist but a few touches here and there help to make a house a home! For the flower lover in your life, may I suggest a *Venus Et Fleur arrangement, which features real roses that last up to a year. I adore ours now that it has become a part of our daily lives. In terms of candles, I can’t get enough of the clever *D.S. & Durga Big Sur After Rain–by the way it really and truly does smell like it’s name (I’ve spent a lot of time in Big Sur) and this succulent from *Lula’s Garden is excellent for those who like plants but might lack the fortitude to keep them alive.
In our guest bathroom downstairs, I keep the sink well stocked with the lovely *Molton Brown Coastal Cypress and Sea Fennel Hand Wash and Lotion and I really appreciate the brilliant *Flamingo Shave Set as a stocking stuffer that you will actually use.
// AT THE FIRESIDE //
At the end of the day, I spend a lot of my time at the fireplace…it’s warm and inviting and the white bricks make for a perfect place to shoot product that I plan to share. Starting at the mantle, we’ve been burning a lot of the *Molton Brown Juniper Jazz Candle, which is slightly reminiscent of pine trees with a cool and complex forest energy. Next to that is a recently procured Rubens antique head vase. I discovered that they are collectors items and found quite a few more on Etsy, in case you’re looking to bring one home.
For makeup bags, I use so much of my leopard-lined *KUSSHI Bag; it’s spacious yet lightweight and has clever interior organization to keep everything neat and protected. Some gift-worthy pieces that I’ve been known to toss inside include the puffy eye-banishing *City Beauty Eye Rescue Firming Serum, the exquisitely warm and oud-rich Parfums de Marly Herod, the easy to monogram and extra perfecting *Jouer Soft Focus Hydrate + Set Translucent Powder (it matches absolutely everyone), the clean and green Follain Dual Detox Face Mask purifies and resurfaces without irritation, I always have a few *Invisibobble Scrunchies within reach as they hold hair in place so masterfully (the secret is the interior coil sewn into the scrunchie), these all weather *Budha Girl Bracelets are fabulous for adding some gilded class to an outfit (while still being able be worn in the shower) and the luxe *La Mer The Mist is a bag staple for all skin types, setting makeup and refreshing skin in a single spritz. I also recommend the *Miriam Quevedo Black Baccara Multiplying Shampoo (everyone is in search of more stalwart and bountiful strands, no?), the Oribe Gold Lust Transformative Mask (I’m on tube #5…there’s nothing better for glossy and detangled, rich looking strands) and the *Manda SuperDrink, which blends prebiotic and probiotic ingredients for energy, immunity and well being while tasting–delightfully–much like a matcha latte.
To close this section, I am excited to share some of the gifting options from Victoria Beckham Beauty including the Victoria Beckham Beauty Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum Power Glow Set (optimal to jump start the skins regeneration process), the hydrating and glow-getting Victoria Beckham Beauty Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer Starter Set (reviewed HERE), the neoprene, water repellant Victoria Beckham Beauty VB Beauty Bag, the Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick the VB Edit (swatched and reviewed HERE) replete with the warm brown Spice, pinky peach Pout (my absolute favorite) and deeper nude rose Pose and the Victoria Beckham Beauty Eye Lustres in Honey and Tea Rose, which have become my absolute most favorite shades in this reflective, budge proof formulation.
// ON THE NIGHTSTAND //
I recently found a pair of Italian mid-century nightstands at an estate sale and am enjoying the extra space for my nightly accoutrements. Ever an avid reader, I am loving the the soon-t0-launch *Film Noir Style: The Killer 1940s by Kimberly Truhler, which couples classic cinema with intense style descriptions. I am also reading *Sun Seekers: The Cure of California, which explores the early health movement in California and how it influenced minimalist architecture and living.
To relax, I recommend the powerful *ReFa 4 Carat, which can be used on both face and body to release tension, increase circulation and encourage collagen production (use code beautyprofessor15 for 15% off). For a more subtle experience, the *Knesko White Jade Roller is a luxurious option. I also adore the diminutive *Trophy Skin BrightenMD (reviewed HERE): for targeted red-light therapy in the eye and lip area…it plumps and refines skin in mere minutes and the mild warmth is very soothing.
I appreciate the gentle cleansing power of the beautiful BYREDO Rose Hand Salve (oft in my purse if not bedside) and the hydrating and smoothing *Augustinus Bader The Hand Treatment feels like a dream. For lips, I’ve been using a swipe of the silky *Augustinus Bader The Lip Balm followed by a slick of the plush and long lasting La Mer Lip Volumizer for dual action results that leave my pout exceptionally moisturized upon waking. Finally, I love to sleep in a touch of fragrance and my evening perfume of choice is often Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, which I have used for years. If you or someone you know (and need to buy a gift for) have been on the line about trying it, I urge you to take the plunge…you won’t regret it!
// Some Other Favorite Places to Shop //
I love the independent and sustainable energy of Wendy Glez (also worn HERE), which is produced locally in LA…her classic pieces have become staples in my wardrobe and I’m happy to be able to offer 15% off with code Rachelanise. Another closet must is Equipment France (30% off with code HOLIDAY30); my birthday is a week after Christmas so I always take advantage of the steep discounts and stock up on silk shirts and warm sweaters galore. Finally, if I had to designate a favorite denim brand, it would be Frame. I recommend the Le Original jeans (have at last 5 pairs…they run a touch small so size up) and still wear pairs I purchased 6+ years ago with great joy. Now is an excellent tie topic some up!
–Shop the Post–
Bottom Line: I truly hope you enjoyed this breakdown of 100+ products that I’ve thoroughly tested and wholeheartedly recommend and hope that this guide streamlines your last minute gift buying. Let me know what caught your eye! Also, thank you for your overwhelming support with my Au Naturale Multi-Tasking Collection…I am truly grateful and can’t wait for it to be restocked this week.
Good things ahead, including a Nordstrom Beauty spotlight and a host of fresh product procurements. Cannot wait to share!
Stay strong, seek wisdom, much love and more soon,
–The Beauty Professor
**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me), however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own. © 2012-20 Beauty Professor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.