The Season of Beauty

Looking for something different to give your beauty maven this year? These gifts are likely to be appreciated and very much enjoyed!

> has a huge assortment of tasty treats, but they also have many spa gift packages that are clever and fun. The Chocolate Layer Cake was a blast to unwrap. It is structured to look like a triple layer cake, constructed with a lush bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth, along with bath and body products rich in shea butter, chocolate scented tea lights and a couple of packages of chocolate truffle hot cocoa mix. Great for your chocoholic friends! (About $68.) For vanilla lovers, the Spa Therapy Relaxation Hamper comes with a variety of vanilla-infused bath and body products, loofahs, aromatherapy candles and much more in a lovely basket, all for about $65.

Ole Henriksen’s approach to beauty is “strictly pure, natural and cruelty-free.” He has a variety of gift packs, but I like the Truth Revealed kit that includes three products. Truth Serum Collagen Booster, loaded with antioxidants, penetrates to deeper layers of the skin and increases the benefits of the Truth Revealed Super Crème SPF 15. This daily moisturizer improves texture and firmness, with Tripeptide-5 to stimulate collagen. Finally, the Total Truth Eye Crème SPF 15 helps renew and protect your delicate eye area. An eye cream with sun protection is a rare find. The three products come in a gift box for about $90. For the body, their Spa on the Go includes a clarifying body wash, loofah body scrub, hydrating lotion and lavender body oil. Just the right gift for the spa fanatic on your list! (About $38.)

Bright Eyes, Big City by Anastasia Beverly Hills is simply awesome! It is an elegantly boxed set with a mirror that includes two Baked Trios of eye shadow, one matte (used for eyebrows as well) and one glittery, travel-sized Lash Lifting Mascara, Cooling Eye Brightener, mini tweezers, a Clear Brow Gel and two double-duty applicators. It’s great for the traveler on your list and is a bargain on their website at the currently discounted price of about $40. Another fun gift from Anastasia is Kisses on My List, a collection of six HydraFull Gloss lip glosses that maximize and maintain lip hydration. A great stocking stuffer for about $30.

Make Up For Ever offers a “best of” kit that includes all you need to create a flawless face. The HD Microperfecting Primer with mineral reflectors diffuses imperfections. HD Microfinishing Powder is made from 100% transparent mineral silica to add radiance and a soft and silky feeling. Aqua Eyes is a waterproof eyeliner pencil, Smoky Lash is an extra-black mascara that adds lots of volume, and Aqua Cream is a waterproof color for both eyes and cheeks. Finish off the look with Lab Shine, a pearly lip gloss. (About $55.) They have other creative gift packages, including Wild & Chic Aqua Collections, with a brush and ten pots of cream colors, all formulated for both cheeks and eyes, in a faux snakeskin metal box. (About $175.)

Make-Up-Matte is a portable cloth makeup carryall for your cosmetics and tools when you’re on the go. Tuck your makeup into the soft pockets and roll it up. Unroll it and it’s a workstation. It’s a great gift for the actor (for stage makeup), traveler, or gym enthusiast on your list! About $23 in a variety of designs.

And finally, let us not forget men on our list. Every Man Jack has a holiday travel case filled with body wash, two bars of soap, lip balm SPF 15 and aluminum-free deodorant. My husband, who has not only sensitive skin but also a sensitive nose, is very particular about soap. He was crazy about these products, especially the soap and the clean cedarwood scent. So was I! The structured travel case it all comes in has room for other personal necessities and is a huge bargain at only $15.

toni munna

Toni Munna is a native Long Islander who is always on the lookout for products that fulfill their promise to firm, hydrate, slim, soothe, de-wrinkle, plump, relax, de-stress, and just generally make you look and feel better. She a firm believer that wellness enhances beauty and has been testing beauty products and reviewing spas for you since the fall of 2006. You can reach her with questions at