Part the Third of Gift-Giving: Skincare Gifts.
The caveats from my makeup post still apply — giving anything that’s too skin-type-specific is not a good idea unless you know there’s a particular product your recipient is jonesing for. (For example, if anyone wanted to get me Creme de la Mer, I wouldn’t say no. Of course, since no one who’s likely to play Santa for me is independently wealthy, that’s going to have to stay a lovely sugarplum dream.)
But it’s easy to find skincare gifts that pamper all skin types and will be a deliciously luxe treat for winter skin and beyond. These are some of my favorites, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list!
I am a spa-lover to the core. My ideal vacation is ten days at a resort spa. If it happens to be in Italy or France, so much the better. Most of the time, though, these services are outside my budget, at least on a regular basis. However, a gift certificate for the service of my choice at an area spa would be a fabulous gift. If your recipient doesn’t have a regular favorite spa, or wants to try somewhere else, I recommend getting your gift certificates through spafinder.com, since their gift certificates are accepted at thousands of spas and your recipient can choose her (or his!) favorite place. A safe guesstimate when figuring out how much to spend is $100 per service.
Because my daily work requires extensive use of the upper body, and because I have always tended to store muscular stress in my upper back, shoulders, and forearms, with painful and uncomfortable results, I finally decided that it would be a good idea for me to get massages on a regular basis, since they’ve really been shown to have a beneficial health effect. (The fact that I enjoy them is gravy.) Well, actually, I had decided that I should do this a long time ago, but it was really out of reach financially, until my recent discovery of Massage Envy. They have locations all across the US and offer a variety of massage services (but no facials or other spa services at this time). My intro massage was so good that I signed up for their monthly program, in which each massage costs $49 (plus gratuity). This is an affordable amount for me to spend per month, and my massage therapist is amazing. I’ll do a whole post about spas some other time, but if you can find a massage therapist you like, this is a good investment. They offer a $39 one-hour massage introductory special, which makes it affordable for most people. If you would like to give a spa gift certificate, but $100 is out of your range, you might consider getting a gift card from Massage Envy; their minimum gift card purchase is $50, which would cover an introductory massage and gratuity. Do check to be sure there’s a location in your recipient’s area!
At-Home Spa/Skincare Gifts
Lush. Cult following. ‘Nuff said.
Caudalie Spa in a Bag ($30, Sephora). If you go to a Caudalie spa, you will get all sorts of nummy treatments with grape products (or so I hear, anyway). The Crushed Cabernet Scrub in this set is particularly good, and along with it you get a shower gel, a body lotion, and a hand/nail cream, all with grape polyphenols. Any gift with the name Caudalie on it positively gleams with luxury, so your recipient will definitely feel pampered. (If you prefer a wider variety of products in your kit, there’s a Caudalie VinoGo Weekend Kit also available at Sephora for $32; it contains 8 products including a Cabernet Shower Gel).
Bliss Softening Socks and Glamour Gloves ($48 each, Sephora). Here’s a technological development I can get behind: in the last few years both high-end and drugstore lines have come out with wearable products with moisturizing gel built in. I tried one of the drugstore brands and was very pleased, so if you’re looking for a higher-end version for someone who has chronic dry hands or feet, the Bliss socks and gloves are one way to go.
The Ole Henriksen Worship Your Body spa set ($24, Sephora) not only comes with seven bottles of products ranging from body oil to scrub to a sore muscle tonic, but also comes with a CD of spa music to really bring the spa experience home. This is a steal at this price.
If you know someone who is a L’Occitane devotee, she might enjoy the Best of L’Occitane Gift Set ($49, L’Occitane), which contains 12 (!) of L’Occitane’s best-selling cleansing, skincare, and body care products. Again, in terms of price-for-value, this is an unusually good deal.
I’m a fan of Dr. Hauschka facial products, but I wouldn’t take a chance buying them for someone else. But this Daily Body Care Kit ($22.95, drugstore.com) is something I would buy as a gift and would consider a good introduction to the brand. There is also a Dr. Hauschka Aromatherapy Bath Kit ($15.95, SkincareRX via Amazon [oddly, SkincareRX seems not to offer the product on their own website; their Dr. Hauschka products come through an affiliated site]) containing five vials of aromatherapy bath oil: Lemon, Lavender, Rosemary, Spruce, and Sage.