Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Christmas is next week and I’m excited to celebrate. We have all survived another year of the pandemic and deserve to have a happy holiday season with the people we love, delicious food and great gifts. 

If you still have some shopping to do, you’ve come to the right place! This year’s guide features luxurious pampering products and delicious treats your friends, family, spouse and co-workers will love!
Let’s kick things off with intoxicating fragrance. For the ladies on your list one of the hottest scents of the season is Very Good Girl Eau de Parfum by Carolina Herrera ($130.00 / 50 ml).
This seductive perfume is infused with fruity florals, red currant, lychee, rose, lily, vanilla, bourbon and vetiver. The aroma is soft, sophisticated, iconic, feminine and irresistible – great for daytime and evenings out. 

Very Good Girl comes in a sexy red stiletto bottle and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart

The men on your list will love Aqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani ($95 / 50 ml). This classic cologne has notes of citrus, marine, bergamot and cedar wood for a refreshing, earthy, masculine scent that is perfect for any occasion. (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart).
Whether you are hosting a holiday party or invited to one, a beautiful charcuterie is something everyone will enjoy. 

My favorite charcuterie in Toronto is Star Fusion Eats. Their gourmet grazing box is beautifully designed and makes a thoughtful hostess gift. 

The company uses premium meat, fresh herbs, ripe fruit, real flowers and an assortment of high quality cheese, jam, honey and desserts. They even bake their own bread! Vegetarian, vegan, keto and halal options are available and you can customize your order.

This gorgeous box retails for $75 at starfusioneats.com.
Pampering self-care products are always appreciated, especially during the winter when cold weather wreaks havoc on your skin and people spend more time indoors. 

7th Heaven has fabulous gift sets featuring their bestselling vegan, cruelty-free masks enriched with natural botanical extracts. 

The Beauty Box of Treats ($24.21) comes with a keepsake box, 1 cleansing cloth and 8 face masks – Dead Sea Peel, Pink Guava, Green Tea, Dead Sea Mud, Strawberry Cream, Pink Cactus, Cucumber and Black Clay Charcoal. (Available at amamzon.ca)
This year I’m giving my bestie the 7th Heaven Superfood Set ($16.95) which comes with a linen toiletry bag, plush body sponge and four of my favorite masks – Avocado Clay, Matcha & Chai Clay, Blueberry Mud and Canabis Sativa. The essential oils and fruit extracts cleanse, purify, soften and replenish blemished skin. (Available at shophali.com).
For stocking stuffers, Shoppers Drug Mart’s Life Brand offers budget-friendly options like this Revitalizing Sheet Mask for just $3. 

The Face It Makeup Remover Cloth ($12.50) is eco-conscious and reusable. Simply add cleanser, mix with water and lather up to eliminate dirt, oil and impurities. (Available at shophali.com).
I love receiving sweet treats during the holidays and What’s Poppin Elle makes some of the BEST gourmet popcorn in Canada! 

What makes this popcorn unique (and highly addictive) is the taste, texture and quality. The big fluffy kernels are perfectly coated and the mouth-watering caramel is fresh and crunchy so it never sticks in your teeth. The sweetness is well balanced and the flavors are delicious!
The Holiday Box retails for $27 and includes: Vegan Coconut Salted Caramel, Nutella Caramel and OG Salted Caramel mixed with pretzels and crunchy Cheetos. If you place an order make sure to try the OG Salted Caramel Pretzels. They are one of the best snacks you’ll ever eat!

Visit the website at whatspoppinbyelle.com (pick-up in Oakville Ontario).
I couldn’t write a gift guide without featuring one of my favorite skincare products by Estee Lauder. Advanced Night Repair Serum is a bestseller worldwide. The formula works wonders on wrinkles but I use it to moisturize, renew and boost radiance.
Enriched with 8-hour antioxidant power and a 72 hour hydration complex derived from hyaluronic acid, it strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier while firming, plumping and reducing the appearance of pores. After a few weeks skin appears smooth, supple and clear. 

The 3-piece Youth Generating Gift Set ($128) includes a full-size serum (30 ml) and two deluxe travel size serums (15 ml ea) so you can keep one and gift the others to friends. Estee Lauder is available at esteelauder.ca, Sephora and department stores nationwide. 

It Cosmetics is another one of my go-to brands and I think everyone on your list (men and women) will benefit from using the Bye Bye Lines Concentrated Derma Serum this winter. The lush vitamin-rich formula contains 1.5% hyaluronic acid and powerful peptides to smooth fine lines, plump and deeply hydrate all skin types (even the most sensitive). It was developed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons and retails for just $35. (Available at Shoppers and itcosmetics.ca).
For those looking for a raunchy gift or couples who want to spice things up, Lelo makes high-end adult toys that enhance intimacy, relieve stress and increase the libido. 

Their newest innovation is the Enigma ($269.10) – a luxurious sonic massager designed to simultaneously stimulate her inner and outer erogenous zones for mind-blowing pleasure.
The internal flexible arm provides ultra powerful vibrations while external waves create rhythmic flutters in all the right places. 

I like that Leo’s products are high-tech, ergonomic and not designed to look phallic. They also come in a range of beautiful colors. 

This device has 8 different settings and is made with soft waterproof silicone for easy cleaning. It comes with a 1 year warranty, USB charging cord, satin storage pouch and detailed instructions. The company also offers discrete shipping. This is one gift that keeps on giving. She’ll love it! Visit lelo.com for more details. 

Another way to relax and unwind after a long day is by taking a warm shower. The next few products will definitely make your spa day more enjoyable. 

The Alo Fruits and Passions Shower Gel ($19.99) is great for gift baskets or secret Santa. The bottle is huge (950 ml) and the formula is biodegradable. It contains vitamins to keep skin healthy and the scent is clean and refreshing. (Available at avon.ca)

The Avon Senses Shower Gels ($9 ea) make great stocking stuffers and I always buy a few extra for myself. The hooked bottles are easy to hang in the shower which is also ideal for travel.
For those who prefer long comforting baths, the cute Bubble-t Rainbow Macaron Bath Fizzers ($10.99) are designed to replenish moisture. These colorful little pastries smell like lime, orange, strawberries, raspberries, jasmine and creamy vanilla. Your friends will love them! (Available at shophali.com).
The ladies in my family receive a Quo Pull Cracker in their stockings every year! The six pack retails for just $15 and each one contains a sheer mini gloss that keeps lips soft and hydrated. (Available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart).
Continuing with stocking stuffers, the Invisibobble traceless hair bands are available in festive packaging. I wear these all the time because they look cute on my wrist and don’t yank, break, dent or damage my hair. If they ever stretch out simply apply some heat from your blowdryer until they shrink back to their original shape. Unlike traditional hair bands and scrunchies, they don’t trap sweat, moisture, bacteria or odor. 

The candy cane set ($15) comes with 10 pink and white clear rings while the Crayola set for kids includes 10 minis. Invisibobble is available at Pharmaprix, London Drugs, Shoppers, walmart.ca, shophali.com and well.ca.
If you’re looking for the perfect couples gift, Ginza Stefany has released his and hers fragrances inspired by eternal love and forbidden passion. 

In My Arms ($58) is the feminine scent which features notes of black currant, gardenia and sparkling peach. It is light, fresh and sweet – great for women of all ages. 

Wish You Were Here ($58) contains sweet hawthorne berry, juicy pear and sensuous patchouli. It smells clean, alluring and masculine. You can find these at avon.ca
The makeup junkies on your list will love the Quo All The Glitz Brush Set ($25). It comes with a gold canister and six sparkly travel-size synthetic cruelty-free brushes for the eyes and face. (available at Shoppers).
It was difficult to narrow down my top hair care products of the year but I decided to go with a brand I used all summer – Sebastian Twisted. 

The Curl Magnifier is my absolute favorite for maintaining shape and bounce while managing frizz but the entire line caters to the health of waves and spirals. 

The styling spray holds hair in place without crunch or residue while the conditioner and mask treatment softens, moisturizes, strengthens and detangles. These products will leave your curls shiny and smooth. You can find them at amazon.ca, Chatters and Trade Secrets.
Give the gift of a trendy holiday manicure with Bio Sculpture’s nourishing “ten-free” polish. The lacquers are formulated with a seaweed calcium base, UV filter, multivitamins and plant-based hardening agents derived from aloe, lemon and ginseng. They are also vegan, cruelty-free and do not contain harmful chemicals. 

The two shades seen here are 212 Jewelled Opulence and 278 Casablanca. This set retail for $29.98 at biosculpturenails.com
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Antipodes Skincare | Fall/Winter Essentials

It’s that time of year again. Time to update your skincare routine and prepare for the harsh winter ahead...unless you live in a tropical climate, in which case, please extend an invitation (it’s freezing here in Canada). 

No matter what time of year it is, climate change is real and quality skincare is essential for fighting free radicals and the damaging effects of pollution.
Antipodes is a family owned, scientifically validated organic brand from New Zealand and it is one of my absolute favorites! The products are infused with the healing power of locally sourced plant-based ingredients. Everything about this company screams healing, eco-conscious, beauty - from their vegan formulas to the clinically proven botanical extracts that keep skin balanced and healthy. 

The Antipodes Halo Skin Brightening Facial Mud Mask ($38 USD / $50 CAD) will take your complexion from dull and congested to radiant, clear and clean!
The mask contains an abundance of restorative oils but the main ingredients are jojoba, antioxidant rich vinanza grape, kiwi and volcanic mud from geothermal New Zealand. The extracts work symbiotically to smooth, renew, fade discoloration and target redness which is particularly beneficial for blemish prone skin. It also purifies and brightens by gently removing dead surface cells to reveal your natural radiance. 

All it takes is 15 minutes 1-2 times a week and your skin will look reborn! 

Everyone should incorporate some form of Vitamin C in their daily routine because the antioxidants protect skin cells from UV exposure and prevents hyperpigmentation. 

The Antipodes Glow Ritual Vitamin C Serum with Plant Hyaluronic Acid ($48 USD / $62 CAD) is 100% natural and contains 100x the Vitamin C of oranges. Think of it as your all-day golden hour glow in a bottle.
The serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly with no greasiness. It contains kakadu plum, vinanza grape, kiwi and bakuchiol - a natural retinol alternative that provides anti-aging benefits. Together these ingredients brighten, protect, rejuvenate, smooth, firm and plump with a lovely citrus scent. It also works well under makeup. 

Your body and cells heal and regenerate while you sleep so it is important to establish an effective night time routine and get enough rest. 

The Divine Face Oil with Rosehip and Avocado ($48.00 / $62 CAD) is one of the brand’s bestsellers and after using it for a few months I totally understand why. Avocado oil is one of my favorite natural moisturizers. It always leaves my face incredibly soft and supple.
This lush organic formula contains avocados grown in New Zealand orchards blended with rosehip and macadamia oil to replenish tired, dehydrated skin. It is scientifically shown to stimulate type 1 collagen by up to 51% for visible anti-aging results. 

The oil is luxurious and smells like an apothecary or high-end spa. It has totally transformed my complexion. My skin looks smooth, even, clear, radiant and youthful with fewer blemishes. Apply a bit extra to sun damage, lines and scars to diminish their appearance. It works wonders! 

If your complexion needs extra hydration this season, I highly recommend the Antipodes Culture Probiotic Night Recovery Water Cream ($50 USD / $70 CAD). The refreshing gel texture is like a drink of water for parched, rough, stressed skin and the high performing probiotics increase elasticity, firmness and collagen production.
Night Recovery is loaded with skin quenching hyaluronic acid and it is suitable for all skin types (including sensitive). After a few applications my face looks refreshed, plump and clear with no more dry itchy patches or peeling. 

If you only try one organic vegan brand this season, it should definitely be Antipodes. You can find it at antipodesnature.com, well.ca and socialitebeauty.ca, joyviva.ca and other online retailers. 
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