It’s MARDI GRAS down south y’all. And while it may not be the to-do in Canada that it is in the States, I still know of plenty of folks that are heading to Mardi Gras-esque parties this evening, or this weekend, or perhaps just in general…Mardi Gras is one of those generic, resilient themes that works for everything from a dinner party to a fundraising event to prom. So with that in mind, I scoured the (virtual) shelves and plucked out five gift ideas in the grand spirit of everyone’s favourite bash.
Beaded Necklaces – $1.99 – $49.99
Everyone knows about the Mardi Gras tradition of showing your ta-tas for some sparkle, but you can still play on that tradition with a little more class if you’re attending a New Orleans-inspired bash. Beaded necklaces are plentiful at accessory boutiques, like the ones I spotted above. Go for traditional Mardi Gras colours in green, yellow, or purple, or channel the style of the traditional Mardi Gras beads thrown off of parade floats with a double stand of icy gems or a playful blue wooden option.
Nordic Ware Platinum Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan – $39.75 @ Golda’s Kitchen
This stylish cast aluminum baking pan packs two Mardi Gras traditions into one high-performance package. The Fleur De Lis is a way-popular symbol in New Orleans, in part because of the French Quarter’s history. Of course, it also has ties to Canada’s own French-speaking population, making it a totally appropriate hostess or houseguest gift. Meanwhile, another major part of Mardi Gras is ‘King Cake’, a classic roll cake with a plastic baby tucked inside designating the next party host. Keep the tradition alive and adapt it for use with this nifty bundt cake pan!
Damask Skull Parasol Umbrella – $23 @ Plasticland
Of course New Orleans isn’t just known for Mardi Gras and French heritage – it’s also the home of voodoo and witch doctors. Channel the mysterious side of the bayou with a skull-themed antiqued paper parasol, perfect for keeping your goth-chic pal out of the sun, or as a striking decor accent when you hand it over as a thank you gift. Like many of the gifts on this list, it’s not about screaming plastic beads and cheap beer – it’s about channeling the spirit and history of the Mardi Gras festivities and the magical city that hosts them.
Hot Stuff Taster – $65+ USD @ New York Mouth
Everyone knows New Orleans is home to sweet-and-spicy cajun food, so why not bring a taste of good ol’ southern cooking to your next fete? New York Mouth is an amazing gourmand store that stocks indie products from businesses all over the world, and this Hot Stuff Taster allows spice lovers to sample away till their tastebuds lose feeling from one too many spoonfuls of Raspberry Jalapeno Jam or Chili Lime Lollipops. Buy the entire set for yourself and bring individual pieces as hostess gifts over the next few months, or gift the entire collection as an impressive birthday or thank you present. Fair warning – shipping’s on the higher side, at a $30 flat rate, so stock up kids.
MAKE UP FOR EVER Technicolor Palette – $50 @ Sephora
Mardi Gras is all about transforming your look in a dramatic, high-impact way through the use of bright colours and major glam. The same could be said of MAKE UP FOR EVER’s bold new Technicolor Palette featuring a mixture of neutrals and brights inspired by the 1930s transformation of B&W to colour film. With two brushes to help you contour and shade your eyes until they absolutely pop with colour, this nifty set also makes my list for its inclusion of the three core Mardi Gras colours: purple, green, and the newly trendy yellow. If you’re looking for highly pigmented shadows perfect for playing around with, look no further – scoop this up for your beauty-obsessed sibling or party hostess bestie.
Hope you all have fun celebrating Mardi Gras this eve (or weekend), and if you’re getting geared up to go out, picture how amazing you’d look if you had a MAKE UP FOR EVER Technicolor Palette of your own to brush up with…well, one of you will soon enough, because I’ve got one to give away! Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment by February 26th with the Mardi Gras gift idea featured in this post you’d most like to give (or receive).
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around March 1st to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Like MAKE UP FOR EVER on Facebook and leave a comment with your thoughts on the new Technicolor Palette!