All I Want For Christmas
Ah yes! It’s time for one of the most fun posts for me to write – my very own current covets for the holiday season. Admittedly quite a few of the items on my actual (longer) list are things I’ve curated for this very blog over the past year, so you won’t find ’em as repeats here, but these 10 items are all amazing gifts I’d absolutely be delighted to open up come Christmas morning – as I’m sure you would too!
Ren Skincare Products – $26 – $98 (Available at Sephora)
I don’t want to overstate things, but I had the chance to try a few Ren products this past month and it was sort of like…’Where have you been all my life?’ Cause these ones? They’re game changers people! The brand is focused on skincare for both the face and body, with an impressive collection of products that use plant-based and mineral actives to give your skin a workout and restore it to its most impressive shape. With a massive range of products and mini-lines designed to target all sorts of challenges (from anti-redness to wrinkle relief), it’s a snap to find the right products for your skin calamities. My personal favourite? The Wake Wonderful mask, which you apply at night before going to bed. Honestly every single time I use it I’m stunned at how radiant my skin looks the next a.m. – and the very fine lines in my forehead are all but gone! Needless to say, I’m curious to try even more Ren products now that I’ve experience their magic.
Bespoke Name Lockets – ~$42 USD @ The Weekend Store
I’m a sucker for personalization and a massive fan of traveling. Naturally, this gift idea totally speaks to me. Crafted by The Weekend Store (which can also be found on Etsy, where they’ve sold 2,000+ items!), these custom lockets use real map clippings to highlight your name. If you can’t find your name from the dozens they have available, you can still submit it and they’ll try to track down a place in the world that bears our moniker. Available in three different pendant styles, these chic lockets make excellent, personalized gifts that any gal on your list will love. Alternatively, The Weekend Store also has a pretty extensive lineup of items like personalized cufflinks for the guy on your list, and regular destination necklaces when you want to keep a place like home close to your heart.
Pai-Shau Hair Products – From $26 @ Fine Salons Across Canada
First off, I’m very excited that this delightful haircare brand actually hails from Canada! Based in Toronto, this hot new brand just hit the shelves this past year and has already won over stylists, celebs, and everyday women. Their signature secret? Their Signature Exotic Tea Complex, which combines multiple types of tea to deeply penetrate the hair and give it bouncy, beautiful shine and volume. The line so far consists of five core products – shampoo, conditioner, an incredible hair mask, styling cream, and their other star product, the Enhance Ritual Biphasic Infusion, which is designed to be spritzed on before heat styling to tame frizz and give you salon-quality locks. As I hinted at, the mask is my favourite of the bunch – having used brands like Moroccan Oil in the past, I have to say that Pai-Shau’s leaves my hair glossy, smooth, and more lightweight. Best of all, it’s vegan, gluten-free, and contains no parabens, sulfates, phosphates, or added sodium chloride. You can buy the products individually, but they’ve also launched a Ritual Box for a bargain $60 USD, which contains smaller sizes of their core products so you can give it a whirl without investing too heavily. Trust me, one or two washes and you’ll be adding these hair products to your wish list!
lululemon Hustle In Your Bustle Jacket – $118
I love me a good jacket for running (not literally) around town – and this stretchy, flattering lululemon jacket is just the ticket! Made from the brand’s signature uber soft Luon fabric, this sleek little throw-on jacket features a flounced hem, extra-long sleeves with thumbholes, and unique embroidery that gives it a nice cut overall. You could in theory wear it for actual jogging or other physical activity – the LYCRA fibres help it stretch and contour to your body – but it’s just as useful for a quick jaunt from the car to the grocery store, or having on hand for when the office gets chilly. A year doesn’t go by where I don’t fall hard for a lululemon product, and this one has got me wishing big! As a heads up, you won’t be able to pick up this beauty till December, so keep a close eye on the lululemon New Arrivals page!
Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford – $21.95
I wrote about the adult colouring book trend earlier this year, and actually featured Johanna Basford’s first two perpetually sold out titles in that post. Well lucky me, it appears Ms. Basford has been busy working on her third elaborate and whimsical entry into the colouring book game with this stunning book that focuses on stunning seascapes. From delicate jellyfish to pristine coral reefs, this charming book features intense levels of detail (to the point where some of the designs might take you a very, very long time to complete) that Johanna Basford has become known for. There’s also a game element again as you’re challenged to spot certain objects throughout the book. It’s more gender-neutral than some of Basford’s other books and is an excellent gift idea for anyone that either loves to colour, needs a stress outlet, or is simply a talented artist looking for another creative outlet.
Casetify iPhone 6S Cases – $40 USD
I recently got the new iPhone 6S in Rose Gold and I am quite obsessed with it. I was on the hunt for a new protective case when I came across Casetify, which prides itself on working with independent artists to create stunning snap-on iPhone cases that are easy to install and remove. More importantly, they’re also tough! They’ve drop tested their cases from 4 feet onto direct concrete and indeed, your $600 phone will be protected with one of these beauties. The biggest challenge then, is determining which ones to actually buy…cause when I first started perusing their site (which handily allows you to ‘model’ cases based on your iPhone colour) I kept on opening cases in new tabs that I wanted to look at closer, only to realize I had something like 30 tabs open. You can even customize your own case, with free global shipping! In short my friends, the choices, they are many – whether you want something graphic, motivational, girly, glamorous, translucent (to show off that rose gold colour!), hip, quirky or eye-catching, Casetify quite literally has you covered. Best of all, they offer *free* worldwide shipping!
SPECIAL OFFER: Use the code BRITTANY15 at checkout to get 15% off your order until January 15, 2016!
Benefit Life of the Party! Makeup Palette – $43
Holy bargain Batman! This incredible little palette is an ace choice for any gal on your list that wears makeup – in part because it’s so universally appealing. Start off by applying the brand’s POREfessional product to smooth out your skin. Next, use their trio of eyeshadows for a neutral smoky eye, followed by a sweep of their signature They’re Real! mascara (an all-time fave of mine). Choose one of their two soft blushes to give yourself a rosy glow, and top it off with Benetint, which can be applied to the lips or cheeks for a healthy dash of pinky-red. I love this gift idea for all types of people on your list – maybe they’re a traveler that needs all the essentials handy. Or perhaps they’re a tween or teen that’s new to makeup and deserves a great kit to start out. Benefit fans or friends that don’t wear a ton of makeup to begin with will appreciate the simple sophistication of this collection. No matter the case, it’s a worthy item to add to your wish lists! Also available at BeautyBoutique.ca
EdenSpa: The Cloud Ultrasonic Diffuser – $59.99 @ Clair de Lune
Are you like me? Does your sense of smell overwhelm your impressions of a place or your mood? This sleek diffuser is an excellent way to transform the scent of your space without chemicals or heat. Simply add in a half-cup of water and a few drops of your aroma of choice and the machine will automatically mist the air with a fresh scent. It lasts for an amazing three hours and you can flip on the lights for a soothing light show. I love this gift idea for anyone moving into a new home this holiday season; they can easily make it smell like everything from mulled apple cider to fresh pine!
Ever Rose Crown Jewels Dress – $52 / Lovefool Dress – $85 / Pieces of Me Dress – $105
I think holiday dressing can quickly veer into ticky tacky territory – but there’s plenty of ways to look and feel festive without defaulting to an ugly Christmas sweater. Each of these dresses from Canadian online indie boutique Ever Rose hints at the holidays in their own special way. The ruby-printed Crown Jewels dress is a great and affordable way to hint at ‘sparkle’ without actually wearing anything glittery. The deep red Lovefool dress is just this side of precious, with a fun drop-waist pleated skirt and subtle heart print. And the Pieces of Me Dress is flat out warm, made from a fuzzy Scandinavian-print fabric and featuring long sleeves to keep you toasty come Christmas Eve. They’re just several of many items I’d love to unwrap the gifts on my wish list in!
Olivier Soaps – $6.95 – $10.95
Handcrafted in New Brunswick, Olivier Soaps prides itself on classic workmanship and wholesome ingredients to lavish your skin instead of leeching it. In fact, their ingredients are as common as olive oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax, with fragrant and essential oils added in sparingly. The brand itself is historical on multiple levels – they began in 1996 with a simple soap recipe that had been handed down for generations. Today, traditional soap making traditions are alive and well as the Olivier Soapery hosts thousands of people annually that want to witness the intricacy of creating good quality soap up front. The result? Ultra mild soaps with ultra wonderful benefits for the body – sign me up! They also carry cool accessories, like the magnetic soap hook you see above – just wet the soap and gently press it into the hanging rack; no more grimy, oily soap residue on your counters!
BONUS: Take 10% off your Olivier Soaps order between November 12 – December 1 when you enter the code ‘CGG1115’ at checkout. Offer cannot be combined with other specials.
Once again I have a wonderful gift guide giveaway filled with a few of my favourite gift ideas this holiday season. Valued at over $480, if you win you’ll be taking home:
- Ren Skincare’s Wake Wonderful Mask
- The Weekend Store Florentine Map Name Locket
- Pai-Shau’s 5 Signature Products
- A copy of Johanna Basford’s Lost Ocean
- A Casetify iPhone Case
- Benefit’s Life of the Party! Makeup Palette
- EdenSpa The Cloud Ultrasonic Diffuser
- 3 Handmade Olivier Soaps
Motivated? Here’s how to enter!
1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then leave me a comment below by November 22, 2015 telling me what items featured in this post on my wish list would make it on your wish list!
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 November 23, 2015 to select the winner, 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 for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entries: Do as many or as few of the following as you like. For each social media interaction leave a separate comment with proof – namely links – that you’ve participated. For example, share a link back to your Tweet, Instagram photo, or wall post. If you’re unsure how to do it, there are plenty of easy online tutorials!
Ren Skincare – Follow the brand in Instagram and either regram one of their photos and share an original photo from their site (screenshots are a handy way to do this).
The Weekend Store – Like the brand on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall regarding your favourite item from their shop.
Pai-Shau -Follow the brand in Instagram and either regram one of their photos and share an original photo from their site (screenshots are a handy way to do this).
Penguin – Follow them on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway, tagging them, me (@cdngiftguide) and linking back to this post.
Casetify – Follow them on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway, tagging them, me (@cdngiftguide) and linking back to this post.
Benefit -Follow them on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway, tagging them, me (@cdngiftguide) and linking back to this post.
Olivier Soaps – Like them on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall regarding the product of theirs you are most interested in trying. You’re under no obligation to mention the CGG.
Clair de Lune – Like them on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall regarding the EdenSpa diffuser and why you’re interested in trying it. You’re under no obligation to mention the CGG.