The Best Beauty Gifts of 2010

If I were you, I'd ask Santa to deliver a few of these awesome beauty prodz.
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Michelle Villett
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If I were you, I'd ask Santa to deliver a few of these awesome beauty prodz.
christmas-presents

I don't know about you, but I have this problem when I go Christmas shopping: I inadvertently end up buying stuff for MYSELF in addition to—or sometimes even instead of—the people on my list. Er... oops?

So in case you have this issue too, I thought that this year, I'd kick off my holiday coverage with a list of beauty prodz that I'd be deliriously happy to receive (um, if I didn't have them already). That way, you can start dropping hints like crazy and hopefully a few of them will end up under YOUR tree.

So here's what's on my list! It's both new stuff I've fallen in love with this year, as well as a few all-time best beauty investments.... and yes, most of them are kind of expensive but in my opinion worth the splurge. Hopefully someone else is paying!

1. A REALLY LUXE (AND IDEALLY, BRIGHTLY-COLOURED) LIPSTICK

If there's a single beauty item that people are going gaga for right now—and based on the spring shows, will be wearing for the forseeable future—it's bright lipstick.

As I've gushed before, Tom Ford's Private Blend Lipstick is the ultimate, and my colour pick is Cherry Lush (but really any shade will do).

Tom-Ford-Private-Blend-Lip-Collection-lip-design

YSL is hot on Tom's heels though. (I ADORE everything YSL.) Particularly loving their new Stefano Pilati-designed Rouge Pur Couture collection of 18 new lipsticks, divided into reds, fuchsias and oranges. Just when you think these lipsticks can't get any more luxe, they always do:

YSL-Rouge-Pur-Couture-Lipsticks

And then there is Chanel, of course—I would be amiss if I didn't mention the fab Rouge Coco collection:

Chanel-Rouge-Coco-Hydrating-Creme-Lipstick

2. THE BEST LIP GLOSS IN THE ENTIRE WORLD

The end. It's by Josie Maran and you can read here about why my lip gloss search is over, forevah.

editors-picks-josie-maran-0409

3. A BLUSH THAT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE YOU'RE LIT FROM WITHIN

UPDATE: Will you forgive me? In my fanatacism, I erroneously believed this product was ALREADY a part of Giorgio Armani's permanent collection—but alas, it is not. Not yet. I've just received word from the PR that you'll have to wait until next summer. Sorry girls. It IS worth waiting for though. Mark your calendars.

As I've said before, I am, like, fanatical about this blush—the Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric Second Skin Blush. It was a limited-edition product this spring but now a permanent part of the collection. Yes, it is that good. And though I have just one shade (the red one), I desire to have all three.

Busted Image

4. A LIFE-CHANGING HAIR REMOVAL GADGET

So you know how I used to rave about the Silk'n, which is an at-home alternative to laser hair removal (it uses pulses of light to destroy the hair follicles)? Well scratch that, because I have a new obsession: the TRIA Laser Hair Removal System, which just launched in Canada (at Sephora) this fall.

Tria-Laser-Hair-Removal

It's still early days with my trial and will take at least eight months to see results (maybe more because I've not been as diligent as you're supposed to be at using it every two weeks), but I already think it's a much better buy than the Silk'n. Why? Because it's cheaper ($519 vs. $800), the shape of the device itself is easier to use, the fan is quieter, AND... most importantly, you don't have to waste money buying "refill" charges (which are sort of a... cough.. scam). I'll do a more detailed review soon, but this already gets my thumbs up.

However, I ALSO love the Philips SatinPerfect Epilator, which is even more affordable ($139.99) and also gives you longer-lasting results than shaving:

Phillips-SatinPerfect-Epilator

5. A NON-PARABEN-Y, DELICIOUS-SMELLING AND HIGHLY INDULGENT BATH & BODY TREATMENT

When it comes to body products, I have a rule: I don't use anything with parabens... and, well, as few unpronounceable chemicals as possible. Apparently the fatty areas of your body (breasts, tummy, thighs, bum) are the most likely to absorb the toxins, so while I'm a little more lax with them on my face, I definitely don't want them anywhere below the neck.

One of the best body lotions I tried this year was from Lavanila, a company known for their "healthy" fragrances (also excellent). This is technically a body butter but instead of coming in a messy pot, it comes in a tube—and is rich without being greasy or slimy.

The other lotion that I was very, very sad to use up was John Masters Organics Blood Orange and Vanilla Body Milk (available at Whole Foods and BeautyMark). Doesn't the name alone make your mouth water?

Lavanila-Body-Butter

John-Masters-Organics-Blood-Orange-Vanilla-Body-Milk

Finally, I'm a longtime Dr. Hauschka fan and this Aromatherapy Bath Kit contains sample sizes of the famous bath oils: Lavender, Lemon, Sage, Rosemary and (my Christmastime favourite) Spruce. I think everyone should take more baths.

Dr-Hauschka-Aromatherapy-Bath-Kit

6. SKINCARE STUFF THAT REALLY WILL IMPROVE YOUR COMPLEXION

Two universal essentials here that will work for just about every skin type. First, the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum, which I will likely post about in more detail in the future, but which is, in short, the number one product I've heard dermatologists recommend. (Beauty editors all rave about it too.) It is an antioxidant and you put it on dry skin after cleansing and let it sink in for about five to 10 minutes before applying moisturizer.

Skinceuticals-CE-Ferulic

What it does is ward off wrinkle-producing free radicals AND gives you a built-in SPF protection (about 6-8) that doesn't wash off. Cool, right? You may not notice anything dramatic with your skin right away... but it's like insurance against aging in the future.

And then how could I not post about my beloved Clarisonic? This little gadget produces, hands down, the most thorough clean your skin will ever experience. Aside from those with very, very sensitive skin, I think everyone should have one. I have the original from a few years ago, but they now come in fun colours and different sizes:

Clarisonic1

7. A HAIR BRUSH THAT WILL LAST YOUR ENTIRE LIFE

Everybody needs a Mason Pearson. If you do not own one, maybe now would be a good time to invest? Seriously—you will not find a single hairdresser who does not endorse these. (My man Bill Angst loves 'em.) They are the best quality and the gentlest on the hair, and you can even use them for cool teasing techniques like the ones Sally Hershberger's assistants used on me to Brigitte Bardot-ify my hair.

Mason-Pearson-brushes

8. A FRAGRANCE THAT WILL MAKE MEN (AND WOMEN, TOO) FALL AT YOUR FEET

Okay, so I've selfishly been keeping this one to myself for a long time, but as my Christmas present to you (ha!) I'm going to let you in on my little secret. Yes, I adore the Chandler Burr-endorsed Guaiac from Red Flower, but I have another signature scent and it is another rare, cult-ish find called Child.

Busted Image

Canadians can only buy it through BeautyHabit.com, but let me tell you: it is worth it. I am not entirely sure of the notes—I believe it's a tuberose and jasmine blend—but they are of incredibly high quality because unlike the vast majority of mainstream perfumes, this doesn't aggravate my allergies.

But more importantly: this is the only scent I've ever worn that has literally made people stop on the street, in bars, in taxicabs and ask me what it was. One man made me write down the name of it so he could buy it for his wife. Oh—and I am positive one guy asked me out on a date because of this once. Yes, the menz love it.

So—

Have you tried anything on my list?
Does your Santa bring beauty products—and if so, what do you hope he delivers this year?
What's the all-time best beauty gift you've ever received (or bought for yourself)?

P.S.: Knowing me and my love for so very many products, I've probably left more than a few awesome things out. So howzabout I do a Part Two and I'll include some of your picks as well? Tell me tell me tell me...