5 Beauty Gift Ideas For Mother's Day

Ones that'll earn you MAJOR brownie points.
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Michelle Villett
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Ones that'll earn you MAJOR brownie points.

Obviously I'm biased, but I think beauty stuff makes for the ideal Mother's Day present—even more than Christmas and birthdays. After all, it's the one holiday per year that's devoted to treating your mom to something she'd never do or buy for herself. And if yours is anything like mine, she probably doesn't go hog-wild in the beauty department when left to her own devices. If I wasn't in the biz, my mom would probably still be on the Clinique 3-Step! (A decent skincare regimen, sure, but we're in 2013 and there's lots more out there.)

Now, I get to spoil her all the time... and it's pretty fun to see her go gaga over fancy lipsticks and anti-aging loot. I repeat: she probably wouldn't buy this stuff for herself (at least not before I introduced her to it), but give a person beauty access and they quickly get addicted! I love being an enabler.

You should be one too. Here are five gift ideas for mom that'll instantly earn you "favourite child" status:

1. A super-pretty fragrance

She's your mom, so hopefully you've already got an idea of her preferred notes. Maybe she likes light, citrusy scents... maybe she's more of a gourmand... maybe she's all about the fruity-florals. Find out, and then let that guide you. If she's a signature scent person, check if there's a lighter, limited-edition summer version of it (many of the big brands have them). Or may I suggest one of these newbies...

Guerlain Idylle Duet Jasmin-Lilas

Guerlain Idylle Duet Jasmin-Lilas

Guerlain Idylle Duet Jasmin-Lilas Eau de Parfum, $106 for 50 mL; at Guerlain counters.

Anybody on the receiving end of some Guerlain is guaranteed to feel super duper spoiled. This one just came out May 1st, and has notes of jasmine and lilac. Very soft, subtle and pretty.

Nina Ricci L'Eau

Nina Ricci Nina L'Eau

Nina Ricci Nina L'Eau Eau de Toilette, $62 for 50 mL; click here to learn more and purchase.

My mom loves everything by Nina Ricci. This is the scent I got to learn about in Paris (!!)—the notes are apple, grapefruit, mandarin, neroli, gardenia, cherry and musk.

Madly Kenzo!

Madly Kenzo

Madly Kenzo! Eau de Toilette, $92 for 80 mL; at Sephora.

Kenzo's latest is a fruity-floral featuring notes of pear, litchi, heliotrope, jasmine, cedar and musk. Simultaneously sweet and fresh.

2. A pampering spa treatment

Does your mom get mani-pedis? Mine used to DIY until I started taking her to my regular place—and now it's her regular thing too. It might seem like a "whatever" gift idea, but everyone appreciates the gift of someone else scrubbing the dead skin off her feet. To take the spoiling up another notch, a facial or a massage (if she likes that sort of thing) are also good options.

Here are some mom-friendly places/treatments I recommend:

  • Decléor aromatherapy facial. I treated my mom to a couple, and she LOVED them (and she doesn't normally like facials!). For locations, see here.
  • A Dermalogica facial. Not as relaxing as the Decléor, but very results-driven and her skin will glow for days afterward. For locations, see here.
  • Dove Spa, which has two west-end suburban outposts in the Toronto area (so your mom doesn't have to travel downtown; see here). Not sure about the other stuff, but they do a fine job of nails.
  • Same with Donato. They have three Toronto suburb-y locations and do decent nail work; see here.
  • Did you know select Aveda stores (called "Experience Centres") do spa services in the back? See here for locations; I had a body treatment at the Yorkdale one and it was so good!
  • My experience with massages at spas is hit and miss. You want to have an RMT, and the best one I know is this guy—he's based out of an office, not a frou-frou spa, and he does amazing work.

3. Something to soothe her hands and feet

Fact: moms like hand and foot products. Mine is always telling me how much she loved "that foot cream in the blue tube" or "the hand lotion that smells like flowers" (which frankly doesn't narrow it down that much, but oh well). I suspect she almost likes this beauty category more than the pricey anti-aging creams I give her... probably because a high-ticket hand or foot product feels even more luxurious and indulgent.

Here are a couple of gift-worthy options:

Bliss Foot Patrol

Bliss Foot Patrol

Bliss Foot Patrol, $21.00; click here to learn more and purchase.

Actually, this is the blue tube my mom was raving about. Bliss makes her favorite foot cream of all time, formulated with mint to soothe aching feet and AHAs to remove dead skin.

Moroccanoil Hand Cream

Moroccanoil Hand Cream

Moroccanoil Hand Cream, $28.00; at Ben and Tournesol in Montreal and luxury spas and fine salons across Canada.

Yep, Moroccanoil makes body products now, and their hand cream is really good: very moisturizing but very light. It sinks in quickly and the scent is gorgeously beachy.

4. A powerhouse anti-aging product

Now, here's where we get into the hard-core stuff. The beauty crack. Like I said, in my pre-beauty editor days, my mom used to default to whatever skincare Clinique happened to be selling—and most often, just that plain yellow moisturizer in the square bottle. Now, she's somewhat of an anti-aging skincare expert in that she's tested a zillion things (all of which would be way too rich for my complexion, so thanks, Mom!).

There are tons of prodz she loves, but more often than not it's these two brands that she thinks make the most difference to her skin. Perhaps you'd like to consider them for your mom, too?

StriVectin-SD for Sensitive Skin

StriVectin-SD for Sensitive Skin

StriVectin-SD for Sensitive Skin, $89.00; click here to learn more and purchase.

Remember a few years back when everybody went crazy for the original StriVectin—a stretch mark cream that was discovered to have wrinkle-reducing benefits? Now, there's a whole lineup of products including this sensitive skin version. My mom had noticed the original was slightly irritating, so if in doubt go for this one. She says it really works!

Prevage Night Anti-Aging Restorative Cream

Prevage Night Anti-Aging Restorative Cream

 Prevage Night Anti-Aging Restorative Cream, $160.00 (US$132.00); at Elizabeth Arden counters or click here to purchase.

Another mom fave, this is a night cream that combines top-of-the-line anti-aging benefits with a rich texture and high-tech packaging—no finger dipping required. (If the price is a bit steep, any other option in the Prevage line will also impress!)

5. A luxe new lip shade

If you suspect your mom has fallen into a bit of a makeup rut—or just hasn't had the time or inclination to investigate the new and amazing lippies out there, then Mother's Day is the perfect occasion to make some gentle suggestions.

First of all, let's talk tech. Even if she shied away from lip colour before, she needs to know that there are formulas now that are completely different to even five years ago: non-drying, lightweight and sheer. I don't quite know what to call them, but they're basically hybrids of lip balm, gloss and lipstick, all rolled in one.

One of the nicest choices in this category comes to us from Chanel. (Plus: who doesn't want to receive Chanel?!)

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine, $39.00 each; at Chanel counters.

I have these in so many colours and you can't go wrong!

I also love the YSL version, which is similar:

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Sheer Candy Gloss Balm Crystal Color

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy Gloss Balm Crystal Color

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Sheer Candy Gloss Balm Crystal Color, $39.00 each; click here to learn more and purchase.

The great thing about this category is the array of colours: you can go subtle OR bold. So see if you can get your mom to mix things up a little. Obviously start her on a pale pink or peach if she currently doesn't wear anything on her lips. But if she's already into lip colour, then mix things up! If she likes bold red, try her with a softer pink... or if she wears subtle shades already, encourage her to brighten things up with a berry or a sheer red. Fun, right? (Or am I the only one who loves subjecting her mother to a "makeover"?)

Tell me:

What will YOU be gifting your mom this year?
Have you tried any of these products or services yet?
What's the best beauty gift you ever received?