Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Manly Gifts for Your Main Man: Leather Goods

There’s something innately masculine about the look and feel and smell of leather. And there are so many handsome leather accessories that you can gift on Father’s Day, at all price points. A belt or wallet is always welcome. Check out these other sumptuous leather goods that will make Dad swoon.

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Ghurka Satchel No. 17, Vintage Chestnut Leather Briefcase, $1,295

Ghurka makes some of the finest, most stylish leather accessories available. I have this exact bag myself; it’s perfect for my laptop. This satchel has seen me through college and aesthetician school, as well as many jobs and lots of travel. You can wear it crossbody with the accompanying padded shoulder strap below, or carry it by its handles.

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When you invest in a Ghurka, you are buying an heirloom-quality piece. A bag like this will last you a lifetime, and as the leather ages, it just becomes more and more beautiful. Each and every scuff and scratch simply give it more character.

Fashion legend Coco Chanel said, “The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive.” And Ghurka is expensive, yes, but it’s also worth every cent.

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Ghurka Magnetic Money Clip, No. 134, $145

For the man who prefers discreet cash-only transactions, this magnetic money clip fits the bill, literally. The minimalist’s solution to an overstuffed wallet. A perfect Ghurka gift for Dad.

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Ralph Lauren also makes exceptional leather goods. The sophisticated executive would most certainly appreciate tasteful desk accessories, such as the alligator-embossed leather pencil cup above, $95, or a pair of Ralph Lauren bookends, $295, below, for his library.

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Lastly, you can always buy a beautiful leather frame for his desk or a wallet with a picture of you inside. Remember though, you don’t have to spend a fortune on quality leather goods. I urge you to check eBay and discount stores, such as TJ Maxx, for luxury gifts that are also affordable. The last thing Dad wants is for you to max out your credit card for him. The truest gifts come from the ♥!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Father’s Day Presents: Clothing for Him…And You!

There’s something charmingly androgynous about a girl borrowing a man’s clothing–whether you sleep in his Hanes t-shirt, wear your boyfriend’s perfectly distressed jeans, or borrow Dad’s leather jacket. Here’s a collection of Father’s Day gifts that are wearable and shareable!

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Old School

A vintage t-shirt of his favorite band or a sweatshirt with his favorite sports team is a hip, inexpensive gift that will look great on you, too, like this Nirvana tee $19.99, pictured above. What are you saying with such a gift? You’re telling him that you understand him, which is what every man ultimately wants.

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Classic

A men’s cardigan sweater is another guy gift you can both wear. If it fits him perfectly, it will be perfectly oversized for you! Check out this cozy Façonnable beauty above, in handsome navy from Nordstrom.

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Or stick with a sporty yet luxurious cashmere hoodie, above, by Marc Jacobs, also from Nordstrom.

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Cool

A fine leather jacket–be it couture or casual–will make Dad look like a million bucks, and you can wear it too! I’m absolutely obsessed with the Balmain calf-hair biker jacket above left, $5,655 at Bergdorf Goodman, as well as the Ferrari motorcycle jacket, above right, $1,870, also at Bergdorf Goodman. Hot. But you need not spend a fortune on a leather jacket. You can get a smokin’ deal on eBay, like the one below. It’s a Michael Kors bomber jacket, new with tags, which retails for $600 but is selling on eBay for $375. Not bad.

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Be sure to read the item description very carefully with regard to size, style and materials. Make sure you check the seller’s return policy. A great idea is to have Dad try on a leather jacket in the stores before ordering a similar brand or style online. Also remember to review the seller’s ratings so you have a good idea as to their reputation on eBay. This is very important. If you know how to shop, you can save big bucks on eBay, where someone’s loss is Dad’s gain.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Father’s Day Fragrance & Grooming Gifts

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Every man wants to look and smell his best, but let’s face it, there’s a flurry of products out there, and unless your Dad is a licensed aesthetician, he might be at a loss for the best in fragrance and grooming. That’s where we come in. Here, a list of the ultimate in fragrance and grooming products for that special man in your life: Dear Old Dad.

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Philip B. Nordic Wood Hair & Body Shampoo, $35

I cannot rave enough about the Philip B. line of hair and body products, and the Nordic Wood Hair & Body Shampoo, above, is one of my all-time favorites! Who knew that this elixir, which smells like fresh eucalyptus, is equally appropriate for women as it is for men? I just love the one-stop efficiency of a hair and body shampoo–and this one is magic–from the Houdini of Hair, Mr. Philip B. A small amount yields an intense, voluptuous lather. With a 6% herbaceous blend of pure botanical extracts, it’s spiked with Norwegian Spruce, Balsam Fir, White Pine, Cedarwood and Camphor (which makes showering a tingling experience!) It’s truly invigorating! I hope and pray that Philip B. will never discontinue this fabulous product. It’s beyond incredible. Perfect for low-maintenance men (and women) who also love luxurious preparations for hair, scalp and skin.

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Tam Dao cologne, $88 for 50 ml/$120 for 100 ml

I love my Tam Dao! Did I say my Tam Dao? I meant, my husband’s Tam Dao. This is my favorite men’s fragrance ever–so much so that I love wearing it myself. Sweet yet masculine, it’s rich with earthy notes of sandalwood and smells great on anyone. That may sound like a broad statement, but it’s true. I have never smelled another fragrance quite like Tam Dao. It’s completely unique, just like Dad. Every man should smell this good.

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The Art of Shaving Black Badger Brush, $55

Is there an art to shaving? Yes! The Art of Shaving products elevate a tiresome chore into a spa experience. This badger brush is the first step in his shaving ritual. It gently exfoliates the skin while softening and lifting the beard, preparing it for the closest of shaves.

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The Art of Shaving Soap with Wooden Bowl, $50

This solid soap-in-a-bowl produces a generous lather worthy of a proper shave. Formulated with glycerin and coconut oil, it generates a rich lather when used with a shaving brush and hot water. The lather protects the skin and softens the beard while providing an extremely close shave. The soaps come in elegant teak wood bowls, which can be refilled.

This soap comes in three masculine scents: sandalwood, lemon, and lavender, but if you are unsure, buy the lavender–it’s a natural antiseptic, great for preventing ingrown hairs!

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The Art of Shaving After-Shave Balm, $40

This after-shave balm, formulated with shea butter and a touch of grapeseed extract, moisturizes and revitalizes to promote healthy looking skin. Antiseptic and alcohol-free.

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Rodan + Fields Redefine Brightening Hand Treatment, $32

If he’s grown accustomed to hard work, the least you can give him is soft hands. So many men are plagued with parched hands and miserably dry cuticles, and nothing seems to remedy it. Relief is in sight! This Rodan + Fields peptide-rich hand treatment is the solution. It’s rich in the best emollients and oils, yet doesn’t feel greasy because it dries to a silky powdered finish due to a unique ingredient: corn starch. Dad will love the way his hands feel!

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Rodan + Fields Redefine Eye Cloths, $29

Another brilliant product from Rodan + Fields, these peptide-drenched eye cloths are perfect for his gym bag. After a sweaty game of racquetball or an afternoon golfing, he can tidy up with a swipe of these gentle conditioning cloths, which are perfect for the entire face. And ladies, if you’ve never removed your eye makeup with one of these soothing wipes, you are in for a treat! This product makes the eye area look fresh, open and rested. After just one use, you’ll both be hooked…An ingenious unisex grooming product from two of the greatest names in dermatology: Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields.

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Laura Mercier Lip Silk, $22

Makeup artist Laura Mercier has created a matte lip conditioner that exfoliates and hydrates without leaving a greasy mess, so Dad’s lips will stay hydrated, soft and smooth. Available at department stores.

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Diptyque Candle in Baies, $60

Soothe his spirit with the powers of aromatherapy. This fabulous candle will transform any space into a veritable sanctuary–a garden of blooming flowers. You just haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the aroma of a Diptyque candle burning in your bedroom. Every celebrity is said to have their favorite scent in this high-end line of French home fragrances. Baies (pronounced, simply, BAY) is favored by the one and only legend, Francis Ford Coppola. The powerful scent lasts for hours. What can I say? I love it too. Diptyque candles are a guaranteed pleaser!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Father’s Day Gifts for Dad: Tools, Gadgets & Accessories

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16, and sometimes it seems difficult to think of the perfect present for your main man. Is this because Dad doesn’t have any exciting interests? Or because he really doesn’t want anything at all? Chances are, it’s more likely that he just doesn’t articulate his cravings as easily as the female species, leaving the rest of us at a loss for ideas.

But all that’s going to change when you read about these creative gifts for your Papi this Father’s Day. It’s the ultimate collection of things guys desire. Today’s list of gifts are within the genre of tools, gadgets and accessories, but we have tons more ideas on the way, so keep checking back as we countdown to Father’s Day!

Toys for Boys

Guys love tools, gadgets and accessories, and the more unique and specialized, the better. Of course power tools will always excite…anything that buzzes or grinds is certain to please; but here are some fabulous little morsels as well…toys for all kinds of boys!

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Victorinox Swiss Army Knife ‘Climber’, $40. What man would not adore all the functions of a Swiss Army Knife? This one’s got a cap lifter, wirestripper, toothpick, reamer, corkscrew, scissors, can opener, tweezers, two different sized screwdrivers and two blades all in one cool tool! He’ll love playing with it! Designed for the man who wants to carry it all without the bulk, the Climber has a lifetime warranty, stainless steel implements and Swiss-made quality and durability. It’s so doggone handy you’ll likely find yourself borrowing it from him!

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For the foodie: cooking gadgets are an ideal gift, like this Rösle Digital Instant Read Thermometer, $45. In stainless steel featuring an easy-to-read illuminated digital display that measures in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, Rösle’s instant-read thermometer is a must-have for everyday cooking. It quickly checks roasts, deep-fry oil, infant food, even wine for serving and water for making tea. Perfect for outdoor grilling, too!

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Ah, Montblanc. Excuse me, but this is not a pen. It’s a writing instrument. The fine craftsmanship of a Montblanc will set him apart from all the other chumps out there who are still signing checks the uncivilized way. You can opt for the Meisterstück LeGrand in black resin above, $450, with gold-plated details–it’s a Montblanc classic. Free engraving makes it extra special. Or splurge on a limited edition, like the diamond- and sapphire-encrusted Boheme Papillon, below, valued at 180,000 Euros! Either way, Dad is sure to leave his mark with the utmost elegance.

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Paloma’s Caliper money clip, $325, above left, and Paloma’s Caliper key ring, $250.

Paloma Picasso, youngest daughter of artist Pablo Picasso, has created a money clip and matching key chain for the discerning man. It is her and her husband’s passion for classic cars and racing that is highlighted in this clever collection named for an essential automobile part: the caliper. Fashioned in stainless steel and midnight titanium, both are original designs copyrighted by Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co. Buy one or both; he’ll be delighted either way.

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Foursevens makes the ultimate flashlights for the man who wants to see everything clearly. These things come in remarkably handy for all your late-night adventures. The Mini ML, above, is priced right at $39, and at just 2.3 inches, fits easily on his keychain…or he can stash it in the car. But don’t let the compact size fool you–these little things are powerful! With three brightness levels, it’s a bright idea for the practical man.

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Zippo lighters come in many different materials and themes, for every price point. Whether he prefers a classic windproof lighter or a torch, he’ll absolutely light up when he unwraps this little gift. Boasting a lifetime guarantee, Zippos are easily customized for a personal touch.

Stay tuned to Beauty Shall Save the World for more great gifts for Dad at all price points…

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother’s Day Zodiac Slippers

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If you are looking for a luxe personalized gift to give Mom this Mother’s Day, look no further. Charlotte Olympia’s Birthday Zodiac Suede Smoking Slippers, $695, are a perfect fit.

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All you need to know is her size and her sign. Charlotte has created 12 styles to choose from, one for each sign in the Zodiac, uniting luxury and whimsy in these embroidered, jewel-encrusted slippers.

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My Scorpio horoscope predicts a smart purchase in my near future…

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Dozen and One Beautiful, Unique Mother’s Day Gifts At All Price Points

Mother’s Day is May 12, and if you’re looking for something special for the Grand Matriarch in your life, here is a collection of unique gifts at all price points.

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Sweet Sachets, $38. Gump’s department store has a beautiful collection of sachets to keep in her lingerie drawer or cedar chest. I am especially fond of the triplet above, made from textiles used for Japanese children’s costumes and scented with a blend of roses, orange blossoms and violets.

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Sea Sponges, $8.97. A real natural sea sponge elevates bathing into something nearly sacred. Remember, faux sea sponges, like the kind you find at Target, are not the same as real sea sponges, which are harvested conservatively from the ocean floor. A natural sea sponge will last for years if properly cleaned and cared for. NaturalBathandBodyShop.com sells a sea sponge sampler for under $10. You get three sponges, which make great gifts, especially if you bundle them with a shower gel or bubble bath. Throw in a natural loofah for an additional two bucks; it’s the perfect tool for exfoliation. Read more about sea sponges, including how to clean and care for them, here.

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Zoya Professional Nail Lacquer, $8.99. Zoya nail polishes are free of formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate and camphor. Even better, the polishes are super shiny with a long-lasting chip-free formula, and come in a seemingly endless array of tempting juicy colors and finishes. At this price you can afford to give her more than one! Buy them at Whole Foods when you pick up your organics, or go to Zoya.com to see the full collection.

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Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia Value Collection, $30. The price point on this gift set from the eco-conscious Pacifica brand makes this an irresistible choice for Mom. A $50 value, it includes a luscious body butter, fabulous body wash and the convenient one-ounce perfume spray to spoil Mom completely, and all at a bargain price. Buy it now and you get free ground shipping on orders of $25 or more through Mother’s Day!

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Eucalan Wrapture No-Rinse Delicate Wash, $13. This gentle wash comes highly recommended by my friend Luis Paredes, publisher of TheLingerieJournal.com. Made for lingerie and other delicates, it’s a no-rinse formula, meaning one less step in the washing process for Mom; plus, with night-blooming jasmine, it will scent her hand-wash-only items with the intoxicating essence of the flower. Perfect for lingerie-lovers and knitters alike!

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Branché 22 Momme 100% Silk Queen-Sized Pillowcase, $84. Where luxury meets necessity. A silk pillowcase from BeyondBeds.com has real, documented beauty benefits, plus it’s a super-luxe way to spoil her with something she’d never get herself–unless you’re me. They come in 10 beautiful colors, but the gold is so shimmeringly gorgeous I can hardly stand it!

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Brighton Coin Purses, $52. I love the whimsical leather coin purses by Brighton. They come in many witty designs, but this kitty is so cute that I just may buy it for myself!

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With a French clip top closure and clever leopard lining, Mom can keep track of all that loose change neatly and fashionably.

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UGG Fluff II Flip Flops, $79.95. I absolutely have to have these insanely comfortable-looking UGG house slippers from Nordstrom, even though I’m not a mother. In flamingo-pink shearling with a gossamer ribbon bow, they’re perfect for spa days. Add a gift certificate for a pedicure for a truly swank gift.

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Tangle Teezer, 16.99. This beauty essential detangles even the craziest snarls and backcombing, so that broken hair and split ends will be a thing of the past. Because it’s so darned cute, it’s almost hard to take the Tangle Teezer seriously, but it seriously works! A must for all Moms, kinky and straight alike! Read more about the this cool invention by celebrity hairstylist Shaun P. here.

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Sisley Soir de Lune Eau de Parfum, $188. A lingering romantic floral, Soir de Lune is not a new fragrance by Sisley, but it is new to me and I love it! Perfect for spring and summer, it’s light, sweet and elegant. In a heavy crystal bottle with an art nouveau cap, it will look sublime on her dressing table. The perfumed shower gel, $89, and perfumed body cream, $128, are pure decadence!

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Philip B. Mother’s Day Gift Sets, $28-$275. Enjoy a fat 20% discount on all Mother’s Day gift sets by Philip B. She’ll love working up a lather with Philip’s pampering elixirs–unmatched in quality–that will spoil her from head to toe! Right now there’s something on sale for every woman.

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Paper Source Custom Stamp Gift Set, $39.95. As seen in Real Simple magazine, this custom stamp is a best-seller and the elegant way for Mom to leave her mark.

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With endless design options to choose from, this stamp will dress up invitations, return address labels and all her other correspondence, and all at a smart price.

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Pepper Passion Custom Salt and Pepper Mills by Bruce Morgan, $120-$600 each. We saved the best for last! As featured in Gourmet and Sunset magazines, these fabulous salt and pepper mills, hand-crafted from luxury exotic woods, elevate any table setting to an art form. The mills are both functional and beautiful, making a grand conversation piece. Each mill is signed by the artist.

I love my pair of Zebra Wood mills so much…

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…but check out the beauties above, crafted from Rosewood Burl, $600 each!

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And of course Mom would love to try Bruce’s sampler packs of exotic salts and peppercorns from around the world. Spice up her life with these uncommon condiments!

There you have it–13 Unique Presents of Greatness for Mom on Mother’s Day!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cheap, Gorgeous and Eco-Friendly Fragrance by Pacifica

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I must confess that I have a terrible weakness for my Jo Malone colognes in Orange Blossom and Red Roses, but at $60 for one ounce, the cost to remain lusciously fragrant is a little steep. That’s why I am thrilled to have found a cost-effective addition to my fragrance collection.

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Pacifica fragrances, sold at Whole Foods markets and online, are my newest treasure. I really love the scents in this line, my favorites being the Tahitian Gardenia, inspired by Tahiti’s sacred flower, and the equally unforgettable Persian Rose.

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Wear the florals together and it’s reminiscent of walking through blooming gardens in Europe. Or try Island Vanilla, a sweet and warm scent that stands on its own. Best of all is the price. A one-ounce spray is only $22, but I absolutely love the fact that the fragrances, which come in a bevy of yummy scents, are also available in a convenient perfume roll-on, above, $12, as well as in solid form, below, $9, making them super convenient, portable and affordable!

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You can throw them in your gym bag or purse and rest assured that you’ll smell sweeter than the competition, and all at a smart price.

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The company, co-founded by the beautiful Brook Harvey-Taylor, above, is also extremely eco-conscious so you can feel good about supporting Pacifica. In addition to their partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Future’s Society–dedicated to preserving our global ocean–Pacifica recycles and uses post-consumer materials. All their boxes are 100% recyclable, and their company goal is to have zero product-manufacturing waste in their factory.

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Pacifica fragrances also come in eco-friendly soy candle form, $22, made with lead-free wicks. I am dying to try the company’s coffee/sugar detox scrub, $28, above, and their tempting variety of body butters, $15 for 8 ounces. This is an awesome value, and they’re sure to drench dry skin in much-needed moisture because they are rich in shea butter and almond oil. Perfect for a Mother’s Day gift.

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Now every woman on a budget can smell delectable 100% of the time! My work here is done.