NEW YORK — At holiday time, beauty and pampering abound in collections of products for men and women.
Gift sets combining different types of products from one company are common in limited editions, sometimes with an extra gift thrown in like a bonus scrubber or a reusable bag or pouch. Other sets include the same type of product — lipsticks, for example — in a variety of shades.
Either way, a gift recipient is sure to smile when digging into a Christmas stocking, unwrapping a box of favourite products or being treated to soaps, scents, bath salts or cosmetics from a new source.
This small company in Vancouver, British Columbia, has moved into soap bars and bath salts. Its Palo Santo Package set includes a small bundle of wood from a tree of the same name grown in South America. When burned, the smoke is believed to have healing properties. There's also a Calming Mist that combines the scent of the Palo Santo with rose, along with Woodlot's black Original Charcoal Nourishing Soap Bar. Available at Shopwoodlot.com for $35.
JO MALONE LONDON
The company is going wider with an Advent Calendar full of to-die gems tucked behind 24 windows. There's a scent for just about anybody in colognes, body and hand washes, and body creams. Day 1 offers a wood sage and sea salt cologne. Also included: A scent in blackberry and bay. There's lime basil paired with mandarin, rose scents, grapefruit, nectarine coupled with honey, Earl Grey with cucumber, and nutmeg combined with ginger, among others. Available at Jomalone.com for $430.
There's not a fashionista alive who would frown at a gift of makeup brushes. Nars offers the Full Service Mini Kabuki Brush Set of four as part of a collaboration with fashion photographer Steve Klein. The brushes, in black, serve the eyes, cheeks and face for sculpting and shading. Available exclusively at NARS boutiques and Narscosmetics.com for $95.
In need of a quick grab? Look for the Days of the Week Lipstick set of, you guessed it, seven shades. These are Clinique's Long Last Soft Shine silver tubes, from a bright coral called Take-On Tuesday to a rich red dubbed Sassy Saturday. Every mood and occasion is covered. Sunday is sweet, Monday is mojo and Thursday is, of course, throwback. Each colour is shown on the interior of the gift box. Available at Clinique counters and Clinique.com for $39.50.
The Sweet Temptations Ambre Vanille Luxe Body Collection includes four products centred on two of Mercier's favourite notes — amber and vanilla — in a milk honey bath, creamy body wash, moisturizer and eau do toilette, all housed in a great tortoise-swirl design of a box. A wooden honey dipper is included. Other fragrant notes include tangerine and musky sandalwood. Available at select cosmetics counters and Lauramercier.com for $75.
Sometimes the box gift is all about the box. If you're looking for a little luxury for the travelling man who has everything, try one of this company's double-zip Dapper Dopp Kits in colored alligator, complete with generous compartments. Five rich colours are available, including black, brown and a royal blue. Each element is handmade in Italy. Yes, this is real American alligator — not faux — just FYI. Available at select boutiques and at Hljames.com for $3,495.
The Jack Black Super Set will please a mega-manscaper. It contains 15 full-size bestsellers in a handwoven box made of leaves from the pandan tree. Just about every part of his face is covered. There's a cleanser, beard conditioner, scrub, power peel, hair gel, lip balm, sunscreen and eye booster serum, among more. An online exclusive at Getjackblack.com for $250.
Introduce your man to La Mer luxe with the Men's Essentials set. It will tone, treat and moisturize. There's a lotion, eye concentrate and cleansing gel, along with a lip balm, in a green zip travel case. He doesn't know what La Mer is? There's nothing like a gift-giving holiday to educate. Available at Cremedelamer.com for $310.
KIEHL'S SINCE 1851
In a partnership with Costello Tagliapietra, the fashion design duo of Robert Tagliapietra and Jeffrey Costello, is born the Ultimate Man Full Body Refuelling Set. It contains a face wash, brushless shave cream, moisturizer, body scrub soap, hand salve and a no-shine lip balm, all packaged in plaid — a trademark of the two designers — with a tidy red bow. Available at Kiehls.com for $59.
Most men have a shaving routine set in stone, but they may be open to trying new cleansers, masks and scrubs. Wrap up the nifty little sampler from Origins called A Pure Thing Set. It includes a frothy face wash, along with a charcoal-based mask, body wash and body scrub. Available at Origins.com for $35.
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Leanne Italie, The Associated Press