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The Best Beauty Gifts

Mirror, Mirror

Luscious lotions, sweet scents and refreshing cleansers -- everyone loves beauty products so before the season of giving ends, why not get a beauty product for loved ones who have everything? Here are some of the city’s best beauty buys.

Boys Boys Boys
Men are buying themselves more beauty products these days. Phara Petrie, Beauty Buyer at eLUXURY.com, a high-end online store, can attest. “Shaving products are very popular gift items this year. Men are taking care of themselves now,” she told us.

Dads and refined men like a close shave and The Art of Shaving Compact Shaving Kit ($260) is just what they need. The brush made of pure badger hair exfoliates the skin while creating a rich lather, and the triple-bladed razor leaves skin soft and smooth. Caswell-Massey’s Presidential Soap Collection ($22) may also please your manly man. George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy enjoyed the triple-milled bath soaps -- their favorite scents were Number Six, Almond Cold Cream, and Jockey Club respectively.

If you’re shopping for a man who doesn’t usually buy beauty products, Kiehl’s is a good bet. The products are great for those with sensitive skin and the packaging is reminiscent of an old-fashioned pharmacy item so even non-metrosexuals give in to the luxury. Try the Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream ($14) and the Multi-Purpose Facial Formula For Men ($20.50) or spring for a gift set like the Ultimate Man Collection ($45.50) which includes the Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap with bran, oatmeal, and citrus extracts; the Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream for an exhilarating shave; the Facial Fuel, an energizing moisturizer; a fortifying Protein Concentrate Shampoo for dry to normal hair; and the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve for dry and active hands.

For men in touch with their feminine side, Nancy Boy, the Castro’s version of the Body Shop, is full of pretty lotions, fragrances, and accessories. We like the bath salts, body wash, soap, and the wood-handled bath brush in the Rub A Dub Tub gift set ($50).

Maher Muhawieh, owner of beauty store Madkat, stocks a range of items that would make men happy. For irritation-prone skin, he recommends the Terax Prax Shaving Cream ($12.49) because “the alcohol opens up pores, it’s very moisturizing, and leaves no build-up on your razor.” He also suggests the Baxter Super Close Share Formula Shave Cream ($10) as it protects skin from razor burns and irritation. As for shampoos, Muhawieh likes the mint smell and coconut oil in the American Crew Citrus Mint Shampoo ($12). “It doesn’t weigh down hair and it’s great for getting rid of impurities on your scalp,” he told us.

Finally, homebodies will enjoy the warm scents created by local perfumer, elizabethW. Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Stone, and Danielle Steel may be fans, there are still plenty of gift options for men. Michael Lindsay at elizabethW recommends the grassy, earthy scent of the Vetiver bath gel, soap, and Eau de Parfum or the refreshing grapefruit fragrance of the Citrus Vervain line.

Sugar and Spice
Like shoes, girls can never have too many beauty products. This season, “the trend is really sparkly, glittery, lots of shine, gold and silver, for packaging as well as the actual product”, Petrie told us. She recommends the gold or silver Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler With Case ($37) and the Trish McEvoy Gold Beauty Emergency Card ($28.50). Packaged in a cute quilted case, the smoky eye shadow and shimmery lip colors are everything a girl needs.

Add a twinkle to your woman’s eye with Benefit’s Swinging Sweeties ($28) -- a set of three shades of loose sparkle powders. Girly girls will also love the Bathina gift set ($54) in which they’ll find the velvety Body So Fine body balm, the Touch Me Then Try To Leave body lotion and a satin shower cap.

Help a sleep-deprived friend by giving her Benefit’s Realness of Concealness set ($28) which includes the Ooh La Lift (a firming balm for eyes), Lip Plump, High Beam (a pink highlighter to apply on eyes and cheeks for a shimmery look), and mini pans of Lemon-aid (eye shadow) and Boi-ing (concealing cream). Apply a small dose of each and get rid of tired looks and imperfections in no time. As of writing, the gift set is only available online but will hit stores in January.

Thanks to travel-size Passport’s Lipsticket ($16), girly world travelers can forget about jet lag and airplane looks. The pack of 30 tickets are filled with just enough lipstick to quickly freshen up before customs. Shades come in Après Skied in the Alps, Catwalked in Milan, and Passionate in Paris.

When it comes to fragrances, we like the sweet scents of elizabethW Eau de Parfum. The mix of magnolia and gardenia of the Magnolia Eau de Parfum is our favorite ($32). We also recommend the delicate fragrance of Fresh Milk Bath ($32). For a more neutral scent, try the Kai Body Buffer ($28). The puff is infused with a light blend of exotic perfumes and natural essences, which makes every wash a tropical treat. Finally, if you’re getting a fragrance for someone who thinks store-bought fragrances are passé, Yosh Han, a local perfumer, can create a custom-made scent. The $500 price tag is hard to ignore but price, like calories, don’t count in December. You’ll have plenty of time to think about these things come January.

Visit www.elizabethW.com or call 415-351-2800. Products can also be found at the stores below:

Dandelion
http://www.tampopo.com

Gump's
http://www.gumps.com

Shu Uemura
http://www.shuuemura-usa.com

Kiehl’s
http://www.kiehls.com

Passport Cosmetics can be found at http://www.passportcosmetics.com or at these stores:

Abigail Morgan
http://www.abigailmorgan.com

Sephora
http://www.sephora.com

Benefit Cosmetics
2117 Fillmore St

Madkat
915 Cole Street

Caswell-Massey
http://www.caswellmassey.com

www.eLUXURY.com
1-877-890-7171