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Still searching for that last minute gift?  Here are some of my favorite things to give (and get) this holiday season:

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1.  Rimowa suitcases: For the traveler on your list! I’m partial to the Salsa Deluxe series, their light weight hard shell and eight wheels (!) mean that you can navigate this bag at full capacity with merely a singer finger. Love the carry-on styles too as they allow you to push the bag down the airplane aisle sideways thereby not knocking every seat along the way! Don’t be fooled by the hard case construction either. These bags pack way more than you’d expect!

2.  S’well reusable bottle: I’m a yogi who packs a water bottle with me for my daily morning practice. This non-toxic, insulated bottle keeps cold water cold for up to 24 hours (for real) and hot for twelve. I like the stone collection and love that they don’t sweat, look fab, and that they give back to WaterAid with every purchase.

3.  I have a Vitamix blender on my wish list this year, the only question is which one? The fact that this powerful blender can turn your fresh fruits and veggies into oh-so-good-for-you juice and combine a soup and serve it hot or a frosty cold ice-cream, well, who needs any other appliance?

4.  My six year old daughter will be unwrapping Planet Earth:The Complete Series this holiday. If she’s going to have screen time this high-definition backstage pass to the animal kingdom is it.

5.  OK, maybe not for Grandma, but everyone else on my list is getting a copy of Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck. A longtime fan of their blog, they have finally pulled together their budget conscious real food healthy recipes into one awesome volume keeping me laughing while nourishing and detoxifying my bod. F*ck yeah.

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6.  How about gifting a subscription to Birchbox and giving your favorite beauty a sampling of five high-end beauty brands monthly? Yes please!

7.  The gift that keeps on giving, a weekly subscription to Blue Apron sends pre-portioned fresh ingredients and simple cooking instructions direct to their door. No more TV dinners or popcorn for dinner because they don’t have the time to assemble a meal. (Mom, this means you!)

8.  Books might be my favorite thing to gift any time of year and this season I will be gifting Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand just in time for its movie debut, and Anjelica Huston’s new memoir, Watch Me: A Memoir, should keep them up all night with stories of her rise to fame and her long term relationship with Jack Nicholson. I can hardly wait.

9.  My brother asked me recently why I wasn’t a movie producer considering how much I love the cinema. Before children I would sometimes go to the theater 4 times a week, and I prefer the experience to watching at home, especially with today’s stadium assigned seating and gourmet goodies. I’d love an AMC or Landmark gift card in my stocking on December 25.

10.  And for any New York-bound friends this holiday, why not tickets to Broadway? Some lucky girl on my list will have an evening at Beautiful, the Carole King musical. Saw it, loved it, cried through it all and left feeling inspired. What better gift is there than an experience with friends that connects and inspires.

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS (IN 3 OZ. OR LESS)

By guest blogger Nicole Caruso of The City Girl in Me

Whenever I travel, I simplify my beauty routine down to the most versatile products and keep them tucked into this sleek Stephanie Johnson zip case.

With an upcoming trip to the cosmopolitan city of Santiago, Chile, I wanted to make sure I pack items that could take me from sightseeing by day to candlelit dinners by night.  What I love most about this SJ bag is how it also works double duty for daytime outings (passport, lip balm, concealer) and nighttime strolls with the chic gold wristlet attachment.

Here are some products I keep in my carry-on to look flawless, hydrated, and glowing, even with jet lag.

1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid SPF 70.  This lightweight formula is perfect to wear everyday and keep skin from harsh sun, while marveling over city sights.

2. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge.  Both a creamy cheek tint and lip color in one, Uber Beige adds shimmer-free bronze warmth to the skin in a few swipes.

3. Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm.  Whether sunburn or chapped lips hit, this balm will soothe and heal.

4. Benefit High Beam.   Get the I’m-on-vacation-glow:  dot and blend this on the inner corners of the eyes, brow bones, cheekbones, and the cupid’s bow.

5.  Choward’s Lemon Mints.  Old school candy never gets old, just make sure and save some for a post-flight pick-me-up.

6. Jouer Lip Gloss.  With one swipe, the hydrating formula in Birchbox Pink gives a pop of color for day, and can be layered into a deeper hue for cocktail hour.

7. L’Occitane Hand Cream.  10+ hours in flight is drying to the skin, and this rich cream moisturizes without getting greasy.

8. Sephora Waterproof Liner.  Creamy, waterproof eyeliner in a rich brown gives the lash line definition for day without smearing, and can be reapplied and smudged into a Sophia Loren cat eye for night.

9. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara.  Nothing widens eyes like super-black, volume-boosting, lengthening mascara.

10. Makeup Forever HD Concealer.  This HD concealer is the more pigmented mini-version of the HD foundation, so conceal a little or a lot and leave the big bottle at home.

11. Harvey Prince Yogini Perfume.  Since it is still summer in Chile, a heavy scent won’t do.  This fragrance is the perfect balance of sweetness and spice — one spritz for day and two for night.

12. Tools:  Hairpin & Tweezers.  A hairpin is a must for long-haired ladies and keeps hair back, unlike damaging elastics.  Brows look best when groomed, which makes a mini Tweezerman very useful.

The best part:  all of these beauty all-stars are under the TSA 3 oz. limit.  Happy jet-setting!

BIO

Nicole Caruso writes The City Girl in Me, a fashion and beauty blog for women looking to bring out their inner “City Girl”–  a style savvy, budget conscious, hard working girl who wants to look her best in order to feel her best.  Her mission is to guide women to become their ideal, while shopping everywhere from the thrift store to Saks.

Nicole has been enamored with fashion and beauty since the tender age of 2, when her stylish mom introduced her to her Coco Chanel perfume, Lancome lipstick, and Oscar de la Renta silk scarves.  She has since been pouring over magazine spreads and memorizing outfit ideas.  Nicole draws inspiration from art, period fashion, film, and her worldwide travels.  She has worked for a New York fashion house and backstage at Fall Fashion Week, while also freelancing as a makeup artist for weddings and special events.  The City Girl in Me is the place where Nicole shares her expertise on all things fashion & beauty, such as current trends, style tips, makeup application and more.

Find more of Nicole’s musings on PinterestCurrently ObsessedTwitter & Facebook.

 

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