Cool, new beauty products for holiday gifting

100 years ago, an orange was considered a fine holiday gift and maybe, a bonus pair of new socks. But today, the promise of something fresh and new is an exciting part of the presents we give. Time for self-care and the encouragement to take it shows a deeper understanding — memorable long after the present is gone. Beauty products are relaxing and fun! Here are a few new, interesting ones I was happy to be hosted to experience.

A terrific idea for a stocking stuffer — it will fill it up completely! — is the new Dr. Natural Activated Charcoal Soap in Citrus. It comes with a pump and you can use it as a hand soap or body soap in the shower. Charcoal is a hot new, but ancient, cleanser. It draws out all the toxins. They blend it with rich, organic shea butter, for moisturizing. The soap is black and shimmery, with a silky consistency. The appealing fragrance is an orange-lemon combo, very refreshing. Dr. Natural’s company ethos is to be community-focused, environmentally conscious, and wallet-friendly.

Mum & You is a British company made up of moms! They are modern moms, making environmentally-friendly, high-quality products. Baby Explorer Wind Dribble Drizzle Stick is useful for we grownups, too! This twist-up salve has solid sunflower and coconut oils, shea butter and beeswax. The fragrance is very subtle, natural to the ingredients. It applies smoothly, yet richly. It adds moisture, without tackiness, to hands, windburned faces, even crinkles around eyes and on lips. Perfect to tote to the office, the gym, hiking!

HydroPeptide is one of those cult brands that those in the know . . . know! This is skincare formulated by a geneticist working to stop the ravages of time. But this isn’t some clinical, boring line: they specifically infuse spa-quality and luxury into the formulations.

Even in the newer product category of sleep masks, Hydro-Lock Sleep Mask Royal Peptide Treatment is a game changer. In case you’re unfamiliar with sleep masks, face masks have come a long way since those hard cracking clay things of pajama parties. Nor is Hydro-Lock Sleep Mask plastic-y, sticky or gummy. Instead, it incorporates an activated water, peptides and Royal Jelly — the food that the Queen Bee eats. Well, don’t you want to be like a Queen Bee? It’s a light, silky, lemony concoction that absorbs right into the complexion — it won’t gunk up your sheets. In the morning, you wake up hydrated, not greasy.

Are you like I am, with a big jar or drawer of lip balms? And yet, we keep searching for the Holy Grail. That’s because we needed to re-think what we need and what we want. Especially this time of year, when we have central heat on and might be suffering from colds and cold medicine, lip care comes more to the forefront. Healing is crucial. But we also want gorgeously plumped lips, too! LipLock Hydrator Peptide Infused Lip Mask is meant for sleepy time, but you could wear it in the day, too. Fruit oils and flower waxes, along with VoluLip Peptide Complex do the trick. It has a subtle vanilla-cocoa butter scent and a cocoa butter consistency.

It’s funny: we’ll baby our faces, even holding magnifying mirrors up to them, to see every single pore. Yet, when it comes to our bodies, we slap some lotion on after a shower and call it a day. Then, we cross our fingers, just hoping we look appealing in our swimsuits on vacation! But imagine a toner that’s almost a primer, to tone your body and hold onto your body cream. Crepe Erase — you’ve seen their infomercials with the gorgeous stars “of a certain age” — has a new product to add to our beauty arsenal. Hydrating Body Toning Mist has a light, fresh, outdoorsy scent. It is a moisturizing mist, not like the type of toners you use to clear makeup off your face.  It has their famous TruFirm complex to plump up crepey skin, with oils and acids of apple, dill and sage.

Castor oil has been used by people for health and well being for at least 4,000 years — that’s the farthest back the written records go. Tested by time! Instead of the hideously expensive, mystery ingredient lash potions that have flooded the market or begging your doc for a Latisse prescription, you should be using the purest ingredients near your precious eyes. Sky Organics has a simple, yet perfect way to condition your eyelashes: Organic Castor Oil Eyelash Enhancer Serum. The rich oil contains vitamins and fatty acids. Contact wearers should take out their contacts before application. Each container holds a dropper bottle of oil — it will last so long, as you only need a drop or two! — along with eyeliner brushes to use on brows and spoolies for lashes. This is cold-pressed, organic oil, hexane and additive-free.

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