Present Day

With the holiday season upon us, W picks the beauty gifts that are sure to dazzle.


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Home for the Holidays Slatkin & Co. The Perfect Christmas candle in Tree blends notes of vanilla with crisp Douglas fir for an unapologetically seasonal aroma that evokes the scent of cookies baking on Christmas Eve. $16.50;

Like Butter Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Parisian Red (available in December) is as creamy as its moniker suggests. And because the shade is a tad pinker than a classic rouge, it’s especially flattering against fair skin. $14;

Uncommon Scents Fledgling New York company Nest Fragrances’ Luxury Votive set of 13 pint-size candles offers an unusually fun assortment of aromas. Quirky combinations such as Moss & Mint, Wasabi Pear, and Wild Oats & Bourbon are surprisingly appealing, while the clove and cinnamon–scented Holiday (shown here) lends a festive touch to the mix. $98 for the set; at Neiman Marcus.

What a Pill Florence, Italy, pharmacy brand Santa Maria Novella’s lovely new pillbox is just the thing for storing Aleve or more outlandish remedies like the company’s own anti-hysteria drops (actually a cinnamon, spearmint and peppermint-flavored lozenge), perfect for taking the edge off the impending arrival of in-laws. $52;

Small Packages Nicky Kinnaird is famous for stocking her Space NK beauty boutiques with a discerning eye. This season, she’s put her nose to the test by designing a new Space NK fragrance line. The four eaux de toilette, including the feminine jasmine-and-amber hybrid Jasamber, are housed in chunky, palm-size bottles that were created in collaboration with design whiz Fabien Baron. $70;

Band Together Bumble and Bumble’s new Bb.Bandball is a slightly more grown-up take on the nostalgic rubber-band ball. The handy orb is made of 100 brightly colored hair elastics, and it bounces just like the real thing. $20;

Cool Jewel Judith Leiber made its name with structural, stone-bedecked minaudières, so it’s no wonder that the company is dressing up its house fragrance in a sparkling pink crystal costume for the holidays. The solid scent, simply called Leiber, is a sophisticated blend of rose, gardenia, mimosa and mandarin notes. $185; at Neiman Marcus.

Got the Blues For Proenza Schouler’s fall 2008 fashion show, makeup artist Dick Page, Shiseido’s creative director, blended teal and blue to create a colorfully exaggerated smoky eye. Shiseido The Makeup Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow in Proenza Schouler Blue captures the pleasing peacock azure that waltzed down the runway. $23;

Photo Finish Shu Uemura tapped Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa to add a high-art bent to its holiday cosmetics collection. Ninagawa, who is known for her liberal use of color, chose an especially cheerful composition for the outside of the Adorned Marguerite eye palette. Inside, rainbow- bright shadows offer infinite options for artistic expression. $65;

Warm Embrace Frédéric Malle called on Maurice Roucel to create Dans Tes Bras, which means “in your arms.” The ultrafeminine fragrance aims to imitate the smell of bare skin by blending cashmeran (a synthetic note that smells of musk, wood and resin) with violet for a softly sweet and powdery aroma. $220;

Lip Service The scarlet hue of Rock & Republic Cosmetics Noir Lip Gloss in Femme Fatale wears as a sheer cherry that gives puckers a becoming flush of color. $40 (with lip brush);

Too Hot to Handle The beauty tools in MAC Adoring Carmine: 4 Face Brushes are about as sexy as makeup applicators get. The travel-size set of fire-engine red brushes includes the indulgently soft and supple contour brush. It’s fabulous for creating the appearance of cheekbones without leaving tell-tale makeup streaks behind. $50 for the set;

Cult Classic When Issey Miyake brewed his refreshing lily and lotus– scented L’Eau d’Issey in 1990, he asked Japanese architect Shiro Kuramata to design the bottle. Manufacturing techniques at the time couldn’t realize the architect’s vision, but fortunately things have changed, and the bottle for L’Eau d’Issey Shiro Kuramata Limited Edition Perfumes is fashioned after the late innovator’s original concept. $350; at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Floral Arrangement B de Boucheron Parfum, a more concentrated version of the jewelry house’s B de Boucheron Eau de Parfum, boasts the same bouquet of orange blossom, rose and apricot–scented osmanthus notes. Hints of upscale patch­ouli, Australian sandalwood and Moroccan cedar keep all those girly flowers in check. $250; at Neiman Marcus.

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