Friday, December 8, 2017


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This is the time of year when thoughts of gifting someone special becomes a preoccupation, and often a stressful one at that.  Over the years, I’ve assembled these Holiday Gift Guides as a way to help you minimize any concerns you might have deciding on a gifting solution, by featuring suggestions on some of the season’s best and brightest gift ideas that I’ve personally used in my day-to-day routine.  Whether your holiday gifting is for Hanukkah, Christmas, housewarming, work, place of worship, Secret Santa, etc., the following gift ideas will inspire you to find that perfect gift that indulges the spirit with little to no effort.  Enjoy!

~ Products for Brightening the Season ~

Bright Endeavors ~ Light a Candle, Transform a Life, Hand Poured Soy Candles ~ Holiday Citrus, Whitebark Pine, Almond Berry Galette, and Chicago
These lovely hand-poured soy candles use pure essential oils to give each candle their distinctive and long-lasting aromas.  These candle scents are the perfect accent for the holidays and a way to safely add fragrance to a room without any toxic chemicals. The beautiful aromas burn evenly and remain to the end of the candle burn; even when the candle isn’t burning, the natural aromas are diffused into the air.  Bright Endeavors is a non-profit organization that aids moms transitioning from poverty or homelessness to self-sufficiency and work, by employing them in a job-training program while teaching them various job skills, including how to make these beautiful candles.  During the holidays, especially, the need for aiding various charitable organizations is always acute, and every purchase goes to aid the good work this wonderful agency is doing to make a difference in the lives of others.  By making a purchase of one of these lovely candles, you’re contributing to the cause and making a difference…this is a definite win-win!  For more information, visit

Clarisonic MIA 1 Skin Cleansing System
This is the ideal gift for all skin types.  The high-powered rotating brush head (300 revolutions per second) helps to stimulate circulation, while gently exfoliating and smoothing skintone; it’s also great for cleansing pores, and ridding skin of acne and blemishes, dullness and uneven skin texture.  This great facial must-have for your skincare regimen leaves skin scrupulously clean and texture refined.  For more information, visit

Crabtree & Evelyn

It wouldn’t be Christmas without giving, or receiving a thoughtful gift from Crabtree & Evelyn.  This year’s pick is their restorative Soothe & Condition Gardeners Hand Duo; the Duo contains their popular Gardeners Hand Soap and Gardeners Hand Therapy.  Power-packed healing and restorative ingredients include Aloe, Green Clover, Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Cucumber, Shea Butter, Macadamia Seed Oil, and Vitamin E; these products are also aromatherapeutic.  Whether you’re an avid gardener, the outdoors-y type, or someone who just wants a rich and therapeutic hand wash and hand lotion to keep your fragile skin supple and hydrated, this Duo is for you.  This beautiful set also comes with its own metal stand.  For more information, visit

Guerlain Météorites Pearls
Météorites Pearls has been illuminating and brightening faces since 1987.  The magical multi-colored pearls blend matte, rose, blue, and white pearls with corrective pearls of yellow, pink, and mauve; the colors blend to tone down redness, renew freshness, and refract light.  The result is a subtle and healthy glow of brightness and illumination to the face; use over foundation or powder, or wear alone for a beautiful natural result.  Guerlain includes this exceptional product in their Blanc de Perle product range for brightening and illuminating; at the heart of this product is the “Stardust Technology”, which catches light and transforms it to the naked eye with non-stop illumination.  Another plus to this exceptional product is its subtle aroma of delicate violet.  For more information, visit

Jane Iredale Holiday Makeup Collection, Dream Luminizer and Flourish Refillable Compact
Both of these must-have holiday indulgences are Limited Editions, and a unique gift for you or someone special on your gift list.  The Dream Luminizer is a sleek multi-level compact in a shiny burnished rose-gold that includes a mirror, and three gorgeous light diffusing skin illuminating powders that can be used alone or mixed together to create your own stunning brightening effects. This multi-function product can be used on face, lips, cheeks, eyes, collarbone, or décolleté.  The design of the compact is based on Jane Iredale’s clever “Steppes”, a design concept of multi-level makeup containers, joined by a hinge that swivels for ease of application. The beautiful luminescent powders include subtle iridescent colors of oyster, gold, and copper; these colors are perfect for any skintone.  Ingredients include Pearl Powder, Mica, Pine Bark Extract and Pomegranate Extract.  The Flourish Refillable Compact is a rose gold-mirrored compact that will hold any Jane Iredale PurePressed Base, Bronzer, PureMatte or Beyond Matte powders.  The compact’s sleek design is beautifully embellished with a Japanese orchid on the outside cover; convenient take-with for on-the-go touch-ups.  For more information, visit

L’Occitane en Provence Deluxe Divine Gift Set and Relaxing Lavender Collection
The Deluxe Divine Gift Set is the ultimate skincare indulgence for anyone serious about maintaining their skin with effective and high performance anti-aging products. This beautiful collection includes Immortelle Divine Cream, Divine Eyes, Divine Youth Oil, Divine Extract, Divine Lotion, and Make-Up Remover.  Healing and restorative product ingredients include Immortelle Extract, Camelina Sativa Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Rosemary, Sunflower Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Myrtle Essential Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Cabbage Rosewater, and Shea Butter.  The Relaxing Lavender Collection is the ultimate body care indulgence and must-have for those who want an exhilarating aromatherapeutic experience that is relaxing, calming, soothing, and restorative.  These beautiful products improve the skintone, while gently hydrating it.  Ingredients include Lavender Essential Oil, Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Vitamin E, and Coconut Oil. This beautiful kit includes Lavender Foaming Bath, Lavender Scented Candle, and Lavender Hand Cream.  For more information, visit

Vera Wang EDT Fragrances, Embrace Green Tea and Pear Blossom, Embrace Periwinkle and Iris, and Embrace Rosebuds and Vanilla
The Vera Wang Embrace trio of exquisite fragrances is the perfect bouquet of sophisticated and under-stated florals that radiate subtle style; individually, each is perfect, but having all three at your fingertips will create a complete fragrance wardrobe for any discerning sophisticate to take them through the entire year.  Embrace Green Tea and Pear Blossom: top notes of Sweet Pear and Green Tea; middle notes of Freesia, Peony, and Orange Blossom; and, base notes of Skin Musk and Sandalwood, to anchor the beautiful and complex dry down.  Embrace Periwinkle and Iris: top notes of Bergamot and Violet; middle notes of Periwinkle, Iris, and Blue Jasmine; and, base notes of Benzoin and Whipped Sugar, to anchor the subtly citrusy-floral and sweet dry down.  Embrace Rosebuds and Vanilla: top notes of Rosebuds and Vanilla; middle notes of Sweet Magnolia and Cyclamen; and base notes of Vanilla and Sandalwood, to anchor the sweet and complex dry down.  For more information, visit

~ Worth Mentioning ~

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Don’t forget gift certificates as the ideal gift to a spa; this is a great time of the year to take advantage of special gift offers from spas that bundle multiple treatments at a reduced rate.  You can also curate your own spa gift basket and include things like gift certificates, scented candles, indulgent oils, indulgent body lotions, Loofah, bath mitts, bath brushes, soaps, relaxing music CDs, etc.

~ In Closing ~

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While this festive season may have our thoughts focused on finding the right gift for someone, let’s not forget the best gift to give, which doesn’t cost any money, and that’s the gift of our time with those we love and care about…family and friends.  Lastly, don’t forget those in need…find a local or national charity and contribute what you can…that might even include volunteering for special projects, or sponsoring a food or clothing drive in your neighborhood, place of worship, or at your work place.  To you and yours, I wish you peace, joy, and love!

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

 Recipient of the 2017 Feedspot “Top 40 Spa Blogs and Websites By Spa Professionals”

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations on her authored work.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served each of the Five Pillars Task Force groups for the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Council (APSWC).  She has been a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz, and is currently an Administrator for three Facebook Groups, Wild Food Society, Spa College, and North Shore Opera Hour.  Awards have included Feedspot’s 2017 "Top 40 Spa Blogs and Websites By Spa Professionals", and first prize for Rockford CVB Travel Media Showcase article, “Sensory Connect”.  In addition to her blogs, her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  Don’t forget to “Like” her Facebook Page, Terry’s Second Helpings.  Please note that the “Comment Section” has been disabled.  For additional information, email her at


(Photo credits as indicated, or as represented by the specific brand.)

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