10 Great Beauty Gift Ideas

Forget the chocolates and champagne. The best presents to give and get, are beauty-related

A dozen red roses sadly wilts in several days; chocolates encourage weight gain (and any attendant self-loathing), and we’ve all had enough champagne, what with Y2K and all. A beauty product—something as simple as a perfectly pink nail polish or a not-too-sticky-but-really-shiny lip gloss—lasts a good deal longer, and is practically guaranteed to both surprise and delight even the most cynical, un-romantic recipient.

Despite the fact that her business is beauty, makeup artist/entrepreneur Bobbi Brown’s dream gift is an entire day of it:

1. An at-home massage
2. A hot paraffin wax manicure and pedicure, and the ultimate treat
3. having my hair blown out—the perfect present

Thirty-year-old Karen Orazietti, a marketing executive, part-time marathoner (she runs at least three each year), up-by-5-a.m. mother of two rambunctious boys wants something a little more extravagant.

4. “Last year, my husband gave me a one-week, no-kids-allowed, surprise getaway at The Phoenician—the ultra-luxurious spa in Scottsdale, AZ. There’s nothing like a few massages and lounging by the pool to make you feel like a human being again.” Lisa Ling, the sleek, long-haired, 20-something co-host of Barbara Walter’s top rated hit, The View, prefers a somewhat less glamorous escape.


5. “My boyfriend took me to a sulfur/mineral bath in the Napa Valley,” she says. “It was the slimiest, most fabulous experience I’ve ever had.” “I can’t live without makeup. I keep it everywhere—in my car, my bag, my desk at work,” says Elizabeth Lawrence, a stunning, L.A.-based production assistant with gorgeous olive skin. Her live-in boyfriend, tired of sharing an apartment with piles of compacts, lipstick tubes, and eyeliners got her

6. a sizable, yet compact, makeup organizer from Trish McEvoy. “
Everything’s in one portable, amazingly organized place,” says Lawrence. “And no more melted lipstick in my car.” Aerin Lauder, the trend-setting executive director of creative marketing at Estee Lauder, goes with something red.

7. “I love to give bright red nail polish—like Estee Lauder’s HighGloss Lacquer for Nails in Cardinal,” she says. Valerie Sarnelle, one of Hollywood’s most sought-after makeup artists, is passing out her wildly popular

8. Ballet Pink Fairy Dust (one of Bridget Fonda’s favorites)
to clients and friends. “It’s a subtle, shimmery wash of color that looks great on everyone,” she says. The folks at Peter Thomas Roth are giving favorite gift like Felicity’s drop dead gorgeous Tangi Miller—their pale-pink, strawberry souffle-scented, skin-softening

9. Silica Strawberry Scrub. “It’s the thought behind the gift—not the cost—that matters. Think of what he or she loves, but would never buy for themselves,” says José Parron, makeup director at Barney’s New York—who creates luxe gifts for clients like Goldie Hawn, Sarah Jessica Parker, Heather Locklear, and Winona Ryder. “For one client who loves taking baths, I put together


10. a big hat box full of 30 white candles from Creed and fresh 21—in all different shapes, sizes, and scents—with these beautiful, blue bath beads from Mythic Blue,” he says. “It’s certainly not the most expensive gift I’ve ever done, but it was very sexy and extravagant.”