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9 Foolproof Hostess Gifts


If you’re hitting the holiday parties hard this weekend, don’t forget the gift. Baking or a bottle of wine is always a classy move but for something a little extra or as an add on here’s what’s on the list.

1. Your Tea America The Wellness Gift Box ($13.95) – No matter your mood, Your Tea’s Wellness Box has a go-to remedy: teas for the mind, body and soul. For the wellness guru this set includes the brand’s signature Happy Tea, Antioxidant Tea, Sleep Tea, and Energy Tea.

2. L’Occitane Advent Calendar ($49) – 24 days of gifts, 17 travel size L’Occitane products. PLUS! gift tags, a star shaped pastry cutter, nail file, bow tree hanging decoration, place cards, stickers, sachet of stars and holiday gift box! Oh what fun… it will be to open.

3. Slip for Beauty Sleep, ‘Slipsilk’ Pure Silk Sleep Mask ($39) – Sleeping on Christmas Eve just got easier with the most indulgent sleep mask from Slip for Beauty Sleep. The mask, alike to a pillow for your eyes, is the perfect pair for their pure silk pollowcases, which has luxe anti-aging, anti-sleep crease, anti-bed head “technology”.

TOCCA collaborates with John Robshaw, launches new fragrance and more!

TOCCA candlesFragrance has the ability to create and transform a room and if you look at the immaculate packaging and soft color scheme of TOCCA, it alludes this fairytale aesthetic that completely came to life as I walked into the brands showroom. The brands top scents Cleopatra (grapefruit cucumber), Stella (Italian blood orange), Florence (bergamot, gardenia), Giulietta (pink tulip, green apple), and Bianca (green tea, lemon) — or as I like to call them the fab five — are expanding their range of products offered as well as some exciting launches, collaborations and fragrances come to bloom this month. Here’s what’s new:

Great Last Minute Gifts for Under $50

holiday gifts under $50

With Christmas less than ten days away, we took the guesswork out of finishing those final gifts, all for under $50!

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen Kit ($25) – Why it’s a great gift: These pencils glide on so easily and have a beautiful wet metallic finish. Easy to apply, this kit is a great value set and features 5 Pixi eye pencils (all in different colors) as well as a sharpener.

PC Mother’s Day Gift Guide (+ Win Phebo Soap Bar Trio!)

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and while flowers and a thoughtful card are always a safe bet (and take mom out to dinner while you’re at it), here are some other PC Mom picks. Most of these are our classic favorites, with the exception of a new brand to this site, Phebo!

WIN IT! Brazilian luxury perfumery brand, Phebo is debuting in the US at Macy’s nationwide for only a few months! Available until the end of July, we’re giving away the Phebo Soap Bar Trio Set ($24 value) in your choice of fragrance. Set includes: 2 Phebo bar soaps and 1 liquid soap in your choice of fragrance: Naturelle, Amazonian, Lavanda, Manha, Oriente, Primavera, Rose or Tropical. To view the complete assortment on flavors visit macys.com

TO ENTER: leave a comment on why you’d like to win!

Extra entries if you…

**Follow us on Twitter, @PrettyConnected and tweet to us why you’d like to win using the hashtag #MDay

**“Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrettyConnected and leave us a comment referencing this giveaway.

{PC Mother’s Day Gift Guide}

1. WIN IT (details above)Phebo Soap Bar Trio ($24) – While this set comes in a several fragrances, I’m partial to the Flores de Primareva. Not only does it make you’re bathroom pretty in pink, it’s refreshing floral change to your conventional clean-scented hand soaps. Phebo is 100% vegetal based, using a wide range of essential oils, botanicals, herbs, spices and fruit oils in all of their products.

2. Tocca Candle (10.6oz/$38) – Cleopatra is a classic Tocca scent (it’s a light/clean aroma that blends cucumber and grapefruit), that I’m a fan of, however you really can’t go wrong with any of their candles (especially since they have recently expanded the line with so many more choices). They burn for roughly 60 hours.

3. Philosophy I think You’re Wonderful Pure Grace set ($32) – I’m not sure what’s better, the packaging or Philosophy’s cult favorite products, Pure Grace. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone that didn’t like Grace’s beautifully clean scent. The gift set includes Pure Grace Foaming Bath and Shower cream (8 oz.) and Pure Grace Perfumed Body Lotion (8 oz.). No need to wrap… the packaging says it all.

4. Royal & Langnickel 12-piece Silk Pro Set ($120)- Synthetic brushes have come a long way in the past 5years that there’s no reason animal hair needs to be involved to have a high-end, quality brush. There is every brush you could ever want in this set and they are all so soft, durable and animal-friendly. Quality brushes are

May NYC Sample Sales – Rebecca Minkoff, Jonathan Adler, Tocca and more!

I confess, most of this is ripped off from DailyCandy.com with a few additions since I will be traveling this month and would hate for you to miss out on all of these fabulous deals!

Here’s your complete NYC guide to sample sale shopping for May:

What: MCM
Why: Up to 70 percent off leather handbags, totes, clutches, and wallets.
When: Today-Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Flatotel, 135 W. 52nd St., b/t Sixth & Seventh Aves., 5th flr., ste. b.

What: Be&D
Why: The embellished accessories brand knocks up to 70 percent off merchandise with shoes starting at $75, handbags at $125, and clutches and wallets from $40.
When: Wed. & Thurs., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri., 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: 260 W. 36th St., b/t Seventh & Eighth Aves., 8th flr.

What: Raoul
Why: Flirty skirts, tailored pants, shorts, and printed blouses from the latest fall, spring, and cruise collections are up to 75 percent off.
When: Today-Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 601 W. 26th St., b/t Eleventh & Twelfth Aves., ste. 1745.

What: Inhabit
Why: Cashmere sweaters ($80, reg. $398), cotton dresses ($50, reg. $258), tees, and tanks for $30-$50.
When: Wed. & Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 320 W. 37th St., b/t Eighth & Ninth Aves., 14th flr.

Holiday Gift Guide: Fab Finds Under $65

1. Tocca Gift Sets! Featured above is the  Tocca Eau do Parfum Viaggio set ($45) – which features 3 beautifully packaged mini-Tocca signature fragrances (0.5 fl oz), including Colette, Giulietta and Bianca. The Tocca Candele Da Viaggo set ($42) is also a great set for any candle connoisseur. This luxurious set  includes an assortment of travel size votive candles (1.2oz) in four of Tocca’s most popular scents: Cleopatra, Grace, Havana and Kyoto. Also included is a signature Tocca matchbox.

2. BOBBI BROWN Ultimate Party Collection ($65) – This double decker limited edition palette includes eight Matte, Metallic, Simmer and Sparkle Eye Shadows, 4 Glitter Lip Glosses and a mini lip brush and mini eye shadow brush. It’s really is the ultimate high quality convenience palette that packs everything you need for a night out. It’s easy to pull out the lip shade base with minimal pressure preventing any messy accidents or breakage. All the lip gloss shades are on the sheerer side for a light tint.

3. Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color ($25) – A variety of lightweight cream eye shadow that come in 12 shades and offers a radiant pearlish, lustrous finish that can easily with your fingertip (I recommend dusting over with an eye powder brush for darker shades), for an even finish. The formula contains Super Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE to help hydrate the skin, which is great for people like me, who have dry eyelids. Shades featured above are my two favorites, Caviar and Moss.

4. Jo Malone Christmas Cracker set ($30) – Crackers are a traditional british party favor so naturally our favorite brand from London has packaged the perfect mini-set in one. Crack open this set and you’ll find their signature mini-sized Grapefruit Cologne (9ml), Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Wash (15ml) and Pomegranate Noir Body Creme (15ml) perfect for any sophisticated male or female on your list.

5. Kate Spade Portola Valley Passport Holder ($65) – If you saw what my passport looked like at the moment, you’d understand why this is on my list! This chic passport holder is crafted of luxe ostrich-embossed leather and finished with the signature Kate Spade woven dot lining. Available in two shades, fresh green and mauve.

6. Bumble and Bumble Pin Tin ($15) – I love this tin! And my bobby pins can be found in the most miscellaneous places so for the sake of getting organized this makes a great gift. The box contains 50 winter white styling pins neatly packed in Bb. engraved tin.

7. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Runway Essential Makeup Kit ($35) – Because deep down we all want to be an angel… or at least look like one! This set is the next best thing. Get the fashion show look with their top 4 VS Makeup essentials straight from the runway. The set includes VS Loose Shimmer Shadow in Gold Dust, Triple Drama Mascara, Sparkling Lip Gloss in Delight, and All-over Shimmer Powderin Candy Girl.

8. Tarte puttin on the glitz limited-edition color collection & clutch ($48) – Inspired by Old Hollywood glamour, this clutch includes three interchangeable palettes which snap into the clutch for a total of 18 eyeshadows, 1 Amazonian clay 12-hour blush, 1 Amazonian clay shimmering powder and 1 park ave princess Amazonian clay bronzer, and a maraca-infused lipgloss in the entire set. The reusable case is so hot! It’s a metallic silver clutch with 4 credit card slots, a removable mirror and strap to convert it into a full on evening purse. This set is a $406 value, so snag it for $48 while you can!

9. mark. Power of Change Necklace ($28) – As part of the m.powerment by mark. collection which is a philanthropic initiative committed to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence, these necklaces are loaded with their iconic symbols of support (and a portion of the sale is this campaign). The two goldtone necklaces are meant to be worn layered- or keep one and share the other with a friend.

10. MAKE UP FOR EVER Wild & Chic Palette ($39) – Available exclusively to Sephora inside Jc Penney stores nationwide, this chic palette includes a miniature Aqua Eyes Liner in black and the 6 Eyes Shadow shades: Bronze, Khaki, Pearly Light Pink, Brown Black, Metallic Copper, and Beige. Packaged in anthracite grey snake print I was spotted using this palette at my office and it’s so hot that half my colleagues now own it. MAKE UP FOR EVER makes one of the best eye liners and strong pigment eye shadows on the market. This is the perfect evening palette and makes a great gift for any makeup junkie.

11. Avon Makeup To Go Palette ($9.99) – this palette may fall apart long before you’re done using it, but for the price and what it has to offer, it’s worth the risk. Containing 8 eyeshadows, 4 lip glosses, and 1 blush, it has everything you need for anyone on the go in the most lightweight compact you’ll likely ever own. Makes for a great stocking stuffer or secret santa gift!

12. Avon Sequin Cross-Body Bag ($19.99) – I was pursuing the Avon site when I saw this hot number! Get it for Christmas, wear this mini sequenced bag for New Years. Features a foldover flap and turn lock closure with detachable cross-body chain-link strap. The bag can be worn three ways: cross-body, handbag or clutch. The dimensions are 4 1/2″ H x 6 1/4″ W x 2 1/2″ D.

13. Aveeno Baby Essential Daily Care Gift Set ($29.99) – Mom’s love Aveeno. And I should know, everyone around me is having babies. So if you’re looking for a great joint new moms and newborns gift this set is a great (and affordable) find! The set includes Aveeno’s Soothing Relief Moisture Cream, Soothing Relief Diaper Rash Cream, Daily Moisture Lotion, Wash and Shampoo, 100% organic cotton blanket, and reusable basket.

14. Give Bag ($7.99 – $9.99) – Who says the gift wrapping can’t be the gift itself? Or at least your eco-chic solution to wasteful & disposable gift packaging. It’s infinitely reusable because of its innovative, patent-pending erasable/rewritable Give Tag gift tags, that saves you the trouble of also buying a card and easily slides into the transparent pocket in the front of the bag. Additionally it features an interior material flap that covers the gift enclosed, eliminating the need for wasteful tissue paper. Plus, each Give Bag features its own unique tracking #, allowing gift-givers to register their Give Bag’s location & view their Give Bag as it travels around the globe. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving considering you’re encouraged to re-gift it once you receive one. Give bags come in two sizes and several colors and patterns.

15. Sally Hansen Salon Effects Limited Edition Holiday Prints ($9.99) – What better way to get into the holiday season then with Sally Hansen’s 5 new limited-edition holiday prints of their cult favorite Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. The new prints include Plaid About You (red and black plaid), Peppermint Twist (red and white candy stripe), Snow Bunny (white with red snowflakes), Prep’s Cool (black and silver argyle), and Winter Funderland (black, silver and blue glitter). The strips are made of already dried nail polish, so all you have to do is peel and apply for perfectly manicured nails. No mess or fuss, just fun prints!

Brands Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is special month, when brands rally together to help raise awareness and funds to help fight against breast cancer.  This year for BCA month, I received a record number of emails by brands participating, so as I weed through (and I’ll try to update this as more come through), here’s a list of how some companies are showing their support:

**assume all of these product promotions are for the month of October unless otherwise stated**

Dior fans can go to www.diorauction.com to bid on items in three categories: Luxe Trips, Elite Experiences and Lavish Products as well as a “Shop Now” section, where customers can purchase items like a Christian Dior book or an engraved Dior Blue Tie palette, all available exclusively through Dior and select partners. 100% of the proceeds benefit Look Good…Feel Better, an organization dedicated to helping women deal wit the appearance related effects of cancer.

Catwalk for a Cure invite

Catwalk for a Cure – Tickets ($100) to this annual breast cancer charity event in benefit of The MA Affiliate for Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation hosted in Boston on October 13th includes a cocktail hour, hors d’oeurves, silent auction, fashion show, reception and gift bag. When: Oct.13th from 7-11pm at 60 State Street, Boston, MA. Click HERE for tickets.


Stila – Get empowered in pink with Stila’s limited-edition Positive and Pretty Palette featuring four award-winning Eye Shadows, a Cheek Color and a Highlighter. A mirror is included for on-the-go application and a detailed face chart offers how-to tips and tricks. 10% of the proceeds will go to a variety of BCA charities including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Price: $14 (a $62 value).

OLEHENRIKSEN is offering a special 1.7 oz. size of their best selling Truth Serum in BCA packaging ($65), with a portion of the proceeds going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation available at  www.olehenriksen.com and Sephora.

Clarisonic Almond Blossom Plus

Clarisonic is donating a portion of the proceeds of its “Pink” products to Look Good…Feel Better throughout the year as well as $15 for each specially designed, limited edition Almond Blossom Plus Skin Cleansing System ($235) sold during October to LGFB available at Clarisonic.com, Nordstrom or the Ritz Carlton spas.  Additionally for the month of October, Clarisonic will donate $1 to Look Good…Feel Better for every Facebook “Like” they receive (Facebook.com/clarisonic). They have also partnered with The Ritz-Carlton who is working with them and Skin Authority skin care company to offer an exclusive Look Good…Feel Better facial in select Ritz-Carlton spas. With every LGFB facial performed, $15 will be donated to Look Good…Feel Better ($5 each from Ritz Carlton Spas, Clarisonic and Skin Authority).  The facial will be available through November 5, and costs $180 for 50 minutes.

B&B Spray de Mode

Bumble and Bumble is donating $5 from every purchase of Spray de Mode on bumbleandbumble.com to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Skyn ICELAND – For the 7th consecutive year, skyn ICELAND is releasing a limited edition Pink Detox Kit ($45), donating $5 from the sale to Cancer Support Community.

AHAVA – For every purchase of their Hope Blossoms Mineral Bath Salts ($22), AHAVA will make up to a 15% donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in support of their mission to help fund research and promote education and early detection. These mineral-rich salts contain 21 essential Dead Sea minerals, including Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium that work to melt away stress, while providing essential moisture to skin and relief to tired muscles.

CND Pink Wishes Set

CND launches Pink Wishes Colour & Effect duo nail polish set ($20) to help raise awareness against breast cancer and commemorate women everywhere fighting against it. Plus what better way to match that pink ribbon then with some extra pride on your fingers and toes? Available for a limited time, visit CND.com for locations.

TIGI’s BCA Collection – With each purchase of TIGI’s pink ribbon products, TIGI will donate a portion of the proceeds to City of Hope, a leading research, treatment and education center for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Darphin is donating $15 for every specially packaged Redness Relief Soothing Serum in pink ($85) sold to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  This high potency