Top Holiday 2023 Beauty & Fragrance Picks!

I love these crowd pleasing, long lasting chic beauty and fragrance products for gifting. All are priced at $25 to $160 so they are truly affordable luxuries that range from moisturizers to curling irons!

The newest women’s fragrance release from DKNY is DKNY Be Delicious Orchard Street Eau de Parfum and I was lucky enough to go to the launch party for it in an Orchard Street storefront. The clever bottle designer was there to customize a bottle for each guest, whether they wanted their names or favorite sayings written out! Be Delicious Orchard Street is not just a scent; it is a sensory awakening that embodies the spirit of the Lower East Side. Be Delicious Orchard Street has opening tones of Pink Lady Apple and vibrant neon pink Grapefruit that exudes captivating energy, complemented by the alluring hints of Pink Pepper that add a touch of excitement. The fragrance’s heart finds its grounding in the luxurious Jasmine and Orris flower notes, infusing a feminine elegance. Meanwhile, the carefree essence is accentuated by the Black Raspberry and Pomegranate undertones. The final touch of creamy Cedarwood embraced by Leather evokes a refined yet edgy New York vibe, perfectly capturing the dynamic spirit of the hip Lower East Side. It is available in fine department stores everywhere at $100 for a 3.4 ounce bottle but you can also purchase on this Ulta link that will get you the bonus gift of a free throw or robe:

Initio Oud For Greatness is a unisex fragrance like no other! Highly concentrated with the world’s finest natural Oud oil, Oud For Greatness is a unisex fragrance like no other! Highly concentrated with the world’s finest natural Oud oil, Oud For Greatness is a highly prestigious Oud with a strong signature. The way Initio creates their fragrances in a patented oil format is something that totally fascinates me. You will be bowled over by the unique blend of noted that makes this one of the most talked about new fragrances of 2023. There is the natural essence of Oud Wood, subtly highlighted by Patchouli and Musk. The top notes of lavender, saffron and nutmeg will grab your attention as much as it did mine and will make you want to wear this notable fragrance everyday. There is a candle created to match Oud For Greatness as well as other for the other mysterious Initio fragrances and they are a great gateway into the Initio world if you are not yet willing to commit $410 to a fragrance purchase. I will say that because of the oily texture, you need very little to make a bold fragrance statement. Order the 3.04 ounce bottle of Oud For Greatness here (during the month of December you will receive a gold charm as a special gift): Initio Oud For Greatness.

The YA-MAN Spa Styler Straight & Wave is a versatile flat iron featuring YA-MAN’s advanced Japanese technology, where the health and vitality of the hair are as important as the beauty, ease, and efficiency of its styling. Moisture Pulse Technology emits millions of negative ions to seal in moisture and help reduce static frizz for smoother, shinier tresses. I have been using the YA-MAN Spa Styler Straight & Wave to straighten my hair for a couple of weeks and you do not need many pass throughs plus it features red light and infrared technology helps strands retain interior moisture by gently heating from inside and out. Your hair will not only look smoother ‘n styled but it will stay in great condition! Order here for $149:

I have written about Irene Forte products in several of my gift guides over the years as it is a truly spectacular skincare line with patented ingredients that you cannot find anywhere else. Everyone needs a great moisturizer in their skincare regimen and the Irene Forte Aloe Face Cream makes your skin glow and feel comfortable (I know because I use it)! In clinical trials this face cream has been shown to significantly increase skin hydration, driven by Pro-Vitamin B5, Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Leaf Juice. Organic Olive Oil, Avocado Oil and Shea Butter replenish the natural skin barrier to preserve and protect moisture levels. Antioxidant-rich Olive Oil Fractions and Vitamin E nourish and protect. This cream is approved for sensitive skin but it’s suitable for all skin types, especially dry or dehydrated. Order here for $170:

Burberry Goddess immediately became the rock star fragrance upon its release earlier this year and when you sniff it for the first time, you will become immediately addicted (plus, a little goes a long way, making it very economical)! This unique gourmand fragrance is made with a vegan formula led by a powerful trio of vanillas. On top, a vanilla infusion with woody tonalities, at the heart a vanilla caviar with a rich sweetness, and at the base a vanilla absolute enriched with luminous lavender. Goddess Eau de Parfum is the first refillable perfume by Burberry and you will love the ad campaign featuring Emma Mackey and a beautiful pride of lionesses. Several different sizes are available but the best deals right now are available at Macy’s. Order the 3.3 oz bottle discounted to $142.50 right here with the discount code FRIEND:

Lights Lacquer, a female-founded, Latina-owned, vegan, cruelty and twelve-free nail lacquer brand created by Miami-based, mega-beauty influencer Kathleen Lights recently launched Cabin Fever, the brand’s 2023 holiday collection. Inspired by the rustic allure of a cozy cabin retreat, the color palette mirrors the serene beauty of a vintage winter wonderland. Nails will go from Tranquila y Tropical to the cozy embrace of a cabin retreat, where crackling fires, snow-covered landscapes, and heartfelt moments come together. The Cabin Fever Collector’s Edition includes a variety of six different shades, nail art tattoos, and a coffee mug. With Kathleen always leaning into her Spanglish and Cuban culture, the polish names include Hopper, I Smell Snow, Un Poco Cocoa, Barely Frio, Roast A Mallow, and By The Fireplace. Order individual Cabin Fever colors (for only $11 each) as well as the Collectors’s Edition here:

For the past 10 years, Euphoria By Calvin Klein has been my go to floral fragrane. When it was launched, it promised to be mysterious, provocative and exciting and it is indeed all three. The fantasy and surprise of the black orchid creates a captivating oriental fragrance that contrasts exotic fruits, seductive florals and a rich, creamy signature. The top notes are pomegranate, persimmon, lush green while the most d notes are lotus blossom, champaca flower and black orchid and the end notes are liquid amber, black violet, cream and mahogany. This is the fragrance that you get when you do not know which one to get as a gift for a special woman, whether she be your mom or your favorite holiday party hostess (or both)! The bottle is super cutting edge and almost like a piece of chrome art! Order the 3.4 ounce bottle at Ulta for $114 and get a special gift:

The Gucci Flora fragrance series continues on into the holiday season for 2023 with great success and praise! Perfumers Daphné Bugey and Marie Salamagne’s latest dynamic scent for Gucci is filled with unexpected yet complementary notes. This provocative scent is created around Magnolia Alba, an ancient and rare plant that requires a specific harvest and careful distillation process. A clary sage-like edge balances its fruity, floral sweetness to reflect an intuitive nature. The resulting Magnolia Essence exudes cheerfulness and a luminous noble spirit. To enhance the sweetness of the Magnolia Essence, a Dewberries Accord is added for a fruity, juicy dimension, striking a balance between freshness and sensuality. Parchoul Essence is then used to around the scent. The perfumers capture the plant’s intense woodiness from Indonesia’s best-quality Patchoull, creating a subtly earthy and leathery aroma. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Magnolia also features Blond Woods which provides a gentle, sensual touch, while Coconut Accord delivers an irresistible vanilla freshness that is both smooth and addictive. Finally, the Jasmine Sambac Absolute lends a green intensity and warmth that comes together with a mellowing trail of Musk. Gucci’s iconic Flora pattern, featuring vibrant blooms and rich hues, adorns both the bottle and outer packaging of Gucci Flora Gorgeous Magnolia. Wrapped in a captivating purple shade, the scent acts as a lucky charm and a reminder to trust in oneself. Order the 3.3 ounce bottle at Macy’s with the code FRIEND to get the fantastic price of $142.80: GUCCI FLORA GORGEOUS MAGNOLIA.

I am a longtime Kiehls’s fan who feels that visiting their 100-plus-old store in the East Village is a “must” for anyone visiting New York City and I am always testing new products there! (They are very generous with samples, BTW!) If I had to pick just one product to gift a friend, it would be the Super Multi-Corrective Cream because it does so much—you can even skip the eye cream and sunscreen. One jar with last about four months used night and day so it is worth every penny. This fast-absorbing, lightweight cream moisturizer takes a broad approach to address the most visible signs of aging on the face & neck. The key ingredients are PhytoMimetic Vitamin A, Chaga Mushroom and Hyaluronic Acid which work together to become a supercharged anti-aging solution for wrinkles, tone, and texture. An incredible 93 per cent of users polled saw reduced wrinkles! Order the 2.5 ounce jar here for $95 (there will be various promotions through the holidays to save 25 per cent):

Speaking of Kiehl’s, their best “bang for the buck” holiday set is called Mighty Moisture Essentials. You get four items that do so much and will last you a good long while! Might Moisture Essentials contains Ultra Facial Cream (28 ml) which is the most famous of all Kiehl’s moisturizers and has been given many beauty awards over the years; Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado (7 ml) which you tap along the orbital bone twice a day to see amazing results on those old bags and fine lines; Creme De Corps (125 ml) which is Kiehl’s legendary body moisturizing cream suggested to after bathing to really sink into your skin and Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (30 ml) which is best applied after washing hands (it even helps heal cuts and bruises). Order this amazing set here for $36:

Vegamour products are the leaders in the hair regrowth field for women and they have gathered numerous beauty editor awards including the 2022 SHAPE Beauty Award Winner. If you have been afraid of using hair growth products in the past due to the fact that they are loaded with chemicals, you will be pleased to know that Vegamour is a clean, vegan line that can make your hair look thicker, fuller and healthier in as little as 90 days. I feel that if you use their amazing GRO serum (which you can buy in a box or three at a cheaper price than buying one bottle at time) and GRO Biotin Gummies once each day, along with the GRO Shampoo and Conditioner every other day, you can pack a super whammy in terms of hair health. In scientific tests, the Vegamour line has been proven to increase the appearance of hair density, reduce signs of shedding and fallout, and leave hair feeling and looking healthier, stronger and more resilient. Start with the serum which right now you can get at the bargain price at $165 for three but be sure to check out the hair growth gummies, shampoo and conditioner. The first time I used the shampoo and conditioner, my hair felt immediately thicker and fuller and I was hooked from then on in. Here is the serum link (if you get a subscription, the price goes from $165 to $139): GRO Hair Serum (3 Pack).

The Warren Tricomi Salon, spearheaded by celebrity stylist Edward Tricomi, has been a NYC beauty institution since 1989 and it is “one stop shopping” for all your holiday beauty needs. I was lucky enough to go to the opening party for the newest WT salon a few months ago as well as get a cut and blowout from the amazing “OscarWT” a few weeks before. Located at 969 Madison Avenue just above the legendary Zitomer Pharmacy, the new Warren Tricomi Salon was designed and executed by the renowned architecture practice, Atelier NY. This design team expertly combined the salon’s concurrent modern, zen, elegant and stimulating ethos and aesthetics–for instance, speciallly created shampoo sinks allow clients to fully lie down to ensure their ultimate comfort. But this is a salon that outdoes the competition not just with beauty services! Proudly collaborating with world famous chef and another New York City-based icon, Jean Georges, a custom menu is offered to guests so they can enjoy world famous food and drink while getting their hair or nails done. Let me add that the modern art offerings on the salon walls are enough to make the curators of The Guggenheim jealous! Taking their service experience to the most futuristic level, Warren Tricomi recently introduced Luna, an AI assistant robot that greets clients, serves food & beverage orders and allows for easy product purchases. Check it all out here (and even book an appointment):

Pictured above is a DOP kit full of my favorite stocking stuffers for just about anyone this holiday season! You are looking at the Secret and Old Spice Gentleman’s Whole Body/Total Body Products which are only available on Amazon over the holiday season but will also be available in mass retailers like Walmart and CVS in a few weeks. Just like the name Whole Body suggests, these natural products can be used anywhere on your person without irritation due to being created from scientifically tested natural ingredients. The scents are other worldly, especially the Secret Whole Body Peach & Vanilla which I have been teaming up with my everyday fragrance Tom Ford Bitter Peach for a peachy “double whammy.” These products are ultra reasonably priced at about $12.99 each. I want to add that even though I am a lady, I am really enjoying the Old Spice Total Body Gentleman’s Lavender & Mint Deodorant Spray. You can get more details on the Secret Whole Body products at Amazon’s Secret Store and details on the Old Spice Gentleman’s Total Body products at Amazon’s Old Spice Store. Here is a quick link for purchasing the Secret Whole Body Peach & Vanilla Dry Solid Stick: And here is a quick link for purchasing the Old Spice Gentleman’s Total Body Vanilla & Shea Deodorant:

Article by anne241

Hardcore NYer who loves to enjoy the good life here in the Big Apple and beyond!