Oh Lord, how we love feeling spoiled. Throughout the year, part of the Brazen Woman job is to be gifted with all kinds of products and services to test. From apps to appliances, and beauty to workout wear, we’ve touched, held, smeared and smelled nearly everything you see on on our pages. While we were impressed with most everything that was sent our way, there are always a few standouts—worthy of our Holiday Gifting Editor’s Picks.
Even though some of these aren’t traditional ‘gift’ items (yes, we’ve warned against giving small appliances as presents but in special circumstances, we’re rethinking that rule), we think these are all special enough to warrant inclusion in our Brazen List.
EDITORS’ SPOTLIGHT: Isabelle Grace Stackable Swarovski Gemstone Bracelet, $62 Online
We don’t know one woman who doesn’t want to receive something pretty as a gift, and Isabelle Grace Jewellery is the perfect choice. A favourite of celebs, this line boasts a range of customizable pieces in addition to these very adorable bracelets we live in.
Best perks: These bangles have everything we could want: They’re special on their own, but even more so stacked, they come in gorgeous gemstone colours, and the sizing is adjustable, which makes them customizable to wrists of every size.
Give to: Your mom, your sister, your best friend, yourself
I thought I knew coffee till this Nespresso Pixie machine arrived at my doorstep. If you can’t live without your java, or you know someone who loves it like it’s meant to be loved, then add one of these on your list. In no time, I became a barista extraordinaire, taking single-serve coffee to the next level, and making espressos and lungos with the flip of a switch and the touch of a button. Presto.
Best perks: The new design means you can change the side panels to match any decor. And there’s a huge selection of gourmet European-style coffees, even flavoured ones that taste great with no chemical aftertaste.
Give to: Someone you want to spoil, coffee aficionado, yourself, your significant other (aka yourself)
AromaGem Nebulizer, $69.95 in-store or on Saje.ca
Isn’t this a pretty addition to any room? You’re wondering what it is, right? Introducing a room-changing gadget you won’t be able to live without. The Saje Wellness Nebulizer is a brilliant alternative to traditional air fresheners that actually works to make our home healthier, too. Not only does it come in various designs that look very cool, it sends out vaporized essential oils (buy an assortment!) into the room, acting as a negative ionizer, air purifier, and deodorizer, and removing allergens from the environment.
Best perks: Aside from all that, the nebulizer makes any room you walk into smell amazing. Choose from a vast assortment of essential oils to make your own blended scents. This time of year is ideal to deck all our halls with festive diffuser blends and welcome the refreshing aromas of the season. Give to: A nature freak, allergy sufferer, lover of all things pretty and pretty-smelling
Bulova Women’s Diamond Galley Chronograph Bracelet Watch, $625, at selected retailers across Canada
I was desperate for a new watch but adding one to my collection was not as easy as it sounds. Like most women, I consider my watch a piece of jewellery. So not only does it have to fit into my wardrobe, but it has to have practical style that I’d choose to wear on my wrist every day. What I realized is that I’m a traditionalist at heart. (Wonder what your watch personality is? Take the test here.) So rather than go for another trendy watch, I selected a classic timepiece, one that has the new mother-of-pearl face and just enough diamonds to keep a gal happy.
Best perks: The Bulova watches are classics that import the newest trends of the day into their sturdy designs. You can choose from diamonds or clean-cut, single-tone or two-tone, metal or leather band. There’s a design for every woman on your list.
Kobo Glo HD, $129.99 at Kobobooks.com or ChaptersIndigo.com
I was dead-set on my commitment to flipping paper pages until I picked up one of Kobo’s newer devices, the Glo HD. This thin, lightweight e-reader has made me a convert. It’s my newest travel companion. No more making time to get to the bookstore before a flight, and then lugging around an assortment in my suitcase.
Best perks: The high-definition front-lit display makes reading easy—no matter where I am (even on the beach). And the screen is so crisp and clear that it’s as close to print on paper as it gets. I guess you could call it an unparalled, comfortable, completely portable reading experience.
Give to: The book lover, traveller, yourself
Brushing your teeth can be fun! Only a dentist’s daughter could get so excited about a toothbrush. But seriously, anyone would. This baby not only wages war against plaque, but it guides your whole brushing experience.
Best perks: It’s the only toothbrush that connects by bluetooth to your smartphone and a timer, delivering real-time guidance for your brushing experience, and ensuring that you brush for the recommended 2 minutes. Plus, a little sad face lets you know when you’re pressing too hard. Work with your hygienist to set up the app to address your specific oral hygiene concerns.
Give to: Your husband, your mom, your dad, yourself
Hoover FloorMate® SteamScrub™ 2-IN-1, $199.99 at various retailers
A clean house is the greatest gift anyone could give me. OK, you got me. I don’t actually clean anything with this Hoover—personally. My husband loves it so much, which makes me happy. I know appliances are not appropriate presents, but since the members of my household who do like to clean really dig this handy and effective dual purpose cleaner, it makes it on the list.
Best perks: It gets at stains, dust, bacteria, and dirt on both floors and my carpets like nobody’s business. Plus, it’s got a lift-away steamer option for hard to reach surfaces (dirty car upholstery, anyone?). Plus, the 12 additional accessories can be used all over the house, including to clean the mildew off the grout in the shower.
Give to: Anyone who would appreciate it, the clean freak, your hubby
My new obsession is the luxe makeup line from Charlotte Tilbury, a stellar makeup artist out of the UK. All of the products are incredible, from lips to eyes to skin (must try: Charlotte’s Magic Cream, $100).
Best perks: The handy little eye kit is the perfect stocking stuffer for any beauty addict and/or you, yourself and you. The lipstick is fantastic too—creamy and long-wearing without drying—so the lip sets would win hearts too (like mine, since I’m now a red lip convert). The neatest thing is that Charlotte Tilbury offers ‘solution’ combinations and tutorial videos for the neophyte in all of us.
Give to: The luxe lover, the makeup addict, yourself
Not Just Any Old Day’s Calendar Datesake Pendants, $49.99 Available Online
This is an absolutely lovely way to mark a special day in your life. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or just any old day that means something to you (maybe the first day you discovered Brazen Woman?), these key shaped pendants are a unique and eye-catching way to help you remember.
Best perks: You choose the day, they mark it with a Swarovski crystal. The pendants are available in a variety of styles in antiqued silver, rose gold and gold tones. I’ve been wearing mine about town and the compliments keep coming. If you’re looking for a conversation starter, this is it. Plus, it makes me feel special to know that I’m wearing my special date around my neck.
Give to: The woman who has everything, yourself