Do you have someone special in your life that loves to smell delicious and look like a star? Does this fancy individual have drawers filled with makeup and cabinets stocked with bath-time goodies? Is this person you?

No matter who it is, when the holiday shopping season lands, don’t buy this fabulous person socks and a coffee mug — you can do better than that. Here is a list of some fantastic items and ideas to add to your shopping list this season (especially if it’s for your own stocking). Everything on the list can be found in HRM and online.

Stocking stuffers

Beauty products are perfect stocking stuffers — they don’t take up much space, they are fun and can be a great way to try new brands. Moon Moon Cosmetics at Bishop’s Landing has a whole table of fun face and sheet masks for anywhere from $2 to $6 each for every skin type. Sephora is a great place to pick up mini items like mascara, hair treatments and perfume, but the best-selling Beauty Blender foundation sponge two-pack is a no-brainer for the makeup junkie in your life, for $26. There is always room for a small tube of lipstick, balm or gloss in the nooks and crannies of a stocking — Burt’s Bees lip balms are great for everyone in winter and Lise Watier makes a stellar long-lasting lipstick, Baiser Velours, for $28, and can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart. Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner and body wash products are fun for the traveller in your life and can be found at a number of stores in all price points.

Gift sets

Gift sets are great if you are one of those last-minute shoppers. They look great, are already wrapped and have pre-chosen themes — but there are gift sets and then there are gift sets. Skip your big-box store, mediocre set and go with something a little splashier. Lush makes a variety of superb gift sets wrapped in fun paper with a number of combinations of soaps, scrubs, moisturizers and their famous bath bombs; they are available for $20 to $50 each. L’Occitane offers a number of holiday sets at a higher price point, at $80 to $120 each. They are luxurious sets of body-care products infused with almond, lavender or shea butter and tend to suit dry skin types. A great choice for a tried-and-true gift set with a low price point is the holiday selection from The Body Shop, which includes their popular body butters in wintery fragrances, such as frosted berry, vanilla chai and frosted plum for under $20.

Local luxury

If you want to share gifts that supports local business, you are in luck. Besides the huge lineup of Christmas craft shows across the province that offer all kinds of Nova Scotian handmade cosmetics and personal products, you can stop into Made in the Maritimes, Kept Gifts & Housewares or The Trainyard General Store (all in HRM) anytime to shop for natural beauty items, including Seafoam Lavender facial cleansers and moisturizers, Duckish bath and skincare products, Better Beard Co. beard oil or soap from The Laughing Pear Soap Company, just to name a few. There really is something for everyone and within the realm of any budget.

Gift cards

Low-maintenance folks, take note: if this has all been a bit too much and you just need some straight-forward direction for gift giving (or have no interest in cruising the cosmetics aisle), fear not. Here’s what to do: Go to the mall and find a Sephora store, buy a gift card worth $50 or more and your partner in life will get a bonus makeover for free. Or go to your local Shoppers Drug Mart and ask the associate in the Beauty Boutique for a “Fragrance Sampler Gift Card.” This card offers a gift card for fragrance and a whole set of tester-sized samples, so when it’s time to buy the fragrance, the shopper knows exactly which one they want (there are both women’s and men’s fragrance sample sets available). You’re welcome.

Happy shopping. As always, if you have questions, comments or suggestions, please send me an email at

Denise Surette is a Custom Content editor, long-time beauty columnist and former medical esthetician. She lives in Lawrencetown with her family, two cats and a closet-full of makeup.