If you haven’t gotten all your Christmas shopping done yet, it’s time to get crackin’! Cause we all know the mall’s BEEN a nightmare and it’s about to get even worse. Last week, I made the mistake of trying to stop by Ross on a weekday afternoon after work. More fool me. You know it’s a bad sign when you walk into a store and there are no shopping carts at the front. And the checkout line is at least 15 people long. Oy vey, it was a mess. To save your sanity, I strongly recommend shopping online while the getting’s still good. So get clicking, bellas – here’s your official tried-and-true Afrobella gift guide for the kind of products that any beauty-treatment loving lady would be ecstatic to discover under the tree.
Around the time of my Ash Begone post, I was contacted by the owners of Shea Radiance. I was already ready to love this stuff — it’s the kind of business I love supporting best — small, family owned (awwww! Those kids are beautiful!), and seriously into quality products. Shea Radiance makes 100% natural unrefined shea butter products. They make specialty products for eczema and other skin ailments, also soaps, body oils, nurturing products for moms and babies, and lotion bars. I was fortunate enough to try the whipped body butter, and I was totally impressed. This stuff is dreamy, creamy, whipped to perfection. And it smells DIVINE! I tried the jasmine and coconut, and ooh wee, y’all. They melt into my skin and make me smell heavenly. Two thumbs up for Shea Radiance! You get an 8 oz jar for $18.96 which is a bit pricey, but consider this — you’re paying for a high quality all-natural product, and supporting a small business owner. Shea Radiance is currently offering free shipping on orders over $50, and for bellas on a budget, they are featuring gifts under $20.
What if you’re looking for something beyond luxurious body butters and oils? Check out Ohm Body. If the bella in your life is dying for some bonafide hair pampering goodness, I think the Ohm Saturday Morning Hair Care Essential Sampler might be the present you’re looking for. I gotta be completely honest — the Crown of Glory conditioner didn’t work for my hair texture. But everything else in the sampler was deeeeeelightful. I especially loved the Avocado Hair Energy Oil, and the Crown of Glory Hair Deodorizer has been in my purse for those on-the-go-my-hair’s-a-little-funkdafied moments. Can’t beat that.
Ohm is all about natural, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, no animal testing products for ethnic skin and hair. I think my absolute favorite product I tried so far is the Scented Body Oil, which comes in a tall, elegant bottle and features a flower inside the bottle. Seriously, I opened this package and said, “oooh!” It looks so pretty. Then I tried it — Lavendar Luv’s got it going on, and Empress is also a lovely scent — and I LOVE this stuff! It’s perfect for right after a hot shower, and makes me feel sensual and slick.
If you’re looking for a gift for the bella who’s on her feet all day and could use some pampering for her soles, most definitely check out NettieScrub! Made by licensed manicurist Nettie Davis, this scrub is handmade and absolutely delightful. And unlike lots of other sugar scrubs I’ve tried, it hasn’t left my tub feeling like a slippery-when-wet danger zone. (That being said, I’d still be careful in there!) They come in adorable little jars, and the lemon scrub makes me smell like a yummy dessert while leaving my skin incredibly soft and polished.
The mini variety pack is $22, and the 4 oz mini me jar is $8.99 plus shipping. And if you want to continue the hand and feet pampering, spring for SpaSentials one-step moisturizing and conditioning socks or gloves that contain aloe, avocado and jojoba. The package promises to soothe and deeply moisturize dry, cracked skin in just 15 minutes, and it did turn back the clock on my hardened feet. After giving my tootsies a good scrubbing, I slipped into these and kicked my feet up for a while. When I removed them, even the hard underside of my big toe felt softer. Of course, you can achieve that with some good ol’ shea butter and a standard pair of socks, but this makes a much prettier package for under the tree. Spasentials foot treatment is $19.99, and available on Amazon.
I love shining a light on upcoming businesses, especially those owned by women like me, aimed at women like me. So if you are too, you’re gonna like the aforementioned companies. But be forewarned — I just saw a report on CNN that today is the drop-dead last day to order online if you’re hoping to get your Christmas present delivered just in time for next Tuesday. So what’re you waiting for? Get clicking! (psst — The Makeup Girl has been waaaay more up on her holiday gift posting than I, so check out her selections).
All is not lost if you aren’t planning to shop online. There are awesome gift sets at Sephora and every department store, but if you’re looking for luxe gifts without a semblance of sticker shock, might I recommend Target? The Boots Mediterranean Almond Gift Collection is to die for, especially if you love the scent of almond anything. Which I do! The collection is luxe, indulgent, and just $20. This collection is an even sweeter deal at $12.99. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from Boots no 7, from the bath and body stuff, to the makeup. You can’t go wrong!
And now, here’s my chance to offer you some pampering. I’m making it rain with these giveaways this week — before one’s done, here’s another one for ya! I already introduced you all to a company named Soaptopia, out of California. They. Are. Amazing.
I’ve been lucky enough to try their soaps — hello, Ms. Afro D. Sheak! And I really love the 50/50 Body Balms. Just in time for the holidays, Soaptopia wants to give Afrobella readers a present! Leave a comment that begins with the phrase “Pamper Me!” and let me know what item you want — a 50/50 Balm, or The Good Rubs, a lush oil, honey and salt mixture infused with essential oils to make you smell amazing. Don’t forget to let me know what scent you’d like the most! I will choose five winners by Saturday morning before I leave for Chicago. Promise! As an added Soaptopia bonus, if you spend $45, you’ll get a large inLIGHTin massage candle free! Just enter the promo code “Afrobella” after you order. You got the hookup!
And guess what, bellas — I have TWO more giveaways to go before this week is through! So stay on your toes, and keep leaving those comments!