- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beauty, the proverb says, is only skin deep, and regardless of her age, a woman wants to take care of her surface beauty, as well as her spirit, that elusive beauty that comes from within. Here are a few ideas to bolster the “skin-deep” beauty and the spirit of the women in your life this holiday season.

Please bead mine

As lovely and sparkling as the garland on the Christmas tree, give any lady in your life the artisan boutique beading of designer Liz Stechschulte and GemCandy Studio.

Using the most beautiful of crystal, onyx and natural stone beads along with pearls and silver and onyx spacers, GemCandy beads (various prices) are as beautiful as the woman who wears them. Particularly lovely are Liz’s beaded eyeglass chains, which take something we need and turns it into a simply elegant work of art.

Designs include beautiful seed pearls with onyx and silver dividers and Swarovski crystals in jeweled palettes of blues, greens, and lavender.

Keeping that glow

The ANSR: Beam ($149) enters the skin care therapy market with a palm-sized device that emanates light waves that penetrate the skin. Five minutes once a day can bring you closer to the skin texture and appearance you want. Testing the unit, it is easy to use and smoother skin results were achieved instantly.

Red-light wavelengths stimulate collagen, encouraging the growth of new, healthier skin, reducing redness and filling in fine lines, returning a radiant, smooth complexion.

Blue-light wavelengths kill acne-causing bacteria by causing free-radical damage to the bacteria, helping to control and reduce blemish outbreaks in just weeks.

Sensual Indulgence

Create a memorable holiday with Giorgio Armani. Acqua di Gioia by Armani ($61 for 1.7 oz.) will envelop her in a mist of crushed mint leaves and lemon Limone Primo Fiore Femminello from Calabira, Italy. It merges a fresh citrus sent with rose, peony, pink pepper, jasmine and cedar, thus creating a scent that evokes the sensuousness of a warm summer day and the cooling smells of the lush forest floor.

The perfume’s flacon is clear and comfortable to hold, bringing forth images of a perfect, bright blue drop of the Mediterranean Sea.

Helping her put her best face forward is Armani’s Crema Nera Obsidian Mineral High Recovery Elixir ($150). This serum is designed to correct the texture of her skin, making it smooth, firm and radiant, while repairing damage from ultraviolet-light-induced imperfections and natural aging.

It is the ultimate in indulgence and its nighttime use should be followed up during the day with the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($59), designed to capture the glow of her Crema Nera radiant skin, this foundation smoothes out skin tones, is oil free and the product’s hydrating fluid glides leaving a silken texture for all-day coverage.

Nightcaps for grown-up girls

Like women and fine wine, each Scotch whisky has its own unique personality created by the distillery and how the malt master blends any one batch.

With aromas of fruit and vanilla creating a sweet bouquet and cinnamon adding just a hint of spice, Glenrothes Speyside Scotch Whisky Vintage 1998 ($49.99) may be as pleasing to the palate as the long-gone 1985, a whisky that was noted for its citrus palate and long, rich, slightly sweet finish.

The Vintage 1998, one of Glenrothes’ “Select Reserve” casks, leads with flavors of tropical fruits, mango and pineapple, streaming through essence of banana, coconut and vanilla, a signature finish for Glenrothes, creating a rich, roundly textured scotch that showcases the balanced characteristics expected from Glenrothes.

Spa Luxury at home

We can’t all spend our days luxuriating at the spa, but we can bring the aromas and feel-good essences to our bath and beauty routines with Lush. From the top of her head to the tip of her toes, Lush provides a variety of natural, handmade cosmetics with plenty of choices to tuck inside a very large Christmas stocking.

The only question you need to ask? Is she a “shower” or “bath” luxuriant? Or both?

For the Shower Girl

Help the woman you love embrace the girl within with a daily shower regime destined to ease stress, keeping her feeling good all day — or night — long.

Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub ($17.95), a refreshing combination of fine sea salt, organic lemon juice, jasmine flower infusion, mimosa absolute, orange flower absolute, jasmine absolute and lemon oils, creates a fragrant morning melange to start her holiday right.

For a special shower experience, the Sugar Plum Fairy Scrub ($4.95) combines Fair Trade sugar, plum kernel oil and jasmine, known as the aphrodisiac fragrance that is the scent of sensuality. As she scrubs away the stress of the day, scents of jasmine, sweet ylang ylang and fresh orange blossom, bringing a bouquet of floral fantasy to your winter nest, are released.

While enveloped in the floral scents of her invigorating scrub, treat her locks to the Jasmine and Henna Fluff-Eaze ($21.95) hair moisturizer, giving her locks added luster to shine in the sparkling lights of the Christmas tree. The Jasmin and Henna Fluff-Eaze’s red henna, extra virgin olive oil, ylang ylang oil, jasmine absolute and hair-health wheatgerm, cold-pressed organic jojoba, almond, Brazil nut, castor, and organic hemp revitalizes hair health and strength, creating perfectly flippable holiday hair.

Combined, these products create an instant daily spa experience to be enjoyed before work or that perfect Christmas Eve date.

For the Bathing Girl

For today’s busy woman, a long soak in a fragrant tub is often no more than a sighing wish, but it is a wish you can make come true with fragrant Lush Bath Bombs.

The whimsical Satsumo Santa Bomb ($4.95) combines Mandarin and bergamot citrus oils with soothing orange blossom to create a refreshing bath that will revive and reveal a whole new energized you.

While we might not admit it, we like pink, particularly when it is the sweet swirl of the pink and white Candy Cane Bubble Bar ($5.95) with scents of vanilla, freshly spun candyfloss and sweet sugar create a bubbling bath designed to elicit a carnival’s worth of smiles. Bath melts are made with natural butters to moisturize and soften your skin. Essentials oils add to the sensory experience.

Keep that spa feeling all day long

After a shower or bath, keep that sweet and silky feeling even in the face of harsh, cold weather with the exotic soothing orange scents of Karma Kream ($25.95) body lotion created with luxuriant cocoa butter. This lotion envelops the senses in an all-day cocoon of heavenly bliss and silk-smooth skin from top to bottom. While the most sensuous of oranges anchors this lotion, hints of almond, pine, lemongrass and lavender create a sweet spring scent perfect for a cold blustery day.

Now that she’s rubbed and scrubbed, hair shining brightly, and silky smooth, try a dusting of Silky Underwear ($11.95). Brush the skin with this dusting powder before dressing and tiny bits of cocoa butter will add an extra layer of protection from the winter elements, while the scent marries perfectly with the Karma Kream, adding a light layer of orange-hued jasmine scent.

Reignite the sensory experience during the day with Angels Delight soap ($5.95). A tangerine-oil fragrance creates an invigorating aura in the bath, shower or during hand washing while the soap’s bright oranges, yellows, greens and blues seem to be the colors of the angels above.

Are you hoping for an under-the-mistletoe kiss? Bon Bon Lip Scrub ($8.95) has the essence of lemon sherbet and cranberry in a gentle lip exfoliant to smooth rough winter-hardened skin, leaving a kissable pout.

For a quick on-the-go scented pick-me-up, Imogen Rose ($9.95) solid perfume twirls the scent of damask roses and orris butter to lend a baby power note to create a soft perfume designed to leave the lightest hint of promise behind.

Celebrate the season with her

Let her know she is the only one with whom you want to ring in the New Year with a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Rare Vintage 2002 Champagne ($180), the eighth Rare vintage to be released in more than 30 years.

Piper-Heidsieck Rare champagnes are the “unusual expression of minerality derived from the Chardonnay grapes from the Montagne de Reims area that comprise much of the blend, completed with a touch of Pinot Noir.” The Chardonnay grapes bring floral and mineral notes, creating a fresh, elegant mouth feel while the lush aromas of red fruits from the Pinot Noir grapes create an opulent nose, blending together to create a Champagne that has a bountiful structure and long, savoring finish.

For a Champagne of such beauty, a simple bottle will not suffice. The Rare 2002 wears a bottle created by Parisian Jeweler Atthus-Bertrand. The intricate gold lace entwined around the bottle’s base was designed to mimic the tempered grape vines from the vineyards while the removable red band around the bottle’s neck makes a keepsake, or promise ring, to mark the occasion of your private celebration.

The Spa

There is no greater way to give truly deep-down “me” time to the she in your life than a visit to a great spa. All spas are not created equal, however, and a truly extraordinary experience is as elusive as it is priceless. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington, Pa., holds the secret to the perfect spa experience.

The environment is soothing with feng shui-designed elements of the earth, wind, water and sky artfully placed throughout. An eye toward detail ensures from the dressing room to the steam room and every step in between is exquisite.

A weekend at Nemacolin can be tailored to both her, and your desires. Together you can enjoy the five-star dining at Lautrec and Aqueous Restaurants, spend romantic evenings in the gilded Chateau or luxuriate in the butler service of Falling Rock.

Walk the grounds and marvel at the amazing artwork both inside and out, from Calder to Botero. Golf, clay shooting, bowling, tennis, off-roading and an antique care museum — the list is endless.

However, she is here for the spa. A unique, completely invigorating and restorative experience, the Water Path, can be found at the Woodlands Spa. A rectangular ankle- to knee-deep journey that helps to center as much as awaken the inner core, the Water Path stimulates circulation and bolsters immune functions as the alternating temperatures improve blood and lymph system flow.

After the walk, enjoy the alternating temperatures of the Swiss shower, followed by the most relaxing of soaks in the mineral waters. The waters are imbued with the salts of the famous Hungarian Sarver Springs, while your attendant places cool towels across your forehead, providing fresh mineral water to hydrate and improve lymphatic flow.

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