It’s December and that means gift time. Sure, maybe you can get away with giving Grandma another pair of fluffy slippers, and Uncle Ted will probably love (or at least pretend to love) another pinstriped tie.

But how about instead finding something really special for your loved ones this season?

From beauty products (hey, we all need to sparkle for the holidays) to stylish statement-making jewelry to take-me-to-the-beach travel gear, we have some of the best new items on the market that might even get a smile from Aunt Rosie, instead of that disappointed frown she always makes after she receives one more ugly Christmas sweater for her collection.

And since we all know that you have been extra special good this year, why not play your own Secret Santa and pick up a few of these items for yourself?

Facial Radiance

Let’s be honest. All that holiday cheer (late hours, over-eating and maybe a few too many hot toddies) can wreak havoc on your complexion.

Photo: Endocare

But Endocare, the experts in radiant skincare treatments, has the solution to over-celebrated holiday skin syndrome.

Endocare Tensage Cream both firms (giving a boost to tired, saggy skin) and regenerates (stimulating new cell production). Packed with innovative active ingredient SCA BioRepair Technology, a natural growth factor derived from snail secretion, this deep-moisturizing cream also has long-term effects to improve the texture of aging skin Endocare Tensage Cream helps to rebuild and repair the skin’s underlying architecture to erase the signs of aging at the surface.

Photo: Endocare

Vitamin E provides antioxidant benefits and protects weak cells from environmental damage, while a hydro-nutritive complex ensures intensive and sustained hydration throughout the day, giving your complexion a smoother and plumper appearance over time.

There is also a companion Endocare Tensage Radiant Eye Contour cream, ideal for the sensitive and fragile skin around the eyes, and, of course, those magic-working Endocare ampoules that give your face an instant boost of freshness every time you use them.

And, of course, there is Endocare Tensage Serum, that helps make any cream you apply to your skin twice as effective.

Blue Light Defense

If you — or someone on your gift list — have been spending far too much time in front of a computer, consider the gift of protection.

Photo: Uriage

Uriage has an entire line of Age Protect creams, serums, lotions and potions that shelter your skin from the aging effects of blue light.

New scientific research has shown that blue light, also known as HEV (think cell phone and computer light), can  damage and prematurely age skin.

In fact, high-energy visible light emitted by these devices could be as aging as sun damage.

HEV is present in daylight, but is also emitted by fluorescent lighting and LEDs, including TV screens, smartphones, tablets and computers.

Uriage’s Age Protect products, reinforced with the brand’s nourishing thermal water from the French Alps, are especially designed to fight off the effects of HEV.

The line also protects skin from environmental elements like pollution and fights wrinkles, sagging, dark spots, dullness and under-eye bagging, while soothing and regenerating skin to leave it looking fresher and younger.

Package Deals

There are also plenty of fantastic holiday beauty packages available that give you a selection of products at a discount, usually in a gorgeous Christmas-y makeup bag.

Photo: MartiDerm

One example is MartiDerm’s Smart Aging kits, with a box of 10 long-lasting, intense anti-wrinkle and anti-oxydant ampoules, each enriched with vitamins A, C, B5 and F, to leave your face glowing, at a special 20 percent discount.

The ampoules come in a gorgeous green or white beauty bag, along with (as a free bonus) a soft-focus Anti-Fatigue Immediate ampoule, a 2-millimeter day cream and a 2-millimeter night cream (all of which can fit easily into your purse or travel bag).

The kits are available for both MartiDerm’s Platinum and Black Diamond formulas and make terrific stocking-fillers.

Dazzling Baubles

Beautiful jewelry is always a welcome gift, and this year. Mexican design house Iconique has outdone itself with mixing fine silver and natural uncarved gems to create pieces that are a reflection of the country’s rich geographic heritage.

Photo: Iconique

Founded by Nayarit artist Ruth Zamorano en 2013, every piece is handcrafted and unique, with the artisan adapting to the natural shape of the stones rather than forcing them to conform to his or her concepts.

This season’s collection includes a variety of styles, from understated elegant necklaces and earrings for the sophisticated to grab-your-attention pendants and bracelets for the rocker to oh-so-delicate chains and rings for the youngest fashionista.

Available on the brand’s website ( or at the Iconique store in Tepic, Nayarit, you can also find pieces in Mexico City at MAM Boutique in Colonia Roma Norte and Kokolet in Colonia Ampliación Alpes Las Águilas.

Stylish Trails

What happens when you cross a Madonna-style corset with an all-business pin stripe suit?

If you happen to be the high-end French luggage company Lipault and the iconoclastic fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, the answer is the hottest travel accessories of the season.

Photo: Lipault

Yes, Lipault and Jean-Paul Gaultier have teamed up this season to produce an exclusive new line of suitcases, weekend bags, cabin bags and toiletry cases to make you feel first class, even if you’re flying coach.

Now available in Mexico, these must-have leather bags are designed for both men and women, and include a special Compil extendable satchel that can go from briefcase to luggage.

And since most people in Mexico take vacations about the time of year, these sassy new travel gear items make gifts that are sure to get used.



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