Comestibles and Kitchen Stuff
Books and Music
There's no crime in a little self-love. What's even better, though, is when you give the gift of self-love to your near and dear ones. It not only humors their vanity, it lets you off the hook next time you spend four hours in the bathtub.
At least one good thing came out of Sweet Home Alabama: Reese Witherspoon's fabulous hair! To achieve the latest styling trend--model-perfect straight locks with cute flipped-out ends--use the professionals' grooming weapon of choice. Thanks to its narrow paddles, the Lil' Hottie hair iron ($55, Legends Northwest Salon, 1202 NW 21st Ave., 227-7750) gets closer to the root than any other flattening iron out there. Ms. Witherspoon herself would be jealous of your new 'do. (RB)
What does a feel-good media icon do to unwind? If the "O-List" in Oprah Winfrey's O mag is any indication, she treats her toes to Dreamtime Foot Cozys ($55, Escential Lotions and Oils, 710 NW 23rd Ave., 248-9748, and 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 236-7976). These feet-warming wonders resemble cotton slippers but are stuffed with grain pillows scented with an aroma-therapeutic blend of clove, cinnamon and eucalyptus. Give the slippers a turn in the microwave or freezer and the grain packets (removable for washing) will retain their temperature for up to two hours. That's just long enough to recover from being called "middlebrow." (ED)
Italian Stallion Battalion
Until this year, boutique beauty product junkies had to travel to far-flung Florence, Italy, to get soaps and scents by Pharmacia e Profumeria di Santa Maria Novella ($50 and up for a decent bundle of goodies, French Quarter, 1313 NW Glisan St., 282-8200). Now these rarities have been imported, and stateside signoras are snapping them up. Made of all-natural herbs and botanical essences in the Florentine Santa Maria Novella convent from centuries-old recipes, these elixirs and ablutions make Neutrogena look--and smell--like motor oil. Santa Maria's traditional scents (vanilla, verbena, rose and violet) permeate all the products, so the lady may assemble a single-note toilette or treat herself to a lavish, Old World bouquet. Bellissima. (ED)
The Merry Lil' Landing Strip
Is your winter coat getting a little woolly? The Brazilian Bikini Wax ($60, Bellini's European Day Spa, 2326 NW Irving St., 226-1526), the world's briefest tanglewood trim for the nether regions, is enjoyed by Pilates instructors and personal shoppers worldwide. Now it can be yours just in time for that New Year's Eve flight to Rio. Don a daring bikini and dance on the sand just like that river twisting through a dusty land. If the caipirinha doesn't put a bounce in your step, the knowledge that you've already undergone the most extraordinary pain since childbirth just might. (ED)
Here We Are Now, Entertain Us
Nirvana Day Spa's Ultimate Milk and Honey Pedicure ($60, Nirvana Day Spa, 736 NW 11th Ave., 546-8155) takes foot-washing back to its beautifying, biblical origins. Soak up the spa's soft lighting and souk-like decor (tufted hassocks, gilt braid, iridescent mirror-silk pillows) while your beloved's feet are bathed in a rich broth of warmed milk and rose petals (moisturizers of ancient renown) poured into a hammered copper basin lined with red glass pebbles. Feet are softened and scrubbed, then massaged with long spirals of sweet, viscous honey. Those toes will already be good enough to eat, but a coat of candy-apple polish will finalize the below-the-knees banquet. (ED)
For those who don't want their faces stuck in a smile but do want smoother skin, check out the DermaNew Personal Microdermabrasion System's Total Body Experience kit ($130, Ziva Salon, 610 NW 23rd Ave., 221-6990). The fancy-shmancy name is code for wiping a gritty cream on a spongy applicator, massaging your skin with a battery-operated wand, et voilà--exfoliated perfection. Ziva is also offering a holiday special: 10 percent off the at-home kit if you come in for a series of six DermaNew salon treatments for $175. (RB)
Sleep of any kind is welcome after a week of forced family bonding. Nevertheless, Aveda is extending an Invitation to Dream gift set ($63, Aveda Lifestyle Store & Spa, 500 SW Washington St., 248-0615). It's got all the goo anyone will need for a soothing bubble-bath-like body cleanser, bath salts and moisturizer. And once you smell pretty, you can doze off with a new, lavender-scented eye pillow. The set also includes a lavandou candle that smells "like a walk in a French meadow." Now that sounds a little better than fighting with Mom, doesn't it? (RB)
MORE GIFT IDEAS
This ancient Chinese practice will heal the body and ease the soul.
$65, Acupuncture Center of Oregon, 10373 NE Hancock St., 408-0865.
Get rid of hairy time-warps with a gift certificate for a consultation and hair texturing.
$55-$75, Capello Salon, 10609 SE Main St., Milwaukie, 659-3626.
Hot Stone Massage Therapy
Feel the tension melt away from the body with heated river rocks.
$115, Rejuvenation Day Spa, 6333 SW Macadam Ave., Suite 105, 293-5699.
Guaranteed to soothe your mind, the Crescendo package includes a glorious hour-and-a-half filled with massage and lots of cool extras.
$120, Spa Sasse, 630 SW Alder St., 228-8266.
Plush terry robes perfect for the hot tub, or after a hot bath. One size fits all, and each carries an Oregon Hot Springs logo.
$70-$85, Oregon Hot Springs, 10367 SW Canyon Road, Beaverton, 643-5002.