Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday giveaways

Less than two weeks till Christmas. What the what?

I had big plans of parceling out reader give-aways throughout the month to help everyone feel festive. But clearly, my time management skills are lacking and we'll have to improvise instead.

Basically, there's a drawer full of swag from a number of companies and it all needs a good home. (If you want to re-gift, I won't tell.) So read on for an unofficial and unexpected gift guide, brought to you courtesy of my random desk drawer.

For the feminine:

L'Occitane en Provence makes incredible hand cream. Years ago I found myself in NYC in January with chapped, cracked, miserably stiff claws where there should have been hands. I'd packed a tube of the "Shea Butter" hand cream that Santa brought, but I had yet to try. I nearly cried it was so lovely.

It's the only product of L'Occitane's that I've used, but I'll vouch it's worth every penny. 

So what does it mean for you? Free stuff that's probably amazing. 

There's a full size tin of "Rose Tenderness" ultra rich body cream, which is apparently "exceptionally concentrated" with 25 percent shea butter. It's my impression this is a limited edition fragrance, and while the product itself is sealed, when you open the tin you catch a waft of something dreamy.

Also for giving, we've got a squeezy-tube of the limited edition "Jasmin Passion" lip balm. I have no idea what it smells like or how well it works, but I suspect it's likely legit.

For the techie/minimalist:

Pursecase was seen on ABC's Shark Tank and is touted as being a "stylish and elegant" way of carrying an iPhone, cash and compact mirror without wrestling around inside the depths of our beloved "Mary Poppins" handbags.

Available for iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5, Pursecase comes in a variety of solid colors (including a neon yellow that glows in the dark), has a chain handle and front clasp that bear resemblance to an iconic line of quilted hand bags. 

These cases run about $30 on the official website and a coworker gave one a whirl for a few days. She felt her phone and cards were secure and said she would likely buy one for herself. ("Definitely, if I was still clubbing.") 

Pursecase has been mentioned in the Los Angeles Times, Glamour, Lucky and Real Simple, among others. 

For those who like to go hands-free, Pursecase also offers a cross-body chain strap addition for $8 that's currently sold out on the website.

Want one? We've got a hot pink iPhone 4 Pursecase for to give away.

For the nostalgic:

Personal reflection is essential for mental well-being and this delivers in a non-painful way. The 90's gave us so many treasures, and "The 1990s Coloring Book" is an entirely entertaining reminder of things forgotten not-so-long ago. 

Giga-pets. The song (and ensuing fashion statement) "Rico Suave." AOL.  The phrase "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit."

Solid gold.
Inside you'll find a quirky mix of pop culture, outdated technology and activities such as 'Design your own Trapper Keeper."

For $10, this could make you the most popular gift-giver of the year. It's available online in a number of places and physically at Barnes and Noble, Urban Outfitters and others.


For those with curly/natural hair, I've got multiple items for you.

Cantu has provided four, full-sized shea butter products from their new line. I wish I could say I've tried and loved these products, but my hair couldn't be straighter and these would be wasted on me.

But here's how Cantu describes what we've got to give away:

Shea butter coconut curling cream- heals dry, damaged hair while providing moisture and strength. Also defines, conditions and adds manageability to curls. Can be used on damp or dry hair. 

Shea butter daily oil moisturizer- helps prevent breakage, tangling and frizz; restores moisture to dry or damaged hair and scalp; provides silky texture with lasting shine.

Leave in conditioning repair cream- stops and mends breakage and is formulated for severely damaged, dry or coarse hair. Can be used for daily styling or overnight as an intensive leave-in treatment. It supposedly promotes strong, long and healthy hair when used daily.

Shea butter for natural hair deep treatment masque- moisturizes and repairs "extremely dry, damaged hair" that's brittle, and there are several ways to use this masque, depending on the level of damage already done.

See something you liked? 

Email me by 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19 with "Giveaway" in the subject line and a note about what you'd like to have turn up in the mail. (Please include your phone number and mailing address.) We'll announce winners and start shipping on Friday.