Ah, Oprah Winfrey. The most powerful woman in the country. Love her or hate her....I tend toward the later...she can single handedly influence the lifestyles of millions of American women. Over the weekend she was in Iowa stumping for Barak Obama, but if she were to ever run for office, I'm sure she'd win in a landslide.
As you all know, each year Oprah gleefully lists her "Favorite Things" for the holiday season. Among all the electronic devices you just have to have, Oprah touted a couple of beauty related products this year. Here's what she's hawking as her faves for 07:
Clairsonic Skin Care Brush, $195 available at www.clairsonic.com or www.sephora.com. This pricey brush is used to clean your face. Basically, it uses sonic technology to move the "gentle" brush over the skin at a rate of 300 rotations per second. It will not only remove dirt and makeup from your face, but it also massages your pores which will allow for your skin to absorb serums and moisturizers better. It basically provides similar results as a microderm abrasion but without any harshness.
I say: save yourself some dough and just get a drugstore brand microderm abrasion kit until the price of the Clairsonic Skin Care Brush goes down. Because with Oprah's fave, you have to buy the initial brush and then you have to get replacement heads that cost $25 a piece. Oprah's skin care brush is the gift that keeps on taking...money from your wallet. Just get Olay's Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel System for about $25 and enjoy the smooth, clean feeling you get at a fraction of the cost!
Claus Porto Soaps from Lafco New York, $42 for a three large bar assortment. These expensive bars of soap are beautifully packaged and are made from 100% vegetable products. For $42 you can choose from three different assortments and each bar is individually wrapped. (Note: the picture here is of the 12-bar gift set that probably costs more than my phone bill.) This company (www.lafco.com) also sells high end candles, reed fragrance diffusers, etc. that look like they cost a lot...which they do.
I say: If you're dying to give an "Oprah" gift and you have $42 to spend on 3 bars of soap, go for it. Or, you could check out smaller, less pretentious companies like Vermont Organic Soap to give organic, fancy-schmancy soaps as a gift. If you're after candles and reed diffusers, head over to places like Pier One where you'll save yourself a ton of money and you won't have to deal with shipping and handling charges. Always a plus in my book.
Bottom line: Like the rest of you, I am always curious to see what Oprah is going to pitch on her Favorite Things episode. However, I prefer to be original and give my own favorite things as gifts. With just a little imagination and a lot less money than Oprah's list requires, you can find some incredible gifts out there that are luxurious, high end, and that will make both the giver and the receiver feel good. If you haven't started your shopping yet, take a look at Oprah's list, but then make a list of your own Favorite Things. Your taste is probably just as good as Oprah's and your faves will fit your budget and your recipients.