Sunday, 1 May 2011

The 10 Most Gorgeous Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Let Dad splurge for the actual gems. For $85, you can get Mom one of jeweler David Yurman's new fragrances: Delicate Essence is a soft, feminine floral; Exotic Essence, a sultry oriental; and Fresh Essence, a zesty fruit. Each has a cap with Yurman's signature cable design that's traditionally found on his bracelets, earrings, and necklaces—but, we repeat, for a fraction of the price.

Get Mom something that'll really work for her: Lancôme Rénergie Eye Multiple Action Ultimate Eye Care Duo, $75. It's one smart pot with two simple parts. Twist off the top to reveal a rich cream laced with omega fatty acids, yeast extract, peptides, and argan extract to firm skin and reduce lines. Then lift up the lid to take on dark circles; it contains a potent concealer (choose light, medium, or dark) with light-reflecting pigments and SPF 15.

Multitasking, anti-aging, flattering: Dior's new 5 Colour Lift eye-shadow palettes, $60 each, were made with Mom's favorite adjectives in mind. The soft, shimmery powders will help her create a look she wants—and will disguise a multitude of eye issues. The highlighting shade instantly brightens eyes; the dark cream functions as an eyeliner and brow filler; and the center cream is a primer that smooths out crepey lids before you apply anything else. Plus, since they're available in four shade ranges designed for different skin tones—Lifting Ivory, Lifting Rose, Lifting Grey, and Lifting Amber—there's one for everyone.

No offense, Yankee candles, but you ain't exactly chic. These, on the other hand, are: The Fresh Petite Candle Trio, $45, contains votives in three of the company's best-selling scents: Brown Sugar (smells of lemon and caramel), Cannabis Santal (woodsy, incense-y), and Citron de Vigne (fresh and citrusy—our fave). Light just one for a singular smell...or burn them together for a deliciously decadent blend.

Not every woman over the age of 40 restricts her nail polish color to ballet pink or mauve. The Cool as a Motha' polish set, $90, contains five Rescue Beauty Lounge shades that owner Ji Baek calls "edgy and attitude-y." Inspired by the hipster, rock and roll moms of Brooklyn's trendy Williamsburg area, she put together this limited-edition set exclusively for Allure readers and their moms. It includes Dead Calm (a deep cobalt blue), Grunge (a cult grayish taupe), Iconoclast (a gently shimmery muted black), Insouciant (a muddy lavender), and Bangin (a fiery tomato shade and an Allure Best of Beauty winner).

As far as battery-operated tools go, here's one Mom will truly appreciate: The Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, $29.99, is a whirring, spinning face brush that makes your skin look like you've just had a facial—it exfoliates more deeply and efficiently than your own two hands and is gentle enough for even sensitive skin.

Whether Mom shows them off in the guest bathroom or sudses up with them in hers, Crabtree & Evelyn's Heritage Soaps in Crabapple and Mulberry, Almond Milk and Honey, and Vetiver and Juniperberry, $8 each, are way too pretty for washing out anyone's mouth. The chunky, shea butter-and-evening-primrose-oil-infused bars come in the most appealing wrappers, inspired by vintage illustrations from the company's archives. They froth up full and foamy, and because they're triple-milled, they're strong and dense and never fall apart.

Family vacations don't have to involve icky hotel soap slivers and worthless shampoo/conditioner combos: At, you can personalize a kit with products that fit your mom's particular beauty needs—every item on the site is less than 3.4 ounces, meaning they're officially A-OK with the TSA. Here's an example of what you can score for $100 (in this case, $91.50, to be exact): Oscar Blandi Jasmine Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner ($9 each), Archipelago Botanicals Grapefruit Body Wash ($7), Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Daily Gentle Cleanser ($10), DDF Daily Protective Moisturizer SPF 15 ($40), Compagnie de Provence Hand Cream in Fresh Verbena ($4.50), and Phyto Phytovolume Actif Volumizer Spray ($12). Every order comes with a large Ziplock bag for your carry-on.

Kate Spade's Paley Paisley Small Henrietta cosmetic bag, $60, is that rare combination of functional and fashionable: The paisley pattern is lively and fun, and both the inside lining and outer fabric are easy to clean (you just wipe 'em down). The bag is compact enough to fit in a purse, but spacious enough to hold all of Mom's makeup essentials. For the more minimalist mother, Bobbi Brown's limited-edition Peony & Python Beauty Case, $40, is small and gorgeous; it'll hold just what she needs for touch-ups (powder, blush, and a couple lipsticks). Designed by Tibi founder Amy Smilovic, the pattern—a soft lilac peony atop a python background—is based on Brown's pink/lilac/gray spring makeup collection.

Many moms consider the shower their secret sanctuary. So consider giving her a luxurious boost with Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Shower Gel ($65). The blue bottle looks glam on the counter, and the citrus-y blend of neroli, bergamot, lemon, and mandarin is light and summery—not to mention there's nothing more posh than showering with Mr. Ford

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