Z Life: Holiday Shopping Done and Done. You’re Welcome.

‘Tis the season to give gifts that will elevate your likeability status, save you time, decrease stress, and leave your friends and loved ones wondering, how did they know?

Admit it, you’re already feeling a little grinchy and overwhelmed about being two steps behind with your holiday shopping right about now. Amiright? We got you. Thanks to @therealhousewifeofscottsdale and her coveted Holiday Gift Guide event attended by yours truly, you can breathe deeply as you say YES! to well-curated gift ideas that will set you apart from your mediocre competition. Don’t be mediocre. So, sit back and read on friends for my top picks from the not-to-miss influencer/media gift guide event. It was sort of like speed dating (is that still a thing?), but everyone’s a winner.

First up, for your skin obsessed/science-nerd loved ones, check out James Anthony Skincare @jamesanthonyskincare. The founder is an all-around badass mama who created this scientifically based skincare line that launched earlier this year.  Jennifer Hayes developed her entire line after struggling for decades with her skin ailments.

Hayes perfected her formulation of anti-aging products including an anti-aging serum, mask, eye/neck creams and more with her team over several years in the lab. Peptides are her queen ingredient and her line incorporates proteins used in organ transplant operations (fascinating) coupled with a unique enzyme release technology. I’ve been using the James Anthony full product line for one month and so far digging the results. I’m a believer (hey Santa, heyyy) in Hayes and her labor of love.

James Anthony Skincare was born upon the passing of Hayes’ beloved brother, the company namesake.  James’ memory lives on through his inspirational quotes cleverly printed on product bottles. It is a lovely and brilliant touch. Rolling out soon is an acne kit for youth and adults.

For the bling bling lover in da house, London Gold @londongoldaz showcased a collection of sparkly, unique designs that quickly caught my attention. What sets this jeweler apart is the customer service.  Family owned and operating in the Valley for forty years, my every interaction with the owners and staff leaves me feeling like I am their sole client. And, giving back to the community is paramount for the thoughtful owners.  Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring…

I can sense you’re not over my gratuitous holiday song references just yet, here’s another for you. It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

If scents are your thing, do not miss @ilsafragrances founded by Ilsa Manning after the birth of her first daughter. With her professional background in fragrance, Ilsa re-entered the workforce as a mompreneur creating a company centered around encouraging women to believe in themselves.

Ilsa’s fragrances are yummy, sensual, and thoughtfully crafted to celebrate life in a dreamy way.  Ilsa currently offers two scents, both bold, unique, and long-wearing.  And, this season Ilsa is donating a portion of the net proceeds to Girls on the Run, a nonprofit for girls’ empowerment. Run, Run Rudolph, and brava to beauty that gives back.

Loil Life Skincare @loil.life owner DelRae Cicinelli got me with her uber-cool, calm Gwynethy disposition as she causally but passionately shared her organic product line. She had me at ‘turmeric mask’.  Cicinelli is the owner and sole maker of her company’s lineup focusing on beauty, home cleaning and child wellness. Priced affordably, I particularly like the packaging and little bottles. Feminine but edgy. Just like Gwyneth. Carried at six locations across the Valley, Loil Life is a socially conscious line with a myriad of products bound to fit someone on your list.

For your creative, snarky, keepsake loving people, check @twig&lace. I’m ordering my annual family ornament from the small business and feeling like it will be a little more naughty than nice. A quick stop at twig&lace’s IG and you’ll understand why.

From personalized bottle openers to dog tags,  twig&lace is a good one stop, may as well laugh your way through the holidays, shop this season.

Back to beauty and science and skin and pretty little jars… here’s a local company that you should get to know – Dermatologist’s Choice @derm.choice (DC). Backed by science, and you guessed it, a dermatologist.

With a big-time fan base in the beauty marketplace, Dr. Bottiglione has been in the biz for forty years as an Arizona Board Certified dermatologist. He developed his skincare line as a way to bring dermatology treatments to his patients at home. His staple/hero ingredient in his line is the non-neutralized glycolic acid, the good doc references as a chemical peel. I AM IN LOVE with the simple, easy to use DC cleansing facial mask.  One and done and oh so smooth. If simplicity is your game, you will like this product. It’s effective, and I’d compare the treatment to a med-spa/dermatology-strength experience. A little tingle and rinse and ahhhh.

If its emotion you’re looking to elicit with your gift-giving skills, I’ve got an inspiring and classic idea. You may have to concentrate and dig deep with this one, so just go with it.  A. book. Yep. Old school all the way. Author, Chelsea Young @color.everything recently debuted The Color of Mother, a beautiful picture book that pays tribute to mothers and children of any age.  The sweet read centers around the universal message of love in a colorful way – perfect for snuggles and sharing during the most wonderful time of the year.  My kids (and strangely, my Standard Poodle) all enjoyed it. The best part? A portion of all book sales is donated to the local Phoenix nonprofit, Sojourner Center, to raise awareness of, and combat domestic violence.

Continuing on for the littles in your orbit.

One of my personal tried and true stops for quality, creative toys, crafts, games, and more is @KidStop.  Most merch is kid tested and uber-cool. Trust me when I say you can bang out much of your holiday list at this decades old Valley gem for your newborns to tweens.  The shop’s signature complimentary gift wrapping is the best.

Some like it hot, cold and drippy. No judgment. You may have a few of those types in your circle too?  You know what I’m talking about: wellness lovers who will try anything once if it aids in recovery.  Well, welcome to the Valley, @Restore Hyper Wellness. The Scottsdale studio offers IV drips, cryotherapy, infrared sauna, stretch, and additional wellness modalities to help just about any human ‘restore and do more.’

I could go on and on (like deafening Christmas music in my house) about my fave things. I’ll spare you and instead offer up a few more not to be missed companies/ideas to round out the list; Carrie Curran Art Studios @carriecurranart classes, events, and all-around cool space/experience.

And finally, I can’t wait for the opening of CLOVR Life Spa coming to Uptown Plaza in Phoenix. @clovrlifespa claims it sets itself apart from the ‘bland and boring/posh and pricey’ spas with its girl-gang type atmosphere. I liken it to a much-needed group of besties’ beauty day sprinkled with spikes of dayger-esque fun.  I’ll report back after a few treatments enhanced by a couple glasses of champs, all topped with a snooze in the chill lounge.

There you have it, my naughty little elves. Ideas galore topped off with my parting gift for you; more Z Life in 2020 as we settle into our shiny and new IM360 headquarters in downtown Phoenix. I wish you and yours the merriest of everything this season and a joyful New Year!