By Christine Elizabeth Laprade

Gifting is an art. That being said, ’tis the season to spoil (ourselves) and our loved ones. Anyone who truly appreciates life’s finest knows how daunting it can be to shop with a relatively conservative budget (you’d like to gift your significant other a Tom Ford coat but your accountant wouldn’t approve? We totally get it). Still, fancy options abound, whether you’re in need of a small hostess gift, are looking to spoil your sweetie or impress your in-laws.

Universal gift for any woman you love:


Apotheosis, Le Mat de Chanel by Chanel makeup collection ($46 – $70)

Whether the gift recipient is your boss, your sister, your lover, or your best friend – or a fabulous hostess who has it all-, one simply cannot go wrong with a lush Chanel lipstick, eyeshadow palette, perfume, or any skincare products. Chanel is timeless. Chanel is the epitome of elegance and opting for their seasonal makeup collection and limited edition pieces such as the 2018 Fall/Winter collection is the way to go. High-end packaging, sublime hues, posh brushes and finishes, it’s impossible to hit the mark as every colour and texture is coveted by both make-up artists and consumers around the world. The new collection from the French house’s namesake collection is comprised of ultra-rich, deep, and vibrant hues but also offers sensational silky matte textures. Amongst our favourite items are the super lush & nude-ish Les 4 Ombres multi-effect Quadra Eyeshadow palette in Clair Obscure #308 and Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur Mat, which consists of a playful jumbo lip crayon and stays put forever and ever thanks to its hyper-concentrated pigments, and it’s incredibly breezy to apply.

Available at Chanel beauty counters across Canada


For any man who matters in your life:

Acqua di Parma Holiday Set ($84 – $273)

Any refined gentleman is attuned and familiar with Italian craftsmanship (Italians really do it better: shoemakers, fashion designers, chefs, cars – the list is endless). The perfumer, hailing from legendary Parma who created the brand in 1916, might be the most renowned perfume maker for men in the world. Acqua di Parma’s colognes are long-lasting yet masterfully balanced (read: never overpowering), subtle, refined, and incredibly irresistible. The Milan-based giant is a testimony to luxurious Italian craftsmanship and appeals to those who indulge in a posh contemporary lifestyle – or aspire to. Wearing one of its signature colognes will instantly whisk you away and transport you to the Italian Riviera… Style, allure, refinement: it’s impossible to go wrong, as one would expect with the essence of Italian style. The next best thing to gifting one of their signature fragrances is to opt for one of their thoughtfully put together holiday sets. The Eau de Cologne Concentré, included in the Colonia Sandalo holiday set, is a must and utterly enslaving and bewildering, thanks to its creamy notes of sandalwood and balsamic. The equivalent of Chanel, but for men, Acqua di Parma will enthrall any man, whether it be with its collection of Le Nobili scented soaps (magnolia, iris, Nobili) or the divine Arancia di Capri holiday set (citrus and warm notes of caramel), for an instant trip to the sultry, sunny Mediterranean…

Sold exclusively at Holt Renfrew.


Unisex and fabulous:

Nanette de Gaspé The Art of Noir

Perceived as a true pioneer, this lady is behind the groundbreaking dry masks sold at the posh US-based, online retailer Net-a-Porter. Montreal-based former corporate finance exec Nanette de Gaspé Beaubien is an expert when it comes to beauty, marketing, and winning formulas. Championing cosmetic technology, Nanette de Gaspé was launched in 2016, and she was just recently named Woman of the Year for the Americas by Cosmetics Design. The skincare line has been featured in Asian, American, and European publications (Allure,, Hollywood Reporter, Elle, Barneys, etc.). Therefore, it only makes sense to finally get acquainted with this glitzy label carried at Holt Renfrew stores nationwide. We’re especially fond of their micro-needling jet-black device, the Roller Noir ($45), which is efficient, ergonomic, and ultra-dramatic. The whole line’s packaging is simply exquisite (and so are her other lines such as Bain Noir), with small velvet black pouches and a meticulous attention to details like only French couture houses truly master. Essence Noir Polish ($95) makes a delightful addition to any gift, as it comes in a beautifully packaged box, just like the Baume Noir Lips (youth restoring, $65). These products have it all: a triple threat (scientifically-proven 3-prong approach to exfoliation such as physical, chemical, and enzymatic) but also boat a tried-and-true ingredient list such as bamboo, activated charcoal, glycolic acid, and the likes.

Available at Holt Renfrew and online via





Glitzy Stocking Stuffers for him & her:

Forget candy, cheap bath products, or anything that won’t make a lasting impression. Go for the win with these high-end yet affordable, exquisite picks.


Dior Ultra Rouge Vernis ($43)

Iconic and chic and shaking up the colour codes and textures, Ultra Rouge is Dior’s newest modus operandi! Ink-based lip liners that wear like a lipstick, semi-matte finishes, and Ultra Rouge Vernis, the newest nail lacquer collection which aims to celebrate the iconic shade of the French fashion house: red. Four new polishes are currently available, from uber-salacious Rouge en Diable 851 to its new siblings, Pretty Love 770 and Bright Star 777. Any of these Dior nail lacquers are guaranteed to put a smile on her face!

Available at



Marvis Mouthwash & Toothpaste

Let’s face it – Italians can do no wrong and Marvis’ line of posh (and entirely natural) dental hygiene care is just another example of how mundane pharmacy items can be elevated. The Rolls Royce of oral care is not only incredibly enticing, thanks to its elaborate packaging, but it is also available in most pharmacies nationwide and retails for less than $25! A special gift set is also available at Holt Renfrew and The Bay for $35, which includes 7 flavours (ideal for the frequent traveller!). It’s super cute and irresistible. We’re really digging the Jasmin Mint toothpaste ($9) and the Concentrated Strong Mint mouthwash, described aptly as an “extraordinary refreshment for the mouth” ($22.50).


Sisley Phyto-Lip Delight ($72)

This sumptuous balm-like, light-infused formula morphs into an oil upon application, for an ultra-luxurious feel, sheer coverage, and sensory delight. The French house is all about using the best plant extracts in order to create the best cosmetics. Coveted, exclusive, luxurious, Sisley should definitely be included in every woman’s Xmas stocking. Its newest launch, Phyto-Lip Delight, comes in three ravishing pastel shades. The gel/balm-like texture, appealing delicate hues and fancy applicator makes for a super glossy finish. Comfortable to wear, it can be worn on its own alone or applied on top of a lipstick. Packed with vitamin E and different kinds of oil (shea, jojoba and plum), it’s perfect for transformed, utterly nourished lips and a must during the harsh winter months. The formula is slightly emollient and 100% beautifying.

Available at Holt Renfrew, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom