As much as holiday shopping is a thrill-filled function, it can also overwhelm amid the glut of retail marketing messages asserting deals, steals and grand gifting opportunities galore. With so much to choose from, here’s a short list of a few tried-and-true gifts, gets and getaways that are well-suited for a holiday spending spree.
***** GADGETS *****
Funcl is a hardware startup devoted to making true wireless headphones accessible to everyone with price points starting at $19. The company recently launched two models: the Funcl W1 and Funcl AI. The Funcl W1 feature touch buttons on the headphones, which let you control the music and easily answer or reject calls. The Funcl W1 boasts integrated, sophisticated audio engineering to support AAC and provide good sound quality and bass performance for both calls and music. Designed by the company’s award-winning industrial design team, these earbuds also have a unique design for a comfortable fit and attractive aesthetic. Qualcomm chip powered, Funcl’s other model, the AI, provides Hi-Fi sound quality and extremely low latency. Also power friendly, a single charge provides six hours of battery life and, with three extra charges from the case, total battery life is a full 24 hours. Ranked with a waterproof level of IPX5, Funcl AI is well-suited for use during workouts and exercising, whether at the gym or outdoors. A free Funcl AI App also makes the AI voice assistant feature easier and more intuitive to access.
Anova Precision Cooker Nano
The Anova Precision Cooker Nano is an appliance innovation allowing you to cook delicious, restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of your own home. Paired with the Anova App, which features the world’s largest collection of sous vide recipes, this device makes it easy to cook, control and keep track of your recipe from your mobile phone. Simply choose a recipe, press start, and the Nano does the rest. Used by professional chefs for decades, sous vide is a simple and approachable technique that eliminates overcooked, dried out food and ensures edge-to-edge perfection every time. Whether it’s steak, chicken, fish, vegetables, or even crème brûlée, with the Anova Precision Cooker Nano anyone can cook like a pro!
***** STYLE *****
Lamo is a Southern California-based company known for creating comfortable, high quality sheepskin boots, slippers and moccasins for men, women and children. Lamo footwear is extremely high quality, offered at a value price. With a SoCal fashion-forward feel, Lamo’s stylish and comfortable footwear ensures you’ll walk in style, whether you’re traversing snowy peaks, snagging a few rays at the beach, or even cozying up at home. For at-home coziness I particularly love the Ladies Scuff design, which features a luxurious 100% Australian sheepskin lining for $80. Or choose the ultra-affordable premium faux fur option for just $40—the western print is super cute!
Buckle up for a truly unique gift idea that fuses belts and wallets into one super stylish, extremely efficient wearable. As seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, Wallet Buckle changes the way men and women carry valuable credit cards and cash while out and about. This clever creation keeps these essentials secure and on hand in the most stylish, fun, convenient belt buckle that combines fashion with function. Wallet Buckle stores up to four credit cards and ID’s, so it’s a great way to keep these itmes accessible and prevent them from getting lost or stolen.
***** SELF-CARE *****
Eterno Red LED Light Device
Beauty gifts are a burgeoning category and here’s a fantastic idea in kind: The Eterno Device—a four-week face lift you can use at home instead of those creams and masks that just don’t work. This brand new, time-saving device is clinically-proven to use NASA’s red and infrared LED Light Therapy, the most innovative, age-defying technology on the planet. Its patented glass head is powerful and gentle, and and the device effectively reduces wrinkles, softens fine lines, increases collagen and elastin production, lifts and tightens skin, and improves complexion through its technology. Eterno is a must-have for anyone who wants a fresh glow achieved in the comfort of their own home.
If there’s one company who knows cosmetics and self-care, it’s Shiseido. From the many fabulous things they offer, there are a few standouts this season that I particularly like. First is their ModernMatte Powder Lipstick Expressive Deluxe Mini Set—a limited-edition wardrobe of five mini ModernMatte Powder Lipsticks. They’re all housed in a deluxe acrylic container for the holidays, and the outer package features festive RIBBONESIA art. The shades range from soft neutrals to bold berries to festive reds, ensuring there’s something for every occasion. This creamy, non-drying formula transforms into a weightless powder and wraps lips in a velvety, matte pigment. Now what gal wouldn’t love that? Also from Shiseido is the Ult-Immune Power-Infusing Concentrate. This is Shiseido’s best-selling serum, actually having relaunched in a stronger formula powered by Imu-Generation Technology. It has anti-oxidant rich reishi mushroom and iris root extracts that strengthen skin, restore firmness and defend against daily damage. It’s made to produce fast results, with skin growing 28 percent stronger in just one week.
***** STOCKING STUFFERS *****
STICK-AMIS Hands-Free Phone Stickers
STICK-AMIS are nifty phone stickers that allow complete hands-free usage of any type of phone or tablet without the need for special case sizes or bulky contraptions. It’s ideal for the perfect selfie or group shot…often on the first click! Patent pending, STICK-AMIS is a super-handy phone accessory that instantly solves the problem of having to fumble with your phone while taking selfies, group photos, watching videos or even video conferencing. In addition, STICK-AMIS doubles as an instant stand and can eliminate the need for oft cumbersome accessories like pop-sockets, selfie-sticks and tripods! Use STICK-AMIS to also avoid awkward angles, shadows and limited range of your phone or tablet camera.
Shhhtop Door Dampener
For the home improvement and child safety-minded is Shhhtop, which is better than conventional door dampers and stoppers for ensuring doors don’t slam shut–even when other doors and windows are open to let in fresh air. Beyond the annoyance and stress from slamming doors, they’re also a safety hazard to children, the elderly and pets. Shhhtop installs easily with no drilling or damage to door components. It’s also discreet and invisible once installed.
***** TRAVEL *****
Holidays at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Whether as a holiday getaway for yourself or an experiential gift for another, the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa is a splendid desert home-away-from-home for the holidays courtesy of a range of events and activities inspired by holiday storybooks and tales. This December, there are some super special offerings at this Palm Springs-area destination, including: a giant walk-in snow globe for family photo ops; kids’ craft classes with Nutcracker, Grinch and other themes; nightly free holiday movies; a gingerbread house decorating contest; oversized storybook characters; an Elf-on-the-Shelf hunt; desert Santa in flip-flops; as well as holiday tree-lighting and entertainment. Then there’s the ultimate New Year’s Eve Glow-in-the-Dark family dance party, which is a huge hit with kids. Their Storybook Holiday package includes $50 per night resort credit as well as milk cookies and a children’s holiday storybook upon check-in.
Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel
Another fabulous holiday or travel gift is Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, the only hotel on Beverly Hills’ iconic Rodeo Drive. A blend of modern style, relaxed Southern California spirit and the elegance of Beverly Hills, this boutique hotel features inspired spaces from famed designer Vicente Wolf and genuine hospitality from a dedicated staff. Revel in unmatched access to world-class shopping, dining and entertainment, and exclusive Luxe Club amenities. Like a home-away-from-home, the Luxe Club benefits include delicious breakfasts, light lunches, evening tastings with happy hour house wines and cocktails to ensure every craving and necessity is met. The hotel also features complimentary bicycle rentals, a 2nd floor outdoor mezzanine and rooftop that provides incredible 360-degree views of the Los Angeles hills and skyline. The rooftop also has a Fitness Center and hosts “Cinema Under the Stars” events on the weekend. Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel is a premier choice for an immersive Beverly Hills holiday.
As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Instagram.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided at no cost or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***