Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Gifts Under $25

Chinchilla and Madison cupcoats

Zebra and Giraffe cupcoats

Mackinzie and Anne cupcoats

Chamonix cupcoat - perfect for holiday

Whether you are on a budget this season or agreed on spending up to $25 for a gift exchange, check out these two favorites of mine:

For all those coffee and tea drinkers out there that run to the office with a fresh cup in their hand, get them the fashionable cupcoat, 'high fashion thermal sleeves for paper cups' from Cup Couture. Cupcoats are the perfect accessory this winter. With the temperature drop in Manhattan over the past few days, I've been more apt to drop into Starbucks for a Gingerbread or Peppermint Mocha Latte. I have the Zebra Mist cupcoat (faux fur with sky blue lining, $12) but definitely want to get the Chinchilla (silky faux Chinchilla with black lining, $18 retail) or Madison (black faux mink with hot pink lining, $16 retail). These styles are both sold out at Cup Couture, so you may want to contact them to see when they will have more stock. There are plenty of styles to choose from, with my other favorites including the Giraffe ($12 retail), Mackinzie (wool plaid, $12.00 retail) and Anne prints (flocked black velvet on a woven linen background, $12 retail).

They are fashionable, but also serve their purpose well. They are reusable and thermally insulating. The cupcoats come in one size and fit most 12, 16, 20 oz. paper beverage cups. Their slim profile allows you to easily hold your cup while walking and can be used in most vehicle cup holders. Also machine washable and lays flat when not in use, so very easy to carry along in your bag. I can't wait to be sporting mine at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February!

Loofah Exfoliating Blend

Mango Cleansing Blend

Coconut Exfoliating Blend
My next gift recommendation: the all-natural handmade soaps from Wembé, 'enriched with exotic moisturizing and detoxifying ingredients to awaken the Amazonian soul'.

My favorite is the Loofah Exfoliating Blend, made of soap and moisturizing butters, specifically sodium salts, vegetable sponge, almond oil, dill and essential vegetable oils. The 3 pack retails for $25. I saw that there were loofah speckles embedded in the soap, but as I tried it out I was amazed to find an entire loofah within the soap! With regular use, this exfoliating bar eliminates dead skin cells, stimulates blood circulation, cleanses the body and improves the complexion.

I've tried both the Mango Cleansing Blend ($7.65 retail) and Coconut Exfoliating Blend ($7.00 retail). I love the uneven, edge at the top of these two soaps, great for massaging the body. The scents are both refreshing and invigorating. Just be sure to cover the soap when it's not in use. If you keep it uncovered while your shower is running, it will dissolve more quickly.

The brand is named after one of the most well known exotic plants only found in the rainforest, the Wembé. Wembé is a Paraguayan company based in the Dumbo neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. You can purchase Wembé soaps online at

- Kim Weling

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