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Quick Hits: Last-Minute Gifts or How To Spend That Gift Card from Santa

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pretty palettes

If you're not quite done your holiday shopping, you'll get no judgement from this side of the screen. We think someone fast-fowarded the world when we weren't looking. Or maybe you're all done, but could do with some ideas on how to spend those beauty-boutique giftcards you'll find in your stockings. Either way, if you have a shop to hit tonight for last-minute gifts, or have gift cards to spend, may we suggest some pretty purchases that would do just as well under the tree as they would as part of your personal stash?

if you're making a target run...

Sonia Kashuk body_Yellow Alluriana

...beeline to the Sonia Kashuk section for great beauty buys that won't bruise your wallet. Newest from the makeup maven is her line of bath and body indulgences, which make terrific last-minute gifts or treats for yourself. We love the Alluriana collection (from $6.99) for its sweetly fresh grapefruit, verbena and musk scent.

Sonia Kashuk Couture Shower Cap

But we're most excited about the groovy Sonia Kashuk Couture Shower Cap ($4.99), with its black leather-look exterior and terrycloth interior. No great-grandma florals in sight. Love. for store locations.

if you're making a sephora run...

Bliss blood orange + white pepper hand cream

...get thee to the Bliss section and snap up this Bliss Blood Orange + White Pepper Hand Cream ($10 each). The purse-sized tube doesn't last all that long when you keep offering dollops to dry-handed strangers around you, but the omigod-I-love-this conversation that immediately follows is total girl cheer. (#wedidthat)

Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio_$32

If we could give everyone in the world a gift set from Fresh, everyone in the world would coo in delight. The brand does lovely so very well that last-minute gifts won't ever look like last-minute gifts. We are especially addicted to Fresh Sugar lip treatments; this Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio ($32) is delicious. But really, any gift from Fresh will thrill, so if this isn't available don't fret. Just snatch something else off the shelf and hit the checkout forthwith.

Urban Decay Black Market liner set

Anyone who wears pencil liner loves or will love Urban Decay's. They're creamy, long-wearing and available in amazing shades. This Urban Decay Black Market 24/7 Glide-On Pencil Set ($42) of neutral basics should be a staple in any woman's makeup case. Urban Decay is also available at select Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques.

if you're making a shoppers drug mart or hudson's bay run...

Philosophy Cookie Exchange

...swing by the Philosophy display. In fact, Philosophy gifts are brilliant final-shopping-hour gifts because the brand is available at Sephora and Shopper's Drug Mart, too. The stock may vary, but any of this season's gift sets will win the hearts of dessert-scent lovers. How cute is this Philosophy Cookie Exchange ($33 at Hudson's Bay)? If sugar-based fragrances don't appeal, Philosophy skincare gift sets are winners, too. Look for a set of trial sizes if you aren't certain of the recipient's skin type.

Shiseido Eye Color Bar

If you're at Hudson's Bay, you want this beautiful Shiseido Eye Color Bar Palette ($58) dreamt up by makeup maestro Dick Page. It's limited edition; cross your fingers.

Clarisonic Mia 2 with charger

The Clarisonic cleansing system is the. best. skin-cleansing brush system. on. the. market. Yes, there are budget versions, but the Clarisonic is superior in its construction and gentleness on skin. So if your budget allows, snag a Clarisonic Mia 2 Cleansing System ($175), which is easier to maneouvre than the classic Clarisonic, has two speeds unlike the original Mia, and a protective travel case. Clarisonic is also carried by Sephora and Holt Renfrew.

if you're making a holt renfrew run...

tom ford eye shadow quads

...the Tom Ford counter is a must. The entire Tom Ford beauty range is finally available in Canada; if your love is a Tom Ford fan, she's execting summa this under the tree. And if Santa gave you a Holt's gift card to spend, you'll want some too. Consider a Tom Ford Eye Colour Quad ($70), or one or two or three Tom Ford lipsticks ($55 each).

Shu Uemura eye & cheek palette 1

This year's Shu Uemura holiday eye and cheek palettes are just. so. gorgeous. The packaging features illustrations by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and the interior glows with a stunning selections of colour. I'm sorry to say some stores are sold out of one palette over the other, so if you're spending gift-card cash, you might want to call the location nearest you to check. Above is the Shu Uemura Enchanted Black Parallel Palette ($90), which has gorgeous dramatic shades perfect for a New Year's shindig.

Shu Uemura eye & cheek palette 2

This is the Shu Uemura Princess Heart-Full Pink Parallel Palette ($90). Love.

YSL Palette Parisian Nite blush

Most anything YSL beauty is a happily-accepted gift or gift-card purchase. We love this signature YSL Palette Parisian Nite Rue de Babylone Radiant Blush ($55), but if you'd rather a luxurious YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm instead, be our guest. They're killer last-minute gifts, and of course you should buy one for yourself, too. With the YSL Sheer Candy Glossy Balm, we're very much about one for you, one for me. Or one for you, two for me.

cle de peau beaute bouquet floral wintry pencil bouquet

Clé de Peau is a beautiful luxury brand under the Shiseido umbrella. And when they do pencils, they do the most gorgeous, elegant versions, like this Clé de Peau Beauté Bouquet Floral Wintry Pencil Bouquet set ($120).

Cle de Peau bouquet floral wintry pencil bouquet lip and eye pencil set

See? Fancy. From left: Lip Color Pencils in Mauve Pink and Deep Red; Eye Color Pencils in Shining Gold, Bronze Red and Purple Grey. A-dore. We've decided we should play more with Clé de Peau, just so you know.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!