Forget Thanksgiving... Black Thursday is the new Black Friday

I mean, c'mon... Target was quoted saying they're opening on Thanksgiving for the stampede of Christmas shoppers because of customer demand. Well, customers are stupid, including me. I need hurdles to keep me from doing dumb sh*t every now and again (sometimes it's a muzzle, sometimes it's limited opening hours). Not that stores are in the business of keeping me away. On the contrary. But... well, whatever. They're open Thanksgiving.

However, I'm so not against fleeng the dysfunctional family fun for a few minutes, locking yourself in the bathroom, to shop online. You're not actually leaving the party because you think Macy's sale is more important than, say, the woman who pushed you through her vaginal canal to give you life, so you look like less of a jerk than if you just pushed your chair away from the table, removed the napkin from your lap and left. Plus, it gives you a much-needed moment of solace to gather the mental fortitude and the zen state needed to go back in there and not tackle and strangle Grandpa while he's on yet another offensie diatribe about some group of people or another.

And if you live in soft clothes, like me (aside from the accidental Mom Jeans purchase every now and then) but maybe you're a teeny bit over everyone and their mom -- and your mom -- wearing the same Lululemon pants you saved for two months to buy, then I recommend Beyond Yoga's online sale.

Sure, the PR emailed me about it.

BUT it looks like quite a tasty sale so I thought, email from the PR or not, you'd appreciate hearing about it.

So build in a little alone time on just another day for shops to take advantage of you Thanksgiving to save your sanity, though we can't comment on saving your waistline. 

HO HO HO | Penhaligon's Christmas Gifts

HOW COULD I have forgotten to add these positively gorgeous hat boxes topped with floppy velvet bows to my Christmas Gift Guide. That's being rectified immediately. I remembered them as I was editing a post on the trend for all things Owl-y nowadays (seriously, haven't you noticed them everywhere?).

Gorgeous gift sets for him and her both. Or the house if you're getting it for a couple. I'd keep the entire thing, packaging and gift within, forever. Fragrances, bath and shower gels, votives, hand wash and lotion... all in the quintessential Penhaligon scents, style and bottles.

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HO HO HO | Lanvin Faces Playing Cards


KNOW A poker player with aesthete leanings? These Lanvin Playing Cards are the stocker stuffer for them. However at $85/£55, this deck might be the only thing stuffed in the toe of his/her stocking this year.

Play a second game of "Where's Alber" too, thanks to the cheeky bow-tie homage to the portly dandy designer.

Buy your own deck of Lanvin Faces Playing Cards or check out our Christmas Gift Guide for a plethora of across-the-board amazing gifts (because you know you haven't done your shopping yet).

HO HO HO | Animal temporary hand tattoos for the little 'uns

HOW ADORABLE are these? They make me (almost) want to have kids just so I can find someone with whom to use them who won't stare at me like I'm crazy (my husband).

Plus, you're still staying chic with the whole temporary tattoo trend (thanks, CHANEL), right? In fact, forget jewellry. Why not wear a pair of tattoo giraffes to that holiday party this year? Instant conversation starter! (We kid... probably don't don these outside of your own home).

Worldwide Co. Temporary Hand Tattoos in Animal, Scary, Robot, Monster, Dino and more.

HO HO HO | Free facial at Content Beauty/Wellbeing

AGAIN, ANOTHER no brainer gift idea. Why? Because a. it's an EXPERIENCE, which I love far more than just being gifted more stuff... everyone already has too much stuff. Give them something that they can DO and that will change the way they look instantly (that's the result you're after with all those beauty, wellness and fashion gifts anyway). Plus, did we mention, IT'S FREE. Or, I should say, free with purchase. 

You buy a gift card for one facial and you get a second facial FREE. That's insane. No one does that. If I lived closer, I would buy 5 and give the 5 free facials with purchase to all my sisters, my mom and my friend with the youngest and most numerous bebes.

The offer's available through December 20th and valid through March 2011, which, I think, is a good idea -- you'll actually go if you know there's an end date instead of holding onto the voucher until you've long forgotten about it, waiting for the exact right time to book your appointment.

Check out Content Beauty/Wellbeing here.

HO HO HO | Sohum Grande Vegetale Soap Cakes

TALK ABOUT a no brainer gift idea. I'd be chuffed if I ripped down my stocking from the mantle Christmas morning to find it stuffed with these beauties from Sohum. They remind me of another favourite brand of mine, Nesti Dante (I even hid a giant bar from my husband in my luggage, bought in Trento, Italy, and carried it all the way to California via various African countries, trans-Atlantic planes, rental cars, campgrounds and more things than I can list here. That's how much I love it).

I think the Sohum Grande Vegetale Soap Cake in Fleur Anise and Caramella would do just fine for the festive season... or Muskette... or Tuberose... Hell, I want them all. 

They're triple milled and thus give a super creamy lather. Plus, some have new Grande Vegetale candles (Pomander, for one) in matching scents. 

A soap + candle duo would be a sudsy, scented hit of a Christmas gift, in my humble opinion, for sisters, friends, girlfriends, mothers-in-law et al.

Check out the rest of the Melbourne-based Sohum range here.

FROM THE FRONT | Cyber Monday beauty deals

IF YOU'RE looking for a beauty bargain, today might be a good day to get one. Get the codes, details and deadlines by which you need to shop here...

AOL Stylelist lists top beauty brands who are offering up to 35% and 40% off and free shipping through tomorrow.

There's some overlapp with AOL Stylelist, but Daily Makeover also lists some other crack brands that are offering everything from actually good, usable free gifts with purchase to free shipping and more.

FitSugar has a list of brands from Adidas to lululemon with offers on right now. 

Real Style Network has some goodies, like Bobbi Brown, Sephora, DHC, Origins and Philosophy.

Temptalia has an exhaustive list of beauty offers on Cyber Monday, including 67% off Ole Henriksen holiday kits and 50% off NYX while supplies last.

People Style Watch lists as having Laura Geller at up to an 80% discount.

iVillage has a list in slideshow format that tells us about deals at places like Kiehl's, C.O. Bigelow, Emerson Made, Forever 21, Nude Skincare and more.

RetailMeNot has a brilliant list of coupon codes for Cyber Monday, including MAC (free overnight shipping) and Boden (30% off and free shipping).

GeekSugar offers up a Cyber Monday shopping guide to help you navigate the glut of goods and pitfalls out there.


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FESTIVE BEAUTY S.O.S | Wearing killer heels without killing yourself

YOU'VE BEEN at work all day and, if you’re belong to a very small minority of the female population, you’ve decided it’s okay to wear 6-inch stilettos to work. And you’ll be damned if you crack in a moment of weakness (or pain) by taking them off or rubbing your feet. You’ve insisted for time immemorial that they’re really comfortable (ohmigod are they not), and you'll sashay through life insisting as such, walking, head held high, into the horizon with your heels strapped in place. To each her own. This post is for women who can't mask the unbridled pain we feel with every step we take in, what I call, holiday heels on all dozen or so occasions we slip into them each year.

For those of us who haven’t trained our feet to endure the unending pain of fixing spikes on our heels while we teeter around on our tippy toes, the decision to wear high heels to holiday parties -- post work or otherwise -- will be met with swift, crippling pain confining us to a chair or -- for the very steeled (or drunk) -- a gentle sway on the dance floor to momentarily take the pressure off of one foot at a time. By the end of the night those who can’t resist the punchy beats of George Michael’s Last Christmas will be buffing the floor with our stocking-ed feet, which is no way to treat a pair of $50 Wolford’s is it?

So here’s our quick guide to wearing heels without a sense of dread during the festive season:

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Advent calendar #23 and #24 | 2 free downloads to start 2010 right


Mibo Studios have a fantastic free 2010 planner PDF you can download right now and print up to start organising the new year before it begins. After a month of buying things for others, why not get something for yourself. And no need to feel guilty as it's free.

Next year, we're going to try to do an advent calendar packed with completely free things - downloads, apps, gifts with purchase... whatever. We predict that spending will still be waaaaay down next year (thank you, banks, for taking our money and still refusing to lend, not that I think wanton spending is a good thing, but I digress...) so it'll be a nice treat.

If you want to get a head-start on next year's holiday as well, download their free Advent Calendar too.

#23 | 2010 Planner

#24 | Advent Calendar

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER TO WIN A FREE ASPINAL OF LONDON BRIT CLUTCH. No strings attached and we don't save your information or share your info with 3rd parties.

Advent calendar #21 | For a cuppa on-the-go


WHAT  A set with everything you need to be able to make your perfect cuppa - tea, tin, stirrers, compostable filters and a linen carry-all.

WHY    Because you want it made the way you like it, when you like it. And it works out to less than a quid a pop (when you fact in cost of tin, stirrers and filters), making it cheaper than a take away tea. 



Advent calendar #17 | For the out-all-day-and-night girl


WHAT A slim, LED-lit mirror that's big enough (& back lit) to see what you're doing.

WHY   Because you don't have time to go home between work and your holiday parties AND it's cool enough that you don't mind whipping it out on the Tube to do the usually shameful public makeup application.


Model Mirror is available at Selfridges and online at Les Tai Tai.