Giving Back

This holiday season, Aveda has partnered with communities in Nepal to present eight limited-edition gift sets.

Aveda has long admired the superior quality artistry of Lokta papermaking in Nepal, a craft that has survived more than 500 years, which is why the company established a partnership with women artisans in Nepal's Bajhang region. Local communities receive fair payment from Aveda for their handmade paper, empowering them to create a sustainable business and protect their land. This holiday season, renewably sourced paper is an element of each of Aveda's eight limited-edition gift sets, featuring new and all-time favorites. Customers can also place a customized selection of Aveda products in a Premium Gift Box, which is wrapped entirely in Lokta paper—a gift in itself. —M.D.


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Cause for Celebration

Who needs 10 lords a-leaping or two turtle doves when you can dazzle beauty devotees with these original holiday gift ideas?


Fruits & Passion's fruity foaming baths are presented as colorful Christmas ornaments. Seven fragrances, like Pear-Linden and Very Lemon, delight the senses.


Joico Skin Luxe Spiced Ginger Revitalizing Body Cream is formulated for dry or extra-dry skin.


Bumble and bumble created a beautiful gift box containing Bb. Treatment Dehydration Therapy Cleanser, Conditioning Creme and Therapy Complex.


Mirabella Glow Shadows—Frostbite, Chill, Shiver and Arctic—are packaged in the perfect case for party girls who are on the go.


Deck the halls with this holiday fragrance lantern from Fruits & Passion. Available in three fragrances: Amaryllis, Orange & Cinnamon and Gui/Mistletoe.


The Tea Tree Give Joy Lemon Sage gift set from Paul Mitchell includes Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash and the new Lemon Sage Body Lotion.


Back to Basics Rich Moisture Coconut Mango Holiday Duo comes with a free holiday ornament. Better yet, the shampoo and conditioner are loaded with antioxidants.


Drench dry winter skin with the new Black Currant & Fig hand and body lotion from CND Creative Scentsations.


Inspired by the risqué underworld of 1920s Weimar, Vidal Sassoon's latest collection, Coquette, presents a woman who flirts with glamour, decadence and danger. "It's all curves and angles with iconic 1920s haircuts, such as the bob and the Eton crop," says Mark Hayes, international creative director. Kiss curls are drawn out into rounded triangles, while Clara Bow fringes swoop around to severe graduations and scissor-over-comb work. Cuts have disconnected stepped panels with scalloped curves and Cubist angles. —M.D.

Natural Beauty

Skincare products that are healthy for customers and for the environment are the focus of a new company called Green by Nature, which avoids harmful ingredients, such as parabens, sulfates and DEA, in favor of botanical extracts and essential oils. The company's eco-friendly practices also include using recyclable plastic packaging and donating a portion of its sales to 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses dedicated to protecting the environment. Shown here is the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, which contains beeswax and almond oil. —L.A.

Ripe for the Picking

Inspired by 19th-century prints discovered in Florence, the Sapone Per Cucina collection of shea butter soaps from Lafco New York are rustic yet luxurious. Each bar is oversized, triple-milled, hand-wrapped the old-fashioned way and tied with twine. Handpick yours from a fresh selection of scents, including Pear, Plum, Pomegranate and Tomato. —C.W.

CND Pucker Up: Think of it as lip gloss for nails.

That's Italian

Inspired by the Mediterranean traditions of warmth and conviviality, the Fruits & Passion Cucina collection of kitchen hand care and fragrances offers a taste of romantic, sun-bathed lands where olive trees and aromatic plants reign supreme. We love the Cucina Hand Soap. —M.D.

Have Bag, Will Travel

Even the most hardened homebodies will get the urge to wander with a beautiful, functional travel accessory from the Stephanie Johnson collection. The Leslie Bottle Bag, seen here in the Moroccan-inspired Marrakesh print, is new for fall. Fully equipped for a girl-on-the-go, it comes with two clear bottles, a soap dish, toothbrush holder, loofah and mirror. For wholesale inquiries, call 310/306-3228. —C.W.


Fruits & Passion Influence Tea & Orchid Hand Soap will awaken the senses with its fresh and welcoming fragrance. Glycerin, a remarkable plant-based moisturizer, purifies without irritation and leaves hands delicately soft. —M.D.

Holiday Glamour

This holiday season, hair is all about simple elegance, no-fuss haircolor and easy-to-do styles like the neat chignons Guido Palau did for Redken at Ralph Lauren for fall/winter. Haircolor is rich, vibrant and ultra-natural. To tone down summer shades, try one of the three long-lasting, rich brown tones and warm accents in Redken's Color Gels Copper Browns Collection. —M.D.


During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City this fall, CND collaborated with 62 designers, custom-blended four nail colors, tended to 22,400 fingers and toes, flew 20 nail techs in from three continents and used 286 bottles of nail color. —M.D.

Sparkle from head to toe this season with a jeweled headband from A. Tierney. 212/360-1166

The Russians are Coming

Using CND's liquids and powders for a base, Russian master nail technician Nadejda Pchelina spent two months creating a set of 10 opulent medals, which took first place in the 3-D design competition at the Moscow Nail Expo. When Baby Phat's Kimora Lee Simmons found out about them—her fall/winter 2007 show just happened to have a Russian theme—she flipped her babushka and asked CND's Team Red to create 40 badges for models to wear on their thumbs or forefingers. Working around the clock, Team Red incorporated rich metallic finishes, sparkling gems and tiny, hand-painted portraits into their tiny treasures. —M.D.

Napoleon Dynamite

Makeup guru Napoleon Perdis put the finishing touches on Hollywood's hottest celebrities, including Ugly Betty's Emmy nominee America Ferrera, at the Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards in September. To achieve complexion perfection, he applied his Camera Finish Powder and touched up her pout with Gloss Patrol. —M.D.

What to Wear for the Holidays: OPI I've Read the Script

Homegrown Goodness

FarmHouse Fresh Fine Foot Scrubs are a treat for your feet, but your nose will appreciate them, too. The scrubs are available in three mouthwatering, warm and comforting fragrances—Sweet Cream, Whipped Honey and Early Apple—and packaged in jars with lids reminiscent of old-fashioned, hand-packed jams and jellies. Each is made with finely grained sea salts and rice bran oil, which is rich in vitamin E to deliver moisture. Try them on the hands, elbows and knees, too. 888/773-9626 —C.W.

Botanical Bounty

Solution for Hair salon owners Mark Horn and Brad Hensler recently released a haircare line designed to strengthen and protect all shades of natural and color-treated hair. The line debuted with Moisture Shampoo and Daily Conditioner, which contain sunflower seed extract (a natural UV filter), cucumber and chamomile. More products are on the way. —L.A.

Dynamic Duos

Napoleon Perdis unveils his new Chandelier Shine Lip Gloss packs. Choose from 12 new, ultra-glossy shades of lip gloss infused with marine collagen to keep lips moist and full. Each lip gloss is color-matched to shades from the best-selling line of Chandelier Shine nail polish. The new lip gloss packs make great gifts. 'Tis the season, right? —M.D.

Exotic Eyebrows

Tweezerman tickles your sense of adventure with its new limited-edition Jungle-Themed Slant. The product offers the same precision of the brand's traditional tweezers with a fresh, unique look. Choose from leopard, zebra or reptile prints. —A.L.


Chocolate and peppermint make quite a remarkable pair, especially in the new CocoaMint Fresh Foot Scrub from Bath by Bettijo. This all-natural scrub contains invigorating peppermint essential oil, sugar, shea butter, cocoa butter and jojoba seed oil to buff away dry skin and leave soles smooth. It's a guilt-free treat your clients are sure to savor. —C.W.

Skin Deep

Aesthetic Wurx is the brainchild of esthetician Helena M. Borg-Greenspan and her husband, Dr. Mark Greenspan, a leading orthopedic and cosmetic surgeon in Los Angeles. The cosmeceutical line, which includes green tea, has been shown to produce a 30 percent increase in collagen and a 50 percent decrease in fine lines and wrinkles after just 60 days of use. —M.D.


Tom Julian, senior vice president and director of trends for ad agency McCann Erickson, highlights holiday happenings in landmark public spaces for 2007.

The official holiday season begins with the 81st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade strolling down Broadway on November 22, and for the 32 consecutive shopping days that follow until December 25, tourists and locals alike experience the Big Apple aglow and decorated in red, green, silver and gold.

Tom julian
Tom julian

Each major department store enchants and entertains shoppers with thematic windows that shouldn't be missed. Barneys on Madison Avenue is known as the most artistic, under the creative direction of Simon Doonan; Bergdorf Goodman shows the best of gift-giving with a theme of luxury and fantasy; Bloomingdale's turns Lexington Avenue into holiday lane; Lord & Taylor brings childlike wonderment to life; Macy's at Herald Square turns one of the busiest intersections into decoration central; and Saks Fifth Avenue transforms their store's facade into a wall of blinking snowflakes and music nightly.

In the past few years, the holiday season has become an ideal time for luxury labels and packaged goods companies to reach out and host shoppers in Manhattan unlike they do in any other city in the world. It's not unusual for some to sponsor music and entertainment events at public markets or transportation centers. For others, their brand comes to life with a novel take on gift-giving or good cheer at landmark buildings. In the beauty and haircare industries, product sampling and quick makeovers are frequently offered in unexpected places.

Here, we take a look at spectacular public spaces and their signature holiday stories:

Rockefeller Center With more than 19 buildings covering 11 acres, this is one of the best holiday stops, with a mix of specialty stores and a famous skating rink. It's also the home of NBC's Today show. The first Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center dates back to 1933, making this the 75th year the nearly 90-foot tree has made an appearance. Since 2004, renowned crystal-maker Swarovski has created a one-of-a-kind star tree topper, as well as a special shopping kiosk with signature collectibles. This area has even become home to some of the best "pop-up" temporary stores—perfect for coveted gifts—from retailers like Japan-based Uniqlo, which sold popular-priced colorful cashmere in 2006.

Union Square at 14 th Street The Holiday Market boasts a series of outdoor shops inside red and green tents. More than 100 artisans and entrepreneurs stock handmade gifts, accessories and treats; art, sculptures and candles; fashion novelties from T-shirts to turtlenecks; and toys for kids and pets.

Bryant Park at 42 nd Street This historic park came to new urban life in the '90s and today includes restaurants and food kiosks set amidst the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain and the New York Public Library. In past holiday seasons, the central lawn has been home to holiday decor, shops and seasonal music programs.

South Street Seaport and Pier 17 Located along the East River, this maritime setting boasts several streets with entertainment, including performance artists daily, and more than 100 shops and restaurants. During the holiday season, choral groups and Santa Claus have made appearances.

Coming to America

What happens when you're at the top of your game on your own turf yet still hanker for greener pastures? Jenny Balding and Dean Holcombe up and moved.

When she was 18, Jenny Balding visited New York City "on holiday" and knew at once that she'd live there one day. "People thought it was a massive pipe dream," says the Glasgow, Scotland, native, who worked for the legendary Rita Rusk for eight years before deciding to relocate. "I learned a lot from Rita. She has her own training academy, and she had me teaching classes there when I was only 19," says Balding. "She's famous for throwing you into the deep end, so to speak." Balding gave Rusk a full year's notice, then came to Manhattan for one week to visit the top salons in the city. When nothing clicked, she went back to Scotland where she met her now husband, Patrick Daly. It was his idea for both of them to come back to the United States together. "He owned an Internet company at the time," says Balding, "but he sold it to come here with me."

Dean Holcombe
Dean Holcombe

While Daly landed a job working on Broadway, Balding had a tough time finding a salon that felt right. Then she met Rodney Cutler, who owns two successful salons in Manhattan. "My husband waited across the street at Starbucks while I talked to Rodney," says Balding, who thought the interview would be like all the others. To her surprise, she and Cutler got along "like a house on fire." Cutler was impressed with Balding's wealth of editorial experience. His staff is comprised largely of session stylists whose work is featured in every major fashion magazine. Many of them can also be found backstage during fashion week, where they work with important designers like Cynthia Rowley, Marc Jacobs and Carmen Marc Valvo. According to Cutler, money can't buy the kind of publicity that being at fashion week generates for his salons. "Rodney also liked the fact that I don't straight-cut everything but use a texturizing technique I developed while working for Rita," says Balding. "I also think he likes having a lot of different nationalities working at the salon because it gives the place an international flavor."

Cutler Salon in Manhattan
Cutler Salon in Manhattan

She may be onto something. Dean Holcombe, the latest addition to the staff, is a Brit who worked for Toni&Guy in London before moving to Australia in 1990, when he was just 26. He quickly became co-owner of a salon in Melbourne called Shibui—the name means "understated elegance" in Japanese. Business was so good he opened a second location, but in the past few years, he began asking himself if that was all there was. At 41, he decided to chuck everything and move to the Big Apple. "I just felt that if I didn't do this now, I'd regret it for the rest of my life," he says. A former staff member, who'd moved to New York City nearly eight years before, recommended him to Cutler. A week later he got a job offer. Unlike Balding, Holcombe hadn't done a lot of editorial work. "I'm a cutter who's not that good at dressing hair," he says. Nevertheless, he volunteered to work for Goldwell/KMS during Australian Fashion Week, where he began shooting video of the goings-on backstage. What he discovered was that he had a knack for it, and he's been honing those skills at Cutler. "I've been shooting video of Rodney's team during fashion week," says Holcombe, who's now in charge of multimedia. He's also trying to build a clientele at the salon where he specializes in dry-cutting.

Jenny Balding gets a model ready to walk the runway during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.
Jenny Balding gets a model ready to walk the runway during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.

It's quite an adjustment for someone who was practically a household name in Australia. Still, Holcombe has no regrets. "I was so ready for this move," he says. "I have a handful of pretty good friends here, and I actually found an apartment on my first day, which I understand might qualify me for The Guinness Book of World Records. All in all, I think it's been a good thing for both Rodney and me." While Balding admits that she misses her friends and family back home, she also knows that they'll always be there for her. "I love New York," she says. "Coming here was the best decision I ever made." —MARIANNE DOUGHERTY