Don't you hate the people who finished their Christmas shopping this summer? Kinda takes all the fun out of the retail madness that's in full swing right now, especially since many luxury-goods purveyors introduce special packaging and limited-edition wares for the holidays.
The beauty and fragrance realm is particularly ripe during the holiday buying season. Some of the best buys can be had when everything's aglitter and smelling like one big candy/cookie/perfume counter.
According to the National Retail Federation's 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, shoppers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts this year. Maybe some of that money will be shelled out for these charmers:
Jersey girl: From Chanel's Les Exclusif collection of fragrances comes Jersey, named for Coco Chanel's liberating fabric. The new scent from master perfumer Jacques Polge evokes a meadow heady with lavender with a trail of vanilla and musk; $110 and $210 at select specialty stores.
Talon scout: The best way to claw your way to the top of the beauty heap is with impeccable nails. Tom Ford Nail Lacquer is probably the most extravagant nail polish on the market. Part of his new beauty line, the collection of lacquers offers bendable coatings in the slickest, shiniest gloss imaginable; $40 at Neiman Marcus.
Santa baby: The cute collection of Harajuku Lovers fragrances has grown this season with a ho-ho-ho addition of Jingle G, a blend of tangerine, gardenia, jasmine, orange blossom, honeysuckle and warm woods. Jingle G also comes with a built-in hook that makes it a perfect tree ornament or stocking stuffer; $25 at Sephora.
Chain gang: Chloe Signature Solid Perfume Necklace is a marriage of jewelry and scent. This limited-edition piece is an engraved locket on a chain that holds Chloe solid perfume, a flowery mix of rose, peony, magnolia and lily of the valley; $60 at Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
Mistletoe ready: Give your pucker the perfect shade of red with By Terry Rouge Terrybly Shimmer Lipstick. The shimmering cream formula, available in five shades, offers advanced moisturizing technology as well as vivid, kissable color; $48 at Barneys.com.
Going the distance: Bigger is better, especially during the holidays. L'Oreal Paris wants you to have the biggest, best lashes possible for all your holiday parties. That means using Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara, a waterproof formula that promises intense black lashes and super-lengthening; $8.95 at drugstores and supermarkets.
Puttin' on the glitz: Everything shimmers and shines during the holidays, including your nails. Nails Inc. The Glitterati is a set of full-size nail shades (gold, pink/purple and silver) that will have your fingertips twinkling bright; $25 at Sephora.
Dream Weaver: If you've ever dreamed of a makeup palette that answers all your color concerns, there's a new mega-beauty product for you. Stila Dream in Full Color Palette is a wonder wheel featuring 29 eye shadows, seven cheek colors and a smudge stick waterproof eyeliner. Created by Stila's makeup artists, the palette includes a 12-page book to show you how the pros do it; $39 at Sephora.
Violet femme: It has been almost four decades since designer Diane von Furstenberg launched a fragrance. Well, good things come to those who wait. Diane by Diane von Furstenberg is a modern, glamorous new scent built on violet leaves, frangipani, green florals, myrrh, musk and patchouli. The wrap-dress creator has done it again; $85 at Nordstrom and Sephora.
Pop shop: For its CrÃ¨me de Corps Holiday Collection, Kiehl's teamed with artist Jeff Koons, who created a limited-edition bottle wrap featuring his iconic Balloon Flower (Yellow). The body moisturizer costs $29 to $72 with a limited-edition Jeff Koons Bottle Art topper, $50; available at Kiehl's on West heimer and kiehls.com.
Glow girl: Because our days are shorter and darker now, we tend to crave the light. What we need is a little illumination. And according to Burberry Beauty, some brightness can be found in its new Fresh Glow, a moisturizing fluid base that offers a skin-enhancing radiance for the face. Fresh Glow can be used on its own, on top of foundation as an illuminator or mixed in the palm of the hand with foundation to impart additional brightness; $48 at Burberry counters.
Cozy candle: The biggest tool in home design? Light. Manipulating light makes all the difference in the tone and feel of a room. We'd suggest that the next-most important tool could be scent. Creating a fragrant environment for the home helps set different moods. In the mood for sensual indulgence? Then spark up L'Essence by Balenciaga, a home-fragrance candle inspired by designer Nicolas Ghesquiere's latest perfume.
The candle imparts notes of fragrant leaves, soft flowers and herbaceous moss topped by a sensuous violet note. Bonus: It also gives off a soft light; $65 at Neiman Marcus stores.