15 Gifts to Keep You Gorgeous

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com December 12 2013 7:00 AM ET

Fitness While You Sleep
If you’ve never had a Fitbit, now’s the time to jump on the bandwagon, with the new Fitbit Force Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband. It's even better than its predecessors because it tracks more than ever before — steps, distance, stairs climbed, calories burned, and active minutes. You can view stats on your wrist (plus the time) with OLED display instead of waiting to sync with a phone or computer. It’s sweat/rain/splash-proof, and it monitors your sleep and wakes you with a silent alarm. It’s very Jack LaLanne meets Logan’s Run, but in a good way. $129.95, Fitbit.com

The Last Facial You’ll Ever Need
GlamGlow Youth Mud Tingle Exfoliate Treatment masque is hands down my new favorite facial treatment, and because it’s super butchy (like, no horrible floral scents) guys love it too. It’s a Hollywood fave (and a Sephora best-seller) because it works with your own body’s natural moisturizing collagen to provide gentle resurfacing exfoliation and leaves your face feeling brighter, tighter, and with the tiny kind of pores most of us left behind in high school.  If you can afford to, get the Youth mud and add the GlamGlow Bright Mud Eye Treatment, which uses Tapwipe bioactive mud and bentonites to absorb toxins and give you ultrabright, amazing eyes. Youth Mud: $19 and up, Sephora.com; Bright Mud: $69, Sephora.com

Take it All Off
Got a bear and you want a dolphin? Put one of Axiom for Men’s gift sets in his pile. Axiom for Men is beloved for its pH Balanced Hair Removal Cream and Face and Body Shave Creams, and we love Axiom even more because the socially committed skincare company gives 5 percent of its proceeds to one of five LGBTQ charities, including Family Equality Council, Trevor Project, and National Center for Transgender Equality. Officials say, “As a skincare company, removing hair is as important to us as removing prejudice.” Never tested on animals unless you count the bears who buy the stuff. $65 and up; AxiomforMen.com  

Drink It Up, Babe
The holiday time is exhausting, even if you’re a noncelebrant. One of the great little stocking stuffers can help: Herbal Zap! Literally a drink developed by a team of leading Ayurvedic doctors and discovered by yoga instructor and natural health expert, Herbal Zap! is an instant immune and digestive supplement that includes 14 Ayurvedic herbs. $10.99, HerbalZap.com 

Make Me Look Like Jillian
I’m sure that Michael Todd True Organics won’t give me the six-pack abs of The Biggest Loser’s bisexual trainer, Jillian Michaels, but since she’s a fan, I’m willing to try. Michael Todd True Organics are awesome unisex skincare products made out of stuff you can find at a farmer’s market. Try the Avocado Mango Mask, Charcoal Detox Cleanser, or the Pink Grapefruit Lotion. Prices vary, MichaelToddTrueOrganics.com 

Beachy Hair in the Middle of Winter
There’s something great about day-two hair (or post-beach hair) where it’s sort of dirty but looks fabulous and thick and will do anything. Since it’s the middle of freaking winter most places (suck it, Cancun!) you can’t get beach hair on your own. Enter Jonathan’s Products for hair, including the awesome Dry Dirt Texture Spray and Texturizing Paste (both are hairdo musts), Brush on Hair Powder (dry shampoo in a tube!), and Pure Paste (basically hair paste that uses orange oil and lemongrass extract instead of harsh chemicals). These products are vegan and not tested on animals but there’s also a green line to help you define your style. Prices Vary, JonathanProduct.com 

Medieval Torture or Endorphin Booster?
Another quirky but wonderful health gadget is the Bed of Nails Mat and Pillow, an acupressure mat and matching neck roll that are the latest incarnation of the centuries old “bed of nails.” In this case, it's more like little plastic spikes, but the concept behind it is all science: Studies have shown the mat releases endorphins and oxytocin — both pain blockers — and it can improve circulation, increase energy, reduce stress, and more. It’s so popular in Europe that 10 percent of all Swedes now own the Bed of Nails mat! (If that’s not endorsement enough, consider that Anna Kournikova’s trainer Caroline Lindqvist swears by it too.) Comes in pink or green, the gay version of both colors. $50, BedOfNails.org


But Some Muscles Don’t Pump Up
Ladies have been accentuating and enhancing body parts for centuries, so who says dudes can’t get a little boost in certain areas?  Enter LEO’s Enhancing Cotton Boxer Brief, undies with a secret built-in design that delivers a jockstrap-like effect to show off his most prized asset. And if the booty needs a, um, boost? The Bottom Up Boxer Briefs naturally lift the butt with removable padding, promising a Channing Tatum-like derriere. At least until your clothes are off. But by then the lights are out, right? $20-$37, Leonisa.com

Kiss Me, I’m Queer
OK, this is for the femmes (or the fearless) on your list: Twist & Pout’s tiny lip balm balls come in a variety of flavors (like the Miss Kitty Vanilla) or designs (zebra, safari, pink ribbon, beachy keen, etc) and on tiny little key chains that can stick to your luggage, purse, bag, or key chain. They even have adora-ball holiday ones too: with peppermint balm in Santy, Elfy, Pengy, Starry, Gifty and Rudy designs. $3.99 a pop, TwistandPout.com 

Work It Bitches
Hate Zumba and the gym? Try an old fashioned workout DVD from Acacia. Our faves: R.I.P.P.E.D. Total Body Challenge, which offers high-intensity workout system (R.I.P.P.E.D. stands for Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance, and Diet and nutrition) that burns 700 calories in less than an hour; Power Boxing Workout, a high-intensity boxing workout created by America’s first female medalist in Olympic boxing and reigning seven-time USA Boxing National Champion Marlen Esparza; and for the rest of us (especially The Facts of Life fans) who need slower, saner fitness plans, the Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman with Lisa Whelchel. $16.99 each, AcaciaLifestyle.com,

Sit Up Straight But Look Cool
Got a pesky posture? Try the UpCouture T, a T-shirt that empowers you to stand up straight using fitness technology. The T-shirt, which comes out of Paris, uses resistance band material inside, so if your shoulders slump you’ll feel real physical pressure to holds your shoulders back and straight up. On the outside, it looks like a stylish little tee made from organic certified cotton in a variety of colors so nobody is the wiser (except your pocket book). $170, UpCouture.com 

Sleeping Beauties
When talking about testing things I’ll try out, it’s hard not to start every sentence with “Well, if it’s good enough for Oprah…” but in this case the shoe fits. However, even though Oprah and Angie Harmon (a.k.a. the hot butch star of Rizzoli & Isles) are among the many celeb fans of PILLO1, a strangely wonderful pillow designed by pro athlete turned celebrity chiropractor Raymond Hall, I didn’t buy in until I tried it myself. Now I am in love. Here’s the deal: the PILLO1 is great because it focuses on support and comfort, and most importantly, it adapts seamlessly to all sleeping positions (back, side, stomach). It looks sort of weird but if you get the right size (you order by your height), you’ll actually feel like it’s realigned your neck and spine while you slept. $199, Pillo1.com
 
Improve Those Selfies

Got a boyfriend or BFF who smokes or drinks or spends way too much money on bleaching trays? Slip this in his stocking: The ZERO White Whitening Pen dries on teeth, crowns, veneers, and caps in just 60 seconds and uses natural botanical whiteners that do not irritate or harm teeth. It’s popping up on all those YouTube makeup blogger videos. Oh and it doesn’t taste bad, either. $79, WhiteningLightning.com
 
The Pre-New Year’s Resolution
With a new book from Mandy Ingber (yoga guru to the stars), Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind Body Makeover, you get an easy-to-follow monthlong plan to a healthier body and mind. It’s a handy book full of yoga poses, recipes, tips, and eating guidelines (and some of that girlfriend-y advice) that’s reasonable and easy to fit in. One pose a day? Heck, yeah, I can learn yoga that way. $20, MandyIngber.com

Sock it to Me
Five crazy guys (pictured here; these really are the founders) started a footwear company after one of them bummed around Europe, forgot socks, bought a pack of 10 weird pairs, and fell in love with how cool they were—and how many compliments he got. And now there’s Foot Cardigan, a subscription service where you pay a flat fee and once a month in the mail you get a fun, random, quirky pair of socks with designs such as mustache-covered toes and colorful sea creatures. No more ugly tube socks or black trouser socks, footshionistas! Having trouble committing? You can buy a single pair or check their very popular Instagram page for inspiration. $9 a month, FootCardigan.com, Instagram