Holiday Rush: Last-Minute Gifts Under $100!

Say hello to the holiday rush: With only 5 days left to finish your shopping, retailers are making spirits extra bright with special deals, last-minute sales and free upgraded shipping to deliver by Christmas. So if you still have a long list to go, avoid the crowds and check out our roundup of the web’s best last-minute presents for under $100. We’ve combed all our favorite gift guides to bring you deals and steals on items that are a delight to give as they are to receive. Happy shopping!

FOR THE ONE WHO LOVES TO BAKE: Tea Time Measuring Cups, $15

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We can always count on Anthropologie to bring out our inner hostess, thanks to their darling, vintage-inspired kitchen accessories. These bright ceramic measuring cups (on sale for $15, order by tomorrow for Christmas delivery) are sure to spark a smile every time she whips up a batch of buttercream cupcakes.

FOR THE POLISHED PRINCESS: Bow Leather Driving Gloves, $30

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Ann Taylor puts a bright blue twist on leather driving gloves with this sweet bow-topped pair ($60, plus an extra 50% off all cold weather accessories & full-priced items with code GIFTANN), which we think would be perfect for your sophisticate friend.

FOR THE SNEAKER PURIST: Superga Classic Sneakers, from $65

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Superga’s canvas kicks have been around for over 100 years but are making a comeback in a big way this season, thanks to a rainbow of new colors that promise to keep feet happy all year long. (from $65 at Bloomingdales, order by tonight for free Christmas shipping.)

FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING: Coach IPhone case, $78 each

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Equal parts masculine and refined, Coach’s classic IPhone case ($78, order by Saturday to receive by Christmas + free shipping over $150) is crafted of soft, supple leather that will keep his phone in tip-top condition.

FOR THE DREAMER: J.Crew vintage pajama set, $85

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She’ll get her beauty sleep in style, thanks to J.Crew’s cozy vintage pajama set ($85, enjoy an extra 30% off with code CELEBRATE), spun of crisp men’s shirting cotton and designed to inspire sweet dreams.

FOR THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS: Studded trays, $79

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She’ll host a swanky soiree for the opening of an envelope and always keeps hors d’oeuvres on the ready in case there’s unexpected company. Give the seasoned hostess a chic cocktail tray, such as S2’s studded leather trays ($79 for 2 at One King’s Lane) to add a pop of panache to her next get-together.

FOR THE SPA GIRL

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Kiss dry winter skin goodbye with Bliss Spa’s luxurious, best-selling body butter in fresh scents like blood orange, lemon + sage and creamy vanilla. (Today only, score 4 tubes for $29 with code TODAY12!)

FOR THE CITY SLICKER: Knowlita Typography Print

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We think Kowlita’s bold typography prints ($21 on Fab.com; hurry, sale ends in 2 days!) is the perfect present for anyone who hearts NYC. Our favorite is the Nolita print, reminiscent of the days when we lived on the Bowery (sigh).

FOR THE WILD CHILD

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The perfect accessory to add bite to drab winter outfits yet light enough to keep her cozy through spring, we’re wild for Banana Republic’s Lara zebra scarf ($50 + extra 30% off with code BRWINTER till Friday).

FOR THE FUNNYGUY: Jack Spade Cheddar wallet, $62

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He’ll be charmed with this cheeky wallet by Jack Spade (on sale for $62), crafted of fine-grain calfskin and designed to keep the modern bankroller’s cheddar (bones, clams, whatever) neatly tucked away.

Festive Frocks For Under $100!

In the spirit of the season, we’ve been bringing you fun, festive ideas on how to elevate your look for the holidays, be it at the office party or new beauty tricks to try. Now that we’re in the thick of soiree season—this weekend alone, we have a holiday housewarming brunch, coworker cocktails and a white elephant exchange—we’re taking the stress out of holiday dressing with a roundup of our favorite frocks, all for under $100!

MM COUTURE, $89

Green Sequin Skirt Dress - Jade/gold

Sparkle all night in MM Couture’s dazzling skirt dress ($89 from Piperlime, get an extra 20% with code HOLIDAY), featuring a sequined gold skirt and blousy jade top. Pair with nude pumps for an extra leg-lengthening effect.

TOPSHOP, $84

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Topshop’s cherry red skater dress ($84, score free shipping!) makes our spirits bright, thanks to a festive red hue and full-skirted silhouette. Try cinching it with an ornate belt to add extra sparkle and accentuate your silhouette.

ALI RO, $35

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Put the Midas touch on your holiday look with Ali Ro’s golden Grecian dress (on sale for $34.62 from $285 at Neiman Marcus Last Call, use code LCDEC75 for free shipping on orders over $75), spun of gleaming taffeta and dressed up with bow-topped shoulder and pleated sweetheart neckline.

VICTORIA’S SECRET, $70

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Steal kisses under the mistletoe in a seductive silhouette, like Victoria Secret’s Multi Way dress ($69.50, free shipping with code SHIPANY). Crafted of flattering matte jersey, it comes in 4 colors and can be worn a whopping 10 different ways (halter, strapless, V-neck, one-shoulder and so on…) to carry you through the season. If the vibe of the party is on the conservative side, top with a shrunken tuxedo jacket to balance proportions.

J.CREW, $99 

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Look pretty in pink with J.Crew’s bright Sinclaire dress ($99, take and extra 30% off + free shipping with code WISHLIST). The vibrant color makes it a perfect choice for the holidays, though the whisper-weight fabric works well for all of spring’s social events.

ADRIANNA PAPELL, $65

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With crisp tiers and graphic neckline, we think this jazzy little number by Adrianna Papell ($64.35 at Bluefly, take $40 off your order of $200 with code FLY40) is black, white and delightful allover. Channel a modern Holly Golightly by pulling hair back into a French twist and show off a pair of sparkly earrings.

ZARA, $70

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Whether the invite calls for creative cocktail or black tie optional, we can always count on Zara to find the perfect LBD for every occasion. Case in point: this coquettish dress ($69.90) trimmed with lace and chic ruffles.

ELISE RYAN, $39

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Make the rounds in this party-perfect dress by Elise Ryan ($38.70 at Asos), spun of floral lace with a sweetheart neck and scalloped hemline for an extra dose of demure. (While at Asos, send fun holiday e-cards to friends!)

BEAUTY FAB FIVE: HOLIDAY EDITION

Tis the season for festive get-togethers (cookie swaps, tree-trimming parties) and swanky soirees (martinis & mistletoe, anyone?). As the end-of-year invites pour in, there’s no better time to shake up your beauty routine and try something new to hit the holiday party circuit. Here are five festive, easy trends, from a picture-perfect ballerina bun, to bright lips inspired by a few of our favorite celebrities, that we can’t wait to try. The best part? Everything’s under 20 bucks!

BALLERINA BUN

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Channel your inner prima ballerina (while showing off a pair of sparkly earrings) with an ultra-chic topknot, a la Reese Witherspoon. Get the look at home with the Conair Bun Maker ($5 at Ulta, snag $10 off when you spend $60 with code 80531), a spongy, donut-shaped ring that you simply roll through your ponytail. Secure it in place with bobby pins and elastic and—voila—instant updo! We recently wore ours to a wedding and our hair remained polished-to-perfection way after the bouquet toss.

GOLD NAIL POLISH

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Put the Midas touch on your manicure with rich gold lacquer. We love how it adds an extra dose of richness to Jessica Alba’s shimmering outfit. To DIY, start with clean buffed nails. Prime your canvas with a thin layer of base coat, (we’ve been using Seche Vite’s for years because it fills ridges for smoother application), then top with two coats of luxe gold polish, such as Deborah Lippmann’s in Swagga Like Us ($18 at Neiman Marcus, enjoy free shipping on all orders). Wait a solid 15 minutes to dry, and then finish with a fast-drying top coat.

BRIGHT RED LIPS

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The quickest way to brighten up for the holidays? A bold red pout. Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in Red ($19 at Sephora, enter their Beauty Insider program for sweet freebies) is enriched with nourishing properties and mother-of-pearl pigments for deep color and extra shine. The trick to pulling it off is to keep the rest of your makeup clean and minimal—think peachy cheeks and lightly lined eyes, like Olivia Palermo.

SMOKY EYES

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If you’re in the mood for something sultry, try smoky eyes like Kate Mara. Victoria’s Secret makes it foolproof, thanks to their user-friendly Smoky Eyes kit ($15, snag free shipping with code SHIPFREE) which comes with 6 different shadows to use on your crease, lids and brow bone, along with a step-by-step guide to achieve the perfectly smoldering look.

DRESSY HAIRBAND

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Consider it jewelry for your hair: Headbands are making a major comeback (as evidenced by this photo of Michelle Williams), especially those embellished with gems and bits of sparkle, such as this darling piece by Forever 21 ($7, while there, snag boots for 30% off!). It’s a subtle way to dress up your look while lending extra polish, keeping bangs and flyways at bay.

STOCKING STUFFERS

Decked out office halls, ubiquitous red Starbucks cups and this week’s lighting of the Rock Center tree means one thing: the holidays are in full swing! We know that the holiday rush can be overwhelming. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, ease into the spirit of things with our favorite bite-sized stocking stuffers. All are under 50 bucks and are as delightful to give as they are to receive!

FOR YOUR FASHIONABLE BEST FRIEND

Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set

Sephora Izak mini lip gloss set, $14

Hanky Panky lace thong

Hanky Panky lace thong, $20

Baublebar earrings

Baublebar earrings, $26

Fill her stocking with colorful treats, such as Sephora’s Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set ($14, free gift with code UNDERWRAPS)–5 glossy minis in wear-everywhere shades like Fiery Red and Tea Rose. Or, pretty panties by Hanky Panky ($20, score free shipping), packaged in a cute star-shaped box. We also think she’ll love Baublebar’s chic violet earrings ($26, play their 20 Days of Buried Bauble game and score jewels for under 20 bucks) because let’s face it, sometimes a girl needs sparkle.

FOR YOUR SOPHISTICATE SISTER

Jo Malone Grapefruit travel candle, $35

Jo Malone grapefruit travel candle, $35

Kate Spade New York USB drive, $50

Kate Spade New York USB drive, $50

C. Wonder monogram coasters, $10

C. Wonder monogram coasters, $10

Fresh and classic (just like your sis), Jo Malone’s grapefruit travel candle ($35 at Saks, get free shipping and gift wrap with code HOLIDAY) is an instant mood-booster on-the-go. She’ll also adore Kate Spade New York’s darling USB drive ($50 at Bloomingdales, enjoy free shipping) shaped like a cocktail ring and equipped with an ample 4GB. Or, consider C. Wonder’s monogram coasters ($10) to put a preppy twist on her next cocktail party.

FOR THE BEST MOM EVER

Tocca mini hand cream trio, $18

Tocca mini hand cream trio, $18

N. Peal cashmere gloves, on sale for $32

N. Peal cashmere gloves, on sale for $32

Herban Essentials lemon towelettes, $16 for 20

Herban Essentials lemon towelettes, $16 for 20

She’s always made sure you were in good hands—treat hers to a little luxury with Tocca’s mini hand cream set ($18 at Spack NK Apothecary, ships free!), a trio of their most popular scents made with shea butter and coconut oil. She can also keep them toasty in N. Peal’s chic, ultra soft cashmere gloves (on sale for $32 at the Outnet, refer a friend and earn $30). If she’s the kind of supermom who always has sanitizer at her fingertips, she’ll appreciate Herban Essentials Lemon antibacterial towelettes ($16 for pack of 20 at Beautybar.com, free shipping on your first order) made with all-natural essential oils in a fresh citrus scent.

FOR THE MEN IN YOUR LIFE

Areaware bottle opener, $14

Areaware bottle opener, $14

Corgi striped socks, $30

Corgi striped socks, $30

On The Rocks glass and ice mold set, $25

On The Rocks glass and ice mold set, $25

Skip the go-to necktie and give him something with more mileage, such as Areaware’s super cool bottle opener ($14 at West Elm, score free shipping), made of sustainably harvested beech wood with a hidden magnet to catch caps. He’ll also get a kick out of cozy cotton socks—just be sure to pick ones with personality, such as Corgi’s striped pair ($30 at Mr. Porter). Lastly, we don’t know a single guy who doesn’t love On The Rocks ice ball mold ($25 on Open Sky, get free shipping over $100), which produces jumbo slow-melting spheres so not to dilute his favorite whiskey.

FOR THE SMALL FRY

Rowdy Sprouts Nirvana onesie, $38

Rowdy Sprouts Nirvana onesie, $38

Old Navy critter hat, $11

Old Navy critter hat, $11

Giggle finger puppets, $15

Giggle finger puppets, $15

Your tiny tot will look too cool for nursery school dressed in Rowdy Sprout’s vintage Nirvana onesie ($38 at Kitson, receive free shipping over $75). Keep baby’s head nice and cozy with Old Navy’s too-cute monkey critter hat (on sale for $11, get 20% off with code ONHOLIDAY). Or, put on a show with these adorable Jungle Finger Puppets ($15 at Giggle, free shipping over $75 with FABFREE12), made of soft, 100% certified organic cotton.

CHIC THANKSGIVING ENTERTAINING

Thanksgiving is a week away and we can’t wait to tuck into all the goodies—mashed potatoes drowning in gravy, whip-topped pumpkin pie, and don’t get us started on all the delicious Black Friday sales! If you’re playing hostess with the mostess this year, we know things can get crazy in the kitchen (a tip: Tastespotting is an absolute gem for recipes), which is why we’ve made a list of easy ways to entertain with style. Our tips are quick, chic and pack major punch, so guests leave with a lasting impression while you can focus your energy on more important things, like that big bird in the oven.

COCKTAILS, ANYONE?


Iomoi Double Elephants Tray, $250

Greet friends & family with a très chic tray of cocktails as soon as they arrive to make them feel at ease. Iomoi makes these colorful Lucite confections (enjoy free shipping with code NMFALL) which you can personalize with your family’s name or initials.

PRE-DINNER WARMUP


Dean & Deluca classic hors d’oeuvres, $70 for 46 pieces 

Skip fussy homemade appetizers and serve up light, ready-made bites to hold guests over till dinner. Dean & Deluca’s Classic Hors D’oeuvres collection includes a yummy mix of crowd favorites, such as crab cakes and mini quiches. They ship frozen overnight, so all you have to do is pop in the oven a few minutes before arrivals.

TURN UP THE VOLUME


iTunes Thanksgiving Dinner Essentials, $28.95 for 25 songs

Set a festive vibe with the perfect dinner playlist. You can download ITunes’ Thanksgiving Dinner songs, which includes a warm mix of Michael Buble, Keith Urban and Bing Crosby.

THE SIDESHOW


Williams-Sonoma Three-Tiered oven rack, $22

Don’t let side dishes get cold while your turkey hogs the oven. Williams-Sonoma’s three-tiered rack (save 15% on all tabletop items with code TABLETOP15) maximizes space so you can serve warm, fresh-from-the-oven fare come showtime.

HAVE A SLICE (OR TWO)


Horchow Turkey Cake Stand, $76

Put that pecan pie you slaved over on a pretty pedestal, such as this season-perfect turkey cakestand from Horchow (take an extra 30% off for Friends & Family), sure to spark conversation during the dessert course.

DRESS THE PART


BCBG Runway Adelaide dress, $314

Lastly, don’t forget to dress up—look perfectly polished while maximizing comfort in a fluid floor-length dress, such as this one by BCBG Runway (get free three-day shipping!).  Colorblocking and pleats keep the look chic, while the relaxed fit and light-as-air fabric feels like you’re wearing pajamas.

SHOP IT: WINTER COATS

Baby, it’s cold outside! In light of the Nor’easter blustering through New York City, not to mention snowstorm Brutus making his way west, it’s time — in most of the country — to bundle up in your warmest winter threads. And with all the pre-holiday specials going on, there’s no better time than now to invest in a chic winter jacket. After all, it’s the first thing people notice with your outfit, plus if you find the right one, you’re sure to keep it for many more seasons to come. Read on for our roundup of the season’s warmest, most winsome offerings.

BEST NYLON PUFFER
 
   

If you’re looking for a plush down-filled jacket that won’t make you feel like you’re wearing a sleeping bag, Victoria’s Secret’s knit collar coat (on sale for $126, use code FALL12 to receive $15 off) is cinched at the waist to flatter your figure, and comes with a built-in knit scarf to keep you extra cozy. Another great option is DKNY’s opera coat ($495) cut in a relaxed, robe-like silhouette and perfect to pair with leggings or skinny jeans. As for our favorite, most luxurious non-puffy puffer? Burberry Brit’s down trench coat ($995, use code NOVGV to score a free Neiman Marcus gift card), featuring belted cuffs, rain flaps and a chic double-breasted silhouette. (This one’s a keeper.)

BEST BRIGHTS
     

Perk up your look on even the coldest day with a cheerful pop of color. We love how Banana Republic’s sunny yellow jacket ($225, take 30% off with code BRSAVE30) instantly boosts our mood. Or go pretty in pink with J.Crew’s sweet coat ($325, take 25% off + free shipping using code OURTREAT), lined with special Thinsulate to keep you extra toasty. Asos’ darling cobalt blue design ($92.35), complete with a cute hood, is sure to wake up winter doldrums.

BEST (FAUX) FUR-TRIMMED
   

For the perfect day to dinner jacket, opt for luxurious faux fur flourishes, such as Victoria’s Secret’s cherry red topper ($131) which has a removable collar, or Rachel Zoe’s Trish peacoat ($404, get free shipping) which looks equally chic over office outfits and cocktail party ensembles. Or go all out in Kate Spade New York’s Allie coat ($898), crafted in season-perfect pumpkin with a generous plush trim.

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT

As for those of us living in the warmer parts of the country, there’s no real need for a  heavy-duty jacket, of course. But you can still bundle up on our chillier nights in Rachel Roy’s perfect throw-on-and-go sweater coat ($189) For something a bit more daring, try Via Spiga’s sleek black cape ($100, marked down from $170) to wear with skinny jeans and heels, or stick to something classic with BCBG’s khaki trench ($398, enjoy free 3-day shipping) to wear with just about everything you own.

Beauty Fab 5: Blood Red Lips

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In the spirit of Halloween (and just in time for Sephora’s Spin To Win Friends & Family Sale, happening right now) dip into the dark side with deep rouge pouts, which were rampant on the Fall ‘12 runways. It’s a sultry, sophisticated look that’s spot on for the season’s moody ensembles. To get it just right, find a shade that complements your skin tone, and try keep the rest of your makeup minimal—think clean skin and lightly lined eyes with just a wand’s worth of mascara.

Here, we raided Sephora to cull out the best in blood red lipsticks so you can get that just-bitten look. (Click here to give their game a whirl and you may score them at a sweet discount, to boot!)

  
Gucci                                    Saint Laurent                        Nina Ricci

1. BEST OVERALL
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in Blood Red, $32

Kiss pale lips goodbye in this rich shade, blended with just enough brightness to flatter most complexions. Plus, a cocktail of moisturizing hydrospheres ensure lips stay soft and supple.

2. BEST FOR PALE COMPLEXIONS
Nars lipstick in Fire Down Below, $24

Make your pout pop in deep rouge if you have lighter skin tone. This one by Nars has a velvety, semi-matte finish, which will make lips appear fuller, too.

3. BEST FOR DARKER SKIN TONES
Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Rosary, $19

Vamp it up in something smoldering with chocolate undertones, such as a rich, creamy burgundy.

4. BEST LIPGLOSS
Ellis Faas Glazed Lips in Blood Red, $35

Shine all evening with this dangerously intense lip glaze. We love how our smooch stayed glossy (even through two cocktails) without feeling sticky or having to reapply.

5. BEST SHEER FORMULA
Bite Beauty Sheer Balm in Carmine, $19

Get kissable lips with this sheer tinted balm, packed with antioxidants and natural moisturizers such as organic mint and blood orange oil to keep your mouth healthy.

photo credits: style.com and sephora.com

Fall’s Most Wanted

Soft spun cashmere. Sumptuous leather boots. And layers, layers, layers! Thanks to just-right temps and stores brimming with new arrivals, there’s no time like fall that inspires us to put our most stylish foot forward. Want to give your look a quick update? Reach for these lovely layers to carry you through the season (and beyond).

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1. The ultimate fall accessory? A long, luxurious scarf to layer over jackets, dresses and knits. We love this one by Acne ($140, net-a-porter.com), crafted of super-soft wool in a deep camel hue that lends a touch of richness to any outfit.

2. We’ll be wearing this dazzling necklace by Zara ($30, zara.com) with everything from jeans and a tee to our favorite LBD into holiday soiree season. (Because sometimes a girl needs sparkle.)

3. Swap your dark leather handbag for something more vibrant, such as Cambridge Satchel Company’s leather crossbody ($158, asos.com). The clean, simple shape makes it ideal for both work and weekends, while the cherry red hue adds a cheerful pop of color.

4. Don’t put away your summer clothes just yet—rework pieces, such as a billowy maxi skirt, into your fall wardrobe. Pair this one by J.Crew ($475, jcrew.com) with a shrunken leather jacket, wooly scarf and boots and—voila!—an unexpected cool combo.

5. Brown leather riding boots (such as Topshop’s, $180, topshop.com) are a quintessential fall staple for good reason—they’re comfortable, pair as easily with tucked skinny jeans as they do a flirty mini, and no matter how many years pass, they’ll never go out of style.

6. Elevate your basics with animal prints. This floaty skirt by Wren ($250, bonadrag.com) is sure to add an instant dose of glamour to a black turtleneck and tights or boots and a shrunken blazer.

7. Finally, if there’s one piece you splurge on this season, make it a classic, go-everywhere jacket, such as this cashmere blazer by Burberry Prorsum ($2,460, farfetch.com. Swoon). Treat it like a top and wear it belted with a pencil skirt or black stovepipes now, then layered underneath a warm vest or coat once it gets colder. The timeless shape, luxurious fabric and ultra-flattering fit ensures you’ll keep it in your closet forever.

photo credits: farfetch.com, net-a-porter.com, zara.com, jcrew.com, asos.com, bonadrag.com and topshop.com