The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Holiday Shopping Guide

on December 6, 2012

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I have a hard time shopping for presents. I always want to find the perfect, unique gift that the recipient will find unexpected. But my creativity usually fails and I just end up buying whatever DVD or book they request. So if you are like me and just cannot think of something to get your family/friend/significant other besides that completely predictable copy of The Dark Knight Rises or Cloud Atlas (which they never even wanted to read before the movie came out) , I’m here to make some suggestions.

I personally love to get a lot of little things rather than one big thing as a present, so if you know someone like this then filling a gift basket with all kinds of cruelty-free (heretofore referred to as CF) products would be a lot of fun, especially if it means introducing them to new products and maybe influencing them to buy CF if they don’t already. Some people are so set in what they use that they just can’t possibly think that anything else would suffice. I have to say I have yet to find a CF product that I didn’t like as much as the non-CF product I used to use. So how about a basket with:

LUSH Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion-Besides being vegan and highly moisturizing, proceeds from the sales of Charity Pot go towards various grassroots organizations that support animal, human, and environmental issues. The last pot I bought supported Stop University of British Columbia Animal Testing. Or you can get one of their many gift boxes filled with goodies; the ones that contain all vegan products (and there are a lot!) are clearly marked. Website

Pacifica Perfume-All of Pacifica’s fragrances are vegan and there are loads of scents to choose from. You can choose from a traditional spray perfume, solid tin, or roll-on. They also have body lotion, body washes, candles, and more. For a perfect little sample try the Take Me There set that includes the roll-on perfume, a 2.5oz bottle of lotion, and a Natural Moisture Lip tint. My review    Website

Hurraw Lip Balm –This is my absolute favorite balm. I highly suggest buying your giftee the Sun balm with SPF 15, and Moon balm, but you can’t go wrong with any of their flavors since they contain all natural ingredients. And they are very affordable, so I would also suggest you pick out a few for yourself 🙂 My review     Website

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish-I found out why I can’t find their polishes on their website—turns out they make it exclusively for Whole Foods. Still, a lot of people live within a reasonable distance of a WF and trust me, these polishes are worth it. Lots of colors to choose from, so if you know a polish fiend you can’t go wrong picking out one of their gorgeous, non-toxic colors. My review

EO Hand Sanitizing Wipes-Admit it, we all know that one person who is a germaphobe. They flush public toilets with their feet, open doors with tissues or paper towels, and practically spray Lysol into the faces of anyone who sniffles within 10 feet of them. They would love a box of these individually wrapped wipes, which contain organic alcohol and essential oils to sanitize and moisturize, and are biodegradable. Website

Know someone who is a transitioning vegetarian or vegan and they are a bit overwhelmed? These gifts will help make that transition much easier.

TofuXpress Tofu Press-This is a must have for anyone who uses tofu. The more water that is pressed out, the better able the tofu is to absorb any lovely marinade it’s put in.  When I first started cooking with tofu it was such a hassle stacking pots on top of the tofu trying to get the water out that I stopped using it for a while. This will help any newbies from experiencing such frustrations. My review    Website

A vegan cookbook-there are a ton out there and you probably have your favorite you would love to buy for another, but remember that making vegan cooking accessible and easy is one of the most important factors in getting someone to believe that a vegan diet is completely doable. Mock meats and cheese alternatives seem to be the biggest hurdles for new vegs/vegans to try, so a cookbook laden with those foods might be a turn off. That’s why I suggest Chloe’s Kitchen by Chef Chloe Coscarelli. Her recipes use easy to find ingredients and are simple to make, not to mention delicious—I have not made a bad meal yet from this book! There are only a couple seitan and tempeh recipes, so there are still plenty of other meal options to choose from. Plus, anyone who doubts that vegan sweets can be as good as the dairy-filled ones will think twice when they see the gorgeous cakes and cookies Chloe included-not to mention the cupcakes that won her Cupcake Wars! Website

Go Max Candy Bars-What better way to convince someone that vegan junk food is just as good (well, better, really) than non-vegan junk food. Go Max makes veganized versions of popular candy bars like Snickers, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, and my personal favorite, Almond Joy. Look for them at Whole Foods. Make sure you buy one for yourself so you don’t end up eating the gift 🙂  Website

Still can’t figure out what to buy? Just Give is a website that allows you to send a designated amount of money to your giftee and they get to choose from hundreds charities to donate it to. The charity list can be filtered by specific cause or even zip code for those who want to donate to a local charity. We did this for Robert’s family last year and they loved being able to pick a charity that was special for each of them. It’s a great way to pay it forward during the holidays. Website

I hope this has helped make your shopping a little easier, but if it not you can always go with the good old Visa gift card standby. Happy holidays!

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4 responses to “Holiday Shopping Guide

  1. It’s a shame that Chanukah is all over now, because I love your gift ideas! At least it’s not too late to add on to my own birthday wishlist… 😉

  2. This was GREAT! I’m going to add the lip balm to my sister’s care package and hint to my boyfriend that I want that tofu press! 😀

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