What A Girl Wants, What A Girl Needs

Women's gifts

Raspberry Rose in Rice Village (2434 Rice, 713-529-2260) may be one of the only places in town where you can find leather in shades ranging from pale pink to jet black.

Department stores from JC Penny to Target (multiple locations, 713-941-3800) are carrying leather and pleather in a variety of items, from jackets and pants to accessories. Leather's pretty much every-where this season, so finding something perfect for her is just a matter of stepping out and seeing what's available.

Day Spa Offerings

Vincent Longo
Vincent Longo

Can't figure out what to get a co-worker or friend? Spa certificates are a big hit with most anyone. Even teenage girls are in on the fun. Bella Rinova Salon and Day Spa in Uptown Park offers myriad packages as well as gift items like hair jewelry for as little as $18. Call 713-572-0022. All of the following day spas have cultivated a loyal clientele. The great gift certificate is just a phone call away.

Bella Rinova Salon and Day Spa: Get a "beautiful renewal" in this fresh Uptown Park salon and day spa. 1111-02 Uptown Park Blvd., 713-572-0022.

Brea Sanctuary: For a natural approach for healthy living with essential oils and aromatherapy, speak to owner Brea Pope. Her Source Vital line is distributed nationwide, and her signature potions help invoke or erase a mood. Custom gift baskets that can include music and aromatherapy candles are also available. 3637 West Alabama, Suite 235, 713-622-7722,

Etienne's: Owner Steve LeJeune says customers love the spa's intimate feel and flock to Etienne's for the custom-mixed Dead Sea salt body polishes, which leaves the skin silky smooth and the body and spirit rejuvenated. 4100 Westheimer, 713-850-8441.

J. Claude: Known for its "haircut and a hug" philosophy, this full-service salon and day spa in a vintage Montrose home has a cozy feel all its own. 1411 Haddon, 713-522-1300.

Jenifer's of Australia: Allure Magazine said, "We felt confident that if this tiny salon was good enough for Ivana Trump it was certainly good enough for our facial..." 1740 Sunset Blvd., 713-528-1070.

Michael Kempner: Flexible gift certificates allow your special gift recipient to customize her choice of treatments. 4027 Westheimer, 713-877-1645.

Sunset Bodyworks: A tempting downtown escape. What could be better than getting a relaxing facial or massage in-stead of being stuck in traffic? 909 Texas (in Rice Lofts), 713-223-5900.

Tovas: A pioneer in Houston day spas, this expansive enclave offers personal attention and just about any spa or salon service you can imagine. 1409 South Post Oak Lane, 713-439-1414.

Urban Retreat: The oldest and largest in Houston, featuring a skin care line of all-natural ingredients with cranberry and rosemary. Makes your skin feel like silk. 2329 San Felipe, 713-523-2300,

Quirky Does It

A Miami-based psychologist, Dr. Wes Patterson, offers a rather unusual holiday item: a gift certificate for positive change hypnosis over the phone. The certificate is available from Dr. Patterson's Web site, "I offer these sessions to help people to sort things out, get rid of fears and get their confidence back," says Patterson.

The toilet seat up or down debate rages on. Now there's a humorous way to help her cope: the Johnny Light, which produces a soft green glow when the toilet seat is up at night. No need to switch on bright lights in the middle of the night. And fewer accidents. Call 888-566-LITE, or visit

For many, chocolate equals romance and indulgence. Now it's an even sweeter gift thanks to or for the greatest brownies in all of fairyland and the easiest to order go to

Has she gone through a breakup with no making up in sight? Cheer her up with the Original Dump Kit. Created as a way for women of all ages to get over being dumped, it includes six fun tools to help in the process, including a voodoo doll to "stick it to him," a bar of soap to "wash yourself of him" and a dart and a target board to "hit him where it counts." Patti Watkins, the creator of the kit, decided it was time to give women the support they sometimes need to mend broken hearts and move on. Go to

Fruit of the Loom undies make an endearing stocking stuffer. For the more adventurous one, consider superhero boys' briefs la Cameron Diaz's shimmying scene in Charlie's Angels.

Now she can put her shoes on the table. Artist and designer Shoshanna Smith turned a passion for shoes into a new concept: high-heeled handbags. The purses are in the shape of pumps and boots and are decorated with zippers to open and close them. Available by special order. Call 212-579-9700.

Gifts with a Practical Twist

For the handywoman, turn to the Workforce 43-piece tool set. This household essential contains all of the basic tools she will need for most home projects, and retails for under $20 at Home Depot and other hardware stores. For decorating divas, Home Depot also offers a 1-2-3 series of home improvement books with easy-to-follow instructions on a va-riety of projects.

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