While most moms do love flowers, and cocktails and chocolates, why not pick something this year that she can really use – something thoughtful that makes her feel good, or glamorous, or both. I’ve rounded up a basket of unusual products that rate high on thoughtfulness.
Probiotics: Okay, I know this sounds really out-of-the-box, but when I travel to international destinations, eating food I’m not used to and skipping time zones, taking a probiotic helps. Funny thing is, I’m not alone. Soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle said the same thing in a blog post making the rounds, advising “Always travel with a high-strain probiotic and hydrate like you’re dying of thirst. This dynamic duo of probiotics and agua will keep your gut health in check and honestly stave off jet lag if you’re globetrotting.” For travel, it’s important that it’s shelf-stable as well. Two to look for: Ultimate Flora RTS, which I wound up distributing to a group of journalists on a press trip abroad a few years ago, and Markle’s favorite, Dr. Ohhira’s, composed of actual fermented food, with live cultures and post-biotics (which are a thing).
Good scents: I used to travel with a scented candle, which is still a nice thought, but a bit cliché. Aura Cacia’s line of shower tabs have no synthetic fragrances – just pure essential oils, compacted into something you can easily toss into a carry-on bag. Revive with the peppermint or eucalyptus or unwind with the lavender – it will make the hotel smell like a spa. For on the go, give mom a couple of their roll-on essential oils. The rose is especially nice for its softening properties to combat plane-dry skin, or give their Chill Pill blend for relaxation.
Stylish carry-on: I’ve checked out a fair amount of luggage in my time – thus far my favorite is the Delsey 19” Aero. But for shorter trips, like say a quick jaunt on the train to NYC (or much longer trips where I have a carry-on and a checked bag), Gretchen Christine’s Voyageur Matelasse ($399) has recently won a place in my closet. Moms will like the stylish look, with chain handles, and the matching purse, which slides over the trolley handle for quick maneuvering, then tucks beneath the seat in front of you, with enough room in it for a novel and a tablet.
Slippers: Okay, so this isn’t exactly breaking news, but I’ve recently realized that one of the nicest things to have on an overnight flight is a pair of slippers, so you don’t have to jam swollen feet into your shoes on a trip to the restroom or to pace the aisles. Upon getting to the hotel, slippers make everything feel a bit more like home. These Giesswein Meadow slippers are cute and springy, with a cotton/linen upper and cozy boiled wool footbed. They are lightweight enough to toss in a carryon, but with a supportive arch and a sole that is sturdy enough to protect from um, whatever is on the floor mid-flight.
Beauty mask: For something a little bit crazy, super indulgent and very effective, give mom MZ Skin’s Hydra-Bright eye treatment mask ($106 for five treatments). Small crescent-shaped, gold-infused pads don’t need any water to apply or remove – just stick under eyes for 15 minutes to smooth and minimize fine lines –it’s instant revival for traveling on the red eye. If mom isn’t afraid to look a bit like a cyborg in flight, get her MZ Skin’s Hydra-Lift Golden Facial Treatment Mask –again no water and no mess, but is perhaps best for after the cabin lighting is dimmed – the full mask unfolds from the package to cover the face with a bit of an “Eyes Wide Shut” vibe. Thick collagen sheets firmly lock in a potent tonic of gold nano particles, Niacinamide and Vitamin C to restore radiance, plump and brighten skin.