For women who like to be fashionable, nicely made-up, and/or pamper themselves occasionally, here are a few ideas:
1. A makeup palette from Sephora. They have them from several popular brands right now for great prices. Look for Make Up For Ever, Nars, Urban Decay, Laura Mercier, Tarte, Too-Faced, Bare Minerals, Smashbox, Stila, or Lorac. They're all good brands and have a variety of kits for the make-up lover.
2. A holiday collectible or gift card for MAC, a brand that has a huge cult following (including me). They don't sell in Sephora, so you'll only find them in Macy's, Nordstrom, their own free-standing stores in malls, or their web site www.maccosmetics.com.
3. Supplies for their favorite hobby. The gifts that mean the most to me are the ones that I know someone took the time to pay attention to what I liked.
4. A book or a subscription to a magazine related to their interests.
5. A gift certificate for their favorite clothing store, department store, or shoe store (including places like Marshall's, Loehmann's, and local boutiques and consignment shops).
6. Jewelry, if you know their taste in jewelry. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with a gift certificate.
7. Plush, comfortable pajamas, robes, or slippers.
8. Body lotions, shower gels, body butter, and all those indulgent things that we love but may not want to buy for ourselves. Just make sure that you know the person well enough to get a fragrance that they like. So many people have collections of bath stuff that they hate given to them by someone who didn't know that 1 important thing.
9. Wine is always great IF you know what kind they like AND you're sure they drink. If not, don't bother.
10. iTunes gift cards.
11. Chocolate, IF you know what they like. See's Candies has great assortments or you can create your own custom mix. Their dark chocolate Walnut Squares are to die for. If there isn't one near you, go to www.seescandies.com.
12. A Starbucks (or other coffee shop) gift card.
Remember all of these things can be ordered online, too, and if it won't get there in time you can print out the receipt and put it in a box or bag. And don't think it's a cop-out to buy gift cards, they are absolutely one of my favorite presents, especially if it's for MAC.