Thanksgiving, Christmas and almost all of 2009 are but a memory. And when the clinking of glasses welcomes a new year, it's hard not to feel a shiver of hope as you take the first sip of effervescent, sweet but not too sweet, tingly-on-your-tongue champagne. Before you is a clean slate -- 365 chances to get it right. Last year, for better or worse, is over. Welcome, 2010!
Champagne isn't just for drinking. Beauty companies have captured its essence in a range of products. So whether you were a houseguest over the holidays and need a way to say thank you or you'd simply love to indulge in champagne beauty products on your own, you'll be happy to learn that many of these bubbly-infused offerings aren't just for the festive fun of it all; they also have clinical merit.
Cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta says champagne is beneficial because of antioxidants in the grape seed extract it contains. These antioxidants are 20 to 50 times more powerful than vitamin C and vitamin E respectively, he says.
Cincotta, a former manager of research and development for hair-care company John Frieda, says that grape seed extract protects the skin's vital collagen and elastin from environmental free radicals and oxidative stress.
"This promotes youthful skin, healthy cells, skin elasticity and flexibility, and generally helps in the treatment of aging," he says. "In my opinion using grape seed extract in a skin-care product is a definite positive to skin."
Among the products that can help you get your daily pour of Vitis vinifera, the fruit of the wine grape:
The Grapeseed Co. in Santa Barbara specializes in botanical beauty made from wine.
It makes a handmade Pink Champagne Organic Soap that, in addition to Vitis vinifera, also contains organic rose-hip oil, white tea, rose petals, pomegranate extract, sparkling wine and essential oils of blood orange, pink grapefruit, rose geranium, rose and carrot seed. It is $8.95 at www.thegrapeseedcompany.com.
The Mimosa Champagne Tonique toner from Eminence Organics, with added avocado oil, orange essential oils, aloe leaf and coenzyme Q10, smells sweet and is utterly refreshing for $38. Also look for their Mimosa Champagne Massage Oil for $29. Visit www for a store that carries the product.
100% Pure makes nourishing Organic Pink Champagne Body Scrub and Organic Pink Champagne Bubble Bath with red wine, lavender, rosemary and Japanese honeysuckle extracts, both $15 at www.100percentpure.com.
Philosophy's Celebrate! shower gel trio with Pink Bubbly Shower Gel makes a great gift, packed along with pomegranate and lavender shower gels in a festive faux champagne bucket for $30 at www.philosophy.com.
Jaqua has a Pink Champagne Gift Set as well, including a shower gel, hand cream and body butter. This has a less distinct champagne fragrance, but because of ingredients such as meadowfoam seed oil, it is quite effective at softening skin. It's $30 at www.jaqua and www.ulta.com.
Z. Bigatti Re-Storation Champagne Gel Cleanser has hardly a whiff of champagne scent but instead is all business, with ingredients including folic acid. It's $69 at www.drugstore.com.
Beyond treatment, you may want champagne products just for the luxury and indulgence they evoke.
Antica Farmacista Champagne Diffuser, Candle and Room Spray have a dizzying delicious scent infused with orange blossom, lilac, jasmine and green fig in addition to champagne. They sell for $25 to $92 at www.antica. Some of the products are also available at Nordstrom, www.nordstrom.com.
Voluspa's Crisp Champagne candle is especially popular this time of year. The scent is a mix of sparkling dry champagne, a hint of ginger and a soft vanilla note thanks to tonka bean and tabac. Opt for the three-wick candle for $40 that comes in a chic, black decorative casing with a black lid that you can use to extinguish the flame.
Tip: This candle tends to sell out. Check www.voluspa.com for places to purchase it. In the Los Angeles area, Candle Delirium, at 7980 Santa Monica Blvd. (or www.candledelirium.com), sells a large assortment of candles.
If you find the scent of champagne so delicious you want to wear it as a perfume, Mémoire Liquide makes No. 900 Champagne et Mure Parfum, which sells for $65 at www.beautyhabit.com; it can also be found at Studio at Fred Segal in Santa Monica.
Sula makes Champagne Sugar Eau de Parfum, which is available for $32 at www.ulta.com. What is surprising about these scents is how the earthiness tempers the expected grape scent.
Champagne is also a good bet in makeup. Champagne eye shadows, lip colors and highlighter are all available.
"The champagne color family is one of the easiest color palettes to wear," says MAC Pro makeup artist Tiffany Johnston whose clients walk the red carpet and international runways.
"Champagne colors often have a frost quotient," she says. "A subtle highlight on the cheekbone and the brow bone with a coat of mascara and you have a bumped-up natural look."
Revlon, Smashbox and Bobbi Brown all make Champagne eye shadows, and MAC's Shroom is champagne-colored as well. Prices range from about $5 to $20. Revlon is available at drugstores, Shroom at www.mac and Smashbox and Bobbi Brown at department stores.
ModelCo makes a Luminosity Shimmer Whip in champagne for times when you want to add a subtle glow to your skin. It's available for $32 at beautyhabit.com.
Looking to leave an impression on your date or on the champagne glass on New Year's Eve? Too Faced offers Champagne Wishes and Champagne Diamond lip glosses for $14 to $19 at www.toofaced.com.
An image I can't get out of my mind? Luxuriating in a champagne bubble bath with an actual glass of champagne in my hand -- if that's before or after a big night out on the town I can't say -- but it's in the spirit of toasting to a fun, festive, happy and healthy New Year.