Unless you want to look like Mommie Dearest, well-groomed brows are a must. The key, of course, is to make them look as natural as possible. The wrong shape can add an additional ten pounds and, as if that isn't bad enough, an additional ten years. A well-shaped brow can actually open up your face, help lift deep-set eyes, or make small eyes look larger. Nonna Daron at Flying Beauticians is the master at making brows beautiful. Since it can take up to eight weeks for badly plucked brows to grow back, put your (or your fave gal pal's) best non-cosmetic accessory in the hands of the grooming guru, Nonna. -- CP
$35 at Flying Beauticians, 166 Geary St., Ste. 900, 391-8929, www.flyingbeauticians.com.
Gifts for Her and Him
It's no secret that all types of athletes use balance boards to improve their abilities. You, too, can develop core strength and agility with Zebra Hall's Rock & Roll Balance Board. The skateboard-style deck pivots on three high-performance wooden rockers, and the one-foot-by-two board is lightweight for traveling. This high-quality "toy" (suitable for ages five to adult) adds an element of fun and elegance to any household -- the Zebra Hall toyshop sends its elves across the country and beyond to gather stylish ideas. This one is made exclusively for Zebra Hall by Vew Do, the Vermont pioneer of balance boards endorsed by the NFL and NHL. -- JLM
$150 at www.zebrahall.com, or visit the warehouse at 2525 16th St. (at Florida), Ste. 310, 800-834-9165.
Copia, the four-year-old American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts in Napa features a 3.5-acre garden modeled after those in the Loire Valley, daily cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, regular concerts and films, and a permanent interactive exhibit about the heritage and culture of American wine and food. A membership includes unlimited admission to Copia for one year, participation in events and programs at a discounted rate, a subscription to the quarterly Copia calendar, discounts in the gift shop, and exclusive invitations to members-only exhibition previews. Upcoming events include a members' holiday party with guest Thomas Keller. -- CP
Individual membership, $60; Dual, $75; or Family, $100. Available at COPIA, 500 First St., Napa; www.copia.org or (707) 265-5946.
Although the big "O" has been a much-discussed topic on the tongues of men and women since the early 20th century (thank you, Kinsey), scores of betrothed couples and singletons are still in the dark about the best present to be given below the belt. Give the gift of mind-blowing, screaming, thrashing, (and satisfying) sex to your soulmate with the Up All Night holiday kit. This sexy couple's gift set includes a Mini Sterling Vibe, a Sonic Ring vibrating cock ring, a Lil Flirt butt plug, a brightly colored Sorbet Slimline vibe, the popular Sex Questions card game, a lube sampler pack, and two C batteries to get the jollies buzzing. Warming up in a cold winter's night has never been more fun. -- CP
$52 at www.babeland.com.
Gifts for Him
Utopias is Samuel Adams' fourth edition in the growing craft-brewing revolution. The limited-edition beer (only 8,000 numbered bottles) is fermented at great length and with great care to produce double-digit alcohol percentages (50 proof). The Guinness Book of World Records claims it's the "strongest beer in the world." The collectible brew-kettle-shaped bottle is reminiscent of the copper brewing kettles used by brewmasters hundreds of years ago, and the liquid pleasure it contains can be likened to a fine cognac or port. Utopias make a fantastic gift for the most discriminating beer aficionado on your list. -- CP
$100 at select beer retailers.
The self-scrutiny and tedious personal regimen women inflict upon themselves can be costly and time consuming. But before you mutter "high maintenance," women aren't the only ones booking countless appointments and stocking up on beauty must-haves. Men have beauty secrets, too (beyond buff abs and bulging biceps). Sausalito-based California North has answered the growing demands of beauty-conscious guys with its Skin Care Starter Kit. Featuring eight two-ounce refillable bottles of California North's products from their best-selling skincare and haircare lines, the waterproof bag of beauty booty is perfect for gift-giving. In fact, give two -- the testosterone posse tends to buy doubles of everything -- one for the gym bag and one for home. -- CP
If the man in your life is in the market for a trendy T-shirt made of buttery cotton and cut to perfection, say hello to Barking Irons' line of limited-edition tees. Each custom-designed, hand-printed shirt illustrates a scene of New York City life circa 1900. Only two years old, Barking Irons already has an impressive cult following of A-list celebrities and is among the best-selling brands at upscale retailers like Barneys New York. -- CP
$59; at Rolo, 1235 Howard St. (at 8th St.), 355-1122, www.barkingirons.com.
Shaving sucks, and that's the truth. And when women complain that it's worse for them than it is for you, don't buy it for a second. Though it's true women shave almost nine times the surface area that men do, the hair you shave is thicker and denser and the skin is more sensitive. Jack Black can't make this irritating chore fun, but its Shave in a Bag kit -- including a three-in-one pre-shave oil, shave cream, and skin conditioner -- can help you perfect your routine and avoid chronically crappy shaves. -- CP
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