The gift of experience

It seems like everywhere I turn everyone is talking about the Too Faced Christmas Sets. I have a confession. I’ve never been very impressed with them. I see them getting mixed reviews online and when I swatched them in store I never fell in love enough (despite really really wanting to fall in love) to justify buying one. I say this because it makes me scratch my head a little and wonder why do I constantly hear about Too Faced despite the mixed reviews yet I hardly hear about the Stila Christmas collection? I picked up this palette for $59 at Shoppers because when I swatched it, I fell in love! After using it for 3-4 weeks now I’m ready to give it a full review and *spoiler alert* I’m also ready to call it the unsung hero of 2015 Christmas sets!

The Gift Set: You can pick this set up for $59 at Shoppers Drugmart. It includes; 12 gorgeous eyeshadows, 1 Deluxe Size Lip Glaze in Apricot and 1 Deluxe Size HUGE™ Extreme Lash Mascara.

It comes in a gold box that matches the set’s packaging. It’s so pretty that you could just stick a bow on it and give it like that 🙂 A great lazy man’s gift!

The set (or palette) itself mimics a love letter. It has gold packaging and a golden seal reminiscent of a more romantic time.

It unfolds to reveal the contents within; 12 shadows, a lip gloss and a mascara.

The Eyeshadows: As mentioned, there are 12 eyeshadows in this set. 12 AMAZING shadows!!

  • Warm Silver
  • Fog
  • Nude Shimmer
  • Clay
  • Golden Topaz
  • Plum
  • Black Pearl
  • Stone
  • Sapphire
  • Metallic Bronze
  • Snowflake
  • Light Pink

They each have a beautiful, buttery texture and are highly pigmented. The blend so smoothly on the lids. They’re just a joy to use. My favourite thing about the palette is the colour selection.

As you can likely tell, it’s a very gold themed palette but it has 2 very gorgeous pops of colour, plum (a purple shade) and sapphire (a blue shade). The pops of colour are vibrant and oh so wearable! I just love that they threw that in there!

When I use this palette I can’t help but think of my beloved In the Light palette by Stila. I’m a huge fan of the In the Light palette. The Trust in Love Gift Set almost feels like an updated version of the In the Light palette! I enjoy that there’s no shade overlap between the two and that the Trust in Love Gift Set has the 2 extra pops of colour.

Stila has also seemed to up their formula game. The shade “Nude Shimmer” could be compared to “Kitten” however I find it to be creamier and slightly richer in pigmentation than “Kitten.”

Top: Nude Shimmer Bottom: Kitten

Some of the shades in the In the Light palette were a little dry but none of the shades in this palette suffer from that problem. In fact, they er on too buttery. 2 shades within this palette are a little chunky and thus have fallout. The fallout was hardly an issue for me and personally, I’d prefer a little fallout (hello Kat Von D!) vs too dry.

The Lip Glaze: I think you either love these or you don’t. The lip glazes are a staple lip product from Stila. They’re intended to be a refreshing, long-lasting lip gloss that has a hint of colour. The Trust in Love Gift Set contains the colour “Apricot.” Personally, I’m not a fan of these. They don’t last long on me and I dislike the applicator/click pen packaging. I found the shade included here did very little for my lips.

The HUGE™ Extreme Lash Mascara: I have to admit that overall I really am enjoying this mascara. It builds up naturally and nicely. It does add length and a little volume too!

I’ve had several compliments while wearing this mascara (actually while wearing the products in this kit…). Receiving compliments is a huge bonus in my books 🙂 The mascara definitely does what it claims however it runs like crazy on my bottom lash and it will also run if it’s damp out. I have to be choosy regarding when I wear. If it came in waterproof, I’d consider buying it!

Overall: If you can’t tell already, generally speaking I’m really happy with my purchase. I don’t care for the Lip Glazes but I know many people are big fans. Other than that, I have nothing bad to say about it. I think it would make a great gift for someone who loves nudes/neutrals or someone who loves the Stila In the Light palette. It’s priced a little hefty at $59 but most Stila palettes run for $60 so you basically get 2 other products for free!

The Trust in Love Gift Set is the big sister to the In the Light palette and everything that the “Eyes are the Window” series of palettes wish they could be.



Los Angeles Gifts

Los Angeles is a buzzing, vibrant city full of fun with an incredible amount to see and do; the perfect place to find an incredible experience gift for your Los Angeles loved ones!

Blessed with a moderate climate, and almost perpetually drenched in warm sunshine, LA offers a wealth of outdoor experiences and adventures for active people. If you’re looking for a gift experience for someone who loves water sports, Los Angeles has got an incredible selection including Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Snorkeling and Windsurfing – and even a high-octane Water Jet Pack Flight! You can get back to nature with a stunning Whale Watching Trip or a Sea Lion and Dolphin Cruise. If you like adventure but prefer dry land, you could try a San Andreas Nightwatch Jeep Adventure, and see the landscape change as the sun goes down.

You can take flight in the city of Angels too – we have a superb selection of incredible airborne experiences including LA Flying Lessons, Helicopter Flights over the Hollywood Hills, magical Los Angeles Hot Air Balloon Rides, and much more! We even offer an incredible Hang Gliding and paragliding experiences just outside the city, in beautiful San Bernardino.

LA is known for its huge choice of good food, with fantastic influences from its diversity of ethnic communities, its local farming, the market for healthy food, and wonderful access to a range of sea food. We offer a number of delicious food tours in Los Angeles that are sure to satisfy almost any taste buds! From a Culinary tour of Catalina Island to a Farmers Market tour, through to an Ethnic Food and Culture Tour of the city, our food tours will give LA a fresh new flavour, whether you’re a tourist of have lived here your whole life.

So if you’re looking for a unique gift idea in the City Of Angels why not try an incredible, unforgettable experience gift, and give the gift of a lasting LA memory?!

How to Give the 50 Hottest Experience Gifts for Christmas

Here’s some good news and some great news about gifts for Christmas this year.

The good: your holiday presents for everyone on your list are entirely sorted.

As America’s connoisseurs of giving unforgettable holiday memories, we here at Cloud 9 Living have put together a list of our 50 most popular experience gifts—many of which you probably spotted above a moment ago.

That said, here’s the great part: we’ve also included some inspiration regarding how, exactly, to give an experience gift for Christmas.

Because let’s face it. Giving experiences that will forever add to folks’ life stories is a pretty thrilling mission. So it only makes sense that unwrapping them should be just as exciting for the lucky recipients. But is it really possible to wrap an intangible?

You bet. Pair an experience gift’s printable certificate with a solid partner that’s easy to put in a festive box or bag. Scope out this year’s hottest and most memorable experiences below, along with the magic that makes them un-wrappable on December 25th!

50. Learn to Fly

Pop a model airplane in a box with a gift tag addressed to your favorite aspiring pilot. Both airplane and helicopter lessons are available from coast to coast.

49. La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour

Time on the water will be well-spent with a waterproof watch strapped to a wrist that’s paddling among some of Mother Nature’s most breathtaking scenery.

48. Food Tour

Pack a picnic basket with an experience gift for Christmas, redeemable for a tasty tour in the future, then top it off with a cheerful bow.

47. Skydiving

Go a bit old school. Buy a Tom Petty CD featuring “Free Falling.”

46. Fighter Pilot Mission

You can’t go wrong with this one if you pair this holiday present up with a Top Gun DVD.

45. San Francisco Sunset Catamaran Cruise

This popular experience gift warrants more photo opps than you can imagine. Invite your recipient to pick a favorite to preserve forever in a photo frame.

44. Vineyard or Wine Tour

There’s no better way to present someone with a vino tasting tour than filling a wine gift bag with a favorite bottle of red or white. Plus it’ll wet the ol’ whistle for what’s yet to come!

43. City Tour

Get an urban explorer pumped for a romp through a city’s fascinating food, history, art, sights and more! A delightfully touristy souvenir can easily be ordered online and adorned with tissue paper and ribbon, making it a perfect gift for Christmas morning.

42. Cooking Class

The best way to give a Christmas present for him or her that entails sharpening culinary expertise is to help him or her dress the part. Especially when a monogrammed apron isn’t all that will wrapped up and ready for gifting.

41. Spafinder Wellness 365 Gift Card

Make the return back to reality after the holiday hiatus a bit easier on your lucky recipient with a spa escape. And if heading home after a day of pampering is equally as tough, some bubble bath should ease the blow.

40. Race Car Driving

Don’t have a bow big enough for a day at the track? No need for one! A wind-up car is the perfect holiday gift idea for letting someone know they’ll soon be burnin’ rubber on a race track, behind the wheel of a stock or Indy vehicle.

39. Lunch/Dinner Cruise

Keep memories of this unique gift for Christmas forever preserved with a classic ship in a bottle. The dining, dancing and scenery that come with this afternoon or evening outing are highly deserving of the top shelf space.

38. Champagne Brunch Cruise

Is your lucky recipient more into brunch, rather than lunch or dinner affairs? Let ‘em pop a bottle of bubbly in eager anticipation of this holiday gift for him or her that will head to the H2O!

37. Exotic Car Racing

Even the sexiest, savviest fella will get a chuckle out of opening a box holding a cheesy keychain. Especially when he realizes exactly what this Christmas gift for him actually entails!

36. Scuba Lesson

Entice your recipient to dive head-first into a new adventure! Nothing will extend the invitation more cleverly than a swim cap.

35. Golf Lesson or Getaway

Whether inviting someone to play beside a PGA pro or enjoy a weekend hiatus, a box of balls or new golf glove are a tee-rific ideas for revealing such gifts for Christmas.

34. Hot Air Balloon Ride

Tie the printable certificate for this experience gift to the end of a helium balloon bouquet. Wrap them in a box so they float up when opened.

33. Sushi Rolling Lesson

Got a gal who loves to be a culinary hostess with the mostess? Tie together this Christmas gift for her by throwing in a set of fancy chopsticks!

32. Mani-Pedi

Get her fingers ready to feel festive with a gift bag full of nail polish, to tide her over until she can reap the benefits of her mani-pedi holiday gift.

31. Hiking, Spelunking or Cavern Adventures

The great outdoors will never look better, thanks to a stocking-stuffer like a head lamp to go with ‘em!

30. Brewery Tour

A cold one will taste even more refreshing when you gift the beer-lover in your life with a personalized pint glass to go with the brewery tour he/she will soon indulge in.

29. Fishing Excursion

There’s no better way to reel in the best fishing gifts for Christmas than with a “Big Mouth Billy Bass” wall mount singing the praises of fly fishing, deep sea sport fishing, and anything in-between.

28. Helicopter Tour

Get someone ready to defy gravity! A remote control helicopter is a wonderful holiday present to unwrap before hopping into the passengers’ seats of a whirlybird.

27. Chocolate Tour or Class

If gift-giving life is like a box of chocolates, then your recipient might know what he/she is gonna get… apart from a sweet treat. Further tempt someone to make their own chocolate or sample their way thought a city!

26. Rock Climbing Lesson

The best complement to a Christmas gift like this is a bit of energy to go with it. A box of Clif bars certainly means it’s high time to climb!

25. NYC Wine Tasting Sail

A classy experience gift like this merits a chic pairing like a set of wine glasses.

24. Bicycle Tour

Put even more jingle in a holiday season by stuffing a stocking with a bike bell!

23. Photography Class

Gifts for Christmas that make this experience even merrier may be obvious—but are always helpful. The old-school photographer will adore rolls of film. Photo paper is a great back-up idea, too.

22. Wine and Paint Night

Affix a printed experience gift certificate to a blank canvas or pack of brushes. Then your recipient can take his/her newly learned skills to a creative level at home.

21. Beauty Consultation

As if a wardrobe or facial makeover isn’t already holly-jolly on its own, add a gift bag full of make-up goodies to the mix!

20. Craft Cocktail Tour

A tour is just the start of good vibrations thanks to tasty libations. Keep those vibes going strong with a “how to” mixology book, so your recipient can make their own magic at home.

19. Horseback Riding

This is a pretty lucky gift to unwrap all by itself. But what’s the harm in wishing your recipient even more good fortune beyond such a memorable experience.

18. Whale Watching Cruise

Binoculars offer the perfect way to play “I Spy” with the largest mammals on the planet! Not to mention they are THE perfect accessory for this type of Christmas gift.

17. Surfing or Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lesson

Whether your favorite beach bum wants to catch a big wave on a board, or simply paddle around on one, a beach towel will never be handier.

16. Harley Davidson Motorcycle Rental

A rad bandana or head wrap easily helps this holiday gift make big, bad bike dreams come true!

15. Bridge to Nowhere Bungee Jump

With a name as intriguing as this, gifts for Christmas that complement it should obviously follow suit. Pair this experience certificate up with some silly string!

14. Fly a Jetpack or Jetboard

Nobody knows the feeling of flying better than a superhero. So pop a novelty t-shirt sporting an iconic seal into a box, and top it off with a larger-than-life bow.

13. Bull Riding School

If a brave guy or gal in your life has a horned beast on the ol’ bucket list, a cowboy hat is a great Christmas gift for him or her to say, “Guess what you get to do?!”

12. In-home Personal Chef

Believe it or not, these fine folks exist! Introduce someone to this incredible concept with a new cookbook. Your recipient won’t need it to redeem their experience gift, but it’s always good to have on hand once the delicious eats from the pros have provided some culinary inspiration.

11. Private DJ Lesson

Spin some holiday happiness by pairing a Private DJ Lesson with a classic vinyl record. No player? No problem – vinyl doubles wonderfully simply as wall décor, too.

10. Tandem Hang Gliding

Double the high-flying fun in the air up there! A kite is the perfect introduction to sending someone to new heights to strap on their own set of wings.

9. Massage
The power of a gorgeously-scented candle can’t be underestimated. Especially when it later evokes relaxing memories of the deep tissue or Swedish massage that came with it.
8. Ninja Lesson

The chilly months are ideal for giving this gift. You’re wannabe action-film star will be shocked to find a winter ski mask brilliantly paired with an authentic ninja lesson.

7. Spa Facial

Gifts for Christmas like in-home mask remedies go a long way. Especially when someone needs a little tiding-over until the real spa deal is in the books.

6. Pottery Lesson

Prep hands for the pottery wheel with something that’s easy-peasy to wrap up, like modeling clay or PlayDoh!

5. Glass Blowing Class

Deck their halls with memories… starting with a delicate icicle ornament, and ending with an experience gift that gives them the chance to create their own glass masterpiece!

4. Phone-In Astrology Reading

Bring the wonder and awe of the stars into any gift with a festive Christmas gift that keeps giving year after year: a sparkly tree-topper!

3. Paintball Outing

The best way for the recipient of this holiday present to practice his/her “ready-aim-fire” protocol is by unwrapping a NERF gun on Christmas morning.

2. White Water Rafting

There may be plenty of rivers to choose from in the US of A—but only one perfectly paired item is worth revealing this experience gift come Christmas Day. A donut tube or a lounging raft impeccably announces the wet ‘n’ wild times ahead!

1. Cloud 9 Living Monetary Gift Certificate

If the best way to grant someone’s bucket list wishes is gifts for Christmas that let them choose their own adventure, do just that! A swanky item from Tory Anne collections is the perfect partner for a printable certificate that come with endless possibilities! (Seriously, just search Amazon’s Home & Kitchen category for “choose your own adventure”—you’ll see what we mean.)

And that, as they say, is a wrap. (Or perhaps in this case, an UN-wrap.)

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Search our collection of over 2,300 experiences to find the perfect gift!
Region: Categories: Go!

$ experience gifts: 

1. coffee: The gift of coffee is a great one. I love to take my friends out for a cup of joe. We can chat for an hour and catch up and it only costs around $10.

2. ice cream: A trip to the ice cream parlor is another simple gift. Go with a friend to grab a cone of your fav flavor mine is vegan chocolate peanut butter! Place it in a sugar cone to keep it zero waste and this gift will only set you back around $10.

3. hike: Grab a friend for an afternoon, pack some homemade granola, and get out in nature. Spend some time soaking up the beautiful scenery and good conversation. This gift is free!

4. picnic: Head to a park for the afternoon and enjoy some tasty homemade treats. Just remember to keep it zero waste and here are some tips. This git costs around $10-15 depending on what you pack.

5. ice skating: I always loved ice skating especially in the winter. Grab your favorite scarf, mittens, and bff for a fun trip to the rink! Grab some hot cocoa with extra marshmallows while there, just remember to get it in a real mug. This costs on average $20 per person.

6. roller skating: Roller rinks were the hit birthday party activity when I was growing up. Throw it back with your friends and rent some rollerblades (or break yours out from a couple of years ago) for the evening. This costs about $20 per person.

7. out for a drink: invited your friend out to the bar or the pub for a drink. Even better aim for a trivia night for an extra fun evening. This costs about $20-$40.

8. gardening / composting class: Many local community gardens offer composting and gardening workshops. These classes are typically inexpensive and run about $20 for two.

9. movie tickets for two: Grab one of the latest flicks with your friend. You can grab some candy in bulk and sneak in it in your bag or just pick out candies that come in a cardboard box like dots or Raisinettes. Compost the box when you’re done! This trip on average costs $25.

10. bowling: Bowling night is always a blast! I love going bowling with friends the alley we go to even serves pints of beer in real glasses woot-woot! Treat your friend to a super fun night of strikes and spares and it only costs about $30.

11. lecture: It’s always nice to attend a lecture on a topic you’re interested in. When Justin and I first moved to California we got each other tickets to a lecture at California Academy of the Sciences and it cost about $30.

12. comedy or improve show for two: There are a lot of comedy and improv shows done by local troupes. Check out a local troupe for a fun night of laughs. This fun event will only set you back about $30.

13. arcade: Pizza and pinball, I can’t think of a more fun night! Challenge your friend to all of the arcade gamers like Mrs. Pacman, Twin Racer, and the King of Fighters. This fun night only costs about $30.

14. batting cages or driving range: On that same page, a lot of arcades have batting cages, driving ranges, or go karts. There are so many fun ways to spend time with your friends that don’t involve walking around the mall. This gift costs around $30.

$$ experience gifts:

15. a foraging trip for two: My friend took one of these local foraging hikes and it sounded like so much fun! Get outside and learn about the local flora and fauna. The class cost about $40 for two.

16. laser tag or mini golf: Mini-golf and laser tag are such fun events! Head out with a friend or two for a wildly competitive evening. This gift costs about $40 for two-three people.

17. rock climbing: It’s nice to center friend activities around being active. Take a break from all of the holiday indulging and take a trip to a climbing center together. This will cost around $40 for two.

18. fermentation workshop for two: Fermentation workshops are all the rage right now. I see them advertised everywhere. You can learn a new skill with a friend and pick up tickets for two around $40.

19. two museum tickets: Justin and I are definitely museum people. We love going to museums. In fact, when looking for honeymoon destinations good museums was on our list of “must haves.” tickets to museums run all over the place but on average it’s about $50 for two.

20. campground for a weekend: Plan a camping weekend with a friend! You can typically rent a local campground site for a tent for around $50 a weekend.

21. pub crawl: I’ve seen so many pub crawls advertised this year. A pub crawl typically involves going to two or three breweries and trying a flight at each one. A pub crawl costs about $50 for two.

22. trampoline place for two: Get your bounce on! Trampoline parks look like so much fun, make it a family trip and a two hour pass for two costs around $50.

23. escape room: You know I’m partial to escape rooms! Most of the time you can grab a ticket for an escape room fairly inexpensively. You can book a place in a room for two around $50.

24. yoga passes for a month: If your friend is a totally yogi, buy them passes to their favorite yoga studio. My favorite one in town charges around $60 for a monthly pass. A total steal for a gift that keeps giving all month.

25. chocolate workshop: Wouldn’t it be so fun to go learn how to make delicious chocolates with your bestie? Then you could come home and watch a movie and eat all of those yummy chocolates!! Sounds like a perfect day to me. These classes for two cost around $60.

26. theatre show: There are always shows going on grab tickets to a musical or play and support your local theatre scene. It’s a great night out you can grab a drink at a bar afterwards and discuss all of your favorite moments. Tickets to a local show cost around $60 for two.

27. tickets to a minor sporting game: Minor sports games or college games tend to cost less than the pro games. There still just as fun though! I used to go see the Arkansas Travelers play all of the time. It was great to hang out with friends. Tickets to these games run about $60.

28. wine tasting: Wine tasting is one of my favorite activities when friends and family come to visit. Tastings do cost money, you can hit up about three wineries with a friend for about $60.

29. dance lessons: Take your sweetie out for a tango, salsa, or swing class! Spend the night twirling away. You can grab a couple of classes for about $60.

30. bath house for two: Spend the day in a bath house for a luxurious present. Steam rooms, hot tubs, and pools it sounds like such a relaxing atmosphere. This present for two is about $60.

31. sponsor a run: Have a friend that loves to run? Races cost money, why not sponsor them for a run! How fun is that? Even better, buy the pass for two and now you have an exercise buddy for the new year. Runs can cost anywhere from $25-80

32. zip lining: A couple of year’s back I went zip lining in the Ozarks. It was SO MUCH FUN! A great experience gift for a friend or family member. For two it cost about $80.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *