BEAUTY GIFT GUIDE
This guide features products and tools that I personally think would make good gifts. It includes items I've gifted in the past, plan to gift in the future, or would enjoy receiving myself. I absolutely love giving gifts. I love shopping for people and curating gifts that are thoughtful and unique to that person's tastes and style. Every person is different and I don't have any insight on the relationship you have with that person. But what I aimed to do with this guide is include products that have general appeal. With that said, it's quite rare that I give a gift that's not somehow beauty-related. My thinking is that I'd like to provide that person with something that will help them take some time for themselves; a product or tool that's beautiful to look at but strongly considers practicality and functionality. I want to give them products that they either wouldn't purchase for themselves, or wouldn't think to purchase for themselves. This list does not include very many skincare products because I'd like to leave it up to your discretion based on how much you know that person enjoys skincare or is willing to use skincare. Personally, I'd say that Sunday Riley Good Genes makes one of the best gifts ever because of how instantly transformative it is for the skin, but I know not everyone is willing to commit to a product like that. It really just depends on the person! With lots of holidays coming up, I hope that this guide can help you if you feel lost or stuck - or even just to provide you with a different perspective on things you may not have thought of!
Votary Washcloths Five for $34 from Votary In my opinion, these make one of the best gifts in the whole wide world. They aren't necessarily something most people would think to buy for themselves, but they're something that can be used almost every single day. They are the softest and most plush cloths I've ever used. I personally save them for a morning time cleanse or a second cleanse because I don't want them to get gunked up with foundation and eyeliner. They aren't rough in the slightest, but they have enough texture so that your cleanser can be removed with ease. They're also significantly thicker than most washcloths I've used, so they feel extra luxurious. They'd be great to keep in your guest bathroom or for yourself when you want to indulge in the most experiential cleanse possible.
Foreo Iris $139 from Sephora and Dermstore I love this device, and that's coming from someone who generally doesn't connect with skincare or beauty devices. It is intended to aid in the penetration of your eye products as well as providing lymph drainage and a massage for the eye area. Point blank, it works. It makes my eyes look more awake, slightly less puffy, and smoother. Great if my eyes feel particularly tired in the morning. This would be great for someone who doesn't take care of their eyes as much as they would like to because it does the work for you. It's built very well and the battery lasts quite a long time per charge - I've had mine since last autumn and I haven't had to re-charge it yet. Foreo has a fantastic warranty on their products as well.
May Lindstrom Skin The Masque Treatment Bowl $40 from May Lindstrom Skin and Barneys New York This masque treatment bowl is such a gorgeous gift because it's as beautiful to look at as it is practical. It has become my go-to gift for nearly everyone. Even if your gift recipient isn't a huge masker, this will likely make them want to indulge in the ritual a little bit more. If they aren't a huge skincare junkie in general, it still makes a gorgeous ring bowl, tea cup, or piece of decor. There's so many uses for this bowl and one of my favorite aspects of it is how easy it is to clean and keep looking brand new. Even if I'm using a really inexpensive clay mask mixed with a little raw honey, having a vessel like the bowl keeps the contents contained and truly does elevate the experience. Plus, it's made by Melissa Brown for May Lindstrom - it's so important to support small businesses and artisans!
OY-L Body Scrub $30 from OY-L This is by far the best body scrub I've used, especially when my skin is extra rough and/or extra dry. It's grainier than most scrubs I've used in the past, but it also leaves my skin feeling more nourished than ones I've used in the past. I have the litsea basil, which really smells like a bright pop of citrus that is invigorating and energizing. It's made with great ingredients and I love the design of the label. It's a little reminder to indulge in your bathing ritual, which can only be a good thing if you ask me.
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray $29 from This Works and Dermstore It must be said, my favorite pillow mist of all time was from The Body Shop, which has since been continued. I can't way I love the This Works one as much, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I think what makes this one unique to others I've used in the past is the low "sillage" of the scent itself. It's a gorgeous blend of lavender and chamomile, but it radiates off the pillow more than just floats on the air. Perhaps that's why I personally liked The Body Shop one so much - I want my entire existence to smell like lavender as I drift off to sleep. Without a doubt, the This Works mist is extremely elegant to look at and pleasurable to use. It works, too. It definitely provides a sense of calm and relaxation before bed. I tend to spray a little under the sheets too, just so that some of the scent is released as I move around and try to get comfortable.
Hourglass No. 28 Lip Oil $44 from Sephora and Nordstrom I'd be willing to bet most people wouldn't purchase a luxurious lip treatment for themselves, but they absolutely make an amazing gift. I've been a fan of this lip oil for going on three years now and I see no signs of stopping. It features a gold-plated tip for an anti-bacterial benefit and super luxe application. The formula is a balmy oil that feels slick and nourishing on the lips. It's great for nighttime use and claims to reduce the appearance of lines on and around the mouth over time. Great for someone who always complains that their lips are dry
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream $15 from Sephora Out of all the hand creams I own and love, the Caudalie one is my most recommended. It has the most uplifting scent - which I describe as a soft grapefruit, the least residue, and the best price / value relationship. It's fantastic for those who work with their hands because they can almost immediately get back to their tasks after applying the cream. It's also nice to keep on a nightstand because you don't feel like you've just put gloves on before bed, but your hands certainly feel nourished and moisturized the next morning. I would say this is a great last-minute gift because most Sephora stores carry it. Great as a host/hostess, mother's day, housewarming, or even a "hey I'm thinking of u love u gurl" kind of gift.
Farmacy Honey Savior $34 from Sephora An all-in-one skin salve that treats dryness or cracked skin anywhere on the face and body. I like the ingredient in this salve and I find it's less globby than other salves - partially due to its lack of petrolatum. Great for someone who is more ingredient conscious. It's as utilitarian as it is enjoyable to use. I keep mine on my nightstand so it's within reach for my lips and cuticles before bed. I find that products which are multi-faceted make great gifts because your gift recipient is bound to find a use which suits their lifestyle the best!
Dior Nail Glow $27 from Sephora and Nordstrom If I could only have one nail product, it would be Dior Nail Glow. It might not seem like it does much, but it's the quickest way to make the nails look polished and healthy. It's a jelly pink formula with a moderate opacity that makes the base of the nail look flushed and the tips brighter and cleaner. Because it's so sheer, any inevitable chipping is almost unnoticeable so it's great for people who work with their hands a lot. I like to do two coats because I enjoy maximum shine, but a thin layer over the whole nail is more than sufficient. Plus, it's freakin' Dior nail polish - one of the most glamorous things you can have on your vanity if you ask me!
The Body Shop Soapstone Oil Burner $18.50 from The Body Shop This little oil burner is such a gem. I picked a few up during one of The Body Shop's many sales and I use them all the time. You put a little water and fragrance oil - I blend my own essential oils depending on my mood - and light a tealight underneath. It fills the room quite quickly and doesn't release and smoke into the air. The little dish at the top is easy to remove and clean with soap and water. I love the way they look too. I would imagine that one of these burners would fit in nicely with most decor styles. You could also pick up some of The Body Shop's (or any brand's for that matter) fragrance oils if you wanted to - especially if you know your gift recipient's fragrance tastes. Bonus: these are handmade in India and support the local people.
Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash $39 from Nordstrom and Barneys New York This hand wash has made the chore of washing my hands a little bit more enjoyable and, in my mind, the most thoughtful gifts are ones that bring pleasures to the little things in life. This is a gel which has refined pumice particles in it, which provides an exfoliating quality while washing the hands. I live in New York City where life is, unequivocally, dirtier than normal. I can see the extra gunk being washed away after a long day out and about in the city, which is as gross as it is comforting. If the person you're buying for works with their hands a lot or lives somewhere that's super metropolitan, this could be perfect for them. The scent is a blend of vetiver, bergamot, and petitgrain - it has an earthy woodiness with an element of refreshing uplifting-ness. It's not a scent you'd normally find in a hand wash, which makes it even more special. I bought mine in August and I'm just now reaching the end of the bottle in May. Not bad.
Tata Harper Recovery Gel $42 from Sephora and Credo Beauty Formerly known as the Soothing Muscle Gel. For something which is intended to alleviate the feeling of sore muscles, I sure do find a way to give this product a holler at any given chance. I love it and I use it all the time, and it's such a good product that it would be amiss not to talk about it. Everyone I know has some sort of soreness at any given time. For those who sit at a desk and type on a keyboard all day, this is the perfect cream to massage in the hands at the end of the day. For those who are on their feet all day, it's perfect to massage into the lower back and calves. For those who carry a backpack around all day, it alleviates soreness in the shoulders quite quickly after application. I even use the remnants on my temples to calm tension. A muscle relief product is not always the first product on people's minds, but it can make all the difference in how relaxed you feel before bed. Feel free to use me as a testimonial too ;)
Jo Malone Candle in Wood Sage & Sea Salt $65 from Sephora and Nordstrom This is the candle I got for my aunt and uncle last Christmas and they love it. I wouldn't technically classify them as people who are super scent-savvy, but they said they love it and burn it all the time. The nice thing about Jo Malone candles in particular is that they include a lid which makes snuffing out the flame easy and ensures the wick doesn't move around from blowing it out. The packaging is stunning and Jo Malone takes such extra care to ensure that the packaging is presentation-ready. Bonus: that means you don't have to wrap anything yourself! I chose Wood Sage & Sea Salt because I find it has universal appeal, but you know your gift recipient better than I do! PS: if you're looking to give a really elegant candle as a gift but don't want to splurge as much for a Jo Malone candle, I really like the ones from Catbird, which are half the price.
Shiseido Cotton $10 from Sephora and Ulta Again, this is an example of a product that makes a particularly good gift because it's not always something that someone would buy for themselves. The quality of the cotton is strong and sturdy but the best part about it is how much less product you need. I find I use about half the amount of liquid exfoliant I'd normally need, and eye makeup remover goes a lot further than normal. The nice thing about cotton pads is most people use them on a daily basis. The experience of taking off eyeshadow with a Shiseido cotton pad is slightly more elevated than a standard no-name brand and it's be fair - it's the little things that make all the difference. So there you have it! This is a small collection of beauty products which I think would make fantastic gifts. These are merely suggestions because you obviously know your friends and family better than I do. Happy giving 💚