Gift Guide
gift suggestions

The 27 Splurge-Worthy Gifts Beauty Insiders Are Giving This Season

From acupressure mats to designer hand sanitizer pouches.

By: Hannah Baxter

Still stumped on what to get your beauty-obsessed friends and family for the holidays? Well, for better or worse, there’s absolutely no shortage of gift sets and great deals to be had at the moment, but sorting through the surplus of makeup, skin care, hair tools, candles, bath accessories, and more is, in a word, daunting. Who better to ask for advice when checking off your holiday shopping list than beauty writers and editors? With all our access to what’s new and trending within the industry, you couldn’t ask for a better sounding board. Here’s what nine beauty insiders are gifting their friends, family, and partners this year.

 

Advertisement

Margaux Anbouba

Associate Beauty Editor at Elle

CHANEL Boy de CHANEL Nail Colour

$28

“In the before times, my boyfriend and I had weekly manicure/pedicure dates. His job doesn’t have quite as much freedom with the dress code, which means he usually had to forgo anything on his fingers—but can go all in on his toes. For the holidays I’m gifting him the new polishes Boy de Chanel polishes. The Natural shade is a kinda-there semigloss nude he can def get away with professionally and the Black is a classic-cool matte that’s universally sexy. The brush is also oversized which makes painting nails at home super easy, even with your non-dominant hand (something that can be hard for all gender identities).”

Buy

Theragun Elite

$399 $299

“The easiest way to get cool big sister points is giving your brother something from Theragun. I have the Elite model and love it because it hooks up to an app that gives you step-by-step instructions depending on what’s feeling out of whack—and it’s totally helped my WFH back-related issues. I’m getting my brother the same version—I have a feeling he’ll be asking for the Wave Foam Roller next year.”

Buy

Advertisement

Staud x Noshinku Hand Sanitizer & Case

$50

“Hand sanitizer feels like kind of a ‘meh’ gift to give your best friends, but this credit-card shaped version from Noshinku comes with its own tiny Staud bag—which instantly elevates the situation. The juice itself is formulated with perfumers so they all smell fantastic (Bergamot is my favorite) and carrying it around hooked onto another Staud bag (woah, meta) or even on my jeans is my 2020 interpretation of Lizzo carrying the tiny Valentino bag at the 2019 American Music Awards.”

Buy

 

Kayla Greaves

Senior Beauty Editor at InStyle

Molton Brown Fiery Pink Pepper Body Luxuries Set

$81

“My friend’s mom (aka my second mom) is obsessed with Molton Brown, so how can I not? This set has both a shower gel and body oil that features the gorgeous Fiery Pink Pepper scent. Think notes of jasmine, cedarwood, and nutmeg—pure bliss.”

Buy

Hermès Deluxe Replica Coffret Set

$50

“The only thing better than getting your girlfriend one Hermès perfume for Christmas is getting her four delicious scents. This set includes Twilly d’Hermès, Eau Des Merveilles, Jour d’Hermès, and Eau De Rhubarbe Ecarlate. It truly doesn’t get any better than that.”

Buy

La Mer The Eye Concentrate

$235

“I fell in love with La Mer a few years ago and have refused to let any of my friends touch my creams. And while 2020 has been the most unpredictable year of many of our lives, I still haven’t changed my stance (much to their annoyance). But this year I’m going to do them one better by gifting them their first La Mer products. One of my girls loves a good eye cream, and I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she opens this up.”

Buy

 

Megan McIntyre

Freelance Beauty Writer

Dirt Cobain F*ck 2020 Candle

$42

“Pretty much everyone on my list is getting this candle because it perfectly sums up how we’re all feeling about this dumpster fire of a year. Hopefully it will make them smile when they unwrap it. Personally I find it much more cathartic to burn than sage—and the tropical evergreen smell is quite lovely.”

Buy

M.S. Apothecary Rays to Waves Beauty Mask

$60

“I am absolutely obsessed with this genius face mask by skin expert and cosmetic formulator Mary Schook. It has UPF 50+ sun protection and is made of a special thread that actually converts UV rays into visible red light that has anti-aging benefits—it promotes collagen production, helps with hyperpigmentation, increases cellular energy, and protects against free radical damage. It’s a skin treatment and PPE in one. I’m gifting it to my mom and I might just have to buy one as a present for myself because, duh.”

Buy

Kate McLeod Mama Stone

$45

“My husband has psoriasis and is always looking for lotions to help calm his flare-ups and keep his skin moisturized. I love these solid moisturizers (she calls them Stones) from Kate McLeod because they are made from ultra-hydrating cocoa butter, plus sweet almond, apricot kernel, fractionated coconut, and avocado oil. It sounds weird, but the Mama Stone is perfect for him because it’s unscented, meaning it doesn’t have any potentially irritating ingredients that would be too harsh for his sensitive skin.”

Buy

 

Stephanie Saltzman

Beauty Director at Fashionista

Dieux Skin Forever Eye Mask

$25

“I’ve been thinking of getting these for my sister—she and I both love products that brighten and de-puff our undereyes—but they’d really make a fantastic option for pretty much anyone you’d want to treat in the $25 range. The impeccably designed silicone patches are infinitely re-usable (!), so they cut down on waste, and they really go a long way toward making your favorite eye creams, treatments, or serums more effective. They come packaged in a cute little storage tin, which feels super giftable and easy to me, too.”

Buy

Wthn Acupressure Mat

$65

“This one’s for my boyfriend, my brother-in-law, and my dad. All three of them have different back pain issues (and mostly won’t listen to me about the wonders of a little daily yoga). Since they aren’t going in for massages, physical therapy, or acupuncture right now, this acupressure mat-and-pillow set is a great alternative. The little plastic spikes ease muscle tension and boost circulation, and regular treatment sessions are also supposed to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote a better night's sleep. Honestly, who couldn’t use that?”

Buy

Sky Ting TV

Starting at $20

“Back when I was actually able to go to yoga classes, visiting Sky Ting several times a week was one of my favorite rituals. Their accessible, non-judgmental approach to movement resonates with me, and I love that the instructors bring a bit of levity and humor to most of the classes. The studio’s founders had the foresight to launch Sky Ting TV—subscription access to video classes—before lockdown hit, and it’s been keeping me (relatively) sane this year. It’ll be my go-to gift for my friends who need a bit of encouragement for some self-care time. Plus, supporting Sky Ting means supporting a small, female-owned NYC business, so it’s really win-win.”

Buy

 

Tanisha Pina

Beauty Editor at Nylon

Matches by Memory Custom Matchbook

From $185

“My boyfriend and I have been together for five years, and have lived together for most of that time, so our ‘gifts’ to each other at this point are usually going in on a vacation, or some kind of experience. Since we can’t do that during Covid times, I was really at a loss for something special since neither of us ever want more stuff. I stumbled upon this New York-based graphic designer (on TikTok, of all places) who makes these incredibly special prints with replicas of matchboxes from real restaurants, hotels, and clubs/bars. I placed a custom order and picked some of our favorite spots in the city—like where we had our first date, our first ‘regular’ dinner spot, a neighborhood bar—and it’s easily one of the most special, memorable gifts I’ve ever been behind. Custom orders are sadly closed for the year, but you can still order all of their pre-made prints, which I especially recommend gifting to any New Yorkers who are nostalgic for life pre-Covid and everything this beautiful city has to offer. You can order them in all different sizes and with frames, too. (PS. if you’re reading this and happen to know my boyfriend, don’t mention this until after the holidays, please!)”

Buy

Heal Haus 1-Month Membership

$30

“Everyone I know needs to relax (always, generally speaking but this year especially). HealHaus is a Black-owned, Brooklyn-based wellness center that has been vital to my survival in 2020, and has connected me to so many amazing healers and practitioners of color—a big deal in such a white-washed industry. All of their programs are now offered virtually, and with a monthly membership, you get unlimited access to daily yoga and meditation classes, all led by a diverse group of inclusive and intentional teachers.”

Buy

Boy Smells Best Buds Votive Candle Set

$48

“I fully believe candles are in the top five of all possible gifting ideas always. Boy Smells candles in particular last a long time, look really good in any space, smell really good, and usually have something to do with weed, which we love.”

Buy

 

Kara McGrath

Deputy Editor at Allure.com

Aesop The Lore Collector Gift Set

$105

“No one can have too much hand wash and lotion these days! Aside from the luxe formulas and amazing scents, what really sets Aesop’s kits apart is that each one comes with a different ancient text that has been carefully restored and translated by a modern writer. It makes the gift of otherwise fairly banal items feel a whole lot more special.”

Buy

Nest Festive Votive Trio Set

$45

“My family is made up of Nest loyalists, so I always stock up on the brand’s gift sets to split up and dole out around the holidays. This one includes two of my old faves—Holiday and Birchwood Pine—plus the brand-new Blue Cypress & Snow scent.”

Buy

LoveIsWise Sandcastles Art Print

$30

“I’m obsessed with all of LoveisWise’s work, but this print is currently filling me with the most emotions. Friends touching? Potentially while they’re on vacation?! I’ll probably buy one for me and one for a pal, to remind us both that we’ll be able to hang out in person again one day.”

Buy

 

Amber Kallor

Freelance Beauty Writer

Pura Smart Home Fragrance Diffuser Kit Featuring Verb and Superego

$89

“The only thing better than dousing yourself in Ellis Brooklyn on the daily is scenting your entire home in the brand’s distinctive fragrances. Pura—a souped-up version of your standard plug-in that can be controlled from your phone—diffuses Verb and Superego on demand. Plus, you don’t have to worry about monitoring kids (or fluffy fur babies) around an open flame.”

Buy

Red Rocks Gift Set

$141

“I wish I could pull a Kim Kardashian and take my inner circle on an all-expenses-paid vacay to a spa in Sedona, but the Red Rocks Gift Set from Oracle Jayne Station is the next best thing. Not only is everything made by my friend (and Emmy award-winning makeup artist) Andrew Sotomayor, but this scrub, soap, and eau de parfum transports your senses with essential oils from pinyon pine, rabbitbrush, and repurposed Christmas trees. These calm-inducing products will leave you feeling like you went off the grid—even if the tub is your only escape.”

Buy

Nomad Noé Dreamer in London Candle

$65

“Whether you’re fresh out of fireplace logs or you only have an exposed radiator, Nomad Noé’s Dreamer in London candle provides those cozy vibes thanks to hints of tobacco, vanilla, and cedarwood. The same can be said for Nest’s Hearth candle, which warms up any room with a rich blend of oud wood and frankincense. Both scents pair well with pajamas and a hot toddy, which is essentially how I plan to spend my days through the end of 2020.”

Buy

 

Tembe Denton-Hurst

Writer at The Strategist

Space Btwn Meditation Essentials Kit

$119

“One of my best friends is very into meditating so I’m planning to gift her this set to enhance her practice. Space Btwn makes these inflatable cushions, similar to what you might find at a studio like MNDFL, and a thin yoga mat that are easy to roll up and take on the go. I also like that it comes in this soothing neutral color, which will look great in her room and wherever else she takes it.”

Buy

Dusen Dusen Stripe Silk Eye Mask

$32

“I’m also planning on gifting this Dusen Dusen sleep mask to one of my friends, which strikes the right balance between design-y and functional. We’re both big fans of the brand and while gifting her an entire bedding set is a bit impractical, this sleep mask, which costs less than $40, is not.”

Buy

Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler

$550

“In the past few months, my stepmom's texts have pretty much consisted of photos of my baby sister and queries about blow dryers. She’s convinced she needs this viral one that I won’t name, but I, the beauty expert, am gifting her the Dyson Complete instead. For one, it’s incredibly versatile thanks to all the attachments (it’s a blow dryer and styler in one) and it won’t cause heat damage due to its intelligent heat control, which measures the temperature 40 times a second. It also comes in an incredibly nice leather case, which will look nice on her bathroom counter and won’t take up a ton of space.”

Buy

 

Hallie Gould

Senior Beauty Editor at Byrdie

Classic Car Rental

Pricing Varies

“This time spent at home has called for a lot of reflection and creativity—i.e. finding various ways to pass the time that still feel special or fun, especially when the holidays look different than they usually do. My partner loves vintage cars and, naturally, I love a photo opp. So, I rented a ’69 Buick Skylark and we went leaf peeping around upstate New York. I planned to do it closer to the holidays, but when he suggested we drive up on one of those perfect, sunny October Saturdays, I changed the reservation and surprised him with it. We had such a lovely, joyful day and it felt special to gift an experience rather than a sweater or something of the like. I used the DriveShare app and it was a completely seamless, easy process.”

Buy

Boys Smells x Ganni Park Life Candle

$39

“I am nothing if not a candle obsessive, so much so that the obsession has rubbed off on my family as well. Every year I gift a few favorites and this year is no different. I’m excited about Birthdate Co.’s personalized astrology candles, Boy Smells’ collaboration with Ganni ‘Park Life,’ and Oui the People’s first-ever candle (a mix of clove, cinnamon, suede, and pine) called ‘Patriarchy.’ Let’s burn it down, right?”

Buy

Ferm Living Ripple Glasses, Set of 4

$55

“The one home-type purchase I can’t quit is glassware. I barely have any room left to house them. So, now, I’ve set my sights on gifting some beautiful baubles to friends. I keep an eye on vintage curators on Instagram because they always have special ones, but otherwise I’ve found a lot of gems from CB2, Ferm Living, and Hudson Wilder.”

Buy

Part of the series:

Gift Guide

VIEW THE SERIES
×