holiday gift guide: beauty

by Sophie Anderson

The holidays are HERE (no srsly Christmas is a week away halp)! Which means it is crunch time for us last-minute shoppers. And if you are thinking of gifting any beauty products this year, be warned: they can be really hit or miss. It’s hard to know what sorts of things people will use and what will get tucked away into a bathroom drawer, never to be seen again. To help you navigate these murky waters, I’ve put together a list of my top picks – items I think anyone in their right mind would be thrilled to receive and able to integrate into their skincare / makeup routine with ease. Just keep scrolling!  

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
For something that is all-natural yet completely effective, this cult favorite is the perfect selection. Comprised of olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly extract, and propolis, Egyptian Magic Skin Cream is an incredible, all-purpose moisturizer for body and hair. It has even been known to diminish eczema, scars, burns and rashes. A total cure-all and medicine cabinet must-have!

Pixi Glow Tonic
Should you dare to venture further into the unknown waters of the skincare world, this Pixi toner is the deepest I would suggest treading. Most people I know LOVE this stuff, but I have had a few friends say it was too harsh for them. Those who have had success with it, however, say that it minimizes everything from breakouts and pores to dark sports, fine lines, and wrinkles. What more could you want?  

Caudalie Mini Mask Trio
To me, no one makes masks quite as well as Caudalie, and this set is the trifecta of Caudalie masks. Complete with a pink-clay option as well as a glycolic peel and moisturizing cream, this trio will resolve any skin issues one might face with ease. Better yet, since each mask is extremely gentle, even the most sensitive of skin types will enjoy!

Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream With Sea Buckthorn SPF 40
Let’s face it, our hands endure a lot. From pointing, picking, and pruning to grabbing, carrying, shaking, and creating. It’s why they are the first parts of our body to show signs of aging. And, it’s why I’ve decided to start giving them the same level of TLC to which my face has grown so accustomed. For me, that starts with a thick, SPF hand cream – and this Supergoop option is the best I’ve found! It’s incredibly moisturizing, doesn’t feel greasy or sticky, and smells so soothing – leaving my hands softer and more pampered than ever before!

Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub
Lip scrub is one of those things that we could all benefit from (especially during these cold winter months). But, for many of us, the expense may feel like a frivolous one. If you fall under that category, let me reassure you: the effect that this scrub has on your pout is worth every dime. It smooths cracks and crinkles you didn’t even know your lips had, revealing plumpness in place of pucker. Plus, you can lick off the excess for a tasty snack-time treat ;P

Tarte brushes
Although I’m personally not crazy about the pattern on these handles, this set offers really soft, high-quality brushes for less than $10 a piece. That’s an incredible value which is truly hard to beat. Plus, they’re all vegan and cruelty-free!

Nuxe Lip Balm
Hands down my favorite balm of all time, this Nuxe nourishing lip treatment feels so much more luxurious than its $13 price tag lets on. It smells like honey, applies like butter, and instantly soothes and hydrates! No nonsense. And, to top things off, most of its active ingredients are natural and extracted from plants.

NARSissist Loaded Eyeshadow Palette
A recent addition to my own collection, this NARS eyeshadow palette is a makeup lover’s dream come true. Not only is the packaging gorgeous, but each of the rich, vibrant shadows is buttery soft and blends seamlessly across the lid. Plus, the colors are really wide-ranging; there is something for absolutely every occasion. The warm tones can be built up to create a really trendy, dramatic look, or tapered down to suit a more natural style. Meaning: you’ll never need another eyeshadow again (lol yeah right)! For a similar / cheaper alternative, this HUDA Palette.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
Buying skincare for others can be really challenging. It’s difficult enough to pin down our own skin types, much less anyone else’s. So, when shopping for someone else, I tend to stay away from anything that claims to be “purifying” or “clarifying” and gear more towards all things “moisturizing” / “rich in vitamins” – properties I think we could all benefit from. This year, I landed on the Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Oil from The Ordinary. It checks off all those boxes without breaking the bank, making it the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone in your life!

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate 
If you have a little bit more to spend, this Kiehl’s serum is sure to impress anyone on your Christmas list. Rich with ingredients like Lavender Essential Oil and Evening Primrose Oil, this stuff truly transforms your skin overnight, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion by morning. Not to mention, it has tons of anti-aging properties and will restore vitality to even the more mature skin types!

Becca Glow on the Go Highlighter Set
Another beauty product that I love to use but struggle to justify buying is Highlighter. When I wear it I feel like a million bucks, but do I really need my cheekbones to shimmer when they catch the light? Uncertain. Needless to say, I would much rather be given it as a gift. But, if / when I am able to talk myself into buying it, I always go for Becca. Their powder and cream highlights are striking yet natural, resulting in a beautiful glow that adds youth and vibrancy to the complexion. And who on earth doesn’t want that? 

Glossier Boy Brow
At this point, we’ve all heard endless praises about Glossier’s famous tinted brow gel. And, in my experience (despite having only used the product a few times), I can say that it truly does live up to the hype. The pigmentation is on point (not too heavy, not too light), and it doesn’t flake or crack when dried. A crowd pleaser, all around! 

Colourpop Nuts and Berries Lip Set
I love everything about Colourpop: the minimal packaging, the color range, the price point. But, in my opinion, the lip products are the brand’s crown jewels. Their texture is always beautiful and their color lasts all throughout the day. For someone who’s never tried them before, a set is a great way to get a feel for the different colors and textures they offer. And this particular set is super seasonal and fun, making it a great place to start.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Duo
For a more luxurious lip set, this NARS duo is the perfect option. Widely loved by all ages of women, these chic little pencils are super long wearing and easy-to-apply… Perfect for work, brunch, date night – wherever life takes you!  

Madewell Large Crystalline Travel Bag
I’ve had this makeup bag for about a year and I can’t recommend it enough. Being able to see all of my products has made traveling so much easier. Not to mention, getting ready isn’t quite as messy since I don’t have to shovel through an avalanche of bottles in order to find a single pair of tweezers. Game-changing, to say the least.