The Holiday’s Most-Wanted Beauty Gifts
Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own wish-list or searching for unique present ideas for loved ones—from that artistic cousin of yours to that lucky sister who has everything—we’ve come up with the perfect recommendations to guide you. Here, with help from our editors and contributors, are our most-wanted beauty gifts to make giving this holiday season a gorgeous thing indeed!
JENNIFER HIRSHLAG, DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL
What I’d like to receive for myself: This Giorgio Armani Holiday Brush Set ($120) has all the amazing basics, which I could definitely use.
What I’d like to give my daughter: The only way I can convince my little cutie to wear her hair up is if I have barrettes that she likes. She’s going through a ladybug thing right now, so these Masterpieces of Fun Art hair clips ($3.75 each) on Etsy might do the trick.
What I’d like to give my husband: With my growing fragrance collection, I think my hubbie has been wondering if he should have his own bottle on the shelf. I am incredibly particular about scents on men, but Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum ($205-$495) is subtle, masculine and unbelievably irresistible.
What I’d like to give my mother: Lancôme Vernis in Love in Rose The ($15) is the perfect stocking stuffer for my mom, who only wears neutral polishes. I think she would like this one that offers an elegant twist on a basic.
What I’d like to give my sister: My sister is one of those lucky ladies who has everything, but I know she doesn’t yet have a Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush ($199)!
What I’d like to give my brother-in-law’s fiancée: I read Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution ($11.33) last year and couldn’t put it down. Caroline Weber details what role the queen’s clothing and hair played in how her countrymen judged her. My brother-in-law’s fiancée started reading a chapter when she last visited me and I could tell she also didn’t want to put it down.
What I’d like to give my best friends: I originally received Fresh soap as a gift, and now it’s my go-to bar. The Oval Soaps ($15 each) have beautiful packaging, smell nice and leave skin super soft.
CHRISTIANA MOLINA, EDITOR
What I’d like to receive for myself: I’ve been eyeing YSL Parisienne Eau de Parfum ($39-$85) for a few years now, but have never gotten around to buying it. I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, and the idea of bottling the romantic city’s essence has always intrigued me—and should suffice, for now!
What I’d like to give my cousin: My cousin is an artist, so the Sephora + Pantone Universe Precious Metals Shadow Palette ($48) is a perfect fit for her since it looks like a painter’s mixing tray and also introduces her to my love of beauty.
What I’d like to give my grandmother: My grandma is Japanese and she’s always bugging me to snag her beauty products from popular Asian-based brands, especially anything from Shiseido or Shu Uemura. This year I’m gifting her with the Shu Uemura Raspberry and Mocha Palette ($65), which comes with six brown and pink shadows that I know will spotlight her warm eyes.
What I’d like to give my mother: I can’t get enough of the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation ($62) and have been singing its praises to anyone and everyone since I started using it a few months ago. Mom particularly has gotten an earful from me about the magically featherweight formula that still provides solid coverage. She’s bound to do backflips when she tries it out for the first time on Christmas night.
What I’d like to give my father: Daddy used to wear Ralph Lauren Safari Eau de Toilette ($52.50-$65) when I was a little girl, and it always brings me back to my childhood whenever I smell it. I miss him spraying it on in the mornings (he hasn’t had a bottle for years), so I hope he appreciates this throwback, which will always and forever be a classically gorgeous chypre cologne.
What I’d like to give my brother: My bro swears by Garnier Fructis Style Super Stiff Gel ($4.29), which he uses to style his hair every single day. I’m stuffing his stocking with tube after tube of this intense-hold gel (hopefully that’ll last him a few months!).
What I’d like to give my sister: Marchesa Parfum D’Extase is my new favorite perfume that I recently added to my collection—both because of its decadent crystal bottle and its not-at-all-powdery iris scent. Both my sister and I practically weep every time we see one of Marchesa’s opulent gowns, so I know she’ll appreciate the Marchesa Parfum D’Extase Deluxe Gift Set ($95) as much as I would.
What I’d like to give my best friend: My bestie is totally obsessed with Deborah Lippmann nail polishes, so I know there’s nothing better for her than one of the brand’s holiday sets. The Deborah Lippmann Rock This Town Set ($42) includes a glimmery lavender, brass and copper shade that is going to be perfect for our New Year’s Eve jubilations.
What I’d like to give my boyfriend: My honey was blessed with fantastic locks that he wears au naturel, but I’ve been trying to get him to use product occasionally just to spruce things up a touch. I’m hoping Redken Go Clean Daily Care Shampoo ($12) and Maneuver Working Wax ($14.50) will encourage him to have some fun with his great head of hair.
AIMEE BLAUT OF THE FORMULA, CONTRIBUTOR
What I’d like to receive for myself: I’ve been wanting to try the Shu Uemura Tsuya Youthful Radiance Generator Essence ($85). That name sounds pretty serious. I am diligent about my skin-care routine and tend to be more skin-obsessed than makeup-obsessed, though most people don’t realize that because I wear a lot of lipstick.
What I’d like to give my mother: A year’s worth of Kérastase Réflection Bain Chroma Riche shampoo ($16-$58). I finally got her to try it and she is hooked.
What I’d like to give my father: The Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Refueling Set ($58). Since I started The Formula blog, my father has suddenly began to show an interest in beauty, which is pretty cute. He is always asking me about what he should use. This set is great because it’s a little bit of everything-man.
What I’d like to give my best friend: YSL La Laque Couture in Rouge Pop Art ($25) and YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain in Rouge Laque ($32) are both new launches and luxurious reds that pair well together.
What I’d like to give my boyfriend: That’s top secret; he may be reading this!
GRACE GOLD OF GRACE GOLD, CONTRIBUTOR
What I’d like to receive for myself: I’m a total sucker for luxury candles. I love burning Jo Malone Home Candles ($65 each) to elegantly scent my home when guests are over. Each candle always comes so beautifully boxed and wrapped with a satin ribbon. I’m also obsessed with doing my makeup in natural light, and am known to go to great (and often entertaining) lengths to situate mirrors in daylight wherever I go. This Sonia Kashuk Luxe Femme Fetale Travel Mirror ($24.99) sticks to any surface, and the zippered tassel case is darling!
What I’d like to give to my mother: Mom loves good shampoo. I have childhood memories of stealing suds from her big bottle of Matrix Biolage in the tub. She would love Kérastase Chroma Captive Holiday Gift Set ($92.50) for super-shiny and yummy-smelling hair that maintains her radiant color and highlights.
What I’d like to give my father: I would be thrilled to pieces to see my dad start taking care of his skin, and I think this Kiehl’s Essentials for Him Kit ($30.50) is the perfect combination of high-quality skin care presented in a nonthreatening, totally approachable way. Cleanse, shave and moisturize. I think even my dad can do that!
What I’d like to give my aunt: My aunt is a lady with a capital “L,” who loves the idea of fragrance but is very headache-sensitive to most blends. Philosophy Love Sweet Love ($42) is a safe, clean scent that I know she will wear and adore—plus the pink packaging is adorable.
What I’d like to give my sister: Every year, I give my sister a Lancôme holiday item that she obsesses over for a whole year until it hits bottom! This peachy Lancôme Blush Highlighter in Moonlight Rose ($42) will look stunning on her cheekbones, center of lids and browbones for instant illumination.
What I’d like to give my best friend: I’ve successfully injected my BFF with my love of good skin care, and I think she’s ready for the big guns now. I’d gift her the legendary SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($146), which is a serum known for its unsurpassed antioxidant and anti-aging prowess.
JANE MARIE OF THE HAIRPIN, BEAUTY SQUAD
What I’d like to receive for myself: I have a hankering for a new perfume, but I have no idea which one. Something with a good-looking bottle, like YSL Belle D’Opium Eau de Parfum ($49-$89)?
What I’d like to give my mother: I am so torn here because I love Crème de la Mer ($150), and I’m pretty sure my mom would like it, too. But I don’t want to offend her by being like, “Oh, looks like it’s time for you to start using the heavy-duty face cream, mom!” It’s kind of like giving someone a gym membership, you know? And also, I’m not sure I can afford to keep it up. Ha!
What I’d like to give my sister: My sister is 27 and has flawless skin and the best face ever. She doesn’t really need anything to make it work. But it would be really fun, as her beauty expert sister, to get her one of those mondo makeup kits, like the Make Up For Ever Backstage Collector Bag ($330).
What I’d like to give my best friend: My best friend loves beauty products but is kind of intimidated by them—plus she doesn’t wear a lot of makeup—so I want to get her something that is pampering, but simple and high-quality. A good nighttime set, like Kiehl’s Healthy Skin Essentials – For Night ($72)—as long as she doesn’t take it the wrong way (“You do NOT have crows feet; promise!”)—will be perfect.
What I’d like to give my husband: My dude goes through more hair wax or pomade, or whatever other name they call the goop in a little pot, than anyone I’ve ever met. And it’s never the same stuff twice! I think it’d be fun to fill a clear wine bag with a giant stack of new hair products he hasn’t tried yet. That would probably last him at least until Valentine’s Day : )
JORDAN REID OF RAMSHACKLE GLAM, CONTRIBUTOR
What I’d like to receive for myself: A lifetime supply of Lipstick Queen Sheer Lipstick in Saint Eden ($20).
What I’d like to give my son: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant ($19.50) for his chapped little nose.
What I’d like to give my mother: L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Balm in Rose Elixir ($7.95) is a perfect everyday color with SPF and hydration.
What I’d like to give my father: Kiehl’s Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream – White Eagle ($9-$19) for a luxe daily treat.
What I’d like to give my best friend: Guerlain Terracotta Khôl Kajal ($36) for a glam evening look.
What I’d like to give my husband: John Varvatos Artisan Eau de Toilette ($62-$82) is sexy, but still classic.
KARIE FROST OF FEAR NO BEAUTY, CONTRIBUTOR
What I’d like to receive for myself: The skin around my eyes is becoming crepey, which is seriously messing with my eyeliner mojo. This handy Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System in Ruby ($185) uses sonic waves to gently and effectively (two key words!) massage anti-aging serums into the sensitive skin around the eyes for an added boost of youth. And the new holiday color—a glitzy, glittery red—will look perfect on my vanity.
What I’d like to give my husband: I’ve tried—without success—to turn my husband onto skin care. But one grooming item he can’t be without: a shaver. We’re both partial to the Gillette Fusion line, and the Art of Shaving Fusion Contemporary Shaving Set ($265) is a studly update to that razor. This shaver, along with a cool stand and softer-than-soft badger brush, will be a mug-prepping item to which he won’t turn up his nose.
What I’d like to give my best friend: My best friend readily admits to not having a command over her makeup, so the Stila Snow Angel Color Palette & Stay All Day Waterproof Volumizing Mascara ($39) is a gorgeous palette that will suit her perfectly. Why? With 18 ultra-wearable eye shadows, 12 blushes, a tube of waterproof mascara and a look-book with easy-to-follow step-by-steps, it’s foolproof beauty at its finest. Now she has no excuse not to rock a smoky eye.
What I’d like to give my goddaughter: My precocious goddaughter recently told me her favorite color is “teal, but any blue will do.” Well then, she’s a prime candidate for the Baublebar + Essie Butler Please Set ($50), which includes my favorite winter polish color, the uber-bright cobalt Essie Nail Polish in Butler Please, and Baublebar’s studded coordinating bangle inspired by the varnish hue. Added bonus: You get to pick two more bracelets for the ultimate nail-and-arm party.
What I’d like to give my sister-in-law: Every time I visit my brother and his wife, I find a treasure trove of scented lotions and potions in her bathroom. Why not add to the obsession? The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Mini Shower & Moisture Set ($10) features the brand’s seasonal scent, which is crisp and refreshing. And the little minis of Shower Gel and, my personal favorite, Body Butter, are just enough to get her through to her next scent fix.
SIMCHA WHITEHILL OF GET NAILED WITH MISS POP, CONTRIBUTOR
What I’d like to receive for myself: These fun Karl for Shu Premium Eyelashes ($75) make me feel like I need to throw a New Year’s Eve party worthy of wearing them.
What I’d like to give my cousin: Instead of lining my eyes with white to make them look bigger, I’ve gotten into the habit of using a silver to make them glimmer, too. My cousin has big blue eyes and I think Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama Cream Pencil in Made of Steel ($7.99) would make them sparkle even more!
What I’d like to give my grandmother: I love Stella McCartney’s fragrances. I have Stella McCartney Stella Nude, but the bottle of Stella McCartney L.I.L.Y Eau de Parfum ($60-$100) is too gorgeous to resist and will go perfectly with my grandmother’s Deco decor.
What I’d like to give my mother: My mom usually wears Essie Nail Polish in Bordeaux, but I think she could stay red and get in the holiday spirit with some sparkle from Essie Nail Polish in Leading Lady ($8).
What I’d like to give my father: My dad works with his hands like I do and this Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($15-$22) will save them from cracking. It’s good stuff.
What I’d like to give my brother: My brother is a big 6-foot-tall dude. So while he loves to use my sister-in-law’s fancy bath stuff, they’d both prefer if he smelled like a man with The Body Shop Activist Bath & Shower Gel ($14).
What I’d like to give my sister-in-law: My sister-in-law and I both have sensitive skin, but this Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer ($18.50-$38.50) is a rare gem that won’t make us break out.
What I’d like to give my best friend: Gray is chic and on-trend. I adore dove gray and so does my best friend, so I’m sure she’ll love YSL La Laque Couture in Gris Deco ($25) as much as I do. I guess that’s just one of the billions of reasons why she’s my other half.
Photos: Courtesy of the writers and brands