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The list includes a Jennifer Aniston-approved facial device to age-defying serums.
I pride myself on being a really good gifter and I’ve only gotten better since I started working in the beauty industry. After spending the holiday season apart from loved ones for the last few years, I am so excited to see people in the flesh and watch their faces light up as they unwrap my gifts for them.
The problem is, buying beauty products for others can be difficult; you don’t exactly know what their skin concerns are, you want to give them something that isn’t just run-of-the-mill, and there are so many thousands of products to sift through. I kid you not: For the last month or so, I’ve been mentally — and then ultimately physically — compiling the gifts I’m giving this year, so I’ll share my insight for anyone else struggling to find gifts this season.
I think of gifts in three categories, and that decision making process has always served me well. The first is a relatively expensive option, usually something that I’ve gifted before that ends up being a hit. Take Guerlain's Abeille Royale: I got someone hooked on a hundred-dollar serum, so my go-to is to replenish their supply annually.
The second type is the surefire gift, something I know shoppers are obsessed with and that friends, family, and random people ask me about constantly, such as the NuFace devices. Who can resist a Jennifer Aniston-loved face sculptor, after all?
The third is a product that’s more of an insider pick, from relatively expensive gifts, niche brands, or products that are perfect for the beauty lover in life who already has three Laneige Lip Masks and all the TikTok viral products you initially think of. Below are a few of the products that fall in this category.
Isamaya Industrial Colour Pigments Eyeshadow Palette, $115; farfetch.com
Byredo Liquid Lipstick Vinyl, $50; nordstrom.com
NuFace Mini+ Starter Kit, $245; mynuface.com
Guerlain Abeille Royale Advanced Youth Watery Oil Set, $165; nordstrom.com
The Glossier Home Duo; $80 (Originally $90); glossier.com
Clé de Peau Beauté Lipstick Mini Set, $98; nordstrom.com
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, $435; sephora.com
Costa Brazil Aroma Eau de Parfum, $198; livecostabrazil.com
Laneige Sweet Dream Trio, $32; sephora.com
Otherland Silk Pajamas Candle, $36; otherland.com
Danessa Myricks Beauty Lightwork Vol. IV: Transcendence Palette, $125; sephora.com
Charlotte Tilbury Dreamy Superstar Glow Kit, $32; charlottetilbury.com
Oribe #Oribeobsessed Set, $49; oribe.com
Many of these speak for themselves — everyone would happily receive Laneige’s Lip Masks, Hipdot’s 3D eyeshadows are so cute (I keep mine as a desk bobble that just also happens to be makeup), the Glossier You candles are a chic and limited-edition holiday favorite, and I have waxed poetic about Costa Brazil’s Perfume ad nauseam. There are a few that require more information, though, but I outlined those below.
Isamaya Industrial Colour Pigments Eyeshadow Palette
Shop now: $115; farfetch.com
Get ready for a long spiel, because Isamaya’s Industrial Eyeshadow Palette is probably the product on this list I’m most excited about. You know that friend who just knows so much about all aspects of beauty and makeup that it seems impossible to get them something that they’d be ecstatic about? Well, this is the gift for them. Isamaya Ffrench is the golden child of contemporary makeup. If you’ve ever seen a celebrity look, runway show, ad campaign, or magazine editorial with bold makeup, there’s a high probability she was the one behind it.
Obviously, the arrival of her makeup line was well worth the wait and is just an exquisite selection of products that make the cut for makeup lovers on your gift list. This palette is so good, it feels like a scientific achievement.
This is a grunge-inspired (read: perfect for the indie-sleaze revival) palette with 14 super-pigmented shades in a variety of matte, metallic, and shimmering finishes. Many start off soft and sheer and can be built up easily to your desired intensity. They go on like a dream and I actually find that they look best without the use of a primer. When I looked into why this might be the case, I discovered Ffrench had formulated these to mimic your skin’s hydrolipidic film — AKA the semi-glossiness and dew of your skin when the barrier is healthy.
I’ve also noticed this palette makes appearances in many of TikTok’s favorite beauty gurus’ videos. Lastly, I will say I’m also obsessed with the latex figure packaging, so much so that I keep mine out on the vanity for decoration.
Byredo Liquid Lipstick Vinyl
Shop now: $50; nordstrom.com
Unpacking any Byredo product is a ritual unto itself. The beautiful textured box slides off to reveal the Liquid Lipstick presented neatly in a linen bag. The Liquid Lipstick itself is a beautiful work of architecture, as all Byredo products are, but this would all mean little if the formula wasn’t also divine. The color is soft and diffused, and the finish is more subtle than glossy.
I love it for everyday wear, but I also have gifted it for birthdays this year and received repeated texts from the receiver stating their obsession with it.
NuFace Mini+ Starter Kit
Shop now: $245; mynuface.com
The NuFace Mini+ Starter Kit is the most foolproof gift I can think of; Everyone wants one. I get asked about this device by friends, family, and Instagram followers on a weekly basis. And it makes sense, the microcurrent device is used by celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Bella Hadid, and shoppers credit it for everything from reducing jowls to making cheekbones look higher.
Guerlain Abeille Royale Advanced Youth Watery Oil Set
Shop now: $165; nordstrom.com
I have gifted Guerlain’s beloved Abeille Royale several times over the last few years, and each time, I receive the highest praise. Once people try it, they seem to be unable to live without it — so I continue to restock their supply once a year.
The pièce de résistance is really the Abeille Royale Watery Oil, should you want an individual product. One bottle reportedly sells every 26 seconds because, as one reviewer said, this “saved [their] skin” which went from being “uneven, dull, full of acne, and greasy,” to “more even in texture, more balanced, erased fine lines and has made [their] skin radiant.”
The other product in this kit I will highlight is the Double R Advanced Serum. One shopper said it gave them “noticeably brighter, clearer, and more plump [skin]” in addition to “less noticeable pores,” and “refined texture.”
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro
Shop now: $435; sephora.com
This is the most expensive product on this list but it’s worth it, according to myself and a team of InStyle testers, who declared it the best overall LED mask. I was first turned onto the power of LED skin treatments when I went to an aesthetician. She showed me how one session could drastically help with my scarring and acne. It is a great gift for someone who is in the know with professional treatments.
The Iron Man-looking mask frequently makes appearances in celebrity social media posts and I for one can understand why. It has three modalities — anti-aging red light, acne-fighting blue light, and the third is a combination of the two.
I saw results after two weeks of use and now use mine religiously, every morning and before getting ready for a big event. My acne barely exists and my dark spots from old acne scars are fading fast.
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