7 Holiday Gift Ideas According To What One Beauty Writer Actually Wants

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A black-haired woman smiling with her eyes closed and with golden eyeshadow in a beige top
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The holidays came early for me this year, because I was gifted with a revelation: The only things I’m adding to my list are items I truly need, will use, or know will absolutely add value to my life. That’s the criteria. No crazy splurges, no nice-to-haves-but-will-probably-never-touch, no shiny 40-piece lipstick vaults that will only collect dust in a corner of my bedroom. Practical presents don’t have to be boring, though. There are impossibly luxe ones out there, and they’re all right here. Browse my picks, then shop them for every beauty lover in your life. I have a hunch you’ll find something perfect, because remember, the best kinds of presents are the ones people will actually use.

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I love a good highlighter as much as the next beauty editor, but nothing lights up the face as beautifully as a pair of perfect gold hoops. These minis are the ideal size for everyday occasions and dressed up days, and they bathe your complexion in a halo of gold.

Long, hot baths are my kryptonite despite my friends telling me I’m soaking in a vat of my own filth. (No one is that dirty, and if you’re triggered, shower before.) Pour in a good bit of bath milk, and I’m in heaven. This one is a treat for the senses: The scent of earthy lavender melts away tension, the milky texture is like liquid suede in the water, and the velvety oils drape your body in softness.

I’ve been really into this brand ever since it launched earlier this year. It’s rooted in the ritual of skincare and the transformative powers an intentional routine has on your complexion, spirit, and mind. All of the products are made with plant-derived ingredients and sensorial essential oils, and this set has my ride-or-dies: their balmy Golden Cleanser, balancing Harmony Mask, and soothing Skin Transformation Cream.

If your giftee is a book lover or a fan of rich, complex scents, give them this. It’ll transform even the teeniest apartments into that opulent library room from The Beauty and The Beast. With warm, enchanting notes of leather, vanilla, patchouli, and a subtle whisper of floral, I’d totally douse my bedding and couch in this too.

I’m running low on my favorite mascara, so a refill is on my list. Who doesn’t love an amazing mascara? I’m not lying when I say this is the best one I’ve ever tried. It’s almost like it stretches out my lashes with how long they look after a single swipe, and after the formula dries, they’re soft, full, and fluttery.

The return of the ‘90s claw clip is the best part about 2021. So versatile. So chic. I’m giving myself and all of my friends a couple of these clippies, so we can recreate all the twisted updos and half-up looks of yore.

A makeup bag is a nice treat that everyone needs but no one ever wants to buy for themselves — the components of a perfect gift! This case is gorgeous, makes it simple to spot what you’re looking for, and is easy to clean. Plus, it doubles as a home-and-travel case, so no there’s no packing/unpacking necessary, ever.

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