As you have likely noticed, the holidaze are fast approaching. If our modern rites of gift exchange have you flummoxed (perhaps you have NOT A SINGLE CLUE as what to buy your nearest and dearest?), we’ve got your back. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll feature a heap of gift guides, chock-full of ideas for presents you might give your best people.
First up: Beauty and style products that your loved ones can apply to their faces or necks or feet or general bodies.
Lip Smacker Party Pack (Bonne Bell)
Lip Smackers are my favorite thing to give and to get. They are my mom, my best friend, and my boyfriend—so why not give them to your mom, BFF, or boyfriend? The rainbow of flavors (Funnel Cake and Double Cheeseburger included) provide never-ending experimental and surprise value, while the lovely moisturizing formula remains consistent. With these Party Packs, you can give your lucky giftee eight Lip Smackers—each Smacker coming in at just a little over a dollar!
Although each store varies, popular Party Packs include Originals, Skittles, Starburst, Vintage flavors, and Disney. My brothers have loved every Coca Cola Lip Smacker present I have given (so much so, in fact, that I am 99 percent sure they have eaten one or two). Also, if there are multiple family members or friends who deserve the gift of tasty lips this season, buy one or two Party Packs and divide them among the people on your list. (Target, $8.80)
Hello Bunny Perfume Bar (Tonymoly)
Winter is only a concept in Southern California. Our mornings are below 30°F but the rest of the day is like “LOL JK, back to you, Susie 70°!” Read: What was once a cozy wearable blanket can quickly become a sweat-inducing tent ripe for SMELLZ. So, when I discovered Tonymoly’s Hello Bunny perfume stick, I hoped it would keep me from smelling like bad McDonald’s.
I have had the stick since the beginning of this school year, and it’s still going strong. A couple swipes on the inside of the wrists and behind the neck, and you’re set for good smells (for at least one class period), compliments, and even requests for a swatch from peers. There’s more: If you’re looking to show off the flippin’ adorable bunny packaging, go right ahead, but if you prefer to give the illusion that you naturally smell like sweet green tea (me), the stick form is perfect for a stealthy swipe here and there. As a gift, this little bunny stick of love is equal parts aesthetic and good stuff—a memorable and braggable gift. (Urban Outfitters, $14)
Shelly mod bootie
I am completely obsessed with these all-white, mod-style booties from Echo Clubhouse. If you have a friend who truly believes they should have been born during the swinging sixties, who name-checks Mary Quant as a style inspiration, and who basically loves ALL things mod, these shoes are the ultimate present for them. Imagine wearing these babies with a psychedelic neon mini skirt, brightly colored tights, and flower hair clips?! It seriously is the quantessential sixties shoe! (Echo Clubhouse, $34.95)
Wanda from Cry-Baby enamel pin
For stans of (Uncle) John Waters movies, this enamel pin is IT. Give this as a gift and your pal will be able to instantly spice up their outfit by accessorizing with one of Cry-Baby’s coolest characters—Wanda Woodward (played by Traci Lords). Wanda is the ultimate style icon with the most immaculate bangs in the world. Wear her on a shirt lapel or a denim jacket and you’ll be sure to scare off squares and creeps. This pin is illustrated by You Were Swell, who also made these amazing Halloween coloring pages! (You Were Swell, $8.50)
Amy Rose’s picks
Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lip in Jellies and Tulle
My favorite lipstick colors are either so of this earth, so NATURAL-LOOKING, bro (an innocuous-looking rose shade, applied deliberately), or deeply extraterrestrial (any technicolor that leaves you with neon sign mouth). Is there is a beloved alien-person hybrid who deserves a perfect gift at YOUR Holiday’s Inn (what I’m calling winter now; it’s fine, let’s move on)? Colour Pop’s lip creams last as long as you need them to, and the formula has a sybaritic finish and feel that reminds me of really nice wall-to-wall carpeting. They’re $6 each and come in a universe of shades, meaning you can get two or even three, if you are feeling extra-generous and want to represent both land and space.
Should you go this interstellar route: I love Jellies, a rich, regal azure that borders on pre-nighttime-sky purple. Tulle, my other favorite, announces itself the exact opposite amount of Jellies, color-wise. It’s very “posh rug” in its own right. As a product name, “Jellies” is…fine, for now. Call it whatever you think your loved one would like on the wrapping paper, because who cares? (Your recipient, when you do the very sweet thing of naming a lipstick in their Holiday’s Inn honor. Also, maybe that last part is a potential option here? Holiday’s Inn Honor? Your friend would REALLY have to rule. Which I bet they do, so you can use it if you want.) (ColourPop Cosmetics, $6)
Iridescent Holographic Glitter Spray
Excepting toothpaste, your recipient might just go ahead and replace every single one of their regular products with this. I would! (Sephora, $10)
Lola Nova’s picks
Cloud nine crystal infused pendant
These handmade necklaces have a baby blue charm that comes in the shape of a heart, star, flower, or crescent moon. According to Rachel, owner of the Etsy store that makes these pendants, each shape is “filled with a mixture of selenite, kyanite and aqua aura quartz. They have a very airy energy that is great for creativity and letting go.” These are perfect for entering a new year, and letting go of past grudges, stress, and grief. Give your BFF good vibes to spark their creativity and make a cute addition to their outfits. (Holographic Fantasy, $20)
Death metal rainbow T-shirt
Do you have a friend (me!) who adores Marilyn Manson and everything pastel equally? Maybe they have trouble finding items that satisfy both loves? If you’re looking for a gift for someone who finds themselves in my predicament, then perfection has arrived. This baby pink, graphic T-shirt is the perfect oxymoron. Its angelic and cute cloud and rainbow motifs are balanced by the name of the heavy metal subgenre that serves combative drums and hostile vocals. This T-shirt is ACTUAL HARMONY. (Hot Topic, $20.50–$24.50)
Cosmetics sets (ColourPop)
It’s hard to choose between ColourPop’s sets…so I didn’t! I’m a huge fan of this brand for its affordability, shade range, and quality across the board. None of the products I’ve tried from them have let me down, and with pricing at $5 a pop, the value they offer is hard to beat. The lipsticks and highlighter sets are really cute, and a great introduction if you (or the recipient of your gift) haven’t tried the brand before. So, the choice is yours—the lipstick bundles are well worth the price, but if you’re super into strobing, one of the strobing kits is the better bet—they make two, for different skin tones. Whatever you choose, this price point makes a lot more sense than blowing $100+ on a single fancy, limited-edition beauty product. (ColourPop Cosmetics, $30-$39)
SNP Cosmetics Sheet Mask Sets
I bought a bunch of these masks piecemeal during my last stay in Taipei and I have so much fun inviting my friends over to have face-mask parties with me. These are endlessly entertaining, they definitely help your skin glow, and your holiday party guests can pick which animal they want to be for the night—endless selfies and skincare self-care, what more does anyone need? (Amazon, $20 for eight) ♦