The Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide
You woke up and it’s a week until Christmas. What happened? Between end of the year deadlines, pumpkin pie feedings via gavage and December primetime finales, does it even matter? You’re human; that Scandal episode couldn’t be missed and all is forgiven. But now is time to get serious, so here’s the CliffsNotes on how to please everyone in your life.
For the Aunt Whose Dog is Treated Like a King
There’s someone in your life who loves their dog more than you, sorry. Give them the tools to luxuriate Fido and maybe they’ll love you a little more. With lemon, tea tree, and spearmint oil, this canine conditioner is decadent enough to make you forget this creature sniffs butts for fun.
For the Coworker that Always Has Your Back
When was the last time you warmed your toes by a fire? I will dust off my space heater while watching a Saturday James Bond marathon, but smell a fresh wood fire whirling through the air—that’s a rare treat. Diptyque’s Feu de Bois candle makes it less of a rarity because it smells just like a campsite fire. Though there’s room for debate regarding the best candle scent, show me a person who doesn’t enjoy the smell of firewood and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t enjoy life (and that YouTube video with the otters holding hands).
Not to be confused with the 1999 film where Kevin Spacey tries to get jiggy with his teenage daughter’s best friend, this American Beauty highlights women of all backgrounds by acclaimed photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank. It will make anyone look sophisticated and whatnot as it sits atop a coffee table. With leading ladies like J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons, songstress Solange Knowles, and model of the year Joan Smalls, can we say a collective “God Bless America?”
For the Lady Who Brought You Life
It’s a law, an unknown commandment, or maybe just common sense that mom gets the best Christmas presents—because she’s Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Toothfairy, and you just can’t cut corners for Mama Christmas. This year, the best got better because it’s now more affordable. The Clarisonic Mia Cleansing Brush deep cleans better than any cleanser or scrub alone, meaning that clearer, more even skin primed to gobble down nourishing serums and creams is now only $99 away (and hurry it’s selling out fast).
For the Friend Who Never Leaves the House Without Eye Makeup
This is one classy eye shadow palette. Any woman who appreciates a well-executed eye look would make like Gabby Douglas and somersault her way to pick up this treasured collection of gold, peach, taupe, and navy hues.
Continuing in the legacy of Urban Decay’s naked collection, this palette doubles down on softness with delicate neutrals that complement day and evening looks. Shimmery champagne, amber, rose gold and mocha are just three of the shades in this mega-watt pack.
For the Uptight Friend Who Could Use Some R&R
We all have busy, arguably stressful lives, but I know there’s at least one person in your life whose workday recaps are an exacerbating embellishment just shy of a Cyrus Beene-esc shitstorm of a melodrama. Give the gift that says “lighten up” in the same way “bless her heart, she tries,” is only slightly offensive. Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Brush is an exfoliator that won’t let your friend slip in the bathroom and Caudalie’s Divine Oil softens skin into royal plushness.
For the Cousin Always on the Go
Unless you’re related to Sasquatch or one of those people who are cool with living on hotel samples on vacation, a cosmetics case is needed for your cousin on the go. Might as well make it a nice one. This cute one from Marc by Marc Jacobs fits the bill.
For the Friend Who Deserves the Best
I’ve told you about the thank you Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Ghost mask that is GlamGlow SuperMud and I’m still not playing around. It doesn’t matter if your friend has skin that could make Beyoncé reevaluate her life, she needs this, or at the very least, wants it. Give her this facial in a jar.
Nothing is sadder than parched lips in the winter. Don’t let your dear-old-pal pile just anything on her lips. Give her the Cadillac of lip balms—Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Trio—a multipack of the most hydrating/long-lasting/feel-good lip treatment ever. The price is steep for some lip goo but honey, it’s worth it.
Like those who don’t eat chocolate chip cookies or salivate over the prospect of a Giuseppe Zanotti giveaway—the same can be said about a woman who never wears nude lip colors—don’t trust them. Nude is flattering on everyone—and I don’t mean that as a hyperbole—it looks good on E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Supply a friend with this nude set that will make her shine.
For the Friend Who Covets Labels
If you have a friend who doesn’t care how much she resembles Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century—as long as it’s Versace, here’s the perfect gift to purchase. Dior’s Couture Collection Brush Set marries style with function so you know it’s good.
For the Friend Who Won’t Accept Anything Less than Opulence
Give the gift of diamonds, diamond polish, that is. With crushed black diamond infused in lacquer, Azature’s Diamond Nail Polish is the ticket to every birthday, anniversary, and minor accomplishment henceforth for your luxurious friend. At the price of $25, you don’t need Richard Burton’s pockets to afford this literal gem.
For the Man in Your Life:
I like Brad Pitt just as much as every red-blooded woman does, but I like Brad Pitt circa Troy and Ocean’s 11, not The Assassination of Jesse James, if you know what I mean. The difference of course is a scraggly beard that probably stored the key to unlocking the every-lasting love and affection of Angelina Jolie, but I digress. Give your man the Microtouch Switchblade—a steal at $19.99 that comes with a 10-piece grooming set (comb, clippers, etc.) as well.
A man telling you that he doesn’t care about skincare is a liar—which is okay as long as you’re cool with masking the recipe found on Food Network as grandma’s secret. So though your man/father/friend may be on the fence about using skincare products marketed towards women, he’ll love Men’s Science—I mean—even I love this stuff. My guy friend (who uses their Anti-Aging Formula, eye cream, face lotion, and face scrub) says he likes their products because they keep his face hydrated, refreshed and reduce eye puffiness. Buy this stuff—it’s really good.