Generally speaking, you really can't go wrong with a beauty gift. There are countless options when it comes to personality and budget, and no one minds the excuse for some personal pampering.
But as crowd-pleasing as these gifts are, there's definitely some etiquette to keep in mind when selecting the perfect beauty present for anyone on your list. These guidelines, while not hard and fast, can make the difference between something that ends up collecting dust or getting re-gifted, and a real winner that ends up becoming a staple in your recipient's routine.
So how can you make that distinction? Learn how to gift like a beauty editor by checking out our go-to rules below.
It sounds obvious, but it's the first thing to keep in mind. Would your super-chic friend really be down with that DIY kit? Is your little cousin going to be as obsessed with that face scrub as your are, or are these fruit-shaped lip balms much more her speed? Again, there's something for everyone in this massive market, so play to their personalities.
We love a beautifully bottled product all year, but usually the emphasis is much more on the formula inside. That's still important, but 'tis the season for exquisite gift wrapping—which is why it's fun to pay special attention to product packaging, whether it's beautifully colored oils, the kitschy TonyMoly fruits above, or a chic, porcelain candle holder that can eventually be used as a plant holder once the wax has burned away. See what grabs your eye and have fun with it!
Remember that you aren't limited by products. Massages and facials are always appreciated because they're luxuries that people won't necessarily splurge on for themselves. Other ideas to consider: A five-class package to a cool new boutique gym, passes for you and your BFF to a day spa, or perfume-making classes at Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles.
A gorgeous perfume bottle might seem obviously giftable, but you have to remember that fragrance is highly personal—preferentially speaking, sure, but even down to the way the scent interacts with your body chemistry. A perfume-scented candle (like anything from Maison Martin Margiela's Replica line) is a safer route unless someone on your list calls out a specific fragrance.
Here's another exception to that "no perfume" rule—samplers are always a good gift idea, which is why cosmetic companies always roll out such amazing value sets during the holidays. Go this route with makeup and skincare as well, since both categories also tend to be a bit personal. (Example: It might read a little weird and/or passive aggressive to just give someone a bottle of anti-aging serum, but as part of skincare essentials starter kit? Not so weird.)
In our experience, these really can't steer you wrong—because like massages, people don't really buy them for themselves but never mind having them on hand. Stock up on a bunch in the beginning of the party season so you have hostess gifts ready to go.
This can mean one of two things: Picking up an artisan-made product that's charmingly specific to your neighborhood or city, or grabbing some beauty souvenirs during your travels (say, soaps from the south of France or quirky sheet masks in Seoul). Either add a little bit of a personal, thoughtful touch.
Because they can totally have a piece of the beauty pie—in fact, the male grooming industry is at an all-time high. (Seriously, we've never seen so many varieties of artisanal beard oils.) Opt for a shaving kit, a fancy comb, or some high-end pomade.
The beauty of subscriptions is that the party continues long after the holidays have wrapped—and there are countless options in the beauty realm alone. Try Mishibox for a monthly haul of Korean goods.
Any rules or guidelines you'd like to add? Sound off below!