If you follow a lot of green beauty bloggers, you know that many of them have posted their holiday gift guides. After all, most people like to finish their gift shopping early – the presents purchased, wrapped lovingly and placed under the tree with care soon after the Thanksgiving turkey has been made into the first of many sandwiches. This guide is not for them. No, this is for all of you rushing around like coked out squirrels at 5 pm on December 23rd and sending desperate “do you think Jennifer would like a scarf” texts to your exasperated family members. This is for you, the brave souls who spend more on shipping than they do on gifts, because everything has to be delivered overnight. This is for the procrastinators, the overspenders, the bad children and the the flighty aunts. You are my people. I feel your pain and I am here to help. I will mostly keep to a single product per category so you have some money left for those shipping fees. As for those of you smug overachievers, you might just find some stocking stuffer ideas on this list.
For the Design-Obsessed Aesthete.
Oh, you know the type: their bible is Wallpaper magazine, their apartment – a minimalist Instagram wet dream, their wardrobe directional, designer and probably Japanese. They might have a bizzare/stupid/ugly haircut and it definitely manages to make them look utterly fabulous and chic. Get them these Post Poo Drops from Aesop. They will appreciate Aesop’s minimalist aesthetic, which has become a cosmetic packaging design classic, and the sophisticated, sharply citrus scent that really, really does the job. And if you happen to get a little tinge of pleasure from making the passive aggressive reminder that poop is a fact of life even for the chicest of us, who am I to judge?
For The Stressed Out Cynic.
Get them a crystal. No, I know what you’re going to say: “they don’t believe in this woo woo stuff”, “they think crystals are for hippies or Spencer Pratt” or “HH, dear, you have lost your mind”. I get it, but hear me out. Don’t tell them about vibrational energies and full moon cleansing. Definitely avoid all mention of chakras. Simply gift them something pretty, sparklyand cool-looking (I get nearly all of my crystals from Able Ground and they are all stunners). Tell them it’s a paperweight for their paper-strewn desk. Watch in wonder as several months on, their apartment gets overtaken by an ever-growing collection of crystals and they leave work early to get to yoga. Rub your hands together. Your work here is done.
For the California Hippie (regardless of coast)
Does your friend seem to float around on a softly-scented cloud made of linen and dreams? Is she fond of kundalini? Does her diet consist primarily of Buddha bowls and organic juice? Is her hair always impeccably mussed? Do you strongly suspect she might have a trust fund? She is probably a California hippie. Don’t bother giving her the Moon Juice Cookbook – she already has it. Instead, help her unleash her inner alchemist with Sun Potion herbs. My gifting favorites are He Shou Wu (for general vitality and awesome nails), Mucuna Pruriens (for peace of mind) and Reishi (for whatever ails ya). A package of Zenbunni biodynamic hot chocolate or a selection of their sweet little chocolate bars will also go down a treat.
For the Surly Teen
We all know: you can’t win with a teen. Frankly, you should just give them cash and call it a day (and pray they don’t spend it on things that may constitute a misdemeanor or a felony), but if you’re feeling ambitious, I have some ideas.
For the surly girl-teen, get her these pretty W3ll People eye shadows. They are sparkly and fun and look chic and will make her feel adult and sophisticated, while also indulging her glitter-loving tendencies. If her tastes are less Regina George and more Fairuza Balk in The Craft, you can encourage her witchy goth aspirations with broodingly dark Axiology lipsticks (she’ll probably appreciate that they are vegan). Nota bene: this gift idea will also work for the precocious tween who is wearing way more makeup than you ever did at her age and oh my goodness kids these days I can’t even!
As for the boy-teen, give him this Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash and these wipes. They have the cool, “urban lumberjack from Williamsburg” look and will help keep those pesky pimples at bay. Hand the package to him and say “you are a man now. Use manly stuff for your face!” It might work, in which case you will have set him up with a lifetime of good habits. If not, the gift would work just as well for his mother (it’s really not as manly as all that, after all).
For the Earnest Eco-Warrior.
Our eco-conscious friends are the best people we know: they make thoughtful choices and work tirelessly to make a difference to our Earth’s health, they reduce, reuse and recycle and do their best to fit all of their garbage into a tiny jar. But man, can they be a pain to shop for! Your pretty wrapping gets a side-eye and a lecture for being wasteful, a new sweater – a discourse on the appalling conditions at garment factories in Bangladesh, a gift card – a sigh about the culture of materialism. It’s all true, of course, but still. Kind of a bummer. Solution? Get them these gorgeous soaps from Follain. They are local, artisanal, have beautiful, completely natural scents (my favorite is the Lemongrass) and come in chic, amber glass bottles. The best part? They are refillable, which means your friend might never need to buy another bottle of soap again. Take that, glass jar of garbage!
For the Kids
Speaking of being eco-conscious, children’s Christmas and Hannukah presents typically amount to a pile of soon-to-be-discarded plastic. This year, forget the matchbox cars and get them a fun glass straw instead (these Hummingbird ones are also available at Amazon). The kiddos will love the cute critters and the fact that a wider straw makes for a more efficient illicit sugary beverage delivery system. You and their parents can feel good about helping to end the scourge of plastic straws.
For Your Sister.
You love your sister. You cherish her. But let’s face it: she can be a pain. Get her the Problem Solver mask from May Lindstrom. She will swoon over the beautiful jar, the Christmas cookie smell and the magic it will work on her skin. You? You will bide your time. Then you will suggest a sibling spa night. Apply the jet-black mask and while waiting for it to do its magic, do your best to get her a drunk as possible. When she isn’t paying attention, snap a picture of her looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Post it on every available form of social media. You now have your revenge for those childhood pranks and all those times she snitched on you to your parents. If she gets mad, simply say “but this is what everyone on Instagram does when they use a face mask!” Laugh maniacally. But on the inside.
For Your Mother.
You monster! You haven’t gotten a present for your mother yet, have you?! I mean, I haven’t either, but at least I have until New Year’s Eve to get mine (thank you, Russian traditions!). OK, this is serious. Don’t panic: I’m here to help. Just remember: this woman has given you life, made sacrifices and been there for you every step of the way. Keep this in mind when you’re considering a novelty mug or a pair of bed socks.
Luxury skincare is a great mom gift: it’s something she might not splurge on herself and even if she does, it’s likely to be something like La Mer (aka pretty-smelling Vaseline). Get her La Bella Figura’s Crema Virtuosa. It’s pink and comes in absolutely gorgeous packaging, but looks aside, it’s a powerhouse of effective anti-aging ingredients that feels like a dream on application. Or else you can wean her off that La Mer habit by gifting her True Botanicals skincare: elegant, reassuringly adult and very, very effective. In fact, it has been shown to be more effective than La Mer in a clinical trial. Something you could smugly tell your mother about after she opens the gift (though the exact allowable amount of smugness should be determined by your mother’s tolerance for sass).
But what to do if your mother actively shuns skincare products? If her beauty philosophy leans towards “a splash of cold water in the morning”, it doesn’t mean you can’t still spoil her with beautiful products – you’ll just have to switch your focus. Self-Care has been the ultimate wellness buzzword this year and with good reason. And who is more deserving of some indulgent “me time” than mom? Ger her the beautiful, Japanese-inspired bath products from Amayori Rituals. Combining gorgeous and sophisticated scents, lovely packaging and fabulous ingredients, they will inspire mom to take time for herself and will make her feel as loved and cherished as she is.
For Everyone Else.
What about all those other people on your list? Get them candles! I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t appreciate a good candle and they are especially useful in winter to create that feeling of cossetting coziness beloved of Danes (who know from long winters). My favorite are these Woodlot Candles. Made from coconut and soy wax and scented with completely natural and oh-so-lovely fragrances, they are exquisitely packaged, long-lasting and quite reasonably priced. Get one for everyone on your list and, while you’re at it, get a couple for yourself. After all, you have put so much thought, planning and care into your gift giving this year, you deserve a little treat.
Disclaimer: Because I procrastinated (duh!), this post was not coordinated or affiliated with any brand. I bought a chunk of the products myself, though some were gifted to me. Gifted! Get it?? Ok, stop reading disclaimers and go shop!