The holiday season is fast approaching which means gift guides are being shared, shopping has most definitely begun, and plans are being made on how to see family safely. This year has been tricky and I know we’re all trying to find ways to be happy and enjoy the holidays without stress.
So if you can make someone’s day a little special by getting them a nice gift, why not do it? While you’re searching for the perfect gifts, try to shop from local or female-owned businesses if you can. This gift guide includes some of my favorite items in skincare, hair care, cooking, and more--not just for the ladies.
Skincare can be a touchy subject, literally. I know everyone has different skin types, but all of the products I’ve listed below are great for sensitive skin and use natural ingredients.
My Top Pick: Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
Soften, detox, and cleanse your skin with my favorite brightening facial scrub by Acure. You can brighten your skin by simply using this scrub three times a week (or more just because it feels so nice). The gritty texture of the scrub makes it really feel like the dead skin and oils are being stripped from your face. The top ingredients in this beauty product are French green clay and sea kelp, but others include lemon peel, sage, Madonna lily, and blackberry.
Superflower Everyday CBD Serum
I’ve written about it before, and I have no shame. I’m still (and will probably always be) absolutely obsessed with the Superflower Everyday CBD Serum. Its lightweight texture and natural ingredients--including grape seed oil, jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, and CBD of course--help relieve my irritated and dry skin, giving it a natural glow. This item is perfect for the person who’s excited about diving into the world of CBD. Oh, and don’t forget to use the code LILY20 for 20% off!
Glossier Milky Oil
The perfect blend of oil and micellar water, Glossier’s Milky Oil is the ultimate makeup remover. Even though it’s an oil, it feels weightless and leaves the skin soft but not clogged. The bottle is small so I recommend purchasing more than one at a time if you know you like it. That way, you don’t have to keep reordering and you don’t end up with 100 of those cute pink bags their products come in. After using the Milky Oil, I usually go in with Thayer’s Rose Petal Facial Toner to completely clean my face, but you don’t need to.
Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
Smooth and tighten the appearance of that booty with the most deliciously scented cream by SOL De Janeiro. Just read this fragrance list: pistachio, (might seem weird but I promise it’s not) almond, and jasmine petals are the most prominent, and hints of vanilla, sandalwood, and salted caramel leave you saying “ ahhhh.” I swear this cream will make your skin silky smooth and ultra-hydrated.
Moisture! Moisture! Moisture! We all want our hair to be glossy, moisturized, and cleansed, which is why the following items are great for all hair types and will help you obtain those daily hair goals.
My Top Pick: Morrocanoil Treatment Original
Do you ever find that your hair won’t stop frizzing up when it’s dry even when you tell it not to? I’ve found the solution. Morrocanoil products have always been good to me, especially the Intense Hydrating Mask, but the Treatment Original oil is a must-have in your hair care bag. I use this oil when my dry hair is unmanageable and I want it to look smooth and sleek (which it always does after use). I pour a small pool into my hand, flip my head over, and then precisely spread the oil throughout my hair, making sure not to let large amounts stay on small sections. After, I flip back over and brush the oil through my hair. Within 10 minutes, my hair will have calmed down and look silky, like I just went to a salon.
Virtue Purifying Shampoo
Part of the Refresh Collection, Virtue’s Purifying Shampoo aims to do exactly that--refresh your hair and scalp. Letting excess oil, product residue, pollution, and smoke in your hair will make it look oily and feel heavy, and that’s not what you want. This shampoo helps resolve those issues through Virtue’s damage-repair protein Alpha Keratin 60ku. You only need to use it once a week if you’re okay with how your hair feels right now, but for those who need more help, feel free to throw this shampoo on your head 2-3 times a week.
Kevin Murphy Leave-In. Repair
Combining high-tech knowledge similar to that of skincare and natural ingredients, Kevin Murphy products are known for being some of the top-performing hair care items out there. My favorite, the Leave-In. Repair, nourishes my hair and protects it from heat while adding that perfect shine. The process is simple: shampoo and condition your hair, and then apply the leave-in treatment allowing it to restore and repair damaged sections of your hair. When your hair dries, it should feel weightless, healthy, and far from oily.
From staying inside with a book and a cozy robe to adventuring out to the beach and frolicking in a handmade swimsuit, I know these items will fit any personality.
My Top Pick: The White Company Waffle Robe and Slippers
Waffle knit is one of my favorite fabrics. It feels soft, comfortable, and lightweight. The White Company makes a long lightweight waffle robe and slippers that will make you feel like you’re at a hotel. I like the pale gray because it’s cute and I don’t want to look like I’m at a hotel, just the feeling is enough. The robe is the perfect length for my height (5’ 6”) and keeps me warm even though it’s not thick. The slippers are super comfy and are easily washed in the washing machine. One side note: these items come from London and take a little extra time to arrive, plan accordingly.
Cimelia Creations Jewelry & Sunroom Bathing Suits
Remember when I said it’s important to shop small and female? This is where that really applies. And when I say small, I mean you can only make purchases through Instagram. Cimelia Creations was started by my friend Amelia who loved wearing jewelry as her way to accessorize and feel a little glammed up. Her jewelry is beautifully handmade (I already own four pieces). Sunroom was originally also a jewelry business but turned into a bathing suit company using recycled fabrics. My favorite part is being able to customize your top and bottom with whatever solid or patterned fabrics you want letting you mix and match galore.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
I know this isn't a product, but it's one of my favorite books so I had to recommend it. Follow the story of Count Alexander Rostov as he lives under house arrest at the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin, in A Gentleman in Moscow. I was completely engulfed in the story and read the novel within a week. This item on the gift guide brought me a special kind of joy this summer and with great imagery, helped me imagine a world of luxury, humor, and emotional discovery as I fell in love with each character.
In The Kitchen
Listed below are my must-haves for the perfect kitchen. Based on efficiency, reliability, and style, these items will be the best additions to your dream kitchen.
My Top Pick: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
The time for non-stick pans that are thrown out after they don’t work anymore is over (*insert cast iron pan). The 12-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet will be your go-to pan for everything you could possibly cook. Sear steaks, cook veggies (like me!), and fry four eggs at a time. The best part about cast iron is that, when taken care of and seasoned properly, it can last forever and is more non-stick than your non-stick pans. Even if you manage to completely destroy it, the pan can always be recovered. I also recommend getting a glass lid for the pan for cooking certain items and locking in flavor.
Krups Coffee Grinder
For all of the coffee fiends, you know it’s important to buy fresh whole coffee beans from a local coffee shop and grind them yourself right before you brew your morning cup of happiness. Krups’ Coffee Grinder is inexpensive, very reliable, and can grind enough beans for a few cups. The one downside is that it’s loud, so if you’re worried about waking up the family, maybe wrap it in a sweatshirt and turn it on in your closet. Check out my article on Travel Curator on how you can be your own barista!
Tea storage is absolutely necessary, and I don’t mean putting the boxes in a cabinet or on a shelf. I’m talking about displaying your tea bags for the world to see. This Glass Terrarium Tea Storage Organizer from Etsy is so chic with a handcrafter brass frame. Plus, your guests will be even more excited when they open the lid and see the wide variety of teas at their fingertips.
Below are some of the items I’d love to get in my stocking this year.
Bananagrams - The perfect game for family fun that’s also challenging.
Voluspa Bourbon Vanille Candle - I’m not lying when I say this is my favorite candle of all time. You can burn this scent at any time and you’ll feel relaxed--during the holidays, while studying, and in a bath. I’m telling you it’s the best.
Bombas Socks - For every pair you buy, they donate another. So far, they’ve donated over 43 million pairs! These socks are comfy, thick, and fun.