We are of the firm belief that you can never go wrong by giving beauty products as a Christmas gift. After all, have you ever gotten a bar of luxurious soap that you didn't use? While there are many amazing Christmas gifts mentioned on this page, there are also a few I suggest you avoid.
Best Christmas Gifts for a TeenTeens are by default picky people. I strongly suggest asking a teen to write up a wish list for Christmas. But if this isn't an option for you, consider a Christmas gift that's of high quality so they can use it for years to come. Here are some teen favorites:
Beauty: What Types of Christmas Gifts to AvoidThink twice before gifting foundation, concealer, lipstick or face powder, unless you know exactly what the person wants/uses. These products require a good skin tone match. Perfumes are bad Christmas gifts unless she's picked out a favorite -- like jewelry, perfumes can be too personal. A fragrance you love in the store may not work well with her body chemistry.
Also, avoid pre-packaged Christmas gifts bought at department store beauty counters. Not only is it boring, but it screams, "I only had 10 minutes so I opted for what was easiest."
Consider a Bunch of Little Christmas GiftsInstead of pre-packaged gifts, why not pull together a bunch of fun Christmas gifts individually wrapped and, if it's Christmas, placed in a stocking? You can also put these gifts in a makeup bag. Check out these stocking stuffers:
Is a Spa Gift Worth the Splurge?We love getting Christmas gifts we feel guilty about buying ourselves, but spa gifts can be tricky, because the present unwrapping part can be underwhelming ("Thank you for this sheet of paper!") and the chances are great that the certificate will be put away and never found again.
For a spa gift, opt for a shiatsu massage, a wild wrap with fun stuff like seaweed or a deep facial. Better yet, set up the appointment for both of you.
Think Twice Before Giving a Christmas Gift CardGift cards, like pre-packaged gifts, scream, "I don't know you that well so I got you a gift card." That said, some people would rather pick out their own gifts (perhaps this is where the term, "picky" comes from). In this case, do give them a gift card to Sephora.
Help! She Has Everything!In my experience, people who already have everything really appreciate it when you go all Martha Stewart on them and do something creative and unique. After all, taking time out to do something just for them is something all the money in the world can't buy.
Create a custom bath basket for their bathroom. I love this idea because you can spend as little as $25 on this gift or hundreds of dollars. Fill a basket with everything she would need for a relaxing bath: Bubble bath or bath salts, 4 or 5 tealight candles with glass holders and a big, fluffy bath towel. Throw in a fun paperback or magazine just for kicks and don't forget the matches. We list our favorite bath salts and more in "8 Musts for Every Bath."
Another option is to print out homemade face mask recipes for her skin type and include the ingredients in the basket. Add a fragrant candle, a fluffy hand towel (for steaming), a box of relaxing tea and a pretty jar of local honey. A great tea to gift is Tazo's 'calm' -- that will inspire her to relax.
What to Give a Guy: Best Grooming & Skincare Gifts for HimGrooming gifts aren't just for the metrosexual. I had "manly men" (including my personal trainer) quiz me about cleansers, sunscreen and moisturizers. Great grooming gifts for guys include:
2. Shaving sets
For his stocking at Christmas, consider these Stocking Stuffers for Guys
Best Hostess Gifts & Gifts to Have on HandFor a hostess gift, stock up on luxe soap like these. They're $12 but come in the prettiest packaging. Combined with a beautiful soap dish, it's a great gift to keep for a hostess or to keep on hand in case someone catches you unprepared.
A cheaper alternative is to buy inexpensive, but lovely soaps and wrap them in brown paper. Three of these tied together with raffia make gorgeous gifts.
Avoid: Cast-offs you didn't like yourself. A good rule of thumb is to never give anything you wouldn't love to receive yourself. If you want to get rid of something, give it away, don't re-gift it. Simply say, "I bought this really nice soap, but it doesn't suit me. Would you want try it for yourself?"
Best Christmas Gift for the AdminThere's no better way to say thank you to your admin then giving them an hour off for a relaxing massage or manicure. We prefer these to flower bouquets any old day. Tip: Don't forget to tell her or him the hour off is on you.
Avoid: Perfume UNLESS you know it's her favorite.
Best Christmas Gift for Former Sun WorshipersSo your sister USED to love the sun but now drudgingly sticks to life under a hat. Get her a great sunscreen (La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Lait SPF 60 is one of the best) and pair it with a fabulous self-tanner (we love Clarins).
Avoid: A gift card to her local tanning salon, unless it's for the spray tan.
Best Christmas Gifts for the Woman Freaked Out About AgingThese tried-and-true products can erase five years off even the most pampered face.
1. Dr. Dennis Gross M.D. Skincare MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel - 30 applications
2. Olay anti-aging, anti-blemish moisturizer
3. Lancome Resurface-C Microdermabrasion Radiance Renewing System Skincare
4. Dr. Brandt's v-zone neck cream
Avoid: These gifts if she's not obsessed with aging. She might think they're rude.
Best Christmas Gift for GrandmaI love Crabtree & Evelyn products. The soaps, lotions and body sprays are perfect for discriminating moms and grandmas. But don't settle for the store packaging, buy your own individual products, wrap each one up and put them in a gorgeous bowl she'll use again (we are suckers for Asian bowls from Japan or China). Nestle between the gifts fun extras like bath gloves for exfoliating in the shower, a mini mirror for the purse and perhaps an overnight makeup bag (to encourage visits).