2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts that Pamper and Refresh

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts that Pamper and Refresh


Whether you’re a Netflix-and-chiller, or a therapy-is-my-self-carer, pampering yourself so that you’re refreshed (and moisturized) to handle the task of being a human is something I believe in. Show up to that therapy appointment with minimized pores and a radiant glow!

In the spirit of the season, here are some gifts ranging from $2 to $50 that will pamper and refresh. While they may not make life easier, they will make your face softer, and hey, who doesn’t need that? The great thing about these gifts is that they’re perfect for the friend who’s had a fantastic year, as well as the friend who’s planning on sleeping until 2019.


1. I consider myself a sheet mask connoisseur. Behold, my favorite of all the masks, the Peach & Lily Reset Button soothe + restore mask! I got accidentally shop drunk in NYC because Henri Bendel was serving champagne. After talking myself out of a $40 bedazzled pineapple wearing sunglasses keychain, I swaggered up to Barneys and went down to their beauty department. They have a sheet mask wall! Of course they do. After telling them I refuse to pay $80 for a reusable 24K gold sheet mask (champagne courage!), I asked what their top seller is and they pointed me to this Peach & Lily mask. They weren’t wrong. I bought it and have since bought approx. 1M online because I use it once a week. It’s only $6, buy it, buy a million. Macy’s used to have them, but they’re currently unavailable online. Do some detective work, it’s worth it.

2. On a related tip, Peach & Lily sells combos, or boxes if you will, of their masks. That’s actually what I bought at Barneys, this box of 3 sheet masks. Again, Macy’s used to sell this box online, but it’s currently unavailable. It’s a good deal at just $15. Find it. Buy it for all your friends.

3. Thus ending the bougie portion of this list, this is the final item I boozily purchased at Barneys that day: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique hand balm. It smells delicious, and it’s moisturizing without being greasy. Plus, it looks really fancy sitting on your desk. I bought the 2.6 oz tube months ago and still have it, so a little goes a long way (read: this size is the appropriate gift size). Locals, there’s an Aesop shop in Edgehill Village.

4. When I opened my Birchbox and saw a lip scrub, I thought what am I supposed to do with this? Then I put it in the shower and started using it and now I can’t imagine life without it. Okay, not really, but I do love this Laura Geller New York Lip Strip Smoothing Sugar Scrub. It’s pink and smells like peppermint. What’s not to love?

5. I notoriously use Birchbox samples without knowing what they are or do, thus my obsession with what turned out to be a… lip enhancer. Sorry? (Not sorry.) This Jouer Lip Enhancer is a fancy little lip balm with a sheer pink color. I love makeup, especially eye shadow, but I work from home and sometimes feel weird putting on lipstick to go downstairs and sit in front of a computer. This lip enhancer is the answer. It’s not lipstick, but it’s not not lipstick. Buy it for your lipstick-averse friend.

6. Not too long ago, Jeni Britton Bauer was in her ice cream office doing an Instagram Story and she stopped and spritzed her face with rose water and then resumed her Story. I’m not even kidding, I immediately got online and bought rose water to have sitting on my desk. File under: get your life right.

7. If you’ve ever used an amika hair product, then you know about the amazing scent. If you’re unfamiliar with amika, start here with their Soulfood Nourishing Mask. I know from hair masks and this is the best one out there. I use it once a week. Buy it for your friend with good hair. Buy it for your friend with bad hair. Buy it for your friend who does your hair. (P.S. Sometimes TJ Maxx has amika, but you didn’t hear it from me.)

8. If someone gave me a stocking full of these $2 masks, I would be ecstatic. The Yes To Grapefruit Mud Mask is one of my favorite masks, and it’s only $2! The package says it’s single use, but after I use it the first time, I put it in a ziploc bag and get two to three more uses out of it. Grab one, or five, the next time you’re at Target and give one to everyone you know.

9. Most of the things on my list are in the $20 range, but I’m veering off into $50 territory, but trust me, it’s worth it. I don’t know what this Kiehl’s Midnight Recover Concentrate does, but it does something. I’ve been using it for the past year and I looooove it, and my dermatologist told me to keep using it. Buy it for your mom. Buy it for your sister. Buy it for your friend in the age bracket above yours who pays for lunch and listens to you complain about your boss.

Happy shopping!

P.S. While you’ve got your feet kicked up waiting on that face mask to sink in, here are 10 female writers you should read now, or at least follow on Twitter.

P.P.S. Writing this post made me think back on my recent trip to NYC. Here’s my wrap-up from that trip!

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