what do you want

11 Beauty Junkies on the Gifts They Want for the Holidays

Finding the perfect holiday gift can be maddening (is this the color they’d want? Is it something they already have? Is it so last year?), but really, once you have a sense of a person’s taste, it’s not impossible. This season, we’ll be talking to members of various tribes to find out exactly what to get that college student, or serious home cook, or Star Wars fanatic in your life. Think of it as a window into their brain trust — or, at least, a very helpful starting point. Today, 11 beauty obsessives on the gifts they want for the holidays.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
$80 at Dermstore

“I’ll definitely be asking for the Drunk Elephant Vitamin C serum for Christmas (I can thank my sister for that). I swear by this serum — it helps so much with brightening and elasticity, but it’s a splurge.” — Harley Viera-Newton, designer (and Rio’s sister)

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Skin Protectant Cream
$19 at Amazon

“I would also love the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream — I use it on everything. It’s incredible for helping out with dryness on your face, body, and lips throughout winter.” — Viera-Newton

NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Kit — White (4 piece)
$325 at Dermstore

“This is crazy, and something I’d never splurge on for myself, but I’d love another NuFace — this microcurrent facial-toning device that tightens your skin — so I can use it more consistently when I’m not at home.” — Lili Chemla, clothing designer

Pat McGrath Mothership II: Sublime Palette
$125 at Pat McGrath

“I want the Pat McGrath Mothership II: Sublime palette because it’s the most luxe eye palette I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all. Normally with palettes, I only ever like a few shades and the rest sit there, unused for eternity. But this one has ten full shades that I actually want to use, both on their own and together. The packaging is insane, and while I’ve KonMari’d my entire life, this is one of those things that I just want to keep around as an object on display.” — Alexis Page, creative beauty consultant

Note: This had sold out, but the Mothership I palette and Mothership III palette are still available.

NIOD Photography Fluid
$30 at Amazon

“The photography fluid is something for a flawless-skin, no-makeup look, which is what I always go for. I also love the Ordinary and this retinol is cheap and super effective without a prescription.” — Hayden Howard, student

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream
$215 at Net-a-Porter

“Ever since Kim K ‘grammed herself post–vampire facial, I’ve dreamed of sucking my own blood to reach Edward Cullen levels of youthfulness. I imagine the Dr. Barbara Sturm blood cream is like a daily visit to the fountain of youth.” — Cassie Coane, creative director

Natura Bissé Inhibit High Definition Intensive Line Minimizing Patches
$440 at Barneys New York

“Clearly, I’m obsessed with physically hurting myself to look better, as I’ve been obsessing over these Natura Bissé micro-needling patches. In my head, and most likely not in reality, they are a Velcro strip that will somehow fix my ‘laugh lines’ much better than the Dermaroller I use at home.” — Coane

Natural Rose Quartz Double Roller
$35 at Amazon

“I’m getting old, but I’m not old enough to afford nice eye cream, so I’d love to get this given to me as a present. A quartz roller is essentially a more luxurious version of the ice roller, which I swear by. It helps with redness and wrinkle reduction.” — Bo Hesslegrave, graphic designer

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask, 5 Sheets
$60 at Neiman Marcus

“I read in an interview once that actress Michelle Yeoh face masks every single day. For the holidays, I want sheet masks to the infinitum (the limit should not exist). I’ll take a re-up of my favorite ones from Korean brand Sulwhasoo, the highest-end line in the Amore Pacific beauty conglomerate, like La Mer to Estée Lauder. These sheet masks are made of such impossibly thin plant pulp that I don’t know how they don’t tear during manufacturing. The thinness really allows the masks’ fermented white ginseng (aged for two weeks!) to really sink into your skin and make you look like a dewy baby. These are fighting words, but I swear they’re better than the SK-II ones. A less expensive option are the Lancôme Génifique masks, which was a discontinued product that I swear was brought back due to beauty editor and MakeupAlley demand. The least expensive option would be any Peach & Lily mask.” — Kathleen Hou, Cut beauty director

Lancôme Advanced Génifique Collection
$112 at Ulta
Peach & Lily Sheet Mask Set
$15 at Barneys New York
Hanacure Multi-Action Treatment Mask Set
$110 at Hanacure

“I am obsessed with the idea of this mask since my two most trusted beauty confidantes — my sister and Rio — swear by it. I know it’ll change my life, I just can’t get myself to buy four masks for $110, so I would LOVE it if someone else would.” — Alison Chemla, jewelry designer

MBR Cream Extraordinary
$369 at Rescue Spa

“I miss this cream every day of my life. I splurged on it last year (around Christmas time) and it was heaven. It’s a tiny container of gold-leafed, heavenly smelling perfection. My face had no idea it was even winter because my skin was smooth, hydrated, and brightened in a way it normally isn’t during the cold months. BUT it’s close to $400, so … Santa, please.” — Chemla

Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm SIZE
$30 at Sephora

“The Dior rose lip balm, because it’s fucking amazing, and makes your lips look supple and soft. Diorshow mascara because it’s the best mascara out there, hands down. Diorskin nude air luminizer because all four shades are amazing, and it’s buildable, so great for day or night.” — Jessica Leigh, stylist

Santa Maria Novella Exfoliating Water, 50ml
$55 at Net-a-Porter

“I absolutely love all products from Santa Maria Novella, and I would love a skin-care treatment at Tata Harper’s new spa room at Bristol in Paris.” — Lili Barbery-Coulon, beauty blogger

Frédéric Malle Promise Eau De Parfum 100ml
$390 at Barneys New York

“The new Frédéric Malle fragrance called Promise, created by Dominique Ropion, the same perfumer as my favorite Malle scent, Portrait of a Lady. While I haven’t smelled it yet, I am intrigued by the combination of two varieties of roses, mixed with pink pepper, clove, and patchouli. I feel certain as a lover of POL that this fragrance will most certainly become a favorite.” — Troy Surratt, makeup artist

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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11 Beauty Junkies on the Gifts They Want for the Holidays