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 (we’re calling them the Hard-to-Shop-Fors) to find out exactly what to get that serious home cook, skin-care Redditor, or gamer in your life. Think of it as a window into their brain trust — or at least a very helpful starting point.
Below, we found 27 gift ideas for teenage girls, as recommended by actual teenagers, to make it a little easier for you to find an age-appropriate gift that’s actually cool.
Home and Tech Gifts
Certified cool teens Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight, 18-year-old identical twins with over 4 million followers on Instagram, recommend a waterproof speaker because “there’s nothing like jamming out to your favorite music in the shower.”
This portable speaker from Ultimate Ears is more expensive than the SoundBot, but it’s waterproof, highly reviewed on Amazon, and offers pretty solid sound quality, especially for a portable speaker.
Marla Catherine, a 15-year-old lifestyle influencer with over a million subscribers on YouTube, is looking for a more analog music experience: “I love music so much, and record players are an awesome way to stream it.” She’s prefers Victrola record players “because they’re fairly cheap but really good quality. Plus, they have cute color options like this turquoise one.”
Musician, author, and professional cool teen Baby Ariel, 17, who has over 9 million followers on Instagram and a book Dreaming Out Loud, has the newest Sims expansion pack on her wish list this holiday season. She loves playing the game with her brother; they pick famous people and compete to see who can make Sims that look most like them.
Kelly G., 18, also has a video game on her wish list: “One thing I would want is a Wii with the new Just Dance game. Whenever my family gets together, which is rare, we have awkward small talk, and there’s a lot of silence. I would love a Wii so we could have fun games to play together and have better family experiences overall. I also just love the game Just Dance, it’s always a good time.”
“As a college student, it’s always been important to me to decorate my dorm as cute as possible,” says Sara S., 19 (though the sentiment is probably shared by many other teenage girls who are still living at home). “This duvet cover is simple enough to add some spice to the room, yet not too busy to the point that it will make the room feel smaller than it already is.”
Esther W. wants this light-up sculpture, shaped like butterfly wings, from Urban Outfitters to spruce up her bedroom.
Editor’s Note: While the Butterfly Wings Light Sculpture is currently sold out, there are other light sculptures available on Urban Outfitters.
If you’re looking for a slightly less expensive, or invasive, light-up decoration, these neon sculptures (that are actually just well-designed LED lights) are a still-stylish alternative.
Clothing and Accessories
“I want this bag (in black, of course) because it is so cute, amazing quality, and the perfect size bag to bring anywhere and be able to fit anything into,” says Sadie H., 18. “I would use this for school, work, or even a beach day. I feel like it’s just a great, essential tote to have in your collection.”
For a teenage girl who might prefer a backpack, or an everyday bag that’s not black, Fjällräven’s Kanken backpack is a stylish, teen-approved option.
“I’m asking for a pair of Ray-Bans with a round frame and purple-tinted lenses,” says Ava, 16. “I already have a pair of aviators and I kind of just want something different. These are cool.”
“I’m hoping for Lululemon leggings for working out or just wearing. I found a pair at the store, all-black and the seams were popping out. I don’t have a pair yet, but my sister has a couple of pairs, and I’m jealous,” admits Audrey, 13.
For those who want a well-fitting bra but are perhaps intimidated by Victoria’s Secret, online bra company True & Co. might be a good place to start. Your teen can take an online quiz that’ll help determine which style is the best for their lifestyle and body — all without leaving the comfort of their own home.
“Scrunchies are making a major comeback right now and we totally love it,” add Brooklyn and Bailey. The two have their own line of scrunchies, but there are plenty of other options out there.
Ava M., 17, wants a beanie from Love Your Melon: “Their beanies are cute and versatile enough to go with pretty much everything! In addition to being adorable, the Love Your Melon company donates 50 percent of profits to nonprofits dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer.”
“One of the things on my list is the Tarte Pineapple of My Eye Collector’s Set from Sephora,” which is a superdeluxe beauty gift set, says Ava M. “I like this set better than some of the other sets around the same price because it has mascara, lip balm, and eyeliner in addition to the eye-shadow palette. Most of the other kits I looked at only came with one or two extras, so having all three is great.”
“I’m a huge makeup junkie, and this one has caught my eye for such a long time,” admits Quinn G., 19. “Every well-known YouTube makeup artist raves about it, and most girls who love a smoky eye or cut-crease would want this in their collection.”
Caroline Z., 19, likes to collect different brands of lipsticks, and this year, she’s got her eye on either Givenchy and Tom Ford. “I love the design for those lipsticks; it just feels so satisfy for me when I look at them, even some of the lipsticks I never use them since I bought it home.” The Tom Ford Boys & Girls lipstick not only looks great in the packaging, but according to the Cut’s beauty editor Kathleen Hou, it wears well, too.
If your teen is more of a Rihanna stan, this matte-red lipstick from Fenty Beauty is sure to be a hit. It’s adored by Strategist’s resident beauty write Rio Viera-Newton, who calls it “an ultramatte velvet red that’s eye-catching without looking overly pinup-y.”
“I always see these types of masks being used in those Instagram beauty videos and I’ve wanted to try one,” admits Casey G., 16. “The rubber mask seems so fun to put on, and even more fun to peel off. Sheet masks are a big trend because of how easy they are to use, so this would be so fun to try out, especially when my skin gets super dry.”
A nicely scented bath bomb is a perennial teen favorite. This brand, Da Bomb, is actually run by two teenage sisters who started making these when they were 10 and 12 years old.
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