not a professional. just crazy.

I’m Impossible to Shop for, But There Are Some Beauty Products I Actually Want for the Holidays

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I’m very rarely gifted anything beauty related over the holidays — my friends and family feel it would be impossible to pick out something I don’t already own.

I do understand their hesitation. But they are wrong! There are, in fact, several items I’ve long yearned for. Which is to say: if you’re reading this and you’re a friend or family member of mine, politely take the hint. And if you happen to have a beauty obsessive in your life that’s impossible to shop for, I guarantee any one of the five non-obvious, fairly aspirational items listed below will deeply impress and delight them.

Silk pillowcases are a must for anyone as obsessed with beauty and skin care as I am (silk has antibacterial properties, and keeps hair smooth and friction-free overnight). But the truth of the matter is, silk pillowcases tend to be pretty hideous. Plus, inexpensive silk doesn’t have the longest life expectancy (many I’ve bought have become thin and holey after just six months). This silk pillowcase from Hill House Home is the only one I’ve ever truly loved — it’s beautiful (look at that piping), it doesn’t wear, and it is absurdly cool and comfortable to sleep on. The trouble is, I only own one, and it’s not enough — my boyfriend and I fight over it, and my bed looks incomplete. Another one of these is the only thing I truly want this year — and, in my opinion at least, one would make the perfect present for any beauty-obsessed, bedding-obsessed, or other person who appreciates beautiful things.

I’ve coveted this Georgia Louise Lift and Sculpt gua sha tool since Romy Soleimani first posted it on her Instagram years ago — she wrote that it was an absolute must for ensuring you look awake after a long plane journey. Gua sha tools allegedly help chisel your face (making sure your jaw is tight and cheekbones are high) and rid your skin of puffiness. As a very puffy person who generally depends on a big ice roller to get things back to normal, I would truly love to receive this for on-the-go de-puffing. If you want to really thrill someone, gift them this with Dr. Loretta’s Replenishing Serum — they can apply the serum, then use this to massage it in. An ideal duo.

Everything from Buly is absolutely gorgeous. But I particularly love this “Mexican Tuberose” lotion, which I bought last year as a Christmas gift for my mom. It’s super light, and is something I can imagine myself applying on special occasions, when I want to smell subtly of an English garden. It also just looks so out-of-this-world pretty on a dresser or shelf that even if the lotion itself was disgusting and smelled horrible (which it isn’t and doesn’t — it’s perfect), I’d be thrilled to receive it.

This is my all-time favorite warm, wintertime candle. It’s a citrus scent that has a spicy cinnamon kick. Which means it’s cozy-smelling (which is important to me) but not so overly festive that it feels inappropriate to light after January 1. My favorite time to light it is right when I get out of a warm shower on a very cold day, or when I’m snuggled up in pajamas on the sofa. I bought one for myself as a treat last month, and was devastated when it burnt all the way through.

If you know me, you know that I believe this hair mask is an absolute must for anyone struggling with dry, damaged, or bleached hair. It’s intensely hydrating, nourishing, and reparative — not to mention the prickly pear extract in it smells amazing. That said, it’s frankly too expensive to repurchase every single time I run out (my more affordable runner up is Briogeo’s Don’t Despair Repair Mask.) Which makes it the perfect gift for anyone who loves bleach, or just loves their hair.

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5 Beauty Products I, a Beauty Lunatic, Actually Want