While Instagram is sort of the natural home of the VSCO girl, she is easy enough to spot in the wild. She tends to have a Hydroflask in her hands, Birkenstocks on her feet, and scrunchies in her hair. Since any VSCO girl worth her salt probably has all of the essentials already, we went directly to the source and asked a half-dozen real VSCO girls about what else they have on their gift wish lists. Think of it as a window into their brain trust — or at least a very helpful starting point. Read on for the 15 gifts that the VSCO girls we spoke to hope to receive, any of which would be suitable for the budding or established influencer in your life (or, you know, for those regular teens and tweens, too).
Vlogger Marla Fay — who was profiled in the Cut’s deep dive into VSCO girls and has more than 67,000 Instagram followers — told us that while she generally prefers to receive experiences instead of expensive gifts, she thinks “the Pura Vida monthly bracelet club may be the best value as a gift.” For those not in the know, Pura Vida bracelets are a VSCO essential and are typically collected and worn in a stack on the wrist. Reminiscent of those friendship bracelets you might have made at camp, these feature different charms, like a pineapple or an ocean wave. “Every month, you are surprised with three exclusive bracelets. If you pay for the year in advance, the savings are gigantic, only $11 a month when the bracelets could be up to a $50 value,” Fay explains. In addition to annual subscriptions, you can also purchase them in one-month or three-month increments.
VSCO girl Morgan C. told us a Polaroid camera makes a great gift because it’s a more personal way “to capture and keep your memories” as opposed to just using your phone. Luckily, you won’t need to go troll eBay looking for vintage cameras (that may or may not work) now that Polaroid has released its OneStep camera, which includes a self-timer function, built-in flash, and a durable polycarbonate-and-acrylic lens.
Beyond what she wears or carries with her, a telltale sign of a true VSCO girl is how she decorates her bedroom. YouTube has dozens of room transformation videos by VSCO girls that teach you how to string fairy lights and hang up Polaroids. Presumably for taking cozy bedroom shots, VSCO girl Taylor Rankine, who has over 14,000 followers, told us that she “would love this LED light strip set to illuminate the back of my headboard.” The set easily allows you to customize the colors, speed, and brightness with the click of its included remote.
“It’s always nice when your nails look good,” according to Rankine. Thus, “a gel nail kit to do my own nails at home” is also at the top of her list, so she won’t have to “pay so much money to get them done by a professional.” This kit includes everything a VSCO girl needs to give herself a gel manicure from the comfort of her own home, including four different polishes and an LED lamp.
Since many VSCO girls are in their teens (or just got out of them), we were not surprised to hear that they also want AirPods, which appeared in our teen gift guide (for both boys and girls) and our tween-girl gift guide. “I’ve wanted AirPods for a while now!” says Meg T., who runs the popular Instagram account @vintagevsco, which has more than 14,000 followers. “They would come in handy when studying for all of my exams. And, of course, I love listening to music, so having wireless headphones are a must-have.”
If your VSCO girl already has Birks and Vans, Meg T. says Dr. Martens are a third style she’d probably like. Meg told us she’s asking for a pair because they are “supercute and trendy” but still “durable and practical” — especially for the winter, when she says they’d help keep her “feet warm while still being stylish.” While Docs typically take a while to break in, once they’ve molded to your feet, they are supercomfortable.
VSCO girls often promote their active lifestyles — ones that features plenty of hikes and acai bowls — so clothes that are comfy and laid-back, but still allow them to be on the move are a good bet, according to Rankine. She particularly likes these Lululemon leggings with a four-way stretch. While they’re designed for yoga, these are thick enough to wear outside of the studio. “I want them because leggings are one of the few things I’m allowed to wear to school,” says Rankine. They also come in black, rose, olive, garnet, and camo.
Brandy Melville — the subject of another deep dive by the Cut — is known for its teenage-sized clothes that in-the-know fashion girls continue to (sometimes shamefully) wear into their 20s and 30s. Not surprisingly, the VSCOrati also are fans, according to Rankine, who says “the store has so many unique pieces of clothing and jewelry.” While she currently owns a couple of shirts, she says that “anything from Brandy Melville” would make a great gift.
VSCO girls tend to keep their beauty regimens pared back. Their makeup stays distinctly on the side of barely there: a swipe of Carmex lip balm, a squirt of Mario Badescu Rose Water Spray, and not much else. So it makes sense that their skin-care routines are focused on simple products with an emphasis on moisturizers and cleansers that have clean ingredients. Rankine told us she’s hoping to get some new beauty and skincare products from popular brands like Glossier, Milk Makeup, and Tarte — all of which you will recognize from most VSCO girls’ bathroom shelfies.
The VSCO girl can often be spotted communing with nature, whether she’s snapping photos at the beach or on a mountain. Meloche told us she has her eye on this Patagonia fleece for its “retro” look — but also because the brand “cares about the environment.” Given that trend forecasters told us that fuzzy outerwear is still a very popular gift this season, we again were not totally surprised to hear this was on the list of the ever-trendy VSCO girls. And, as our managing editor Maxine Builder said in our fleece roundup, Patagonia is “the only fleece that matters.”
Fay loves giving and getting the softest blankets she can find, and told us she’s been collecting them for years. She says “the most amazing, soft, cuddly throw” she’s found is this one from Barefoot Dreams, which comes in eight different colors, including cream, dove gray, and pink. For a more affordable option, Fay also loves Pottery Barn’s selection.
If you’re going to splurge on one thing for a VSCO girl, two we spoke to suggest this GoPro. Fay told us she’s hoping to get one this year because “they nailed everything they needed to improve upon” from the last model. Rankine agrees: “As far as tech goes, I’d love a GoPro Hero 7 black to help document all my adventures.” The waterproof Hero 7 features voice control, video stabilization, and a touch screen that makes it easy to get your shot no matter where you’re filming.
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