Don’t worry for a second that I’m putting myself on Oprah’s level with the title of this post, but I DO make it a point to share things on my blog and Instagram account that I’ve used, loved, and can stand by. That’s exactly what this guide is! With the exception of one item (which I’ll note), all of these things are products I love, use regularly, and feel great about recommending.
Before I dive into the guide itself, let me speak briefly to why I’m putting this together in the first place. After all, there’s already an abundance of gift guides circulating the interwebs. I don’t know about you, but this year in particular I’ve felt overwhelmed by accounts and blogs that talk about products, deals, and NEW/BUY/GET THIS all the time. It just feels like a lot in a year where our family has tried to be reflective and much more intentional about our purchases. (And I know we aren’t alone.)
So I was hesitant to add yet another gift guide to the mix, BUT this is a time of year where we’re going to be buying things for loved ones and being asked for gift ideas for ourselves, too. With that in mind, why not share some products you can feel great about gifting or asking for, knowing they’re things that will actually be used and enjoyed?
Plus, when I asked on Instagram recently if a couple of gift guides would be helpful, the overwhelming response was YES. So…here we are! Of course, there are many other products and brands I could talk about, but these really rose to the top for me. Oh, and a note, too: Some of these are more stocking stuffer gifts, while others are bigger ticket items. I’m hopeful you’ll find something that will fit your interest and budget, no matter what those are!
Ready to discover some of my faves? Let’s do this!:
Smart Sweets: Talk about a stocking stuffer you can feel good about! Bypass the traditional candy this year in favor of these low-sugar treats that don’t compromise on flavor one bit. My personal favorites (which also happen to be vegan) are the Sweet Fish and the Sour Blast Buddies!
Liquid IV: This has been a lifesaver for me during pregnancy, where I don’t feel like my body’s able to ingest as much water as I need. It helps you hydrate faster than drinking water alone, and fights dehydration (something many Americans suffer from, pregnant or not!). Their Passion Fruit flavor is SO good!
Dazzle Dry: Since March, instead of heading to the nail salon for an SNS manicure every 3-4 weeks I’ve been doing my nails at home — and I LOVE it. I’d already been wanting to break the SNS cycle (it really does ruin your nails), so quarantine was the perfect opportunity to do just that. I’ve been using Dazzle Dry’s nail system and lacquers for the past several months and have been so happy with them. They’re a safer at-home gel-like manicure, and while they don’t last nearly as long as an SNS manicure (at least not for me), my nails have gotten SO MUCH HEALTHIER since using this system — and it’s fun to switch up the colors! You’ll want to be sure to gift/ask for The System in addition to a nail color or two if this is first-time purchase so you’ll have everything you need for a complete manicure.
The Jellies: Obviously I’ll be including a handful of Beautycounter products in this gift guide. (After all, I represent this brand, so I absolutely stand by their products!) This one is such a fun option for girls and women of all ages, and you can give someone a full set of five glosses or split them into smaller stocking stuffer-type gifts. This year, they come in Shimmer or Brights. (Each Jelly smells different and amazing, and don’t worry — they don’t show up on your lips in weird colors! Those are colors that correspond to the scent of each.)
goop G. Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo: I splurged on a jar of this for myself several months ago after hearing incredible things about it, and it quickly became not just a favorite of mine, but a go-to gift. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t appreciate this treat-yourself gift! (I use it about every third time I shampoo in place of my Beautycounter Daily Shampoo for a nice deep cleanse that smells and feels amazing!)
Good Scents Hand Cream Trio: This is another very giftable Beautycounter product. With all the hand washing and sanitizing we’ve been doing lately, coupled with the colder winter weather, everyone’s hands are begging for some extra love. This hand cream fits the bill without being thick or sticky. I’m personally incredibly picky about hand cream, and this formula meets my high standards! As with The Jellies, you can give this set as a single gift or split it into three.
Mohala Eyewear: This Hawaii-based sunglasses company is one I discovered this past year and absolutely love. Not only do their glasses fit great (I own two pairs and adore them both), every pair purchased sends a girl to school at Room to Read. My personal favorite pair (especially for this time of year) is the Keana Fireside Tortoise!
Athleta Face Masks: I’d heard great things about Athleta’s face masks, and they certainly don’t disappoint! Maggie and I both love them (their kids’ masks will absolutely be included in my Toddler Gift Guide, which will be coming soon) and have no discomfort wearing them for long periods of time. It’s a strange year we’re in where face masks make for a perfect stocking stuffer, but here we are!
Modern Piggy Knotted Headbands: I adore Modern Piggy for Maggie’s hair bows, but I also love that they have great things for mamas, too! Their knotted headbands in particular are worth sharing, as they come in tons of great colors and prints and fit so well and comfortably. Plus, you can save 10% on any Modern Piggy purchase (any time!) when you use the code CURIOUSER at checkout. Wahoo!
Gua Sha Stone + Facial Oil: I started making gua sha part of my morning skincare routine a few months ago and have found it to be so grounding but also SO DOABLE. (It is — promise.) You can read more about my process and gua sha’s benefits here, but know that I often go through a sped-up version of gua sha to make it work as part of my morning each day (I’m talking 2-3 minutes). I also love that you need very little to start incorporating this into your routine: just a stone and a facial oil (to keep the stone from pulling at your skin). My favorite facial oil to use is Beautycounter’s Brightening Facial Oil for a bit of added vitamin C and hydration in the morning. Oh, and use the code CURIOUSER to save 10% on your Primally Pure stone if you end up grabbing one of those!
Winter Warmth Duo: Here’s another Beautycounter pick for you, and it’s one that looks gorgeous on any skin tone and is SO quick and easy. The set comes with a beautiful golden cream eyeshadow (super simple to apply) and a powder highlighter with a hint of shimmer. It gives your skin the perfect glow for this time of year, and it’s my top makeup pick from our limited-edition holiday line! (Plus, I love the price point — just $45 for both items.)
Nespresso Vertuo: Kevin gifted me this espresso machine for my birthday this past August, and it immediately became one of our most-loved kitchen items. It feels like a small way to treat ourselves during this time where we’re home so much and buying coffee out is at a major low for us (which is great, actually). It’s also so convenient for me to make decaf drinks (hi, pregnancy!) and him to choose caffeinated. And here’s something fun about Nespresso: Don’t worry about excess waste, because unlike Keurig cups, Nespresso pods are recyclable! You can order bags to collect them and send them to Nespresso to recycle for you — super simple.
Kiava Striped Legging: These are some of the best leggings I’ve ever owned, AND they come with the added benefit of being available in matching kids’ sizes. Swoon! (Maggie and I each have a pair of these striped leggings in black and love wearing them together.)
Ultimate Renewal Bath Set: This three-piece set is perfect-for-a-pandemic luxury in a box. It can be hard to find time for ourselves right now, but this set makes it possible to carve out just a little bit of me time and pamper yourself in the process. It includes a dry brush to use on the body to increase circulation and improve lymph function before showering or bathing, a body polish to gently exfoliate in the shower or bath, and an amazing-smelling body oil to hydrate after your shower or bath.
Almond Cow: This is the item I mentioned in the intro that I don’t own yet, but it’s on MY Christmas list this year! A very trusted friend has one and loves hers, and I am so excited for us to start making our own plant-based milk at home (and avoiding fillers in the process).
Athleta Momentum Long-Sleeved Top: I have to restrain myself from buying this in allll the colors because I just love this top so much! It’s perfect right now, while I’m pregnant, but will also be great this time next year when I’m no longer pregnant. I love the fit and length and the way it feels — this is a closet staple for me for sure! Plus, Athleta is a Certified B. Corp (so is Beautycounter, by the way!), which is a really amazing distinction to look for in companies you shop. It means they’ve met very high standards when it comes to the way they treat people, planet, and product. You can read more about B. Corps here!
Artis Makeup Brushes: After seeing ads for these brushes on Facebook and Instagram for a few months (and digging into the brand to learn more about them), I became intrigued with these brushes and grabbed a three-brush set on sale. Verdict? I LOVE THEM. This is the specific set I got, and the larger brush is awesome for foundation while the medium-sized one is now my go-to for eyeshadow! This would be a great gift for any makeup lover.
Mortier Pilon Kombucha Starter Set: Fellow kombucha lovers: This is a great set to start brewing your own kombucha at home! The process is much easier than you might think, and this set helps walk you through it. I’ve had mine for about three years and have been so happy with it!
I hope that was helpful and provided some inspiration. I’d love to hear what products YOU love and would include in your own holiday gift guide, so please comment with those things so I can also discover some new giftable items!