A Practical Holiday Gift Guide

Since Christmas is right around the corner, I wanted to share some gift ideas for your friends and family.  Here's a list containing items that can be useful to almost anyone who receives them!

  1. This is one of the best holiday deals available.  Since my hair is on the thicker side, I typically wrap my hair tie around three times in order for my ponytail to securely stay in place.  Upon removal of the hair tie, I’m usually left with an unnatural crease and several strands of hair pulled out. Since getting these Slip Skinny Silk Scrunchies from Dermstore, however, I’ve actually enjoyed putting my hair up!  These scrunchies are gentle on my hair, and they keep my ponytail in place without creasing.  I’ve tried other hair ties that didn’t crease my hair, but they weren’t able to hold it in place for more than a few minutes.  These scrunchies are soft, comfortable, crease-resistant, and don’t pull or tug at my hair.  This is a great stocking stuffer.

  2. This is the perfect compact umbrella for anyone to quickly place in their backpack, purse, clutch, briefcase, carry on or even your back pocket.  The Davek Mini Umbrella is an extremely lightweight and portable umbrella, measuring in at just seven inches when closed and weighing under a pound.  Most small umbrellas break easily, but the Davek Mini is built with a durable fiberglass reinforced six-rib frame system.  It has a lifetime guarantee which means that Davek will repair or replace the umbrella for free if it ever fails to work properly.  The loss protection is also perfect for those forgetful people in your life :)  If you lose the umbrella, you can use the unique serial number to purchase a replacement umbrella at up to 50% off the retail price.  Though this is pricey, given the brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction and service through their lifetime guarantee and loss protection, I think it’s worth the premium.

  3. Laptops can be really expensive, and I think it’s worth investing in some protective measures to ensure your laptop doesn’t get damaged.  In addition to using a hardshell case, I love using the Cherry Velvet Laptop Clutch from Sonix as an extra layer of protection for my MacBook Pro.  Before going to class, I put my laptop in here and place the clutch safely in my backpack.  This clutch has plush interior padding and a secure magnetic closure, making it easily accessible for me to pull out right before a lecture.  

  4. Just like with my laptop, I make sure to take care of my phone.  This Stargaze Case from Sonix protects my iPhone from drops and exterior scratches.  All Sonix cases have the added benefit of a limited lifetime warranty, which means the brand will replace your case for as long as you own the device for which the case is used.  This case has a scratch-resistant coating and raised shock-absorbent sides to protect your screen and camera.  Many similar cases tend to be bulky, so I like that this case offers the same amount of protection while being slim and lightweight.   

  5. This product gives you a sheer hint of coverage for an effortlessly natural look.  As a moisturizer and makeup product in one, Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer is beneficial for your skin while also providing you with your desired amount of coverage.  I especially appreciate that it contains SPF 30 to provide extra sun protection, and the vitamin C and E complex helps protect your skin from environmental aggressors. With an incredibly breathable formula, this tinted moisturizer truly feels like nothing on your skin.  It can be easily applied with just your fingers, so this is great for anyone who prefers to have a simple makeup routine with as few steps as possible. I love using this to achieve a 'no-makeup' makeup look!

  6. This concealer can either be used interchangeably with the tinted moisturizer or build up coverage on top of it.  With a medium to full coverage and crease-resistant finish, Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer seamlessly hides dark under-eye circles while feeling weightless on your skin.  If you don’t need all-over coverage with the tinted moisturizer, you can selectively apply this concealer to certain areas of your face and easily blend it out with the warmth of your fingertips.  If you need more coverage on top of the tinted moisturizer, you can use this to spot conceal.  It’s also transfer, sweat, humidity and water-resistant for up to 12 hours.  I like using this for days when I’m running short on time but still need some coverage.

  7. This lip balm includes natural oils and vitamins to nourish your lips while keeping them hydrated all day.  The Kosas Hyaluronic Lip Balm includes vitamin E to smooth and repair chapped lips while hyaluronic acid locks in hydration.  Whereas most lip balms require reapplication every couple of hours, I’ve found that I only need to reapply this about three times a day.  Although this is pricey, it surpasses any other lip balms I’ve previously purchased; this has quickly become my favorite, and it’s a very practical gift for anyone!

  8. This is one of the fastest absorbing lotions I’ve tried thus far; Flamingo’s Body Lotion deeply hydrates and gently exfoliates, leaving your skin feeling incredibly soft within moments of its application.  With Papaya Fruit Extract and White Willowbark Extract, a natural source of salicylic acid, it also works to improve skin’s texture and radiance over time.  I love that this doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky, and the Asian Pear and White Freesia scent is delightful, fresh and subtle.

  9. This is the perfect gift for anyone who loves skincare.  Starface Hydro-Stars are hydrocolloid stickers designed to get rid of those pesky imperfections.  Hydrocolloid patches are proven to reduce inflammation and accelerate healing upon removal, and they improve redness and pigmentation over time.  Apply the stars on clean, dry skin for at least six hours, and you’ll notice a significant improvement. They protect imperfections from outside bacteria, prevent scarring, and are a good addition to your night routine.  I’ve found that these work faster than other comparable products, and they’re particularly effective at healing blemishes without leaving scars.  

  10. With the holiday season also comes finals season, which typically entails many long, stressful nights; as a result, your skin likely won’t be at its best.  Luckily, this Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting and Refining Serum helps treat and replenish your skin. The Alpha Beta complex encourages natural cell turnover and helps reduce future blockage, toning and smoothing the skin.  Since I began using this, I’ve noticed clearer pores and smoother skin. I’ve implemented this into my morning and night routine and love the filtered effect it gives my skin during the day. Given all the photos that are taken during the holidays, this is the perfect skincare purchase!

  11. This last product has saved my hair from the brutal dryness of the winter months.  The Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother is a highly concentrated but lightweight leave-in reparative styling creme that eliminates frizz, strengthens and hydrates your hair.  Formulated with coconut oil and vitamin E, this creme not only allows my hair to air dry faster than normal, but it also leaves it incredibly smooth and moisturized.  I apply a pea-sized amount to damp hair, particularly concentrating the product on my mid-length to ends, and comb it through to ensure an even application.  It's weightless, highly effective, and great for your hair!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!