Whether your love language is gift-giving or not, it’s hard to deny the thrill of handing someone a present you know they’ll love. The problem is, of course, that this can isn’t so easily done — even with people you know well. Maybe they’re super picky (me), maybe they’re content with everything they have and don’t like clutter (my husband), maybe they seem to return everything they get — I don’t know your loved ones’ scenarios, but I do know a few options that would please just about anyone. (Take it from me, a beauty editor who’s tried everything and has given a lot of gifts.) Here are 17 universally-pleasing presents, in no particular order. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
A Dreamy Eye Cream and Eye Mask Bundle
I don’t know anyone who would turn down a product that made them look like they actually had a great night’s sleep, and the new Dieux Auracle eye cream is the exact one I’d reach for. It’s a gel-cream consistency that isn’t too heavy (meaning it won’t cause milia, those pesky white dots that can develop under your eyes from using an eye cream that’s too thick) and the glycerin in it helps plump up and hydrate dry, crepey skin, while palmitoyl tripeptide complex works to soften the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. Bonus: In this giftable Angel Eyes bundle, the eye cream is paired with Dieux’s viral silicone eye masks that will last longer than your longest relationship and keep your favorite eye cream close to your skin for increased absorption.
Cryo + Thermo Wands
Okay, these wands are the coolest (literally) — or they can be the warmest, depending on how you want to use them. Allow me to explain: Lilfox Cryo+Thermo Chill Wands can either be used cold (as cryotherapy) to minimize puffiness, firm, tighten, and calm the skin, or they can be used warm (as thermotherapy) and gently smoothed over a serum or face mask for a super-soothing spa-like effect. Perfect for the gadget lover in your life.
Very rarely can you miss with the gift of a candle — unless whoever you’re buying for hates floral scents and you get them a heady, rose-scented candle. The candles here are my favorites; they actually throw a scent and aren’t a waste of money. But if I had to narrow it down to two candles, I’d go with the Nette Magician Candle — it recently launched and smells like a cozy night by the fire, and the Aqua di Parma Bosco Candle. We’ve been burning both in our home lately and it smells like we’re putting up the Christmas tree while there’s a fire roaring in the fireplace. Not looking to spend over $50 on a candle for someone? Don’t sleep on the Bath and Body Works candles, like Vanilla Bean Noel and Merry Maple Bourbon, both of which smell incredible and are under $30!
A Face or Body Tool
The act of massaging your face with specific movements to help minimize any puffiness is not only effective and satisfying, it’s also relaxing and provides some sculpting results. One of the methods, called gua sha, is a technique rooted in traditional Chinese medicine that increases blood flow to the skin, contours, lifts, de-puffs, and leaves you with a youthful-looking glow. I fell in love with using facial tools after Sandra Lanshin Chiu, an acupuncturist and herbalist who specializes in gun sha, walked me through the entire technique (it’s also on YouTube!) years ago, and I really saw a difference.
I’m also a huge fan of dry brushing to flush your lymph (a fluid in your body that moves through your arteries and tissues to cleanse them) through your lymphatic system, draining at your lymph nodes (located in your neck, under your armpits, along your groin, and at the back of your knees). Fun fact: your lymph doesn’t have its own pumping system, like your heart does, so stagnant fluid can cause puffiness from head to toe.
Since learning all of this, I now have the following tools in rotation and highly recommend them as gifts for anyone (just be sure to instruct whomever you’re giving the gua sha tools to to use them with a serum or oil for some slip on their skin): Treatment by Lanshin Holiday Face and Eye Set, De la Heart Dry Brush Face and Body Bundle (dry brush from head to toe, which I do daily!), the Gilded Body Marble Body Brush in Black Flower, Chanel Le Lift Pro Accessoire de Massage, and the Facial Sculpting Wand, a vibrating and firming tool from LA-based facialist Shani Darden.
A Chic Bar of Soap (On a Rope)
This isn’t just any bar of soap — it’s the Loewe Home Scents Bar Soap, which smells like a patchouli dream. Available in three colors — dark green, off-white, and black — this gorgeous-smelling soap is also packed with exfoliating red algae and nourishing shea butter to keep your skin moisturized as it cleanses.
A Fragrance Sampling
Scent is incredibly hard to pick out for someone unless you know exactly what they like, so a sampler set, like the Maison Margiela Replica Memory Box Perfume Set, which features 10 mini version of their best-selling scents, like Lazy Sunday Morning and Jazz Club, or the Tom Ford Perfume Sampler Set with ten of their iconic travel-size fragrances, is ideal. This way, whoever you’re buying for can fall in love with a juice they might not otherwise have reached for, giving them the gift of opulent options.
A Gratitude Journal
There’s beauty in being grateful and I believe that giving someone the gift of space to be able to jot down their expectations for the day and what they’re grateful for is really powerful. This holiday, beauty brand Ouai (created by celebrity hairstylist and serial gratitude journalist Jen Atkin) partnered with the Five Minute Journal to help motivate you and help you “live life your Ouai” all of 2023. Ouai x Five Minute Journal.
A Manifestation-Rich Bath Ritual
I’m a big believer in manifestation — I believe that a lot of what I have in my life today is because I was intentional and wrote it down. Giving someone the space to relax and spend time learning what they really want is a powerful gift. Insert The Huntress New York Bath Ritual, which comes in two scents: Apollo (more energizing, yet deep with eucalyptus and black fir) and Artemis (headier, yet light with rose, black pepper, and lavender) and are offered in the form of a bath oil, bar soap, bath salts, and a candle. Buy them individually for someone you love or buy the entire bundle to give the gift of relaxation and the mental space and experience to intentionally think about what you want out of life.
An Electric Toothbrush
If you know someone who doesn’t yet use an electric toothbrush, allow me to say that they’re life-changing. Since I’ve started using one, almost 10 years ago, I’ve gotten the adult equivalent of a gold star every time I go to the dentist, walking out of my appoint with zero cavities. My favorite is the Apa Beauty Sonic Brush (which comes in black or white). The clean it gives is like no other because of its stiffer (but not abrasive) bristles and the 40,000 vibrations per minute it provides to a proper two-minute polishing.
A Facial Massager
We use the Theragun in our house almost every night, whether we workout or not, and I swear by this company’s products. They’ve entered the beauty chat with a facial massager device called the TheraFace Pro. Meant to reduce tension and relax tight facial muscles (anyone else clench their jaw while they sleep?), the hand-held tool also offers up different attachments that provide skin-toning microcurrent, anti-inflammatory red-light therapy, acne-targeting blue light, a tiny cone meant to address fine lines around your eyes and nasolabial lines, and a cleansing ring — the list goes on. This is truly a do-it-all product for anyone into skin care or high-tech innovations.
An Incredible Air Purifier
This is not just any air purifier — the Molekule Air Mini+ , a chic mini one that keeps your air fresh up to 250 square feet using PECO Technology. Created by scientists over the course of 25 years, this technology enlists free radicals to break down pollutants at a molecular level, including viruses, acne-triggering bacteria, mold, ozone, allergens — the list goes on — allowing you to breathe that much easier.