Even for those of us who quite literally shop for a living, tracking down holiday gifts for everyone on our list can make us want to pack it all in and go minimalist. We’ve spent days of our lives hunting down a present for a zombie-obsessed brother, a mom who claims to want nothing (but actually does), and a cousin whose only discernible interest is in long-haired chihuahuas.
Precisely why we appreciate our beauty-centric friends so much when the holidays roll around. Beauty gifts are easy, they’re pretty, they’re fun to buy — and best of all, you can’t go wrong when you give makeup, fragrance, or skincare that’s been vetted by beauty enthusiasts the world ‘round. Ahead, 10 giftable finds that deserve their cult-beauty status.
We’re with you: Spending $90 on a scented candle does seem like a Kardashian-level extravagance … so let’s come up with a couple good excuses: No.1 It burns for a full 90 hours, which breaks down to just $1 an hour — a bargain, when you look at it that way, right? No.2 Diptyque’s heady take on tuberose is the single best home fragrance on the market, at least in the humble opinion of the world’s most devoted beauty product patrons. Still can’t justify the purchase? The candle also comes in a smaller size with a much smaller $34 price tag to match.
An unexpected teaming of marshmallow, orange blossom, and amber put this confection of a fragrance at the top of many beauty obsessives’ lists. Created by LVMH heir Kilian Hennessey, the scent is equal parts sweet and seductive — and this travel set’s surprisingly weighty bottle is more luxurious than you could possibly imagine.
This insiders’ secret serum is powered by nearly two dozen natural actives that boost cell turnover without irritating skin, making it appropriate for everyone on your list, including the most sensitive skinned women you know.
Estée Lauder Sea Goddess Mirror by Monica Rich Kosann
Every holiday season, Estée Lauder launches a collectable, covetable series of pretty beauty baubles that, once you own them, you’ll never be willing to part with (at least not without a good cry). This year’s offering inspired by sea sirens clearly is no exception.
Guerlain’s most gorgeous lipstick deserves its status as a cult-beauty favorite based on its weighty tube with a tiny flip-out mirror alone. The fact that the product inside is perfectly creamy and comes in the most flattering of hues only boosts its cult-beauty status.
We’ll give you 50-50 odds any hairdresser you ask will name the Mason Pearson brush as her favorite beauty tool. The design was first launched in the 1880s and its been a cult favorite since for its ability to gently smooth cuticles and last for a lifetime.
Sisley Black Rose Mask
This mask is ultra moisturizing and smells nothing less than heavenly, turning parched skin around during the most relaxing treatment you can experience outside of a spa.
YSL Touch Eclat Dazzling Lights
Just a touch of this illuminating pen brightens up skin, no matter how tired, dehydrated or generally worn out you might feel. And this year it’s all dressed up in a starburst case poised for cult status all its own.
Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers
Inspired by the recipes in a geisha beauty book that dates to the early 19th century, Tatcha tops beauty lists with nearly every new launch, so it makes sense that their star-product, loved for its talent for absorbing oil without disturbing makeup, has held its cult status for almost a decade.
Rodin’s Olio Lusso arguable kicked off the beauty world’s obsession with face oils — and it remains the best according to those who love it. The reason? Eleven oils — spanning from neroli to jasmine — leave skin dewy and glowing like nothing else.
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