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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.
That's 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, 11 giftable finds that deserve their cult-beauty status.
Diptyque Tuberose Candle
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: 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? 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.
SK-II KARAN Limited Edition Facial Treatment Essence
People swear by this miracle water's power to remedy a number of skin issues including redness and dark circles. And now, the beloved pitera-packed essence has a festive new packaging, created in collaboration with artist Karan Singh, which makes it the perfect holiday gift for any skincare junkie who appreciates a beautiful #shelfie.
Kilian L’Oeuvre Noir Love Don’t Be Shy Travel Fragrance Set
An unexpected teaming of marshmallow, orange blossom, and amber puts 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.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
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.
Estee Lauder Limited Edition Jeweled Starfish Powder Compact 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 jeweled starfish powder compact is going to be the envy of all the ladies in the powder room.
Guerlain le Rouge G Lipstick
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.
Mason Pearson Pocket Brush
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 it's 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, transforming parched skin 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 star-laden case poised for cult status all its own.
Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers
Inspired by the recipes in a geisha beauty book that dates back to the early 19th century, Tatcha tops beauty lists with nearly every new launch, so it makes sense that its star product, beloved for its ability to absorb oil without disturbing makeup, has held its cult status for almost a decade.
Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil
Rodin’s Olio Lusso arguably 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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