The beauty landscape changed a lot in 2020, as even the most adamant beauty lovers found themselves stuck at home. But even if you’re stuck in front of a Zoom screen all day, it still feels nice to build an effective (if simple) hair, skin, and beauty routine. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite, most-wanted beauty gifts for 2020—with a special eye for products that are well-designed, thoughtfully formulated, and simple to use from home.
Dyson Hair Tools
When the engineers at Dyson turned their research to building high-tech, effective, and damage-free hair tools, they did not disappoint. The company’s Supersonic Hair Dryer dries hair without any high heat in minutes, while the Airwrap and new Corrale rethink how we curl, straighten, and style our hair altogether. They don’t come cheap, but we guarantee they’ll be used often. And a pro tip: check out the deals page to nab one or more free gifts with purchase.
Glossier Fully Glossed Set
Glossier is beloved by it-girls and guys around the world for a reason: Its sleep products are designed to make looking naturally beautiful as easy as a few swipes. The Glossier Fully Glossed Look kit is the perfect set of essentials. The kit contains a shimmery liquid highlighter, lightweight cheek tint, super slick lip gloss, and holy grail brow thickener that are sure to be quick everyday favorites.
Olive and June manicure sets
D2C nailcare brand Olive and June helps even the clumsiest at-home manicurists get salon-perfect nails. The key to Olive and June’s success is the Poppy, a handy tool that makes painting with your non-dominant hand a breeze. In the Mani System, you’ll be able to send them six gorgeous, no-chip polishes in colors of your choice, plus the Poppy and nail essentials including polish remover, a clipper, cuticle serum, and more. With one set, you’ll set them up for beautiful nails all year.
ZIIP nanocurrent device
Salons and spas all have been closed down for months, or open with limited services. For the skincare guru in your life, the ZIIP nanocurrent device can give the gift of glowing, clear, energized skin from the comfort (and safety) of home. Nanocurrent facials at top spas can cost around $400 per session—so this device pays for itself after its first use.
KNC Beauty Masks
Is there anything more fun and luxurious for a skincare lover than a serum-packed sheet mask? KNC Beauty Masks products, from a company founded by beauty columnist and jewelry designer Kristen Noel Cawley, are an all-natural take on K-beauty’s famous sheet face, lip, and under-eye masks. The plumping, hydrating lip masks are full of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, and come in a delightfully playful hot pink lip shape, while the shooting-star-shaped under-eye masks combat dark circles with anti-aging retinol.
Kosas Clean Beauty
Clean beauty brand Kosas is all about effortless beauty staples, with no harsh or harmful ingredients. Gift them a five-minute makeup routine with the hydrating and lightly tinted Lipfuel balm, skin-nourishing Tinted Face Oil Foundation, and the aptly-named 10-Second Eye Shadow. If you ask us, 2021 is all about looking as good as possible, as easily possible.
Colourpop Gift Sets
For anyone in your life who enjoys the opposite of effortless makeup, we can’t recommend Colourpop’s delightful gift sets enough. Whether you’re buying for someone who deals in technicolor, pastel, or smokey eyeshadows, or who loves glossy, velvet, or matte lips, Colourpop has a gorgeous (and affordable) makeup set to match their style.
Crown Affair The Holiday Kit
Crown Affair makes all the accoutrements needed for a soft and silky mane, branded and packaged in sets fit for royalty. The Holiday Kit includes a wide-toothed comb that can be used in or out of the shower, while the smoothing serum is great to tame flyaways. More of a brush person than combs? Their gorgeous brushes come in a variety of styles for thick, fine, or tangled types.
Mutha Body Products
We could all use a little skin love in the winter, and no company delivers whole-body hydration quite as luxuriously as Mutha. The brand was created by founder Hope Smith, when during her pregnancy she found herself in need of deep hydration and unable to find clean options that worked well. What began as homemade recipes whipped up with food-grade ingredients in her kitchen has turned into a full line of ultra-rich, all-natural products. The Mutha Body Butter will bring even the driest skin back to glowing, while fast-absorbing Body Oil locks moisture in after a shower or bath. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from all sales supports International Medical Corps, a nonprofit organization that helps women across the globe deliver their children.
Rare Beauty Makeup Sets
Multihyphenate Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty line pairs gorgeous, high-pigment makeup with a cause close to her heart: mental health. One percent of all proceeds from the products goes to mental health research, while the makeup products are framed inclusively: “Makeup is something to enjoy, not something you need,” Gomez told Fast Company in August. The company’s gorgeous, richly pigmented eye shadow palettes come in adorable jewel cases while multiuse products such as the Lip and Cheek Duo make a playful flush a swipe away, on the go.
Sisley Paris Phyto Eye Twists
These multiuse sticks from Sisley Paris come in a variety of colors, from champagne pink to bright emerald green to deep, steely grey. The creamy, glittery blends can be used as all-over eyeshadows, or as Carine-Roitfeld-style smudgy eyeliner. The smudge-proof formula makes it easy to blend but then stays put all day and night once applied.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Ski Cream
From celebrity favorite Dr. Barbara Sturm comes a perfect cream for those braving the ski slopes (or the streets of New York in January). This oil-rich cream will keep skin from cracking and moisture from escaping even in the coldest, windiest of winter environments. Gift it to your favorite ski bum, or friends who just can’t resist spending time outdoors in frigid temperatures. Just make sure they also use sunscreen (we like Venus Williams’s EleVen sunscreen, or this luxe version from Mila Moursi).
Golde Turmeric Latte Blend
Outside beauty starts on the inside. This drink debloats and boasts skin-clearing turmeric as its key ingredient. Mix with your choice of milk for a hot, soothing drink at the end of the day, relaxing with a Kora Organics turmeric mask during or after your nighttime skincare routine.
Tata Harper Daily Essentials Set
Give someone the gift of a whole new skin routine. This kit, designed for all skin types, boasts everything you need—made in Vermont with all-natural ingredients—for a new a.m. and p.m. routine. A bonus: The green glass jars look beautiful on a shelf. Other sets with shelf appeal include Isla Beauty’s full regimen and Drunk Elephant’s Polypeptide Kit.
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