If the proliferation of Christmas music through my eardrums is any indication, it’s holiday season. That means it’s the one time of year when you have to think about other people and not just yourself (bummer). However, as a conceited person, I’ll say that there is no rush quite like the influx of praise you receive from buying someone the perfect gift. But that is hard to do, so I’ve rounded up some gifts that will get you those compliments you so badly need, organized by price point. Whether you’re ballin’ on a budget or straight ballin’ you can find something on this list.
All of these items are under $50, so they’re perfect for the person you like, but not too much. If you’re looking for something more luxe, check out our other 2019 Gift Guides for items from $50-150, and over $150.
$25 & Under:
scünci Scrunchie Style Box, $9.99
Scrunchies, like everything else that was popular in the 90s, are back in style. But since spending more than, like, $10 on a single scrunchie just feels wrong, you can get this entire set of eight for that much money. There’s a velvet one, a sequined one, a silky looking one… basically, a scrunchie for every outfit.
This $22 value is only $12, which is basically free. Murad’s Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture cream is what all our crusty winter skin needs, and the bright shiny ornament-like packaging is so festive.
Recess Travel Kit, from $12
I’ve used these wipes while traveling and after workout classes, and they are an actual life-saver. The travel kit gives you either full or mini sizes of their Face 201: Bacteria Fighting Wipes, Body 101: Deodorant Wipes (aluminum-free), and Body 301: Aloe Wipes. These are ideal to use in a pinch if you’re kinda gross but can’t shower (i.e. just left a fitness class or just got off a plane). Though they don’t come in this pack, the hair wipes are also amazing because they get all the sweat out of your hair, and the face wipes are also super convenient.
Okay, you know this is hilarious, but unlike a throwaway gag gift, this sleep mask is actually useful. Described as “a mini pillow for [your] eyes” by an actual review, our eye mask will help you block out the bullsh*t… and by bullsh*t, I mean light.
Aerie Glitter Earmuffs, $15.95
When you don’t know what to get someone for the holidays, get them some fun earmuffs like these ones from Aerie. No matter who you are, what you look like, what you believe in, we all get cold ears in the winter time. I love the hot pink ones because they’re obnoxious, and the headband part is sparkly, which is perfectly festive.
This is actually the cutest stocking stuffer. This little ornament contains pH-color-changing rosé glimmer balm that automatically adapts to the perfect color for you based on your pH. Plus the ornament doubles as a carrying case.
You love listening to Jared and Jordana play Red Flag or Deal Breaker on the U Up? Podcast, now take the fun home with you with our original card game. Whether you’re having a girls’ night in or need a game to liven up your summer share house, these cards are the perfect way to figure out just how low your group’s dating standards are. The game comes with 52 red flag/deal breaker cards, plus a card holder.
Who doesn’t need glitter right before holiday party SZN and NYE? Free People just launched a mineral-based shimmer formula that provides subtle, buildable, natural-looking sheen that can be used anywhere on the body. For your clean beauty betches, it’s free of parabens, silicones, phthalates, synthetic colorants and synthetic fragrances—and the packaging uses no plastic. It comes in four shades: gold, rose quartz, opal, and amethyst.
bartaco Hot Sauces, $20
With locations from Georgia to Colorado to New York, and many more, bartaco is a coastal inspired taco eatery that is literally popping up everywhere. If you don’t have a location nearby, you can still take the bartaco taste home with their trio of three signature hot sauces. The 3-pack includes Habanero, Jalapeño, and Roja.
If you want to give someone the gift of an influencer-worthy unboxing, pick up the ROUTEINE KIT, because the packaging is seriously so cute I didn’t want to throw out the box. This $70 value will only cost you about a third of that, and it contains THE EVERYTHING DAY and NIGHT, skin “multitaskers” that boast anti-aging, firming, moisture, and more; THE GOLDEN RULE retinoid; and THE GIRLFRIEND primer, which Mandy Moore used to prep for the Emmys.
If you’ve ever needed a blade, or scissors, or a nail file, and not had one, then you know how useful having a Swiss Army knife is. This little one comes with all that plus a few other extras, and they have cute patterns inspired by food. So really, what’s not to love?
Okay, so like, it might feel kind of shady to give someone a gift that implies, “your under-eyes are super dark and puffy!” However, these are so cute and these eye masks are all over Instagram, so I think you can get away with it. These energizing eye masks contain collagen, vitamin C, and everyone’s favorite skincare ingredient, hyaluronic acid. They come in a pack of 12 or 24, so it’s worth the price tag. Plus, this gift gives you and whoever you give it to an excuse to have a [streaming service of your choice] + face masks night.
For the serious insomniac in your life (hi), it’s time to pull out the big guns with this weighted sleep mask that contains a half pound of evenly distributed weighted beads, an adjustable velcro strap, and premium fleece to get your ass to sleep.
Hot girl summer was exhausting, and I don’t know about you, but I’m positively excited to settle into cold girl winter. All it means is I don’t leave my apartment and just sit with this lavender scented candle all day and night.
Off Topic Card Game, $30
If you’re tired of Cards Against Humanity, try Off Topic. Basically, you draw a card to determine the topic, then roll the die to determine the letter all your answers have to start with. Once you flip over the hourglass, everyone has to race to write down as many answers under the designated topic that start with the designated letter. Then you get to defend your questionable answers to everyone else playing the game.
Do you have a friend with tired, dry hair? Weird flex, but ok. This elixir that works either as a leave-in treatment or finishing oil comes in the cutest little flask, and I’m a sucker for cute packaging. Especially if that packaging could be reused to sneak alcohol into the club…
So, these candles are a little out-there but I think they’re so fun. Basically, it starts out as a cute geometric animal candle, but then when you burn it, it reveals a metal skeleton. I feel like we all have that friend who is still obsessed with Tim Burton and used to love Hot Topic back in the day, and I have a feeling that friend will appreciate this candle.
I am not a gin person, so I am judging a bottle by its cover here. But, like, that black bottle is so chic. This gin has the classic gin flavor of juniper berries, plus notes of hand-picked Indian botanicals, like coriander and vetiver. Look, if you can actually taste those notes, more power to you. All I taste is my impending inebriation.
Dormify x by robynblair Candy Prints, from $39
Robyn Blair Davidson has become a big deal for turning her candy obsession into literal art. So, following that logic, her prints (a collab with Dormify) are the ideal gift for anyone with a sweet tooth who needs to liven up their walls a little bit.
I have a Sonix portable charger and always get so many compliments when I whip it out. They have way cuter ones than just the standard black boxy thing everyone else has, and still provide an extra 16 hours of battery life for all your iPhones.
This kit contains a cannabis facial moisturizer, cannabis cleansing foam, and scrunchie. But don’t get too excited… the products do not contain CBD or THC—just cannabis sativa seed oil. Still, it makes for a cute gift for your stoner friend who you don’t want to just gift a dime bag for Christmas.
Don’t let the size fool you—this little guy can pack some serious sound. (Sorry you can’t say the same about…. Well, nvm, you know where I was going with that). But since it’s still small, it’s easy to carry around and bring to your friend’s house party, the beach, or wherever you’re going.
Forget about the Disney Vault, it’s all about the Moroccanoil Beauty Vault. This limited-edition set, first of all, looks luxe as hell, and it also contains seven of Moroccanoil’s best-selling hair and body products, in perfectly convenient travel-size versions. TSA can’t tell you nothin’.
Under $50 for a pair of legit, not-paper-thin leggings sounds too good to be true, but it’s real. I personally love a high-waisted legging, and these fit really well. As in, they won’t be falling down but you won’t have your breathing cut off either. Their sports bras also fit well and provide good support. It’s a holiday miracle!
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