Gift Guide: The best beauty and wellness presents of 2020
Not everyone has time to shop around—not to mention most people have no desire to shop in stores at all right now—and look for the newest items on the market that could appeal to the loved ones and colleagues on their gift-giving lists. (Or for themselves, because let’s be honest, we look at holiday gift guides and deals for ourselves just as much as for others.)
And given everything that has happened in 2020, everyone needs a bit (or a lot) of self-care after this year. With that in mind, here is a helpful list of suggestions for the best gifts around promoting a healthy body and mind this holiday season.
Clé de Peau Beauté: Zoom meetings really brings out the darkness under your eyes, but a little concealer can do wonders. (Much more than the so-called Zoom beauty filter.) The Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Corrector For Eyes is a hybrid makeup and skincare product designed to effectively cover dark circles and dullness while targeting underlying causes with continued use. Providing long-lasting wear and moisture for eigh hours, the soft brush applicator is carefully designed for the delicate eye area and provides easy on-the-go application. SRP: $65.
Conture: After wearing a face mask for the last several months, you might have found yourself dealing with a resurgence of acne, or in 2020 parlance, “maskne.” The most urgent way to combat this is to clean your face thoroughly upon getting home and removing your mask, and simply splashing your face with water and a wash cloth might not be enough. The Aerocleanse facial cleansing device features an airflow stream that produces a rich, gentle lather and reduces friction on the skin. Its pulsating motion effectively removes traces of makeup, dirt, and oil better than fingertips. SRP: $99.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare: With many spas and other aestheticians shutting their doors again in the wake of another round of lockdowns, it’s time to (re)consider the at-home facial. Dr. Dennis Gross has become synonymous with salon-quality facial products and sets that bring all of those benefits and nutrients to your own setup at home. The “Peel. Glow. Be Merry” gift set includes 21 Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peels, a full-size C + Collagen Brighten and Firm Vitamin C Serum, and a kit-size C + Collagen Deep Cream moisturizer. With seven acids plus antioxidants and vitamins, at-home peel—Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel—lifts away dead skin while reducing visible signs of wrinkles, imperfections, and dark spots. SRP: $96.
InBloom: Amid the threat of both flu season and a global pandemic, it has never been more critical to be on top of getting your daily vitamins. For those averse to tablets or capsules, a smoothie is a ideal vehicle for consuming vitamins by dropping a supplement scoop in with your fruits and vegetables. InBloom, which counts actress Kate Hudson as one of its backers, has been in development for two years and launched in late summer. The collection consists of five jars of 100% plant-based supplement powders with whole-food nutrients and herbal blends, intended to provide better sleep, boost immunity, and improve overall health. The Energy Shift, for instance, is a green powder with flavor notes of matcha and ginger, which should provide an alertness boost but not at double-espresso levels. SRP: $50.
Hanacure: In the Before Times, going to get a facial was a nice splurge treat. But now it’s hard to come by in some areas depending on local regulations around what kinds of businesses and services can stay open during different phases of pandemic shutdowns. But at-home facials can be just as good and just as restorative. Korean skin care brand Hanacure’s anti-aging facial mask is already a cult classic, and the company also offers a four-piece, all-in-one facial set targeting fine lines and wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, large and clogged pores, dullness, and other woes. According to the company, up to 68% of customers saw hyper-pigmentation reduction after 28 days, and 63.7% saw wrinkle reduction after 21 days. SRP: $110.
Lelo: Sexual health is an oft overlooked realm of wellness, unfortunately often dismissed as taboo, or worse, irrelevant. Lelo, a Swedish intimate lifestyle company, has been striving to change the conversation with a line of, dare we say, sophisticated and simple-to-use upmarket massage and sex products for women, men, and couples. Lelo’s intimate products offer an aura of luxury and modernity, which has won the brand numerous design awards in the U.S. and Europe over the last several years. SRP: Starts at $70.
Lord Jones: Since CBD hit the mass market, gummies are among the most popular product to both by for oneself or give as a gift. And like any candy, some are better than others. But Lord Jones takes gummy candy to another level with pitch perfect flavors, a luxurious texture, and supremely elegant packaging. For the holidays, Lord Jones is releasing two limited edition gumdrops: sugarplum (featuring flavors of stone fruit with a hint of ginger) and spiced cranberry, (with notes of cinnamon and a subtle spice). SRP: $50.
Linhart: Even dental care can be zhuzhed up. Developed by a father-son dentist duo with more than 50 years of experience, Linhart makes what might be the most fashionable tube of toothpaste around, in an Hermès-esque shade of orange. But the cleaning and whitening products are also effective and taste great. The Linhart toothpaste contains aloe vera and linämel, enamel protection formulated with three essential ingredients: theobromine, fluoride, and xylitol. The result is a a mild mint taste with a tiny hint of anise and a smooth formulation when applying to a toothbrush. SRP: $44 for the smile enhancement collection.
Lumin: The Korean brand curated its skin management products formulated for men with all the essentials to help establish a proper routine. Whether he’s new to skin care or an expert, Lumin’s line of products are meant to help address the most common skin issues men deal with all year long, targeting concerns such as acne scar appearance reduction, clogged pores, dark circles under the eyes, fine lines and wrinkles, skin tone imbalances, and dryness. Lumin also clearly lays out all of the ingredients in each product in layman’s terms, from charcoal and ginger root extract to squalene and vitamin C. SRP: $85 for the complete collection, which includes the exfoliating rub, charcoal cleanser, moisturizing balm, dark circle defense, anti-wrinkle serum, and recovery oil.
Melach 33: Finding a good body butter can be tricky—you want something more moisturizing than a standard body lotion or cream, but you don’t want to feel like you’re covered in olive oil, either. The Silky Shea Body Butter from luxe CBD brand Melach 33 fits the criteria and then some. The spa-inspired body butter absorbs quickly—almost as soon as you apply it but without feeling the need to apply more—pumped with Dead Sea minerals and natural antioxidant plant oils, like grape seed, almond, pomegranate. SRP: $52.
Murad: Speaking of washing your face, a powerful cleanser is key to getting the job done. Murad’s new Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel is an oil-free, non-comedogenic, water-light hydrator designed to get rid of bacteria that can lead to irritated skin thanks to the inclusion of Hyaluronic Acid, Ginger Root Extract, and Salicylic Acid. The weightless, oil-free moisture absorbs into the skin fast to lock in hydration without a greasy feel and it should offer some relief to redness. SRP: $44.
Nutrafol: At a time when we are all beyond stressed, Nutrafol is a great fit to proactively take control of hair thinning and hair loss before it starts—or even after you’ve noticed more hairs than usual falling on your bathroom floor. Available for both men and women’s hair, Nutrafol targets the root causes of thinning—like hormones, stress, and poor nutrition—with a proprietary blend of 21 ingredients (including vitamins A, C, and D; biotin; and ashwagandha to balance hormones) touted for better hair growth within three months, packaged in capsule form. SRP: $79 on a monthly subscription.
Opte: Opte is a handheld, noninvasive beauty device that immediately scans, detects, and corrects for hyperpigmentation, emitting an included serum only for those areas and camouflaging them to naked eye. The serum contains 5% Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B used to treat acne, promising longer-term benefits as well. OPTE’s tiny digital cameras take 200 images per second to analyze the skin, and it has been shown during testing in the U.S. to cover 99% of all complexions after 10 years in development. SRP: Starts at $65 per month—for the serum refills. (The wand and charging cradle are included in the first delivery.)
Well Told Health: Founded by self-described serial entrepreneur Monica Ruffo after being diagnosed with breast cancer but less than impressed with the onslaught of “all natural supplements” when full of ingredients unfamiliar to most (if not all) consumers, Well Told Health supplements are 100% vegan and GMO-free, and touted to be “science based” in development with total transparency on what goes into them. (The company links to all of the research for each product on its website.) While the brand offers supplements for antioxidants and anti-inflammatory purposes, among other diet and health needs, perhaps the two things we all need help with most these days are energy and sleep. The energy capsules include organic beet and maca powder as well as organic matcha tea, while the sleep capsules include organic lemon balm and goji berries—and neither capsule is habit-forming. SRP: $60 for the energy and sleep supplements.
Vintner’s Daughter: Dubbed a holy grail product among skin care and beauty bloggers, the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum is being repackaged in a limited edition form with original artwork in collaboration with jewelry designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey. The artist says the special design of the 50-milliter bottle was inspired by Northern California’s wine country, also the home of Vintner’s Daughter. SRP: $325.