Photographed by Alexandra Genova
Hello fine ITG reader! We’re back today with an announcement: There are, absolutely, too. many. gifts. Somebody had to say it. Not too many gifts in the sense that there are too many people on your gifts-to-give list (although, maybe that is a little true for you…) But more so the gifts issue that we’re talking about is that there are too many doodads, and whatchamacallits, and objets that would make fantastic gifts. It’s overwhelming! The gift of choice when it comes to gifts is actually kind of a headache.
So here’s a solution to your gift-giving decision paralysis: A one-stop-shop where you can find a little something special for everyone in your life. The best part? Most are under a hundred bucks, although we did include a few bigger ticket items for flavor. Buckle up for a hairdryer from the future, a cookbook (literally) fit for royalty, and affordable, timeless jewelry. There are also toys for adults (no, not that kind), and a lipstick that doubles as art. And more! Quit procrastinating, and get scrolling.
For Your Folks
So, you’re stuck on what to buy your parents… Been there. How about Le Puzz’s Match Made in Heaven 1000-piece puzzle? It can function as a 2-in-1 present when you offer to build it with them. A gorgeous design and quality time? You’ll be crowned “Best Kid” in no time. If that’s not your vibe, consider Love Is A Pink Cake, the latest cookbook from Clare Ptak, the London-based, California expat who famously made Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake. They’ll love making Ptak’s Stacked Blackberry Jam Cake and serving it at their next dinner party, especially if you spoil them with HAY and Laila Gohar’s Sobremesa Napkins, too. The whimsical embroidery is sure to be a conversation starter. Win-win-win.
When in doubt, go for a luxurious candle. SIDIA’s Pyro pairs rainier cherry and mandarin with peppercorn, rose, and peony to create an intoxicatingly warm scent that’ll help them shake the weight of the day with just a sniff or two. For the fragrance-adverse, there’s Doré’s Le Glaçon. It’s a facial ice roller made from stainless steel, so they can stick it in the freezer for a quick chill just minutes before they want to depuff their face. They’ll probably think of you every time they roll it on their face, and isn’t that cute?
For Your Friends
Your friends are no dummies, and they know a cheap-o lip balm is just fine, but this time of year, fine doesn’t cut it. You need drama! You need decadence! You need Westman Atelier’s Squeaky Clean Liquid Lip Balm! It does the work of a balm with the finish of a gloss. And it’s plopped in a tube so beautiful that your bestie will want to whip it out each moment she gets. Maybe as often as she grabs her phone, now that it’s tucked in a case from Bailey Hikawa that’s ergonomic, yes (fingers comfortably rest on its curves), but also a conversation piece. It also functions as a stand, so your friend can distract their toddler with a Ms. Rachel video hands free (oh, is that just me…?)
Moving along, there are some great smelling gifts to give, too. Loewe captures the enduring tranquility of the smell of tomatoes in its incense, which comes with a pretty stand to collect falling ash. Meanwhile Glossier’s You eau de parfum is the quintessential signature scent. It smells like how a soft sweater feels, but with a slight edge to make it modern and a little peppery. And if all else fails, give your friend an elegant brush! They’re probably working with one that’s overdue for a refresh anyway. Emi Jay’s mini boar brush in Leche will look at home on your friend’s dresser or bathroom counter.
For Your Special Someone
A loved one deserves a gift that they’re going to love over and over again, which is why these gifts come with an ad infinitum use mission statement. Say, for example, a blowdryer. No doubt your special someone already owns one, but if they’re really married to theirs, they’re due for a luxury upgrade. Dyson’s Airstrait does the heavy lifting of a blowdryer without the heat damage. It doesn’t seem like it should work, but it does! But of course not everyone’s a hair person, sometimes they’re just about skin. In that case, Dr. Dennis Gross’ red light lip mask is the gift of smoother, plumper lips that’ll outlast anything from a tube.
For a wearable option, Abel’s Side Set ring is a twist on a classic. From above, it looks like a naked band, but a peek from the side reveals its dainty white diamond. That said, Buck Mason’s heavy tee is the antithesis of dainty, but it’s the last t-shirt your boyfriend will ever wear. It’s a perfect fit—neither baggy nor slim—and primed for dressing up or down. Grace Wales Bonner herself might approve. Her goods are certainly pricier than Buck Mason’s (and good luck getting your hands on her Adidas collab), but the London designer’s new book, rife with beautiful portraits and poems, is within reach for a cool $65.
For Your Sibling
The beauty of a sibling is that if you were to give them a slightly passive aggressive gift, they’ll still love you. Case in point: Hermès’s Plein Air Blotting Papers. They’re undeniably stylish—they’re watermarked with Hermès’s signature “H” for crying out loud—but your sibling will still probably ask what you’re trying to say. You’re on your own there.
For the sibling who spent a large chunk of time scrolling through #SkinTok this year, you can’t lose with Sofie Pavitt’s Nice Ice. These toner pods, created by New York City’s It facialist, are formulated with glycerin, niacinamide, green tea extract, and ashwagandha to soothe skin, whether it was irritated by a long day in the sun or a run-of-the-mill breakout. If #BookTok was more their speed, pick up Clare Daverly’s debut novel Talking At Night for them. It’s especially perfect for those with a Normal People-shaped hole in their hearts. And for the #FilmTok girlies, look to Sofia Coppola’s Archive, a 488-page look at the making of her eight films, 2023’s “Priscilla” included.
When all else fails, there’s always Sonny Angels—you know, the delightfully weird, pocket-sized dolls adorned with wings and headgear resembling all sorts of things, from vegetables to fruit to flowers. Bella Hadid shared her collection of cherubs—who you might be surprised to hear were created specifically for stressed out 20-somethings—on Instagram earlier this year, and they’ve also gotten so popular that groups keep popping up to swap the collectibles. Cute, supermodel-approved emotional support that hovers around $10? Do we need to say more?
For Someone You Don’t Know *That* Well
If you’re gifting someone who holds a regular presence in your life but you never seem to get into the specifics of their taste, you can’t go wrong with KOBA’s Touch Me Hand Cream. It’s silky in texture without being sticky or greasy, and it comes in a chic aluminum tube that will look good both on a desk or spilling out of a purse. Extra points if you pair it with SSONE’s nail polishes. Pick one color (like a limited edition dusty rose), or level up with a set of three (and add in a trendy brown or a classic nude).
If you’ve established that they can handle (some) spice, look no further than Flamingo Estate’s Spicy Strawberry Fruit Snack. Dried strawberries sprinkled with guajillo chile, Himalayan pink salt, and key lime make for an addicting treat that guarantees they can’t have just one at a time. They might even finish the whole jar in a sitting—we’re all too familiar. For a non-spicy option, the Ceremonial Blend from Rocky’s Matcha, the latest status matcha brand that’s actually worth its weight in salt, makes delicious lattes.
Or how about a pair of socks? Yes, socks, the gift you couldn’t help but hate as a kid but can now admit is actually kind of the best. Comme Si’s Mongolian cashmere version is a serious upgrade from plain cotton ones. These are pairs that are meant to be shown off—and luckily, they come in a wide array of colors.
You had a year! Some stuff happened, and some stuff didn’t happen, which is as good a reason as any to give yourself something to celebrate. Raise a glass in your honor with Sophie Lou Jacobsen’s collab with Ghia: a totem cocktail glass with pink and sage colored stems. And while you’re at it, gift yourself quite literally with a bow c/o Sandy Liang. It’s the accessory of the moment and come on, you know you deserve it.
On the makeup front, Fara Homidi’s Essential Lip Compact is the most glamorous beauty product you can own. The hand feel of the compact is satisfaction in your palm, and the pigments will absolutely turn you into a lipstick fiend. Not into reds? You will be because Fara’s made the perfect two—a warm tone for lighter complexions, and a blue red for darker skin tones. Same goes for the two nudes. You will be feral for a lip.
And what would the holidays be without new jewelry? Go the classic route with Completed Works’ pearl and topaz-studded hoops. Or try something a little more Gen Z with Rachel G’s gold bubble charms. Spell out your initials or hint at a phrase. Happy holidays! ILU from ITG.