Our Under $50 Gift Guide Is Here!
Featuring so many highly specific recs for (almost) everyone on your list
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It’s that time of year again: Gift buying season. There’s something so satisfying about finding the perfect present, but we’ll admit that wading through a sea of open tabs is no easy feat.
Whether you’re shopping for your bestie, your mom, or someone you barely know, we’ve enlisted some of our favorite shopping experts to help. Read on for highly specific gifts to cover just about everyone on your list, from home pottery kits to cult skincare staples. Need more inspo? Check out Alisha’s mega gift guide here. –Aliza
For the person whose self-care is skincare:
The morning after a night of too much salt (or too much wine), I always reach for an ice roller to soothe my puffy face. It brings the swelling down (hello again, jawline) and feels phenomenal. Doré's facial ice roller is a beautiful, elevated alternative to the cheap plastic ones proliferating Instagram.
For the minimalist who wants to wear more color:
An outfit does not exist that wouldn't benefit from the addition of a red sock. I love the Italian-made Merino wool socks from the highly covetable (and instantly recognizable) brand Comme Si—chic with a pair of loafers.
For the slicked-back-bun devotee:
When I'm two days post-wash day, the hair inevitably goes up into a slicked-back style. I love Crown Affair's chic silk scrunchies for securing my bun because they don't damage my hair like a regular hair tie. I've been finishing with Emi Jay's new Angelstick to slick back any flyaways for instant polish in five minutes.
Emma Wartzman, kitchen and dining writer at The Strategist
For the friend who is always cooking:
In my mind, a fancy bottle of olive oil is a no-fail gift, as good for your best friend who loves to cook as for the holiday party host (never show up empty handed, but maybe don’t bring yet another bottle of wine). And genuinely no shade to the vast world of trendy olive oil startups, but I have never tasted one as delicious — deeply fruity, exceptionally smooth, with a very slight kick — as this one from Pianogrillo. Just take note: It should be saved for drizzling on top of finished dishes and dunking hunks of bread.
For someone whose New Year’s resolution is time management:
Yes, it’s easy to set your phone timer, but wouldn’t it be nice to have one less reason to be dependent on the thing? This analog version is designed by Italian company Alessi (reminiscent of their iconic tea kettle I’ve personally had my eye on for years) and will look sleek sitting out on the counter.
For true salad obsessives:
For the salad heads (or avid hosts), I love these serving utensils from Areaware. No one does the intersection of playful and functional better.
For the truly Type A:
I actually had a friend gift these book dots line markers to me last year (and I like them so much, I recommend them in a Strategist guide, too). I use them to mark recipes I want to make in cookbooks instead of finicky Post-it notes that stick out sloppily and tend to come undone.
For the person whose personality is produce:
A realistic vegetable-shaped candle like this artichoke one is forever because it’s simply too cute to burn. Lost & Found is one of my favorite shops and you can peruse more produce options there, plus John Derian sells some other food candles by the same maker.
For the person who never has too many condiments:
This is a bit of a to-do, but one of my favorite things to give is a DIY set of fun and fancy pantry staples where you wrap everything together yourself. Some standouts to get you started: Mama Teav’s Hot Garlic, Poschiavo Extra Long Spaghetti, Burlap & Barrel Silk Chili, Bjorn Corn Popping Kernels, Primary Beans Dried Chickpeas, Wilder Hot Honey Mustard, One Trick Pony Peanut Butter, Al Frantoio di Aldo Armato Artichokes. Just set your budget and then mix and match a few.