With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to get a leg up on our holiday shopping! And while Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals tempt us to consume, consume, consume, we must make conscious decisions about which retailers to support.
Shopping is necessary this time of year, so being a consumer is unavoidable. After all, we need gifts for our loved ones, and it *is* O.K. to treat yourself to something you’ve been eyeing once in a while. However, @bonfirebeachkids shared an important message via Instagram last week:
Every purchase you make sends a message. And for every great point about what we [as brands and retailers] are doing to help the planet and the people building our goods, there is a valid counter point. Everyone is a critic, but very few are taking accountability for our actions. Here’s what I believe – Every one of you is going to shop anyway. Whether for yourself, or for others. So shop with your heart, and make buying decisions you believe in…PLEASE [GO] SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD RETAILERS. Because if you don’t, they aren’t going to be around much longer! But whatever you do, buy what you believe in and GIVE BACK to charities and those in need along the way. Be thankful we live in a world where we actually have all the options that we do, and follow the path that feels right for you.
This is advice all shoppers can (and should!) take to heart this holiday season. That being said, I rounded up quite a few products–in all price ranges–from amazing brands that I love and trust. And because these brands are so careful to craft their products, these are gifts you’ll *actually* looove to give (and receive)!
Similarly, giving back to our communities as a whole is just as important as buying gifts for our loved ones this season. One thing that holds me back, however, is not being able to trust 100 percent of charities out there.
Although it flat-out sucks we have to be careful when choosing a charity, there are quite a few out there that have rightfully earned a bad reputation. So, I added info on four of my favorite charities to this his-and-hers holiday gift guide!
Happy shopping! Be sure to leave your favorite holiday gifts (to give and receive), as well as your favorite charities, in the comments below. Xoxo
Stabilo Pens, set of 30: For anyone who likes to stay organized, this set of 30 fine-point markers are a must-have. The .4 millimeter tip ensures writing is a breeze, while an array of colors makes getting the job done a little more fun. $13.58, amazon.com
Bite Beauty The Perfect Pair Amuse Bouche lipstick & lip pencil $15, sephora.com
Pop & Suki Pouf Pencil $18, popandsuki.com
ColourPop All I See Is Magic eyeshadow palette: This jewel-toned eyeshadow palette, complete with 15 individual hues, definitely isn’t something she’ll pick up for herself. $20, colourpop.com
Free People Agate Powerbank Charger: Every 21st-century gal needs a portable phone charger. This one looks just as cute as the purse in which she’ll put it. $24, freepeople.com
Pop & Suki Soup Tin Candle $25, popandsuki.com
ColourPop Golden State Of Mind eyeshadow palette: Another gorgeous ColourPop palette–this one is full of 15 glittery and metallic shades! $26, colourpop.com
Bali Body Shimmering Body Oil: If natural skincare is her thing, she’ll love this luxe body oil. With a hint of bronze for an instant, wash-off tan and gold shimmer, this fast-drying formula is unlike anything she has in her collection. $29.95, balibodyco.com
Glossier Custom Balm Trio: A good lip balm is a must-have, so give her three fun flavors of your choosing! Pick from tinted, un-tinted and even sparkly flavored balms. $30, glossier.com
Glossier Body Hero Duo: Upgrade her shower with these one-of-a-kind products! Daily Oil Wash fills her shower with a gorgeous neroli scent, while Daily Perfecting Lotion gives her skin a glow-y, moisturized sheen from the neck down. $35, glossier.com
Bite Beauty Champagne Discovery Lip Set: This universally flattering 3-part set has something for every occasion. The matte Multistick can be used on her eyes, cheeks and lips; the lip pencil preps her pout for any lip color she’ll add afterwards; and the gloss is perfect for any special occasion from date night to New Year’s Eve with the gals. $35, sephora.com
Glossier Mask Duo: One for when her skin’s feeling dirty, and another for when it’s feeling dry. $40, glossier.com
Pop & Suki Leather Notebook: This personalized leather notebook will keep her organized–and stylish–in the new year. $40-$50, popandsuki.com
Dady Bones Puff Ball Earrings: As seen on mega babe Behati Prinsloo! $45, dadybones.com
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: Not only does this unique mask smell like a dream, it actually works–and it will look ultra-luxurious on her top shelf. $45, sephora.com
St. Tropez Award Winning Kit: For the self-tanner junkie on your list, this kit has everything she needs for a top-to-toe glow. $49, ulta.com
Glossier Cloud Paint Quad: These user-friendly, utlra-pigmented cheek tints are unlike any other product on the market. Save on all four hues when you shop the Quad, and the ladies on your list can create custom hues by mixing their favs together. $55, glossier.com
Glossier You: The ultimate personal fragrance. $60, glossier.com
Bali Body Sunshine Trio (SPF 6) bundle: Give her her choice of scent with this set of three nourishing body and tanning oils. $65.95, balibodyco.com
Bali Body The Complete Glow bundle: She’ll glow even when there’s no sunshine with this cult-favorite BB Cream, instant bronzing lotion and body/tanning oil. $69.95, balibodyco.com
Hot As Hell Comin’ In Haht Bodysuit: Bodysuits are the must-have fashion item because they’re so versatile. Embrace “slow fashion” by gifting her this gorgeous lacy number from sustainable label Hot As Hell. $70, shop.hot-as-hell.com
Pop & Suki Zip Pouch: This wallet and travel pouch also doubles as custom clutch for her next night out. $75, popandsuki.com
Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil: Negin Mirsalehi created the ultimate luxury hair oil. This multitasking formula is infused with honey to keep hair healthy. And because beekeeping has been the Mirsalehi family business for generations, you know she can trust it. $84, gisou.com
Bali Body The Golden Traveler bundle: For the beach babe in your life. Your girl will have everything she needs for her next vacay (or stay-cation) with the ultimate BB bundle. BB Cream and Moisturizing Lotion will be her daily saviors, while Moisturizing Sunscreen and a choice of tanning oil will keep her skin glow-y and smooth on the beach. $99.95, balibodyco.com
Reformation Pajama Set: Every gal needs something cozy up in this time of year. In Ref’s classic pajama set, she won’t have to sacrifice style–or sustainability–for comfort! $128, thereformation.com
Are You Am I Cruxe Choker: Dainty chokers are the It accessory. Start (or add to!) her collection with this beauty from AYAI. $129, areyouami.com
$130 and Up
Prynt Pocket Smartphone Instant Photo Printer $150, bloomingdales.com
For Love & Lemons Vanessa Bra $95, and Vanessa Thong $77, shop.forloveandlemons.com
Fiorucci Angels Sweatshirt: She’ll be cozy while she sets trends in this cool-girl label. $175, fiorucci.com
Pop & Suki Camera Bag: This surprisingly spacious cross-body bag will quickly become her go-to for every occasion. $195, popandsuki.com
Hot As Hell 1 Track Mind Pant $198, shop.hot-as-hell.com
Crystals: A unique way to decorate her space while channeling positive energy, crystals are available in all shapes, colors and sizes. Prices vary, celestial-awakenings-crystals.com
Literally Me, coffee table book by Julie Houts: “Instagram’s favorite illustrator” depicts life in the 21st century life (as well as tales from her childhood) in her first official publication. Prices vary, juliehouts.com
Wildflower limited edition iPhone cases: These Insta-famous iPhone cases are cute and durable. Prices vary, wildflowercases.com
Byredo fragrances and home fragrances: Staple pieces on every It girl’s top shelf, Byredo’s high-end perfumes and candles are everyday luxuries she’ll love. Prices vary, byredo.com
And for him…
Personalized water bottle by S’well: He’ll never misplace this drink bottle because it has his name on it! (Plus, it keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.) $35-$55, swellbottle.com
Lush Cosmetics Five O’Clock Whisle Shaving Smoothie: The cruelty-free, eco-friendly label says it best! Per Lush’s website, “soothing lavender and invigorating coffee with nourishing jojoba oil and olive oil for the closest, softest shave possible. Kiss razor burn goodbye and say hello to silky smooth, perfectly soothed skin.” $13.95, lushusa.com
Lush Cosmetics Veerappan Moustache Wax: Help him soften and sculpt his facial hair with this blend of nourishing waxes and oils. But beware–you’ll want to borrow some of this for yourself because it also helps seal split ends. $17.95, lushusa.com
Fiorucci Playing Cards: A deck of cards emblazoned with Fiorucci’s signature angels puts a trendy twist on an old-school favorite. $32, fiorucci.com
Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch 3-pack Boxer Brief: The #MyCalvins gang isn’t just for us gals. $42.50, calvinklein.us
Fiorucci Robot iPhone Charger: Your guy needs a portable charger, too. This one from Fiorucci features art from the label’s archives. $50, fiorucci.com
Patagonia Men’s Houdini Jacket: A lightweight, durable and water-repellent jacket folds into its own pouch so your guy can save room in his backpack or luggage. $99, patagonia.com
Don’t forget to give back!
This time of year is about giving back to your community and to charities close to your heart. For the past several years I’ve supported Kelsey’s CHRISTmas. Kelsey and I met during our undergraduate studies at West Virginia University and became fast friends.
After losing her older sister to leukemia, the med student launched her namesake charity to make the holidays brighter for the children (and the ICU staff!) of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Kelsey’s CHRISTmas, which is in its 11th year, raises more than $20,000 annually. In the years to come, Kelsey hopes to bring her CHRISTmas to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Click here to make a donation to Kelsey’s CHRISTmas via PayPal, and here to learn more about the charity. If you are in the Pittsburgh area and would like to donate your time to Kelsey’s CHRISTmas, visit the charity’s Facebook page.
Growing up with a father who works in tech, I’ve always been computer-savvy. But, it wasn’t until recently I discovered all girls (and women!) are not so lucky. That’s why I love Girls Who Code, an organization that inspires, educates and equips girls for careers in STEM fields. Visit the organization’s website to learn more and to make a donation.
After a semester-long project that focused on food access problems and solutions, I fell in love with Feeding America. This organization helps resolve hunger in the U.S. via 60,000 food banks and meal programs across the country. Together, they provide healthy, nourishing foods to millions of hungry Americans. To learn more about Feeding America and to make a donation, visit the organization’s website.
The holidays in America would be nothing without those who fight daily for our safety and freedom. As 1 in 3 military vets suffers from PTSD, supporting our troops is necessary. Wounded Warrior Project is a trustworthy charity that cares for America’s bravest. Click here to support this organization.