I created the DIVA Gift Guide this year with actual DIVAs in mind.
Which DIVAs you ask??
These 10 very specific ones we all know and love…
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who’d rather arrive late looking good than… than… wait, there really is no other option for her. When she does arrive, she is the life of the party.
The individual brushes vary in price (think like $35-$90 per brush depending on size) and you can also buys sets on Neiman Marcus or QVC. The QVC deal for $89 is pretty ahhh-mazing for 3 incredible brushes and brush cleaner. Artis brushes are game-changers and can take you all the way from skincare to cleaning up your cateye and everything in between. Check out specifically why I love these unusually shaped brushes here.
The Mehron contour palette we LIVE for. Lexi actually just did a makeup tutorial featuring it. And I use it personally and professionally all the time, like for example in this fun video I did for We Heart It on how to sculpt the face or this mini-makeover I did on contributor Melanie. The formula is smooth and creamy and you can build up for total coverage or sheer out for lighter coverage (read: a more natural effect). Of course the 12 shades in the palette are super blendable, making it ideal to contour and highlight that faccia bella.
Full disclosure – the packaging of the Mehron contour palette isn’t my favorite and I kind of hope they make a better one in the future, but for only $80 for all that product that will last and last, plus the phenom formula, it just makes you fall it love with it anyway. Plus, using it with the Artis brushes allows you to test fun contouring methods like pointillism and clown contour. Your DIVA who arrives late or not at all will love this gift. Trust me!
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who should have been an aesthetician. She can do at-home extractions and multi-mask like the best of ’em. Skin is in and she’s obsessed with it.
THE GIFT: Skincare Tools + An Assortment of Face Masks
For this gift, you can go super budget or super luxe. The choice is yours, and if you’re going to splurge I suggest doing it on the face mask side of things. For the tools, I have found that expensive ones work mostly the same as drugstore ones.
Some tools this DIVA will love –
- The Cricket Skin Care Extractor ($8). Because no blackhead left behind.
- The Lancet ($10). Actually made for a pro but she considers herself one and will use it with total and proper care. Mine is from Sephora (from years and years ago but no surprise, they no longer sell them). NOTE: This is a big step up from your average consumer product in terms of the skill and safety required. Buy with caution if your trust your DIVA.
- The Tweezerman At-home Dermaplaning Tool ($12). Because all those skincare benefits will penetrate much deeper and work much harder if you get rid of anything (read: everything!) that’s in it’s way (dead skin, peach fuzz, you name it).
As for facial masks, you know we LOVE a bunch. Like this one and these ones and ALL of these. You can actually get a bunch of quality sheet masks for like $1 each and you can also spend hundreds on jars or tubes. So this really depends on your DIVA and what you want to spend on her.
I personally love face masks because to me they are a super social self-investment. I always do them with friends at our at-home sip & spa nights. Some people Netflix and Chill — and with my husband, that’s cool — but I much prefer to Face Mask and Chill. And there is a DIVA on your list who does too.
Doesn’t this just look like a good time?!
Paul Christopher and I tested the Skyn Iceland Face Lift in a Bag, $19.50 for a set of 2 and if your DIVA is also interested in anti-aging, this one is PERF for her. It comes in a set of 2 and works on improving the appearance of forehead lines, eye lines and smile lines or any skin damage in those areas. It’s also kind of perfect for instaselfies and selfie-snaps.
Side note: What I love about Skyn Iceland as a brand is that it can be used on any skin type including sensitive skin, is vegan and cruelty-free and is free of parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, chemical sulfates, phthaletes, synthetic fragrance and dye. In a nutshell, no garbage here. Plus the brand is committed to educating on how stress affects skin and sharing stress-reduction methods through a panel of experts ranging from a cardiologist to a nutritionist to a Pilates instructor. Less stress is a gift anyone could use this holiday season!
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who works out to look good and makes no apologies. She doesn’t have time for her workout, she makes time. She’s also makes time to post about it, which makes you consider getting off the couch.
This bangle is the IT accessory for a work hard sweat hard kind of girl. Avail in rosegold, gold and silver and in a few different styles ($45-85), it is a solid bangle that holds an elastic hairband making it look like… you aren’t wearing an elastic hairband around your wrist. Which can ruin an otherwise perfect outfit — and also, THIS (so so so so so gross).
The bangle can also be engraved, adding a super personal touch. You can choose the inside, outside, or edge of the bangle for engraving a name, inspiring word or motivating mantra.
Plus, the bangle doesn’t leave a mark on your wrist like the hairband would and compliments other jewelry. Looks really great with an arm party of bangles.
Of course, this fashion-meets-function bracelet goes well with a giftcard to Dry Bar or Glam Squad so her workout and her blowout can peacefully coexist. She’ll love being able to squeeze in an extra workout AND get beautified after.
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who (gasp!) is not afraid to smile… WITH TEETH. Unlike the celebs in her weekly issue of US Weekly and unlike this infamous K sister. She paints on that red lip and she beams. DNGAF.
Of course pick a brand and a shade of red that you think your DIVA can’t live without – but if you are even a bit uncertain, go with Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense ($20) in #42 Satin Vermillion Red or #52 Rebellious Red. Or get her both. Nothing says IDGAF like bold red. This formula is super pigmented, comfortable on lips and long lasting.
Pair your red with pearly whites.
Crest Whitestrips ($45) may not seem like a sexy gift but included in this thoughtful beauty bundle they are perfect for the girl who wants that flawless smile but may not shell out almost 50 bucks on whitestrips herself. This style is called Luxe and in a way, is a small luxury. My husband and I used these daily for a week before our wedding and they brightened up our smiles in just days.
This Evolve toothbrush ($15) is so fancy there is a how-to video for it. Seriously. It has a “triple-flexing head design” that effectively cleans both teeth and gums. The science behind it (studies done at UPenn) show it is 3x more effective than the world’s best sonic and manual toothbrushes. And anyone who knows oral health knows better oral health leads to better total health. And anyone who knows design knows this thing looks cool and people will ask about it after seeing it in your bathroom. Your DIVA will dig it.
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who isn’t afraid to make a statement – one accessory at a time. Or maybe all at once.
What’s amazing about Bauble Bar is that the statement earrings are pretty much all $50 and under – yet look like megabucks were shelled. People always stop me on the street to compliment my Baubles and I always share the price which leads to shock and awe. Like these $28 ear jackets in hematite.
The quality is also really impressive for fashion jewelry and I’ve never had anything turn color or fall apart.
Bauble Bar is perf for the DIVA who takes tons of #OOTD shots and needs to keep it fresh to death with her accessory assortment.
Pair the statement earrings with a set of Bling Dots, $15 for 45 pairs. This genius invention keeps earrings properly placed on the ear, plus eliminates that dreaded gravity drag of a fabulous but heavy pair. It’s basically a hypoallergenic cushion foam that absorbs the weight of jewelry and keeps the earring comfortably positioned high. Just peel off the backing and stick them to the back of the ear lobe where the hole is, then put your earring on as usual with the post going through the dot in back. Easy breezy.
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who wants to be forever young. Or at least appear that way.
THE GIFT: A Gift Certificate to Her Dermatologist plus a NuFace Mini
This one doesn’t get any more clear cut. Whether it’s peels or lights or lasers or botox or injectibles, give her what she wants. Which is derm treatments. Which are not cheap so any amount you can give this DIVA towards it will count.
And if you want something for her (or him) to open, pair the giftcard with a NuFace Mini. Which is an FDA-cleared at-home microcurrent treatment that improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles, improves skintone and texture and leaves you with enhanced facial contour (hello, cheekbones!!). Now at $199, the mini isn’t cheap so you may want to make this one a group gift where people chip in, but she’ll enjoy the technology and science behind the gadget. And its small size allows her to travel with it.
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who is always perfectly polished. Like never a chip. Because she’s a gel-addict.
Gel manis are a life saver but they are expensive and getting to the salon is not alway convenient or possible. But nice nails are something this DIVA won’t compromise on. Which makes this gift awesome. Pick out a few shades you think she’ll love (~$10 each), plus the gel base coat and top coat ($25) and then an LED light to cure gel nails.
The Gelish LED lights come in various sizes and styles from super small and portable to bigger and badasser. Pick based on how much space she has and also your budget. This gift will come to the rescue at some point or possibly every 10-14 days. She’ll thank you for it!
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who gives good lip. But it’s never the same. She literally has a color for not only every day of the week but every occasion throughout the day. She’s got a shade for the gym by morning, work by day, date by night…
What I … LOVE!!! … about this $60 palette is the two empty pans. It’s just calling out to the artist within. You can wear any of the 16 shades as they come, of course, or better yet, you can use the empty pans to custom mix your own colors. OMG. YASSSSSSS. The possibilities are endless.
And to keep prepped and primed for all those lip wardrobe changes, of course the Bite Lush Lip Wipes ($12 for a set) are a great add-on. They gently remove color, hydrate and mattify.
BONUS! If you really want to rock this DIVA’s world, give the gift of a signature custom lipstick. For $30, you can submit an exact formula using the 16 base shades and the correct ratios to create your signature shade. Turn it into a sleek lipstick or a chubby lip crayon. As if this wasn’t already the most fun ever, there’s more… You also get to name your shade!
I suggest creating a fun DIY giftcard for this portion of the gift so your DIVA can play around with the shades in the palette for a while and when she’s ready to create her master mix, you get her the custom color. Seriously. How cool.
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who follows every makeup artist and cosmetics brand and actually recreates that 15 step beauty tutorial she found on Pinterest.
THE GIFT: A Beauty Book and A Mix of Trend Products
Don’t get me wrong – I love the beauty inspo available on every social platform and every site and every app and every everything – but there is something special about a physical book filled with insanely gorgeous beauty images and beauty tutorials and time-tested tips, tricks and techniques.
You can go classic with Aucoin of course (like Making Faces or Face Forward) or you can try something new, like this book I got as a gift at a recent PR event. In just leafing through it in the cab after, I got so much visual inspiration. I can’t wait to pore through every page. And it looks amazing on the coffee table. And it makes for a great photo backdrop/prop. And it’s under $18. So for all these reasons, obvi – a great gift.
Pair it with something fun, like these Mally lip glosses ($20 each) in “Kylie”-esque shades (since the Kylie Jenner lip kit sold out in a minute – literally). These H3 glosses are amazing toppers for the matte mauve liquid lipstick look that Jenner made #instafamous but can be very drying. No bueno for the winter months when lips themselves will be dryer and possibly chapped too. These sheer glosses, that match the trend shades perfectly, are insanely hydrating, weightless and best of all, not a bit sticky.
Or you can pick a cool brow product, for the bold brow trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Check out Eco Brow ($26 each, 6 shades) – a mineral-based, smudge-proof, paraben-free, cruelty-free natural brow line. The brow shades are named after beauty icons (Marilyn, Rita, Sharon, Penelope, Liz and Frida) and you pick shades based on modern day muses who have similar hair color as the DIVA you’re shopping for. Love.
Think about your DIVA and the trends she’s obsessed with this month – or stalk her insta and see what she’s hearting most. But a beauty book for inspiration paired with a few fun products for play is a winning combination.
THE RECIPIENT: For the DIVA who knows herself. And by self, I mean her angles. Her lighting. Her props. She’s a total selfie queen.
Yes, this thing looks ridiculous and, yes, people who use them in public often look ridiculous, but she truly honestly does not care. She’s gonna rock her best angles and get that perfect shot with this $11 stick. And she’s gonna find creative ways to use the included blue-tooth enabled remote shutter even without the stick. Believe me. This DIVA’s got tricks up her sleeves.
Pair it with the MeFoto Sidekick 360 Cell Phone Stand ($30) for the dream team of selfie accessories. This guy comes in 12 colors and is made to twist right onto a tripod. And it does. And that’s awesome. But it also works as a solo stand, balancing the phone on any sturdy surface AT ANY ANGLE. Use the remote clicker from the selfie stick and stage a full photoshoot. #YASSSQUEEN
Naughty or nice, I hope you find the perfect presents for all the DIVAs on your list this year.
And let me know if you have other gift ideas, thoughts or questions!
Happy holidays everyone!!!
NOTE: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts are unbiased and my own. Samples were provided for editorial consideration and/or my use as a professional makeup artist. All photos are property of DIVAlicious.
Lauren Cosenza is the creator and editor-in-chief of DIVAlicious, a trusted beauty/fashion expert, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a leading NYC-based professional makeup artist, a published contributor and writer, a brand consultant, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker — with a former life at Cosmopolitan and Shape magazines.
Serving up style with a side of attitude, her site DIVAlicious gives women (and men) the confidence and permission to be fabulous. The site, with a goal to SPREAD BEAUTY, is filled with must-have products, pro tips and tricks, how-to DIY tutorials, makeovers, style inspiration and insider access. Topics range from beauty, fashion, culture, career, fitness, wellbeing, men’s and unisex offerings.