Ah, the holidays are upon us. Soon, you’ll be searching for the perfect gifts for the most special people in your life, and trying to find appropriate presents for your Secret Santa, work wife, brother’s new girlfriend…the list goes on. It helps, in these situations, to have advice from glamorous people who shop for a living. (Nobody knows the latest and greatest products as well as they do.) So we asked five Saks Fifth Avenue experts to choose their top beauty buys, guaranteed to please even the grouchiest of grinches.
Each member of our expert panel selected gifts they’re eyeing for specific people on their lists (from best friends to busy moms). Read on for their picks from Saks, and happy gifting!
For Busy Moms: Picks From Deena Berger, Cosmetics & Fragrance Buying Director
Augustinus Bader The Cream
Your mom probably doesn’t have time to treat herself the way she should. Enter Augustinus Bader. The brand’s moisturizer is lightweight, hydrating, and feels so luxurious. It’s a one-step skincare ritual, which makes it “the perfect gift for any mom who loves a moment of indulgence, but truly only has a moment,” Berger says.
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Bronze Eye Shadow Palette
“I may be biased since our team helped design these palettes, but I feel these are the perfect gift,” says Berger. The palette has it all, with shades formulated to complement all skin tones and makeup styles. There are staple shades to wear every day, and also more dramatic shadows for a big event (or any moment your giftee wants to get creative).
Sunday Riley Ultimate Vault 10-Piece Collection
If your recipient is a skincare fanatic, odds are they’re aware of Sunday Riley already. Ten of the brand’s best-selling products — including the cult-favorite Good Genes lactic acid treatment — are packed in this box. Plus, the holographic packaging is cute to boot.
For Secret Santas: Picks From Nicole Carlone, Cosmetics Buyer
Patchology All Is Bright 4-Piece Mask Set
OK, here’s a classic holiday riddle: What do I get for my Secret Santa? Here, you need failsafe gifts. One of them is sheet masks — because who doesn’t love a sheet mask! Carlone recommends the Patchology set because it’s “such a great, affordable gift.” Two face masks and two sets of eye-gel patches will help your giftee feel illuminated and rejuvenated throughout the holiday season.
Slip Six-Pack Skinny Silk Scrunchies
Who can resist silk scrunchies? They’re so luxurious they almost feel indulgent, and they’re designed to be gentler on your hair. The scrunchies in this tri-color set are definite crowd-pleasers.
Molton Brown 4-Piece Floral & Chypre Christmas Cracker Gift Set
Carlone describes Molton Brown’s scents as “a little piece of luxury in a small bottle.” This set comes in a Christmas cracker, which reveals four different scented bath and shower gels inside. Despite the holiday packaging, these products are perfect for year-round use.
For the Men in Your Life: Picks From Ondine Lamstein, Cosmetics & Fragrance Buying Director
Creed Men’s Travel Atomizer Coffret
Buying “beauty” gifts for men can feel tricky. But think of it as a chance to help someone upgrade their daily routine. Lamstein suggests this Creed travel set as “the perfect gift for any man.” It has a travel size of three classic fragrances, to be mixed and matched for any occasion.
Diptyque Grey Feu De Bois Candle
“In my experience, the men in my life never think to treat themselves to a quality candle, which makes this my go-to holiday gift for any man,” Lamstein says of this classic. The Feu De Bois scent evokes the holiday spirit without smelling like pumpkin spice or looking anything like Santa. The dark vessel is also pure class and will dress up any home.
Tom Ford Oud Wood 2-Piece Eau de Parfum Set
If the man in your life likes woodsy, smoky, warm scents (or if you like smelling them on him), then there’s nothing better than Tom Ford. Plus, the sleek packaging will be something he’ll be proud to display in his bathroom.
For Your Best Friend: Picks From Ashley Abney, Assistant Buyer, Cosmetics
Christian Louboutin x Saks Fifth Avenue 2-Piece Lip Lacquer and Mascara Set
If your friend can’t resist the allure of the signature Louboutin red, then this is the set — exclusive to Saks — that you’ll want to buy. The lip lacquer and mascara are customer favorites, and the packaging makes them look more like ornaments or objets d’art than beauty staples.
Kiehl’s Merry Masking 3-Piece Set
Should we say it again? You can’t go wrong with a mask. The three in this package are designed to target specific skin concerns, including a deep pore cleansing mask and an incredible firming mask. Get it for a “skincare-obsessed friend who loves a self-care-focused night in,” says Abney.
Nars Studio 54 Dolce Vita 2-Piece Holiday Cracker
This is a no-brainer for the friend who loves playing with makeup. Abney has been “loving Nars’ Studio 54 theme this year.” The collection is reminiscent of the disco era, but this dusty rose in particular is subtle enough for everyday wear. “This limited-edition duo is one of my personal favorites from the holiday collection,” Abney says, “and makes for a perfect stocking stuffer.”
For Your Work Wife: Picks From Isa Gillette, Beauty & Fragrance Marketing Manager
Jo Malone Decorated 3-Piece Candle Collection
Gillette calls this an “easy win.” Jo Malone candles are dreamy and smell amazing, but they’re “the type of gift you always want, but rarely splurge to buy yourself.”
Foreo Picture Perfect LUNA fofo Gift Set
Give people what you want for yourself, right? For Gillette, that means this gift set. “The Foreo Luna is my newest skincare addiction,” she notes. “I’m always raving about the benefits, and this two-piece set is the perfect gift to introduce someone else to the product.”
Tom Ford Soleil Neige Cream & Powder Eye Color
The combo of a cream and powder eye color adds up to some seriously sexy, metallic eye makeup. Gillette says it’s a “great way to amp up your eye makeup quickly and easily,” and “depending on how it’s applied can go very sheer or bold.” We’re sold!
All images courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue.
This is paid content produced for an advertiser by New York Stories. The editorial staff of The Cut did not play a role in its creation.