Gifts for Girlfriends That Take the Stress Out of Shopping
As the holidays approach, it is important to be sure that you have the right gift for each of your girlfriends. But sometimes it can be hard to choose something that suits their personalities and interests to a tee, especially when each person in your group of girlfriends is so different. If you’ve ever found yourself at the mall for hours on end trying to find a present that she will love, we feel your struggle. Lucky for you, we have great gift options for your girlfriends that will save you some time and have her thanking you for the present all year long. Do you have a friend who is the leader of your book club, or always having to find space on her bookshelves to store the latest reads? There are plenty of unique gift ideas for the bookworm in your life, like classic novels (think Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice) in technicolor. Or for the friend who is always hosting cocktail hour or dinner parties at her house, there’s a bar set for all her mixology experiments, and an elegant marble cheese board that was made for girls’ night. And if she is a DIY queen who loves trying out new craft projects, we have an indigo and shibori natural dye kit, so she can create artful designs on scarves, tablecloths, or napkins that are more upscale than the usual tie dye. These unique gifts might earn you the title of “Most Thoughtful Friend” this holiday season.
Pier 1 White Marble Cheese Board
We can all agree that cheese brings people together; who doesn’t love a wine and cheese party? For the next gathering, make sure your ultimate hostess friend has a beautiful cheese board on hand, since artful presentation is key. Made of sturdy white marble and acacia wood, this elegant, modern piece will look good on just about any table. It even has a beautiful strap if you like to hang your kitchenware on the walls for easy access. Offer this cheese board with a bottle of wine and a few blocks of yummy cheese and you’re ready for your next girls’ night.
To buy: $20, pier1.com.
Nyl Skincare Winter Rescue Set
It’s a universal fact that the long, cold winter months are not kind to skin. Give her some much-needed TLC in the form of this two-piece Winter Rescue Kit, which contains a Gentle Sugar Body Polish and a Body Balm. It’s like a spa day in a bottle, no appointment necessary. Use the polish first in the shower or bath, and then finish off with the balm to help seal in the moisture. The subtle citrus scent is wonderful for the cooler months. Made in the U.S.A., these products are paraben- and gluten-free. Bonus: The balm can also be used as a shaving cream in a pinch if you run out.
To buy: $58, ahalife.com.
Mark and Graham Cotton Kimono Robe
Is her everyday robe looking a little ratty? Give her a beautiful (but still comfy) spa-worthy upgrade with this kimono-style robe—complete with a personalized embroidered monogram (choose from 10 available monogram options in 18 different colors). The 100-percent cotton material makes it comfortable for hanging out around the house on a casual weekend day (ideal for a Netflix binge in bed). It could also add a little luxury to weekdays, when chaotic mornings can feel like a mad dash. This one might quickly be upgraded to favorite status. It’s available in navy, peach, and white.
To buy: $89, markandgraham.com.
Kate Spade New York Winking Beanie
Cold weather accessories don’t have to be strictly utilitarian. Kate Spade is known for their witty and whimsical finds, and their winter gear is no different. You can make bundling up a little more tolerable—and maybe even fun—with this fun beanie. She might just crack a smile when she throws it on in the morning, even when she’s about to face down a polar vortex. And with wool and mohair mixed into the material, she’ll be a little warmer in the process. She’ll be thrilled to see that the cream color goes with her winter coat and scarf.
To buy: $58, katespade.com.
Anthropologie Indigo & Shibori Natural Dye Kit
Her house might be filled with DIY supplies, a loom, a sewing machine, and maybe even an entire room dedicated to crafting. Offer her this indigo and shibori natural dye kit so she can make a beautifully dyed bandana (and find another DIY project to obsess over). Shibori is a Japanese dye technique in which cloth is folded, pleated, and then dyed in indigo. It’s currently trending in fashion and home dÃ©cor—you might have seen the style on dresses, pillows, and tapestries. This kit comes with a bandana, but there should be enough dye left over to try the technique on other fabrics she has around the house.
To buy: $44, anthropologie.com.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera
Talk about a #TBT. This retro camera prints your memories right as you’re making them. And its small size (five inches by three inches by five inches) means it’s easy to for her to tote around, whether it’s in her purse for a weekend with the kids or in hand for a Saturday night party (she could even pass out snapshots to her fellow party-goers). Available in seven colors: white, blue, pink, yellow, black, purple, and red. You might want to stock her up on some extra film to start (three packs will get her 60 pictures).
To buy: $52.50, amazon.com.
West Elm Sculptural Scented Candle
This candle does double duty: it fills a room with a warm amber scent and also adds a dash of glamorous sparkle to any surface. Whether it’s for her office, nightstand, coffee table, or bookshelf, this candle can bring some modern flair to a spot in need of an update. The interesting geometric shape (which is a welcome change from the usual cylinder-shaped candles) is an eye-catching accessory. After the candle is burned down, the sculptural piece can be recycled as an accessories catchall, pencil cup for her desk, or even a vase for flowers.
To buy: $40, westelm.com.
Anthropologie Lasercut Leather Card Holder
Her handbag is already filled to the brim with all the necessities, so the last thing she needs is a chunky wallet. This card holder will hold all her essentials—driver’s license, credit cards, and even some cash—all while taking up practically no space in her tote. Plus, when she needs to switch to a clutch or smaller handbag for a special occasion or night out, this one is compact to fit in just about any bag. No more having to switch out wallets and inevitably forget something. The detailed leather offers delicate, sparkly contrast to the rest of the minimalist wallet.
To buy: $24, anthropologie.com.
Kate Spade New York Colorblock Throw
There is nothing cozier than a cold winter night spent inside spent cuddling under a blanket and watching a movie, especially if it’s in front of the fire. Well, tell her she can pick the movie, because we found the blanket. It’s available in five different color-blocked combinations (black and gray, white and beige, green and turquoise, navy and cobalt, and pink and orange), which means you can choose one to match her couch when the blanket isn’t in use. For extra points, you could package this gift up with our DIY hot cocoa mix.
To buy: $60, katespade.com.
World Market Small Metallic Leather Notebooks, Set of Three
Even if she doesn’t keep a journal, these beautiful handcrafted leather notebooks might inspire her to start one, or jot down here ideas on paper rather than on her phone or tablet. The metallic pattern and hues vary in this set of three—from Moroccan-inspired patterns to a leaf motif in color combinations of white and gold and pale pink and gold. One could be used as a journal, the other a notebook for office meetings, and the last one a sketchbook or idea pad. When wrapping this present, make sure to include a nice pen for good measure.
To buy: $30 for a set of three, worldmarket.com.
Imm Living Tropical Splash Bowls
Who says tropical décor is only for the summer months? Not when a pineapple—which is known as the international symbol of hospitality—looks this chic. The trendy motif gets a modern update with a stark white exterior and mint-colored interior. The bowl can be used to hold small snacks, sweet treats, and even dips—so it’s perfect to show off when entertaining guests. Or she can display this on her coffee table at all times as a candy or mint bowl. Whatever she chooses to do with it, the cheerful pineapple piece will brighten up any surface.
To buy: $39, domino.com.
Tory Burch Eau de Parfum Refillable Travel Spray Set
The friend who travels frequently for work deserves a little bit of pampering and luxury. Help her prep for the next trip by giving her this travel set that she can easily tuck into her suitcase (it’s carry-on safe, too). A gold cylinder case is included to keep the small vials safe, so there won’t be any spills or mishaps in transit. The fragrance, which is Tory Burch’s first foray into perfumes, has notes of floral peony, tuberose (a night-blooming flower found in Mexico), grapefruit, neroli (an essential oil from a bitter orange tree), and vetiver (an essential oil from bunchgrass native to India).
To buy: $94, bloomingdales.com.
J. Crew Cape Scarf
This versatile scarf is guaranteed to be a wardrobe staple for her. It’s perfect for crisp autumn days, through to the bitter cold days of winter. Is her office air-conditioning always cranked up, even when it’s snowing outside? The wool scarf has armholes so she can wear the scarf as a cape as she runs from meeting to meeting without shivering. Or does she need layers to keep her warm during walks outside or for her morning commute? She can wear this as a traditional scarf to keep her neck warm, along with her usual winter coat. Choose from light gray, navy, or red, depending on her style.
To buy: $70, jcrew.com.
Astra Cuff from BaubleBar
It’s time to amp up her jewelry collection with an eye-catching cuff. All she needs is this glamorous staple to complete any outfit, whether she’s headed into the office, meeting her significant other for date night, or even shopping with girlfriends on the weekend. The abstract, curvy lines of the 14-karat gold plated brass cuff make for an interesting piece of jewelry—and every woman should have a statement piece in her wardrobe. She can wear it alone, or if she’s feeling really adventurous, she can pair it with thin gold bangles, or even mix it up with silver or bronze bracelets.
To buy: $42, baublebar.com.
Draper James Powder Room Pouch
This cheeky pouch will make “putting her face on” a little more fun. Every woman needs a handy pouch to store all her makeup essentials and toiletries, and one that is small enough to stash in her work bag, everyday tote, or suitcase. With the cheerful pattern and metallic stitching on the canvas exterior, she’ll actually want to carry it to the powder room to show it off. The inside is coated with a spill-proof interior fabric, so she won’t have to worry about leaky foundation or eyeshadow powder ruining the piece—all she needs to do is wipe it clean.
To buy: $65, draperjames.com.
Imm Living Desert Oasis Cactus Ceramic Canister
Now here’s a plant that doesn’t need regular watering or extra maintenance. The speckled design on the container has a nostalgic ‘80s feel, along with the bright turquoise hue of the lid. This festive cactus canister is a great bedside accent, which can be used to hold hair ties, small pieces of jewelry, and other personal trinkets. Or, it can be used to really wake up a boring desk—stash paper clips, push pins, even small sticky notes inside. Plus, it’s a great way to give the friend who’s a bit disorganized a small nudge to corral the items she has scattered about on her surfaces.
To buy: $59, domino.com.
Clio Cat Hair Pin
Does she dote on those cats she adopted? Or maybe she can’t wait to own one of her own, but lives in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets? No matter. Any cat lover will appreciate this sweet hair accessory. The gold shine on this clip will add a little bit of sparkle, while the cat outline is a whimsical nod to her feline friends. And with a snap-back closure, it won’t be uncomfortable or pull her hair. It looks right at home with jeans and a tee—or adds unexpected edge to a sleek little black dress. Available in gold or silver.
To buy: $12, urbanoutfitters.com.
Crackled Metallic Suede Lodge Moccasins
She’ll feel like she’s walking on clouds in these supple slip-ons lined with a surplus of thick faux shearling. With a crackled golden leather exterior and rubberized bottoms, she may have to be reminded to put on her “real” shoes when leaving the house to grab the paper or go grocery shopping. The shoe only comes in full sizes, so those in between sizes should order a size up. For minimalists, the slipper is also available in more muted, traditional colors like dark nutmeg (dark brown), ash (gray), vintage champagne (ivory), and faded blossom (pink).
To buy: $55, jcrew.com.
Sparkle Circle Bracelet
Know a woman with a calendar full of social engagements no matter the season? Give her something to complement her cocktail attire (this sparkly number will also elevate skinny jeans and a blouse for more informal occasions, too). With an Art Deco feel, the bangle can be worn alone or stacked alongside a variety of more modern pieces to create a statement arm party. The metal setting (available in imitation gold or rhodium plating) holds bright cubic zirconia stones on one of four colors: silver, gold, rose gold, or hematite (a cool, trendy jet black!).
To buy: $49.50, bananarepublic.com.
Convertible Quilted Mittens
These mittens will keep her fingers warm on freezing winter days, without interfering with her ability to keep her inbox at zero. The cozy mittens, which are a blend of nylon, merino wool, and alpaca, flip open at the fingertips, so she can text and respond to emails on the fly. The quilted design and contrasting colors makes the duo a little bit more stylish and sophisticated than your average pair of gloves. A ribbed wrist keeps snow and wind out. Also available in two additional color combinations: black on black and camel heather and coffee. One size fits most.
To buy: $50, ralphlauren.com.
Porcelain Peony Vase
If she was extra-proud of her garden this year, give her a unique vase to show off the fruits of her labor next year (and store-bought blooms now). The delicate bone china vessels are only five inches high, and each highlights a different variety of flower: peony, cosmos, or anemone. Bright, freshly cut flowers will stand out against the bright white exterior. Editor tip: Give her the vase with a beautiful arrangement. Try some dried flowers—they should last until spring, when she can replenish it with blooms of her own. A single sprig looks surprisingly beautiful, too.
To buy: $28, shopterrain.com.
Kevyn Aucoin Contouring Makeup Palette
From famous makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin comes a contouring palette with just about any shade she could ever need. The flip-top compact features both cream and powder contouring products for all areas of the face, plus a how-to guide for those who haven’t yet mastered the art of contouring. The set includes celestial powder in three colors, a fourth variety of sculpting powder, two types of sculpting cream, and four eye shadows (luminous pearl, luminous light pink/peach, light brown, and rust). There’s more to love, too: Each formula is crafted without yucky stuff like parabens and phthalates.
To buy: $65, sephora.com.
For the Party Girl
This is the kind of gift she might never buy for herself, but would still love to own. She can stage an at-home happy hour with this festive, nine-piece mixologist set. She’ll have everything she needs to mix specialty cocktails for herself or for a crowd. The complete kit includes a 20-ounce mixing glass, a two-ounce shot glass, a stainless steel strainer, a wooden muddler, a stainless steel spoon, and a stainless steel cocktail shaker. The glass even features a handful of recipes, so she’ll know exactly where to begin. A bottle of her favorite spirit makes for a welcome companion gift, too.
To buy: $30, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Velvet Leo Clutch
This slim envelope clutch (it’s just eight inches high and 14 inches wide) is right on trend, thanks to its deep burgundy velvet hue. It can hold a number of essentials for a night out—including up to six credit cards. The bag’s pocket features a snap closure that’s secure enough to keep her phone, lipstick, and wallet safe, but opens swiftly in case she needs to answer a call or grab a tissue—stat. The edge of the purse has a cool zippered look that shows she’s willing to take a few sartorial risks…and can totally pull them off, too.
To buy: $95, rebeccaminkoff.com.
Marimo Moss Ball Light Bulb Terrarium
If your girlfriend spends most of the day huddled over her desk at home, then this modern terrarium will cheer up her “office” space. Marimo, the pom-pom shaped moss contained inside the recycled-bulb aquarium, is said to bring good luck and make all your wishes come true. And it’s rare—the moss only grows in lakes in Iceland, Scotland, and Japan, where currents swirl it into that tiny spherical shape. The moss is easy to care for: Just change the water every one to two weeks. Hopefully, the presence of an actual light bulb will inspire her to tackle her next project, too.
To buy: $35, uncommongoods.com.
Letterpress Recipe Cards and Recipe Box
If she makes a home-cooked meal on a nightly basis and loves to have guests over for dinner parties, she might need a place to store her ever-growing recipe collection. This handmade, illustrated recipe box is a great place for her to store and organize old family favorites, or jot down new finds. Seven hand-cut divider tabs (entrees, appetizers, soups and salads, treats, bread, side dishes, and beverages) keep the 100-pound recycled French paper cardstock organized. To personalize the gift, ask relatives for some of her favorite childhood recipes and write out a few cards to get her started.
To buy: $46, 1canoe2.etsy.com.
Mocktail Mixer Pro Matte Lip Color Set
Who doesn’t love a little bit of variety in their beauty routine? This mini collection of three limited edition retractable lipsticks—in burgundy wine (deep burgundy), Italian rose (soft pink), and Autumn (light brick)—can fit any sized purse and work for any type of holiday party. Thanks to the smart design, the lip pens won’t come open in a cluttered bag either. To apply, use the thin liner tip to outline lips, and then fill in. The highly pigmented, long-lasting hue means you won’t spend the whole night in the bathroom touching up your pout.
To buy: $28, nordstrom.com.