I love presents. I love getting them and I love giving them. It's just another excuse to shop. I'm fairly picky when it comes to presents--the thought is nice, but it's even nicer to get exactly what you want. Unfortunately, it's hard to get exactly what you want and also be surprised, so most people have to decide which is more important--the surprise or the quality of the present.
However, there is another type of present that is probably the best type of present--getting something that you never even knew that you wanted. I think that the best bet for this category is a beauty product--most people don't have the time or the inclination to try out a bunch of products, so it's always lovely to get something that works and that you would never have thought to purchase for yourself.
1.) Naked 3 Palette: This is like the most popular eyeshadow palette in all of history. Seriously. There are actually knock-offs (!!) floating around the internet. This is the follow up to Naked and Naked 2 (obviously). Naked was more brown, Naked 2 was more gray and Naked 3 is Rosy. The thing with Naked palettes is that they generally look good on every skin tone, there's such a wide variety that pretty much anyone will find a color they like, the eyeshadow itself is extremely high quality, and many of the colors are neutrals, so even people who aren't "makeup people" can make use of it.
2.) Kiehl's Creme de Corps: I can't believe I haven't written a review for this shit yet. It is the best. body. cream. ever. I don't even bother trying any other types of lotions--I am fully on the Creme de Corps wagon. Perhaps I will go with a lighter lotion/oil in the summer (Nars oil comes to mind), but this stuff is so good for the winter. One application after a shower and one application in the morning allows me to go bare-legged (!) in the winter. It's pricey--but so worth it. Most of Kiehl's stuff is lovely--I plan on working my way through their collection the next time I'm itching to buy something, and it doesn't hurt that there's a store downstairs of my office.
3.) NEST Midnight Fleur: I believe that NEST is a candle company (a step below diptyque) but they have branched out to perfumes, I suppose. I got a sample vial of this scent before I left for London and I loved it. It really distinguishes itself from the fruity-candy scents that are for teenagers, and the overly opulent sandalwood scents for old people and hippies. Also, the bottle is absolutely beautiful (I mean, 10% of my calculus in buying perfume is the bottle).
4.) Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick: These would make a great stocking stuffer. I really love these lipsticks (I may or may not own eight different shades). The formula is just great. The pigmentation is awesome, the texture is creamy and applies smoothly. Minimum feathering and bleeding, but staying power is not great (but not bad). AND they're under $5 and can be purchased at CVS and Target. I love finding cheap drugstore products that work really well--its like a twofer. (Whoa, look at all those new colors . . . )
5.) Amika Hair Mask: I've reviewed this before in the blog, but this is one of my favorite hair products. I love the scent so much, I purchased the Shampoo and the Leave-in Conditioning Creme. It smells amazing, it works very well) and a tub can last a long time.
I also think that a key consideration in gifting, especially to someone you're not particularly close with, is the re-giftability of said gift, which is why beauty products are so good for presents. Don't be that guy that buys everyone a Bath and Body Works set (because no one who has graduated from high school wants that shit).