2020 Beauty Gift Guides? Yawn

Does the beauty world really need another gift guide? You can only see the same palettes recommended so many times. Maybe its just 2020 in general, maybe its my own exhaustion and short fuse, but even bloggers and influencers who I like have shared gift guide content that I, personally, found exasperating this year. (I still like the content creators. They’re doing their jobs; in many cases, this sort of thing is their main income stream).

So many gift guides are just wish lists for the blogger, anyway – depending on their stature and time in the influencing trenches, they might share wildly out-of-touch picks.

2020 Beauty Gift Guides – Pfft

I’m trying to rein in my cynicism (lol right) and what I recognize to be a grinch-like attitude, but frankly, it is challenging:

  • On one hand the world is a mess; do we really need a $40 lip balm recommendation, Janet?
  • On the other, while I still agree that a $40 lip balm is fucking absurd and indeed borderline offensive, maybe we do need some frivolity to lift our spirits.

My opinion seems to change by the hour on that.

I’m not without empathy, though. If you are participating in some gift-giving this year and by some insanity you have yet to finish your holiday shopping for someone with an appetite for beauty frivolity, might I offer the following suggestions:

If your loved one:

  • is fond of a particular local salon or spa, get a gift card for them to use at that service provider once we can safely and responsibly return to consuming those services. This isn’t an impersonal cop-out; this does triple duty of 1) the obvious gift-giving, 2) giving your loved-one something nice to look forward to when we can reclaim a semblance of safety, and 3) provides that business much-needed cashflow. I haven’t felt comfortable visiting my salon during all this (service areas are a bit small), but I don’t want them to go out of business. You can probably pull this off in time, even.
  • is brave or adventurous enough to attempt (or has been attempting) home haircuts – consider a pair of shears. As I’ve learned from doing my own trims this year, decent pair of shears (scissors) makes the process go a lot nicer. Is it exciting? Not necessarily, but if you want to get all Marie Kondo about it, they spark joy because they make the job easier to execute well…ish. If not shears, there’s something for everyone: clippers, or, apparently George Clooney has been cutting his hair with a Flowbee for almost as long as I’ve been alive. Imagine a world where that was the strangest thing we’d heard this year.
  • likes having nice nails and hasn’t already taken the plunge into DIY gel land, oh, god, get them some nail supplies! Gel polish is user-friendly and more accessible than ever. If they like extensions/enhancements, dual-forms and polygel couldn’t be easier to use. Lamps, electric files, color, consumables (like gel cleanser?! lolol jk – but files, cleanup tools, etc).
  • is creative/crafty and might enjoy things like soap-making, that’s a really cool way to give them control over some aspect of their beauty/grooming products. Not only is it neat to play with, is it skill development! I’ve had good luck with Bramble Berry as a starting resource. Anything in this realm will be late, but in a year in which even things purchased, “in time,” will be late – it will be okay.

If you needed it, I hope this non-gift-guide was useful to you.