Holiday Gift Guide: For the Friend Who Could Use Some Self-Care

There are products in this gift guide that were provided to me in exchange for content creation. Any and all opinions are entirely my own. I...

There are products in this gift guide that were provided to me in exchange for content creation. Any and all opinions are entirely my own. I am only promoting these items based on my personal interest in them. Any items I was gifted will be annotated with a (*). This post may also include affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you click my link and make a purchase.

Mesh body exfoliator

I never feel satisfied with different washing utensils. Bath poofs end up garnering up way more bacteria than they're worth. Washcloths just don't seem to really sloth off old skin cells. And I've even tried konjac sponges but since they're biodegradable, they have to be replaced more often, and I just didn't feel very clean after using them. But the Luv Scrub has been scrubbing my socks off! It's easy to use, and dries quickly and efficiently. And I love that it's long enough to literally scrub my whole body (and easy to use on my back!). It's super scrubby and wonderful and I love it. Plus it's a Black-owned business, so that's a plus!

A razor without the pink tax

I shave a lot less than I think others may, which actually makes Billie perfect for me. I can choose the frequency of my replacement blades. Plus Billie has no pink tax (which is an additional up charge for feminine care products; for example, razors marketed for men are cheaper than razors marketed for women, but it also impacts things like menstrual products). I love how cute their handles are - I have two dreamsicle handles (one for each bathroom). They sometimes even do limited drops, like the glow-in-the-dark one that was released a few years ago that I’ll never forgive myself for not buying. You can also buy shave cream, lip balms, and more. But I mostly just get my razor blades twice a year.

Skincare routing with all-natural key ingredients

I’ve never been big on skincare. That’s not to say I’m anti-skincare. I just never had a regimen for myself. I’d use whatever products I got my hands on, or whatever I may be gifted for a holiday, if I were to do any skincare at all. But this year, surprisingly, covid has kind of amped up my self care and my skincare habits in particular. I ordered a Discovery Kit from Eight Saints at the start of the year - it's the full collection of products from Eight Saints in small sample sizes (about a week's worth) and it's only $10 with free shipping. Plus you get a $20 coupon to use on your first purchase, so if you decide to buy a full size products, basically your Discovery Kit ends up being free. The kit is great because I was able to try the different products and was able to figure out what I liked, loved, and hated. Their products can be a bit pricey, but I honest to goodness believe in them. Eight Saints is totally natural skincare and I swear my skin has gotten healthier. My favorites are the Coast Is Clear seaweed toner, the Down to Earth clay cleanser, the Ten Out of Zen bamboo scrub, and the Night Shift moisturizing night gel. I also really like their serums and eye cream.

Foreo silicone facial cleansing device

To go with my new skincare routine and really make the most of my cleansing products, I've added a silicone facial cleanser to the mix. This thing works full force, but gently, to fully cleanse my skin and make sure all the dirt and grime of the day is gone. There are different modes of cleaning, and it divides the timing into four, so you can focus on each part of your face equally. It leaves my skin feeling so fresh and cleaner than ever before. For some extra special pampering, I'll use the flip side of the disc-shaped device to make sure my moisturizer really seeps into my skin before bed.

Makeup Eraser & headband set

My cleansing, moisturizing, and toning routine isn't my only facial care. I also make sure to totally remove any makeup before starting the rest of my cleaning routine. Makeup Eraser totally removes even the most stubborn makeup with just the cloth and water. It's magical. And it means no more chemically enhanced remover products and no wasteful one-time-use wipes. Plus, they have a set comes with a cute headband to keep your hair out of your face while you clean.

Electronic & reloadable dental kit

I've also been taking better care of my dental health. I've had a ton of dental procedures over the past few years and I'm trying to do my best to prevent any other possible dental concerns. My sister got me a Quip toothbrush for my birthday this year and it makes brushing my teeth so easy. I love the gentle vibrations broken up into four 30-second segments to make sure my full mouth is getting equal love (like the Foreo cleanser!). They send a new battery and brush head every three months so you don't have to worry about replacing the brush head or when it needs to happen. They also have reloadable floss kits to keep your mouth super clean. Not to mention the convenient holder/travel case that you can stick right on your mirror so your toothbrush is always in plain sight.

A very fancy comb

I'm not usually much of a comb girl - I prefer a brush. But combs are great for relieving tangles and keeping hair smooth but not greasy. Crown Affair brushes and combs are great because they're super high quality and also their products are specially made for particular hair types. Their products are a bit more than your everyday $5 or less comb, but it's definitely a case of "you get what you pay for."

Manta Sleep blackout sleep mask*

Sleep masks aren't typically for everyone. They're agitating, move around, and don't nearly keep things as dark as you would expect. But Manta Sleep has taken something simple and turned it into something therapeutic and functional. They have warm and cool eye masks, aromatherapy eye masks, and weighted eye masks. But their classic is the blackout eye mask. The band that wraps around is so soft, with a velcro enclosure back and adjustable eye cups. The velcro on the back attached to a more velvety type of fabric, so it actually doesn't snag or pull your hair (which is what I expected). The eye cups work so that they're like tiny fabric bowls - the inside are away from your eye so they don't actually put pressure on your eyes and lashes. And the cups are so soft you can hardly feel them when you lie down. The back of the cups have little velcro patches, so you can adjust onto the band, making them perfect for anyone. The wildest thing is how totally blackout these eye masks are. I use them when I take naps at lunchtime, and as a side sleeper, I was worried the pillow would push the mask to the side, but it doesn't. It stays in place while I sleep, and I get the best most peaceful sleep. I highly, highly recommend one of these masks for anyone in your life, particularly anyone who's had a difficult time getting restful sleep this year.

Recess CBD-infused sparkling water drink*

I love that CBD is becoming more socially acceptable, even for folks who are pretty conservative. I've enjoyed trying different styles of CBD, from tinctures to gummies to salves. Most recently, I've given a try to CBD drinks, and I really love Recess's infused sparkling water. There are a variety of flavors (you can even purchase a sample pack), but blood orange and mango peach are my absolute favorites. They're very flavorful without being overpowering. Not to mention Recess has really cute merch in their store that's all about taking time for yourself. Lots of self-love in the Recess shop!

Birthdate Candle

I think this one is really cool, and would work for anyone. Birthdate candles creates differently scented candles for literally every single date of the year. You can buy someone a candle specific to their birthday, maybe an anniversary, and milestone date, whatever. I think these are so thoughtful and a really cool way to celebrate someone specific with a scent just for their special day.

Booty & booby care set

Okay, I love these sets. I haven't actually tried them yet, but they're something I lust after all the time. We all have buttne and boobne, it's inevitable. I'm particularly prone to cysts on my breast, and wearing an insulin pump in my bra daily probably doesn't help. But these scrubs and masks are made specifically for the booty and the boobies. Take care of those special parts of yourself - they're yours. Love them.

After-shower turban towel*

This is an item I'm particularly excited about that is good for anyone with hair. I don't blowdry my hair and rubbing it with a regular towel can be kind of tough on it. The hair towels are made specifically to absorb the excess water in hair and to dry it gently and quickly. Aquis makes different towels for different hair types (which again is so important - my fine hair is completely different from my sister's kinky hair, for example), so you can find the perfect match for any of your favorite people (unless they're bald, of course).

Classy shower cap

I don't have a showercap, but it's definitely something I should invest in. I only wash my hair one or two times a week (tops), so my hair often gets tossed up into a bun when I bathe, which leaves it kind of wet on the ends or moist and sweaty from the steam of a hot bath. Shhhowercap is fully waterproof and protects hair from moisture. And while it's obviously made for the shower, it can also be worn on rainy day outings. These turban style caps are so incredibly stylish and come in the cutest prints!

Very cute shaped heating pack*

Anyone has a use for a heating pack, whether they're an athlete, a menstruating human who gets cramps, someone that works on a computer, whoever. Yes, you can get a boring old heating pack from any old store with a pharmacy section, but these shaped heating packs are the cutest. And these are also filled with lavender so they're not only physically soothing, but aromatically soothing too.

At-home nail dip kit

I love the look of painted nails, but I'm not a fan of the high salon price, going to the salon in a pandemic, or spending hours painting and letting dry nails that will chips in less than a day. But when I got an Instagram ad for an at-home nail dip kit with great reviews and even greater sale prices, I knew I had to give it a try. I spent $50 for the kit which included building powder and one color powder, a base coat, activator coat, top coat, and cleansing agent, a nail file, and manicure tool, hundreds of nail tips, and color remover clips. I figured that's about the price of one dip manicure at the salon, so why not give it a try. Well, I've purchased five more colors since then. The first time I tried to do my own nails was fine... not perfect, but good enough. And I've just got better the more I do it. It's so much fun. Your nails are immediately dry and able to be used and no heat light or anything is needed. It's perfect for anyone who's missing regular manicures!

Any items you think would be good gifts? Anything on the list you're now planning to buy for yourself? It's 2020 baby. You deserve it.

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