Welcome back to the final part in my Beauty Insider Holiday Gift Guide series! This year I asked three friends and colleagues who work hands-deep in the beauty industry to curate their ultimate gift guides to share with you all. So if you’re someone who loves a behind-the-scenes peek, or wants to know what industry professionals are using, loving, and recommending, you’ve come to the right place!
Founder & CEO Heather Fink shared her favorite picks from some amazing female-owned indie brands in part one, and Note PR Co-Founder Shannon Comstock shouted-out her feel-good products of the season in part two. Now I’m so pumped to have beauty journalist and editor Claire McCormack on here to round out this series! Claire writes for Beauty Independent, the content arm of Indie Beauty Media Group who produce Indie Beauty Expo. If you don’t already know, BI is the absolute go-to resource for all things indie beauty and wellness; if you are a beauty entrepreneur yourself, or just like reading about them, you will soak up their content like a sponge!
Claire has her finger on the pulse of what’s new, what’s emerging and what’s buzzy, so trust that her recommendations are going to be good. From luxurious candles to clean fragrances, she – like Heather – has also spotlighted some amazing female-owned and black-owned brands for you to support with your dollars this festive season. Let’s dive in!
FORIA INTIMACY BATH SALTS WITH CBD & CACO – $36.00
Foria is one of my favorite consumer brands. Though you may not feel comfortable gifting my favorite Foria product, its Awaken Arousal Oil, the brand recently launched these beautiful bath salts, made with organically-grown rose, kava, cacao, and hemp, all in a base of Epsom and Himalayan salt. A self-care slam dunk.
ISLE DE NATURE PAGUA BAY LUXURY BEESWAX CANDLE – $125.00
(Black woman-owned brand) A bit of a splurge, but worth every penny. It smells like if Santal 33 took a long beach vacation. It’s also a candle with a cause! The candle scent is inspired by the West Indian island nation of Dominica, much of which was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. One of the many casualties of Maria was Dominica’s bee population. The candle is made from beeswax produced in the island nation, so Isle de Nature is helping to replenish the bee population that was decimated after Hurricane Maria. The candle is encased in a handmade translucent ceramic vessel that reveals an embossed honeycomb pattern when the candle is lit—something a loved one can treasure for years after the candle is done!
MAISON SYBARITE DISCOVERY SET – $30.00
(Woman-owned brand) Paris-based Maison Sybarite is bringing serious innovation to the clean fragrance sector. All the woman-owned company’s scents are vegan, cruelty-free and contain no ethyl alcohol, chemical solvent, parabens, phthalates or silicones. Most importantly, though, Maison Sybarite’s formulas are water-based, the first ever luxury water based fragrances. All of the brand’s scents are so different and unique, this Discovery Set is the perfect way to try them all. (My favorite is 720.) This is a great gift for a clean beauty lover, and/or someone with skin sensitivities that often has to steer clear of any fragrance.
THE NUE CO. FOREST LUNGS – $95.00
(Black woman-owned brand) I feel very lucky that it’s part of my job to spot beauty and wellness trends in their most nascent stages. Functional products created to promote “respiratory wellness” is one such emerging trend that I’ve been excitedly watching for the past several months. Forest Lungs is a unisex fragrance with woodsy, smokey notes, but it is designed to support the reduction of everyday stress by fusing olfactory chemistry and patented technology to replicate the molecular compounds produced in forests called phytoncides. Phytoncides are credited for the positive health benefits associated with forest bathing such as reduction in stress and anxiety.
VIE BEAUTY 30ROSES ROSEWATER SPRAY – $36.00
(Black woman-owned brand) I’ve tried a lot of rosewater toners, mists, sprays, etc. in my life, and this one is by far my favorite. The hydrating mist comes out fine enough to be used as a toner or to set your makeup…or anytime of day you need a little refresh. I love to use it both before and after a Zoom call. It also comes in a beautiful etched glass bottle that anyone would want to proudly display on their #shelfie, making it a great gift.
I hope you enjoyed the final installment in my Beauty Insider Holiday Gift Guide series with journalist and editor Claire McCormack! Do you have any go-to gift ideas we should all know about? Pop them in the comments below!
xoxo, and be well, Erica