Le Labo $485
The perfect VIOLET CODE APPROVED gifts for everyone on your list.
Photography By OLIVIA MALONE
FROM THE DESK OF CASSANDRA GREY:
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and in a company town like Los Angeles, insider schmoozing is not a science, it’s an art. All the major talent agencies have entire floors dedicated to The Art of the Gift which exist solely to shower the who’s who in lavish presents–because nothing quite garners loyalty like thoughtful and expensive gifts. And while CELINE, Hermès, and Tiffany never disappoint, in recent years, professional gift-givers have been known to reserve VIOLET GREY for the most-important-of-important-people on their very important lists. Old guard in its glamour, yet modern in its sex appeal, that VIOLET GREY signature white box wrapped in a matte black grosgrain ribbon says, “When considering a gift for you, I knew only the best would do.”
Just as I’ve done for our corporate clients (myself, included), please find carefully considered gifts that I personally recommend that we purchase for the most discerning gift recipients on our holiday lists, all curated from the VIOLET GREY GIFT EDIT.
FOR: The Person Signing Your Paycheck
This one is easy–The Le Labo Concrete Candle in Santal 26. This is the perfect gift for your boss or your investor, or whoever is making sure your bills are paid. It’s perfect because the warm and sophisticated signature scent is made of the finest ingredients, making it unique and inimitable. The concrete vessel is so refined, fitting that Axel Vervoordt aesthetic made so hot right now by Kim and Kanye, and is perfect because of its massive-yet-minimal, 4-wick size. This will last the recipient all winter and whenever they see it or smell it, they will think of you fondly, remembering your exquisite, tasteful gift-giving ability, therefore reminding them of their worthy investment in you. Trust me on this one–it will be the best $500 bucks you have ever spent.
PUT IT IN THE BAG
FOR: Mentors, Mentees & Colleagues
All the gifts in the world couldn’t show my appreciation for the people I get to work with. Pretty much everything I get to do in business was made possible by my exceptionally talented colleagues, mentees, and mentors. Given that most of them have access to VIOLET GREY’s dream-like swag closet and enjoy the perks of our generous employee discount, we’ve decided to make it a tradition to gift them an annual supply of the year’s number one VIOLET CODE APPROVED skin care staple. You know–the best-selling one we can’t keep in stock. This year it’s Eighth Day’s Rejuvenating Serum–perfect because the samples were snatched up before ever making their way to the swag closet. Plus, it is a little expensive, even with the discount.
FOR: SOMEONE WHO DESERVES A LONG HOT BATH & PERHAPS A NAP
There’s a bath and there is a “spa bath” and the difference is the difference between a manic Monday and an easy Sunday. Jules, my six-year old, never wanted to take a bath until I introduced the “spa bath” as an event and now he thinks about baths as a luxury he desires and deserves like afternoon screentime or breakfast for dinner. So for those that deserve a long hot bath (who doesn’t?), I am recommending my (and Jules’) new favorite bath product–the Mountain Pine Bath Oil from Susanne Kauffman. Its all-natural, super-fresh fragrance is invigorating to the senses while the essential oils relax the body and muscles, making it perfect for pre-bedtime “spa baths”.
FOR: Those with A-List Status
At VIOLET GREY, many of our celebrity contributors not only collaborate with us on cover stories and VIOLET TV franchises, but they also support our small-but-growing business by shopping with us (like, all the time) and also by sharing their VIOLET boxes on their social channels (some of which have hundreds of millions of followers hanging on their every post). Our in-house team of 38, as well as our 159 best-in-class brand partners are forever indebted to this glitterati for being so generous with their endorsement–telling the world to go VIOLET or go home. If you are one of these people, you know we love to shower you with gifts throughout the year, but for holiday, our A-lister choice gift is the “World’s Most Glamorous Candle,” according to me–Tom Ford’s Rose Prick Candle. This scent is dangerously decadent and will seduce anyone to whom you gift it.
PUT IT IN THE BAG
FOR: Your Friends Who Take Skin Care Seriously
Quite literally, every product in our SKIN CARE EDIT is a gift the snobbiest of skin care snobs would be delighted to receive, but if we were to narrow it down to just 5 universally-loved investment products, it would be these, all of which make an impressive gift presentation (alone or together) in our signature VIOLET GREY white box and black bow.
1. Crème de la Mer: The holy grail of vanity staples; 2. The Cream by Augustinus Bader: What WWD dubbed, “The Greatest Skin Care Of All Time”; 3. Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Treatment: “The Oil To End All Face Oils,” according to Into The Gloss; 4. DR. BARBARA STURM’s Hyaluronic Serum: Expensive but worth it, this is the choice hyaluronic according to our Committee; 5. Eighth Day’s Regenerative Serum: Our newest can’t-keep-in-stock serum that has The Industry buzzing.
PUT IT IN THE BAG
FOR: Your Friend Who Lives For Glamour
Glamour. Luxury. Versatility. To me, these are the three pillars of thoughtfully-selected beauty gifts, and these 5 VIOLET CODE APPROVED products nail all three and then some. Perfect for anyone who takes pride in a perfectly-curated makeup bag, these icons will also make any vanity (or makeup application) more glamorous simply by being there.
1. MAKE Beauty’s Serum Balm Set: A limited-edition set of these Insta-famous Serum Balms; 2. Westman Atelier’s Gift Edition in Bordeaux: From everyone’s favorite makeup artist, a vanity-worthy set for the perfect holiday look; 3. The Ultimate Utowa Brush Set: From Japan, with love, this insidery brush set is the one most often found in Makeup Artists’ kits (and you can only get stateside at VG); 4. Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Eye Shadow Brick: My everyday go-to for creating that perfect dirty, smokey eye look I stole from Mrs. Beckham herself; 5. MAC’s Art Library: Nude Model: The perfect, buildable palette from the Original Gangster makeup artist brand.
PUT IT IN THE BAG
FOR: The Holiday Host
Whether being hosted for a week, weekend, or holiday soirée, any host or hostess on your list will appreciate a powder room upgrade with decadent soaps and hand creams. For those with interiors that read old guard glamour/Hollywood Regency, the Byredo Hand Soap and Hand Lotion are gorgeous in an opulent setting, and for those who live in a case study house with a minimalist aesthetic, nothing is more understated and cool as an embossed bar soap in a concrete dish. Made by world famous tattoo artist, Dr. Woo’s soap is one of my personal favorites, made seemingly by hand and finished with WOO.
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FOR: New Moms & Moms-To-Be
Originally crafted in her kitchen by my dear friend Hope Smith, this miracle Body Butter will be the gift that keeps on giving. It is a completely pregnancy-safe way to keep skin hydrated, but its real power is that it combats stretch marks, which are almost unavoidable and hard to prevent and reverse. But when I tell you this works, it REALLY works.
FOR: Your Siblings
It seems siblings make it their mission to take everything we own, but nowhere is this more true than the bathroom, where it’s harder to keep track of “incremental borrowing”. Avoid the guilt attributed to shaming them for using your “good stuff” by gifting each theft-prone sibling their own set of Nécessaire body products. And if for no other reason, remember that nothing makes things weirder for significant others than adult siblings confronting each other over $4 of used body wash. Tip: While all of our products are unisex, this particular brand seems to resonate with those who identify as men.
FOR: YOUR CRUSH (OR THE TIK TOK STARS IN YOUR LIFE)
I love to play secret admirer, even though I don’t secretly admire anyone–my crush on Samantha isn’t a secret. That said, it’s so fun to send gifts signed love, your secret admirer. These Lip Masks coupled with mistletoe and a mystery note make the perfect flirty gift for the holidays. Wildly popular with the cool kids on social media, it also makes a perfect gift for any teenager or beauty blogger aspiring to influence purchase decisions and pull in six figures.
FOR: Your Children’s Teachers, Nannies & Mannies
If you are a parent, you know that you are forever indebted to those who are helping us mold our children into the intelligent, thoughtful, responsible humans that they are becoming. So, for everyone on your list that you entrust partial responsibility for child rearing, I recommend every single product on my guide and more. One item or two, or better yet all, remember to show these incredible teachers, caregivers, and role models that you are forever grateful for their roles in our childrens’ lives, and their irreplaceable function as a support system in our own.
PUT IT IN THE BAG
La Mer $350
Dr. Barbara Sturm $300
WOO SKIN ESSENTIALS $18