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VIOLET GREY founder Cassandra Grey reveals how to impress every type of recipient on your gift list this holiday season.
You are always right.
Survey says the majority of you—and the people on your gift list—want an experience this year (that and a less-divided country). I have always thought of beauty as an experience. It is not about lipstick, but rather the moment you enter a room and jaws drop. It is not about moisturizer; it’s about great skin that causes people to ask if you’ve had work done.
That said, my gift guide this year pairs beauty heroes from our shelves with equally memorable experiences. Please note that while every beauty product is vetted by committee and therefore VIOLET CODE approved, I alone—and, in some cases, Leonardo DiCaprio—have vetted the experiential giftables. Also note that although I use female pronouns, these gifts are for everyone. I believe beauty knows no gender, and soon it will be acceptable—even mainstream—for men to wear makeup. Chanel just launched Boy de Chanel, its first makeup line for men, which is fitting given that Madame Gabrielle Chanel herself gave us ALL permission to wear pants. Can you believe there was a time, not too long ago, when it was unacceptable for women to wear pants? Without further fodder, please find 12 to-die-for gifts for all the most important people on your list.
GIFT No. 1
Gift No. 2
For your famous friend who gets $150K to post her gummy bear vitamins and gets everything for free.
Gift her Heretic Melrose Place, a limited edition bergamot fragrance infused with clean ingredients and made just for VIOLET GREY customers. Then take her to a diner and an old-fashioned movie theater and post pictures. It is now very cool for celebrities to look like they do normal things on Instagram.
Gift No. 3
Gift No. 4
For that friend who picks you up from the airport and sends you Eric Buterbaugh flowers when you get a promotion at work.
Gift No. 5
Gift her Hollywood’s It skin cream by Augustinus Bader for a firmer, brighter, and tighter complexion. Include a handwritten note and a gift card for a world-class five-step skincare routine customized by a VIOLET GREY artist. This gift may run you upward of $1,000, but becoming the envy of all of her friends is worth every penny.
GIFT NO. 6
Gift her what Into The Gloss called “the face oil to end all face oils.” Splurge on the limited edition Vintner’s Daughter bottle (it’s almost twice the size of the OG) and pair it with a handwritten invitation to go shoe shopping for the kind of shoes that aren’t made for walking. If money is no object, take her to Paris to have the Christian Louboutin atelier make a mold of her feet and design a custom pair of Louboutins that fit her like the proverbial glass slipper.
Gift No. 7
Gift her the Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick from the in-demand collection from celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman. Plus, give her a gift certificate to have her hair and makeup professionally done. If Glamsquad doesn’t serve her area, call the local salon and arrange for an artist come to her house.
Gift No. 8
For your annoying sister who describes herself as someone who doesn’t care about makeup, yet is religious about her fancy 12-step skin care routine from Whole Foods.
Gift her the May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate, which will immediately calm her stressed skin, and an appointment to try the latest super cleanse trend: drinking Amazonian frog poison. Google it, go down the rabbit hole, and DM me four hours later.
Gift No. 9
Gift her Susanne Kaufmann’s aromatic Mallow Blossom Bubble Bath and a gift certificate for a legit masseuse to come to her house. Call the nicest spa in your town and request an at-home appointment. If you really want to go all out, give her two nights at what Leonardo DiCaprio refers to as the most beautiful place in the United States: Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur.
Gift No. 10
Gift her Byredo’s Loose Lips, a lipstick-inspired candle (think notes of rosewater, violet, and morello cherry), and a handwritten note that invites her to a girls’ night out at a scene-y restaurant.
Gift No. 11
Gift her the VIOLET CODE–approved hero products from the Playa clean hair care line, founded by a female entrepreneur and beloved by the pros. Then make a donation in her name to Step Up, an organization dedicated to preparing girls for high school, and encourage her to sign her up to be a mentor in the program!