‘Tis the season when all those thousand-dollar moisturizers and caviar-infused creams start looking a little more like reasonable—even well-advised—purchases. For your 2018 holiday gift guide needs, consider choosing ultra-luxe items that retain a practicality factor. If in doubt, let me offer some reassurance: Having personally tested thousands of skin care launches, I can tell you that everything on this list is well worth the splurge. Sure, that Chanel serum might come with a hefty price tag, but it’s guaranteed to keep the lucky recipient glowing long into new year. (Also, it’s Chanel.)
In the true, selfless spirit of giving, I’ve taken the liberty of rounding up 16 of the best creams, oils and cleansers just for you. Whether you’re shopping for the minimalist or the beauty expert with an 11-step skin care routine, you’ll find something for everyone below. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pick out something for yourself, too. Personally, I’m already eyeing that tempting advent calendar from spa queen Susanne Kaufmann.
You’ve heard that a clear complexion often starts from within. Rather than gifting wellness capsules or water bottles this year, book Clinique La Prairie’s swanky Revitalisation Program. The seven-day retreat sends you back into the world stress-free and enviably radiant. You’ll probably want to turn around to stay a second week instantly—I won’t judge. Include the airfare if you’re feeling generous. Clinique La Prairie Revitalisation Program (starting at 26.700 CHF for five nights; premium starting at 41.900 CHF for six nights).
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Maison Bernardaud’s handmade porcelain jar encases a precious new formula from Guerlain, based on the brand’s study of a rare orchid that increases its longevity by adapting to its environment. Here, the same principle is said to strengthen the skin barrier and protect complexions from environmental aggressors. All you need to know is that every application feels incredible. Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Black Cream ($1,340).
Winter weather will do a number on your face, so nurse it back to health with Tatcha’s Kiri set. For the colder months, I’m partial to the version geared toward nourishing dry skin, but there are options for normal, oily and sensitive complexions as well. Inside the handmade kiribako gift box, you’ll find hydrating serums, refreshing eye creams, an incomparable oil cleanser and many more treats. Tatcha The Holiday Ritual Kiri Collection for Dry Skin ($605).