Our Favorite Empties: 28 of the Best Holiday Gifts for Beauty Lovers

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Here at The Quality Edit, we’re big believers in vetting everything we write about first-hand, in some cases testing them out for weeks or months at a time. Such is the case with these remarkable skincare, haircare, and makeup products, all of which we loved so much we thoroughly used them up, down to the very last drop or particle. Meet our favorite beauty empties of the year, which we’ve gathered into a comprehensive holiday gift guide just for you. We’ve got it all covered: big-name brands and indie labels, splurge-worthy serums and wallet-friendly finds, cosmetics and collagen concentrates. The best part? Most of these incredible products are made with safer ingredients and sustainability in mind.

Whether it’s a stress-relieving body oil for your hard-working boss or the cutest treatment mask for your favorite Gen Zer, our 28 gift ideas are curated for every single type of person in your life. Keep scrolling to shop them all and make their holidays glow!

For the Gen Z cousin (or anyone!) who’s into masking...

Kiramoon Star Jelly Magic Resurfacing Facial ($45)
Credit: Kiramoon

Kiramoon’s playful, whimsical approach to skincare is right up your favorite Gen Zer’s alley (and, let’s be honest, pretty much everyone else’s too). The brand’s exfoliating treatment mask ($45) is packaged in a cutesy pink container that belies the science-backed efficacy of the formula, which reduces the visibility of pores, shortens the lifespan of breakouts, and gently buffs away dead skin cells. Made with powerhouse ingredients like 10% AHA, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, it’s also naturally scented with botanical extracts for a subtly sweet vanilla and almond fragrance. 

For the new parent who doesn’t have time to mask...

LAPCOS Balance Shot ($38)
Credit: LAPCOS

Who’s got time for a facial when they’re changing diapers and breastfeeding? Get the sleep-deprived new parent one of the highly targeted overnight masks from LAPCOS’s new Zz-Shot series. Packed with pearl extract and glycolic acid, the clarifying Balance Shot ($38) works after hours to maximize their skin’s natural nighttime processes—aiding in cell turnover and replenishing collagen levels while they snooze.

For the skincare obsessive who likes to multitask...

Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation ($30)
Credit: Tower 28

Tower 28’s latest release is a tinted sunscreen foundation ($30) that racked up a 2,500-person waitlist before its official launch date. It’s easy to see why: This multitasking skincare-makeup hybrid does it all—offering SPF 30 mineral protection while addressing blue light pollution and redness (all without leaving a cakey finish or white cast, by the way). It’s also the first and only complexion makeup with the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, making it perfect for those with problem or sensitive skin. 

For the one who’s always misplacing their lip balm...

Lano Bronze Gold 101 Ointment ($17)
Credit: Lano

It never hurts to give them another one to misplace—like Lano’s all-new bronze gold tube ($17), which is a multipurpose balm that can be used on the go for a natural, sun-kissed look. The brand uses medical-grade lanolin (a far better alternative to petroleum-based formulas) to give you the softest, smoothest lips in a flash. 

For the world traveler who can’t stop talking about their trip to Japan... 

Waphyto Regena Toner ($68)
Credit: Waphyto

Founded by Atsuko Morita—an award-winning authority in the field of biomethodological phytotherapy who’s devoted a lifetime to studying plant sciences—Waphyto uses high-quality ingredients grown according to exacting Japanese agricultural standards. Every product is made with Vitamin-rich plants and botanicals sourced from Mikawa, located on the longest fault line in Japan and known for its nutrient-dense soil. We’re fond of Waphyto’s luxurious toner lotion ($68), which is 97% naturally plant-derived from plants like someiyoshino (cherry trees), suizenjinori (a rare blue-green algae) and noni (a nutrient-packed fruit) in a sleek, minimalist vessel with a distinctly Japanese aesthetic.

For the K-beauty buff...

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm ($38)
Credit: Then I Met You

Founded by Charlotte Cho of leading K-beauty retailer Soko Glam, Then I Met You is rooted in the Korean concept of jeong—a deep, meaningful connection for people, places, and things that encourages empathy and generosity. As if that’s not enough to convince your K-beauty-loving pal that this is the best holiday gift ever, the brand’s nourishing cleansing balm ($38) has scored countless awards and honors, thanks to a soft, soothing texture that melts away makeup and leaves your skin squeaky clean.

For the bestie who’s always watching makeup tutorials...

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette ($75) in Smoky Eyes Are Forever
Credit: Charlotte Tilbury 

Charlotte Tilbury is the undisputed cosmetics queen, so the brand’s new, limited-edition holiday eye palette ($75) is just the thing to surprise and delight a friend who’s obsessed with how-to makeup tutorials. Made to offer several different looks, these long-lasting, buildable, blendable eyeshadows feature different formulas—from matte (which contains a powder coating technology for a soft, cream-like texture) to metallic (which is infused with luminous pearls for a sparkling effect). With a palette this good, your bestie just might start their own YouTube channel…

For the clean makeup aficionado who can never find the right shade...

Exa Beauty High Fidelity Foundation ($38)
Credit: Exa Beauty

Clean beauty retailer Credo developed Exa to meet its strict safety standards, so your friend who’s into non-toxic makeup can rest easy knowing it’s free of parabens, phthalates, and over 2,700 other not-so-great ingredients. Packaged with an eco-friendly approach, the brand’s all-star product is a lightweight, buildable foundation ($38) with moisturizing hyaluronic acid, microalgae actives, and soothing maqui berry, which lends a glowy, natural-looking, semi-satin finish. Better yet, it comes in a wide range of 43 shades—use Exa’s shade finder to pick the best one for your friend!

For the coworker who’s hoping to Marie Kondo their vanity...

Untamed Humans Personalized Facial Moisturizer ($68)
Credit: Untamed Humans

Know someone who’s been tossing all their belongings that don’t spark joy? Create an all-natural, bespoke formula for them via Untamed Humans. The personalized skincare brand is on a mission to streamline our vanities and uncomplicate our product-heavy routines, starting with a highly customized cleanser ($29) and moisturizer ($68) that meets all your needs. Based on answers from a detailed skin quiz, Untamed Humans will mix a blend of active ingredients into its organic formulations—which may include anything from witch hazel extract to sea buckthorn oil.

For the beauty guru who loves to be in the know...

Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum ($68)
Credit: Eadem

Made by and for people of color, Eadem launched its debut product earlier this year to huge fanfare. Milk Marvel ($68) is a dark-spot-correcting serum infused with niacinamide, vitamin C, and amber algae to prevent and decrease hyperpigmentation. What makes it so special is that the brand does so without lightening your natural skin tone—meeting the needs of people of color with its just-right dosage of active ingredients. Plus, Eadem’s committed to challenging the beauty industry to push beyond tokenism in every way, working with women of color chemists and dermatologists to create boundary-breaking skincare.

For the biotin pill popper…


If they’re taking biotin pills and downing collagen powders, amp up their hair-thickening crusade with KEVIN.MURPHY’s superior strengthening formula ($44). Created using eyelash thickening and lengthening technology, this leave-in plumping treatment works for all hair types (but especially, fine, aging, and thinning strands), boosting volume and preventing breakage. Trust us: Your giftee will thank you later for all that extra body and bounce.

For the environmental crusader...

Emma Lewisham Illuminating Oil Cleanser ($56)
Credit: Emma Lewisham

Hailing from New Zealand, cult-favorite Emma Lewisham produces 100% clean, cutting-edge formulas—like this rich, antioxidant-packed cleanser ($56) that easily dissolves makeup. The brand is making huge strides toward circularity, offering recycling and refills for all of its products to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Its biodegradable box packaging is environmentally responsible too, printed using oil-free, vegetable-based inks.

For the roommate who can’t stand the taste of collagen powder...

The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost ($45)
Credit: The Beauty Chef

Get them this vegan, wild-berry-flavored concentrate ($45) that—when mixed into water, smoothies, or other drinks—tastes out-of-this-world delicious, thanks to a blend of bio-fermented papaya juice, plum puree, organic goji, acai, and maqui berries. Somewhere in the mix is a probiotic strain designed to help with digestive wellbeing and skin health and tons of vitamin C to contribute to collagen formation for their best skin ever. 

For the aunt who’s sensitive to synthetic fragrances...

Koala Eco Natural Hand Wash ($25)
Credit: Koala Eco

This plant-based hand wash ($25) owes its divine, uplifting scent to Australian essential oils like rosemary and eucalyptus—which also happen to be among nature’s most effective antiseptics. Plus, the founders behind Koala Eco (which also makes excellent multi-purpose cleansers and dish soaps) ensure their products work even better than chemically based formulations—all without using harmful ingredients like perfumes, dyes, and allergens. Each recyclable bottle is made with 100% post-consumer recycled materials, so no new plastic is created. Talk about a win-win!

For the sibling who could use a little skin TLC... 

Supernal Illumine Restorative Oil Serum ($128)
Credit: Supernal

Made in micro batches using potent, plant-based ingredients, Supernal’s latest launch is a skin savior your sib will 100% obsess over. Powered by antioxidant-rich botanicals and protective fatty acids (like dragon fruit seed oil, licorice root extract, and pure bakuchiol), this superstar serum ($128) replenishes skin and improves texture after just a single application. Plus, it’s poured into a luxe-looking bottle that’s ultra-giftable.

For the friend who has chapped lips...

Merit Shade Slick ($24)
Credit: Merit 

Clean beauty brand Merit’s Shade Slick ($24) is one of the most moisturizing lip tints we’ve ever tried—thanks to an intensely hydrating cocktail of rosehip oil, shea butter, grapeseed oil, jojoba, and omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids. The EU-compliant formula (which means it’s free from over 1,400 potentially unsafe ingredients) is made to encourage healthy barrier function and maintain your lips’ natural moisture levels with repeated usage. 

For someone who deserves a little pampering (that includes you!)...

RéVive Réstorative Collection ($450)
Credit: RéVive

Some might say Révive’s new Réstorative Collection ($450) is a bit of a splurge, but we like to call it a worthy investment. The set contains two hero products: an intensely hydrating eye cream to target the first noticeable signs of skin aging, which tend to appear as crow’s feet at the outer corners of your eyes, and an elasticity-boosting, collagen-producing night cream that immediately plumps up your skin. This premier brand is rooted in groundbreaking science; founder Dr. Gregory Bays Brown was even awarded a patent in 1994 to use a bio-engineered molecule called Epidermal Growth Factor as an anti-aging ingredient in skincare. (Psst… we won’t tell a soul if you buy this set for yourself.)

For the selfie-taker...

Freck Beauty Cactus Water Cleansing Lactic Acid Toner ($28)
Credit: Freck Beauty

Surprise them with Freck Beauty’s unscented, vegan toner ($28), which is not only beautifully packaged, but also powerfully effective. It’s easy to wax poetic about this skin-loving formula, which combines non-irritating lactic acid to slough off dead cells and antioxidant-rich vegetable and plant extracts to hydrate and combat inflammation. Use it consistently and a radiant #nofilter complexion awaits.

For the boss who’s always active on Slack...

Saje Natural Wellness Stress Release Soothing Body Oil ($22)
Credit: Saje Natural Wellness

As purveyors of 100% natural aromatherapy remedies, Saje has nailed the science of formulating wellness-boosting scents—like this stress-relieving body oil ($22) with calming lavender, Roman chamomile, and uplifting citrus. Whether it’s used as an all-over moisturizer or poured into an evening bubble bath, this liquid gold offers the ultimate relaxation ritual at the end of the day, making it a perfect present for your stressed-out manager. 

For the Kim Kardashian stan...

 Makeup by Mario Ultra Suede Sculpting Lip Pencil ($24) 
Credit: Makeup by Mario

They’ll adore this dual-ended, defining lip liner ($24) from the makeup line of Mario Dedivanovic, known as the pioneer and creator of Kim Kardashian’s signature sculpted glam looks. Available in 12 shades, the full-coverage formula is designed to contour your lips and infused with emollients to help prevent them from feathering or bleeding. Any Keeping Up With the Kardashians fan will wear this must-have pencil liner down to the nub.

For the minimalist...

Oak Essentials Balancing Mist ($38)
Credit: Oak Essentials

Jenni Kayne recently made her first foray into skincare with Oak Essentials, a foundational, five-step routine rooted in clean ingredients. Formulated without synthetic fragrances, silicones, sulfates, and other harmful ingredients, her antioxidant-rich, aromatherapeutic mist ($38) refreshes your skin instantly. Like everything the fashion and lifestyle designer touches, this tightly edited collection is modern and minimalist—right down to the low-waste packaging and 100% recyclable cartons.

For the emergency contact who’s always got your back...

House of Bō Agua de Santos Eau de Parfum ($290)
Credit: House of Bō

They deserve something extra special and splurge-worthy for the holidays—like this cleanly formulated, citrusy fragrance ($290) from brand-new luxury perfumery House of Bō. All of the brand’s gender-neutral scents are handmade with raw, natural, sustainably sourced ingredients. Then they’re hand-assembled in recyclable glass bottles and crowned with reclaimed travertine marble toppers hand-sculpted by Mexican artisans. The result is a highly sophisticated olfactory experience you won’t get anywhere else—with limited production runs that make each fragrance feel incredibly exclusive.

For the candle junkie...

Keap Candles Cotton Magnolia ($50)
Credit: Keap Candles 

If your friend’s the type who keeps the wicks burning all night long, you can’t go wrong with one of Keap’s candles (perhaps even a subscription!). The Brooklyn-based company is dedicated to making better candles with virtually zero waste, working with master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel (the brains behind Abercrombie & Fitch’s famous store scent). Made using sustainable coconut wax with a 45-hour burn, the candles boast evocative scents—including crisp Cotton Magnolia ($50) that smells like sheets drying in the sun.

For the partner who struggles with rosacea flare-ups...

Gladskin Redness Relief Cream ($35)
Credit: Gladskin

Rooted in microbiome science, this highly reviewed redness relief cream ($35) is a godsend for those who deal with rosacea, quickly alleviating symptoms like redness and irritation. It was developed by Gladskin, a non-prescription skincare company that uses a smart protein called Micreobalance® to target inflammatory bacteria while creating a healthy environment for good bacteria to grow. (P.S. The brand also has a range of effective products for eczema sufferers.)

For the mama-to-be...

Dermaclara Enhanced Silicone Fusion Stretch Mark Kit ($45)
Credit: Dermaclara

Let everyone else handle the boring gifts, like pregnancy pillows and diaper bags. You’ll get them Dermaclara’s three-piece kit ($45)—which includes a prep formula and two medical-grade silicone patches clinically proven to prevent stretch marks from forming during pregnancy. These patches are safe to use for all trimesters and effective on stretch marks of all ages, so even if they’re post-partum, they’ll make good use of this thoughtful present.

For the on-the-go dynamo...

Nudestix Glowy Nude Skin Kit ($45)
Credit: Nudestix

Look no further than Nudestix. The brand makes foolproof makeup crayons enriched with vitamins and antioxidants, which are incredibly easy to apply and blend while on the move. Its limited-edition holiday set ($45) includes two of its multipurpose bronzing and highlighting sticks designed for the out-and-about friend who wants a sun-kissed glow in under a minute.

For the split end sufferer...

F. Miller Hair Oil ($48)
Credit: F. Miller

Not only do F. Miller’s chic, minimalist bottles look striking on your vanity, its powerful, herbal-based formulas work like a dream too. The natural beauty brand prioritizes ethically sourced, certified organic ingredients as much as possible, making its luxe products in small batches to retain their efficacy. Designed for all hair types, the concentrated hair oil ($48) is a multitasking wonder—use it as a deep conditioning treatment for shiny strands, a beard-softening oil, an eyebrow growth serum, and so much more. 

Our favorite empties are about to be your best holiday gifts—so start shopping for all the beauty enthusiasts (or even beauty curious) in your life now!

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