Friday, December 17, 2010

Gifts for Girls

I've been seeing a lot of videos on YouTube about what to get the women in your life for Christmas.  It's entertaining to watch them, but I have to say that I disagree with a lot of the choices.  Thus, I was inspired to write my own list for what NOT to give a girl:

1.) Makeup
You will get it wrong.  I promise.  I receive a lot of makeup as gifts because I'm a "girly girl", but really, it's very personal - colours, finishes, textures, formulae, etc.  I've never gotten any makeup that I would actually use.  And even if you've seen a girl you know use a certain product before, how do you know that she would re-purchase it for herself? 

And particularly for me, I'm opposed to most makeup palettes, which are popular at this time of year, mainly because most of them were not designed for my colouring and skin type, so the colours and/or the products just don't work on me.  Sure, spokespeople of brands will say that the colours "work on EVERY skin tone!!!" - but from personal experience, I know that's not true.  Putting makeup on an Asian face is a very precise art, because Asian skin, eyes and faces come in a HUGE variety of colours and shapes.  Each girl has to figure out for herself what works best - it's a rite of passage - and general rules don't apply.  So just don't go there.

2.) Clothes
If you get her a size that's too big, she'll think you think she's enormous.  If you get her a size that's too small, it's a waste of money and she'll have to go exchange it.  If you get her a size that fits - well, it's not that easy to nail it.  Besides the fit, style is also very personal.  So I would caution against this one.

3.) A Scale
Kind of obvious, no?

4.) Living Things (pets, plants, etc.)
Most people don't want to be saddled with extra responsibilities - life is full of necessary, burdensome responsibilities as it is.

5.) Anti-Aging Skincare
Not even for your mom or grandmother.  They can buy that on their own if they feel they need it.  No woman wants to confront the fact that she's aging - unless you're ballin' (or super generous) and get her stuff she wants but normally can't afford, like La Mer or something.

So after all those no-nos, what SHOULD you give?  It depends, of course.  I'm a simple girl with pretty mainstream taste, and personally, Amazon gift cards are always a winner.  I LOVE books, but the beauty of Amazon is that even if the girl in your life doesn't, they also sell scads of other things that she might like.  Actually, most gift cards make excellent presents because they ensure that your beloved can pick out something she actually likes.  Only exception to this theory is if you get her a gift card to a higher-end store so she won't be able to pick out something great without paying a ton extra out of her own pocket (like Sephora or Anthropologie or if you give her like a $20 gift cert for a spa).

Now, some people may be anti-gift cards because they're "impersonal" and don't show that you cared enough to think about what to give - but seriously, how much time do you have to think of an awesome, unique, special present for everyone on your list?  Besides that, this really is the best way to ensure that they will get something they would enjoy, unless you screw up in a big way and get them a gift card at a store they have no interest in whatsoever.

Other non-gift card, less-likely-to-bomb gifts for the women in your life?  Donations to charities in her name (especially if the charity is special to her), plane tickets (which can be really affordable if you live in Europe or Asia - and this is the only exception to the rule about her having to pay more out of her pocket to use the gift, because plane tickets are almost always welcome), jewellery (it doesn't have to be real - just pretty - and most girls like trinkets, although if it's real, you're also giving her assets, which is smart),  books & CDs (easy to re-gift if she doesn't like it :P), subscriptions to her favourite magazines...

Any other suggestions?

Happy gifting, everyone! :)

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