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68 thoughtful and fun gifts that won’t cost you more than $25

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The elements of a good present – being thoughtful, useful, or novel – aren’t restricted to a big budget. But the best gifts under $25 are usually hidden in a minefield of totally expendable knickknacks.

As a team of product journalists and reviewers, we’ve put together a list of the best affordable gifts we know of, based on gifts we’ve received, gifts we’ve given, and others we’ve found along the way. All of them are things we have or would gladly buy and use in our daily lives.

Check out all 60+ gifts under $25:

This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Under Armour. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*

A book that’ll make you a cheese connoisseur

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The New Rules of Cheese, available at Uncommon Goods, $15

Master the art of cheese for your next charcuterie board. This book tells you all you need to know about different types of cheese, how to pair them, and how to store each one. You’ll know exactly what to serve with an extra-sharp cheddar or a smooth, melty brie.

An at-home lavender growing kit

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Mason Jar Lavender Grow Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Grow English lavender indoors with this reusable, self-watering kit. It’s perfect for the novice gardener or someone who doesn’t have the outdoor space. Just combine the seeds in the self-watering system, set it in a sunny window, and adore your fragrant lavender in its vintage jar.

The bedside storage essential

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Bedside Essentials Pocket, available at Uncommon Goods, $15-$20

Whether it’s your remote controls, books, and reading glasses, your bedside or couch essentials will fit perfectly in this convenient felt pouch. It slides between your mattress or under your couch cushion without looking like an eyesore.

The self-confessional book you can burn after writing

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Burn After Writing Book, available at Amazon, $7

This bestseller went viral across TikTok because of its unique approach to self-reflection. With inquisitive prompts, the notebook works as a giant confessional you can quite literally burn after writing. 

A reflective card game that encourages connection

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We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Target, $25

This card game is unlike any you’ve played before. Its three carefully crafted levels of questions spark connections and stimulate reflective conversations. You’ll leave the game making friends out of strangers or diving deeper into your friendships. 

A custom plaque for the music lover in your life

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Custom Spotify Song Plaque, available at Etsy, starting $20

These custom music plaques have become a popular gift for music lovers. Commemorate their favorite song with this clear piece of home decor that pulls up music with a quick scan. It’s great for anniversaries, letting you add a personal photo along with you and your significant other’s song. 

An assorted cookie tin

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6-Count Cookie Tin, available Milk Bar, $20

Satisfy their sweet tooth with this assortment of cookies. You can’t go wrong with Milk Bar’s best, from its fudgy Chocolate Confetti Cookie to its fruity Blueberry & Cream Cookie.

An ambient moon lamp

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Saturn Moon Lamp, available at Amazon, $23.99

This Saturn-shaped moon lamp gives off a soothing ambient glow to brighten up their room. Whether they use it as a subtle night light or as a room accessory, they’ll have fun matching the lamp to their mood with its 16 color options.

Hip wine glasses that elevate a nice dinner

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Hip Wine Glasses, available at Crate & Barrel, $6.95

There’s nothing that screams elegance more than a nice set of wine glasses. At only $7 each, Crate & Barrel’s stemware styles are the perfect guest to accompany your next charcuterie board. 

A sentimental card to keep forever

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Aya Paper Co. Gratitude Greeting Card Set, available at Kohl’s, $15

Is their love language words of affirmation? Then this is the perfect find. Express your admiration for the ones you love with these greeting card keepsakes. 

A milk frother that brings the taste of a cafe closer to home

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PowerLix Milk Frother, available at Amazon, $18.95

A milk frother is an unexpectedly convenient tool to have around the house, and it can make a frothy latte or cappuccino that tastes closer to what you’d find at the cafe.

Reusable straws that fold up on the go

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Food52 Reusable Straw Set, available at Food52, from $25

Food52’s reusable straw sets come in a pretty color palette, and each pack includes carrying cases and cleaning squeegees. They can toss one set in their bag, leave one at work, and keep one in the car.

A cult-favorite clay mask that basically vacuums out pores

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Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, available at Target, $7.99

The Aztec Clay Mask has been called “the world’s most powerful facial” and it’s also under $10. It can be mixed with water, but it works best with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. You can read a full review here.

A cozy, activity-ready beanie

Cheap gift ideas Under Armour

Unisex UA Truckstop Beanie, available at Under Armour, $22

There’s no such thing as too many beanies, and Under Armour’s truly stands out thanks to its sweat-wicking, quick-drying material. Its acrylic knit design will keep them warm on long walks, but it’ll also keep them from overheating during winter workouts. If they’re into fitness but not into hats, Under Armour’s gift guide is a great place to check out clever gift ideas.

*Sponsored by Under Armour

Their new favorite pair of socks

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Women’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Men’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Bombas is one gift we find ourselves giving friends and family every year. They’re the best socks we’ve ever tried, and they’re a little more expensive than someone is likely to spend on socks for themselves, making them a great gift.

A Disney+ subscription

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Subscribe for $6.99/month or $69.99/year

It gives you unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.

And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A large photo print of a meaningful memory

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Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $20

Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $20, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $25.

A roulette of spontaneous date night ideas

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Date Night Bucket List, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Never run out of fun and new date night ideas — and take some of the pressure off deciding on an activity.

A cold brew coffee tool that makes a quart of liquid

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Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $20.10

This cold brew maker is as inexpensive as it is convenient, and it can save hundreds of dollars per year on iced coffee. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once. If they need more than one quart, there’s also a two-quart option.

A trio of bestselling lipstick shades

Beauty gifts under $25 Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath Labs Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio, available at Sephora, $25

This paraben-free, ultra-pigmented trio features tiny but mighty editions of Pat McGrath Labs’ MatteTrance lipsticks.

A hair towel that cuts down on drying time by as much as 50%

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Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Turban, available at Amazon, $20.99

Aquis’ cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of product reviewers.

The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that’s composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction that hair experiences while in its weakest state. Plus, it speeds up drying time by as much as 50%.

Textured dip bowls for condiments

Gifts under $25 dip bowl

Textured Dip Bowl, available at West Elm, $6.50

Ideal for snacks, condiments, and the basics they love to cook with frequently. 

An approachable cookbook that’s great for hosting

Where Cooking Begins

“Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook” by Carla Lalli Music, available at Amazon, $18.69

This is the cookbook to beeline it to if your recipient loves to host friends for dinner. You can find more great options here, too.

A holiday shave set from a popular startup

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Shave Set, available at Flamingo, $16

Flamingo is the women’s brand of Harry’s, and it’s got the same M.O.: to make better hair removal products for a reasonable amount of money, and to present them in a way that makes them feel special. Its Shave Set comes in a recyclable pouch with a razor and two blade cartridges, luxe foaming shave gel, and a shower hook.

Smart outlet plugs that let you turn devices on or off from anywhere

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Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini, available at Best Buy, $17.99

A small but convenient gift, smart wifi plugs let the owner turn their electronics on or off from anywhere with their smartphone thanks to the Kasa app. If they have a smart home gadget, they can use the voice assistant to turn things on and off as well. In the Kasa app, they can also set schedules and “scenes” for controlling many devices with one button. 

A custom family portrait – including pets

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Custom Family Portrait, available at Etsy, from $15

For an especially thoughtful, impactful gift, order ahead of time and get a custom portrait of your little family — pets included.

A mini griddle that makes individual servings of breakfast foods

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Dash Mini Maker: The Mini Waffle Maker Machine, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99

This tiny waffle maker is perfect for single-serving breakfasts, or for meal prep (just freeze your waffles ahead of time). It’s compact for confined spaces, heats up in a few minutes, and has a non-stick surface that’s easy to clean.

A lifetime REI membership

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REI Membership, available at REI, $20

Perfect for the outdoorsy types, an REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here.

A set of three silk hair scrunchies

SlipSilk

Slipsilk Mini Scrunchies, available at Sephora, $20

Silk is often used in products like headbands and pillowcases to reduce friction and breakage of hair, and these hair ties serve the same purpose. Designed to keep hair from catching, crimping, and pulling, these hair scrunchies are gentle on strands and around the wrist.

Containers of Belgian chocolate for fondue

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Decadent Chocolate Fondue, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Order a stoneware container of Belgian chocolate that you can heat up for a night of hassle-free fondue. 

A water bottle with a built-in filter system

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Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle, available at Amazon, $16.99

The Brita water bottle has a built-in filter that can improve the taste of water by reducing its chlorine content and smell. It can replace an estimated 1,800 single-use plastic bottles each year.

A reusable shopping bag that comes in tons of fun colors

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Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag, available at Amazon, $12

Baggu bags are popular for a reason — they come in tons of fun prints and can fold down to pretty much nothing even though they can hold 50 pounds of stuff. 

An indoor wireless smart home camera

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Wyze Alexa-Enabled Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera, available at Chewy, $25.98

The popular Wyze Indoor Camera is an inexpensive, Alexa- and Google Assistant-enabled smart home camera that lets you see inside your home from anywhere when using your mobile device. It also has night vision. 

*This product was selected at a price point below $25, but prices can often fluctuate slightly above or below $25. 

A spray that protects your shoes from stains

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Jason Markk Repel Spray, available at Amazon, $17

This Jason Markk spray repels water and oil to keep your shoes free of stains and water spots. It’s water-based, so it’s okay to use on a variety of materials — from suede to nubuck leather to canvas and others. It sprays a fine mist that covers large areas both quickly and evenly. 

Soft, cozy underwear that comes in holiday patterns

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MeUndies Boxers, available at MeUndies, $24

MeUndies makes some of the most comfortable underwear and loungewear for men and women that we’ve found at Insider Reviews. And, beyond that, we love their festive patterns.

Because they’re pricier than most people are willing to pay for their own underwear, these make a great and surprisingly luxurious gift. 

Coasters made from reclaimed vinyl records

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Upcycled Record Coasters, available at Uncommon Goods, $18

These upcycled coasters are made from reclaimed vinyl records and sealed against moisture. Each set includes a variety of music genres. 

A water bottle that keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours straight

Gifts under $25 Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, $20.97

Hydro Flask’s cult-favorite water bottle keeps chilled drinks cold for up to 24 hours. This particular version is marketed with kids in mind, but the smaller size and bright colors also work well for adults on the go.

Fast-absorbing, moisturizing hand sanitizer

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Touchland Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $12

Touchland makes hand sanitizers that aren’t sticky or drying. We like them because they’re fast-evaporating, moisturizing, and effective

An eco-friendly utensil set for eating on the go

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United by Blue Utensil Kit, available at United by Blue, $24

Perfect for eating on the go or at a campsite, this utensil kit comes with two stainless steel straws, one silicone straw tip, one straw cleaner, one stainless steel spork, and one pair of stainless steel chopsticks.

United by Blue is an eco-friendly outdoors retailer, and the carrier is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a water-resistant finish.

A protective phone case

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Incase Phone Cases, available at Incase, from $14.95

Incase probably already makes your laptop case, and their phone cases are great for many of the same reasons. They’re lightweight, add another layer of protection, and allow for some fun personalization. 

A membership to unlimited reading

Scribd

Scribd Membership, available at Scribd, $9.99/month

Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines for less than $10 a month with Scribd. (Or $13 per month for access to Scribd and the New York Times). If they aren’t a bibliophile already, Scribd will make them one. 

A cult-favorite fidget toy

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Speks Classic Magnet Balls, available at Speks, $24.95

Speks are one of our all-time favorite fidget accessories. They’re tiny magnetic balls that you can break apart, reconfigure, and otherwise mold, mash, and build with. They help us divert just enough energy to remain productive throughout the day. 

Herbs de Provence in a cool ceramic crock

Cheap Valentine's Day Gifts

Herbes de Provence in Ceramic Crock, available at Williams Sonoma, from $14.95

Switch it up for the cook in your life with this tasty herb mix. The classic blend of thyme, basil, savory, fennel and lavender hails from the South of France, and Williams Sonoma recommends using it to accent poultry, meat, sauces, and soups. 

Spiral hair ties that don’t leave kinks in their hair

Gifts under $25 Invisibobble

Invisibobble Pouch of Awesome, available at Ulta, $11.50

Inivisibobble makes popular spiral hair ties that apply even pressure to a ponytail, providing a strong but comfortable hold. This set comes with four hair ties: the Slim, Scrunchie, Basic, and Power.

Chip-resistant, vegan nail polish that comes in over 40 colors

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Smith and Cult Nail Polish, available at Smith and Cult, $18

Smith & Cult’s rich, chip-resistant nail polish comes in 47 colors and the kind of beautiful bottle you leave out on the vanity because it’s just that nice to look at. The formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and don’t have potentially harmful ingredients like formaldehyde or camphor,  among others.

An advent calendar of 24 herbal teas

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Pukka Advent Calendar, available at Amazon, $14.17

This pack of 24 tea bags in different varieties supplies a full month of daily spontaneity and self-care. According to Pukka Herbs, all its teas and supplements are ethically and sustainably sourced. 

Charitable lottery tickets that donate money to a deserving organization

lottolove

Scratch-off Donation Card, available at LottoLove, from $5

When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won’t win any money. Instead, you “win” a charitable prize that’s donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.

Lip gloss that’s moisturizing and not sticky

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Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14

Tower 28 makes soft lip glosses with subtle color and a non-sticky, moisturizing formula with ingredients like raspberry seed oil and rosehip oil. Pick it up in 10 colors. 

A set of glasses that have a how-to diagram for Bloody Marys

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Bloody Mary Diagram Glassware, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $25

These cute Bloody Mary glasses make a playful science out a truly perfect spicy and savory Bloody Mary. 

Reusable beeswax sandwich wraps

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Beeswax Reusable Sandwich Wrap, available at Food52, from $18

Beeswax Sandwich Wrap is made from cotton infused with beeswax and natural oils. It acts as an eco-friendly substitute to plastic sandwich bags, and which can be reused over and over and over again.

Gourmet flavored syrups that are perfect for coffees and teas, and even cocktails

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Monin Mini Coffee Syrup, available at World Market, $9.99

Did anyone — anyone at all — say cocktails? Monin’s coffee collection has everything needed for café-inspired drinks, be they cocktails, lattes, coffees, or teas. It includes five syrups ranging in flavors from amaretto to Irish cream. Plus, Monin has a recycling initiative that works to improve the health of bee populations. 

A smart chip that helps you find items you’ve lost

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Tile Mate, available at Target, $24.99

How nice would it be if every time you lost something, you could find it within a few minutes? Use your smartphone to make the Tile Mate ring aloud, and you’ll be able to locate your keys or wallet using the sound. 

A travel-size duo of two cult-favorite NARS products

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NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil Duo, available at Sephora, $20

NARS’ velvet matte lipstick pencils are travel-sized so your giftee can bring them on trips or easily throw them into purses and pockets for on-the-go use. The formula is non-drying and long-lasting, and they can be used to line, define, and fill in lips with colors that range from subtle to rich. 

A popular lip mask that creates a protective seal to lock in moisture overnight

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Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Sephora, $22

Laneige’s hyper-successful Lip Sleeping Mask uses a combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, minerals, antioxidants, and fruit extracts to form a protective layer over the lips to lock in moisture overnight. It has over 7,000 ratings on Sephora, and an average rating of 4.5-stars out of five. 

A slip-resistant armband to keep their phone in place on a run

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Tribe Cell Phone Armband, available at Amazon, from $14.98

If you’re going to buy an armband for a runner, you’re probably going to wind up buying this version from Tribe. It has over 18,000 reviews on Amazon (with a 4.2-star rating overall) and, while it’s not the most perfect out there, it’s frequently recommended for its water-resistant and no-slip design. 

Knee-high socks from one of the best loungewear companies online

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Tommy John Knee High Casual Sock, available at Tommy John, from $16

Tommy John is another company responsible for some of the very best loungewear and underwear on the internet. Their knee-length socks have light compression to support blood flow, and the “comfort cuff” design means you should be able to peel them off without finding marks left over. 

A ceramic jewelry holder and ring dish

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Cactus Jewelry Holder Dish, available at Amazon, $16.99

A cute, quirky ceramic ring dish and jewelry holder that looks like a cactus.

An adjustable phone stand for their desk, dinner table, or kitchen counter

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Lamicall Adjustable Cell Phone Stand, available at Amazon, from $11.99

Whether they use it as a desk accessory or to prop up their YouTube search for “how to chop onions” while they cook at home, a lightweight, adjustable phone stand comes in handy more often than you’d expect. 

One of the best new books of the year

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“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon, from $17.39

If you’re looking for a good book to gift, look no further than the reading lists already on Amazon — from the best books of the month, to the best books of the year, to the 100 you should read in a lifetime

All the tools you need for a delicious, fast avocado toast

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Avocado Toast Breakfast Set, available at Walmart, $11.50

This set of breakfast tools makes a thoughtful gift for anyone who wants a delicious meal faster, which is never a bad thing in the morning.

A photo book with some of their best memories

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Custom Softcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising from $15

For a sentimental gift under $25, we recommend these beautifully designed photo books that look like a personal magazine, curated by you for them.

Bath salts that are the perfect excuse for relaxation

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Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts, available at Dermstore, $15.30

Herbivore Botanical’s bath salts include nutrient-rich Pacific sea salts combined with ylang-ylang and vanilla essential oil. They’ll moisturize the skin and provide a deeply relaxing, calming effect on the brain to decrease anxiety and restlessness.  

The best hair mask you can buy

its a 10 miracle hair mask

It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask, available at It’s a 10, from $12.49

Perfect for color-treated, heat-styled, and otherwise damaged hair, It’s a 10’s hair mask deep-conditions strands with a blend of moisturizing ingredients like oat kernel extract, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, and linseed extract. We ranked it the best hair mask you can buy

Fruit ice molds to liven up water or cocktails

Gifts under $25 fruit ice balls

Fruit Infusing Ice Balls, Set of 4, available at Uncommon Goods, $10

This slow-melting ice mold can add a crisp, refreshing burst of fruit or herbs to their water. All they have to do is add their fix-ins to the mold, fill with water, and freeze.

A cute, bunny-shaped loose-tea infuser

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Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, available at Amazon, $9.79

Gift them some relaxing time spent sipping their favorite tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). 

The makeup remover tourists stock up on in French pharmacies

Bioderma

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Makeup Remover, available at Amazon, $14.90

Bioderma’s makeup remover is a cult-favorite among makeup artists, celebrities, the average person, and the Insider Reviews team. We’ve ranked it the best makeup remover you can buy, and it’s one of the many beauty products tourists are known to stock up on when visiting a French pharmacy. 

Silicone gloves that keep the other half of the avocado fresh

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Avocado Huggers, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $8

These little silicone cups hug the remaining half of an avocado to keep it fresh in the fridge. 

Tickets to an event you know they’ll appreciate

StubHub gift card

Live concert and game tickets, available at Stubhub, from $15 per person

Once it’s safe to attend live events again, is there a good concert, play, or game you think they’d love? It doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful. Grab tickets and make a night of it — or, if you live far away, make sure they get to go with a friend or two.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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