Holiday Gift Guide 2019

Snow is falling, cocoa is brewing – it’s holiday time again! For this year’s gift guide, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite items from the past year, plus some special collections, too. Scroll down for more!

{TBR’s Holiday Gift Guide 2019}

Disclaimer: The products below were provided to me at no cost for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.


We’ve divided our gift guide into 5 sections, and have given you the deets on our top few picks for each area.

  • Stocking Stuffers
  • Home & Host Gifts
  • Makeup & Skincare
  • Gifts for Someone Experiencing Loss
  • Green Gifts


Stocking Stuffers

ALO Ornament: A good beauty ornament is hard to resist, especially when it’s chock-full of biodegradable, cruelty-free, heavenly-scented skincare goodness! This ornament ($15) from Canadian brand Fruits & Passion includes a mini bath bomb, hand cream, and lip balm! With 3 scents to choose from, you can select the perfect match for your giftee. As an added bonus, the adorable packaging can be reused and redecorated for years to come!

Quo Beauty Crackers: One of my favorite traditions is holiday crackers. My family opens crackers just before Christmas dinner, and I’m always on the lookout for options with prizes that vary from the typical paper crown and plastic trinket. Quo, the home brand of Shoppers Drug Mart, has released a set of holiday crackers ($15), each filled with a different shade of lip gloss. Perfect for a holiday gathering with friends!

Innisfree Paper Speaker Kit: This adorable kit ($8) from Korean brand Innisfree makes a miniature gramophone-style speaker for your cellphone. It takes just a few minutes to assemble, and looks beautiful. A guaranteed hit at any party, and a great plastic-free speaker alternative. Turn up the Mariah! 🙂


Home & Host Gifts

Pack it Up: One of the toughest things about starting a new hobby is gathering all the special equipment and resources required. Montreal-based company Pack It Up Co. makes this an absolute breeze, with activity starter kits complete with everything you might need. Have a friend who wants to take up mixology? Baking? Pasta-Making? Fishing? Gift them a one-box set-up of all the essentials. Prices range from $39-$499, depending on the type and size of kit. I love their Vinyl Collector Starter Pack ($100), which includes record innersleeves, outersleeves, a slipmat, anti-static brush, brass stand, shelf divider, and cleaner. A gift that can spark (or fuel) a lifelong passion!

GROOM Candle: There is no shortage of holiday-themed scented candles released around this time of year. But so many of them are cloying, too strong, or just plain kitschy! (There’s only so much gingerbread a person can enjoy, amirite?) Looking for an elegant, sexy scent reminiscent of a traditional barbershop? GROOM has got you covered. Their new soy candle ($28) is infused with evergreen, citrus, and a hint of lavender – a gorgeous combination that conjures up the holiday spirit while still seeming unique and polished. An absolute must-have.

Cucina Kitchen Trio: Cucina, another line from Quebec’s Fruits & Passion brand, focuses on products for the kitchen. Their offerings of dish soap, kitchen mist, hand soap, and hand lotions with luxe mediterranean fragrances like lemon, orange, fennel, and coriander will delight any host or home cook. My personal favourite set is the Kitchen Trio ($30) – containing dish soap, hand soap, and hand lotion – since the beautiful tin packaging can easily be reused as a storage container. The Kitchen Trio is available in available in the Lime Zest & Cypress, Sea Salt & Amalfi Lemon, and Coriander & Olive Tree fragrances. As with many F&P products, these items have biodegradable formulas and recyclable packaging, and are never tested on animals.

Oteas Tea: I often include a holiday tea/coffee set in my gift guide, and for good reason: gifts like these are one of the most popular choices for hosts, coworkers, teachers, and friends. This year, my beverage recommendation is Oteas. This Canadian, family-run company creates hand-blended teas with completely biodegradable packaging, making them one of the most environmentally friendly tea companies on the market. And with luxe flavours like Black Tea with Caramel or Passionfruit and Orange, your giftee will truly have something to savour. ($6.99 for 15 bags, available online or at many Loblaws and Sobeys locations.)


Makeup & Skincare

Quo Glitz on the Go Brush Set: Any makeup artist will tell you the importance of having good tools. Quo makes some of my absolute favourite brushes: they’re soft, collect pigment well, are inexpensive, and are easy to hold and clean. Their brushes can be purchased individually (#14 and #18 are two that I use daily), but they also release some pretty fabulous holiday sets. With this Glitz on the Go set ($25), your giftee will get all the essential brushes (foundation, powder, crease, shadow, smudge, and liner), plus a chic travel case, all covered in holiday sparkles.

Laneige Hydration Dream Team Set: Ask any woman in her 20s or 30s about her fave skincare brand, and you’re likely to hear “Laneige.” This Korean skincare brand is a huge hit in Canada, thanks to its affordable price point and high-performance products. The cult fave from Laneige is their Lip Sleeping Mask ($26), but their Hydration Dream Team gift set includes the Lip Sleeping Mask, plus the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, Water Bank Moisture Cream, and the Water Sleeping Mask, all for just $51!

Dirty Beard Co.’s Beard Butler: Anyone with facial hair can attest to the fact that keeping a beard or moustache tidy can be a bit of a chore. Toronto brand Dirty Beard Co. has come to the rescue with their Beard Butler (reg. $64.99, but $39.99 for a limited time!)  This portable grooming multi-tool is one of the sleekest I’ve ever seen, even coming with its own leather carrying case. One end has a micro-comb to help remove debris, and the other contains a micro-pump of beard mist to freshen and tame while fighting bacteria. Got a beard? Love a person with a beard? This baby’s for you.


For Someone Experiencing Loss

The holiday season can be an emotionally challenging time for many, especially those who have recently lost a loved one. And finding a gift for someone going through loss or trauma can be a real challenge. You want to comfort and cheer, without being insensitive or seeming shallow. If someone on your list is going through a tough time, I recommend checking out Lost + Found.

Toronto boutique Lost + Found (2005 Danforth Avenue, near Danforth & Woodbine) was founded by four friends who met through their shared experience with being young widows. Realizing how powerful it was to share with and learn from each other, and that there wasn’t yet a store in the city specifically created for mental health and wellness products, they went into business together. Each founder sourced items that helped her in her own journey, resulting in an eclectic and fascinating selection of products.

Lost + Found states its mission as “redefin[ing] the journey of mental wellness as one that includes chocolate and expletives alongside meditation and essential oils.” As you can imagine, then, this cozy space is filled with items to help anyone on their mourning or mental wellness journey: aromatherapy, yoga mats, bath salts, soft and cuddly clothing, toys and books for children experiencing loss, plus some realistic cards with sentiments that will actually comfort – and may even bring a smile to your giftee’s face. (“Infertility is a F**king Rollercoaster” and “No Card Can Make This Better, but I’m Giving You One Anyway” are two of my personal favourites.) Lost + Found also hosts workshops and community events so their customers can build relationships with each other and learn new skills.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone who’s had a rough year, or really anyone interested in mental wellness, stop by Lost + Found. You’ll be enchanted with what you find.


Green Gifts

Many of the items listed in our gift guide come from eco-friendly companies, but here are some additional eco-friendly options.

Happy gifting, dear readers! What item from our Gift Guide would you love to give or receive?

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