Gift Guide: Little Items from Luxe Brands

This is a gift guide for those of you who have older kids who have learned about really high-end brands (often via memes on Tiktok or Instagram) and are really into that whole world. If you know someone who aches for the luxe life even when it’s out of reach, I’ve collected the most affordable items from the fanciest brands — mostly from their beauty and skincare lines. Yes, a $4000 handbag or $2000 trench coat is out of reach for pretty much all of us, but pulling out a Gucci lip balm from your backpack still feels like a mini-luxury.

Let’s jump in:

Chanel Lip Balm, $25
Available in five shades.

Chanel Deodorant Stick, $25/
There are 8 different options, mostly for men, and several are exclusive to their website. (I’m linking to the one pictured, but if you do a search for deodorant stick on the Chanel site, the rest will show up.)

Chanel Anti pollution Cleansing Oil, $45
There’s also Anti-Pollution Cleansing Milk-to-Oil for the same price.

Chanel Multi-Use Glow Stick, $45
Four shades available.

Chanel No. 5 The Bath Soap $26
There are two other bath soaps available on their site, both for the same price (search bath soap to find them).

Gucci Nail Polish, $28
There are 5 shades in their capsule collection.

Gucci Gel Face Gloss, $33

Gucci Goldie Red 25 Lipstick, $42
The work Gucci puts out is always new and interesting to me. Visit the landing page for Goldie Red 25 to see what I mean — it definitely made me want to buy this lipstick. : )

Dior Eyelash Curler $25

Dior Lip Tattoo Colored Tints, $30
Available in five shades.

Burberry Lip Gloss, $29
Available in 11 colors, or should I say colours.

Burberry Nail Polish $23
Also available in 11 colours.

Hermes Glycerin Soap, $30
There are a few other soaps in the $30-$40 range on the site if you want to search them out (just search the word: soap).

From Prada, there’s nothing in the $25 to $50 range, but there are a few options in the under $100 range. And remember: If you’re going to spend $100+ on a bottle of Prada fragrance, why not order directly from Prada?

Prada Candy Fragrance, $65.

Prada Water bottle, $75

Prada Cutlery Set, $75

That’s the list — even if I’m not buying, browsing their websites is enjoyable to me. They’re all incredibly well designed. If you’re into this, there are other fun high-end brands you can explore. I chose the ones above because I was guessing they are the names most likely to be familiar to those who have recently fallen in love with the world of fashion.

Two more notes: 1) The idea is to purchase these items directly from the brand when possible (versus going to a department store), so that the packaging that arrives is branded too, which I think is more fun for the recipient. 2) Related, if you’re planning to buy perfume for any gifts this year, I recommend buying it directly from the brands. My thinking is that Chanel perfume is expensive wherever you buy it, so if it’s on your list, why not shop directly from Chanel and get their pretty packaging?

Your turn: does anyone in particular come to mind when you see this list? Do any of your kids search The Real Real each day looking for a fashion treasure?

I’d also love to hear if this kind of thing has no appeal to you. I’m aware that we see the water bottle, and lip gloss, and bar soap, and deodorant, and know we can get perfectly good (even great!) versions at the grocery store for a fraction of the cost. Does interest in fashion brands drive you crazy?

P.S. — From Louis Vuitton, the most affordable thing I could find was in the $250 range.

P.P.S. — More shopping and gift guides.

36 thoughts on “Gift Guide: Little Items from Luxe Brands”

  1. I received a Chanel lipstick as a gift one time and I can tell you that I LOVED IT, even though the color was not quite right for me. Loving it took me by surprise since I am normally quite a minimalist and drug store makeup wearer (when I do wear makeup), but the packaging was just perfect, the tube itself was beautiful, and I saved every piece of it. It’s a great gift.

  2. I LOVE looking at this kind of thing. And, in my 20s, these would have absolutely appealed to me. Now, just turning 40 today (squeal, so excited!), if I’m getting a luxury for someone else or myself, it is probably going to be useful! Le Creuset comes to mind. Or a robot vacuum. Or my husband and I saved for and bought the ULTIMATE luxury this year given how unbelievably tight our money is right now: the Chrysler hybrid minivan which does it’s first 30 miles all electric. Our family of five has made find joy in the more practical things. I think if I had a bit more money, though, I could see myself absolutely enjoying these things! I still enjoy them vicariously…. 😊😍

  3. Of fancy brands, I love the Tiffany colors/packaging/marketing, their cheapest item right now seems to be: Love Deodorant for Him.

    I remember someone gave us a Tiffany champagne ice bucket for a wedding gift that we couldn’t imagine using, and so we went to the store to return it and found (25 years ago) it was the cheapest item for sale by a long ways, and there was nothing else to be had in its place. I wonder what my mom ever did that with that store credit we passed on to her…

  4. I didn’t think I cared about luxury brands, but less than ten minutes after reading this, I purchased Chanel nail polish. Ha! Turns out their holiday color (a lovely brushed gold) is exactly what I’ve been trying to find in drugstore brands for years. It’s twice the price of what I usually buy, but still cheaper than a manicure.
    Little luxuries are super fun to give as gifts, I’ve just never purchased for myself!

    1. It s not on their site anymore; it was king of crazy 750 euros for a river stone and a bit of leather. Hermès is such a beautiful luxury house I admire their work but that was ridiculous.

  5. I think you’re totally right that it would feel so luxe to pull out chanel lipstick. I never shop luxury brands; it’s just not in my budget for anything. But, if my husband surprised me with a tiny Prada treat for Christmas, I think it would feel really fun.

    1. I hear you. The idea of walking into one of these stores and just casually picking out a new bag like no big deal seems like another world. But a lipstick or bar of soap feels within reach. : )

  6. Word of warning: The Dior Lip Tattoo is the only luxe-brand makeup I’ve tried and it was a bust for me. It advertises itself as a 12-hour stain; it consistently lasted less than 2 hours for me. Not worth the splurge.

  7. Not sure it falls into the luxe category above, but purchased a perfume from Byredo earlier this year and their packaging and presentation was extraordinary. Elevated the whole experience!

  8. I love this so much!! I think it is so fun to surprise teens with something they are super in to but don’t expect. They’ve shown so much resilience this year, no time like the present!!

  9. I’ve been buying a series of art books from Louis Vuitton for several years and I absolutely ADORE them. LV commissioned a different artist to go to each city in the series and create an art journal, and the results are both beautiful and seriously affordable value. A little bit of extra joy to me is that the in-store consultants are always SO excited about these books too. Often they’ve never really noticed them, but when I come in and ask/browse… they are always so delighted by them and get really engaged in the process! Pretty sure the new book I just purchased (Seoul) resulted in the consultant buying her own first book (Route 66 — my favorite one!). LOL!

    And extra-extra bonus? I always ask to have the books ‘gift wrapped’, which they are so happy to do. I now have a really terrific

  10. This was such a fun post! My daughter lived in Paris for 6 years and when she knew she was leaving, she really wanted a Chanel handbag. I got the entire family to give her money for her birthday and I flew to Paris and got to go to the store with her when she bought it. What a thrill for her and the perfect souvenir to last a lifetime. The funniest part was that we went to dinner to celebrate that night and one of the pesky Parisian pigeons flew over and pooped right on her bag! I thought she was going to die. :0)

  11. Hi all, I found out via a gift as well that most luxury brands make-up (and this applies to lipstick the most) really do hold better/longer.
    My favorite maisons for lipstick: YSL, Givenchy, Dolce&Gabbana. Also the Burberry “plush pen” / don’t know how to describe it, is great and allows for everything from very subtle hints of color to bold lips (and can be used on your cheeks as well).

  12. Can’t lie, I rolled my eyes a little seeing this post. But then I remembered that when I was about 20 my grandparents gave me a simple silver Tiffany bangle. It felt so rare and wonderful receiving something in that iconic blue box, and it still feels that way when I wear the bracelet now, more than 20 years later.

    1. Love that personal story, Mykan! Thank you for sharing it — it’s those little memories that make gifts-of-years-past extra special!

  13. Luxury brands are fun if the product is actually high end. I don’t get spending more just for the name, though. Supreme comes to mind, popular at my kids’ former high school. They’ll slap the logo on a $5 Hanes t-shirt (literally) and charge $100 for it.

  14. This is so fancy pants. The Prada water bottle appeals like Supreme. When I was a teenager I was very into calvin klein fragrances and their ads. I had them plastered on my room wall.

  15. Great ideas for presents! Everyone likes a bit of luxury but unfortunately it does come at a price. I love all of Chanel’s cosmetics and face creams but even the moisturizers are already pretty steep in price, so will have to settle for the lip balm instead ;)

  16. Love love this. My kids are so interested in high end designer brands but even tiny things at Gucci or Vuitton are so speedy. Nail polish or lipstick is perfect.

  17. Thank you for this great tip! I had just ordered a small Chanel No. 5 gift for myself from Macy’s and it arrived in a plastic bag :( I decided to check out the Chanel website and ordered another little something (body soap bar). What a difference in the packaging directly from Chanel! Very elegant! I was planning on keeping it for myself but as it turns out I was in the process of sending some requested items to my sister overseas and there was just enough room in the box for me to include the Chanel soap in it’s beautiful packaging!

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