We think the best way to do your holiday shopping is to make it an experience: chai in hand, twinkling lights above you, Flagstaff star glowing on the mountainside in the distance and your boots on the stones that line the Pearl Street Mall.
In fact, we’ve compiled some of our favorite holiday shopping ideas in Travel Boulder’s print magazine, which you can find in just about every business and hotel in Boulder (and beyond). There, you’ll find our locally focused holiday gift guide.
But we also realize the convenience of online shopping, which is why every year we also release our personal “favorite things” list to inspire your online carts.
Here are a few things we’ve discovered in 2019 that we just had to share with you. We’ve tried them all out ourselves, so we can vouch: They’d make great gifts.
Just make sure you shop local first.
Here’s how to fill in the rest of the gaps with the click of a mouse.
Boulder bar glasses: Boulder County has some great micro-distilleries. Celebrate them with unique glasses made by Well Told. Well Told makes glassware etched with maps of various cities, including Boulder. The maps wrap around the glass, turning your drink into a work of art. Find stemmed wine glasses, carafes and (our favorite) rocks glasses.
Face care: Boulder County-based MyChelle Dermaceuticals has an amazing Refining Sugar Cleanser that uses sugar and a vanilla-infused cleanser to gently exfoliate the face, designed to leave your skin looking radiant and refined. It also contains unique ingredients, making it more than just another face scrub. It contains the anti-aging Matrixyl Synthe’6 Peptide, bioactive plant extracts and hyaluronic acid to help keep skin hydrated. In true Boulder style, it has no GMO, gluten, parabens, petroleum, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, ureas, artificial fragrances and artificial colors. That’s as good as it gets.
For Outdoor Lovers
Comfy boots: Enjoy going on those winter walks, but without the pain (and while looking fashionable, too). Our favorite shoes for 2019 are made by Davinci Footwear, aka the “slipper of boots.” Founder Curt Clemens was suffering from a nerve condition that made it nearly impossible for him to wear any type of shoes except for ones that were extremely comfortable. He couldn’t find stylish shoes that didn’t kill his feet, so he made his own.
What makes Davinvi’s boots unique: The design simulates a natural walking style (they’re super flexible) that lets your feet work the muscles when walking, while remaining comfortable and design focused. Not to bash Boulder’s Crocs but you don’t have to wear plastic clown shoes anymore. There are better options.
Another comfortable and stylish boot: booties made by Arcopedico. The Luana bootie was designed to be worn for hours and hours, making it great for travelers or people who work on their feet. Got arch issues? These have a special “twin arch” system that you’ve got to try to believe. Cute booties have never felt so good.
Red light therapy: Red light therapy is one of the biggest health and beauty trends right now, and you can have it right in your own house with Joovv. It makes portable, small red light therapy lamps that are proven to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, ease sore muscles, heal injuries and inflammation, reduce pain, treat psoriasis, help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder and more. The Joovv Go lights are small enough to put in your suitcase, backpack or purse. Read the clinical research here. Tip: Joovv is running special discounts for the holidays.
Beauty serums: Fans of aromatherapy and essential oils will enjoy a full line of aromatherapy-based beauty roller serums from Guru Nanda. Each roller has a different purpose, targeting everything from under eyes to forehead to lashes and lips. Rollers contain special blends of various, therapeutic-grade essential oils to use directly on your skin. For example, the Clear Skin roller contains evening primrose, apricot kernel, frankincense (how Christmas is that?), tea tree oil, German chamomile, lavender and coconut oil.
CBD oil essentials: CBD is big in Boulder and beyond. Boulder has so many great, local CBD companies. One business to consider (for its wide range of products) is +PlusCBD Oil. You will find hemp CBD oil drops, softgels, soothing balms and more. The Hemp Stick is infused with 150mg of concentrated CBD, calendula and shea butter. There are also tasty gummies with flavors like citrus punch and cherry mango.
Another CBD company to try: Spruce CBD, which claims to offer one of the most potent CBD products on the market; there’s even an extra-strength tincture with 2,400 mg. The lab-grade oil is made with organic hemp seed oil and full-spectrum CBD oil.
A fun way to consume CBD (if you don’t like the oil) is via CBD seltzer water: Queen City Hemp CBD Seltzers. These flavored, bubbly waters are infused with CBD in low doses. They’re all free of sugar, caffeine, sodium, gluten and gmos. Plus, they taste great. Flavors include blood orange, passion fruit, guava and lemon lavender.
Then there are the new Hemp Gummies by Wana Wellness. They’re quite possibly the yummiest hemp gummies out there. Plus, they’re vegan, gluten-free and even kosher. They come in mixed berry and tropical flavors. Wana Wellness Hemp Gummies contain 25mg of broad-spectrum hemp oil per serving. They are THC-free.
A healthy water bottle: Make it easy to neutralize the acidity in the body with the DYLN water bottle.
When your body is too acidic, you can experience a variety of health issues, such as acid reflux, heartburn, digestive issues, unhealthy skin, and more. Alkalize the body by drinking water from this bottle, with a replaceable diffuser that increases the pH of water up to 9 times within minutes, helping to neutralize the acidity in the body. The bottle even reduces the “Oxidation Reduction Potential” of water to -150, making it antioxidant to help protect against free radicals. And it transforms water to be more rich in hydrogen, which the company says can boost energy, improve recovery and lower inflammation. All you’ll notice? Better-tasting water.
Perfect for Winter
A “Snuggle Jumper:” The name says it all. When Boulder’s weather gets chilly, wrap up in the Snuggle Jumper. This is basically a scarf that’s like a blanket you can wear around the house or outside, wrapping yourself in the softest warmth. It’s cute, fun and beyond soft. Softies makes a variety of comfy warm accessories: hats, blankets and scarves. Oprah even loves Softies; she said it’s like “wearing a cloud” and included it on her Favorite Things list two years in a row.
Moisturizing face cream: Right in time to fight the dry Colorado winter weather, Mad Hippie released its new hydrating face product, the Mad Hippie Triple C Night Cream. This product is deeply hydrating packed with three different forms of vitamin C, offering protection from oxidative stress caused by sun exposure, and 19 different actives. This is just the boost your Boulder face needs this season. Plus, is there a more Boulder-y company name?
Combat dry skin: One of the worst parts of about winters in Boulder is the dry, cold air; it can leave your knuckles bleeding and straight up hurting. Stuff your local stockings with powerful lotion, like Columbia Skincare’s Restorative Hydrating Cream, which uses vitamins, minerals and botanicals to not just mask but actually heal dry skin. What makes Columbia different: It makes probiotics topical. The cream is deeply hydrating and can even be used on your face.
Nourishing, stay-proof lipstick: It seems there are two kinds of lipsticks: the stay-proof or matte ones that are so dry they turn your lips into crust and the hydrating, glossy types that bleed and smear, leaving you looking like the Joker.
Pinch Of Colour recently released a new option: matte, velvet lipsticks that use a waterless technology, so they don’t bleed and budget. The color stays for hours (for reals), but are also infused with nourishing extracts like jojoba oil and mango butter, so they don’t dry out your pucker. Our go-to winter color: Amalia, a deep rose with good pigment, perfect for a statement on New Year’s Eve.
Eco-friendly coffee: This idea’s for coffee-lovers who also care about the environment. Steeped Coffee makes unique coffee that you can brew without machines, equipment or unnecessary waste (ahem, Keurig). It’s made like tea. The coffee comes in single-serve bags, made out of compostable and renewable materials. Just place in hot water for a few minutes and boom: a cup o’ coffee that’s hand-roasted and ethically sourced. These are also perfect for camping and travel.
Soft and shiny hair: Winter in Colorado can also wreck your locks. To combat that, we’re loving RevAir’s new Tribology hair care line. These products are especially effective on curly and wavy hair. The Tribology Complex promises: thicker hair, a 33 percent increase in glossiness and a 358 percent improved shine.
The products are specially designed to work with the unique RevAir “reverse” hair dryer. Peep it here. It sounds crazy, but it really works. It’s kinda like a ShopVac for your hair, sucking it into a drying tunnel rather than blowing air out. The result: controlled, smooth, straight perfection, no matter how curly your hair is.
Massage oil: Who doesn’t want a promise of a massage for the holidays? HighOnLove makes “Sensual Massage Oil” with oils designed to ease tension, increase energy and stimulate circulation. Not only that, but it claims it will make your skin feel silky smooth. HighOnLove makes a variety of unique and romantic products, from the massage oil to bath oil, plus fun products like chocolate body paint. They’re all made with natural ingredients and no parabens, allergens and colorants.
Rose Face Mask: It’s like a little spa day in a stocking. 7th Heaven recently launched a Rose Gold Easy Peel-Off Mask designed to reduce the appearance of pores while toning and purifying skin. This metallic, easy-to-peel-off mask features damask rose water, white tea and moonstone. It’s cheap, too (just $1.99) and you can get it online or at Claire’s stores.
Iconic beer: Sick of cliche holiday gifts and looking for something with a little more attitude? Fill up your stockings with Rogue Ales & Spirits’s Dead Guy brew. This longstanding beer was crafted nearly three decades ago. Dead Guy Ale’s notoriety lives on while its products have expanded to include Dead ‘N’ Dead, Dead Guy Whiskey, Double Dead Guy and Dead Guy merchandise. This is an especially great gift for Nederland residents, as an early celebration of Frozen Dead Guy Days.
Men’s care products: Keep the man in your life polished and looking and smelling great with new gift bundles from Reuzel. The Reuzel Degrease Travel Kit is a perfect stocking stuffer, featuring three of the top-selling haircare products in a small size. You’ll get the daily shampoo (with a special T4 tonic blend of witch hazel, nettle leaf, rosemary and horsetail root extracts); the Scrub Shampoo (great for guys who use a lot of products); and the daily conditioner (with that tonic blend again).
Celebratory body wash: Looking for a totally unique stocking stuffer? Intoxicating Beauty has some fun (and effective) products that will leave you looking and smelling good, and ready to party up the New Year. For example, there’s the hop-infused Craft Body Brew and Radiance on Tap. Both include nourishing botanical oils. And they smell like a real IPA. Or if you’d prefer a little vodka lime, there’s the Salt Emollient Twist or Body Rinse on the Rocks. These are actually made with organic vodka, oils and more. Too fun.
Soap stand: If you are buying gifts for a person who prefers practical gifts, this one is simple but useful, one of those things you never knew you needed until you learned it existed.
SoapStandle is an eco-friendly stand and handle in one for your bars of soap. It essentially sinks its “teeth” into bar, keeping the soap elevated (and off the counter), allowing it to actually dry out so it doesn’t leave behind a nasty film of goo.
Cute pill box: Travelers will enjoy this practical gift: a cute pill box, complete with a compact mirror. Port and Polish makes its boxes in five different shades that are slim enough to slide into your purse or pocket, while organizing your vitamins or pills. Tip: Use these airtight compartments to also transport jewelry, eyelashes or other small goodies.
The most comfy underwear: When you were a kid, if someone gave you underwear for Christmas, you would just.die. But as it turns out, the things we dislike so much as kids (like nap time) turn out to be our favorite things as grown-ups. Same goes for a comfortable pair of underwear. Jumper Threads claims to make the most comfy and breathable underwear on the market, and we can’t dispute this. Jumper actually uses (get this) peppermint leaves in creating its fabric. Peppermint leaf is a natural odor killer. Plus it’s environmentally friendly.
Gifts For Travelers
Cute travel gear for kids: If you’re a family of adventurers, hit the road in style. OMG Accessories embraces the unicorn trend with its adorable unicorn backpacks, wallets, rolling luggage and cross-body bags. OMG Accessories has an entire product line of all things unicorn. Even a fanny pack, pillows, duffels, coin purses, you name it. Although the line is designed for kids and teens, no one is stopping the grown-up unicorn lovers from ordering a little of this magic, too.
If you travel for work or you work remotely, your briefcase is your office. KeySmart has a functional work bag that we’re all about for 2020: the Urban Portfolio Briefcase. This briefcase is stylish (without being over-the-top), plus it has water-resistant material and zippers, with 12 internal pockets (12 pockets!) with a cable pass-through, a protective hard-proof shell and a padded laptop pocket. It’s sleek and slim and perfectly practical.