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.
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.
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.
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.