The whole gift-giving process can be overwhelming. Some people really enjoy it, but for me, it has always caused extra stress. First off, I already don't think I'm the best gift giver out there. We all have that one person who manages to always send the most thoughtful, made-for-you presents. That's not quite me. When in doubt, I just shower my loved ones with gift cards. And really, what's so wrong with gift cards? Your friends and family can get exactly what they want with them!
But one gift idea that never seems to fail me is a good ol' nail polish gift set. No, it's not the most innovative or splashiest gift, but my friends always seem to appreciate them and text me pics of their manicures for months to come. The beauty-and-self-care hybrid lets your loved ones treat themselves to a relaxing at-home manicure or experiment with new colors or nail art. For the budget-savvy, new tools for their next at-home manicure will be a present that really comes in handy. The nail polish set has never been more relevant in these times.
To help you shop, here are a few I've bookmarked for my holiday gifting.
If you haven't tried Olive and June's Poppy manicure tool, you have not had a proper at-home manicure. The patented bottle handle lets you paint your nails with precision, even if you don't have the steadiest hand. This set has everything for a manicure: the aforementioned Poppy, cuticle serum, polish remover, clean-up brush, nail buffer, clippers, file, super-glossy topcoat, and six best-selling nail colors.
This pack of mini OPI nail polishes is for your friend who loves a statement-making moment. The polishes are bold and festive, with bright red, shimmery white, iridescent purple, and even black.
This one from Deborah Lippmann is all about the neutrals, with six nude and natural hues. The polishes are formulated with nourishing ingredients like evening primrose, biotin, keratin, nonychosine F, green tea extract, and aucoumea. The finish is the same glossy, long-lasting one you'd get with a gel manicure.
For the friend who loves a classic red manicure, they'll appreciate this trio of reds in different shades: a traditional one, a dark-wine color, and a black-cherry hue.
For darker neutrals, you'll want to pick this chocolaty-hued and beige setup. Colors include Chamomile Street, a mocha brown shade; French Ordinary Court, a more neutral brown; Mansion House Street, a mushroom shade; and Beech Gardens Love, a khaki color.
Gel manicures at the salon aren't always an option for everyone, but Essie's holiday set is a good replacement. It comes with two classic long-wear polishes and a topcoat.
Polishes in blues and purples make this Zoya set perfect for the cozy holiday season and the rest of winter. There are two glitter options for an extra-festive touch or nail-art accents.
You've got a good stocking-stuffer option here. This five-piece set consists of a few dark winter nail colors that are perfect for everyday wear.
Loaded with rich pigments and antioxidants, this bohemian-themed set will deliver a pop of color without ruining your nails. Colors include golden yellow, chocolate brown, royal blue, copper, and moss green.
This bold neon set is fun to experiment with—wear the colors as stand-alone solids or play around with different nail-art looks. There's also a neutral polish included. The formula is vegan and cruelty-free.
Inspired by Snow White, this JinSoon set is so whimsical. It contains three polishes: an apple red (of course), white glitter, and a pearlized white. For the adventurous, there are also nail-art stickers.
This pack of mini polishes features the hues of the season: three varying wine shades. It contains the colors I Love You Just Be-Cusco, In the Cable Carpool Lane, and Complimentary Wine.
With six different shades, ranging from neutrals to deep purples, these polishes from Deborah Lippmann are a complete collection that is perfect for any occasion. The colors of this collection were inspired by the deserts of the American Southwest, and each is super long-lasting.
Sometimes all you want is a straight-up holiday nail polish set complete with all the festive hues you'll need this season. This set from Olive and June is just the ticket.
Gift your crystal-loving friend this polish duo for extra positive energy. Each polish is infused with crystals—one has crushed rose quartz shimmer, and the topcoat contains amethyst.
This set is complete with hues to get you through every winter holiday. You definitely won't need to hit the salon for a minute.
This adorable set comes with a rosy-pink shade, a base, topcoat, and even a few nail stickers.
Go big or go home, right? Any true nail connoisseur will want to have this 15-piece set from Nicole Miller in their collection.
New Year celebration nails have never been easier to wear thanks to this glitter polish set complete with shades like champagne and rose gold.
For your pastel-loving pal, gift them with this Snow Princess Set. Shades include Bunny Slope, Angelfish, Pink Sands, Lilac Shimmer, and a glossy topcoat.
Created as an ode to the culture of London, this sultry set is the perfect gift for any well-traveled friend on your list.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.
Hi, everyone. I’m Sarah! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, spent 12 years going to school and working in New York City (got my BA in journalism from NYU), and made the move back to L.A. to work at THE/THIRTY. I’ve had 10 years of experience covering lifestyle and wellness, with editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Veranda, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). Most of my days are spent writing and editing stories about eating healthy, the latest wellness and self-care trends, the newest (and coolest) workouts, and the best fitness gear that will actually make you want to exercise. I love all the topics we cover at THE/THIRTY, but I especially love writing about mental health—I think that’s one of the most important topics right now and something I am passionate about (and also continuously working on myself!). As for self-care, I stick to these five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, a good book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating my apartment. When I’m not working, I love trying new restaurants with friends, listening to history and true crime podcasts, and enjoying an occasional Netflix binge.
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