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Being a teen girl is always a little complicated. And it’s even more complicated this year, due to various global pandemic-related reasons that we don’t need to get into. What we are going to get into right now is what you should give your favorite high-schooler this holiday season.
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Teenage girls are notoriously picky, even under the best of circumstances (let alone during a time when they probably aren’t seeing their friends as often as they’d like). But this selection of holiday gifts, which includes Airpod Pros, Rare Beauty and more, will be sure to make the teen girl in your life smile.
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1. For the trendy student: Fjallraven Kanken backpack
Fjallraven Kanken is the go-to brand for simple, classic, ever-stylish backpacks. When we tested for the best backpacks, we named the Kanken with the laptop compartment the best one for casual use, due to its lightweight construction, adjustable padded straps and easy-to-clean vinyl material. Whether you get the 15-inch version with the laptop compartment or the smaller, classic version, it’ll be a happily-received gift.
2. For the girl who’d stay in bed all day if she could: The Husband Reading Pillow
Online classes, video chats with friends, TV-and movie-watching sessions—chances are, they’re all happening on or around her bed, the floor or a sofa. No matter her perch of choice, she could probably use something to prevent her from slouching. This reading pillow, with a sturdy foam interior, soft micro-plush exterior, two-arm support and headrest, will do just that (without the requisite eye roll that comes with any request to stop slumping over). It comes in a range of colors that should suit any teen girl’s style, from powder blue to baby pink to classic black, and provides quality, comfortable support for any laptop-, tablet- or book-based activity she gets up to.
Get the Husband Reading Pillow from Amazon for $79.95
3. For the girl who needs a cute way to keep essentials on hand
Whether she’s a newly licensed driver, has just gotten her first debit or credit card or is flush with babysitting cash, she’ll need an easy way to keep the important stuff on her. This minimalistic wallet from beloved-by-teens brand Thread holds the essentials—ID, a credit card or two and a few bills—without weighing her down. It also comes in a bunch of colors and patterns including stripes, palm fronds and Hawaiian florals, so she can maintain her own style, even if all her friends already have a wallet from the same brand.
Get a Thread wallet from Amazon for $16
4. For the TikTokker: A Popsocket
A Popsocket is a gadget that sticks to the back of a phone or phone case and extends out, accordian-style, to create an easy carrying handle or stand. This makes it more comfortable to talk on the phone, FaceTime, take photos and in general hold a phone (which technically is not surgically affixed to a teen girls hand).
We love the classic swappable grip Popsocket, which has a thin plastic base with an adhesive back and an expandable stem that provides an easy grip or allows it to lie flat when needed. But what gets the most attention is the decorative disc on the end, available in colors and patterns such as genuine rose quartz, funky plated enamel, glittery stars and even a Burt’s Bee’s lip balm pot.
Shop Popsockets starting at $8
5. For the girl who’s always looking for her mask: Athleta Everyday Masks
Sometimes, essential items make the best gifts. And masks are about as essential as it gets right now—but, like any item you take anywhere you go, they can also be easy to misplace.
This is (part of) the reason why we love Athleta’s Everyday Masks. They’re our top choice among a bunch of other face masks we tested, with a sleek look and thin but triple-lined fabric, which gives the wearer ample protection but still make it easy to move around.They cost is $30 for a pack of five, which evens out to $6 a mask.
Because they come in a five-pack, it won’t be the worst thing in the world if she loses one—but they’re so great, she’ll definitely want to hold onto them all.
Get Athleta Everyday Non-medical Mask 5 Pack from Athleta for $30
6. The girl who loves having her hair done but hates doing it herself: The Revlon One-Step
Dealing with your hair as a teenager can be rough. If you know a girl who craves regular blow-outs, but doesn’t have the funds for salon visits or want to deal with a wrangling a blow dryer and flat iron, she’ll love the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer. This tool looks like a round brush, with tufted bristles and nylon pins, but it blows hot air from within the barrel. This allows users to brush it through wet hair to detangle and dry it completely, giving hair a sleek, blown-out look in a fraction of the time it might take to blow it dry then iron it flat.
In short, it’s a low-maintenance tool that can help any teen girl deal with her hair in a snap, so she has more time to think about and do things that are actually fun for her.
Get the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer from Ulta for $59.99
7. For the eco-friendly hydrator: Hydro Flask
The Hydro Flask is the status-symbol water bottle of the moment—and it doesn’t hurt that it’s also a great hydration vessel. It performed well in our test of the best water bottles, in which we found that it keeps liquids at their intended temperatures for hours without creating condensation on the outside of the bottle. Hydro Flask also comes in a wide range of colors, like icy blue, jade, pink and more, so the teen in your life will want to carry it around wherever they go.
Get the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth 18 Ounce Water Bottle from Backcountry for $29.95
8. For the girl who loves makeup: Rare Beauty Liquid Blush and Lip Balm
Early in September, Selena Gomez debuted a new beauty line at Sephora, called Rare Beauty—and, unsurprisingly, it’s already a big hit. The former Disney starlet has enough clout to make even the most mediocre of makeup lines successful, but Rare Beauty is actually worth the hype, according to our reviewer.
Almost everything in the line could make a good gift for a makeup lover, depending on what the teen girl you’re buying for wants. But we’re partial to Rare Beauty’s liquid blush and lip balm, both of which are ideal for makeup newbies and connoisseurs alike. The liquid blush comes in a lightweight formula with an easy-access applicator that makes it simple to put on, blend out or build up, depending on whether a slight flush or bold pop of color is desired. And the lip balm offers a soothing, moisturizing feel enhanced with subtle pigmentation that makes it easy to swipe on without looking in the mirror.
9. For the girl who always loses her hair ties: Scrunchies
Hair ties always seem to evaporate and go missing right when you need them most. Help the teen girl in your life replenish her supply with this Scrunchie 10-pack. The set comes with a wide range of colors, textures and fabrics to mix and match with any outfit. Plus, of course, they work well to keep hair tied back throughout the day.
Get the Perfect 10 Scrunchie Set from Urban Outfitters for $18
10. For the Chipotle connoisseur: Burrito Blanket
It’s hard not to smile—and smell the waft of a fresh, floury, freshly-baked tortilla—when you look at this burrito-inspired blanket. For that reason, it is a must-have gift for anyone whose primary food groups include tortillas, cheese, rice and beans, and would eat at Chipotle every single day if they could. And, let’s face it—there are very few people (let alone teens) who don’t fall into that category.
Get the Burrito Blanket from Amazon for $30.99
11. For the stylish lounger: Tie-dye sweats
There’s no wrong thing to wear when hanging out at home with Netflix and a cup of hot cocoa. But some teen girls will likely say there is one thing that feels especially right— trendy tie-dye sweats, like the kind that started trending on TikTok in March and still haven’t slowed down. Any matching tie-dye set should do the trick, but we especially love this jogger and hoodie combo from the brand Love, Fire. Reviewers say the sweats are super-soft, comfy and offer a delightful pop of color wherever they go, whether that’s home on the couch or out running errands.
Of course, it’s possible that she’d rather make her own tie-dye lounge gear. If that’s the case, she’ll get a lot of use out of this Jacquard tie-dye kit, which contains enough dye for 15 adult-size shirts.
12. For the skincare enthusiast: A beauty YouTuber’s must-haves
If she’s into skincare—even a little bit—she’s probably attuned to the advice of Hyram Yarbro, a.k.a. Skincare by Hyram, a beauty influencer who has teens on YouTube and TikTok wise to the benefits of cleansing, moisturizing and using SPF regularly.
So, if you’re giving skincare products, you’d better give ones he approves of. Fortunately, Hyram’s “nice” list includes many affordable drugstore staples. This includes Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleansing Lotion (which gently washes off makeup and grime without drying out the skin), CeraVe moisturizing cream (which contains ceramides to protect the skin barrier and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores and cause acne) and Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Mineral Sunscreen (ideal for anyone with sensitive skin or acne-prone, as it’s free of fragrances or other irritants).
Looking for a fancier, splurge-worthy gift with the Hyram seal of approval? Consider the Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask, which claims to unclog pores, clear up acne and slough off dead skin cells after a single use, or the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask, which soothes and hydrates irritated skin with cucumber and papaya extracts.
13. For the on-the-go music lover: Apple AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro are among the coolest and trendiest tech accessories you can get right now. They’re a legitimately great product, too—we called them the best headphones Apple’s ever made—with excellent sound quality, true-wireless capabilities and an easy-to-store charging case that comes with your purchase. Also, did we mention that they’re cool? Not only will giving them as a present up the status quo of your giftee, they’ll earn you some points as well.
If you want to add on to the gift (or your giftee already has AirPods), consider a silicone case cover. The brand Elago sells one with a loop that allows it to be attached to a keychain or lanyard—thus making it tough to lose—prevents the case from getting scuffed and adds a fun pop of color.
Of course, you don’t have to shell out the Airpods big bucks for a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds to give. We also love Mpow’s affordable Flame earbuds, which are waterproof and have hooks to keep them from falling out of the ears, even during vigorous workouts. And, unlike Airpods, they come in different colors, such as pink, red, black, and blue.
14. For the selfie queen: Insta-worthy face masks
Protective face masks, though necessary, may not be every teen girl’s gift of choice. But there are face mask with more universal, timeless gift-giving appeal—those of the cosmetic variety, which can be slapped on during a quiet evening at home for a soothing, rejuvenating effect. We especially love these holographic sheet masks—one for the whole face and one for the under-eye area—which refresh and hydrate the face, all while providing a glittery sheen that makes an excellent Snapchat selfie prop.
15. For the photographer: Fujifilm Instax 9 Mini Instant Camera Starter Pack
Wallet-sized, instantly printable photos never go out of style. And the Fujifilm Instax 11 is a great way to get them. It’s simple to use and produces perfectly vintage-looking snaps with each shot. As a bonus, the camera comes in a range of bright, peppy colors—like “blush pink” and “sky blue”—so the camera looks fun in addition to being fun.
For a slightly less instant (but no less delightful) option, consider a classic disposable camera. Urban Outfitters carries a bunch outfitted in stylish skins, such as cherries, butterflies, cow print and more. Each camera has 17 exposures, so it’s a great way to document a single event. (But you may want to Google where she can get the photos developed nearby first.)
16. For the self-care devotee: A mix of trendy and tried-and-true favorites
Personal grooming products can make a great present—as long as you get the right ones from the right brands. We recommend two from Glossier: Boy Brow, the brand’s bestselling eyebrow pomade, which fills in brows without making them look overdone, and the Body Hero duo, which gets you shower gel and lotion in the brand’s signature scent.
It also can’t hurt to throw in some Carmex, a lip balm beloved by so-called VSCO girls and at least one of Reviewed’s writers.
17. For the VSCO Girl: Crocs
Crocs are cool again (no, seriously—they are). The lightweight rubber clogs are all over Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, so chances are pretty good that they’re already on a teen girl’s holiday wish list. Browse through the Crocs’ vast color selection, which includes lavender, teal and blush pink, to find the best pair for your giftee. It also can’t hurt to throw in some Jibbitz as an extra stocking stuffer.
Get the Classic Clog from Crocs for $44.95
18. For the eco-conscious sipper: Sipwell Stainless Steel Straws
“Save the turtles” is a popular meme-slash-genuine-sentiment among teens—which means that, if they don’t already have some, reusable straws are probably pretty high up on their gift wish list. Our best value pick for reusable straws, the Sipwell stainless steel straws, should be your pick. They’re easy to clean, are great for sipping water and iced coffee and don’t give whatever you’re drinking a metallic taste.
Get Sipwell Stainless Steel Straws from Amazon for $6.89
19. For the girl who always drops her phone: A cool new case
Smartphones are way too easy to drop. Help your teen girl keep hers intact, even when it slips out of her hand, with one of Lifeproof’s Wake cases. This ultra-slim, eco-friendly phone case is made of 85% recycled plastic, but can help phones survive drops of up to six feet. It’s also available in sizes for Apple, Samsung and Google phones and comes in colors green, gray, purple and black.
20. For the Netflix fiend: An iPad
Our best value tablet, an iPad, can come in handy for just about everything, from schoolwork to reading books to a secondary—or even replacement—laptop. Whether the teen you give it to uses it to download textbooks or mainline Netflix, it’s sure to be appreciated.
Get the Apple iPad from Amazon for $329.99
21. For the girl who always has cold feet: Slipper socks
Few things make a better stocking stuffer than a good pair of slipper socks. (It’s socks in a sock—what could be funnier?) And this particular pair of slipper socks, available in 11 patterns including plaid, chevron, hearts and more, make an especially perfect stocking stuffer.
Faux shearling lines the interior, giving them a cozy, luxurious feel—and a cool, jaunty look if she wants to fold them over—and silicone treads dot the soles, so she can walk around the house without fearing a slip.
Get Pudus Slipper Socks from The Grommet for $20
22. For the girl with a bright outlook: A new pair of sunglasses
Who doesn’t love a good pair of sunnies? Treat the teen girl in your life to a classic with this pair of aviators—available with black, silver or gold frames—which should work in her wardrobe, no matter what her personal style is. If she wears prescription glasses, you can get the lenses fixed up with her prescription, which can ensure she’s always seeing clearly wherever she is.
Get Good Vibrations Aviator Sunglasses from EyeBuyDirect for $39
23. For the girl whose phone always needs charging: Anker PowerCore
Everyone’s phone dies at some point. But a phone dies even quicker if, throughout the day, the user jostles between text messaging, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat on a near-constant loop—which, for many teens, tends to be the case. Help the teen in your life keep their phone alive with this Anker power bank, which is small and compact but holds several charges’ worth of juice and can prolong the battery life of any phone for at least a few hours.
Get the Anker PowerCore Slim from Walmart for $29.99
24. For the girl who hates wearing bras: Aerie bralette
As any person with breasts knows, bras can be the worst kind of prison, especially the kinds with unforgiving straps and underwires. Fortunately, they don’t have to be, especially if you opt for a bralette.
This one from Aerie makes a great gift, with its pretty lace material, eight color options and cool-looking strappy back. But it’s more than just looks—it also has removable padding, adjustable straps, and a wide, sturdy band, so it provides the support she needs without the discomfort that can come from a “regular” bra.
Get the Garden Party Lace Strappy Bralette from Aerie for $19.97
25. For the pop-up DJ: JBL Flip Waterproof Speaker
Whether it’s in a bedroom or stuffed in a backpack for an impromptu DJing sesh outside, a portable speaker always good to have around. We like the JBL Flip 5, which has great sound quality, a long battery life and solid waterproofing. Because of these factors, it’s sure to be a speaker that will stick around for years, even as her music taste changes into college.
Get the JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Speaker from Amazon for $119.95
26. For the girl who’s going to travel the world (someday): A scratch-off map
That international study abroad trip or summer backpacking excursion is probably on hold this year. But if she’s the kind of person who dreams of jaunts to Paris and Bali, you can help her get excited about the places she will go—one day!—with this scratch-off map. Rubbing the shiny gold surface with a coin (or fingernail), reveals a bold pop of color, making each map totally unique to the person who owns it.
Giving the map now gives her the oh-so-satisfying task of scratching off the places she’s already visited, and can only get her more jazzed about seeing new places when she can.
Get the Luckies Scratch Map Deluxe from Uncommon Goods for $32
27. For the first-time shaver: Billie starter kit
Not all teen girls shave. But for those that do—or are just starting out—it’s hard to imagine a better way to do it than with Billie razors. We loved the razor subscription service when we tested it because the razor has incredible mobility that makes it easy to shave any part of the body, and, unlike some subscriptions, it’s easy to navigate the ordering process. All this—and its competitive pricing—makes it a great gift for a teen who wants to start shaving but is unsure of what products to get.
For a complete-feeling present, go for Billie’s Smooth Operator gift set. This includes the razor, plus four refill blades, a holder for the shower, shave cream and lotion.
28. For the monogram fanatic: Anthropologie monogram necklace
Trends come and go, but monograms are forever. That’s why we love this simple block letter monogram necklace from Anthropologie, which allows the wearer to hang a letter—their first name, last name or that of someone they love—around their neck. The letters hang individually, which makes it great for layering with other pieces of jewelry or wearing on its own.
Get the Block Letter Monogram Necklace from Anthropologie for $38
29. For the girl who’s obsessed with “The Office”: Schrute Farms Sweatshirt
If you know, you know. Fortunately, a lot of teens are into “The Office,” and will know the not-so-secret meaning behind this sweatshirt, which references the farm owned by resident Office oddball Dwight Schrute. Reviewers of the sweatshirt love its soft, warm material and the fact that it often gets them appreciative nods and smiles from fellow fans of the series.
Get the Schrute Farms Sweatshirt from Etsy for $23.95
30. For the girl who was born in the wrong generation: Crosley C6 record player
Bowie and The Beatles sound great through a pair of Airpods. But if you know a teen who’s becoming a true audiophile—or just watched “High Fidelity” for the first time—she’d probably love to hear her favorite artists on vinyl (yes, that includes Billie Eilish and Harry Styles). In this case, we recommend the Crosley C6, our best value pick in our test of record players. We love the clean sound and cool, retro-inspired look it delivers at an inexpensive price compared to other turntables.
With the C6, she’ll get a way to listen to the classics the way they were originally heard—and some motivation to support her local record shop. Pair it with a record crate and she’ll be well on her way to starting an impressive music collection.
31. For the girl who’s always moving around: Fitbit Versa 3
A fitness tracker can be a great gift for almost anyone. But this newly released Fitbit Versa 3 is an especially great option for any active teen girl. It has a built-in Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistant, which allows the user to check the weather or get reminders with a simple question. It also tracks all kinds of workouts, from runs to bikes to hikes, in addition to measuring step count all day long.
The Versa 3 also allows the user to connect to Bluetooth headphones and control Spotify, Pandora or Deezer, which makes it possible to listen to tunes and podcasts during a workout without lugging around another device. Finally, it tracks sleep, so she can make sure she’s making the most of her zzz’s.
Get the Fitbit Versa 3 from Amazon for $229.95
32. For the anxious period-haver: Thinx Fresh Start Period Kit
Part of the teenage experience is getting your (menstrual) period in the middle of (academic) third period and having to excuse yourself to the bathroom to wad up some toilet paper in your underwear and pray that it holds up for the rest of the day. Or, at least, it was—until period underwear came along. (And remote learning, but we digress.)
We tested period panties and loved Thinx the most, because they absorb menstrual fluid quickly and feel just like a regular pair of underwear. You can give your teen a regular pair or the Fresh Start Period Kit, which contains three pairs of underwear designed for people between the ages of 9 to 16 in cute, comfy styles.
This might be a gift better suited to give in private than under the Christmas tree but, no matter what, it will come in handy.
33. For the aspiring YouTuber: A GoPro Vlogging Camera
This small but mighty GoPro—our top pick for affordable vlogging cameras—is sure to be appreciated by any YouTube-watcher who’s thinking about starting their own channel. It’s easy to figure out, has great optics and possesses a deep depth of field, which means the object you’re shooting stays in focus no matter how far away you are. It’s also waterproof and resistant to drops, so it’s well-equipped to withstand accidents and adventures.
If they’re really committed to getting in on the influencer game, you can also consider getting them one of GoPro’s vlogging packages. This includes the newer Hero 8 camera, plus a light mod, swivel clip and charging cables.
34. For the girl who wants to feel warm and look cool in the snow: Duck boots
Bean Boots are a classic for a reason. These iconic snow boots— the “original antidote for wet feet,” according to L.L. Bean—keep feet warm, dry and comfy in wind, snow and rain. Their design, with grippy rubber soles and a full-grain rubber upper, hasn’t changed in the 100-plus years they’ve been around, so you don’t have to worry about them going out of style. This is good, because they last for many, many years, according to hundreds of happy Bean Boots reviewers.
Love the look of duck boots, but not L.L. Bean’s $139 price? Sperry makes a great dupe. This brand’s pair also has thick and tractioned rubber soles, a sleek leather upper and a similar classic, two-toned look at a more affordable rate of about $70. They also have laces that curl at the boots’ eyelets and hold them around the wearer’s feet so they can be slid on and off without having to worry about tying them. Whatever option you go for, it’s a great way to ensure her feet stay toasty and stylish all winter, and for many more to come.
35. For the occasional klutz: Tomtoc laptop sleeve
Laptops are easy to drop. Preempt any tech-dropping disasters with this Tomtoc laptop case, which performed well in our test of laptop sleeves. We love its sleek outer appearance, spacious exterior pocket and luxurious-feeling inner lining. Plus, it comes in a few cool colors and patterns such as light pink, blue, floral and more. All together, it should help keep any kind of laptop safe and secure in a stylish, affordable package.
Get the Tomtoc 360 Laptop Carrying Case from Amazon for $21.99
36. For the serious student: HP Envy x360
The HP Envy x360 has pretty much everything you could want in a laptop—like a long battery life, bright and colorful screen, and quick operating speeds—for a relatively low price, which makes it a great pick for teens and students. If you know a teen who needs a laptop, this is an excellent choice.
Get the HP Envy x360 from HP Store, starting at $699
37. For the girl who likes looking sleek and feeling comfy: Aerie leggings
Leggings have been a teen girl style staple for a long time—and will likely remain so, at least as long as social distancing and virtual activities continue. If the teen in your life needs a new pair (or three), they’ll be happy with Aerie’s Real Me high-waisted leggings. Reviewers love that they provide opaque coverage, even in lighter colors, and feel soft and supportive. This makes them a great option for any teen girl, whether she’s wearing them to exercise, go for a walk or hang out around the house.
Get Real Me High Waisted Legging from Aerie for $26.97
38. For the bracelet stacker: Pura Vida bracelets
Even a teen who’s never been much for jewelry will appreciate these stackable, surfer-chic Pura Vida bracelets, which can be worn all the time and withstand vigorous activity.
Pick and choose between individual bracelets or themed sets—like the Dreaming Out Loud or Wanderlust pack—or go for the subscription package, so they can add to their stack each month.
Shop Pura Vida bracelets starting at $6
39. For the low-key stylist: J. Crew Slim Perfect T-Shirt
A simple-yet-sturdy tee is a fantastic addition to any high schooler or college student’s wardrobe, because they can help the wearer look presentable and distinguished without putting in too much effort. We love the Slim Perfect t-shirt from J. Crew because it’s soft, opaque—even in white—and has more coverage on the shoulders than most tees, so it’s easy to dress up.
Get the Slim Perfect T-Shirt from J. Crew for $29.50
40. For the girl who likes to rewatch the classics: Disney+
Whether Mom and Dad drew the line at getting one more streaming service, or she just doesn’t want to bum off her parents’ account anymore, a Disney+ subscription of one’s own can be a powerful thing.
A full year of access is $69.99 (or $6.99 a month), and with it, she can watch old favorites from her childhood, plus newer movies and shows such as “Black Panther,” “Hamilton,” and “Mulan.” To really sweeten the gift, you can make it a package with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month. No matter what you opt for, she’ll stay entertained throughout the cold winter months ahead. And who knows? Maybe she’ll even share the service with her parents.
Get Disney+ for $6.99 a month/$69.99 a year or Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 40 best gifts for teenage girls – Cool gift ideas teen girls actually want