My sister-in-law is the sister-sister I never had and my best friend. She introduced me to Korean bath houses in Los Angeles, is there when I need someone to kvetch about my husband, and is always more than happy to swing by to binge-watch old episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians over a manhole-sized cheesy pizza. Shopping for her for birthdays and holidays is one of my favorite things to do—but can also be the trickiest, since gifts for sister-in-laws can be a tough quest. They seem to always have everything already.
Regardless of what kind of relationship you have with your SIL, there are so many routes you can go when searching for the perfect holiday or birthday gift. Maybe your SIL is a working mom who fantasizes about the second she gets home and can throw on some slippers and uncork the bottle of wine. Maybe she’s a foodie who’s texting you the address to the trendiest new restaurant she must drag you this weekend (she already made reservations!). She could be a skin-care aficionado, homebody, home decor queen—maybe she’s all the things.
Wherever her interests lie, we’re here to help you find the perfect, foolproof present—one that she wouldn’t dare regift. Make her feel loved, pampered, and seen. Because she deserves it this holiday season and beyond.
Best jewelry gifts
Mejuri, Croissant Dôme Ring — $78.00
If you feel like you’ve been seeing croissant-shaped jewelry everywhere, it’s because you have. This new-ish iteration of chunky jewelry has won over our hearts and wallets, and not just because it looks like bling in pastry-shaped form. Chic, simple, yet eye-catching this best-selling Mejuri Croissant ring will universally go with everything (if she’s a silver gal, Mejuri also offers it in silver for $10 less), yet also serve as a statement piece. This ring is made with thick and durable18k gold on sterling silver.
Quince, Initial Necklace — $55.00
Get her an initial necklace, and she can’t regift it! JK—she won’t want to, anyway. This made-to-order 18k gold-coated (on top of sterling silver) necklace has a dainty chain with a bold letter people can see from a mile away (not literally, but you get the idea). It’s a classic bursting with confidence, power, and style.
Tiny Tags, Gold Mini Initial Chain Bracelet — $95.00
Did you recently become a new aunt, and she a new mama? Give her a gift she’ll never want to take off. Mom-founded jewelry brand, Tiny Tags, makes fine, personalized jewelry specifically for mothers that’s so chic. This simple mini initial bracelet will allow her to carry her little one wherever she goes, no matter how big they grow. Its minimalist design makes it a heartfelt accessory that looks great with everything.
Cuyana, Luna Ear Jacket Earrings — $196.00
Each earring is a three-piece system that comes together and looks like modern art that belongs at MOMA. If your SIL is the type who goes for jewelry that’s a bit outside the box (yet still matches everything she has because she’s practical like that), these earrings from Cuyana will serve that need—and fetch her endless compliments. The earrings are made from sterling silver and coated in 14k gold (the plates are made from recycled brass, which is pretty cool).
Gorjana, Poppy Bracelet Set (of 5) — $95.00
For a *pop* of color, while still staying minimalist, I love Gorjana’s Poppy bracelet, which is really five stackable beaded bracelets: Two are gold (the material is actually metal), and three are rainbow or pastel-y pearl-colored. It reminds me of those bracelet kits growing up in the ’90s, but all grown up.
Baublebar, Mickey Mouse Mistletoe And Santa Hat Earring Set — $44.00
For the sister-in-law who loves Disney more than anything: Give her these glitzy (but not over-the-top, gaudy, or childish) Mickey and Mistletoe earrings that are appropriately themed for the holidays. She can wear them individually, or, if she has more than one piercing in each ear, wear them simultaneously. Baublebar has a bunch of affordable—yet high-quality—jewelry pieces, so even if she’s not a Disney adult, I highly recommend scoping out the site for more fun options.
Best beauty gifts
Clearstem, Holiday Mask Bundle — $100.00
If she can’t get enough masks, we can’t recommend Clearstem’s Holiday Mask bundle enough. It contains two of the skin-care brand’s top-selling masks, Pregame and Hydraberry. Pregame targets dull, uneven skin in five minutes flat, leaving you with a smooth, soft, and bright complexion that gives, “woke up like this.”
After using Pregame, apply Hydraberry for 5-10 minutes until it’s completely soaked in. The formula infuses moisture into skin, so that whether you’re going to bed or prepping a full face for a night out, your complexion will feel more supple and hydrated. The two-step mask routine is our go-to all fall and winter long, saving our skin from harsh climate and holiday stress.
Isdin, Uradin Podos Gel Oil — $39.00
Nobody likes feeling themselves scratch their bedsheets at night with cracked, dry heels. Which is why arming yourself and the ones you love with a potent foot cream, or in this case, gel oil, is a must. That way, your heels (and the rest of your tootsies) can stay smooth and soft allllll winter long. Isdin Uradin Podos gel oil is a Well+Good favorite, simply because it offers no-frills, heavy duty moisture. It exfoliates while hydrating, which means it’s smooths away dead, scaly skin, leaving behind a soft-as-a-baby’s-bottom surface. And since the formula is a gel oil, it’s lightweight and won’t leave behind a mess.
Tonymoly, ‘I’m Real’ Sheet Mask Collection (Pack of 10) — $26.00
It’s hard for me to write about the “I’m Real” Tonymoly sheet mask collection without busting out the Jennifer Lopez (feat. Ja Rule) song, so you’re welcome if you, too, have that stuck in your head now. But in all seriousness, this is a mega value pack of 10 K-beauty sheet masks that each offer unique formulas for specific skin problems, such as a moisturizing aloe mask for when skin is feel particularly parched, or an illuminating lotus mask that leaves your complexion extra glow-y. They all smell extra fresh and feel oh-so nourishing.
Chanel, Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow Palette — $65.00
This one is for the SIL who loves her Urban Decay palette “just fine, thanks,” even though there’s, like, a single crumb of her go-to shimmery bronze shade left. This limited-edition palette from Chanel is decadent as heck—the packaging itself is gift-worthy (it comes with a cute tweed “jacket”!). It’s just one of those things she likely won’t buy herself, so you can’t go wrong.
The bronze-gold shades are universally gorgeous. Plus, the formula is easy to apply, since it’s extra silky (I use the chocolate shade for an everyday look, and the gold and bronze add shimmer to the corners of eyes).
Alleyoop, ‘Dream Team’ 3-in-1 Moisturizer — $33.00
Is your sis-in-law always on the go? The multitasking, 3-in-1 “Dream Team” is a nourishing moisturizer, eye mask, and mask all in one, which means she’ll get to knock out most—if not all—of her night time skin-care routine in one fell swoop. Thanks to moisturizing powerhouse ingredients like squalane, hyaluronic acid, macadamia nut and coconut oil, and tiare flower extract blend, her skin will better retains moisture and look more bouncy and supple in the morning.
Mango Moi, Mango Essence Hair & Body Butter — $19.00
If she wants just-left-the-nail-salon soft hands and fresh cuticles, get her this multi-purpose hair and body butter. It works miracles on hands (especially if one has eczema or psoriasis), but you can also use it to smooth hair and split ends. It’s bursting with vitamin E and C which hydrates and nourishes skin, plus omega-3-rich baobab oil and ultra hydrating murumuru butter which softens and nourishes. Plus, the Mango Essence smells like a freshly sliced mango. Yum.
Nécessaire, The Scalp Serum — $57.00
Whether it’s stress, postpartum, or life, if she’s dealing with thinning hair (or just hair that isn’t has lustrous as it used to be), Nécessaire The Scalp Serum is an effective treatment that can (visibly!) support hair growth without irritating the scalp. It’s packed with a 5 percent biomimetic peptide blend that fortifies strands, 1 percent hyaluronic acid for hydration, and 1 percent green tea extract, which cools down any inflammation happening at the source.
Augustinus Bader, The Eyebrow & Lash Enhancing Serum — $150.00
Yes, $150 is a lot for tube no larger than a roll-on essential oil, but if there’s one thing almost every person on Planet Earth wants, it’s longer eyelashes and thicker (or at least less patchy) eyebrows. This is the first formula that our senior beauty editor and I have tried that *actually* works, and that’s thanks to its trial-tested formula consisting of roselle and safflower extracts which supports regrowth and prevents more hair loss, and biotin, which can encourage new hair growth as well as strengthen follicles.
Ilia, Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm – ‘Lullaby’ — $28.00
Of my seeming this is the one I always keep in my tote bag and pretty much solely use. So, whenever anyone who likes lip products needs a gift, I always, always get them a tube of Ilia Balmy Tint Lip Balm. Specifically the shade “Lullaby,” which looks like you went to town on a bowl of blackberries and emerged with naturally pink-red lips. It’s the perfect pop of natural, buildable red, and the formula hydrates (so you don’t need to layer with a lip balm to keep lips from getting chapped). I have fully had nearly hour-long conversations with close friends about how perfect this lip balm is (I also have it in “Memoir” which is more of a neutral mauve versus berry red).
Best apparel gifts
Vuori Performance Jogger — $94.00
Available sizes: XXS-XXL
If your sis hasn’t tried these joggers, then she’s missing out, big time. Vuori’s athleisure line has been one of my favorite under-the-radar brands thanks to its mega-soft, stretchy fabric (the brand’s proprietary DreamKnit material, a mix of recycled polyester and elastane that feels more like pajamas than workout-wear, but delivers the form and construction you need for any kind of activity, as long as you don’t require much compression). I essentially lived in these joggers all of 2020 and 2021, and they still feel brand new. Plus, they’ve got side pockets (score).
Colors: 16 different colors.
Aerie, Cozy Waffle Hoodie — $37.00
Available sizes: XXS-XL
Everyone loves a waffle sweater. This ultimate “lazy girl” waffle hoodie has become my top uniform pretty much seven days a week (just ask any of my co-workers—you’ll spot me in it in most team Zoom calls). The loose-fitting soft waffle knit fabric gives you some texture and the kind of coziness you need during those colder months. It feels and looks like that one lived-in hoodie you’ve owned for 15 years. Wear it with your favorite jeans, leggings, or throw it on over a dress with tights—the options are endless.
Colors: 6 different colors.
Swoveralls, Overalls — $98.00
Available sizes: XXS-4XL
This is what happens when a sweater and overalls have a baby: Swoveralls! They’re like the closest thing you’ll get to an adult onesie that still has structure, and you can wear it out and about without feeling like you belong in daycare. Crafted from 100 percent cotton, the material is oh-so-soft (soft enough to wear to bed—I’ve certainly done this many a time already this fall). Whether you’re wearing them to walk the dog or catch up on your favorite shows, the Swoveralls will absolutely become your new favorite hibernating ensemble (plus, they feature adjustable straps and six convenient pockets).
Colors: 4 different colors.
Outdoor Voices, PrimoFleece 1/4 Zip Hoodie — $138.00
Available sizes: XXS-3XL
OV’s PrimoFleece is basically the MegaFleece’s lightweight lil’ sis. It’s warm and perfect chunky, a blanket with sleeves that’ll keep you toasty in the winter without the boob sweat in a heated house. It has a perfectly drape-y fit that’s cropped and has a bungee cinch for more mobility. Basically: Upgrade her existing fleece with the BMW of fleece hoodies. She’ll thank you endlessly.
Colors: 6 different colors.
Shapermint, Essentials Tear-Proof Shaping Tights — $20.00
Available sizes: S-3XL
‘Tis the season for holiday dresses and tights, but these are no ordinary tights. They’re tear-proof tights, so that practical SIL of yours doesn’t have to worry about any runs or rips no matter how many times she wears them (which will be a lot this season, and beyond). Created using an ultra durable yarn, Shapermint claims these tights are “indestructible” and “could not be ripped by 99 percent of women.” Can confirm that I’ve worn these at least a dozen times and they look and feel as good as the day they came in the mail.
Colors: Black, brown, and beige.
Parade, Invisible High Rise Thong — $13.00
Available sizes: XS-3XL
Depending on your relationship (and comfort level) with your SIL, a solid pair of undies could be much-appreciated, especially Parade’s Invisible High Rise thong, which is as close as it gets to going commando—but with full coverage. Soft as silk, this underwear contours to the shape of your bod, giving you comfort and making you feel sexy AF (with no VPL in sight!)
Colors: 9 different colors and patterns.
Birdies, The Phoebe House Slipper — $85.00
Everyone needs a house slipper fit for a queen—especially your SIL who shouldn’t be putting her foot health at risk by walking barefoot (no, really). As a WFH veteran, the Birdies’ Phoebe is a favorite of mine: It offers seven layers of support and cushioning, a no-slip rubber sole to avoid slipping and sliding (plus, you can easily wear it outside to take the pooch on a walk), and the pretty velvet will make her oooh and ahhh over it every time she wears the pair. Plus, they’re nice and toasty for those chilly AMs.
Madewell, Mid-Rise Stovepipe Jeans – Instacozy Edition — $138.00
Available sizes: 23-33 in petite, regular, and tall lengths.
If she’s still wearing hard pants (bless her) then get her a pair that doesn’t feel so stiff and unforgiving. Well+Good editors genuinely adore Madewell jeans for their next-to-custom fit, quality, and colors, but we swoon extra hard over its Instacozy line. It’s woven with a smidge of wool for extra warmth on nippy days, plus the littttlest touch of spandex to give them a bit of stretch. The best part? They’re brushed inside, so they don’t feel like you’re wearing jeans at all. There’s a silhouette and color for every personal style, but our eyes are these black stovepipe jeans which are, in our opinion, as good as it gets.
Best home gifts
Hoover, Complete Pet Steam Mop with Removable Handheld Steamer — $88.00
The ultimate home gift for the fur ma whose home is covered in pet hair (along with all the dirt and grime her hounds bring back from outside) is this Hoover Pet Steam Mop, which I’ve been testing on my hard floors (background: I have two 90-pound all-black dogs who shed like it’s a competitive sport.) With an ultra-long cord, plus 10 detachable cleaning tools to get in all those hard to reach places (behind the couch, under the fridge, around the toilet), the Hoover is a total workhorse that leaves surfaces sparkling and smelling fresh. It’s safe to use on all hard floors (tile, wood, vinyl, etc.)
Diptyque, Holiday Scented Candles (Set of 3) — $144.00
Add some holiday cheer to her home with this gorgeous, festive candle set from Diptyque. Neatly packed in a celestial box, each votive smells like a winter wonderland. There’s Sapin (Pine) that’s reminiscent of a snow-covered forest, Neige (Snow), which is light, musky, and inspired by fresh frost, and Étincelles (Spark), a rich, woodsy scent sure to warm her up the moment she lights it. Doesn’t hurt that the candles themselves double as chic holiday decor she’ll want to leave up all season long.
Kimdio, Ceramic Vase — $27.00
If her coffee or dining table could use a statement piece, get her this pretty ceramic vase that totally looks like a rare flea market find. Top it off with some fresh flowers (we personally love Bouqs’ selection of in-season and beautifully-curated flower and plant delivery service). Or, for something more low-maintenance, get her some pampas grass.
Skylight, 10-Inch Digital Frame — $150.00
For the sentimental SIL who keeps her memories on display: This Skylight digital frame allows you to upload all her favorite photos in 60 seconds or less (you can even email the photo directly to the frame). With the highest-quality resolution, it’s an easy way to display family photos—and she can swap them out whenever she feels like. As a sweet and thoughtful touch, you can even pre-load a photo of the two of you to set her up.
Best self-care gifts
Comfier, Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat — $199.00
Why give her a spa gift card when you can bring the spa to her so she can use it whenever she wants, wherever she wants? $200 is an investment, but if you were already planning on gifting her a massage day (which can cost upwards of $75 an hour), consider this Shiatsu Neck and Back Massage that comes with a heating feature. It strategically kneads all those tight knots in her shoulders, mid- and lower-back in the comfort of her own home (I tried this myself and am never going back to the spa—seriously—this gets the job done, and then some, and I can watch Better Call Saul while my back is getting the VIP treatment). Plus, with adjustable pressure, she can really focus on those areas with the most aches and pains.
Brooklinen, Restore Candle — $32.00
Brooklinen, headquarters to some of the most luxurious bedding on the internet, recently released a line of candles that were formulated to restore and reset your mood. Help her relax (maybe while letting the shiatsu back massager work its magic on her tired back?) with the Restore candle, which features a divine blend of violet and cedarwood that fills the room with calming vibes (and a long burn time, to boot). You can also pick from Brooklinen’s seven other mood-enhancing candle scents, including “Bright Idea” for clarity and anti-stress, and “Good Intentions” for focus.
Bonne Maman, Perfect Moments Set — $63.00
If she patiently waited all year to get her hands on a coveted Bonne Maman advent calendar and did, surprise her with a follow-up she can enjoy while she opens up those jam-filled little doors. This set includes two soothing loose-leaf teas: Dream (a calming blend of lavender, lemon verbena, and Damask rose) and Vitality (an invigorating mood-booster infused with peppermint, marigold, and hibiscus.) When she wants her “perfect moment”, she can steep a warm mug in the glass tea steeper-mug, sit back, and enjoy
Best food and kitchen gifts
Winc, Wine Subscription
Prices vary per subscription.
For the wine-enthusiast, have her fill out Winc’s questionnaire and the subscription service will send her a box of curated wines based on her tastes. Or you can use Winc’s marketplace and choose from the wide selection of vinos they’ve got on hand (you can choose from type, as well as their selection of sugar-free, organic, and no sulfite-added bottles). If all you know about her wine tastes is that she prefers sweet (or dry, semi-sweet, etc.), Winc also has a curated section for you to choose from. It’s foolproof, and she’s guaranteed to love it.
Betty Buzz, Non-Alcoholic Mixers (12-Pack) — $30.00
Is she sober, but still wants to feel included in boozy celebrations? We love the Blake Lively-founded non-alcoholic mixer brand, Betty Buzz, which features sparkling flavors like ginger beer, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, and more. The packaging alone is swoon-worthy, but it doesn’t hurt that the concoctions are made with real fruit juice, vegan, kosher, and free from artificial sweeteners and flavors, as well as GMOs. Chin chin!
Xiao Chi Jie, Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles (4 Meals) — $36.00
As someone who’s been working from home for the past three years, lunches can get…same-y. If your SIL has been reheating leftovers or settling for a PB&J (no shame in that), treat her to easy-to-make frozen, authentic Asian meals from Xiao Chi Jie, like these Sichuan Dan Dan noodles, which taste like takeout (but way cheaper and healthier). If noodles aren’t her thing, try the dumpling subscription ($40 per bag, and you can choose from Classic Pork, Savory Chicken, and Shrimp & Pork).
Smeg, Drip Coffee Maker — $230.00
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all drooled over Smeg’s retro-inspired appliances at some point or another. They’re just… so freakin’ classic. And colorful! And we want to outfit in our kitchen in all-things Smeg.
While you probably can’t renovate her kitchen for the holidays, you can treat her to this Smeg Drip Coffee Maker that’ll elevate her coffee routine with the press of a button. It’s got the signature Smeg look, all clean lines and vintage branding, in a small-space coffee maker she can tuck neatly on her beverage cart or counter. And yes, they come in a spectrum of candy hues, so you can add a pop of color to her space or match her aesthetic seamlessly.
Great Jones, The Dutchess — $110.00
Treat her to a gorgeous Dutch oven that also makes for an impressive centerpiece for every single family meal. Great Jones’ Dutch oven is a sturdy, 6.75-quart enameled cast-iron that’s safe to use in the oven (safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit) and on the stove. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe too, for easy cleaning. We love this particular Dutch oven for its unique oval shape (it can easily fit a roast chicken). Plus, those colors?! We love. Choose from six other eye-catching colors Great Jones is known for.
Ninja, DT201 Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Digital Countertop Convection Toaster Oven — $250.00
This 10-in-1 Ninja Foodi may as well replace her oven, microwave, toaster, and air-fryer—and it truly delivers even better results. With its 90-second preheat feature, it bakes, roasts, and broils 30 percent faster than a tradition oven would. When you want to toast your bagel, choose from settings that allow you to select just how golden and crunchy you want it to be. And with it’s extra-large size, you can squeeze in a 5-pound chicken along with a tray of veggies and get dinner ready in a jiffy—without having to rotate or switch racks. My favorite feature is the digital display, which tells you everything from the temp and time to which rack is optimal to use.
Giadzy, Choose-Your-Own Pasta Adventure Box — $57.00
Curated by Giada De Laurentiis herself in her new Italian marketplace, Giadzy, this Choose-Your-Own Adventure Box features two types of pasta (yum), two types of tomatoes (double yum), and two Italian spices (mama mia!). The freshly made pasta is enough to convince us this is the ultimate makings of an epic Italian dinner. All authentic. All delicious.
Philips Pasta and Noodle Maker — $300.00
And speaking of pasta: If your SIL is the type to make her own noodles from scratch—but doesn’t have the tools to do so—get her this Philips Pasta and Noodle Maker, which streamlines the process, as it auto-mixes, kneads, and forms. All she’d need to do is add the ingredients. This machine makes spaghetti, fettuccini, penne and lasagna, dumplings, and more.
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