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Still need to shop for those teen girls on your gift list? I
suggest you skip the mall and head straight for the drugstore or the
supermarket. Why hassle the parking and the crowds just to buy an itchy sweater
they’ll never wear? I took a scientific poll (meaning, I asked my teen girls
and their friends) and got these gift suggestions that you can pick up wherever
you’re shopping for toothpaste or Christmas dinner.
My girls and their friends can’t get enough of these ball-shaped
lip balms that come in flavors like Sweet Mint and Blueberry Acai. Wrap up a whole
bunch of these—at $3 each, you can splurge and buy one of each flavor.
Warning: The 16-year-old in you is going to start hoarding them for yourself, but resist the urge to put on a crop top and a
2. Gift Cards
Teens love gift cards, so don’t feel guilty buying them. They
all said they preferred being able to pick out what they like, even though they
really appreciate that Justin Bieber
mug you gave them last Christmas. Here are some cards they would be happy to
find under the tree:
Sharpies have a mysterious allure for teens, so buy a huge
quantity and wrap them with a nice bow. Skip the black and go for the neon or specialty
markers like the ‘Stained’ line for
fabrics. Bonus: They are now required to make you a sign whenever you ask.
Every five seconds, a teen loses their headphones. You can’t
stop the epidemic, but you can alleviate their suffering—buy an assortment of
inexpensive earbuds so your favorite teen won’t have to live even one minute
without their tunes.
Teens love wearing heels, but they like to take them off, too.
These foldable shoes were a lifesaver for my daughter on prom night, when her
feet couldn’t take the eight-block walk to the after-party. Wrap them up with
other items like a compact first-aid kit, a keychain flashlight and mints to
make an emergency GNO kit to tuck in her purse.
6. The Shutterball
What do teens love the most? Their cell phones! (Parents and
friends rank somewhere down on the list.) Foster their obsession by gifting
them with fun gadgets and gizmos for their faithful companion: Decorative cases
(make sure you know the model of their phone), brightly colored charging cords,
phone charms and the most popular item: the Shutterball Remote for taking those epic selfies.
7. Makeup &
You can keep your $100 creams and custom-blended foundations—teens are all about the drugstore makeup. NYC, Essie, e.l.f., Maybelline and
Rimmel London are the brands they’re coveting. Add on a set of makeup brushes
and put everything in a makeup case from the travel aisle. Prepare to renounce
your pricey department store makeup counter.
Apparently teens like sugar. Who knew? And for some reason, they
especially like those ridiculously large sizes of candy available only around
the holidays. Put together a gift bag with a monster-sized bag of Skittles, a Hershey bar as big as their
head, several packs of Stride gum and these gigantic Reese’s Peanut
Butter Cups—and you might just be their favorite person ever.
Around here, a 50-pack of hair elastics lasts only around a
week, and hair clips mysteriously disappear almost as soon as we open the
package. (One of these days, when I actually vacuum under the couch I might
even find them.) So a big box filled with a ton of hair elastics, clips,
headbands, a hairbrush or two and a jar of Bed Head gel is something my girls
would appreciate—and let me put off
that vacuuming even longer.
I once put together a starter tool kit for a friend’s daughter
who was starting a birdhouse-building business: a hammer, a couple of
screwdrivers, an assortment of nails and screws, gloves, paint and a tape
measure—all items that could be found in the hardware section of your
favorite drugstore. For a budding cook, hit the housewares aisle of the grocery
store for a couple of sturdy Pyrex bowls that you can fill with spatulas,
measuring cups, a timer and an oven mitt. Finish it off with some high-end baking
chocolate and cake decorating supplies. Make sure they have your address to
send you some samples.