The Chief of Style’s Annual Holiday 2022 Self-Love Gift Guide
Right now, I’m talking to all of the overcommitted, overworked, retired and recovering “boss babes” who have probably spent the entire year putting other’s needs ahead of their own.
If you’re reading this and you’re feeling depleted, this is your sign to stop what you’re doing right now and do something (no matter how small) to refill your tank.
If not this very minute, then please at least do so before you hit empty.
The list below includes a fire selection of self-care items you (or a loved one in need of some TLC) might enjoy. Check out the Self-Love section of this website for other gift guides featuring more amazing self-care ideas and products, including promo codes and discounts.
Everyone has their own tastes. And, sometimes buying something isn’t even required. But, this list may inspire your creativity.
That being said…
1. The Empress Collection from Wildling Beauty
The Wildling Empress Collection ($129) is a complete facial gua sha system, inspired by traditional Chinese Medicine, that includes the Empress Sweetfern Hydrasoothe Face Mist, Empress Balm of Gilead Barrier Repair Oil, and Wildling’s patented Empress Stone tool.
Together, they create a perfect canvas for the skin-changing benefits of facial gua sha.
“Gua sha is one of the most ancient and easily applicable ways of helping people feel better,” according to the brand. “For thousands of years, people in China and across many Asian cultures have used gua sha in the home to reduce fever, relieve muscle tension, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and increase circulation.”
Most importantly, in my humble opinion, facial massage feels really good. Taking a few minutes out of your day to tend to your skin and your self-care is a self-loving act that will really pay off over time. Sure, there are cosmetic benefits, but the real win here is self-soothing relaxation and carving out (pun?) time for just you. Because, grrrl, YOU DESERVE IT!!
Whole-plant botanicals in the Empress Sweetfern Hydrasoothe Face Mist and Empress Balm of Gilead Barrier Repair Oil reportedly deliver hydrating, smoothing, and brightening effects while the Empress Stone sculpts facial contours by relaxing expression patterns, moving lymph, and encouraging myofascial release.
I have used both the Empress Stone and the Empress Wand along with the Face Mist and Barrier Repair Oil and can attest to both the soothing, tension relief and de-puffing effects. And, the mist and oil smell absolutely intoxicating.
You can save 20% on all Wildling gift sets with code SHOPWILD. Click here to shop.
2. Best of Versed Gift Set
All of my clean, vegan/cruelty-free skincare lovers take note!
Versed Skincare’s best-selling Day Dissolve and Weekend Glow, and top-rated Just Breathe, Press Restart, and Dew Point are included in this five-piece limited-edition gift set ($34.99). Your AM and PM skincare routines are now covered from start to finish when you’re on the go – just add SPF! (Seriously, friend, please always remember to wear sunscreen – yes, even if you have darker skin.)
Using only proven ingredients like retinol, vitamin E, and lactic acid, this range of products targets several skincare concerns, including breakouts, dryness, and fine lines. This travel-friendly set (featuring two brand new minis and a full-size serum), is the ideal gift for someone on the move. It’s perfect to stash in your gym bag or pack for upcoming holiday travel plans.
Included in the set:
- Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm
- Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Toner
- Just Breathe Clarifying Serum
- Press Start Retinol Serum
- Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream
What I love most about Versed is how good the products are without compromising on their ethics when it comes to being eco-ethical. Here’s where they stand on sustainability.
So, not only will you / your skin look good, but you’ll feel good about what you’re spending your money on and putting on your skin.
Receive 10% off when shopping at versedskin.com using code CHIEFOFSTYLE10.
3. Gold Huggie Earrings from Aurate New York
Adorning oneself with jewelry during colder months is often far less exciting than doing so during Summertime.
The fact is, scarves, turleneck sweaters, and gloves we wear to keep warm don’t allow for us to show off our jewels.
There is one exception, however: earrings.
Like, these cute huggie earrings from Kerry Washington’s jewelry collaboration with Aurate New York.
This particular pair features a “dash of glitz, a touch of glamour, and all the opulence you could ever desire.” The design features an Art Deco fan nestled in between white topaz gemstones, and finished in sustainable 14K gold vermeil.
I own and regularly wear gold vermeil jewelry from Aurate and can personally attest to its beauty, durability, and value.
Click here to get 20% off your first Aurate New York purchase.
4. Cashmere Blend Hoodie & Jogger Set from Summersalt
Machine washable cashmere.
Let me say that again.
Machine washable. Cashmere.
That’s exactly what Summersalt’s Coziest Cashmere Blend hoodie and jogger set is made of.
And, would you believe that I’m wearing it as I type? In fact, I’ve worn this set nearly every day since it arrived last week. I’ve washed it twice and it still looks and feels great!
I’m convinced we all deserve at least one cute and cozy loungewear set ready to wear at any moment.
With an ultra warm cashmere blend and unique color blocked trim on the hood, drawstrings, and cuffs, this super-cozy hoodie is the perfect wardrobe staple for lounging in style.
It comes in six colors: Wolf & White Sand (light gray/white), Steel & Midnight (blue), Toffee & White Sand (beige), Rosewood & Shell (red), Charcoal & White Sand (dark gray/white), Pinot & Lava (burgundy/orange).
The ribbed cuffs and drawstring waist keep things especially comfy and the luxurious cashmere blend makes this the perfect elevated comfy jogger set.
Best known for their bold, color blocked, size inclusive swimwear, what I love most of all about Summersalt’s range of clothing is it’s all very classic, yet up to date. The brand believes, “fashion and function should always play well together. Packing for a trip should be stress-free, and that comfortable doesn’t have to mean underdressed.”
You can really see that core value throughout their product offering as nothing looks or feels too “over the top.” Instead, the selection is elevated, but in a way that’s not trying too hard. ‘It’s just enough.’ And, based on my experience wearing the cashmere loungewear, I wouldn’t be surprised if the focus on comfort for this design were a priority across the brand.
Click here to find your newest favorite outfit from Summersalt and use code AMYSJS10 for a discount.
5. Vida Bars Shampoo & Conditioner
Did you know, over 550 million plastic bottles of shampoo are used and discarded every year in the US alone? Imagine how much more is added to that number when you factor in all of the other products we use after shampooing.
Once (proud Mexicana) Ana Nuñez, founder of The Vida Bars, found that out, she decided to do something about it.
After spending a lifetime of trying to control and “tame” her curly hair (thanks to mainstream media’s obsession with western ideals of feminine beauty) and seeing her daughter following in her footsteps, Ana decided to make a change. She decided to heal her relationship with her hair and learn how to care for it properly.
Once her curls began to come back to life, she became obsessed with finding the next best product. Unfortunately, she also noticed the impact that had on the environment. This is where The Vida Bars was born.
The Vida Bars is the only 100% eco-friendly curly hair brand elevating the Latinx and curly hair community through zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars. Ana hopes Vida Bars can help others embrace their identity and love the authenticity that comes from wearing one’s natural beauty using the gifts our planet provides.
The brand is here to help end the perception that curly hair care brands need to use excess amounts of plastic and chemicals and harm the environment. Her brand is rooted in Ana’s values of living authentically, caring for the planet, and giving back. No matter what texture of hair or care/concern you have, The Vida Bars has a product for you.
What’s even more special about this brand is each bar provides economic opportunity for Indigenous Woman artisans in Chihuahua, Mexico weaving the biodegradable pouches that hold the bars. And, a portion of profits is donated survivors of domestic violence at non-profit YWCA – a large reason for wanting to help women feel confident and work toward their aspirations.
Click here to take a hair quiz and find a Vida Bar that will work best for you. You can find and follow The Vida Bars on Instagram @TheVidaBars.
6. How We Heal by Alex Elle
I am an Alexandra (Alex) Elle super fan. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a few years now and was elated to see how much she’s grown since March 2020.
Over the past few years, so many of us sought connection and guidance as we navigated very unusual and challenging times in the world and in our lives. Voices like Alex’s were comforting to so many. And, they continue to be.
In her latest book, How We Heal: Uncover Your Power and Set Yourself Free ($17.99), bestselling author Alex offers “a life-changing invitation to heal yourself and reclaim your peace.”
The book offers techniques for self-healing, including journaling rituals to cultivate inner strength, tools for processing difficult emotions to master emotional self-regulation and self-soothing, and restorative meditations to ease the mind. What’s more, Alex’s personal anecdotes about her life that are relatable, inspiring, and offer life lessons.
Alex Elle elegantly weaves together themes like self-healing, mindfulness, inner child work, and boundary setting and presents the reader with easy-to-follow practices that have changed her life and the lives of the thousands of people she has taught. Her 4-part framework for healing will appeal to anyone who wants a clear process, while the compelling personal stories leave the reader feeling connected and ready to begin again.
How We Heal is an excellent companion for anyone – especially Milennial and GenX women of color – wanting to unlock their inner wisdom and confidence to heal on their own.
You can buy How We Heal anywhere books are sold. I also highly recommend the Audible version, as it is read by the author and the meditations included are especially powerful when experienced that way.
7. Faith Blanket from B.YELLOWTAIL
B.Yellowtail is a brand we know and absolutely love at The Chief of Style. Founder and designer, Bethany Yellowtail (Apsaalooke (Crow) & Tsetsehestahese/So’taeo’o (Northern Cheyenne)), is best known for her stunning fashions: beautiful skirts, dresses, blouses, scarves, suiting, and coats. But, did you know B.Yellowtail also sells home goods?
This vibrant wool blanket is designed by Designed by Bethany for Eighth Generation.
This original design is inspired by Bethany’s Apsáalooke (Crow) name, “Ammaakeealaachelibaachiilakaacheesh,” which translates to “Overcomes through Faith.” This name was given to her by Apsaalooke elder David Yarlott Sr. It was her family’s wishes in receiving her Crow name that she always be guided, protected, and that prayer be an integral part of her life.
The “Faith” design is an acknowledgment of her name, her family, the people and prayers that have always guided her. The hues of pink, blue, and green are inspired by the natural beauty of her homelands.
This wool blanket would make an incredibly special gift for yourself or someone you love. It fits a Queen size bed and features a 2-sided design (59 in x 78 in/ 200 cm x 150 cm). There is a suede edge band and it is made of 100% New Zealand Wool.
The blanket is $222 and can be pre-ordered on the B.Yellowtail website.
8. Sante Grace ‘The Best Curve Bias Cut Slip Dress’ from Insyze Style
I serious can’t get enough of this look!!
The Best Curve Bias Cut Slip Dress by Sante Grace is so fire, I had to have it in more than one color. You can find it online at Insyze.com, a new, sustainable, plus size online retailer.
If you haven’t heard yet, Insyze Style is truly a hidden gem!
Formerly known as a slip dress with “spaghetti straps,” (all my Millennial and Gen X babes know what I’m talking about!) this bias cut stunner features a sweetheart neckline, side slit, and is a maxi or midi-length, depending on your height. Best of all, you really can find a use for this dress year-round: as a dress on its own or on top of a turtle neck and stockings or as a slip during colder months for an additional, inner layer. It would also work well as a sexy neglige. Ooh lah lah…
But, seriously, investing in well-made, staple pieces that can be worn in multiple ways is the easiest tip to be both budget-friendly and environmentally conscious. Marie Kondo would also be very proud.
‘The Best Curve Bias Cut Slip Dress’ comes in a variety of eye catching colors: inky black (pictured), acid yellow, turquoise blue, atomic orange, bubblegum pink, wine burgundy, and pinkest pink. And, it’s available in a wide range of plus sizes: 1X to 5X
Sante Grace’s The Best Curve Bias Slip Dress is available for $125 at SanteGrace.com and Insyze.com. I’m sharing both URLs because product availability for coveted can be a struggle when you’re plus size. Here’s hoping you find the size and color you’re wanting most! <3
9. The Tucky Belt
I swear, learning to DIY a crop top situation was the #1 best thing I could have done for my self-confidence and style. Unfortunately, tucking my tops into my bra or into a much-too-rigid leather belt isn’t very comfortable.
In walks The Tucky Belt…
The Tucky Belt is a revolutionary undergarment accessory that makes cropping your tshirts, blouses, sweaters, blazers, hoodies…whatever(!) incredibly easy and convenient.
The Tucky Belt features a strong and comfortable jacquard elastic strap that is lined with two silicone strips to hold your tops in place all day.
With the Tucky Belt, you can tuck your tops into a crop or get the tucked in look without the bulk.
The Tucky comes in two sizes and three colors:
- Original (00-10): 38″ long
- Extended (10-2X): 50″ long
- Blush, Burgundy, and Mocha
The Tucky Belt can machine washed
You can buy your Tucky Belt for $30 here.
10. Solo or Group Meditation Retreats at Big Bear Retreat Center
Every time I’ve visited Big Bear Retreat Center, I’ve come back to myself.
I have spent a full week at a time in a cabin, alone. It’s always the best gift I can give myself. Solitude – especially in nature – is the best medicine.
Take a look at photos of BBRC and the surrounding area. Stunning, isn’t it?
Big Bear Retreat Center is located a 2.5-hour drive from Los Angeles, nestled in the ancient Juniper forests of the San Bernardino Mountains at a 7,000-foot elevation near the town of Big Bear Lake in Southern California. Due to the elevation, Big Bear has all four seasons.
So, when Angelenos fondly say, “In Los Angeles, you can surf and snowboard in the same day,” they’re most likely referring to the snow found in Big Bear.
BBRC is immersed in nature located amidst about 100 acres of forested land with direct access to several hiking trails connected to the property. The founders of the property have a vested interest in providing a refuge for people of all faiths and walks of life that is both inclusive and accessible.
They offer retreats to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, first responders and veterans, and mindfulness communities and organizations. There are several upcoming InsightLA retreats that you can register for here. If you contact BBRC and book directly, let them know The Chief of Style sent you. <3
11. Crew Socks from The NTVS
The NTVS is one of my absolute favorite Native American streetwear brands. They take familiar, mainstream pop cultural references and Indigenize them.
The NTVS was created from a passion for the clothing and apparel Industry. Most NTVS designs were inspired by a story. Modern Native American clothing and Native prints inherently have a deeper meaning. So, the the brand’s designs contain both light hearted themes and more serious issues that need to be addressed. The brand uses art and streetwear mixed with culture to create one-of-a-kind designs that embrace our Native American culture and heritage.
You can wear a smaller, cozier piece of NTVS with this pair of Paul Judd limited edition design crew socks ($18) featuring NTVS text on the bottom of the foot, logos on the sides and bright colors that really make a statement.
Medium Pair fits unisex sizes 5-9 & Large pair fits sizes 9-13
Behind every design is a great deal of meaning. According to the brand, the inspiration behind the socks is as follows:
“In 1778 the US signed the first treaty with the Natives (Lenape). It was broken only a year later. The US would go on to make over 500 treaty’s with Native tribes. All have been recorded as broken.
The NTVS also sells art, accessories, headwear, kids/baby clothing, sweatshirts, tanks, and other apparel for all genders.
The NTVS is comprised of two Native American guys trying to fill a hole in the market that is missing the voice of the people. Their mission is to teach the youth the importance of embracing culture and history while building a Native American clothing company. We do that by crafting Native apparel designs that you can be proud to wear.
As with most Native-owned fashion brands, The NTVS is for everyone who supports Indigenous culture. Instead of buying knock-off Indigenous art from big box stores and online, support Native-owned small businesses.
You can follow The NTVS on Instagram @TheNTVS.
12. Kush Queen CBD ‘Relieve’ Bath Bomb
Kush Queen’s ‘Relieve’ bath bomb is the ultimate combination of essential oils for maximum pain relief.
And, there’s science behind it.
Kush Queen’s Relieve cannabis bath bombs were created with the “Entourage Effect” in mind. What does this mean? The Entourage Effect is when you combine cannabinoids with terpenes/essential oils. So, Relieve bath bombs combine the power of organic essential oils and cannabinoids to create effect-specific full-body experiences.
Each oil is selected to support the relief of sore muscles and aching bones while also lifting away the stress and offering mental clarity.
What makes them so effective is that the skin is your largest organ and is a powerful tool for absorbing cannabinoids and balancing your endocannabinoid system. As you soak in the tub, your body absorbs the essential oils and the CBD, like a sponge. A cannabis bath bomb is a full-body topical application that allows for unparalleled all-over relief. These powerful molecules work together with your endocannabinod system creating a synergistic effect.
What’s more, Kush Queen bath bombs are sourced in the USA (the hemp-derived CBD comes direct from a partner farm located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest) and their products are never tested on animals.
I highly recommend trying Kush Queen’s gummies, tinctures, and concentrates, and applying their Melt Relief Lotion afterward for out of this world relief. (Menstrual cramp and chronic pain sufferers, take note!)
Get $5 off at KushQueen with code: CHIEF5
13. Summerland Natural Hand-Rolled Incense & Terracotta Ashtray Burner
Summerland has risen in popularity in the “stonerware” category due to the minimalist aesthetic and focus on sustainability. This San Francisco company offers a collection of premium hand made ceramic bongs and clay pipes, all produced in small batches in Northern California.
Their hand-rolled incense is made in Canada from herbs, barks, resins and gums onto raw bamboo sticks. They make three different types:
- Palo Santo (woody and airy): purifying, reduces tension, cleanses any space of negative energies and funky aromas
- Copal (deep, mysterious, balsamic scent): relaxing and grounding, perfect for meditation and spiritual practices
- Temple Blend (warm, fresh, and herbaceous): calming, grounding, promotes cognition, creativity, and prosperity
The 4-inch incense sticks are 100% organic, vegan, and herbal, and they burn for ~30 minutes. There are 12 sticks per pack.
The multi-functional “Smoke Pot,” an ashtray/burner/houseware dish is made of a raw terracotta clay exterior with a glazed interior for easy cleaning. It’s formed with extra thick walls and has a hefty weight and premium tactility to add style to any setting. It’s 6″ x 6″ x 1.5″ and weighs 1 pound.
14. Mystic Labs Delta-8 Gummies
Perfect to combine with a restorative weekend meditation retreat and a CBD bath, Mystic Labs’ Delta 8 THC gummies are truly life changing.
You may be more familiar with Delta-9 THC – the predominant cannabinoid found in Marijuana plants that is responsible for causing the psychoactive, “high” feeling. Delta-8 and Delta-9 are similar, but also different.
Delta-8 can cause some psychoactive effects but nothing as intense as those caused by Delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid, which is a naturally occurring chemical compound. Fun fact: Cannabis plants contain over 100 different cannabinoids!
If you’re curious, but a little weary, not to worry. All of the ingredients in Mystic Labs Delta-8 products come from Hemp plants, not Marijuana plants. And, all of their products are federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
The reason this is because they are Hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3 percent Delta-9. This means you can purchase them in all 50 states, and carry them across state lines – legally!
Delta-8 and the discovery of new ways of using cannabinoids truly has changed the game for medicinal and recreational use given that many of the same benefits are still found in these power packed edibles.
Prices for Mystic Labs gummies vary depending on quantity and potency, but start at just $5.99 for a 2-pack. You can order Mystic Labs Delta-8 gummies on their website or at a dispensary near you.
Pro tip: If you’re new to edibles, always start with the smallest dose possible. You can always take more, but you can’t take less once it’s already gone down. Be patient. Make sure you have water, snacks, and enjoyable things (like music, your favorite TV show or movie), and a cozy place to chill or nap. Be sure to set up your ideal vibe ahead of time for optimum enjoyment.