The Shadiest Holiday Gifts For The Most Difficult People In Your Life

Christmas carols and classic movies will try to convince you that the holidays are a time to be merry, thankful, and full of love and light, and anything other than that is dysfunctional. But real life, and real relationships, aren’t all cupcakes and roses and Love Actually. Sometimes it’s just about doing the best you can with the people you’re given — even the ones you’ve spent the whole rest of the year resenting.

Yes, we all have people in our lives who could use some tough love. But love is the important part, because throwing shade for shade's sake won't get you anywhere. Rather, there's a certain art to being the perfect amount of petty, and the holidays are the perfect time to do it — because hardcore reality checks are best served with a side of luxe eyeshadow.

Ahead, the best backhanded beauty gifts to call out the most difficult people in your life this holiday season. If things get awkward, don't worry: There's bound to be a glass of spiked eggnog or mulled wine you can reach for in lieu of an apology. 'Tis the season to get drunk and forget your differences. (As long as they have nothing to do with partisan politics, that is...)

Because a Xanax prescription isn't exactly the kind of thing you can give as a gift without breaking a law or five, the best-in-class beauty sponge now comes in a calming shade of oceanic blue that brings gently crashing waves to mind, and makes perfect makeup one less thing your mom will have to wring her hands about. (Plus, she could even use it as a stress ball in a pinch.)

Beautyblender Chill, $20, available at Sephora.
You have tons of mutual friends in common, hang out at all the same bars, and go to all the same parties, yet every time you run into each other he introduces himself and ask your name. Again. Maybe he's just too drunk (every time?), or maybe he's just an asshole — either way, one spritz in the face with this spicy scent and he'll never forget (or pretend to forget) who you are ever again.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Blackout Eau de Parfum, $85, available at Ulta.
You used to be such good friends — what happened? It's just that ever since she went to Paris for a week last summer, she's been... different. You know there's something off, but you can't quite put your finger on it. Is it the beret she insists on wearing to brunch on Sundays? Is it the fact that she seems to have replaced her entire wardrobe with Saint James T-shirts and slouchy boyfriend jeans overnight? Is it the weird way she pronounces "croissant," or answers your phone calls with a jaunty bonjour? You just don't know what it is...

It Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Hydrating Color Awakening Lip Treatment, $24, available at Sephora.
With great power comes great responsibility, but in some cases, just a little bit of power can also come with a giant boost in ego. Like your coworker's recent promotion, for example — she's really letting that end-of-year title bump go to her head. The warm, earthy tones in this palette will remind her to stay grounded, so maybe she'll finally stop berating the intern in front of the whole team when everyone knows she, too, was an intern just last year.

MAC Girls Power Hungry Palette, $39.50, available at Nordstrom.
For your gossipy cousin, the one who you like well enough at family functions but know you can't trust because you can't tell them literally anything unless you're ready for the entire extended family to hear it, an eyeshadow that says everything they need to hear. Which is, seriously, just stop talking.

Tom Ford Private Shadow in Hush, $36, available at Tom Ford.
When you suggested getting drinks with that old friend you ran into at the supermarket, you actually meant it for once — but considering how many times they've canceled on account of "scheduling conflicts," you'll probably be rescheduling those plans ad nauseam until one of you finally dies. Instead of sending yet another iCal invite, try getting the message across with this 15-shade eyeshadow palette that also comes with a 2018 agenda. Pretty, practical, and just the right amount of passive aggressive.

Too Faced Pretty Little Planner, $42, available at Ulta.
For your little sister who always ignores your FaceTime requests because she says she's too busy studying, as if you weren't going to see all those #squad group shots she's putting on her Instagram Stories. And speaking of shots, she could really use one — of vitamin C, that is, in the form of this brightening, energizing facial serum, perfect for undoing the evidence of too many late nights spent "studying."

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, $48, available at Sephora.
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