The Beauty Gift Exchange Your Coworkers Need This Year


It’s no surprise that the holiday season is looking a little different this year. With social distancing and working from home still in practice in many places, it can be hard to drum up holiday cheer. But where there’s a will there’s a way—and we found a pretty fun way.

In lieu of group holiday parties this year, the beauty editors at some of our sister magazines decided to ring in the season with a Mystery Beauty Swap—a secret Santa of sorts! Here’s how it worked: Five beauty directors’ names were thrown into a hat and they were each assigned another editor in the group. Their task? To surprise their colleague with a savvy beauty gift to get them through this season (and beyond). And trust us when we say that getting a beauty gift for the beauty pro that has everything is no easy feat.

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Looking to do the same in your circle? Our editors shopped their picks from Dermstore, the premier destination for prestige and professional skincare, hair care, and makeup. Not only do they have beauty editor-approved goodies, but right now you can snag curated gift sets guaranteed to surprise and delight anyone on your list.

Ready to see what our pros picked? Let the Mystery Beauty Swap begin!

chloe hall, ellecom beauty director

Chloe Hall, Beauty Director


Who: Chloe Hall, Beauty Director at

Who did you have in the swap and what did you gift them?
I got April The Best of Dermstore Problem Solution: Hydrating Regimen. I love and adore April, and everyone deserves the gift of hydration! This kit includes a selection of products curated by a dermatologist.

What are your holiday plans this year?
I grew up with such a strong chosen family that they are basically family at this point. My mom and I share another mother-daughter best friend duo. I’ve had the same best friend since I was two and her mom is BFFs with my mom. We will definitely get together to exchange gifts, bake cookies, drink too much wine, and maybe gossip in the kitchen while Santa Baby plays on repeat. But, I honestly don’t know! Everything about this year is so unknown. I definitely will be seeing some family and friends to celebrate with, but I’m not sure about travel at all.

Problem Solution: Hydrating Regimen (1 kit)

Best of Dermstore


What did you receive—and why did you love it?
I received the Slip Beauty Sleep Collection from Kristina and I LOVE it! Kristina and I used to talk about if we were getting enough sleep or not (stress is the worst!) all the time when we sat next to each other at work, so this was a sweet throwback. I can’t wait to lay my head down tonight! Here’s to perfect hair thanks to the silk pillowcase and rested eyes with my adorable pink mask!

What are your top online shopping tips this holiday season?
Give the gift of great skin! I think 2020 was all about a reset and 2021 will be a fresh (fingers and toes crossed!) start, so it feels like the perfect time to reset your skincare routine. It’s important to find reputable and respected places you trust that put science and ingredients first—like Dermstore! Everyone on your list will be happy and have a bit of a glow.

april franzino, good housekeeping beauty director

April Franzino, Good Housekeeping Beauty Director


Who: April Franzino, Beauty Director at Good Housekeeping

Who did you have in the swap and what did you gift them?
I got Oprah Mag Beauty Director Brian Underwood the Peter Thomas Roth Mask-a-Holic set. I know he loves a good face mask! And this set includes skincare masks in fun colors like gold that will be perfect for his signature Instagram photos.

What are your holiday plans this year?
I’ll be spending the holidays with my family who live in the area—I look forward to the festivities of the season and this year is no exception.

Mask-A-Holic® 5-Piece Set (1 kit)

Peter Thomas Roth


What did you receive—and why did you love it?’s Chloe Hall got me the Best of Dermstore Problem Solution: Hydrating Regimen kit and it’s absolutely perfect! I have extremely dry skin, especially in winter, so this set is made for me. I love the rich SkinCeuticals cream included and the MDSolarSciences SPF is a Good Housekeeping Beauty Lab test winner!

What are your top online shopping tips this holiday season?
I would start by thinking about what types of items (or services!) the person uses in their daily life—or things that you know they could use, like a need they’ve mentioned. Then zero in on something related—so say they love skincare, a set of indulgent face masks, or makeup, a festive eyeshadow palette. Or say you know they haven’t been able to get to a salon lately, a collection of indulgent hair care products.

brian underwood

Brian Underwood, O, The Oprah Magazine Beauty Director


Who: Brian Underwood, Beauty Director at O, The Oprah Magazine

Who did you have in the swap and what did you gift them?
I gave Cosmo’s Beauty Director Julee Wilson the First Aid Beauty FABLantis Gift Set. I love this set for Julee because she’s expecting and is in her third trimester so I wanted to choose a set that would be extra hydrating for her skin, which can get drier during pregnancy. A lot of these products contain nourishing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and glycerin to help soothe inflammation. Pregnant women may also notice their skin appears duller, so the exfoliating pads can help bring back some of that glow.

What are your holiday plans this year?
I’m hoping to safely see my family this holiday season, but it will absolutely be a much smaller, more intimate affair. At the very least, I’ll be celebrating at home with my 5-year-old daughter…that’s really what the holiday is all about for me now, my little girl. So if it ends up having to be just the two of us, that works for me.

Dermstore Exclusive FABLantis Gift Set (5 piece)

First Aid Beauty


What did you receive—and why did you love it?
I got the Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic® 5-Piece Set. I’m actually a total mask-a-holic, so I can’t think of a more perfect gift for me. In fact, the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is one of my all-time favorite products. I’m so excited about this set!

What are your top online shopping tips this holiday season?
My advice for shopping online this year is to do it early and purchase from trusted retailers. I want to give the postal system plenty of time to deliver my things and since I’ll be shopping exclusively online this year, and I’m trying to go to retailers I know and trust to eliminate the return factor since I know that can be a pain for people to do.

julee wilson, cosmopolitan beauty director

Julee Wilson, Cosmopolitan Beauty Director


Who: Julee Wilson, Beauty Director at Cosmopolitan

Who did you have in the swap and what did you gift them?
I got Women’s Health Beauty Director Kristina Rodulfo the Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment. She’s such a skincare guru, so I know she appreciates this luxe complexion-perfecting treatment. Plus, the product is pretty iconic when it comes to Sunday Riley’s collection of goods, and Kristina is an iconic beauty director!

What are your holiday plans this year?
This year we are staying in place—it’s just going to be myself, my husband, my son and probably my mother-in-law who lives around the block. I am over seven months pregnant, so I need to stay in place because this baby can come at any moment. We really want to be safe considering all that is happening with the pandemic.

I think we’ll have a great holiday season even though we’re not traveling. We’re going to get a Christmas tree in our apartment for the first time. I’m ordering custom monogrammed stockings to hang along our entertainment center because we don’t have a fireplace. And, we’ll watch movies and bake things… and just hang out as a family. We’re really thankful we can do that and wait for the baby to arrive.

GOOD GENES Glycolic Acid Treatment (1.7 fl. oz.)

Sunday Riley


What did you receive—and why did you love it?
First of all, I love Brian! We are friends in real life. He doesn’t just know me professionally, he knows me—he knows what moves me personally. It’s great that he got me this five-piece set for a few reasons. Number one, I’m a product junkie and like a lot of things. The fact that it’s not one thing is dope. Also, First Aid Beauty is one of my favorite brands. The products are well-formulated, they work (which is so important) and this collection really runs the gamut. It gives me everything I need from the Repair Cream to the Radiance Pads and the Lip Therapy. I’m pretty much set with this set—thank you Brian!

What are your top online shopping tips this holiday season?
Online shopping has increasingly become the way to shop over the years anyways, but obviously this year people won’t be flocking to the stores. I’m really excited about going online and personalizing gifts for my family and friends’ needs. I love that Dermstore has all of my favorite beauty companies and that they have a really amazing variety of prices and products. Since I’m a beauty director, everyone is always asking for recommendations and this year, I can truly customize their gifts to tackle their skincare concerns.

kristina rodulfo, women's health beauty director

Kristina Rodulfo, Women’s Health Beauty Director


Who: Kristina Rodulfo, Beauty Director at Women’s Health

Who did you have in the swap and what did you gift them?
I got Beauty Director Chloe Hall the Slip Beauty Sleep Collection. It’s ideal for lounging at home, finding peace, and living the “best elder life” of the women 50+ she’s written about admiring. Plus, it’s really gentle on your hair and skin!

What are your holiday plans this year?
My family has an annual Christmas party with extended family friends—it all started 31 years ago when my mom immigrated alone to New York from the Philippines and ended up in a boarding house with fellow nurses. Far away from home, they all became each other’s “family” in NYC and started a tradition of doing the holidays together that we’ve continued through the generations.

We’ll be keeping up with the tradition, this time getting a house in the Catskills to safely celebrate with everyone. I’m especially excited because this will be the first time I’m bringing along my boyfriend Michael who is from Sydney, Australia where Christmas is during the middle of summer! I can’t wait to share some winter holiday traditions with him.

Beauty Sleep Collection (2 piece)



What did you receive—and why did you love it?
Julee got me the Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment. Sunday Riley is one of my favorite skincare brands so this gift is perfect! Thanks, Julee! I haven’t used the Glycolic Acid version of Good Genes yet (just the Lactic one I already love) so I’m excited to try this out! It’s a perfect gift especially now, while winter has my skin looking lackluster. Bring back the glowwww.

What are your top online shopping tips this holiday season?
I’ve always been more of an online shopper–but it’s especially necessary this year! It’s the stress-free way to shop. As the resident beauty expert in my inner circle, I always love gifting skincare, face tools, and other beauty product gift sets. These are all things anyone on your list can enjoy, whether it’s your sister or a coworker.

One of my go-to retailers is Dermstore, which has the hands-down best curation of effective, cult-favorite products experts swear by and a ton of education on ingredients and creating a routine. The best shopping tip I would give is, when in doubt, go for body products. They’re like socks or gloves–something everyone needs and will appreciate.

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