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11 Beauty & Fragrance Gifts That Made ‘Oprah’s Favorites’ in 2016

Giftable packaging earned these brands a spot on the coveted list.

By Marie Redding, Associate Editor 12.21.16
Every beauty brand, no doubt, hopes to win a spot on the ultimate holiday gift list and earn the distinction of being one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” However, of the 101 items on the list this year, which includes apparel, jewelry, home decor, kitchen appliances, electronics and more, there are only 11 that are beauty or fragrance-related products.

The list was published in the December issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, which hit newsstands early November to give consumers plenty of time to shop the list. A partnership with Amazon, for the second year, makes shopping convenient for consumers, and profitable for brands.

The companies that make the cut each year usually face high spikes in the number of incoming orders during the weeks leading up to Christmas, and brands work with suppliers to fill orders quickly. The recognition lasts long after the shopping season ends. Brands often continue to promote that they were an “Oprah pick” up until next year’s list comes out.

Giftable Packaging Made the Cut

What did it take for these 11 beauty and fragrance brands to make the cut for the holiday 2016 season? Great packaging that looks “giftable.”

Winfrey personally comments on what she likes about each of the products on the list, as well as the packaging. She describes Emi Jay Hair Ties, which are in clear plastic cube-shaped boxes, as “stretchy hair ties in delectable packaging.” Each hair tie is individually wrapped in wax paper, and twisted at each end, to resemble a piece of hard candy.

Also in the Hair category is Dyson’s beautifully designed hair dryer, reinvented. A set of professional-grade hair brushes by Harry Josh is also featured, and were probably chosen because they look so festive in green.

A skin care line created by Winfrey’s facialist Jennifer Brodeur, Peoni, is also on the list. The brand’s minimalist packaging features elongated bottles with matte silver pumps, and pretty flowers adorning the box’s side panels. 

The Cottage Greenhouse’s bath & body set has an organic look, with packaging that draws attention to the products’ food-based ingredients. 

Foot Nanny, a brand that is on the list for the third year in a row, made the list this year with its Rose Foot Treatment Set that includes soft spa socks, rose/lime scented foot soaking salts, and rose scented foot cream.

Although there aren’t any eau de parfums on the list this year, there are scented candles by The Village Common and scented sachets by BloemBox.

Two makeup brands also won coveted spots. A lip and cheek stain by Edward Bess is in an oversized lipstick package that commands attention. The product was apparently “supersized” just to make the list. Winfrey humorously says why she chose the oversized cosmetic product, saying, “Because who doesn’t want to pull something the size of Texas out of her makeup bag?”

Tarte is also on the list, with a set of four lip colors in double-ended packaging that no doubt caught Winfrey’s eye. The unusual design features a bullet lipstick on one end and a gloss applicator attached to a bottle on the other, plus metallic gold caps that look fancy.

Butter London, a brand that Winfrey often endorses, earned a spot this year with its gift collection of 22 nail lacquers and treatments. Rather than choosing a typical keepsake box, the collection sits on a spinning tray, which Winfrey calls out, saying, “…when the 22 polishes spin easily in a lazy Susan. So fun!"

See the beauty and fragrance gifts that made the cut in the slideshow above, and take a look at what Oprah said about each.

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