Looking for the best products to gift — and to get — this holiday season? Check out Underscored’s Holiday Guide here.
The toughest person to check off your holiday shopping list is likely a teen. Luckily for you, shopping for teens is our specialty. From eighth graders to college sophomores, we know them, we love them and we want to make them happy at the holidays, just like you.
Whether you’re buying for your kid, their bestie who basically lives at your house, a niece or nephew or a gaggle of grandteens, we’ve got you covered.
Meow3DStore Custom Headphone Stand (starting at $30; etsy.com)
Make this solid wooden headphone stand theirs and theirs alone with any meaningful short word or phrase. Practical and personal! You have the option of leaving the wood as is or having it painted in any of 15 colors (including glow in the dark).
Glossier Balm Dotcom Trio ($30, originally $36; glossier.com)
Glossier is basically every teen’s favorite beauty brand, and this trio of its bestselling lip balms is just the right stocking stuffer or full-blown gift to give. Flavors you can pick from include cherry, mint, mango and the brand’s yummy new cookie butter.
Hair Tie Bracelet ($45; uncommongoods.com)
The designers of this unbearably smart and lovely bracelet, Shireen and Arni Thor, should get the Nobel Peace Prize. Teens (all of them!) keep hair ties on their wrists, just in case. Why not make adornments of them? This bangle bracelet can be had in gold or silver tone.
‘Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Visual History’ by James Mottram ($50; amazon.com)
Wishing they’d put down the phone and pick up a book once in a while? It may not be hopeless. Gift them this awesome volume of rare images of the making of the iconic films. This fascinating keepsake volume includes everything they didn’t know they wanted to know about Spielberg’s marauding reptilians. It also fills them in on the video games, toys and comics they spawned.
Nails Inc. Get Magnetized Nail Polish Duo ($18; sephora.com)
Your mani maven may have tons of polish, but they don’t have these next-generation nail enamels. They’ll use the magnet on the cap to “draw” designs in the vegan and cruelty-free polishes. A minute later, amazingly unique tips and toes. Whoa.
Every Man Jack Limited-Edition Marvel Black Panther Body Kit ($17.99; amazon.com)
Entice your superhero-loving teen with this deodorant and body wash kit that pays homage to their fave Marvel hero. Black Panther products, shown, are in Wakanda Herb scent, but you can also pick them up Spider-Man, Iron Man or Captain America in Fresh Air, Crimson Oak or Winter Mint, respectively.
Canon Ivy Rec Outdoor Digital Camera ($49.96; qvc.com)
This featherweight camera clips onto bags, belt loops and backpacks, ready to take pictures and videos of adventures with friends. And unlike their phone, it’s water- and shockproof.
The Box by Dormify ($75, originally $125; dormify.com)
If you have a new or soon-to-be college student, you probably know Dormify. Basically, it has everything older teens want for their school experience. And its offerings just got more giftable with The Box by Dormify. It’s, well, a box…stuffed with snacks, accessories, beauty products and other cool stuff from brands they’ll immediately recognize even if you don’t, like Glow Recipe and Cool Street.
Dr. Martens Rainbow Ray Boots ($149.95; zappos.com)
Teens love their Docs. A fresh pair is always a solid pick, especially when they’re a little bit extra, like these, new for the season. These soft leather kicks have an all-over rainbow finish. The brand is known for excellent comfort, support and superior construction. Read: They’ll wear them forever, and they’ll last forever.
My Cinema Lightbox Mini Light Box ($22.99, originally $24.99; amazon.com)
A trendy piece of room decor, this light box is super easy to customize. It comes with 105 interchangeable letters and symbols to work with. Plus, it’ll be fun for you to see the statements change with your kid’s moods. We just can’t promise it won’t one day read “Go Away.”
Disco-to-Go USB Light ($20; uncommongoods.com)
Plug it into a wall charger or a USB port on a laptop and let the party begin. It has a flexible arm so the swirling colors can be aimed wherever. It’s just the thing to set the scene for videos.
Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller ($99.99; amazon.com)
We know, it can be hard to impress a teen who’s a serious gamer, at least without spending hundreds. Try this, why don’t you? Think of this controller as a handheld PS5 or Series X. They can use it to stream Xbox games to any iPhone, no actual Xbox required. It also works with PlayStation Remote Play, Steam Link, Apple Arcade, Call of Duty: Mobile, Minecraft, Roblox — pretty much everything there is.
Anna Beck Medium Hoop Stud Earrings ($145; nordstrom.com)
Have you ever met a teenage girl who wasn’t happy to get jewelry? We haven’t either. If you want a sure thing without having to wonder about her sizes or interests, these beautiful earrings are it. Hoops are trending on teen lobes. And these, at 1 inch across, are the preferred size, not too big or small. They’re handcrafted in Bali of sterling and 18k gold plating.
Cooluli Mini Fridge ($49.99; amazon.com)
This mini cooler lets them keep their go-to beverages and snacks in their room. They’ll love it, trust us. They can also use it to keep beauty products fresh and to stash face rollers, best used chilled.
Steve Madden BTerra-G Sherpa Crossbody ($64.80, originally $108; macys.com)
Totes are for school. A cute little crossbody goes everywhere else. Crafted of adorable fluffy faux shearling, this bag also comes in cream, pink and brown. And, hey, it’s Steve Madden. They’ll swoon.
DuvetCover3DStore Knot Pillow ($49; etsy.com)
How great is this? Available in six happy hues, this supremely squishy pillow will be occupying a place of honor in your teen’s room by 10 a.m. Christmas morning. The modern, unexpected aesthetic is perfect.
Kodak Step Instant Mobile Photo Printer ($69.99; amazon.com)
Yes, teens live in the digital world. But despite that, they’ve taken a huge liking to displaying physical photos in their rooms and sharing them with friends. With the genius Step, they can print out selfies and social media posts from anywhere. And the app lets them finish off their pics with filters, borders and stickers.
NalyOfficials Real Flowers Initial Resin Keychain (starting at $12; etsy.com)
Stocking stuffer alert! If she (like her likely muse, Olivia Rodrigo) got her driver’s license last week (or earlier this year), she needs a special keychain for those car keys. These are made with actual flowers embedded inside each initial. They can hold her house keys too, of course.
Mark & Graham Personalized Leather Phone Sticker Card Case ($27.49, originally $41.50; markandgraham.com)
This handy custom card holder sticks to any phone or phone case. It’ll make it so much less likely that lunch money is lost or the school ID will go missing (again).
Smoko Toasty Heatable Sloth Plushie ($36; urbanoutfitters.com)
A super-soft sloth! He’s the perfect companion for your teen to snuggle up with when they’re feeling out of sorts. Not that that ever happens. This little guy has a removable pouch inside that has relaxing lavender in it. Pop it in the microwave for 60 seconds. He’ll keep them cozy warm (and chill).
Pop Sockets PopGrips Tidepool Snow Globe Wonderland ($19.99; target.com)
These phone grippers are ubiquitous in teendom. But they can never have too many, as they like to change them up with moods, seasons and even outfits. We can’t resist this new holiday style that looks like a shimmery snow globe. It’s festive without being obviously Christmasy, so they can use it all winter.