It’s natural that the indulgence and celebration of the holiday years precedes the asceticism and vows to do better of the new year. If you have a friend who’s already figuring out how she’s going to make big changes once the clock strikes midnight on January 1, these five gifts will show her your unwavering support for her mission. The best part? You can buy them for yourself — all in the name of self-improvement.
1. Mary J. Blige, The London Sessions
The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, as she’s known, actually released two albums this year; the Think Like A Man Too soundtrack wasn’t officially dubbed as such, but she sang all the R&B jams on that album. For her just-released The London Sessions, though, she packed up and headed to the UK, where she reflected on getting sober and collaborated with of-the-moment songwriters and producers like the soppy Sam Smith and the glitchy duo Disclosure. The result is an album that’s very 2014, with Blige’s undeniable pipes pulling her collaborators’ sounds even further into the future.
2. Modern Mermaid Box
Sure, the holiday season in the US is a time for early sunsets and gloomy chill, with the merriment helping take away some of the pain. This package from the beauty gurus at Birchbox, however, can make even the coldest day seem like an enchanted afternoon underwater. Davines’ sweet-smelling “This Is A Sea Salt Spray” gives beachy life to dried-out-from-the-heaters hair; Kajal’s Extreme Intense Eye Pencil, offered in Electric Navy, adds a bit of sparkle to one’s wink; Ruffian’s nail polish trio evokes a shimmering sunset over an ocean. Lip balm, mascara topcoat, and Atelier Cologne’s Cédrat Enivrant round out the box, which also comes with a mirror.
3. Pinstripe Flannel Pajamas
The best foundation for a great day? A solid slumber the night before. These comfy PJs from J. Crew will not only help you get cozy, their pinstripe design will show the world how you can look like an executive even in your deepest sleep.
4. 5-Day Juice ‘Til Dinner Cleanse
The aftermath of holiday indulgence is sometimes more than enough to inspire you toward change — hangovers, bloating, that weird floating feeling you get when you’ve had just a few too many carbohydrates. Jus By Julie’s five-day, four-juice cleanse allows you to ease back into a healthier lifestyle without the pain of going cold turkey; drink the juices over the course of the day and then fill yourself up with a healthy dinner. By day five, your insides will be humming and your mind will be clear of the fog brought on by indulgence.
5. “My Secret Plan To Conquer The World” Notebook
Write down brilliant ideas in this upcycled Moleskine notebook, which has been stamped with a modest goal for 2015. Hey, if you don’t dream big, you might not reach the smaller goals. (In case your designs for 2015 are a bit different, the Portugal-based Alfamarama also has books emblazoned with “My First Novel,” “My Amazing Life,” and “My Get Rich Quick Ideas,” among other slogans.)