Best Gifts for Tweens


So, somehow, in the past year, when I wasn’t paying attention, a tween moved in. I don’t know if it was the arrival of the double-digit birthday or the realization that she was completely, positively over American Girl dolls, but my little Lola’s Christmas list started to look a lot like mine… Accessories, clothes, perfume, and, ahem, makeup. The kind of things she will be asking for, well, for the rest of her life.

She is, after all, my child.

The Christmas when I was 10 years old, I had also begged for makeup, and Santa gave me a little Coty compact. It was bronzey, and it had a blush, 2 shades of eyeshadow, and a lipstick that slipped in the side. I was obsessed with it, and spent the whole long car ride from Florida to Indiana (to visit cousins) applying and reapplying makeup and studying my reflection in the tiny mirror.


Still, I wasn’t ready. Emotionally, I mean. Shopping is the easy part.

So here, for those of you with girly girls in that sweet and sensitive and ever-so-slightly moody stage of life, are some of my favorite gifts for tweens.

(As always, pictures are linked, so just click on them to shop).

Brookstone Cat Ears headphones, $99.99, Macy's

Brookstone Cat Ears headphones, $99.99, Macy’s

Cat Ears Headphones

Which tween couldn’t use a new pair of headphones. These are a little pricey, but good headphones are worth the investment. The sound quality will be better, and they’re much more durable. Plus, these are super cute!


Jane Iredale "Champagne on Ice" kit, $35,

Jane Iredale “Champagne on Ice” kit, $35,

Festive Glosses

If my daughter is going to play with makeup, I want to make sure it’s safe. I love Jane Iredale’s mineral makeup. It’s safe and high quality for me, and sparkly for her.

Chill Pill Charger, $22.50 (sale price with code Merry, originally $30), Macy's

Chill Pill Charger, $22.50 (sale price with code Merry, originally $30), Macy’s

Cool Charger

She can charge her devices in style with this shiny charger, and you can also send her a not-so-subliminal message to chill out. It’s worth a shot!

Takashi Murakami for Shu Uemura Beauty Remix Smoky Eyes and Cheeks palette, $65,

Takashi Murakami for Shu Uemura Beauty Remix Smoky Eyes and Cheeks palette, $65,


Flower Child Face Palette

This groovy, flowery palette is a splurge, for sure, but it’s a limited edition collectible in the cutest packaging ever – sure to delight the true makeup lover on your list!

Floss Gloss Holiday Box, $32, Nordstrom

Floss Gloss Holiday Box, $32, Nordstrom

Sparkle & Shine

A quartet of glittery polishes in the chic-est packaging ever! This will make any mani-obsessed tween happy.

Nailmatics nail polish and gloss duo, $19.95, Nordstrom

Nailmatics nail polish and gloss duo, $19.95, Nordstrom

Whimsical Beauty

Where has this been all of my life? Nailmatics is a French company that creates chic, pretty completely kid-safe polishes that are truly high quality! And then they throw in a tres charmant roller gloss! I’m obsessed!

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera, $99.99,

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera, $99.99,

Snap Happy

This cool, colorful little camera will be the hit of her next sleepover. The retro style is adorable, and she’ll love the fact that she can print pictures and instantly share them with her friends. Totally old school.


Verloop Tassel Charms, $28,

Verloop Tassel Charms, $28,

Backpack Bling

This stacked tassel charm from eco-friendly brand Verloop is made of recycled yarn scraps, which is fabulous, but the real reason I love it is that it’s adorable! Soft and colorful, it’s the perfect accessory for a backpack or tote!


Tasha jeweled beanie, $32, and cat ears beanie, $28, Nordstrom


Wool & The Gang "Say My Name" knit kit, $58,

Wool & The Gang “Say My Name” knit kit, $58,

Beanie Boos

These cozy-cute hats are trendy but also a practical way to keep warm and redeem a bad hair day. I’m obsessed with the knit kits from Wool & The Gang, and these “Say My Name” beanies make the perfect beginner level project. Or you can buy one premade for $75. And if you’re looking for a blingy beanie, a line called Tasha has an assortment at Nordstrom. The cat ears style is so cute!

This stuff is so adorable it almost makes me want to be 13 again! Chances are the tween in your life has plenty of ideas of her own, but I hope you found some of these suggestions helpful! My motto when shopping for this age group: Keep it cute, current and affordable, because trends and tastes change faster than their moods.


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