Justine Skye Spills Her Favorite Gifts Before the Holidays

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“It’s important to have intention behind everything you give.”

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Justine Skye first appeared on our radars as the cool girl on Tumblr, famed for her effortless aesthetic. The Brooklyn native rose to virality as a music star at just 17, garnering millions of views on YouTube for her rendition of “Headlines” by Drake. Since then, she’s accumulated quite a star-studded resume: signing with Atlantic Records at 19, working with top fashion and beauty brands, collaborating with music giants… To add to the list, she now plays the ultra chill and stylish freshman Annika Longstreet in Freeform’s “Grown-ish.” 

The now-27-year-old’s latest brand partnership is with Marshalls and T.J. Maxx and sees her showcasing the retailers’ latest holiday offerings. So, I got some time with her to chat about the end of 2022 and all things gift-giving.

“I’m ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas – I’m just ready to go into the holidays,” Skye tells Fashionista. “For the first time ever, I’m really excited about ending the year, too. I’m not anxious or regretful, and I’m genuinely excited about everything to come. I learned a lot this year, and I’m ready to put that into everything that happens next.”

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Out of all the seemingly never-ending pools of new releases, Skye reveals that she usually opts for more wallet-friendly holiday purchases: Easy gifts to give, she notes, are always candles and home decor in general, because who doesn’t love warm-scented goodies? She’s also a fan of winter accessories like scarves, gloves and hats — if she only had $20 to spend, she’d most likely go in that direction. 

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“They are always very useful and so cute,” she says. “I love how you can really add something like a leather glove to your outfit, for instance, and then boom, you have a look! It’s really the little things that complete an outfit.”

As far as holiday dressing goes, Skye predicts that leather pieces will be a favorite. “From what I hear from my friends, it’s the biggest trend this season — like, they can’t go anywhere without rocking a leather moment,” she says. “I feel like it just elevates whatever outfit you wear and accessorizing really just steps it up.”

But in the spirit of the season, the singer-slash-actor shares that while she enjoys picking out items for loved ones, she values quality time with them the most. 

“I don’t want to sound cliché,” she prefaces, “but I feel like there’s so much expectation around the holidays. I just want to be present. Gifts are great, too, and it’s important to have intention behind everything you give.”

After our chat, we head for the racks to check off some of our own holiday shopping — but not before Skye leaves us with her go-to shopping tip. “Be fearless,” she says. “It’s all about expressing your creativity through who you are and whoever you’re getting the gift for. It’s always a combination.” 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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