If you’ve already sorted all your holiday shopping, have gifts organised by spread sheets and multicoloured tabs or have oodles of time and money to just roll the dough, feel free to totally skip this post.
If, on the other hand, you are like me and are pulling out your hair with both hands at the thought of rounding up gifts for all those ultra-tough-to-please people around you (on a limited budget, to boot!), this post may just save your life. And sanity.
To cut a long story short, I suck at buying gifts. Or actually, I suck at buying gifts on time. Which means that I usually have a terrific idea about all the cool stuff out there but will forget to actually buy and wrap it up on time. Cue: last minute scramble for stocking stuffers, Secret Santas’ and all the other assorted paraphernalia that makes up Christmas and New Year. And I have tons of those ultra-tough-to-please people in my life. Hence, every gift on this list has to fulfil 4 criteria:
1. It should be unique and not already done-to-death (no tired bottles of Chanel No. 5 please!)
2. It should be usable (which automatically rules out most palettes and pre-sorted gift sets)
3. It should have pretty packaging, hence doing away with the need for wrapping paper
4. It should not bankrupt the buyer
Sounds comforting enough?
Beauty gifts under $10
It’s tough to be
cheap economical and pretty and useful and unique but somehow these goodies manage to score on all fronts. I dare you to resist swiping a couple for yourself!
Elegant Touch Christmas Reindeer Nails Pack, $10: If its looks like the holidays and it feels like the holidays, it’s perfect as a holiday gift. Be prepared for a serious case of the awwwwwwwwws.
Cath Kidston Spotty Emery Boards, $9.25: Because who wouldn’t be happy with extra emery boards that look like mini-artworks?
Forever 21 Makeup Junkie Cosmetic Bag, $10: One for you, two for me?
e.l.f Studio 96-Piece Geometric Eyeshadow Palette, $10: There are 96 eyeshadows here. Ninety. Six. For $10. Need I say more?
Lip Smackers Coca Cola Tin, $10: Keep this one for the BFF who would appreciate the hefty dose of ’80s nostalgia packed into this super-cute tin.
Roger & Gallet Gorgeous Rose Soap Set, $9: The giftee (is that a proper word?) is going to think of you first thing every morning and last thing every night. That is if they bathe twice a day!
Pukka Detox Tea, $6.99: Organic aniseed, fennel seed, cardamom seed, licorice root, coriander seed and celery seed… all packaged into 20 healthy-yet-delish sachets.
Percy & Reed No Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo, $9: Will happily double as a piece of decor once she’s done with her grimy locks.
Sephora Deck the Halls With Ribbon Hair Ties, $10: Pretty, glittery and colourful. I want!
Beauty gifts from $11-25
Tip: Want to personalise your gifts even further? Try breaking up some of the sets and re-assembling them into your own customised gift bags. The ever-ingenious Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends has a terrific post on gift splitting.
e.l.f. Studio 144-Piece Ultimate Eye Shadow Palette, $16: Do I even need to explain this one?
Gianna Rose Atelier Monogram French Milled Soap, $11 each: These gorgeous soaps are made with natural ingredients and scented with a clean, crisp scent of green tea and bergamot. Only limitation is they are just available in letters A, B, C, D, E, G, J, K, L, M, R and S. So if your mom’s name is Zelda, she’s out of luck.
Fragonard Guests Soaps Paris Gift Set, $18: Pretty packaging? Check. Gorgeous fragrance? Check. Happy colours? Check.
Heathcote & Ivory Enchanted Walking Bath Flowers, $14: Perfumed with notes of cassis, plum, citrus and lily of the valley, these soapy petals are a rare blend of pretty and practical.
S.W. Basics Vegan Lip Balm Flight Case, $15: Organic, sustainable, ethically sourced and suitable for vegans. Perfect for you-know-who.
Anna Sui Beauty Box, $25: Because who wouldn’t want a pretty beauty box to stash all those trinkets?
Philosophy Fruitcake Mix Set, $25: Forget what’s inside (vanilla cake mix shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath; cranberry medley body lotion; and candied pecan hot salt), the name itself is enchanting enough to have me stocking up by the truckload.
RetaW Fragrance Tablets, $12 for a sheet: Each sheet can be split into 8 home fragrance tablets that last for 2 months each. Fragrance options include lavender, bergamot and mandarin.
Ciaté Nail Polish Tree Trinkets, $25 for set of 6: Why buy Christmas decorations that aren’t filled with beauty products when you have options like this?
Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio, $24: Possibly the best tinted lip balms on the planet. And you get to gift three of them!
Benefit Cosmetics Gettin’ Cheeky Cheek Tints, $17 for set of 3: ‘Coz I have yet to find one person of the fairer sex who wouldn’t mind stashing these multi-taskers by the dozen.
Eve Lom Kiss Mix Star, $22: At the risk of repeating myself, why buy Christmas decorations that aren’t decorated with cult beauty goodies?
Diptyque Mini Candle, $25: As if just being Diptyque wasn’t enough, these lusciously fragranced candles (Indian incense, pine bark and orange chai) come all wrapped up in gorgeous limited edition jars that can be used later as trinket keepers.
Sephora Collection 5-Shade Tinted Balm Wand, $12: Awwww… this brings back memories of long lost schooldays. In the best possible way.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar All-Star Mini Set, $24 for set of 4: For those whom you want to bless with the gift of a deeply pigmented liquid lipstick that has unbelievable staying power.
Beauty gifts from $26-50
Still affordable enough to pull a “one for you, one for me.” Right?
Sonia Kashuk Lavish Luxe 10-Piece Brush Set, $26.99: Help her keep the New Year resolution to streamline her makeup wardrobe. And at this price it’s an unbelievable steal, so I would suggest stocking up for yourself as well.
Kate Spade Porcelain Candle, $40: Multiple colours, multiple messages (my fave is “Leave something to the imagination”) and multiple days of happiness.
Givenchy Ondulations D’Or Palette, $49: I dare you to give one of these dazzling gold-and-black eyeshadows away without snagging at least one for yourself. Go ahead, try it!
Nails Inc Christmas Crackers, $30 for set of 6: If your wallet is stretched veryyyyy thin, just gift them individually. At $5 a pop, this is going to be a memorable one!
Shu Uemura Takashi Murakami Lip & Cheek Fun-tasy, $26 each: One of the best fashion-beauty collaborations we’ve ever seen. Perfect for that fashionista who seems to have everything already.
Benefit Cosmetics Little Love Potions, $36: It’s Benefit. It’s a set of travel and clutch-friendly minis. It’s a combo of every possible make up essential one could need for a night out.
Chandon Sparkle Bomb Holiday Kit, $30: Could there possibly be a better pairing than bubbly (limited-edition Chandon Blanc de Noirs) and nail polish (Sephora’s Formula X polish in Sparklebomb Effects, a gold glitter)?
NARS Guy Bourdin Fling Lip Kit, $49: It’s the case shaped like a giant pair of red lips that actually counts. The two amazing sheer lipsticks, a mini velvet matte lip pencil and a velvet gloss lip pencil are pure bonus.
Jo Malone Christmas Cracker, $40: Who needs wrapping paper?
Estée Lauder Delectable Nail Coffret, $29: Three dark and stormy shades, one that’s pale and poised… perfect for day and night, work and party, winter and summer.
Farmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body Scrub, $26: Just the name itself sounds so cozy and comforting; add in the cornmeal grains, whole herbs and organic sweet soy oil for pure magic.
Lollia Imagine Perfumed Dusting Powder, $28: It smells like lotus and jasmine, feels like silk and drenches the skin with the goodness of coconut milk. Perfect for the modern romantic.
PS: Come back over the weekend to discover gifts ranging from $51 to $500+