If you ask any of your makeup-loving friends or family if they have too many beauty products–chances are they’ll glumly admit, “Yes.”
But I guarantee if ask them if there are more makeup products they really, really wish they had, their eyes will light up. Because even when our bags and cabinets are overflowing, there are always new products to fawn over and collections we’ve pined over but never splurged to buy ourselves.
All that is to say, if you’re not sure your friend would like receiving beauty products as a gift this holiday–they would.
One thing I really appreciate about beauty gifts is the wide range of people in your social circle you can give them to, from your romantic partner to your boss. You can’t do that with underwear or diamond jewelry.
Sure, you’ll want to use your best judgement, but you’ve got some leeway. For example, your wife might really appreciate an upgrade from her old epilator to a fancy new Braun Silk-épil for body hair removal, but you wouldn’t want to give one to your mother-in-law out of the blue. (Hey, if that’s your relationship with your mom-in-law, good on you.)
Other products like body lotion and quality lip balm work for anyone, even hard to buy for folks. You’ll want to go with your gut on this, but here are some very rough guidelines.
Basically anyone from partner to your kid’s teacher.
Safe for people you know and don’t.
Hand and body lotions.
De-stressing skincare like relaxing mud facial masks or salt scrubs.
Close acquaintances, friends, and teen relatives.
You know what they like.
All of the above.
Makeup. Fun stuff like lipstick sets, funky eyeliners, and eye shadow palettes.
Makeup tools like brushes and manicure sets.
Home spa sets and bath bombs.
General skincare like facial masks–not acne or aging related. Approach these with caution. The last thing you want a gift to communicate is, “I got you this because you have bad skin.”
Romantic partners and immediate family.
You know what they like and what they already have.
All of the above.
Beauty devices for hair removal or exfoliation.
More practical makeup items like a new contour kit, their favorite mascara, or preferred blending sponges.
Hair care products and devices.
Again, this is a very loose guideline and you know the people on your list better than I do. Unless I’m on your list. In which case, that’s super sweet of you.
Still looking for more gift ideas? Read my guides the best last minute Christmas beauty deals 2017, best Christmas party makeup buys, best Christmas gifts for feminists, and best Christmas gifts for teen girls.
Let’s get to the best beauty gifts of 2017
1. Auxiwa Clip On Selfie Ring Light
A light might seem like a strange way to start off a beauty gifts list, but hear me out. I can’t describe how frustrating it is when you’ve nailed your makeup perfectly, but every picture you’re taking comes out looking bland. When you’re taking photos, lighting is key. This is especially true for selfies because you’re right up close and that can be unforgiving. Professionals use ring lights to cast uniform, even light. It’s ideal for portraits (like selfies) and macro-photography (like food photos) when the shadow from your camera would normally get in the way.
The Auxiwa Clip On Selfie Ring Light shrinks this ring light design down to so you can attach it right onto your smartphone, and always have the perfect light to showcase that beautiful face. The 39 LED bulbs are rechargeable by an included USB cord and a full charge should last about a week. The light intensity is adjustable by a single button, so you can control how much light you want. It clips on to nearly any smartphone (no extra thick Otterbox cases) as well as to laptops and makeup mirrors. It’s not the most expected beauty gift (which can be a good thing) but it enhances and improves the performance of every other product on this list.
2. GerManikure 7 Piece Matte Stainless Steel Manicure Set in Black Leather Case
A good manicure kit is something we all should have. Too often we’re getting by on drug store clippers made cheaply in Asia that went dull years ago and leave us with sore fingers. GerManikure is one of the best names in high end nail care products because their sets are high carbon stainless steel, made to last a lifetime, and are crafted ethically without child or slave labor. As I’ve laid out in my best manicure sets and kits guide, high carbon stainless steel is the number one thing to look for in a manicure set. It resists rust and will hold a sharp edge almost forever. GerManikure stands by that and each set comes with a lifetime warranty. Each piece in this set is made Solingen, Germany in an environmentally conscious factory by steel artisans being paid a fair wage.
This seven piece set comes with fingernail clippers, toenail clippers, angled tweezers, cuticle pusher, nail scissors, cuticle nippers, and a crystal nail file made of Czech Republic Bohemian tempered glass. It comes in a gender-neutral, black leather case with a magnetic closure. The case has a slot for each tool so everything is always right in its place.
3. Urban Decay XX Vice LTD Reloaded Eye Shadow Palette
For the person in your life who loves to get adventurous and play around with their makeup, check out this limited edition 20 color eye shadow palette celebrating the last 20 years of Urban Decay. If you know someone who loves Urban Decay, this will give them some of their favorite colors from back in the day, reformulated with better staying power and texture. This gift is perfect for anyone who enjoys playful colors and bold looks without resorting to cheap drug store palettes that crease and fall out. These colors are highly pigmented, creamy, and easy to blend. Plus, the mirror it comes with is absolutely huge. In this limited edition you get Suspend, Oil Slick, Roadstripe, Gash, Midnight Cowboy, 501, Shallow, Laced, Hot Pants, Mildew, Smog, Misdemeanor, Freakshow, Asphyxia, Acid Rain, Moonflower, UV-B, Goldmine, Twice Baked, and Anonymous.
4. L’Occitane Ultimate Gift Set
L’Occitane is a luxury brand from the Provence region of France known for their natural fragrances using local ingredients and indulgent-feeling skincare products. This gift set brings together seven of their most favorite products for your very own home spa experience. L’Occitane products are natural, organic, and use fair trade, sustainable shea butter produced by women in Burkina Faso. I’ve featured L’Occitane products, including some in this set, in my best body lotion, best luxury hand cream, and best foot cream guides so you pretty much can’t go wrong with their products.
With the Ultimate Gift Set, you get L’Occitane’s 15 percent Shea Butter Foot Cream, 20 percent Shea Butter Hand Cream, Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap, Almond Supple Skin Body Oil, 15 percent Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Lotion, Lemon Verbena Shower Gel, and their 5 percent Shea Butter Comforting Face Cream. L’Occitane’s shea butter line has a light ylang-ylang and jasmine scent.
5. Shany Cosmetics Rolling Makeup Train Case
If you’re buying for someone you know already has a healthy beauty collection, they are always looking for bigger and better storage options. This rolling organizer from Shany Cosmetics is technically two cases that you can use separately or combine to create one large rolling case. It’s constructed of weatherproof nylon, making the case lighter and easier to store than hard-shell makeup organizers. The bottom section has a telescoping handle for rolling that collapses for easy storage and rolls on two sets of three durable wheels. The top case has a 13 slot makeup brush holder with clear protective covering as well as the sliding tray and bin set up of a standard makeup train case. It also comes with a removable shoulder strap for when you want to use it on its own.
The larger bottom section has a second brush holder and open space big enough to hold a hair dryer or other styling tools. The lower section unzips to reveal eight plastic drawers perfect for organizing lots of tiny items. This case also comes with three mesh bags that you can use to arrange the more open spaces in the case. It’s amazing how many compartments they were able to pack into this compact bag. If classic black isn’t your style, this case also comes in a vibrant pink Summer Orchid. For other great makeup storage options, check out my guides to the best rolling makeup cases, best train cases for makeup, and best cute makeup bags.
Price: From $216.98
6. Stila Big Shots 2017 Holiday Set
For a set that’s one of the best deals this season, check out Stila’s holiday set Big Shots which features Stila’s Huge Extreme Lash Mascara ($23) and Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($22). You save $20 by buying these two in the holiday set rather than separately. The mascara uses a flexible formula that keeps your lashes from feeling crunchy, even with heavy application. It separates, lifts, and provides volume, all while being waterproof too. Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner provides crisp lines with an angled felt tip that won’t smudge or flake on you. If you’re on a budget and looking to get the most for your money, this set is practically two for one.
7. Comfort & Joy Set From Jack Black
A great gender-neutral choice, this set of hand lotion and lip balm is exactly what we all need during these cold, dry winter months. Jack Black isn’t joking around. Their Industrial Strength Hand Healer was originally formulated for the professionals who are hardest on their hands like carpenters, chefs, and athletes. It’s never greasy, so those hands can get right back to working, and deeply hydrates with macadamia nut oil and vitamin E. The set also includes The Stick Natural Lip Balm to soothe lips with cocoa butter and jojoba oil along with refreshing peppermint oil. Both products are free of synthetics, colorants, fragrances, parabens, and are cruelty-free. Bought separately, these products would come to $22.50, so you’re saving almost $5 by buying the set while also getting the gift-ready box.
8. Julep 5 Piece Nail Polish Gift Set Including Top Coat
Julep is a luxury nail polish line with a cult following. They’ve got fun collections with a wide range of colors from classic nudes to bold metallics–and that’s exactly what this gift set here captures. This is a perfect introduction to Julep for someone on your list who loves nail polish but hasn’t dropped the money on trying the brand out. Julep polishes are five free (meaning they omit five of the harshest chemicals normally found in nail polish), vegan, and contain green coffee extract to help strengthen nails. All these lacquers and the included top coat are what are called “breathable” polishes, meaning they allow oxygen to reach your nails, keeping them healthier. If you were to buy these polishes separately, it comes out to $70, so that’s $20 of free nail polish. This set comes with the shades Spencer, Alaina, Shawn, Arielle, and the Go the Distance Oxygen Performance Top Coat.
9. Ahava Essential Beauty Case
This is a spa experience for those in need of true pampering. Know someone dealing with loads of stress? A gift set like this can help them slow down and take some time to replenish themselves. I’ve featured the Ahava line is many of my moisturizer guides because all their products contain Dead Sea minerals which help your body retain more moisture. This means your skin will be softer and more hydrated even after the product has worn off. Ahava’s products are gentle on skin, vegan, paraben-free, petroleum-free, and GMO-free.
In this slate makeup bag, you receive the Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Exfoliator, Facial Mud Exfoliator, Time to Clear Refreshing Cleansing Gel, Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask, Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion, Time to Hydrate Gentle Eye Cream, Time to Hydrate Night Replenisher , and the Time to Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer. These are all full-size products and if you were to purchase them separately, you’d be looking at around $220 dollars, so you’re definitely getting more than your money’s worth with this set.
10. Antica Farmacista Prosecco Body Butter
A high end hand or body moisturizer is a great gift across the board and this body butter by Antica Farmacista is one of my favorites that’s rich enough for head to toe. Antica Farmacista is a fragrance house out of Seattle, Washington known for their complex, bright scents. Their body butters are rich and silky, made with mango seed butter, shea butter, argan oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, honey, and real beeswax. I have never found this moisturizer to be greasy and it soaks right in, leaving me with softer skin with regular use. I was sent this body butter along with some fragrance samples to try out, but made it very clear that was not a guarantee of a positive review or even that I would review any of the products at all–but I got hooked on their scents and I recently featured this body butter in my best body butters guide.
The Prosecco fragrance has a very luxe, refreshing scent to it with notes of black currant, passionfruit, and apricot. It pops, teasing your senses like the fizz of Champagne. This sparkling scent is also available as a body lotion, hand lotion, hand soap, and even a home fragrance spray. If the person you’re buying for may not appreciate the cocktail reference, like someone too young to drink, their other scents are as multidimensional and luscious including Fig Leaf (sandalwood, lemon blossom, fig) and Damascena Rose (rhubarb, amber, rose, musk).
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