Welcome to Christmas 2017 gift guide for beauty lovers. I uploaded a very similar post this time last year and it ended up being one of the most popular articles from 2016. I really hope you will enjoy this one just as much.
I’ve sifted through the most popular online beauty stores to find the best deals on skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care items. They are divided in four categories to help you select great gifts whether you want to spend less than $25 or more than $100.
In this section I’m going to share some great value gifts that are $25 or under. Some of them can be used as stand alone presents, others you’ll be able to split to create custom gifts for more than one person. Holiday season is the best time to find affordable gems both in the drugstore and your favorite beauty or department stores.
Scroll through the slides to find out what my top picks are…
Let's start with something for a mask-a-holic in your life. I love this little set from Eco Tools. Not only does it give you a good quality brush to apply face masks but it also features three sponges for its' removal. I find this option to be much more convenient than facial cloths and faster than using the hands. The sponges can also be used on a daily basis with face cleansers. They are easy to clean and dry fast - what more can you ask?
The price of the set makes it a great stocking stuffer or you can pair it with a face mask for someone really special 🙂
This set can be given to one person or divided between three of your sparkle loving friends. You can even keep one shade for yourself ... 😉 You're getting three fantastic glittery cream shadows just in time for the New Year's Eve party. They work best applied over a primer that's specifically designed for glitter (I really like the NYX one) and look amazing applied all over the lid, in the inner corner or along the lower lash line. Great alternative to the messy loose glitters.
The shades included are not full size, but I'd rather have a variety than one shade, especially when it comes to products that won't necessarily be used on a daily basis.
Beauty Blender is a cult product and I'm sure that every beauty lover would be thrilled to find it under the tree. In this mini set you're also getting a mini version of the solid blender cleanser, which is pretty much the best thing you can get to keep your sponge clean and bacteria free. It's also very efficient and should last for a month or two.
All that comes in a cute holiday ornament-like packaging , so it's a great gift for those who like practical and aesthetically pleasing gifts... 😉
Another practical gift - a collection of four mini hand creams, perfect to keep in your purse, on a bedside table or at your desk at work. I actually got it as secret Santa from a colleague two years ago and thought it was such a great idea. L'Occitane hand creams smell amazing. absorb fast and contain ingredients that will keep your hands smooth and hydrated.
Each cream has slightly different ingredients which makes a set like this one a great sampler before you commit to a full size purchase.
If your friends love a good lippie, this fun collection may be right up their alley. Again you can split the shades to create more custom gifts or give it as is. I also see it as a good option for someone who's just starting with makeup and wants to experiment with different colors and finishes. Maybe a teenager, since the set also includes a bunch of funky beauty-themed stickers.
Smashbox Be Legendary Lipsticks have excellent reviews and come in a bunch of colors in case you want to sneak one into your cart as a well deserved gift from yourself to yourself...
Lastly, here's a great stocking stuffer for a friend who travels a lot or simply needs a bit of extra storage to keep the bathroom counters neat and tidy. The Real Techniques Expert Organizer comes in a single or three pocket version and two color options, so you can even gift it to the men in your life to store his comb or toothbrush.
I'm actually very tempted to get one of those myself and use it to keep my Eco Tools mask brush out of reach of one very curious 16 months old boy...
Gifts under $50
Now let’s step it up a bit and talk about gift sets and items that are under $50. You can find amazing skincare, makeup and fragrance kits in this price range, so the possibilities are pretty much endless.
My recommendations include mostly items launched specifically for the Holiday season and one gem that has been one of the most talked about beauty item this year.
Cream eyeshadows in a stick form are so quick and easy to use! Especially when the formula doesn't require a primer or powder shadow over the top. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks fit this description perfectly, even if your eyelids are on the oily side. If I remember correctly, the previous holiday sets included only shimmery finishes and this year it's a combination of matte and shimmer. The shades included are perfect for a quick but impactful everyday makeup.
I am thinking of picking this set up for my mom, she'd love the ease of application and the long wearing formula of the Caviar Sticks.
June Jacobs is not a brand that is talked about a lot, but personally I've really enjoyed everything I had a chance to try so far. The Cranberry Pomegranate Moisture Mask has traveled across three continents with me and has proven to be an excellent product to keep the skin hydrated and soft in different conditions. This particular set includes two moisturizing masks and two enzyme based masks which is pretty much all you need in your routine.
I'd recommend it for people who like to discover new skincare brands and value spa-quality products.
Isn't it just the cutest, juicy looking set? I see it as a great gift for a teenager to take their skincare routine to a next level. The set features the Foreo Play sonic cleansing brush and two adorable lip balms from Tony Molly. Foreo sonic brushes are genius and don't require as much maintenance as Clarisonic, where you need to constantly repurchase your brush heads. Here, the silicone "touch-points" are hygienic, gentle on the skin and easy to clean.
If you want to splurge more, I can thoroughly recommend the Luna 2 device, but for an introduction to the brand and the benefits of sonic cleansing, a set like that one is more than enough.
For a nude lip lover, this Estée Lauder set would be ideal (and they also offer a red version). It features a full size Pure Color Envy Lipstick, which is one of my favorites formulas ever. Also included are a full size gloss and a deluxe size lip liner. Everything is color coordinated for a perfect lip combo. I believe the value of this set s $74, so you're getting a bargain at less than half price.
In my opinion, Estee Lauder does lip products extremely well and a set like this one is worth a try, whether you want to give it a go yourself or introduce someone else to the brand's offerings.
Elizabeth & James fragrances have been extremely popular from their first release and the line now includes a variety of scents for every occasion. This kit can give someone an opportunity to try four of them and although they are minis, the presentation will not disappoint. The box looks luxurious and classy and so are the bottles with different color variations corresponding with the name of each scent.
I would certainly be happy to find a set like this one under my Christmas tree...
The last, but certainly not least, item in this category is the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette. It's actually available though a number of retailers, including Ulta, at the moment and it's pretty much a must have product. It would be great for a beginner with 35 shades to choose from, but even a seasoned makeup addict would appreciate the quality of those shadows. The palette includes a variety of finishes, multitude of stunning neutrals and some pops of color for a fun twist.
It would be difficult to find a better value for money when it comes to eyeshadow palettes.
Gifts under $100
If you’re happy to spend up to $100 on a gift, I’d say a skincare set is the way to go. You can find many great deals from high end brands and I feel like those are the gifts you can’t get enough of.
My pick from this selection is the Laura Mercier Body Souffleé Set, featuring a bunch of luxurious body butters. I’m sure it will sell out in no time.
There are two Mask-A-Holic sets available at the moment but I like this one better because it doesn't only feature face masks but also the Hydra Gel Eye Patches. I feel like it makes the set more comprehensive, but also more popular. I was keen on getting it during the Sephora VIB sale but it was already gone at 10am...
The other masks included in the kit are the 24k Gold Mask, the Cucumber Gel Mask (I was really impressed by this one), the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and the Irish Moor Mud mask.
How about a gift of glowing, perfectly highlighted complexion? The Bobbi Brown highlighters look stunning and give the most beautiful sheen to the skin. This particular trio may be best suited to medium complexions although the shades included can also be used as blush toppers or eyeshadows on lighter skin tones.
The gold packaging looks luxurious and festive, a great value gift for $69.
Another skincare set in my gift guide but this one stands out thanks to the deluxe sample of the Algenist Liquid Collagen. THe melting cleanser also sounds interesting and I can tell you from experience that the Pure Genious Cream is outstanding and smells amazing. Great selection of products tor someone who's ready to combat ageing skin.
I've actually ordered this set as a gift to myself ...:)
This next kit is great because it combines skincare and makeup items. It's a great way to introduce someone to the Charlotte Tilbury brand, especially since it'a a selection of the best-selling products. I'd say it's worth getting it just for the lipstick and the lip liner...
It would be nice to see an option to customize the shades, but if you (or someone you're thinking of giving this set to) are a fan of nude lips, you'll be more than satisfied.
If you know someone who's a fan of the LauraMercier Body Souffleé in Creme de Pistache, this set will make them the happiest person in the world. This particular scent is not currently available anywhere so this mini jar will become a treasured possession... Not to mention the other five which all sound equally delicious.
If you're thinking of picking up this set, I'd recommend getting it sooner than later because it will sell out in no time.
Kate Somerville is well known for the ExfoliKate exfoliating treatment, which truly is amazing. This kit includes a mini version of it and three other great products for a comprehensive skincare routine. What a great way to give someone a gift of beautiful skin and introduce them to a well known, quality brand.
The value of this set is over $90, which means you're saving $20 to maybe spend on a little something for yourself...
Lastly let’s talk about the luxury gifts with a substantial price tag. I was really surprised to see sets valued at over $1,000! In my mind it’s way too much to spend on a beauty product, so the products in my selection are all under $300.
Don’t you wish you knew someone who would be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a beauty gift, though? 😉
Every beauty lover would be thrilled to receive the Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette. They are pricey but apparently the quality of the shadows is superb. The palettes come in different sizes and usually feature a specific color theme. Each palette contains a variety of finishes from mattes to shimmers, some of them unique to the brand.. My favorite palettes so far are the Sunset Palette and the Lila Palette.
If you really want to spoil someone, this is the way to go!
A set of candles is always a good idea and if you want to gift someone a luxury version, this Diptyque collection is perfect. It features 12 mini candles (1.2 oz each) with scents ranging from floral to herbal and more woody. You can pretty much pick a candle for each month of the year - talking about a gifts that keeps on giving 🙂
The design on the box for this set was created by a French street artist Philippe Baudelocque, a small detail that may add an extra value for someone who appreciates his art.
There's a lot of fancy lipstick sets in the over $100 price range but I really like this one from Dior. Their Couture lipstick are really comfortable and easy to wear, although they are kind of fragile so don't twist them up too much. This particular gift set features six beautiful shades from nudes to reds and a berry color.
What's cool about this set is that all the shades are refills to pop into a festive, decorative bullet, I think it's a nice touch. Plus, it comes in a fancy clutch-like packaging for an added touch of luxury.
Here's a great skincare gift if you're looking for something luxurious. Granted, I've only tried the moisturizer from the Divine Immortelle line but it has made such a great impression that I still remember it few years later. I also still look for deals on this one since it's quite pricey... This set also comes with a cleanser, an eye cream and a facial oil.
If you want to give something really special to your mom , this would be my top pick.
I've recently tried this new Marc Jacobs fragrance and it is such a great everyday scent. It's a combination of floral and fruity notes, very universal if you ask me (I could probably say that about all Marc Jacobs perfumes). And how cute is this bottle! A fashion lover would really appreciate the attention to detail.
The set also comes with a rollerball version of the scent and a body lotion for layering in order to further enhance and prolong the wear of the perfume.
Finally, here's something for hair maniacs. If you know someone who can't live without curly strands, the T3 set will give them multiple styling options. The white and rose gold combo looks elegant and will look great in those Instagram photos. The curling iron features five heat settings, an auto-off option and can be used around the world, no matter the voltage.
On top of that, there's also an option to buy additional barrels to add even more possibilities. Personally, I would probably never uncover the full potential of this set, but in the hands of a pro it's a good hair day every day 🙂
What are your top beauty picks from this year’s holiday collections?