Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty Gifts under $50

I love holiday time in the beauty industry because of all the great gift sets. It's a great time to get a lot of bang for your buck, try out new products without spending a fortune, and get some stand-by items in pretty sparkling packaging.

In my last post, I showed you some of my picks for gifts specifically at Sephora. This time, I extended my search to other stores for the beauty obsessed on your list.

Gifts under $25

  1. Real Techniques brushes ($6-18) - If you've got a beauty lover on your list, chances are, she loves a great makeup brush. Makeup brush quality and prices can range wildly, but you can find some great brushes at great prices. Real Techniques brushes are fantastic and they're available at fair prices. Individual brushes range from $6-10 and brush sets are $18. The brushes are sturdy, have synthetic, soft, taklon bristles, and are cruelty free. Order them online or get them at your local ULTA, they are bound to please.
  2. Sonia Kashuk All Out Glam brush set ($24.99) - Check out the sparkles on this gorgeous brush set. It's so festive and perfect for the holidays. Who wouldn't feel like a million bucks when getting glammed up with these makeup brushes? Sonia Kashuk makes great brushes and the best part is their easily accessible at your local Target. 
  3. Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Formal Affair face palette ($19.99) - A compact palette that flatters most skin tones is great for on the go. It has a pretty shimmery bronzer, matte pink blush, shimmery coral blush, and four metallic, yet neutral, eyeshadows. Great for the holidays and to use year round. 

Gifts under $50

  1. Stila Seeing Stars Smudge Stick waterproof eye liner set ($32) - I purchased this eye liner set for myself at the Makeup Show in Orlando and I love it. Five, long-wearing metallic shades in very wearable colors. Fun to wear and not too in-your-face, for those out there who are color shy. Available at Sephora and ULTA. 
  2. Korres Butter Me Up body & lip butter collection ($38) - If you have any natural beauty fans on your list, consider giving the gift of moisture with this Korres gift set that includes three super smooth lip butters (guava, jasmine, quince) and four luxuriously creamy body butters (guava, jasmine, basil lemon, and apple blossom). What it doesn't include: parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Pick it up at your nearest Sephora.
  3. Stila Luxe Eyeshadow Palette ($45) - Another palette I purchased at the Makeup Show and absolutely love. It includes nine eyeshadows in neutral, smokey, and bright colors and has a nice mix of matte and shimmer shadows, as well as a smudge stick eye liner in lady killer (a pewter/purple metallic). The shadows are soft, pigmented and easy to blend and has a lot of great go-to every day colors. Available at Nordstrom. 
  4. BareMinerals The Star Treatment set ($40) - If you've got a mineral makeup lover on your list (like I do) check out some of the great gift sets BareMinerals has this season. There were too many to include them all, so I chose my personal favorite of their products, their pressed shadows. This particular palette is limited edition for the holidays and it has some gorgeous colors in it. Ten gorgeous shadows to be exact, an eyeshadow brush, and an eyeshadow primer.  You're getting quite the deal, since normally the two-shadow palettes run for $20 and here you're getting five times as many shadows. Available at Sephora. (If you'd like a separate post on all my BareMinerals gift set favorites, just leave me a comment below.)
  5. Sephora Favorites Glitz and Glam Party Sampler ($45) - If you have an ultra-glam gal to gift, consider this gift set from Sephora that includes nine of their best-selling products that give you that holiday glow. Three of those products are full-sized items. Give your glam puss a full look and the chance to sample some new goodies. 
  6. Lorac Eye Candy Eye Pencil set ($28) - This eye liner set is just functional, it's gorgeous to look at. I'm gushing over it! The golden packaging with rhinestone accents is positively luxe. But it's not just pretty on the outside, it's functional too. The set includes four wearable eye liners in coal (slate grey), licorice (black), cocoa (brown), and plum. Available at ULTA.
  7. Lorac Pro palette ($42) - If you know someone who owns and loves the Urban Decay Naked palettes (either of them), surprise them with the new Lorac Pro palette. It's a great neutral palette to add to their arsenal, with 16 gorgeous shadows that are generously pigmented and easy to blend. Use shadows wet or dry to line, define, shadow - creating office friendly and all out glam looks with the same palette. Available at ULTA and Sephora. 
  8. MAC Guilty Passion 4 pigment gift sets ($32.50) - Pigments are so much fun! Use them as shadows, apply them on your lips, or mix them into polish -- they're truly versatile. MAC released three new sets of mini pigments this holiday season, but don't let the term "mini" fool you. These are generous minis, with 3g each they'll last you quite a long time. Ask anyone who's ever owned a MAC pigment. They are seemingly endless. My two favorites are the Sweetly Smokey and Tenderly Warm sets. I think Tenderly Warm will give you a great glow the likes you might see in on the pages of Victoria's Secret. Secretly Smokey has some great shades in purple, berry, frosty pink and shimmery taupe. 
  9. OCC Lip Tar gift set ($49) - The lip junkie on your list will go nuts over this collection. Five favorite Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics lip tars they can mix and match to create their own unique shade or wear straight out of the tube. The possibilities are endless and the price is right. The tubes of liquid lipstick might look small, but they'll only need a pea-sized (that may even be too much) amount to pretty their pout. Check out my post where I swatch my OCC lip tars here. You can purchase this set from Sephora. 
What are some of your favorite beauty gift sets this year? Are you buying for yourself or to give to others? 

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