Gift Ideas: Holiday Beauty

Guerlain powder I got for Christmas when I was 11 or 12. Isn’t it so pretty?

One of the my most memorable childhood Christmases was when I unwrapped cosmetics. I got a Guerlain Meteorites powder and a Georgette Klinger eye shadow chest with dozens of colors. Both were so spectacular, I took very good care of them and had them for a very long time. I learned a very important lesson that holiday: beauty gifts are special. For me at the time–I think I was 11 or 12–it marked embarking into young womanhood and also it was the first time I had the same items as my mom which was very special.

Beauty products embody the festive nature of the holidays and the spirit of the New Year–you can glam it up for a one-off party or totally reinvent yourself by trying a new look. And if you hate it, no worries, just as quickly as you’ve changed your look you can go back to your familiar self. Here are some of my favorite beauty gift ideas for the holidays, New Year and beyond.

Nails: I LOVE doing my own nails. It’s one of the easiest, least expensive ways to change your look and I do it at least once a week. I’ve gotten into playing with sparkles and now the magnetic polishes. I promise you, once you get into it you will be hooked and it’s now something my daughter and I do together.
e.l.f. Essential Holiday 14-Piece Nail Cube – Limited Edition ($14,

Ciate Sequined Manicure kit in pink ($19, more colors available, Sephora)

Magnetix Nail Polish ($8.50, more colors available, Claire’s)

Eyes: Again, a fun way to mix it up. e.l.f. has a very affordable line of palates that are beautifully packaged, but I also love Too Faced and Benefit’s curated lines of products around brows and other fun looks. I’m doing smoky eyes lately but mixing up the color–so green smoky eye or brown smoky eye–to keep it appropriate for everyday. It will be fun to add sparkle for New Years and make it a deeper color. I just gave this palate to my daughter for her birthday and she loves it.
e.l.f. 144-Piece Ultimate Eyeshadow Collection ($15,

Benefit Smokin’ Eyes ($36, Sephora)

Too Faced Brow Envy Brow Shaping and Defining Kit ($35, Sephora)

Lips: I am a lip junkie–I can never have too many lip products. I’m doing a very light lip lately because I just darkened my hair, but I think I may start to switch that up. For gifts, I love to give sets that have diversity in terms of color–you never know what your recipient will like and I always like to give them an opportunity to try something new.

Benefit 4 Pack Ultra Plush Lip Gloss First Class Set
($26, HSN)

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, Charm (left) and Smitten (right) ($8.99 each, more colors available, CVS)

Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio
($34, Sephora)

Skin: The Clarisonic changed my life last year…I mean it. I gave it to three friends and they all agreed. I also LOVE philosophy skin care–I started using it in 2004 and my skin has never been the same. These are highly personal gifts, so unless you and your recipients trade stories about your pregnancies, sex lives and menstrual cycles skip this category.

Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System ($119, Amazon)

Philosophy Your Best Skin 4-Piece Set ($35, QVC)

Bliss Sink Side Six Pack

Fragrance: Below is a pretty diverse sampling of scents, but all of them are beautiful. Grace is very neutral and airy, Fresh is sweet and citrusy and Origins is a ginger/spicy smell. I have them all and go through phases. Right now I am doing Fresh.

Philosophy Mini Grace Fragrance Wardrobe 5-piece set
($38, QVC)

Fresh Fragrance Essentials Rollerball ($36, Sephora)

Origins Ginger Essence Rollerball ($18.50,

Related Links
50 Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Holiday Hostess Gifts
What I’m Giving: Electronics and Appliances
October Top Toys: Get Holiday Gifting Ready
See all Posts Tagged Holiday


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