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We all know someone who took the day off of work to buy as many Kylie Lip Kits as they’d allow back in 2015 — or a friend who waited in line for hours to meet their favorite beauty YouTuber. And while they may have a long holiday wish list filled with makeup palettes, sheet masks and new product releases, the best beauty gifts are the ones that feel more thoughtful than prescriptive. No matter if you’re shopping for a beauty enthusiast or someone who just likes to wind down with a glass of wine and a good face mask, a beauty gift is always a guaranteed hit.
But first, a few helpful guidelines for when you’re shopping for a beauty gift: Unless you’re absolutely sure of their shade, skip anything that calls for color matching, like a foundation or concealer. Also, unless the person you’re shopping for has explicitly expressed wanting to solve a perceived “problem,” like stretch marks, acne, wrinkles or other completely normal things that have been marketed to us as flaws to correct, don’t gift anything that could be considered a slight. And lastly, most beauty-centric presents don’t have to be expensive to be great gifts. There are tons of thoughtful options that hit under the $20 mark.
Ahead, I compiled the most asked-for beauty gifts that won’t disappoint.
If you’re shopping for a co-worker or just looking for a great stocking stuffer, an under-$25 beauty gift is usually a crowd-pleaser. I particularly love a nail polish kit filled with colors they love — along with a couple of shades they might need a nudge to try.
Olive & June Nail Polish Kit, $17.99
Most gifts that hit under the $50 mark are perfect for someone who dabbles in beauty. Think: An indulgent hair mask or an eye shadow palette that seems just a bit too expensive to buy for themselves.
Most limited-edition palettes will run you around $50-$100, but if you have a bit more to spend, a beauty gift set—like the one below from Dermstore—might just be the way to go.
If money is (almost) no object, here are some great beauty splurges that are guaranteed to please. And if you’re in doubt, a luxe candle or diffuser like this one from Diptyque is always a great option.
AESOP Reverence Duet, $121 (Orig. 127)