So it’s mid-December and you’ve yet to start your holiday shopping, and as generous as you’d like to be, that bank account of yours has other things in mind. If you’re reading this, you more than likely have a few beauty lovers on your holiday gift list (or you simply want to know what gifts you can give yourself for under $20 this giving season). Either way, I don’t judge. So in the best interest of you and your bank account, I’ve rounded up the best beauty gifts under $20 that you can either give as stocking stuffers to others, give as a white elephant gift (do people still do those gifting games?), or that you can give yourself because well, you deserve it for making it through the wretched year that was 2018.
So read on for some cheap beauty buys that, even if they aren’t the most expensive gifts that the receiver will open this year, at least they’re bound to make them better looking. And who wouldn’t be grateful for a gift that makes them more attractive?
I don’t care what anyone says, no one enjoys being pale in the winter. If your bestie is looking as white as a ghost and you want to subtly let her know that she should tan her legs before thinking about wearing a dress on NYE, then allow NKD SKN’s Tinted Self Tan Mousse do the talking for you. Don’t worry, she won’t be offended by this gift, as the results of the mousse are next level. The mousse has a color guide so you can see where you’re applying it to make sure you don’t miss a spot. What’s more? The self-tanner is extremely buildable, so the more coats you layer on, the darker the tan. The best part? It’s less than $20, which is way cheaper than a single spray tan session.
This Christmas, all hearts and faces will be glowing, thanks to this $5 blush and highlighter palette by Profusion Cosmetics. The palette has five different shades of blushes and highlighters for your desired level of glow. And if you want to be sure to get the glowiest results yet, spray your fan brush with a makeup setting spray, then dip the brush into your selected highlighter and dab on the high points of your cheek bones and tip of your nose.
If you (or someone on your shopping list) is into warm-toned shadows, then look no further, as this 21-pan eyeshadow palette is only $10, which, if you’re not good at math (same, TBH) that’s less than 50 cents a shadow. And when compared to some of those other brand name palettes that are upwards of $50, this is an insanely good deal. But don’t worry, just because this palette is inexpensive, doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality. The palette has a really good high color payoff, is highly pigmented, and there’s barely any fallout (aka that annoying dust from the shadow that gets all over your face when you’re doing your makeup.)
After what seems like weeks of sipping on red wine and unhealthy holiday treats at countless parties and events (and then the coffee you drink to get over the hangovers from said parties), yours or a friend’s smile could likely use a little brightening. Luckily, you can cop these high quality Crest strips for less than 20 bucks. The set comes with 10 sets of strips (10 days’ worth of treatments), and what’s more is that you only need about five of those treatments to see a visible difference in the color of your teeth.
When I tell you that you’ll have to withhold the urge to eat these bad boys, I mean it. These Harper + Ari Gingerbread Exfoliating Cubes smell exactly like a gingerbread cookie, but minus the calories, and plus the fact that they completely exfoliate your body with just one cube. I tend to use the cubes to help take off my old self-tanner, so if you’re an avid spray tanner or you plan on copping the NKD SKN Mousse from this list, you should also consider snagging these exfoliating cubes, as well.
You’ve probably seen some sort of influencer on your Instagram feed advertising OLLY vitamins, which means that your social media-obsessed friend will love them. But either way, the vitamins taste amazing and contain ingredients like biotin, vitamins C, and E, and keratin for stronger hair, nails, and clearer skin.
Eva NYC’s Surf’s Up! Texture Spray works as a dry shampoo, hair spray, and texturizing spray. So for the person on your shopping list who could benefit from all three, cop this texture spray and watch as it works wonders for their ‘do. For those that need to soak up oils, build volume, create texture, and hold, this spray will do the trick.
SheaMoisture’s Purifying and Hydrating Exfoliating Hair Mud will exfoliate your scalp and strands of build-up from products like dry shampoos and hair sprays, while leaving your locks hydrated. And after a year like 2018, I’m sure everyone on your list could use a little detox in one way or another.
In my humble opinion, there is not any problem that Mario Badescu’s Rosewater Spray can’t fix. Dry skin? Spray the rosewater spray on your face. Need to set your makeup? Spritz away. Have an annoying ex that won’t leave you alone? Block his number and then douse your whole body in this spray. I’m not kidding, it works wonders and leaves every part of your feeling hydrated, refreshed, and all in all more alive.
Give the gift of DSL’s this holiday season (or at least lips that are prepped to be met under the mistletoe). For $15 you can get two of Skyn Iceland’s Lip Plumping Gels which really work like instant lip fillers, minus the needles and bruising. Slip these into your BFF’s stocking and she (and her Hinge date) will thank you. To use these bad boys, you simply slip them on before you do your makeup, prior to going out, and then apply your fave lipstick and voilà! a plump pout.
In addition to your hair (and life), your skin is probably in need of a major detox after the year that was 2018. And after all, the cold, dry, winter air does nothing for your complexion but make it dry and dull. So for just 13 bucks, you can gift this L’Oréal Detox & Brighten Clay Mask which will extract impurities from your pores and leave your pores looking smaller and skin looking brighter.
And hey, if you need a more in-depth gift for your beauty-loving mom, sister, best friend, co-worker, whoever—check out our list of 8 beauty gift sets that also don’t suck.
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