When you need a last-minute gift, beauty items are an easy way out: who doesn’t love new lip colors or pretty packaging? To help you navigate the best and worst holiday beauty gifts, I thought I’d merge a review post into a shopping post. My recommendations are all items that I have tested.
First up, a general tip: avoid anything in a tub. The contents will dry out faster, and you risk contamination every time you dip your finger inside.
- I do have to say that the Pressed Serum pictured above is the only moisturizer that works for me, but it looks gross after a few uses.
Instead, try gifting sprays! They’re more sanitary and last longer.
- Plus, this Ouai wave spray (from the Kardashian’s hair stylist) gives you nice beachy waves with just a few spritzes and scrunches.
Avoid: Glosses. I don’t care if they’re “in” right now. Gloss + winter wind + hair = bad, sticky hair day.
- The gloss above is Smith and Cult; although I love the packaging, there’s no denying the stickiness.
Gift: A lip color that’s more substantial yet still retains shine.
- Dior makes a beautiful gloss/satin lipstick. Not only is the color beautiful (I’m wearing it here and here), but the tube proudly displays “DIOR” and looks lovely on anyone’s vanity.
- In fact, the light pink sheer shade always sells out in Korea, apparently.
Above is a close-up of the packaging—anyone would love to see that design on their vanity!
Now onto more specific items to avoid:
- Personally, I dislike the FRESH line of lip tint/balms. They smell sickly sweet and seem really drying, even though they do come in lovely colors and have a fantastic marketing campaign.
Instead, try gifting Jo Malone’s lip balm.
- Jo is famous for its candles, but you get the same brand name on a great lip balm for much less $$.
- And I have to say that Jo’s is the best, most nourishing lip balm I have tried—even better than Rosebud’s famous lip balm.
Lastly, I wanted to end with two items that I believe would make great gifts, no matter who you’re gifting.
- Too Faced’s cute blush has 1) great color payoff and 2) cute designs, perfect for teens or young women.
- YSL sells a great lip and cheek tint called “Baby Doll Kiss and Blush“: You can see me wearing it pretty often (here and here).
- I don’t recommend the YSL lipsticks that come in the metallic tubes, mostly because Kiss and Blush has better staying power AND double usage.
Hope this helps cross a few beauty gifts off your list! If you have any questions about the products here, just comment: I have over 90 lipsticks, 20 blushes etc, so I know which ones to avoid and which ones to buy!