16 best beauty stocking fillers for under £15: Treats you’ll want to keep for yourself

Rachel Fiddes
·10 min read
<p>As well as make-up and candles, we found some lovely hand wash and soaps, because you can never have enough during a pandemic</p> (The Independent/ iStock)

As well as make-up and candles, we found some lovely hand wash and soaps, because you can never have enough during a pandemic

(The Independent/ iStock)

Whether you’re looking for a Secret Santa gift or an inexpensive stocking filler, these gorgeous little luxuries will tick all the boxes.

We’ve trawled the under £15 beauty market, seeking the very best and most beautiful Christmas treats 2020 has to offer, so you don’t have to do any of the hard work.

We tested over 60 products, looking for gorgeous gifts that deliver the most bang for your buck and where possible, were eco-friendly too.

For 2020 we wanted beauty treats that were calming, inspiring, fun, glamorous and of course easy on your purse.

Read on for our top pick of the best beauty stocking fillers under £15. You can thank us later.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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Andrea Garland oops a daisy skiing flapper lip balm

These beautiful, Art Deco inspired, silver glitter mirrored compacts contain the most heavenly moisturising lip balm. Handmade and hand poured, you can choose between beeswax, or vegan candelilla wax, and between clear, pink or red tint. The brand also packs in protecting organic shea butter, softening coconut oil, hydrating meadow foam seed oil and a zesty kick of lime and grapefruit. And the very best part, they’re refillable. Just return it to Andrea Garland and, for a fraction of the price, the brand will send you a brand new balm. You can also request gift wrapping too.

Buy now £15.00, Andrea Garland

Simply Sona first Christmas candle

As the saying goes, “when life deals you lemons, make a G&T”, and when life dealt two university graduates a lockdown year, they made candles. Best friends since school, Sonita and Oonagh put their creative heads together to produce stunning, hand-poured, eco-soy wax candles. Made in Hertfordshire, these candles are completely plastic-free, cruelty-free and silicone-free, the brand also use recycled paper labels and are gift wrapped in recycled paper.

The “first Christmas” candle is a fabulous festive blend of zesty orange and lemon, warming cinnamon, clove and ginger, a hint of rich jasmine and woody pine and a base of sensual woods and musks. Only a couple of hours burning is required to fill the room with the scent of Christmas. The perfect table present for guests, or a house gift if you’re travelling for Christmas.

Buy now £10.50, Etsy

Victoria Green Mia small make-up bag

Not many make-up bag brands are lucky enough to have the attention to detail that Victoria Green puts into her designs and even this simple little bag is special. It’s a freestanding shape with good capacity for everyday make-up, but easily slots into a handbag. Great quality vegan leather, waterproof, leak-proof and lined, this beautiful jade and gold design comes in several other shapes and sizes too.

Buy now £12.00, Victoria Green

Makeup Revolution flawless midnight rose eyeshadow palette

A stunning mix of rich, warm autumnal tones in creamy, matte and shimmer formulas, with a whopping 18 shades. We found the pigment pay-off is really very good for an inexpensive palette and the texture is soft and easy to blend. A high street brand with extremely competitive prices, Makeup Revolution palettes easily hold their own against others three or even four times the price.

Buy now £12.00, Beauty Bay

Skin Alchemist artisan soap bar

As soon as we opened the box for testing, the scent of the two soap bars filled the room. We tested fresh mint, which although feels more apt for summer, is actually a wonderful mood-lifter for dark wintry days, and beautifully feminine charred rose, which delivers a fresh modern rose scent. Hand poured and cured for eight weeks, they’re packed with essential oils for luxurious hand-softening nourishment. Absolutely exquisite.

Buy now £10.00, Skin Alchemist

UpCircle 200 organic bamboo cotton buds

Always one step ahead of the game, sustainable brand UpCircle has created brilliant biodegradable, plastic-free, ocean-friendly cotton buds to help with your zero-waste bathroom goals. The recent ban on single-use plastic cotton buds gives you even more reason to switch to a more environmentally friendly option. Made from sustainable bamboo and organic cotton, they’re also packaged in a recycled paper box.

Buy now £3.99, UpCircle

No7 Dorothy yellow brick road palette

Inspired by Dorothy’s adventures in The Wizard of Oz, the No7 Christmas make-up collection is all sparkly red lips and glittering gold skin. This palette is a real treat of a gift for under £15 – a very substantial four pan palette, each one large enough to swirl a very good size blusher or bronzer brush around with ease. The four shades are absolutely stunning; a shimmering soft delicate white gold to highlight tops of cheekbones, a pop of rose gold to lift tired winter complexions, and two golden bronze shades, (one light one deeper) for contouring and adding some warmth to the skin.

Buy now £14.00, Boots

Neal’s Yard remedies nourish bee lovely trio

Organic, moisturising honey and uplifting orange essential oil is the perfect partnership to keep winter skin soft, smooth and nourished, and this Neal’s Yard set, comprising a bath and shower gel, body lotion and lip balm, makes use of it in abundance.

This gorgeous trio set has some serious eco-credentials, too. The biodegradable flower pot contains a tree bomb of native alder seeds – simply scatter in waste ground or start them off in the flowerpot and then bury the whole thing in the ground. It’s a pioneer tree species that can grow easily in poor soil and help establish a new habitat.

Neal’s Yard Remedies promises to plant, propagate and protect our precious trees, and in partnership with the World Land Trust, for every purchase of these gift sets, it will protect a tree on your behalf in the Reserva Jaguar del Norte in Mexico, to help to preserve and safeguard biodiversity in the area.

Buy now £15.00, Neal’s Yard

Barry M euphoric metallic cream eye shadow

Creamy, rich and shimmering, these little pots of metallic cream eyeshadow are an absolute joy to use. Super easy to apply and blend, the pigment delivered is rich and vibrant and the formula almost jelly-like, so it sinks into the skin beautifully. Our favourite shades on testing were “honoured” – a soft, suits-all neutral mink, sparkling midnight blue “tranced”, and “aurora” – a turquoise mermaid green.

Buy now £4.99, Barry M

Skin & Tonic calm balm

A very welcome gift under everyone’s tree after a stressful year. A little pot of calm and a lovely gentle tonic to use whenever you need a dose of tranquillity. The aromatherapeutic blend of relaxing lavender oil, calming Roman chamomile flower oil and nourishing calendula soothes dry tired skin, promotes sleep and deeply relaxes the mind and body by calming the nervous system. It’s Soil Association and Fairtrade approved, organic, cruelty-free, carbon offset and UK made. The packaging is also sourced responsibly and the glass jar is recyclable. We keep a pot on our desk and one in our bag for a shot of calm wherever we are.

Buy now £13.00, Skin & Tonic

Clarins festive treats prime and pout cracker gift set

Under the tree or on the Christmas table, these pretty crackers are the perfect gift for winter skin. Housing two best-sellers from the brand, the “instant smooth perfecting touch” primer gives a soft-focus finish for a Zoom-worthy flawless face. While the “instant light” lip comfort oil in the shade “candy” nourishes dry lips and gives a shot of glossy (non-sticky) soft pink.

Buy now £8.80, Escentual

Tan Luxe illuminating bauble

If your recipient’s lockdown complexion needs a pick-me-up, give the gift of a golden, faux glow with these tanning drops. They are an easy to use bronzing formula – simply add a few drops to your daily moisturiser or serum. With bonus skincare benefits including raspberry seed oil, vitamin E and aloe vera, Tan Luxe delivers skin-boosting hydration and bronzing for a sun kissed, back-from-the-beach glow. We found it was mess-free, streak-free and you can choose how much tan you want to achieve by adjusting the number of drops – up to 12 is the brand’s recommendation and we found around four to five gave the most natural look. These drops couldn’t be any easier for some winter colour.

Buy now £15.00, Cult Beauty

Garnier SkinActive micellar reusable eco pads

Improve your own green routine or give a great eco gift this Christmas with these reusable make-up remover pads. Regular cotton pads don’t biodegrade because of the bleaching processes used to create them, so now is the time to make the swap to a more sustainable option. Larger than normal cotton pads, super soft and easy to wash by hand or in the machine, each microfibre pad in this trio lasts up to 1,000 washes.

Buy now £8.99, Boots

Earth Kind citrus leaf shampoo bar

If you’re not yet convinced by shampoo and conditioner bars, then Earth Kind might just persuade you. Founded by a trichologist with over 20 years experience formulating best-selling shampoos, the bars are eco-conscious, vegan, natural, plastic-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and are made with organic oils and from sustainable and biodegradable ingredients.

But perhaps most importantly, they’re efficacious – these really do work. You can massage the shampoo into a fairly rich lather (more than some other shampoo bars we’ve tested) and the whole brand is suitable for all hair types and textures. You can choose from rich nourishing bergamot and sage, soothing tea tree and eucalyptus and (our favourite) refreshing citrus leaf.

Buy now £6.95, Earth Kind

Skin Glow London glow mask

As 2020 has well and truly zapped our glow, we need all the help we can to get our glow back on. This two-piece facial treatment mask is just the ticket for improving luminosity, tone and texture, boosting brightness and radiance and delivering deep hydration to smooth out fine lines, thanks to a killer blend of vitamin C, tumeric and hyaluronic acid.

We found the hydrogel technology meant the ingredients penetrated the skin more effectively than a cloth or paper mask and the plumped up, post-facial glow lasted much longer than other masks tested. The mask is also sustainably made, biodegradable and recyclable and there’s an eye mask option for tired eyes at £8.

Buy now £12.00, Skin Glow London

Baylis & Harding fuzzy duck winter wonderland bottle set

This fun, festive-inspired hand care set is the perfect house gift if you’re visiting friends and family at Christmas, or as a secret Santa pressie – you can never have enough hand wash and hand cream in a pandemic! The two bottles sit in a lovely reusable cream metal tray to keep them neat by the sink. The gin and tonic hand wash is fresh green and zesty, while the sloe gin hand and body lotion is warming and rich.

Buy now £10.00, Sainsburys

The verdict: Beauty stocking fillers under £15

For its eco credentials and delightful packaging, our best buy goes Andrea Garland’s “oops a daisy” skiing flapper lip balm. If you’re looking for other sustainable buys, plump for UpCircle or Neal’s Yard Remedies. For some much-needed tranquility and serenity, try Simply Sona, and for a dose of pick-me-up fun and glamour, Makeup Revolution will hit the spot.

For more gifting inspo, read our review of the best beauty gift sets of 2020