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On the surface, beauty products make for terrible gifts. Not only is the entire category deeply personal, but you always run the risk of inadvertently hinting to your recipient that you think their beauty game needs work. The good news, however, is that if you choose the *right* beauty gift — say, one that you know they already love, or something they want but wouldn’t buy for themselves, or a gift so breathtaking they’re guaranteed to be delighted — you can’t go wrong.
In fact, the best beauty gifts aren’t the ones that solve a problem. Instead, they’re tools, products and sets that bring out the best in someone, all while inviting them into some well-deserved pampering time. A few ideas that fit the bill: a perfume you know your sister will love but would never buy for herself; a luxurious bath set that your best friend, who’s also a new mom, would be over the moon to use; or even a set of nail polishes that you know your beauty-obsessed friend wanted to add to her collection.
Ahead, the best affordable beauty gift ideas for the beauty lover, the beauty-curious and everyone in between. Even better: We broke it down by your budget.
Whether you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, a gift for a white elephant party or even just something thoughtful but budget-friendly, there are tons of under-$25 options that fit the bill.
APTO Turmeric Mask, $18
Plan a girls’ night with this fun, saturated mask that promises to leave skin clear and bright.
There’s a reason why Mario Badescu’s refreshing face mists are on the desk of every beauty editor ever: They really work.
Nails.INC Tonal Set, $22
This best-selling tone-on-tone polish set features four earthy browns.
Kosas’s bundle of ultra-hydrating lip balms is sure to go over well.
IGK All Stars, $25
IGK’s All Stars bundle features travel-sized versions of its best-selling volumizers.
It’s not only possible to find beauty gifts that pack a punch under $50, but with so many holiday offers, some of the season’s most in-demand gifts are in this price range.
Looking to impress? Look no further than this 60-shade (!) eyeshadow palette.
The Scalp Power-Duo, $38
This Scalp Duo from Latinx hair care brand Ceremonia is a best seller for how effectively it strengthens hair, but it’s also a great gift for anyone that could use a two-minute massage every morning.
Clinique’s Best Bets Set, $39.50
For the friend that’s always stealing samples of our skin care stash, get her her own.
This three-step routine is perfect for a relaxing (and skin-softening) bath.
This three-piece clean beauty set includes a multi-stick, an eye tint and a volumizing mascara.
Everyone has that friend who’s always late because her hair never does what she wants — or because she can’t find her second-favorite deep red lipstick, or because she just can’t decide which perfume to wear. These under-$100 beauty gift ideas are sure to wow your beauty-crazed friends and family members.
For the friend who’s forever fussing with her hair, give her the gift of ease with R+Co’s bundle.
This set is perfect for the friend who refuses to skip her daily shower.
Aesop Departure Set, $55
Aesop is known for its powerful, genderless skin and body care products, and this set of seven best sellers is the perfect white elephant pick.
If you’re looking to impress someone with your knowledge of cult-favorite beauty brands, this set from Susanne Kaufmann is the way to go.
Le Labo’s luxe candles are in every New Yorker’s home for a reason. They’re not just a status symbol; they truly smell better than, well, every other candle out there.
For the friend who’s always looking to try something new, this seven-piece beauty bundle from Net-a-Porter feels just as luxe as it does personal.
Ahead, five gifts that’ll wow even the most hard-to-shop-for recipients.
Tata Harper’s best sellers come together in this gift set, which is worth $139.
A full Charlotte Tilbury advent calendar is sure to please.
This youthful, floral scent from Gucci is a true crowd-pleaser.
The Box by Dr. Ava, $250
If you’re looking for a group gift that’ll seriously impress, this quarterly skin care set is curated by top dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban.
This seven-piece travel-size set of Dr. Sturm’s best sellers promises to brighten, hydrate and repair even the most sensitive skin.
If you enjoyed this story, check out these five winter boot trends to get ahead of now!
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