21 thoughtful beauty gifts for any budget

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Lauren Caruso is an In The Know shopping contributor. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.

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.

Peter Thomas Roth Masking Minis 5-Piece Mask Kit, $19

Credit: Sephora

ULTA Beauty Collection Lip Glossary, $13.20

Credit: Ulta

ULTA Beauty Box: Artistry Edition, $17.99

Credit: Ulta

TOM Dixon Fog Incense Cones, $20

Credit: Net-a-Porter

Olive & June Nail Polish Kit, $17.99

Credit: Target


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.

Josie Maran Smooth Skin All Over Kit, $45

Credit: Ulta

Sephora Favorites Holiday Lip Set, $45

Credit: Sephora

Spa Sciences CIRRA Vanity Facial Steamer with Optional Aromatherapy, $30

Credit: Target

NARS Mini Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette, $32

Credit: Sephora

Too Faced Yummy Gummy Makeup Set, $42

Credit: Sephora

UNDER $100

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.

Olaplex Hair Repair Treatment Kit, $62

Credit Ulta

Sephora Favorites Makeup Must Haves Set, $54

Credit: Sephora

Le Labo Candle Discovery Set, $84

Credit: Nordstrom

Best of Dermstore The Necessities Kit, $100

Credit: Dermstore

Paintbox The Paint Box Like Cocoa + Like Sage, $98

Credit: Paint Box

Dior Limited Edition Couture Case with 5-Color Eyeshadow Palette, $65

Credit: Neiman Marcus

UNDER $250

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.

Diptyque Limited Edition Fragrance Diffuser, $190

Credit: Diptyque

Oribe Gold Lust Collection Hair Set, $115

Credit: Oribe

Charlotte Tilbury The Bombshell Makeup Set, $190

Credit Farfetch

AESOP Reverence Duet, $121 (Orig. 127)

Credit: Farfetch

Dr. Barbara Sturm Winter Kit, $245

Credit: Net-a-Porter

We’ve got your holiday shopping list covered with fantastic gift ideas for everyone on your list. You’ll find expert picks on the best tech gifts on Engadget, the best ideas for car lovers at Autoblog, gifts for the young (and young at heart) at In the Know, and picks for just about everyone else on your list (momsdadsteensnurses, you name it!) in Yahoo’s holiday gift ideas section.

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