Guide to Holiday Gift Giving 2017

Hello everyone! The holiday season is upon us, and this year I’m publishing my first ever holiday gift guide. I’ve done my research, visited stores, scoured the internet, and leafed through catalogs to find the most giftable items for every price point. Let’s get started!

Little Things/Stocking Stuffers

I tried to add a lot of variety here, so while some of these are beauty stocking stuffers, there are also general stocking stuffers, cool knick-knacks, and other useful items. Let’s get started:

If you’re shopping for a beauty or skincare enthusiast, I cannot stress enough the genius of giving a giftable ornament. It is a perfect go-to stocking stuffer. These festive, wallet-friendly gifts can be found at Sephora and Ulta and range between $10-20. Because these are all minis, they’re a great way to give a pricey gift without splurging.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Ornament, Real Techniques Brush Ornaments, Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish Ornament, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Ornament, Josie Maran Pure Argan Duo, and IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream

For the second year in a row, China Glaze has a mini nail bar at Ulta where you can pick an empty holiday carton and mix and match four mini nail polishes to make a custom set for $9.99!

The displays by the checkout line are chock full of amazing mini gifts and portable value sets. I went to Ulta where there was literally a display called Stocking Stuffers. Below is a collage of all the cool stuff I found.

Sephora also has a dedicated page of mini size products that are perfect stocking stuffers.

Nail stickers, stencils, and decals make it easy to create cute nail designs with minimal effort. Below are products you can find at the drugstore and on Etsy. Consider slipping one or two of these into your loved one’s stocking!

Aerie, Anthropologie, ASOS, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters are amazing for finding decorative knick knacks, accessories, and homeware. This little ring holder is so cute and only costs $10.

At Anthropologie you can now create a personalized, one-of-a-kind gift. Start by choosing a foundation (like this star-dusted card holder), decorate it and personalize it using patches, pins, and decorative charms, and voila — you have an original, custom made present.

This Casetify Card Holder is $19.95 from Aerie and it’s super useful because it attaches to your phone with strong adhesive and holds multiple credit cards/ID — practical and cute.

Colourpop has lip bundles and eyeshadow palettes that are super inexpensive and the perfect size for a stocking stuffer. The Hi-Maintenance Pressed Powder Shadow Palette shown below is just $12 and the Out and About lip bundle is $18.

Jewelry is another great stocking stuffer and I have a few recommendations that would dazzle any jewelry enthusiast. Starting from a higher price point, Baublebar’s holiday gift sets are stunning this year.  Baublebar is a go-to destination for on-trend jewelry and they offer a huge variety of styles, as well as pieces you can personalize.

If you have anyone on your list who likes earrings, there are a TON of sets that offer mix and match studs. Free People is a great place to get these.

They offer ten variations of the Teeny Tiny Mega Stud Set and each is $20!

These Meaningful Studs In A Bottle are the perfect gift to give because each set represents a meaningful sentiment. For instance Pink represents Joy, Home, Good Luck, and Healing Heart. There are three different color stone studs, each bottle is $20.

The Stoned Piercing Set is $18 and one of Free People’s top rated products. There are five different colors and each is a set of five earrings featuring minimal designs.

Finally, a smartphone stand is a great stocking stuffer. I’ve included four very different ones – the first is more of a novelty from Urban Outfitters (Smartphone Mini Lounge Chair); the second one is a clean, minimal Smartphone Stand from the Container Store; the third is a Rose Gold Phone Ring Holder Stand from Urban Outfitters; and the fourth is a sturdy aluminum stand holder found on Amazon.

Mid-Price Beauty Gifts

During the holiday time, there are a massive array of beauty products to choose from. If you’re stepping into unknown territory, the best advice I can give is to go for value sets or palettes that provide a lot of product. Not only is the wow factor there, they’re a great value. Below I’ve selected some aesthetically pleasing products that just about everyone would appreciate.

The Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick & Lip Mattifier Set is a lipstick lover’s dream. It offers a $61 value and retails for just $25. It includes six gorgeous, wearable creamy, moisturizing mini lipsticks and a deluxe size Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer that “doubles” your lipstick collection for a matte finish.

Stila’s Written In the Stars Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set is singlehandedly the most show-stopping holiday set at Sephora this year. At a value of $45, you get three stunning glitter and pearl-infused liquid eyeshadows for $25. They glide effortlessly and dry down smoothly with minimal fallout.

The Bite Beauty The Perfect Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set is $25 and makes for an adorable stocking stuffer. Granted, these are mini lipsticks that are smaller in real life than pictured in the photo, but the shades are flattering and the packaging is beautiful, perfect for the holidays.

The Peter Thomas Roth Mask Sampler Kit is $25 and contains six face masks that to detoxify, repair, hydrate, and polish skin. Each mask is formulated to treat different problem areas, so it’s a great way to try the whole line and discover new favorites.

Skincare gifts don’t need to break the bank. Case in point being this $20 Super Stars Set found at Ulta. Origins is a pricier more luxe brand, which is why this holiday set is so amazing. Inside are three products designed to create clean, clear and radiant skin.

Colourpop makes its second debut in this guide, as the price point is phenomenal, and the product itself is high quality. They have a ton of eyeshadow palettes. The She Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette pictured below is just $16 and contains 16 eyeshadows in soft mauve tones and buttery metallic finishes. 

Morphe is probably the stiffest competition Colourpop has. They both do the impossible, which is create lust-worthy eyeshadow palettes at a fraction of the price MAC and all the brands at Sephora do. Pictured below is the 15N Night Master Eyeshadow Palette, which retails for just $15.

The 25B Bronzed Mocha Eyeshadow Palette retails for $18 and offers 25 beautiful neutral shimmer and matte eyeshadows.

If you want to get the wow factor, Morphe has several larger palettes that would bring such joy to a beauty enthusiast, especially a beginner who wants to grow their collection. Picture below is the 350 – 35 Color Nature Glow Eyeshadow Palette, which retails for $23. 

Consider gifting your loved one a beauty subscription box service! Typically you can sign them up for 3 months, 6 months, or a year. There are lots of different ones – Ipsy, Birchbox, and Play! by Sephora – that retail for $10/month. At a higher price point, you can also gift Boxycharm – a $21/month charge.

If you really want to complete your holiday shopping in five minutes, shopping Sephora Favorites is the way to go. Sephora Favorites are limited-edition sets combining the top-selling products in beauty, hair, skincare, and fragrance products. There’s a ton of value packed into each box, and it’s as simple as figuring out your recipient’s favorite type of product, selecting the box, and paying.

Finally, we have the MAC Holiday collection. This year they’ve outdone themselves with the ornate, rose gold, luxe packaging. Their collection includes a wide range of gifts, like lip products, eyeshadow palettes, makeup brushes, highlighters, you name it. Just head into a store and pick out a gift.


Now onto the universal section of this gift guide! These are general gifts that are great for anyone on your list.

The saying “collect moments not things” is a reminder that gifts don’t have to be material. Experiences are a great gift to give, especially the gift of self-care. Consider getting your loved one a certificate to get a facial, manicure, massage, or other relaxing service to help them de-stress.

You can also try gifting items that promote wellness like aromatherapy or tea. I found some great aromatherapy products online at Bath and Bodyworks, The Body Shop, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Teavana. spa bath body pampering products

While I’ve been given enough lotions, soap, etc. to last a lifetime, retailers do knock it out of the park in this department during the holidays. The packaging is beautiful, and it’ a ready-made gift for the right person.

These  Fill in the Love Journals are a perfect gift for anyone on your life, be it your mom, dad grandmother, boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend. They’re a great personalized gift that will bring on the water works and show your loved ones how much they mean to you. Each costs less than $12.

Love vouchers make for an amazing stocking stuffer! I’ve seen so many version of these, but below are the Knock knock Vouchers for Lovers which cost under $8. Basically they’re coupons that can be redeemed for special things – making your significant other breakfast, taking them on a date, etc.

Edibles! There are so many festively packaged treats this time of year. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, look to your closest drugstore for some amazing options.

If you’re looking to dazzle, set your sights a little higher. Dylan’s Candy Bar is an iconic candy shop in New York City that has amazing holiday gift sets this time of year. I found these through Love, Nordstrom but you can also shop their direct website.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone would appreciate a trip to the movies, especially with movie tickets and snacks costing as much as they do now. My favorite movie gift pack is at Costco (two Regal Cinemas tickets and a $10 concession gift card for $25), but it’s in-store only. You can also always check out Amazon!

Bath fizzies and other bath treats are a popular gift to give, especially if you’re gifting to a teen or anyone who can appreciate confections like bath bombs, bubble bars, shower gels, etc. Lush is a company that has amazing wrapped gifts this time of year, like the Snow Fairy set shown below.

A portable charger is something everyone could benefit from. This lipstick-sized portable charger from Anker is a best-seller on Amazon and is one of the most powerful mini chargers on the market.

The  Amazon Echo Dot is a wallet-friendly alternative to the Amazon Echo (which is currently sold out). It’s a hands-free, voice controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, read the news, set alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and more. It’s basically genius.

Gift cards are always a welcome gift, and if you’re doing last minute shopping, you can find a huge selection at your local drugstore. It’s perfect for shopping for anyone on your list, as you can choose from Amazon, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Cheesecake Factory, Macy’s, AMC, you name it.

Symbolic jewelry – there really are an endless array of options to choose from in this department. Etsy is always a great place to get something personalized, and so is Things Remembered. However, if you live in New York City, I’d recommend checking out Le Primitive or the Broadway Market Co.

This is definitely more of a fun gift. If your loved one loves taking selfies, a selfie light will be their newest obsession. They can clip it onto their phone, turn the light on, and take beautiful, well-lit selfies! This one by Auxiwa is $13.99 and a best seller on Amazon.

Nothing speaks to the heart quite like personalized photo gifts. Shutterfly allows you to personalize and design almost any gift imaginable around your photos of your loved ones (and their loved ones).

luxury Items

Now time for the fun part! These next (and final) gift suggestions are for beauty lovers, so if you are not interested, thanks for reading this gift guide and please feel free to navigate away. Now, if you are shopping for someone who loves beauty and you’ve got the cash to splash, there are lots of decadent gifts to choose from.

This holiday season, MAC has created the most magical looking Snow Ball Mini Lipstick Kit which includes twelve of their most popular lipsticks for $69.50. This kit is already sold out online, but if you’re quick you might be able to find this still in stores.

Lush has amazing wrapped gifts this time of year, and if you’re feeling particularly decadent, their Joy to the World gift set contains dozens of their dazzling confectionary products. However, the price tag is… $249.95.

The Naughty and Nice Music Box is Charlotte Tilbury’s holiday advent calendar, and the packaging is as luxe and decadent as it gets. It houses some of her best-selling products and costs $200! Quite a pretty penny.

Finally, we’ve reached the end of my 2017 gift guide. I hope it’s been helpful in giving you some great gift ideas. I urge you to get gift receipts and look at the gift guides each website has to offer. It can be immensely helpful to do so, as it can save you time and help you find great gifts, fast. Thanks for reading this gift guide and happy holidays!

P.S. For the zaniest gifts ever, is addicting.

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