For the third year in a row, I’m sharing all the gifts I gave loved ones this Christmas. I love outdoing myself each holiday season — each year feels like a personal new “best,” and this year was no exception. Thanks to the incredible markdowns and sales that began mid-November. I virtually left no stone unturned, and am incredibly happy with the gifts I gave. If you’re interested, keep reading.
Ciate London Holiday 2017 Kiss Collective Duo | This first gift called out to me when I was shopping during the Sephora VIB event. I was searching for a mini lip gloss set for my coworker Andrea and came across this Ciate duo. How cute is it? It was the perfect pocket-sized present, and I got her a couple more things too.
Fresh Nourishing Naturals Lip Duo | My younger cousin Hannah really loves skincare and natural ingredients, so I wanted to gift her a box of skincare goodies. The first item I bought for her was this Fresh Nourishing Naturals Lip Duo. I love the packaging and it was a great price since everything was 20% off.
OPI Heartbreaker Nail Lacquer 4pc Mini Gift Set |There were so many amazing finds this year at Marshall’s, like this OPI mini gift set for only $4.99. It was a perfect item to throw into my tray of goodies I brought to work. I allowed each coworker to choose one gift, and I also made basic goodie bags (more on that later).
Here’s a photo of some of the goodies I had in my tray, as well as a peek of the goodie bags I was making and holiday cards. You’ll see the rest of these items coming up next.
Sephora 8-Tone Eyeshadow Palette Wonderful Dreams | I found this eyeshadow palette (which I’d already been eyeing as a gift online) in a clearance bin in Rhode Island for just $5! Since my coworker Andrea is still a beginner when it comes to eyeshadow, I thought it’d be a nice neutral palette to start her collection off with.
bareMinerals Ooh La Luxe Lip Gloss Duo | Ulta had some super inexpensive holiday kits this year, and one of them was this beautiful lip gloss duo from bareMinerals. I had planned to give this to one of my coworkers, but I actually ended up selling it to a male coworker who drew a female coworker during our office’s Secret Santa. I gave him a few beauty options and he chose this!
bareMinerals You Won’t Believe Your Eyes Eyecolor Trio | This is another holiday kit that was just $10. I loved the presentation and packaging of this gift, and found the eyeshadows to be very beautiful so I purchased this and gifted it to my coworker Erica.
Tweezerman Slant Tweezer | My sister always steals my tweezers so I thought it was time for her to get her own. I went straight to Ulta and decided on these black tweezers by Tweezerman. I paid a pretty penny for these (retail price of $23), but I did have a coupon for 20% off my purchase. Woot!
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush Ornament | I love the RT brushes so you can imagine my excitement when I saw these mini brush ornaments! The Expert Face brush is one of my go-to face brushes, so I ransacked the store and bought four of these, and two other kinds for myself. After purchasing them, RT went on sale 40% off, so after exchanges each brush was reduced to $3.59!
Update: Unfortunately, after trying one I purchased for myself, I was a little disappointed with the quality. The bristles were rougher, and not as densely packed as the original. ☹ The other two types of brushes were better, although still not the same quality.
Real Techniques Full Coverage Essentials Makeup Brush Set | This is such a guilty admission but I ended up keeping this limited edition gift for myself. I bought it not knowing who I would give it to but knew I had to pick it up. This set includes four brand new brushes designed for full coverage application and a dual-ended expert sponge. With my 20% off coupon, the price dropped from $29.99 to $23.99.
Real Techniques Limited Edition Deluxe Gift Set | This is one of my proudest finds of the season. I found this limited edition gift set for just $12.99 at Marshall’s. Since it’s now sold out, others are selling it for $30 and up! This went to Andrea as her last gift (she is also a brush beginner).
Real Techniques Flawless Core Collection Makeup Brush Set | I own this brush set myself and have loved it for years, so when I found this at Marshall’s for $7.99, I had to get it for someone who would appreciate it. I think the reason it was so inexpensive is because this is the new one. Ulta sells it for $19.99, Target sells it for $8.59, and Walmart sells this original one for $11. Moral of the story? Do your homework!
bareMinerals Mini Statement Luxe-Shine Lipstick Duo | This is another stocking stuffer item I bought to add to my tray of beauty goodies for my coworkers. For the most part $10 was my cutoff for each of the gifts, so this was a great find. Now it looks like the price has gone up to $15.
Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip | This was my main present to my coworker Erica (she also received the brush set above and the bareMinerals eyecolor trio). We love talking all things makeup and I know she loves nude/neutral lip products, so I decided to spring for this Sephora Favorites nude lip set with my 20% off VIB discount.
Manicure in a Jar | I’ve always want to create a personalized gift-in-a-jar for someone, so I decided I would Erica all the trimmings of an at-home manicure – mini nail files, nail buffing blocks, a cuticle pusher, decorative nail stickers, and the most gorgeous neutral Essie polish, Between the Seats. I purchased the jar for $1 from The Dollar Tree and found all the other components at Ulta and the drugstore.
My biggest regret is that I didn’t take a photo of the final product, or get to photograph each individual item. Here are some of the contents of the jar.
Brooklyn Charms | You can’t see too well here, but I gifted my friend Nina this rosegold necklace with three charms on it. I chose a silver cat (because we’re both crazy cat ladies), a rosegold camera (to represent her vlogs), and a gold star because stars are just plain cute.
Dose of Colors Liquid Matte Lipstick in Cork | Last November my cousin Christina and I both tried out a Snapchat filter that gave us snatched brown lips.
She liked the color so much that she asked for it for Christmas, and regrettably I was unable to find it. But, this year, I’m fairly certain I found it! This is Dose of Color’s Liquid Matte Lipstick in Cork. If you google it, you can compare it against others who’ve done lip swatches.
I did notice that it’s a bit more of a true brown, whereas the Snap picture is more of a mauve-y brown. Still, it’s a pretty close dupe and I think it will look amazing on her!
Torrid Gift Card | I also got my cousin this $40 gift card to Torrid, one of her favorite stores. She’s always shopping for Maddie now (her 1 1/2 year old) and never buying anything for herself, so I thought I would give her something she could only spend on herself!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Set | This liquid lipstick set from NYX was originally going to go to my coworker Erica, but I decided to upgrade her to a Sephora set (heh) so this ended up going into my tray of goodies.
The Dollar Tree | I went to the Dollar Tree for the first time in November and it was amazing. I picked up so many great holiday items for $1 each, including these holiday moneyholders, these festive Lindt chocolates (which I gave as stocking stuffers), and three gorgeous glittery gift boxes.
I filled one of the boxes with goodies for my cousin Hannah, and it was super easy! I’ve been stockpiling Sephora Beauty Insider Rewards including Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk, Fresh Soy Face Cleaner, and a Sephora Beauty Insider 500 Point Reward Boscia Skincare For Your Selfie, which includes five product.
J. Crew Phone Card Holder Sticker | I also added this rose gold phone card holder sticker for her cell phone from J. Crew Factory, which was only $7.20.
J. Crew Gold and Crystal Link Bracelet | And to top it off, I added this delicate gold and crystal link bracelet from J. Crew. I bought one for Hannah, and two others for the other ladies in my life. This was marked down to under $16! I have one just like it that was much pricier from Baublebar.
Fold-Over Card Holder | My mom is, shall we say, modest. I only got her a few gifts and supplemented the rest of her gift was cash. One of the gifts was the bracelet above, and the second gift was this stylish little money holder from Express.
My final gift to her was this pair of cozy sweatpants from Aerie (she had told my dad she needed sweatpants).
Custom Leather Keychain | I was on Etsy and I came across this shop called NorthwindSupply that handmakes incredible leather goods. I thought this keychain looked so classic and crisp, so I got one for my sister (I wish I had monogrammed it DMM instead).
There’s a great jewelry and accessories store in my local mall (Queens Center Mall) called Six and they have such delicate little treasures. I bought this pair of tiny studs for my baby niece Maddie who is almost two.
Remember those goodie bags I mentioned earlier? I purchased holiday cellophane bags from the Container Store and promptly proceeded to lose them, so last minute I went to Walgreen’s and bought holiday paper sacks and filled them with these 5/$5 goodies from Ulta, including mini hair treatments, lotion, bobby pins, and pumice stones/nail files.
Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List | The next few gifts were bought straight off my cousin’s wishlist for her daughter Maddie. How cute is this little picture book? Maddie loves Peppa Pig!
Crayola My First Fingerpaint Kit | Maddie is about 22 months right now so she’ll be turning two in March. It’s so great that they have fingerpaint kits that are safe for toddlers to play with!
Itaar Stroller Umbrella | Finally, I purchased this cool gadget that attaches to Maddie’s stroller so that Christina can be shielded if it ever rains and she’s out and about with Maddie.
I spoiled my two closest people this year – Nick and Diana. The following items were purchased for Nick:
Hollister Full-Zip Sherpa-Lined Mockneck Sweater | Hollister marked the entire site 50% off this year during Black Friday, so I splurged on this cozy (yet still masculine) zip up sweater.
Abercrombie Garment Dye Shawl Collar Sweater | I fell in love with this handsome knit sweater from Abercrombie, which I also scored 50% off during Black Friday week.
J. Crew Long-Sleeve Thermal Henley | Who doesn’t love a good thermal henley? This is a great base layer for any outfit, and this one from J. Crew was super stylish at a really affordable price.
Game Boy Heat Change Mug | I was on ASOS shopping for Black Friday and I came across a couple of really cute quirky items that I thought Nick would enjoy, one of them being this mug. I love how kitschy and tech-y this is, and of course he enjoys gaming, so I added this to my cart.
The Mixers Manual Cocktail Book | I like giving gifts based on people’s personal interests and Nick really enjoys drinking in general, so I saw this book online and thought, why not add it as a side gift? It’s a cocktail mixing manual and I think it’ll definitely come in handy at some point.
Draun (Boots) | Finally, I purchased these amazing Chelsea boots from CallitSpring. They’re these taupe/tan suede pull-on boots and I think they’re so gorgeous! Everything in the store was 50% off so it was a pretty sweet deal.
Onto Diana. We have completely different styles, so I ordered her the things she really wanted on her wishlist.
PacSun OOPS No Bozos Long Sleeve T-Shirt | She got a little creative this year with some of the pieces she chose from Pac Sun. I got her this No Bozos graphic shirt, which believe it or not, sold out in a hot minute.
Justin Bieber Stadium Tour S Blue Long Sleeve T-Shirt | This is another top I ordered from Pac Sun. She’s really been into the Stadium Tour clothing line by Justin Bieber. (This also sold out fast!)
Curved Hem Tee | I got her a few pieces from Urban Outfitters. The first was this loose-fitting black tee, more slouchy than her typical J. Crew or Gap pieces.
Daddy Baseball Hat | The next was this tongue-in-cheek Daddy hat, which my dad thinks is ridiculous. I agree but that’s the point! I love how funny and fearless she is.
adidas Utility Crew Neck Sweatshirt | I thought this sweatshirt was absurdly priced, but Adidas has come back into fashion in a big way. I’m happy to report that she loves it and is planning to rock it with skinny jeans soon!
Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Throw | I purchased Diana this electric blanket from Costco for just $20 which Walmart seems to be selling for more than twice the price. I bought this blanket for work since the office gets so cold (and only her and I seem to notice), but we’ve been using it to keep toasty in the basement so it’s yet to come to work! I wish I had bought two.
Metrocard | I get reimbursed for my monthly metrocard ($121) but my sister doesn’t. So she buys metrocards on an as-needed basis. I decided to put $45 on a metrocard and sneak it in her stocking!
Finally, I got my sister some winter socks because no one ever likes spending their money on socks, and she desperately needs more of them. These are all from American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie!
SONGMICS 12 Slots Watch Box Mens Watch Organizer | My dad has taken a fancy to horology, the study of watches. He recently ordered himself a very nice watch, and has a few others in his collection, so he asked for this watch organizer for Christmas, which we ordered for him from Amazon.
The Black Series Hungry Bear Game | I never would’ve heard of this game if my coworker hadn’t purchased it for another coworker during our mystery Holiday Gift Exchange. It was definitely the standout gift at the party and we spent the rest of the day taking turns playing it. We decided to get it as a last minute gift for my dad!
I gave movie theatre gift cards to my coworker Lassarie and my friend Friendy. They’re just so universal and anyone can find use for them.
Dylan’s Candy Bar | I found these quirky socks and Mersch Mints at Dylan’s Candy bar and thought it was the perfect tongue-in-cheek gift my coworker (who is of Jewish faith) for our company’s Holiday Gift Exchange! It was just under the $15 limit.
Wink Oh Deer Flask & 2 Shot Glasses | Finally, I gave my coworker a festive holiday flask set I found at Marshall’s for around $10. It was a great gift I found last notice and he really enjoyed it!
Sadly there are a lot of gifts I didn’t get a chance to photograph, like the gift basket we made my grandma of her favorite snacks (peanuts, corn muffins, Hershey’s chocolate, etc.) or the poinsettia we got her from Costco. However, I’m very happy with 2017’s round-up of gifts, and know I will look back fondly on the gifts I gave. I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Can’t wait for next year’s.