14 Luxe-Looking Beauty Gifts You Can Buy at the Drugstore
Spoiling those on your holiday "nice list" doesn't have to mean damaging your credit score. As it turns out, some of the best beauty gifts of the season are tucked away in the aisles of your local drugstore, Target, and Walmart. Sure, they're a bargain — every single one is under $25 bucks! — but the luxurious formulas, sophisticated packaging, and glowing beauteous results will prove they're anything but cheap. Read on to see some of our favorite affordable picks.
Target 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar
Why you need it: What's better than one really awesome beauty gift? Twelve really awesome beauty gifts all hidden behind tiny doors, making for one seriously exciting unwrapping experience. This box of Target beauty favorites spoils you rotten before Santa even arrives, with a whole new beauty lineup including pampering Burt’s Bees lip balm, a supersoft EcoTools kabuki brush, and Laneige Sleeping Mask to erase any signs of a rough night.
Shop it: Target 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar ($25)
E.l.f. Cosmetics Mad For Matte Lip Color Set
Why you need it: Not only are the rich, superpigmented colors on par with their luxury counterparts, but you can try on all of the shades virtually with the (free!) YouCam Makeup app directly from your phone. So if you're looking for confirmation that these colors will work for you (and believe me, they will), now you have it.
Shop it: E.l.f. Cosmetics Mad For Matte Lip Color Set ($10)
Flower Beauty Flowerful Color Kiss Collection
Why you need it: Lip artists, lip balm enthusiasts, and just about every kind of lip-lover in between will find at least one (or 11) favorites from this stocked set. There are glossy tubes, matte pencils, a silky oversize crayon, and a palette full of creamy pigments all in ultraflattering shades that range from rose to red.
Shop it: Flower Beauty Flowerful Color Kiss Collection ($10)
L’Oréal Paris Color Riche La Palette
Why you need it: There's a reason celebrity makeup artists keep this drugstore eye shadow palette on hand: it's damn good, and not just for the price tag. The matte and velvet textures apply and blend beautifully, with enough range to go from everyday neutrals that brighten to rich, chocolatey browns to sexify your stare for night.
Shop it: L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette ($15)
Circa Color Exposure Sheer Lip & Cheek Stain
Why you need it: I still can’t decide where I love to wear this formula most: lips or cheeks. It’s that perfect in-between lip product that gives you a gorgeous long-lasting berry flush without all the precise lining that goes into a serious bold lip. Dabbed on cheeks, it instantly warms up your complexion with the most natural "you’re blushing" hue.
Shop it: Circa Color Exposure Sheer Lip & Cheek Stain ($9)
Essie Holiday Mini Nail Polish Kit
Why you need it: Manicure obsessed or not, the adorable mini bottles will make you smile just looking at them. The colorful quartet features the everyday classics (pale pink and berry red), plus two seasonal statement colors: Bobbing For Baubles, a deep sapphire blue, and Penny Talk, a festive metallic copper.
Shop it: Essie Holiday Mini Nail Polish Kit ($13)
Eos Holiday 2016 Limited Edition Lip Balm 3-pack
Why you need it: Take it from me, an a avid lip-balm junkie — this trio of pampering spheres will condition and soothe away all that Winter dryness in seconds. The egg-shaped design makes them easy to locate even in the most overloaded totes (trust me, I've put it to the test). Since there are three in the set, you can stash them in every bag so cracked lips are a thing of the past.
Shop it: Eos Holiday 2016 Limited Edition Lip Balm 3-pack ($9)
Mayfair Soap Foundry Grapefruit Bergamot Gift Set
Why you need it: This duo looks like something out of a high-end British beauty boutique with apothecary-like packaging that will make your every shower feel a bit more luxurious. The energizing citrus scent serves as a welcome pick-me-up and I'm definitely not mad about the price tag.
Shop it: Mayfair Soap Foundry Grapefruit Bergamot Gift Set ($10)
NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette
Why you need it: Whether you’re a first-time sculptor or a modern-day Michelangelo, this eight-shade contour palette gives you all of the bright powders and deeper shades you need to chisel and define like a pro, no matter your skin tone. Each color comes in its own mini tin, which you can shift and rearrange within the palette to customize to your liking (and buy refills of when you run out).
Shop it: NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette ($25)
Pacifica Power of Love Coconut-Infused Mineral Eye Shadow Palette
Why you need it: Here’s a feel-good product in more ways than one. The colors alone will make your eyes light up, even before you swipe them on. Then there’s the velvety, cream-like texture, which is smoother and richer than most, thanks to the coconut-water-infused formulation. And if that wasn’t enough to make you smile, there’s the mood-lifting fact that it’s made with 100 percent vegan, good-for-you ingredients — even in the packaging, which uses recycled paper and soy ink.
Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Color
Why you need it: For the nail-obsessed, these conditioning polishes are a total game changer. The formula is infused with hydrating oils that release over time, keeping nails conditioned and manicures chip-free. Plus, you can add a personal touch by putting together a trio of favorite colors that you (or the lucky lady on your nice list) will love the most.
Shop it: Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Color ($7)
Soap & Glory Take Your Pink
Why you need it: The cutesy faux retro packaging will leave you nostalgic, but the skin-smoothing products packed inside that will leave your skin super soft. The travel-sized lineup (including a creamy cleanser, buffing body scrub, rich body butter, and pampering hand cream) will dress up any hotel bathroom. You'll also love the line's signature sweet fruity-floral scent.
Shop it: Soap & Glory Take Your Pink ($16)
Pixi Best of Bright
Why you need it: This skin-detoxifying trio (including Glow Mud Cleanser, Glow Mud Mask, and Glow Tonic) somehow manages to remove all that oil, grease, and makeup gunk that you slept in after your office holiday party without leaving your skin feeling tight and parched. Score! A combination of glycolic acid, sea salt, and aloe vera gently cleanses, exfoliates, and soothes the skin, leaving your complexion exactly as the products suggest: glowing.
Shop it: Pixi Best of Bright ($22)
Vaseline Rosy Lip Therapy Holiday Sweater
Why you need it: The Nordic sweater tin design gave me the warm fuzzies the second I saw it, and the classic petroleum formula did what it does best: pampered the heck out of dry, chapped everything from lips to cuticles.
Shop it: Vaseline Rosy Lip Therapy Holiday Sweater ($3)