+ Gift Guide

Gift Guide: Glamorous Beauty Gifts


1. Sephora Heated Eyelash Curler ($16) // 2. Sara Happ Body Scrub ($40) // 3. Mason Pearson Hair Brush ($120) // 4. Clarisonic Plus ($225) // 5. Sugar Lip Treatment ($23) // 6. Beautyblender Pure Sponge and Solid Cleanser ($33) // 7. Deborah Lippman ‘Through the Fire’ Polish ($18) // 8. Bop Basics Elastics ($45 for 9) // 9. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette ($50)

One. A heated eyelash curler sounds silly until you use one.  Once you have had perfectly curled lashes that last all-day, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. If your recipient prefers a traditional eyelash curler, the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($20) is the gold standard.

Two. The winter blahs–a medical condition where you look down at your pale, dry winter skin and think “blah”–are the worst.  Scrub off the waste of winter with Sara Happ body scrub, a pleasantly scented concoction that will leave your epidermis feeling like new.  If $40 for a little scrub-a-dub-dub strikes you as too much, Philosophy’s The Big Skinny Scrub is also pretty fantastic for half the price.

Three. Mason Pearson hairbrushes are one of those lust-worthy beauty items that everyone talks/knows about and few people buy.  It certainly feels strange to pay more than $100 for a hairbrush, but the reviews on Makeup Alley are pretty convincing. The brush qualifies as one of those purchases that she will love, but would never have purchased for herself.

If you’re still uncomfortable, this wooden paddle brush from Aveda is just $20 and to.die.for. I had my first one for over a decade, and the smoothing benefits are unmatched.

Four. I have sung the praises of the Clarisonic from mountain tops from here to Twitter.  I love this damn thing so hard, I can barely contain the joy.  And of all the people I recommend this product to, only one has failed to fall in love with it. 

If $225 is more than you’re looking to spend, there is a whole family of Clarisonic products to suit any budget.  The new Aria is $199.  The Mia is $119 and the Mia2 is $149.  Still a bit rich for your blood?  Buy the device at the Skinstore and save 20-percent with code Fest20.

If your recipient already has a Clarisonic, buy them some accessories.  Replacement brushes ($40 for a pack of 2), the new body wand and a body brush for scrubbing all of your skin or a selection of soaps, like the gentle hydro cleanser (I love, LOVE, the acne soap. Clears you up without drying you out.).

Five. Whether the lady loves lipsticks, glosses and tints or prefers basic chapstick, the Fresh Lip Treatment is sure to please.  It gives you just a hint of color, while leaving your lips baby soft.  You can also pick up this awesome three-pack of their best minis–including my favorite, Sugar Plum–for $28.

Six. Beautyblender’s teardrop shaped makeup applicator and blender will turn any woman into an expert makeup artist.  I vastly prefer their new Pure model to the original bright pink (the dye seemed to run), and this new solid soap is a big, big improvement over the liquid soap.  It’s also perfect for travelers who want to limit their liquids and gels (damn you, TSA!).

Seven. A friend just gave me Deborah Lippman’s ‘Through the Fire’ for Christmas, and I am in love with the deep ruby hue.  It’s not too bright or too dark, and it shimmer just so without being Katy Perry-glittery.  Looking for a similar shade for a bit less? OPI Bogota Blackberry ($8) is also a Belle favorite.

Eight. When these elastic hair ties started popping up in beauty mags, I thought people were nuts. How much was I expected to pay for a hair tie?  But once you use one and witness its snag-free, snug-fitting glory, you change your mind a bit.  These make a great stocking stuffer, but if paying $5 a hair tie strikes you as ludicrous, check out Etsy retailer Mane Message who sells packs of five for $7.

Nine. For ladies who like to play with color or those who own dozens of shadows, the Naked 2 Palette from Urban Decay is the perfect gift.  It has the most fantastic selection of metallic and neutral eye colors that I have ever seen.  The Chopper–a copper-colored shadow–is so good, I ration it for special occasions. If she’s a bit bolder, try the original Naked palette, filled with Earthy pinks, purples and blues.

Like the idea of giving a palette but want to keep it under-$25?  NYX offers some great alternatives like 24 shades for $18.  They also have a copycat-Urban Decay palette with 20 neutral shadows and 10 colorful glosses for $25, the perfect gift for any teen girl.  And to hold all of those shadows in place, don’t forget an eye primer.  My favorite is NARS Pro Prime, your shadow won’t move a bit.



  1. Rachel says:

    That heated eyelash curler has terrible reviews on sephora.com. Is there any other brand you would recommend?

    December 5, 2012/Reply
  2. ADL says:

    Snagged some headbands off of Mane Message – thanks for the link. Not a fan of the hair elastics, as they don't hold tight enough in my silky hair, but always looking for headbands.

    December 5, 2012/Reply
  3. Emily says:

    I am making everyone hair ties for Christmas and packaging them in mason jars as a fun little gift. So much cheaper to make.

    December 5, 2012/Reply
  4. Erin says:

    Belle, you have sold me on the Clarisonic. I've decided to get one for myself for x'mas… but I'm so confused on the various models. Is the plus the one you'd recommend most? Thanks ­čÖé

    December 5, 2012/Reply
  5. Leigh says:

    Emily, what size elastic do you use to make them? I just bought some, but I'll probably make some of my own with those as a model.

    December 5, 2012/Reply
  6. Emily says:

    I use 5/8″ fold over elastic and cut them to about 9 inches each. Fold over elastic is usually cheapest on Ebay. Hope that helps.

    December 5, 2012/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    Erin: I own a plus and a mia, did I mention I was addicted? I like both, and I don't notice much of a difference. The plus has more speeds, the aria has an indicator that tells you how much more battery it has (which would be helpful) the mia is good for the price.

    December 5, 2012/Reply
  8. AttiredAttorney says:

    I own and love the Naked 2 palette and the Fresh Lip Treatment. Both would be excellent gifts and things I would have loved to see in my stocking had I not grown impatient and bought them myself!

    December 7, 2012/Reply