+ Gift Guide, + Makeup

Gift Guide 2013: Gifts for the Beauty Queen

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1. Benefit ‘Sizzlin Six’ Set ($27) // 2. Topshop Patent Makeup Bag ($24) // 3. Drybar VIP Pack ($25) // 4. Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000 ($300) // 5. Stila ‘Color Me Glossy’ Glazes ($28) // 6. Clarisonic Pedi System ($199) // 7. Lancome Holiday Brush Set ($68) // 8. Sarah Potempa Beachwaver ($199)

Beauty gifts are great for sisters, friends, nieces and any young female relatives who you might not know so well.  Here are a few of my favorites for this holiday season.

One.  A sample set, like this one from Benefit, allows the recipient to try new products or have travel sizes of favorites.  This kit has a few of my favorite products (Dandelion blush and lip gloss), as well as the brand’s popular lip tint and mascara.  I also like this holiday makeup kit from Clinique, and for the skincare maven, don’t miss this awesome Ole Henriksen kit with some of his best paraben-free products.

Two. I can never have enough makeup bags or pouches.  I use them to store hair styling supplies, unused beauty samples, special occasion makeup and whatever else I find lurking in my bathroom.  This one from Topshop (also in gold) is a great basic silver, so fill it with a few little beauty samples and give it to a friend.

Want to splurge on a makeup bag?  Try Bobbi Brown’s Old Hollywood Train Case or this Anya Hindmarch soft case.

Three. As a woman obsessed with her hairdo, I am pleased to endorse both the Drybar dry shampoo and mousse as products that make me very happy.  This VIP Pack allows you to try those two, as well as their hairspray.  And if you already love the Drybar products, these travel sizes will come in handy if you’re headed home for the holidays.

Looking for a gift with a bit more oomph?  How about a Buttercup blowdryer and all the products and tools you need for the perfect blowout?

Four.  While the Drybar blowdryer is awesome, it is this Harry Josh number that has my heart.  I finally got to test out one in person, and if I found this lightweight, high-powered beauty under my tree, my new year would be filled with great hair days.

Five.  Stila has the best (THE VERY BEST) holiday palettes in the game.  They have really outdone themselves this year.  From this inexpensive lip set, to their mid-price Artist Essential Kit, they are hitting it out of the park.  And if you want to really impress your recipient, this $185 kit has 15 lip glazes, eight liners, 12 shadows and more.

Six. My love for the Clarisonic face brush is well-documented and boundless, like my love for my dog.  However, this pedi brush has a more limited appeal.  Do you live near the beach?  Do you love slingbacks and sandals?  Are you a runner or just militant about your foot care regimen?  Then, this product might be for you or your loved one.

Sadly, the brushes will not work on the Clarisonic devices that many of us already own due to varying motor speeds.  It’s too bad.

Seven.  Brush sets make great gifts for women who might want to upgrade.  This Lancome set covers the essentials (powder, blush, foundation) and has a double-tip eye brush that will make applying shadow a snap.  In the more expensive camp, try these Bobbi Brown brushes and if you want to pay less, this Sonia Kashuk set from Target.

Eight. When I first heard about The Beachwaver, I was skeptical about a hair iron that rotates itself.  However, several friends rave about this product, the way I rave about my Clarisonic, so maybe it’s time to take it seriously?  Allure named it one of the best products of 2013, so check this video about how it works and see if it’s right for your gift recipient.



  1. Alison says:

    I wish I had more beauty product junkies on my list, such fun gifts to shop for!

    My favorite beauty gift find this year is the OPI Take Ten set — 10 mini bottles of their best classic shades (nudes, pale pinks, reds). Great for building a polish wardrobe or replacing a few favorites that have gotten a little crusty over time. I found it for $15 at Ulta and picked a few up for stocking stuffers (and I’m going to try really hard not to keep one for myself!)

    December 11, 2013/Reply
  2. Heather says:

    I am hair-do incapable and after 3 failed attempts at curling iron and curling wand purchases, I recently bought the Beachwaver as it was billed as a so-easy-anyone-can-do-it item. The Beachwaver does style fairly easily (though, takes much longer and more care than the video makes it seem), but my biggest problem is that the wand part you hold heats up so quickly, after about 2 minutes, it starts heating way up to the point that it’s uncomfortable, and the hair release button actually gets so hot it burns your fingers! Last time I used mine, I had to wear winter gloves to protect my hands from catching on fire!

    December 11, 2013/Reply