Seeing as the world didn’t end yesterday, Christmas is still coming, and we’re likely to still be exchanging gifts. If you’re in a pinch and are still looking for little somethings for your friends and family, here are some items I think are pretty darned brilliant.
When I was a kid, my favourite thing about winter was coming in from the snow and cozying up with a nice cup of hot chocolate. It’s just a holiday essential (especially now that I’m old enough to add a shot of Bailey’s!). Now, you can gift this in two ways. First, you can pick up a nice mug on the cheap from Big Lots, and pop a few packets of hot chocolate mix inside, and seal it off with heat-shrink plastic and a ribbon. This gift is extremely inexpensive, easily personalized, and perfectly unisex.
A second option which is just as inexpensive is the Too Faced Hot Cocoa Collection. This stocking-stuffer-sized deluxe-sample duo comes with an eyeshadow-sized Chocolate Soleil matte bronzer (made with real cocoa, which lends to its positively divine fragrance), and a mini tube of the Primed & Poreless SPF 20 Bronze Tint Skin Smoothing Face Primer. This duo is perfect for anyone who has been interested in trying Chocolate Soleil but is not keen on committing to a full-size, but it would also be a spiffy idea for anyone who already loves it (because who wouldn’t appreciate a convenient purse size?). At just $10 from Sephora, this set is an absolute steal, and a great gift for all ages!
The Gift of Indie
If you think you’re too late to gift indie beauty this Christmas, you’re wrong. Though you aren’t going to be able to order any actual product and expect it to arrive in time, there are many independent artisans and sellers that offer gift certificates through their online shopfronts. Some of my favourite shops that offer extremely quick customer service response are Shiro Cosmetics (allow up to 24 hours for code generation), and Madd Style Cosmetics (allow up to 48 hours for code generation). Other shops do offer Gift Certificate options, but may take longer to generate codes – although you may have luck in expiditing the process if you contact the shop owner directly (please be on your best behaviour if you do this, though! Shop owners are just people who are trying to enjoy the holidays, too!). Once the code is generated, just write it down in a seasonal greeting card, get creative and add some personalized decorations, and you have an instant, stress-free.
If you’re too late get a Gift Certificate, there’s still a way to gift indie this Christmas! You could just as easily go ahead and place an order to arrive after Christmas, print out a copy of the invoice, and put that in a greeting card instead, with a personal, heartfelt letter about how awesome your giftee is (because let’s face it, you did drop the ball just a bit, and you do need to do a bit of kissing-up to make up for it). If you’re particularly Photoshop savvy, you could skip the invoice, and make a holiday collage with all of the items you’ve ordered. Just be sure to include a note about Turnaround Time (TAT) and shipping time, so your giftee can know whenabouts to expect the item to be delivered.
Easy Nail Kits
If you’re keen with the shrink wrap, here’s another great gifting idea. Line the bottom of a cute gift box with tissue paper, and grab your shrink paper and some fancy ribbon. Then just hit your corner drugstore, and grab an assortment of nail goodies! Nail files, orange sticks, and a rich hand cream will fill out the hand care and maintenance needs. Grab a base and quick-dry top coat, and a bottle or two of nailcolor, and a bottle or two of glittery polish. Then top it off with some fun stuff like nail art stickers or no-dry manicure strips. Depending on your brands, this sort of gift basket can range from insanely inexpensive to fairly extravagant. If you need to keep your budget tight, Wet n Wild polishes are extremely high quality for the price (even the 99c polishes are great!), and your most basic nail art stickers will round out the basket for not a lot of cash. But if you want to splurge, most drugstores will carry your mid-range brands such as Orly and Essie.
While I hate to make broadsweeping generalizations about anything, I’ve noticed that when it comes to individuals of the male variety, they will appreciate just about anything you get them. In the health and beauty arena, they’ll use whatever is cheap, quick, convenient, or provided for them. So if you’re buying beauty for a male, don’t stress: They probably won’t care whether it’s a specialty brand or Suave, as long as it works, and it doesn’t smell particularly horrible.
For gifting on the cheap, do not underestimate the power of Old Spice. Though it is getting harder and harder to find good gift sets in the classic scent (all I’ve seen this year is “Fiji” – what is that I don’t even), you can still pick up individual pieces. And it’s a classic for a reason: it smells frickin’ fantastic, and it works well on most bodies. If you can’t find the classic variety, Fresh is a good second bet that works well the on the skin.
Bath & Body Works is also a good buy for dudes, especially since they brought body lotion into their mens line. Guys need to moisturize in the winter just as much as any of us women do, but for whatever reason, they’re just not as likely to buy a simple bottle of lotion. But if you do, it will get used. Oh yes, it will. So if you’re out buying Bath & Body Works for your work buddies, go ahead and pick up some for the dudes in your life. A shower gel and lotion makes for a fine gift. Don’t fuss over the sprays – while fragrance is important, it isn’t as important as function, and fragrance for its own sake has no real function.
De-Icer In A Can
Why the hell am I putting this on a beauty blog? BECAUSE IT IS THE BEST THING ON EARTH AND EVERYBODY NEEDS IT. Honest to God, just buy a can of De-Icer and put a ribbon on it. If they don’t appreciate it immediately, they will at some point in the winter. Especially if their back defroster is broken (*sigh*).
If you have any last minute gift ideas to add, feel free to post them in the comments!