Staying on top of beauty trends can be a costly game, especially when the festive season comes around and everyone from cosmetics giants to up-and-coming trendsetters like Kylie Cosmetics comes out with exclusive holiday collections that you can’t resist. But if you’re looking for something a little less extravagant for a last-minute stocking stuffer, or even as a small token of appreciation to yourself, here are ten beauty items under $50 that won’t break the bank, but won’t fail to light up the eyes of their receiver.
Benefit – Kissy Missy
Packaged in a collectible doll head tin, Benefit sets you up with everything you’ll need to spend all night kissing under the mistletoe. With two They’re Real! Double The Lip all-in-one lipstick and liners in festive Revved-Up Red and candy-coloured Pink Thrills, alongside Benetint (rose) and Lollitint (orchid) cheek and lip satins, lips will stay luscious from turkey dinner through till snuggles by the fireplace.
$46, available at Benefit counters.
Kiehl’s – Lip Balm #1 Set
Brooklyn-based artist Jeremyville’s familiar illustrations grace Kiehl’s holiday collection once again. This year’s range of lip balms include the tropical Mango, Cranberry to have you dreaming of Christmas dinner, and Mint to evoke the image of peppermint candy canes, while keeping lips hydrated and supple with a formula of squalane, sweet almond oil, allantoin, vitamin E, aloe vera, wheat germ oil and vitamin A.
From $17 (Original and Mango) to $19 (Cranberry, Mint and Pear) each, available at Kiehl’s.
Make Up For Ever – Artistic Smoky Eyes
For a look that says you’d take the coal Santa gives you for being a naughty girl and use it to create smoky eyes, Make Up For Ever’s Artistic Smoky Eyes kit is for those looking to make a dramatic impression. Featuring two deluxe-sized Aqua XL Eye Pencil in matte shades of black and dark brown, a similarly deluxe-sized Excessive Lash will make sure even Saint Nick won’t turn to see you batting your lashes.
$36, available at Make Up For Ever.
Fresh – Sugar Dreams Mini Lip Trio
Like the saccharine desserts that give you the warm fuzzies during family get-togethers, Fresh’s trio of mini lip sticks channel the sweetness of the holiday season. Comprising three tinted lip treatments in travel-friendly sizes, Sugar Honey (bold, warm nude), Sugar Tulip (sheer, hot pink) and Sugar Berry (bold, flirty berry) plump up your kissers while also nourishing and protecting with SPF 15.
$39, available at Fresh.
Butter London – CHEERfull 6-Piece Petite Lacquer Collection
Whether split amongst six pals, halved with its two giftable sets to your besties, or given all to your nearest and dearest, Butter London’s CHEERfull set is a versatile gift for ladies who love to let their nails do the talking. Comprising six of the brand’s latest colours – Swinging London (soft pink shimmer), Beezer (golden orchid shimmer), Wine Gums (warm blackberry crème), Hot Totty (golden nude shimmer), Come To Bed Red (classic red crème), Figgy Pudding (sparkling cranberry shimmer) – they’ll be spoilt for choice across the 12 days of Christmas.
$39, available at Sephora.
IT Cosmetics – XOXO, IT Girl! 3-Piece Eye-Enhancing Set
A limited edition goodie that’ll give your peepers that it look, the set of holiday essentials comprises three exclusive products that’ll you want in your cosmetics bag – only they’re giving you the bag, too. Housed in a sleek faux-leather cosmetics pouch that can easily double as a clutch, the collection’s No-Tug Waterproof Anti-Aging Gel Eyeliner, Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Volumising Mascara and Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil come together to condition, waterproof and add incredible oomph to your eyes.
$45, available at Sephora.
Nudestix – Berry Nude Lips Mini Lip Kit
Can’t decide if you want to be subtle or bold? You don’t have to decide with Nudestix’s limited edition holiday kit. Housed in a custom tin and featuring three lip and cheek shades that boast the versatility to let you go from nude looks to attention-grabbing aesthetics, the day-to-night trio includes a non-sticky Gel Colour Lip + Cheek Balm in Pulse (glossy nude), Cream Lip + Cheek Pencil in Sin (rose red) and kiss-proof Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Raven (rich plum) to let you adapt your look within seconds for house-hopping festivities.
$37, available at Sephora.
Sephora – Premium Bath Gift Set
Maybe you’ve been stressing out your mother with a left-of-centre job, or your boss has stuck their neck out for you in times of need; for those of whom you think could do with kicking their feet up – and what better way to do that literally and figuratively than a nice long bath? – Sephora’s Premium Bath Gift Set is what you get ’em. With a bubble bath and shower gel, nourishing velvet cream, hand cream and bar soap, they’ll have everything they need to soak up some ‘me’ time and take the break they deserve.
$31, available at Sephora.
Soap & Glory – Simply The Zest
For the ladies in your life who have a zesty nature about them – refreshing but powerful, and ain’t afraid to give a bit of kick – look no further. Slimmed down to travel sizes for the on-the-go woman, Soap & Glory’s lime-minded gift set – which includes a body wash, scrub, butter, hand creams and a bonus body polisher – features the delicious Sugar Crush fragrance that’ll put an extra ‘zing’ in their amazing character.
$25, available at Sephora.
Stila – Bright & Bold Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set
Beam as brightly as the lights adorning the evergreen Tannenbaum with Stila’s award-winning Stay All Day liquid lipsticks. Featuring three matte lip colours in Stila’s celebrated Beso (red), and two limited edition shades of Lume (plum) and Viola (pink), each deluxe lipstick graces the lips as light as a feather, while offering a creamy texture that’ll ensure your kissers remain supple, no matter how many mistletoe meetings you encounter throughout the holidays.
$32, available at Sephora.