It's not even mid-December, and personally speaking, my bank account is already empty. (How does this happen every year?!) From new holiday party outfits to irresistible Black Friday deals, there are just so many opportunities for the holiday season to drain our bank accounts. So when it comes time to buy gifts for our friends and family, we find ourselves strapped for cash. Let's just say the phrase "cheap holidays" is a complete oxymoron.
Finding affordable beauty gifts can be particularly tricky if you're buying for someone who's obsessed with makeup and skincare—as in, someone who can smell a cheap beauty gift from a mile away. If that's the type of person you're shopping for, you've come to the right place. We Byrdie editors put our heads together to come up with a list of 11 gift ideas that are all super affordable but look five times the price. Keep scrolling for 11 luxurious beauty gifts you can get for $25 or less!
Never mind the rich, non-greasy formula and delightful scents, the packaging on this hand cream set will have your giftee convinced you spent at least $60 on her. For a third of the price comes a trio of moisturizers, featuring unique fragrances like fig leaf, mint, and tobacco.
$9 for a truly lovely perfume? Miraculously, it exists in the form of these solid fragrance tins by the vegan and cruelty-free brand Pacific. The product comes in a variety of fresh, floral, and spicy scents, but the ultra-feminine French lilac scent is a Byrdie favorite.
Quick, before your giftee finds out about this shockingly affordable skincare brand, trick them into thinking you spent $80 on one of its serums, which range in price from $5 to $18. The crazy part is that these serums actually work. What allows the brand to price its products so low is that each bottle contains only one or two active ingredients (like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or retinol). Throw together a little trio of serums, and you'll earn your reputation as the best gift-giver in town. (Check out the brand's full line of serums here.)
Trust us when we say that based on the quality and style of Tartan & Twine's makeup bags, you would never guess they cost less than $30. This chic green case is great for the girl who likes to take her entire routine with her when she travels. It holds a ton of products, folds up nicely, and features a built-in hook so that you can hang it from a towel rack and keep your countertop clear. (Peruse more of the brand's selection at Ulta.)
All it takes is $25 for the makeup lover in your life to explode with happiness. This adorable gift set from beloved all-natural brand Milk comes with a mini highlighter, mascara, and berry lip crayon—three essential ingredients to the perfect holiday makeup look.
If any of us at the office received this jar of bath salts as a gift, we would be extremely pleased. French Girl Organics nails its simple, ultra-chic packaging, and this product, in particular, would seriously up the aesthetic of any bathroom. Plus, the product itself has a hypnotic rosy-but-not-too-rosy scent, which is guaranteed to put your giftee into a deep state of relaxation.
Give the gift of ultra-hydrated skin for less than the cost of a chai latte. In our experience, sheet masks are the beauty gift that always goes over well, and this gentle, moisturizing pick works for even the most sensitive skin types. Pick one up for every friend and family member you have, and you'll still come in under budget.
Your eyes are not deceiving you—this glamorous collection of 10 face and eye brushes is on sale for $20. Easily worth five times the price, it includes buffing brushes, contour brushes, blending brushes, and everything in between. Tie a red ribbon around them, and you have yourself a truly winning gift.
Dress up your giftee's astigmatism with a pair of eyewear that no one has to know cost less than your lunch. These gray floral frames are only $15 ($22 with basic lenses), proving that giving the gift of clear eyesight can be super budget-friendly.
It's a win-win situation: The eye shadow lover in your life gets a gorgeous palette of matte and iridescent shades, and you only have to spend $7. Sephora Collection makeup is already way underrated—the brand works hard to make sure its formulas are top-tier. But on top of that, this affordable palette is on sale right now, giving you absolutely no reason not to pick one up for your friend, your mom, and yourself.
Candles are always a great go-to gift, but goodness, can they be expensive. ($150 for something that's going to melt away??) Flores Lane's handpoured candles look as luxe as the pricier brands—each scent is themed after a different neighborhood in New York or Los Angeles; it's adorable. But they're all priced at a reasonable $22 (though your giftee never has to know).