Foolproof Beauty Gifting (Last Minute!)

I’m moving Wednesday’s post to Tuesday due to its urgent nature. Did you wait until zero hour to accomplish your holiday shopping? Or did you maybe think you were done only to realize, “Damn! I forgot someone,” where that someone happens to be a beauty enthusiast? You’re down to the wire.

Buying foundation or concealer for your recipient is generally a bad idea unless you know their EXACT shade or unless you leverage an e-Gift feature like Urban Decay’s that let’s the recipient pick their shade. Lipstick can be equally challenging because subtle nuances can take a product from wearable to NOPE pretty easily (but this 4pc Clinique Honey, Honey set [$25] is a safe bet!).

I got you. In addition to the guide I did a couple weeks ago, I’ve put together a foolproof beauty gifting guide. Most of these products can be purchased from retails offering shipping in time for Christmas to save your ass, and the ones that aren’t are available at retailers. Buy online and pickup in store where possible to save your sanity, and to also reap the benefits of eBates.

Mascara

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Costco Beauty

I’ve shared a a few of my finds at Costco (like the makeup wipes I was using) but I keep coming across more Costco beauty finds that I never thought would be there. I discovered a few more recently, and I couldn’t resist sharing these steals with you.

Clinique
moisturesurgeintense

Moisture Surge Intense

I used a sample packet of the regular Moisture Surge just before my flight home from California in March. Between the ultra-dry air out there and the dry plane cabin, my skin was thirsty. Like all Clinique skincare, Mositure Surge/Intense is unscented. I probably wouldn’t use this as a day cream unless you either a) live in a very dry environment b) are a flight attendant or c) have pretty dry skin. Moisture Surge Intense is normally $52.50, but Costco has it for $29.

Dramatically Different Lotion+

I personally use the gel (which is not sold at Costco as far as I can tell), but the Lotion goes for the same price at usual retailers, but you can grab 2 for $40.

St Tropez

sttropezexpressThis isn’t news on this blog, but the fact that you can get St Tropez at Costco for a fraction of the cost that you would spend on it at, say, Sephora? Worth it! I’ve seen the classic mousse on their site before – it isn’t on there now, but you may be able to find it in stores. They do have a few other St Tropez items in stock online, though – like the Express formula for $26 (regularly $44) and the facial cream for $22 (regularly $30).

 

Beautyblender Two-Pack

beautyblender2 for $30 isn’t as great of a deal of the 8- or 12-packs available to the pros, but us mere mortals will take what we can get. They carry all of the silly novelty colors. Skip the red, it bleeds.

StriVectin

strivectin

The stretch mark cream turned wrinkle reducer is available in a 2 oz two-pack for $99. StriVectin has been a highly rated product for over a decade, so if you’ve been considering buying it or want to restock? This is a pretty good value (compared to $79 for one from Macy’s or Amazon).

bareMinerals Serum Foundation

bareskinThe samples I tried didn’t play nicely for me, but if you’re already happy using this, it’s worth checking to see if they carry your shade. At $22, it’s cheaper than anywhere else. Downside is that they carry a very limited shade range. I’ve seen the Original foundation here in the past, too.

The Bottom Line

By Costco’s nature, inventory does not stay the same forever. If you keep an eye on their site, though, you’ll find (as I did) a slew of products that slay their normal prestige pricing. Unlike Costco stores, Costco.com accepts all major credit cards making this inventory fairly accessible.

Also, Costco doesn’t know who I am, none of this is affiliate stuff. The Costco beauty deals are just too good to overlook.

New: beautyblender beautyblusher

beautyblender beautyblusherbeautyblender beautyblusher

I never was impressed by the beautyblender micro.mini. To me, they just seemed too small to be easily handled. A tiny sponge jumping out of your hands is not a useful sponge. I am, however, a beautyblender classic loyal…and unlike the beautyblender Nude which left me kind of confused, I really love the newest addition to the family – the beautyblender beautyblusher.

I definitely have applied blush with my beautyblender (love it for the Josie Maran Argan Infinity ones!), but a slightly-smaller (without being mini!) sponge would really be ideal for placement and blending.

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beautyblender Nude

beautyblender Nudebeautyblender Nude

I haven’t written a post dedicated solely to the beautyblender, but it has been a recurring topic because I love them (comparison to Bundle Monster sponges here, and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge here). Recently, a new shade was added to the family of egg-shaped sponges; beautyblender Nude.

The beautyblender sponges come in five colors: Pink (classic), Black (Pro), White (Pure), Red (Red Carpet, limited edition I think), Purple (Royal), and now Nude.

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2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 25

Those of you in the United States, I hope you had a delightful Thanksgiving. I’m still working on my tryptophan coma. No, I did not go shopping yesterday (I vehemently disagree with shopping on Thanksgiving). No, I did not line up or go shopping today (as someone who, in a past life, worked Black Friday at a big-box store… never).

ANYWAY. The $25 and under price point is where value really starts to kick in. Admittedly, I was wanting to add most of these to my own cart (especially the candles & Black Honey set!) – but I’m on a bit of a no-buy for myself for the time being.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under $25

LORAC Pocket PRO and Pocket PRO2, $18 ea

I’ve hosted giveaways for each of these, because, frankly, they’re a great sampling from their big sister palettes, LORAC PRO and LORAC PRO 2 (which I also reviewed & gave away). They’re a great value, and a nice way to expose someone to prestige-quality products without busting your own budget. Quite stuffable, as far as stockings are concerned, too.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 25

Primal Elements Santa’s Cookies, $20

This one is the scent of warm cookies (side note, who’s ready to put those holiday baking skills to the test?!) and it is divine. Really, practically anything from Primal Elements. I found Primal Elements years and years ago – Ulta.com actually carried some of their smaller candles on their site back then. I picked up a small pair of their Tahitian Vanilla candles – the’re so unique, a blend of wax and that weird, fun-colored jelly-goo… and they smell amazing. Most of the candles in my house are Yankee due to the sheer accessibility and price-point, but I’d say Primal Elements candles are my true candle love.

More of my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 25 after the jump…

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