Here at the Strat, we’re still in heavy gifting mode: Sometimes, not any stocking stuffer will please the beauty obsessive in your life, so here we went deep on the best beauty gifts under $30 at Amazon that you can order now as a last-minute gift. Depending on their level of obsessiveness, we have millennial-pink bath salts (a crowd-pleaser) to cult-favorite Korean beauty products we love — plus even a derma roller for the hard-core Redditors on your list.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone not enamored with this all-purpose Aussie ointment that tackles all of your dry skin areas.
Not your regular lip balm: a cool lip balm, from the likes of beauty girl– and celebrity-beloved Tata Harper, no less. (This one isn’t set to arrive before Christmas, but here’s another beloved lip balm that will.)
Ask a beauty writer and she might tell you that out of the many, many samples that cross her path, the one thing she’ll consistently keep is dry shampoo (so this one’s great for the beauty fanatic who already has everything). It’s a French cult-favorite that’s especially beloved by beauty editors and people who refuse to wash their hair every day.
Writer Molly Young says of this coconut-scented lotion: “I buy it in bulk and store it in my refrigerator, where its presence assures me of continued corporal smoothness.” It’s ideal for the person who won’t balk at the idea of smelling a bit sugary sweet, and has been looking for a little something extra for their ashy skin.
For people with exceptionally dry skin, here’s a French pharmacy staple that delivers a quick, hydrating skin-pick-me-up.
While some of Cosrx’s best-selling acne- and blackhead-reducing liquids might feel too pointed to give someone as a gift, their snail-mucin essence, which Rio Viera-Newton described as a dupe for the pricier SK-II essence feels like a positive affirmation, as if to say, “Go forth and be blessed with glowy skin.”
A crystal glass nail file that’s much better for your nails than your average emery board — it comes in a sleek case that looks much more expensive than it actually is.
For the Merlot enthusiast in your life who can always get down with a good face peel, this wine-scented one will be life-changing.
Collectible Japanese cheek tints that Jenna Lyons loves, ones that make easy stocking stuffers. (Note: This may arrive after Christmas if you don’t choose expedited shipping.)
A shimmery cat-shaped lipstick for the feline enthusiast in your life.
Plus an adorable cat-printed lipstick case to go with it.
For mask enthusiasts, a delightful carbonated Korean-beauty face mask to add to their top shelf, which will bubble up on their skin (and make a great selfie).
One of the best and softest hair towels out there: The microfiber cloth sops up hair moisture with less friction involved, so your hair doesn’t frizz.
A handy cleaning mat to help keep your makeup brushes from going icky.
One of Rio Viera-Newton’s favorite brands for sheet masks, which already comes in pretty, giftable packaging. This mask set’s packed with hyaluronic acid for extra hydration, but they also sell a nice rose-scented set and another enriched with squalane.
A travel-size bottle of micellar water for a Francophile or frequent flier who hates washing their face.
And a very handy travel bag: It’s waterproof, aggressively organized with sections for all of your brushes and products, and easy to stow away in a suitcase.
TonyMoly’s squee-worthy packaging makes all of its products a good gift, but its hand creams are especially kawaii, whether you’re more a banana fan or a tomato person (they also happen to make a great pill box).
Millennial-pink bath salts, for the person who loves to luxuriate in the tub.
But don’t stop there — here’s an exfoliating vegan rose lip scrub to go with it.
No pore or baby hair will go unnoticed with this 10x magnification lighted mirror that has crazy-good reviews.
The Japanese razors that Cut beauty director Kathleen Hou uses to get rid of her facial hair that also work on eyebrows — they’re much more precise than your average Schick razor and colorful enough to make a playful stocking stuffer. (These may arrive after Christmas if you don’t select expedited shipping.)
It will go to work on brightening persistent raccoon eyes (it’s a Strat favorite that both Alexis Swerdloff and Rio Viera-Newton have taken to), but it will also look like an exceptionally indulgent gift when they crack open the lid.
A very cute set of blotting papers that comes in a mini-compact with a mirror, for someone who always complains about their shiny skin.
A crowd-pleasing Mario Badescu twin set that will help keep your giftee’s skin refreshed all year round.
The Christmas-tree-scented candle that writer Jillian Mapes says is one of the most perfect gifts, one she would weep over if they ever stopped producing it.
A palm-size, raved-about hair brush that’s ideal for traveling — stick it in even the smallest of bags and Dopp kits.
This steamy, soothing lavender eye mask, beloved by Japanese people, will help a busy person who always has long travel days or stressful days on deadline.
Fancy toothpaste that people swear is better than the drugstore stuff, and happens to look great on your bathroom sink.
For the avid redditor who’s been reading up on derma-rolling. (This one isn’t set to arrive before Christmas, but here’s another that will.)
Instead of choosing just one of La Roche-Posay’s cult-favorite French pharmacy products, here’s a whole set that includes a micellar water, a 60 SPF+ sunscreen for very pale people, and an all-purpose skin balm.
An activated-charcoal sponge from Japan for someone with sensitive skin. It very gently exfoliates skin, while the activated charcoal naturally fights bacteria and removes excess oil.
A very coveted overnight mask from Laneige to use when you’re in for the long haul, like a long transatlantic flight, that will have you waking up with impossibly dewy skin.
This writer has noticed beauty editor friends receiving lots of caboodles in mailers this year, so here’s a nice compact beauty case that’s not too expensive (and also not as kitschy as the ones from the ’90s).
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