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.
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.
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.
A shimmery cat-shaped lipstick for the feline enthusiast in your life.
Plus an adorable cat-printed lipstick case to go with it.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Fancy toothpaste that people swear is better than the drugstore stuff, and happens to look great on your bathroom sink.
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.
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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