not a professional. just crazy.

The Absolute Best Beauty Stocking Stuffers Under $30

Photo: Retailers

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: When it comes to filling up a stocking, there are few things more appropriate — in size and general delightfulness — than beauty products. Whether you’re loading a stocking for your TikTok-obsessed niece or your partner with dry elbows, look no further. Below, a list of the best skin-care and hair-care stocking stuffers.

I gasped when I saw this set! This adorable quartet of Cosrx’s best sellers is an ideal stocking stuffer for just about any skin-care lover. It includes the brand’s Good Morning Cleanser (great for purifying and balancing pH), AHA/BHA Clarifying Toner (excellent for clarifying the skin), Snail Mucin Essence (one of my all-time favorites for nourishing and repairing the skin), and Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion (a lightweight yet effective day or night cream).

Anyone who loves skin-care gadgets will love this gold bar, which is a dead-on dupe for the $200 Jillian Dempsey one. It vibrates and gets into all the little nooks and crannies of your face to massage, lift, and invigorate. Apply it with a good old face oil in the morning to liven up your skin. Also, Tracee Ellis Ross is a fan!

Got a Gen-Z little sister? Perhaps the cultiest, most Instagram-friendly lip balm around is this one from Glossier. It comes in many flavors and tints, so there’ll be one to match your stocking recipient’s preference. My personal favorites are Blackberry (a berry, jammy shade), Coconut (which is clear but smells amazing), and Fig (the newest of the bunch, which has a coral-y tint).

These stainless-steel, freezer-friendly tools are a wonderful way to depuff your under eyes and knock down any kind of inflammation from stubborn breakouts. Be sure to place these on your skin for one minute, then take them off for one minute to be sure you don’t burn your skin with the freezing cold. This is an excellent gift for anyone who has an early wake-up call — these freezing tools won’t just de-puff, they’ll wake you right up! — or anyone who has a little bit of a skin-picking problem, as they’ll relieve the redness from a spot without poking and prodding.


This mask from Jessica Alba’s line, Honest, is an adorable, selfie-appropriate purple-y color that happens to be jam-packed with good-for-your-skin ingredients like shea butter (for hydration), vitamin E (for repairing and protecting the skin), and super-fruits (which have antioxidant abilities). Reach for this whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up.

You can’t go wrong with Skin Food! It’s a deeply, deeply moisturizing multipurpose balm that can be used on elbows, hands, cuticles, or really anywhere you’re feeling dry or dehydrated.

This peeling solution from the Ordinary went viral after one TikToker posted a video claiming it had dramatically improved her hormonal breakouts. After the video went up, 52,000 people purchased it! It’s a blend of AHAs and BHAs, so it works to deeply, deeply exfoliate and resurface your complexion. This is a great stocking stuffer for anyone you know who’s a little bit too obsessed with TikTok. It’s strong, though — so be sure to tell them to use this once a week max!

For any French-drugstore obsessive, this neutral, non-fussy moisturizer gives your skin the perfect slip for makeup and is beloved by just about every major makeup artist, from Hung Vanngo to Pat McGrath.

If there’s a skin-care lover in your life who’s always buying and discarding single-use eye masks, do them a favor and introduce them to Dieux, a brand that has created a remarkable and effective reusable eye mask. Just tap on your favorite eye cream, then apply these masks on top; they help create an occlusive barrier that allows your skin to absorb the product better. When you’re done, wash the masks and put them back in their little case for next time. Pro tip: Keep them in your fridge for an extra-cooling and depuffing effect. You’ll be grateful after you’ve had one too many glasses of wine with dinner.


This little leave-in conditioner is great for just about anyone who loves caring for their hair, but it’s especially excellent for adding another boost of moisture to any kind of bleached, dry, or damaged hair when you step out of the shower.

This lip mask from Tatcha is an excellent bedtime treatment after those cold and windy winter days. A blend of omega-rich camellia oil and Japanese peach calms irritation, while rose extract hydrates chapped lips. It’s a little thick for daytime use, but I absolutely love it as an overnight treatment whenever my lips are really dry.

There’s a reason this is one of the most popular products for damaged hair. Olaplex No. 3 is an at-home treatment (not a conditioner) that helps repair protein bonds that are broken during chemical processes like bleaching, dyeing, and relaxing. Apply it to damp hair, leave it on for about ten minutes, then go about your normal shampoo and conditioning routine.

This sea-salt scrub is a shower time twofer — it can be used on your body (as an exfoliator) or on your hair (as a deep cleansing, volumizing scalp scrub). This is excellent for anyone with flat hair, an itchy scalp, or anyone who loves a good scrub in the shower.