gifts they might actually want

The 42 Best Beauty Gifts Under $30 (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

Here at the Strategist, we’re 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 on Amazon that you can order now–and will still arrive in time for Christmas. Depending on their level of obsessiveness, we have sugary bath cubes (a crowd-pleaser) to cult-favorite Korean beauty products we love — plus even a derma roller for the hard-core redditors on your list. Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here, too.

Stocking stuffer alert: This all-purpose Aussie ointment made from the papaw fruit makes a good salve for healing cracked cuticles (it’s a backstage staple for lips, too).

This cute pocket-size Rodin lip balm fits in even the teeniest clutches, and just looks mood-lifting in its little acrylic case.

A primer on beauty, food, and mindfulness from the CAP Beauty founders that would make a good coffee-table book for wellness enthusiasts.

A design-y, pale green bar of soap that’s made with goat’s milk, from New Zealand brand Beauty Dust Co.

Writer Molly Young buys this coconut-scented lotion in bulk because “its presence assures me of continued corporal smoothness.” It’s a nice non-drugstore lotion to give as a gift that won’t look like an afterthought.

A cushion compact made to resemble a hamburger on the outside, from beauty-blogger-beloved Korean brand Swanicoco.

A very giftable set of essential oil towelettes for the frequent traveler or new mom on your shopping list.

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.

One of our favorite pint-sized sunscreens from Korean beauty brand Missha: It doesn’t leave a white cast on skin, so it’s nice for layering under makeup, and is very travel-friendly.

If they’ve yet to delve into hair perfume, this fresh lemon-and-tangerine-scented R+Co spray would be a nice gateway.

A teeny ice roller for de-puffing skin and preventing wrinkles — indulgent, but right on the money for beauty fanatics.

For the Merlot enthusiast in your life who could use some wine-scented exfoliation.

Collectible Japanese cheek tints that Jenna Lyons loves, ones that make easy stocking stuffers.

A gentle silicon facial scrubber in the shape of a jellyfish.

One of our favorite new beauty launches, this velvety beauty blender, in a soothing shade of blue, from Juno & Co. It comes in a bundle of four for less than $20, which is a steal.

Or you could buy a beauty-blender set that comes with a shopping cart to store them all.

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). Or, for the truly gnarly, get them the Elizavecca “hell pore” blackhead mask that writer Garrett Munce described as “a Dyson for your pores.”

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. We own it and never travel without it (it’s that good).

For the person who wants a fuller look, try this brow- and lash-enhancing serum that gave editor Jason Chen the “eyebrows of a Jonas brother.”

For the person who’s always too impatient to wait for her nails to dry, this LED lamp should prevent any chips.

For the sheet mask junkie, a greatest-hits set of Dr. Jart+ face masks that meet a variety of skin care needs, from brightening to firming.

A travel-size bottle of micellar water for a Francophile or frequent flier who hates washing their face.

For those who want to make shower time a more soothing experience, here’s a handheld scalp massager with gentle silicon bristles. Aaaaah.

TonyMoly’s kawaii packaging always makes for a good gift, but its hand creams are especially handy (they double as a pill box, according to our own Molly Young).

An exfoliating bath scrub in the form of oversize sugar cubes: The Cut’s former beauty editor Ashley Weatherford is a fan (and we own them and love them, too).

Or, a delightful strawberry-scented lip mask from K-beauty brand Laneige.

No pore or baby hair will go unnoticed with this 10x magnification, lighted mirror that has crazy-good reviews.

For the person who’s already into jade rolling, here’s the latest in Chinese facial massage: a gua shua stone for increasing circulation and enhancing lymphatic drainage.


It will go to work on brightening persistent raccoon eyes (it’s a Strategist 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 from K-beauty brand Too Cool for School that comes in a mini-compact with a mirror, for someone who always complains about their shiny skin.

hblife Lipstick Holder

For the person who can’t decide what their favorite red is, here’s a nice riser to help keep lipsticks organized (with 40 slots in total).

A crowd-pleasing Mario Badescu twin set that will help keep your giftee’s skin refreshed all year round.

From our newly minted status candle brand, Boy Smells. Their candles look good on every vanity, and this Cedar Stack one smells faintly of cedar, labdanum, juniper berry, sawdust, and white musk.

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.

For the person who’s so over Marvis, we’d recommend trying one of Le Bon’s French luxury toothpastes: This one tastes like liquorice and mint, and was inspired by a swimming pool on a hot summer day. We’re a fan of the mint and green tea one, too.

For the avid redditor who’s been reading up on derma-rolling.

An assortment of shea butter hand creams (cinnamon orange, gardenia, and rose) from French brand La Chatelaine — that we think is just as nice as l’Occitane.

For the budding makeup artist who’s into mixing shades, here’s a heart-shaped palette for crushing and blending colors.

A ten-pack of Cosrx’s best-selling pimple patches, for the person who loves to pick.

A pink-clay konjac sponge from Japan that very gently exfoliates skin while you cleanse.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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The Best Beauty Gifts on Amazon Under $30