Beauty Lovers’ Gift Guide

on December 9, 2011

Julep Glowing Hands Gift Set

$48, Regular manicures can add up, but it’s easy to DIY if you have the right products. This kit from Julep has all the basics for healthy hands: a glass nail file (toss those emery boards, stat!), cuticle oil in a convenient roller ball and an apricot scrub with glycolic acid. Also included are two shades of eco-friendly nail polish in classic shades: sheer pink and elegant red. Julep offers other gift sets in a range of prices.


$10 per month, Have a friend who can’t resist trying the latest product but could never possibly use it all? She’s a perfect candidate for Birchbox, a monthly mailing of 4-5 deluxe product samples from brands like NARS, Kiehl’s, Stila, Laura Gellar, DDF and more. Members can then purchase full-size versions of products through the site and earn points towards merchandise credit. Gift subscriptions are available in 3-, 6- and 12-month increments.

Everyday Minerals Snow Angels kit

$14, The mineral makeup trend has rapidly taken off, thanks to consumers looking for more natural cosmetics products. But you don’t have to spend a lot of “green” for green products: This Austin, Texas-based company makes highly affordable vegan-friendly mineral makeup. The sweet Snow Angel kit features three eyeshadows and two mini blushes in a hand-printed makeup bag.

Lancome Holiday 2011 collection

$15-$40, For your best do-gooder pal, Lancome’s limited-edition holiday collection supports actress Kate Winslet’s Golden Hat Foundation, a charity dedicated to education programs for children with autism. The lipstick, $29, comes in a tube adorned with Winslet’s signature and is available in 4 shades, from a neutral pink to traffic-stopping red, as well as a lip primer.

Sigma Synthetic Makeup Brushes

$9-$16 for individual brushes, $49-99 for sets, You wouldn’t paint a masterpiece with just any old brush, so why use subpar makeup tools? Hand-crafted brushes from Sigma help even inexpensive makeup go on with a flawless finish. The company makes natural-hair brushes, but its new Sigmax synthetic line is vegan and designed with input from professional makeup artists. The Synthetic Essential Kit is a great deal, but you can also buy brushes individually.

Shiseido Honey Cake soap

$7.50, These French-milled soaps made from honey are a luxurious stocking stuffer for anyone who needs a little pampering. They come in festive red and green. Throughout the holidays, is offering free gift wrapping, and free shipping and a bonus gift when you spend more than $50. (Try the eyelash curler, a cult classic.)

Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System

$119, Since the popularity of the Clarisonic skin cleansing system, many companies have tried to create less expensive imitations. While there’s nothing wrong with saving cash, we still think the original is worth the investment. The sonic technology (which not all knock-offs offer) is gentle on your delicate facial skin and gets it squeaky clean. It comes in a rainbow of colors and an option of four different brush heads, including a new deep pore-cleansing version.