December is a hectic month. Amidst all of the cookie-baking, gift-wrapping, and obligatory party-attending, it’s easy to forget to look out for number one. This year, give the gift of self-care by procuring an at-home spa kit full of products that’ll leave your recipient glowing for the new year. Best of all, this is something you can easily do on a budget. Head after the jump to see my selection of favorite beauty gifts for less than $20.
Say it with a sheetmask
In case you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of sheetmasks. It’s an easy — and generally inexpensive — way to sit back, relax, and forget about the worries of the day.
CVS has a wide selection of sheetmasks from well-known brands such as Creme Shop, Peach Slices, Holika Holika, and others for under $5. Whether you’re seeking something straightforward or a mask with an interesting twist, you won’t be left wanting.
For anyone who is suffering from dry skin as a result of the harsh winter air, pick up the Peach Slices Hydrate Mask for $2.50. This cotton sheetmask is soaked in an essence that contains thyme, rose, wild mint, and other nourishing extracts.
Meanwhile, for some fun with masking, the Creme Shop Animated Animal Face Masks at $4 are a great option. Choose a penguin to help with a hydration or a narwhal to add some extra glow.
Don’t forget the lip balm
Dry, cracked, chapped lips? Not this season. Fortunately, there are some decently-priced lip balms that do a great job of protecting pouts from the bitter cold.
Burt’s Bees is often my first choice when my lips need a hit of moisture. Macy’s has the perfectly gift-worthy Burt’s Bees 4-Piece Beeswax Bounty Holiday Gift Set for under $10. Not only does it contain the OG beeswax formula, it also includes vanilla bean, pomegranate, and mango flavors.
Korean brand TonyMoly is known for its adorable packaging, and the Magic Food Banana Lip Balm is no exception. Also coming in at under $10 from Macy’s, this is formulated with banana extract, milk protein, coconut milk, and ceramide 3 for ultimate hydration. Plus, it comes with a convenient strap so it can be hooked to a keychain or handbag.
Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes
So far we’ve been focusing on the face, but truth is that the entire body needs extra TLC when it’s cold outside. Hands and feet, especially, can be prone to dry, rough skin.
Yu-Be is one of the first moisturizers I ever used regularly. While it does come at a bit of a premium — $14 for a 1-ounce tube at Amazon — it’s worth every penny. This non-greasy formula is ideal for dry hands and feet, but it can be used just about anywhere on your body (even lips). Yes, it’s only an ounce of product, but trust me when I say a little goes a long way.
Meanwhile, I have my mom to thank for turning me on to the CeraVe brand. Their entire line of body moisturizers is excellent, but for winter, I recommend picking up the 16-ounce Moisturizing Cream for $11 at Rite Aid. It’s full of ceramides, which keep your skin supple while helping it to retain moisture — an absolute must when temps turn frigid. Maybe this drugstore staple doesn’t seem gift-worthy on the surface, but the gift of soft skin is the best gift of all.
You should still care about your hair
‘Tis the season for knit caps, beanies, and other cover-ups to keep heads warm. Thus, that means hat hair is inevitable, but the good news is that it’s easy to remedy. (Plus, who doesn’t want their locks to look lovely for holiday photos?)
Earlier, I sang my praises for sheetmasks. Now I’ll be dedicating a chorus or two to hair masks. Count on deep-conditioning treatments to provide a salon-fresh feeling at home.
I’m a fan of the L’Oreal Ever Pure Intense Repair Hair Sheet Steam Treatment Mask, which is now $4 at Target. It treats hair in just five minutes, leaving it healthier and stronger than ever before. The Deep Moisture variant works just as well.
For something totally different, there’s the TonyMoly Haeyo Mayo Hair Nutrition Mask for $16 from Amazon. While it looks like something you’d slather on a sandwich, it actually contains a blend of shea butter, macadamia nuts, and egg yolk extract. Your hair will not only look good, it’ll smell delicious. But please don’t eat it…or your hair.
Some final accoutrements
Add some tiny bits of beauty paraphernalia to enhance the at-home spa experience. Headbands are an underrated accessory, but they’re essential for brushing hair out of your face while washing up. Of course, just about any one will do, but Creme Shop has an assortment of fun terry cloth headbands that are also comfortable to wear. Choose from a bow or a pair of cat ears for only $8 before shipping.
Jade rollers have become a must-have beauty item lately. They can be used while sheetmasking to help the skin absorb product better, among other benefits. Pick up this well-reviewed Jade Roller Set for $19 from Amazon. In addition to a double-sided roller, it also includes a gua sha scraper, guide book, velvet pouch, and gift box.
Finally, shea butter-infused socks are a comfy way to keep feet nourished and warm. Kohl’s has the 2-pack of Earth Therapeutics Shea Butter Thera-Soft Socks for $8. They have dotted grips on the bottom to prevent slippage while walking (because that would be embarrassing).
Give the gift of self-care
For the last several years, I have gifted my family and close friends little bags of beauty and self-care, featuring items like the ones listed above. They’ve always been a hit. If there’s one thing we’d all like to do — but seldom find the time to do — it’s relax. Giving someone you care about a box full of self-care goodies is a thoughtful (and economical!) way to tell someone, “Hey. Chill. You deserve it.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide of favorite beauty gifts! Did I cover any of your go-to items? Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.