Five Fancy Holiday Beauty Treats Under $20: Because Sometimes, a Splurge CAN be a Steal.

7 years ago

Okay, so while I don't actually celebrate Christmas, this time of year is among my favorites. And yes, I can already talk about Christmas since ALL OF THE STORES STARTED GETTING READY FOR IT THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN.


I love it all:  the lights, the music, and the general sense of good cheer that pervades my ordinarily gruff city of Manhattan, but I'll let you in on a little secret: My very favorite aspect of this time of year? The incredible beauty bargains to be had.

I'm sure this economy will make Christmas a bit leaner than in years past, but there are some fantastic brand-name products out there which would be perfect Christmas stocking stuffers and/or [insert winter holiday of your choice here] gifts. I've always loved reading those "splurge v. steal" type lists, but I love even more that it's now possible to combine the two. And so, I've compiled a brief list of some of my current big-name favorites/wish list items, all of which can be had for under $20. These beauty gifts are perfect for pretty much any woman in your life. Including, you Because you're worth it. Am I right?

Okay, let's start at the top left, shall we? In the "OMG SO CUTE!!1!!!" category, we have Harajuku Lovers Solid Perfume in G ($18). There are five Harajuku Lovers solid perfumes in total--each with a distinct look and fragrance-- and this one is my personal favorite, with notes of "mandarin, coconut, apple skin, jasmine sambac, freesia, magnolia, coconut cream, white sandalwood, and cottonwood."

I love the idea of solid perfume, and these have a sliding top, which makes it even harder to screw up. You know, because it is possible to lose the top to your solid perfume, and then you have to put the  whole stupid thing in a ziploc bag, only the smell is so potent since you lost the cover, it even permeates the granola bar you tossed in your purse with it. I'm just saying, this CAN TOTALLY HAPPEN, so really, the design here makes these perfect to toss in any makeup/travel bag without worrying.

Moving along in a clockwise fashion, we have an oldie but goodie, Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($14). This is a crowd favorite, and I included it on this list for a few reasons. The price obviously, but the product itself is almost universally flattering. I haven't met anyone (yet!) who has not tried this and loved it. The packaging--a sleek, thin metal tube--looks far more luxurious than what the product costs, and the consistency-- a sheer gloss/lipstick hybrid--is perfect for chapped winter lips, and "blind" touch ups at a holiday party. I implore you to try this, if you haven't already!

Continuing on to the lower right corner, we have Frederic Fekkai's Brilliant Glossing Cream ($9). This is a travel-size item; however, I've been using this for years, and always buy this small version since the cream is so effective and potent that only a tiny drop is needed. It's great all year round, but I particularly love it in the winter when my hair is, to be blunt, a giant freaky static bomb. A pea-sized drop smoothed through my hair instantly calms it down and adds a ton of shine. Oh, and the container's size is TSA-friendly, to boot!

In the lower left we have my favorite new holiday treat, Philosophy's Melting Marshmallow Cream ($16). Oh my WORD. I'm generally not much for sweet-smelling fragrances, but this is my exception, I suppose. The smell is divine, almost exactly like fresh, lightly-toasted marshmallows. It's not cloying at all, it's just...good. Furthermore, this "body souffle" quite literally does melt right into your skin, leaving it soft and well-moisturized, but not greasy. (I recommend trying this out as soon as possible if you're interested, since it's apparently seasonal.)

Last but certainly not least, I am intrigued by Sephora's own Makeup Palette To Go ($15, reduced from $50). I harbor secret dreams of becoming a makeup artist (no, YOU shut up), and this only adds fuel to that particular fire. This kit contains eight eyeshadows (a great range of useful colors), four lip glosses (ditto), and one sheer, wearable pink blush. This is the only product on the list that I have not yet tried, but the price, compact size, and wide--yet practical--color variety has secured its position on my personal wish list.

So, what are your favorite fancy beauty steals? I'm dying to know!

Metalia also blogs here.

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