By this time of the season, you fit into one of two categories: you’re all done with holiday shopping or you waited too long and now it’s down to the wire.
If you’re in the latter, I’m here to help.
I’ve done this, too, and had to get creative more times than I can count, so let me help you. These are some last-minute beauty and grooming gifts you can get for anyone on your list.
Some of them are on the pricier side, but the majority can be found at the drugstore and take less than 15 minutes to put together. So don’t spend another minute worrying — I’ve got you covered.
Skin care stocking stuffers
The universal truth of personal care is that nobody wants bad skin.
Dry hands and chapped lips aren’t cute, and a thick hand cream and rich lip balm will never go to waste. I’m not talking a package of Chapstick and a tube Eucerin but the fancier lip balms and hand creams you’ll find. You can pretty much find these anywhere from the drugstore to a retailer such as Bath and Body Works or an overstock store like Marshall’s.
For those more into caring for their skin, single-use face masks are a great option. Drugstores as well as Walmart and Sally Beauty, and even prestige stores such as Sephora and Ulta, all carry different types of sheet masks or single-use masks for any budget. The more affordable brands’ masks retail for anywhere from $3 to $5 per packet (like these Peach Slices masks), while the pricier ones can cost up to $12 for a single mask. You can’t go wrong with a mask that’s made for hydrating, soothing, calming and brightening. (Avoid anything made to clarify and tighten, as these can be drying.)
You also can mix and match all three products to create the perfect set.
Gift certificates to local salons
Whether it’s for a standing appointment or a chance to pamper someone, a gift certificate to a regional salon or spa is a great idea.
Choose from traditional options such as hair, manicures and pedicures or gift an experience like a massage, facial, treatment and more.Personally, I love when I get a gift certificate I can use toward my hair appointment since it’s something I know I will actually use. On the flip side, if you know someone who would love a pedicure but can’t find the time, gifting it to them is a thoughtful way to help them care for themselves. (You also can schedule appointments for the two of you at the same time so they have a reason to go.) For him, you could grab a gift card from a local barbershop.
Pop into any brick-and-mortar and grab one, but if you’re cutting it super close, lots of salons and spas also offer digital gift cards that can be emailed directly to the recipient.
Stuffed beauty bag
One of my favorite quick and easy gift ideas is to fill a makeup bag with mini products.
Most drugstores — as well as stores such as Walmart, Target, Sephora and Ulta — all sell cosmetic bags of all sizes. Most of these stores also carry travel-sized items as well.
Grab a cosmetic bag in the size of your choice and choose all kinds of products to fill it. Make it all one theme, such as nail items (nail polish, nail file, clippers, cuticle oil, etc.) or lip products (lipstick, lip balm, lip mask and lip scrub) or mix and match by throwing in some hair products (dry shampoo, hairspray, hair mask packets), some makeup (lipsticks, single eyeshadows and mini mascaras) and skin care (makeup wipes, a small face mist, travel-sized moisturizer).
The sky’s the limit on combinations of beauty products you can create. Grab a bag and get started — this will be the most fun you’ve ever had holiday shopping.
One luxury item
You can’t go wrong with one high-quality product with gorgeous packaging.
On the home side, a high-quality candle never disappoints, and neither does a luxury hand wash or cream. For true beauty lovers, a fine fragrance makes for a great gift, as does a prestige lipstick.
Check department stores or local specialty boutiques to find these special gifts. I know for a fact Lavish Body & Home, 600 Linden St., Scranton, carries the verrrrrrry bougie, verrrrry spectacular candles by Nest Fragrances. Other local business Alchemy Home Co. makes handmade, small-batch skin care and fragrances, and will be at pop-up shop, the Little Mercantile, 540 Spruce St., weekends in December.
These items will be on the more expensive side, but they’re worth every penny.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT