Skin & Tonics : Skincare Guides & Product Reviews

Skincare guides & product reviews for hydration lovers & the moisture barrier obsessed

Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Luxury Makeup & Skincare Gifts for $100 or Less

This is the final installment of my S&T Holiday Gift Guide series, and includes some more expensive gift options. This is what I consider to be the “luxury” price point when it comes to gift giving. If I were loaded, I would certainly be giving everyone expensive gifts – maybe even some cars and bags of conflict-free diamonds – but since I’m not yet a millionaire, the items on this list are the sort of thing I reserve for only a couple of my closest friends. Of course, this list doesn’t include anything I actually got for my closest friends. They all read this blog, and I can’t be posting spoilers, you know?

Anyway, onward with today’s guide, which is comprised of luxury, beauty-themed gifts priced at $100 or less:

1. Sephora Fragrance Sampler for Her ($65)

It’s tricky buying perfume for someone else, but it’s also an excellent gift – fragrance is a luxurious item that a lot of people want, but don’t feel justified buying for themselves. The Sephora Fragrance Sampler for Her is a genius idea that removes all the potential problems of gifting a perfume. It’s a box filled with 14 samples of mid to high-fragrances, and a certificate that can be redeemed for one full size (1.7 oz.) bottle of perfume.

1.	Sephora Fragrance Sampler for Her ($65)

The samples included are Florabotanica by Balenciaga, Chloé by Chloé, Happy by Clinique, Love by Coach, Ligh Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, Very Irrésistable by Givenchy, Guilty by Gucci, Butterfly by Hanae Mori, Couture La La by Juicy Couture, La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, Daisy by Marc Jacobs, For Her by Narcisco Rodriguez, Florence by Tocca, and Bright Crystal by Versace.

I love that it allows for experimentation and personalization on the recipient’s own terms, but the most appealing thing about this set is that it’s actually a significantly less expensive way to purchase a full size bottle of these perfumes. A 1.7 oz. bottle of Chloé, for example, would set you back $95 if you bought it on its own, and Florabotanica would be $100.

This set is available on for $65.


2. BareMinerals Degrees of Dazzling 20-Piece Eyeshadow Collection ($72)

BareMinerals Degrees of Dazzling Collection features 20 full size eyeshadows in a wide range of shades and four finishes, including mattes, pearls, glitters, and even some liners. This is just an all around gorgeous set at a great price.

BareMinerals Degrees of Dazzling 20-Piece Eyeshadow Collection



BareMinerals Degrees of Dazzling 20-Piece Eyeshadow Collection

I’ve seen this set at all the major department stores for $79, but is selling it at a special price right now – $72. QVC also offers the option to break up the cost into 4 Easy Pays.


3. Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 ($59)

I bought this set for myself and loved it so much that I immediately bought one for my sister, who now also loves it. My best friend also bought an Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 for her sister, pointing out that eyeliner sets make amazing gifts for makeup lovers because no matter what style of makeup that person is into at the moment, there’s always a way to work a pop of colored eyeliner into a look. Plus, it’s Urban Decay, and much like MAC, at least 99% of the makeup wearing population is going to be pumped about getting an Urban Decay product.

Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2

The Ocho Loco 2 set is available at for $59.


4. Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Special Set II ($71)

Give your skin-care-obsessed best friend the gift of snail slime. No, really, do it. This Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Set includes a full size booster treatment, moisturizing emulsion, and cream as well as a travel size counterpart for each product. This particular set was my very first foray into snail-based skincare, and because of it, I went from being extremely skeeved out by the idea snails on my face to a balls-out slime convert in a matter of days.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Special Set II
This set normally retails for $118, but during Missha’s Holiday Sale (happening right now), it’s 40% off. Now through December 25th, the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Special Set II is $71.


5. Chantecaille The Wild Horse Palette ($83)

When it comes to makeup, there’s a certain price point I just can’t bring myself to indulge in for myself, but would still feel good about buying for someone else who would love it as much as I would. This Chantecaille Wild Horse Eyeshadow Palette is a perfect example – can I just tell you how much I’ve been salivating over this since I discovered it? I would love to be able to get this quad for someone who loves high-end eyeshadow as much I do, especially if I knew that they, like myself, would never allow themselves to spend this kind of money on it.


The Chantecaille The Wild Horse Palette is available at Bloomingdale’s for $83.


6. Hakuhodo S5555 Powder & Liquid Angled Foundation Brush ($88) 

In case you’re new to Hakuhodo, they’re a Japanese artisan makeup brush company. Their products are basically the Ferraris of the makeup brush world. I have collected a few of them over the past year, and though I love them all, this Powder & Liquid Angled Foundation Brush is the one I reach for the most (though mine is the slightly less expensive version with a plain, black handle). It’s the perfect weight and size, the hair is ridiculously soft, and it spreads my cream and liquid foundations into an airbrushed finish in less than a minute. Also, I feel rich when I use it.

Hakuhodo S5555 Powder & Foundation Angled Brush

This brush is available on the Hakuhodo US website for $88.


7. Perricone MD “The Power Treatments” Kit ($98)

I love the performance of Perricone MD products, but they’re too expensive for me to use on a sustainable level. This set, in particular, features slightly smaller versions of some of Perricone’s most powerful (expensive) products, including the Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum that is, to date, the best eye serum I’ve ever used in my life. My eyelids are slightly uneven, so one of them is constantly just a little bit lower than they other, but the Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum in this kit actually lifted it throughout the duration of my usage. I’ve also used and really liked the Vitamin C Ester 15, and the Cold Plasma.

Perricone MD “The Power Treatments” Kit

This set is valued at $228, but it retails for a mere $98 at


8. Guerlain Limited Edition Crazy Paris Meteorites Radiance Compact ($69)

If you’ve got a Guerlain Meteorites fan in your life, this compact from the limited edition Crazy Paris collection will blow her mind. Like the original pearl Meteorites, the effect is designed to be subtle, yet perfecting. I treated myself to this compact as soon as it was released, and love the radiance I get from it. It’s not over the top, but I do get a lot of skin and/or makeup compliments when I wear it. Plus, it’s got that signature violet Guerlain scent, which I adore.

Guerlain Limited Edition Crazy Paris Meteorites Radiance Compact

This limited edition compact has already sold out at Nordstrom, but you can still pick it up on the Neiman Marcus website for $69.


9. Clarisonic Mia First ($99)

Unless your mom/best friend/sister already has one, there is just no way they aren’t going to be excited about receiving a Clarisonic. The Clarisonic Mia First is actually a newly released, limited edition model that’s specially priced at $99. It comes with a sensitive brush head as opposed to the original brush head. This is a big plus, since I actually find the original brush head to be too harsh, and much prefer the sensitive brushes (extra sensitive when I can find them).

Clarisonic Mia First

I fully expect this limited edition version to sell out by Christmas, so pick it up from or Neiman Marcus while you can!


10. Urban Decay Naked3 Palette ($52)

The Naked3 doesn’t even really need an introduction, but I’ll do one anyway: it’s brand new, possibly the most anticipated palette of the year, and the rose-toned and violet shades are flattering on just about any skin tone. It’s also sold out right at the moment (it sold out on the day it was released), but will be back in stock on Urban very soon, and available at Sephora on December 12 (that’s what I hear, anyway – I wager we’ll see it pop up on the Sephora website even sooner).

UPDATE 12/2/2013: Naked3 is back in stock on! Hooray!

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette


Will you be picking any of these up for a friend (or yourself)? Any amazing $100 beauty gifts I overlooked?


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5 comments onHoliday Gift Guide: 10 Luxury Makeup & Skincare Gifts for $100 or Less

  1. The Wild Horse palette is beautiful, so beautiful that I would be scared to use it. 😛

  2. That Urban Decay Naked3… :'( Would’ve been all over it if there was a Sephora in Australia.

  3. Although, the BareMinerals Eyeshadow set is a more practical buy, the Wild Horse palette is undeniably gorgeous!