Q: I’ve been looking for a new perfume for my mom, but I don’t know what she likes. Where do I start?

A: Instead of a scent she’ll wear, try a few scented candles, which come in an endless number of scents and are great to have around when guests visit during the holidays. Votivo Travel Tin Candles come in a variety of scents, such as Mosaic, a blend of musk, sandalwood and cedar, or as Rush Rose, a fresh, romantic scent.

Q: Are skincare and beauty gifts appropriate for pre-teens and teenage girls, or are they a little young?

A: Many girls in the teen and pre-teen age are already starting to play around with makeup, and would probably be ecstatic to receive a few age-appropriate cosmetic items (as long as Mom is on board, of course!). If she’s not into makeup, try some basic skincare products. She’ll appreciate getting a headstart on skincare and makeup from someone older and more knowledgeable.

Q: All of my friends are on tight budgets this year, so we’ve agreed to go light on Christmas gifts, but we’d still like to get together. What’s a fun alternative to the usual gift exchange?

A: Try a gift swap! While some gift swaps call for gag gifts or re-gifting of unwanted presents, you don’t have to follow the rules. Invite your favorite ladies over for a small gathering and ask them to bring any unused or almost-new skin care or beauty items and wrap them in pretty packaging, and then take turns opening the items and swapping them until everyone ends up with something fun to take home.

by team
Is shopping on a budget putting a damper on your holiday gift-giving fun? This season, rather than lamenting about a less than ideal budget, it’s time to develop smart shopping strategies that help you stretch your dollars – without stressing over every penny. Learn more about how to be creative on a budget for the winter holidays.

Wondering how to afford gifts on a limited budget? Need some tips for choosing thoughtful gifts that don’t come with a hefty price tag? Spending less doesn’t mean getting less if you can learn to be smart about your shopping. In this article, you’ll find a wide array of gift suggestions for everything from bath bubbles to beauty tools, as well as general tips for finding the right gift at the right price, no matter who you’re shopping for.

  1. Fragrances. Whether it’s a perfume, body spray or a bottle of scented lotion, a new scent is always a treat. Picking out a fragrance for someone else can be tricky, so err on the side of a more classic, feminine scent unless you have a good idea of her taste. A lighter formula like a body spray is a great option for women who tend to be choosy about fragrance. Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Body Spritz is a clean, feminine scent with antioxidants that nourish the skin.

  2. Beauty basics. For the practical beauty, she’ll appreciate a staple skincare product or cosmetic item that she’ll use every day. Go with a set of inexpensive items like tweezers and nail care items, or choose one nicer item like a makeup brush – it may be a small gift, but it’s something that will last for years. Try bareMinerals Precision Face Brush - Retractable, an angled foundation brush with high-quality bristles that’s just the right size to toss into a purse or makeup bag.

  3. Bubbles and bath oils. The holidays are the perfect excuse for a little indulgence, and bath salts, bath oils and mineral soaks make simple but luxurious gifts – plus, there are so many scents and formulas to choose from, you’re sure to find something for every taste. If she’s stressed and busy during the holidays, she’ll appreciate AHAVA Muscle Soothing Eucalyptus Mineral Bath Salts to soothe aching muscles and joints and promote restful sleep. Or, to soothe dryness and itchy, irritated skin, try Archipelago Botanicals Milk Oat Bath.

  4. Nail art. Getting a manicure at a salon may be pricey, but nail polishes and at-home manicure kits are easy and affordable gifts, no matter your price range. Give her a set of polishes in festive, seasonal shades, such as the SpaRitual Gold collection, which contains real gold particles for unbeatable glimmer, or Orly Flash Glam FX, an assortment of chunky, prismatic nail polishes. If she prefers the neutral, nude nail, a nail care kit like Tweezerman Nail Rescue Kit makes it easy to maintain healthy nails.

  5. Makeup sets. The holidays are an ideal time to take advantage of the limited-edition makeup collections or all-in-one palettes that are everywhere this season. Not only are these collections a great deal, but they often include products and shades that you can’t find any other time of year. Plus, an all-in-one palette makes it easy to get ready for holiday parties in a hurry – and vary your look for any number of events on your social calendar. Too Faced Glamour to Go Spun Sugar Edition is a festive collection of eye shadows, cheek colors and lip color in shimmering silver and gold hues.

  6. Jet-set beauty products. Travel-sized skincare and cosmetic kits make excellent gifts, and they’re also a fun way to introduce a friend or family member to a new product line. From complete and targeted skincare regimens to decadent beauty splurges, there’s a kit for everyone this holiday season. If you know her skin type, you can choose a set designed with her particular skin concerns in mind, such as The Body Shop Travel or Trial Mini Collection in Seaweed, for oily and combination skin; Vitamin E, for normal skin; or Aloe, for sensitive skin.

  7. Holiday specials. Gift-giving season means the shelves are stocked with winter-themed seasonal goodies that are too fun to pass up. You’ll find delectable, dessert-scented skincare gifts and shimmery makeup shades that are the perfect accent to your holiday party look. Philosophy offers holiday-scented bath and shower gels, lotions and fragrances that are irresistible for celebrating the season. Try a gift set like Philosophy Cheers to Us, which includes Philosophy’s signature 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel and bubble baths in two festive scents: peppermintini vanilla peppermint martini and jingle tini cherry fruit punch.

  8. Face masks. A natural facial peel or mask is another item that makes a superb gift since it’s both pampering and practical. For normal to oily or combination complexions, FarmHouse Fresh Pajama Paste Yogurt Mask is a pore-refining treatment that contains a blend of yogurt, Bentonite clay, wild honey and oats. For dry or aging skin, Avene Soothing Moisture Mask contains softening, soothing thermal spring water to relieve tightness, dryness and irritation.

  9. Treats for lips and hands. Cold, harsh temperatures are drying to the skin, and the lips and hands in particular can end up dry and brittle. Give her a lip balm and mini hand cream she can toss in her purse or desk drawer and apply throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 conditions and soothes with mint, avocado oil, shea butter and green tea, and also provides antioxidant protection. Pair it with Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream, a high-performing moisturizer to lock in hydration all day.

  10. Go with a gift certificate. If you’re stumped on reasonably-priced gifts, you can’t go wrong with a gift certificate. A eGift Certificate $25 is a great excuse to splurge on something out of the ordinary, or save money on a few everyday skincare or beauty items. And with all your beauty knowledge, she’ll probably appreciate any tips and tricks you might have as well!

Shopping on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on gifts, even if you’re shopping for a long list of friends and family members. In fact, sticking to a budget now will make the holiday a lot less stressful and ensure that you put ample time and thought into choosing each gift, no matter how small. These are just a few of the budget-friendly options available, and once you have a few good ideas in mind, the real problem won’t be finding good gifts– it’ll be choosing between so many options!


See also:

Beauty on a Budget Handbook

Budget Beauty Deals for Winter

Budget Skincare for the Whole Family: Product Picks for Mom

Winter 2013 Holiday Beauty: Gift Ideas for Skincare, Hair and Makeup

Holiday Gifts For the Tween Girls on Your List: The Season’s 15 Special Beauty Picks for Preteens


Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Body Spritz Experience full-body scenting that begins with a "base coat." The amazing grace body spritz is a lightly scented spray which provides moisturizing and antioxidant benefits to the skin. "
AHAVA Muscle Soothing Eucalyptus Mineral Bath Salts These skin-energizing Dead Sea salt crystals are 100% natural and packed with healthy minerals. Relaxes muscles and joints skin is left feeling soft, smooth and refreshingly hydrated. Infused with a therapeutic blend of Eucalyptus essentials oils to rejuvenate both body and mind. "
Too Faced Glamour to Go Spun Sugar Edition Too Faced's sweetest on-the-go beauty palette includes a glamorous collection for the eyes, face and lips in festive gold's and shimmering silvers that make it easy to go from daytime holiday shopping to festive New Year's Eve. "
Philosophy Cheers to Us Have a toast with cheers to us! This gift set includes peppermintini vanilla peppermint martini and jingle tini cherry fruit punch shampoo, shower gel & bubble baths. The moisturizing formula provides a rich, foaming lather as it gently cleanses and conditions skin and hair. "
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm Lemon and Chamomile SPF 25 Enriched with superior skin conditioners and antioxidants, this emollient balm soothes and relieves dry, chapped, irritated lips. This balm offers broad-spectrum sun protection with an SPF 25 and also guards against windburn and temperature extremes. "

"The information provided on is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical question or concern regarding any news item or article on this news magazine, please consult your physician..."