As a beauty blogger, it can get a little expensive keeping up with the latest beauty products and trends particularly given my love for high end products such as M.A.C and NARS.
I have had requests from my readers to write about budget friendly products (yes, I hear ya sistas!) and what better time to try out and source budget lines approaching the holiday season when we are gifting for our girlfriends, colleagues and family. I want to spread the beauty love among my ladies but my budget doesn’t stretch to buy nine (9) M.A.C lipsticks or NARS blushes at USD $14 /AUD $34 each and USD $27 /AUD $49 respectively.
Without any further ado my fancye followers, let me give you some inexpensive beauty gift ideas for this holiday season!
1. Eyes, Lips, Face (E.L.F Cosmetics)
Chances are you have heard of this brand , I didn’t pay it any mind until very recently. E.L.F is available for purchase in retail stores and online globally. YouTube features a multitude of reviews on E.L.F products.
The first thing I noticed while browsing the Eyes, Lips, Face.com is the ridiculously cheap prices. The website offers the following explanation:
” Here at e.l.f. we believe that every woman should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, without sacrificing her budget. We rely on our loyal customers to spread the word about our products and are able to pass that what we save on advertising along to you.”
E.L.F has three main lines:
- Essential Line (basic) where everything costs $1.oo;
- Studio Line (higher end) where everything costs $3.00 (except for certain tools and sets);
- Mineral Line (higher end) where everything costs $3.00 (except for certain tools and sets).
For those who are starting out in makeup or don’t have the disposable income to invest in M.A.C brushes I would highly recommend you look at E.L.F and the number 2 company on my list to buy a brush set, or key individual brushes.
At $1.00 and $3.00 each you cannot go wrong. From the reviews I have read, there are some very close dupes to M.A.C brushes, the quality is great and you cannot beat the price point.
High End Dupes
There are products that are very close dupes to M.A.C and NARS cosmetics one of which I have featured below, the E.L.F Contouring Blush Bronzing Powder. I own the NARS Orgasm and Laguna Duo and it really is a beautiful product which universally flatters many skin tones, however it did not come at $3.00. Now I am not saying that the E.L.F dupe is going to have the high quality characteristics of the NARS but if you have never owned the NARS duo you/or your gift recipient wouldn’t know the difference and I honestly don’t think someone is going to call your giftee out on the street, “HEY!! That’s not NARS that’s E.L.F on your face!”
Another great thing about E.L.F is that they ALWAYS have coupons which dramatically reduces the price of your cart (from the already cheap price.) I used a coupon which reduces all items in the Studio Line by 50% meaning I was paying a ridonkulous $1.50 for most of the items in my cart. Just to give you an idea of how many products you can get for the reduced price with a coupon, I paid $65.95 for a total of thirty-eight (38) products.
This is perfect if you want to buy a multitude of products to gift as an eye kit/look, ie. eye primer, blending brush, shadow, eyelash liquid liner, curler.
You can access E.L.F coupons at RetailMeNot.
In the USA you can get shipping for as little as $6.95 unfortunately for my local sistas, they do not deliver to Australia directly (or internationally) from the US website so you will have to use a shipping forwarding company to facilitate this. You will need to weigh up whether the shipping prices will exceed the cost of the goods. A company I have used in the past for delivery in Australia is PriceUSA, however on this occasion I used ShipItTo because the shipping prices were significantly less. I will let you know in a future post how I found Ship It To. It costs $8.95 to set up one individual transaction, you get a US address, check out with that address as your billing and shipping address, then they send the package over to you with the shipping carrier you prefer. They also consolidate packages for a small fee to save on shipping cost.
E.L.F cosmetics are a great budget and value option for gifting makeup for the girls and women in your life.
Check out Shlinda1’s YouTube video below on E.L.F brushes, blushes and eyebrow kit.
Visit http://www.eyeslipsface.com for budget beauty gifts this Christmas.
2. Coastal Scents
I first heard about Coastal Scents on YouTube, specifically regarding their inexpensive eyeshadow palettes. Coastal Scents is a budget friendly cosmetic brand which features a multitude of palettes, tools, cosmetics, containers, mixing mediums and body products.
Customized Cosmetics (go that little bit extra)
The great thing about CS is that their range allows you to custom make your own products. For example, their huge range of pigments allows you to create your own unique nail polish colour (a great one off customised gift!) by adding them to clear lacquer. Pigments are a highly concentrated loose colour powder which can be used to create a subtle wash of colour or intense effect.
There is fantastic value in their pigments which you can get in three finishes. Those who are fans of high end pigments such as:
- M.A.C (which contains 0.15oz USD $20.00 and AUD $39.00);
- Illamasqua (which contains 0.04 oz USD $24.00 and AUD $39.00)
for use as eyeshadow, lip colour and highlight will love receiving their pigments as a gift, and at the staggeringly low price of $4.00 for a full 1oz. of product (I picked up 5 bottles of pigment at a ridonkulous 50% off storewide for Cyber Monday for $2.00 each). The 1oz. of pigment comes in a large 4oz. jar.
To gift the pigments, you need to contain them somehow, so why not purchase a bunch of jars with sifters? They are available for purchase at Coastal Scentsin the following sizes:
- 5 grams;
- 10 grams;
- 20 grams;
- 30 grams.
They can be bought individually or in value packs of 25, 50, 100 and 500 in varying prices. I picked up 25 jars of the 10 gram jars with sifters for $7.25 ($14.50 regularly). The great thing about having jars with sifters is that the product doesn’t come out in a puff of smoke when you open it and worse yet spill out, the product is dispensed with much more control allowing minimal product to pass through the sifter to tap your brush into.
Check out Dezi1016’s YouTube video below on how to create a custom lipgloss with Coastal Scents pigments.
As per E.L.F Cosmetics, Coastal Scents brushes are dirt cheap and great quality for the price. They aptly fulfil the functions of higher end brushes and are fabulous gifts for the ladies in your life.
I purchased two must have brushes from CS for each of my sistas this Christmas, the Pro Blending Fluff Brush ($1.98 on sale and $3.95 regularly) and the Destiny Precision Eye Liner Brush ($1.10 on sale and $2.19 regularly).
The Pro Blending Fluff Brush (E250) rivals the look, feel and function of the famous #217 M.A.C brush for shading or blending of colour or creamy products.
I own both the E250 and the #217 (USD $22.50 and AUD $37.00) and in all honesty the only differences I can tell aesthetically is that one handle is longer, and the #217 brush hairs are denser. If your gift recipient doesn’t own a #217 then they will be none the wiser, and even if they do they will understand why a fluff blending brush is so necessary to have multiples of.
The Destiny Precision Eye Liner Brush makes for applying gel or liquid eyeliner fail proof with it’s bent design allowing you to control application in smaller strokes, steadier and sharper.
If you aren’t sure of what brushes your gift recipient owns, why not pick up a brush set? You can grab a brush set from Coastal Scents ranging from $9.95 to $34.95.
Hurray! Coastal Scents ships internationally!
I thought the shipping was very reasonable and exceptionally fast from Coastal Scents in fact the fastest I have ever experienced from a beauty company ever.
I placed an order on Tuesday and received it on my doorstop in Australia Friday via FedEx Express and paid almost $30 for over $100 worth of products (reduced to $57.70 with Cyber Monday sale).
From reviews of beauty bloggers in the US they have also praised Coastal Scents on the speedy domestic shipping, the company uses both USPS and FedEx allowing you to choose your carrier.
Visit http://www.coastalscents.com for customized, budget beauty gifts this Christmas.
3. Sigma Beauty
Sigma is best known on YouTube for it’s affordable yet premium quality brushes, you can buy single brushes or entire brush kits. Their travel brush kits would make a perfect gift for someone who travels frequently. For the vegan sistas Sigma have recently released a Bunny Collection in a full size or in a travel size. I have read great reviews about how soft and blendable Sigma brushes are to use.
Check out a YouTube video by BeautyByJJ (Jennie Jenkins) on a review of Sigma Brushes.
4. M.A.C Holiday Collection
Another idea to share the M.A.C love WITHOUT breaking the bank is to pick up one of the Holiday Collection sets they always release at Christmas and dividing up the kits and gifting individual items from the kits. They have face kits, brush kits, eye, lip and nail kits.
For example, the Dazzlesphere! Lip kits consist of four (4) Dazzleglasses and Cremesheens (two of each) and retails for USD $32.50 and AUD $65.00, and if you gift one or two glosses per friend (particularly at US prices) you will have spread your money across two (2) to four (4) friends rather than one.
They also have eye pigment and nail polish mini kits which also have four (4) products and retail at:
- Eye Kit – USD $32.50 / AUD $65.00
- Nailpolish Kit – USD $25.50 / AUD $65.00
Visit http://www.maccosmetics.com to buy M.A.C. Holiday Kits for Christmas.
I hope this post has given you some beauty gift ideas which can save you $$$ this holiday season.
What budget beauty Christmas gift ideas do you have?