Holiday 2014 Shopping Ideas
I decided to do this one earlier this year since last year I was so late in posting that it became a last-minute guide here. With all the F&F sales and upcoming Black Friday/Cyber Monday events, I thought I’d post on some of these before they go out of stock. Now, this is what I personally would think be good gifts because I either like them and would love getting them (or I *cough* got them already) or I think that it would be a suitable gift for the holiday season. A lot of them are beauty related (no surprise there!) but there are a few that spill into various other categories. I’ll be keeping items of the same brand together for ease.
1) Tarte Bon Voyage Collector’s Set And Travel Bag – $59 at Sephora
If there is one holiday set I would want in the beauty department, this would be it. This limited edition, Sephora-exclusive set valued at $423 houses a beautiful palette of their famous Amazonian clay eye shadows along with some other beauty products. I’ve always been a sucker for palettes and the design and color of the entire set just caught my attention big time. I loved their set from last year, but the bag is even better this year. Last year’s bag struck me as polished and something I would take with me on any a business trip or something. It opens up to hang somewhere conveniently. This year’s bag is structured better for what I need. I like cases like this where it has a little bit more shape to it and such. And the print…..simply love! I was disappointed that this set didn’t come with at least one of their famous Amazonian clay blushes, but it’s a win other than that for me really. I received this set a few days ago in the mail since I purchased it online from Sephora during their F&F event and it did not disappoint.
2) Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set – $48 at ULTA
This is limited edition and available only at ULTA. I got the 20% off everything coupon this time around and I didn’t hesitate in taking the plunge with this set. I hemmed and hawed last year on this and missed out on it. I didn’t regret it a whole lot, but I definitely wished that it was still available after the holidays on sale. No luck there! So instead of this happening again, I went ahead and got it since I have other things I wanted to get from ULTA already. The shades seem to be more on the neutral side for me, but I need some neutral stuff. And the packaging is simply too pretty for words! Tarte hit it out of the park with their offerings everywhere for this holiday season it seems. I also didn’t hesitate in getting this set as I have last year due to the fact the set from Sephora didn’t have any Amazonian clay blushes and this set does. I should be getting this in today when I get home. Downside in ordering at ULTA online is they ship slower than Sephora for me. I was at my local ULTA store last weekend and they were already out of many of the holiday sets and kits. I would call before going or just order it online.
3) Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette – $42 at Sephora
I got this one on a whim. It was more of an impulse buy that’s valued at $110. I missed out on last year’s set because I kind of liked the Amazonian clay blushes in their own separate containers and this one houses several in one. But it’s such a good deal to pass up and most of the reviews I read are really, really good. Like really good. This would be a nice prettily packaged gift for a blush lover. I’m pretty sure this another Sephora-exclusive item.
4) Tarte Chic To Cheek Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set – $35 at Tarte
I’m pretty sure this was offered at least online at ULTA, but I don’t see it there anymore and can only find it at Tarte’s website here as of this exact moment. I wish I paid more attention to this one when I placed my ULTA order last week. I would’ve picked this up in a heartbeat, but I was just so focused on checking out with the Away Oui Go set that I didn’t even bother looking at the other Tarte holiday items on the website. For blush lovers, this set is another good deal! But at least I did end up with some of the Amazonian clay blushes from the Sephora-exclusive blush palette and in the other ULTA-exclusive set itself.
5) Too Faced Everything Nice Set – $56 at Sephora
This set is valued at $450, making this one of the best buys in terms of holiday palettes really. With that said, this is the item that was just not meant to be for me. If the bag didn’t look that cute (I like glittery things) then I wouldn’t have even considered getting it until it goes on sale after the holiday season. With that said, I did want to get it but when I got the Sephora F&F code this item was out of stock. I chalked it up as it wasn’t meant to be. My local Sephora in JCPenney did carry it, so I figured maybe by a long shot it will be around until another sale or something (I know, wishful thinking). I got another Sephora F&F code a few days later and figured I’d check to see if there’s something else I want. This palette was still out of stock and I ended up ordering more Tarte items that I was afraid would be gone soon. On the last day the Sephora F&F code was good for, it came back in stock. Someone tried to provide me a last-minute Sephora F&F code but it wouldn’t let me use it saying that the code has already been redeemed. I took this as a sign that this is just not meant to be. It’s still in stock right now and it’s a gorgeous palette in my opinion. While the Tarte ones are more on the neutral side to me, these are brighter with more color. This palette looks flatter than last year’s and that’s the other thing that appealed to me. If you’re looking to get this for someone, I’d say grab it ASAP as it could go out of stock again pretty soon and this is a limited edition palette.
6) Freeman Beauty Mystery Bag – $30 at Freeman
If you hurry, there’s still time to snag this deal. It isn’t as good as last year’s deal for sure since you get up to $100 worth of stuff for $30 instead of up to $90 for $20, but what you get still makes a great gift as a whole or broken up into smaller groups for stocking stuffers or what not. I won’t go over this more since I already blogged about it here. You can just enter the keywords “mystery bag” in their search and it pops up. But grab it while you can because this is only good until end of today I believe!
7) Annual ipsy Subscription – $110 at ipsy
This might be a little tricky to do but it would be a neat gift. You can get a beauty product lover a yearly subscription to ipsy (or another beauty subscription program but I only have it with ipsy so that’s what I can only recommend). I love my ipsy subscription. I’m in my second year subscription currently and the last few bags have been better than ever for me. You’ll have to take a quiz for a profile to be built up so they have an idea how to craft your bags so to speak. It would be a neat idea but keep in mind there is a wait for subscriptions (not sure if it’s just for the monthly one or both monthly and yearly) so I’m not sure how it’ll pan out as a gift. Rain check? If it didn’t have any form of waiting period, it gets high marks from me as a gift for sure. To get a glimpse of what I get each month, check my posts here.
8) Philosophy Holiday Spice Rack Trio – $27 at Philosophy and various retailers
Philosophy has been very good every year in churning out holiday sets and this year is no exception. Starting off with their Holiday Spice Rack Trio, this is the perfect holiday gift for someone that loves holiday spice scents in their bath products. This set includes 6 oz bottles of Cinnamon Stick, Creamy Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Nutmeg shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath. The packaging is quite cute as well.
9) Philosophy Making Spirits Bright – $23 at Philosophy and various retailers
Continuing on with the Philosophy train, this set is sure to delight with 8 oz bottles of Holiday Lights Aglow and Twinkle Berry shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath. The colors are very festive and the packaging is good enough that all you need is stick on a bow with a note or gift tag.
10) Philosophy Iced Gingerbread Cookie Duo – $27 at Philosophy and various retailers
This is one kit from Philosophy that I’m very curious about in terms of scent. I usually love their scents but there has been a few that were misses for me. I was hoping for something like hot chocolate with this kit, but this comes close to what I’m looking for. This sweet kit includes 8 oz bottles of Spiced Gingerbread Cookie shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath and Sugary Cinnamon Icing body lotion. YUM! It’s a sweet treat for whoever the lucky recipient of this is!
11) Philosophy Holiday Handbook – $20 at Philosophy and various retailers
I noticed a lot of other brands having hand kits for the holidays and while I’m not sure if Philosophy has made one before…they do have one this year. This kit includes 1 oz tubes of Peppermint Stick, Fresh Cream and Cranberry Medley. The formula is supposed to be ultra-rich as it’s formulated with multiple butters and such. You can gift this as a whole or break it up for stocking stuffers! It’s the perfect gift too as winter can be very harsh on our skin, hands included.
12) Philosophy Hands Of Hope Ornament – $10 at Philosophy and various retailers
This item is something very cute as a gift and doubles up as a tree ornament. It’s their hand and cuticle cream in a 1 oz tube packaged ready to go right on your tree! Convenient and love the dual purpose of this item. One less ornament to get?
13) Philosophy Have A Cherry Christmas Ornament – $7 at Philosophy and various retailers
Same concept as the previous item mentioned but a different product. Prettily packaged to go right on your tree, this festive scent of 2 oz shower gel will be sure to bring a smile to someone’s face. It’s very cute and there are other items available in the ornament style packaging instead of just the 2 mentioned here.
14) L.L.Bean Women’s Wicked Good® Slippers – $79 at L.L.Bean
I own this and this is one of my favorite gift item received to date. It is super soft, warm and comfy. My husband actually has a pair and I loved it so much that he would see me trudging around the house in his pair (since it’s a much bigger size). He thought I should have my own pair so he bought me a pair. I’ll be slipping into them starting tonight since Halloween is usually when the cold weather starts with a vengeance here in OK.
15) Scarves – $?? at various retailers
Doesn’t matter where you get it from or how much it cost as long as the quality is pretty good, scarves is a good gift item in my opinion. It will be well-used in the winter season so it’s actually a very useful gift. They come in various colors, materials, shapes and price range so there is room for putting thought into it as a gift really. I know that Ann Taylor has some that are stylish and made from different materials. Coach makes some too, but I usually only get those as a gift or at the outlets (I can’t bring myself to pay for one full-price still!). Compare and see what will work and if they’re not a scarf person then maybe the next item on the list is more up their alley. Shown above are some of my Coach scarves. All of them are from past seasons and no longer available, but this will give you an idea what they look like somewhat. I do use some of them but I usually save them for special occasions due to the nature of the fabric. I have lots of other scarves that I just throw on and use everyday, but they’re not made of silk like my Coach scarves are.
16) Gloves/Mittens – $?? at various retailers
Gloves or mittens is another winter wardrobe staple. If you live in an area where winter is cold and could be harsh — this item is a must. There are many type of gloves out there but I do have a preference on what kind I have to have for certain reasons. I love wool and cotton gloves. They do keep my hands warm pretty good, but when there is ANY chance moisture comes into play….leather (or an even better water repelling material) is king for me. I only have one pair of leather gloves, but it has held up well and kept moisture at bag where my wool and cotton gloves failed miserably. The cotton is the worst when it comes to that of course. It just sucks up moisture and my hands are cold. The leather provides more protection. My hands will start to feel cold still but it stays dry. Now for longer periods of time, the leather will of course not hold up to the constant moisture still. I’m actually researching on gloves made of other types of material for this purpose. There are times when I have to unexpectedly battle the elements outside and use my hands a lot. I’d like to keep them warm and dry as long and as much as possible.
17) Charms/Keyfobs – $?? at various retailers
Another cute gift idea are charms or keyfobs. The ones I have are all mostly from Coach that I got as either gifts or from the outlets. These make neat little cute gifts for girls of all ages really. There is some room for making it a more personal gift depending on the charm or keyfob design and such. Shown above are only some of the charms and keyfobs I own. All of these are from past seasons, so the selection is different from what’s available now. This is just to give you guys an idea what they’ve made in the past. I try to pair them with some of the bags I own.
18) Candles – $?? at various retailers
I am picky when it comes to candle scents, but not overly picky as some. Still, take note of this when you’re thinking of giving candles as gifts. Just think of what they may or may not like. If all else fails, it’s the thought that counts. I know my neighbor friend loves candles that smell like baked stuff. I personally like some of those too like butter cookies or cake. I know my Didi doesn’t. In fact, she doesn’t like anything that smells like food in bath and body products as well. But holiday scents is a forgivable thing I would think for a recipient that just so happens to dislike such scents. It’s a seasonal scent and it’s something a lot of people would pick up so in case you did for someone that just doesn’t like it….I think they’ll live. Good deals can be found sometimes at Bath & Body Works or Yankee Candle just to name a few. There are a lot of seasonal candle scents at Bath & Body Works and the labels on them are so darn cute! Something simple like this would also make a good hostess gift during the holiday season.
19) Perfumes – $?? at various retailers
Now, the same thing I said to the item before this applies with the big disclaimer that this is more, more personal than that and that there may be some seasonal perfumes out there but I honestly wouldn’t recommend you giving someone that. Home scents are one thing but personal scent is a whole different category. A lot of people may tolerate a scent they just find borderline okay at home but not on themselves. It’s close quarters compared to scents for the home. This is your body! So unless you know they will love or probably love the scent, my suggestion is to steer clear in this category. It’s a lovely gift item but only if it’s a scent she loves. See what she uses and if she’s running low on that. Or if there is another scent you are pretty sure it’s similar that she would like….I say go for it. Use common sense and your judgment on this.
20) Gift cards/certificates – $?? at various retailers
A lot of people will disagree with me and a lot of people will agree with me as well on this. Gift cards/certificates make great gifts. In my case, it is especially true for a person who tends to shop and stock up on sales and clearances like me. I would rather get a gift card to a place I like and get things that go on sale right after Christmas or the holiday season. I get more bang for the buck. If there’s something I really want that can’t wait, I would’ve gotten it as soon as I can. If I didn’t get it, then if it’s no longer available come day after Christmas or the holiday season then oh well. I can get what I want with it instead of possibly something I may like or not like at all. It’s a win-win for everyone (except for those that dislike giving gift cards/certificates cause they think it’s impersonal). My personal picks are ULTA, Victoria’s Secret, Target and Sephora.
Again, disclaimer here is that these are some of the things I think would make great gifts for the holiday season but it certainly doesn’t mean that everyone will agree. You know the recipient more than I do, so use your judgment on what will work best for them as a gift.
*All images used are either author’s or taken from the retailers mentioned.*