Makeup, Skincare and Beauty Items That Don’t Make Good Gifts and Tips for What You Should Buy Instead

With the holidays right around the corner, you make be asking yourself, “How do I shop for someone who owns more makeup products than I do clothes in the closet?” or “I know she likes skin care, but what does that mean?”

Both popular questions this time of year, the mad dash after Thanksgiving is often a happy time for makeup, beauty and skincare lovers. Your favorite brands and stores are having sales left and right. New items are getting realized every day. Holiday capsule collections are launching faster than Trendmood and Temptalia can keep track.

This time of year is generally a happy time….

….. except if you’re the one stuck buying gift for someone who’s experiencing the ultimate shoppers high from November to December (really January because the holiday sales are insane!).

I decided a few weeks ago I would put together a holiday shopping guide. Then I realized everyone was putting together a shopping holiday guide, which made my idea seem much less original. Instead, I’m going to do you a solid and tell you what you should AVOID this time of year if you know nothing about makeup and skincare as that list is much longer. To put a positive spin on things, I’m also going offer up a few alternatives to help get you and your wallet through the next few weeks.

Please feel free to ask my questions about your situation down in the comments! These are just a few ideas I came up with, but I have a ton of ideas and I’m happy to spend the time helping you do some research!



If they like: perfume

Avoid: full-size bottles of everything

Gift this instead: sample sets!

Unless you’re 100.100% percent sure you know their scent profile, their body chemistry and generally how they like to wake up and smell each morning, full size bottles are the epitome of a bad idea. Ideally you should take the person wearing the scent with you to the store as the any scent has to settle on your skin so it’s entirely possible that a scent either of you loves will actually smell bad on you. Do yourself a favor and pick up a sample set. These sets generally do a good job of curing a variety of scents and you can them in either rollerballs or small bottles with a voucher for a larger container. Give them options and let them pick out what they want to wear.

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Sephora Favorites Perfume Travel Sampler –

Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler –

Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler-

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Sephora Favorites Cologne Sampler –


If they like: manicures

Avoid: nail polish

Gift this: hand lotions

In my household, you aren’t allowed to give giftcards as my father thinks they are lazy gifts, but they do have their time and place. You may think a nail enthusiast would enjoy new nail polish, but this is trap. I religiously paint my nails because I hate getting my nails done. Typically people who enjoy manicures are either bad at painting their own nails, not interested in being bothered to do it or enjoy being pampered. Make sure their hands stay moisturized to keep their skin looking nice and fresh, just like their new mani!

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Groupon is a safe option if you don’t know their local spots

essie® Many Many Mani Intensive Hand Lotion –

L’occitane Lavender Moisturizing Hand Lotion –

The body shop strawberry hand crème –

Byredo Hand Cream Gypsy Water –

Williams Sonoma Hand Lotion, White Gardenia –


If they like: skin care

Avoid: literally everything

Gift this: spa day

You don’t know enough to buy them a d*** thing. Make sure you pick up chocolates to go with their card/ voucher.

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Godiva Milk and Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries –

Harry & David’s Signature Chocolate Truffles Gift Box –



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