Playing “Santa” last Minute? Best Beauty Gifts To Get Nearby!

Christmas Eve is not the best time to shop for those last minute holiday gifts, but sometimes, it’s the only time you’ve got. If you are this pressed for time and it’s down to the wire, you can still get plenty of lovely, welcome gift ideas at your local drug, supermarket and mass market retailers. In fact, you might be surprised at how many covetable goodies are still get-able (is that a word?) even as late as Christmas Eve.

Every now and then you’ll find a clever little gadget, tool or gift that is almost priceless, but it is inexpensive. Here are some that are great, at any price (but you won’t go into hock to buy them and give them):

Essence of Beauty is a CVS branded line of beauty products and there are makeup brushes and lots of other products that made traditionally welcome gifts. But I can’t think of a more useful and clever one than the Essence of Beauty 6-in-1 Manicure Multitool that is under $6.00. It is a beauty “Swiss Army Knife” great for women, but also for men. the all-in-one folds into a sleek, file-shape and fans to (like a Swiss Army Kife) to reveal a nail file, two-sided nail buffer, cuticle pusher, two-sided cleaning stick, nail brush and nail clippers.It is a perfect travel tool, especially these days when weight and space on airplanes is at a premium.  The innovative product also has a silicone, non-slip grip that is gentle on the fingers.  Visit your favorite CVS drug store, or check it out on the CVS web site.

UnOh! It’s Christmas eve. You’re out of money and time, but you still need a litle gift for a niece and you’ve forgotten a cousin you know will be at the family Christmas party tomorrow. No worries, because there is still time to make it to a Walmart where for under $1.98 each you can create a colorful feast of festive Pure Ice nail polishes from the limited edition, Runway Collection. Pure Ice Nail polishes come in a dizzying array of colors and finishes. For example, the Velour Finish collection has 11 metallic-y colors that dry to feel like brushed metal so theyre glitzy, but not gaudy. “Femme Fatale” is a forest green that is very elegant, but trendy. “Crushed” is a gold that looks more modern, in a soft, brushed finish. Want more glitz? The Diamond Couture collection offers 11 single-coat, shimmery polishes. For a more edgy collection, try the 11 colors of French Trend. For example, MouliNice n is a maroon red that is goign to be her go-to for New Years Eve and throughout the rest of the Winter. There are also 11-color collections called Metro Chic (with a reflective, mirroed metallic finish), and Party Girl (color with glitter). Nice to know that even though these are super cheap, they also don’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP. Package a bunch of different polishes up with a nail polish remover and a pretty file, and your recipient will think you love her a whole lot (not that you almost forgot to get her a gift)!


Did you know that COTY  is a global beauty products manufacturer founded in Paris, France in 1904?  The main products they offer are fragrances, color cosmetics and skin & body care products.  Coty is known for working with designers and celebrities to create their fragrances, and even as late as Christmas Eve, department stores are where you’ll find higher end gift sets including Beyonce Midnight Heat gift set ($59.00), and the new and exciting Lady Gaga Fame  for Women and Guess Seductive Homme for men.  But your local drugstore and mass market retailers also carry Coty fragrances and gift sets at very attractive prices. For example, This nicely boxed Playboy Play It Lovely Gift Set for women is just $21.99 (a $16.00 value)  includes an adorable, 1 fl. oz. bottle (with black bunny ears and boy tie as a topper)  of Play It Lovely Eau de Toilette  and a cute bonus:  16 hot pink nail polish strips featuring the iconic playboy bunny.  If you’re really on a tight budget, the latest Playboy fragrance VIP can be purchased in a 1.7 fl. oz. bottle, nicely boxed, for just $10.99.  The Adidas Deep Energy Gift Set for Men ($15.99) developed with athletes, is a super buy, including a good looking black canvas travel bag with bright orange zipper, into which are nestled a clean and energizingly-scented  1.7 fl. oz. Eau de Toilette;  3.4 Oz. Shower Gel;  and a 2 oz. deodorant stick. Great for men of all ages.  Other easy to find, last-minute gift set choices include Adidas for Women Fruity Rhythm with an 8.4 fl. oz. shower gel and 2.5 fl. oz. body mist for just $10.99; the best selling Celine Dion fragrances in a 4-Piece Coffret with .375 fl. oz. bottles of  Eau de Toilette in Celine Dion Pure Brilliance, Signature, Sensational and Celine Dion Parfum (a floral fusion including notes of  water lily, orange blossom and Tiare flower, merged with amber, musk and blonde woods.), all  for just $15.99;  Jovan Musk 2-Piece Gift Set for $10.99 featuring a 1 fl. oz cologne spray and 1.7 fl. oz body lotion, and for the guys, a Stetson Original 2-piece gift set for $10.99 with a 1.5 fl. oz. cologne and 2.5 fl. oz. after shave balm. Notes include citrus, spices, woods, patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver. It is masculine, with hints of woods, musk and rich spices. A great daytime scent.

If  you’re not really up for gifting a fragrance,  drugstore multiples are great gifts for makeup lovers. Grab a handful of  affordable makeup items, such as these exceptionally lovely,  NYC New York Color City Duet 2-in-1 lipsticks for just $2.99 each with a silky formula and two, high intensity colors in one bullet. With 10 duets, she’ll get a whopping 20 color choices to mix or wear alone. Be a big shot and add a makeup bag, and you’ve created a great gift for less than $30.00!  Do the same with NYC New York Color Kohl Eyeliner Pencils in 7 shades for just 99 cents each!

 Another great gift for the nail-obsessed, are the brand new and exciting, DIY gel manicure sets from Sally Hansen.  Amazing technology lets you apply Sally Hansen’s Salon InstaGel Strips and Salon GelPolish and use an included LED or mini LED light, to process the application. Polish will stay put for up to 14 days.  There are plenty of colors to choose from in the strips, even designs like leopard print, and in the gel polish, 16 shades from demure to deep.  The Mini Kit gives you 16 real nail polish appliques (8 size choices for a customized fit), a quick cure gel top coat, a mini LED light to process one nail at a time, and application accessories including a cuticle stick, buffer and alcohol cleaning pad. The thing that is so amazing is that this InstaGel Starter Kit is just $29.99, and you can get refills or purchase the pieces separately, too.  It is super easy, but my only issue is that you have to hold each nail separately under the mini LED lamp. But it is still super-fast compared to a salon gel manicure.

More substantial in cost but also in the number of gel manicures you can make, is the Sally Hansen Salon GelPolish Starter Kit for $69.99. This  set has with everything you need for 10 complete gel manicures, including a salon-style 6-watt LED lamp that a hands’ worth of nails at one time, a gel base coat, gel nail color, gel top coat, 10 nail cleanser pads, acetone remover, cuticle stick, nail file, buffer and instructions.  You can get a refill kit and purchase the items individually, too.  I haven’t had a chance to try these manicure kits out personally yet, but you can be sure, I’m going to!  If you are curious about how they work, Sally Hansen’s web site has some videos that demonstrate . Gel manicures are costly in salons, so these are great deals and great gifts.   Find Sally Hansen at chain drug stores, food stores and mass market retailers such as Target and Sears.

For a more traditional mani, make someone happy with a  fun boxed gift that’s less than $5.00.Sally Hansen Happy Manicures ($4.99) feature 4 mini-sized 0.13 bottles of nail polish in three different formulas:  Gem Crush (glitter), Insta-Dri and Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear.  These limited edition are nicely presented in bright orange boxes, and they’re a great stocking stuffer, good for tote and travel.

About Advicesisters

Alison Blackman Dunham aka. “Advice Sister Alison” and “The Advice Sisters” is a writer, photographer, online advisor, and lifestyles consultant. She has built her reputation offering readers a unique perspective on life, in print, in person and through the camera lens. Her focus is on advice, beauty, fashion, lifestyles, relationships and things that help make life easier, more successful and more fun. Please follow Alison on Twitter @advicesisters and check out her other web (advice-related) sites: &


  1. […] in December, The Advice Sisters suggested the brand new, Sally Hansen Salon GelPolish Starter Kit for $69.99 as a great, last-minute gift idea. The set was showcased at an editor’s event, and […]

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