For my best friend's birthday, I decided to mail her a birthday package, since she lives two hours away. She just had an adorable baby AND manages two dogs, a cat, and several horses on top of that. The woman probably needs a little bit of pampering.
With that in mind, I packed her birthday box full of my personal favorite drugstore beauty products. I thought I would share the contents with you guys, since this makes a great and easy gift for those of us on a budget.
Everything listed is under $10, with many products near or below $5. This makes it easy to fill a box or gift basket with lots of exciting goodies.
1. Cheap nail polish, $6
This includes brands such as NYC, Sally Hansen and Wet 'n' Wild. For $1 each, I chose NYC Long Wearing Nail Polish in Starry Silver Glitter (because glitter!) and Plaza Plumberry (a deep purple that I own myself), NYC In a New York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in Proud Peacock (a beautiful shimmery blue-green) for $2, and Sinful Colors Professional Nail Enamel in Happy Ending (a bright, sort of wicked witch green) for $2.
I personally like to pick fun nail polish colors, since I feel like there's little point in getting someone a boring shade that mimics their natural nail color.
2. Revlon lip products, $6 and $7 each
I love every Revlon lip product that I've ever tried. Two of my favorites are Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple for about $6, which is a sheer, creamy red, and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey, which is about a dollar more and is a great "your lips but better" shade that lasts all day and has a light peppermint smell.
I figured both of these would be nice for a busy mom to just throw on for some easy color and go about her day feeling pretty.
3. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Conditioning Cream, $3
This is another must for busy people. I personally like to use this to help my damaged bleach-blonde hair stay soft and hydrated. It's great for anyone with dry or frizzy hair and not a lot of time to sit around with a deep conditioning mask on. Just quickly smooth this through your hair post-shower and let it work its magic on your hair throughout the day.
4. Burt's Bees Radiance Body Lotion, $8
I love this stuff. It smells amazing, it leaves a slight shimmer on your skin, and it has Royal Jelly in it--the stuff they feed to the queen bee.
"You, my friend, are the queen bee," is what I'm going to tell Hannah. She'll probably wince. Maybe I'll just write it in her card.
5. e.l.f. Products, $1 to $6 each
I can't say enough good things about e.l.f. Their products are ridiculously inexpensive, but they also work really well.
I got Hannah a bunch of low-maintenance items: two more easy lip colors (Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Pink Umbrellas and Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Pink Lemonade) for $2 each, an All Over Color Stick in Persimmon (you just swipe some on for flushed cheeks and lips) for $1, a Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick in Little Miss Thing (I wrote about these here) for $2, and an eyeshadow palette, e.l.f. Beauty Book for $6.
Yes, there's two palettes pictured. I couldn't picture Hannah wearing any of the crazier colors in the bigger eyeshadow palette but for $6, I couldn't just leave it there. So I got that one for myself. Can you blame me?
The smaller-sized one is the same price and actually has more colors, but they're mostly neutrals. You can find e.l.f. products online or at Target, but not my local Target because I bought them all.
6. A cute makeup bag to keep it all in, $7
This Contents by Allegro bag is pretty and was only $7. It also helps keep all the nail polish and lipsticks from rolling around in the box while being shipped.
Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive list of my favorite drugstore beauty products. I have a lot more, but I wasn't going to get my friend things like mascara or foundation. It's not a complete list of the items in her birthday package either--obviously I also threw in chocolate and socks and stuff as well.
I hope this will be a helpful bookmark for the next time you need ideas for what to get someone. I have to go actually MAIL this box now, since I was too busy photographing the contents to do it earlier (sorry Hannah! I'm a terrible friend!).
I think I spent about $50 total on this gift box (because I went overboard and got multiples, as well as that e.l.f. palette for myself) but you could tweak it to fit your budget. For $20, you could fill easily fill a box with nail polish, e.l.f. products, and candy. Or for the same price as my overstuffed box, you could go to Sephora and get your friend a nice perfume or the Naked Palette or something.
Would you be happy to get a box full of drugstore beauty products like these, or would you rather get a single, expensive gift?