You know, I am the first to admit that I have expensive tastes. Ironically so—because even though editors' salaries might be described (as Nadine Jolie infamously quipped) as janitorial, I've been spoiled by working in an industry where you're getting product deliveries from the likes of Chanel and Hermès on the regular.
But you know what? Even though you might not think $10 goes very far, I have to admit that it kind of does. In pulling together this post (which I initially wasn't going to limit to the under-$10 thing), I was shocked at how many of my favourite things are actually quite cheap. And I'm not talking about the crappy travel-size shampoo bins at Shoppers Drug Mart, savvy?
So. If you need to stuff a stocking this week—or participate in that cruel ritual known as the Secret Santa—may I suggest one of these items? Because your giftee(s) will actually USE and LIKE them. Trust.
You might want to buy doubles...
IDEA #1: A REALLY GOOD LIP BALM
1. Korres Lip Butter ($10)
A beauty editor fave. Almost-natural and with a pretty pink tint. I can't imagine someone not loving this. At Sephora.
2. Smith's Rosebud Salve—in a tube ($8)
Hey hey—did you know? This puppy (which I mentioned last year) now comes in a tube. A tube! SO much better than the pot, yes? I've spotted these at Anthropologie.
3. Pure + Simple Silver Belles Organic Lip Balm Set ($9)
Huh? Four lip balms—ORGANIC lip balms, mind you—for $10? Well... if you say so, Pure + Simple. (Runs out of store quickly.)
IDEA #2: PRETTY, KITSCHY, SWEET-SMELLING THINGS FOR THE BATH
4. Cougar Soap ($7.99)
For the right recipient, this is ACE. (They also sell "Better Than a Boyfriend.") Find out where to buy here.
5. Miso Pretty Soap ($8)
For the longest time now, I've wanted to do a magazine story on Asian-inspired beauty and call it "Miso Pretty." Isn't that, like, the best headline evah? (Okay, maybe it's just me.) Either way, I want this. Find out where to buy here.
6. Lush Golden Slumbers Bath Bomb ($6)
I'm not usually a bath bomb kind of girl (I like my hippie Dr. Hauschka oils), but this one is supposed to lure insomniacs to sleep with its cocktail of lavender sprigs, lavender oil and lavender absolute. At Lush.
IDEA #3: FACE STUFF TO SUIT ANY SKIN TYPE
7. Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes ($9.99)
I've been using these super-gentle (and 98.7 percent natural) face wipes almost exclusively the past couple of weeks (long story but I got effed by the Oil Cleansing Method and I'm trying not to cause any further irritation to this "thing" I've got goin' on). One word: LIKE. At Shoppers.
8. Montagne Jeunesse Masks ($2 each)
Don't these make you want to don your PJs and invite your girlfriends over for an old-fashioned sleepover? Cheap and fun. At Walmart, Zellers and drugstores.
IDEA #4: ACTUALLY USEFUL HAIR THINGS
9. Goody Spin Pin ($6)
Everyone with hair that is long enough to put into a ponytail needs this twisty doodad—really, they do. It is life-changing if the art of putting your hair into a French twist or bun has so far eluded you. I suggest: buy two packages, keep one. At drugstores.
10. Batiste "On the Go Size" Dry Shampoo ($4.99)
It might not be my absolute favourite dry shampoo (it goes on a little bit white, so you have to be careful to apply away from your part)... but who couldn't make good use of this travel-size version to pop in a purse or gym bag? At independent drugstores.
11. Sephora Collection Pop-Up Travel Brush ($8)
So handy and always on my person: it's a mini mirror compact, but the centre pops out and turns into a brush. At (duh) Sephora.
IDEA #5: PAMPERING PRODZ FOR HANDS AND FEET
12. The Body Shop Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream ($7)
Honestly, this is a really good hand cream, even if it didn't also have the bonus that 100 percent of the proceeds go to charity. The travel size is great for purses. At The Body Shop.
13. Bath & Body Works Lavender and Shea-Infused Lounge Socks ($7.50)
Did you know that sock-makers have discovered a way to infuse them with moisturizing ingredients? Kind of cool, huh? It lasts up to 25 washings, and I can vouch for the fact that these are VERY cozy. (Yeah, I talked them up last year too—what of it?) At Bath & Body Works.
14. Fruits & Passion Arancia Dolce Purifying Hand Wash ($8.50)
BLOWN AWAY that this elegant hand wash, which comes in a glass bottle and looks like something expensive and Italian, is only $8.50. It's pretty big, too—Moms will love.
IDEA #6: LET THEM CHOOSE
15. Well.ca gift certificate ($10)
Are you acquainted with the awesomeness that is Well.ca yet? They are kicking some serious beauty butt in terms of their offerings (especially in their natural and organic section). Best of all, shipping is free in Canada with no minimum order.
Want more (maybe just slightly more expensive—i.e. under-$20) ideas? Check out my list of new-ish and excellent drugstore makeup.
Now tell me (if you've got time in between shops/bakes/decorating sprees this week):
Can you believe this stuff is so dirt-freakin'-cheap?
Are you ready for Christmas yet?
What's the worst Secret Santa gift you ever received? (If only they had this list...)