With the holidays quickly approaching, and my bank account just as quickly shrinking, I love when I can find an affordable yet quality gift. My savvy shopper radar is always on the hunt for great gifts at fantastic prices. I want to use my powers for good and show you my Top 10 choices for great gifts under $10! Many of these are great to go along with larger gifts, or for those folks you're just not sure what to get (teachers, coworkers, neighbors, etc). All of the Top 10 are of my own opinion (and gift giving), I have not been sponsored to include anything. If you're friends with me in "real-life" stop reading, no spoilers!
1) Lip Balm Sets
I love the gift sets of lip balms and glosses that come out during the holidays. Everyone's got chapped lips during the winter, so it's a universally welcome gift! Nivea, for example, has a great Hydrating Holiday Collection at Target that includes two Lip Care balms, and one iconic Creme tub, and comes in at the bargain price of $4.99.
Lip Smackers also has adorable gift sets, many featuring classic and beloved flavors in festive collectible tins. This soda flavored collection retailed at $4.99, and I can't wait to give it to my soda-addicted coworker!
Give the gift of inspiration this season! If the person is organized, a cute planner is the way to go. That writer in your life will appreciate a journal, since there's nothing better than a fresh, unused piece of paper (so much potential!). Try Michaels craft stores as they often have very nice, affordable planners and journals, just use a coupon. Give it with a nice pen, and that's a pretty sweet gift. I also found several cute journals in Bullseye's Playground (aka the $1, $3, and $5 section of Target).
3) L.A. Colors Shine v. Matte Eyeshadow Palettes
I could not believe my eyes when I saw that these beautiful palettes were only $2 each at Walgreens. The shades look amazing, and they have at least six different color schemes to choose from so there's something for everybody. I bought three just to try, and I was particularly drawn to the Simply Charming collection (look at those teal shades!).
I've swatched several of the shades, and for $2, I am really impressed. Picking up a few of these palettes for a friend would make for an amazing gift.
4) Tony Moly Sheet Masks
I love Tony Moly sheet masks. Not only are they high quality but also very affordable. Tony Moly also features a mask for practically any skin type or ailment out there. As sheet masks are still relatively unknown in the US, for a unique gift create your own spa basket by purchasing a few masks from Ulta for as low as $3.75 each (use a coupon and save some dough!). My favorite is the I'm Real Red Wine mask from Ulta that helps with pores.
5) Essence Gift Sets
I'm pretty new to Essence cosmetics, but they've come out with a few holiday gift sets at Ulta and Target for $9.99 that would not only be a great intro to the brand, but also a wonderful collection to gift to a friend. In particular, the Stand Out Eyes collection at Target which has a brow gel mascara, a jumbo eyeliner, a cream eyeshadow base, and two velvet finish eyeshadows. This is a nice set, especially for that friend who loves trying new makeup and loves eyeshadow.
6) Wet N Wild Gift Sets
Over the past couple years, Wet N Wild has certainly stepped up their game. I remember back a million years ago that Wet N Wild used to be only great for the dollar nail polish, and their cosmetics were basically dried out lipsticks and that's it. Now, with a huge line ranging from foundations to highlighters, Wet N Wild is one of my HG drugstore brands. Their holiday collections this year reflect that quality, and make a really sweet gift for that special someone.
Although several are over $10, there are plenty $10 or less that are great! My particular favorite would be the set of Wet N Wild's famous brushes. I own each of these brushes individually and love them. It comes in a cute plastic tube that can also probably be used for storage.
7) Soap and Glory Gift Sets
I think these would be absolutely perfect for a Secret Santa exchange at the office! Soap and Glory, the UK beauty brand that's begun infiltrating the states, has the cutest branding that is so inviting and irresistable. Their gift sets are no exception!
The Merry Kiss Much gift set, available at Walgreens, struck me immediately as a great value. The set includes a nude, pink, and purple shade of their Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick 3D Volume Lip Shines. Each retail for $6, so this is an $18 value for only $10, and will cater to every shade whim of the lucky person getting this set. Or, try the Irresistibubble Gift Set, featuring a mini body wash and body butter in the mouth-watering Sugar Crush scent (think sugar coated margarita). At $7, this is such a steal!
8) Nail Polish
If you know someone who loves painting their nails, there are plenty of great, affordable options of nail polishes to create your own gift set. I enjoy LA Colors Color Craze nail polish, and I find that although only a dollar a piece, they are just as good as higher-priced polishes.
Although the display at my Dollar Tree is a mess, look at how many colors there are to choose from (and the polishes themselves are fine)! You can get several bottles for your $10, and maybe buy a cute basket or gift bag to put them in. Mix and match colors for that special someone depending on what types of colors they like or their personalities. If someone is adventurous, go for bright neons or even dark colors like black (my personal favorite). If they are traditional, soft pinks and other pastels may be the way to go. LA Colors also makes a good Rapid Dry top coat, so be sure to include that in your bundle as well.
I don't think anyone can walk past the LUSH store, smell the delicious scents, and keep on walking. I'm pretty sure it's impossible! Although usually on the pricey side, there are still great bargains awaiting inside.
One of my go-to gifts is a small size Charity Pot lotion for $7.95. Not only does it smell wonderful, but it's for a good cause so it's a double bonus. All proceeds go to small organizations that can put the money to good use, you can read more here. The scent is also very clean, so if you're worried the person may not like a strong or adventurous scent, this is more of a neutral option.
Some other giftable finds for under $10 are the Bubble Bars, especially Snowie (for any David Bowie fans this would be perfect!). Just be sure that the person who is getting the gift has a bathtub! I've also never seen these Hot Hand Masks before, but I think this would be an amazing gift for $4.95 each. I know how dry my hands get, especially in the winter, so these moisturizing masks are sure to be appreciated. Plus, they are so different from the typical hand lotion!
10) Local Craft Fairs and Shops
When in doubt, shop local! I am a huge proponent of supporting small businesses, and the holidays are the perfect time to discover what your town has to offer. Look for craft and holiday fairs around your town, often put on by religious organizations, senior centers, and Chambers of Commerce. Small businesses and independent vendors are sure to offer unique finds usually at great prices. Not only are you going to get gifts that are "outside the box" but you're also supporting the dreams of local entrepreneurs (double gift!). I've found some of my best gifts at holiday fairs, such as handmade soap, candles, and knitwear.
I hope that this Top 10 Gifts Under $10 has given you some inspiration to finish up that holiday shopping list! Let me know of some more affordable gift options in the comments below, I want to know what you're giving this year (or perhaps gifting yourself!).