- October 20, 2021
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I've immersed myself in all things beauty since I was a kid, so it's only natural my passion eventually molded into my full-time job. I test new skincare, hair care, and makeup products on a regular basis to make the best recommendations to readers—and more often than not, many of my tried-and-true favorites can be found on Amazon.
With the holidays fast approaching, I've begun to map out my gift list for the loved ones in my life, and more specifically, the beauty lovers. While it's incredibly hard to narrow it down to just 10 items, my friends and family deserve the best of the best—and the products included in this gift guide made the cut for a reason.
Nearly every surface in my bedroom is a sea of bottles, jars, and tubes, but one product always guaranteed a spot is the TruSkin Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Featuring a blend of botanical hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea, the $16 serum keeps my face nourished and blemish-free. Over 5,000 Amazon shoppers swear by it, too, leaving a five-star rating. I follow up with Belif's the True Cream Aqua Bomb, an ultra-hydrating formula perfect for the colder months, and together the duo leaves me confident enough to skip foundation most days.
For a quick hair styling session, I rely on Trademark Beauty Easy Blo Dryer Brush. It takes just 10 minutes out of my day, and leaves my hair shiny and soft. Plus, eliminating the need for a flat iron equates to far less heat damage on my bleached strands. Unlike most of its competitors, the brush includes three different heat settings for use across varying hair textures. It's already sold out once, and racked up a waitlist of over 1,000 people.
All 10 of my top beauty picks are worthy of a place in your checkout cart; from strand-strengthening hair serums to pumpkin-packed face masks, you'll find plenty to give your friends and family (or even yourself) for $50 and under.
My skin drinks the TruSkin Hyaluronic Acid Serum up so fast, I keep several back-up bottles on hand. Like a magical antidote for all my skin concerns, the lightweight formula reverses signs of dullness, dry patches, and blemishes overnight, leaving my complexion with a “glass skin” appearance. On the days I accidentally skip applications, I’ll immediately notice a difference in how my face looks and feels.
Some products agree with the skin better than others, but I’d go a step further and say the Belif the True Cream Aqua Bomb was made for mine. The gel-like texture instantly absorbs into my skin, and leaves behind a silky-smooth feel that provides the perfect canvas for makeup. I’ve endured far less dry patches and irritation since adding this into my arsenal.
I’m a huge fan of hair tools that cut down on styling time and keep heat damage to a minimum, and the Trademark Beauty Easy Blo Dryer Brush fits the bill. It takes on the role of a straightening hair brush, blow dryer comb, curling iron brush, and blow dryer, transforming my strands from damp to sleek in 10 minutes. The brush also has three different heat settings to accommodate varying hair types, from ultra-thin to coarse.
The Avarelle Acne Pimple Patches come to the rescue whenever my blemish-prone skin has a flare-up. I apply the hydrocolloid patches across varying sized pimples before bed, and remove them in the morning to see the blemishes drastically improved in size and discomfort.
This pre-shampoo treatment is formulated with orange and lavender essential oils to clarify and detox the scalp without stripping strands of their natural oils. The targeted scalp massager tip applies the perfect dosage every time, and helps boost microcirculation for optimal hair growth down the line. Every product I’ve tried from Rene Furterer also smells of incredible salon-quality.
There’s typically at least one Briogeo product in my bathroom at all times, and the B. Well Organic Cold-Pressed Castor Oil is likely up next. The 100 percent cold-pressed castor oil is a godsend for nursing damaged hair follicles back to life; it can be applied on the lashes, eyebrows, scalp, and even the skin, bringing a rich dose of omega fatty acids and nutrients to all areas. Not to mention, it has incredibly beneficial anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
For those who never seem to catch enough hours of sleep, this coffee bean caffeinated eye cream from 100% Pure may be your saving grace. The illuminating formula leans on vitamin C, aloe vera, and rosehip oil to smooth wrinkles and fine lines, correct dark circles, and soothe puffiness. Plus, the one fluid-ounce tube will last for months.
One glance in my bathroom cabinet, and you’d notice face masks galore. With that being said, I always come back to the Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Brightening Mask for a reason: It brightens my dull skin like no other. Made with pumpkin puree, vitamin C, aloe leaf juice, and manuka honey, the mask quickly gets to work on reviving tired, stressed out skin. Believe it or not, you’ll notice a difference after just one use.
The Hanalei Lip Treatment has been an effective remedy for my terribly dry, flaky lips. A little bit of the balm goes a long way, and the rose-tinted version adds a pink hue to my lips (it also tastes slightly sweet.) As an added bonus, the formula is cruelty-free and paraben-free.
I own countless eyeshadow palettes, but this limited-edition one from Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories has been getting the most use lately. The 18 shadow palette includes matte, metallic, shimmer, and sparkle finishes to create dozens of unique looks, from a daytime smokey eye to vibrant evening glam. Plus, each buttery-soft shadow blends like a dream with little to no fallout.