Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Friends

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Friends

There are a few characteristics that come to mind when I’m looking for gifts to give my favorite gal pals:  cute, fun, and budget-friendly. Even though we’d all love to lavish our friends and family with any gift they desired, it’s easy for holiday spending to get out of control.  I always make sure to set aside a budget for friends and I try to determine a good spending level and keep it equal.  (Of course, that very best friend might get a little extra!)

Philosophy Gift Sets are one of my favorite gifts to give (and receive!). Philosophy does an amazing job creating cute, holiday-themed packaging and keeping their sets high on the value side while they’re at it. They also have special scents/flavors that only pop up during the holiday season, too.

  • I like their Holiday Cookbook ($35.00) is a six-piece shower gel set (each with 2 oz.) housed in a cardboard “cookbook.” It contains the following scents: Red Velvet Cake, Cinnamon Buns, Spicy Pear Cobbler, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Gingerbread, and Double Rich Hot Cocoa. Delicious!  (You can read my review of last year’s here.)  You can find this gift at: Nordstrom,, Sephora.
  • My next recommendation is The Recipe Box Set ($18.00) is a good option if you’re on a slimmer budget (or you just have a lot of friends and would like to spread the love a bit more). It’s a cute little set in a gift-ready box and red bow tied on top. It contains two 6 oz. shower gels: Sweet Creamy Frosting and Red Velvet Cake. It is available at, Nordstrom,, and Sephora.

Korres has a lot of value-packed sets available for holiday as well as year-round (nothing wrong with giving one of those, y’know), so if you’re thinking about giving the gift of Korres this holiday season, there’s a good variety of sets to choose from.

  • Korres Cherry Lip Kisses ($19.50) is a trio of Korres’ Cherry Oil Lipgloss (includes Fuchsia, Natural Purple, and Nude shades). These are fun glosses, and when they’re available in a set? Totally worth it!  (You can read my full review here.) You can pick this set up at (save 30% on $35 or more with code TEMPTALIA til 12/31!) and Sephora.
  • Another Korres set I’m loving for an affordable gift set is their Best Of Korres ($25.00) which gives a nice taste of Korres’ product line without splurging on full-sizes. It’s a particularly nice set to receive, too! I also like it because it is travel friendly, and I know I can never have too many travel-sized products.

See more gift ideas…

China Glaze Love You Snow Much Set ($12.00) includes four shades of holiday-themed nail lacquers:  Tinsel (a silver), Emerald Sparkle (deep green), 5 Golden Rings (a gold), and Ruby Pumps (a fierce ruby red).  China Glaze is definitely one of my favorite brands for nail lacquer, and between Ruby Pumps and Emerald Sparkle?  The set practically sells itself.  Super affordable and looks lovely!

Stila Lip Glaze Collection ($25.00) is a great way to put a smile on your favorite Stila girl or introduce a pal to the world of Stila on warp speed! This set includes eight miniature-sized Lip Glazes: Blackberry, Candy, Cranberry, Kitten, Marmalade, Pinkle Twinkle, Plum Fairy, and Starfruit. You may also want to peep the Stila Kitten Collection ($18.00), because it includes their best-selling Kitten eyeshadow as well as their Kitten Lip Glaze.

Urban Decay Show Pony Shadow Box ($30.00) contains six shades of eyeshadow – a good mix of funky, brighter shades with more neutral toned shadows, plus a miniature-sized 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero and Eyeshadow Primer Potion. The shades included in this palette are Snatch, Mildew, Flash, Painkiller, Smog, and Toasted.  (You can read my full review here.)

MAC Eyeshadow Palettes ($36.00) are the latest holiday palettes to debut from MAC for the 2009 holiday season. They put out four variations: Devil May Dare, Mystic, Smoke and Mirrors, and Sorceress.  (You can see my full reviews here.)  For someone with more natural taste, try Smoke and Mirrors; while Devil May Dare has great earth-tones and Sorceress has lots of fun, cool-toned shades. Mystic is kind of a mixed bag, so it may fit for that person you can’t decide on whether they’re about color or about the natural. You may also like to give (or receive, of course) MAC’s Pigment Sets ($32.50) or their Lipgloss Sets ($29.50).

Have you spotted any gifts you’d love to receive?  Gifts you’ve already set to give?