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Whether it’s in the office, at school or as part of a local community, Secret Santa is the festive tradition that has us buying gifts for people we barely know. It’s all fun and games if you happen to get your BFF or work husband in the draw, but more likely than not, you’ll be shopping for someone you’ve chatted to in passing, whose interests are a total mystery to you.
Throw in the $20 limit and the general stress that comes with the month before Christmas, and you’ve got yourself a dilemma. Finding the perfect gift for so-and-so from HR shouldn’t be the catalyst to a blue, blue Christmas, though–that’s where we come in.
Because we know that even Secret Santa shopping can be anxiety-ridden and time consuming, we’ve put together a foolproof list of gifts under $20 that will satisfy any recipient. From beauty gadgets to speed up the morning routine, to tried and tested faves that happen to come in under that pesky price limit, keep reading to find out the gifts that’ll help you ‘sleigh’ Secret Santa for 2017.
Is your Secret Santa recipient a budding MUA? Well, you’ve come to the right place for all your gifting needs, that’s for sure! Whether they need new tools or will love an affordable cult fave, picking out a gift for them should be a breeze with the RY Christmas Shop.
Our Brand of the Month for November, e.l.f. Cosmetics are all about high quality makeup at insanely affordable prices. We’re talking ultra-cheap, but with all of the pigmentation and blendability you’ve come to expect from your high end faves. All of their products would make ideal Secret Santa gifts, with none coming in over $20, however we’re particularly loving the e.l.f. Clay Eyeshadow Palette in Saturday Sunsets. Six warm-toned shades make up this gorgeous palette.
Give the gift of perfectly blended makeup with the Lulu & Lipstick Sili Fili Sparkle Makeup Blender, a silicone sponge that every makeup addict will adore. The silicone material won’t breed bacteria or absorb product, yet smoothes your makeup onto the skin with ease. Plus, it’s glittery. Duh.
Is out-there, bold makeup your Secret Santa’s thing? Help them get their sparkle on with the Lime Crime Diamond Crushers Lip Topper, which can be applied over your lipstick or lip liner. Choose from five iridescent colours–our favourite is rose gold ‘Dope’.
Ugh, is there anything more difficult than buying for men?! If you’ve drawn a male work colleague, skip the traditional gift ideas (no more socks, please!) and go down a different route with these recommendations, which include grooming and skincare picks that won’t break the bank.
Okay, soap may sound a little boring, but here’s why you should grab your Secret Santa the Uppercut Deluxe Men’s Soap ($6.95) come Christmastime. This no-nonsense cleansing bar is fragrance-free and enriched with two key ingredients: goat’s milk and oatmeal. The goat’s milk naturally moisturises the skin, whereas powerful oatmeal (who knew!) is a godsend for problematic skin.
Shopping for a well-groomed kinda guy, or perhaps a world traveller? The Silver Bullet Nose & Ear Trimmer ($9.04) is a battery operated device that will make his everyday upkeep easier than ever. Safer than tweezers, he’ll secretly love the ability to weed-whack his nose hairs while on the go.
Chapped lips suck, and they’re hard to banish unless you invest in a good quality balm that uses the right ingredients to moisturise. The Anthony Mint and White Tea Lip Balm SPF 25 ($15) not only nourishes the lips and protects against UV damage, but has been designed for men with a fresh, minty scent and matte finish.
Saddled with the task of buying for the loveliest lady in the office? Do right by your work mum and grab her something to help her relax come Christmastime, especially if she’s got kids of her own at home!
Nothing beats a stunning candle, and the range available from Ecoya are the best of the best. With a huge variety of to-die-for scents, your only stress will be choosing which one is perfect for your recipient! Plus, they’re available in mini sizes that ring in under the $20 limit. Our favourite scent is the ECOYA Vanilla Bean Mini Madison Candle.
Not just an important historical location, natural brand AHAVA unlocks the powerful properties of the Dead Sea. The salt, mud and water available from this revered area have many skin and body care benefits, including deep moisturisation and expert exfoliation. The AHAVA Mineral Salt Soap is a great all-rounder for in the shower or bath, and will help buff away any dry or rough patches on the skin.
The Ordinary is the simple yet active skincare brand making waves in 2017. One of the favourites amongst their range is the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Argan Oil, which we’re convinced will make the perfect Secret Santa gift this year! Not only is it luxurious on the skin, helping to nourish and refine, but it can also be applied to the hair for shine and hydration.
Is your Secret Santa recipient all about the finer things in life? Or, perhaps they’re just really into shopping for themselves (and who can blame ’em?). These are the kind of people that are impossible to buy for, as they’ve generally got all they need due to a insatiable urge to buy what they want, when they want.
Make their regular pamper sessions more enjoyable than ever with a face mask they may not have tried, even if their collection is bordering on ‘hoarder’. The WEI Beauty Rice Sprout Express Glow Illuminating Mask ($19.92) is a brightening, hydrating sheet mask that melds traditional Chinese medicine and modern skincare techniques. Floating in a potent essence, which cites a key ingredient of rice captured at the point of germination, this sheet mask can be applied for 10 minutes to unlock a huge range of benefits.
Give your Secret Santa the gift of relaxation with these all-natural bath salts from The Physic Garden. Enriched with botanicals including geranium, rose and lavender, not only will using these help them unwind, but it’ll leave their skin feeling supple and hydrated.
Help them unlock radiant, refreshed skin all over with the Aspar Exfoliating Body Mitt. Ideal for tackling cellulite, buffing away dead skin cells and preparing for fake tan or waxing, this product will be a new shower staple at just $12.
What are you buying for your Secret Santa this year? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter!
I'm a journalism grad and avid makeup fan with an unhealthy addiction to buying nude lipsticks, no matter how similar they all may seem. I love chatting to anyone who will listen about my new favourite products, skincare dos and don'ts and practically any other beauty-related topic under the sun. That doesn't mean I'm frivolous with my recommendations, though--you can count on me to give you the nitty gritty on all your wishlist products. In my spare time, you'll find me binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or at brunch with a large iced coffee in my hand.
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