2018 Cruelty Free Beauty Gift Guide
I wasn’t going to do a cruelty free gift guide this year, because it takes A LOT of time, but you guys asked for it, so you got it! I know I say this every year, but the holidays have snuck up on me! I just got married in Scotland, and that took pretty much all of my focus. So now that the wedding and honeymoon are over, it’s holiday shopping time! I’ve put together a cruelty free holiday gift guide to give you some holiday gift buying inspiration. These are all products and gift sets that any cruelty free beauty lover would be happy to receive. This gift guide is very picture heavy, so slip into your winter jammies, grab a cup of hot cocoa and have a browse! Oh – and if you like this, please share it!
Cruelty Free Makeup Gift Ideas:
Physicians Formula Gift Sets
Physicians Formula is one of my all-time favorite cruelty free drugstore makeup brands. Their products are high quality and the price is oh-so-right. You can pick up Physicians Formula Essential Minis gift set for a beauty-loving friend, and snag one for yourself to get ready for an upcoming holiday party. It comes with five deluxe mini sizes of these best-sellers: Rose All Day Oil-Free Serum, Spotlight Illuminating Primer, Mineral Glow Pearls (champagne highlighter), The Healthy Lip Velvet Lipstick (in shade “Fight Free Red-icals”) and Killer Curves mascara (black). All of this is a $60 value for only $14.95.
The Physicians Formula Color Me Healthy gift set is one of my absolute favorites. Any lipstick lover would be stoked to receive this gift! The Healthy Lip Velvet Liquid Lipsticks are some of the only liquid lipsticks I will actually wear because they are long-lasting but don’t dry out my lips (like most others do). This gift set comes with all THIRTEEN of The Healthy Lip lipsticks and one brand new, limited edition, full-sized The Healthy Lip Transformer. The Transformer comes in shade Opalescence, and you can wear it alone, or on top of the other lip colors. It transforms the colors from matte to metallic, and it’s comfortable to wear, because it’s enriched with Vitamins A and E and mongongo oil. This set is a steal at only $14.95. They are sold out online, but you may be able to find this set in select stores!
Bite Beauty has several holiday gift sets available, but my favorites are the Candy Cane flavored version of their Agave Lip Mask ($26), and the Astrology by Bite Mini Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set ($75).
If you haven’t tried the Agave Lip Mask, now is the time! There are different flavors and some are tinted. This limited edition version has a very slight tint and a candy cane flavor. I prefer lip balms to be minty, so I really like this one. My lips are always chapped in the winter, so lip treatments like this one are always appreciated as gifts!
Every month Bite has released a new limited edition lipstick to go with the corresponding month’s astrological sign. The Mini Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set has mini versions of EVERY shade! The lipsticks are super creamy and hydrating – they are made with 12 edible oils. Each one has a light citrus scent. The packaging is gorgeous and sophisticated, and will make an excellent gift for your lipstick loving friends and family.
Too Faced Pretty Rich Collection
The Too Faced Pretty Rich packaging is pretty adorable! I think this collection would appeal to a younger crowd, but Too Faced collectors of any age will appreciate these limited edition items. The Pretty Rich Diamond Light eyeshadow palette ($49) has had some mixed reviews by bloggers and makeup enthusiasts. I personally really love that there are wearable colors in this palette (I’m tired of all the mustards, oranges and burgundies that have been coming out lately). I appreciate that there are matte shades in here for blending, and the shimmers and gel glitters are REALLY good! The glitters are densely packed and fallout is minimal. If you put the glitter all over, it WILL crease, so for best results, use it sparingly to highlight.
The (vegan) Too Faced Diamond Fire Highlighters ($34) are made with actual crushed diamonds. The prismatic shimmer-shine is LEGIT and not for the faint of heart. There aren’t any glittery chunks (thankfully) but the shine is pretty intense, so again, this is for the younger crowd or the more playful older crowd. They come in Diamond Fire (an icy white), Fancy Pink Diamond (pink) and Canary Diamond (yellow gold).
Also check out the Rich and Dazzling High-Shine Sparkle Lip Glosses ($21) – they have mega holographic shine and micro glitter. Color payoff is intense, they are non-sticky, deeply hydrating and smell like vanilla cupcakes.
Urban Decay Naked Cherry Collection
The gorgeous pink-toned Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette ($49) launched just in time for the holidays. Finally we’re seeing fewer mustards and browns and more pinks and burgundies! The Urban Decay Naked Cherry palette has 12 brand new shades: Hot Spot (ivory matte), Caution (soft neutral beige matte), Bang Bang (shimmering pink with gold shift and iridescent micro-sparkle), Feelz (soft dusty rose matte), Juicy (soft warm peach), Turn On (pale metallic rose shimmer), Ambitious (metallic rose copper), Bing (deep mauve matte), Devilish (reddish plum matte), Young Love (metallic cranberry), Drunk Dial (deep metallic burgundy), Privacy (deep brownish-plum matte).
The Urban Decay Naked Cherry Highlighter and Blush Palette ($34) has three shades: a rose gold highlighter, pink shimmery highlighter and a deep coral blush. The palette is surprisingly wearable for someone with fair skin (like myself). It looks very dark in the pan (especially the blush), but when applied with a brush, it’s quite sheer.
There are three Urban Decay Naked Cherry Vice lipsticks ($18). Cherry is a deep berry wine color (not something I’ve ever been able to pull off – I always look weird in wines). Juicy is a light peach color with copper micro shimmer, and Devilish is a sheer bright pink with micro shimmer. Both of these are pretty alone or as toppers.
You can get the entire Naked Cherry Vault for $100 at Sephora!
For the more natural makeup lover, you can’t go wrong with pretty much ANYTHING from 100% Pure. Everything the brand makes is vegetarian (and most products are vegan), cruelty free and made with natural ingredients, including real fruit pigments (and the packaging is quite pretty). Check out their Caffeine Buzz Bright Eyes gift set ($49) that comes with their cult favorite eye cream (loaded with caffeine which is great for puffiness), eye masks and a cute 100% Pure coffee travel mug. The Makeup Essentials kit is also a great deal. It comes with the mattifying primer, three vegan makeup brushes and a makeup sponge for $86 ($122 value). The Glossy Peach Lips set ($39) comes with their anti-aging, fruit-pigmented, moisturizing lipstick in Bee Balm and Gemmed Lip Gloss in Moonstone (a $56 value).
The new Rose Gold palette ($55) has five very wearable soft, shimmery, warm rose gold shades (highlighter, blush and three eyeshadows). It looks like the palette is currently sold out online, but you may be able to find it in one of the 100% Pure brick and mortar stores.
The Rose Gold palette pairs nicely with the limited edition Fruit Pigmented Pomegranate Oil Anti Aging Lipstick Duo ($39). This two pack comes with Rose Gold and Red Gold – again, very wearable colors! Finish up your rose-themed gift basket with the Rose Micellar Cleansing Water ($32) – it soothes skin and removes makeup and dirt without any harsh ingredients.
Winky Lux Holiday Palette
Winky Lux has three holiday eyeshadow palettes out this year as well as some lipstick and makeup brush sets. I received a sample of the Uptown Kitten holiday eyeshadow palette ($25), and I was very impressed. The colors are highly pigmented and very wearable. The Uptown Kitten palette has a mix of mattes and shimmers in colors ranging from taupe and cool champagne to rose gold, bronze, copper and dark brown. The palettes are quite affordable too at only $25 a pop.
The Balm has some really cute gift sets with deluxe mini sizes of their cult favorites. I know a ton of you love the Mary-Dew (champagne) and Bonnie-Dew (bronze) highlighters. Now you can get both PLUS the new Cindy-Dew (pink) and Betty-Dew (light gold) liquid highlighters in the Dew Manizer’sQuad gift set ($27.50). Is it squad or quad – or both? We may never know…
Cruelty Free Skincare Gift Ideas:
Dermalogica Gift Sets
Dermalogica is still one of my all-time favorite cruelty free skincare brands. They are leaders for a reason – they make great quality skincare products that are based on efficacy and not on packaging and marketing fluff! There are lots of skincare gift sets to choose from, and you may find yourself buying some for friends and some for yourself to stock up and save.
The Dermalogica 12 Days to Glow advent calendar ($135) is full of products that your friends and family will be excited about. This box set includes deluxe mini sizes of classic favorites like PreCleanse, Multi Active Toner and Dynamic Skin Recover SPF 50, as well as newer products like Sound Sleep Cocoon and Skin Smoothing Cream.
The Ultimate Cleanse and Glow Trio ($90) is my FAVORITE because it contains three full-sized versions of my favorite Dermalogica products: PreCleanse, Special Cleansing Gel and Daily Microfoliant. This set is a $140 value for $90. One for my friends, one for me…time for me to stock up!
Got the winter skin blues? Elemis has several holiday gift sets out. They put together a nice collection of their best selling super food and prebiotic based products in the Superfood Super Skin Trio gift set ($75). It comes with full sizes of the Superfood facial wash, facial oil and day cream for $75 (reg value is $111). These ultra-luxe skincare essentials are packed with foods you’d find in a green smoothie – things like broccoli, flax seeds, goji berries, pumpkin seed oil, and daikon radishes. You can see our review of these products here. And who doesn’t love scented candles? Especially during the cold winter months. Elemis also has some amazing, highly-scented, high-quality candles (with long 40 hour burn times) that smell like heaven ($44).
Vegan Cuts Beauty Box Subscription
A Vegan Cuts Beauty Box or Makeup Box subscription is a gift that keeps on giving! Each carefully curated box has ONLY cruelty free and vegan beauty products. There’s a mix of well-known and up-and-coming brands in each box, with a focus on organic, natural, paraben and sulfate-free products. Each beauty box has about 5-6 products and the value is at least $40-60 (the makeup box has a minimum value of $70!). The quarterly makeup box is $39.95 per box (or $150 per year). The monthly beauty box is $22.95 per box, $120 for a six month subscription, or $222 for a yearly subscription. There is free shipping to the US. Prices for countries outside the US vary. There’s also a vegan snack box which would be a nice gift for an office worker (maybe they’ll share)!
Cruelty Free Gifts $50 and Under:
Hooded Eyes Makeup Manual Book by Courtney Nawara ($19.95)
If you or a friend has hooded eyes, this makeup manual by my friend and fellow cruelty free beauty blogger is a must have! If you don’t know what hooded eyes are, I recommend watching this video. Basically it means you can’t see the part of your lid under the crease (AKA your “mobile lid”) unless you close your eyes. Techniques for makeup application are completely different if you have hooded eyes. So if you’ve been following beauty guru makeup tutorials and feeling like you’re missing something, this may be why! Phyrra (AKA Courtney) is the queen of eye makeup looks for hooded eyes, and she’s been working on this amazing book for over two years. There are tons of colorful, artsy and wearable looks in this guide. You can purchase the paperback or ebook on Amazon.
LATHER Bedtime Stories Gift Set
Who wouldn’t want the gift of peaceful slumber? The LATHER Bedtime Stories gift set (currently $40) comes with a lavender-scented bath and body haul: Quiet Night Relaxing Balm, NEW Quiet Night Pillow Mist, two lavender bath bombs, a lavender aromatherapy candle, and a silky eye mask. LATHER products were created by a fellow migraine sufferer, so they are made with natural ingredients and contain no parabens, sulfates, mineral oil or artificial colors or fragrances.
BECCA Champagne Pop Mini Ornament
What a great gift for a coworker or stocking stuffer! The BECCA Champagne Pop Mini Ornament comes with a deluxe mini size of their cult favorite Champagne Pop highlighter. If you’re not familiar with this shade, it’s a fairly universal color – a soft white gold with pink/peach undertones, and lots of fine shimmer!
Healthmate Forever Massager TENS Unit ($26.98)
Okay this one might seem random, but I’ve had so many people ask about it, so I thought I should include it. This is the TENS Unit Gregg and I use for muscle pain and soreness. It uses electronic stimulation to ease aches and pains. If you are buying a gift for an older relative, a workout junkie, or someone with chronic pain (like me!), this will be a very thoughtful and MUCH appreciated gift. It’s under $30 and Amazon is offering free one day shipping for Prime members, so you can’t go wrong!
Brooklyn Candle Studio Noir Collection ($35)
These beautiful soy wax candles are hand poured by Brooklyn Candle Studio in Brooklyn, New York. I tried the Hinoki Noir candle, and unfortunately could not give it as a gift, because I had to keep it all to myself! It’s heavily scented (which is bad when it’s a face cream and GOOD when it’s a candle!) and will last up to 70 hours. The notes for Hinoki are: hinoki cypress, cashmere woods, cedar leaf, orris, redwood bark and cardamom. It’s got an uplifting floral, citrusy vibe. I definitely want to try more from this collection. No phthalates, dyes or preservatives. Use code MYBEAUTYBUNNY for 15% off your order!
SpaceNK Shimmering Spice Candle ($20 – $40 depending on size)
If you’re looking for a candle with a more holiday-themed vibe, try the SpaceNK Shimmering Spice Candle. It’s a classy take on a holiday theme – with a gold, burgundy and hunter green harlequin pattern (it kind of reminds me of New Orleans which is where I’ll be spending my New Year’s Eve!). And, the best part is the amazing cinnamon, spice, mandarin orange, litsea cubeba and vanilla scent. It’s so strongly scented, it smells up the room before you even light it. Just heavenly! The smallest option (175 g) candle shown here is just $20.
The Spice Lab Tequila Salt Shooters ($26.95)
Got a friend who isn’t crazy about beauty products, but loves a good cocktail? My bestie falls into that category! I found these Himalayan pink sea salt shot glasses that she (and her husband) are going to love! They are made with food-grade sea salt that gives a salty flavor to your favorite tequila. You can get them on Amazon for less than thirty bucks.
Winter Themed Sheets ($48.49)
Give someone the gift of hygge this year! I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a new set of crisp, cotton sheets! Aren’t these snowflake bed sheets adorable? You can find them on Amazon from California Design Den for less than 50 bucks. Each set comes with a flat sheet, fitted sheet and two pillowcases. There are lots of colors and designs to choose from, including a cute deer design (called Mod Lodge Multi). You can get them in any size – twin through king. They actually have pockets deep enough for my bed, which makes me a fan! They are Certified OEKO-TEX – STANDARD 100 meaning they are safe, free of harmful chemicals, and independently certified.
Cruelty Free Splurges ($100 and up):
Gamma+ Aria Hair Dryer
Most people own a hair dryer, but not everyone owns a professional Italian hair dryer! The Gamma+ Aria hair dryer ($149.95) is a great gift idea because it’s something not everyone would splurge on for themselves. The Aria comes in a gorgeous aquamarine color that gives me major 1950s vibes. It’s super lightweight which is a big deal if you have a lot of hair to dry (that drying arm gets sore)! The Aria is designed to create negative ions, which gives you smoother hair with fewer flyaways or frizz. It comes with two nozzles, 3 heat settings and 2 speed settings, plus a cold shot button (when used at the end, this helps to cut down on frizz even more). It has “ETC (evolution turbo compressor) technology”, and while as a layman, I can’t say I really understand what that means, I CAN say that this puppy dries my hair super fast!
NuFACE ($199 – $429)
Microcurrent is one of my all time favorite skincare treatments. It literally lifts your face without injections – fighting against gravity. The results are temporary, but there are cumulative results over time. You really have to be consistent with this type of beauty gadget, but it works! It quite literally contours your face and helps to fight wrinkles and lines. If you (or your intended gift recipient) is over the age of 35, you may want the pro bundle that comes with the attachments for eyes and lips. If you’re younger (or on a budget), go with the original model or the mini.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out my iHerb cruelty free and vegan gift guide!