DIY Gift Sets (Under $25!)

Gift-giving can be stressful and expensive, but here are some ~ideas~ for gifts that won’t break the bank… although you might want to keep some of them for yourself!


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The holidays are approaching, which means the season of the annual scramble to pick out the perfect gifts for your loved ones is upon us.  While beauty brands do a pretty good job of taking the guess work out of this for us by curating a bunch of festive sets, most of them come with a pretty hefty price tag.

Tarte Precious Picks Color Set // $10.00

There are some sets you can find for a pretty affordable price, such as this Precious Picks Color Set by Tarte for $10 at Sephora, but when it comes to gift-giving, it’s so much more fun to customize, so here some tips & ideas for making custom holiday sets for all your friends!

1.) Start with the Boxes

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I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when a gift is in a really cute box, it just makes it so much more satisfying.  You can find all sorts of containers for your gifts on Amazon for pretty cheap!

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Outside the Box Papers Chevron, Stripe and Polka Dot Paper Gable Favor Boxes 36 Pack Gold, White // $17.75

If you’re more of a minimalist who likes gold accents, these white and gold “favor boxes” may do the trick for you.  They’re $17.75 for a pack of 36, so although they’re a little more upfront, they break down to around $0.49 per box.  Plus, if you’re lucky enough to have 36 friends, you won’t run out with these!

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Chilly Gift Boxes, Set of 12 Decorative Treats Boxes, Cake, Cookies, Goodies, Candy and Handmade Bath Bombs Shower Soaps Gift Boxes for Christmas, Birthdays, Holidays, Weddings (Flower Patterned) // $15.95

If you’re more cutesy, another option is these floral ones with ribbon.  They’re $15.95 for a pack of 12, which makes them a little more pricey per box at ~$1.40 each, but you only need to have 12 friends with these!

Eyelashes Porcelain Coffee Mug, Eyelashes Mug, Makeup Coffee Mug, Coffee Mugs With Artwork, Makeup Brush Holder, Minimal Coffee Mug, Coffee Mug for Women, Coffee Mug for Mom // $17.99

Another cute option for a “box” is to actually go for something that isn’t a box, such as a mug.  This eyelash mug above is $17.99 on Amazon, but I found a very similar version of it last year for a friend that was around $4 – just keep your eyes peeled!  If you choose the mug option, you can wrap it with cellophane and a ribbon similar to a gift basket and be on your merry way!

2.)  Pick a Theme

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(no judgement if this was the theme you chose)

I know it might seem counter-intuitive to pick the box first and pick the theme second, but in a complete juxtaposition to what I said earlier, it’s what’s inside that really counts.

If you’re going for a beauty box, do you want to choose makeup, hair, skincare, or maybe some kind of combo of all three?  I tend to decide this on what I know my friends like – for example, one of my friends has a skincare obsession that I fully support, so I like to include sheet masks in the gifts I compile for her.

One thing when it comes to makeup is that I tend to stick to makeup accessories rather than products themselves.  Unless I know somebody is specifically looking for a product, buying things like foundations or even blushes is a little tricky because I may know my friends, but I don’t know their exact shade match or just what kind of tone and pigmentation they like for blush.  Highlighters and nail polish are more forgiving because they tend to depend less on skin tone.  For fool-proof makeup buying, tools such as brushes and sponges are always a good idea – you can never have enough of them and they’re one size fits all!

I usually prefer the combo option here because they’re much more fun to put together!  In general, I also like to “pair” things that go together.  Take a face mask, for instance – if it’s one of those clay ones, a flat foundation brush might be a nice thing to throw in there because they make face mask application so much easier!

3.) Two Words: TJ Maxx

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Anybody who knows me knows I have a little bit of an obsession with TJ Maxx.  It has a variety of quality goods at discounted prices and is great for skincare and haircare, although I don’t trust it so much for makeup because most of the time, everything is opened and has been touched, which freaks me out a lil bit.  My favorite things to get from here to give as gifts are nail polish, face masks, makeup brushes, mugs, and other hair knickknacks, such as bobby pins (you can never have enough of them) and fun hair ties!

4.) One Word: Amazon

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Me shopping online

If you’re lazy like I am or you can’t seem to get to a TJ Maxx (or Marshalls), online shopping might be right up your alley! For those of you who have Prime, this alternative might just be the most economic in terms of time and cost since you can easily compare the prices of things and 2-day shipping is free!

[24 value pack] Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet // $17.50
Another nice thing about Amazon is that you can can buy in bulk just like with those boxes I was talking about earlier.  Take these sheet masks for example – a pack of 24 for $17.50 breaks down to just $0.73 each and you can redistribute these among various gift baskets and even have some left over for yourself for all that hard work you put in gift giving!

5.) Some Gift Ideas!

Finally, here are some of my gift ideas for some ~inspiration~ if you are so inclined!  Just as a disclaimer, I haven’t tried all of these products myself, so I can’t personally vouch for some of these items, but I have tried to stick with items with more than 50 reviews and at least 3.5 stars on Amazon!

For the skincare lover…  

  • Freeman Facial Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Mask + Scrub (I actually have tried this mask and love it) // $6.72
  • Silicone Brush Face Mask Applicator (makes applying face masks SO much easier!!) // $4.98
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy, Creme Brulee (I’m a lip balm junkie and this scent looks delicious TBH) // $1.78
  • Total: $13.48

For the makeup lover…

  • 12-Piece Brush Set (I actually saw these in a Buzzfeed article and they have great reviews) // $10.99
  • Brush Cleaning Mat (I HATE washing my brushes, but mats like these make it so much easier) // $5.49
  • EcoTools Brush Shampoo (for the bougie friend who can’t use plain old soap to clean their brushes like the rest of us) // $3.39
  • Total: $19.87

For the haircare lover…

  • invisibobble Power Traceless Hair Ring (I keep seeing these all over Sephora and have been meaning to try them) // $8.84
  • Bobby Pin and Hair Clip Magnetic Holder (I ALWAYS lose my bobby pins – maybe if I had one of these they’d actually stop disappearing!) // $13.49
  • Total: $22.33

For the mixed bag (going for a gold theme here today)…

  • L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail Gold Dust Nail Color (I have such a weakness for gold polish) // $6.99
  • UNIMEIX Makeup Brushes Set (these brushes are SO cute!) // $10.99
  • Syleia 20 Hair Ties (I recently just switched to hair ties like these and they’re an absolute game-changer) // $6.95
  • Total: $24.93

And that’s all, folks – happy gift giving and make sure you save on or two presents for yourself while you’re at it!

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Daily reminder!!

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

  • Tarte Precious Picks Color Set // $10.00
  • Outside the Box Papers Chevron, Stripe and Polka Dot Paper Gable Favor Boxes 36 Pack Gold, White // $17.75
  • Chilly Gift Boxes, Set of 12 Decorative Treats Boxes, Cake, Cookies, Goodies, Candy and Handmade Bath Bombs Shower Soaps Gift Boxes for Christmas, Birthdays, Holidays, Weddings (Flower Patterned) // $15.95
  • Eyelashes Porcelain Coffee Mug, Eyelashes Mug, Makeup Coffee Mug, Coffee Mugs With Artwork, Makeup Brush Holder, Minimal Coffee Mug, Coffee Mug for Women, Coffee Mug for Mom // $17.99
  • [24 value pack] Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet // $17.50
  • Freeman Facial Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Mask + Scrub // $6.72
  • Silicone Brush Face Mask Applicator // $4.98
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy, Creme Brulee // $1.78
  • 12-Piece Brush Set // $10.99
  • Brush Cleaning Mat // $5.49
  • EcoTools Brush Shampoo // $3.39
  • invisibobble Power Traceless Hair Ring // $8.84
  • Bobby Pin and Hair Clip Magnetic Holder // $13.49
  • L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail Gold Dust Nail Color // $6.99
  • UNIMEIX Makeup Brushes Set // $10.99
  • Syleia 20 Hair Ties // $6.95

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*Disclaimer: This post contains hella Amazon links, but I am not an affiliate of Amazon or a member of any of their affiliate programs!  I am just a humble online shopping addict with a Prime subscription and find shopping on Amazon the easiest when it comes to things like this!

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