As Christmas draws nearer and nearer, you’re probably frantically catching up on shopping like I am. I’m not the most diligent holiday shopper, but I’d like to think I still give good gifts considering the time I actually spend sourcingーusually a year-long thing for me!
While I appreciate having a “universal” Christmas gift as a backup, I aim to give handpicked presents to my nearest and dearest given how early or late I end get to shop. When I first started gifting for the holiday season because I could finally afford it, I always had a hard time choosing presents because I wanted everything to be super personal. Through the years, though, I’ve learned that having a “theme” to follow keeps me from going crazy thinking of ideas and spending funds. Not only does it streamline my choices, but it also saves me a lot of time.
For 2019, I decided to match my family and friends with makeup and skincare that I think they’d love. (Ironically, something I’ve never done before, even if I’m a self-confessed beauty girl!)
It’s great because I already have a long list of products I’ve been eyeing since I started writing again, with some brands I already talked about in Local First: Filipino Fashion and Beauty Brands I Love Worth Checking Out.
It’s been such a huge year for the global and local beauty industry. There are now so many new brands and products that have launched even just locally, it’s become taxing to both my skin and my wallet to sample them all. That’s why I’m quite excited to try them vicariously through my friends when I give them as gifts!
In this particular list, I’m sharing some brands and products that I’m personally getting for my friends this Christmas. (Shhh!) Whether I’ve tried and tested it or I’ve read great reviews about it, I’ve made sure to pick products I know my friends are going to appreciate because they either fit their personality or they already use it. I’ve always enjoyed recommending my favorite products and giving beauty advice, so this is fun for me, too. It’s a win-win all around, TBH.
More than that, these are all from local brands I’ve closely followed throughout 2019. Most of them are only available online for now, but you can still get your orders on time as long as you do it sooner rather than later.
In case you’re looking for something for your specific budget, I’ve also arranged the list below from lowest to highest. I hope it helps you decide easier what you want to get for your friends! The packaging on these look bomb, too, so there’s no question about them being gift-able.
Check my gift recommendations below!
To the friend who can’t live without her lip and cheek tint
A gift that keeps on giving, one tube of this highly pigmented Unicorn Dream PH Dream Velvet Tint (P150) will go a long way even if it’s used every day. Incidentally, I discovered this local brand and this product when makeup artist Muriel Vega Perez gifted it to me, too!
The first time I tried it, I was so surprised how light and creamy it isーand the color. Oooh, the color. The payoff is awesome, especially if you use the darker shades on your cheeks.
Available via Amisha Cosmetics on Shopee.
To the friend who likes to keep it low-maintenance
I’ve seen the Skin Foundry Pocket Blush (P165) constantly recommended on Twitter this year. With a price tag like that, I’m not surprised. I haven’t tried it for myself, but I’m completely sold on it being multi-use for eyes, lips, and cheeks. It comes in five’ beautiful shades, which you’re sure to have fun matching with your friends’ personalities. (I’ve already snuck in a few shades for myself if I’m being completely honest here.)
Available on BeautyMNL.
When a product works double-time, it’s hard to say no. These days, we can’t be the only ones multi-tasking!
I’m big on exfoliating and moisturizing not just my face, but my whole body. (Moisturizing helps with signs of aging!) Some of my friends aren’t the same, so I’m giving them a tub of RRAW Body Frosting (P349)ーa luscious scrub-to-lotion formulaーto help incorporate both steps in their routine with just one product. Pick from the 13 available variants that you think she’d like best. Besides, what girl wouldn’t want to keep these pretty tubs in the shower?
Available on RRAW.
To the friend who swears by “kilay is life”
We all have that one friend, so be the best Santa ever by gifting her with the Sundays Moderne Beauty BUB Tub (P350) that packs a punch for her brows! The BUB Tub is made to achieve the Insta-popular BUB, meaning brushed up brows. This hybrid soap and gel formula helps serve up full, well-groomed, and natural arches. This one is even formulated with castor oil and honey, so it also promotes hair growth and health. If you’re lucky, she might even let you borrow it. See? Win-win!
To the friend who is your ultimate beach buddy
Give her something that reminds you of all the fun times you’ve spent on the beach together! The equally fun Love Brown Beach Face (P399) is an eco-friendly and reef-safe solid sunscreen that comes in three cute colors: Naked White, Purple Lava, and Pink Coconut. Choose what goes best with her favorite swimwear, plan your next trip, and make sure to pack your own Beach Face!
Available through Love Brown on Instagram.
To the friend who is always put-together
These days, having your ish together and looking good while you’re at it is a feat on its own. The struggle is real, that’s why I truly admire women who manage to live their best lives and look fabulous while doing it. For that friend, I have the Filipinta Beauty Kabal Eye Shadow Palette (P580) to add to her arsenal. The palette has four beautiful, complementing shades that I’m sure she’d love playing around with. It has a good mix of glitter, shimmer, and matte, so Kabal is not just eye-candy. It’s handy enough to bring in an average-sized bag, too.
Available on Filipinta Beauty.
To the friend who shares your love for beauty
Look at those bottles! One of the brands I recently discovered on Instagram, Bloom & Topiary caught my attention through its packaging first then their “Thoughtfully made skincare solutions crafted with nature” promise next. With these in mind, I’m sure my fellow beauty girls would be glad to unwrap the Bloom & Topiary Revitalizing Body Oil with SPF (P850) on Christmas Day. Its mix of avocado and rosehip seed oil with rose, jasmine, and neroli essential oils helps in regenerating skin cells. Plus, you can never go wrong with SPF!
To the friend who is the #GirlBoss
We also have friends who get so busy that they rarely get the time to slow down. Remind them to do a little self-care every now and then with a pot of In Her Element Petal Rose Clay Mask (P895). This brightens skin instantly, thanks to the glycolic acid that exfoliates and removes dead skin. The rose water and rose clay smell heavenly, too!
Let me end my column by reminding you to resist the urge shopping and keeping these for yourself (as I’ve done with some of them). It’s counterproductive, but, hey, it’s Christmas? Hah! Good luck!