Oh, don't pretend like you don't have one!
I've always been a fan of the stocking stuffer. Perhaps it's because, ever since I was a kid, my mother treated the stockings just like any other gift. She individually wrapped every item in the stockings of my father, sister and myself, and we had to take turns opening them one by one. As a matter of fact, we still do.
The whole stocking un-stuffing process takes about an hour on Christmas morning, before we head into actual gifts. But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
I always loved finding bottles of nail polish and tubes of Chapstick in my stocking, but now that I get that kind of stuff for free, my stocking tends to be full of things like tea and tights (not complaining--both are very useful). However, I realize not everyone is getting products delivered to them on a weekly basis, and the budget beauty purchase is something to get excited about year-round.
So, maybe you have a Secret Santa, or you're putting together a beauty box of goodies, or maybe you just need to treat yourself amidst the hectic wildlife that is holiday shopping. Here, I present you with a bunch of items under $15, some even under $5. So roll your quarters and get shopping.
Yes To Carrots Lip Butter SPF 15 in Pomegranate
It's easy to forget that our lips need just as much protection from the sun (even in the winter!) as the rest of our skin, which is where this Yes To Carrots balm comes in.
It's smooth and creamy and covers with SPF 15, and since it's free of parabens, phthalates and SLS, you won't feel totally grossed out about licking the sweet-tasting formula off your lips throughout the day.
Stila Collage of Color Lip & Cheek Palette
A palette of three creamy shades in Stila's much-loved Convertible formulation, the peach poppy, coral and roseberry shades work on lips and cheeks, and they're bright enough to ensure that your dead, tired, winter-ravaged skin looks alive and cheerful.
For $10, you can throw it in your bag to have on hand during the odd occasional you glance in the mirror and think to yourself, I look ill.
Josie Maran Bear Naked Peppermint Nail Wipes
This gift combines two things I love: polar bears and nail polish remover that doesn't smell like a chemical nightmare.
These have a special holiday-edition peppermint scent that goes hand in hand (pun not intended) with an acetone-free formula to gently remove polish, while argan oil conditions cuticles. And the polar bears? Well, a portion of sales from every "Bear Naked" product goes towards the Polar Bear SOS initiative. Hooray!
Topshop Nail File Trio
I really don't think it's possible to have enough nail files, and this pack of cute, sparkly ones in an adorable, reusable hot pink PVC bag from Topshop are a necessity.
We are in tights season, you know--save yourself from snags and keep one file in your bag, one at work, and one next to the TV (I always absentmindedly file my nails during Jeopardy).
Lush FUN Christmas Gift
Perfect for a kiddo or just an adult who thinks bath time should be a productive and creative experience, this trio features mouldable, brightly coloured multi-purpose FUN, a product that can be used like Play-Doh before being lathered on the skin like soap, or crumbled under running water to create bubbles.
Plus, the scents are incredible: green is zesty lemon and lime, red is cheerful mandarin, and gold has a sweet, honey-toffee scent you might want to eat.
Tiniest Egg White Facial Soap
Got a dollar? Then you can buy this tiny little bar of Swedish soap!
Made with egg whites, chamomile flower oil and lecithin, it helps draw impurities out of the skin while still leaving it nice and soft. You can use it as a regular ol' gentle cleanser or lather and leave it for five minutes as a deep-cleaning mask. And that box is just so cute! For a dollar, how can you say no?
So, what do you usually get in your stocking? Gum? Batteries? Can't go wrong with either of those, but hopefully someone nice gets you something from the list above.