Any beauty expert’s medicine cabinet (or vanity table or dresser) is a point of pride. Their carefully curated products, from super-luxe moisturizers to scientifically formulated serums, are enviable, to say the least. But these insiders share a secret: Not everything that looks and feels fancy on their shelves will break your budget.
So we asked 10 of our favorite beauty and wellness experts which under-$25 buys they’re eyeing for their friends (or themselves) this holiday season. Take a look and start making your own shopping list—and feel free to extend some of your generosity to yourself, too. With prices like these, there’s no reason not to indulge.
Hannah Bronfman, Author and Founder of HBFIT
I finally tried Osea’s hyaluronic acid and I loved it, so I’m ready to dive deeper into the brand. I find that most mud masks are too strong and leave my skin feeling stripped of moisture, but algae is super-hydrating, so I’m excited to try the travel size of its Ocean Cleansing Mudd.
Mi-Anne Chan, Video Director at Condé Nast Entertainment
There was a period of time when black eyeliner would have been my desert island beauty product. Now I can count on one hand how many times I’ve reached for it in the past month. Over the past year, I’ve worn an almost exclusively rainbow color palette. These ColourPop twist-up pencils are amazing—they’re long-lasting and pigmented and come in the best punchy shades. I’d be over the moon to add these four to my collection. It’s basically your perfect starter kit for color—the only thing that’s missing is a hot pink!
Hannah Baxter, Senior Beauty Editor at Coveteur
I’m a facial massage devotee, not only because it helps me wake up in the morning and sculpts my cheekbones to perfection, but it’s five minutes that’s all about self-care. It calms me down and gets me ready for the day ahead.
Trinity Mouzon Wofford, Cofounder of Golde
As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly running around and attempting to be in two places at once. A bath is super-aspirational for me because it’s an action that’s grounded in inaction—I want to encourage myself to take more opportunities to pause and reflect, while doing my body some good. I’ve seen this soak for years at all my favorite crunchy health-food stores. When it’s stocked in places like that, you know it’s good.
Sara Panton, Founder of Vitruvi
I am all about foam rolling, and having something small that I can keep in my suitcase to help reset my muscles after flights would be a game changer. This is on my wish list!
Julee Wilson, Global Beauty Director of Essence
I love giving the gift of dope skin—or at least something that will help you get it. This year I’m giving my loved ones Dehiya’s Mihakka, which is a handcrafted face and body exfoliating tool. It’s made out of terracotta and covered in organic cotton, and it has the power to transform your skin into silk. Can you tell I’m obsessed? Plus it’s only $16. Win-win!
Alisha Ramos, Founder of Girls’ Night In
I want to try this mini cleansing balm by Farmacy. I love the feeling of getting everything off when cleansing (including any heavy eye makeup), but not totally stripping my face of oils. I like that this one includes papaya enzymes, which have worked really well for me in the past. Plus, with this balm, you get a bit of exfoliation, too.
Julie Schott, Cofounder of Starface
Ded Cool Chazsticks are like grown-up Lip Smackers. I have Cannabis and Coconut Milk, but I would love to try Watermelon, Mint, and Rose. You can never have too many lip balms.
Éva Goicochea, Founder of Maude
The Labour & Wait water bottle is really simple, but it’s absolutely the most useful wellness item. It heats you up, soothes achy muscles, and offers cramp relief—which is always a welcome gift.
Tara Foley, Founder of Follain
I use CBD in many forms and love this company—I have its daily capsules on my desk and bedside table. I call it my “in case of emergency” jar, in case I’m having an extra-stressful day. Not all CBD is grown and sourced equally, but I really trust this brand and the founders behind it. I’m excited to try these tasty-looking treats—especially through holiday stress.