Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Beauty Lover

Flowers and drugstore-bought gift cards are great, but sometimes you just want a gift that looks like you expended a lot of time and energy to find the ideal one—even if you didn’t. However, it can be really hard to come up with the perfect gift idea when you’ve only got a few days (or hours) left. This is especially true if the recipient is your mom and she’s picky. If you’re in a bit of a bind and can’t decide what kind of gift to give Mom this year, maybe I can ease your mind.

I love, love, love, buying and trying out beauty products. I equally enjoy searching for the best beauty gifts to give fellow beauty lovers. Whether it’s makeup, skincare, perfume or anything in between, giving a gift of beauty is a great way to help a woman feel pampered and gorgeous (pfft…as though she isn’t already). If your mom’s favorite store department is the cosmetics counter, this last-minute gift guide will help save your life and make you her favorite child (not that she has a favorite or anything).

– $50 and Under –



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Chloe Coffret Gift Set – $20

If I wanted to gift someone a perfume set for under $25 I would jump to pick Chloé every single time. This set includes the original Chloé fragrance, which is one of my signature scents (just like a whole lot of other Chloé fans I know). Notes of freesia and peony are the hallmark of this particular perfume, which is perfect for anyone who loves florals. However, this also comes with Love Story, which is an equally beautiful scent. It features notes of fruity orange, full-bodied cedar wood and romantic jasmine. Ooh la la…très chic!

Though these bottles are going to be relatively small in comparison to their full size counterparts, they will last a little while due to a little going such a long way. Besides, the small size is excellent if your mom hasn’t tried any Chloé perfumes before. These are also the perfect size for traveling or running around throughout an everyday week—she can just throw it in her bag and go.



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Meet Gen Nude Set – $15

For the money, I think this is an excellent gift for the mom who lives for lip products. No matter what your age, a good nude lip is everything. It looks great day or night, so I think having the perfect nude liquid lipstick is a total beauty must-have. Though these are minis, they last a lot longer than you would think. I have this product in the color “Swag”, and I simply love the formula. It goes on slightly sheer, but you can easily build up if you’re looking for more pigment. Never dry or sticky, this formula somehow leaves your lips petal soft. Why can’t all mattes be like this?

This set includes the color “Bo$$” in the glossy formulation and the color “Sugar” in the matte formulation. I think these colors would compliment a wide variety of skin tones, but even if the colors are a little on the light side, lining the lips with a deep brown liner and blending it into the lip color should fix that issue right up. And if your recipient ends up liking these, bareMinerals has 58 other colors in 4 finishes to add to their collection.



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Mini Pretty Hands – $16

Don’t let the pint-sized tubes fool you. This hand cream packs a serious punch! L’Occitane hand creams go a long way. Want to know how long? Well, my mom gifted me one of their large jars at Christmas about…four or five years ago. I still have it. The insane part is that I use it like crazy, but it’s still here! I’m hardly complaining though. L’Occitane   is one of my favorite brands; their quality is amazing. When it comes to lotions and hand creams, nothing else I’ve tried can compare to the richness, moisture or lasting power. Their products smell amazing as well.

Complete with a cute carrying case (that can later be used as a makeup bag), this set includes four tubes of some of the best hand cream ever. And with scents like peony and cherry blossom, I’m sure the special lady in your life will fall in love with these too. It’s a really good way to introduce her to the brand and see which scents she likes best.




Anastasia Beverly Hills

Illuminator (in So Hollywood) – $28

I need this highlighter in my life so badly. In fact, I’m probably ordering it as you read this. I first stumbled across while watching one of my favorite Youtubers. He did a swatch of this on his hand and I nearly fell out of my chair. I love my usual highlighter, but this—this is endlessly pretty. Whether your mom likes contouring and highlighting or strobing, a bright, natural glow is like the icing on a cake—the cake is unfinished without it. Only in this case, the highlighter is the icing for your face. Wait. What? Anyway, highlighter. You need this. This one. Now.

The ABH illuminator actually comes in a few different shades. They suggest different ones for different skin tones and normally I would say to follow a brand’s suggestions. ‘So Hollywood’  is their pick for deeper skin tones. However, after seeing this on a diverse range of people, I personally think ‘So Hollywood’  is a pretty universal shade if you’re aiming for a warm champagne glow. The other options have rosy/peachy tones to them, which provides more of a glowing blush effect opposed to a natural kiss of light, if that makes sense. The compact comes with a built-in mirror (very convenient for touch ups on the go). Your mom seriously needs this in her makeup bag. Why are you even still here? 😛



Photo Courtesy of Macy’s



IBUKI Protective Moisturizer SPF 18, 75ml – $45

What an easy pick for me this was! This Shiseido product has been my go-to facial moisturizer for the last couple of years. I seriously can’t stop singing it’s praises. I do use two other favored moisturizers (one lower end and one higher end), but if you were to see me out and about in the streets on an average day, you can bet that this moisturizer is somewhere on my face. I’m going to be doing a full review of my favorite moisturizers at a later date, but I will say that I love this one and will never, ever dump this brand.

If your mom suffers from any kind of issues with dry skin, blemishes, uneven skin tone or large pores, get her this moisturizer. It is one of the most hydrating moisturizers that I’ve tried and it is a great product to use under makeup. My makeup always comes out flawless when I prep my skin with this stuff. You truly don’t need to use a lot because it smoothes out across the skin so well. I highly recommend this if you think your mom could use a fresh boost of hydration. I’m pretty sure she’ll love it.



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Get Started Complexion Kit – $49*

Let me just start off by saying that even though I’ve adopted a sincere liking for liquid foundations (I used to despise them), I will always have a soft spot in my heart for mineral foundation. When applied with a really good quality brush, mineral makeup can leave your skin looking absolutely flawless and natural. I used bareMinerals as my primary foundation and setting powder for years. Though I’ve branched off to try a lot of new products, I still use their foundation when I want makeup on, but don’t need all the drama of a full face. I especially love traveling with their products because it really helps me to cut back on the liquids I have to carry on.

This set is excellent if your mom is new to mineral makeup and you want to see how she’d like it. It comes complete with a carrying case, a brush, foundation (in original and matte), primer, a bronzing color and finishing powder. For the money, this is a really good value. These pots will last a considerable amount of time because even when you want full coverage, you don’t need to use a whole lot of product to get the look you want.

*Reduced on Nordstrom’s website to $44.10 as of 5/7/16


– $50 to $100 –



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19 Piece Brush Set – $50

Am I the only one who is obsessed with buying makeup brushes? I am constantly looking  at and often buying new beautiful brushes (take Tarte’s limited edition unicorn-inspired Magic Wands, for instance). Some people may not understand the value of having a wide range of different brushes, but having the right ones can truly make or break a makeup look. Whether your mom is nearly a certified MUA or a bit of a makeup newbie, any makeup lover needs a full range of brushes. And if you are on a budget, the best set I can recommend would be this one by e.l.f.

If you never bought another set in your life, this one would take care of your every need. I mean, there’s truly a little bit of everything in here. It has brushes for eyes, lips, face…Hey, wait a minute. Perhaps that’s where e.l.f. got their name from, huh? Just kidding. I actually knew that. Complete with a roll-up carrying case to hold all of these affordable brushes, this set is great for traveling as well. I own several of the brushes  found in this set and I simply love them.



Photo Courtesy of Molton Brown London

Molton Brown London

The Perfect Picnic Bathing & Hand Gift Trio (Limited Edition) – $75

I can’t even tell you how much I love the fragrances from Molton Brown London. This is bound to be a hit with any of the scent-loving moms out there. I picked this particular set because I always like to give someone variety whenever possible. Molton Brown scents range from soft and subtle to vibrant and exotic, but I think the floral scents featured here are mild and universal enough to suit even the pickiest woman.

I love the bottles and gift packaging—so festive for spring! Complete with two bath/shower gels (in “Rhubarb & Rose” and “Vanilla & Violet”) and a hand soap (in “Comice Pear & Wild Honey”), this is going to leave your mom smelling like a garden all day long.



Photo Courtesy of Sephora


Dr. Dennis Gross

Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Daily Peel (30 treatments + 5 bonus) – $88

I think this is a great splurge for any mom wanting to turn the clock back on her face a little. However, this daily peel kit isn’t just for aging skin. It’s also great when it comes to combating acne and blemishes. And let’s not forget about its tough action against dry, lifeless skin. I use this once or twice a month for maintenance of a smooth, healthy looking face. My skin immediately perks up after a treatment. Though these pads are extra strength*, I have never found them to be too harsh for daily use.

Even if someone wanted to only use it sparingly, as I now do, they’d still see awesome results long before running out of pads. And because each treatment is individually wrapped, you don’t have to worry about them drying out.

*Also available in regular strength.



Photo Courtesy of Macy’s



Dynamic Duo Anti-Wrinkle Eye Set – $57

I love Shiseido. That really should be enough of an endorsement, but in case you aren’t familiar with the brand: they are amazing. I really like their skincare products, which must be quite evident if you can recall seeing another one of their products in this guide. If your mom is of a certain age, one of her primary beauty concerns may be wrinkles and fine lines. I don’t know anyone who particularly likes crow’s feet, so this set is recommended for anyone who is trying to prevent or rid themselves of them.

This introductory set comes with three sets of eye masks, which will prep your mom’s under eye area by delivering moisture and retinol to the delicate surrounding skin. It also includes a jar of eye contour cream. This cream is great because it will help combat the five types of eye wrinkles. She can actually use the eye masks around the mouth to help fight those pesky parentheses that often like to form. I think this dual use is extremely useful.

–  $100 and Up –


Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom


butter London

THE MOST WONDERfull OF ALL Nail Lacquer Collection – $105

If your mom lives for a good mani/pedi and never misses her biweekly appointment at the nail salon, this set is going to be a total hit. Oprah once crowned this as one of her favorite things, so most mothers will automatically love this product once you tell them. I mean, it’s Oprah. But even if Oprah had never given it her golden stamp of approval, I would still highly recommend this for the mom who likes keeping her nails painted. What I love about butter London is that they craft their polishes without all the nasty chemicals that their competitors unfortunately leave in. Can I get a little color without the formaldehyde on the side? Thank you.

This set includes cuticle exfoliator, matte top coat, UV topcoat and priming base coat. The remainder of the set features some of butter London’s prettiest colors like ‘Tea with the Queen’, ‘Cotton Buds’, ‘Figgy Pudding’ and ‘Union Jack Black’. Your mom should be able to find the perfect shade for her fingers and toes all year long. You may be able to sneak and “borrow” one without her noticing as well!



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‘Mia’ Cleansing System (in Lavender) – $116*

Here come the beauty gadgets. When it comes to cleansing my face, I really enjoy a good spin brush. Not only does it help you to better remove dirt, oils and leftover makeup from your face (they say the Mia 1 removes 6x the impurities as washing with hands alone), but it can also provide a bit of exfoliation. This particular model is actually the original Mia. They do have a Mia 2 and Mia Fit (at a higher price point), but I think this model is perfectly suitable for the sake of gift giving.

This product is very easy to use. Just wet the brush head, add your favorite cleanser, turn it on, use it for sixty seconds, rinse and you’re done. I really like that this device comes in different colors. I prefer the lavender, but it also comes in white, pink and electric pink. It’s rechargeable and features one, simple speed setting, which is supposed to be suitable for all skin types. It’s also waterproof, making it possible to wash your face in the shower without concern. This is a great gift for the mom who has never used a spin brush before or has not found one she likes.

*Nordstrom price matched this product



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‘Trinity’ Facial Toning Device – $292.50*

If you’re in the market for a higher end Mother’s Day beauty gift, you can’t go wrong with    the Nuface ‘Trinity’. I have been seeing this everywhere. I absolutely love beauty trinkets and gadgets, so it naturally captured my attention. This FDA approved and clinically tested facial device is designed to improve skin tone, enhance facial contours and greatly improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

It uses electronic micro-currents to help lift sagging skin, which they claim is equivalent to a non-invasive facelift. You only have to use it five minutes a day, so there’s no lengthy and uncomfortable treatments to endure. Complete with gel primer and a charging station, this device should help your mom look younger with regular use. The before and after pictures are pretty impressive, so I will definitely be trying this out the first chance I get (you know, responsibilities and all that boring stuff).

*Nordstrom price matched this product



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Supersonic Hair Drying Set (Limited Edition) – $399

People are going absolutely nuts for this hair dryer. If your money isn’t funny, your change isn’t strange and your mom loves heat styling her hair, this gift pick is going to win you the Best Child Ever Award. No. Seriously. People love it that much. This particular set is limited edition, so if you want the pretty box (designed by Dyson himself) and all the extra accessories that don’t come with the regular packaging, it may be a good time to grab this for your mom and maybe even yourself.

Besides being visually stunning, this blowdryer was designed to be light, powerful and best of all, quiet. It is guaranteed to dry your mom’s hair in record speed and leave her with enviable, shiny tresses. In addition to the travel case and dryer, it comes with a storage hanger, a non-slip mat, and three magnetic attachments. Whether your mom’s hair is long, short, curly, straight, thick or fine, this dryer is sure to bring a smile to her face on Mother’s Day.

*Currently on backorder on Nordstrom’s website as of 5/9/17. If you cannot get it in-store, Sephora still has them in stock for the same price.

Shopping online? Want to earn cash back on your purchases at popular retailers online and in select stores? Check out Ebates! I save so much money using them when I shop. More $$$ = more shopping. ❤ ❤ ❤

This gift guide was a blast to do, but so hard. So many great choices! There was no possible way that I could include everything that I loved, but these picks should at least help get you pointed in the right direction. If nothing else, you might have found something to pick up for yourself! No judgement here. 😛 Still looking for a little more gift hunting help? If your mom likes food or drink (even of the non-alcoholic variety), my gift guide for boozy foodies might help you find just the right thing.

I hope this Mother’s Day is the best ever for you, your mom and any other treasured mothers in your life—happy and positive vibes only. ‘Til next time, golden girls!



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