Sephora’s got advent calendars up the wazoo. So does Net-A-Porter, Saks, Bluemercury… But among all the punchable day-numbered countdown boxes, you know what you’ll find for the eight nights of Hanukkah? Bupkis! Not one beauty set! What gives, brands? It’s some major untapped gifting potential, especially considering the holiday lasts over a week and Christmas just one measly morning. While their gears and dreidels start spinning for next year, it’s not so hard to piece together your very own Hanukkah beauty extravaganza right now. The goal is eight bite-sized beauty products, one for each day. And any one gift shouldn’t break the bank—like that mythical oil that burned for eight straight nights, your budget’s got to streeeeeetch. Grab yourself a latke and a seat: here’s how we’re doling out our not-quite-chocolate coins.
A Balm Melange: Kosas Lipfuel Snack Pack
Hanukkah technically started on Sunday (it follows the Hebrew calendar, and feels weirdly early this year). If you’re starting now you’ll have to play some catchup—this lip balm trio from Kosas is the perfect way to make up time. You’ve got three balms, one for each night of Hanukkah thus far and, conveniently, one for each location you might want to keep a balm. You literally cannot over index on these things. Especially in winter. Some other reasons they’re superior: They have a slight minty scent that gives lips a satisfying tingle. They’re my-lips-but-better tinted, but also buttery and nourishing enough to actually soothe. The shiny shade-matched packaging makes you feel like you’re holding a handful of M&Ms. But the best part is their unique oblong shape (kind of like a shrunken down Olio e Osso) which makes application so, so easy. The set is basically sold out everywhere, but still in stock at Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom.
A Perfect Red Lacquer: Jinsoon Coquette
There are many good reasons to have a perfect red on hand for your hands, but because it sounds so obvious, you might have skipped over it. No longer! Every nail polish collection needs a perfect red, and this is it. It’s totally middle of the road in terms of undertone, neither too dark nor too bright, and has a high patent shine. Jinsoon (made by its eponymous nail artist founder) feels like a more special purchase than regular-degular Essie or OPI. And while the minimalist bottle looks chic on a vanity and kind of resembles the Chanel ones, it’s more reasonably priced.
Some Under-The-Radar French Pharmacy: Nuxe Honey Makeup Removing Gel
Everyone loves French pharmacy skincare, but receiving it as a holiday gift is like being served oatmeal at brunch. Meh. The mild, nourishing, creamy formulas (thinking Embryolisse, Biafine, A313, and Homeoplasmine here) are great, but not particularly exciting. However, this Nuxe makeup melting gel is. It smells amazing, like honey, and has a unique jelly texture that’s effective for taking off everyday makeup. The Nuxe name will make you go “ooh” and the soap-free gentle cleanse will have you saying “ahh.”
A Holiday Eye Shortcut: Danessa Myricks Twin Flames liquid eyeshadow in Crazy 4 U
A great gift because it’s so darn irresistible in the tube. (Look at the rainbows!!) But beyond that, you’ll score points with both the hardcore makeup lovers and the total color newbies. The multi-chrome finish is hard to beat, and the sheer, easy-to-use liquid formula is unintimidating. You don’t need three different eyeshadow shades to get dimension—just use the one, which has peach, gold, and aqua in a single swipe.
A Skincare Activity: Mediheal NMF Masks 10 pack
One gift, ten masks, just barely $13. If you’re playing a numbers game, surely these sheet masks are the way to win. Mediheal is the go-to sheet mask brand in Korea, and their NMF range was developed by top dermatologists and aestheticians with dry, sensitized skin in mind. Great for any complexion in need of a quick pick-me-up. Just as great to have stockpiled for when winter face really starts to kick in.
The Big, Bouncy Finale: Revlon One Step Plus
You’ve saved your coin all week, so pour anything left over into this Revlon hair styling brush. The OG One Step made it ridiculously easy to achieve a salon-level blowout at home. Practically a miracle. We still love it! But the new-and-improved version is less bulky, with a detachable brush head that makes travel easier and a heat-adjustment knob for less damaged strands. It’s a little bit pricier, but the minor splurge is easily worth it if your giftee will use it often. (Plus, it’s still way less than other easy blow out tools, like the Dyson.) And just like that, you’ve reached eight gifts. Mazel tov! On night nine, maybe you’ll try them all out.
Photo via ITG