DIY Drugstore Makeup Gift Bag Ideas

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With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to give you some ideas for a DIY drugstore makeup gift bag.  Let’s be honest, sometimes those high-end palettes are just plain out of our price range, but drugstore gift sets aren’t always the best quality.  If you want to give the gift of beauty without breaking the bank, but also not resorting to cheesy generic gift sets, then this post is for you.  Here are some ideas for items that you can put into a gift bag, or a cute makeup bag that your mom or your best friend would be delighted to receive.

A few things to keep in mind before we begin.  Unless you are 100% sure that you know the right shade, you are going to want to stay away from foundations, concealers, and any other items that require precise color matching.  You are going to want to stick to colorful makeup and tools.  Also, keep the person you are buying for in mind at all times.  If your mom’s style is more conservative, you don’t want to buy electric blue eyeliner and bright fuchsia lipstick, no matter how pretty they look.  It’s okay to try to introduce your giftee to new styles slightly out of her comfort zone, but ultimately you want her to use and enjoy her gifts.  To make things easier, I broke my list up into three gifting options.

For a fun, colorful gift opt for easily accessible makeup choices.

  • Wet n Wild Coloricon eyeshadow trios– You’ve heard me say how wonderful Wet N Wild’s Coloricon line is.  These shadows easily stand up to high-end products and may be the best products released in drugstores all year, they’re that good.  Even better, the trios are really inexpensive, so you can include several of them without going over budget.  A few great options are Silent Treatment, Don’t Steal my Thunder, and I got Good Jeans.
  • A wearable red lipstick– When is a better time to try a red lip than winter?  The key, though, is to choose a wearable red that will flatter many skin tones.  I would opt for a warm shade that leans either toward brick or cranberry, as opposed to a true red.  A couple of my favorites are e.l.f. Mineral Lipstick in Royal Red, and Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet.
  • A gorgeous cheek color– A great blush can transform a face, but don’t forget highlighters and bronzers because your recipient may not have any.  When it comes to cheek color, my go-to brands are e.l.f. and, of course, Milani.  Milani’s line of baked blushes will give Wet n Wild a run for it’s money for best product of the year.  E.l.f. has some great items in their studio line.  So help your giftee blush, bronze, and highlight into a gorgeous glow.
  • Luscious lashes– With so many mascaras out there, it can be impossible to choose, and everyone has a different opinion on what perfect lashes look like.  Why not include a tube of your favorite mascara?  Or, if you think your friend would be up for it, throw in a pair of falsies.  False lashes may be an item that your recipient wouldn’t get for themselves, but would be interested in trying out if you gave them a pair.


The tools of the trade are often neglected, so a gift with less flash, but more substance will always be appreciated.

  • You can never have enough brushes– I don’t know about you, but I think good brushes are worth their weight in gold.  Eco Tools makes a great small brush set, available from the drugstore.  E.l.f. Studio brushes are fantastic, and I use several of them every time I put on makeup.  Sonia Kashuk has some great choices available at Target.  Those are  a little more expensive, but the choices in shape and thickness will satisfy even a solid makeup lover with a well-stocked collection.
  • E.l.f. eye primer– A lot of ladies still haven’t heard of eyeshadow primer, so imagine the hero you would be to introduce one to your friend or family member.  What a great way to wake up and intensify the shadows they already have.  E.l.f. makes a great primer that you can get from Target for only $1.  And while you are there, grab the $1 e.l.f. eyelash curler, which is also a great product.
  • Nail strips– You’ve heard me rave about the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips, but have you tried them yet?  Chances are, your recipient hasn’t.  So, again, gift them with something they wouldn’t buy for themselves but may be dying to try.  And while you’re at it, throw in a glass nail file.
  • Goody Spin Pins– I first heard of these from elimynoel83 on youtube.  These funky pins spin into your hair, giving your updo the same security that 20 bobby pins would do.  They come in small and large, and in light and dark to better blend in with your hair.

Maybe your ideal gift is less about dressing up and more about dressing down.  Here are some items for pampering your pal.

  • Makeup wipes– I love makeup wipes because  they make makeup removal so quick and easy, but not everyone has tried them.  You can often find 5 or 10 packs in the travel section, and they would be a great inclusion in your gift bag.  Some good ones are by Neutrogena, Ponds, or Yes to Cucumbers.
  • Facial Masks– A lot of women think that the only masks out there are incredibly expensive, so they don’t even bother looking.  That’s not the case.  Freeman makes a line of masks for multiples skin types and you can find sample sizes (good for one or two uses) at Walmart for only a few dollars each.  Treat your recipient to a variety of masks to cleanse and de-stress.
  • Lip balm– I’m addicted to lip balm, so I am always a fan when it shows up in my stocking, or gift bags.  I love Blistex Fruit Smoothies, and I’ve heard fantastic things abut EOS Smooth Spheres.  Throw in your favorite lip balm, and grab one for yourself as well to keep your lips soft and happy.
  • Spongeables Pedi Scrub– Have you seen these?  I got one on recommendation from Thekatieab on youtube, and they are fantastic.  “A unique blend of glycerin, olive oil, shea butter, tea tree extract with lavender aromatherapy infused into a double sided sponge to exfoliate, smooth and relax your tired feet.”  They smell amazing, and feel really good.  Winter is a great time to pamper your feet after a long sandal season.
  • Bath & Body Works shower gels and candles– Okay, so not drug store, but I’m throwing B&BW in anyway.  These are my absolute favorite bath gels, so I recommend throwing one in, especially if you are interested in pampering.  I also love the Slatkin & Co items B&BW offers for the home.  I’m partial to the Wallflower plug-ins because my cats can’t mess with them, but a single-wick candle would be a great addition to this gift bag.  Bath & Body Works is constantly having sales, so keep an eye out for a bargain.

Obviously you don’t have to stick to the way I broke these down.  Feel free to mix and match to suit your bestie, or sister, or whoever you are shopping for.  I hope that this post gave you some ideas for an affordable beauty related gift that can be totally personalized so that your friend or family member will love it.  Happy Shopping!

Remember to enter my giveaway while there is still time.  I’ll be announcing the winner on Monday.

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About beautyinbudgetblog

I am a self proclaimed eyeshadow junkie whose main hobbies include shopping, reading, singing, and mainlining caffeine while hanging out with my friends. I love interesting socks and have amassed quite a collection. The place that I want to visit before I die would be Greece. I like to read all seven Harry Potter books once a year the way some people read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (Sorry JRRT, but JKR kicks butt in my book.) I love art, and use my creativity in many different ways through painting, crafts, and makeup. I love to cook and try new things, and I especially love to eat. My favorite "date" is to go wine tasting, and do so with my husband once or twice a year. I love musical theater and think the world would be much better off if we all just watched more musicals. I am 100% a cat person and, although I think dogs can be really cute and sweet, they make me sneeze so cats will always rule. I love faeries and magic, mythology, theology, philosophy, and psychology. I regularly do logic puzzles and sometimes crosswords. I adore Bette Midler, Betty White, and Carol Burnett. I am not ashamed to admit that I watch Glee. I would like to start making some of my own clothes because I can't stop myself from buying fabric. I'm sure that there is much more, but I'm suddenly distracted by something shiny.

3 responses »

  1. I love all the ideas in this post! and they are not only great for Christmas, but also birthdays or any other specials times throughout the year.

  2. I did the same thing! for a few of my friends this year I got a bunch of my favorites from the drugstore and put them in a makeup bag, the friends who got their gifts already loved it! I got my favorite eyeshadow, mascara, eye primer, blush and brushes.

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