12 Beauty Splurges To Give Friends (Or Yourself) Because Some Products Are Worth It

There are certain products I “need” to splurge on (using that word loosely, trust me), like sulfate-free shampoo for the frizz mop on my head. But things like shimmering eyeshadow palettes or eyeliner that cost the same price as my weekly grocery trip feel like novelties I shouldn't indulge in.

Perhaps because of this, my sister Liz and I have a tacit agreement to always give each other makeup for Christmas. One year, she got me the Chanel bronzer I obsessed over after seeing a beauty blogger rave about it. Another year, I proved to her that she can wear a bold lip — and wear it well — when I bought her a bright fuchsia lipstick from Make Up For Ever. At the very least, we'll give each other Sephora gift cards. Naturally, we always report back on what products we loved, didn't love, and loved but would never spend our own money on. For us, it's a mutually beneficial, educational experience.

So here are some fun and effective beauty splurges to give this holiday season. Because like my fancy shampoo, some products truly are worth the extra dough. If the recipient of some of these gifts ends up being yourself, don't worry: I would never judge you.

(In case anyone was curious, I asked Liz for makeup brushes this year.)

1. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

Apparently, this is what you use if you want your skin to resemble Kylie Jenner’s. Since everyone wants that, get one for yourself and your dearest best friend.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, $46.99, Amazon

2. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick

If there was ever a product to splurge on, it’s a lipstick that never fades yet still somehow feels hydrating. This is that product. Buy it in Nude Kate for more Kylie vibes.

K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick, $32, Nordstrom

3. Beautyblender

This is the magical gadget (OK, sponge) in every makeup artist’s kit. Get it for the friend who actually knows how to contour.

Beauty Blender, $20, Check It Out

4. T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer

Give this to your friend with the weekly blowout habit. Are you that friend? Get it for yourself. You'll get that shiny salon hair and cut your dry time in half.

T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer, $20, Check It Out

5. Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Babydoll

Appropriately named "Babydoll," this YSL mascara gives you the best feathery, perfectly curled lashes. I got a sample of this a couple years ago and have been unable to go back to the drugstore stuff since.

YSL Mascara, $32, Nordstrom

7. Rae Morris Personal Brush Set

A wise person once told me that your makeup only works as hard as your brushes do — or something like that. In other words, great brushes are worth the investment and this set from Rae Morris fits the bill.

Rae Morris Brush Set, $275, Beautylish

8. Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask

Peter Thomas Roth has a numbers of awesome masks, but this one’s the best. It’s legit hydrating and gets all that gunk out of your pores. Plus, it’s kind of fun to wear black goopy stuff all over your face.

Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask, $58, Sephora

9. Clé de Peau Beauté Perfect Lash Mascara

This mascara makes natural lashes look like falsies, but without any strange fibers or tubes. We're talking triple the length! Use the holidays as a way to justify the price tag.

Clé de Peau Beauté, $50, Check It Out

10. Foreo Luna Mini

It’s a facial cleansing device that’s also really cute-looking and not bulky. The soft, silicone bristles are way better for sensitive skin than nylon-bristle cleansing brushes, which can be overly abrasive.

Foreo Luna Mini, $99, Check It Out

11. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Powder

The closest it gets to wearing an Instagram filter IRL, get this shimmery finishing powder for your selfie-loving friend.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector, $38, Sephora

12. Dior Addict Fluid Stick

In a world that’s moved on to matte lipsticks, I’m still very much pro gloss. These Dior fluid sticks pack a ton of pigment into a super-shiny-yet-somehow-not-sticky gloss.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick, $35, Check It Out

Images: lokisurina/Fotolia; Nordstrom (1); Net-A-Porter (1); Sephora (4); Ulta (1); Tom Ford (1); Yves Saint Laurent (1); Rae Morris (1); Neiman Marcus (2)