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Which stocking stuffer beauty minis are best?
Shopping for beauty stocking stuffers this year? If you’re looking for unique products to wow recipients, consider giving beauty minis from their favorite brands. After all, the best things come in small packages.
Many premium beauty brands have released miniature varieties of their bestselling products, ranging from blushes to mascaras to setting products. Not only are they more affordable than their full-size counterparts, they’re also travel-friendly and fit in almost every cosmetics bag. And to make these tiny stocking stuffers even more delightful, many of them are currently available with special holiday packaging.
Do you need a few more stocking stuffer gift recommendations? Check out these gift guides:
- Best stocking stuffers for $25 or less
- The 6 best stocking stuffers for travelers
- 7 best stocking stuffers for couples
What to know about beauty minis
What are beauty minis?
Beauty minis, sometimes called travel-size varieties, are simply smaller versions of makeup products. Premium beauty brands usually release mini varieties of bestselling products in popular shades. MAC Cosmetics, for example, has a curated collection of miniature lipsticks featuring perennial favorites like Ruby Woo and Teddy Bare. The brand, however, makes well over 100 lipstick shades, if not more.
Retailers that sell beauty minis
Almost all retailers that carry premium beauty brands sell at least a handful of beauty minis, including Ulta, Sephora and Macys. Select beauty minis are now available at Sephora at Kohl’s in participating locations, as well.
Whereas some retailers have limited beauty mini assortments in stores, their websites typically offer more extensive shade collections for products like lipstick or concealer. Given the rising popularity of beauty minus, particularly as stocking stuffers this year, many retailers now have dedicated pages for these tiny treasures. Other retailers have added holiday-exclusive minis to their gift guides, many of which feature seasonal packaging.
Beauty minis aren’t just cute stocking stuffers from recognizable beauty brands. They’re actually practical investments that may fit better into the recipient’s life than full-size varieties. Here are a few perks of beauty minis:
- Many shoppers prefer beauty minis because they offer more bang for the buck. Because there’s less product, they’re more likely to use up the makeup before it expires.
- Beauty minis are often packaged with travel-friendly accessories, like mini brushes or built-in mirrors and sharpeners. As a result, they’re travel-friendly and typically fit into most cosmetics bags.
- Some shoppers are more willing to experiment with a new brand or product when it’s available as a beauty mini.
While many people appreciate beauty minis, they’re not for everyone. Here’s what to consider before you give them as stocking stuffers:
- There are limited shades for beauty minis, and unfortunately, the ones available may not be ideal or flattering on the recipient.
- Some beauty minis have lower-quality packaging, which means they could be more susceptible to damage.
- Because applicators for beauty minis are notably smaller than full-size products, some people feel it’s more difficult to apply makeup with them.
How much you can expect to spend on beauty minis
Premium beauty minis typically cost anywhere from $10-$20, with a few outliers. Beauty mini bundles, which may include up to three products, run between $20-$30. Holiday-exclusive beauty mini bundles with fancier packaging may cost closer to $35.
Give these beauty minis for stocking stuffers this year
Mini MAC Lipsticks are now available in a collection of the brand’s bestselling shades in three finishes, including matte, retro matte and satin. The high-pigment formulas are known for their extra-long wear times.
Available in a whopping 35 shades, Tarte’s new Shape Tape variety is now infused with hydrating eye cream. The nourishing formula, which includes hyaluronic acid and shea butter, smooths over fine lines and prevents the concealer from flaking.
Sold by Ulta
This ballerina-pink blush is universally flattering and gives cheeks just enough flush. The power has an understated shimmer that adds dimension to the shade. As a bonus, the mini-compact comes with a brush and a built-in mirror.
While it’s gentle enough for sensitive eyes, this Clinique makeup remover takes off high-pigment and long-wearing makeup without tugging at the skin. The oil-free, fragrance-free formula is even safe for contact lens wearers.
The Naked3 Mini palette features six rosy shades in matte and shimmer colors. The shadows are velvety-smooth and blend easily with one another. Best of all, the eye shadow is vegan and cruelty-free.
Lauded as one of the best mascaras on the market, this Lancôme mascara adds sizable volume to lashes with a high-opacity formula. The smudge-proof formula promises to remain bold and flake-free for up to 24 hours.
Packaged in a chic compact, this bronzer and highlighter duo is ideal for contouring cheekbones. The powder is infused with fine sparkle flecks that capture the light and create a candlelit effect on the skin.
The NARS matte lip pencil, now available in a mini two-pack, offers rich, long-lasting color. The formula is infused with vitamin E and emollients to lock in moisture, leaving them soft and smooth all day.
Sold by Sephora
Considered an essential Beautyblender accessory, this travel cleaner set makes for quick-and-easy cleaning on the go. The gentle vegan cleaner, which leaves the sponge with a clean lavender scent, is formulated without harsh, irritating ingredients.
Sold by Sephora
It’s hard to beat the easy application of this holographic stick highlighter that gives cheeks prismatic shine. The smooth, creamy formula is made with mango butter and blends easily over liquid and cream foundations.
This popular setting powder is virtually weightless on skin and creates a blurring, softening effect that smooths over fine lines and pores. The loose powder has a translucent finish that lets your skin’s natural radiance shine through it.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.