Every year around Christmas I struggle to think of gifts I’d like to receive (and give), which is odd because I am constantly dreaming of my next purchase and therefore source of serotonin. But this year I made sure to create a “buy list” that I add to whenever I find something gift-worthy, so here are some items from my list and additional items I’ve picked out!

Oversized (faux) leather jacket

Oversized leather jackets are trending right now, but they’re classic enough that it’s an item you can keep forever.

Nasty Gal Outta the Way Faux Leather Longline Blazer

Funky candles

I started following influencer/model Matilda Djerf a few months ago because I loved her style, and come to find out she has the best minimalist interior design. She’s been posting her funky candles to Instagram lately and I am obsessed with them.

Foam The Cream Bubble

Colorful Squiggle Candle by YuiBrooklyn on Etsy

Platform Converse

I almost exclusively wear platform shoes, and these are the classic, high-top, Chuck Taylor style. They’re not aggressive platforms and there are tons of color options that you’re bound to find one that speaks to you. The lugged style is another cute option!

Custom Canvas Platform Chuck Taylor All Star By You

Houseplants with trendy planters

I love having plants and there are a lot of low-maintenance houseplants you can find with a simple Google search. For example, this article by Good Housekeeping lists 25 easy houseplants. They’re even more fun to have with cute planters and make for environmentally friendly decor!

Urban Outfitters Hector Face 3.5″ Planter

Urban Outfitters Rattan Standing Planter

AirPods case

Having a case for your AirPods is fun and makes taking them places SO much easier. Urban Outfitters, Target, and Amazon to name a few, all have really cute options.

Urban Outfitters Cow Hard Shell AirPods Case

Puffer Jacket

Gotta stay warm during the winter! And do it stylishly ~ Target has this awesome puffer jacket that is super affordable, unlike most of the ones I’ve seen. It also has other neutral color options.

Target Women’s Puffer Jacket – Wild Fable

Pants, pants, and more pants

Pants are so hard to shop for, but in addition to that they’re one of the more expensive clothing items. I try to thrift and buy second-hand as much as I can, but I find it to be harder for pants. Here are two from Zara and Urban, but know that second-hand/sustainable shopping is always best. (Utilize apps like Poshmark and Depop!)

Zara Faux Leather Pants

BDG Color Corduroy High-Waisted Mom Pant


If you need some ideas for what skincare to get, Hyram on YouTube is all-knowing. Brands like The Ordinary, Inkey List, and CeraVe are all affordable, high-quality brands that have everything you could need.


Jewelry is tough because whenever it’s affordable, there’s a high chance the piece will tarnish with time and wear. Gorjana is a jewelry brand with an anti-tarnish barrier and although it’s not “cheap,” it’s very affordable for the quality and has lots of trendy pieces.

Tiffany Heart Tag Charm Bracelet

I’ve always loved this classic Tiffany bracelet and it’s a piece that can go with different kinds of outfits, plus it comes in a gold option if that’s your vibe.


ColourPop is an American cosmetics brand based in Los Angeles and owned by brother-sister duo, Laura and John Nelson. You can find their products at Ulta or through their website. I really like ColourPop because of their morals, affordability, and quality.

ColourPop is 100% cruelty-free which is something I look for in all the makeup I buy. Cosmetic animal testing is cruel and not required. It’s done mainly out of convention and to provide data that can be used when faced with a lawsuit, but this doesn’t excuse it. A company using animal testing speaks to their brand’s shortcomings and absence of compassion.

Products from ColourPop are known for being affordable with great quality. In their “Meet ColourPop” video, Laura and John explain they’re able to make such affordable, high quality products because they have all their formulators on their “campus” in LA where they also design, produce, and manufacture products. They have collaborations with makeup artists like Kathleen Lights and Ellarie, and other brands.

I recently discovered my Laura Mercier translucent setting powder has talc in it, which causes flashback and is potentially harmful. I also don’t like spending $40 for a setting powder. I’ve since switched to ColourPop’s $10 No Filter Loose Setting Powder in translucent and it’s arguably better than the Laura Mercier one. They sell it in multiple colors, too!

ColourPop has amazing jelly eyeshadows, cosmetic glitter, a very popular foundation, and just a ton of great products focused around the eyes, lips, and face that won’t break the bank. They even produce vegan products, although they aren’t completely vegan.


Ladies, gentlemen, non-binary people, etc., skincare is something we should all invest in because we all have skin and it’s important to take care of it. I just turned 20, so I know my skin is at its prime, but it won’t last forever and before I know it I’ll start aging because that’s how the world works.

If you need to hear this from a doctor here it is, “How well you cared for your skin from a young age and, more importantly, how much you limited sun exposure before age 20 can make a difference in wrinkle formation. But there are still certain inevitable changes that are going to take place.” This is a quote from dermatologist David Goldberg, MD, director of Skin, Laser and Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey. The gist of that is we need to give a sh*t about our skin unless we want to look like wrinkly old raisins and to protect our skin from harm.

But skincare is so expensive?! False. This is not always the case. Alas, my solution for you: The Ordinary. The Ordinary is an awesome brand from DECIEM that sells affordable and good quality skincare products. They don’t tests on animals or pay people to, and are free of harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, and more. You can find this information on their About page!

I was first introduced to this brand after watching Hyram, a skincare specialist on YouTube. I knew if I was going to spend money on skincare I wanted to make sure the products I’d be using aren’t harmful to the environment or my skin and being counterproductive. I think you’d be surprised how skincare brands that claim to be good for your skin are exaggerating the “claimed” effects and manipulate their customers to believe them with crafty wording and distracting, aesthetic packaging. That’s a whole other issue, so back to the point. In one of his videos, Hyram explains The Ordinary is so affordable because the brand doesn’t spend money on advertising. This made a lot of sense to me because I had never heard of the brand or seen any sort of ad prior to the video.

After watching The Truth About The Ordinary video and a few other by Hyram, I ultimately purchased the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum, and AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. The product names are intimidating, but trust me on this. I bought my items online from Sephora, but Ulta also carries The Ordinary and for these three items, I only paid $18.90. Insanity, I know. As for my personal review, I love these items. I use the serum every morning and night, the peeling solution once a week as recommended, and the moisturizer at night since I use one with SPF (important!) during the day. Plus, a little goes a long way so I know these products with last me a while. If you’re wondering, I have fair, combination skin, and little to no acne. My skin isn’t uber sensitive, but I definitely can’t slap on anything and it’s fine. I also tend to break out around that time of the month and see this stuff working as its progressively gotten better. My skin also just looks better now that I’m giving a sh*t about it. I don’t think I ever completely neglected it, but I was doing the bare minimum for sure.

I think this brand is so cool and I really hope this post gives it some more hype because it deserves it. Go check out The Ordinary and watch Hyram on YouTube! Choose fair and performative products, whether its The Ordinary or not.



Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser $5.49

This creates a smooth base and minimizes pores. You could compare it to Benefit’s Porefessional, except I’ve heard Benefit’s primer creates issues with makeup not staying on the area it’s been applied so Maybelline all the way in this case.


Revlon ColorStay Makeup Foundation for Oily/Combination Skin with SPF 15 $9.99

This is The Foundation. I’ve tried so many (like way too many) foundations in my lifetime from high-end to drugstore and this is my favorite a year after having discovered it, still. They offer this oily/combination formula as well as a normal/dry skin formula. Its finish is a natural velvet and applies so easily (I use the Real Techniques makeup sponge). If I’m wearing foundation, it’s this. Plus there’s SPF 15 and it’s only $10 so that’s a W on its own.


Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer $7.99

This concealer has a sponge applicator and is a lighter coverage, though it can be built up. I got this in a shade too dark for my under eyes so I use it as a base for my eyeshadow and it’s always done a good job.


Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder $5.97

Coty Airspun is the OG. My mom told me it’s what she used when she was my age, and it’s still popular. It comes in a very close second to Laura Mercier’s in my opinion, but has a much better price tag. This does have a certain smell to it that sometimes bothers me if I use it on my whole face, so I usually will use both of these powders. Also unfortunate, it doesn’t seem to come in darker shades.


The Balm Hot Mama Powder/Blush $19.99

Okay… this isn’t exactly drugstore but it is less expensive than high-end and is a dupe for NARS orgasm. My mom has been using this blush forever and I love it, too!

Milani Baked Blush $6.99

I remember this blush having a hot moment around my freshman year of high school. I never got the Baked Blush, only the Rose Powder Blush by Milani, which didn’t blend very well or have much pigment. This one, though, has awesome reviews.


Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer $13.29

Hence the name Butter Bronzer, this formula is very creamy for a powder foundation. It smells good, comes in multiple shades, and applies easily. A steal if I do say so myself.


Wet N Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder $4.99

Unfortunately I can’t speak personally on this highlighter because I’ve only ever used BECCA Cosmetics champagne pop, but this Wet N Wild highlighter has amazing reviews. Plus, of my close, equally makeup-obsessed friends has amazing things to say about it.


L’Oreal Paris Brow Stylist Definer $7.99

I’ve always stuck with my Anastasia Brow Wiz, but I’m thinking I may try this next after reading the reviews because it seems to be a dupe. Same duo-edge and slim pencil! For a drugstore brow gel, Maybelline Clear Mascara is popular.


Glossier Lidstar $18.00

This is a single, liquid eyeshadow that creates a sheer look. I like to use it on days when I’m not as glam or in a rush because it takes seconds to apply. Glossier just came out with Skywash which is like Lidstar, but a matte finish. I’ve never used a true drugstore eyeshadow, but there’s gotta be good ones out there. I will say that I think investing in a high-end (I love Anastasia Beverly Hills) neutral palette is smart.


L’Oreal Paris Infallible Super Slim Liner $7.69

I use this eyeliner on the outer corner of my eyelid and it’s definitely a ride or die. Very, very similar to the Kat Von D tattoo liner if you’ve ever used it.

Maybelline Line Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Eye Liner $5.99

I use this liquid liner for my upper waterline and haven’t ever used anything else. I know people who use it for winged eyeliner, too. It’s smooth and has a lot of pigment.

L’Oreal Paris Infallible 16HR Never-Fail Eyeliner $7.59

I use this for my lower waterline because it’s affordable and of all the drugstore eyeliners I’ve tried for this area, it lasts the longest. It comes with a smudger, but I don’t need it for how I use the product.


Maybelline Eye Lash Sensational Mascara $7.99

This mascara is a total dupe for Benefit’s Roller Lash. It gives good volume and isn’t too clumpy.

COVERGIRL LashBlast Volume Mascara $7.99

I don’t think this mascara gets enough credit at all. It’s a lighter formula so I have to do a few coats to get the look I want because I have thin lashes, but it’s really awesome.


Morphe Continuous Setting Mist $16.00

My friend swears by this setting spray and I’ve also heard Youtubers, like Olivia Jade, have good things to say about it. Unlike the Urban Decay one, it has a continuous mist.

I haven’t heard of a drugstore setting spray. However, the NYX Professional Makeup Matte Setting Spray has good reviews!