Holiday Gifting: A Procrastinating Beauty-Lover’s Guide

No matter what holidays you do or don’t celebrate, we all love a good gift. Regardless of whether we’re giving or receiving, gifting is fun all the way around.

If you’re anything like me, procrastination it not a factor in holiday shopping, it is THE NAME OF THE GAME. So today I’m going to go unveil the procrastinator/beauty-lover’s guide to holiday shopping. FIRST, deadlines. Also, today is pay day, so let’s not delay. It’s the best time to get down to holiday business. Here we go!


2017 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

USPS Cut-offs

According to the US Post Office, the last date to ship packages to receive in time for Christmas (December 25th) this year is:

For the contiguous 48:

  • Thursday, December 14th for USPS Ground
  • Tuesday, December 19th for First Class Mail (what we typically use at Amalie!)
  • Wednesday, December 20th for Priority Mail ($5 shipping at Amalie)
  • Friday, December 22nd for Priority Express Mail


  • Wednesday, December 20th for First Class and Priority Mail
  • Thursday, December 21st for Priority Express Mail


  • Friday, December 15th for First Class and Priority Mail
  • Wednesday, December 20th for Priority Express Mail

Internationally – not everyone celebrates Christmas, so there’s that – but dates will be much further out. To be safe, you probably need to ship any International First Class packages by December 11th, any International Priority Mail packages by December 14th, and any International Priority Express packages by the 16th. USPS doesn’t make estimates on those packages, because so many things – including, but not limited to customs – are out of their control, but those are my best guesses, based on 5 years of holiday shipping experience!

Pro tip: These are the SHIP dates of items, not the ORDER date. To be safe, order 1-3 days in advance of the ship date.

Amalie Shopping Pro Tip: We ship every Monday, Wednesday at Friday, with cut-offs at 5am the day of shipping. Order by 5am EST on Monday, December 18th for first class shipping by Christmas. Order by Wednesday December 20th at 5am EST for Priority Mail shipping by Christmas.

More info on USPS holiday dates here.


UPS Holiday Cut-offs

Some vendors – like Prime by Amazon – use UPS or FedEx for faster shipping. While Amazon is great at giving expected (and very accurate!) shipment arrival dates, some smaller vendors don’t have the same infrastructure and pull to make those dates. Here’s what UPS says:

  • Monday, December 18th – last shipment pick-up date for UPS 3-day Select delivery by Christmas
  • Wednesday, December 20th – last shipment pick-up date for UPS 2nd Day Air delivery by Christmas
  • Friday, December 22nd – last shipment pick-up date for UPS Next Day delivery by Christmas (will be delivered on Saturday, Dec 23. Saturday deliveries not available in all zip codes)
  • More details here


Fed-Ex Holiday Cut-offs

  • Friday, December 15th for FedEx ground delivery by Christmas
  • Monday, December 18th for FedEx home delivery
  • Tuesday, December 19th for FedEx Express Saver
  • Wednesday, December 20th for FedEx 2day AM and 2day
  • Thursday, December 21st for Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight and First Overnight

For more details, including times to Puerto Rico and international destinations, read here.


Shipping Time Takeaways

In general, no matter who’s shipping your package, it’s safest to order NOW through the night of the 17th to ensure delivery by Christmas day. If you’re ordering Amalie products, order by 5am EST on Monday the 18th for first class delivery or Wednesday the 20th before 5am EST for priority mail deliveries.  Just don’t wait too long!

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, no problem! Just expect some holiday delays.


2017 Beauty-Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide

Now that we’ve got the bases covered on shipping times, let’s get onto the good stuff: GIFTS!

Pro Tip: If you don’t like shopping from small lists but want some beauty gifts to choose from – no matter who you’re shopping for – try out Sephora’s gift app on their site. It runs you through a few quick questions before giving you awesome options. Plus, Sephora has great discounts through 12/12, making holiday shopping even better!

If you want my opinion, here’s my picks for 2017 holiday gifting:


For the active Millennial with an enviable Instagram..

XXBalm: Handcrafted, Luxury Lip Balms- $5.45 each

An indie Canadian brand (hint: ORDER EARLY, international shipping is no joke!), XXBalm first appeared in my insta feed about 6 months ago. I am head over heels in love with their small-batch, luxe approach to lip balm and their range of funky, natural flavor combos. Pictured above is the new love of my life: 40R3VER, a cardamom-flavored balm. Other flavors including: Peppermint + Bergamot, Lemongrass + Bergamot, and Jasmine + Grapefruit. Balms are $7 CAD each ($5.45 USD) + flat $10 CAD ($7.77 USD) shipping. Order a few and use them as stocking stuffers! + Don’t forget to share your pics with their adorable instagram, by tagging @xxbalm.

Shop XXBalm Here


For the Former Sun-Worshipper..

SHINE Brightening Facial Oil – $38.25 with discount code HOLIDAY17

Who doesn’t love a good tan? Unfortunately that lovely bronze base can rear it’s ugly head again as we age, in the form of UV-damage, namely: sun spots. We all know that one person who tanned with a MIRROR back in the day: This is the gift for them. Turn back time while you gently erase discoloration and sun spots with SHINE organic brightening facial oil. Alpha-arbutin, licorice extract (glabridin) and vitamin C from pomegranate and lemon peel oil all work together to fade discoloration as well as OTC products, without the side effects. And NO BIG DEAL (ok, it’s a huge deal) but SHINE was recently recommended by 100% of it’s reviewers in a skincare campaign in South Korea.. and South Koreans are BRUTAL skincare reviewers, because they’re such avid, informed users (proof, y’all). At it’s new permanent price of $45 – actually $38.25 through Christmas with the holiday discount HOLIDAY17, SHINE is a no-brainer for holiday gift-giving. Available at


For the Jet-Set Honey..

Drunk Elephant’s Hit It Off Duo – $20

From skincare front-runner Drunk Elephant: a cute, TSA-friendly skincare set. While buying a full-sized anything would run you $80+, DE’s holiday sets are surprisingly affordable, and – like I said – all under 100ml each. Both products are great to have on long-haul flights, when you need to cleanse mid-flight and you need LAYERS of moisture. Available at Sephora for $20. Runner-up kits (or additional gifts!) include the Rise + Glow kit by DE ($23) and the Night Bright Duo ($28) with world-fav (and my fav) AHA serum: TLC Framboos.


For the instagram-obsessed 16 year old..

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette – $40 – $50 with Sephora discount code)

If she doesn’t already have it, you are going to BLOW your teenage daughter/granddaughter’s socks off with this pick. THAT’S RIGHT: YOU. ARE. HIP.

Huda Beauty blew up on instagram and has continued her reign as she expands from lippies to highlighters to eyeshadow palettes. This palette is universally flattering for EVERY skin type (seriously, look at the swatches on Sephora) – and for Gen Z, inclusive is the new black (go Gen Z!). Through 12/12 you can score a deeper discount on this palette ($25, $20 or $15 off, depending on your Sephora status) and free flash shipping. Snag it on the Sephora site.


For the one forever cursed with dryyyyyy skin

(No shade, that’s you, Grandpa)…

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray – $8.99

Y’all might think I’m crazy recommending this vanilla-as-it-gets product, but Aquaphor’s ointment spray is a GAME CHANGER for those with chronically dry skin. I went through the entire can in the span of a few weeks. Winter weather suck the moisture right out of your skin; every time I hop out of the shower, I feel like I’m going to shed mine like a snake. Aquahor’s ointment spray offers extreme – but gentle – hydration, and is perfect for those with eczema or psoriasis (my opinion only, Aquaphor doesn’t endorse me saying that). Aquaphor’s ointment is normally too thick to spread without using the entire tube, but the spray makes it easy to get an even, thin coasting of oinment on extremely dry skin. Makes a great stocking stuffer or small gift from someone who would love the relief. $8.99 online and at most retail stores.  While you’re at it, might as well throw in their $2.99 lip ointment!



For the Manly Man..

Jack Black Gym Rat – $39

Men’s skincare is one of the largest growing categories in beauty for good reason: Men deserve to look, feel and smell good, too! Even if the man in your life is not quite ready for a 10-step Korean skincare routine, he might be open to Jack Black’s kit.. FOR THE GYM, of course! Friction-free powder (necessary), all-over wipes, and deodorant: not even a hint of girly anything in sight. Pick up the gift set for $39 at Sephora.


For Grandma’s Little Diva…

Custom Lipgloss Line – $1000+

I’ve mentioned it before, but I recently opened a cosmetic consulting company and lab in Indiana. A high-price tag gift, but really low-price tag beauty line is our “all-in” custom lipgloss line. Creators choose from 7 lipgloss tubes, choose 4 of 30 matte liquid lipstick colors, get all design work (logo, sticker designs), filling, assembly and shipping.. all for just $1000. Buy the gift kit, let your little angel do the work. Name a gift better than giving your granddaughter her own BEAUTY BRAND for Christmas? I’ll wait.

Available at


For the Eco-Conscious (and Equally Chic) Lady in your life..

Moena 12/69 by Carta Fragrances – $295

Created by musician Heather D’Angelo, Moena 12/69 is the newest, small-batch, eco-friendly perfume with a story to tell. Lauded in Vogue (<–read this), and Moena 12/69 is sure to be only the first of many iconic scents dropped by Carta. I’ll let the product speak for itself. Purchase a full-size ($295) or sample ($15) at


For the Hoosier Gal..

Farm to Face Collection by Amalie – $152.15 with code HOLIDAY17

These products are born in the rolling fields of Greene County, Indiana, right smack dab in the middle of Hoosier country. Each ingredient is hand-grown, picked, extracted and crafted into the products you’ve come to know and love. REWIND, an anti-aging facial oil, is high in naturally occurring salicylic acid (aka aspirin) from honeysuckle – the main scent of the oil – which soothes inflammation in the skin, while Vitamin C from pomegranate seed oil and roses help fight signs of aging. CALM, an anti-inflammatory oil, also reduces inflammation through a different mechanism: yarrow. Squalane helps ingredients penetrate deep into the skin, quickly, for immediate relief. Finally, Persimmon Anti-aging Night Creme acts as a sleeping mask and protecting skin creme. Made with extracts from persimmon leaves, which have shown strong anti-aging properties, and a high concentration of moisture-boosting Hyaluronic acid, this scentless night creme does everything you would expect from a highly moisturizing night creme – and a little more.

Purchase separately ($60 / $60 / $90 respectively) or together as a set, to save over 15% – plus another 15% with code HOLIDAY17. Gift Set available at


For the Beauty Lover Who Has EVERYTHING…

Stunna Lip Paint, Fenty by Rihanna – $24

Fenty by Rihanna has been a BOMBSHELL of a beauty drop in 2017. The newest addition? Stunna Lip Paint. It was dropped around Black Friday, when everyone was too busy beauty deal shopping to notice. Even if the beauty lover in your life has it ALL, I would bet she hasn’t purchased this universally-flattering stunna lip paint yet. Just a bet. #HolidayWin! Available for $24 at Sephora.


Wrap up: 2017 Beauty-Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide

Thanks for reading this gift guide! I tried to keep it short; hope you enjoyed it.

Feel free to leave messages in the comments – let me know what other awesome gift kits or holiday drops you’ve seen! I’m all ears. ?


P.S. This blog contains some affiliate links, as well as some of our own products.

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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