Mother’s Day Beauty Gift Guide

April 28, 2016

Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away which is just around the corner and I started my gift search a bit early this year. Shopping for gifts for my mom is one of the most challenging things ever because she usually says she has everything she wants. To this day she would rather have me make her a nice card rather than buy her something (she still has almost all the little drawings, paintings and clay sculptures I made when I was in grade school!). Gifting a basket of little beauty goodies has always worked in the past – she loves OPI nail polishes and anything new for lips is always fun to try out for her. I’ve teamed up with Ulta Beauty to create a Mother’s Day Gift Guide for both my mom and my mother in-law. They are on opposite sides of the color spectrum for skin tone, my mom has fair skin, dark hair and prefers cool tones. My mother-in-law has medium-tan skin, blonde hair and I’ve always seen her wear warm tones. Both are classic beauties in their own unique way – I thought my picking items for both based on different undertones it might also help give you ideas of what to gift to your mom!

I stopped by my local Ulta last week to check out the new launches and promotions going on. There are a lot of new beauty items that were released, but I usually discover something new everytime I visit the store. Right now they have a Spring Bag Gift with $40 Fragance Purchase which is a large tote and small zip pouch. Buying fragrance as a gift can be a bit tricky but the one scent I find that is a hit with everyone I know (at every age) is Philosophy Amazing Grace because it’s such a fresh and clean uplifting scent. Tote featured in this post is the Blue Gift With Fragrance Purchase Option, there are three colors to choose from:


For Mother’s Day gifting ideas, Ulta has four gift categories by personality type including On Trend Mom, Natural Mom, On the Go Mom and Classic Mom. I feel like both of my moms could fit in a few of the categories – they both have a hybrid of classic or on-the-go personality.

First I picked up a few classics that I personally really like I thought would be great for them to try out. I bought 2x of each of these shown below, one for each mom.

The Lancome Eau Fraîche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water is a classic gentle but effective cleansing water good for a double cleanse or for quick makeup removal on days you are short on time. I like that it comes in a fairly large size and has a well-designed pump dispenser. Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water is something I discovered recently which doubles as a makeup priming spray to hydrate the skin or set makeup after application. It comes in a mini travel size which I think has enough to give it a thorough test drive. I think it’s a great multi-tasking product suitable for multiple skin types. I like to use it both ways as suggested and it’s a great face refresher.

For the face/cheeks Ulta has the Best of Becca Radiance Set which includes trial-sized minis of their best sellers for a natural luminous glow. The set is a steal at $32.50 and has Mineral blush in Flower Child, Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal, Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight Wand in Moonstone and a small Backlight Priming Filter. (I almost want to keep this one for myself! How cute is the backlight primer!) 

For eyes, I think deep plum tones look amazing as a liner no matter what skin tone or eye color you have. It’s softer than black, not quite as boring as brown, but still conservative enough to wear for everyday. The Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Darkside/Blackheart has two shades of deep plum, each side has a different shimmer effect but nothing crazy.

For brows, the Anastasia Brow Wiz is one of the most highly rated brow pencils. I recently bought Medium Brown and find it really easy to use. There’s a handy shade guide in store and online to help you decide what color to try based on hair color. I bought Taupe for my mother-in-law and Medium Brown for my mom.

For beauty picks for my mother-in-law I picked out warm tones. She has blonde hair and tan skin and I’ve always seen her in neutral to warm tones. I think my husband’s mother is really one of the coolest people I know and lucky to have a mother-in-law like her. Anyone who has twins (and twin boys at that) deserves a medal. I don’t think raising two boys at the same time is something I could ever handle – and she did a great job. Since these items are going to be gifts I wasn’t able to swatch anything. I do have reviews coming of the Becca Luminous Blushes though so stay tuned for a review in an upcoming post.

Shown below is the Tarte Tartlette 2 In Bloom Amazonian Clay Palette which has the most glorious combination of mattes, shimmers, neutral and warm shades. I swatched this one in store and each color has an ultra smooth texture. It has 9 matte shades and 3 shimmers which makes gives it a little sparkle but makes it still conservative enough for a classic beauty. It’s so gorgeous I am going to have to go back and buy one for myself.

Becca launched new Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blushes which are amazing in color and have serious pigment! Shown below is Snapdragon (pink) and Tigerlily (peach). These are literally what dreams are made of. They give the skin a luminous glow with a pretty flush of color. For those concerned about shimmer – they are on the shimmery side but are not overly frosted.

For nails OPI Bubble Bath is a neutral classic you can’t go wrong with. For the lips Tarte has new Double Duty products called The Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick and Gloss – perfect for on-the-go. Below are two rosy shades in Voltage and Sass. I swatched these on my hand in store and the lipsticks were extemely soft and creamy.


Up next are some cool tone beauty picks for my mom. She loves mauves and plums and brighter pinks for the lips. For eyes she likes to keep things simple but does like to add a bit of color. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear shimmer eyeshadow so I picked up the Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette for her. It also has ultra smooth shadows in a wide range of color options which seem to be neutral-cool. All of the colors are shades she would wear. For that matter I think they are shades I would wear too. For quick reference – I think these colors would suit a number of skin tones and under tones but she has fair skin, pink undertones, dark hair and dark eyes.

For cheeks she likes pinks and mauves that are soft but add life to the complexion. When I was younger she would always tell me I needed more color and dab some of her lipstick on my cheeks as a bit of a stain. Urban Decay Afterglow Powder Blush in Fetish is a soft mauve plum pink without any shimmer while Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Blush in Camelia has a luminous glow which is more pink and brightening.

For the nails I picked up OPI California Raspberry which is a bright shimmering fuchsia and for the lips also from the Double Duty line, I picked up the Tarte The Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick and Gloss in VIP and Renegade.

If you’re searching for some beauty gifts for Mother’s Day I hope you this roundup gave you a few ideas! There are a lot of options to pick from in skincare, makeup, hair care, fragrance and beauty tools – many of which are budget friendly. These days there are so many brands to pick from at Ulta Beauty including Anastasia, Buxom, Benefit, OPI, Lancome, Becca, Tarte and Essie etc. Everytime I go in store I find I discover something new.

I shopped for my mom and mother-in-law but found a few items I think I’m going to have to pick up for myself in the next week, mainly one or both of the Tarte Eyeshadow Palettes. If you’ve tried them what did you think? Do you have any gifts planned for Mother’s Day this year? Would love to hear your ideas or plans whether it’s beauty or non-beauty related!

If you’re a mom – do you have anything on your wishlist for Mother’s Day?

Created in partnership with Ulta Beauty. Many thanks to the team for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own.

You Might Also Like

  • I'm sure that both your moms think that you and your husband are the best Mothers Day gift of all. I always tell my sons that they are the gift that keeps on giving and they make every day special 🙂

    • Awwwww thank you Eileen 🙂

  • Please tell me you are on snapchat. I'd love to watch snippets of your life xx

    • Hi Paro – I am username is beautylookbook, haven't figured out how to post a snap yet though lol.

  • Anonymous

    What's the beautiful bag shown?

    • Hi! It's the Ulta Gift with Fragrance Purchase Tote, spend $40 on qualifying fragrances and get the tote + zip pouch free. I added the link to the three options 🙂 HTH!

  • Love this gift guide Sabrina! As always your pictures are amazing. I have a deluxe sample of the Smashbox Primer Water as well but haven't had a chance to play with it yet. I love getting it Cosmetics from Ulta. Have your tried the CC cream I think its great for summer because it has a high spf. Oh, and just a heads up I think the Becca set you refer to is $32 not $20.:) Happy Mothers Day ♥

    • Thanks Tali – oops! Just updated it! I haven't tried the It Cosmetics CC cream but will definitely look into it – thanks for the rec! Glad you liked the gift guide 🙂

  • These would all be such lovely gifts to get! I wish my mum was as into makeup as I am because it would be so much easier to find presents – cause let's face it – there is always so much lovely make-up out there.
    Great gift guide though – can see myself coming back to this when I need to get my sister a gift.
    Holly x | http://www.thechroniclesofholly.com/

    • LOL! Ahhh the ones in our lives that are hard to shop for, I have a few of those too! Glad this will help as a guide for your sister though!

  • Gorgeous post and lovely pix as usual. I have two sons (too young to buy gifts) so I have chosen two gifts that I will wrap and give them to hubby to give to me! One is a Jo Malone candle in Red Roses…. soooo pretty and I burn through these way too quickly, also I’m thinking of treating myself to the Jo Malone Orange Blossom perfume, which I absolutely adore and wouldn’t buy under normal circumstances. Great blog! Christy from Sydney xxx

    • Thank you! Such great and adorable picks for yourself!!! You can't go wrong with Jo Malone 🙂

  • My mom used to say the same thing to me, "You need some color!" But she doesn't wear makeup, so I don't know what she expected from me! 🙂 But I think that's why I love blush so much now.

    I just bought the Best of Becca Radiance Set today! I'm excited to try it. I have the Becca Luminous Blush in Snapdragon; it's so pretty. I want to get Tigerlily next.

    This is a nice gift guide. Thanks, Sabrina!

    • LOL your comment made me laugh – Becca is nailing it these days, those blushes are so pigmented and amazing!

  • Anonymous

    Really enjoy the blog Subrina and reading your posts. the Tartlette palettes look devine! Your mum and mother in law are going to love those goodies. I'm taking my mum to high tea for some spoiling ☺

    • Glad you liked the post – those Tarte palettes are seriously so good, I'm picking up two for myself this afternoon. What a lovely idea to take your mom for high tea!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Sabrina,
    I shop differently for my mom and mom-in-law too. My mom has tan skin and dark hair, my mother in-law is blonde with pale green eyes. My mother loves deep colors a la older Bollywood styles and my mother-in-law is all about neutrals. I love the idea of putting together a goody basket and I love what you've done. I'm definitely going to take some of your advice! Cheers, Cherie

    • Good to know you shop differently too 🙂 Goody baskets with lots of little things are always good for variety!

  • Great guide Sabrina! I have to second your recommendation of the Lancome micellar water. The formula is wonderful, and the bottle is SO well designed. I use it for lazy nights when I don't want to do a full face wash.
    I am a newer reader of just a few months, and want to tell you how impressed I am with your blog. I can't imagine how many hours you spend putting all of this together! Your pictures are top-notch and your tone is very relatable. 🙂

    • Hi Amy – I can't rave enough about the Lancome Micellar Water bottle design as well. I wish more skincare lines had good packaging like that one! Thanks for following the beauty look book – glad you are enjoying it!

  • Great post! Now I do not have to look farther and think of what to give my mother and mother-in-law too. Now time to picking and what shade.

    • Yay! Glad you liked the post – Ulta has so many options it's really a place I can get lost in for hours.

  • This is such an amazing guide!! Your photography is so lovely!! <3

    Amelia | http://amelia-g.blogspot.com.au/