How Our Beauty Editors Spend A $100 Gift Card At Target

Whether you call it Target or Tarjay, there's no denying that the superstore is a hotbed of affordable buys across nearly every category. Not to mention a completely foolproof option for those giving gift cards this year. The only potential downside of finding a shiny, red bull's-eye-branded gift certificate in your stocking this year? You might be too overwhelmed by the sheer variety of products to actually hit the checkout button.

To you, lucky gift-card recipient, we say this: Put down the throw pillows and back away from the paper towels! You can do so much better, which is why we've selected the store as the second retailer in our holiday gift-card challenge. Make your way to the beauty section, because our editors are narrowing down where to throw down your cash.

Ahead, the members of our beauty team share what they would buy with a $100 gift card at Target. Similarly to our Sephora edition, the strategies vary — some go big with gift sets, while others diligently stock up on quality makeup brushes and skin-care staples. Which path to travel is up to you...
1 of 59
Lexy Lebsack, West Coast Beauty Editor
Total spent: $99.54
2 of 59
"To be completely frank, I would likely take my $100 gift card all over the store, filling up my cart with unnecessary kitchen gadgets and granola-bar variety packs, then get practical and just buy my favorite skin-care products. I wear this sunscreen every single day, even in the winter, and I don’t think I’ll ever switch. It’s hydrating, never leads to a single clogged pore or breakout, and plays well under makeup. Get. In. My. Cart!"

La Roche-Posay
Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen, $22.49, available at Target.
3 of 59
"Sonia Kashuk makes some of the best makeup brushes in the game, and the fact that they’re affordable and last forever just makes them that much better. I’d get a few staples from the higher-price-point collection, like this brush, which is perfect for applying powder of any kind."

Sonia Kashuk Large Powder Brush No. 01, $19.99, available at Target.
4 of 59
"This essentials eye kit has everything you need to create a ton of looks; it's a no-brainer."

Sonia Kashuk Essential Eye Kit, $11.59, available at Target.
5 of 59
"I have this blush brush and I love it. Do I need another? Probably not, because it’s lasted me forever, but I can’t help but recommend it. It is, seriously, the last blush brush you’ll ever need."

Sonia Kashuk Kashuk Tools Domed Blusher Brush No. 29, $17.99, available at Target.
6 of 59
"This hair brush is comparable to a Mason Pearson, and rings in at a fraction of the price. I have the gold holiday edition from years past and I still use it to this day. Again, I don’t really need another, but I'd justify it as my desk-drawer brush."

Sonia Kashuk Hair Brush, $15.99, available at Target.
7 of 59
"I'd end my shopping trip with Essie’s at-home gel topcoat. This baby seals in everything, gives a high-shine finish, and extends my manicure by days. I’d stockpile this guy if I had the bathroom space."

Essie Gel Couture Top Coat, $11.49, available at Target.
8 of 59
Kelsey Castañon, Beauty News Editor
Total spent: $101.45
9 of 59
"This one’s high on my list for its dreamy floral scent, which makes me feel like I’m running through a field of wildflowers whenever I slather it on. The scrubby bits do a good job of sloughing away dry patches, but it does leave behind a subtle film of oil afterward. So, make sure you’re after that heavy hit of hydration before buying."

Mayfair Soap Foundry Sea Lily Jasmine Body Scrub, $8.99, available at Target.
10 of 59
"Not only does this lightweight conditioner smell like pure limoncello, it also foams up in your hand like a mousse — making it 100 times more fun to use."

Fekkai Full Blown Volume Lightweight Foam Conditioner, $18.99, available at Target.
11 of 59
"Razors are one thing I really dread buying, yet I do anyways every single month. I'd use my gift card to help soften the blow — and get a damn good one in the process."

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Razor with Flexball Handle Technology, $12.99, available at Target.
12 of 59
"This dreamy teal-meets-blue is one of the prettiest I've seen. And it looks even better on."

Essie 2016 Winter Trend Nail Polish in Satin Sister, $8.99, available at Target.
13 of 59
"I almost always skip treatments or stylers once I step out of the shower, but this leave-in conditioner is too good to forget. It's lightweight, detangles like a boss, and leaves my hair silkier than it ever has been before."

It’s A 10 Leave-In Conditioner, $36.49, available at Target.
14 of 59
"I'm a sucker for a good blush and bronzer — when they're sold separately. I've found that most duo-purpose products feature one color that works and another that doesn't, which makes the whole thing totally wasteful. This one is the exception."

Soap & Glory Peach Party Blush Brick, $15, available at Target.
15 of 59
Maria Del Russo, Beauty Editor
Total spent: $99.96
16 of 59
"S.W. Basics is one of my favorite skin-care brands of all time. It's all-natural, and the brand lists out every ingredient on the packaging, so you’re never fooled by what’s inside. This hibiscus mask is perfect for those days when my skin is feeling a little dull — and it only has three ingredients!"

S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask, $22.49, available at Target.
17 of 59
"In the winter, I always reach for gels and oils to cleanse my skin, as typical soaps leave my combination skin feeling extra dry. This one from Nuxe is a favorite. It softens my skin while melting off makeup, making it an easy, one-step cleanser that works every time."

Nuxe-Rêve de Miel Face Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel - Dry and Sensitive Skin, $19.49, available at Target.
18 of 59
"I don’t usually wear foundation, but when I do, it’s a lightweight BB cream. This cushion compact from Laneige becomes a second skin the minute you pat it onto your face. It cuts out redness, applies like a dream, and lasts all day."

Laneige BB Cushion, $34, available at Target.
19 of 59
"One of the best liquid lipsticks I’ve ever used in my entire life is under $10 — and it’s this one from Milani. The color payoff is amazing, and it doesn’t dry out your lips. That’s pretty remarkable for a matte liquid lipstick. You can’t go wrong with any of the hues — they’re all gorgeous."

Milani Amore Mattes Lip Crème, $7.99, available at Target.
20 of 59
"I love my Mason Pearson brush, but I am more than a little precious with it. (Hey, it’s expensive AF.) So when I travel, I take along Sonia Kashuk’s brush instead. It’s got thick bristles that fluff my curls to perfection, and keeps my strands looking shiny. And honestly, you can’t beat the price."

Sonia Kashuk Hair Brush, $15.99, available at Target.

*No, you're not seeing double; two of our editors picked this item.
21 of 59
Alix Tunell, Senior Beauty Editor
Total spent: $103.50
22 of 59
"Sonia Kashuk’s entire holiday collection looks 100 times more expensive than it is — I’d happily take anything from it. But I really want this brush cup, which I’d probably use as a flower vase instead."

Sonia Kashuk
Holiday Brush Cup, $12.99, available at Target.
23 of 59
"Again, this perfume smells on par with ones that cost in the three digits. It’s a pink floral scent, but tuberose, which is heady and sexy and sophisticated, never powdery."

Sonia Kashuk
Pink Innocencia Eau de Toilette, $19.99, available at Target.
24 of 59
"Can you tell I like roses? This antioxidant-packed lotion is so gentle, so it never irritates my skin, and it smells natural and amazing."

Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion, $20.49, available at Target.
25 of 59
"'Tis the time of the year for dry, flaky lips — and I just ran out of my Sara Happ lip scrub, so I need a new one to use every morning in the shower."

Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub, $18.99, available at Target.
26 of 59
"Let’s be real, I might just use up a whole $100 gift card on jars of coconut oil to stockpile — the stuff is magic and I use it head to toe."

Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, $5.99, available at Target.
27 of 59
"There are few things less sexy than toothbrush heads, but what the hell, I need them desperately — and never, ever want to use my own paycheck on them."

Philips Sonicare AdaptiveClean Black Brush Head 2 Pack, $24.99, available at Target.
28 of 59
Megan McIntyre, Beauty Features Director
Total spent: $98.38
29 of 59
"This no-frills lotion was nominated in our Beauty Innovator Awards, and for good reason: It hydrates like a balm, sinks in like a serum, and doesn’t irritate even the most sensitive of skin."

001 Lightweight Body Lotion, $8.99, available at Target.
30 of 59
"Another Innovator Awards nominee, this powder grain turns into a soft exfoliator with just a little bit of water. I first discovered this while I was attempting to follow Marie Antoinette’s beauty routine and while I was skeptical at first, I’m now devoted to its skin-softening superpowers."

Plant Rice & Clean Facial Cleanser in Rice & Chamomile, $24, available at Target.
31 of 59
"I mean, this is freaking adorable, which is reason enough for me to buy it. Just look at those owls. However, the best thing about this compact is, like all Laneige cushion makeup, it’s refillable."

Laneige Lucky Chouette BB Cushion, $34, available at Target.
32 of 59
"This unassuming box contains absolute magic, if you didn’t already know. One of these every two months make my feet look like they should be in a sandal commercial, rather than serve as a foot double for a hobbit."

Baby Foot Foot Peel Lavender, $25, available at Target.
33 of 59
"Razors are expensive, so you can bet I’ll be stocking up when I can. This is hands-down my favorite — close shave, easy to grip, and it allows me to do my usual Indy 500 speed-racing shave with minimal nicks."

Schick Quattro for Women Razor 1 Razor Handle Plus 2 Razor Refills, $6.39, available at Target.
34 of 59
Sam Sasso, Beauty Editorial Assistant
Total spent: $93.94
35 of 59
"We know Lush is the king of bath bombs, but this alternative is just as fun to look at — and bathe in!"

Da Bomb Bath Fizzers Snow Ball Bath Soak, $4.99, available at Target.
36 of 59
"Makeup brushes can skew pricey, but if you're just building up your collection, you don’t need a blush brush that costs $50. These ultra-soft eye brushes are under $15 and last for years when given regular TLC."

Real Techniques Starter Set, $11.99, available at Target.
37 of 59
"I once bought this set for my dad for Christmas, and he fell in love. His hands and feet are rough as can be, so I knew this six-piece kit was worth it for him."

Burt’s Bees Tips and Toes Kit Holiday Gift Set, $12.99, available at Target.
38 of 59
"I’m drawn to witty, punny product names, but I like these for other reasons, too. Pairing the body wash with the body butter is even better than spraying on perfume."

Soap & Glory Happy Pamper Gift Set, $7, available at Target.
39 of 59
"I have smelly feet, so pedicures are really important to me. But foot baths at spas and salons can be bacteria-ridden areas, so an at-home foot bath keeps me feeling luxurious without worrying about athlete’s foot."

HoMedics Pedicure Spa Foot Spa, $39.99, available at Target.
40 of 59
"Everyone needs body lotion, and in the winter months, a richer butter will ward off any dry patches and itchy spots. An added bonus? The Tuscan Blood Orange scent will draw the attention of everyone around you — really."

Pacifica Holiday Body Butter Duo Gift Set, $8.99, available at Target.
41 of 59
"Clips are still cool, even though it’s not 2005 anymore. They can also be used to section hair when styling."

La-ta-da Small Clips, $7.99, available at Target.
42 of 59
Mi-Anne Chan, Beauty Writer
Total spent: $100.97
43 of 59
"First things first: W3ll People is one of my favorite brands because of the founders' commitment to using organic, cruelty-free ingredients. And the products are amazing, too. I’ve been using this concealer on and off for the past year or so — and I fall in love with it over and over again every time I whip out the tube. It’s creamy, hydrating, and covers pimples and dark spots."

W3ll People Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer, $22.99, available at Target.
44 of 59
"I am beyond obsessed with Pixi’s Glow Tonic. It’s alcohol-free (read: non-drying) and packed full of gentle exfoliators like glycolic acid. I actually notice a difference in the texture of my skin when I don’t use it."

Pixi Glow Tonic, $15, available at Target.
45 of 59
"At $40, I admit that this moisturizer is pricey, but it’s a great option for those with oily skin. It hydrates effectively, yet doesn’t make my face greasy. Plus, the lightweight gel texture makes it a great one to apply pre-makeup."

Embryolisse Émulsion Hydra-Mat, $40, available at Target.
46 of 59
"This peppermint- and eucalyptus-scented body wash really clears out your sinuses during a hot shower (perfect for when you’re feeling a little under the weather), and the hydrating oils won’t strip your skin or make you feel tight or dry post-shower."

The Seaweed Bath Co. Eucalyptus & Peppermint Body Wash, $12.99, available at Target.
47 of 59
"I have eczema that flares up no matter the season, so I always keep a tube of this hand cream on my person in case I have the urge to itch. It contains colloidal oatmeal, aloe-vera juice, and chamomile to soothe irritated skin."

Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream, $9.99, available at Target.
48 of 59
Cat Quinn, Beauty Director
Total spent: $98.11
49 of 59
"I might have splurged with my Sephora gift card, but I still use my Target gift cards like I did in college. Plus, you need to automatically subtract $3 for the blue Icee I’m slurping while I walk around the store grabbing my essentials. (And, like any Target trip, I’ll probably end up with an entirely different cart than this one. But that’s life...)

"I only wash my hair once a week, and when I do, I’m looking for something that removes my 700 layers of dry shampoo without stripping my hair. I love this stuff; it leaves that tingly, clean feeling. Like brushing your teeth, but for your hair."

John Frieda Beach Blonde Cool Dip Purifying Shampoo, $7.49, available at Target.
50 of 59
"I still swear by this drugstore conditioner. It feels light and moisturizing, and doesn’t leave me looking like a wet poodle."

Tresemmé 24 Hour Body Healthy Volume Conditioner, $5.99, available at Target.
51 of 59
"I’ve tried a lot of razors on my sensitive skin, and this one is the only one that doesn’t leave bumps or irritation. (Even around the bikini line, because I know you were wondering.)"

Gillette Venus Original Women's Razor, $8.49, available at Target.
52 of 59
"Hell, I’ve got $100 to blow? I’m stocking up on these for the year."

Gillette Venus Original Women's Razor Refills 8 Count, $22.99, available at Target.
53 of 59
"I know this isn’t the fanciest toothpaste in the world, but it leaves the freshest feeling and really does make my teeth whiter. I get compliments on them all the time, and I haven’t done a whitening kit in years."

Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Baking Soda & Peroxide Twin Pack Toothpaste, $5.99, available at Target.
54 of 59
"A simple and plain wash that doesn’t leave your body feeling like it survived a night in the desert. I’m getting the pump this time, but normally I’m cheap and go for the regular bottle. Or, the soap bar."

Dove Deep Moisture Pump Body Wash, $7.79, available at Target.
55 of 59
"I usually go for Living Proof or R+Co dry shampoo, but I power through them at such an alarming rate, I like to keep a few drugstore options on standby. And this one by Not Your Mother’s is good. It reduces grease and doesn’t feel sticky — if I’m being honest, though, I’m not totally sold on the smell."

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo, $4.79, available at Target.
56 of 59
"I love this cleanser. It’s not revolutionary, but does a cleanser need to be? It removes makeup and mascara like a dream, and that’s what I care about most."

Olay Active Botanicals Refreshing Gel Facial Cleanser, $5.69, available at Target.
57 of 59
"If you haven’t tried this lip balm, drive yourself to Target right now. While $19 is a bit more than you’d pay for your ChapStick, it will last you forever and it’s so luxe and transformative. French women buy this stuff in bulk, and I love that Target carries it now. I consider it an essential."

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm, $19, available at Target.
58 of 59
"This stuff is intensely hydrating, and actually goes a lot further than a tub of plain body lotion. Supermodels swear by it, and so do I."

Weleda Skin Food, $9.89, available at Target.
59 of 59
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!

More from Makeup


R29 Original Series