DIY Gift-Giving Ideas for the Cosmetologist (or Cosmetologist-in-Training)

Christmas is on our doorstep. You’re busy balancing school, work and family while battling the elements and suddenly someone asks: Have you finished your shopping yet?


If you’re concerned about lack of time or money, don’t lose your holiday spirit. Put the skills you’ve learned to work for you. Consider giving free, at-home salon and skincare services to your friends and family members for the holidays. It’s a great way to practice the basics and show off what you've learned.

You can easily turn your cosmetology skillset into gift able presents by downloading a coupon template for Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, or whatever word-processing or design software to which you have access. Many programs come standard with a selection of templates to choose from. Simply select a template, fill in the terms of your gift (i.e. "This coupon guarantees you one complimentary service with {your name}"), print, and hang from the Christmas tree, or stuff into a stocking or a colorful envelope.

If you don't have easy access to suitable software, you can check for blank coupons at gift/stationary shops, or business supply stores. Of course, those that are super-crafty can always make their own with index cards, construction paper – really, any art supplies you have around your home.

If you really want to go the extra mile, check for a soap-making section in your favorite craft or hobby store. Here you can find essential oils, molds, salts, wax, and guidebooks that will show you how to hand-make custom bath goods to compliment your services.

Here are some more ideas to get you started:

Invitations to a New Years Eve Mani/Pedi Party
Stuff the stockings of your close friends and family members with invitations to a pampering pajama party! Wintertime parties aren’t very appealing when you think about having to get fixed up (and then freezing to death) in fancy cocktail clothes. ‘Tis the season to break out the snuggly pajamas and paint those tips and toes! Encourage your guests to BYOP – Bring Your Own Polish. This way, everyone has a variety of “new” colors and finishes to choose from, and you don’t have to break the bank stocking your own supply.

Complimentary Hand and/or Scalp Massage
This is an easily-customizable and thoughtful gift that allows you to spend some quality quiet time helping a friend or loved one de-stress during the hectic holidays. Is there a great-aunt, grandparent or sibling that you want to reconnect with? Is there a friend who’s going through a tough time, and you’re not sure how to comfort them with words? Hand or scalp massage is a low-impact way to strengthen someone’s spirit with little-to-no setup needed.

Facial Treatments
A valuable skincare ritual that too often gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists, facials are regarded as a luxury that the average person doesn’t have time or money for. This is where you come in. Chances are, you have a friend or relative who’s a bit squeamish about paying a stranger to lean close to their face with spatulas covered in mysterious goo. De-mystify the process for them and concoct a custom-made treatment together with ingredients from the kitchen. Bananas, lemon, honey, brown sugar, olive oil, yogurt and more are all commonly used in face masks at luxury spas all over the world. Have fun and create memories at home, while also taking the much-deserved time to relax and rejuvenate your complexions.

Color or Style Consultations
If you’re the type who gives advice on your friends’ style choices (whether they want it or not), this gift may not ring as true as some of our other ideas. But if you find that friends and family are often approaching you, bored with their current hairstyle or makeup look, then you may be a style consultant in the making. Here’s a great chance to practice client interactions and perfect your advice-giving vocabulary. (After all, you don’t want to imply that a person looks unattractive the way they are.) Offer to spend a day with a close friend who’s asked you for advice in the past. Try on different combinations of clothes s/he already owns, or demonstrate a product (strobe cream?!) or a tool (eyelash curler) that bewilders your “client,” but which you think would make all the difference in their routine. Helping someone achieve ongoing confidence is definitely a gift that keeps on giving.

However you choose to gift and to celebrate this holiday season, we wish you the best. Have fun, and Happy Holidays!

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