Thursday, December 22, 2011

A guide to buying last minute gifts at Walgreens

This is my Walgreens
Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit

Walgreens might not be the first (or even the third) place you'd think to shop for holiday gifts, but they're convenient and they're open late on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas. If you need a last-minute gift, you could do a lot worse. Provided you stay out of the "seasonal" aisle.

Isn't it lovely?
I happen to live 2 blocks from one of the newly redesigned Walgreens stores, so going to Wags is actually a pleasure for me now. Gone are the cluttered aisles and singing fish--instead we have bins of fresh bananas, a clinic and a tidy beauty department where I stock up on Goody hair elastics. Pretty much weekly.

And thus I present to you: The Marketing Mommy Last-Minute Beauty Shopping Guide, gift suggestions heavily influenced by what I like.

Idea 1: Create a Curly Girl Method Gift Basket
Help the curly girl in your life embrace her ringlets with Curly Girl Method-approved products. Pick up a sulfate-free shampoo like L'Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free or a co-wash like Suave Milk and Honey Conditioner. Add in a more moisturizing conditioner like L'Oreal EverPure Conditioner, big bottle of L.A. Looks Gel (oh, yeah) and a microfiber towel.

Idea 2: Buy the Upscale Stuff
No one will know you did your holiday shopping at Walgreens (not that there's anything wrong with that) if you buy their more upscale, beautifully-packaged lines like Fekkai, Yes to Carrots, Burt's Bees and Essie nail polish. My account director is sporting Essie's Bobbing for Bobbles, a dark bluish-slate shade, today and it is quite the talk of the office. Throw a ribbon and a gift tag on a bottle of Essie and you've got a hip hostess/colleague gift for under $10.

Idea #3: Power Toothbrush
Buy someone (okay, a close relative) an Oral-B power toothbrush. My mom bought one for me and Josh 10 years ago and we only just replaced it (with this one, actually). Your loved ones deserve the gift of immaculately clean teeth. Seriously, we've been getting kudos from our dentist every six months. 

Idea #4: Pick up a gift pack
Full disclosure: as part of my job as a creative director, I was responsible for helping design and market P&G's beauty lovely multi-brand gift packs. They've been priced at just under $10 at Walgreens and that's a pretty tremendous value--especially if you consider the booklet of coupons inside. So whether you use a lot of P&G products (think Olay, Secret, Venus) and want to stock up for yourself, or whether you want to get a gift pack to have on hand for that "oh shoot I forgot to get something for the babysitter/coach/neighbor" moment, they're a deal and they don't even need to be wrapped.