50 Perfect Gifts Under $50 (Plus Ten Stellar Splurges)

This year we put the brakes on the excess—and hunted up the coolest gifts at the best prices. And for those special folks who merit a bit more? We've thrown in some stellar splurges.

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Lolli-Palooza

10 oz. lollipop, $19; hammondscandies.com.

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Blue Cheese Ice Cream

Trust us: delish! Plus other inventive flavors,$65 for five pints; saltandstraw​.com.

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Sophisticated Sips

 Artisan blends from a “tea atelier,”$37 and up; bellocq.com.

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Chocolates, N’Awlins Style

Sweet and Southern Gift Box,$39 for 21 pieces; shopsucre.com.

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Cupcakes-Schmupcakes

Liquor-spiked mini Bundts,$36 and up for a dozen; liquorcake.com. 

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Wildflower Honey

 Pure, unprocessed, handcrafted in the Catskills, $8 and up; catskillprovisions.com.

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Foodie Find

 Sampler of four salts from the Philippines,$42; gilttaste.com. 

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Cooking Master Class

Essential Pépin includes the best recipes of the legendary French chef,$38; amazon.com. 

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Tequila for Aficionados

Smooth taste, handsome bottle (by Fabien Baron),$48; corzo.com.

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Epicurean Olive Oil

30 flavors from L.A. hot spot Fig & Olive,$12 and up; bestoliveoilstore.com. 

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Haute Ho Hos

Yummy chocolate-dipped mini cakes,$25 for eight; bakedbymelissa.com.

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Preppy Salt and Pepper

Set of monogrammed shakers,$40; nicoandlala.com

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DIY wine tasting

Six mini wine bottles,$20 and up; tastingroom.com

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Treats for the Trendy

In Momofuku Milk Bar, the restaurant’s dessert chef, Christina Tosi, surrenders her best recipes, $35; amazon.com.

 

Subscription to Momofuku owner David Chang’s magazine, Lucky Peach,$28; store.mcsweeneys.net.

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S’more the Merrier

Ambrosial marshmallows, $8 per 10 oz. bag; truffletruffle.com

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Grownup Goodness

Five varieties of buttery cookies, all laced with sea salt, $13 and up per dozen; brownbuttercookies.com.

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Hottest Accessory

Zodiac coin necklaces, $35; privilegedny.com.

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Cocktail Party Must-Have

The Rana ring in myriad colors,$35 and up, kendrascott.com.

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Gold-Plated Go-To

The rich-looking Renegade ring,$44; stelladot.com. 

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Designer Knickers

Days-of-the-week panties from Stella McCartney,$195; saks.com. 

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Evening Carry-It-All

Tarte’s Puttin’ on the Glitz silver clutch with three makeup palettes, $48; ulta.com. 

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Luscious Lip Balms

Fresh’s mini Sugar Lip Treatment trio, $28; sephora.com

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Glam Hand Warmers

 Faux-fur gloves, $48; garnethill.com.

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Lacquer Love

 18 tiny OPI polishes, $48; sephora.com. 

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Sexiest Scent

 Jimmy Choo’s limited-edition fragrance, $150; saks.com. 

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Faking Flawless

Book of Nudes face palette from Laura Mercier,$48; sephora.com. 

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Elegant Earrings

Crystal and rhinestone earrings, $48; k-amato​.com. 

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Fun Trend to Try

 Stacked vermeil beaded bracelets, $40 each; siscoberluti.com. 

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Fashion Nostalgia

The way we wore, in Vogue: The Covers, $50; amazon​.com. 

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A Touch of Leather

 Wrist wraps with zodiac signs, $250; seahwatches.com. 

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Best-Tressed

Three festive hairpins, $78; katespade.com. 

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Forever Chic

 Timeless evening clutch, $995; tiffany.com. 

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Cutest Makeup Bags

In canvas, $18 and up; anntaylor.com. 

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Skin Healers

Six L’Occitane luxe hand creams, $40; sephora.com.

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Your Lucky Number

14k gold numeral rings from Lulu Frost Code,$440; charmandchain.com.

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Be-Tassled Bangles

 Gold and silver-plated bangles, $40; bananarepublic.com.

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Aromatic Body Cream

Tomorrow Body Cream from TokyoMilk Dark, $40; beauty.com. 

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Strange Invisible Perfume Minibar

Set of sample scents, plus a gift certificate so the recipient can order her favorite in a full size,$240 and up; Call 310-314-1505.

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Hermès, Customized

Choose a scarf, get it monogrammed, $385 and up; 212-751-3181. 

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Beauty Bonanza

Mega makeup box, $50; sephora.com. 

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Urban Gardening

Glass terrarium kit, $40; shopterrain.com.

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Chardonnay, Anyone?

Ladies Who Lunch wine stoppers,$22; orangeandpear.com.

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Whimsical Whisk

 Bamboo and plastic,$26; gretelhome.com

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Mess-Less Measuring

 Pourfect’s set of spill-proof bowls,$30; kohls​.com. 

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Retro iPad Cover

Monogrammed needlepoint case,$30; landsend.com.

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Statement Teapot

Glazed earthenware, handmade in Paris, from Astier de Villatte, $357; 212-677-3917. 

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Dresser-Top Organizing Boxes

 Fab for jewelry, $24–$50; thomaspaul.com.

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Très Bon Hostess Gift

 Liquid hand soap from France, in Cherry Blossom, $24; compagniedeprovence-usa.com.

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Tired of tech?

Quips + Queries note cards, $12 for 50, russellandhazel.com. 

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Countertop Color

“Calories” and “Confections” canisters, $48 each; jonathanadler.com.

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Clever Info Storer

Feather-shaped Wisdom flash drive,$36; audiocubes.com. 

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Old-School Fashionista

Louis Vuitton monogrammable day planner, $450; 866-884-8866. 

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Bacteria Begone

 Utensils with built-in rests to avoid contamination, $45 for six; momastore.com.

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Office Bling

 Crystal-tipped pencils, $20 for three; russellandhazel.com.

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For Posh Puppies

Oyster crown bowls,$39 and up; lunareshome.com.

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Just Add Cake

Holiday dessert plates,$10 each; westelm.com.

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Make Someone’s Day(s)

 Designer desk calendar, $49; jackandlulu.com.

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Perfect Little Something

Oval soap in Sugar Passion,$14 each; fresh.com. 

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This Year’s Must-Read

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides,$28; amazon.com.

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Grabby and Graphic

Tea towels, $20 each; thomaspaul.com.

 

 

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Jens Mortensen
First Published November 9, 2011

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