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Thanks to Zoe for today's question!

What is your favorite makeup to give as a gift?

Unless I have a good idea about their makeup preferences, gift cards. I’d rather enable someone to buy something they genuinely want when it comes to makeup! If I have something extra that I want to pass on to a friend/family, then I often deliberately pick something a little outside their comfort zone, since it’s not a gift given for a specific occasion, just a random gift.

— Christine

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52 Comments

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I’ve given the Eco Tools retractable kabuki brush. No one has a single bad thing to say about it. My friend (health store manager) gives me lots of body butter samples.

Definitely gift cards! None of my friends or family are really into makeup, most wear none or very minimal amounts, and I would have no idea what to get them.

Profile photo of Nicole

I agree about gift cards. I usually prefer to go that route as well. Makeup is so personal on so many levels, from ingredients a person may be allergic to all the way to brand preferences. I do have to admit that I have once given someone makeup that I chose for them-I gifted a friend with a few Lipstick Queen sets because I had bought them for myself and loved them and we have close enough taste/skin tone that I thought she would too. Although after that I seriously wondered why I didn’t give her a gift card instead. I feel like that was a weird lapse in my judgment, even though as far as I know she’s happy with them. It’s just so much more fun to pick out your own products. I have also bought someone makeup that they specifically mentioned as being something they wanted to try, but I don’t think that counts.

I don’t have a whole lot of people in my life who are really into makeup, so if I have extra that I don’t want to sell I tend to be like “Please take it! I don’t want to throw it away!”

Profile photo of Pearl

For my mom, it’s lip liner and lipstick. For my sister, its staples like MAC mascaras or palettes, especially since she will never splurge on something like that for herself. For my best friend, it’s basically everything I like, so it’s fun to shop for her because it’s like shopping for myself.

I hate the formality and pressure of formal gift-giving and I always get so nervous – I still do it and participate, but I can’t wait until the whole thing is over with and the gift is received and we’ve moved on. I’d rather just leave an out-of-the-blue present somewhere they will find or like my sister who lives out of state, I just ship something to her every once in awhile. Eventually I’ll get a text or a call asking, ‘did you leave this for me to find?’ or a thank you and I prefer that so much more than a formal occasion where you have to watch them unwrap this gift and then sit there and wait for the reaction and obligatory thank you. When it’s my idea and a spontaneous ‘oh, they’ll love this!’, then I really enjoy it.

lipstick! I’m known for my lipstick collection and being knowledgeable about it and stuff so for christmas etc. I usually go for lipstick gifts. I really enjoy picking out colors I think people will like

Nail polish sets are usually a safe bet for me since products like lipstick or even eyeshadow can be very personal. Tools can also be pretty easy to give, like an eyelash curler or a brush set. If it’s someone I’ve spoken about makeup to before, it’s generally something I think they’ll use (e.g Stila Stay All-day Eyeliner if that person likes to do cat eyes, an eyeshadow primer if they love doing eye looks)

Eyeshadow, though I don’t have many friends who want makeup in general. The one who does I either ask her or know what she likes already.

I would have to say Burberry Fresh Glow Nude Radiance No. 1 is my favorite gift to give. It’s a beautiful under makeup base that is also amazing as a highlighter! The packaging is gorgeous and this past Holiday season it came with a gold cap. Burberry just screams luxury to me and that’s also part of the reason I like to gift their products. Can’t blame me for spoiling those I hold dear!

Profile photo of Fran

I agree with you, Christine — unless I know exactly what someone wants, or want to give a gentle nudge in what I think is the right direction to a really close friend, a gift card is the best. After all, part of the fun with makeup is shopping for it, getting to choose ๐Ÿ™‚

Profile photo of Mariella

With actual makeup, it’s not something I ever give as a gift, except to my daughter because I always know what things are on her “wish list”. With friends, it’s stuff like gift sets of body/bath items – the type you can get at Christmas – like Caudalie sets (I gave those a few years ago), Cake Beauty (how I wish I’d bought 2 or 3 more of those) or L’Occitane…the sorts of sets that contain a body oil and/or lotion, some hand cream, a body wash or shower oil, etc. I know those will be well received and used but with colour cosmetics, it is very tricky. I’d also worry that it would be seen as a bit of an insult – if I were to give a friend a blush, would she think I was sending the message that she looks too pale or that her current blush isn’t flattering?

Profile photo of Julia

I’ve given 2 of the Naked palettes to my sister in law, so I’ve broken my own rule (dangit, she’s hard to shop for!), but I don’t think cosmetics are generally a good gift. It’s a really personal decision and I don’t think I’d like other people picking things out for me, either. Maybe nail polish sets if you know they like to do their nails, since those are a little more one-size-fits-all.

It depends on the person, but the ysl tint in oils or makeup bags are nice universal gifts that I like to give. I also like gift sets that have multiple items, so the recipients can test colors or products they don’t have.

I know it’s not /really/ makeup, but BRUSHES!!!! SO many women show me their makeup bags and pull out their 4 brushes that they’ve had for 10 years and i’m like, “WHAT?!?” and instantly rush off to buy them a new brush set. Even if I don’t know them that well.

Profile photo of Rachel R.

I don’t often give makeup as gifts, because most women in Oregon aren’t really into makeup. The last time I did, I took my friend shopping and let her pick out a few things. Otherwise, I’d try to get something they’d mentioned wanting, or else get them a gift card. Makeup preferences are so personal, in most cases I wouldn’t want to just guess.

I have given ColourPop eyeshadows as gifts a few times recently. Tame colors like Fringe, Amaze, I <3 This, etc, that are easy to apply with fingers. Inexpensive and easy to use. To my mom I tend to give blush or lipstick, because those are the products she wears everyday and she wears them down really quickly.

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