When receiving a beauty-related gift, do you prefer actual product or a gift card?

This Week's Poll

Gift card

80%, 1,314 Votes

Actual products

20%, 320 Votes

Total Voters: 1,633

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the post above for information regarding pricing, availability, dupes, and availability, and keep discussion on-topic.

Please do not ask if/when a review will be posted as we cannot review everything and often change priorities from day-to-day. If you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us. Thank you!

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

Comments on this post are closed.

I’m pretty good at dropping heavy hints, so if it’s exactly what I’m asking for, of course that is wonderful. Otherwise I am way too picky- I don’t want anyone choosing things for me!

Definitely a gift card! No one around me is particularly interested in beauty, so they wouldn’t what products/shades I might enjoy or which products are new or trending. I did receive lipsticks a couple times and it was actually fun to try shades I wouldn’t instinctively have picked if shopping for myself.

Definitely a gift card, because it’s usually a gift from lovable-but-clueless hubby. Besides, when someone gives an actual item, I’ve found it’s often what THEY would want, not what YOU want. And this goes for everything besides beauty products, too, such as clothes, home decor, games.

Totally agree! My husband once asked me why I needed both foundation and powder, so I don’t even dare send him to Sephora with a wishlist. I just ask him to give me cash or a gift card LOL

I prefer real gifts to gift cards. Anyone really close to me would know to ask what I was hoping to receive, makeup wise. It is such a personal gift.

Gift card, unless it’s a specific product I requested. I don’t like when others pick out makeup for me, usually. I find people pick out what they would LIKE me to wear, not what I actually would wear. Or they have no idea, so I end up with neutrals I don’t need, things that don’t work with my skin type or tone, etc.

For me it depends almost entirely on who is giving the gift! I really love when my mom or girlfriend give me specific products, because they’re great at choosing items they know I’ll love (for my kit or personal use)! Otherwise, I tend to prefer gift cards. I don’t find them impersonal, because I know I’ll be able to get whatever I want- what is a better gift than that?

I would like to say product because it makes much more fun to Open a present and have “something” but my Collection is so big and I am really fast in buying new products When they come out so I have to say that I Prefer a Gift Card because it would be Hard to buy the right product for me.

My birthday was July 6 and I really appreciated having gift cards to pick and choose from (lol). I’m a lucky girl. Even though I keep a perpetual “shopping cart” in all my fave websites, I always change my mind at the last minute. Gift cards are fantastic and I’m hoarding most for the Nordstrom anniversary sale and the upcoming Fall products.

“Even though I keep a personal ‘shopping cart’ in all my fave websites, I always change my mind at the last minute.” Same Erica! I have notes on my phone for a dozen different sites with what I specifically want. I go to put it in my cart and something else catches–and changes–my mind. Especially with indie brands or Etsy shops where I can buy smaller quantities of things to get more haha!

I prefer a gift card for a beauty related gift – no one other than my fiance, best friend and future mother in law know how much I love makeup so I don’t think anyone would know what to give me.

Despite being VERY specific in the past, when someone purchases a product for me they tend to not get it right. Gift cards make beauty gifts so much easier as I don’t have to take the item back immediately and can use the card for when I need to replace a current product I have.

Haha, what a relevant question! My sister-in-law wanted to buy me something from Ulta for my birthday but felt horrible that she didn’t know what I wanted. She was utterly affronted that I wanted a gift card! But I like to seriously go through my options and my collection to decide what to buy. I ended up using it during the 20% off sale on a double-ended eyeliner, setting spray, mascara, and lipstick. So worth it. If she ever reads this, thanks, Camila!!!

Only my bff dares. She gets product, and she’s fairly good. Truthfully, I am better, don’t mean to sound conceited. I gift to everyone, product, and in the 10-15 I do for Xmas, I only got one fail, due to allergy. My folk don’t usually spend on decent cosmetics for themselves. Between Temptalia and excessive research, I’m usually a big hit. Better go back to nail polish for my allergy to blush person.

I much prefer a gift card so that I can choose what I want. However, I usually ask my sons to order in anything that I really like for my birthday, Christmas or Mother’s day. It makes it easier for them when they know exactly what I want. Like most men, shopping is not their thing. I use to put up a list of loves on the toilet door so the three males in my house would know what to get me for the above events.

It honestly depends for me. I’m happy with either. I have an Amazon universal wish list so I keep the specific products I want on there. Gift cards though are always a safe bet.

Although gift card is much more realistic and better for me, I find a certain joy in receiving an actual product. Anyway, its free! So I wont feel too bad if the product does not suit me.

I prefer gift card–the act of picking out what to get is half the fun for me!

Also, it makes me feel sad when I know someone spent money on something that won’t suit me/I can’t wear (foundation in a drying formula or wrong color, for example)–and it can be frustrating to exchange it for the right color if necessary, particularly without gift receipt or if it is an online-only product!

It depends. If it is a surprise, and the person really “gets” my fashion tastes, then you can bet that I appreciate a thoughtful gift of cosmetics! However, if I were to ever get romantically involved and remarry, I would want a gift card from a Hub or fiancé. Because…yeah. ?

I can’t answer either way. When it comes to family, I pick out all of my own gifts because I do not like receiving things I don’t like or can’t use. However, if it’s a gift from a friend, I’d rather receive a gift card to ensure they can give me something within their budget.

I’d rather get a gift card so that I can choose myself because I’m a little picky with makeup and also super indecisive. I could spend an hour in Sephora just trying to decide between two or three shades of a product, so I’d rather be the one to do that than let someone else pick and then chance that it wasn’t a color I liked.

I prefer an actual product. Even if it’s not something I would choose for myself, I appreciate that the giver took the time to select something themselves. Receiving beauty gifts has also introduced me to things that I didn’t think I’d love, but do. And, there is always a sentimental attachment to whatever that item may be as you’ll always think of the person who gave it to you when you use it or see it in your collection. Well, maybe if it’s an ex, that’s not the best thing, but you get the general idea. Clearly, I am a sap.

I voted gift card just because I never talk about makeup with anyone, so I can’t imagine anyone guessing what I might like, and I’m pretty non-sentimental about gifts — i.e. if it’s not something I would have chosen for myself I won’t keep it, which I know can offend some people. I avoid the whole “wrong gift” issue by having spent the better part of my life working hard to convince people that I really don’t want gifts. If they insist on cash or gift cards, though, I’ll reluctantly accept. 😉

If you don't see your comment yet, it's still in our moderation queue. We try our best to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind. Thank you for your patience!