Finding the perfect gift for a makeup-obsessed friend can be quite the challenge, especially if they’re an expert in all things beauty and skincare. There are so many different products and brands, and if you don’t know much about makeup, it can be all the more daunting. If you know anyone who’s nuts about all things Maybelline, Mario Badescu, and the latest Morphe palette, then you’ve come to the right place.
Jump ahead by type:
e.l.f. products rival high-quality brands you find at Sephora, and first on this list is the Expert Liquid Liner that I’ve been buying for years. With a precise fine tip brush and no-smudge color, you can score that sassy cat eye in no time – and it’s only a few bucks!
Essence is a game-changer when it comes to affordable makeup. The Lash Princess mascara has garnered over 2,300 five-star reviews on Ulta, with people raving about its to-die-for lengthening effect, the inexpensive price and the lack of clumpiness when applying.
The Morphe Natural Flirt palette features shimmering nude and berry colors that are a snap to blend (along with a pink-purple glitter called “Crushin’ Hard” that you’ll wear over everything). Plus, the pans themselves are spacious, meaning your makeup space won’t be constantly dusted in fallout.
Ding ding ding! New ColourPop alert! The brand dropped a collection of sultry and smokey shades at the beginning of November. The Baroque palette has gorgeous gunmetal and navy blue colors in both matte and metallic finishes, ideal for creating dramatic winter looks.
Allure’s 2019 Best of Beauty Award Winner, e.l.f.’s Primer Infused Blush has primer powder in the formula to ensure your rosy glow stays in place all day. It’s highly pigmented and comes in different shades of pink and orange, with a large pan that makes it well worth the dough.
With almost 15,000 reviews on Amazon, Butter Bronzer is a must-have for your makeup bag, especially those with pale skin. Users rave about its subtle but beautiful glow, delicious smell, and easy blending capabilities. Like other products by Physicians Formula, it’s hypo-allergenic and safe for sensitive skin.
ColourPop’s Super Shock Highlighter is a creme powder that is ultra buildable and leaves cheeks looking sparkly as can be. The shade “Manifest That…” is pale pink and purple with pinpoints of sparkle, and the compact features a giant mirror, great for on-the-go touch-ups.
This palette gives you the best of both worlds with both highlighters and contour. Designed to complement every skin tone, you’ll get a pearl highlight, a shimmering sand highlighter, and a dark matte contour, all in an easy-to-transport pan. It’s also cruelty-free and dermatologist tested.
As the colder weather starts to arrive, our lips will definitely be feeling the strain. That’s where Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm comes in. Shea butter and botanical waxes hydrate and soften dry lips, while each shade gives an appealing pop of color.
Everyone needs a go-to gloss, and Maybelline’s new Lifter Gloss will be a welcome addition to your makeup routine. It comes in a variety of shades from clear to baby pink to nude, with an extra large wand for flawless application every time. One reviewer said this compares to Fenty’s Gloss Bomb – now that’s impressive.
Christmas is the best time of year to rock a festive red lip. L’Oréal’s Lightweight Lip Stain has over 5,000 five-star reviews, with beauty lovers praising its long-lasting color and convenient container. The precision applicator makes application easy (messing up a lip stain can be super messy) and comes in shocking reds, pinks, corals, and nudes. Mwah!
From Disney Channel darling to pop superstar, Selena Gomez has created a cosmetics line you don’t want to miss. This gel primer is formulated for all skin types — meant to help with dryness especially — and infused with ultra-fine pearls for added radiance.
Huda Kattan’s flawless full coverage foundation is, well, full coverage! One pump is enough to make redness, acne scars, and annoying dark undereye circles disappear, just like magic. It is by far the priciest item on this list but well worth the money. Heads up: this can make you look like a ghost in photos with flash if you get a super light shade, so I recommend mixing in Maybelline’s Super Stay Foundation to balance it all out.
Tarte Shape Tape is considered a holy grail item in the makeup world, but not all of us can afford to splurge like that for a concealer. Enter an affordable dupe: Makeup Revolution’s Conceal and Define Concealer. This comes in a whopping 43 shades, featuring a doe foot applicator for easy use and a matte finish. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
Wet n Wild is another brand with fabulous price points. For only a few bucks, this spray does it all: preps, sets, and gives you a hydrating refresh throughout the day. It comes in three scents — coconut, cucumber, and rose –so it’s truly got something for everyone.
A pencil is a must for those looking to fill in their brows and make a statement. Available in seven shades, Morphe’s Micro Brow Pencil has a hard-wax formula, meaning it’ll glide onto the hairs with no tugging. Reviewers rave about how easy it is to apply and how pigmented the color choices are.
Powder is a must after filling in those brows with a pencil. The Brow Powder Duo from our queen Anastasia features one light and one dark hue to be mixed for your ideal color, in 11 different combinations. It’s smudge-proof, meaning you can effortlessly pack on the pigment, taking you from day to night and everything in between.
What’s a makeup gift guide without this cult favorite? Influencers everywhere rave about Glossier’s Boy Brow, and for good reason. Unlike some other products, this makes your brows look natural but filled in; shaping and thickening has never been so easy. It comes in subtle shades of clear, black, brown, blond, and the newly-added auburn.