Our Associate Editor presents her favorite beauty products to give to loved ones (or yourself) this season.
Photo courtesy of Annie Spratt via Unsplash
Whether you want an outlet for creative experimentation or 20 minutes every morning to regain some normalcy in the midst of a global pandemic, makeup has served a different purpose for each of us over the past two years and continues to do so. . I believe the role of makeup has been redefined during the pandemic. When we were first asked to stay home, it seemed intuitive that the beauty industry would suffer, but it was not the case. As social distancing, mask mandates, and WFH business models emerged, we’ve seen makeup become a hobby or even a lifeline instead of another monotonous part of your morning routine. Rather than being a way of signaling to others that we are gathered and ready for the day, putting on makeup has become a way of signaling it to ourselves. I’ve always believed that makeup is more than just looking good, it’s also feeling good, and the past two years have definitely shown how makeup can be used to empower rather than impress.
The multibillion dollar beauty industry can be a daunting thing to wade through no matter your level of makeup experience, so I’ve picked 11 of my favorite products that I think would make wonderful giveaways. this holiday season, whether they’re part of your personal wishlist or gifted to a loved one.
This lip combo is one of my all time favorites. I’ve always struggled to find the perfect “nude” color that didn’t have barbie pink, orange or brown undertones. The Pillow Talk Lip Set does just that. With a rich yet natural finish that gives your makeup the perfect boost, neutral undertones strike a balance with a wide variety of skin tones. This lip set is a bestseller precisely for this reason, and the formula doesn’t disappoint either. Like many Charlotte Tilbury lip products, you can count on this lipstick to be hydrating, creamy, and long-wearing.
This setting powder is unlike any I have ever tried. Often, setting powders are designed for different skin types, some for oily skin and others for dry skin. This can make it difficult to find the perfect match, but the hourglass has found the right spot. Setting powder can be used for many different things, the main one being its namesake: setting your foundation and concealer. However, this powder is extremely versatile; it’s not too drying out and not too bright, making it the perfect way to prep your skin whether you’re wearing foundation or not. Personally, I use this powder no matter how much makeup I apply that day because even though I only mask a few dark circles, it serves to blend my concealer perfectly with the parts of my skin that I need. left bare and provides a smooth base for tinted powders.
Bronzers can be intimidating, but Chanel Bronzer is incredibly easy to apply. Mixing perfectly with a powder or cream base, this product isn’t as intimidating as it looks. It even works well on bare skin, giving a natural, healthy glow for those days when you might want to give your complexion a boost. This product would be the perfect gift for makeup enthusiasts or anyone looking for a quick and easy way to brighten up their beauty routine.
This highlighter is the perfect staple for every beauty routine. The finely ground formula ensures that this highlighter never looks mushy or grainy, but it also doesn’t move on the skin throughout the day. With a pale pink tint, this highlighter can be applied with a larger brush and used as a blush topper or applied with a smaller brush and used to highlight facial highlights. This versatile product is perfect for stocking stuffers and is sure to become a must-have in any makeup bag.
Jaclyn Hill Mood Light Powder is much more than a setting powder. Not quite a highlighter and not quite a setting powder, Mood Light falls somewhere in between. For those who struggle to strike a balance between needing some oil control while still wanting to maintain a fresh, natural finish, this powder is for you. With diamond and rose quartz powders incorporated into the formula, this powder is the perfect way to keep your skin looking smooth and fresh.
This mascara took me completely by surprise. As often, I first tried this product because it was what my friend had in her purse, but it quickly became the only mascara I would buy. The applicator strikes the perfect balance, picking up enough product to coat the lashes quickly, but not so much that you end up with big clumps. In addition, the quality of the formula is impressive. Although the makeup remover is easily removed, it does not stain or run. This mascara would be the perfect gift for someone looking for a long lasting, low drama mascara that’s easy to remove after the day is over.
Fenty Beauty never disappoints, but my favorite product is the Flyliner. This liquid eyeliner is the perfect tool for a spectacular cat eye, as the long-lasting formula ensures it won’t budge overnight. However, what really sets this product apart is the felt tip design. The super high-quality applicator is firm enough to go all the way to the lash line, creating a subtle, natural-looking line for everyday looks, while still providing enough flexibility to create the ” flash ‘perfect for the days you are. looking for a more dramatic effect.
After receiving this palette myself as a gift, I was shocked at the quality of the formula. Beauty guru Huda Kattan really created the perfect eye shadow; it’s so easy to blend that even the most novice makeup artist will start to love playing with eye shadows, and the color palette is absolutely stunning. Their 11 neutral matte shadows are perfect for a quick wash of color when you step out the door, but can also be easily built up for an impeccably stylish look. These eye shadows are formulated with coconut oil and aloe vera, which makes them unusually smooth on the lid, but make no mistake, they won’t budge. This palette also includes seven shimmering shadows which are perfect for sprucing up your Christmas party look. At first glance, metallic undertones seem to contain large chunks of glitter, but in fact, the Huda Beauty exclusive formula results in a delicate shimmer that allows for the creation of subtle yet stunning looks. I cannot recommend this palette highly enough.
This palette is the ultimate all-in-one gift for your favorite boss on the go. With nine eye shadows, a bronzer, a blush and a highlighter, this palette has everything you need for a simple and elegant look. With three base colors, three shimmers, and three mattes, you’re well equipped to create dozens of looks you’ll love with just one palette. Bronzer is a standard shade that has warm undertones. Blush is a gorgeous rose bouquet with cool undertones, perfect for a quick pop of color. Plus, the Tarte Clay formula is pigmented, easy to blend, and will stay put all day, making this palette as effortlessly chic as the bosses it was designed for.
The Backstage Glow Palette is ideal for those looking to really play around with makeup. The Highlighter Palette comes with four different shades of pressed highlighter powders that can be used in different ways and will make you feel like a pro. It’s an amazing palette that encourages creativity and experimentation. Highlighters don’t have to be used all in one way, and this palette will encourage you to find out for yourself.
This successful eyebrow pomade lives up to its reputation. My favorite part about this product is that it doesn’t dry immediately, allowing time to fill your brows exactly the way you want them. However, once the pomade dries, it’s waterproof, long-lasting, and stain resistant, ensuring that no matter where you go, your brows will come with you.