I’m going to try and keep my gift guides pretty concise and simple this year. Within the gift guides I’ll include items for all budgets and there WON’T be an overload of gift sets!
I think gift sets can be a bit hit and miss and I tend to avoid purchasing them, I prefer to either curate my own set for someone OR just buy full-size, individual items. Gift sets CAN be awesome, and be really good value, but sometimes they can just be filled with a lot of extras that you may not need, use or want.
Base & Face
I feel like buying foundations or tinted moisturisers can be a little risky unless you know their exact shade already so I tend to stay clear of concealers, foundations etc BUT what I do always find really good for gifts are bases that are sheer, versatile and you can kind of gauge a tone without getting to too wrong!
I had to start with this as it’s my absolute no.1…The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (£32)*. One of my favourite makeup discoveries of this year and I’ve mentioned /reviewed it so many times on here. Adds instant youthful glow to the skin and has a slight tint of pigment to give a touch of coverage and correction. I use it as a primer or to add strategically over the top of foundation to refresh and give glow.
Similar-ish but different to the makeup-but-more hollywood filter is the By Terry CC Lumi Serum(£61). These have been around for YEARS but have only been pushed into the limelight in more recent times by a certain Lydia lady. They are an indulgence for sure but they are such a wonderful skincare-makeup hybrid that add glisten and brightness to the skin. Wear solo, under makeup or tapped over the top to add intense glow.
Onto your more classic makeup primers with a hint of glow ; the Becca First Light Priming Filter (£28). The purple-hued primer is designed to brighten and give a boost to sallow and dull skin – HIT ME UP for the hangover season! The lilac hue is very faint though so fear not, you will not be left with any trace on the skin. One of the best-selling and all time classic makeup bases have to be the Laura Mercier primers (£30.50). These are renowned and are still some of the best in my opinion. I remember when they just did one and now they do around 6 to choose from with the Radiance Primer being my favourite.
For highlighter, I personally LOVE a liquid formula ; I just find that they give such a better finish and you can also layer with your traditional powder highlighter if you want a really high impact glow. Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (£34) are my all-time favourites and I think I have these in pretty much every shade with ‘Moonlight‘ being my most-used and the most versatile shade. There are A LOT of dupes on the high street now and most budget brands do a liquid highlighter with the MUA Light Lustre (£5) being one of the best I have tried. Great value for money too as the bottle is HUGE. Psssst just seen these for half price on the MUA website HERE so that kinda makes me sad as that could hint that they are gonna be going.
Any perfect base needs to be finished and set and the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (£30) is yer girl. This is still my favourite setting powder and has been for years (before the instagram baking hype of late – yikes!) Gives makeup a shine-free, smooth and traceless finish.
Colour & Eyes
We are inundated with palettes at the moment, there are SO many to choose from but one of my favourite new launches is the Bareminerals Bounce & Blur Eyeshadow palette (£26)* The textures of these shadows are a really smooth cream-powder hybrid and will impress any makeup junkie! Comes in two palette colour ways and I am loving this warmer ‘dusk’ palette for this season.
Not *so* Christmassy or festive looking but if you want a damn good mascara then Benefit Bad Gal Bang (£22) is the one. One of THE best mascara’s on the planet and in my top 3 of all time. It’s blacker than black, great at building volume in a whizz and stays on without any problems.
There are always SO makeup makeup sets to choose from but I am really loving the Too Faced packaging this year, it’s super cute. The Too Faced Christmas Star Face & Eye Palette (£36)* is a really pretty palette and it not only has 20 stunning eye shadows, 2 blushers, 2 highlighters and a bronzer, but also a mini lip gloss and BTS mascara which as you may know, is one of my go-to’s. A really wearable selection of colours and the eyeshadows you can create so many looks with.
The Hourglass Incandescent Electra Ambient Blusher (£32) is probably my favourite blusher shade of all time, but also I love this hourglass formula and they do lots of other gorgeous shades. I like the combination of blush and ambient powder in these which give a really nice glowy blusher.
Not a specific Christmas set but definitely fits the bill look-wise is the IT Cosmetics IT girl Beauty Book (£52)* This is pretty much my go-to makeup look every day at the moment. I love the fact there is SO much within this palette and it pretty much has all you need beside foundation and mascara! Great wearable colours, the setting powder is BRILLIANT and I’m also a big fan of these eyeshadow formulas.
PIXI x Maryam Maquillage Eye & Lip Kit (£16)* Two of my favourite makeup products from PIXI beauty in one cute package. This is one of their latest collaborations and both colours are absolutely stunning and Christmas perfect. The PIXI matte lip colours are one of my favourite formulas ever and this is a new/limited edition shade. They do two of this kits and this is the ‘day’ one with the ‘night’ being a darker black-silver eyeshadow and nude lip.
Seasonal shades are ago-go with lots of reds, berries and shimmery lips. The PIXI Chloe Morello Lip Icings (£16)* are fun lip glosses/toppers that add instant 3D glimmer to your lips ; wear solo or over the top of lipstick for a more fun and dazzling finish.
In terms of red lipsticks, I have a HUGE arsenal, and here are my top 2. The NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (£22) is my ALL time favourite and the most perfect red lip colour. These pencils are a key staple in my professional kit and I have around 20 shades now. THE BEST and easiest lip formula I’ve ever found to wear. Dragon girl is a cool-pink toned red and it looks stunning on pretty much anyone and everyone! A gorgeous gifting lippie has to be the rose-gold clad Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red (£25). My favourite Charlotte Tilbury shade and just a really stunning blue-true-red. These formulas are really comfortable on the lips and give a full pigment coverage in just one swipe. A classic Christmas party shade.
If in doubt : BY TERRY BAUME DE ROSE GLOSS (£34). You actually cannot go wrong with this for lips. A hybrid pale pink lip gloss and nourishing balm in one that gives you a beautiful, subtle and healthy pout.
I love a good brush set and Lily England have some really affordable and pretty sets at the moment. I have the Black Marble and Rose Gold 9-piece set (£42)* which will pretty much do your full face and eye makeup with no bother. Good quality, soft, synthetic hairs and obviously we have to give a nod to how pretty and instagrammable they are. I love the smaller tapered C2 brush which is great for both highlight and contour.
Everyone needs a few pairs of decent tweezers. Rubis Tweezers (£22.50)* are iconic and simply the best tweezers that money can buy. Crafted in Switzerland, these tweezers last for AGES and I have a pair that are over 10 years old that are still perfectly aligned and sharp.
Last up and the BIGGEST indulgence is the wonderful Glamcor RIKI Skinny Mirror (£175) I purchased this recently in the Black Friday sales as I think £175 for a mirror is SO expensive BUT they are a little more than just a great light-up mirror to do your makeup in.
It has 5 light settings so it will give you perfect light at any time of the day to do your makeup in, it is adjustable in the way it sits, it is also magnetic behind the mirror so you can add on the magnifying mirror onto the middle when you need it AND it also has bluetooth to connect to your phone / camera to take pictures and/or film.
It also has a really handy phone holder that again attaches magnetically onto the middle of the mirror so you can film with ease. I wouldn’t buy it solely for doing my makeup , for me, it’s definitely an investment or a great gift for a makeup junkie, selfie-lover OR a wannabe instagrammer who wants to start filming etc without having to buy separate lights, camera etc. I will do a more in-depth review of this really soon!
So that is a big old makeup gift guide, including products that I love personally and think would make really good gifts for anyone who is *into* makeup. Maybe a few products that you wouldn’t usually think of as a good gift and a slight step away from the endless sets.
One thing I would always say before you buy either in a shop or online is to just double-check the returns policy so that the person can exchange an item if they already have it or it’s not quite right for them. Most retailers have an extended timeframe on their returns/exchange policy over the Christmas period.
Can you spot any products here that you would like? What are you hoping to get for Christmas makeup-wise? I think I’m pretty much all set but I have got my eye on a couple of things from Charlotte Tilbury as I always find the packaging kinda special and lovely to receive.
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