Black Friday is just about two weeks away, and I know I’ve started to think about the holiday gift-giving season. Gifts for others and gifts for me. This year I’m on a strict budget, but I can still dream, right?
Today, I’ve teamed up with my friends at The Beauty Council, and we’re putting together Holiday Gift Ideas.
Here are just a few of my early recommendations in the beauty category. I know there are lots of new products out there, but I decided to do this list based on products I own and have found to be tried and true: some new, some classics. In a subsequent gift post, I’ll expand beyond what I own and also include a few other gift favorites outside of the beauty category.
Pricier Gift Ideas
Viseart Neutral Matte Palette 01
I’ve been meaning to do a full review of this fabulous palette for ages, but I still haven’t done it. I promise I will – with swatches and all – very soon!
This is my favorite eye shadow palette, bar none. It’s the one palette I reach for most often, and it’s the one that gets me the most compliments whenever I wear it. I was introduced to Viseart Neutral Matte Palette by lots of makeup artists who claim this is their favorite palette, the one they use most often. It is the only palette that a woman who favors neutrals and mattes will ever need. The shades are universally flattering.
The shadows are buttery, they feel like velvet on, stay on without budging for hours and hours, and they blend like a dream. All this fabulousness comes at a price, $80, but well worth it. The fact that it’s often sold out just shows you how much love there is for this palette! If it’s in stock, you can buy it at Sephora or at Alcone. But if neutral mattes aren’t your thing, check out Viseart’s other offerings, but I believe this is the palette from Viseart to start with.
Marc Jacobs Limited Edition The Sky-Liner Petite Highliner Collection
This collection of gel crayon eyeliners is a great way to get acquainted with Marc Jacobs luxury makeup or a give a treat to a Marc Jacobs devotee. The Marc Jacobs limited edition is sure to sell out, so act fast to pick up one of the last remaining beautifully packaged boxes.
See my recent review for details. The seven gel crayons come in very wearable shades that work for everyday or for a special occasion. My favorites are the copper, purple, navy, and black, but I love and wear them all. They go on so smoothly and easily, and they are waterproof and stay put. The Marc Jacobs The Sky-Liner Petite Highliner Collection – available only at Sephora – is $45.
em Michelle Phan Life Palette
Now, I know this recommendation may come as a surprise. Michelle Phan is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I found her Life Palette to be such an innovative and interesting idea, I had to have it. I bought the Day Palette, shown below. Each Life Palette (there are at least 4 options) contains 4 palettes, each with 9 shades, in one big collection. It contains powder eye and cheek colors and creamy lip colors. I think it’s great for travel when you can’t make up your mind what to take, but it also comes with a small portable palette so you can easily remove just the shades you know you’ll use and take those with you so you can travel light. Very cool.
Though not as beautifully blendable or long-lasting as the Viseart palette (but it’s still quite decent), the variety and all-inclusiveness is the appeal of this big collection. It comes with lots of ideas/how-tos for creating looks with the palette as well as with a dual end brush (slant brush and all purpose brush) that you can use in a pinch. The regular price of the Life Palette is $59, but it is often on sale for less.
How ‘Bout Them Apples?Lip/Cheek Cream Palette by theBalm
For the cuteness factor alone, I suggest the How ‘Bout Them Apples? Lip and Cheek Cream Palette by theBalm. The cardboard (I know, some of you don’t like cardboard but I do – lighter weight=more portable) palette comes with 9 apple-shaped pans ranging from neutral browns to peach/corals to pink to red. Although they can be used for lips or cheeks, I use them primarily as blush. I prefer cream blush for my dry skin, and these are so easily blended. The How ‘Bout Them Apples? palette is $32.
Affordable Small Gifts and Stocking Stuffers
Beauty For Real Light Up Lipgloss, Light My Fire
I just reviewed this little cutie on Monday, so check my review for details. Light Up Lipgloss is just that: a lipgloss that has a mirror on the side of the square tube and a bright little LED light built into the wand to make for precise application anyway, even in the dark. The light and mirror coupled with its compact size (fits easily in a pocket) make it perfect for gals on the go. In addition, it’s a lip plumper with peppermint oil and collagen.Though I have the beautiful cherry red, Light My Fire, Light Up Lipgloss by Beauty For Real comes in 16 shades, each $22.
Teadora Rainforest At Dawn or Dusk Nourishing Lip Butter
Teadora, a company that supports the rainforest and draws inspiration from the ingredients derived from the rainforest, makes an absolutely amazing and delicious exfoliating lip balm. With sustainable and nourishing ingredients from rainforest plants and trees, it’ll get your lips in shape and protect them from winter cold in no time, that is if you can keep yourself from licking it off your lips. It comes in two flavors: At Dawn/citrus and At Dusk/chocolate berry. I have the citrus (reviewed here), and I just love it. Beautifully packaged. Teadora Beauty Lip Butters are $15.
Starrily Nail Polish
Recently, I discovered an indie polish brand that I’ve really fallen for: Starrily. I bought the topper, Galaxy, that appeared in my NOTD yesterday, but their entire line is incredible. It’s a fun brand with neons, holos, jellies, and loads of toppers that are jammed pack with stuff inside. I paid $10 for Starrily’s Galaxy in a full size bottle, but the prices range from $10-15.50. I noticed that each shade is a limited run, and they sell out fast. Starrily is vegan, cruelty-free, and is 5-free.
Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadows and New Color Statement Nail Lacquer
Milani products make the ultimate stocking stuffers: they’re gorgeous and they are so affordable! This summer they introduced Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadows in about 30 blendable, long-wearing shades from mattes to satins to metallics. (Here’s my review). Each gold-packaged shadow is like a little present all on its own. Bella Eyes shadows are priced around $4.
And they reformulated their Color Statement Nail Lacquer (my review here) to make it easier to apply (one coat for many of the shades) and definitely longer lasting. The new round bottles are much more sophisticated-looking too. There are about 30 lacquer shades available in their permanent collection. Plus the good news is each Milani nail lacquer costs less than $4 each.
Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lip Duos
Bite Beauty has a couple of fabulous holiday gifts, but today I’ll mention just one that makes a great little gift, stocking stuffer or just a way to get started with Bite Beauty: the lipstick duos. I love Bite Beauty especially for lips because it is a better for you line of makeup made with natural and “food-grade ingredients” including reservatrol, the youth-promoting ingredient found in red wine. They’re also gluten-free. The duos are available in three shade combos: fig/date (neutrals), scarlet/wine (reds) and purples (vivid/palomino). The shades can be worn individually or layered to create your own custom shades. Each Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo is $12 and comes in a box with a cute red lip-shaped gift tag.
Now that you’ve seen my list, hop on over to the other blogs (see below) and check out their suggestions! Happy Holidays 😛