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The 50 Best Makeup Gifts of 2023

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 Best Makeup Gifts of 2022

Makeup may not always seem like the most giftable of categories, but trust is, it is. Obviously, it’s a choice option for the makeup-obsessed people on your shopping list, but we strongly believe that it can work for anyone. After all, who wouldn’t want to get a high-end highlighter they might not otherwise pick up for themselves, or a pretty palette with color options galore?  Exactly.  Not to mention that makeup is ideal if you’re looking for a smaller ticket item, or when you need a quick and easy  stocking stuffer. That being said, not every makeup item out there is gift-worthy, so we sorted through the goods to find the best of the best makeup gifts. From gorgeous color cosmetics to universally-appealing tools, these presents are sure to please.


Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

All it takes is a teeny-tiny (read: rice-sized) amount of this primer to help up the staying power of your makeup and keep it from settling into pores. And who wouldn’t want that? Best of all, it works with any foundation formula and for any skin type, and (truly) feels like liquid silk.

Price at time of publish: $54

“As soon as any foundation meets this primer, I can see the texture instantly change. The result is that no matter how closely I inspect my face in the mirror (or how much I zoom in to a photo), I can’t detect traces of makeup, even where it tends to clump or flake over my dry patches. My skin just appears to be completely seamless and even—and also emits a luminescence that has caused many people to DM me asking for the exact details of my skincare routine.” —Sarah Y. Wu, Product Tester

Jones Road Beauty Miracle Balm

Indeed, this aptly named multi-tasker really can work miracles when your complexion is looking dull and lackluster. It delivers a hit of moisture and a soft wash of color (it comes in six shades), and looks beautiful either on its own or layered over foundation, imparting a gorgeous, dewy glow. I.e. it’s perfect for anyone who is after that oh-so coveted ‘no makeup makeup’ look.

Price at time of publish: $38

“I tapped Bronze across my cheeks and nose, and it was like my skin had suddenly taken on its own glowy flush, rather than emanating from a product. It sheers out nicely, leaving behind a soft glow.”—Joline Buscemi, Product Tester

Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix

Who doesn’t love a good makeup multitasker? This one takes the cake when it comes to multipurpose color, delivering a punch of liquid pigment that can be used on eyes, lips, and/or cheeks with equally gorgeous results. The color payoff is intense (though blends in easily) and the formula also has impressive staying power. And with a whopping 31 shades to choose from—across matte, metallic, and high shine finishes—it’s easy to find the perfect hue for anyone and everyone on your list.

Price at time of publish: $18

“The Colorfix Cream Pigment is easy to use, and I was able to work it into my eyes and lips effortlessly. Sometimes, multi-purpose products that are heavily pigmented tend to feel dry or crunchy; Colorfix is lightweight and comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised to see that after several hours, my eye, lip, and cheek application looked exactly the same as it did when I first applied it, even with my oily eyelids.”—Khera Alexander, Product Tester and Makeup Artist

Nars Cosmetics Liquid Blush

There’s good reason why this blush has gone viral on TikTok, rivaling the OG powder version that’s so well-known and loved. It’s crazy pigmented (you only need to use a small amount) but blends seamlessly into skin, and feels creamy yet lightweight. It lasts for hours and comes in five shades, including the cult-classic Orgasm, a peachy-pink that really does look good on everyone.

Price at time of publish: $30

“The blush wore wonderfully throughout the day. The product has not separated regardless of the temperature and has really impressed me in terms of coverage and wear. It looks great over foundation and on bare skin to give some color to my no-makeup looks. It has performed far above my expectations, and I am now totally obsessed.”—Karla Ayala, Product Tester

Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

Consider this the secret to contouring made easy. The dual-ended stick touts a contour color on one end and a highlight color on the other. Both are creamy, buildable, and blendable, not to mention much more forgiving than powders.

Price at time of publish: $40

Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer

There are five shades of this creamy bronzer to choose from, making it easy to find the right one to look naturally sun-kissed. It’s also beautiful dabbed on lids in place of shadow or used as a highlighter. No matter how you apply it, it’s easily buildable and blendable.

Price at time of publish: $20

Merit Five Minute Morning

One of our favorite makeup brands as of late, Merit is all about a clean, easy, simple makeup routine. Exhibit A: this set, which contains one of each of every product in the line. There’s a complexion stick, tinted lip oil, mascara, cheek color, brow pomade, highlighting balm, and blending brush. It’s ideal for makeup minimalists, but everyone is sure to appreciate the killer formulas and wearable colors.

Price at time of publish: $200

Anastasia Beverly Hills Primrose Palette

Both the matte and metallic shades in this palette are equally pigmented, imparting tons of color in every swipe. There are gorgeous colors for both eyes and cheeks, and fun fact, this palette contains almost 200% more product than the brand’s original palettes.

Price at time of publish: $55

Jenny Patinkin Pure Luxury Makeup Sponge Duo

After just one use of these makeup sponges, we were hooked. They’re made of a pure foam that isn’t treated with any chemicals and can even be recycled. The larger size is great for applying foundation, while the smaller size is ideal for applying things like cream blush and eyeshadow.

Price at time of publish: $32

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

It’s a major statement to say that one lip color will flatter everyone, but this iconic lipstick does exactly that. The pink-nude hue is somehow gorgeous on all skin tones, a surefire staple that everyone will love.

Price at time of publish: $34


A makeup mirror is one of those things that *actually* is a game-changer. This skinny one won’t take up a ton of room but will ensure you always have good lighting, thanks to its LED bulbs. It also has a built-in phone holder, so it’s great for following along with video makeup tutorials.

Price at time of publish: $225

Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but so is this megawatt highlighter. Not only is it super sparkly, but the jelly-to-powder formula also blends beautifully into the skin.

Price at time of publish: $40

BLK/OPL Beauty Tools Kit

For the makeup lover who likes to channel their inner pro artist, this set of four tools is choice. There are brushes, a sponge, and an extra-convenient ring palette, which is perfect for mixing up custom shades.

Price at time of publish: $25

PYT Beauty the Upcycle Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Lit Nude

This brand earns points in our book not only for offering amazing colors and textures (case in point: this lineup of a dozen, totally wearable nude shadows) but also for its sustainability efforts. For example, this palette is made with 15% recycled plastic and also can be recycled once you’re done with it.

Price at time of publish: $34

Shiseido Eyelash Curler

We’ve tried lots of lash curlers in our day, yet somehow always come back to this cult-favorite. The broad curve makes it easy to reach every last lash from corner to corner, creating a lifted and eye-opening effect even before you swipe on mascara.

Price at time of publish: $23

Dibs status stick

The name of this brand stands for ‘desert island beauty status,’ and indeed, many of their products have made it to our ‘can’t live without’ list. This hero SKU is a unique highlighter that can be used from head to toe. The oversized stick is easy to swipe on arms or legs for a gorgeous sheen, though it works equally well dabbed on eyes or cheeks. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who can’t get enough of the glowy skin trend.

Price at time of publish: $36

Rare Beauty Brow Harmony

We’re not always necessarily impressed by celeb makeup lines, but Selena Gomez’s brand is the rare (get it?) exception. We’re big fans of pretty much everything, but this brow product is a standout, combining a pencil on one end and a gel on the other. It comes in eight colors, but is an especially good choice for blondes, as the blonde shade truly is spot on.

Price at time of publish: $22

Boxy Girl Four Set

Any makeup lover will appreciate a gift that helps them neatly corral all of their goods, and this organizer does exactly that. The four-drawer stack is made from lucite, sturdy yet still sophisticated—and the perfect way to also display your now neatly organized makeup stash. The removable dividers further help keep lipsticks, palettes, concealers, eyeshadow (you get the picture) neat and tidy, and it’s also super easy to wipe clean.

Price at time of publish: $249

Nudestix three piece set

We adore stick formulas for a laundry list of reasons (they’re easy to apply, are ideal for travel, etc. etc.) and these sticks also happen to feature a multi-tasking pigment, another way to our hearts. Each of the three shades can be used on lips, cheeks, or eyes, not to mention that the trio can easily be mixed and matched. Bonus points for the fact that they’re housed in reusable tin that even comes complete with a mirror.

Price at time of publish: $27

Guide Beauty Guide Eyeliner Duo

Celeb makeup artist Terri Bryant founded Guide Beauty after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and losing dexterity in her hands; the brand is all about creating products that are inclusive and accessible to everyone. (Selma Blair, who has been open about her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, is the brand’s Chief Creative Officer.) Exhibit A, their Guide Wand has an easy-to-hold handle that steadies the hand, a vertical shape for easy control, and a flexible applicator. It comes with a waterproof, long-wearing gel eyeliner, housed in an easy open jar.

Price at time of publish: $50

LANEIGE Glowy Makeup Serum

Straddling the line between makeup and skincare, this primer-meets-serum is a must for anyone who is all about glowy, radiant skin. Per the primer part of things, it helps up the longevity of your makeup and delivers natural-looking luminosity. Per the serum part of things, it delivers lightweight hydration and helps balance oil levels.

Price at time of publish: $32

Beis The Cosmetics Case

No matter whether you’re home or away, this super smart cosmetic case—from Shay Mitchell’s brand—is the perfect place to stash all of your makeup. It features tons of pockets and compartments (a must), a magnetic, removable brush holder, and even a mirror. The exterior is made from faux leather that looks chic but is easy to wipe clean; the interior fabric touts a wipeable and stain-proof coating.

Price at time of publish: $68

pat mcgrath labs blush

Everything about this blush—from the exterior packaging to the powder itself—is next level pretty, almost too pretty to use. (Almost.) Each of the six shades houses two vibrant colors, which can be used either individually or swirled together, to complement a wide variety of skin tones.

Price at time of publish: $44

The Mitty Mini Single-Pack

When you’re wearing lots of makeup, you’re going to need a way to quickly and easily remove it. Enter this reusable remover. Made of super soft Korean polyester, it replaces disposable cotton balls and pads, perfect for wiping off even the most stubborn eye makeup. The pointed tip is great for use along the lash line, while the rounded side works well on lids and brows. Once you’re done, just toss it in the wash and it’s ready to be used all over again, a much more sustainable alternative to cotton pads.

Price at time of publish: $12

Hourglass Palette Curator

Not quite sure exactly what types of colors they like? Give them this customizable palette, which they can then fill (and refill) with any one of the brand’s 40 eyeshadow shades, across a range of finishes.

Price at time of publish: $12

Yves Saint Laurent Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara

Adding up to 200% more volume to lashes, this mascara is sure to please even die-hard lash extension lovers. The luxe packaging makes it giftable in its own right, though you can also opt for custom engraving on the tube—talk about upping the gifting ante.

Price at time of publish: $29

Elite Gold Collection Brush

A makeup brush with a 24 karat gold finish? Yes, please. Not only does it look extremely special and luxurious, the unique shape also makes it one of the most versatile (and easy to use) brushes we’ve ever seen. It’s ideal for applying and blending in creams and powders, and works just as well for buffing in skincare as it does makeup.

Price at time of publish: $65

Mary Kay Unlimited Gloss

Anyone who is all about the Barbiecore trend will love this gloss, which imparts the perfect amount of pearly, bubble gum pink color. Best of all, it’s silky rather than sticky, gliding smoothly along lips and adding tons of shine and moisture, but never feeling tacky or uncomfortable.

Price at time of publish: $16


We’ve seen powder and cream and gel and liquid blushes before, but we’ve never seen a blush oil. Much less one like this, which changes color upon contact with your skin. (Think of it as one of those old school mood rings, but makeup.) Just dab on a tiny bit and the unique formula reacts with your skin’s natural pH to create a custom-colored flush. It’s super cool and unique in general, and especially great as a gift, as it takes the guesswork out of shade choosing.

Price at time of publish: $36

Juvia's Place I Am Magic Loose Setting Powder

Sure, you could use this as a setting powder, but it also pulls double (erm, triple?) duty as a foundation, concealer, and contour or highlighter product. Also noteworthy: The fact that it comes in five shades, including options for very dark complexions, which isn’t always the case with setting powder.

Price at time of publish: $14

beautyblender Turn The Blend Around Makeup Sponge Set

The original beautyblender is a staple among makeup lovers, and for good reason: It “can make any product look like professional quality,” says associate editorial director Holly Rhue. This trio also comes with a scrub mat and the brand’s Blendercleanser Sponge & Brush Cleanser—meaning, with proper blender care, they’ll be set up for half a year’s worth of seamless base makeup.

Gucci Lipstick Trio Set

Let’s be real: Sometimes, you just really want makeup with gorgeous, shelfie-status packaging. This trio from Gucci more than fits the bill, with glamorous gold detailing and the brand’s signature maximalist motifs. But it isn’t just beautiful: It’s functional, too, with a satin, a matte, and a hydrating formula, ensuring they’ll have a lippie for every mood.

Price at time of publish: $97

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Face Palette in Butterfly

Speaking of shelf appeal, this limited edition face palette from Hourglass features packaging showcasing the work of artist Katie Scott. And in this case, good things come in threes: Each of the three palettes (Elephant, Tiger, or Butterfly) includes three new Ambient Lighting shades, along with three fan-favorite blushes, bronzers, highlighters, or finishing powders.

Price at time of publish: $85

Real Techniques Au Naturale Face Glow Makeup Brush Kit

Who says makeup brushes have to break the bank? While we love a luxurious, expensive set, you don’t have to splurge to get beautifully blended eyeshadows and perfectly pigmented cheeks. This nine-piece kit from Real Techniques includes face and eye brushes that will be loved by amateurs and pros alike.

Price at time of publish: $28

Natasha Denona My Dream Eyeshadow Palette

Natasha Denona is known for its pigmented, easy-to-blend eyeshadows, and this palette is no exception. Featuring wearable neutrals and chic burgundy tones in a mix of matte and metallic finishes, this palette makes creating smoky eyes and dramatic statement lids a cinch (a must during the holiday party season).

Price at time of publish: $69

Westman Atelier The Petal Edition Lip and Complexion Set

For the makeup lover who prefers their color cosmetics to be understated but luxurious, you can’t go wrong with anything from Westman Atelier. Inspired by her daughter’s natural rosy complexion, The Petal Set features a blush, highlighter, and lip balm designed to give the wearer a subtle and fresh flush of color.

Price at time of publish: $134

Glossier Makeup Set + Balm Dot Com

Another set for the low-key beauty lover, this Glossier kit covers all the bases for no-makeup makeup with some of its all-star products: the much beloved Boy Brow, dreamy Cloud Paint blush, popular Balm Dot Com salve, and clump-killing Lash Slick Mascara. (Bonus: You can customize your shade choices for both Boy Brow and Cloud Paint.)

Kulfi Beauty Underlined Kajal Eyeliner Set

If you haven’t heard, graphic eyeliner looks are having a major moment. Help them indulge their creative side with an eyeliner set featuring black, orange, brown, blue, and burgundy tones. “Its applicator easily glides onto your lids, leaving you with a super silky cream finish that stays put for hours on end,” former visuals editor Cristina Ciancia says of Kulfi’s Kajal Eyeliners. “It’s also super pigmented, so just one swipe is enough—no back-tracing needed.”

Price at time of publish: $100 

Maybelline New York Holiday Mini Lash Bar Mascara Kit

This gift is the very definition of small but mighty. Featuring three of Maybelline’s blockbuster mascaras—Lash Sensational, The Falsies Lash Lift Mascara, and viral sensation Lash Sensational Sky High—the kit is the perfect stocking stuffer for the beauty lover who is always looking for more defined eyes.

Price at time of publish: $11

NYX Limited Edition Holiday Butter Lip Gloss Vault

NYX Professional’s Butter Lip Gloss came out on top in our rankings of lip glosses, and as far as we’re concerned, they’re well worth stocking up on. This set features 14 shades of the smooth, hydrating gloss; separate them out as stocking stuffers for a few, or gift one makeup lover the ultimate lippie wardrobe.

Price at time of publish: $50

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter

Another TikTok fave, this finely-milled highlighter is beloved for its ability to impart a natural, lit-from-within glow (and at a very affordable price). “I enjoyed the way this highlighter subtly enhanced my skin, and was pleasantly surprised by how well it wore throughout the day,”  Celeste Polanco said in her review.

Price at time of publish: $5

OPI XPress/On Nail Art Press On Nails

Historically maligned, the press-on manicures are back in a big way—as is the French manicure (particularly with nail art details). This kit offers both: 30 press on nails in a chic, minimalist French manicure design with abstract detailing. The glue, nail file, and prep pad are all included, too, so it really is a full set in a box.

Price at time of publish: $16

Ami Cole Lip Treatment Oil Trio

Few things are quite as disheartening as reaching your hand into your bag just to realize you left your favorite lip gloss in your other purse. With this trio from Ami Cole, one can be popped into every bag. And trust us—this will become your favorite lip product. “It’s everything you could want from a lip product: it adds shine, gives your lips a sheer wash of color, and nourishes them,” says editor Olivia Hancock. “It’s a product I won’t leave home without now.”

Price at time of publish: $67

Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter

Saie’s Super Gel Highlighters come packed with vitamin C and squalane to help brighten and plump the skin, respectively—all while imparting a mega-watt glow. “The formula has serious staying power and works both under foundation and applied to the high points of my face,” says news director Madeline Hirsch.

Price at time of publish: $22

Lollipop Eyeliner BEAUTY BAKERIE

Chances are you pictured this popping out of their stocking, wedged between the candy canes and hot cocoa spoons (or maybe that was just us). But don’t let the sweet packaging fool you: This felt-tip liner stays put all day, and makes drawing on razor-sharp wings an effortless process.

Price at time of publish: $18

MAC Celebrate In Colour Powder Kiss Lip Vault x 12

For those looking for equal parts pigment and comfort, MAC’s Powder Kiss range is tough to beat. (“There’s plenty of color payoff, and I was able to softly diffuse the formula for a more lived-in look,” Hirsch says of the formula.) This limited edition set features 12 shades of the lipstick, ranging from neutrals to deep berries, that will last them well beyond the holiday season.

Price at time of publish: $85 

Contour Stick LYS

Whether they’re spending the holidays on the beach or bundled up, there’s a good chance they’ll appreciate adding a little sunkissed glow to their makeup routine. This cream, blendable bronzer is available in five shades, making it a great choice for a variety of skin tones.

Price at time of publish: $19

Em Cosmetics Festive Party Duo

‘Tis the season for bags that are very, very tiny. For those evenings in which they don’t want to sacrifice style for function, gift them the perfect pocket-sized mirror and lip gloss. This duo is sure to fit in even the tiniest of purses—and will keep their pout glistening throughout the night.

Price at time of publish: $27

Fashion Fair Iconic Lipstick

Fashion Fair’s Chocolate Raspberry Iconic Lipstick was one of the brand’s bestsellers for decades—and, thankfully, when the brand relaunched in 2021, the popular shade was revived. Gift this one to that family member who loved the original or the burgeoning beauty lover who can appreciate a classic. Either way, they’re bound to appreciate the glistening magenta shade.

Price at time of publish: $26

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Sun Stalk'R Face + Eye Bronzer & Highlighter Palette

This limited edition from Fenty promises a sunkissed glow for all complexions, with a hint of shimmer adding dimension so you can create a subtle strobed look. It includes the classic Sun Stalk’r bronzer plus two new highlighters for instant holiday sparkle.


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