Thursday, December 19, 2013

Last Minute Gift Guide

The Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick Last Minute Gift Guide

I'm not usually the kind of person who gets in to "gift guides" or "stocking stuffer ideas" posts and videos. I think gifts should be personal, sentimental, and based completely on the receiver's personal interests. But a few friends have requested a list of recommendations for different "groups" of people, ideas for gifts that will please a sizable chunk of the population and fit a range of budgets. And as I'm never opposed to recommending new products or taking pictures of pretty makeup...

So here you have it: a quick and dirty list of readily available, $30-or-less stocking stuffers and Secret Santa hopefuls!

The Special Edition Sampler: Best Bite Set, $25 at Sephora

This adorable set of 4 Bite Beauty lip pencils comes in a super-cute, Christmasy-but-not-over-the-top tin that needs no extra wrapping. It includes 4 very different shades--a nude, a red, a plum, and a limited edition cranberry color--and is a great way to try a new brand. You can give one special person the entire set, or you can give 4 friends/children/aunts/whatever one pencil apiece based on their personal style.

Skincare Stocking Stuffer: Paula's Choice Lip Perfecting Gentle Scrub, $10 at

Lip exfoliants would be way more popular if they were all as gentle and easy-to-use as this guy. The formulation is a soft, white cream with microbeads that you rub in to your lips to gentle slough off dead skin, leaving your lips supple and smooth. It's almost impossible to overdo it with this product, and you could definitely use it every day without trouble. For a little extra, you can purchase this cute set, which comes with the lip scrub and an all-over balm.

Cheap Find: Wet n' Wild Eyeshadow Palette in Comfort Zone, $5 at

You don't have to empty your wallet to get a great beauty gift. The Wet n' Wild eyeshadow palettes are a fantastic budget buy, especially this collection of neutrals and greens called Comfort Zone. The shades are buttery, super-pigmented, and long-lasting. If the person you're buying for isn't into neutrals, no fears: there are several other palettes and sets, some super-bright, some soft and pastel. Be forewarned, though, that these shadows are a little delicate: don't shove them in a stocking if they'll be crushed or smacked around, because you'll end up with a powdery mess.

Great for Teens: Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint, $17 at

The whole "this is great for teenagers!" line usually grates on me, because I think those tender years are best left to experimentation and personal taste. But I have to admit that most young people aren't quite used to carefully cleaning their faces--which can lead to acne and skin problems--and have a tendency to overdo it with heavy foundations and thick eyeliner. (Not that I have any experience with that...) So if you have a youngin' who is just starting to like makeup, consider a sheer, comfortable product like this tinted moisturizer. It's easy to use and to remove, and it has the added benefit of SPF30 protection.

"They'd never buy it for themselves, BUT...": Makeup Forever Uplight Gel Luminizer, $29 at Sephora

Okay, okay, so I brag on this product a LOT, and you're all sick of it. But I really do think this is one of the most underrated highlighter formulations out there. Not only do you get three different finishes--dewy, shimmery, and glittery--but you also get a lightweight, layerable formula that's easy enough for newbies to manage and sophisticated enough for highlighter addicts to appreciate. My personal favorite shades are #11, this dewy pink that flatters fair faces, and #23, a dramatic, shimmery gold that looks beautiful on deeper skintones.

For the Easy-Going Beauty Fiend: Becca Beach Tints, $25 at

Not everybody is as makeup obsessed or anal retentive as I am. Some people want a product that's easy to use in a variety of situations. Becca Beach Tints definitely fit that bill. Semi-sheer and packed in to travel-friendly tubes, these little beauties are great on your bare face or over foundation. They're particularly popular with--surprise surprise--beach goers! I personally don't care for the formulation on my lips, but they are a multi-use product that can be used all over your face, which will make them even more appealing to low-maintenance friends.

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