Ask Belle: Holiday Palette Envy
Nov 25, 2013
My niece (who is a sophomore in college) asked me for a giant makeup palette for Christmas. I’ve been thinking it over and wondering if makeup palettes actually make good gifts. I’m not sure if it’s the best thing for me to buy her, since I’m concerned about the quality of the makeup. Any thoughts?
Buying makeup as a gift is always tricky. Will you choose the right shade? Does the person have allergies? Will the gift end up in a junk drawer? Makeup palettes can make good presents, but it depends on the palette.
I would never recommend buying a makeup palette like this enormous one from Sephora, unless you’re buying it for someone under-16. Why? The vast selection of colors seems like a great deal, but most of those shades won’t be used and there won’t be enough of the staple shades to keep her stocked for more than a few weeks. It’s great for playing around with to discover what colors you like but not much else.
If you do want to buy her a palette, be more discerning. An eyeshadow palette like the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette ($52) or this Plum Dazed set from Sephora ($16), which contains a handful of near-universally flattering shades.
And since your niece is a bit older, I’d also recommend some kits and palettes that contain better quality products than you find in those inexpensive makeup kits you see in department stores before the holidays. I like this Stila Artist Essential Set ($59), which contains an array of sophisticated shadows and how-to cards for creating new looks. If she likes lipstick, this $38 kit from Bite Beauty offers some lovely hues. And if you want to go all out, the $300 Makeup Forever Professional Kit has full-sizes of all their best products from their awesome pencil liners to their Microfinish HD Powder.
If the girl wants a palette, buy her a palette. Just steer clear of those inexpensive, enormous palettes made to sucker people who don’t know what to get the young women in their extended families. Those items are best left to teenagers trying to find their look and little girls who play dress up.