Kylie Jenner is a billionaire. Jeffree Star made $18 million this year. If that’s not proof that the cosmetics industry is thriving thanks to YouTube and social media, I don’t know what is. Makeup is bigger than it ever has been, and that means consumers are more informed than ever. We don’t buy without reading reviews, watching tutorials or inspecting handy queer gift guides…
If there’s someone in your life who is interested in makeup but maybe doesn’t have a grasp on it, there are a few must-have products you can purchase to help them on their path to getting the perfect beat. The guide below follows the go-to beauty guru makeup routine (base, contour, eyes, lips) with products you can find on your local mall — as much as drugstore makeup has improved, you can splurge a little for the holidays! While luxury products can sometimes seem daunting, these are all essentially foolproof, and after watching a few tutorials, you’re bae’s nascent makeup skills will blossom.
Rihanna changed the cosmetics industry forever when she launched Fenty Beauty, and no product encapsulated that more than the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, which has an impressive range of 40 shades. It’s a blurring foundation that dries down to a soft matte finish, making it perfect for almost every skin type. $34 at Sephora.
The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is perfect for covering dark circles, redness, anxiety and depression — OK, see someone for that, but if you want to gift the perfectly snatched undereye, this is the way to go. As the name suggests it’s creamy and luminous, and the tube is perfect for travel. $30 at Sephora.
Not everyone uses a powder over their foundation, especially in the winter when it’s dry, but it’s great for keeping your mug in place. Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbursh Flawless Finish powder creates the a flawlessly smooth face without drying you out. This is also great to wear over moisturizer on days you don’t want to sport a full layer of foundation but still want to stay smooth and matte. $45 at Charlotte Tilbury.
Kim Kardashian fundamentally changed the way women do their makeup by introducing contouring to the world at large — before she tweeted a photo of herself mid-glam in 2012, contouring was reserved for makeup artists and drag queens. So it’s no surprise that her Powder Contour & Highlight Kit is one of the best on the market. $52 at KKW Beauty.
I personally don’t always go for blush, but it’s part of most beauty routines and helps a full face of makeup look natural, especially when you use it across the nose or temples for a sunkissed look. Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush blends into the skin like butter. $29 at Sephora.
If your highlight isn’t popping what’s the point of wearing makeup? Most days I’ll brush a little highlight atop my cheekbones and cupid’s bow for that dewy look, even if I’m not wearing makeup. Bobbi Brown’s Highlighting Powder comes in a variety of gorgeously glowing shades for any skin tone and is so creamy it makes me want to weep. $48 at Bobbi Brown.
You can’t be an Insta-baddie without the perfect brows, and the Anastasia Brow Wiz is an OG favorite — honestly, there are few things out there that beat it. This pencil is the perfectly precise, letting you fill in your brows or draw them on as you desire, and it’s a great starter product for beginners thanks to the spooli on the end — it’s for scrubbing off product if you go a little too ham! $21 at Ulta.
Whether you’re going for a safe, neutral smokey eye or something colorful and fabulous, the James Charles Artistry Palette — from the endlessly meme-able YouTuber — has almost every shade you could need. $39 at Ulta.
Lips are tricky. Do you go for a high-shine gloss? A creamy matte red? A liquid nude that will last all day? It’s the holidays and New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, so why not get your MUA-in-training something fun and bold? There are few lipsticks as iconic as Mac Russian Red, the perfectly vampy color to get you from an office holiday party to 7am on New Year’s Day. $18.50 at Mac.
While you truly can apply most makeup with your fingers, tools do make a huge difference. The Morphe Highlight & Contour Sponge is ideal for achieving the perfect base and can even pack on shadows in a pinch. $7 at Morphe.
After your budding beauty guru slays their face, you don’t want it melting off, right? The Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Rose Water is one of my skincare essentials (spray it on before moisturizer to help it soak in) that doubles as a hydrating setting spray. $7 at Mario Badescu.