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Makeup gift sets are the unsung hero of gift giving when you have friends who love (or want to love) makeup. They work for all makeup styles — even the no makeup-makeup fans — and all skill levels. These curated collections of makeup products usually share a theme. Some themes you’ll commonly see include product type collections (like eyeshadow palettes), sets of makeup brushes, or full-face collections.
Got a friend who loves an ultra glam look? There are makeup brush sets and airbrush makeup kits for that. Shopping for a minimalist who only wears mascara? It might be time to check out the best makeup products on the market right now. Know someone who’s always on the go? Lighted makeup mirrors are an absolute must-have.
There are so many options, but the best way to choose one is by thinking of who you’re buying for. Before you shop, ask yourself how your friend normally wears their makeup. Bold lipstick wearers, for instance, would probably love a collection of lipsticks from their favorite brand. Meanwhile, your colleague with sky-high lashes may be looking for a new mascara to try. And if your friend is just dipping their toe in the makeup world, then full-face collections might be the answer, advises Gaby Trujillo, founder of Alamar Cosmetics.
“There are many kits on the market,” Trujillo says. “Some websites even offer pre-packed kits with a curated selection of products, which are great for beginners who might be overwhelmed by having to shop and fill their kits slowly.”
You also might think of how the person you’re shopping for applies their makeup. Some are suited for travel and others are best for at-home use. “I’m looking for something that’s packaged in black, or packaging that can be wiped down, since I’m constantly on the go,” says Stephanie Flor, a makeup artist based in New York City. “That wouldn’t be the priority for a regular consumer who might want something to be pretty and glittery since they’ll be putting it on their vanity table.”
No matter who you’re buying for, makeup kits provide an effortless avenue for discovering new products or snagging a collection of your favorites. And they’re especially helpful if you’re looking to be more budget-conscious this holiday gifting season. “Buying kits or bundles means you’ll get more for your money,” says Nyssa Green, an Emmy award-winning makeup artist based in Atlanta.
Mac Cosmetics Boldly Bare Eye Attire Eye Set
Best Eye Makeup Kit
Mac Cosmetics is known for high performing formulas with an impressive scope of shades — stock up on some of the brand’s products and you’ll feel like a makeup artist. The Mac Cosmetics Boldly Bare Eye Attire Eye Set gives you everything you’ll need to add oomph to your eyes. The eyeshadow palette features a nice range of shades (earthy green, rich burgundy, shimmery cream, to name a few) you can dust on your lids or pack on with a dense brush for higher intensity. The included lengthening mascara and kohl eye liner accentuate those shades.
Trish McEvoy The Power of Makeup Planner Collection
Best Travel Makeup Kit
Trish McEvoy’s iconic makeup planners are investment pieces for your getting-ready routine. The kit contains everything you need for a full face of glam, or a subtle no makeup-makeup look. You’ll get a number of the brand’s bestsellers. For the eyes, you can even out your lids with a neutralizing primer, smudge on a rich purple liner, uplift your lashes with mascara, and choose from three shadows. You’ll also get liquid face makeup to even out any dark spots or breakouts, bronzer to warm up your complexion, plus blush, highlighter, and finishing powder. You’ll have your lips covered, too, with gloss, lipstick, and lip liner. And the whole set zips up into an organizer for easy traveling.
Morphe 35F Fall Into Fabulous Artistry Palette
Best Eyeshadow Palette
A great eyeshadow palette goes a long way in your beauty routine. This Morphe artistry palette packs 35 pans that range from sheer pearl to peach to rich mauve and inky black. The powder formulas give you a creamy color payoff, so you won’t need to worry about fallout or splotchy application. And with a mix of matte and shimmery shades, you’ll have something to dust on for every occasion.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Dreams Come True Set
Best Splurge Makeup Kit
Charlotte Tilbury’s legendary Pillow Talk shade (a pinky neutral with a hint of berry) has a way of defining any skin tone without overpowering it. With the Pillow Talk Dreams Come True Set, you’ll get versions of that ultra flattering shade in 14 different products you’ll use for months on end. Choose from three eyeshadow palettes to create subtle or striking eye looks, dust the color on your cheeks for some warmth and dimension, and define your lips with gloss, lipstick, and liner. You’ll also get staples like mascara, cream eyeshadow, and eyeliner.
Ucanbe 60 Colors Naked Eyeshadow Palette and 15 Piece Makeup Brush Set
Best Eyeshadow and Brush Set
Refresh your eye makeup routine with Ucanbe’s eyeshadow palette and brush set. The included 60 powder eyeshadow shades in a range of matte and shimmery finishes to work with, and you’ll also score 15 brushes to perfect your application. The shadows include warm and cool undertones to suit any complexion and eye look, no matter if you’re going for an icy, bold lid or something bronzed and natural. The brushes come in a range of sizes and bristle densities to let you further customize your look.
Clinique Color Duet Makeup Set
Best Makeup Kit for Beginners
Clinique’s Color Duet Makeup Set lets you mix and match products in two intensities: One that’s more neutral and light, and another that contains deeper tones. But the beauty of the set is that you can interchange the products easily for a unique look; the kit’s brown and lavender shades play well in any combination you try. You’ll also get two types of mascara as well as a liquid and balm makeup remover, as well as two travel bags that keep you organized when you’re touching up on the go.
Benefit Cosmetics Great Brow Basics Pencil & Gel Set
Best Makeup Kit for Brows
Our brows deserve as much attention as our eyes and lips these days: You can go for a smooth laminated look when you’re after a clean girl aesthetic, or add major fluff and definition to balance out a bold lip. With Benefit Cosmetics’ Great Brow Basics Pencil & Gel Set, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The kit includes a tinted volumizing gel for quick smoothing and shaping, a fine pointed long-wearing pencil to draw on more feathery hairs, and a chubby pencil to easily add intensity to your arches.
Kaja Play Bento Bronzer, Blush, and Highlighter Trio
Best Portable Makeup Kit
The Kaja Play Bento Bronzer, Blush, and Highlighter Trio is small enough to slip in your pocket, but versatile enough to give you loads of makeup looks. Each powder formula delivers buildable color payoff, and the trio is available in three shade intensities to match fair to deep skin tones. The shades look gorgeous on eyelids in place of shadow, so you can work the colors a number of ways.
Westman Atelier The Weekend Set
Best Clean Makeup Kit
Makeup artist Gucci Westman counts celebs like Jennifer Aniston and Anne Hathaway as clients, so you can expect nothing short of the best with her makeup line, Westman Atelier. The brand’s Weekend Set includes the bestselling stick highlighter and stick blush, plus a cream highlighter compact. Together, the products will leave your complexion looking sun-kissed and super hydrated: The formulas are made with skin-loving ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil for natural radiance.
Shany Professional Cream Foundation and Camouflage Concealer 15 Color Palette
Best Concealer Kit
With 15 shades of creamy, buildable face makeup, the Shany Professional foundation and concealer palette packs everything you need to correct dark circles and camouflage discoloration and breakouts. The tones that are too dark or too fair for your skin type work well as bronzer or a non-shimmery highlighter, making this palette extra hardworking. You can easily apply the product with clean fingertips or a dense makeup brush. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more versatile option for under $20.
Maybelline New York Lip Studio Lip Color Palette
Best Makeup Kit for Lips
This Maybelline New York Lip Studio Lip Color Palette gives you eight creamy colors to swipe on your smile. The shades are gorgeous on their own, but you can also mix multiple hues to create a signature shade that’s just right for your skin tone. From warm pink to rich dark plum, you can work the colors any time of day, any time of the year. Dab the colors on with your fingertips for a soft, diffused wash of color or use a small brush for bolder color payoff.
BS-Mall 14-Piece Makeup Brush Set
Best Makeup Brush Kit
There’s nothing like a fresh set of makeup brushes to inspire you to test new looks, and this BS-Mall set contains 14 options for your face, eyes, and lips. The synthetic bristles feel extra soft on your skin and smooth on cream and powder formulas without leaving streaks in their wake. If you’re on the fence, the proof is in the product reviews — this kit has over 80,000 five star ratings that attest to the brushes’ durability and quality.
Makeup Forever HD Face Essentials Palette
Makeup Forever is the go-to for complexion products. Its items are primarily catered to professionals, but they’re faves for casual makeup enthusiasts, too. The Essential palette expertly puts buildable blush and foundation in one place. If you want that airbrush makeup kit look, this palette is for you. “This is a makeup artist must,” Flor says. “And it’s an easy way to create a natural beauty look for any runway or photo shoot.”
Senna Cosmetics Brow Book Makeup Kit
Senna Cosmetics has a history that runs very deep. Its founder, Eugenia Weston, worked with beauty icons like Bette Midler and was the first licensed makeup artist in Los Angeles. This Brow Book palette has every brow color you could ever want, and the incredible wax holds brows perfectly in place no matter the wear time or weather. “It’s the go-to book for all eyebrows,” Flor says. “I love that the founder is the original brow guru, having worked with Betty Middler and other iconic superstars.”