It’s a tale as old as time (or at least since department stores were first built): You wander the makeup aisles trying to find the perfect beauty presents for the makeup aficionado in your life. The more you look, the more overwhelmed you are by all the product choices—would they even like this or do they have it already?
There’s no need to panic and settle for grabbing them a gift card. Instead, bring a makeup-artist-approved plan with you on your shopping excursion, based on what products your giftee uses the most.
“When thought is put into items that your eyeliner or red lip-loving sister or mom might use, [the gift] becomes a memorable token in their makeup routine—especially if you are spot on,” makeup artist Isabel Y Rosado says.
Rosado notes that you don’t have to break the bank when purchasing beauty presents either—budget-friendly products can work just as well as luxe brands. “Leave room for discovery,” she says. “It’s not about the price tag, it’s about quality.”
Here are six affordable beauty gifts Rosado recommends, which are all available at Walmart. Pick them up at a store or order them online and watch as they earn a permanent spot in the beauty lover in your life’s makeup bag.
Shop Makeup Artist-Recommended Gifts
af94 Majorly Matte Liquid Lipstick, Red — $8.00
Reach for this red lipstick to give the giftee a premiere-worthy pout, Rosado says. “Anytime I’m working for a red carpet and my client is after a bold red lip, I always opt for a matte liquid lip,” she says. “It’s the best way to ensure longevity, which means less touch-ups and less worrying that color will move or feather.”
e.l.f. Cosmetics Volumizing Mascara — $3.00
Mascara is always a safe gift for any makeup lovers—and this one from e.l.f will leave their lashes strengthened and moisturized, thanks to the vitamin E-enriched formula, Rosado says. “For the price it’s unbeatable,” she says. “Plus, it has a great applicator wand for bottom lashes.”
PUR Balancing Act Mattifying Skin Perfecting Powder — $26.00
Have a friend who never leaves home without a compact in their purse? Snag them a powder that will mattify, blur pores and imperfections, and minimize the appearance of any fine lines. Rosado recommends this sheer one that she says is perfect for touching up shine. “While still mattifying, it’s sure to not leave [skin] feeling dry or like any particles of powder are settling, thanks to the niacinamide, ceramides, and lactic acid,” she says.
Bubble Skincare 3-Step Hydrating Routine Bundle — $25.00
Before your giftee puts their makeup on, they’ll need a cleansed, moisturized canvas to work on, which is where this three-step kit comes in. Rosado says the key to great makeup is starting with clean skin, and she loves this gentle cleanser to start. She says to follow up with the toner to balance the skin’s pH and seal the deal with this lightweight moisturizer that won’t interfere with makeup application.
Lottie London Makeup Set — $12.00
If you asked Rosado what beauty items she would want on a deserted island, she says the four products in this set (lip gloss, bronzer, translucent powder, and ombré blush) would be top of her list for a fresh face. “I love to dust bronzer over the eyes and nose for an extra finishing touch,” she says. “With your fingers, tap a touch of lip gloss to the high points of the cheeks for an added sheen from within.”
Mario Badescu Aloe Cucumber and Green Tea Facial Spray — $5.00
Facial sprays are the gift that keeps on giving because of their versatility, and Rosado reaches for this one when her skin is irritated since it has calming ingredients like aloe, green tea extract, and cucumber—but that’s not all she uses it for. “Facial sprays are a multi-purpose item you could use after skin care to lock in moisture or to finish makeup, especially if you’ve used too much powder,” she says. “It’s the best way to settle and refine powder particles.”
So go ahead and think about which product the beauty lover in your life would appreciate the most—they’ll love the thought and time you put into picking it out.