Have you ever been gifted lip balm? A perfect eyeshadow palette? Or even a face mask you’d never have bought yourself? If so, then you know this joy. The fact these presents can be immediately opened, touched, and used elevates them to instant-gratification status — a coveted spot in the canon of good gifts. This year, we suggest upping the ante with beautiful things (from e.l.f. Cosmetics) that are also seriously useful. These are the mixers, the matchers, and the two-in-ones: to give such a gift is to nominate it as a go-to. We’d wish you luck shopping for these special treats, but you don’t even need it.
You might think there’s not enough time, money, or magic to give an eyebrow-obsessed friend the gift of perfect brows, but you would be wrong. This e.l.f. twofer contains a pencil to naturally fill brows in and a gel to shape, define, and set them. It’s foolproof.
Everyone who wears makeup needs brushes, but buying them for yourself can feel indulgent. Spare a friend the internal back-and-forth with this four-pack filled with vegan brushes for contouring, powdering, and applying eyeshadow.
Is there anything more perfect than the perfect lip? No, there is not. Having it can be such an unmitigated triumph that it can right any wrong in a holiday look — real or imagined. With the four shades of matte colors in this e.l.f set, it’s bound to have the right one for a lucky giftee.
Help a friend accentuate the positive with this highlighting set. With a tapered brush, shimmering multipurpose whip, and brush-over powder, it has everything needed to bring out a friend’s natural beauty.
There’s nothing quite like the luxury of options, and that’s exactly what this jack-of-all-shades palette delivers. With 50 colors — 40 eyeshadows, five blushes, and five bronzers — it’s the rare gift that’s as pleasing as it is practical.
If there aren’t infinite ways to use a makeup sponge, then there are at least five: blend, conceal, contour, layer, apply. Giftees of this seven-piece set can master each one with a just-right sponge. Who needs New Year’s resolutions when your makeup is NYE goals?
Anyone who’s not currently using a face primer — and even those who are — will consider this two-in-one a revelation. It’s an easy-to-apply stick that hydrates skin and preps it for incoming makeup. The result? A smooth, makeup-ready face and a very happy giftee.
Cool tones in matte and metallic shadows make this palette a midwinter night’s dream. All shades are buildable and mixable, making it an activity as well as a look.
Your favorite multitasker will be obsessed with this balm that performs double-duty, nourishing lips while adding just a hint of color. And because it comes in neutral, light pink, and deep red, it lets them find the right shade and relieves you of having to choose.
What to get the skin-obsessed friend who has everything? This antioxidant boost that can be added to other liquid or cream products — foundation, face masks, tonics, moisturizers — to add a boost of vitamin C and E as well as snow mushroom extract, which helps hydrate skin.
All images courtesy of e.l.f. Cosmetics
This is paid content produced for an advertiser by New York Stories. The editorial staff of The Cut did not play a role in its creation.