Christmas Gift Guide – MakeUp Shopping For Dummies

Makeup is a minefield at the best of times, but for those who don’t know their Anastasia Beverly Hills to their Estee Lauder, their primer to their setting spray, I’m here to help!

The make up industry is booming with MUA YouTubers a dime a dozen and Instagram MUA’s releasing a new range every week, it can be difficult to know what the latest trending product is. Make up is a fantastic gift that most ladies and some men would be delighted to receive, BUT we are particular with our products so I’m going to break down some key products that will always put a smile on someones face (literally paint that smile on!) and touch on some tips and tricks for navigating the make up counter.

Penneys Best!

Penneys have everything you could wish for when looking for the perfect product. I generally avoided any eyeshadow palettes, yes they are cheap but I find them chalky and there are other ranges for a similar price point that apply better.
What to look for in Penneys are: highlighters, lipliners, lashes, foundation, make up brushes and eye shadow pigments.

Tackling Foundations

Every local chemist stocks a range of make up products and will help you on your quest if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. When buying foundation for someone try to find out their shade beforehand.
Failing that, always aim for a shade that airs on the lighter side. It you go too dark its hard to match up, unless you apply buckets of fake tan, but then you risk becoming an ompa lompa which is never cute! If you stick to a lighter shade whoever is receiving the gift can mix it with a darker shade they have to get the desired tone, so all is not lost!

Eyeshadow Palette Picks

Eyeshadow palettes are a fantastic gift for any budding make up artist of enthusiasts. The hot palette at the minute is the James Charles x Morphe palette which can be purchased online at for €46 (must sign up for restock).
Another in demand palette is the Keilidh Cashell x SOSU Urban Bible Palette, it’s a new release and retails around €34.
An old faithful is always any palette by Urban Decay but the holy grail has to be Anastasia Beverly Hills, the pigment in these palettes are INSANE! Take your pick from Modern Renaissance, Soft Glam, Subculture, Norvina and Prism. ABH is now stocked in Arnotts but you can also buy online.

Makeup Brushes Breakdown

If you are going the make up route for a gift for a loved one this year, it’s always nice to pair a product with a tool to apply it. For example if you buy an eyeshadow palette look for a set of eyeshadow brushes to accompany it, purchased foundation/contour set? grab a beauty blender (that’s those weird sponges) or some face brushes.
Kierans Avenue Pharmacy stock a wide rang of Blank Canvas brushes, in store, which do not break the bank and are good quality. The ladies are always very helpful and will steer you in the right direction especially if the only brush you know is a hairbrush! If you are not from Dundalk you can shop online at Blank Canvas here.
My top three picks are; F20 Buffer Brush, F15 Small Tapered Brush and E01 Rounded Eye Blending Brush. 

Mineral Make Up

Another local chemist that stocks a popular and reliable range are Smyth’s Life Pharmacy, who are the only Fuschia stockists in town (Dundalk). They have some beautiful cost effective sets, but if you are looking to stick to single products;
My top three recommendations; Gel Liner, Mineral Foundation (great for oily or acne prone skin) and the Instinct Quad eyeshadow. 

Reliable, Requested, Recognised!

Failing all of the above, Benefit are a brand that will never let you down! Boots have 3 for €30 on their mini sized products, look for, Hoola (bronzer), Porefessional (primer) and Ka-Brow cream gel (eyebrows).

I hope this quick make up shopping guide has shed some light into the world of make up for all you novices who have been sweating tackling buying make up for your nearest and dearest. Remember to ask for help if it all gets a bit too much or simply ask for a list from the receiver, although you are opening yourself and your bank account up to a world or pain! Happy Make Up Hunting!


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