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The Best Makeup Gifts to Give to a Friend

If you have a friend or loved one who loves makeup, it only makes sense to buy them a makeup gift. The best gift is one that’ll be used, after all. 


When buying gifts for makeup lovers, you still have to put a bit of thought into your purchase. Some products, like foundations and concealers, require very precise color matching, so they can’t be bought on a whim. That’s why we’ve put together this gift guide with the best makeup products to give as gifts, whether for small occasions or for bigger celebrations. 


We’ve put together a range of beauty gift ideas, including simple crowd-pleasers and thoughtful bundles. With the help of our list, we know that your friend will love what you give her! 

Vivienne Sabó Mascara

Vivienne Sabo Provocation Mascara

Mascara is a universal makeup gift that’s always appreciated. It’s an unskippable part of every makeup routine, but it’s also one of those products that have to be replaced frequently, so you know that your gift will serve its purpose. There is zero chance that it will sit in the makeup drawer unused! 


When choosing the best mascara for your friend, consider her tastes. Is she the kind of person who leads an active life and needs waterproof mascara? Maybe she likes a dramatic look, in which case our Provocation mascara will give her lashes instant volume. On the other hand, if she keeps things subtle but defined, the Cabaret Première is a classic choice that keeps the lashes full yet separated. 


You can even give her a mascara gift set with a few different options, so she can customize her look based on her needs for any specific day. 


Matte Constance Lipstick

Matte Constance Lipstick Duo Pack displayed on white backgroundLipstick is the kind of beauty gift that requires a bit more consideration, but it also means that it can be very thoughtful. If you just pick a color at random, chances are your gift may not land too well.


However, if you make sure to select a lipstick that will suit your friend’s personality and aesthetic, nothing could make her happier. If she has a more natural, polished style, then a nude lipstick will work best, while if she’s a classic beauty with a fiery side, opt for a red. 


If you’re still not sure, check out our guide to the meaning behind different lipstick colors, which will surely point you in the right direction. 

Feutre Fin Eyeliner

Woman applying the Feutre Fin eyeliner in a mirror with the words "Mon Amour"  

Like mascara, eyeliner is another staple that gets used up with some regularity and needs replacing fairly often. Whether liquid liner is one of your friend’s staple looks or it’s something she’s still working to perfect, the Vivienne Sabó Feutre Fin eyeliner is a wonderful makeup gift. It offers the precision that makeup lovers crave but it’s easy to use so even those new to makeup will quickly get the hang of it. 

Brow Arcade Eyebrow Pencil

Woman with gold jewelry holding the Brow Arcade eyebrow pencilEyebrow pencils might not be as glamorous as mascara or lipstick, but they’re still an important part of the makeup routine. For that very reason, the Brow Arcade certainly deserves a spot on our list of makeup gifts for her


We think it works best as a gift for a friend that is very pragmatic and doesn’t care about sentimentality as much. It’s a good makeup gift that she’ll be sure to use. Just make sure to select a shade that’s a touch lighter than her hair color but with the same undertone. 

Le Grand Volume Lip Gloss

Le Grand Volume lip gloss 

Lip gloss is perfect for days out with its fun and playful look, making it an excellent summertime gift! And if you have a younger friend or family member with a playful style or who’s a little newer to makeup, lip gloss makes for the best makeup gift. It doesn’t have the intensity or maturity of lipstick. Instead, it gives the lips a youthful sheen without much color, so it’s the kind of makeup product that parents will also approve of easily. 


Cabaret Première Mascara Primer 

Cabaret Première Mascara primer

What do you give to makeup lovers that seem to own everything already? We think the Cabaret Première primer is a great choice, especially for lash enthusiasts. A lash primer helps to build a base layer of length and volume, so the lashes look extra dramatic. Most importantly, it’s the one product your friend probably doesn’t have in her arsenal yet! 

Makeup gift bundle

Various Vivienne Sabo products 

Individual items work well as “just because” gifts for makeup lovers. However, when there’s a special occasion and you need to impress, a large, customized makeup gift set can be a wonderful gift. The key to creating a gorgeous beauty bundle is to pair products that make sense together. 

  • For an eye-focus, put together a set of eyeliner, mascara, mascara primer, and maybe even an eyebrow pencil. 
  •  For a lip set, give your dear friend lipstick, gloss, and lip liner. 
  • You can also customize a French beauty set with beloved staples, like red lipstick, a liquid eyeliner, and volumizing mascara. 

Make sure to package everything nicely, and even consider putting it all in a makeup bag, which will become another part of the gift. 

Makeup subscription

A makeup subscription is one of the best makeup gifts we can think of, which is why we’ve saved it for last. It’s particularly useful if you’d like to give something to a friend who lives far away and that you don’t get to see often. 


Pick a product that you know is a staple for them, like mascara, eyeliner, or brow pencil. Then, set up a subscription where they can receive a new package every few months, depending on how often they go through the specific item. 


A subscription beauty gift will remind them of you periodically and cheer them up if they’re going through a hard time. That’s one of the reasons why we have this option available for all Vivienne Sabó products.

L'art de faire un cadeau 

In France, l'art de faire un cadeau  (the art of giving a gift) is cherished. The best gifts are personal and thoughtful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give something meaningful—you just need to consider the person to whom you’re giving a gift. 


For that friend who loves makeup, a thoughtful beauty gift is an easy choice that will show them that you know and love them.

 

 

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Queen’s Gambit Makeup and Fashion
March 03, 2021
Queen’s Gambit Makeup and Fashion

Netflix launched a limited series in October called The Queen’s Gambit, and we are obsessed with the hair, makeup, and fashion! The show is based on Walter Tevis’ novel, and tells the story of chess genius, Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy). We share her highs, lows, addictions, successes, and everything in between.  But if there’s one thing we can't get enough of it’s her impeccable ‘50s & ‘60s inspired style. Beth finds herself in a field dominated by men wearing classic white shirts paired with thick-framed glasses. Suddenly, she’s a style icon, managing to seamlessly blend the starkly contrasting chess and fashion worlds together.  Here are some of the most iconic looks from the show.  Classic Makeup Beth Harmon’s makeup follows a natural evolution throughout the show, as she grows up and finds her own unique sense of style. Her signature look is usually ‘60s inspired with perfect winged eyeliner and a bold lip. We all know how difficult it is to get those wings right, which is why Beth’s makeup has us mesmerized. There’s only one moment where she veers away from this classic look and channels a wild child style.  Insider secret: The Queen's Gambit makeup artists had to go against their natural urges and apply her makeup badly on purpose for these scenes! Get Beth’s Classic ‘60s Look: Use a black liquid eyeliner to perfect those wings (we’ve got a step-by-step guide for you below).   Apply some classic French mascara for a natural, feminine look.  Try our long-lasting matte lipstick in your favorite shade to complete the look.  Bold Bangs A younger Beth models some of the boldest cropped bangs we’ve ever seen. A little harsh on the eye, but very common for children in orphanages at the time. Every child would get the same cut because it was practical and easy to manage.  Although the look is severe, there’s a soft charm to it that draws you in. While it’s not for everybody, this hairstyle combined with the fiery red color creates a real statement look.  Tea-length Dress In the show, the first item of clothing Beth is able to buy with her own money is a checked, tea-length dress. It’s full-skirted, totally retro, and oh-so feminine.  If you’re looking for one of these dresses, the best place to head is your local vintage shop. You can pair it over a blouse like Beth does, or wear it on its own and show a little more skin. Throw a modern sweater or jacket on top for an eclectic look.  Embrace Straight Lines The ‘50s were all about the hourglass figure, with Christian Dior popularizing the “New Look” for women. But the ‘60s saw a backlash with anti-hourglass silhouettes being most desired.  Think straight-cut dresses, jackets, and sweaters. While it's not inherently feminine, this silhouette can be oh-so-flattering. Beth shows us this with her simple-yet-stylish mini dresses. Queen's Gambit Makeup: Perfect Winged Eyeliner If there’s one thing Beth is famous for, it’s wearing winged eyeliner throughout the Queen's Gambit. But how do you get this look? First thing’s first, you’ll need a black liquid eyeliner with a fine point. If you’re new to this, use the dot to dot approach by marking out the line of the wing you want to create. The goal here is to go upwards and outwards. Check you’re happy with the symmetry on both eyes, then lightly connect the dots.  Leave it to dry before adding voluminous mascara to your lashes for a glamorous ‘60s look.  And if you really struggle to keep a steady hand, you can try a winged eyeliner stamp to help you. Chessboard Chic Taking inspiration from Edie Sedgwick, Jean Seberg, and Pierre Cardin, Beth dazzles in outfits filled with striking geometric patterns, subtly mirroring the chessboard. A whopping 12 of her on-screen outfits feature geometric print! A simple, sleeveless checkered dress and square printed shirt were standout looks. Beth’s style is fitting for the time, yet filled with her desire to break out of the box and find her own way.  To recreate this look, choose one item of clothing to work the geometric pattern in, and keep everything else simple. You don’t want to look like a walking chessboard!  Monochrome Magic As a further nod to her deep love of chess, we see Beth in a multitude of monochrome outfits.  Her black and white shift dress was perhaps the most striking black and white outfit of all. So elegant and sophisticated, but with a cheeky element of fun thrown in.   Black and white are timeless and will never go out of style. You can go all black, all white, or mix and match as you like! Luxe Loungewear Even when she’s relaxing on the sofa at home, Anya Taylor-Joy’s character looks effortlessly chic.  Think pale blue cashmere PJs, a dusty pink cardigan, soft cozy sweaters, and plain black slacks. Each piece can be worked into her going out wardrobe, taking her from night to day. To get Beth’s luxe lounge look, go for pieces that are multi-functional. Think practical, comfy, and pretty.  If only we could look this good vegging out on the sofa! Vintage Accessories Aside from geo patterns and monochrome colors, you can count on Beth to be rocking a Peter Pan collar or a silk scarf.  The round collar features everywhere: from dresses all the way to a buttoned vest. It’s a lovely feminine style with a vintage nod.  When it comes to scarves, Beth often ties them around her head, but they work just as well around the neck to brighten up any outfit.  The Final Episode: Classic 1950s And '60s Makeup We couldn’t do a roundup of the Queen's Gambit makeup and fashion without mentioning Beth’s iconic all-white look in the final episode.  This is the most confident and feminine Beth looks throughout the entire season—proving that you don’t have to choose one or the other. Her hair is sleek to create a more mature, sophisticated look, and her classic ‘60s makeup is immaculate. Her red lips look striking against her white coat and hat, and she looks super sexy.    We didn’t want the show to end. But if it had to, we’re glad Beth went out looking like this.       All Images are property of Netflix

Step-by-Step Winged Eyeliner
February 24, 2021
Step-by-Step Winged Eyeliner

Perfect winged liner is one of the most challenging makeup techniques to master. At first swipe, you end up with an overly subtle winged eyeliner, so you decide to add just a touch more, and next thing you know, you’ve overdone it… Don’t even get us started on getting both eyes to match!  The only thing that might be tougher than winged eye makeup is a vivid red pout, so it’s funny how one of our favorite go-to looks in French beauty is a combination of these two. Through years of practice, we've refined our skills and uncovered some of the best winged eyeliner hacks that make achieving that subtle wing a little easier. Today, we’ll be sharing all of our tips with you!  What kind of winged eyeliner look do you want?  Are you aiming for a natural winged eyeliner look, or would you prefer a dramatic cat eye? Winged eyeliner comes at a few different intensity levels, and the angle of your wing will have a big impact on your look.  These days, the sharp “fox” winged eyeliner look has become especially popular, but we’re still enamored with the subtle winged eyeliner of the ‘40s and the sultry winged eye makeup of the ‘70s. While you do need to decide on the kind of look you want, our tips will help you achieve the perfect winged eyeliner every time.  Winged eyeliner for different eye shapes Taking your eye shape into account will help you figure out how to master the wing since when you draw on a liquid liner, you’re effectively changing the borders of your eye.  The more sharply angled your eyeliner, the more upturned your eyes will look, while if you go horizontal, they’ll look a little sleepy and sultry.  As for the lash line, a rounded shape will make the eyes look doll-like, while progressing from thin to thick towards the outer corner will make the eyes look almond-shaped.  What about the inner corner?  In classic French beauty, we like to stop the eyeliner before the inner corner, and sometimes even at the eye’s center; this opens the eyes and gives the face a very fresh look.  However, in recent years, it’s become trendy to aim for a sultry look by bringing the eyeliner all the way down to the inner corner in its own little wing. Feel free to experiment and see what style you like best! Choose the right eyeliner  Liquid and gel eyeliners are the ideal choice for a winged look, but some are easier to work with than others. Gels usually come in a pot, so they require a separate brush, which can be inconvenient at times.  As for liquids, many come with ultra-thin brush applicators that are difficult to control. Felt-tipped pens, like the Feutre Fin, are ideal. With a tapered, sturdy felt tip, a pen eyeliner offers a precise wing but can still cover a lot of space when necessary.  Keep your distance from the mirror  This is one of our most useful winged eyeliner tips, so read closely.  Instead of holding your mirror close to the face as you draw on your eyeliner, take a step back. This will allow you to see both of your eyes simultaneously, which is essential for achieving perfectly symmetrical eyeliner wings. Otherwise, working too close to the mirror can easily result in two gorgeous eyeliner wings that look nothing like the other – giving you a lopsided look.  Steps to a perfect wing Now, for the actual application! If you start with the hard part first, the rest of your winged eye makeup will be a breeze. It just so happens that the most challenging part of winged eyeliner is the wing itself.  Start with the eye you usually struggle with, and draw the lower line of the wing by following your lower lash line.  Do the same thing on your other eye while checking for symmetry in the mirror. Then, draw on each wing’s top line, creating a little triangle at the outer corner.  Once again, do the same on the other eye and check that everything lines up. If your wing is a little more dramatic, you may need to fill it in a little as well.  Small lines from outer corner to inner corner Now it’s time to draw your liner over the lash line. To avoid gaps between the liner and your lash line, pull your lid upwards (gently!) as you apply. Then, working from the outer corner inwards, draw the eyeliner on in short strokes.  Don’t worry too much about achieving a perfect line yet — once you let go of your lid, you’ll be surprised to see how even and delicate your winged eyeliner looks. You can then correct or thicken up the line after you have that base layer down.  Keep the eye open to fit a hooded lid   One common struggle many makeup lovers face is how to apply winged eyeliner to hooded eyes. The secret is to draw the top line of your eyeliner wing while your eyes are totally open so that your eyeliner sort of “skips” over the crease. It’ll look like there’s a little step or divet in your eyeliner when your eyes are closed, but when they’re open, it will look incredibly flattering.  No more winging it  Using liquid eyeliner might seem daunting at first, but with our winged eyeliner hacks and suggestions, we know that not only will you master the wing, but you’ll also refine it to suit your flare.

How to Get the Sexiest Smokey Eye Look Ever
March 19, 2021
How to Get the Sexiest Smokey Eye Look Ever

Smokey eye makeup is up there with the most popular makeup looks of all time. One quick search for a smokey eye tutorial will field millions of how-tos in seconds. And for good reason. A smokey eye is sexy, sophisticated and the perfect makeup look for any party or celebration. And although it may seem complicated, when you know what to do, you’ll find it’s pretty simple.  That’s why we’ve put together this simple guide on how to get the sexiest smokey eye step by step. It should take around ten to fifteen minutes to complete, but a little longer if you’re a newbie. Remember, the more you practice your technique, the better the result.  So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in.  Here’s what you’ll need to get started: Eyeshadow base (primer) Dark-colored kohl eyeliner Lighter eyeshadow (pearl or creams work well) Darker eyeshadow (see color recommendations below) Eyeshadow brush (a couple if possible, but you can wash between uses) Eyelash curler Mascara Which color should I go for? If you’re after a deep smokey eye then opt for a rich, matter color in black, brown, or deep gray. These colors will create an edgier look and make a bolder statement.  If you’re looking for a more natural smokey eye, choose something less harsh, like a plum color. For a jeweled tone, purples, blues, and greens are striking. You can also use a shimmery eyeshadow if you like, for extra sparkle. Don’t do any other makeup before your smokey eye  You might think that applying your foundation and concealer before working on your eyes is the natural thing to do. But the pros apply eye makeup first.  Why? Because no matter how careful you are, there are bound to be flecks of eyeshadow powder and mascara that fall down your face.  If you’ve already done the rest of your makeup, then you’ll have to touch it up. It’s much easier to fix mistakes like this without a full face of makeup.  So no matter how much you want to apply other makeup first, don’t do it! Trust us on this one.  Prime your eyelids Not everyone does, but if you have shiny lids, priming your eyelids first is a must. Without it, your eye makeup is bound to melt and smudge all over the place. And nobody wants that.  Primer will create a solid foundation for any layers of eyeshadow you apply on top and will help you build color that lasts. Plus, it will prevent it from creasing. Use a brush or cotton pad to sweep it over both lids. Leave it to dry before starting your smokey eye makeup. Begin with a kohl eyeliner Start with a kohl eyeliner as a base. This is what will anchor your eyeshadow, and keep it on all night. We recommend picking the same color as the eyeshadow you’re using, but feel free to mix things up and experiment with color combos. Concentrate the eyeliner on the inner and outer corners of your upper lid, leaving the space in the middle bare. Use a brush to blend this across your upper lash line. This is how you begin creating that smoldering, sexy look, and it stops it from looking too intense.  Next, use the same eyeliner on your lower lash line, blending it out with the same brush as before.  Apply a light base color Every smokey eye look tutorial will recommend contrasting a light eyeshadow with a dark one. This adds to the smokiness.  Using a clean brush (or washing the previous one), sweep the lighter color across the eyelid, following along to the brow bone. This is how you create the shadow for your smokey eye.   Apply dark eyeshadow Next, grab your chosen darker eyeshadow color, and apply to the eyelid with a clean brush. Use enough to coat the color on your lid, but make sure you stop below the brow bone this time.  Once you’re done, blend the color into your upper lash line (where the eyeliner is) as well as into the line between the dark and light shadow. Use a clean brush to do this, working small circular movements.  The most important thing when creating a smokey eye makeup look is to avoid harsh lines, and to blend... and blend again.  When you think you’re done, take a step back and check both eyes for symmetry. You’re looking for an even blend on both eyes.  Curl the eyelashes The next step is to use an eyelash curler to give your lashes a sexy curve. Heat it with a hairdryer for ten seconds, and test it on the back of your hand before putting it near your face. Hold the curler for 10 seconds on each eye.   Complete the look with a swoosh of mascara To complete your smokey eye, finish with as much or as little mascara as you like. If you’re going for a bolder look, amp up the volume here. If you’re going for a natural smokey eye, then stick to one or two layers.  We love our Classic French Mascara for voluminous lashes in just one coat. Start at the root of your upper lashes, and wiggle up to build length and volume. You can apply mascara to your lower lashes too, but keep it to a minimum to avoid a spidery look.  And that is your complete smokey eye look tutorial!  Remember: Let your smokey eye makeup stand out Even if you’ve opted for a natural smokey eye, it’s still a strong look. And you want it to stand out. So keep the rest of your makeup to a minimum, and stick to neutral colors.  A little bronzer, a neutral blush, and a nude lip will complete the look, but your eyes will remain the star of the show.   And that’s it! We now pronounce you ready to create the sexiest smokey eye look ever.