How to Ask for Makeup this Holiday Season

Have you ever gotten makeup as a present and it just wasn’t right?  This happens to those of us that have a real fondness for beauty products.  Our friends and relatives think, “hey, she likes makeup, I’ll get her this.”  While the thought is definitely there, you may end up with something you don’t really like.

Here are some tips for asking for makeup this holiday season:

If you’re making a list:

  • If you want a certain type of makeup for the holidays, but you don’t care what brand, then you can be vague.  For instance, write “pink lip gloss.” This way, you’ll get what you asked for and you may learn about some new cosmetics brands in the process.
  • If you’re partial to a brand, you could add that to what you write.  For instance, you could say “Any brownish lustreglass by MAC”.
  • If you want to get real specific, just mention the exact item you want: “Smashbox Ultimate Beauty Palette.”If you email your list to people, provide a link to the product so you can further ensure you’re asking for the right thing.
  • If you’d rather pick it all out yourself, ask for a gift card.  You could either ask for a gift card for a specific brand, like MAC, or for a specific store, like Sephora.

If someone asks you in person:

We often get caught with the famous line, “What do you want for Christmas (or similar holiday)?”  You should prepare your answer ahead of time so that you aren’t caught off guard.  Here’s a few things you could say:

  • “Well, you know how much I like makeup.  Maybe a gift card to Sephora?”
  • “Hmm, I’m not sure.  I just saw this really great palette by Smashbox.  It has all sorts of stuff in it, including 70 eye shadows.  I think you can find it on Sephora’s website.”
  • “Oh, anything will do.  I just ran out of liquid eyeliner, so some of that would be good.  In black of course!”

Some holiday gift-receiving etiquette tips:

  • What you ask for depends a lot on who you’re talking to.  You shouldn’t ask for a gift that costs more than what you would be spending on them.  After all, gift giving is all about give and take.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for what you want.  It’s fun to give people gifts, and it’s even better when they like what you’ve given them.  This can go the other way too.
  • Don’t seem too demanding.  Check out the example sentences from above.  I put in the hmm’s and well’s for a reason.  If you just come out and say, “I want this”, it may look bad.
  • If you can, give several different suggestions in several different price ranges.  This way, your friend or relative has options on what to get you.
  • Accept that you might not get what you want, and be okay with it.  When people ask you what you want, they’re only looking for suggestions.  Be happy with whatever you get, because, after all, it’s the thought that counts.


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  1. Thanks for the advice. I typically just let them know the product name or state a gift certificate to such and such would be great.

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