April 20, 2007

The Perfect Gift ~$30

So here is the dilema: birthday present for a 18 year old girl. She's a family friend of mine and I want to get her a very fabulous present that she would absolutely adore that her family wouldn't think of giving her. So I thought, what would a girl who is about to go to college want?- MAKE-UP! She doesn't usually wear make-up (not when I see her anyway), but a girl has got to start some time right? And who doesn't love make-up? I have capped the price at around $30 and here are a few things I am considering:
The first thing that comes to mind is the classic make-up essential, mascara. You really can't go wrong with mascara. So I thought of getting her this DiorShow Blackout Mascara ($23) in conjunction with . . .

. . the Shu Uemura eye lash curler ($18). She'd be all set for perfect lashes. Except now I am way out of my budget.
I could get her this wonderful MAC pencil eye liner ($16 I think) with the eye lash curler. .
. . and throw in a cheaper mascara, like this one from Maybelline (which also works great!), because it would be too strange to give someone just an eye lash curler and a pencil as a gift. But still, how weird is it to give a gift of 2 black sticks and a metal contraption even though it makes complete make-up sense?
Presentation is the key after all. So I next thought of getting her an eye shadow palette. I personally LOVE eye shadow palettes. Like this Spring Eye Shadow Trio by Stila ($32) (I got their one last year and absolutely LOVED it and actually used it all the time. Actually I still use it!). . .

. . and this Tokidoki eye shadow quad by Smashbox ($30). They even fit the budget perfectly. My only problem is deciding which colors to buy, everyone's taste and skintones are different after all. . .

Now this one I'm seriously considering: The Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes kit. For only $30, you get eye concealer, 2 eye shadow shades in pink and brown, a shimmer eye shadow, a concealer brush and a contour/liner brush AND instructions on how to apply. Its a bargain AND a great starter set of make-up for anyone. The only thing is that it looks very tiny like a sample case and not very awesome present like. But I guess the best gifts comes in small boxes?
And just to throw in as another consideration, the classic Nars blush/bronzer duo in Orgasm ($36), another make-up staple.

So thoughts? What would be the perfect gift for a 18 year old birthday?
Photo Credits: Sephora, Mac, Maybelline

49 Comments:

Anonymous Christina Atkinson said...

makeup is good..but I remember my freshman year in college was a lot about lounging around in the dorms and make up would factor in the occasional Thursday night that I would go out. Perhaps some comfortable pants like the PINK ones from Victoria Secret (in a not-so-obnoxiously-obvious color like grey or navy blue) or GAP BODY line has some amazingly soft yoga pants. I just bought some that were suddenly on sale when I got to the register! ($24.50 to $19.50) and then throw in a throw. Blankets were essential for late night study sessions with the roommates! Hope this helps!!

4/21/2007 1:43 PM  
Anonymous donna said...

i just turned 19 a month ago and i don't wear make-up but if i received some for my birthday, i would probably use it! so make-up would be a good choice. another idea could be a magazine subscription to teen vogue or whatever suits her taste. i, myself, really enjoy books and i just bought nylon's "pretty" book, it's really cute. just some suggestions!! have fun shopping.

btw, update more!! i've just finished all my exams and i have so much free time, need some great blogs to keep me occupied.

4/21/2007 1:58 PM  
Blogger annie said...

I turned 18 back in november and i would personally love the tokidoki eyeshadow since it's cute, it's useful, and it's a collector's item!

and i like the shu uemura and diorshow combo...although it IS outta your price range

4/21/2007 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you're going to get her makeup..

The Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes kit
is the way to go.

I LOVE benefit's product and packaging. so cutee

and it's a great starter/compact kit for someone who doesn't usually wear makeup. :)

4/21/2007 3:36 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

If she doesn't wear make-up, she doesn't really know wkat her taste is. Do I'd go for a classic as black mascara or eye-liner, or for a palette with as many different colors as possible. I'd pick the palette because it makes you want to try many times.
I wouldn't absolutely buy the curler. It's a bit "scary" for someone who feels good naturally to suddently use such a "machine". At least, I'm 21, love to make up, but don't have a curler.

4/21/2007 3:42 PM  
Anonymous lynn said...

i'm a uni student, and while i don't wear makeup on a daily basis, i absolutely love collecting makeup palettes! They are so pretty and makes u feel so pampered, just looking at all the eyeshadow. While the shu uemura curler may be practical and useful, it is a tad too utilitarian. The benefit palette is just too cute. I would go with stila or benefit. It actually looks too nice to be a sample set

4/21/2007 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mascara + curler + eyeliner

4/21/2007 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Tina said...

Quality make up brushes?

4/21/2007 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about dangly earrings and a lip gloss?

4/21/2007 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think makeup is a great idea, im 19 and i didnt start wearing makeup till about a year ago and it was makeup presents that got me started. I think the benefit eye palette is a good choice, the packaging is pretty and theres a selection of colours to experiment with, so its not too serious if you know what i mean. anyway, let us know what you finally decide to get!!

4/21/2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

if you're going to go with makeup, i'd definitely go for the smashbox or benefit palettes. both of them make quality shadows and will make anyone feel pretty. they're great if you're just getting into wearing makeup.

and at least to me, pretty shadows are more of a gift-ish thing than "remedy" makeup, like mascara, blush or foundation, which are made to sort of cover up or enhance something you're lacking. personally if i got mascara as a gift i'd think "what, are you saying i have wimpy lashes?" but that's just me. i would love diorshow but it's the kind of thing i'd rather buy myself ;)

4/21/2007 6:52 PM  
Anonymous mimi said...

a present for an 18 year old? well in australia that means you're finally legal... so a lovely bottle of pink moet :D

and any benefit makeup! adorable.

4/21/2007 7:10 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I'd get her a giftcard to Sephora, so she could chose what she wanted. If you felt like she was going to buy face scrub of whatever, just write

"Buy yourself some great makeup"

Also, remember what you got for your 18th birthday from her family.

4/21/2007 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Makeup is probably the best thing you can give her. I don't wear much makeup nor buy anything too expensive but if a friend gave me some nice stuff, I'd totally use it. Everyone needs nice makeup but it usually just falls behind everything else and we never actually get it.

4/21/2007 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If she doesn't wear makeup you should probably get her something else-- I rarely wear make up and if someone were to give me makeup as a gift (even very nice quality makeup) i would be a bit insulted... but you know her and would know if she would feel the same.. i thought the lounge pants were a good idea.. or a gift card for someplace so she could pick her own

(sorry for writing a mini novel here! haha)

4/21/2007 10:50 PM  
Blogger Mash said...

I would buy a mascara and a gloss (ysl lip balm for lips are greattttttt and it does a little natural effect or a stilla gloss ) , something quite easy to put on the face and I think it's a good start .

4/21/2007 10:57 PM  
Blogger smaku said...

I don't want to make super cheap suggestions but...

If she's not used to make-up, then I would recommend the Maybelline Expert Wear Eye Shadow Quad. It comes with a labeled shadow for the lid, outer corner, the crease, and the brow brown. Plus, on the back there is a guideline, which would be great for a girl who doesn't seem to be an expert at make-up yet. Since it's on the cheaper side, you could easily throw it in with whatever else you decide to get her.

4/22/2007 2:03 AM  
Blogger sara said...

A small make up pallete would be nice, and the magazine subscription is a really good idea (teen vogue), with maybe like a cute sundress, everyone needs one

4/22/2007 2:12 AM  
Blogger gold said...

I made a basket for my niece for her 16th bithday. In it I put bubble bath,deodorant, some make-up and a soft pretty bath towel.She loved it.So thats a good gift.

4/22/2007 2:20 AM  
Blogger Moi said...

I think any Benefit palette is a good choice. They may be a bit small, but they're just so cute and well-presented. I really like the "hopelessly devoted to pink" palette (http://www.benefitcosmetics.com/gp/product/B000KZ2E4A/sr=1-3/qid=1177180704/ref=sr_1_3/102-0004322-7425758?ie=UTF8&n=164993011&bcBrand=core), which has three eyeshadow colours and three lip colours too. I wouldn't have minded getting that at 18!

4/22/2007 2:41 AM  
Blogger gsquared said...

BG,
I would suggest the bourjois set (pretty in paris which includes lipgloss, eyeshadow duo, brow gel, mascara) ..slighlyt over budget at $35...but i think it offers greater variety than just eye products (benefit's big beautiful eyes). A lipgloss is probably essential in the set..because what girl doesn't like a little gloss or colour on their lips? They might feel comfortable with a product they already use..and the mascara and shadow would be extras that they can experiment with. The presentation of the gift is nice too..and each product is separate so they can bring the gloss or mascara out with them separately instead of lugging a whole compact.

4/22/2007 2:55 AM  
Blogger Gennie said...

I hate to say it but I agree with Anon @ 3:50. If I didn't wear makeup at all I might be a little overwhelmed, intimidated, or insulted if someone bought me some. I'm a college girl, and coming to college last year the things I needed most were cute pajama pants and stuff like that. It'd be cool to give her some super nice shower stuff - put together a caddy (plastic w/ handle) with a loofah, cute flipflops, a super nice shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash or soap and container. Add something like a nice body splash/spray, or a set of washcloths, or hairstyling products, and you've got a nice set!
Of course, if you're also getting her a graduation present then my suggestion is to get something fun and just for her for her birthday and something collegiate like I suggested above for graduation.

Good luck!

4/22/2007 5:02 AM  
Blogger fashion me this said...

Personally I don't think makeup would go great as a present, since you dont really know a person's preference, makeup's really a personal thing

I'd go with something more broad like some body scrubs, bubble bath, salts, aromatherpy oils lotions along those lines. I mean their bulky so it looks fairly presenty. Maybe something from the philosophy line or fresh? I LOVE their scents and the work wonderfully. Best bet is to go with something organic.

4/22/2007 6:43 AM  
Blogger annie said...

oooh the caddy of shower stuff is super good idea! :) i mean, i needed one before i went to college...

4/22/2007 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 17, and I like makeup, but really don't wear much. Here's my idea of the perfect present:


Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Lipshine

I have this, and it's SOO great. It smells amazing, and it's really sparkly, but pretty subtle too.

http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P123611&categoryId=S10605&shouldPaginate=true


Hard Candy Mix Tape Party Mix

Me and all my friends LOVE hard candy, it's rly affordable and also rly cute.


http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P175163&categoryId=S11505&shouldPaginate=true




And if you wanted to go for clothes, Express is having a huge sale right now (where I live, anyway.) It has some really cute stuff for incredibly cheap (I got a top that my friend bought for $50 for ten bucks!)


But the shower caddy idea sounds great too. I agree, Philosophy is great.

Good luck!

4/22/2007 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Georgia said...

Do you know her very well? She may wear makeup at other times, who knows. I don't wear makeup to visit family friends because they think its tarty. Anyway, this sounds like a perfect gift to me, especially the mascara and the eyelash curler. In case she is a non-makeup person, show her how to use the eyelash curler. It looks sort of scary the first time.

4/22/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the mascara and curler combo, BUT, don't get the Dior Black Out mascara! I bought it last month when Sephora was out of the normal DiorShow and I hate it so much I've been using the remnants of my old Diorshow rather than use it.

4/22/2007 10:37 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

^^^
if you really hate the mascara, you can return it to sephora. they have a really good return policy and you can usually bring things back even without a receipt.

4/22/2007 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i suggest starbucks giftcard!

4/22/2007 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

nars nars nars nars nars

unbeatable
no matter who it is, she'll put it on and her face will just look instantaneously better, and she'll love you for it :)

4/22/2007 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hardly ever wore makeup when I was 18 and I still don't. Though, if someone got me makeup, I would be so happy, especially if it's it than me since they could give me some pointers. Just looking at the makeup and anticipating putting it on would make me happy. But more importantly, it's the thought that counts!

4/22/2007 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

curler, eyeliner, mascara combo

4/23/2007 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Gen said...

GIFT CARD!!

4/23/2007 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Katie -

Ooooo, really?! I thought it was pretty hopeless because I threw away the receipt..and its not like clothes where they can just resell it. I'll have to check that out, thanks for the tip.

4/23/2007 3:50 AM  
Blogger M said...

Well if you decide to go for make-up, I would suggest you throw in some good eye-makeup remover...it might sound a little mundane but i got mascara as a gift when I was about 17 and could never figure out how to get the damn stuff off! I recommmend Vichy's purete thermale sensetive eye-makeup remover which also smells great!

and I agree that make-up is a cool gift...I always loved those cool cousins and aunts who would get me make-up instead of the proverbial sensible gifts...

4/23/2007 3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try the body shop, they have a couple of cute shadow palettes and several great gift boxes for a shower caddy.

4/23/2007 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't get her makeup, especially if she doesn't wear much to begin with -- that's weird, and what if you get something that looks awful on her skin tone?

i'd go with a sephora gift card if you want to go the makeup route.

that being said, the NARS blush/bronzer duo in orgasm/laguna is probably the best makeup purchase i've ever made in my life.

4/23/2007 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, i'm going to be a 18 year old college student this fall also! since she might not wear make up, i'd suggest mascara, eyeliner and a curler because they're simple yet unbelievably useful. If she's not a fan of make up, it wouldn't be too much for her. Blush is also good, very simple and productive. If it's the first year of college, I think there will be a lot of bumming around in school, a hoody or sweats would be awesome & really useful. That's what majority of the students wear anyway, especially if they're in school mode (stress and laziness).
BTW: visa gift cards are nice also!

4/24/2007 3:55 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

as a gift, i think the tokidoki is charming. just the packaging seems to have a friendly appeal to it, perfect if your friend is new to makeup

4/24/2007 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Get her the Big Beautiful Eyes from Benefit. You won't regret it!

I'm around 18 and don't wear make-up that religiously, but when my sister gave me this as a birthday present, my mind was changed.

The colors work great together or alone, your eyes look huge, and the concealer is a college lifesaver.

This must be love! :]

4/25/2007 2:47 AM  
Blogger Yulie said...

Makeup is cute, easy to get, and works well as a birthday present. But I think another good idea is getting her a small gift basket of goods that she could use in college. I remember when I had my grad party, I received a plastic laundry basket from one of my friends with shower flipflops (a must need for college and really really cheap), some fun colored nail polish, a memo notepad, and other little things like that ... and to my surprise, I actually used everything when I got to college.

Haha, but I'm probably a little late on commenting. But I guess if all else fails, makeup would be a really nice present ... afterall, there will be times when a girl needs to look good, especially those numerous weekends when there's nothing to do except to go out.

4/26/2007 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really , really want the TokiDoki Smashbox collection.

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