To a lot of people, makeup is something for girls. But as queer people, we see it so much more. Gays and theys have started donning shiney metallic eyeshadows and glittery face candy at the club. Tiktok lesbians are going hard embracing the across-the-nose blush-and-freckle trend. Trans e-girls are rocking graphic liners and slicked-back ponies before they check their reflection in the Facetime camera. Even pretty T-boys can’t resist reclaiming makeup with long bottom lashes and natural, kissable lips on a first date. No matter your gender, aesthetic, or sexuality, beauty is for everyone.
Beauty brands have caught onto the ways LGBTQ+ communities are revolutionizing and expanding makeup offerings with the demand for gender-expansive options, and the industry has risen to the occasion.These are a few of our favorite products and brands to stuff into stockings this year.
1. & 2. Eye Candy – Danessa Myricks quickly became a cult-classic brand after emerging on the scene a few years ago. Her Colorfix Liquid Metals in any color are a necessary addition to any makeup-curious loved one. But for a less stunty look, the Clear Glaze for lips and eyes will brighten up any face, with our without makeup.
3 & 4. High Pigment Palettes – When she’s not busy being an iconic drag artist in the Brooklyn scene, Junior Mintt is a purveyor of quality makeup and is one of the few (if not the only) Black, trans woman-owned brands stocked at JCPenney and other major outlets. Though we love her blush palette pictured here, her signature palette gives you the greens you never knew you needed.
5 & 6. Foundation and Lip Oil – Gaga’s foundation range has taken the makeup world by storm, but her colored lip oils are criminally underrated, coming in a range of lucious options with a pillowy, non-sticky finish.
7 & 8. More Lips and Eye Pencils – Speaking of lip oils — you can never have enough. Our other favorite is the Odyssey Lip Gloss that has a slightly more robust shade range. Milk also has the best eye pencils for someone who likes to play with eye shapes in colored-pencil fashion. Smearable yet waterproof, and powerful in their color range.
9 & 10. Haircare – If you know someone who struggles with the unsexy predicament of winter scalp, Jonathan Van Ness is here to save the day. Their sustainability focused vegan brand checks all the boxes of intentional hair products, and the Scalp Oil is a gorgeous thing to display on your shower shelf. If your gift-receiver doesn’t have dry scalp, can we recommend the Air Dry Cream? This smooth texture enhancer gives a little shape and tones down frizz for any girl (or boy or they) on the go, and it comes in travel size.
11 & 12. Sultry Skin – Is this the gayest moisturizer to have ever existed? It’s omething about the packaging and vibe of this fresh-on-the-scene brand Dieux (pronounced “dew”). In lieu of concealer, give your face a glorious luminosity throughout the day. Dieux also just launched its gel cream for sensitive and acne-prone skin types.
13. Cheek and Lip Stains – Makeup products should feel like toys, because they are! And we’re strong believers in products that have multiple functions. The conscious beauty brand HUDA has a Lip & Cheek stain that comes in colorful, collectible blocks.
14. Mascara – An everyday mascara is necessary for the brightness of any face and Ilia has our fave Limitless Lash solution. Even for beauty skeptics, or transmasculine lovers with an aversion to girly stuff, lashes are gender-free, and mascara is a great place to start someone on a beauty journey.
15. Natural Deodorant – Don’t get it twisted, we love all facets of queer culture. But BO is optional. We’re all for the natural musk, but if you have a friend who’s looking to turn the pheromones off everyone once in a while, the brand new, cruelty-free, waste resistant Glossier deodorant comes in a range of odors — but the “You” signature scent is our staple.
This article is part of the GT Holiday Guide. We’re curating 50 (ish) gift ideas across a range of curated lists for all kinds of queer and trans people. These recommendations are not sponsored and are entirely editorially-led. Our range of gift options and price points ensure you can give a genuinely unique gift, no matter how you celebrate.