I am so far beyond needing any “basic” kit or palette from anyone, but I am in love with Cargo’s Essential Eyeshadow Palette ($32). If (horror of horrors) I lost every stitch of makeup I currently own and had to start from zero — or if I were traveling back in time by a couple of years to give my former self a present, I would definitely want one of these.
If you (makeup guru) do gift this palette to a relative novice, be sure to tell them that the labels on the shadows are only suggestions — they don’t have to use all four shadows to “work” the palette correctly, and they can definitely change the placement or combinations of colors to make different looks. (“Browbone” can become lid and “lid” can become crease. “Browbone” could be used at inner corner, or “outer corner” can be a liner.) Likewise, if you, makeup guru, receive one of these beauties as a gift for your preferred winter holiday, don’t be offended because there are instructions printed on the powder.