In many countries across the world, skincare and make up have become natural parts of modern gifting culture. It is considered normal to present skincare packages, make up palettes, or separate cosmetic items for birthdays, Christmas, and other festive occasions between friends, colleagues, and relatives. However, if you are trying to gift such cosmetic products to a Russian, then it may not be welcomed well.
Especially if you are a man who is trying to court a Russian woman, then skincare and make up are included among items that should not be gifted in the beginning of your relationship. Instead of getting her heart, you might even be shunned by her. The same goes for women who want to date a Russian man; products such as facial wash should not be gifted if you don’t want to offend him.
What makes skincare and make up become such forbidden gifts by Russian? There are several reasons, but it comes down to three points. First and foremost, every gift has personal meaning, while skincare and make up convey the wrong impression. Second, this type of product emphasizes wrong stereotypes about Russian women. Last but not least, Russian culture has various other alternatives which will promote better feelings between people. In this article, we will examine further about what makes skincare and make up become such forbidden gifts by Russian, and other choices that will be better options instead.
1. Every Gift Has Personal Meaning
There are numerous exclusive make up brands and limited editions which may cost you a lot of money, so cosmetics are not “cheap”. There are also no Russian myth or folk superstitions regarding skincare and make up that makes them taboo. At first glance, it seems that skincare and make up should be good for gifts. However, they stand in direct opposite of Russian gifting culture.
Russian culture give priorities to thoughtful gifts with personal meaning. If someone loves reading novels, then you might gift a book from her favorite author. If someone loves football, then you might gift them official merchandise of his favorite football club. In the same line of thought, if you gift skincare and make up, then it might be perceived as hints that he or she neglects personal hygiene. Or even worse, they may mistakenly assume that you think they are ugly.
Knowing this presumption, you may say, “Oh no, he or she will not assume wrongly, because we are very close and know each other’s mind”. Well, congratulation for having such a good relationship. But what if he or she does not use the brand you are gifting them? Skincare and make up are highly diversified products, and every person may only use certain brands or avoid certain ingredients. Without sneaking into their cupboard, you may never know what brands they are using or what ingredients they are avoiding.
2. No One Appreciates False Stereotype
Around the world, Russian men and women are famous for their top looks. Most notably, Russian women are known for always appear beautiful and impeccably dressed at any time of the day. Thus, there are impressions that Russian women will dress up even for daily chores such as going to grocery stores or walking the dogs. Also, it is rumoured that Russian girls have learnt how to do their face since primary school. But all of these are actually false stereotypes.
Just as in any other country, there are women who like to appear immaculately beautiful and women who prefer to do away with cumbersome cosmetics. Therefore, generalizing all of them into one group of people who love skincare and make up is not a good move. Please note that every woman has her own preferences. Just because she is fair and lovely, does not mean that she likes to use plenty skincare and make up.
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3. There are Better Alternatives for Gifts
Unless the person you are gifting is a beauty blogger who will not mistook the meaning of your presents, you can do better by choosing products other than skincare and make up for gifts. As mentioned above, authentic gifts that are individually chosen and carefully selected will be more appreciated than generic items.
An active woman will love Yoga sets or other sport kits. A business lady will appreciate a stylish briefcase. An artsy girl will be happy to receive watercolor sets or similar painting equipment. In the worst case scenario when you are unsure of what her likes and dislikes are, then choose flower or sweets that top the list of most popular gifts for woman in Russia.
What about gifts for men? Russian men loves alcoholic beverages, so vodka, cognac, and whiskey are good options. Alternatively, you can also present handcrafted accessories, cufflinks, ties, watches, or wallets. There are also other popular gifts for man in Russia which may be more preferable if you know their hobby, such as football attributes or musical instruments. If you are trying to attract a particular Russian man, then giving him your handiwork is a nice move, but only if you are sure that it is good enough. Russian men have sharp eye which will quickly identify fake, cheap, and poor-quality items. If it is not up to par, then he probably will not wear them.
According to a research by Levada Center, the most popular gifts among Russian men and women is flower, followed by sweets in the second place. You have to somehow toe the line when it comes to flower gifting etiquette in Russia, but sweets (particularly chocolates) are welcomed by virtually everybody. On the other hand, only 14 percent of men and 12 percent of women will present perfume and cosmetics as gift of choice. Even more unfavorable gifts are cash, jewelry, and home appliances for similar reasons with skincare and make up.