Want to know what gets me into the holiday spirit, besides snow on the ground and Christmas lights? It’s beauty gift sets … lots and lots of beauty gift sets!
Pretty packaging brimming with new cosmetics lets me know that the holidays are here. Mind you, I’m pretty fussy about these things. I don’t want to see a gift set with an ill-chosen product mix. Nor do I care for colors that don’t work together or a set of three of the same product—I mean, who needs three soaps of the same scent? So here goes. Below, you’ll find my favorite beauty gifts of 2014!
Sets That Pamper
Love Is All You Need Set ($70, $88 value) at Prescriptives
This pink box contains full sizes of the well-reviewed All You Need+ SPF 15 Moisturizer and All You Need+ for Eyes. Also included is a perfect toss-in-your-bag size of magic Liquid Powder. I’m sold!
Equitance Skin Care Trial Kit ($37) at Equitance
Does she like to try new things? This kit is a great intro to the brightening routine from the new skin-health brand Equitance. The set contains a whopping six sample-size items: Brightening Foaming Cleanser, Brightening Toning Lotion, Brightening Serum and Spot Corrector, Hydrating Brightening Cream, Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36 and Skin Radiance Dietary Supplements. (To put the kit’s price in perspective, full-size versions of these products range from $30 to $125 each.)
Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Kit SPF 15 ($59.99, $71 value) at Ulta
A luxurious treat for someone concerned about aging skin, this set contains full sizes of a clinically proven serum, renewing day cream with SPF 15 and a rich night cream. So long, wrinkles and deep lines!
Clarisonic Limited Edition Mia 2 Pink Holiday Value Set ($149, $199 value) at Clarisonic
If you know someone who has always wanted a Clarisonic brush, now’s the time to pounce. This value set includes the Clarisonic Mia 2, sensitive brush heads, a travel case, charger and a full-size cleanser. Other colors are available.
Bliss Rock the Party ($34, $65 value) at Sephora
Wanna leave your favorite party animal invigorated and ready for the next fete? Then treat her to the Fat Girl Slim Skin Firming Cream, High Intensity Hand Cream and the Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask and Eye Mask, all nestled in a feminine, flowered box. These products work together to brighten the skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite and de-puff the under-eye area. Rock on!
CLIQUE by Roblé Parfum and Body Butter ($59.10, $94.50 value) at Shop HQ
Roblé Ali, of Chef Roblé & Co. fame, developed this eau de parfum and rich body butter. The scent is sexy, spicy and appealing to both men and women. Top notes are composed of blood orange and citrus cocktail, while chocolate and honey finish the scent off.
Sets That Color
LORAC PRO Palette 2 ($42, $111 value) at Ulta
This follow-up to the super-popular PRO Palette is another winner. It contains eight shimmering shadows and eight matte shadows, which will create countless gorgeous looks. These wet-dry formulations are ultra pigmented and infused with botanicals. A bonus Behind the Scenes Eye Primer is included!
Urban Decay Little Perversions Kit ($45, $75 value) at Sephora
Does she like to get a little vampy every once in a while? With this kit, she can create every rock ’n’ roll eye imaginable thanks to full sizes of a black felt-tip liner, a twist-up eye pencil and a traditional black pencil. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Travel sizes of Subversion Lash Primer, 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Perversion Mascara are also packed into the blacker-than-black bag.
Sets That Travel
Gavée Gold Travel Kit ($59.95, including standard shipping, with code HOLIDAYGOLD, $150 value) at Gavée Gold
If she loves her beauty products with a little glitz and glam, this kit is for her. It’s packaged in a gold pouch and contains essential products for gorgeous skin, all of which are made with purified 24k liquid gold. The set features seven products, including Gold Citrus Cleanser, Gold Mist Cleanser, Liquid Gold Peptides and Heart of Gold Elixir.
Juara Candlenut Obsession Trio ($25, $30 value) at SkinStore
This trio includes Juara’s Candlenut Body Polish, Candlenut Hydrating Shower Gel and Candlenut Body Creme, all packed in a lovely box. The fragrance will leave you feeling as if you’ve been whisked off to a spa in Bali!
CHI Thermal Styling Travel Set ($19.96) at Ulta
Keep them styling safely on the go with these TSA-approved thermal, cleansing and conditioning essentials. They’ll protect the hair from any heat damage due to all that holiday-party prep.
Stocking Stuffer Sampler ($25, $34.50 value) at Skin Authority
This kit includes travel sizes of four of Skin Authority’s best-selling products: the rich Hand, Foot Body Restoration; fast-absorbing Olive, Fig, Shea Butter Body Cream; Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30 (my daily go-to); and the mild Daily Cleanser. All come packaged in an organza pouch.
Sets That Guys Will Like
Anthony Logistics Perfect Shave Kit ($65, $100 value) at SkinStore
Give him a black mesh Dopp kit featuring full-size anti-aging essentials, such as a facial cleanser, pre-shave oil, shave cream and aftershave balm. For skin care newbies, there’s also a “grooming card” detailing best practices.
PC4Men Kit ($98, $134 value) at Paula’s Choice
These skin essentials come from cosmetics guru Paula Begoun, author of beauty bible Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me ($15.52 at Barnes & Noble). The kit contains five products from the PC4Men collection: face wash, shave cream, Soothe + Smooth balm, Daytime Protect SPF 30 and Nighttime Repair. A travel bag ($30 value) comes with your purchase, and $5 goes to the No Excuse Foundation, which provides aid to hearing-impaired children, teenagers and adults.
Altchek MD Anti-Aging Starter Kit ($24.99, $31 value) at Ulta
Talk about a great introduction to this unisex skin care line. The kit includes Altchek’s MD’s Daily Exfoliating Cleanser, Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, Glycolic Renewal Pads and Night Treatment serum.
Elemis Multi-Active Men’s Collection ($75.50, $106.50 value) at Timetospa
The active man in your life will love this. Included are the Aching Muscle Super Soak and Instant Refreshing Gel, which target sore muscles and tired legs. The collection also contains an invigorating Revitalise-Me Shower Gel and nourishing Daily Moisture Boost, which recharge and hydrate the skin, especially after shaving.
Cannabis Gift Box ($98, $110 value) at Malin + Goetz
This set is the ultimate hipster gift, as it includes a Cannabis Hand+Body Wash, two Cannabis Votive Candles (great for travel), roll-on Cannabis Perfume Oil and a Mojito Lip Balm. The fragrance combines the sexy green notes of the cannabis plant with notes of fig, pepper, citrus and earthy sandalwood and patchouli. I keep the votive candle in my office, and it smells really, really good.
American Crew Daily Duo ($14.99, $25 value) at Beauty Deals
Help him maintain his fabulous hair with American Crew favorites Firm Hold Styling Gel and Daily Moisturizing Shampoo.
Prescriptives: New customers get $10 off.
Ulta: Through December 31, save $5 off $15 or more.
Sephora: Enjoy a free deluxe mystery gift with purchase over $25.
Skin Authority: Through December 31, use the code RMN2014 to get $5 off the Stocking Stuffer Sampler.
Paula’s Choice: Through December 31, get 20% off any single item.
Timetospa: RetailMeNot exclusive! Through January 24, take 21% off sitewide.
Beauty Deals: Take 20% off.