One for you, one for me!
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When holiday shopping season rolls around, I am usually faced with a very specific kind of problem, the struggle of a well-meaning, typically generous person who also lives for beauty products and a hell of a deal. Strolling through Sephora, Ulta, and department stores, my mind wanders away from the wonderful friends and family I have to shop for, and instead turns to...me.
I know, I know. It’s not the most gracious way to think about holiday shopping, but I can’t help myself—especially when the savings on my favorite products, in set form, are so, so good. The skin care, hair, and makeup sets below are some of the best I can find, and they’re all available in November.
From an extremely useful pro makeup brush set to endless skin-care options to an actual Ferris wheel stuffed with indulgent face masks (yup), these are the best holiday sets to set your sights on for holiday 2017. Luckily, I can (usually) resist the urge to go full-blown Greedy Gus and shop for friends and family instead of myself—but if you’re like me, don’t be afraid to toss a few extra treats into your shopping basket to indulge in once you’re finished wrapping.
I enjoy living life to glorious excess over the holidays—champagne with old friends, truffle fries at my favorite hometown restaurant at 2 a.m., and late nights playing Settlers of Catan with my family. Unfortunately, all of my low-key holiday hedonism takes its toll on my skin. Skin Inc has anticipated this, offering a few skin-care sets to get you through these trying times.
The Holiday Detox Set includes Vitamins ABC+ Serum, which soothes skin, balances oil, and fights oxidization. Bundle of Glow focuses on vitamin A, chlorella, and hyaluronic acid serums to hydrate and boost collagen production, and the Selfie Essential Set includes a peel, moisturizer, and mist to make sure every Instagram story you take is perfect.
Consider this Peter Thomas Roth set a facial in a box—and the perfect way to introduce your mom, sister, best friend, or partner into this beloved skin-care brand. The set includes a glycolic cleanser, PTR’s beloved Irish Moor Mud Mask, a hydrating cream, and a peel.
Artis The Essentials Set
Close your eyes and imagine your best buds: Which one of them constantly floors you with their flawless Instagram, makeup looks, brags about their view counts on their beauty vlogging channel, and Snapchats themselves mid-contour? Yes, her.
That friend needs this Artis set, a collection of essential brushes for their collection. It’s not exactly cheap, but the quality of these brushes is unparalleled—and if you’re lucky, maybe your bud will do your makeup with these bad boys before you go out for New Years Eve. This Essentials Brush Set valued at $175 will be available on November 9th.
Drunk Elephant is the kind of skin-care brand that most beauty editors, people who have access to literally every skin-care product on the market, keep in their medicine cabinets. These limited-edition sets, curated for the holidays, are a great way to familiarize an unsuspecting pal with their offerings—including whipped moisturizing cream, virgin Marula oil, and the brand’s hero product, the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. The latter will truly transform the surface and texture of your skin—trust.
This vault includes every single color of NYX’s Lip Lingerie, which is arguably their best formula. Is there any makeup hoarder you know who wouldn’t want to find this wrapped up with a bow?
Finally, a brand has tapped into a niche market that might not be so niche at all: the makeup lover who also loves to excessively plan their future. This adorable eyeshadow palette comes with lipstick, bronzer, blush, luminizer, and mascara—as well as a limited-edition 2018 planner. It’s the perfect gift to bring the beauty queen in your life into the new year.
God bless Milk Makeup for understanding that some of us want to look like fashion aliens when we come home for the holiday. This limited-edition quad contains four ethereal highlighters all in one reasonably sized palette that’s perfect for traveling.
It Cosmetics All That Shimmers Brush Set
It Cosmetics All That Shimmers Brush Set, $58, Available in November at ulta.com
Maybe you know a beauty-obsessed glamourpuss who needs a shimmy cup full of shimmery makeup brushes. Maybe you are that glamourpuss. Either way, don’t sleep on this holiday brush set. The It Cosmetics All That Shimmers Brush Set valued at $58 will be available in November at ulta.com.
What would a beauty-lover’s holiday haul be without a Clarisonic gift set? There are a few variations, but my personal favorite comes with three Boscia products, perfect for deep-cleansing pores and keeping skin fresh.
Another great introductory set for anyone you want to familiarize with First Aid Beauty this holiday season—and the value for the size of products you get is too good to pass up.
If your friend or family member is a beauty-lover, they probably already swoon over Ardell lashes. They’re somehow simultaneously dramatic and natural, and there’s no full face of makeup that isn’t made better with Ardell’s as the finishing touch.
To the untrained beauty eye, this L’Oréal set might seem kind of basic. However, this is actually one of the best drugstore sets I’ve seen: The Voluminous Mascara is better than most higher-end brands, and once you see the shade of red that’s included in this kit (along with the on-trend metallic shadows and eyeliner), you’re going to want to cop it immediately.
Here is a holiday plan that is sure to kill: Buy one of these sets for your mom, your sister, and yourself. Wrap stylishly, place in Christmas stocking. Enjoy the look of happiness that washes over your loved ones’ faces as they realize you are invested in their skin happiness. Open together, place on faces, and wear: Multi-masking is the new matching Christmas morning pajamas.
These lip balms are super hydrating and have just the right amount of tint. Plus, the tin they come in is so cute, it doesn’t even need to be wrapped for gifting.
Bath & Body Works Sets
Bath & Body Works Holiday Sets, various prices, bathandbodyworks.com
If you’ve ever set foot inside a Bath & Body Works, you know that they do not mess around when it comes to holiday sets and gifting. It was impossible to showcase all of the brand’s holiday offerings here, but let that encourage you to get yourself to a BBW brick-and-mortar and do some exploring for yourself.
Oribe Holiday Sets
Oribe Dry Styling Set, $75; Cote D’Azur Body Collection, $110, oribe.com
Oribe has the dry-styling game on lock, and these holiday sets are next-level gorgeous. The Cote D’Azur Body Collection, which includes body wash, body creme, and a rollerball in Oribe’s shockingly good scent, is perfect for the person in your life who lives for holiday luxury.
AmorePacific is one of my personal favorite skin-care brands, and this holiday set has three of their bestsellers. The Essential Creme Fluid is richly moisturizing, but the formula is super light. The Treatment Enzyme Peel offers gentle exfoliation, and the Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System is a mist that instantly refreshes and moisturizes tired winter skin.
Rouge Dior lipsticks are already exciting enough, but put a refillable set in a chic, actually-usable clutch, and you’re on another holiday level.
GlamGlow Big Wheel of Sexy & Holiday Sets
GlamGlow Big Wheel of Sexy, $299; Supermud Set, $69, Volcasmic Set, $54; glamglow.com
I’m not sure how to describe this other than exactly what it is: a massive (and I mean massive) Ferris wheel full of GlamGlow masks. The wheel includes YOUTHMUD® Tinglexfoliate Treatment, SUPERMUD® Clearing Treatment, THIRSTYMUD™ Hydrating Treatment, GRAVITYMUD™ Firming Treatment, GLOWSTARTER™ Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, VOLCASMIC™ Matte Glow Moisturizer, DREAMDUO™ Overnight Transforming Treatment, PLUMPRAGEOUS™ Matte Lip Treatment, and a MUD BRUSH. In other words, everything a hardcore GlamGlow loyalist needs for 2018—and a bonus Ferris wheel that someone will surely come up with a creative use for.
There’s probably not a more covetable hair dryer on the market than the Dyson, and the Blown-a-OUAI set comes with some of the best hair-care products, too—the scent alone puts OUAI ahead of the pack. This pairing goes together like rum and warm cider, like pajamas and fuzzy slippers, like Santa and a plate full of chocolate chip cookies.
In other words, it’s a fantastic splurge for that special someone—and, just like everything else on this holiday shopping list, it’s a great way to treat yourself.
Bustle Team: Fashion & Beauty Editor: Amanda Richards; Photographer: Ashley Batz; Art Direction/Styling: Brit Philips
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