Beauty Gift Sets Actually Worth The $$$
Every year, I get swept up in holiday makeup gift sets, because I’m a product hoarder whose very lifeblood survives on smaller sizes of things I can’t afford. And they’re good for gifts, too, because logic = getting my friend many products the size of thimbles is better than getting them one 42.00 blush the size of my palm. So needless to say, I’m all about hunting for cool gift sets like the hunter from Jumanji that is actually just Robin William’s dad is hunting for people. And on a side note: shouldn’t that kid get therapy for that? If I lived in a jungle horror game for most of my adult life, then came back but was a child again, my first priority would be to get someone to unpack those issues for me.
Anyway. After much searching, I’ve learned: holiday gift sets are awful crap for the most part. Why? I absolutely hate to say this, but math. I'm sorry that I said the word math, but most holiday gift sets offer significantly less product in tubes you can swallow whole without dying. I find that in many cases, you’re better off getting one larger product with the product amount you get in those lame sets. I mean, do we really need that much variety? Stop being so greedy. So I searched around and did some MATH, and came up with a few gift sets that are worth your hard-earned money AND offer variety, you greedy cake-eaters. I list them below:
So this seems like a waste of money at first, given that it’s so small and only has two products. But: Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is 20 bucks and has .22 oz of product in one tube. Trooper Eyeliner is also 20 dollars and contains .02 oz of product in a tube. And for the same price, you can get exactly half of each product in this gift set. Which is not bad. Considering Trooper is the best liquid eyeliner you can get but also dries out fairly quickly, you could probably use this whole thing without it becoming worthless. And Bow and Arrow is the best dusty grey nude I’ve ever used and is also very comfortable and long-wearing. So I’d buy it.
I have two mask gift sets in this list, because I feel like masks are the only safe skincare gift to give (people are very particular about skincare), and healthy skin is the gift that seems to forever keep on gifting. Glam Glow Supermud is an incredible, luxurious mask that clears the skin and keeps it looking smooth and clear, like the kid in Jumanji. It’s definitely for people who struggle with blemishes or redness or razor burn. And you get 1.2 oz in this gift set. You can buy 1.2 oz of Glam Glow Supermud at Sephora for 69.00 (NICE)---and in this set you get two extra 1 oz masks as well. Thirstymud is for dry skin and Youthmud is a brightener. And those two extra masks add up to more product than the actual product you can buy at Sephora for 69 (NICE) bucks. If you are at all interested in GlamGlow masks, which are very popular for a reason, check this out. It’s a good luxury gift for your mom or sister or somebody you want to drop 69 bucks on (NICE).
Sheet masks at Sephora are incredible. They make you look like you’re wearing someone’s skin and they smell great and work, too. Wearing real skin won’t make your dull skin more bright, so I swear by the pomegranate mask after long nights of drinking. These masks are usually sold for 6 bucks each so you basically get 1 mask for free and 1 mask for 50% off in this set. Divvy em up and put them in everyone’s stocking.
Bite Beauty lipsticks are comfortable, beautifully pigmented, and you can even eat them. They’re matte but movable and breathable. And the colors in this set are a fantastic variety of trendy colors: a deep brown, a deep red, a cool-toned teeth whitening jewel red, and a bright purple-pink. Plus you get a tin. And a regular matte lipstick from Bite is 24 dollars for .05 oz. Each stick in this set is .03 oz, which means you basically get two full sized lipsticks for one dollar more. If you like at least 3 colors in this set, it’s a great deal.
If you or someone you love is a makeup-obsessed freak, man, this is the gift. It comes in a bag full of sequins. It’s high quality. It's delicious. I eat makeup. It delivers 4 products that help you create an incredible metallic eye or lip. And by metallic I mean…robot C-3PO metal realness. This shit isn’t playing. Look at the video on the Sephora website. LOOK AT IT.
This is basically a buy two, get one free situation but you can’t choose the colors. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is a vanilla-scented old standby of mine. It’s not the best lipstick I’ve ever owned, but the color variety is great and while it does fade after a while, it doesn’t get thick or heavy with constant reapplication. If you like the color combos, pick one of these up!
Dry Bar products always smell amazing, work great, and make you feel like your shitty calcium-stained bathroom is a luxury spa. This set comes with a hairspray, which I love and use because it never makes my hair crispy, a dry shampoo (another staple of mine), a shine mist and a volume/texturizer spray. Each one in the set contains a little less than half of a regular-sized product, but when each full-sized spray is around 25 bucks, it’s a good deal. I want one of these to travel with, considering my hair always looks like shit after I land on an airplane, probably because I’m on Xanax and drooling all over myself and my hair. Warning: if you do not like strong scents, this will not be the line for you.
I gotta put a gift set for your coworker Secret Santa or something that I won’t want to steal for myself. This is the perfect “I want to spend less than 20 bucks on these people but I don’t want to look cheap” set. Burt’s Bees products are reliably good—I would buy this for the coconut foot cream alone, which makes my feet look like human and not hobbit feet. And you get a nice variety and a full-sized lip balm. So get it for someone you kinda like.
I swear by Real Techniques brushes. I like them over many high-end brushes I’ve tried. And for 30 bucks you get 5 of the best ones (powder, foundation, eyeshadow, eyeliner, angled) and a carrying case. The blushes are chrome and cute. And I swear: these brushes are so incredible and usually retail around 8-11 bucks each so it’s a great deal. Buy them for yourself or someone who wants to see how good their makeup can apply with nice brushes.
You save two bucks if you buy the set and not the individual products. I love the contour brush, and e.l.f’s products are usually pretty decent, and this contour palette is no exception. It’s perfect for someone learning to contour and highlight their face and they don’t want to drop 45 bucks to do so. I think it’d make a nice little gift.