Tis the season to be jolly, and beautiful! Each year, women look forward to the goodies and sets that are only available during the holidays. Most women love to receive gifts of beauty and thanks to a wide range of products being offered at beauty stores and drugstores, there is something for everyone, regardless of your budget. So grab your shopping list, bundle up in the dorky sweater with snowflakes on it, and read on to learn about this year’s best beauty gifts.
Too Faced – Sweet Dreams Palette
Limited edition. $52.00 at Sephora and Ulta
While there are a slew of limited edition palettes being offered this year by luxury brands, this one is the clear winner — the packaging is whimsical and charming, and the included makeup is stunning. This palette includes fifteen eye shadows, a bronzer, a highlighter, two blushes, and a tube of the well known and loved eye shadow primer, Shadow Insurance. Any woman that loves makeup will adore this set.
MAC – Holiday Collection
Limited edition. Prices range from $25.00 to $33.00 at MAC counters, boutiques, and MacCosmetics.com
Each year, MAC is one of the most anticipated holiday collections. Known for intense color and rich pigments, the buzz actually begins in September with makeup artists and loyal customers wondering what the lineup will include. MAC did not disappoint this year. With names like Ice Parade and Glitter Dazzle, they offer up trios of lip glosses, eye liners and eye shadows (including their beloved Bark shadow) packaged inside ornaments and frosty looking compacts. Too cute! Too fun! Ah, so many MAC ornaments, so little time!
Sigma – Sigma Makeup Brushes
Prices range from $32.00 to $110.00 for a set of brushes from SigmaBeauty.com
Ask any makeup artist and they’ll tell you, the makeup you’re using doesn’t matter as much as the brushes. When you have good brushes, you can easily blend even the cheapest and most chalky of shadows. Problem is, professional makeup brushes sometimes cost thirty to fifty and sixty dollars each. Sigma makes good quality professional brushes that rival the most costly brushes out there. For fifty dollars and change, you can get a complete set of seven eye brushes that will easily blend your shadows. With this set, you can create the smokey eye look, winged liner look, cat eye look and countless other looks with ease. Channel your inner pro! Blend it, wing it and smudge it!
Elf – 100 Piece Eye Shadow Palette
Limited edition. $20.00 to $24.00 at Target, select K Mart Stores and EyesLipsFace.com
Elf is offering a whole array of cosmetic goodies this year and like MAC, they have oodles of sets to choose from. For the price, you’d be surprised at how pigmented and rich the Elf shadows are. From white to black and every single shade in between, endless looks can be created with this palette.
Skin Care Gifts
Clarisonic – Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System
$119.00 at Sephora, Ulta, and QVC.com
Give someone the gift of great skin care! While there are many duplicates and copycats out there, there is only one Clarisonic. It gives a deep and gentle clean all the way to the pores. Yes it’s pricey but it will last for years to come, and when it comes to pure, clean skin, nothing tops it. There really is a reason why so many spas use this on their clients! *Note – If you can afford to spend a little over $119.00, QVC.com has many offers on the Clarisonic that include an additional brush head and cleanser!
Philosophy – Great Skin is in Kit
Limited edition. $65.00 at most Ulta and Sephora stores, and at Philosophy.com
Philosophy is known for gentle skin care and gentle cleansing so if you’re shopping for someone with finicky or sensitive skin, this is a safe bet. While there are many Philosophy skin care sets to choose from this time of year, this is the one that includes their cleanser, their nighttime treatment and their well known and loved moisturizer, Hope in a Jar.
Burt’s Bees – Head to Toe Kit
Limited edition. $12.99 at Target and most drugstores.
This set is a steal! A steal! Most folks are familiar with Burt’s Bees, a respected contender in the natural line of skin care. For less than thirteen dollars, you get a cleansing cream, a hand salve, a body lotion, a yummy scented Peppermint and Rosemary body wash, a foot cream and one of their famous beeswax lip balms. — Did I mention this is less than thirteen dollars?
Jack Black – Pure Science Jet Set 3 Piece Traveler Set
Limited edition. $25.00 at Sephora and Ulta
For him! Give him a set of shaving and skin care products that he’ll really use. Come on, doesn’t he have enough ties? A respected brand, Jack Black caters to all men but is particularly well liked by men with sensitive skin and those who suffer easily from razor burn. If the man you’re shopping for has sensitive skin, let Jack come to the rescue! A three piece set, these products are travel friendly but they are not puny sample sizes. A solid choice for any man on your list.
Juicy Couture – Peace Love and Juicy Perfume
$69.00 to $89.00 at Macy’s and Sephora
This stuff smells so good. Seriously. It smells. So. Good. Juicy Couture was looking to top and surpass the popularity of Christmas past when their Viva La Juicy was on everyone’s list. We’ll see if Peace Love and Juicy can topple Viva or not. According to the blurb on Sephora.com, Peace Love and Juicy is “freshly cut blossoms soaked with wildly feminine wood harmonies.” I have no idea what wildly feminine wood harmonies actually is, but I do know this stuff smells divine and lucky-ducky are the women who find this under the tree.
Philosophy – The More the Merrier
$26.00 at Ulta, Sephora and Philosophy.com
Another holiday line that women look forward to each year is Philosophy. Their 3-in-1 washes serve as shower gel, shampoo and bubble bath, and the scents they offer each holiday season are yummy enough to make you shower two and three times a day. While Philosophy is offering countless wonderful holiday sets this year, this one is my favorite because you get four —four!– of the 3-in-1 washes in Marshmellows for Toasting, Have a Cherry Christmas, Twinkle Berry and Candy Cane. In addition to all four of those, you get a marshmellow lip gloss!
Parfums de Coeur – Vampire Perfume
$15.00 at Target, K Mart and most drugstores
For the gal that loves Twilight or True Blood, or for any lady that loves to smelly yummy, Vampire is offered up in a (you guessed it) blood red bottle. With notes like dark chocolate and cherries, it’s a rich and dark blend that smells surprisingly good! This one actually gets high reviews, so the price is surprising and pleasant. Luckily, you don’t have to pick between Team Edward and Team Jacob to love this one.
Vaseline – Vaseline Lip Therapy
$2.99 at drugstores and Target, Wal Mart and K Mart
They are going to sell a million of these things based on the packaging alone because it’s just so darn cute. It looks like a mini baby version of the well known Vaseline jar. Too cute! — Oh! And it works great on chapped lips too!
Revlon – Extra Life No Chip Top Coat
$7.00 at drugstores, Wal Mart, K Mart and Target
Most reviewers agree, this is the top coat that can’t be beat. You can spend more for a different brand, but it won’t perform as well as this one from Revlon. A clear, no nonsense top coat, it really will extend the life of your manicure. *Note – Revlon has another top coat but it doesn’t get high reviews or work as well. Make sure it’s Extra Life No Chip that you’re grabbing.
Wet n Wild – Wild Shine Nail Polish in #412 A, Burgundy Frost
Around $1.00 at most drugstores, Wal Mart and K Mart
While not the most unique or original color around, #412 is a beautiful, classic and very wearable wintry scarlet color. This one looks good on almost all skin tones and when topped with the Revlon Extra Life, it provides the perfect Christmas manicure.
Elf – Trio of Eye Liners
Limited edition. $3.00 at Target, select K Mart stores and EyesLipsFace.com
For three dollars, these eye liners are surprisingly cute and workable. User friendly and easy to apply, you get a basic black, a glittery gold and a sparkly silver. When applied over primer, they last and perform as well as any luxury brand of liner so go ahead, pick up an extra set!
Bonne Bell – Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker
Around $1.00 at most drugstores, Wal Mart, K Mart and Target
This is a stocking staple. While Bonne Bell has tons of offerings and many holiday sets, Dr. Pepper is the iconic lip smacker that women of all ages adore.
Dove Chocolates – Come on. Everyone wants Dove in their stocking!
Shop online for most the things above at Drugstore.com, Sephora.com and Ulta.com