It’s that time of year again!
Holiday makeup sets are among us!
I’m probably a little too excited for my own good. Forgive me. But I know you are too.
Every year, brands release a gazillion different value sets, gifts, and palettes. If you’re anything like me, then you probably want them all. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, (in which case, I envy you,) then you’ll probably be spending countless hours scanning Sephora’s website and stalking the aisles in search of the best deals that’ll give you the best bang for your buck during this expensive time of year.
I stalked Sephora’s hundreds of offerings, and I’ve come up with my twelve (+ one bonus!) recommendations for which sets and palettes are worth the splurging on this year.
These are the items that I will personally be picking up this season. (Well, maybe not all of them, but as many as humanly possible.)
It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Not even kidding.
Okay, kidding a little. But choosing which makeup to leave in the dust ain’t easy.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette Color Wheel
Isn’t this just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?!
I’ve always wanted a blush palette, but I’ve never purchased one because they’re just all so large. Yes, I apply my makeup at home 98% of the time, but for that rare 2%, I need products that I can slip in a small bag and take on my adventure. A giant blush palette just isn’t it.
This Tarte blush palette brings all the variety and pizazz you’d expect from a holiday makeup palette, yet it doesn’t scream “giant impractical holiday makeup set” in the process. You know which ones I’m taking about. It’s compact, packable, practical, and is something you’ll reach for all year long.
Tarte Tartiest Toolbox Brush Set & Magnetic Palette
I don’t know about you, but when I think of a holiday makeup set, I expect to see something unique. I want to see things that you just can’t get at other times of the year. This brush set from Tarte fulfills that wish!
It’s a set of 4 double-ended brushes, plus one regular face brush, for a total of 9 brush options. If this wasn’t enough, the brushes come packaged in a beautiful hard case with a magnetic palette on the inside! How nifty is that? I don’t know why we haven’t seen something like this sooner; I’d have been all over it.
It’s perfect for travel.
But I don’t mean that in the obvious way. Sure, any brush set can be “good for travel,” but what’s the point of packing a brush set that doesn’t have everything you need? Unlike most brush sets that are missing at least one essential brush, this one contains everything you need for a full face, from multiple eye brushes, to more than one face brush. Don’t you just hate that? Like, are you supposed to apply your bronzer and blush and highlighter and powder all with the same brush? Not cool.
And we can’t forget that magnetic palette. It adds very little bulk to the palette, and it’s one less thing you’ll have to pack. It’s a total win in my book.
Stila Stay All Day Sparkle All Night Set
I purchased the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set last year, and I still love it. I use every color. And I can’t wait to get my hands on this year’s set.
But there’s a twist this time around. Instead of including 6 matte liquid lipsticks, this set includes 5 matte liquid lipsticks and 1 glitter topcoat. It’s basically any look, all in one set. So far, I haven’t heard much about exactly what the Glitterati top coat is. Does it dry down like shiny glue? Does it stay wet like a gloss? We shall see, but whatever it turns out to be, I want it!
The liquid lipstick colors include Baci (nude pink,) Rubino (beet red,) Fresco (mid tone dusty rose,) Patina (dusty rose,) and Bacca (raspberry.)
Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Set
Also on the liquid lipstick, front, we’ve got the Kat Von D liquid lipstick set. I believe this is the first time Kat Von D released a full-range holiday makeup set, at least in the lipstick department.
I like that this set includes a range of colors that one wouldn’t otherwise go out and buy individually. I’ve been lusting over Echo for the longest time, but I have a hard time justifying purchasing a blue lipstick that I’ll likely never wear out of the house. The same goes for the purples and the brown.
If you want to try some more “out there” colors, but don’t want to drop the cash for full sizes of everything, this is your answer.
Smashbox Light It Up Lipstick + Mattifier Set
I haven’t tried Smashbox lipsticks before, but this just might be the year. This Smashbox holiday makeup set includes six shades of their Be Legendary Lipstick, plus a tube of the mattifying top coat that got crazy hype last year.
Individually, the Be Legendary Lipsticks cost $21.00. Not bad, but purchasing six would be quite a chunk of change. And that doesn’t include the mattifyer. For me, this is a no brainer. I’m getting it.
Like the Stila set, I like the transforming element of this set, in that you can get multiple looks out of it. The lipsticks are glossy, but you can turn them matte if you are so inclined.
Ciate London Mini Mani Month Nail Polish Set
This may not be a holiday makeup set, per se, but I’m after it, so I’m including it anyway.
I avoid advent calendars as a general rule. They typically include a multitude of sub-par samples for the exorbitant price tag. Because really, all I care about is the product, not the experience of opening the little door every day for a month.
However, this advent calendar is everything the others aren’t. It includes 22 mini nail polishes, one full size nail polish, plus a glittery nail file. Ciate London nail polishes can be quite pricy, so I think $59 is a fair price to try a rather large selection of them. I would pay this price even without the full size addition and the nail file.
Sephora Favorites Trending Beauty’s Most Coveted
I admire the Sephora Favorites holiday makeup set every year, but so far I haven’t actually purchased one. Until now.
In all honesty, these sets can be hit or miss depending on the person. A lot of it depends on your skin tone and whether the products will work for you. What’s included in this set will work for me, plus it includes several products I’m eager to try.
Not to mention, the set includes several items I already know I love, and could use some backups of. There isn’t much to say about this one except to jump on it.
Sephora Favorites Lashstash
Okay, you’re probably sick of hearing me talk about this one. But I’ll tell you again.
I purchase this mascara sampler every year, and it’s basically the only mascara I buy. I open the samples one at a time so they don’t go bad, and it lasts me all year. The only time I buy mascara is if I need something waterproof.
I’m not super picky about mascara, and so I’ll use up at least most of the set. If I do come across one that is absolutely horrific, (it has happened,) I feel no guilt in tossing it and moving on to the next since I didn’t pay $20+ for it.
Or perhaps you are particular about your mascara and you want to try them all out before settling on a full size. That’s cool too.
The two full size mascaras included (Estée Edit and YSL) nearly pay for the set in their own right, plus yet get to try out eight other options. Yeah, maybe you could get the others as free samples, but sometimes I’m willing to pay for convenience. I like to think we all are.
BeautyBlender + Too Faced Holiday Kit
This holiday makeup set isn’t all makeup, obviously. However, what it lacks in makeup, it makes up for it with adventurousness.
The kit comes with a BeautyBlender, a Blotterazzi, and a mini Too Faced Candlelit Highlighter. I can always use another BeautyBlender. Can’t you?
On the other hand, I haven’t tried the Candlelit Highlighter, or the Blotterazzi. And honestly, neither are items I’ve been busting down walls to get my hands on thus far. Though I have nothing against trying them, they’ve just been farther down on the list. Alone, I’ll likely never get to them.
But in a set that comes with something I know I love, well, what’s a better time? To be fair, this one isn’t a spectacular deal like some of the other sets, but I think it’s worth it because it encourages me to try products I wouldn’t otherwise.
Ciate London Chloe Morello Beauty Haul Makeup Set
My name is Kay, and I am addicted to pretty things.
Let’s get real- I have more eyeshadow palettes and makeup bags than I know what to do with. I also have plenty of liquid lipsticks and mascara, plus even more after this haul. But it’s all just.so.pretty!
Sometimes we all just deserve to treat ourselves to something totally impractical that we absolutely don’t need, but will make us very happy.
Though I am trying to cool it with the eyeshadow palettes this year, (I’m even skipping the Lorac Mega Pro 3,) I think I may just have to break my own rule for this one.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light
I expect this one to be a bit controversial. When this palette’s predecessor arrived last year, let’s just say people were less than impressed. It looked large and luxurious in the photos, only for it to show up looking like it had shrunken in the wash.
Thanks to the negative reviews, I skipped last year’s palette. But this year, I’m realizing that I really have to do what I think is right. Yes, others’ opinions are there to guide me, but I have to make decisions that I think will work best for me. I know we hear this all the time, but it can be surprisingly difficult to take action on. How are we supposed to feel beautiful when on the inside we’re cramped with regret over what could have been? I know it’s only makeup, but it’s a start, right?
I’m actually planning on purchasing this for my mom for Christmas. Shhh, don’t tell her.
Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette
So the thing about that Hourglass palette is the rather dismal shade range. It is quite obviously catered toward lighter skin tones, and may be too light for deeper skin tones, depending on preference.
The Bobbi to Glow palette is great for any skin tone, albeit in different ways. On deeper skin tones, the three color families will show up beautifully as highlighters. On lighter skin tones, it’s great for adding pops of colorful glow on the cheeks. Not to mention, they make great eyeshadows for all skin tones.
I’m somewhat on the fence about this one, just because I have so many blushes and bronzers already, but it’s so beautiful, I just might have to bring it home with me anyway.
Bonus! Disney Collection Elsa and Anna Compact Mirror
Don’t worry, I can count. I’m aware this is number 13. 🙂
I’m including this as a bonus item because it’s not really a holiday makeup item, though it is makeup related. If you’re a Frozen fan (or even just a Disney collector,) you’ll definitely want this!
Perhaps this is a little sentimental to me. Last year, I purchased the Belle version of this exact mirror at Sephora in Downtown Disney. I was having the time of my life on vacation and a pretty compact mirror from my favorite store with my favorite princess on it was the icing on the cake. I keep that mirror on my desk at all times, and it reminds me every day of a beautiful time in my life. Yeah, I totally don’t need another mirror, but I intend to purchase this one solely for that reason.
Live beautifully. ♥︎
That’s all for today!
Like this post? Check this out >> Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done — A Real Life Review
Thanks to all the amazing deals and sampler sets, the holidays are a great time to get your feet wet if you’re just starting out with makeup. Check out this post on How To Build Your Personalized Makeup Starter Kit!
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Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- Not sponsored by any brands mentioned. All opinions are my own. All holiday makeup product photos credited to Sephora. Some links may be affiliated.