THE ULTIMATE SHOPPING GUIDE TO SEPHORA’S 2016 “HOLIDAY SETS TO LOVE” – Amalie Blog
Shopping Guides

THE ULTIMATE SHOPPING GUIDE TO SEPHORA’S 2016 “HOLIDAY SETS TO LOVE”

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.. even if it’s a solid 3 months before Christmas.  I probably should not be doing this right now, but I am already online shopping Sephora’s holiday gift kits.

These kits are seriously amazing; they help you save money, try new products, come with a money-back guarantee (or no-hassles return policy) and are full of the most amazing brands, sometimes working together, sometimes alone. The biggest problem? They go fast.

It seems like every year the gift kits come out earlier and earlier – not to mention that Black Friday has become Black Frimonth – so basically everything is going to keep changing and getting wackier and wackier.

These manufacturers somehow already finished and delivered their holiday kits, and Sephora is selling them.

To avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) just dive into the gift guide with me. If you see anything you like, you’ll thank me later for helping you snag it before it runs out .. or kick me if there’s overstock and it goes on clearance. In any case – without further ado:

amalie-guide-sephora-holiday-sets

Sephora Holiday Sets to Love: Guide Overview

Note: Some of my favorite kits were already sold out at the time of publishing this article. So if you want it, go get it!

I’m going to dive into this in sections, so you can skip to the one you’re interested in – because let’s face it, we’ve all got faves.

I was going to do this by section – lashes, brows, lips, skincare, etc – but that’s not how my brain works and it might not be how yours does either. I just go pick out the coolest-looking shiny things (most interesting), things I’ve been dying to try because everyone else does (Cult faves), and things that are going to save me a lot of money by buying the holiday kit instead of the individual pieces (staple kits). So this is how I’ve broken it down:

  • Most Interesting Kits
  • Cult Faves
  • Staple Kits

The crazy thing about holiday kits is that they’re not just value kits, they’re also limited edition items, which can be sooo freaking gorgeous that you will kick yourself if you miss it, and starter kits for brands that you otherwise would never know.

Alright, ready?

 

Sephora Holiday Sets to Love: Most Interesting Picks

Aka: The shiny things. These are the kits that stuck out at me and said, “LOOK! I’m a beautiful new thing that you haven’t tried and I’m right here for the taking.”

“Have a Good Trip” kit by Milk Makeup – $48 ($60 value)

milk_kit_2

About: Milk is the newest cult brand at Sephora, for women on the go. It actually seems like they’re specifically targeting new moms in their 30s, but I could be wrong. All their makeup has multi-functional and sometimes wacky applicators. As a brand, they are trendy, and design-centric, but eclectic, and they certainly don’t discriminate.

Milk’s goal with their makeup line is to minimize the products needed and used, without requiring brushes or high-level aristry along the way. Again: low maintenance makeup for women on the go.

Pros: This is a great kit if you feel like you’re ready to dip your toes into the low-mainentance makeup waters. Most of these things are NOT typically available in mini size (except the lip color) so this is your chance.

Cons: A good thing, but also a bad thing: these are travel-sized goodies. A dry shampoo, lip color, mascara, bronzer, roll on face oil, micellar water.. it’s a mini travel makeover in a travel bag. The only thing is I feel a little cheated paying almost full price for very small items.

Link to buy: You can get it here.

Nars Narssisst Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette – $59 (typically $75)

nars-cheek-palette

About: Nars Francois is the name of this French beauty brand’s creator, a top French makeup artist. I would use anything he’s touched. He’s a true genius when it comes to color. I am a true fan of this cult brand. That love extends far beyond Laguna (their cult fave bronzer) and Orgasm (they’re cult favorite blush).

Pros: This palette is a piece of art. It ranges from a light highliter to a dark bronzer. Just.. I get goosebumps looking at it.

Cons: If you’re not an experienced makeup user, this one isn’t for you. Also, it’s expensive for what it is. The compare at price is made up, because it’s limited edition. The fact that it’s limited edition is a true shame.

Link to buy: Get it here. Get it here.

Sephora Holiday Sets to Love: Cult Faves

These holiday kits are full of items that people just can’t get enough of.

 “Spread Cheer & Perfect Hair” Kit by Living Proof –  $25 ($42 value)($42 value)

phd-living-proof-kit

About: Living Proof is a brand out of MIT – started by a professor, though, not a student – and I have been DYING to try this brand. They have a HUGE office in Cambridge nearby MIT that I just drooled over. Jennifer Anniston is a co-owner. I know the stuff works.

The Dry Shampoo (I live and die by that stuff; it helped me get through MIT and still have friends) is an Allure Best of Beauty Winner. These products are legit.

Pros: This kit is both affordable and a pretty good value. Unlike some kits that seem to just make up product values, the shampoo and conditioner really are $10 each for 2oz bottles, and the dry shampoo 4oz bottle is $22. So the math is adding up here.

The products are the original line by Living Proof called Perfect Hair Day or “PHD”.. cute, right?

Cons: The shampoo and conditioner are mini-size for travel, which I love, but the dry shampoo is 4oz, making it over the TSA limit for a carry-on. Big bummer. Also, when compared to other products of this size, the kit is still hella expensive. A mini shampoo, mini conditioner and mini dry shampoo in the air-travel section at CVS add up to maybe$10. So there’s a premium, but all things considered.. it’s a holiday kit win.

Link to buy: You can snag this kit here.

Sephora Favorites: Extravagant Eyes – $42 ($134 value)

extravagant-eyes

About: I LOVE these multi-brand “best of”-esque kits that Sephora puts together. They take one product each from some of the best brands and put them into one very deeply discounted kit.

Pros: Get the #1 Huda Beauty Lashes (the line was just picked up by Sephora this year; started by mega beauty Youtube/Instagrammer Huda Kattan), MILK, Marc Jacobs, Laura Mercier, Nars, Smashbox, Urban Decay… this is seriously an ALL STAR KIT.

Cons: I have never tried a LOT of these products, so it’s a total gamble. That being said, they are TOP brands with products you just haven’t tried yet at a DEEP discount.. sounds good to me!

Link to buy: You can get the kit here.

Tata Harper’s The Luminous Glow Collection – $64 ($84 value)

tata-harper

About: Tata Harper’s products are those that you see beauty bloggers raving about as “truly indulgent” skincare products. I have yet to try them, but this may be my chance!

Pros: The kit contains a regenerating cleanser (Allure Best of Beauty Winner), Resurfacing Mask, Illuminating Eye Cream, and Illuminating Moisturizer. So it’s all about the glow.

Cons: I haven’t tried these products yet, so I can’t give a recommendation. All that I know is other beauty bloggers love the products and Tata’s whole premise is making beauty products that are effective and clean. The discount seems a little low for a holiday kit, as well.

Link to buy: You can get it here.

Sephora Holiday Sets to Love: Staple Kits

A few of the kits that I already buy and can’t get enough of.. so why not get them at a discount?

Peter Thomas Roth’s Skin Saver Kit – $38 ($104 value)

ptr-kit

About: PTR has an amazing skincare line, created specifically for a mature demographic with maturing skin. The products are hard hitting and fun to use. The price tags are usually steep, but this kit seems to be a holiday miracle exception.

Pros: If I could just say one thing.. it’s OH MY GOD GO BUY THIS NOW!! This kit is a wicked good deal, and it contains all the beauty essentials you could possibly want from a rock solid skin care brand. A Cucumber Mask (which I have tried and loved),  24k gold eye mask sample, Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, Peeling Gel, and a SPF Moisturizer?! Amazing.

Cons: The eye mask is only a sample. That’s it. GO GET IT NOW!

Link to buy: Get it here. Get it here.

Benefit’s Soft & Natural Brow Kit – $34 ($59 value)

About: Benefit has long been known for it’s brow waxes and brow products, but this summer they doubled down with their 9 piece brow set.

Pros: There are several kits in the holiday section that show off 3-4 products each time; they’re all the same price. This is my favorite because it has the “goof proof” brow pencil inside. I believe this kit will make for the most natural looking brow.

Cons: Ahh.. there’s not much to say here. High Brow isn’t my fave, but when used lightly looks pretty good and can visually lift the brow line. Benefit is owned by LVMH, and Benefit bars are all over in China (can attest) so many people won’t use this brand.

Link to buy: Get it here.

The Whole Truth: Vitamin C Kit by Ole Henriksen – $46 ($68 value)

vitamin-c-serum

About: Ole Henriksen is a Danish skin cosmetician. His products are no-fuss and unpretentious.

Pros: If you have dark spots and want a vitamin C concentrated serum apart from SHINE, this is it. I used to use this product before I started making SHINE, and thought it was a great brightening serum. This kit allows you to try 3 brightening products within the same Vitamin C family line – the total truth eye cream with SPF 15 (which is sold out on its own), the collagen boosting serum (which I used religiously) and the advanced hydration creme.

Cons – It’s not much a discount, and the products are pretty small. You do need to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Personally, I like the vitamin C serum, but it did sting my skin on occasion, because it is highly acidic, especially when I used it in combination with a benzoyl peroxide wash or cream. SHINE might be a better brightening option for those with dry skin.

Link to buyYou can get it here.

Takeaways: Sephora Holiday Sets to Love

That pretty much does it! There many things to love and explore in this sale – literally 7 pages of gift kits.

Just remember: you don’t need everything. Make sure you pay the rent, too!

 

What is your favorite gift kit at Sephora this season?

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