It’s about that time again, folks! Starbucks is playing acoustic Christmas tunes and every large man with a white beard is at your local mall taking photos with screaming children in a red suit. I thought I’d get a head start before Thanksgiving and bring you some of my favorite holiday sets that are available this season.
I scoured the nearby Sephoras, Ultas and Naimies and after careful consideration, chose two gift sets for each of these five categories: Eyes, Lips, Face, Nails and Brushes. Read below for the good stuff…
Lorac Pro Palette $45
As a makeup artist, I haven’t been very impressed with most of the eyeshadow kits that have been released, simply because almost every shade in them is a frosty shimmer. A good eyeshadow palette should consist of mattes and shimmers that you can use together without your eyes turning into a glittery, muddy mess. Lorac pulled through with this beautiful collection that comes with an eye primer.
Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes $48
I love that the top row is all light shimmers and the bottom row is mostly dark mattes. This is how it should be! Don’t be fooled by other brands’ eye catching packaging, these two palettes may look simple but as the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lips Gift Box $25
This is a thoughtful gift for a young woman who is just starting out in the makeup world. It gives her teen-friendly nudes and pinks (which happen to be Sephora’s best-sellers) that she can add to her budding collection. And at $25 it’s truly a steal.
True to its name, these Fresh Sugar lip balms are addicting. I rarely buy the same product over and over again, but I buy these like my life depends on them. I use the clear one at bed time, and the tinted ones under every lipstick. They feel amazing and really soften your lips. What’s great about these minis is their size is perfect for traveling or just throwing in your purse. All ages will benefit from this band of lip balms.
Too Faced Holiday Face Kit $46
I adore this cruelty-free brand! Their makeup is moderately priced and the products are of great, non-animal-abuse quality. This particular set comes with everything you need for an everyday, girly look. What’s included: Shadow Insurance Eye Primer, Primed and Poreless Face Primer, a black waterproof eye liner, LashGasm Mascara, a face brush, six neutral eye shadows, two blushes (one peachy-pink and one bronzer-ish), two lip glosses and this baby blue plush velveteen bag that looks to be machine-washable. SIGN ME UP!
Here’s another product I keep going back to: Makeup For Ever’s HD line of face-wear has my heart, now and forever. This is a great way to give the makeup lover in your life a fresh start for the new year. This kit comes with their famous HD powder (nothing compares to this, I promise!), a cute kabuki-style fiber-optic brush for air-brushed-looking application, the HD primer and the love of my winter skin-life, the HD foundation. What’s cool about this kit is that it comes standard with the first three products, then you pick up your own shade of foundation and stick it in the box. Genius, right?
Illamasqua Nail Duo $25
Spoil the nail art-obsessed person in your life with these fancy, limited edition nail varnishes by Illamasqua called Viridian and Glitterati. Chances are that your nail lover already has a ton of the drug store brand variety, so she’ll swoon over these.
Red Carpet Limited Edition Portable Starter Kit $59.99
What’s that you say? Your nail lover already has every color in the world? Then why not give her a gel manicure starter kit instead? Red Carpet’s version comes with everything she will need to get a salon-status gel manicure, including a portable UV light to effectively cure gel polish that will last up to two weeks. She’ll light up over the technology of it all. Sold exclusively at Ulta.
Sephora Collector’s Edition Premium I.T. Brush Set $68
Every girl needs fancy brushes. This luxurious seven-piece brush set is dipped in a sexy, gold finish. This set includes brushes for Powder, Foundation, Face Contour, Concealer, Shadow, Crease, and Angled Eyeliner. It also comes with a cute Lucite stand.
Sigma Travel Brush Kit in Make Me Classy $65
I adore Sigma brushes and I really loved the simplicity of these. This is great “starter brush set.” Includes all the basics: angle brush, shadow brush, crease brush, smudge brush, contour brush, powder brush and foundation brush. It also comes with an innovative container that turns into a holder for your new tools.
Check out my Pinterest board for more Holiday Gift set ideas HERE
Excuse me while my heart leaps tall buildings in a single bound, because nothing delights me more than discovering a new makeup line. Guess who finally came out with one? Calvin Klein. About time, right? In fact, I kind of thought he already did have a makeup line to accompany his fragrances and fashion empire. Anywho, I came across his line at Ulta while perusing gifts for my cousin’s birthday. I’ll admit, I’m always drawn to fun and bright packaging so I almost missed it. The sales girl there steered me in the right direction and showed me CK One Color.
CK One Color, which launched earlier this year has a special concept. The approach behind the products is that everything is “dual,” or has more than one use to it. The quality of the products is decent; I’d say MAC/Makeup For Ever- level, and the pricing is middle of the road, as far as makeup goes. Let’s get into some of my favorites from this line.
CK One Color Mascara: $18
This mascara simply blew my mind. It has an adjustable mascara brush that creates customized looks and simplifies application with a quick twist of the cap. One twist will lengthen, another twist will thicken. And it comes in lots of fun colors, not just black!
CK One Color Mousse Concealer” $20
This dermatologist-tested concealer feels fluffy to the touch and gives a medium-to-full coverage. Perfect for all skin types, especially those of us with lines. The air-whipped quality of the concealer floats above wrinkles as opposed to sinking in and making them look worse. Taking long-wearing to another level, this concealer lasts up to nine hours! Use it with a warm finger and pat gently onto dark circles and imperfections.
3-In-1 Face Makeup SPF 8 Oil-Free: $30
The name really says it all. This foundation combines serum, primer and face makeup in one liquid, cutting your getting-ready time almost in half. It has a natural finish (which means not dewy and not matte, just somewhere in between.) This is great for skin of all ages. The serum nourishes skin with Vitamins A, C and E, the primer provides shine control and makes your makeup last for up to 11 hours, and the face makeup is a medium coverage that adjusts to your skin tone. The only thing that would make this foundation better is a higher SPF (30 and above provides the best protection for all skin shades).
Where to find it: For now, CK One Color is offered exclusively through ULTA stores and online at www.ulta.com