Treat yourself: Holiday 2013 gift sets to gift to yourself

It’s the most dangerous time of the year. You know how it goes: you innocently walk into Sephora, attempting to start your holiday shopping early (how virtuous of you!) and then it happens. The gift sets – they’re too good. Who were you shopping for again? You’re not sure, because you just blew your entire budget on yourself. Whoops.


The holidays are one of my favourite times to shop for beauty goodies for this one simple reason: holiday gift sets. Sure, they will make your girlfriends extremely happy…but the sets are often great deals for products you would purchase anyways. Gift yourself now (and buy doubles for your girls if you’re feeling generous). You’ll thank yourself in January.

Top 10 Holiday Gift Sets
(to gift yourself…shhhh…)

Benefit Cosmetics Countdown To Love Advent Calendar

($79), Sephora

Benefit Countdown to Love Advent Calendar

Let’s start with my favourite, shall we? From the moment I laid eyes on this Benefit Advent calendar, I knew I would eventually have to have it. It’s chock-full of minis (my obsession with these is well-documented. The ladies at Benefit mock me for it, just a little. You know who you are), 21 to be exact. The other 3 items are charming goodies. Can you think of anything more awesome than a new beauty goody every day until Christmas? At $3/item (beauty math!) I won’t be able to resist. Take the minis on vacation with you – they’re worth every penny.

Bliss Let It Glow

($95 – $185 value), Sephora

Bliss Let it Glow set

I bought this set last year on a whim and I’m so happy I did. Not only is it a fantastic value, but the products themselves are stellar (and full-size). The Fabulous Foaming Face Wash™ is a gentle daily exfoliator that smells amazing. Paired with the Triple Oxygen+C Energizing Cream™, your skin will never look brighter. To amp up your glow on a weekly basis, you can’t beat the Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask™ (aka the reason I bought this kit in the first place. IT FOAMS.). The Fabulips™ Softening Lip Balm is not my favourite, but it certainly does the job. Exfoliate & oxygenate to get ready for the holiday season – your skin will thank you.

Deborah Lippmann Best of Both Worlds Pop Rock Mini Duet

($22), Sephora


Pink and sparkly polish in a sparkly bag. ‘Nuff said. I love Deborah Lippmann polish and Happy Birthday is the perfect addition to any gal’s nail wardrobe. She Bop is a fresh pink creme that will flatter many skintones (and is the perfect shade for vacations).

Stila Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set

($34 – $161 value), Sephora

Stila Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set

These are the ultimate stocking stuffer. If you’d care to share, you can give one or two of the three sets as gifts, but you’ll probably want to keep these for yourself. I pick the Lip Glaze set up each year since it’s an amazing value and the colours are always incredibly flattering. The formula for these classic glazes can’t be beat, either.

NARS Guy Bourdin One Night Stand Cheek Palette

($72 – $135 value), Sephora

NARS Guy Bourdin One Night Stand

I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this for what feels like forever. Featuring cult classic Orgasm blush & Laguna bronzer, this palette gives a lot of bang for your buck. NARS blushes are my favourite and since I rarely hit pan (they’re highly pigmented), these smaller-than-usual shades are perfect for me. The set includes: 0.14 oz x 6 Blush in Laguna (diffused brown powder with golden shimmer), Deep Throat (flirty, sheer peach), Orgasm (peachy pink with golden shimmer), Mistinguette (bright pink), Goulue (medium pink), Devotee (highlighter) 

Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2

($68 – $196 value), Sephora

Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2 Set

Every shade of eyeliner you could ever need is in Urban Decay’s Ocho Loco 2 set. These are full-size eyeliners in Urban Decay’s wicked 24/7 Glide-On formula. The set includes:

 0.04 oz x 8 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Roach (deep copper brown shimmer), Twice Baked (rich brown satin w/gold micro-sparkle), Crave (deepest, darkest brown-black matte), Perversion (blackest black matte), Deep End (bright metallic peacock shimmer), Mars (bright metallic green shimmer), Ultraviolet (bright blue-violet shimmer) and Tornado (dark eggplant pearl). You may never have to buy eyeliner again (kidding!). 

The Tarte of Giving Collector’s Set & Travel Bag

($71 – $588 value), Sephora

The Tarte Of Giving Set

This set makes my wishlist every year. And each year my brother ignores my pleas. Anthony – this is a not-so-subtle message. ***BUY ME THIS FOR CHRISTMAS, PLEASE!***. Tarte’s fantastic eyeshadows are paired with their famous cheek stain, glosses and more in a fun travel bag. The shades are universally flattering and will pair well together – perfect for no-nonsense party makeup. The set contains:

– 20 x .07 oz Limited-Edition Amazonian Clay Eye Shadows 
– 8 x .059 oz Deluxe Maracuja Lipglosses 
– 0.23 oz Deluxe Pure Maracuja Oil 
– 0.08 oz Deluxe Maracuja C-Brighter™ Eye Treatment 
– 0.05 oz Deluxe Limited-Edition Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush in Memorable 
– 0.17 oz Deluxe Cheek Stain in Flush 
– 0.16 oz Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-In-1 Mascara 
– Travel Makeup Bag 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

($67), Sephora

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

These powders are like traveling with a personal lighting crew. This set allows you to try out three of the powders at an amazing price. I use Dim Light almost every day and have heard amazing things about Radiant Light. The set also includes Incandescent Light, a limited-edition shade. There’s no better gift for yourself in a season where photos are taken with abandon than this palette.

Sephora Favorites Super Stars

($89 – $336 value), Sephora

Sephora Favorites Superstars

This set was a recommendation from fellow beauty lover Stella Lee. She recently picked this up in Texas and has been raving about it. Sephora Holiday Sets are perfect for finding your new favourite items without shelling out for full-price standalone versions. Nine of these items are full-size. How amazing is that?  The set includes:

– 0.085 oz Anastasia Clear Brow Gel 
– 1.7 oz Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray (a cult classic)
– 0.50 oz Deborah Lippmann Treatment-infused Nail Color in Cleopatra in New York 
– 0.50 oz Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil 
– 0.17 oz Nars Blush & Bronzing Powder Duo in Orgasm & Laguna (I’m obsessed!)
– 0.12 oz Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita 
– 0.50 oz Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff 
– 1.0 oz Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Light 
– 0.016 oz Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (It really does stay forever)
– 0.30 oz Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Mascara Base & Top Coat 
– 0.02 oz Too Faced Flexistretch™ Nylon Fibers 
– 0.05 Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin & Mushroom 
– 0.33 oz Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball (My signature scent)

Bliss Winter Wonder-‘Hands’

($15 – $20 value), Sephora

Bliss Winter Wonder-hands

Tis the season for pretty manicures. Extend your mani investment with these luxe Bliss hand creams. They’re super-emollient and will keep your cuticles and paws from looking (and feeling) ragged on the party circuit. They also smell beyond amazing and are the perfect size to pop in your clutch.
Which of these kits will you be picking up? Not that I need any more enabling, but let me know in the comments what your favourite kits that I’ve missed are.