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Calling all beauty lovers! Whether you’re shopping for a friend who loves for a classic red lip or you’re looking to stock up on some products for your own makeup bag, the ultimate gift giving hack this holiday season is makeup gift sets. They can save you valuable time and energy with the best makeup products pre-curated from your favorite brands. If you happen to be the procrastinator type, makeup gift sets also make for stress-free, last-minute solutions. Plus, sets present the perfect opportunity to try a mix of products for less than they would cost if you purchased them individually.
“The biggest benefit is the variety offered and the price point,” says AJ Crimson, founder and CEO of AJ Crimson Beauty. “You usually get more for less. You can also buy multiple gift sets to break them up and customize gifts.”
Not only are makeup gift sets a value, they also get those high-ticket luxury items in your hands — without too much of a commitment before you know whether you like the product. You can “date” a new brand by buying a set of their best sellers. Or, you can use Crimson’s approach: Find a set with the product you really want, and use the rest as stocking stuffers or “just because” gifts.
When you’re perusing gift sets for someone else, think about the person who will receive the gift. What’s their style? What are their beauty goals? Do they have a signature look or do they love to try different trends? Are they interested in trying a new product, but too afraid to invest in the change?
“A gift set is a wonderful way to show someone you love a different side to themselves that they may not be able to see,” says London-based makeup artist Bina Khan. “Or, to get them to try products that maybe they wouldn’t ordinarily be brave enough to try — like an amazing red.”
If you’re buying for someone who has a signature look but likes to play around with their products, celebrity makeup artist Emily Amick — who’s worked with Venus Williams and Lovie Simone — suggests finding the right balance between adventurous and practical.
“Try to go for something in their wheelhouse, but that’s still a new, exciting product for them,” Amick says. “Maybe your friend loves a cat eye but hasn’t tried gel liner. If they’re more of a collector and like exclusive items, go for a limited-edition set.”
As long as you’re intentional, there’s a cosmetic gift set that will make everyone on your holiday shopping list happy. Check out the best makeup gift sets for 2021, featuring affordable and luxury options.
1. Tom Ford Iconic Eyeshadow & Lip Set
This limited-edition Tom Ford makeup gift set comes with two deluxe mini lipsticks and a full-sized cognac rose eyeshadow quad. The eye shadow quad comes with a sparkle, shimmer, satin and matte shade to create a full look when you’re on the go. The two lipstick shades will easily take you from day to night.
2. The Balm Meet Matte Hues Vol. 3
“The Balm’s Meet Matte Hues lip collection include palettes that are like kits in and of themselves with great pay off, which I find is so important for brown skin,” Khan says. “The multi-functional palettes make great beauty stocking stuffers.”
3. Tarte Best Of Blush Mini Amazonian Clay Cheek Set
The Tarte Amazonian clay blushes are an industry favorite for their vibrant, long-wearing shades. Get all five best-selling vegan hues in travel sizes to mix or use alone. If you’re only after a few colors, you can use the others as stocking stuffers.
4. Sephora Favorites Sparkly Clean Makeup Set
For all the clean beauty babes out there, the Sephora Favorites Sparkly Clean makeup set is made for you. This kit features an exclusive preview of Tower 28’s full-size JuiceBalm tinted lip balm, full sizes of Milk Makeup’s Color Chalk, Merit Flush Balm and three minis from Tatcha, Saie and Ilia for a third of the true product value.
5. Bobbi Brown Soho Glow Mini Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick Set
The Bobbi Brown Mini Soho Glow eyeshadow stick set comes with three mini stick cream shadows. For the low-effort makeup days, these three minis can be used for the eyes, cheeks and lips to provide a subtle glow in little to no time — all without a brush.
6. Glossier The Makeup Set
“[This set is] great for anyone who doesn’t like to wear tons of makeup,” Amick says. “They can use the cloud paint as a blush and lip color, and the boy brow is great for taming and lightly filling in eyebrows. The mascara is perfect for a natural, elongated and separated lash.”
7. Sephora Collection Deluxe Brush Set
The Sephora Collection deluxe brush set gift is designed for someone who’s ready to really up their brush game. This set features a jaw-dropping 10 vegan face and eye brushes, giving you the power to create any eye look you could possibly dream up. Best of all, the brushes come in a convenient carrying case.
8. Anastasia Beverly Hills No Fade Brow Set
Anastasia Beverly Hills is an undisputed eyebrow expert, and this makeup gift set contains all the tools that will help anyone become a brow pro in their own right. This limited-edition set features all of the brand’s iconic favorites, including the waterproof DipBrow pomade, clear brow gel and the #12 large synthetic dual-ended brow brush.
9. Nars The Orgasm Bundle
This bundle from Nars is one of Amick’s gift-giving go-tos because of its universality — pretty much anyone will be happy to be on the receiving end of it. “It’s a cult favorite of a beautiful golden peachy hue that works with all skin tones,” she says. “This set has the iconic blush, an Orgasm lip gloss and eye shadow quad in complementary shades.”
10. Benefit Beauty Sleigh Bells Bronzer, Brow & Primer Set
The Benefit Beauty Sleigh Bells bronzer, brow and primer set is the ultimate Christmas makeup gift set. In this set, you get travel minis of three Benefit best sellers: Hoola matte bronzer, Porefessional Primer, Gimme Brow and Brow volumizing brow gel.
11. Ecotools Eye Kit
Ecotools’ brushes may not be super pricey, but they’re still durable, long-lasting and super soft — especially for the price point. The Total Renewal eye set is ideal for anyone who frequently travels with makeup. Inside the travel-friendly carrying case, you get one eye brush and seven interchangeable heads. It’s a powerful-yet-affordable makeup gift set.
12. Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil Set
Tom Ford Beauty’s Soleil Blanch shimmering body oil set makes you feel like you’re on a never-ending tropical beach vacation. The limited-edition luxury makeup gift set includes the Sheer Highlighting Duo in Reflects Gilt, mini deluxe Lip Color Sheer in 07 Paradiso and a travel-sized Soleil Blanc shimmering body oil in Rose Gold.
13. The Lip Bar Easy Beauty Bundle
“I love the Easy Beauty Bundle from The Lip Bar,” says LA-based makeup artist Tai Young-Gardner. “You choose your shade, and it includes five products for a full face in five minutes. It’s very easy for anyone looking to get into makeup — I like how [the brand] takes the guesswork out of choosing colors.”