I’ve Spent Months Reviewing Holiday Beauty Gift Sets — These Are the 12 I’m Giving

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There’s something for everyone on your list.

<p>Amazon / Merit / Westman Atelier / InStyle</p>

Amazon / Merit / Westman Atelier / InStyle

I have spent the last few months looking at hundreds of gift sets. Many are limited edition, some are holiday specific, and all are meant for gifting to yourself or others. To be frank with you, it’s overwhelming. Every brand and every website has its own selection of dozens of options, so I have been keeping a mental tally of the best ones. Best is very objective here, but what I mean is the gift sets I want for myself, that I’ll probably buy for friends and family, or that are just deals too good to pass up.

Below are 12 options in ascending order of price. Some require no extensive explanation: everyone loves and wants Laneige Lip Masks, Jennifer Aniston having her own haircare brand just makes sense, and Ilia’s skincare-makeup hybrid products need no introduction. That being said, I’ll elaborate on some of the under-the-radar picks you should check out STAT.

  • The crowd pleaser: Laneige Midnight Minis Lip Sleeping Mask Set, $20; sephora.com

  • Perfect for anyone and everyone: Mario Badescu Best of Body Essentials, $25 (Originally $38); amazon.com

  • The stocking stuffer: Youth to the People Youth Stacks: Plump It Up, $28; youthtothepeople.com

  • For the Jennifer Aniston-obsessed friend: Lolavie Restore and Protect Travel Kit, $40 (Originally $53); credobeauty.com

  • The winter skin savior: L’Occitane Holiday Almond Trio, $44 (Originally $58); nordstrom.com

  • For the person obsessed with slugging: Peach & Lily Holiday Glass Skin Radiance Kit, $49 (Originally $96); peachandlily.com

  • High fashion makeup for the beauty snob: Merit Beauty Le Gloss Set, $80 (Originally $108); meritbeauty.com

  • The anti-aging skincare reset: Tula Firming & Smoothing Discovery Kit, $84 (Originally $129); tula.com

  • The tried and true favorite: Tatcha Plumping Dewy Skin Essentials, $87 (Originally $124); sephora.com

  • The minimalist makeup no-brainer: Ilia Beauty Shades of You Essentials Set, $98 (Originally $152); iliabeauty.com

  • The quiet luxury pick: Westman Atelier The Vital System, $180 (Originally $211); westman-atelier.com

  • For (yourself or) the person you love the most: D.S. & Durga Deluxe Gift Set, $250; dsanddurga.com

Mario Badescu Best of Body Essentials





Mario Badescu hits a very rare trifecta — it’s incredibly affordable, used by celebrities like Martha Stewart, and loved by shoppers. The brand has a ton of very affordable holiday sets but the Best of Body set is my recommendation — and it’s a seemingly a lot of people’s go-to as well, since it’s already sold out on the brand’s website. But it’s still available on Amazon… for now.

The set includes three full-size products (the Coconut Body Scrub, Special Hand Cream, and Lip Balm) and a half-size container of the Coconut Body Butter. A couple of Amazon reviews indicate that this is a great gift for secret santa exchanges or grab bags. Plus, the individual products are shopper-loved, too.

One shopper wrote about the Special Hand Cream, saying “my hands were terribly dry and my fingertips were cracked and nasty looking, but now they are smooth and soft.” It’s a sentiment shared by dozens of shoppers.

Tula Firming & Smoothing Discovery Kit





Anything Tula is a surefire hit. For the last few years, I have gifted a Tula set to at least one person on my gift list and they are always pleased. And they’re not just pleased in the moment; I get texts months later thanking me for introducing them to some of their new favorite products.

Tula has tons and tons of holiday value sets but the Firming & Smoothing Discovery Kit is the most universal. Everyone I know, whether they’re 28 or 58, asks me about anti-aging products. The Firming & Smoothing Discovery Kit comes with five products — The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser, Firm Up Deep Wrinkle Serum, 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream, Instant De-puff Eye Renewal Serum, and two individually wrapped Instant Facial Skin Reviving Treatment Pads.

Each of these has hundreds of five-star reviews, but the standout is the collagen- and peptide-rich 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Cream, which has almost 4,000 five-star reviews. One shopper said that their skin was so dry it “felt like leather.” But this Tula Cream “totally transformed [their] skin in under a week.”

The other product I would be remiss to not quickly highlight is the Deep Wrinkle Serum. A shopper in their late 40s said, “It really erases [my] fine lines. My results are a clean and a much younger-looking glow.”

Merit Beauty Le Gloss Set





Do you have a friend who brags about how they’re always ahead of the curve? They used Glossier before it blew up and painted everything millennial pink? Or maybe they’d been using Ilia for years before it built up its endless celebrity fanbase. For that friend, get them the Merit Beauty Le Gloss Set. Whether or not they’re already onto the Sarah Jessica Parker-used brand, they’ll be glad to receive this set.

It’s a limited edition set and comes with five products, three of which are exclusive to this set. The exclusive products are the clear version of the Brow 1980 Pomade, the shimmery pink Glacé shade of Solo Shadow, and the completely new Signature Lip Liner in Bespoke. The other two permanent products are Great Skin Instant Glow Serum, and Clean Lash Mascara.

The makeup is somewhat self-explanatory, so the product that deserves to be highlighted is the SJP-used Great Skin Serum. One shopper wrote, “I was a little caught off guard but I was impressed with how glowy my skin looked… my skin feels so much smoother, brighter, and supple.”

D.S. & Durga Deluxe Gift Set




If god, the lizard overlords, or my friends and family are reading — please get me this D.S. & Durga Gift Set. I’m obsessed with everything about this brand — the packaging, the unexpected fragrances, the unique stories behind each one, etc. This set includes the crowd favorite and InStyle Best Beauty Buy, Pistachio, as well the best-named perfume I’ve ever come across (Cowboy Grass), and one that I’ve literally been itching to get my hands on (Debaser).

I’ve never seen a set like this limited edition one from the brand. It’s a great unique pick for someone you love enough to spend $250 on — even if that’s yourself. 

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