Monday, December 24th, 2012

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: Holiday Gift Sets

Share: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about holiday gift sets (for makeup/beauty, obviously!).  Are they worth it?  Great ways to check out new products?  Too often contain products you won’t use?

my answer: Overall, big rave, because I think they’re usually priced better than if you bought products individually, and you do get to try an assortment of products and shades from a brand.  You might not use them all, but you may discover a love for something you might not have been willing to buy on its own.

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14 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Holiday Gift Sets

  1. I think its a rave! This is a great chance to try out new brands, but not only that, holiday kits are better price than buying an individual products. They usually come with deluxe samples and a full size product, so you can try out a bunch of products before buying the full size. I snagged a Tarte Carried Away kit for $54 and it was worth over $500. Holiday Kits definitely worth it.

  2. Habitually Early

    Holiday sets are great for stocking stuffers. You can separate all the contents and make each a gift of its own. Holiday sets also allow you to sample a product. I love the miniature perfume sampler offered by Seohora. You can try various scents and use the included voucher to get one of the fragrances full-sized at no additional cost!

  3. xamyx

    If the quality is up to the brands usual standards, then it’s a big Rave. I bought the tarte Carried Away set this year, after not being impressed with last years set, and I couldn’t be happier. Although I bought it primarily for the shadows, which I’m very happy with, the blush was a nice bonus. I don’t wear blush often enough to go out of my way to try tarte blushes, so this was a nice way to try it, and the color is stunning. I will likely buy again (although not this shade, as it’s an exclusive), and I actually found myself looking at what shades are available the last time I was at Sephora.

    I was also very impressed with the pencil sets offered by several brands this year, although I skipped on all of them (I pretty much only wear black, so it would be a waste).

    I guess the only Rant I would have is including “exclusives” in a set; if I wanted to introduce someone to a brand, I would want them to be able to replace an item if they loved it, and not be turned off from the brand if they couldn’t.

  4. blueraccoon

    Mostly a rave – I picked up several sets this holiday season and I’m happy with all of them, it gives me a chance to get a bunch of products at a lower price, and in some cases I’d rather have a smaller size than a full size anyway (Moxie lipgloss, I’m looking at you).

    My only rant would be for companies where the gift set is of clearly lesser quality than the normal products. That’s a really good way to annoy people and turn away possibly new customers.

  5. The only rant I have is that there are too many neutral shades in a holiday gift sets or stuff I do not need. For example, the Tarte Carried Away set is a good deal, especially as a starter kit. But I do not use lip gloss, ever. Other kits from different companies had dull-pigmented shadows. I am hoping there will be better sets next year.

  6. Mirian

    Both rant and rave.

    Rant: I never seem to like too many items in these value/holiday sets. I might as well just use money towards one item. I think it’s a bit of waste especially when i see people buying “value sets” full of deluxe minis!!

    Rave: They are great gifts for my friends of family who may not be that immersed in makeup and it’s a great way to introduce them to a large variety of products at once.

  7. Emily

    Rave- I love the value! Some of them give you so much product for such a great bargain! It’s great to get to try new products. I also love how creative the brands get around the holidays. Some of the sets have incredible colors and fun holiday/party type colors that help you create the perfect look.

    Rant- I hate that there is always one color in every holiday set that you will never REALLY use. Even if at first you think “Hey, that’s cool,” you never actually use it. I also dislike that sometimes it seems like quality may have been compromised and you don’t get a true feel for how the brand’s everyday products would perform. And finally, when you come close to finishing your favorite color from a set, you go look for a full-size product, but realize it was just a limited edition. Then I find myself trying to save the product for as long as I can until I can find something to replace it.

  8. Danielle

    Overall, I’d say Rave. I love when Sephora comes out with their gift sets, like the Lash Stash, etc. because you get to try various products and different brands. And Urban Decay’s Ocho Loco liner set is pretty amazing. I also LOVE many of the gift sets from Philosophy. My big Rant would be when the products in the set are horrible quality compared to the full size. My other Rant is that I find that holiday brush sets are usually really awful quality.

  9. Mariella

    Pretty much a RAVE for me too, to all the reasons you stated, Christine and the fact that they’re just so darned festive and beautifully packaged for the most part. My only rant would be those companies that put in inferior formulations of their regular products but that doesn’t happen too often (I’ve encountered it most with MAC – not just LE either but regular line products in LE/holiday packaging).

  10. Kirsten

    I only found a couple I wanted after they were sold out, so I guess my rant is for people who buy them all up, jack up the prices and try to resell them on ebay. :( Scrooges.

  11. Ruca

    I have a very specific rant and rave about the same product in a gift set:

    I collect Tarte Lip Surgies. All of them. lusters, mattes, and stains. I absolutely love these things! Everyone I know who gets her hands on one falls in love, too. The problem, though, is they are rather pricey for a lip crayon that usually is just a light, sheer color ($24 retail). I know many women who won’t get them because of the price; I have offered to help out with my discount, but for some, $15 is still too much.

    So they make these amazing sets every Christmas, and they are lovely, indeed. The price cannot be beaten! This year I got two different sets just for myself, and I paid about $21 for 5 Surgies. I got one for a gift for my teenage daughter, and then last year’s set went back on sale under the “SALE” section. This is all my RAVE! part. The RANT: They sell out SO FAST that many of my friends missed these sets, and I know a lot of unhappy makeup junkies who really wanted those Surgies :( I do wish they wouldn’t pull a MAC and cut supplies so short that everyone can’t have a set.

  12. Love being able to try a variety of colors for a reasonable price. Granted, they’re usually smaller versions than the full size, but it’s plenty of time to decide if you like it enough to buy a single.

  13. Rosaline

    A big rave for me. I like buying sets to try out and test new products. My skin is so temperamental that it would react right away if not within ten minutes of putting on a certain product. Buying sets allow me to try new products and not waste money on buying a full size product that won’t work. And holidays are the best time to buy because there are so many deals out there. I just got a AHAVA skincare set for $6.33 instead of $67! That is a darn pretty good deal for full size moisturizer, small facial mask, and small cleanser. And the holiday packaging is so pretty. I couldn’t resist and grabbed a couple of the gift sets to give out to friends and families.

  14. kk

    I have to agree with everyone about the Tarte holiday sets. I picked up two, the one from Ulta and the one from QVC. I really wanted to grab the sephora set but by the time I got to it it was all sold out. I was also really excited about Loco Ocho by Urban Decay but hesitated to buy because of the price tag (even though it was a great value) and missed out on the opportunity. I would have totally bought the lip surgies but I didn’t know how much I loved them until I got the other sets :) and of course now they are all gone.