Holiday 2020: The Best Mini Sets & Value Sets

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Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set
Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Mini Gloss Bomb Set

Every holiday season, brands launch lots of miniature-sized sets of existing products (along with full-sized, more value-packed sets, too, of bestselling and cult-favorite products from their brand).  In the past, I’ve often purchased and re-reviewed to ensure consistency and to feel 100% confident about inclusion in any gift guides.  A lot of those sets have actually been very consistent in quality/color, particularly lip products, which dominate the sets I’ve re-reviewed in the past!

In an effort to review a wider breadth of brands and products, I’ve decided to do less re-reviewing.  I thought I’d share a list of makeup sets this year that caught my attention–good assortment, good value, or a good way to try a more expensive formula–and link to past reviews.

Skincare sets are more prevalent this year, and though I don’t write a lot of formal, reviews, I routinely test new skincare products throughout the year for end-of-the-year award purposes — so I’ve included some of the kits that include products I’ve enjoyed and/or from brands that I regularly use!

For sets that include mostly (or all) new shades, like the Fenty Beauty Holo’daze Gloss Bomb Set pictured above, you’ll find those reviews here!

Are there any holiday sets that have caught your eye or that you picked up? Some favorites bundled up at a discount?

Makeup Sets & Kits

Becca Prismatica Light Essentials KitBecca Prismatica Light Essentials Kit ($35.00, $66 value) includes three miniature-sized (but still a respectable amount for each!) highlighters in Champagne Pop, Vanilla Quartz, and Rose Quartz, which I have reviewed previously.  I’ve found that as long as the re-released shade isn’t in a palette, it is usually pretty consistent with the original release’s performance.

Clinique Almost Lipstick DuoClinique Almost Lipstick Duo ($9.50, $25 value) includes Black Honey and Pink Honey.  Clinique releases this kit nearly every year, so I reviewed both of these shades in kit-form previously here.

Dior Mini Rouge Dior Lipstick SetDior Mini Rouge Dior Lipstick Set ($50.00) includes four, miniature-sized lipsticks (all from the permanent range).  As long as one can abide by the floral scent of the Dior lipstick range and doesn’t mind that they don’t live up to a 16-hour wear claim (c’mon!), the set offers a way to trial the formula or enjoy four shades for less than the cost of two full-sized ones.

Givenchy Mini Le Rouge Lipstick SetGivenchy Mini Le Rouge Lipstick Set ($50.00, $67 value) includes four, miniature-sized Le Rouges in four bestselling shades (all reviewed previously).  Le Rouge has been a long-time favorite of mine — see shades previously reviewed here!

Laura Mercier Mini Stargazer Stick QuartetLaura Mercier Mini Stargazer Stick Quartet ($35.00, $70 value) includes four, miniature-sized twist-up cream eyeshadows in the shades Amethyst, Au Naturel, Magnetic Pink, and Intense Rosegold.  I’ve reviewed these kits in the past, and they’re usually pretty good–occasionally something is slightly more emollient than the last time but not in a way that dramatically alters performance. You can browse my Caviar Stick reviews here.

Rare Beauty Mini Lip Souffle DuoRare Beauty Mini Lip Souffle Duo ($15.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) includes two, miniature-sized liquid lipsticks–which were some of the top-performing products from Rare Beauty’s debut–which are perfect for trying. It’s a very pigmented formula, so even the minis will last a good, long while.  View Rare Beauty reviews here.

Rare Beauty Lip & Cheek SetRare Beauty Lip & Cheek Set ($28.00) includes four miniature-sized products: two liquid blushes, one lip balm, and one liquid lipstick.  It’s a nice way to try the range–and all of the products included are “a little goes a long way” kind of products–in a more affordable way. View Rare Beauty reviews here.

YSL Mini Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick SetYSL Mini Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick Set ($50.00, $76 value) includes four, miniature-sized lipsticks from the permanent range.  It’s a comfortable, more pigmented formula that is lightweight, lightly hydrating, and has decent longevity. View Rouge Pur Couture reviews here.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Set ($160.00) includes five, full-sized Rouge Volupte Shines (bringing them down to $32 each instead of $38 a pop). It’s a popular formula for those who like glossier, more luminous lipstick color that still offers medium to higher color coverage. View Rouge Volupte Shine reviews here.

Skincare Sets & Kits

Biossance Let It Glow SetBiossance Let It Glow Set ($25.00, $60 value) includes two products” Squalane + Lactic Acid Night Serum and Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil.  Squalane is one of my go-tos for hydration, and Biossance is usually in my rotation as a result as they really embrace that particular ingredient!

First Aid Beauty All That FABFirst Aid Beauty All That FAB ($49.00, $127 value) includes five, bestselling First Aid Beauty products. Longtime readers will know that FAB is a brand I’ve used often and regularly.  Their Ultra Repair Cream is always stocked in my household (my husband does use it more than me since I flit between moisturizers like a commitment-phobe).  This is an excellent way to try their popular products without breaking the bank–and they’re not tiny sample-sizes, either. Check out more First Aid Beauty setsFirst Aid Beauty sets.

Jack Black The Balm SquadJack Black The Balm Squad ($25.00, $32 value) includes four, full-sized lip balms including two new, limited edition scents.  I’ve shared my love for this lip balm in the past, and it’s still one I regularly use.  It’s the one we have floating around in various drawers and desks.  I use it more during the day than at night (I use something the heavier/tackier), but it’s still one of my favorites for on-the-go and daytime use as it’s smooth, non-sticky, comfortable and hydrating while feeling plush.  I always pick up one of the holiday sets!

Belif Moisturizing Bomb Holiday SetBelif Moisturizing Bomb Holiday Set ($38.00, $54 value) includes four products designed for hydration: The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (1.68 oz.), Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner (0.67 oz.), Moisturizing Eye Bomb (0.17 oz.), and Aqua Bomb Cleansing Balm (0.30 oz.).  I’m a huge fan of the belif Moisturizing Bomb range, particularly the cream, and this is probably a set I’ll end up snagging at some point myself.

More Sets & Kits

Fragrance is so personal, but the holiday season is a great time to pickup gift sets of one’s favorite scents or to trial the scents of a brand you’ve been interested in or perhaps have only tried one (but loved that one!) scent from in the past.  Here are some quick links to retailers’ to browse the holiday fragrance sets…

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I was given the $18 Fresh lip balm set as a gift, since I’m personally on a no buy, so I’m excited to see what the caramel lip balm in the pot is like since it comes with a mini version.

I bought a full size version of one of their tinted balms several years ago for $22, the only expensive balm I’ve ever bought, and was severely disappointed. Hopefully the potted formula is noticably better.

Oh! I did buy the Almost Lipstick set because I’ve been interested in trying the product for literally almost 20 years, but never had the money to spend on anything other than strictly necessities until recently — and still didn’t want to spend the $$ on one product.

So I snapped up the set for $10 and.. it’s ok. Just ok. The pink is any old pink on me, and the Black Honey is very similar to Brownie by Palladio.

I really love the caramel in a pot lip balm, but I can only wear it at home I find. It seems to make my lips magnets for my hair or anything else to stick to.

I’d love the Dior set if they would only come out with new shades. Seems like they use the same shades year after year. And as far as the scent, yes it is strong but not half as strong as the YSL Rouge Volupte shines. Those are obnoxiously strong. For that reason alone I stay away from the YSL line.

Thank you for compiling these treasure troves. I am really interested in purchasing a First Aid Beauty skincare set from Sephora – which is the only place I can get this brand. The brand seems to always have excellent reviews for their products.

I will likely pick up the Dior Mini’s as I find them very convenient to carry in my bag and I love all the shades. I have shied away from all of the other mini sets, YSL, Givenchy etc because they include an orange which I would never use. The Caviar sticks is another possibility. I have two of the three colors though, so maybe not. I wish that companies making mini sets would think about making them at least 3/4 new shades. If you buy a mini with new shades and love them then you are going to go and buy the regular sized product. If you are buying permanent shades that already exist in the line, what are you going to go back and buy? Is it all for the convenience of the “mini size” ? I think they don’t put a lot of thought into these releases.

I agree, they should be marketing to draw more people in to buy more products. They need to wake up, the minis draw me in to purchase full sized products. Maybe they need to pay us to be consultants?

I love the idea of mini sets but end up never using them much. Don’t know what it is about the mini products that cause me to ignore them. I do a little better with skin care mini sets. Even found some great skin care products after sampling them from Like Drunk Elephant and Sunday Riley mini sets.

Excellent compilation! I would add the Sephora liquid lipstick set and some of the Fresh lip balm sets. Though why I need more lip products during this time is a mystery to me…

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