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I like palettes most of all – full face ones (as much as I kvetch about warm blushes being included with cool ones, I can forgive it in some of the Holiday releases) and those that offer extra value for what you’re spending (so I am NOT looking at Hourglass….geez, talk about highway robbery!). Some years ago, TooFaced had a great one (except for the inclusion of some really naff brushes) – I forget the name but it had a bit of everything and it was nice (and might have been called Everything Nice or something like that).

Ones that I know I will actually use! Especially useful are skincare, shower/bodycare and lipgloss sets. Also, those ND Mini eyeshadow palettes, even though they are not designated as “holiday”.

Mini lips! Lipstick is my #1 “will splurge on” item and I’ve got a shitload of fullsizes that don’t get enough love. You know what’s easy to feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth on? Minis. Easy to throw in a pocket too.

I just passed on a PMG release. What is the world coming to?

I do not buy cosmetics for others ever. Best situation for me are full sized products packaged with a mini for travel (?) or full sized colour products paired with mini mascara; always game to try. For the most part, I sit it out.

A growing area which definitely gains my attention: year-end holiday sales of full sized regular products from higher end brands. Natasha Denona, I have my fingers crossed. I need to get a backup of Biba and…

I like sets which provide a considerable value for money in addition to the chance to try a range of new products. The Hourglass 6-pan Ambient Lighting Edit palettes are a rip-off and while I enjoy them, I’ve stopped buying because they just aren’t good dollar value for me.

My best purchase last holiday season was the Tatcha Luxury Obento set, which had 8 full-size products for about two-thirds the price. I waited until Sephora offered a further 20% off, and it was one of the best bargains I’ve ever had.

I’m not necessarily into the holiday vibe, buying holiday themed kits, but I like some of the kits that come with the holiday.

In previous years I would purchase holiday kits to split them into gifts when I visited family and friends back in Europe. I prefer kits with deluxe samples (not full size, but not tiny bottles with barely any use). I like when something extra is added, but it must be good quality (for example Drunk Elephant has a pocket mirror or comb with their minis kits). I like kits that come in sturdy good quality boxes that can be reused; if the design is more neutral, is great. For my mom, I really liked the kits from Marc Jacobs that contain her favorite makeup product, the black eyeliner; I prefer the one with the pencil full size and a mini mascara and lipstick (she doesn’t use these products as much as the pencil, but she likes to have them around).

For myself I am rarely interested in kits, as I have very specific skincare and makeup products I buy. The kit I get almost every year is the one with hair styling product minis from Sephora; I don’t use too much of them, but having a mini hairspray, dry shampoo or leave on conditioner just in case is great.

Products that are like the regular ones in quality, but with something fresh and original about the packaging or colors (but without winter-specific motifs).

I like bundled lipglosses the most. I used to get little stockings and stuff them for my coworkers. The variety of shades really allowed me to split them up thoughtfully for friends with different skin tones. I’m really hoping for a Lancome Juicy Tubes set this year.

I also really like mini mask and skin kits. I have a girlfriend that I really want to put together a nice package. I wish The Ordinary would do a kit.

I love mini lip sets, because I rarely use up a lip products, and I can try differentcolors. I also like eyeliner pencil sets and or eyeliner and mascara sets. Blush sets and palettes can be really fun, too, if the color selection is right.

I really like the mini mascara set that sephora offers every year. Nice to try different things and minis are easier to use for me. Sometimes full size wands just seem huge !!

I also like skincare gift sets that are good value and have at least a few products i know i love and small few i can try.

Sometimes i like mini lip products as well. I am over huge palletes because i feel i never end up using enough that its worth the value and bulky packaging

I tend to favour the skincare sets (minus a toner – which I never use) as they are a good way to sample a brand’s products, whilst paying less. I prefer it if they include a cleanser (non foaming), a day time moisturiser and a night serum/moisturiser.
For cosmetic sets, these are harder for me to buy because they either include lip glosses (a no-no for me) or lipsticks in shades I wouldn’t use. But I do like them to contain a mascara and at least a couple of lipsticks that I would use – the others I would donate to my daughter in law.

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