What kind of holiday sets tempt you the most?

I love half-sizes of high-end/luxury products–a mini lipstick that isn’t TINY because I hate how easily minis break but I’d rather pay $50 for 4 shades than $36 each! Otherwise, I love sets that are full-sized but offer a ridiculous value (skincare/haircare sets tend to entice me here since I’m full-up on makeup 24/7).

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

These days, it’s probably eyeshadow quads or smaller palettes (as evidenced by my recent purchase and “wanna buy”). In past, it was larger palettes that included a wide selection of eyeshadows, a blush or two, a highlighter and a few other goodies tossed in. The Too Faced palettes of the past – Everything Nice and Enchanted Glamourland (these are real oldies but I still love them) are the things that used to set my pulse racing but these days, I’ve so much “stuff” that it’s smaller and really well done eyeshadows that do it for me. I also love some of the “added value” skincare sets.

Nancy T Avatar

Almost exclusively skincare or lip sets. In fact, I only ever once bought a whole Sephora Favorites cosmetics set around 6 years ago. Other than that exception, just the aforementioned categories. And I’m verrry picky about even those! They must be an excellent deal, preferably during a sale, almost all shades or skin products that I believe is enjoy trying out.

Ana Maria Avatar

Lip sets are amazing, especially when they have enough variation in the colors, and they are minis in practical formats (not unusable small).

Even me, with a smaller curated collection, I feel I can rarely finish a full size lipstick. So I started looking around mini lip sets. I really like what MAC has done with the 12 mini set for holiday (Taste of Stardom), especially since the bullets look like the color of the lipstick. But I wish they had a 6-pack along with the 12 and 3 sets; and maybe offer the chance to customize the color selection. The 12-item set can really get someone starting from zero covered (although personally I don’t like half of them due to the finish and how they look on me). If the 3 item sets go on sale after the holiday, with 40% off they would be tempting.
But all my comments would apply to other brands. I know bite has nice mini lipstick sets.

Ana Maria Avatar

I’m usually tempted by holiday sets that offer decent sample sizes of products I like or I want to try (a mix is even better). Skincare and hair care are more tempting, and I like to use the holiday sets to both try out products and get items to gift (also, many sales are around this time).
Especially when it’s about more expensive brands. For example, I liked that I got to try the Peter Thomas Roth mask set (this year they call it Mask-Erade); I kept the two masks I wanted to try and gifted the other 4 (the current set only has 5); they’re OK, but the full jug is definitely not worth the price. They also sometimes have a sampler for the Cloud Water Drench line (now it’s called Jet, Set, Facial); I recently got a sampler with the moisturizer, cleanser, scrub and a mask, which is great to try those products and have some items for travel.
Clinique has some great holiday sets, worthwhile if you like their products; they have well curated sets both in minis and full size. But… can we get the Cleansing Balm by the gallon? 😆 And while we’re at, the Shisheido cotton pads need to come in a bigger pack for holiday.

I really like a good haircare set with minis, I don’t use too much hair products and shampoo/conditioner are the only ones worthwhile buying full size for me.

I don’t like sets that have a huge number of items, most times I’m not interested in all. I think 4-6 products is the right amount. I just don’t understand those sets with 4 mascaras (I don’t want to use the same mascara for a year, and even so, mascaras dry out even if you don’t open them; I prefer to purchase them `fresh`), or 6+ hair products.

I like when the items are not tiny and the packaging for the minis/sample is not inconvenient to use.

I’m rarely tempted by holiday special packaging.

Lipsticks and mini brush sets? A no-go for me.

Drunk Elephant Trunk? I mean… a great present at $450… but who uses that much skincare and only Drunk Elephant? Fridge? No thank!

Deborah S. Avatar

I only find skin care sets to be valuable if they are products that I use, like and would like to have “travel size” products. It really doesn’t make much sense to buy skin care sets that are full of products that I don’t know and don’t know whether they would be effective or not. I mean in the smaller sizes you don’t get enough product to tell if it is effective or not. I always love the look of the lipstick sets and being a lipstick junkie they would be the most obvious choice but since there are invariably several shades or finishes that I wouldn’t like or use they don’t seem valuable to me. So, when all is said and done, I much prefer the perfume gift sets as I can try out new perfumes an see what I like for future purchases.

Genevieve Avatar

I am generally not a fan of the holiday sets because they often contain shades that I wouldn”t use – lipsticks in nude or pink shades, blushes that are too pinky or sparkly and the inclusion of a lip gloss, which is a no no for me.
Sometimes even the skincare sets turn me off when they include a toner, a body mist etc.

Frozendiva Avatar

I will sometimes get a mascara set – especially if it comes with eye makeup remover, and a purse-sized eye pencil, or some even come with a mini lipstick.

I check out the Aveda hair care gift sets – the salon or website will sometimes have good deals.

Some skincare sets are appealing if I can use the product and get it at 15% off at Sephora or an equal discount at the Bay. Or bonus PC Optimum points.

The Lancôme and Estee Lauder train case purchase with purchase sets can be hit and miss for me. I may buy one every 2-3 years, depending what is in it. Half the time, I don’t like the colours and I don’t want the skincare products. The spend threshold keeps going up and I wonder what value there is for me to spend $150 on Estee Lauder products first and then spend another $100 on the train case set. Some other lines have other gimmicks that include a free case or whatever that I would have zero use for. Plus excessive packaging.

I also have no real use for the mega 100-200 shade eyeshadow palettes that I see.

What I’d look for is something that is of a reasonable size, something I would actually use, doesn’t include swag I’d have no need for, and maybe has a 10% discount or other gift card to use for a future purchase.

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