Great Sephora Deals/Holiday Gift Suggestions!

Friday, October 14, 2011

This post was originally only going to feature two amazing Sephora kits I found earlier this week, but once I went back to the store, I saw how so many brands have already launched their holiday sets. If you're like me, it's never too early to do some holiday shopping, and I think any of these would make great gifts for a girlfriend, mom, and really anyone interested in beauty. Of course, these things would function just as well as gifts to yourself, for no particular reason! Some of the pictures aren't the best, but stock photos are so boring and this was the best I can do while skulking around Sephora with my iPhone. 

1. Fresh Brown Sugar Muse Set: The deal that sparked this entire post! I love Fresh's Brown Sugar perfume and when I saw this package, had to confirm with the saleslady that the listed price was accurate. The kit contains a 1 oz bottle of the perfume, 3.4 oz of Brown Sugar Body Cream and a 0.08 oz (half the regular size) Sugar Lip Treatment in rose, all for $35! The perfume alone is $32--that's basically the only thing you're paying for! I've talked about the lip treatment before here and while it's not my favorite, it's very luxurious feeling and smooth. The cream, however, is nothing short of divine and the bottle is the perfect size to stash in your purse or desk at work. I might give this to my cousin for Christmas, but I'm also very tempted to keep it for myself--the downside of holiday shopping!

2. Philosophy Sweet Kisses and Merry Wishes: A great gift for anyone young or young at heart (wow did I really just use that cheesy ad expression? Let's just blame it on exhaustion, shall we?). For $36, this set contains four 2 oz bottles of their shower gel/shampoo/bubble bath formula in Sugar Sprinkles Funnel Cake (link), Peppermint Bark, Pomegranate Bubbly and Old Fashioned Eggnog, as well as four coordinating 0.5 oz lip glosses. Obviously then, this would be perfect for someone who loves baths or having a more indulgent shower! I'll probably give this to my little cousins as they love all things sweet-scented and sparkly and since the set splits up perfectly, it's something they can share. Remember, a lot of these sets are great as stocking stuffers or smaller gifts for Secret Santa--you could just as easily give each of your girlfriends a shower gel and matching lip gloss.

3. Bliss 'Glow'-Ho-Ho Radiance-Reviving Triple Oxygen Trio: If you feel like treating a loved one, this would be a great option for someone a bit older or with dull skin. The set contains a 1.7 oz Triple Oxygen+C Energizing Cream (full size), a 3.4 oz Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask (full size) and a pair of the coordinating eye masks, all for $75. The mask and face cream alone would cost over $100--there's no question that this is a great bargain! I would probably pick this up for my mom or maybe an aunt (the whole point of the set is to promote glowy skin, so these products would probably most benefit someone with dry or mature skin). 

4. Sephora Favorites Deluxe Fragrance Sampler For Her (or Him!): It seems every "Holiday Gift Guide" video or blog post I've seen mentions this, so I feel a bit redundant, but bear with me. Perfume is such a classic Christmas gift and this is such an interesting twist on that tradition. For $50, you get 12 decent-sized samples of Sephora's most popular fragrances, a refillable fragrance atomizer (so handy for on-the-go!) and a gift certificate for a free full-sized perfume from the set. I tend to shy away from giving fragrances as a gift because people are so picky with scents--I certainly am! This kit takes all the guesswork out of it because the samples range from the spicy and sultry (Gucci Guilty) to the light and fresh (Marc Jacobs Daisy)--there's bound to be something the recipient will like. They do the exact same version for men's cologne which would be great for any man in your life, and they also do a larger kit for $75. The amped up set includes little bottles of all the perfume samples, but that just feels excessive. They may be cute, but what's the point of having adorable miniatures of fragrances you don't even like?

**I know the Sephora Lashstash kit (boxed set of a bunch of mini mascaras) is really popular but I didn't include it here because I think very few people love mascara enough to really enjoy a gift like that. Plus, then there's the strange idea of giving someone a cosmetic: "Hey, what did Leili get you for Christmas?" "Mascara." 

5. Benefit Project Flawless: While this gift is definitely for a makeup girl, it's general enough to be given to anyone. This set includes a 0.28 oz Bella Bamba blush (full size and one of my favorites!), a 0.25 oz Girl Meets Pearl highlighter, a 0.17 oz Ultra Shines in Foxy Lady lip gloss and a 0.14 oz Benefit BadGal mascara, all for only $32! The blush alone is $28, so it's really the only thing you're paying for but you're getting other fun things basically for free. I love that just about every girl uses these types of cosmetics, and they come in such universal colors--I can't think of any skin tone the Bella Bamba would look bad on. The lip gloss is a pretty peachy-pink, the highlighter supposedly serves as a primer as well, and the BadGal Lash has a cult following. Someone may not like the mascara or something but overall, this kit couldn't do anyone wrong. 

6. Korres Wild Rose Face/Body/Lip Collection: I don't think any list of gift suggestions is complete without the all-natural present! This environmentally friendly Greek brand has definitely gained some popularity in the past few years, and after trying one of their body butters, I could definitely see why! For $55, this kit contains a 7.95 oz Body Butter, a 0.34 oz Lip Butter Glaze, a 0.21 oz Lip Butter, a Face and Eye Serum and a 24-Hour Moisturizing and Brightening Cream (all products are from the Wild Rose line). [I'm sorry I don't have the exact amount for the serum and cream, but the information isn't listed online so I'm going off the photo. I'll update this the next chance I get!] Again, I love how general this set is--body lotions, creams, serums and lip balms are things that just about everyone uses or could benefit from using. The serum is the one thing that's meant for anti-aging purposes, but everything else would work for any age. 

7. Tarte Lip Service Lipsurgence Collection: I might never have seen this if it hadn't been for Tiffany's post on it--all credit goes to her! Tarte's lip stains have earned themselves a reputation of being very well pigmented and incredibly moisturizing (a true rarity in a stain). I have one of them myself in lust (a perfect tomato-red) and can completely confirm how fantastic they are--in fact, I tend to think of them as lip balms. Tiffany called this post "The Deal of the Century" and she's completely right: for $29, you get 5 full-size lip stains in Dazzled, Flashy, Glitzy, Perky and Swank. Did I mention that at regular price just one stain is $25?! Needless to say, I feel like a total idiot for paying full price for mine, even though I totally love it. Tiffany has fantastic pictures and swatches on her blog--check them out and see for yourself! I have a feeling this will be one of those sets I wind up buying for myself. [Sorry for the stock photo, but this kit isn't available yet at my Sephora.]

Of course there are a ton of other sets Sephora has out right now, and that number and selection will just increase as we get closer to the holiday season. But I picked these because I think they're the best--both in terms of quality of the products and value for money. 

P.S., if you're looking to save even more money (and who isn't?) wait until October 20th to order online during the Sephora Friends and Family sale and get 20% off your purchase! Go to to get the discount--sale runs through November 2nd!

I don't know about you, but I'm completely in the holiday spirit after writing this post! (I'm actually listening to Andy Williams' It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year at the moment--embarrassing!)

If there's anything you feel my list is missing, or if you have any great gift recommendations, please comment! 

I'm off for a fun weekend of apple picking with my family (though I tend to do more eating than picking)!

Mascara experimentation post coming up!

Have a wonderful weekend! 

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