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Skincare and makeup sets are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Even before I started working at Byrdie, my mom and sister relied on me to keep them updated with the latest beauty trends at our family Christmas celebration. I loved buying sets for us, because of the killer deals on products we loved and the opportunity to try a few and find new favorites. Whether you’re gifting or splurging on yourself, these sets are filled with cult classics, clean beauty picks, and Byrdie team favorites.
Here are our best beauty gift sets of 2020:
These Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are the best I’ve ever tried. They’re a longtime love of fellow Editorial Director Faith Xue, and Megan Markle’s favorite shade is Very Victoria, and we’re constantly covering them on our site.Their creamy-matte formula works for an easy wash of color or a bolder look. They epitomize what lipsticks should look and feel like-- quick to reapply in the bathroom after lunch, always fading evenly. To me, the mini-size is a bonus. You get to try three shades for the price of one, and personally, I’ve never finished a full-sized tube of lipstick.
First Aid Beauty is one of the most reliable brands out there. Every product of theirs I’ve tried is best in class, and the essentials in this set are no exception. You can read our full review of their moisturizer here, and we’ve named their creamy cleanser as our best overall face wash. At $49 for a $127 routine’s worth of products, the value can’t be beat.
This set lives up to its promise: With these three, easy-to-use products, you can make a whole makeup look in five minutes. The Velvet Melon palette is always in my travel bag, great for adding a pop of color to your cheeks on-the-go. The 10-Second Eye Shadow is an easy to use, longwear product with holiday shimmer. The lip gloss has a plumping and hydrating formula, and ties the whole look together. At only $45, this is a steal.
Another great option from Kosas. For liquid eyeshadow lovers like myself, these three shadows are perfect for one-swipe, holiday metallic eye looks that last all night.
Uoma is an inclusive makeup-line that caters specifically to BIPOC concerns, like their mascara that’s formulated specifically for the lash concerns of women of color. They market themselves as “Afropolitan,” for maximalists who don’t constrain themselves to Euro-centric beauty standards. Their Party Pop kit contains one of their iconic, pigmented eyeshadow palettes, that innovative mascara, two lipsticks, a lip liner, and a brow gel, on sale for only $79--perfect for the makeup-lover in your life.
An $11.50 sale for two mini-lipsticks can’t be beat. Spanked and Griselda also happen to be my two favorite shades in the line, one a coppery brown, and the other a deep purple. The Mattemoiselles are creamy and pigmented, and they fade nicely into a stain throughout the day.
This set includes Brie Larson's favorite cleanser, plus travel size versions of Decorté's essentials so you can try out and pick your favorites. It's a full routine's worth of products, with two cleansers, an essence, a day cream, a night cream, and an eye cream. As a bonus, you get a free six-piece deluxe sample set with your purchase.
This set is perfect for combatting winter dryness. The lip mask is the best I’ve ever tried (Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim and our Byrdie reviewer agrees), and the water sleeping mask is perfect for nights when your skin feels dehydrated and needs an extra boost of moisture. Laneige’s Cream Spray is designed for maximum hydration, so you can use it as a midday refresh or even skip your morning moisturizer on lazy days.
To me, a mask set is a perfect gift, because you’re gifting self-care time. This set from Origins will satisfy any skin type and meet all your masking needs. The avocado and charcoal masks are hero products for my own skin, which is cursed with being both dehydrated and oily.
This is another high-value set with a whole skincare routine full of high-quality products. My favorite charcoal and avocado masks also come in this set, and the spot treatment and the mushroom soothing lotion have made my personal must-try list.
Byrdie Editor Holly Rhue was drawn to the cute bear packaging, but also credits this mask to restoring her hair’s luster after some botched highlights in 2019. She still uses it today. If masks are the gift of self-care, these three hair masks take that to the next level. You can slather them on, soak in a bubble bath with a book, rinse, and repeat.
This set contains one of the Byrdie team’s holy-grail natural mascaras--the before and after photos speak for themselves. You’ve got all the essentials for an easy, put-together holiday eye look. In addition, you’ll support a brand that heralds clean and nontoxic beauty, plus is one of the pioneers in using women over 40 in their ad campaigns.
Personally, the Glossier Body Hero Collection is what I want for Christmas. For someone like me who's looking to bring body care into their life, this set is a perfect intro--all the essentials from a reliable cool-girl brand. I’ve been coveting it since their awesome ad campaign with the WNBA.
I’ve gifted my family Glossier for birthdays and Christmas for the past three years, and they keep asking for more. This is the set I keep coming back to, with their cult Boy Brow (read our full review here), the creamy on-the-go highlighter Haloscope (great for newbies and makeup experts alike), my personal go-to blush Cloud Paint (I own it in three shades), and the lip salve Balm Dotcom (I love Berry for the tint, Mint for the tingle).
This is another steal--$98 worth of products for $42. Sephora’s holiday collections let you try a variety of products from different brands. I like this one because a lot of these can work together--you don’t have to choose only one product to apply at a time. The set combines cult classic NARS blush/bronzer combo with glowing highlighters, eyeshadows, and lip balms that you can use for a variety of different looks.
The last time I visited my parents, my mom accused my dad of stealing all her skincare products. This year, I’ve decided, it’s time to get him some products of his own. This Honest Beauty kit is a full routine for men, perfect to teach dad more about skincare. He can try new products in his routine, like a mud mask and even a primer for that blurred, poreless effect.
This set is a great way to try all of clean-beauty brand Herbivore’s acne-fighting essentials. The face oil and mask use blue tansy to calm inflammation and fight acne, while softening your skin. This set is another great deal, and a full routine’s worth of products to test and see if they work for you--lots of them are Byrdie favorites.
This is my favorite cream eyeshadow I’ve ever tried, and plus, it’s formulated with SPF for your delicate eye area. This set has all four shades--I use the lighter shades during the day, and the darker one to bring some low-effort drama when I’m going out.
Not technically a set, but I’ve decided it counts because you can use all the different attachments to create a wide variety of hair looks. The beauty industry was rocked when Dyson launched the Airwrap back in 2018, and Byrdie extols its virtues in our review here. This is the all-in-one tool I wish someone would gift me this year.