Recommended gifts: skincare and makeup value sets!

5574_oliveblossomeucalyptus_giftsetThe holiday season is great for picking up some value sets for both skincare and makeup. There are a plethora of different sets out there that offer full size, and travel size products at competitive prices, especially if you love to stock up or want to try something new. Here are my top picks for value sets this holiday season.

1. Fresh

Every year, Fresh comes out with different variations of their most popular products in great value sets. This year, in addition to the Mini Mask Set (C$115) that is PERFECT for literally anyone on your list, the Rose Skincare Essentials (C$78) set gets my stamp of approval. As you know, I love anything rose, and Fresh’s Rose Face Mask is a cult classic containing real rose petals, so this set is not one to miss.

The Rose Skincare Essentials set contains travels sizes of the Soy Cleanser, Rose Face Mask, Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream, and Rose Floral Toner. The Mini Mask Set contains deluxe sizes of the Sugar Face Polish, Rose Face Mask, Black Tea Overnight Mask, Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, and the Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask.

Fresh is available at Sephora.

2. Beautycounter

Toxin-free beauty brand is releasing a number of skincare sets this holiday with my top pick being the “Our Favourites for your Favourite” set (C$138) which contains a full size Nourishing Rosewater Mist, as well as deluxe travel sizes of their Nourishing Cream Exfoliator, Nourishing Day Cream, Hydrating Face Oil, and Lip Conditioner Peppermint. This set is a C$191 value and allows you to try out different Beautycounter products in one convenient box. Did I mention it comes in a GORGEOUS festive red gift box that makes it instant gift-ready.

Beautycounter is available via its website.

3. QUO

QUO is a Canadian drugstore favourite, hailing from the Shopper’s Drug Mart chain of stores. In addition to making high-quality, high value makeup, they also make really great entry-level makeup brushes. Some of my first brushes were from QUO! For the holiday season, pick up one of FIVE different brush sets for the makeup enthusiast in your life, with prices ranging from C$29 to C$100, with something available for all budget levels. My pick is the QUO Roll and Go Brush Set (C$49), which comes with 10 travel-sized brushes in a beautiful coppery gold brush roll.

For an alternative to traditional holiday crackers, without the tacky prizes, pick up a set (or two) of QUO’s Hidden Treasures Cosmetic Crackers (C$18 for 3), which will make your holiday get-together with your girl friends so much more fun.

QUO is available at Shopper’s Drug Marts across Canada.

4. Dermalogica

One of my favourite skincare brands, Dermalogica makes some of  my skin staples that I go back to time and time again, such as the Pre-Cleanse and Gentle Cream Exfoliant. This year they have some really cute gift sets and travel kits that are perfect for those starting out in skincare, or to stock up on some favourites. My personal pick has got to be the Power Rescue Mask Trio (C$80), which contains travel size (38mL) of three of Dermalogica’s popular masks – the Charcoal Rescue Mask, Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, and Skin Hydrating Masque. These will work together to keep your skin in tip top shape!

You can pick up Dermalogica at Beautymark in Yaletown, Vancouver, or at your local Dermalogica salon/spa.

5. Arbonne

Arbonne has some gift-ready sets, great for anyone on your list. There are hand products, body care products, makeup, and skincare. My pick this year is the Olive Blossom and Eucalyptus Gift Set (C$73), it includes a Body Polish and Body Butter in an olive oil-based, scented with eucalyptus. It comes in a very cute holiday box as well!

Purchase your Arbonne from your local Arbonne rep, or

6. La Prairie

Of course the most luxurious I’ve left to last – La Prairie is not cheap, but this holiday season, they’ve made it slightly more affordable for those who are looking to try out their products. If you have always been interested in trying La Prairie’s signature Caviar products, they have a travel “Caviar Legends Discovery Set” available for just C$365, which includes a 30mL deluxe size of the Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, and smaller travel sizes of the Skin Caviar Eye Lift Cream and Skin Caviar Liquid Lift. The Luxe Cream already has a C$350 value so you’re basically getting the other two products for free! La Prairie products are one of those a tiny-bit-goes-a-long-way types, and that 3mL of eye cream will seriously last you for a month. If you are already a fan of their products, the value Lifting Luxuries Set is C$440 and includes a full size Skin Caviar Eye Lift Cream, and travel sizes of the Luxe Cream and Liquid Lift.

Get yours at Holt Renfrew!


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