PLAYING FOR KEEPS: THE SELFISH SHOPPER’S GUIDE TO GIVING
While most mofos will be clamoring for a mini iPad this year, we’ve got our sights set on another sphere of shrinkage: beauty gift sets stocked with mini products.
Why do we love to go little come holiday time? Nearly every cosmetic company bundles smaller versions of their best sellers for this time of year. And the “try everything” part of our psyche just loves the opportunity to experiment and find our favorite products without having to make a massive investment in an item’s full-sized counterpart.
Plus, those certain products that prove to be less than luminous when yanked from the box? Well, they can be easily gifted to friends and family (which totally makes us look generous, even when we were thinking of ourselves first). Indulgence and discovery never looked so affordable–or selfless.
Here are some of our five favorite mini beauty sets for holiday 2012:
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: These package of lip nourishers includes every shade of Sugar’s famous Lip Treatment ever produced. The legendary formula smells like fresh lemonade, glides on light and feels soothing to winter-wrecked lips, provides a perfect tint, and is smartly packaged with a leak-proof, screw-tight lid.
MILK IT FOR A GIFT: These sheer shades look good on everyone, so no matter which color or two you choose to part with, it will appear you hand selected the perfect shade(s) just for your buddy. And since 65 bucks is pretty steep for lip tints–even if it delivers eight hues for about the same price of two full sized Sugar Lip Treatments–you’d feel remiss to hoard them all for yourself. right? ri-ight?
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: A grip of colors, textures and even a few mystery colors are included in this cutely packaged set from one of the biggest cult nail varnish brands out of the UK. Religious or not, the advent calendar style packaging ensures that a fabulous new treat can be uncovered nearly every day in December. Bonus: collection features three mystery colors for added element of surprise.
MILK IT FOR A GIFT: This set runs the gamut of textures and colors, so you’re sure to find the right polish for the adventurous nail painter (colorful Candyshop caviar pearls!) and the most classic alike (like Cookies and Cream, the perfect nude).
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: When it comes to pigment, Pantone is THE authority. And this collab with Sephora gives lids a little holiday sparkle without having to go full-on glitter. Basics like black and brown are included for a classic smokey eye, while purple and golds prove perfect for rocking in the new year.
MILK IT FOR A GIFT: Since these liners are made by the gold standard in color creation, they provide a fail-safe tool for getting a BFF to step outside her beauty box. If your bestie ALWAYS goes with black liner, give her a boundary-pushing brown or champagne. While she may wince at first, she’ll be bound to love the unexpected smokey eye it creates.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: Food-grade lipstick made from all natural ingredients means you can bite your lips without consuming lead, aluminum and synthetic dyes. Chic packaging looks much more spendy than the $5 a tube you end up paying with this kit.
MILK IT FOR A GIFT: The vast color variations included in this set make it easy to choose what you want for yourself and what you can give up to others.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: This set boasts eight full-sized mascara wands packed inside mini containers that easily slip in a pocket for girls on the go. Also included: two full-sized mascaras, a primer, falsies and glue. This set provides a super cost-effective way to try 10 different brands (including Benefit, Tarte, Stila, Korres and others). And since mascara should be tossed approximately every three months to avoid bacteria buildup, Sephora’s set equips you with a year-round arsenal to stay gunk-free. Bonus? The included falsies are perfect for punching up a NYE look.
MILK IT FOR A GIFT: Since mascaras last 3 months, this set includes enough to stock your makeup bag with two per month and still have two full-sized lash enhancers to spare.