It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I would make a terrible beauty editor because I would never stop hoarding products. Real beauty editors are blase about products. They leave them lying around, they give them to people off-handedly. Anne-Marie and the xoVain crew regularly just get rid of stuff in their beauty closet cause it's too full or something. I would just keep stockpiling until I was eventually swallowed by a mountain of beauty products a la Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout.
When I get near free or discounted beauty products, my heart starts pounding in my chest and I get all weirdly nervous like that 32-dollar lipstick or luxury skincare item is a pigeon that's going to fly away if I make a sudden move.
Imagine, then, how I feel when faced with the nigh-embarrassing bounty of holiday gift sets that come out this time of year, each discounted to well below its actual market value. You can't dangle a giant beauty sale in front of me and then tell me I'm only allowed to shop for other people.
Below, a few of the best deals for those shopping for someone they really like: themselves. Or, whatever, I guess you can do a "one for me, one for them" kind of thing if you're really into the spirit of giving. (And in the case of a zombie apocalypse, come on over to my place. I don't have any bottled water or canned goods, but I've been stockpiling enough cosmetics to keep us looking glowy and sexy for years.)
I've been singing the praises of Josie Maran's Illuminizer for a glowing, sort of twinkly face since literally 2011. The Josie Maran color collection, originally a $69 value, includes not only the fabled illuminizer, but a new favorite, the coconut watercolor eyeshadow. I know liquid eyeshadow sounds weird, but I tried it and was actually really into it. It dries into a really nice sheer but pigmented formula and supposedly simultaneously minimizes the appearance of fine lines with argan oil magic. The Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil is also awesome for hydrating while providing an all-over flush. Using all these products together kind of makes me want to be one of those "natural look" girls who pretends she just gets slowly kissed awake by beauty angels or whatever. Also included: Argan Black Oil mascara and the light version of pure Argan oil.
Sephora Favorites Superstars, $75
The Sephora Favorites collections are reliably dope -- this one is a $225 value for only $75, and includes 12 of the most popular, Holy Grail-level beauty products everybody loves. Full contents here, but highlights of the "Superstars" Collection include: Benefit's They're Real Mascara, NARS Blush in Orgasm, the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (which I use every day), and Urban Decay Eye shadow in Sin (my favorite shade, a shimmery champagne). They also have one available now called "Beauty Closet," which apparently features staff picks. The perfume sampler collection would also be great for a friend who's into fragrance. (You know, your Tynan.)
This 9-piece collection for the party girl in your life is a $156 dollar value, including Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick in a true matte red, Drybar Detox dry shampoo, Deborah Lippmann Good Girl Gone Bad nail color, and Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Microfinish Powder, all in a metallic clutch. Give it to your most glamorous friend. (You know, your Kara.)
Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Lip Minis, $12 each
The shades are bright and matte, but go on creamy and hydrating and don't dry your lips out after a few hours of wear. They're kind of perfect, which is why this was the one beauty gift set on my desk that everybody was sort of eyeing hungrily.
Unfortunately the full set is no longer available (that's the other thing about holiday beauty sets -- you gotta move fast, cause they disappear quickly), but you can still buy the holiday minis separately.
There are 8 options of creme lipstick duos, matte lip crayons, and lip glosses, each packaged like a holiday ornament that you can hang on the recipient's tree or easily stuff in a stocking.
Butter London Gears and Gadgets Ultimate Lacquer Trunk, $150
When I first received this Butter London holiday set, I was a little thrown by the apparent steampunk theme? Like, I don't really get into nerd shit, Butter London. (Except Batman, because my kid and I have been watching the Adam West series on IFC and it's SUCH a good show. Which caused me to rewatch the Tim Burton Batman which was sooooo dope. So basically Batman is awesome.) BUT I DIGRESS. The whole "gears and gadgets" thing doesn't ultimately matter because what's inside is a $300 value of "20 Fashion Size Shades (including 6 set exclusives), 4 best-selling treatments" and a selection of manicure tools. See a full list of shades here. Also Oprah put this shit on her 2014 gift guide and honestly I don't even why I told you anything else.
DryBar's Big Hair Don't Care Blowout Kit, $199
If there's one thing I know about myself, it's that I love big hair. Someone recently pointed out that all my heroes (Dolly Parton, Elvira, Wonder Woman...) have generous bosoms and giant hair. And while Drybar's Big Hair Don't Care blowout kit won't do much for your tits, it can definitely help you out in the voluminous hair department. It includes: a Buttercup Blow Dryer, Full Pint Round Brush, Mini Texas Tea Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner, Mini Texas Tea Volumizing Spray, and the Lil' Lemon Drop Detangler To Go brush. Give to your most retro-fetishizing, Barbarella-whorshipping friend. (You know, your me.)
Are you planning to or have you purchased any beauty sets this year, for yourself or someone else? If you know a woman who doesn't own a Clarisonic, give her a Clarisonic. Done. (There's even a gift set for that.)