Sephora Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway / by Didier Young

Tis the season to be jolly! Well, okay we still have to get past the Halloween frights first but everyone, including myself, is starting to get ready for the most amazing time of the year. While I am excited for the winter markets, chestnuts roasting on open fires and the smell of pine in the air, Christmas can also be stressful in terms of finding out what to get for your loved ones. I had the chance to head to a Sephora Holiday preview where we got a glimpse of some of the gift sets coming to Sephora Canada and I was so impressed by them that I wanted to share a selection of my favourite picks on the blog today. The great thing is that it is also Sephora’s VIB Beauty Insider sale season which means that for three weekends (Ending November 19th), you’ll be able to benefits from some GREAT deals at the store and online. (Please note that all the prices that I will be mentioning are in Canadian Dollars).

$15 and Under

Let’s start with the lower priced items on Sephora’s gift list this season. While they are a tad small to act as stand alone presents, they do make for great stocking stuffers. This category might be smaller but there are still quite a few gems to be found in it including a La Neige Good Night Kit (includes the water sleeping mask and their famous lip mask, both of which are fantastic products and this kit retails for only $13!), a L’Occitane Holiday Almond ornament including three of their products ($14) and a duo set from Atelier Cologne ($15). People don’t often pay much attention to the Sephora brand products but they have some stellar items out there on the market and they tend to be very reasonably priced. You can grab the Sephora Golden mask which I absolutely loved when I tried it out a couple of weeks ago (Limited Edition for $8) or even their Enchanted Sky Eyeshadow palette (only $13).

$25 and Under

The second pricing tier does include far more options for shoppers. Let’s start off with masks: Glamglow’s Art of Glowing Skin Bubble Party Set includes their Bubblesheet masks which I am absolutely obsessed with ($24 for a box of three) and green brand Caudalie makes their first appearance with a Mini Mask Trio ($20). Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty also makes her first appearance with a mini version of her Fairy Bomb ($25) and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in two shades ($23). Beauty lovers will be happy to note that the La Maison du Chocolat X Shu Uemura iconic eyelash curlers are also one of the options available ($25) but if you’re looking for an alternative, Tarte also has a mascara/ pineapple eyelash curler duo (also $25). If you’re looking for a present for the manly men in your life, don’t worry Clinique comes to your rescue with this Clinique For Men Water-gel starter kit (at only $19 if I may add. Their products are great but too manly smelling for me haha). Bite Beauty’s famous agave lip mask is available in this Agave Treat Trio Mini Agave Lip Masks which includes the delicious limited edition candy cane version ($20) and Benefit Cosmetic’s famed bronzer is available in this adorable ornament format ($20).

$35 and Under

We are halfway through guys! We have now reached the $35 and under tier! Trying to keep this one to a minimal was hard! One of the best value sets for holiday is the Sephora Favourites Glow for It which is a multi brand sampler of luminizers including brands like MILK, Benefit and Fenty Beauty ($34). I definitely have an obsession for lip masks and La Neige and I couldn’t be happier with the Kiss & Make Up Set which includes the brand’s lip sleeping mask in four different flavours ($32). Lovers of the brand FRESH will be happy with the Facial On the Fly kit which includes a cleanser, cream and face mask ($31). On a side note, while those sets are great gifts to give out during the holiday season, they are also great ways for you to try out new products or to stock up on travel-friendly sizes of some of your favourite products. That being said, OUAI has a Three OUAI Kit that includes their dry texture foam that I’ve been dying to try out ($31) and Benefit Cosmetics POREfect Start! Priming & Mattifying Trio includes one of my favourite primers that I am sure to pack in my carry on for my next trip ($26). Fans of the legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath know how expensive her beauty line is so it is nice to note that she has a Mini MattTrance trio of lipsticks available for the holiday season ($32) and if you’re looking for a gorgeous nail polish to pair your lipstick with, YSL has you covered with a range of LA LAQUE COUTURE Nail lacquers ($32 as well). Last but not least, HUDA beauty’s Obsessions Eyeshadow palettes with have your friends emerald green with envy with their gorgeous jewel tones ($35). Just a slight disclaimer here: when I received the products at the Sephora event, I was originally misinformed about the pricing. It is $35 per palette and not $35 for the box of five palettes that they were giving out. My apologies everyone!

$50 and Under

We are now getting to the big kits! The first two are Sephora Favourites as well with the first one being the #Holy Grail Skincare set which includes cult favourites such as the Caudalie Beauty Elixir and Dr. Dennis Gross’s Alpha Beta extra strength daily peel ($38) and the second one being the Scouted By Sephora kit which is made up of great up and coming green brands such as Youth to the People and Herbivore ($50). While we are on the topic of green brands, there are quite a few that show up in this price bracket. Brigeo’s Hair-O-Scopes Brightest Stars set includes four of their top sellers ($50) and Herbivore’s Self Love Bath and Body Ritual kit comprises of their body polish, body oil and milk bath soak ($45). While I was browsing the Sephora website, I stumbled upon a four piece Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair kit that I’ll be stocking up to give as Christmas presents this year. It includes their amazing serum and the Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask which is a life changer ($45). Next up we have a super handy cream set from Lano which is perfect for the dry winter months ahead. The set included three tubes of their hand creams which are crafted with the oils found in sheep’s wool ($40). Few brands make masks as fun as Dr Jart+ and the Mask Heroes Face Savers is sure to please the mask lovers in your life ($45). if you’re a big highlighter fan like I am, you might enjoy the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Gold Lava for a golden glow ($46). Last but not least, I tried out the YSL Black Opium Click and Go pen a couple of months ago at the YSL Beauty Hotel and I absolutely loved the new fragrance format. The scent is delivered via a fragranced gel in the pen and it smells absolutely divine ($46).

$100 and Under

The last category on the Sephora website is the $100 and Under price tier but that is usually where you’ll find the best deals. Fragrance is often a hard one to pick when it comes down to gifting but YSL’s Y is an ultimate crowd pleaser ($91). Clean brand Tatcha has a lovely Skincare for Makeup Lovers Obento set which includes a full size of their mist($80) and Thomas Peter Roth came out with a Mask Frenzy set that includes six of his most popular masks ($95- I purchased a three pack of those 50ml jars once and believe me they last FOREVER). Two of my favourite holy grail products are also available full sized in gift set: Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum in the Repair + Renew set ($92) and Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir in their Beauty Secrets Set ($59- This is literally the price of the Beauty Elixir itself so you’re getting the other two products for free). Now let’s talk about some of the great deals at Sephora: Benefit Cosmetics is celebrated for their brow products and they’ve included their best sellers in the Magical Brow Star! Blockbuster Brow Set ($79 for a $160 value), Too Faced’s Dream Queen Limited Edition Make up collection includes a 24-pan eyeshadow palette, four face products and a super cute bag ($72 for a $475 value) and Tarte’s Pineapple of My Eye collector’s set also includes a 24-pan eyeshadow palette, 2 blushes, a highlighter, a bronzer, an eyeliner, a mascara and a lip balm ($77 for a $454 value). Sephora also has a bunch of super cute brush sets this holiday season including the Spellbound Brush Set which contains seven different brushes and a rose gold pouch $61 for a $138 value). Laura Mercier’s Magic Hour Highlighting Palette is also included in the gifting section ($72) and you’ll also find a four piece Dior Rouge Dior mini lipsticks available in an exclusive pouch ($65- I am tempted to purchase it for myself simply for the pouch). Last but not least, OUAI’s Swing Both OUAIs kit includes their hair oil and texturing spray to offer you volume and texture while repairing and protecting your hair from heat damage ($60).

Believe me, I could keep on going here! There are SO MANY gift sets available that it was hard for me to narrow it down but those are the ones that I am most excited about. In other new, Sephora was so generous to me that I decided to share the love. I’ll be giving away three eye palette sets to one of my followers! The BECCA Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow palette ($55), a five set of the HUDA BEAUTY Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette ($175) and the Too Faced Dream Queen Limited- Edition Make Up collection ($72 but a $475 value). If you want to enter, it’s pretty simple. Just follow me on Instagram, comment about the gift set you’re most excited about out of all the ones that I’ve mentioned (On the Instagram image that will be up on Monday November 4th) and tag a friend! Good luck to everyone! (Since it’s Christmas, I’ll ship worldwide).