Five Fabulous Holiday Makeup Sets

by Sonja on December 1, 2008

It’s the hap, happiest time of the year! C’mon, everyone, sing along with me! As I mentioned in a previous post, my parents used to get me the giganto Estee Lauder holiday color collection each Christmas. I could barely wait for Christmas day to dive in and play with all the gorgeous colors. Ever since then, I eagerly anticipate the holidays and all the glorious gift sets.

Sweet Deals

Now that I’m buying sets myself, I’ve learned that many of the them are amazing deals that you just can’t get any other time of the year so this is the perfect time to stock up for yourself. They also make great gifts for beauty addict friends.

Here are five fabulous holiday makeup sets — a kit for perfecting your complexion, a hot all-in-one palette, a glamorous and sustainable set, and a couple that are fabulously affordable. They’ll save you money and get you (or a friend) gorgeous. I get giddy just thinking about them.

A Flawless Face

Start with a flawless face, (and really, who doesn’t want that?) with the Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit. Laura Mercier is a pro at making the complexion look lovely. Every item in this set is a winner. Her pioneering foundation primer is a miracle worker. It smooths skin into perfection and helps foundation last and last. With this set, you get $159 worth of products for $65. It includes her primer, tinted moisturizer with SPF 20, translucent setting powder, her famous concealer duo, concealer and concealer powder brushes (her brushes are some of the best available), velour puff, makeup sponge, and travel-size bag. Pick from Nude for fair-to-light complexions or Sand for light-to-medium complexions). This is an exclusive from Sephora.


Tarte Holiday Vanity Limited Edition Palette is a fabulous all-in-one set with a wide variety of wonderful, wearable colors in a super cute, compact case. I’m so impressed they were able to pack in so much great stuff into such a small space. It’s less then six inches wide and less than two inches high. You can easily pack this up for travel. It includes just about everything you need to create a variety of beautiful looks, from a natural, daytime look to all-out holiday glamour. For just $52, you get $494 worth of cosmetics (egads!): 16 shimmery and matte eye shadows, 16 lip glosses, four blushes, a bronzer, a highlighter, their best-selling mascara, and a two high-quality eye shadow and eyelining brushes. The cosmetics are made with vitamin E, beeswax, rice bran wax, carnauba wax, and mineral pigments, and are cruelty-free. This set rocks. It’s also only available from Sephora.


The Urban Decay Sustainable Shadow Box is highly unusual, because it’s both eco-friendly and glamorous (when do you see that?). Urban Decay has gathered 10 of their best-selling, high-drama eye shadows, including the classic Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, which is a golden, glittery beige/bronze. I love Urban Decay’s shadows, because the colors are intense with lots of pigment and heavy on the shimmer or glitter. They’re wonderful for the holidays or a night out. This set also has a cruelty-free eye shadow brush that’s great for creating a smoky eye, a travel-size bottle of their popular eye shadow primer, and comes in a beautiful, funky laquered case made of bamboo, an abundant, sustainable material. The shadows sit in a tray made of recycled paper; and the clear box that everything comes in is recyclable. This is a great deal at $36. That’s the same price you’d pay if you bought just two of the eye shadows separately. It’s available at Urban Decay’s site,, and from Sephora.

Fabulously Affordable

Under $10: Boots No 7 Mini Colour Compact is a set of three autumnal eye shadows and three lip glosses — burgundy, silver, and bronze that are perfect for the holidays but will also be pretty any time of the year. The whole compact easily fits into your purse. It’s nice that the lip glosses come in tubes so you can take them out and tuck a one or two in a pocket. It’s a steal at $9.99. Available at Target.

Under $20: Best of Smashbox Kit is a limited-edition kit with travel sizes of three of Smashbox’s best sellers: Aura lip gloss (a lovely pinkish nude), Bionic mascara in black, and Fusion Soft Lights in Dusk – a versatile, shimmery, universally flattering palette that will really make your skin glow. You can use the five colors individually as eye shadows, or swirl the darker colors together to use as a bronzer and swirl the lighter colors for all-over highlighting. This set is a $43 value for $19 — SUCH a good deal. You can get this directly from Smashbox, and from Sephora, Nordstrom, and Ulta.

Happy Holidays!

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Ashe Mischief December 1, 2008 at 6:14 am

That Laura Mercier set is a steal- I’ve heard great things about her products. And love! for the Urban Decay kit… I bought one similar a few years back, and the eyeshadows are amazing.

Sonja December 1, 2008 at 1:21 pm

❤ Ashe, the Laura Mercier is definitely a steal. Her products work so well and it’s amazing that they gathered up all the good stuff into one spot at a really reasonable price. And the Urban Decay set is simply FABULOUS! Gotta love the holidays!

violetville December 1, 2008 at 8:32 pm

I am in love with the “stick-glosses” from laura mercier! i can only imagine the foundation etc to be amazing as well. i barely resisted this “flawless face” kit on my last visit to sephora; I’m sure I couldn’t resist it a second time!

I’m also a big fan of smashbox’s foundation + primer, so I’m guessing this “best of” is a steal!

Claire December 2, 2008 at 12:13 am

i have to share another good one - shu uemura has some wonderful holiday special shadow palettes out now. i already bought myself the “adorned marguerite” set. they’re also selling some cute gloss and brush sets etc…check it out:

i am largely a mac fan but their holiday line this year is not so thrilling. shu uemura’s colors are great! i might not be able to resist the urban decay palette that you feature, either.

alixrose December 2, 2008 at 12:22 am

Oh my gosh MAKE-UP!!! I always walk out of Sephora broke but happy and a little prettier. hahaa!
Thanks for the tips!

Sonja December 4, 2008 at 3:00 pm

❤ Thanks for the tip, Violetville! I’ve never tried those. Do try her kit. It’s a wonderful way to try everything and see how well they work. And yes, the Smashbox set is fab, too. They also have many, many more sets that are excellent deals, including some with the primer.
❤ Thanks, Claire! I haven’t used Shu Uemura in awhile. But they have a shop here in San Francisco. I need to check it out. The Urban Decay palette is totally fabulous. I adore all their sparkly stuff.
❤ Alixrose, ain’t that the truth! Sephora is my candy store of choice! Glad you found the list helpful.

Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone! :)

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