Not to brag, but beauty editors don’t want for much. We get access to the newest launches before they hit shelves, learn about trends months in advance, and can try nearly any product we’d like, when we like. Yet, around the holidays, we tend to get a little overwhelmed. There’s such an incredible influx of limited edition gift ideas, we end up hopelessly hankering for luxurious options we might just not have access to. Here, our editors share the collections they’re coveting for their own beauty wish lists this year, from silky pillowcases to high-tech skin tools and everything in between.
Patchology Winter Warm Up Set
Who: Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director
Why: As I embrace the home stretch of pregnancy, my feet are swollen. I’ve been loving the Patchology Softening Heel & Foot Mask that comes in this duo. It’s basically sock packets that you put your feet in to soak in serum. The packets rely on insulation technology similar to space blankets to lock in your natural body heat. Honestly, they didn’t feel super toasty to me, but I found them to be pretty refreshing. The formula is a blend of shea butter, coconut oil, and Japanese Evergreen Extracts. What that means for my heals and toes is tons of moisture and some added antioxidant benefits. The hand mask works in a similar way (nice little packet gloves of serum). My cuticles and the skin around my fingertips often peels and cracks as the weather gets colder, so this is a fantastic treatment when that happens. It offers my paws a dose of hydrating macadamia seed oil and antiaging rosehip oil. So why gift the set? Whether you have a pregnant friend or just one who wears heels a lot, this guarantees a relaxing, at-home spa experience.
Taza Nourish Eladi Body Oil
Why: This luxurious body oil stands out among all of the other natural formulas on the market, because it’s a certified ayurvedic product (ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian holistic healing system). It smells spicy, feels warming, and is my go-to body nourisher this holiday season. Ingredients such as skin-brightening pearl powder, antioxidant-rich cedar wood extract, as well as cardamom, musk root, and snow lotus extract make skin softer and brighter. I also heard from the brand’s co-founder, Divya Viswanathan, that it makes for a wonderfully soothing baby massage oil (Viswanathan is a mom of one with another on the way). Each box feels like a chic gift set, because every bottle is sold with an ayurvedic meditation bracelet and mini mantra book.
Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison Glitter Lipstick
Why: Well, Gucci just won the holiday lipstick category. This limited-edition ruby is truly a holiday decadence. The packaging was inspired by vintage makeup and the Art Deco era, but it’s what’s inside that’s truly dazzling. It’s the “Gucci Red” (meaning the exact cherry shade often used in the fashion house’s branding) presented in the form of a lipstick seemingly dipped in elegant gold glitter. The finish is iridescent and pearly — so don’t worry about it looking like stage makeup. Plus, it has a subtle violet floral and fruity fragrance, giving it an extra sensorial experience. This is the one to gift to your mother, best friend, or simply the most chic woman you know.
Fenty Trophy Wife Life Makeup Set
Who: Joslyn Winkfield, Senior Visuals Editor
Why: Anyone who knows me is aware of my love for anything Fenty. I was so excited to hear about this limited edition collection that will feature the iconic gilded “Trophy Wife” Killawatt® Highlighter, which became a cult favorite as soon as Fenty first launched. There are three other full-sized products in the patent leather pouch, which are all gold and glitzy as well. There’s a new gilded Gloss Bomb®, a lustrous liquid eyeliner, and a blinding hyper-glitzy lipstick — all named after the original highlighter. Hopefully, I won’t be doing New Year’s Eve without it.
Slip Silk Travel Set
What: SlipTM Silk Travel Set
Why: I’m already planning my travel calendar for 2020, and between work and personal trips, I’ll be on a plane quite a bit. Enter the item I never knew I needed — a smooth as butter pink pillow case and matching eye mask. I’m dreaming of waking from my slumber 20,000 feet in the air with no creases on my face and my hair still in place, all thanks to mulberry silk.
Bobbi Brown Dripping In Luxe Edie Parker Clutch Set
Who: Emily Orofino, Senior Beauty Editor
Why: If you’re an accessories aficionado, you know that Edie Parker makes some of the most fun and fabulous clutches out there. This holiday season, the designer teamed up with Bobbi Brown to make a chic, festive gift set: a black and glittery gold clutch stuffed with a marbled champagne pink highlighter and coordinated brush. I’d be thrilled to tote this purse to any holiday party.
B3 Balm Six Oil Set
What: B3® Balm Six Oil Set
Why: I’m a skeptical convert to team beauty oil. My typical gripe with these formulas is that they often don’t sit well under my makeup, turning the most glamorous look into a smudgy Slip ‘N Slide®. That’s not the case with the luxe formulas in this collection — likely because they were developed by a professional makeup artist. You’ll receive all six of the brand’s luxe oils, including a delectable and ultra-nourishing rose/squalane combo and marula oil. Even better, 10 percent of all proceeds will go to the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program℠, an organization that helps provide scholarships to female survivors of domestic abuse.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Essentials Collection
Who: Thia, Social Media Editor
Why: If you ask me, the holidays are the perfect time to stock up on skincare essentials. The season’s gift sets offer incomparable value and convenience, making it easy to pick up several of your favorites in one fell swoop. That’s why I’m asking for this skincare collection from Elemis — it contains my all-time favorite cleansing balm and day cream, plus the brand’s cult-favorite Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream and Pro-Collagen Super Serum Elixir. While I’ve never tried the serum before, I have a feeling that it’s going to be a favorite soon (and perhaps on next year’s wish list, too).
StackedSkincare High Frequency Acne Device
Why: Despite a rigorous daily skincare routine and devotion to double cleansing, a smattering of irritated, angry pimples often still plague my jawline. I love the results I see from use of an at-home blue light wand (here’s looking at you, Foreo® Espada!), and am hoping to add this high frequency wand from StackedSkincare to my acne-fighting arsenal as well. This ultra-safe skin tool uses an argon gas electrode to generate oxygen onto the skin, effectively killing acne-causing bacteria and reducing inflammation in its wake. Even better? Consistent use of this high frequency wand will reduce the likelihood of post-inflammatory dark spots, once your pimples are cleared. Sign me up, stat!
Sulwhasoo First Care Special Set
Who: Thia Laurain
Why: I am a longtime fan of Sulwhasoo’s First Care Activating Serum (I’ve previously written about two limited edition-bottles here and here), and I’m eager to try the rest of the brand’s signature First Care line. This special holiday gift set ticks all my boxes — and then some. The gorgeous gift set includes 1.7-ounce sizes of Essential Firming Cream (a nourishing night cream) and First Care Activating Serum Mist (a dual-layered oil-water spray that has a golden ratio of oil to essence), a generous 5-pack of sheet masks, and a mini First Care Activating Serum in a spring-evoking, plum blossom scent. This set is so good, in fact, I think I’ll be gifting it to my mom and sister — hopefully in addition to receiving one myself.
Celluma CLEAR LED Light
Who: Madisen Theobald, Social Media Editor
Why: All I want for Christmas — this year and every year — is a clear, acne-free complexion. I started taking better care of my skin a couple of years ago, but I still get an occasional whitehead or hormonal breakout from time to time, which usually ends with a bit of scarring and skin discoloration. This holiday season, I am committed to taking my skincare routine to the next level with the Celluma CLEAR LED Light. It is a portable, bendable LED blue and red light therapy system that can help treat and prevent acne. The blue light actually kills the bacteria known to cause acne, while the red wavelength helps heal the acne lesions. It made my holiday wish list because it is a non-toxic, non-invasive alternative to harsh topical acne solutions (later, benzoyl peroxide!). Just 30 minutes under this LED magic machine three to four times a week should get my face in tip-top shape.
Charlotte Tilbury Advent Calendar Holiday Set
Why: This year has definitely been “The Year of Charlotte Tilbury” for me: I am obsessed with almost every product she has (lookin’ at you Pillow TalkTM lipstick!). That’s why I knew I had to have this ultra-chic Charlotte Tilbury Advent Calendar Holiday Set. This circular, galactic-themed holiday countdown collection contains full-size and travel-size favorites, including my beloved Pillow Talk, Charlotte’s Magic Cream® priming moisturizer, Legendary Lashes® Mascara, Eyes to MesmeriseTM cream shadow in Star Gold, and more.
Dyson Supersonic Dryer Gift Edition with Red Case
Who: Sophie Wirt, Beauty Editor
What: Dyson® Supersonic® Dryer Gift Edition with Red Case ($399)
Why: I’ve been eyeing this souped-up hair dryer ever since it launched just shy of three years ago. Since then, countless stylists have raved about its ability to cut drying time and amp up shine — all without using what the brand calls “extreme heat.” This holiday season, I’ve finally gotten my hands on it. Even though I’m late to the game, this sleek, geometric dryer still feels futuristic. It’s significantly less cumbersome than conventional hair dryers, and — unlike with traditional dryers, which suck air from the backend — this one is engineered to catch wind from the base. This means that there’s no risk of rogue hairs becoming ensnared. As for the purportedly speedy dry time, I can attest that it’s true: I swear my hair dries in half its usual time with this dryer — and looks shinier, too.
Yves Saint Laurent Limited Edition Holiday Rouge Pur Couture
Why: Every year, YSL releases limited edition lipstick packaging for the holidays; and every year, I wait with the anticipation of a kid listening for reindeer hooves. I haven’t been disappointed yet, and this year’s design might just be my favorite of all. Rows of tiny silver stars aligned neatly on a gilded gold backdrop strike a rare balance between glamour and minimalism. Frankly, the lipstick formula itself is a secondary concern (in case you’re curious, though, it’s creamy and lightly-scented).
Beachwaver Co. S1.25
Who: Cat Matta, Copy Editor & Fact-Checker
What: Beachwaver® Co. S1.25 ($129)
Why: There’s nothing better than getting a ridiculously good blowout. But, I’ve always been stylistically-challenged when it comes to doing my own hair. That’s why I’m dying to get my hands on this notoriously idiot-proof Beachwaver. For once in my life, I’d like to do my own hair and get that just-walked-out-of-the-salon (or, in this case, off the beach) look. From all I’ve heard, you simply clamp your hair in the auto-rotating wand, and the tool does all the work. Plus, with their Be StrongTM Pre-Shampoo Reparative Foam ($42), and Stay StrongTM Reparative Shampoo ($36) and Conditioner ($36), I’ll be guilt-free about heat styling, and (hopefully) armed with all I need to look fab without all the fuss. The true test: seeing if I can get more than one side of my hair to look like I want it to — always my biggest foil.
Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer
Why: The subject of facial steaming has been hotly (pun intended) debated in the beauty world. However, to me, it has always epitomized self-care. That’s because, as a child, one of my favorite things to do while hanging at home was to beg my mom to haul out her massive, early 1970s facial steamer in pea soup green — a favorite hue of the decade. Sticking my tiny head deep into its enormous jowls and huffing the warm dampness it emitted was akin to meditation for me. When I’d lift my face from it afterwards, swipe the droplets from my brows, and splash cold water on my face, the feeling was always the same — refreshingly, pure, heaven.
That’s why when I learned Dr. Dennis Gross SkincareTM came out with a steamer, I decided it was time to finally, tactically take that trip down memory lane. And, boy, has technology changed in the past near 50 years. Unlike my mom’s retro model, with the The Pro Facial Steamer you no longer have to stick your head into the device (and inevitably have to come up every few minutes for fresh air). Instead, it spews a fairly dense cloud of steam at your face, which is recommended to be safely six to eight inches away from the mouth of the device. The brand also takes it to another level, including a four-step regimen: cleanse, peel, steam, moisturize. Rather than a kitchen table steam of yore, the Pro Facial Steamer leaves you feeling as if you just left the spa.
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