When it comes to holiday beauty, a great time to try out a new skincare routine is definitely this time of the year.
Since I use a five-step skincare routine everyday (cleanser, toner, eye cream, moisturizer, serum), skincare can definitely add up over time. And let’s be real, I’m probably not going to buy a five-dollar moisturizer if I want to keep my face looking fresh and young. As a result, now is the time to try out something new since brands always come out with special value sets for the holidays.
Although I will be talking about a couple brands in general in posts to come, I had some lone items that I’ve compiled since they are all fantastic products and would make great gifts for someone who wants a new skincare routine or is always down for trying something new.
Estee Lauder Life + Firm set
Estee Lauder is known for their skincare items, and having used a few of them on constant rotation, I have to agree, they rock when it comes to this beauty category.
The Life + Firm set (C$116 at Hudson’s Bay) is perfect to gift to someone who wants to have a more lifted and firmer appearance (don’t we all!?). This collection contains a 50 ml (full size) of the Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme SPF 15 (retails for C$112 at Hudson’s Bay), a Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Eye Creme (5 ml), Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum (15 ml), and an Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam (30 ml).
Okay, so first off, let’s just mention how the moisturizer alone is C$112 and you get all this for C$116. Crazy, right?! Each of these products, when used together, significantly give you a more lifted, firmer look, translating into younger-looking skin.
I already use an Estee Lauder serum at night (not the same one in this set), and absolutely love the results on my skin. I was previously using one of their eye creams as well (I just ran out of it) and loved the results I’ve been getting from that as well.
Since this is an anti-aging set, I have to say it’s the perfect gift for mom. In fact, I totally gifted this to my mom for Hanukkah yesterday as she was mentioning that she needs more skincare and she’s always asking for stuff that will reverse the signs of aging (like sagging skin).
This set is available at Hudson’s Bay and department stores. I highly recommend this one!
FOREO Luna 2
When it comes to cleansing brushes, I have to say my absolute fave is the FOREO Luna 2. Although I have two Clarisonics, I have to say I use my FOREO Luna 2 way more.
Why you ask? Three reasons: you don’t need to replace the brush heads, the charge lasts forever, and it doesn’t spray water everywhere.
Do you find that you’re always having to charge your Clarisonic? I did (aside from the Mia Fit, that one has a cradle). What about brush heads? They are expensive and you’re *supposed* to replace them after three months? Also, do you get water all over your arms and your bathroom mirror? Yes, yes, and yes.
Then the FOREO Luna came into my life and I haven’t looked back. FOREO has a ton of different Luna options to try, some smaller than others, but I personally have the Luna 2 for normal skin (there’s also one for sensitive, oily, combination, and men -they are all different colours so you can tell the difference). This is a silicone gadget, making it more hygienic than just a plain-old brush head and is sonic powered that gives you a deep clean and delivers an anti-aging treatment for brighter, firmer, and more youthful-looking skin.
Once I take off my makeup at the end of the day I put a dollop of cleanser on the brush head and then press the button and go to work. It removes 98.5 per cent of dirt, oil, and makeup residue thanks to 8,000 T-Sonic pulsations per minute. As a result, you’ll notice smaller pores and less acne and blackheads. It also helps to smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles with lower-frequency pulsations, which helps to improve the absorption of your skincare products.
Best of all it literally lasts FOREVER. I probably got mine last summer and I’ve charged it once (when I went to Asia in January solely because I didn’t want it to die when I was there). It’s also 100 per cent waterproof, so you can use it in the bath or shower.
If you’re in the market for a Clarisonic, I highly recommend looking into the FOREO as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Clarisonic, but if I had to recommend just one, I would have to say this one. It’ll save you money in the long run, it’s cleaner, and will last forever.
The Luna 2 retails for C$229, however, there is a limited-edition holiday set that is a total steal (I’ve had a couple people already buy it on my recommendation). For C$159 at Sephora, you can get a Luna Mini 2, a Tarte Brighter Days Highlighting Moisturizer, a Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel (tried this and loved it), and a Tarte Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost. Like I said, this is a steal and such a great gift if you’re thinking of purchasing a FOREO Luna anyways. I haven’t used the Mini 2, however, it retails for C$159 anyways, so the same price as the set, and it looks like it does the same thing as the Luna 2, just smaller.
I’ve seen this set in Sephora and it looks like it’s sold out online, however, if you can find it, jump on it, this is a steal!!!
Charlotte Tilbury Revolutionary Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask
Looking for a luxurious stocking stuffer? This is it.
Sheet masks are still all the rage, so why not gift something extra special. Inspired by technical innovations of Korean beauty, this sheet mask is actually dry. No you didn’t read that incorrectly.
With ingredients proven to reduce wrinkles, smooth, brighten, lift and hydrate your skin, since this is dry, you can actually reuse it up to two other times. The dry textile mask has active ingredients imprinted on it so it doesn’t harbour bacteria that a normal sheet mask would and it tailors to your skin, feeding it exactly what it needs. Because is has a higher content of active ingredients, the effects of the mask last for up to eight hours and it’s perfect to put on if you’re looking for glowing, camera-ready skin that is hydrated and nourished (perfect for New Years Eve).
Skin will feel more hydrated, look more brighter and smoother, wrinkles will be reduced and facial contours will be lifted. You can find this online at Charlotte Tilbury’s website if you’re like me and don’t have a counter nearby, for $27 each.
Caudalie Vinoperfect and Secrets of Makeup Artists gift sets
When it comes to skincare, France seems to know a thing or two. Caudalie, a Parisian skincare brand who actually has a spa inside the Shangra-La hotel in Toronto, has a number of gift sets available that will make anyone’s day.
The Secrets of Makeup Artists set (C$59) has their cult-fave Beauty Elixir, a soothing essential oil that can be used as a prepping or setting spray (or just when you need a little facial pick me up). Inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary’s famous youth elixir, this stuff is formulated with grape extracts and clarifying ingredients for a burst of radiance. It can also be used as an aftershave for men as the formula contains essentials oils and plant extracts to clarify and brighten complexions.
Also in this set is a French Kiss lip balm that will soften and hydrate lips, while providing anti-aging, antioxidant protection. It is also formulated with grapeseed polyphenols for anti-wrinkle protection, aloe vera to repair, and castor and sunflower oils to nourish the lips.
Another awesome set to pick up is the Vinoperfect set (or Brightening Blockbusters at Sephora), which contains the brand’s three-step solution to diminish the appearance of dark spots and to even skin tone. Included is a 30 ml of the Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum, which contains their patented Viniferine, a serum that reduces the appearance of dark spots, such as acne marks, scars and damage. There is also a 50 ml of the Brightening Essence, which combines glycolic acid, which supports natural cell turnover, and 100 per cent organic grape water to sooth and hydrate. It also makes your skin more luminous and refines skin texture. Finally, there is a 15 ml of the Vinoperfect Overnight Renewal Cream, which works overnight to resurface, brightens and detoxify the skin.
Both sets would make fabulous gifts, but I have to say the Caudalie Beauty Elixir is definitely a much talked-about product that retails for C$59 anyways, so for the same price you can get the lip balm extra. Total score!
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks and Lip Mask
I first saw Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood Lip Masks on Kim Kardashian’s Instagram, and ever since she promoted it, Rodial has been popping up on my feed on the constant. The UK skincare brand has some holiday sets available which allows you to gift multiple packs of these lip hydrators, or split them up amongst friends.
The Dragon’s Blood Lip Masks contain replenishing bio-cellulose that give instant moisture and comfort and soothe the skin for younger-looking lips. I’m constantly carrying around lip balm since I get dry lips quite easily, so these are a nice treat for when I’m feeling extra chapped.
Also available are the Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks, which also contain bio-cellulose that you put on your under eyes, acting as a second skin as it adds moisture to the delicate eye area. As a result, eyes look de-puffed and the cooling effect is so relaxing, giving you more brighter and alert eyes.
Rodial has a special gift set with three of the lip masks and three of the eye masks available on their website.
Fresh Crème Ancienne Supreme Eye Serum and FreshFace Instant Glow Luminizer
Finally, and so sorry for the long post, but if you’re looking for an amazing eye cream, Fresh has you covered.
I’ll be delving into their actual holiday sets shortly, but if you are looking to gift something truly luxurious, the Fresh Crème Ancienne Supreme Eye Serum is a treatment for the under eye area to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness around the eye.
Handmade in a monastery in the Czech Republic (crazy, I know), this formula features silk tree bark blended along with other exotic roots and botanicals that work to correct the five signs of aging and protect against free radicals that can damage your skin. The highly concentrated formula (a little goes a long way) is enriched with galanda leaf and commiphora extract to enhance suppleness and the red ginger root extract protects, comforts and soothes the delicate under eye area.
This retails for a staggering C$220, so you get why it’s something truly special.
If you’re gifting this to someone who loves to show off their skin, try pairing it with the FreshFace Instant Glow Luminizer, a sheer illuminating cream that gives you that coveted no-makeup glow. Perfect for all skin types, this will make even the dullest appearance look more radiant thanks to its microshimmer particles that create a luster to the skin.
You can wear this alone, over makeup, or even as a highlight for a little extra glow. I personally love using it for hot-weather vacations, something perfect to gift if there is an all-inclusive on the horizon.
It retails for C$60 at Sephora.
I’ll have more skincare posts coming up next week on the blog, so keep a look out for sets from Fresh and Burt’s Bees. Skincare is always a good gift idea for those who are truly stuck on what to gift someone.
Please note, I was sent these products from PR. All opinions are my own.
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- Odds + ends: Seven small filler gifts for the holidays
- All that glitters is gold: Holiday picks from Sephora Collection