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HomeBlogAbout FaceAbout Face: Holiday gift guide, part 2 – body, hair, and cosmetics...

About Face: Holiday gift guide, part 2 – body, hair, and cosmetics ideas!

Cosmetics sets and kits

BareMinerals Pixi ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceLeft to right: BareMinerals The Dream Team brush set; Pixi Early Bird Kit

Prepackaged sets and palettes, like the ones offered this holiday season by BareMinerals and Pixi, certainly make shopping easy. If you know how much makeup your gift-recipient likes to wear, or the products they like to experiment with, then honing in on a set that features such things means your shipping is efficient and straightforward.

For anyone, though, I think these two products will work. Every woman needs a good set of makeup brushes, and The Dream Team from BareMinerals includes five brushes for your face and eyes, like a contour blush brush and an eyeliner brush, as well as a pretty metallic brush bag. Good for storage, I’d say. And for the younger set, the Pixi Early Bird Kit is a solid smattering of face and eye products, including three blushes and 16 eyeshadow shades. If you’ve just allowed your teenager to start wearing makeup and want a set that will last her a while, the Pixi Early Bird Kit is certainly up to the task, with enough varied, wearable colors to keep anyone occupied.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $49 for The Dream Team at BareMinerals.com; $34 for Early Bird Kit at PixiBeauty.com.

Glamorous eyeshadow palettes

BareMineralsREADY8.0 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceLeft to right: BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 8.0 in The Finer Things with Bonus Mini Prime Time Eyelid Primer and The Star Treatment with Bonus Mini Prime Time Eyelid Primer

BareMinerals has been a perennial favorite of this blog since the launch of the brand’s READY formula, and these eight-shade eyeshadow palettes are a great bang for your buck. If there was any product I would advise you to buy for a friend and for yourself, it would be The Finer Things and The Star Treatment—they’re just so, so pretty, and so efficient.

The Finer Things is more cool-toned, and includes shades like Penhouse, a glittery black, and Private Isle, a metallic cobalt. The Star Treatment is warmer, with Ritzy, a shimmery deep brown, and Extravagance, a glowing gold. Each also comes with a mini tube of Prime Time Eyelid Primer, which will keep the eyeshadow in place for longer.

Seriously, stock up. Horde this stuff. READY is that good.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $40 each at BareMinerals.com and other retailers like Ulta and Sephora store locations.

Nail polish gift sets

DeborahLippmann Ciate ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceLeft to right: Deborah Lippmann Rock This Town Gift Set, Ciaté Caviar Manicure Set in Rainbow

Honestly, I don’t blame you if you’re nail polish-ed out; last week’s post on stocking stuffers pretty exhaustively covered the subject. But the truth is that women are spending more and more money each year on nail polish, seeing it as an affordable extravagance, and that corner of the beauty market is growing like none other. So, here we are.

What I want to focus on this week, though, in contrast to last week’s mostly affordable offerings, is the glamorous sets that are only available now, during the holiday season. One standout is Deborah Lippmann’s Rock This Town set, with the shimmery dark purple shade Moon Dance, the dirty olive gold shade Chain Reaction, and the deep copper shade Phoenix Rising. Deborah Lippmann polishes normally go for $16 to $18 each, so this set shaves a little off that cost and offers three shades you won’t find anywhere else, either.

And nail art is a huge thing this season, as it has been all year. Give someone the opportunity to try it at home with the Ciaté Caviar Manicure Set in Rainbow; apply the polish, shake the little beads on top, and add texture and a unique look to your nails. Is this the best gift for grownups? Perhaps not. But it’s a fun thing for teenagers, and for mothers and daughters to do together.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $42 for Rock This Town at Beauty.com; $25 for Caviar Manicure Set at Bloomingdales.com.

At-home gel manicure sets

SallyHansenGelManicure ChesapaekeFamilyAboutFaceLeft to right: Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Gel Manicure Starter Kit in Red My Lips; Salon Insta Gel Strips Gel Manicure Starter Kit in Wine Not

Much like nail art, gel manicures don’t look like they’re going away anytime soon, do they? But they are pricey trips to the beauty salon indeed, and maintaining that look can certainly add up.

So Sally Hansen, which pretty much revolutionized the at-home manicure industry with their Salon Effects patterned nail strips a few years ago, now do the same to the gel manicure, creating kits that help you achieve the look in your own living room, bedroom, bathroom, or wherever. For the more committed, there’s the Salon Gel Polish Gel Manicure Starter Kit, available in three shades and with enough gel base coat, gel nail color, gel top coat, and cleanser pads to last you through 10 manicures. The other option is the Salon Insta Gel Strips Gel Manicure Starter Kit, which offers gel polish in the form of easily applied strips that you shape to fit your own nails. Each set also comes with a LED lamp to set the manicure, and you can buy various gel polish or gel strip shades separately to use with the rest of the kits.

The kits may give you sticker shock at first glance, but do the math—if you were to treat someone to 10 gel manicures, there would be a serious dent in your wallet. These Sally Hansen kits aren’t as cheap as the nail polish we looked at last week, but with time, they basically pay for themselves.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $64.99 for Salon Gel Polish kit, $27.99 for Insta Gel Strips kit, both at Target store locations.

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