Holiday2020

The 25 Best Perfume Gift Sets for the Fragrance Lover in Your Life

The 25 Best Perfume Gift Sets for the Fragrance Lover in Your Life

Looking to cross a few items off your holiday shopping list but don’t know where to start? Sure, hair gifts, makeup gift sets, spa gifts and bath bombs are welcome options (and check out these gifts for women), but the best perfume gift sets really raise the bar. Whether you’re gifting a fresh bottle of someone’s tried-and-true signature scent or introducing them to something new, fragrance gift sets are always a winning beauty gift.
“Fragrance is truly a personal gift for a loved one, as it shows thought was put into the purchase,” says Leigh Quilhot, Senior Director of Merchandising at Bluemercury. “Scent is closely linked with memory, in ways that the gift of fragrance can evolve nostalgic emotions of a trip or transport them back to a special moment in their lives. Fragrance is also strongly tied to self-care. It could be the ritual of lighting a candle at the end of the day or taking a moment to spritz yourself with your favorite scent. Fragrance is extremely visual, whether it’s the glass bottle of perfume sitting on top of your vanity or a ceramic candle on your coffee table. It’s a gift that has a daily presence in the lives of loved ones — and perfect for Instagram, too!”

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What makes perfume gift sets even more exciting during the holiday is that you can nab options that aren’t available the rest of the year. “The holidays are a fun time for fragrance as we are seeing limited-edition packaging, artist collaborations, and new formats that will be only available during the holidays,” Quilhot says. “Giving the gift of wellness also has come through in fragrance — we love the idea of gifting your loved one an aromatherapy-inspired gift, such as a gorgeous stone diffuser from Vitruvi. We are continuing to see home fragrance double as home décor. The vessels from our new brands L’objet and Harlem Candle Co., along with limited-edition holiday candles from Diptyque, NEST, and LAFCO are so gorgeous you’ll want to reuse them long after the wax has burned down.”
Start filling up your cart with the best perfume gift sets of the holiday season.
1. Vilhelm Parfumerie Discovery Kit
“I love fragrance kits for the holidays because they allow you to try a variety of bestsellers,” Quilhot says. “This one in particular includes Vilhelm Parfumerie’s most sought after scents, offering an option for any mood or occasion.” It comes with Morning Chess, Dear Polly, Room Service, Mango Skin, Basilico & Fellini, and Poets of Berlin.

Vilhelm Parfumerie Discovery Kit

$36.00

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2. Aromatherapy Associates Moment to Treasure Gift Set
“This luxurious aromatherapy vault collection includes everything I could ever need for the ultimate self-care routine,” Quilhot says. “It features a full suite of 19 of Aromatherapy Associates’ bestselling and most loved essential oil blends.” Bath time will never be the same for the lucky recipient.

Aromatherapy Associates Moment to Treasure

$337.00

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3. Henry Rose The Playground Gift Set
Just like a real playground, you could spend all day playing with this fragrance gift set from Henry Rose, Michelle Pfeiffer’s clean perfume line. The rainbow colorscape will make quite the impression, just like the genderless scents themselves. They can all be mixed and matched to create a custom fragrance.

Henry Rose The Playground

$175.00

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4. Hermés Mini Replica Coffret Set
Who wouldn’t be thrilled to find the signature orange Hermés box waiting to be opened for the holidays? There are four mini fragrances inside this perfume gift set: Twilly d’Hermès Eau de Parfum, a floral, spicy, scent featuring ginger and tuberose; Eau des Merveilles with candied orange, patchouli and a woody amber accord; Un Jardin sur le Nil Eau de Toilette, that brings a garden in bloom to life; and Eau de rhubarbe écarlate Eau de Cologne, with rhubarb and white musk.

Hermés Mini Replica Coffret Set

$55.00

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5. Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet and Lip Glow Gift Set
The box is so pretty that you won’t even need to wrap it, making this one of the best perfume gift sets. The enchanting Miss Dior is a floral explosion rounded out with citrus and musky notes. The fragrance gift set includes the eau de toilette, the Miss Dior Nourishing Rose Hand Cream, and a Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001 Pink, the nourishing lip balm.

Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet and Lip Glow Gift Set

$98.00

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6. Jo Malone London Cologne Collection Set
To get into the holiday spirit, Jo Malone releases limited-edition perfume gift sets for the merriest time of year. This one features five minis: Lime Basil & Mandarin, Wild Bluebell Cologne, Wood Sage & Sea Salt , English Pear & Freesia, and Fig & Lotus Flower Cologne. Meant to be mix and matched, the recipient can play perfumer and create a custom blend.

Jo Malone London Cologne Collection Set

$115.00

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7. Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette Refillable Twist and Spray
Gift the men in your life this classic warm, woody cologne from Chanel. The blend of grapefruit, dry cedar and sandalwood is a crowd pleaser. Ideal for on-the-go, the set comes with three mini eau de toilette sprays, with a refillable atomizer.

Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette Refillable Twist and Spray

$85.00

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8. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Set
When YSL’s Opium was introduced in 1977, it caused a scandal. Four decades later, Black Opium is one of the most popular perfumes for women out there. The sweet and spicy gourmand blends coffee, vanilla and white flowers. This perfume gift set includes the eau de parfum and a travel spray, so you can take the scent wherever you go.

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Set

$82.00

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9. Ralph Lauren Men’s 3-Pc. Polo Red Eau de Toilette Holiday Gift Set
Men’s fragrances don’t get any more classic than Polo Red. Deliciously woody and spicy, the cologne blends bergamot, red saffron, and deep red wood. The limited-edition men’s fragrance gift set comes with the Ralph Lauren Polo Red Eau de Toilette in full and travel sizes, as well as a deodorant.

Ralph Lauren Men’s 3-Pc. Polo Red Eau de Toilette Holiday Gift Set

$99.00

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10. Tom Ford Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum Set
Simultaneously sweet and sexy, Lost Cherry is a warm and spicy gourmand that you’ll want to spritz on again and again. The combination of black cherry, tonka bean, and almond is like nothing else out there. Delightfully luxe, the perfume gift set includes a full and travel size of the scent.

Tom Ford Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum Set

$368.00

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11. Dolce & Gabbana K Eau de Toilette Gift Set
When you can’t take him on a getaway to the Italian countryside, the next best thing is the essence of fresh Mediterranean air in a bottle. A woody cologne, K by Dolce & Gabbana features top notes of citrus, sparkling blood orange and juniper berry, with a heart of clary sage, geranium and lavandin, and a base of cedarwood, vetiver and patchouli. The set includes a full-sized eau de toilette, travel spray and shower gel.

Dolce & Gabbana K Eau de Toilette Gift Set

$98.00

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12. Nest New York Mini Diffuser Set
Diffusers are an elegant way to scent your home, and no one does elegance and home scents quite like Nest. This limited-edition fragrance gift set has three petite diffusers in the brand’s iconic seasonal scents and each delivers approximately 30 days of continuous fragrance. The Birchwood Pine diffuser evokes a winter forest with a blend of white pine, balsam fir, birchwood, rich musk and amber. The Holiday diffuser is a mix of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and amber. The Spiced Orange & Clove diffuser fuses orange pomander, spiced brandy, Saigon cinnamon, star anise and gingered honey.

Nest New York Mini Diffuser Set

$54.00

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13. Gucci The Alchemist’s Garden Hand Cream Set
If there’s one thing we’ve all done a lot of in 2020, it’s hand washing. That’s why this beautiful hand cream trio from Gucci is one of the best fragrance gift sets this holiday season. The chic gender-free set will nourish and protect hands while leaving them delightfully scented. The set includes three perfumed hand creams — The Eyes of the Tiger, A Song for the Rose and The Last Days of Summer — with charming vintage-inspired packaging tucked into a gift-ready box.

Gucci The Alchemist’s Garden Hand Cream Set

$220.00

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14. Nautica Oceans Eau de Toilette + Toiletry Bag
Take an olfactory dip into the ocean, so to speak, with this holiday fragrance gift set by Nautica. The sea salt accord will take you straight to the waves of Tasmania. The alcohol-free fragrance boasts an eco-conscious design and packaging, with a refillable bottle and FSC-certified carton printed with water-based ink. It comes tucked into a toiletry bag that’s ideal for stashing all his grooming goodies.

Nautica Oceans Eau de Toilette + Toiletry Bag

$30.00

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15. Armani Beauty My Way Perfume Gift Set
You can’t go wrong with a Giorgio Armani perfume, making this one of the best holiday perfume gift sets. The duo includes a full size and travel size of My Way, the famed Italian designer’s most popular scent, a classic woody floral that blends orange blossom, tuberose and vanilla.

Armani Beauty My Way Perfume Gift Set

$82.00

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16. Sephora Favorites Holiday Cologne Sampler Set
Can’t decide which scent to gift him this Christmas? Thanks to this sampler set, you won’t have to choose. Tucked into this sleek vegan leather bag — which he can use as a travel bag or Dopp kit — are nine samples of the most popular men’s colognes. The Sephora gift set contains Burberry Mr. Burberry Eau de Toilette, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme, Armani Beauty Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme, Gucci Gucci Guilty Pour Homme,  Paco Rabanne Invictus Victory Extreme, Prada Luna Rossa Carbon, Valentino Uomo Born In Roma, Versace Dylan Blue, Viktor&Rolf Spicebomb Infrared, and Yves Saint Laurent Y.

Sephora Favorites Holiday Cologne Sampler Set

$68.00

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17. Acqua di Parma Fragrance Samples Gift Set
This spectacular set by Acqua di Parma is one of the top fragrance gift sets this holiday season. The signature bright Parma yellow and striking design makes this a holiday decoration in itself. The discovery set comes with 10 scents from four different lines: Colonias with Colonia and Colonia Club; Le Nobili with Rosa Nobile and Magnolia Nobile; Blu Mediterraneo with Arancia di Capri, Fico di Amalfi, Mirto di Panarea, and Cipresso di Toscana; and Signatures of the Sun with Yuzu and Quercia.

Acqua di Parma Fragrance Samples Set

$48.00

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18. By Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad Mini Spray Set
By Kilian is the king of sexy scents that are like nothing else out there. That might have something to do with the fact that he created Rihanna’s signature scent. Just like her pick, Good Girl Gone Bad is a sensual scent worth stocking up on. It features a floral trio of tuberose absolute, jasmine and narcissus. This gift set comes with four travel-sized refills and a strikingly chic atomizer for easy application.

By Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad Mini Spray Set

$195.00

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19. Jimmy Choo I Want Choo Eau de Parfum Gift Set
When you can’t get her a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, their gorgeous perfume is the next best thing. The duo comes with a full and travel-size parfum spray. The sparkling floral spotlights peach, vanilla, jasmine and red spider lily.

Jimmy Choo 2-Pc. I Want Choo Eau de Parfum Gift Set

$124.00

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20. Mugler Alien Goddess Perfume Gift Set
After all these years, Mugler’s Alien is still out of this world. (See what we did there?) The perfume gift set come with a refillable full size and a travel size, tucked into a giftable box. The warm floral blends bergamot, jasmine and bourbon vanilla.

Mugler Alien Goddess Perfume Gift Set

$85.00

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21. Ellis Brooklyn Library Fragrance Discovery Set
You don’t need a library card to check out Ellis Brooklyn’s award winning, clean, vegan eau de parfums. Play perfumer by mixing and matching the fragrances to create your own scent or wear them solo. The petite sizes make them ideal for travel or on-the-go. The set includes eight unisex favorites: Myth, a white musk; Rrose, a sparkling floral; Sci Fi, a vanilla; Fawn, a blend of spring citrus and coconut milk; Rives, a lavender-neroli inspired by Twenties South of France; Raven, a bold peony-patchouli; Fable, a honeysuckle-amber; and West, a blood orange fragrance.

Ellis Brooklyn Library Fragrance Discovery Set

$27.00

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22. Vitruvi Stone Diffuser Holiday Bundle
One of the best ways to bring fragrance into your space is with a diffuser, particularly this long-lasting one from Vitruvi. It comes with four of their most popular essential oils: The Golden Blend, Grove Blend, Fireside Blend and Afterglow Blend, making it one of the best fragrance gift sets.

Courtesy of Vitruvi

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser Holiday Bundle

$150.00

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23. Diptyque Limited-Edition Carousel Set with Baies Candle
“Diptyque Carousel Candle’s gorgeous limited-edition packaging would be a standout piece in any living room and brings the perfect festive touch for the holidays,” Quilhot says. The heat of the candle turns the carousel, which projects light and shadow effects. Their popular Baies scent is an intoxicating blend of blackcurrants and rose.

Diptyque Limited-Edition Carousel Set with Baies Candle

$128.00

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24. Memo Marfa Eau de Parfum
All eyes are on this striking bottle! “On top of how amazing this scent smells, the bottle also makes for a beautiful addition to my vanity,” Quilhot says. The perfume combines orange blossom absolute, tuberose absolute and white musk.

MEMO Marfa Eau de Parfum

$300.00

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25. Lafco White Maple Bourbon Candle
“The scent from Lafco’s White Maple Bourbon candle evokes the spirit of the holiday with a magical scent of white maple wood and vanilla bean,” Quilhot says. Exclusive to Bluemercury, the silver vessel has that holiday sparkle. Even better, it delivers 90 hours of burn time.

LAFCO White Maple Bourbon Candle

$65.00

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The 40 Best Beauty Gifts for Every Hair, Makeup and Skin Care Lover

The 40 Best Beauty Gifts for Every Hair, Makeup and Skin Care Lover

With the holidays on the horizon, you might be feeling the pressure to start crossing names off your shopping list, especially as big shopping holidays like Black Friday are quickly approaching. And there’s a lot to consider when purchasing the best gift for any woman on your list. However, if the giftee on your list a beauty lover, already bookmarking luxury beauty gift sets to splurge on or waiting on her beauty advent calendar to arrive for a little daily glam to countdown the days ’til Christmas, you’ve come to the right place. 
Despite a global pandemic, the beauty industry delivered with launch after launch of exciting new makeup, hair, and skin care products. From soothing self-care goods like silk sleep masks and CBD-infused skincare to the cosmetics that made us feel a little more ourselves, brands rose to the occasion to meet everyone’s needs, and it shows through the best beauty gifts of 2021. Whether you’re shopping limited-edition makeup gift sets or browsing the best sellers from top beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora, there’s something in the space for everyone on your list. 

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The good news is, you have options. The bad news (ish) is, there are so many categories under the beauty umbrella, that narrowing down said options can be challenging. To save you time, we scoured the internet for the best beauty gifts within every budget. It’s the ultimate wish list of beauty lovers everywhere; a collage of luxury picks and sweet beauty stocking stuffers, fragrances, palettes, skin care tools, and more.  Browse our findings below and you’re guaranteed to find the perfect present to spread a little joy for the year to come — not to mention good hair, skin, and nails.
1. Sacheau Stainless Steel Gua Sha Tool
Lymphatic drainage — ever heard of it? The practice has become a hot topic across the beauty sphere in recent years. The idea is that, by smoothing muscle tissue around the body, your lymphatic system can properly eliminate body waste. Dry brushes and gemstone rollers have risen to popularity as key tools in accomplishing this, but Asian beauty brand, Sacheau has replaced jade and quartz with its Gua Sha made from 100% recycled stainless steel that is anti-bacterial, self-cooling, eco-friendly, and more durable than alternatives.

Sacheau Stainless Steel Gua Sha Tool

$35

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2. Jo Malone Cream Christmas Cracker
The luxury fragrance brand’s offerings extend beyond the best luxury candles to bring its lavish aromas to your beauty cabinet, hence why the brand’s Cream Christmas Cracker is the perfect beauty set for holiday gifting. The festive Cracker contains three products: The Jo Malone Honeysuckle & Davana Cologne, English Pear & Freesia Body & Hand Wash, and Peony & Blush Suede Body Crème. It also comes pre-packaged with silver bows, so if you’re not much of a wrapper, the hard work has already been done for you.

Jo Malone Cream Christmas Cracker

$38

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3. Pat McGrath Labs Mthrshp Mega: Celestial Odyssey Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath’s holiday 2021 offerings are out of this world. The Celestial Odyssey Eyeshadow Palette is a stunner, decked out with five “next-generation” finishes. There are velvet matte shades, sateen shimmer shades, 24K duochrome and iridescent sparklers, as well as foiled metallic options, so users can get as glam as they please. And the best part is, this ultra glitzy shadow is safe on eyes and skin. It’s a limited-edition, 18-pan palette ideal for the most imaginative makeup lovers.

Pat McGrath Labs Mthrshp Mega: Celestial Odyssey Eyeshadow Palette

$78

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4. Rare Beauty Selena’s Faves 4-Piece Mini Set
Selena Gomez’s beauty brand, Rare Beauty, has been a hit with celebs and social media influencers alike since its initial launch in 2020, so if the guru on your list likes to keep up with makeup trends, the Only Murders in the Building actress’s favorite picks set is the perfect beauty gift. The blushing box comes with four miniature-sized products inside, all hand-chosen by Selena for inclusion: A mini Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in the shade Joy, a mini Positive Light Liquid Luminizer in the shade Mesmerize, a mini Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream in the shade Inspire, and a mini Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara in black. The travel-friendly makeup kit is also perfect for beauty lovers on the go, as the set includes everything they need for a full face of soft glam.

Rare Beauty Selena’s Faves 4 Piece Mini Set

$30

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5. Peter Thomas Roth Full-Size Hydra-Gel Eye Patch Heroes 3-Piece Kit
Eyes should be an essential part of any skincare routine, and one of the easiest ways to ensure this sensitive skin is getting the TLC it deserves is to spot-treat the area with some of the best under-eye patches. The Peter Thomas Roth Hydra-Gel Eye Patch Heroes kit is a three-piece set consisting of the brand’s best-selling patches. Its 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift and Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches are, well, lifting and firming (as their name suggests), not to mention worthy of an Instagram photo. The Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches are reminiscent of a spa treatment as they work to soothe and de-puff irritated skin, while the Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches add moisture.

Peter Thomas Roth Full-Size Hydra-Gel Eye Patch Heroes 3-Piece Kit

$75

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6. Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler
For serious stylers who put haircare above all else, there’s the Dyson Airwrap holiday gift set. Undoubtedly one of the best hair-dryer brushes and beauty gifts for the season, the Airwrap Styler Complete comes equipped with multiple attachments that cater to all different hair types and can create a multitude of hair looks. Retailing for $550, the set includes a pre-styling dryer, 1.2″ and 1.6″ barrels, three brushes (a soft smoothing brush, firm smoothing brush, and volumizing brush), plus a storage case to stow it all in. So while it’s definitely a splurge item, your lucky recipient will certainly get what you paid for: A salon-quality tool to be used in the comfort of their own home.

Courtesy of Ulta

Dyson Special Edition Airwrap Styler

$599

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7. Slip Lovely Lashes Contour Sleep Mask
Give the gift of the ultimate beauty sleep with Slip’s new Lovely Lashes Contour Sleep Mask. Most sleep mask material lies directly over the eyes, but this silk option was designed with more than just a good night’s rest in mind. The inside of the mask is contoured so that your eyelids and lashes have room to breathe. It’s an especially convenient setup for anyone who wears falsies, ensuring your set stays where they are while you snooze.

Slip Lovely Lashes Contour Sleep Mask

$55

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8. Fenty Beauty The Before Bed Set
Not sure which skin care products to incorporate into your nighttime routine? Rihanna has you covered with the Fenty Beauty Before Bed Set. The three-piece set is comprised of only PM-essentials, so you no longer have to wonder which serums and creams to use when. The beautifully packaged spread includes the Fenty Beauty Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum to brighten and smooth the skin; the Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream that works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles; and the Pro Kiss’r Luscious Lip Balm in the shade Hint Hint (a universal invisipink sheen) to condition lips overnight. Everything is necessary and nothing is extra.

Fenty Beauty The Before Bed Set

$59

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9. Drunk Elephant Trunk 5.0 Value Set
Luxury skincare and cute luggage? Yes, please. Drunk Elephant’s holiday 2021 offerings are all jaw-dropping this year, but the brand’s Trunk 5.0 Value Set is one we’ll never forget (nor will your lucky recipient). This vibrantly colored Monos suitcase embellished with floral details comes packed with 10 full-size Drunk Elephant products that cater to skin under various conditions. From the brand’s Protini™ Powerpeptide Resurf Serum to its Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum, and various best-sellers in between the deluxe gift includes everything you need to keep your complexion prepared for every season, climate, and time of day.

Drunk Elephant Trunk 5.0 Value Set

$450

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10. Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Duo
The Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is as rich in hydration as it is loaded with ultra-nourishing ingredients. Formulated with avocado oil, beta-carotene, and shea butter, the dynamic cream depuffs and revitalizes the sensitive under-eye area. It’s the perfect beauty gift for moms whose smile reaches their eyes, who’ve cried with us and for us, who’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly — whose eyes deserve as much love as they give.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Duo

$60

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11. Burt’s Bees Classic Gift Set
One of the best beauty gift sets on sale this season is Burt’s Bees Classic Gift Set. The brand’s signature yellow tin comes stocked with six fan-favorite products, including its ultra-hydrating shea butter hand cream, coconut foot cream, and beeswax lip balm. Keep this kit in mind for anyone on your list who grapples with dry, cracking skin through the winter months.

Burt’s Bees Classic Gift Set

$25

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12. Briogeo Honey Hydration Don’t Despair, Repair! Hair Repair Kit
As far as hair masks go, vegan-friendly hair-care brand Briogeo has some of the best. Its Honey Hydration mask, for example, smells amazing and transforms strands from stale to baby soft in a minimum of five minutes. But don’t worry: no bees were harmed, nor was honey involved in the making of this product. The formula contains a Vegan Apple honey Complex (an animal-friendly alternative to honey) for a burst of hydration, while the addition of nourishing rosehip oil treats breakage. This best-selling mask is combined with a set of Briogeo’s travel-sized Don’t Despair, Repair! shampoo and conditioner for holiday 2021, an ideal pairing for anyone passionate about a healthy hair routine.

Briogeo Honey Hydration Don’t Despair, Repair! Hair Repair Kit

$38

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13. Make Up For Ever Rouge Fever Lip Set
The Make Up For Ever Rouge Fever Lip Set includes a lip pencil for precise outlining and an ultra-pigmented satin-finish lipstick that offers up to 24 hours of wear. The set is available in two colorways, nude and red, both of which would be perfect staple hues for the holidays and beyond. Brand-new on the market and already racking up over 1,000 hearts on Sephora, we have a feeling this beauty gift idea is going to sell fast.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Fever Lip Set

$28

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14. Foreo You Glow Babe! Set Featuring Kate Somerville
Foreo and Kate Somerville came together to create this all-encompassing skin-care gift set for holiday 2021, and the steal is real. Valued at $250, but retailed at only $150, the You Glow Babe! gift set includes the FOREO Luna mini 3 facial cleansing device, the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash, Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer, and the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Together, the products nourish and correct skin to ensure pores remain unclogged, dullness fades, and the complexion stays smooth. What’s more, each of the beauty products included in this limited-edition bundle is safe on all skin types — normal, dry, combination, and oily — making it the perfect gift for all skin care enthusiasts.

FOREO You Glow Babe! Set Featuring Kate Somerville

$159

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15. Patrick TA Major Headlines Blush Palette
Blush is making a comeback in the beauty space, and Patrick Ta’s Major Headlines Palette is one to covet. It’s comprised of six shades (three crémes and three powders) that complement a range of skin tones. Ta’s formulas are free of parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, and the like, leaving room for ingredients that enhance the skin, like patented biomimetic pigments and a creamy emollient base to ensure long-wear and true color. The result: Buildable blushes made for layering and beautiful, endless possibilities.

PATRICK TA Major Headlines Blush Palette

$58

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16. Dior Rouge Dior Minaudiere – The Atelier of Dreams Limited Edition
Dior’s holiday gift presentation remains unmatched, and The Atelier of Dreams Limited-Edition Coffret is no exception. Packaged in a magnificent golden metal minaudiere that’s been engraved with the exterior of its iconic boutique are a limited-edition Rouge Dior lipstick and three refills (in various colors). The chained bag can be worn over-the-shoulder, or held as a clutch, establishing the gift as both a fashion and beauty staple. A striking luxury beauty gift set sure to be on every designer label-lovers list.

Dior Rouge Dior Minaudiere – The Atelier of Dreams Limited Edition

$190

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17. ILIA Mini The Smalls Wonder Set
Introduce the minimalist beauty lover on your list to ILIA with this miniature beauty gift set. The brand values simplicity, from its packaging to its ingredient lists, so we can (almost) guarantee it will be love at first sight. The set includes four everyday staples: a Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara, Fullest Volumizing Mascara, Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil in Only You (neutral nude), and the Lip Wrap Treatment Mask, all of which come travel-sized. Certified cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and recyclable, these best-sellers are lovely and made from skin care-powered ingredients to make users look and feel their best.

ILIA Mini The Smalls Wonder Set

$29

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18. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Vault
Winter weather takes a toll on sensitive skin, especially lips. For anyone who’s constantly reapplying lip balm, Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Vault will serve as a saving grace. Featuring four cult-favorite products from the brand’s Agave collection, including an intensive lip mask and nighttime therapy treatment, consider the set a compact self-care kit for your recipient’s pout. All product is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and made with clean ingredients, and your purchase also comes with a makeup pouch for easy, on-the-go storage.

BITE Beauty Agave Lip Vault

$69

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19. Too Faced Christmas In London Makeup Set
Every year, fans of Too Faced anticipate the brand’s Christmas beauty gift sets — if not for the actual product then for its gorgeous packaging. This year, the Christmas in London Makeup Set comes wrapped up in a lavender-shaded sketch depicting Santa Clause soaring over holiday celebrations in Londoner homes, with Big Ben front-and-center and The London Eye Ferris Wheel spinning in the background. Inside the gift box, you’ll find a limited-edition, 20-shade eyeshadow palette that also features four pressed-powder blushes. A travel-sized Better Than Sex mascara is also included in the box, as well as a travel-size Lip Injection Extreme Instant & Long Term Lip Plumper.

Too Faced Christmas In London Makeup Set

$44

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20. Gisou Honey Infused Hair Care Set
With over 18 thousand “hearts” on Sephora, Gisou’s Honey Infused Hair Care Set is a pretty *sweet* deal. The kit is comprised of four full- and travel-size products: a hair oil, mask, wash, and conditioner. Each is suitable for all hair types and textures, and when used together, the set is designed to treat hair that feels dry, lacks shine, has damage, split ends, or breakage. Formulated with Mirsalehi Honey to restore strands’ natural moisture balance, each cruelty-free product individually helps relieve, rebuild, and rebalance hair.

Gisou Honey Infused Haircare set

$69

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21. Tarte Best Of Blush Mini Amazonian Clay Cheek Set
Before Shape Tape, Tarte was best known for its Amazonian Clay collection, specifically, its blush compacts. Amazonian Clay delivers high-quality, longer wear, and when paired with mineral pigments that smooth and soften the skin, as well as antioxidant-rich vitamin E, the result is a lasting formula rich in color payoff. In this festive holiday set, beauty gurus get five of Tarte’s best shades that won’t fade for up to 12 hours, as well as a highlighter that adds a pop of shine over a touch of rouge. Mind you, the compacts in the set are travel-sized, so they’re perfect for toting around in a purse or for gifting anyone new to using this type of cosmetic.

Tarte Best Of Blush Mini Amazonian Clay Cheek Set

$39

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22. Youth to the People Youth Minimalist Kit
For the skincare enthusiast who’s looking to condense their routine, enter Youth to the People’s Youth Minimalist Kit. The beauty gift box consists of three holy grail products suitable for all skin types to tackle concerns like dark spots, clogged pores, and dryness: a Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser for a deep, more nourishing wash; the Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer Cream that’s made with kale, green tea, and hyaluronic acid; as well as the brand’s Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum to even and depuff the complexion. It’s a three-step system that covers the important bases, offering better results with less product.

Youth to the People Youth Minimalist Kit

$46

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23. MAC Mystic Mist Fix+ Duo
One bottle of MAC Fix+ is already an exciting beauty gift, but two bottles of this magical stuff are even better. This mist is multi-purpose and will take any makeup look to the next level. Dubbed a “4-in-1 mega multitasker,” you can spray it on the skin by itself to refresh the skin, or spritz over makeup to act as a setting spray. Pair it with powder products to ensure your skin doesn’t dry out from the pigment or apply it over powder eyeshadows to intensify the color. No matter how it’s used, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

MAC Mystic Mist Fix+ Duo

$39

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24. Bobbi Brown Cleanse & Care Extra Skin Care Set
Bobbi Brown’s been in the game for years, so if you’re looking for a skincare set that actually delivers on its promises, look no further than this beauty expert’s collection. The Cleanse & Care Extra Skin Care Set will meet the highest of beauty standards because each product goes above and beyond its competitors. It includes a soothing cleansing oil rich in botanicals that can remove even the most stubborn of makeup, as well as Brown’s Extra Lip Tint Sheer Tinted Lip Balm in the shade Bare Pink that’s both color-enhancing and super moisturizing. An Extra Eye Repair Cream is also included, a concentrated cream to revive tired eyes, plus the brand’s Extra Bare Glow Illuminating Moisture Balm that’s been enriched with pearl particles to reinstate the skin’s glow.

Bobbi Brown Cleanse & Care Extra Skincare Set

$140

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25. Benefit Cosmetics Mascara Mixer Full-Size Mascara Trio
Benefit has one of the best mascara collections on the market, making its Mascara Mixer Trio set a must-have. This trifecta of formulas includes full-size fan-favorites: The BadGal Bang! mascara that offers up to a very impressive 36 hours of volume, Roller Lash which helps to achieve root-to-tip with its innovative Hook ‘n’ Roll brush, and the They’re Real! Magnet mascara for extreme length and lift. Layered over one another or used solo, these highly buzzed-about mascaras are best-sellers for a reason: They deliver.

Benefit Cosmetics Mascara Mixer Full-Size Mascara Trio

$40

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26. Clinique Fresh Face Forward: Skin Care and Makeup Set
Clinique knows in order to put your fresh face forward, you have to have the right beauty products. Consider the brand’s skin care and makeup set a one-stop-shop to a clearer, healthier complexion. It includes some of Clinique’s best-sellers, like its Take The Day Off Makeup Remover (a personal favorite) and All About Eyes cream. Every area of the face is accounted for in this set and, upon finishing the routine, will feel revived and refreshed.

Clinique Fresh Face Forward: Skincare and Makeup Set

$59

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27. GlamGlow Instant Celebrity Skin Masking Set
Winter is the season to mask up — and we’re not just talking about face coverings. The GlamGlow Instant Celebrity Skin Masking Set comes with four of the brand’s best-selling mud masks that will undoubtedly salvage skin in colder weather conditions. The YouthMud Glowing Stimulating Treatment, for example, reduces dullness and amplifies skin’s natural radiance, while the ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment quenches dry skin’s thirst. SuperMud treats blemishes (and can be used as a full mask or spot treatment), while GravityMud tightens things up. No matter what their skin concern, GlamGlow has a mask to make it better.

GLAMGLOW Instant Celebrity Skin Masking Set

$36

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28. Chanel Rouge Allure
Is there anything more classic than a Chanel red lip? With the exception of a bottle of Chanel No. 5, probably not. If the beauty lover on your list is especially appreciative of timeless statements, they’ll adore Rouge Allure. The limited-edition intense lip color is available in five shades — Emblematique, Legendaire, Pirate, Independante, and Rouge Brulant, all of which offer a rich, satin finish. The lipstick is formulated with sweet almond oil, green tea, and sappan wood, resulting in a smooth, moisturizing application. There’s no denying this is one of the best red lipsticks for the winter season.

Chanel Rouge Allure

$45

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29. Charlotte Tilbury Smokey Eyes are Forever Instant Eye Palette
Charlotte Tilbury palettes are always elite, and this smoldering number is no exception. Smokey Eyes are Forever, it’s true, and the look is made easy with this 12-pan compilation. Divided into four aesthetics — Love, Power, Happy, and Confident — the palette includes matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes. Shades are buildable, blendable, and mix-and-matchable. Users can follow Tilbury’s clean color-combination guidelines, or experiment with pairings based on personal preference.

Charlotte Tilbury Smokey Eyes are Forever Instant Eye Palette

$75

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30. TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Mask Set
If you’re going to treat your loved one to one of the best sheet masks this holiday season, TonyMoly is the brand to buy. The I’m Real collection is a cult favorite, and each individual mask caters to a different skin concern. The variety pack includes 10 masks, including the I’m Real Red Wine Mask and I’m Real Calendula Mask. Use them as beauty stocking stuffers, or gift the entire bundle for a gentle reminder they, too, deserve a little self-care.

TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Mask Set

$26

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31. Mario Badescu Winter Glow Essentials Set
Another skin care gem to gift this season is the Mario Badescu Winter Glow Essentials Set. Featuring four brand best-sellers, including its beloved Aloe and Rose Water Facial Spray and Rose Lip Balm, the four-piece set aims to leave skin refreshed and feeling its best. Packaged in an ornament-style tin, it’s a particularly great beauty gift for teenage girls looking to experiment with their developing routine.

Mario Badescu Winter Glow Essentials Set

$15

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32. Drybar The Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush
Short hair doesn’t care until it comes to styling. On the one hand, chopped styles can be easier to maintain because there’s not much to tame. On the other, not all hair tools are created equally for all hair lengths. That’s where the Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush comes in. It’s part brush, part hair dryer that styles while it dries hair. Especially great on shorter strands, Drybar’s multi-purpose brush adds volume and calms frizz, and is suitable for all hair types and textures. And if you’re really looking to impress the beauty lover in your life, Drybar has a line of hair products to help your giftee to achieve the perfect at-home blowout.

Drybar The Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush

$150

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33. Living Proof Joy to the Clean Kit
Living Proof’s dry shampoo is unmatched. The elite formula was designed to mimic the shampoo you’d use in the shower: It cleans hair by absorbing sweat and excess oils and eliminates foul odors, replacing them with a time-release fragrance that continually scents strands throughout the day. It’s considered suitable for most hair types (for reference, I have oily hair and it works like a dream), and is safe on color-treated tresses. Trust us, this two-for-one set is a steal.

Living Proof Joy to the Clean Kit

$35

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34. Hip Dot Limited Edition Clueless Collector’s Box
’90s babies will be totally buggin’ once they get their hands on Hip Dot’s limited-edition collaboration with Clueless. The masterfully crafted collector’s box includes a Total Bettys Lip Oil Set, 411 Eyeshadow Palette, the Totally Clueless Blush Palette, and a collectible HipDot x Clueless pink fluffy pen (with a really nice stem). The lot comes packaged in a limited-edition collector’s box with a locker design (all it’s missing is that picture of Tye) and can only be shipped throughout the U.S.

Hip Dot Limited Edition Clueless Collector’s Box

$108

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35. Artis Elite Mirror Brush Trio
Brushes are not created equally, so you want to make sure if you’re gifting a set to a loved one this holiday season, you’re gifting the best of the best makeup brush sets. Artis brushes are immaculate tools. They are incredibly soft to the touch and apply makeup like a dream. With so many sets to choose from, we especially love the Elite Mirror Brush Trio that includes the Elite Palm Brush Mini (a favorite for applying moisturizer, foundation, powder, and cheek products), the Elite Linear 6 (ideal for blending under eye concealer and even taming the brows), and the Elite Linear 3 brush (the perfect tool for creating sharp winged liner).

Courtesy of Artis

Artis Elite Mirror Brush Trio

$175

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36. Holy Curls The Discovery Kit
Cater to the curly hair type on your list with Holy Curls Discovery Kit. This beauty box gift is bound to be her new favorite hair routine as the brand’s exclusive shampoo, conditioner, cream, and gel products were designed to cleanse, condition, moisturize, and define hair that’s normally a little challenging to tame. Each product in the line is 100% vegan and formulated with naturally derived ingredients, ensuring what’s going on to their hair and absorbed into their scalp is healthy. Plus the packaging is sophisticated (not to mention perfect for travel), so they’ll love having the lot on display in their bathroom.

Holy Curls The Discovery Kit

$50

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37. Oscar de la Renta Alibi Eau de Parfum
As far as fragrances go, Oscar de la Renta’s latest is one to covet this season. Aside from its stunning packaging, the Alibi Eau de Parfum has a sparkling aroma. Emitting notes of mandarin and accord, ginger and blossom at the top, with aquatic accord, vanilla orchid, and heliotrope at its heart and skin musk, praline, and amber wood on the bottom, it’s a chic, sensual, and empowering fragrance representing the modern femininity of the de la Renta woman. What’s more, the fragrance is the first to be designed by co-creative directors Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim. If this is any indication of what’s to come, we can’t wait to see (and smell) what comes next.

Oscar de la Renta Alibi Eau de Parfum

$105

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38. Lunar Beauty Lip Gloss Bundle
Makeup artist and YouTube sensation, Manny MUA launched Lunar Beauty in 2018, and the brand has continued to drop all-inclusive collections fans can’t get enough of. Among its beauty bundles is this lip gloss trio, a trifecta of shades that delivers the ultimate glassy finish. Highlighted shades include Starlight, a medium tone pink gloss with multicolor, reflective glitter; Selene, a translucent gold with hints of pink and blue. Certified vegan and cruelty-free, fans rave the glosses look fantastic and make lips feel soft and supple. Not too sticky, and not too thin of a formula, users also note the product stays intact even under face masks.

Lunar Beauty Lip Gloss Bundle

$42

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39. Lush Christmas Bathtime Favorites
Tis the season when self-care gets put on the back burner because our calendars are jam-packed with all the holiday activities and festivities. Treat a loved one to some much-needed R&R with one of the best bomb gift sets from Lush. Packaged in this ultra-festive, reusable hatbox are 10 limited-edition, holiday-themed bath bombs Lushies wait all year for, including the I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas bath bomb that’s shaped like a hippo and smells like fruit, and Sleepy Bear, the white polar cub dusted with lavender for soothing at bedtime. Rest assured, with LUSH on their side, their bathing experience will be the jolliest ever.

LUSH Christmas Bathtime Favorites

$85

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40. Nailboo Dip Kit Essential
Whether you’re shopping for a professional or novice nail artist, Nailboo’s Dip Kit Essential set will be a hit. A personal favorite for this writer who started dappling in dip powder manis once the pandemic hit, the set includes everything you need to achieve salon-quality tips at home and in less time. From detailed instructions to base coats and activators, plus your choice of four colors, the Essentials Kit will last users up to 120 manicures, each of which can last up to 3-6 weeks chip-free. Great results, and all without a UV lamp.

Nailboo Dip Kit Essentials

$115 
$85

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For Most Retailers, a Holiday Performance That Transcends the COVID-19 Crisis

For Most Retailers, a Holiday Performance That Transcends the COVID-19 Crisis

After a holiday season with little festivity and no shortage of uncertainty, America’s retailers are feeling all right.
While the pandemic has decimated shopping inside “nonessential” stores and has put millions out of work, digital sales have skyrocketed, and foot traffic at mass chains, big-box category killers, warehouse clubs, groceries and pharmacies all deemed “essential” was strong during the holidays. It was a hardlines Christmas, for sure, with home, electronics and appliances outperforming soft goods, although activewear, sneakers and cozy apparel were exceptions.
Amazon said this holiday was “record breaking,” as was last year, with “billions” of holiday purchases made and delivered. Amazon said it delivered this year, through the work of its more than 400,000 employees, 1.5 billion products in toys, beauty and personal care, home and electronics. Last year, it delivered about 500 million products in the same categories.

“When customers needed a little extra holiday cheer, millions of employees and partners worked together to deliver more savings and holiday gifts than ever before,” Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, said.
A few department and fashion specialty stores managed to meet or beat their expectations, albeit those expectations were sharply lowered last spring with the advent of the coronavirus.

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In many cases, retailers were surprised by the outcome.
“It has been turning out better than what we anticipated in the early part of this year,” said Melody Wright, chief operating officer of Von Maur Inc., the Davenport, Iowa-based, 39-unit department store chain. She said Von Maur was tracking 10 to 15 percent ahead of its reset business plan. “That doesn’t get us all the way back to the original plan, but we are pleased where it’s headed.”
Rue21’s ceo said the apparel chain was out in front of the cozy, comfy trend this year. 

“We are all pleasantly surprised and pleased we have been able to weather this environment,” said Bill Brand, chief executive officer of Rue21, the Warrendale, Pa.-based apparel chain that targets men and women ages 15 to 25. “Now we want a sense of normalcy and this year to be over, but we have a better sense of hope right now. At Rue21, we are fortunate to have this momentum pushing us forward.”
“Considering we reset our expectations last spring with the outbreak, and that people are being told everyday not to go out, the results for holiday were better than our reset expectations,” said one ceo of an upscale national retailer, who requested anonymity. “Our overall feeling is that our inventory is in a good position and markdowns have been lower than a year ago, and not only for the end of the season.”
With cutbacks in ordering back in the spring, retailers have been running out of activewear, loungewear, sleepwear and cosmetics, the ceo said. Also, “a lot of home furnishings and home improvement product had long lead times” before it would be delivered to homes, the ceo added.
His best-selling areas were home, sweaters, sneakers, casual, active, fragrances and designer leather goods. Anything dress up was not in demand. “Fragrances were the best part of the beauty business,” the ceo said. “People are looking for something that makes them happy. A fragrance can remind you of a vacation, or somebody you love. It’s an easy way to treat yourself. A fragrance defines a personality.”

“I wasn’t expecting December to be good. It’s come around. I was surprised,” said Deirdre Quinn, cofounder and ceo of Lafayette 148, which markets women’s fashion at opening luxury price points. “I think the season is going to end up OK. Each time I see the flash, it’s up, and inventory levels are down. You just watch it like a hawk. I’m really cautious.”
A soft, best-selling look from Lafayette 148. 

Depending on which Industry expert one goes by, holiday 2020 sales will wind up anywhere from 2 percent to 6 or 7 percent ahead, spurred by the dramatic shift to online shopping, and the still employed having more to spend on material goods since little or nothing has been spent on travel, restaurants, theater and other experiences cut short by the pandemic.
At Amazon, Items that sold best on Amazon were pajama sets, with animal prints popular for women, fleece apparel for children and men’s sneakers, along with items featured in gift guides curated by influencers Amazon hired, like Blair Eadie, Rocky Barnes, and Charli D’Amelio.
Amazon also said that its new Luxury Stores, as reported first by WWD, were one-stop-shop” for holiday gifting and that Mark Cross tote bags and skincare sets from The Conservatory and ReVive proved popular. Among electronics and games, the most popular items were Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick, Revlon’s One-Step Hair Dryer, and retro games like Jenga and Lite Brite.
Through its Alexa smart devices, Amazon found some very personal trends like people needing a “moment of peace.” Alexa users played about 1.5 times the amount of “meditation” music this holiday season, compared to last year. And children spent “tens of millions of hours” with educational content from Amazon Kids+ and read more than 3,000 miles of books, if they were laid end to end, Amazon said.
Revlon’s One-Step hairdryer has been popular on Amazon 

Among the season’s other key trends: robust, socially distanced foot traffic at Target, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s as well as Lululemon, Uggs and footwear stores; some apparel pickup at department and specialty stores in the second half of December after shipping cutoff dates passed and the weather got colder; lower inventories, with stockouts seen in home decor and active, and an even pattern of shopping through an elongated season with less of the sales peaks and valleys of past years, and less frenzied promoting. The season was extended because Amazon delayed its Prime Day promotion to Oct. 11, causing  competitors to start their holiday campaigns around the same time, a month to six weeks earlier than normal.
The season also saw higher conversion rates, and rapid adoption of safety measures and conveniences. Retailers provided sanitizers, maintained socially distanced lines outside their doors to limit crowd size, beefed up BOPIS and curbside pickup services, utilized third-parties for speedy deliveries, and had sales associates at upscale stores actively reaching out to customers online.
Mastercard SpendingPulse reported that 2020 holiday retail sales rose 3 percent, excluding automotive and gasoline, which is close to the National Retail Federation’s forecast for holiday sales to grow between 3.6 and 5.2 percent, to a range of $755.3 billion to $766.7 billion. But nonstore sales, dominated by the web, are expected to increase between 20 percent and 30 percent, for a total haul of $202.5 billion to $218.4 billion.
There’s a range in the predictions, with Customer Growth Partners forecasting up to a 6.2 percent gain. Deloitte was among the most conservative in its assessment.
Asked if the season was good, bad or OK, Rod Sides, Deloitte’s vice chairman and U.S. leader of retail and distribution, replied, “I put in the OK category. Given the strength of consumer, it’s going to be fine, probably a 1 to 2 percent gain, depending on who you are.” The ongoing economic uncertainty, and the fact that a second round of government relief checks didn’t arrive in time for holiday spending, had a dampening affect on spending among lower income families, he said.
Considering last year, which came in at roughly a 4 percent gain, a 5 percent increase would be “unbelievable” for this year, Sides said.
Deloitte indicated that “significant increases in digital spending were enough to just offset the losses in brick-and-mortar spending during the holiday shopping season,” though Sides noted that digital cuts into profits. “Absolutely, it’s a much more expensive model, especially since it involves handling inventory several more times. The labor component gets you,” as do the costs from third-party shipping companies.
“Generally speaking, you’re going to pay anywhere from $3 to $7 per delivery for an apparel package. That can add up in a hurry,” Wright said.
“If you are shipping a $25 item, that is going to have a huge impact. It’s a different story if you are Saks, shipping a $400 item,” said Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior adviser and former chairman and ceo of Saks Fifth Avenue. “But in general it’s a very big issue. Considering the massive amount of shipping that occurred, retailers did a good job. You did hear complaints, but overall retailers handled it well and handled it safely.”
People stand in line outside the True Religion Brand Jeans, H&M and Nike stores the day before Christmas at the Citadel Outles un Los Angeles.  Kirby Lee via AP

Mastercard’s 3 percent estimate on the season “shows that the consumer is very resilient and healthy,” Sadove said. “Three percent  is very solid growth. Internet sales grew almost 50 percent [49 percent] compared to 2019 and now account for nearly 20 percent [19.7 percent] of retail commerce.
“Overall the consumer is holding up pretty well,” Sadove added. “Inventories were very much in line, and it was a good season from a margin perspective. Retailers ordered product in March and April in the depths of the pandemic. They didn’t order much, and came into the season clean. I see a lot of empty shelves right now. Margins are going to hold up.”
For the last several days leading up to the holiday, “More people were out and about,” Sadove said. “The retailers I spoke to said traffic was good, better than expected. And people were very good about masking.”
“It was a strong finish to a strong season,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. “After the first 10 days of Christmas and a lot of talk of things slowing down, we are very encouraged. Things picked up. Christmas Eve day was strong, and yesterday, Boxing Day, was the best Dec. 26 we have ever seen. It helped that was a Saturday. People were buying, not just exchanging or returning.”
Johnson underscored that despite the millions being unemployed, there’s cash to spend. Last year, U.S. consumers had $1.2 trillion in savings; this year, they had $2.2. trillion, he said.
He said department and specialty stores will still be negative in the high-single digits for the season, but not as deeply negative as previously thought due a “nice little rebound” in apparel, mainly over the last two Saturdays of December.
An easy casual outfit at Brooks Brothers. 

Retailers believe business will improve in the second half of 2021.
“We think spring will be a little bit bumpy,” said Ken Ohashi, president of Brooks Brothers. He expects a lot of businesses to reopen their offices in the middle of next year as coronavirus vaccination becomes more widespread, giving Brooks Brothers a boost from guys wanting to look spiffy. “Our guy has not replenished his work wardrobe in awhile,” Ohashi said. Brooks Brothers planned conservatively going into the holiday season and started promotions before Thanksgiving, which helped bring sales to the level hoped for.
The number-one category this year was sweaters, displacing dress shirts. High-end pieces such as V-neck cashmere sweaters were bestsellers for eight straight weeks, he said. Half-zips were also popular as “great layering pieces for our guy.” And while dress shirts had a rough time, sports shirts in flannel, checks, plaids and other traditional patterns did well.
Looking ahead, Ohashi said, “There’s a level of fatigue out there from wearing sweatpants. So we’re expecting a resurgence of dressing up,” as parties and events are rescheduled next fall and holiday.
Cashmere V-neck sweaters have been selling at Brook Brothers. 

Bob Mitchell, co-ceo of Mitchells Stores, said that while business overall remains challenging compared to prior years, holiday sales were “definitely better than the general trend.”
He cited “zero demand” for dressy men’s and women’s wear, though there were some bright spots, notably luxury sportswear from Brunello Cucinelli and Loro Piana; casualwear from Faherty, Rhone and Peter Millar men’s, and Vince and Nili Lotan. The biggest winner: women’s jewelry. Sneakers were also “wildly ahead,” Mitchell said. “And we never sold so many sweatsuits, from $100 to $1,000.”
Mitchell said the stores honed their digitally assisted sales. “That was our biggest win, using technology to connect with our customers.”
Ken Giddon, president of Rothmans, said his two locations in Westchester, N.Y., “were fortunately the benefactors of a true effort of consumers to shop local. Nobody went away this year, so we were up in December.” But the flagship on Union Square in Manhattan “was down dramatically, which is the nature of now.”
Rothmans’ bestsellers included knitwear from Faherty and Stone Rose, along with Sorel boots. In terms of dress-up, he said sarcastically: “Tailored clothing? What’s tailored clothing?” Suits have floundered during the pandemic and Giddon expects this situation to continue through at least the first quarter. He’s hoping for a rebound by April. “We expect the next three months to be very slow,” he said.
Untuckit was built on button-down dress shirts but polos, T-shirts, Henleys and sweaters drove business this year. 

Chris Riccobono, founder of Untuckit, characterized the season as “good — we sold a lot of product, not as much as last year, but a lot.” Although the brand was built on button-down dress shirts and fills a need for work attire, polos, T-shirts, Henleys and sweaters drove business this year. “Flannels and performance shirts were better than wrinkle-free,” an historic frontrunner, he added, reflecting the change in lifestyle to a more-relaxed aesthetic.
“We did a survey of our customers and 65 percent of the men said they wore button-down shirts three to five days a week before the pandemic but only 16 percent post-pandemic,” he said.
Business at Untuckit’s 87 stores picked up a bit in December; online sales continued to thrive. At the brick-and-mortar locations, Untuckit teamed with a fulfillment company, Ohi, to create micro warehouses at its stores for same-day deliveries, “which really helped” in the run-up to Christmas when shipments were delayed for a lot of companies.
Riccobono said he expects another tough first couple of months in 2021 with no opportunities for gifting and the “natural depression” of winter. “We believe that in the second quarter we’ll start to see a fast turnaround. So if we prepare to get through the first quarter, I think it will be an exciting period for Untuckit.”
Overall, Rue21 beat its plans for the season, and outperformed last year, ceo Brand said. “We had the right product and the right store experience. Our top three items were knit sweaters, joggers and screen Ts. We have been right on track in this cozy casual environment.”
He said that last week, with the last-minute shopping, traffic at malls and outlets was down, though strip centers were up. Having many Rue21 stores near Target, Walmart and Ulta units helps with traffic, he added. The business also benefited by a reduction of stockkeeping units. That freed up associates to engage with customers who could see merchandise in stores, including a Looney Tunes screen Ts program. “We very early identified the soft and cozy trend. We didn’t have to chase the product.
“How do we capitalize on this moment?” Brand asked rhetorically. “We continue to create great experiences, build upon our loyalty program, which we started in April, and we are making a big investment in data, to deepen that connection with customers. We also re-platformed our web site to be more agile and flexible. It’s improved site speed, we will be broadening the assortment, and we will create new engagement tools.
For spring product in January, the story will be around lighter weight joggers, fleece joggers become fleece shorts, soft and cozy pulls back a little, and casual stays.”
Uggs “fluff yeah” slipper is a Macy’s bestseller. 

“Sleepwear and loungewear have been strong, as well as slippers and cozy boots,” said a Macy’s spokeswoman. “Watches have also been good, especially in colors customers don’t already own like black and rose gold. In terms of initiatives, curbside and same-day delivery have been critical parts of our fulfillment strategy this holiday season. Across the country, the customer adoption of curbside and same-day delivery has set new high bars daily. Our stores team and our partners at Door Dash continue to meet that demand.”
Deloitte ranked the top-performing subsectors in retail for holiday as home improvement first, followed by mass, electronics, grocery and warehouse clubs.
“If some normalcy returns to life after the vaccine is rolled out, if you think that will happen, then I would say it’s worth taking some bets on restocking to the right inventory levels,” Sides said. “Inventory depth was a lot less than we have seen in the past, and retailers weren’t replenishing on a timely basis.”
Asked if there was many stockouts, Sides said, “It depended on the category. You can’t find ammo at all if you go into the hunting section. In team sports, there was plenty of stock. A lot of kids sports activities were delayed. Home decor was pretty thin. But you could still find apparel.”
He described the traffic pattern through the season as continuing to be “very light,” and that Super Saturday, (always the last Saturday before Christmas) “in my market looked like a normal Saturday,” not a Super Saturday.
Shoppers walk across a nearly empty street on Christmas Eve in New York.  AP Photo/Kathy Willens

He said Deloitte is optimistic about 2021. “There is a chance for 2021 to be a good year and for things to bounce back.”
According to Evan Gold of Planalytics, the snowstorm a week before Christmas “got people into a Christmas mind-set and was great for all the seasonable businesses, citing ice melts, snow blowers, boots, sweaters, gloves and hats, heaters, blankets, firewood, bird feeders, soup, hot chocolate, coffee and other comfort foods.
“For anyone looking to clear those products, the storm was well timed. That storm was pretty well forecasted up to a week out. People buy based on what’s forecasted in the weather, as much as when the weather actually happens.”
He said retailers benefited by this December being colder than December 2019, with below freezing temperatures widespread, particularly for Boxing Day and the week ensuing, supporting post Christmas clearances and gift card redemptions.
“Mother Nature has been volatile, but the weather very, very rarely repeats itself,” Gold said.
A Macy’s gift set with beauty, spa and wellness products. 

“Right now, it’s very hard to plan,” said the retail ceo who requested anonymity. “We are in a second wave of COVID-19 so the next six months will be very challenging, until the vaccine gets widely distributed. Hopefully, there will be some momentum in second half, as people are eager to get out again.” In terms of planning, “You’ve got to make some bets and everybody is scrambling to get supply chain back up. Nobody is giving guidance for next year, but internally you have to make decisions.”
Wright said she saw “a major acceleration” of traffic beginning on Super Saturday with a lot of consumers taking the week off and wanting to shop physical stores so they could have the gifts before Christmas as cutoff dates for deliveries arriving before Christmas passed. “December has certainly been more on plan than November,” Wright said, citing home decor, drink mixers and glasses and accoutrements for drinks as among the full-price bestsellers.
Von Maur’s online business “far exceeded our plans. We had to work to keep enough inventory to ship.”
“We think spring, particularly the first quarter, will be pretty quiet, there has to be significant traction with the vaccine getting out to the population before you see any meaningful improvement. The first quarter will look a lot like the fourth quarter, then some improvement in the second quarter. In the fall, it will get a little bit closer to normal. We are being very very cautious for 2021,” she said.
Goop, which had four stores open over the holiday season, two in California and one each in Hawaii and Sag Harbor, N.Y., indicated retail did better than expected.
Noora Raj Brown, Goop’s head of marketing and communications, said the Sag Harbor unit stayed open longer than planned because it “did so well in sales” as many people who typically spend only the summer in the Hamptons have been living there full time during the pandemic.
Goop did change its assortment this year, shifting early on even more into wellness and home products and away from women’s apparel and fashion, which has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic, as well as travel, typically a big area for the brand. It paid off. Raj Brown said sales in the home category in the fourth quarter are up 54 percent year-over-year and sales in wellness are up 125 percent.
“We’re seeing consumers gravitate toward at-home fitness and self-care devices like massagers, sauna mats and sexual wellness devices,” she said.
But Goop’s e-commerce remains the top source of revenue. Bestsellers this holiday were cookware, and a Goop candle dubbed “This Smells Like My Vagina,” which has been simultaneously reviled and praised and gotten plenty of free marketing. Other bestsellers were the ProLon Diet, designed to mimic the effects of fasting, and GoopGenes beauty products.
Goop further altered its assortment by bringing some lower-priced items into the mix this season, including its first branded lip balm. At $20, it’s the company’s lowest-ever price point. It sold out in two weeks. “It was a hugely important lesson in that people need accessible luxury right now,” Raj Brown said.
“There are two economies — families in dire straits who are fearful, then there are people with money,” Quinn said of Lafayette 148. “There is excitement about the vaccine, confidence is coming back a little back. I think it’s going to come back faster than we realize; I am going to stay extraordinary cautious. There is a new normal coming out of this. I would rather make less great product than change the product. I’m not buying cheaper fabric or cutting corners. I’m not pushing my designers to make it less expensive. If anything, we’re going in the other direction, I am buying more fabrics that are sustainable. My wholesale is half what it used to, right through spring of 2021. Our e-commerce is flat at the moment. To me that is good. We are in a zone of women’s fashion that’s been hit very hard.” Quinn acknowledged foot traffic in the Lafayette 148 stores is down. “There’s no foot traffic, but when somebody comes in, they buy.”
Asked about planning inventories for next year, she said, “I am absolutely fine to leave it flat to this year, and drive my sell-throughs up. If I end 2021 up 10 percent, I will be a happy person. It will take us to 2023 to get back to where we were, if we ever get there again. It’s not about the top line. It’s about profitability and controlling your inventory. My partners fully support us coming back as a smaller, stronger, smart company. I used to focus on market share. That was the game — how much more square footage could you have, how much more product could you sell. Now it’s about how do I keep my team together and stay focused on my brand. I don’t care how big we are. I care about being a healthy company.”
A Lafayette 148 bestseller. 

HOLIDAY 2020 TRENDS• Sharp online gains; mall traffic light but in-store conversion rates and transaction values high.• Furniture, home decor, sneakers, gift cards, fragrance, activewear, sleepwear, loungewear are bestsellers.• Mass, big box, electronics, groceries, pharmacies perform best in brick-and-mortar retail.• Season elongated when Amazon launches Prime Day on Oct. 11 and competitors respond with holiday deals.• Curbside pickup and BOPIS widely embraced by retailers and consumers.• Inventories kept low, stockouts seen in certain categories including home decor and activewear.

The Best Affordable Gifts for Makeup Lovers This Holiday

The Best Affordable Gifts for Makeup Lovers This Holiday

True beauty fans know that falling in love with a product doesn’t mean you have to drop loads of cash. That’s why the best gifts come in small packages and drugstore beauty favorites never get old. To prove that perfect presents don’t always have a high price tag, we’ve rounded up the best affordable gifts for makeup lovers this holiday season. Amazingly, not a single one rings up for more than $25, from a complete mascara wardrobe to perfect primers to pretty palettes. When you can give an affordable gift for makeup lovers while barely opening your wallet, it’s a win all around.

1. RMS Beauty Mini Kiss of Color Lip Balm Set
RMS Beauty’s beloved lip balms get the mini treatment for the holidays in this delightful box set. All five balms contain the lip-loving ingredients the formula is known for, including mega moisturizers jojoba oil, cocoa butter and candelilla wax, along with a hint of color. The set includes Simply Cocoa, a clear balm with a natural cocoa butter flavor; Twilight Lane, a sheer, deep berry; Peacock Lane, a bright pink tint; Passion Lane, a subtly shimmery pink; and a new hue, Crimson Lane, a sheer, classic red.

RMS Beauty Mini Kiss Of Color Lip Balm Set $25.00 Buy Now

2. Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Trio Set
Smashbox Cosmetics tapped artist Donald Robertson to create original, exclusive artwork to adorn its limited-edition gifts this holiday season and what’s inside is just as fun. Every beauty guru knows that in order to have flawless foundation, you have to ace your base first and this includes everything needed to do just that. This set includes a trio of minis to create the ideal canvas while infusing skin with nourishing ingredients. The oil-free Photo Finish Original Smooth & Blur Primer smooths skin by filling in pores and lines, the Photo Finish Primerizer is spiked with hyaluronic acid to moisturize for 24 hours and prevent makeup from settling into pores and fine lines, and the Photo Finish Vitamin Primer is a water gel that taps vitamins B, C and E to leave your complexion glowing.

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Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Trio Set $25.00 Buy Now

3. Lime Crime Chart Toppers Wet Cherry Gloss Set
Talk about a cherry on top! Lime Crime put two of its cherry-scented best-selling lip glosses in a limited-edition holiday set. The duo includes Extra Poppin Wet Cherry, a clear high-shine gloss, and Flirty Cherry Wet Cherry, a sparkling red. Both deliver light, comfortable longwear and have a generously sized doe-foot applicator to easily coat your lips. They can be worn solo or layered over lipstick for extra pop.

Lime Crime Chart Toppers Wet Cherry Gloss Set $22.00 Buy Now

4. Essence Lash Princess Gift Set
Yes, you really can nab a complete mascara wardrobe for under $20, making this one of the best affordable gifts for makeup lovers. It’s also a great stocking stuffer. The entire Lash Princess Mascara family is included: Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara, Lash Princess False Lash Effect Waterproof Mascara, Lash Princess Sculpted Volume Mascara and Lash Princess Volume Mascara. She’ll be set with a mascara for every occasion. They come packed in a cute resealable holographic bag that can double as a makeup bag or for storage.

Essence Lash Princess Gift Set $18.99 Buy Now

5. Becca Cosmetics Mini Liquid and Light Highlight Set
It just isn’t the holidays without a little sparkle, especially in your makeup bag. Becca’s duo delivers a gorgeous gleam that will even come through on your holiday party on Zoom. Both in travel sizes, the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Passion gives the face a natural-looking pearly glow because of its powerful pigments, while the Ignite Liquified Light Highlighter in Opal can be used on the face and body, infusing moisture along with its white gold pearlescent finish that is transfer- and water-resistant. Both contain sunflower oil and vitamin E to soften skin.

BECCA Cosmetics Mini Liquid and Light Highlight Set $24.00 Buy Now

6. Lawless The Little One Eye Shadow Palette
For such a petite palette, this really covers all the basics. With eight shades in classic hues, it has everything you need to create a range of looks, whether that’s a neutral eye or a sultry, smoky look. Best of all, it’s small enough to be tucked into a purse, so it’s ideal for on-the-go touch-ups.

LAWLESS The Little One Eyeshadow Palette $25.00 Buy Now

7. Bite Beauty Mini Sunset Superbloom Outburst Longwear Lip Stain Trio
Imagine watching the sunset in a beautiful desert and you have the muse for Bite’s limited-edition trio of lip stains. Though it rarely rains in the desert, these longwear lip stains are all waterproof with a satin-matte finish. There’s a full size of Sangria Slush, a classic bold red and minis of hot pink Strawberry Frozé and bright orange-coral Orange Fizz. All three are infused with superfoods passionflower oil, coconut oil and sunflower seed wax to keep lips hydrated and happy.

Bite Beauty Mini Sunset Superbloom Outburst Longwear Lip Stain Trio $25.00 Buy Now

8. Tarte Sea Fresh-Faced & Festive Must-Haves Set
Just one little kit covers all the basics for her makeup, earning Tarte’s set a spot on the best affordable gifts for makeup lovers list. There’s the Sea Surfer Curl Volumizing Mascara that weightlessly pumps up lashes with its sweat-proof formula; the the Sea Jelly Glaze Anytime Lip Mask that can be worn all day to boost the overall health of lips while bathing them in a sheer, universally flattering tint, and the classic Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush that uses the powers of Amazonian clay to look like she just applied it all day long.

Tarte SEA Fresh-Faced & Festive Must-Haves Set $23.00 Buy Now
 
9. Urban Decay Mini All Nighter Setting Spray Ornament Holiday Gift
Any makeup maven would be thrilled to see this hanging from her Christmas tree! Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray is famous for the incredible staying power it gives to a full face of makeup — it simply won’t budge for up to 16 hours. The microfine mist feels and looks invisible, so it’ll never be sticky or heavy. It even prevents makeup from settling into fine lines.

Urban Decay Mini All Nighter Setting Spray Ornament Holiday Gift $15.00 Buy Now

10. Sephora Favorites Mini Mistleglow Clean Highlight Set
Have a clean beauty addict in your life? Then this is one of the best affordable gifts for that makeup lover. This curated set is all about giving her a glow during the holiday season and beyond. It includes a deluxe size of the Farsàli Rose Gold Elixir 24K Gold Infused Beauty Oil, a multitasking face oil that tackles everything from wrinkles to dullness, dryness and uneven texture. The deluxe size of Milk Makeup Mini Highlighter in Lit is a blendable, micro-shimmer champagne pearl with mango butter and avocado to moisturize. Finally, there’s a full-size Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Lip Jelly in Magic, a clear gloss with gold shimmer infused with nurturing ingredients like rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil and raspberry seed oil.

Sephora Favorites Mini Mistleglow Clean Highlight Set $15.00 Buy Now

The Best Holiday Gifts for Dad: Grooming, Fragrance and Beauty

The Best Holiday Gifts for Dad: Grooming, Fragrance and Beauty

There are the dads who use bar soap for pretty much everything. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are dads who have a skin-care collection that might even rival yours. No matter which category your dad falls into — or anywhere in between — there’s a grooming gift for him. To help you find the best of the best holiday gifts for Dad, we combed through the grooming, fragrance and beauty offerings. He’ll feel extra merry during the happiest time of year with these great grooming gifts.

1. The Art of Shaving Beard Prep Grooming Kit
Dads love tending to their beards, so give his a boost with this covetable facial hair grooming kit. The three-step beard-care routine is designed to pamper his beard from start to finish, by cleaning, conditioning, softening and styling it. The set includes three products — Peppermint Beard Wash, Peppermint Beard Conditioner and the Sandalwood Beard Oil — all tucked into a black dopp bag.

The Art of Shaving Beard Prep Grooming Kit $40.00 Buy Now

2. Molton Brown Juniper Jazz Fragrance Gift Set
Jazz up Dad’s fragrance life with Molton Brown’s limited-edition Juniper Jazz fragrance set. The scent celebrates the Roaring Twenties, specifically British gin, with notes of crisp juniper berries, and includes the Juniper Jazz Bath & Shower Gel and Eau de Toilette. The top note of juniper berry is complimented with metallic notes and mint; a heart of orris, woody notes and guaiac wood, and a base of sandalwood, musks and patchouli. Any cocktail-inspired scent is certainly one he can raise a glass to.

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Molton Brown Juniper Jazz Fragrance Gift Set $155.00 Buy Now

3. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Bounty Classic Lip Balm Gift Set
For dads who love the classics, you can’t go wrong with the Burt’s Bees Beeswax Bounty Classic Lip Balm Gift Set. This is the time of year when everyone’s lips could use extra TLC, so pamper his with this set of four Original Beeswax Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm that come in a holiday-ready box. That also makes it the ideal grooming stocking-stuffer gift for Dad. Famously sustainable, the 100 percent natural origin lip balm is made with beeswax, vitamin E and peppermint oil to moisturize and treat dry lips with a light minty flavor.

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Bounty Classic Lip Balm Gift Set $10.99 Buy Now

4. Heated Razor Starter Kit by GilletteLabs
Dad doesn’t have to go to the barber to get a luxurious hot towel shave. Gift him this Heated Razor Starter Kit by GilletteLabs and he can get one whenever he’d like from the comfort of his own bathroom. Simply push the button and the razor heats up, with two adjustable temperature levels so Dad can get it just right. The razor features FlexDisc technology so that it contours to his facial features, giving him the closest, smoothest shave possible and boasts a waterproof design. The kit comes with the heated razor and two Gillette Heated Razor Cartridges, with a magnetic dock that offers wireless charging for up to six shaves.

Heated Razor Starter Kit by GilletteLabs $200.00 Buy Now

5. Aromatherapy Associates Forest Therapy Bath & Shower Oil
In case Dad hasn’t heard, Forest Bathing is one of the biggest wellness trends out there right now. When he can’t go for a walk in the woods to gather this thoughts, this Forest Therapy Bath & Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates is the next best thing. Like many other beauty and wellness trends, Forest bathing originated in Japan and the blend of natural ingredients captures spending time in nature. There’s pink pepper fruit from the Peruvian Andes, juniper berry collected from the mountains of Macedonia, calming Mediterranean cypress and uplifting Sicilian lemon. Whenever he takes a bath or shower, he can add a few drops, close his eyes and pretend he’s surrounded by tall, towering trees.

Aromatherapy Associates Forest Therapy Bath & Shower Oil $71.00 Buy Now

6. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Moisture From Head to Toe Set
Do you know what dad doesn’t want for the holidays? Dry skin. Solve that problem with Dr. Jart+’s set that soothes. The ceramide-based skin-care line is all about delivering deep moisture and strengthening the skin barrier, so itchiness, fine lines, dullness and uneven texture are no longer worries. The brand’s signature blend of five ceramides create a protective layer to prevent water loss, boosting elasticity and firmness. The trio includes full sizes of the Ceramidin Cream and Ceramidin Body Lotion, as well as one sheet mask, the Ceramidin Facial Barrier Mask.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Moisture from Head to Toe Set $48.00 Buy Now

7. Black Orchid & Ombré Leather Travel Spray Set
The only thing better than gifting Dad a Tom Ford fragrance for the holidays is giving him two. This set features two of Tom Ford’s bestsellers in travel sizes, making them great for on-the-go and travel. There’s Black Orchid, an intoxicating juice of deep, dark accords, black orchids and spice. Inspired by the desert landscapes out west, Ombré Leather Eau de Parfum spotlights leather, floral leather and cool spices.

Black Orchid & Ombre Leather Travel Spray Set $78.00 Buy Now

8. Jack Black Clean & Cool Body Basics
Dad can pop this into his gym bag and he’ll be all set to freshen up after every workout, making this one of the best holiday grooming gifts. The set has everything he needs packed into the sleek black travel bag, covering the bases for his face, hair and body. Each product is in Jack Black’s signature allover scent that’s delightfully refreshing. He can suds up with the All-Over Wash to cleanse his hair, body and face. The Pit Boss Antiperspirant and Deodorant will keep him dry and fresh for hours and the Cool Moisture Body Lotion delivers long-lasting hydration and with a cooling sensation as soon as it hits the skin. Since they thought of everything, a black loofah is included.

Jack Black Clean & Cool Body Basics $54.00 Buy Now

9. Kiehl’s Men’s Ultimate Age Fighters
Help Dad turn back the clock with Kiehl’s antiaging greatest hits, packed in a charming gift box. The trio includes their Age Defender Cleanser, a two-in-one clay mask and exfoliating face wash; Age Defender Eye Repair to tackle dark circles and fine lines; and Age Defender Moisturizer, which lifts and firms while hydrating. All three products simultaneously boost the skin barrier while minimizing signs of aging for men.

Kiehl’s Men’s Ultimate Age Fighters $65.00 Buy Now

10. Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Eau de Toilette Set
If Dad needs to freshen up his fragrance, get him what all the cool kids are wearing: Gucci Guilty Pour Homme. The Eau de Toilette and Shower Gel come inside the striking box that will be a standout under the tree. Tell Dad to layer the products to give the citrusy, woodsy scent extra staying power. Top notes of pink pepper and Italian lemon mingle with a heart of orange blossom absolute, neroli and French lavender, with a base of patchouli and cedarwood.

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Eau de Toilette Set $81.00 Buy Now

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