Are Christmas gift sets a con?

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Not if you shop smart...

    I hate those make-up palettes disguised as ‘Christmas gift sets’ that pop up at this time of year like an unwanted zit before the office party. Especially ones trussed up as a glitterball, unicorn, some sort of S&M trophy or the size of a tupperware box.

    My wrath is particularly reserved for eyeshadow palettes boasting over 16 shades. I mean how many colours do you genuinely need to whack on before you start resembling a box of Quality Street? Because that’s the thing: no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, you will NEVER, ever use all those shades. There’s even bound to be two or four that you don’t like from the off and for that you’ve paid upwards of 30 quid.

    However, if you shop smartly with your gift sets, you can actually bag yourself a real beauty bargain.

    Best skincare gift sets

    Elemis Pro-Collagen Rose Duet normal price £75, now £63.75 | Lookfantastic
    These two products are actually worth £111, so if you bought them separately outside of the gift set it would cost you more. If you use the code LFBEAUTY at the checkout, you get an an extra 15% off.

    View Deal

    Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Your Skin Heroes skincare kit – £60 | Selfridges
    For the bona fide beauty junkie, Dr Dennis Gross Your Skin Heroes Kit gives you bang for your anti-ageing buck. The Alpha Beta Cleansing Gel and Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel harness the power of AHAs and BHAs to slough away dull dead skin cells. The set also includes the Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum, packed with two wrinkle-fighting powerhouses, and the hydrating Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion so you can give (or receive) the gift of glowing, youthful skin.

    View Deal

    The best make-up gift sets


    Dior Rouge Dior Golden Nights Refillable Lipstick Makeup Gift Set – £138 | John Lewis
    A box that doubles up as an edgy clutch bag? Check. Lust-worthy lipstick shades? Check. And environmentally friendly refills? Triple check.

    View Deal

    Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Glow Secrets – £122
    The party season isn’t quite the same this year – read: there won’t be any – which is a crying shame, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort. This cracking set has been put together, because Tilbury knows that when used together these products will make your skin sing. You’re not just paying for the products, you’re paying for Tilbury’s advice.

    View Deal

    Yes it’s boring, but it’s still possible to shop smart when the rest of the world has gone Christmas-mad.

    Enough said.

    Reading now

    Popular beauty stories