Remember those glittery holiday gift kits you would get each year from your out-of-touch relatives who clearly just went to some mall kiosk and bought random beauty products? Remember how you’d smile politely, all the while knowing that their well-intentioned gift was about to get shoved to the bottom of your makeup drawer? Yeah, that sucked. And it’s probably what gave gift kits the reputation of being a tackier version of a gift card. But forget about the packaging for one second and listen to us when we say that holiday beauty kits are pretty much the smartest purchase any beauty-obsessed person could make. Seriously.
As soon as the weather turns cold each year, all of your favorite beauty brands (hello, Smashbox and Clinique) turn their best-selling, top-rated products into miniature versions of themselves, and then nestle them together in insanely affordable gift sets. It’s like a buffet of cult-favorite products that won’t cost you your rent check.
But rather than leaving you to do your own holiday shopping this year—we mean, who even does that?—we picked out the best holiday beauty kits that every single beauty lover in your life, including yourself, will be insanely happy to open. And the best part? They’re all under $40.
Too Cool For School Egg Cream Set
Too Cool For School is the ultimate K-beauty brand, and for good reason: Each product in this egg kit (a mask, cleanser, and moisturizer) is made with egg whites, which are believed to help temporarily tighten skin and reduce the appearance of pores.
Too Cool For School Egg Cream Set, $39; at Sephora
Too Cool For School
Buxom 6 Degrees Below Sexy Plumping 6 Piece Mini Full-On Lip Polish Collection
There’s a reason why Buxom is called Buxom: Its lip-plumping formulas give you va-va-voom lips with just a few swipes. And this kit doesn’t disappoint, with six mini glosses in shades of sheer shimmer to port wine, guaranteed to give your lips a fuller look.
Buxom 6 Degrees Below Sexy Plumping 6 Pc Mini Full-On Lip Polish Collection, $32; at Ulta
Clinique Go-Go Eyes
Smudgy black liner, volumizing black mascara, and a de-puffing rollerball eye cream make this trio the ultimate kit for tired eyes that don’t have time to look tired.
Clinique Go-Go Eyes, $27; at Sephora
EOS Limited Edition Holiday Collection
The ultimate moisturizing lip balm is now conveniently sold in a pack of three, so you can have two back ups when you inevitably lose one (hey, we’re not pointing fingers, but you definitely will).
EOS Limited Edition Holiday Collection, $9; at EOS
Philip Kingsley Prep Discovery Collection
Hair needs holiday love, too. This kit includes a smoothing blow-dry spray, a volumizing cream, and a polishing balm for an all-around sleek, bouncy blowout.
Philip Kingsley Prep Discovery Collection, $35; at Philip Kingsley
Wander Beauty New York Minute Makeup Kit
Wander Beauty’s holiday kit comes with water-resistant black mascara, a dual-ended eyeshadow-and-eyeliner stick (in taupe and black), and a strawberry-hued lip-and-cheek crayon.
Wander Beauty New York Minute Makeup Kit, $39; at Wander Beauty
Benefit Cosmetics Sassy Lassie "Chick Picks" Beauty Bestsellers Kit
All of Benefit’s best-sellers in one kit, including their cult-favorite mattifying primer, super-curl mascara, matte contour bronzer (brush included!), and a medium-brown brow gel, for the cost of approximately four Chipotle trips.
Benefit Cosmetics Sassy Lassie "Chick Picks" Beauty Bestsellers Kit, $39; at Sephora
Dr. Lip Bang’s Lip Freak Holiday Spice Lip Balm Kit
Two cinnamon and gingerbread-scented lip balms and a mustache finger puppet make this holiday kit feel like a toy for grown-ups. Oh, and did we mention there’s a page of stickers?
Dr. Lip Bang’s Lip Freak Holiday Spice Lip Balm Kit, $10; at Ulta
Dr. Lip Bang
Japonesque Highlighting Trio
This highlighting trio allows you to customize your glow with champagne, rose-gold, and bronze highlighters.
Japonesque Highlighting Trio, $34; at Ulta
Bath and Body Works Twisted Peppermint
Somehow, Bath and Body Works found a way to bottle approximately 500 candy canes and vanilla sticks into a candle, body lotion, shower gel, and foaming hand soap, and we’re obsessed.
Bath and Body Works Twisted Peppermint, $38; at Bath and Body Works
Bath and Body Works
Deborah Lippmann Undressed Nude Nail Polish Set
Five sheer, long-wear polishes that range from off-white to rich peach flatter virtually all skin tones.
Deborah Lippmann Undressed Nude Nail Polish Set, $34; at Deborah Lippmann
Korres Greek Goddess to Glow
This on-the-go skin-care set includes an exfoliating cleanser, a vitamin C-infused moisturizer, a brightening sleeping mask, and rose-scented body butter.
Korres Greek Goddess to Glow, $29; at Korres
M.A.C Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lipstick Kit
What’s better than one velvety, long-lasting M.A.C lipstick? Four, and all in gorgeous neutral shades of pink and peach.
M.A.C Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lipstick Kit, $35; at Macy's
Lorac Mocktail Mixer Pro Matte Lip Color Set
Mix and match your lip look with three retractable matte lip crayons in tangerine pink, soft rose, and burgundy.
Lorac Mocktail Mixer Pro Matte Lip Color Set, $28; at Ulta
Lune + Aster Swipe and Celebrate Set
This lip-and-eye kit gets you celebration ready with two high-shine, vitamin E-infused lip glosses in pink and nude, and a black volumizing mascara.
Lune + Aster Swipe and Celebrate Set, $36; at Blue Mercury
Lune + Aster
The Body Shop Tea Tree Rescue Kit
Acne-haters can rejoice with this skin-care kit that includes a face wash-and-scrub combo and blemish treatment, all infused with the natural zit-fighting powers of tea tree oil.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Rescue Kit, $29; at The Body Shop
The Body Shop
Lush Rosie Wrapped Gift
Holy, roses. This rose-scented bath kit comes with bath bombs, a shower gel, a body cream, and a field of fresh-cut, romantic-as-hell roses. At least, in our minds. (Champagne not included.)
Lush Rosie Wrapped Gift, $40; at Lush
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve Trio
This kit includes three of Kiehl’s best shea butter-infused hand creams, so you can store one in your purse, your desk, and your bedside table all winter long.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve Trio, $34; at Kiehl's
Nars Shadow Side Eye Set
This winning combo of minis comes with a jet-black, lengthening mascara and three insanely flattering, limited-edition cream-shadow sticks in champagne, rose gold, and grape.
Nars Shadow Side Eye Set, $39; at Nars