I save up money ALL YEAR to be able to go on a beauty splurge come Christmas season. There are exclusive products, limited edition sets, amazing value collections and all manner of shiny things to catch your eye. It’s often the time of year you can try out new skincare by getting a collection of minis, or stock up on value deals on your fave products. Er… I mean buy lovely presents for the beauty lover in your life. Because the holidays are all about gifting and giving, and definitely not about treating yourself to all the pretties.

But come ON, it’s so hard to resist adding to cart for yourself when the sets and kits are this good—some of the buzziest brands in beauty have REALLY turned it out for 2023.

I’ve trawled through all the offerings, from big ticket tools to snazzy stocking stuffers for the season and picked out the best gifts to pop on your lists for the year.

Best makeup, fragrance and haircare gifts

A selection of makeup products in a white arch on a pink background.
So many shiny things to dazzle the senses.

Huda Beauty Pretty Grunge Liquid Matte Lipstick Set, $55

For those beauty lovers who prefer a liquid lipstick, I’ve got you covered. This quad from Huda is one of the ultimate stocking stuffers this year thanks to the formula’s EIGHT-HOUR wear time. Even better, this pack has two BRAND NEW exclusive shades: Maverick and Rebel, alongside faves Bombshell and Sweet Talker. The ingredients in Huda formulas are to die for, featuring a complex packed with moisturising antioxidants for a buttery, velvety formula that keeps lips supple. 

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiverse Eyeshadow Palette, $120

When I first saw this palette I was dazzled. DAZZLED I tell you. And it’s even prettier in person than it is in any photo. This nine-pan shadow is filled with a mix of neutral and vibrant shades, with both matte and metallic finishes. Colours include Latte Eyes, Strawberry Girl, Cyber Girl and Pinkcore as well as a brand new shade called Digital Lilac. It’s a multi-dimensional palette that packs a pigment punch. Get it for party season for sure. 

Revlon Spring Lips, $29.95

Revlon is a cult classic brand for lippie and this set is an amazing value gift for someone who loves a perfect pout. Contained within is the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blushed—a pretty dusky pink colour in a formula infused with vitamin E and avocado oil for extra nourishing colour. Paired with the Revlon ColourStay Lipliner in Blush, this duo is perfect for the makeup lover who loves a natural nude, pretty in pink look. 

Smashbox Lash Silhouette Set, $45

Mascara is one of my desert island beauty products. No matter what, a little extra lash goes a long, long way. This limited-edition duo was curated by fashion designer Christian Cowan. The gel liner promises to stay put for 24 hours and the Super Fan Mascara gives lashes length that doesn’t quit for up to 12 hours. No more panda eyes! 

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

Glasshouse Fragrances White Christmas Candle, $59.95

I feel like Glasshouse Fragrances is to Christmas what Mariah Carey is to… well, Christmas. It’s not the festive season without them. Every year, the brand releases their range of exclusive holiday fragrances in their triple-scented candles. The scents are usually reminiscent of some kind of Christmas memory, like gingerbread or sugar plums. My favourite this year is White Christmas, a woody wonder evoking the magic of freshly blanketed pines, roasting chestnuts and merry times in cooler climes. Plus the artwork by Michelle Pereira is just joyful. 

Diptyque Delice Mini Candle, $72

A stunningly fragrant candle with another heady scent of Christmases gone by. This one evokes dried fruit and vanilla: think warm Christmas fruit cake straight out of the oven like Grandma (or the Lions Club) used to make. Delice means delight and that’s exactly what this gorgeous candle decorated with red and gold flames will bring.

Living Proof Belief in Volume set
Did someone order voluminous hair?

Living Proof Belief in Volume Set, $104

Living Proof’s Belief in Volume range is for those who like their hair with a bit of oomph, a bit of tjush, a bit of ooh la la. Think full blow out, lots of movement, no fine limp hair here. This set is ALL full-size items which I LOVE. The kit contains Living Proof’s full-size Full Shampoo, Full Conditioner, and Full Dry Volume & Texture Spray. Protect your tresses at the same time as giving them the volume they deserve. (I confess, this one is a set I added to cart just for me this year. Merry Christmas, me!)

Ouai Better Together Holiday Ki
This set is Ouai good for your hair.

Ouai Better Together Holiday Kit, $67

Give the gift of lush hair this Christmas. Deep cleanse and detox, then detangle and hydrate with this best-selling set of Detox Shampoo and Leave In Conditioner. This particular formulation is known for excellent scalp care in removing flakes and build up, as well as helping smooth frizz and adding shine. This set is also excellent value.

Best skincare gifts

Foreo Supercharged Skincare
Foreo has new skincare and it’s FABULOUS!

FOREO’s Supercharged skincare range, prices vary

You know FOREO for their devices (oh hey, Luna and UFO!), but did you know they did skincare? And it’s GOOD. Each of the items in the FOREO skincare range is specially designed to work alongside all the brand’s flagship devices. First up we have the Supercharged Serum 2.0 ($99) . Designed to use with FOREO’s microcurrent devices, this luxurious youth-preserving formula combines the power of hyaluronic acid, electrolytes, ceramides and squalane for skin that is bouncier, fresher and retains moisture like no one’s business.

Then for the ultimate beauty sleep, there’s the Supercharged Ultra-Hydrating Sleeping Mask ($99) This rich and replenishing overnight jelly mask calms skin and locks in moisture as you’re getting a bit of much needed shut eye. It’s a lovely leave-on mask, so you just pop it on before your head hits the pillow and wake up with glowy refreshed skin in the morning, like (science) magic!. Lastly there’s the Supercharged HA+PGA Triple-Action Intense Moisturizer ($109). The texture of this one is perfection for our Brissy climate—it’s a gel! And yet, at the same time, it still feels luxuriously rich but somehow also not heavy? It’s a one-way ticket to youthful glow city. 

Dermalogica cleanse and glow kit
Skincare staples to base a routine on from Dermalogica.

Dermalogica Best Cleanse and Glow Set, $176

I bloody love a kit that has all my favourite staples in it and this one from Dermalogica ticks all the boxes. Cleansers, cleansers, cleansers across the board! Dermalogica’s signature kit makes the ideal Christmas gift this year, featuring FULL SIZE PreCleanse, Special Cleansing Gel and my personal ride or die Daily Microfoliant. The products on their own are valued at $250 but in this set, they’re only $176. 

Allies of Skin Firm and Brighten Kit
The cult beauty kit you NEED to get your hands on.

Allies of Skin Firm and Brighten Set, $241

Christmas means value sets of the best brands. When Allies of Skin launched at Mecca, skincare fanatics went WILD. It’s beloved by celebs, and when Kaia Gerber (daughter of supermodel legend Cindy Crawford) announced she used Allies of Skin exclusively, it sent the brand sales soaring. This kit includes Allies of Skin’s award-winning face wash, the 20% Vitamin C Serum for intense brightening, firming and antioxidant protection; the Mandelic Night Serum that intensely brightens, targets the appearance of blemishes and imperfections; and the Daily Treatmen, a leave-on moisturiser supercharged with multiple Peptides, seven brighteners, nine antioxidants, and a 3 per cent Teprenone Complex that work together in five ways to hydrate, firm, refine, provide antioxidant protection, and brighten skin.

Dr Naomi Skin Anti Aging Kit
I am so happy I found Dr Naomi Skin and you will be too.

Dr Naomi Skin Diamond Anti Aging Kit, $199

I recently discovered the magic of Dr Naomi Skin thanks to their recent Sephora launch and I am so glad I did. For the uninitiated, Dr Naomi McCullum is a Syndey-based cosmetic doctor and founder of both luxury The Manse skincare clinics, and skincare brand Dr Naomi Skin. She wants everyone to have selfie ready skin around the clock and knows how to get results. This Diamond kit not only comes in a box that ANYONE is going to have a difficult time throwing out, but it also has some of my favourite products from the range (I tried them all recently and it was love at first touch). Firstly there’s a FULL SIZE Plump Fiction moisturiser,  formulated with Plant Epidermal Growth Factors, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid to stimulate collagen production, improve skin elasticity and firmness, restore vital hydration and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles Then, there’s the Walk of Shine AHA Brightening Cleanser (ALSO FULL SIZE), and a travel size of their famous Vitamin Amen, a combo retinol, retinoate, bakuchiol formula for the ultimate anti-aging and brightening complex, combined with niacinamide to help the skin tolerate the retinol. This set is the ultimate gift for the beauty lover who wants results. 

La Mer Creme De La Mer and The Treatment Lotion
Ooh La Mer! This is the bougiest of gifts for your luxury-loving loved one.

La Mer Creme De La Mer (60ml $610) and The Treatment Lotion (150ml $250)

If there’s someone in your life who loves all things luxury darling (and you have the money to lavish them with the ultimate gifts) then look no further than La Mer. It’s the brand beloved by celebs such as Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez (and you KNOW they look incredible, always). Creme De La Mer is the flagship cream, and features a cell-renewing Miracle Broth derived from sustainably harvested giant sea kelp (treated with sound waves—super sciencey!) to help cell turnover and hydrate to the max, treat fine lines, and keep skin nourished.. Then there’s the Treatment Lotion, also using the Miracle Broth. This is the first step after cleansing and is designed to help skincare penetrate more deeply and work more effectively. And honestly, it’s so moisturising on its own that if you are too lazy to do a bunch of steps, you could use JUST the Treatment Lotion and still wake up with bouncy skin. Do I understand the science? No. Does it feel absolutely heavenly? You better believe it. Would a skincare lover probably cry with joy to be gifted La Mer? Abso-fricking-lutely. It’s the YSL of the skincare world. 

Ole Henriksen and Fenty Skin products
Ole and Fenty… perfect pairs.

Ole Henriksen Hygge Hotel Body Care Duo, $42

This is a hotel you’ll never want to check out of. “Hygge” translates as a quality of cosiness and comfy conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being and that’s definitely what your loved one will be feeling with this set. Featuring the lush Stay in Touch Restorative Hand Crème and the Firmly Yours Dry Body Oil, this limited edition kit will leave skin smooth from head to toe.

Cherry Dub Retexturizing Face + Body Scrub Duo, $47

I’ve written about my love for Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin before and this cute-as-a-button duo is definitely a gift I wouldn’t hesitate to pop under the tree. This limited edition face and body scrub duo is jam-packed with Barbados cherry and AHAs that instantly get to work for a smoother, brighter face and body. It smells divine, it works like a charm. Rihanna proves time and time again she knows what she’s doing with this brand. 

Hop and Cotton Bespoke Skincare
Look! They put your NAME on the bottles!

Hop and Cotton Bespoke Skincare Set, prices vary

What says “I love you, merry Christmas” more than the gift of bespoke skincare made specifically for your loved one’s skin? If you want a gift that will really impress, grab them a gift voucher for a Hop and Cotton skin regimen. Your skincare-loving loved one can complete the Skin Test online and then they’ll  work out EXACTLY what their skin needs and make up the products to their specifications. Plus having their name on the bottles is super cute and sure to make other beauty lovers jealous. 

Ultraceuticals discovery set
The very best way to try the Ultraceuticals range.

Ultraceuticals Ultra Icons Discovery Set, $75

Once again this is the ideal way to introduce yourself to a new skincare regimen: curated minis! Ultraceuticals was founded by Dr. Geoffrey Heber, one of Australia’s leading cosmetic physicians in 1998 and they’ve spent the last 25 years formulating clinically proven skincare products that get those results. You’ll find this brand recommended in beauty therapy clinics alllllll over the place. In this kit, you get the Ultra Brightening Foaming Cleanser 25ml, the Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF50 Hydrating 25ml the Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum 10ml and the Ultra Moisturiser Cream 25ml.

L’Occitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar, $95

Oooooh I love me an advent calendar. A whole MONTH of dopamine from opening presents every single day until Christmas? Sign me up! This year my pick of the bunch is from L’Occitane. Check out my full rundown of the calendar in this story here. Trust me, its gorge. 

Best stocking stuffers of the season

Stocking stuffer beauty gifts including Juliette Has a Gun perfumes and Lanolips lip balm
Mini perfumes and cleansers and sunscreens, oh my!

Juliette has a Gun Duo Miniatures, $55

I keep on hearing the praises for Juliette Has a Gun’s Not a Perfume but I hadn’t sampled it myself until recently. I am devastated that I loved it so much because now I need to save up for yet another perfume to add to my list. Or I could just get this little sample set and take both fragrances for a test run. (Elizabeth, you are meant to be recommending gifts for other people, not yourself). These bottles are miniature replicas of the real thing, so they have the cuteness factor. The two scents are the aforementioned Not a Perfume (elegant, minimalist, fresh and pure scent), and Lust for Sun (floral scent with notes of ylang ylang and tiare flower. Each bottle is 8ml of pure heaven. 

Urban Jungle Melt Me Softly Cleansing Balm Bauble, $36

I only tried this melty cleansy balm this year for the first time and I adore it, so of course it’s on the Christmas list for beauty lovers! Especially when it’s inside a super cute bauble you can hang on a tree! The Urban Jungle Cleansing Balm is the first step in your cleansing routine, designed to melt off all your makeup and SPF so that your second cleanse can really get into those pores. It’s got all sorts of goodies like sunflower oil, chamomile flower oil, shea butter (which is jammed with Vitamin A and E to combat free radicals and assist collagen production), so the whole formula strengthens your skin barrier and nourishes while it cleanses.

Lanolips Delicious Duo, $23.95

Lanolips 101 Ointment is a powerhouse multitasker of a product with a swag of awards in tow. It holds 400 per cent of its weight in moisture and—as it uses ultra pure Aussie lanolin— it’s an excellent, safer, more natural alternative to petroleum based balms. This cute stocking stuffer duo features the sweetest flavours: glazed donut and raspberry shortcake. Both flavors are packed with lanolin and vitamin E to ensure that your chapped lips, dry skin patches, cuticles, scratchy elbows etc are allll covered. 

Airyday Eco Mini SPF, $13

What is a better stocking stuffer than sunscreen that not only protects you from the sun but ALSO nourishes your skin in the process? The Airyday range of SPFs and Night Masks all come in mini size so they’re ideal to pad out the gifts around the tree. There are so many different formulas and textures (from clear gel, to mineral zinc mousse, and even a Golden Glow Dreamscreen for a lit-from within quality) so there’s one for every member of your family.

Beauty christmas baubles from OPI, Floral Street, Drunk Elephant and Glow Recipe
I want a whole Christmas tree full of stocking stuffer baubles.

OPI Infinite Shine Mini Ornament, $21.95; OPI Nail Treatment Mini Ornament, $21.95

Baubles with nail polish are the best kind of baubles, and there’s two kinds to pick from: one with two mini Infinite Shine polishes in a deep red and a baby pink; and one with OPI’s best selling treatments products: Nail Envy and Start to Finish. 

OPI’s Infinite Shine formula combines a gel-like wear and shine in an easy lacquer format. Get long-lasting, rich colour that doesn’t require light to cure. OPI Infinite Shine offers up to 11 days of wear, and is easy to apply and remove. Nail Envy is formulated to strengthen your natural nails, and the Start to Finish is a master multitasker that is a base coat, top coat AND nail strengthener. 

Drunk Elephant Mates For Life Set, $40

Minis are the perfect way to try out buzzy skincare brands and see if they’re right for you. This cute twofer from Drunk Elephant gives you a mini Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser to remove all traces of stubborn makeup, oil and nasties from the skin. And then to top if off there’s a Protini Polypeptide Cream to moisturise and strengthen your skin. Christmas means trying new skincare to see if it works without forking out the big bucks for the huge versions!

Floral Street Sunflower Pop & Sweet Almond Blossom Eau de Parfum Duo Set, $78

Featuring iconic art by Vincent Van Gogh, these two bottles are as pretty as they are fragrant. And it’s another bauble to add to the tree! This duo features Floral Street’s new release Sweet Almond Blossom fragrance, with pink pomelo, vanilla, apple blossom and tonka bean. Then there’s the Sunflower Pop, with bergamot, mandarin, passionfruit, plum blossom, bellini accord, blue orris, honey accord, crystalized musk, crisp amber.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Bauble, $32

One year I swear I want to just decorate my whole tree in beauty product baubles. How magnificent would it be? This bauble from Glow Recipe is another ripper of a stocking stuffer, featuring a stunning pink bottle filled with their famous Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops. Niacinamide is great for improving skin texture, hydration and dark spots, as well as calming redness and reducing pore visibility. 

Mini lip products from Stila, Mario Badescu and Charlotte Tilbury.
It’s a very lippy Christmas.

Stila Red-y To Rumble Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set, $32

Both these reds from Stila are the ideal colours for a Christmas Day pout. They’re full on, attention-grabbing, va va voom reds: Beso (a true red) and Rubino (a ruby red). It’s a full coverage cream lip colour that stays put for the vamp in your life. 

Mario Badescu Giftable Lip Balm Trio, $29

Look no further than Mario Badescu (available at Mecca in Aus) for a brand that’s easy on the purse but does great things for skin. And who doesn’t love a lip balm? This trio is called Giftable for a reason: it works (and they’re cute… OK two reasons). The pack features the original balm, a sweet floral rose twist balm and a tingly fresh mint balm. (You could even be cheeky and keep one to yourself and gift the others!)  

Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Mini Lip Trio Set, $49

Charlotte Tilbury is my lipstick love affair. I think I own more CT lippie than any other brand. It feels creamy, it’s got great colour payoff and really lovely staying power.  And this cute AF trio means I can take some of my fave shades around with me in a mini purseworthy size. Plus it’s a bauble so pop it on the treeeeeee. Shades include berry-rose Walk of No Shame, berry-pink Pillow Talk Medium and the coral-rose shade Stoned Rose. You can pick this one up direct from Charlotte Tilbury, or in Mecca.

Best beauty tool gifts

Beauty tools in a row including a Dosey pill compact, Mermade Hair Clips, Beautyblender and La Mav Dry Body Brush
Bits and bobs to help make your beauty routine shine.

Dosey Pill Compact and Purse Kit, $40

Wellness sits right next to beauty and this is such a handy little tool that I had to include it. Keep all your vitamins, supplements and medication together in this pill compact with a classic vintage look. Then, pop the Pill Compact into the Pill Compact Purse and attach it to your bag so you never forget it! It’s never been easier or more stylish to keep on top of your health with these functional and adorable accessories. 

Beautyblender Little Wonders Blend & Bake Set, $52

Beautyblender is the original and the best when it comes to makeup blending sponges IMHO. This set has a combo of a signature pink Beautyblender and the tool that went viral, the Power Pocket Puff. It’s a one-two punch to blend foundation and concealer, and then bake and set your powder/ 

Mermade Hair Jumbo No Crease Clips, $19

Keep every single little strand of hair where it’s supposed to be in your ‘do with these Mermade Hair Jumbo No Crease Clips. No more kinks from bobby pins, no more snags, just sleek, smooth hair. Perfect for holding down the fort while you do your makeup, or sectioning hair when trying to perfect your tresses. Plus they look super cute for the ‘gram

La Mav Garshana Dry Body Brush, $29

Model Miranda Kerr once extolled the virtues of dry body brushing, and like a good Beauty Editor, I had to try it out. Hello baby smooth skin that absorbed all my products so effectively! Inspired by ancient Ayurvedic healing traditions, Garshana dry body brushing is a nourishing ritual that stimulates lymphatic drainage, improves the body’s natural detoxification channels and boosts circulation to revitalise and rejuvenate skin. The bristles work to get rid of dry skin cells. The round shape fits comfortably in your hand and regular body brushing is linked with increasing blood flow, decreasing cellulite and fits right into a good self care routine.

Cloud9 2
This Contouring Iron has changed my hair’s life.

Cloud 9 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro, $549

The iconic hair tools brand Cloud 9 has touched down at Sephora and one of the products that’s most improved my getting ready routine is the Cloud 9 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro. The device features curved ceramic plates that make it really easy for me to create the soft beachy waves I love without any fuss. It has little springs under the plates (Spring-Flex Technology) to make sure the plates never have one spot that’s overly concentrated with heat, preventing damage. I could not be more obsessed and my hair has never looked shinier and bouncier. This gift says, “I love you and you’re FABULOUS.”

The Beauty Fridge 10L skincare fridge, $219.95

This is a gift for true beauty aficionados who have vanity space to spare. Experience luxury at your fingertips with your own mini fridge dedicated to all things beauty; that special touch to your beauty routine you never knew you needed. The Beauty Fridge is Australia’s favourite skincare and makeup fridge and comes in three permanent colours and features a deluxe 10 litre storage space, it is the perfect addition to your self-care regime! cold skin care has had its deep roots in Asian skin care for centuries, in particular in Korean and Japanese skin care routines. This skin care secret presents a plethora of benefits. A colder environment can not only prolong the shelf life of your precious products, it may also help to aid in better absorption into the skin, all whilst calming and soothing skin.

Beauty Fridge 3

Foreo Bear microcurrent device, $549

Microcurrent devices use electric current to stimulate cell renewal, which in turn lifts, tightens, and smooths your skin, while also training muscles beneath the surface. There are a few of these on the market but when FOREO entered the chat with their BEAR device, suddenly the beauty world was buzzing… and not just because this device adds T-Sonic Pulsations to the microcurrent treatments. With ergonomic (and aesthetically pleasing) Swedish design, the BEAR fits snugly in your hand for the ultimate in comfort treatment. The handy app connectivity shows you exactly how to use your little device, so you can’t go wrong; just mix with FOREO’s Serum Serum Serum as a conductivity gel and you’re ready to go. Your beauty tool obsessed loved one will ADORE you for this pressie.

Elizabeth Best

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