Beauty

By Amy Sciaretto

It’s a bold statement to make by saying that our annual holiday gift guide is the only one shoppers will need to consult this season. Our list is two-fold. Cosmetic fiends and product junkies won’t have to provide a detailed “Holiday Wish List” to their loved ones. Just provide a link to our guide and they won’t have to search high and low for an appropriate gift that’ll bring an ear-to-ear smile to your face. Our guide also eliminates the guess work when you need to shop for the ladies in your life, since we’ve spotlighted the best of the gorgeous and expansive, limited edition holiday sets lining retail shelves. We did all the work for shoppers this season and compared the kits we’ve selected to the image and style of A-list celebs to help make shopping a bit more pleasant and fun this season. Oh, and you’re welcome!

LAURA MERCIER EXCLUSIVE EYE BOOK

Perfect for: The classy, uptown girl who wears a Burberry Trench.
Kindred Spirit: Blake Lively
What It Offers
: Encased in a slim and sleek, silver-embossed book, eight neutral yet complementary shadows pair well to create soft, shimmery, cocktail party looks or smoldering, bedroom eyes with Rose, Ebony, Coffee Ground and Topaz. The luxurious, crease-proof texture is divine and can be finished off with Black Ebony Cake Eyeliner. Available exclusively at Sephora.

SMASHBOX RAPTURE EYE SHADOW AND BRUSH COLLECTION/LIP GLOSS COLLECTION

Perfect for: Sexy, sassy glamour girls.
Kindred Spirit: Eva Longoria
What It Offers: This blockbuster collection boasts eight cashmere eye shadow duos and comes with full-sized, primo quality brushes. The portable pots take looks from day to night. The silky, silvery Dreamscape is office appropriate, while the midnight blue Twilight can last through happy hour. The accompanying six gloss collection shines like the sun, mixing best-sellers with “holiday only” shades. Our fave? The plum’y Radiant. Available at http://www.smashbox.com, Nordstrom or Sephora.

TARTE THE VANITY

Perfect for: The unpredictable trendsetter.
Kindred Spirit: Nicole Richie
What It Offers: Endless color combinations are the order of the day with this vintage, iridescent purple case. The Vanity is a fold out kit that’s a dream come true for the risk taker who starts trends as quickly as she follows them. There’s16 Vitamin-E packed, mineral pigment shadows that span the shade spectrum, 16 beeswax lip colors that range from deep to sheer, a bronzer, mascara, four “Skinvigorating” blushes and two brushes. Coordinating make up is a sinch. Available exclusively at Sephora or http://www.sephora.com.

TOO FACED WORLD DOMINATION TOUR ALL ACCESS BACKSTAGE BEAUTY COLLECTION

Perfect for: The girlish glamazon.
Kindred Spirit: Gwen Stefani
What It Offers: This limited edition, divine cosmetic treat is packaged in an adorable music box with a ballerina inside and holds a glam squad selection of edgy, shadows, an eyeliner cake and brow powder. It also looks precious perched atop your make up table. Available at Sephora or http://www.sephora.com.

KIPLING LOVES TWO FACED COLLETION

Perfect for: The bag snob.
Kindred Spirit: Fergie
What It Offers: A super cute black Kipling cosmetic bag, including a dolled up, lipstick-wearing version of Kipling’s signature gorilla charm, contains the company’s best-selling, urban flair products. There’s the smoky Lovey Dovey shadow duo and a sample of its Shadow Insurance primer, which aids Lovey Dovey in staying put. The cult fave Lash Injection mascara, which is Too Faced’s number one seller of all time, creates the false lash effect from a tube, which the glittery Ooh and Aah liquid eyeliner creates foolproof cat eyes. Available at http://www.toofaced.com or department stores.

LORAC CROC CASE

Perfect for: Stylishly savvy working mothers.
Kindred Spirit: Diane Keaton
What It Offers: Muted, neutral shadows, cool-tone tubes of razzle dazzle glosses and contouring blushes live in a reusable, supremely chic, black patent “moc croc” pouch. This gorgeously mature set is an excellent choice for stylish, working mothers with VP titles who also enjoy the spotlight at board meetings. Available exclusively at Sephora and http://www.sephora.com.

THE BALM HOLIDAY IN BALM SPRINGS

Perfect for: California girls, both blonde and brunette
Kindred Spirit: Jessica Alba
What It Offers: This bite-sized book features necessary essentials for those spontaneous beach weekends. Pack two extra bathing suits, sunblock and this kit for minimal beauty. The taupey, Shady Lady shadow, Pick Up Liner in the carbon-hued Casanova and the loose No Money, No Honey Overshadow allow for shimmery, simple eyes when your short on time and the heat is on! Available at Sephora and http://www.sephora.com.

TRISH McEVOY BRUSHES

Perfect for: Globetrotters who check their bags!
Kindred Spirit: Rachel Zoe
What It Offers: Presentation is everything! This set of five, including miniature blending, tapered and angled eye brushes with Lucite handles, comes in a to-die-for, gold quilted case that can be tucked to fit in a carry-on, leaving extra room for more pairs of Louboutins in the suitcase! Available exclusively at Saks.

SEPHORA 360 PALETTE

Perfect for: The natural beauty who likes to look like she isn’t even wearing eye make-up.
Kindred Spirit: Jennifer Aniston
What It Offers: If you like to focus on her other features, like bronzed skin, this palette of shadows gives lids the lightest kiss of color all the while allowing the other parts of the face to command the most attention. A tiny brush is included for the hidden lip gloss compartment, too! Available at Sephora or http://www.sephora.com.

URBAN DECAY BOOK OF SHADOWS

Perfect for: The free spirit who isn’t afraid of purple eyeshadow!
Kindred Spirit: Rihanna
What It Offers: The eyes have it with this travel-ready palette. Gorgeously gothy skull-and-flower pop ups surrounds the mirror and a drawer full of Urban Decay‘s ultra-glam best-sellers like Midnight Cowboy and Grifter. There’s six new shades exclusive to this palette, like the deep-purple Mayhem, the medium brown Gridlock and the forest green Protest. It’s a “must own” for shadow junkies who dare to try unconventional hues. Plus, there’s a travel-sized brush and a vial of the line’s crease-fighting Primer Potion. Available exclusively at Sephora or http://www.sephora.com.

STILA SMUDGE POT AND LIP GLAZE SETS

Perfect for: The gal who likes the “smoke and shine” eye and lip combo.
Kindred Spirit: Vanessa Hudgens
What It Offers: You get tiny editions of the smudges-like-a-dream Black, Brown and Plum Smudge Pot Gel Eyeliners and the five pocket-sized versions of the line’s best-selling click-pen glosses, including the nude Vanilla and the flattering-on-anyone peachy pink Apricot. Available at Sephora or http://www.sephora.com.

ELF ENCYCLOPEDIA

Perfect for: The young, hip girl on a budget.
Kindred Spirit: Hayden Panettiere
What It Offers: Most of us aren’t going to jump at the chance to read a three-volume encyclopedia. Unless, of course, it houses a collection of trendy colors and shades we may not purchase individually. This sleek and clever Eyes/Lips/Face Encyclopedia kit, complete with a cheat sheet of professional tips, is appropriate for the 21-and-under and college-attending girls that live on fixed incomes. The affordable palette is excellent for sorority sisters and roommates to gift one another with and it’s designed for the younger girl beginning her love affair with makeup. Available at http://www.eyeslipsface.com.

Originally published December 2008
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