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On the hunt for a beauty gift bound to be a surefire hit? Take your cue from the nation’s top buyers (aka the people who shop for beauty products for a living) who share the hair, skincare and make-up presents set to be the year’s most popular.
As far as dream jobs go, beauty buying has to top the list. Just image: a job that requires you to seek out the coolest new make-up brands and most innovative skincare lines for a living. Epic.
Given that it’s an integral part of their job description to keep their fingers on the pulse of the beauty zeitgeist, beauty buyers are the perfect experts to ask which hair, make-up and skincare gifts are likely to top every beauty obsessive’s wishlist this Christmas. Below, they each share their respective store’s most popular beauty gift sets – but move fast, it’s likely they won’t stick around for too long.
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The most popular beauty gift sets 2021
“Aesop has done it yet again by curating this gorgeous holiday gift that’s bound to be a sell-out in no time. The sumptuous scent and luxurious textures make this the perfect present, whether gifted to your bestie or brother – this selection of beautiful body care is suitable for all and will be gratefully received by anyone from a beauty beginner to seasoned self-care pro.” —Lena Feliz Cenar, Cult concierge manager at Cult Beauty
Shop Aesop The Listener Geranium Leaf Trio Kit at Cult Beauty, £59
“It can be difficult to know what to give someone but considering our Net-a-Porter kits are amongst our customers’ most popular beauty purchases, I think these make a great gift. They’re a carefully curated edit of products which means they receive an incredible beauty selection. We’ve just launched our Net-a-Porter Party Prep Kit, which includes some really amazing brands and some of our bestselling products from the likes of Westman Atelier, Wander, Charlotte Tilbury and Sarah Chapman. It’s like a little treasure trove of great beauty discoveries and for me, it would be a great gift to give (and receive)!” —Newby Hands, global beauty director at Net-a-Porter.
Shop Net-a-Porter Party Prep Kit at NET-A-PORTER, £80
“I’m keeping a really close eye on the new 35X Big Primpin’ Artistry Palette from Morphe. Famous for purse-friendly palettes, this warm/nude-toned addition to its line-up for Christmas has seen a great reaction since launch and given you get 35 (!!) shades for just £25, I’m not surprised.”—Rich Pulman, buyer at LookFantastic
Shop Morphe 35X Big Primpin’ Artistry Palette at LookFantastic, £25
“As it’s the season of festivities, we predict the Lashify Control Kit will be a huge hit with our customers as it lets them take control to be their very own lash technician. Lashify is a great alternative to anyone who loves lashes. It gives the wearer the ability to wear lash extensions for up to 10 days with no damage to natural lashes. It’s a huge hit across the pond and far and we always like to candidly warn: once you start, you won’t be able to stop.” —Jacqueline Kusamotu and Abi Lawrence-Adesida, co-founders of Candour Beauty
Shop Lashify Control Kit at Candour Beauty, £115
“We’re always on the hunt for the biggest and best brands to create a range of Christmas gifts that we know our customers will love. With the launch of Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner recently, her infamous Lip Kit will be on the wish list for all beauty fans this year.”—Liz Hewitt, senior Christmas buyer at Boots
Shop Kylie Cosmetics Matte Lip Kit at Boots, £20.80
“This year hand care has really had a moment and this is something I only see continuing to rise as we head towards Christmas. Covid shifted purchasing trends from lipsticks to fragrances and hand care products. We started seeing hand products formulated to be more effective when it comes to care, spiked with gorgeous fragrances and housed in more stylish packaging. Beigic is a brand that is becoming increasingly popular with the UK consumer. The Beigic Refining Hand Wash contains walnut shell,a natural scrub that softens skin, together with coffee bean oil to keep hands hydrated. It’s scented with a mandarin and bergamot fragrance. Beigic Refreshing Hand Wash is formulated with hyaluronic acid and is geared towards hydration. Plus, it has a beautiful lavender and bergamot scent. These are the products that so many are now indulging in for themselves and purchasing more and more as gifts.”—Jin Kwon, founder Tonic15
Shop Beigic Refining Hand Wash and Refreshing Hand Wash at Tonic15, £28 each
“If you’ve spent the year struggling to get hold of Maybelline’s TikTok-famous Sky High Mascara, you’re in luck. The Maybelline Trendsetter Makeup Kit includes the mascara that broke the internet as well as two other viral hits, the Lifter Gloss and Brow Fast Sculpt Mascara. Guaranteed to delight the TikTok obsessive in your life.”—Rebecca Lowe, senior buyer at Beauty Bay
Shop Maybelline Trendsetter Makeup Kit at BeautyBay, £18.15
“I love the whole range, but the Victoria Beckham Beauty Makeup Favourites set is the ideal gift for all of us busy people who want an easy,quick and gorgeous lip and eye look. I would be very happy to find this in my pile of presents!” —Stacia Prince, buying director at Cult Beauty
Shop Victoria Beckham Beauty Makeup Favourites at Cult Beauty, £62
“During the pandemic, we’ve seen people exploring make-up and experimenting with their looks, and with party season on the horizon, we foresee customers purchasing make-up and cosmetics gifts this Christmas. In particular, we predict that the exclusive Revolution The Ultimate Glamour Collection will be our big seller of the Christmas gifting period. Packed with exclusive palettes that are only available in this gift set, and full sized beauty products, this collection will be at the top of any beauty lover’s wish list.” —Simon Comins, commercial director at Superdrug
Shop Revolution The Ultimate Glamour Collection at Superdrug, £30
“Year on year, we see a rise in hand and body sales, with Space NK customers choosing to gift kits and sets around the festive season. The newly launched Space NK Voyage Hand Duo is the perfect gift for loved ones or to bring for the host of a Christmas dinner party. The exfoliating hand wash includes adaptogens that give tired hands a much-needed boost, while the lotion leaves hands feeling nourished and soft. There’s also the added benefit that once it is all used up, the recipient can refill either in-store or on the Space NK website” —Charlotte Giddeon-Powell, new brands buyer at Space NK
Shop Space NK Voyage Hand Duo at Space NK, £19.80
“Until now, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge has been an insider secret, but this year we are seeing its popularity explode as customers fall in love with this sophisticated scent. We predict it’s going to be at the top of every beauty connoisseur’s wishlist.”—Megan Mosley, lead for make-up and fragrance at John Lewis
Shop Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Route at John Lewis, £182.75
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Images: courtesy of brands
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