Because who doesn’t love a gift set? Our Beauty Director, SJ has cherry-picked some of the best ones of offer this holiday season
If you are of a certain age then you will understand when I say that there was nothing, and I mean nothing, more exciting than unwrapping a wicker gift basket from The Body Shop first thing on Christmas morning. Would you get the iconic white musk version or would Aunty Joan have opted for the more zingy fuzzy peach option? And was it too early to have a bath so you could see if the bath pearls, filled with bath oil, would stick to the bath and could only be scraped off with something from the family toolbox? Ah, good times. Although if you want to see what the team are asking for this Christmas then check out our Glossy Picks Christmas Gifts 2023.
Of course, Christmas gift sets have evolved quite considerably and the Christmas gift sets of 2023 are really quite something. And I want you to put any negative connotations of gift sets to one side. As I know for some they are seen as something of a cop-out when buying presents as though you haven’t put enough thought into it. This is a view I struggle with as firstly, you should be grateful for whatever someone else has gone to the trouble of buying you but also because the joy of a Christmas gift set is that it’s often a curation of products that you haven’t ever had altogether before. They are also a great way of getting a really good feel for the breadth of a brand in one go and sampling things you may have never bought individually, much like when you get travel size toiletries. They is also often a good financial saving to be had from buying a set rather than individual items, and in these times that’s not to be sniffed at.
So that is why I have gone through hundreds of gift sets and found these, what I believe to be, excellent offerings. There is something for everyone you may need to buy for and that works for every budget. Happy shopping!
For the skincare lover: Tatcha Dewy Skin Essentials, £8
To go straight into the financial aspect of gift sets, these products when bought individually would normally cost £114 so you’ve already bagged over £20 saving with this great set. It contains Tatcha’s iconic Rice Wash cleanser, Dewy Serum and Dewy Skin Cream - everything you need for a plump, hydrated and happy complexion and ideal for anyone in your life who loves their skincare.
The most wanted: Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Jet Set, £28
This has to be the range we are asked most about at GTG: “Have you got any of the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream for me/my daughter/niece?” followed by, “It’s so expensive!” (It’s £48). May we direct you to this Jet Set trio of minis with the famous ‘Bum Bum’ cocoa vanilla floral smell that’s so beloved (the scent is actually called La Cheirosa ’62), a body wash and a body mis all for £28. That’s your gift list ticked!
For the hair chameleon: Olaplex Strong Days Ahead Hair Kit, £51
Got a friend or family member who is constantly changing their hair or spends a lot of time and effort perfecting their do? Then this is a failsafe gift set for them. It contains the hero Olaplex product, No3 Hair Perfector as well as the repairing and strengthening shampoo and conditioner. Again, you get a great saving as these products would normally cost £72 when bought separately.
For the frazzled friend: Drunk Elephant Call It A Night, £24
It seems wrong somehow that most of us go into the holiday season feeling our most frazzled and broken. If that is you, or one of your friends, then you need to be giving and receiving this skincare duo. It contains Drunk Elephant’s overnight glycolic serum that will get to work on brightening and revitalising the skin, alongside the rich night cream for extra hydration and comfort. They can be used together or singularly on separate nights.
For under £20: Q+A Festive Favourites Gift Set, £19
Containg four products - a cleanser, serum, moisturiser and eye cream - this is the sort of set that is ideal for the slightly older teenager in your life or a young teacher. The products will suit most skin types and all have the aim of getting skin hydrated, refined and looking brighter.
For anyone: Clarins Beauty Flash Balm Collection, £38
Clarins gift sets are one of the most searched for online year after year. There are lots to choose from but this one works for all ages, skin types and skin tones. It contains the brand’s best-selling beauty Flash Balm, a multitasking and hydrating primer-meets-moisturiser that adds instant radiance to the skin, alongside a shimmering pink Lip Perfector and their classic makeup primer. It also is the ideal gift for anyone in your life whose name begins with ‘C’ as it comes in a monogrammed makeup bag too.
For the makeup obsessive: Nars Orgasm Afterglow Lipstick & Mini Liquid Blush Duo, £29.40
Nars is one of those brands that everyone wants in their makeup bag. Not only for its high-quality performance but because it looks cool too. Their cult Orgasm shade is one of those colours that works on all skin tones and this set contains the liquid blush version with the balmy lipstick.
For the shower lover: Naturium The Glowing Body Kit, £12
I always rave about what good value Naturium is as you get a lot of product for your money and this duo is another testament to that. Here you have The Glow Getter body wash with the Bio Lipid body lotion for just £12. A great gift set for your gym bunny friend who needs good-sized products to throw in their bag or for your friend who favours a shower over a bath.
For the person who needs self-care: Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress And Calm Gift Set, £80
The products in this are worth £144 so this is another great saving when buying it as a gift set. Containing three full-sized versions of Aromatherapy Associates' most popular products. You will find the De-Stress Shower Oil, De-Stress Body Oil and the De-Stress Muscle Gel. All encased in a gorgeous midnight blue velvet wash bag.
For the men in your life: Kiehl’s Fresh Start Men’s Essentials, £45
Whether it’s your Dad, husband, brother or cousin you‘re buying for, this is a great gift set for whatever age and whatever they’re personality type. It contains a cleanser, moisturiser and exfoliating body bar.
For the time saver: Living Proof Believe in Dry Shampoo, £35
There is a reason this genius dry shampoo has become a cult buy. It’s because it doesn’t cover up greasy and oily roots, it actually cleans them in 30 seconds. Genius. An ideal gift for the busy person in your life who is always looking to shave a few minutes off their schedule.
For the body care addict: Sanctuary Spa The Ultimate Self-Care Spa Gift Set, £26.50
It may be for your Aunty, your childminder or one that you’ve got your eye on for yourself but this gift set is the ultimate gift for anyone who likes to take a long, hot soak in the tub and then take the time for body lotion and foot cream after. Packed with 8 products including a body puff, a sleep mist and body washes and body butter this is a brilliantly priced, bumper-packed gift set.
For the accessory queen: Slip Holiday Ornament, £25
You can never have enough hairbands. I think we’re all agreed on that. And these are one of Frankie Bridge’s beauty must-haves. This cute set is designed like a Christmas bauble and contains four gorgeous bands that don’t kink or pull on the hair.
For the chic discerning friend: Bamford Geranium Duo, £48
I always think a posh, and brilliant hand wash, set is one of those gifts that everyone loves to receive because it’s not the sort of thing you would buy yourself. Step in this gorgeous Bamford duo. The hand wash and hand lotion has the divine Bamford signature scent of geranium and is eco-friendly, vegan and Cosmos-certified. It’s also a limited edition so you need to be speedy to get it.
For the homebody: Diptyque Set of 5 Mini Signature Candles, £80
This is very much a gift set that I have my sights set on. it is a collection of 5 votive size candles in the best-selling Diptyque scents. There is 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain, which has been in many of our best winter candles round-up along with berry-scented Baies, sultry Ambre, floral Roses and Feu De Bois which smells like a crackling roaring fire.
For the luxury lover: Wildsmith Skin Copper Peptide Duo, £165
A gorgeous skincare duo set from a brand that’s not only leading the way in environmentally and ecologically sound practices but also comes with some seriously hard-working scientific ingredients that make a real difference to skin. This set, which comes housed in completely biocompostible mushroom-based packaging, contains the brand’s best-selling skin-firming and wrinkle-smoothing Copper Peptide Cream and matching serum.
For the glow-searcher: Ren Clean Skincare Radiance Gentle Glow Heroes, £36
Containing three products that are all designed to gently but effectively exfoliate the skin to create a more glowing and radiant complexion, this is a great set for anyone who wants to look more luminous - which is everyone I believe.
For the tired friend: This Works Dream To Sleep Gift Set, £28
Is there any better gift than the one of sleep? I didn’t think so. I have given this gift set to so many new-mum friends, teachers and busy family members. It contains the Deep Sleep Shower Gel and Body Cocoon to really kickstart the circadian sleep triggers as well as the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, which I use almost every night and is one of the best pillow sprays to help you drift off to sleep.
For the tweenagers: Florence by Mills Just For You: A Few Of My Favourite Things, £23.75
If you’re struggling to find something for the 10 to 15-year-old in your life then may I steer you in the direction of this? A fun, but great range, for their delicate and changeable skin containing some face masks - including very cute whale-shaped under-eye masks, a colour-changing lip balm, moisturiser and mascara.
For the nighttime skincare routine: Ella & Jo Dreamy Skincare Ritual, £68
As favoured by Cat Deeley, this is a great set that contains a cleansing balm to remove all the day’s makeup and grime, a regenerating and peptide-rich night cream as well as an intensely hydrating and firming night mask.
For stocking fillers or table gifts: The Body Shop Hug & Squeeze Hand Balm Crackers, £30
While this 100 per cent works as a gift set on its own (especially for anyone in your life who can’t leave the house without a hand cream), I would recommend buying this and gifting each of the crackers filled with a hand cream individually. They would make fab table gifts or popped in some stockings.
For the glam friend: Rodial Glass Skin Edit, £45
Containing four handy-sized complexion and cheek products, in the box you will find a liquid bronzer and highlighter and two liquid blushers; a pink and peach shade. It’s a great gift option for that glam friend who you know has everything and wants for nothing but you want to give her something as gorgeous as she is. This is that.