The Sephora Glossy editors Kelley Hoffman and Jessica Velez share the picks on their “nice!” list.
As beauty writers covering what’s new and exciting in the industry, we have must-have lists in the works at all times. What’s currently at the top? Holiday sets! It’s finally that time of year where our most coveted products band together in kits and palettes—making the wait all the more worth it. We’re sharing our most beloved wintertime wonders to inspire you to cross off the most important person on your gift list: you!
WHO: Kelley Hoffman, Senior Writer
“There’s a specific, post-application-of-a-YSL-lipstick feeling that always makes me feel powerful enough to take on any situation—whether it’s calling the cable company or going to an event where I only know one person. Lucky for me, this beautiful set contains four fun-sized tubes of Rouge Pur Couture, and they’re the dream team of shades for getting my fancy on this season: a true red, an orange-red, a dusty rose, and a fuchsia. Perfect for toting in clutches, and housed in glamorous golden encasements, these rich lipsticks feel like security blankets and trophies at the same time.”
“I’ve been a fan of Clinique’s Black Honey and their sleek, mirrored packaging ever since I was in junior high school, and this palette just keeps my long-term love for the brand as strong as ever. These elegant shadows—in an ombré ranging form “ballet flats” to “french roast”—deliver a rosier take on Black Honey, and really flatter my blue-green eyes and pink undertones. With these eight shades, I’m excited to rock a different-yet-tasteful eye look for every night of Hanukkah, and then some.”
“I have a memory of being just visually riveted by the contouring page in Kevyn Aucoin’s book Making Faces. Flash-forward to 2015: the famed, late makeup artist legend lives on via a brilliant contouring palette from his namesake brand. It’s easy-to-use, contains tips from the master himself, and has both cream and powder shades to take my contouring from barely there (for the office) to is-she-maybe-a-famous-person (for parties). While red lips and smoky eye might be a classic holiday look—this year I’m also all about retouching my jawline and cheekbones IRL, because, well, now I can.”
WHO: Jessica Velez, Editorial Associate
“I love Houglass powders because they give me that dim romantic-dinner glow I normally only get at a fancy restaurant—without a pricey check at the end. So, how was I supposed to resist this six-pan palette with three ambient lighting powders, two cheek-warming blushes, plus a bronzer to contour? Answer: I can’t. Each powder has me smitten, but I’m especially pleased with the Iridescent Light ambient powder, a shimmery rosé pink shade I’ve been using to highlight my cupid’s bow and more. The beauty elves at Sephora really outdid themselves with this palette.”
“When it comes to holiday sets, I’m always torn between restocking on my tried-and-true favorites or going wild with something new and unexpected. With this set of mostly mini Studded Kiss lipsticks, I scored a little of both! A handful of the shades are beloved hues (how you doin’ Coven?) but there’s a trio of fresh pigments that are new to the KVD world. The full-size limited-edition shade, Gold Blooded, is truly gorgeous. It’s red enough to be bold, sparkly enough to be festive, yet toned down just enough that I can get away with wearing it to the office without raising any eyebrows. And I’m saving NaYeon, “a heavy-metal hit of gunmetal shimmer,” for a more badass version of a New Year’s Eve kiss.”
“The bottom row of shadows in this 12-shade palette immediately caught my eye! These four deep jewel-toned hues (Caviar, Black Plum, Ivy, and Navy) are perfect for creating the moody winter looks I’m loving this season. The other shades range from everyday nudes to icy shimmers—which means I can break out this bad boy for any occasion. I know they say it’s better to give than to receive, but when it comes to this palette, I’d beg to differ.”