Everything Else Beauty Gift Guide: To Haul or Not to Haul

Because I'm only one gal, I can't write a haircare gift guide and a body care gift guide and a fragrance gift guide and a miscellaneous gift guide. Also, I don't want to cause that sounds monotonous as hell. So instead here we are with an everything else beauty gift guide: to haul or not edition! If you don't know what the heck that is, ya clearly haven't read my holiday makeup haul or not and holiday skincare haul or not posts!

P.s. I didn't include candles in this post cause I'm dedicating a post to that special topic πŸ™ƒ

Haul Worthy     

Gourmand x UO Gift Sets

$10.00 - $30.00 available via Urban Outfitters
I've always spotted the Gourmand line at Urban Outfitters but wasn't sure how the actual products were. I recently tried a candle and perfume from a PR package I received from them and I gotta say-- they both surpassed my expectations! The candle has a nice throw to it and the perfume is lightweight and daytime/ office appropriate. I think the line is really nice for the price! For $18 you can get a hand cream, perfume, and roller ball-- not too shabby.

Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces

$13.00 - $22.00 available via AmazonBarnes & Noble, & Sephora
Last week I got to watch a screening of the new Kevyn Aucoin documentary and then spent the weekend pinning his makeup looks and watching old interviews of his and browsing his two other books. I got this book at the screening and I've been glued to the book ever since. The book includes an anthology of makeup looks that Kevyn did on various women in his life. Considering the fact that the book was published in the 90s, I'm impressed at how diverse and inclusive the book is. Just goes to show how forward-thinking Kevyn was.

Verb Hydrating Travel Kit

$15.00 available via Sephora
Considering their reasonable price tag (for a mid-tier brand) and trendy packaging, I'm surprised Verb isn't more popular! Their ghost oil is one of my favorite products I've tried from them. It has a weird sticky consistency to it but when applied to my hair it's lightweight and doesn't make my hair greasy! It's also absolutely clear which is a win for people with lighter hair. This set features a full-sized oil plus travel sizes of their conditioner and shampoo.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Minis Kit

$20.00 available via Sephora & Ulta
The OG affordable luxury (as in pricier than drugstore, but cheaper than "luxury") moisturizer for sensitive skinned folks. You can use it on your face, you can use it on your body, it works everywhere! I've been having some eczema patches this winter and this has been one of my go to body balms to soothe said patches.

Frank Body Mini Scrub Duo Set

$20.00 available via Urban Outfitters
I'll admit I find loose coffee scrubs are a bit messy to use but at the same time, they're fun! Plus they smell amazing and actually work. This set features two minis in their new waterproof packaging.

Marvis Wonders Of The World Toothpaste Set

$22.00 available via Urban Outfitters & Dermstore
Fancy toothpaste isn't for everyone. Earlier this year I was transformed into one of those fancy toothpaste folks. Gross confession time: I can be super lazy with my oral care routine. I hate going to the dentist, I hate using mouthwash, and while I don't hate brushing my teeth... I am lax about it. By using fancy toothpaste I'm more motivated to properly brush my teeth because I don't want to waste the $$ product. Plus the Marvis flavors I've tried so far taste much better than most other toothpaste.

Lanolips The Ultimate Strength Hand Duo

$23.50 available via Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, & Anthropologie
Who doesn't suffer from chronic dry hand syndrome come winter? πŸ™‹πŸ™‹πŸ™‹πŸ™‹

The Body Shop Mini Body Butter Sampler

$30.00 available via Ulta
I feel like I've been using body shop butters since I was a wee middle schooler. They're basically ingrained in my beauty wardrobe at this point. They smell good (or at least most of them do) and are moisturizing enough. I like using them as hand creams throughout the day. This comes with 6 mini tubs which could make a nice present for 1 person or 6 stocking stuffers for multiple people!

This Works Sleep Together Duo

$46.00 available via Dermstore
I've yet to try either of these but I have read so many rave reviews about the pillow spray. It's said to have a very soothing scent that helps ease you to sleep. It's the perfect gift for someone who's facing stress in their lives and struggles to shut their brain down at night which let's be real is most of us these days.

Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio Travel Fragrance Set

$45.00 available via Nordstrom
Praise be for mini perfumes that come with sprays and mimic the packaging of their full-size counterparts. I've tried various Tocca perfumes over the past year and have yet to find a scent I dislike. They're all very feminine but in an airy, modern way and not a musty, grandma sort of way. If you're looking for something natural to wear in the daytime, look no further. Plus with this mini set you don't have to worry about committing to one scent for the next 3 years.

Elizabeth & James A Little Bit of Nirvana Fragrance Collection

$48.00 available via Sephora
Same as above-- bless mini perfumes that come with sprays and have the same adorable packaging as the full sizes!

Le Labo Discovery Set

$80.00 available via Nordstrom
I've hoarded a few Le Labo samples that I got from Nordstrom orders, but never seriously thought about purchasing a full-size bottle due to their price tag. But then I visited a proper counter last week and my thoughts have changed. Yes, the scents are expensive but they're also unique and linger around for more than a day! I spritzed two scents on my wrists and when I re-wore the same shirt two days later, it still smelled like the two scents I had sampled. This discovery set is about half the price of their smallest bottles and contains a whole host of scents for commitment-phobes like me.

One thing to note, the Nordstrom site says each bottle has 0.5 oz of products but I believe that to be a typo because that is A LOT of product. I think they missed a zero and each bottle actually has 0.05 oz which would make more sense with their usual pricing scheme.

Luna Mini

$99.00 available via SephoraUlta, & Dermstore
I've had my Luna mini for 2 years and it's still going strong. I know this isn't a gift set or new release but I wanted to include it on the list because I truly love it so! They do have gift sets with the newer Luna Mini 2 but I'm not sure it's worth spending the extra $40 on when the original works fine. I like that it cleanses more thoroughly than my fingers alone and I like that it forces me to cleanse for a whole minute (otherwise I'm lazy and cleanse for like 15 seconds tops.)

Slip Beauty Sleep Collection Gift Set

$109.00 available via Dermstore, Neiman Marcus, & Nordstrom
Look no further to *elevate* your nighttime routine. I shared my first impressions on the pillowcase on my Instagram πŸ˜΄

Gloss Moderne Gift Sets

$100.00 - $195.00 available via Dermstore
This is another luxury green beauty brand I've been seeing make the rounds on Instagram. Their products have a splurgey pricetag but the people who have tried say it's worth it! If you have a sensitive scalp or hair loss or damaged hair and are looking to treat yourself to some haircare, consider their lineup. Their gift sets offer an opportunity to try a variety of products while saving a but of moolah

Sugarfina x Neiman Marcus Candy Truck

$200.00 available via Neiman Marcus
Nothing says "I love you so much I would blow all my money on you" like a $200 trunk of fancy candy.

Not Gonna Haul

Drybar A Lil' Drybar To Go Travel Set

$29.00 available via Ulta
Drybar is one of those brands I've pretty much given up on cause I have yet to try and like a product from them. The shampoo and conditioner featured in this set were beyond mediocre and perhaps a teensy bit drying. The triple sec is one of the worst haircare products I've ever tried. It tries to be like the Oribe texturizing spray but fails miserably and makes it look like you're having a massive dandruff flareup. Plus, I've had so many issues with the packaging on their minis. Sometimes they come out in spurts and sometimes they don't come out at all. Save yo coin and avoid their mini sets.

Ouai Hair Care Set

$35.00 available via Nordstrom
So I was iffy on including this on my not to haul list because it is such a good value! BUT I had to because the dry shampoo included in this set is literally the most pointless dry shampoo I have ever used. It doesn't do anything to my hair except make it itchy and smell very perfumey. Instead, I would recommend the Ouaisted Essentials kit from Sephora that's three bucks cheaper and has a mini wave spray (which actually works and makes my hair wavy) instead of the dry shampoo.

Christophe Robin Hair Ritual Kit

$39.00 available via Sephora
I can't tell you how much I was looking forward to trying the Christophe Robin scalp scrub. I initially talked myself out of buying it at the VIB sale but caved into the hype on the last day. Y'ALL THIS STUFF IS SO BEYOND DRYING. It did help scrub my scalp the one time I've tried it but it also completely stripped my hair and turned it into straw. Gonna have to pass on trying the shampoo and conditioner from this line. Plus this set is just too pricey for three haircare minis in my book, especially when the minis are cleansing products and not styling or treatment products (which are more worth splurging on in my opinion.)

Affect Health 14 Day Teatox + Total Detox Guide

$39.00 available via Urban Outfitters
Say no to detox teas!!!!

Foreo Luna Play Cleansing Discovery Must-Haves

$39.00 available via Sephora
While I love my luna mini, I think the luna play is flat out wasteful. If you're unfamiliar with the device, it's like a mini luna mini that's disposable because you cannot recharge. It claims to have 100 uses on it but most of the reviews I've read said otherwise. Why spend so much money on a device you're going to have to toss after a month? Like I said, wasteful.

Rahua Jet Setter Hair & Body Kit

$40.00 available via Sephora
Mini beauty products are one of my obsessions but often times they're so ridiculously priced. This set features 4 minis-- a shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion. I seriously enjoy the conditioner and shampoo I've tried from the brand but have yet to try the body products. Considering the mini shampoo and conditioner are available in a duo for $16.50, I don't think it's worth the extra $23.50 for a mini body lotion and body wash.

Kopari Coconut Multitasking Kit

$40.00 available via Sephora
I received two of the products in this set as a PR gift and from the few times I've used them I don't think they're worth the $$ *shrugs* The coconut body melt looks gorgeous in the bottle but is difficult and messy to use as it hardens when the temperature drops. The coconut melt is just straight up coconut oil. I've been meaning to do a one on one comparison with a grocery store coconut oil but I don't expect to see a massive difference between the two. From the ingredients, I do think the coconut balm looks like a nice body product but the 1 oz tube featured in this set won't go far if you use it all over your body.

Jo Malone Holiday Miniature Soap Collection

$45.00 available via Nordstrom
Spending this much money on MINI BAR SOAPS should be a crime. Seriously, this contains 3 minis that are less than half an ounce each.

Morrocan Oil Hydrating Travel Kit

$48.00 available via Nordstrom
Call me crazy but I never got the hype around Morrocan Oil. They're not horrible but I have yet to try anything from them that I think is worth the price. Their namesake oil, in particular, is nothing spectacular in my opinion. The Verb ghost oil, Bumble & bumble hairdresser's invisible oil, and even Garnier argan oil are all superior from my experience.

Juara Coffee & CrΓ¨me Skin Smoothing Body Ritual

$58.00 available via Space. NK
I've tried foil samples of both these products and they were ok. If I'm about to drop the big bucks on body care products I need to be STUNNED at their beauty. I was not stunned. Also petty but I think the fonts, color combinations, and general packaging of the products look cheap.

Nurse Jamie Instant Uplift

$69.00 available via Dermstore
Maybe it's because I'm very much a skeptic and don't really believe in the various powers (not sure if that's the right word) of stones but this rolling stick of rocks seems like a scam to me. Not gonna buy it or gift it.

Oribe Travel Essentials Set

$98.00 available via Space. NK
I pretty much sound like a broken record at this point but NO I WILL NOT SPEND $100 ON MINIS. NO.

AERIN Beauty Discovery Fragrance Set

$115.00 available via Nordstrom
Aerin perfumes are stunning buuuuut this is simply too pricey for minis in my book. They look like decent sizes in the photo but when you scroll down to the description you'll see that they contain 0.17 fl. oz per bottle. Sephora has an Aerin gift set for $20 that has 5 minis of 0.07 fl. oz each; the bottles aren't nearly as cute but the value is much better. I'm willing to pay a little bit more for beautiful packaging but not that much more.

Molton Brown Cabinet of Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar

$250.00 available via Neiman Marcus
Maybe it's because I'm American but I never felt the need to purchase an advent calendar. They splurgey ones are too much and the cheaper ones are never worth the $$ to me. This one kind of ticks both boxes-- it's crazy expensive but also doesn't seem to be worth the $$. A lot of the minis featured in this set are available in much more affordable sets from the brands-- such as 3 festive baubles for $38 or 8 bath & body minis for $35.00 (these are fab in the bath cause they make so. many. bubbles.)

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

$399.00 available via Sephora
I'll be honest, I have yet to read a negative review on this thing. Then again I haven't read many reviews on it overall because I don't really care to? I just feel like there are so many more exciting things to buy with $400. You could buy an entire skincare routine or makeup routine or haircare routine or candle collection or 5 Byredo candles. Long story short, I don't care how amazing this is I don't see why it would be worth $400 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


And that wraps up this year's series of "gift guide" esque posts. I hope you found them helpful or at least entertaining!

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? I've been shopping nonstop on the weekends with my mom and thankfully we are all done! I think this is the earliest we've ever gotten all our shit done. The only danger is now if I go to the mall I'll be more likely to purchase something for myself since I don't have a specific task at hand...

And you may wonder, Sharmili, why would you even want to go to the mall at this time of year if you don't need to buy presents? Call me crazy but it's because I love the holiday ambiance!

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