The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Sephora’s Holiday Beauty Lineup

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It’s that time of year already, y’all! 2019 is FLYING BY, ain’t it?!?! We’re already at Sephora holiday offerings and I’m about to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of this year’s lineup.

So here’s the thing (because I’m going to film a Youtube video talking through each of these—make sure you’re subscribed to my channel so you don’t miss it), holiday beauty offerings have always been both a “yay” and a “meh” for me. A yay because this is an amazing time for skincare sets. A meh because often times the makeup sets are an ashy mess for darker skin tones.

This year is no different…lol.

The Good

Almost all of the good lies in the skincare lineup. We do have some sets we typically see from brands at Sephora, but there are some remixes here. I’ve said this often—skincare sets are a great way to try new-to-you skincare brands and products. This time of year Sephora ups the ante on them, too.

You can shop through some of the ones that caught my eye. I haven’t tried all of these (goodness, can you imagine if I had…lol), but of course do your research to look into which sets speak most to your current skincare needs.

I’m excited about the upcoming Fenty Beauty Lil Stunna Mini Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Underdawg which looks somewhat like the lip color in that infamous pic of Rihanna at a sports event with that very deep aubergine lip color. It was later brought up that a stan more than likely photoshopped the lip color to make it look darker, but from the pics on Sephora’s site, it looks like this color may be Fenty’s interpretation of it. I’d of course have to try it on to see if I’d love it, but looks pretty promising. Either way, the packaging is super cute for a gift for your Fenty-loving friend (even if she/he is you…lol)

If you want to see me talk about these, make sure you’re subscribed to my Youtube channel and check out my video!

(don’t forget to use the arrows to scroll through the entire widget to see all items featured)

(don’t forget to use the arrows to scroll through the entire widget to see all items featured)

(don’t forget to use the arrows to scroll through the entire widget to see all items featured)

(don’t forget to use the arrows to scroll through the entire widget to see all items featured)

The Bad

So there are some things that I’m giving the side-eye. This isn’t to say the products are bad themselves, but they’re just not catching my eye (or my coins…lol).

Pat McGrath Blitz Astral Quad Eyeshadow Palette. I LOVE a Pat McGrath palette—I own a few of them and love the way they perform. I cannot see it for a $65 quad. Sorry. Even if the shadows are bigger. You can get more variety from a 6-shade palette from Pat McGrath for $55.

Sephora Collection Igloo Palace Blockbuster Set. This is a lot—yes, I get the value, but unless this is a gift for a teen who is just getting into makeup, I don’t see this being extremely useful.

Want to see me talk through more of these? Make sure you’re subscribed to my Youtube channel and check out my video!

The Ugly

Phew chile. Again, I’m not saying these are products that perform terribly, but if you have a deeper skin tone and like to spend your money on products you’ll really get a lot out of, you’ll steer clear of these.

I’m disappointed (as usual) in a majority of the color options. I think Jackie Aina’s ABH palette has me spoiled—I’m no longer looking at any eyeshadow palettes where I can’t use ALL OF THE COLORS (sometimes there’s a palette where maybe 2-3 don’t get used, but Jackie’s palette was so good I use ALL OF THEM JOINTS).

Laura Mercier Cheek Canvas Soft Cheek Palette. I don’t want it to seem like I’m singling out Laura Mercier for this because there are a ton of brands who are putting out similarly colored palettes. And maybe I get it that they sell these sets for the masses and the masses are white, but sheesh. Can we get a few darker palettes thrown in? Yes, it’s a soft cheek palette, but at the max, maybe two shades will work on deeper skin.

Guerlain Goldenland Palette. They say the shades are universally flattering though. But I wouldn’t be in a rush to get this one at all. The color scheme seems so sad and grey.

Sephora Collection Winter Time Eye and Face Palette. 2-3 of these shades at most will look decent on darker skin.

These three aren’t the only culprits—holiday makeup sets overall can be pretty disappointing because they seem to think only lighter skin tones buy holiday makeup. I will be looking to see what some of the Black-owned makeup brands and other indie brands put out for the holidays.

Which Sephora holiday sets caught your eye? Which ones are you passing up? Tell me in the comments!

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.

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