Have Yourself A Tiny Little Christmas

There are few things about the holidays that get me as excited as the Sephora holiday catalog. I like to go through it and fantasize about opening presents and discovering all the most enticing things. Beauty freaks love it because it contains all the special holiday edition gift sets: lovely little collections of new and old products (some at a discount) to send to friends or keep for your greedy little self.

Today I finally had the chance perform an absolutely critical "vetting" of these sets in real life. Let me explain: most of these collections don't contain full-sized versions of the beloved products and what can appear to be an amazing must-have collection in the catalog can be a major disappointment in real life. Turns out some of them are downright freakin' tiny.

Consider the Benefit 24K Sexy Gold Set priced at a very appealing $32 (picture above). This one isn't so bad because it contains a full-sized lipstick and pot of shimmer powder. What I found to be shocking was the size of the included bag. This "gold embossed clutch" is barely larger than a generous change purse. I looked for the official dimensions, but can't find them. I would estimate that it's about 7" x 4" at the most, definitely not big enough for an evening "clutch!"

Next up, DuWop Venom Rocks Set ($21) is a collection of three mini Lip Venom lip glosses. The important word there being "mini" because they are not joking. "Trial-sized" or "one-time-use" might be more appropriate. Each contains 0.05oz of actual gloss compared to 0.12oz in regular-sized Lip Venom ($16). With the entire set, you get 0.15oz of gloss, which makes the $21 tag suddenly seem even more outrageous. Lastly, we have the tarte Purse Your Lips Mini Lip Gloss Clutch ($39) which includes nine new colors. Amazingly, at a whopping 0.02oz each, these glosses contain even less than the Lip Venom set. Just for comparison, a regular sized tube of tarte's Lip Gloss ($21) contains 10 times as much product at 0.2oz. So, if you add up all the gloss in this set: 9 x 0.02oz = 0.18oz, which is still less than one regular container and costs almost twice as much!!! Granted, I understand that you aren't only paying for product, but for packaging and the little clutch (also small, BTW). Nevertheless, it kind of boggles the mind.

On one hand, I am surprised by the stingy aliquots of beauty in these sets On the other hand, I realize that these are businesses trying to make money and that these gift sets are designed and priced very carefully to do just that. Then again, I don't have to buy them, and (in the words of my charming sisters-in-law) they are officially "next-ed!"



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