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Sephora Favorites: Holiday Makeup Must-Haves Review

Jessica Hapak
ByJessica HapakOct 19, 2023 | 1 comment

Sephora Favorites
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Everyone knows Sephora is a beauty store where you can find almost anything and everything related to makeup, skincare, body care, hair care, and self-care. But they have also released curated sets under their Sephora Favorites brand. Every holiday season, you can expect them to release a set curated around the notion of "must-have" products. This year, it's a good one!

FYI – this set is still available, while supplies last.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)

First Impressions


This set comes packaged in a bright pink makeup bag with the products safely nestled inside. Don't forget to get your two free samples with your Sephora online purchase!

The Breakdown – What’s Inside This Limited Edition Box From Sephora

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, 30 mL - Estimated Value $5.69 (buy the 79 mL version for $15)

I rarely have a need for dry shampoo, but when I do I reach for this one by amika. It smells good, comes in cute packaging, helps to refresh my scalp, and absorbs oil without leaving a white residue. I can't ask for much more than that!

beautyblender® The Original Beautyblender® Makeup Sponge - Retail Value $20


I needed a new beauty blender, and I would pay full-price for this small pink sponge (though of course I would prefer not too). I was pumped when I saw this in the set. There’s something about this classic sponge that has the perfect texture for applying liquid foundation and concealer when it’s damp, and I also like to dab it in setting powder for baking the concealer under my eyes.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray, 34 mL - Retail Value $23

This became my favorite setting spray after I originally tried it in a previous Sephora Favorites kit. It does an incredible job of setting my makeup, even when I am dealing with intense south Louisiana humidity. A little bit goes a long way (especially because I only do my makeup once or twice a week these days), so this travel-sized bottle will last me plenty of time.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Extra Strength Daily Peel, 5 ct - Retail Value $20

Dr. Dennis Gross knows what he is doing when it comes to skincare. I’ve used these exfoliating pads before, and I know they are beloved by many (including my mom). I do think these these pads, which are packed with 7 acids, are way too strong for frequent use (regardless of what the name indicates). However, if you like a simple chemical exfoliant that will give you good results, these are certainly worth trying.

Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Hella Thicc Volumizing Mascara in Cuz I'm Black, 3.5 mL - Estimated Value $6.65 (buy the 10 mL version for $19)

This mascara is just okay for me. It does a good job of individually coating each lash, but it can turn spidery quickly. This also smeared on me after a few hours of wear, and I prefer mascara that gives your lashes a bit more of a curl.

Huda Beauty Baby Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder in Banana Bread, 6 g - Retail Value $22


Huda can definitely make a good makeup product - their concealer is one of my favorites. I appreciate the unique packaging of this setting powder that lends itself well to baking under your eyes. It even has an attached puff that fits perfectly for getting a thicker layer of product under your eyes (which is what you want for baking, as you gently brush the excess away after it has set the concealer underneath). Overall, I’m a fan!

KVD BEAUTY Tattoo Pencil Liner in Trooper Black, 5 g - Retail Value $23


I reach for liquid eyeliner way more often than I do gel pencils, but this is one of the best out there in the pencil eyeliner game. The pigment is an inky black and I like that it’s retractable and doesn’t need a sharpener. I don’t have issues with this smudging on me, and think it works great at tightening my eyes.

LAWLESS Forget the Filler Lip Plumping Line Smoothing Gloss in Velvet, 3 mL - Retail Value $26


I am really picky about what lip plumping products I use, because some of them will cause irritation and bumps on my lips, but Lawless is an exception to that rule! The shade “velvet” is described as a rosy mauve with plummy undertones, but it wears as a light pink on my fair skin. It gave a slight tingling sensation, but I didn’t experience any irritation or burning. Also, the super shiny finish definitely masks any lines on your lips, if that’s something you look for.

Here I am wearing the KVD eyeliner, Fenty mascara, and Lawless lip gloss.

The Original MakeUp Eraser Mini Pink Makeup Eraser - Retail Value $10


This is a super handy item to have for travel. Something about its soft fibers makes removing makeup a breeze- even with just water and no other cleanser (though I typically use one).

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick in Werk, 6 g - Retail Value $24

Cream makeup products are having a moment, and Milk was at the forefront of producing them! Some people will like that you can use this mauve-y rose shade as either a blush or a lip product, but I will exclusively use it on my lips as I am not a fan of multi-use makeup products that aren’t powder (like using a highlighter as an eye shadow, for example). “Werk” is a dusty rose shade that I think will be flattering on many people, and I like how blendable the formula is.

Here is the Milk stick swatched below the Lawless lip gloss and above the KVD eyeliner.

Youth To The People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser, 2 oz - Retail Value $14

I am a big YTTP fan, and I think this is one of the better gel cleansers out there. It's packed with antioxidants from ingredients like kale, spinach, and green tea, and I love that it isn’t drying. While I always prefer to use the double cleanse method if I’m wearing makeup, this is a good all-in-one cleanser that can remove both makeup and mascara.

Value – Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $58

Cost Breakdown: 

  • amika: $5.69
  • Beautyblender: $20
  • Charlotte Tilbury: $23
  • Dr. Dennis Gross: $20
  • Fenty: $6.65
  • Huda Beauty: $22
  • KVD Beauty: $23
  • Lawless: $26
  • Makeup Eraser: $10
  • YTTP: $14

This set promises a $184 value, and my math adds up to $170.34.

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Key Takeaways

Sephora Favorites kits are probably my favorite thing that Sephora sells- they change relatively frequently and almost always contain fun products for a good deal. This Holiday Must-Haves kit was very well done. It had multiple full-size items as well as multiple travel-sized items, and it didn’t feel like any of the samples were tiny. I liked the balance of makeup and skincare, and enjoyed trying out the Huda Beauty powder and getting a full size of the Lawless lip gloss. The value for your money is hard to beat!

Other Things You Should Know

Can you still get this box if you order today? Yes, this is still available.

What do you think of the Sephora Favorites: Holiday Makeup Must Haves Set? Which product would you be most excited to try?

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Sephora Favorites are exclusive, limited edition sets filled with Sephora's top-selling and highly coveted beauty and skincare products. Sephora Favorites kits are released several times a year and the curated collections sell out quickly.

Jessica Hapak
Jessica Hapak
I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.

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1 comment


This is the first box in a long time that I actually like and where I see a lot of items I’d actually use.
Will get it when they also have better samples and something more interesting in the fragrance beauty offers.

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