Beauty expert shares which Sephora holiday sets are a ripoff

@mualesandro/TikTok monticello/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘We’re not paying for samples in 2023’: Beauty expert shares which Sephora holiday sets are a ripoff

‘I had no idea they used different formulas in holiday palettes.’


Brooke Sjoberg


When it comes to holiday shopping, not only are customers trying to find the best gift for their loved ones, but they’re also trying to find the best deals available to them. 

It can be daunting to determine what items and pre-made gift sets might be worth the money spent on them, between marketing and hype around certain brand names.

One creator in the beauty space online has taken to TikTok to show potential customers which gift sets and holiday exclusives from brands carried by Sephora are actually worthwhile.

In a video that has drawn over 299,000 views as of Friday, content creator @mualesandro says several of the gift sets and even higher-end products on the shelves for the holiday season are not a good idea, whether for gift-giving or to treat oneself.

“Let me save you some coin and tell you which Sephora holiday sets are not worth purchasing,” he says in the video. “Too Faced is notorious for lowering the quality of their holiday collections because of the fact that this is limited edition and won’t be coming back, they really cheap out on the formula since they know this will never be a staple product. Another brand that does this is Pat McGrath. Her holiday palettes are a knock-off version of her original formula.”

When it comes to holiday minis or smaller items marketed as stocking stuffers, he says it is not much better.

“Do not buy any lip set unless you know you’re going to love the color,” he says. “Typically they’re the same pinky-nude shade that only looks good on white people. Also b*tch, do not buy anything that doesn’t come with at least one full-size product. We’re not paying for samples in 2023.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @mualesandro via email regarding the video.

Some viewers shared that they had decided against the lip set for some of the reasons he shared in the video, or recommended alternatives.

“You are stating facts, I really wanted that lip set but the colors were all about the same and for fair skin,” one commenter wrote.

“I agree on the tarte lip set,” another agreed. “Not unless you love the shades should you get it. I fortunately love my set so I’m enjoying it! I trust you!!”

“Okay but the tarte fig shade looks good on olive/medium skin tones,” another commenter wrote.

Others shared that the video had taught them something new about formula differences between regular and holiday items, or that they had known the information for a while and that it influenced their shopping choices.

“The Sephora I work at doesn’t even put the Too Faced on the display tower bc of how bad it is,” one commenter wrote.

“I had no idea they used different formulas in holiday palettes,” another commenter wrote.

“I have always wanted the too faced holiday collections bc they are cute,” a commenter wrote. “Glad I never got them now.”

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