Holiday Deals Heads-up

Spoiler alert: it's mostly meh.


Right so the thing is that most holiday beauty deals
1. started at least a week ago, so calm down with the frenzy
2. are not really any better than the periodic sales most brands/shops have anyway
3. often heavily feature the less-great products that they couldn’t unload all year long.

Also if you are like me (hello my fellow cheapskates!) then you spend a lot of time scoffing, “30% off is NOT Black Friday worthy, I’ll start paying attention at 40%, fools, and preferably 50%.” This obviously goes for all commercial sectors but I feel even more adamant when it comes to skincare/beauty because my Spam folder and my IG feed regularly show me 30% off deals on a random Tuesday in June, so these retailers need to work a little damn harder to tap into my FOMO.

That being said, there are a few great things to take advantage of this holiday season, and much of it is “while supplies last” so here are some things that caught my eye:

  • Sephora is once again offering the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream - in the tube this time, yay! - for just $15, which is a steal. It’s perfect if you have sensitive skin, or dry or irritated or dehydrated or - well, it’s just a really good moisturizer.

  • ONLY until 12/2, if you spend $75 at Timeless, you get 50% off - truly a terrific deal. Last year, they also did (in the first week of Dec, I think) an amazing deal on their Beauty Box, where I got $80 of product for $38, so I’m hoping for that again - it makes a wonderful gift. Also, they always do free shipping on all orders, lord love em.

  • Paula’s Choice has free shipping on everything, so this is when I buy a boatload of samples from them. The 25% off is nice, but can be beat at other sites (like Dermstore), although this is a truly good deal.

  • Dermstore has 30% off which is not thrilling EXCEPT it includes many brands that rarely do sales - and they very kindly give you a list of which brands are NOT participating, so you don’t have to waste your time.

  • Soko Glam is also doing 30% sitewide, which is a bit unusual for a lot of these brands, so worth a look.

  • HOWEVER - more and more Asian brands can be found in the damnedest places, so always do a quick Google to comparison shop. For instance, I recently discovered the amazing Pyunkang Yul is carried at Walmart, of all places, and some products cost less there than at YesStyle. (The Moisture Cream is a cult hit, but I’ve only tried the Nutrition Cream and am so in love with it I get teary thinking about it.)

  • Walgreens has a buncha Buy 2 Get 3rd Free items, so you can stock up on some staples! Best is how you can order online to have it shipped to your nearest store for pick-up, instead of paying for shipping.

  • As mentioned previously, the 23% off at Deciem, which is ending soon!

Also, watch Vanessa’s IG stories every day to unearth some amazing deals, she’s a gotdamn GIFT. It’s because of her that I now know to check Cult Beauty UK to see if I can get some things cheaper there - she’s trained me to put it in my cart and compare the price after the currency conversion is complete, because I don’t have to pay VAT.

Another tempting thing is the boxed gift sets, especially from fancy brands. Please do a bit of research before you buy, though, because it’s pretty well known that they often just put like one of their best products in there, then like 3 of their non-seller non-impressive non-worth-the-money products in with it, then say “$150 value for only $60!” And while that’s technically true, you probably could buy the one single item that’s worth it at full price, and save money - and not be their dumping ground for bad product. So I mean - only pay attention if they are all (or mostly) products you’d buy anyway.

But! the good kind of sets are the mini sampler kinds! Lots of them are good little sampler sets for a brand, and they only put them out at the holidays, and this is your chance to see what all the fuss is about. A couple of years ago, I tried out some Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant and other brands I could never otherwise afford. When it comes to minis/stocking stuffer type things, they often tend to put their BEST products in there, see, or at least their most popular. So it’s genuinely a great opportunity to try some stuff out.

As for gift recommendations, I just always say: don’t try to buy skincare for other people unless you know for a fact what they want, because (obviously, I hope?) skincare is highly personal. So tell your loved ones exactly the product you want, or just ask for a gift card. If you REALLY want to give a skincare something to someone, make it a treat thing - like the Charlotte Tilbury Dry Sheet Mask, or a subscripion to Facetory, or if you want to splash out make it a silk pillowcase or the Sleep and Glow pillow or a NuFace or one of those (safe! quality! do not go cheap!) LED masks or something.

Also it is not skincare but please know that my favorite lipsticks are still available and no it’s not a sale but she only releases limited stock once a year. The True Velvet collection is a freaking miracle, every color in it looks good on every human. Just sayin.

Okay, I’m going to go eat Thanksgiving leftovers in front of my TV now without even reading over this because my brain is mush, sorry if there’s a buncha typos and whatnot. Also sorry this is later than intended and not sent at an optimal time to help you with this whole Black Friday Craze, I just had a crazy busy couple of days because that’s what the holiday season is. It’s why we mark this time of year with a variety of carbs and alcohol, a prime example of humanity gettin things right, if you ask me.

I’ll be back in your inbox next time with talk about how you should use a Vitamin C serum so you can be stunned at the beauty of your own skin. Until then, happy shopping!