Beauty items continue to be high on everyone’s gift wish list. So this month CEW Beauty Insider took a look at five brands that created holiday-themed items that not only offer a hint of nostalgia, but also a better bang for consumers’ buck. It’s also no surprise that brands are strategically reaching out to groups of beauty influencers that will get their brand the most traction. Read how these special, first-time or limited-edition items are making an appearance this December, and what brands are doing to reach consumers.

Product: Prone to Wander Lipstick Set

Brain behind the launch: Divya Gugnani, Co-Founder of Wander Beauty

Why it’s so special: “For our first holiday kits, we wanted to create a multi-tasking makeup essential collection exclusive for 2016 that was super portable and travel friendly, and suited the needs of our target consumer,” said Divya.

Under-the-tree worthy: The set includes six moisture-rich, super pigmented Wanderout Dual Matte Lipsticks that deliver full coverage in one swipe. A limited-edition color, Velvet Rope – a rich, deep wine shade – is exclusive to the kit.

Marketing plan: Kits were sent to notable beauty and lifestyle social media influencers to help promote the launch of the brand’s first holiday collection, encouraging them to use the dedicated hashtag #wanderout in their posts. The launch coincides with robust digital content on the Wander Beauty website, along with how-to videos and increased social media initiatives, including Facebook Live videos with Co-founder and supermodel, Lindsay Ellingson.

Get it: The Prone to Wander Lipstick Set is available at and now until February 2016.

Product: 3LAB Holiday Set

Brain behind the launch: Christina Oresajo, 3LAB Communications and Marketing Manager

Why it’s so special: “Holiday Sets are a new concept for 3LAB. The brand typically launches two products a year but this year we wanted to tap into the season of sharing,” said Christina.

Under-the-tree worthy: “At this time of the season, the customer is looking for a special value. The holiday set can travel with the savvy customer providing essential 3LAB products in a beautiful, multi-purpose vanity trunk case,” Christina added.
Marketing plan: “The strategy is to widen the current customer base while giving consumers a reason to come back to replenish or try a new seasonal product at the start of the New Year. We look to do this by showcasing the Holiday Vanity Set on and; scheduled e-blasts, holiday outposts in-store; as well as social media and holiday gift guides. For current clients, we plan to mail personal holiday with information on our new Holiday Vanity Set available in store,” added Christina.

Get it: The 3LAB Holiday Set is available at Barneys New York, and during the month of December.

Product: Lafco’s Holiday Mini Candles in Berry, Tree and Ski House

Brain behind the launch: Jon Bresler, CEO and Founder of Lafco

Under-the-tree Worthy: “We wanted to capture the familiar scents of the holidays; pine needles, spruce, cranberry and red currant, in beautiful packaging. Each candle is made from a soy-based vegan wax and is housed within a hand-blown vessel that could be easily repurposed to store makeup brushes or desk accessories. This effort also provides consumers with the opportunity to purchase a smaller-sized candle at the same elevated quality for half the price,” said Jon.

Marketing plan: “Lafco has always taken the initiative to push for print and online editorial coverage for all our items,” Jon added. “This past year we took an extra close look at influencers and are continuing to put Lafco in front of the beauty, lifestyle and interior design audience. We have also used e-newsletters to update our loyal fans of our Holiday launches.
Get it: Lafco’s Holiday Mini Candles in Berry, Tree and Ski House are available at, and from now until supplies last.

Product: The Most Wonderfull of All
Brain behind the launch: Sarina Godin, President of butter London

Under-the-tree worthy: The limited-edition set is housed in a spinning carousel and features 22 lacquers and treatments, and an assortment of nail essentials. The spinning keepsake box is the perfect way to display one’s lacquer collection.

Marketing plan: “The Most Wonderfull of All was Chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2016,” Sarina added.“To leverage the momentum from that coveted placement, we have participated in a wide-reaching broadcast opportunity with Good Morning America and have implemented a robust digital marketing campaign. The Most Wonderfull of All has seen a great response in the press, generating over 630 million press impressions since launch, and we had secured numerous gift guide placements naming this product one of the top beauty gifts of the holiday season.”
Strategy: This holiday season the company is putting a strong focus on video and social integration, developing exclusive online content to enhance our capacity for storytelling. To support the launch, it hosted a Facebook Live event showcasing a nail art look using lacquers from the set. This was the most popular Facebook Live event for the brand to-date and resulted in a 57 percent lift in consumer engagement. Butter London also produced sharable, short-format video content created specifically for their Instagram audience. Throughout the holiday season, the brand will feature the collection on Snapchat, giving consumers a more in depth look at the shades featured in each set.

Get It: The Most Wonderfull of All is available at,, and The limited-edition set will be available through the end of the year.

Product: The Retrouvé Collection Limited-Edition Gift Set

Brain behind to the launch: Jami Heidegger; Co-Founder of Retrouvé
Holiday Special: The limited-edition gift box was designed to be a wardrobe for the skin. The hydrating products in the set may be used in multiple combinations to provide anti-aging benefits and replenish moisture while addressing a range of skin types that may have been lost due to hormonal, environmental or climatic changes.
Under-the-tree worthy: The Retrouvé Collection Limited-Edition Gift Box offers convenience and versatility for fans while featuring specially designed outer packaging – a luxurious black pedestal box – that’s in keeping with the brand’s aesthetic.
Marketing Plan: In advance of the launch, Retrouvé worked closely with a PR agency to gauge interest from editors at top-tier print and online publications. “In recognizing that Retrouvé is a higher-end gift set, we wanted to be sure we were sending products to media outlets that could help us to reach our consumers,” said Jami. “Our team was also able to tie the Retrouvé Collection Limited Edition Gift Set into press outreach surrounding our new e-commerce site that launched mid-November. Offering consumers a user-friendly, one-stop shop to make purchases for their own skin care, as well as for holiday gifts, was a natural decision for us,” Jami added.

Get It: The Retrouvé Collection Limited-Edition Gift Set is available at Bergdorf Goodman, and through the end of December.