Holiday beauty gift sets no longer just revolve around fragrance, according to The NPD Group.

The market research firm today released its annual report, which revealed that within U.S. prestige department stores, overall gift-set sales from January to October grew 16 percent versus the same time last year. The $871 million beauty gift-set industry includes women’s and men’s fragrance gift sets, but also sets in skin care and makeup.

According to NPD vice president and global beauty analyst Karen Grant, gift sets provide a somewhat stress-free purchase so that the shopper can get in and out of the store with ease. For 2012 versus 2011, fragrance gift sets for both men and women are up 10 percent in dollar growth, while skin-care gift sets have increased by 23 percent and makeup gift sets come in at 26 percent.

Fragrance sets represent more than one-third of prestige fragrance sales annually. While men’s and women’s fragrance gift sets revealed steady growth, men’s fragrance sets increased at 14 percent, doubling the growth of women’s during 2012. Men and women combined, the top three best-selling prestige fragrance gift sets are Light Blue 2 Piece Spring Set, Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme Travel With Style Set and Light Blue Pour Homme Father’s Day Set.


But fragrance gift sets aren’t the only ones on the rise. “And it’s not just fragrance anymore,” said Grant. “Sets are now among the hottest areas in makeup and skin care, too.” Makeup and skin-care gift sets have already outpaced the overall gift-set market in the first 10 months of the year. NPD consumer studies indicate there is some shift in the preference amongst ethnic and younger consumers (18 to 24 years old) in makeup toward shopping in stores that offer kits. Makeup artists and alternative brands, especially those associated with younger consumers, are experiencing growth in makeup sets. The top three best-selling prestige makeup gift sets include Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Set, Urban Decay Naked Palette Set and Bare Escentuals Customizable Get Started Kit.

The skin-care gift-set segment is being dominated by sonic technology. “High-priced, antiaging skin-care gift sets are not the only option anymore,” said Grant. “Consumers today are looking to treat themselves with innovative forms of skin care more so than in recent years.” In terms of prestige skin-care gift sets, Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleans Pink Set tops as number one and Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Cleans System Pink and Clarisonic Mia Cleans Travel Lavender set follow.

“Today sets are not just about value,” said Grant. “They are treasures that are hard to resist and worth the investment. Whatever the category, gift sets look quite promising this holiday season.”