We are in knee deep in Christmas gift guides and during the period I’ve been mulling over what to put in mine, it’s come to my realisation that my suggestions are the kind of things I’d love to receive. I think that’s the best way to approach present buying…what would I give myself? It’s going to be something good, isn’t it?
With that approach hopefully I’ve picked out some special things (including a few for me). Well, it is my birthday in December, you know…
OK, so here goes!
L’Occitane Christmas Bauble (£10)*
I’m loving L’Occitane’s Christmas gifts including these Christmas Baubles filled with 3 miniature L’Occitane treats from their best-selling collections – Shea Butter, Verbena and Cherry Blossom. It’s a perfect introduction if you’ve never tried the brand or a particular range and also handy for travelling. All three are available for £25 (normally £10 each).
Bee Good: Clean Sweep (£11.50)*
Bee Good has a selection of skin-friendly stocking fillers including Clean Sweep which features an award-winning micellar water to leave skin feeling refreshed, soft and clean with a conditioning Raspberry and White Chocolate lip balm. There are also four more skincare gift sets to choose from – all available from www.beegood.co.uk.
Pixi Beauty: Fairy Dust Favourites (£12)*
Pixi Beauty has issued two towers of their best-selling Fairy Dust favourites loose pigments. One is ‘Metallics’ and the other is ‘Matte Classics’, and each one contains five pots. Versatile enough to create a wide variety of looks and suitable for all skin tones, and a bargain at £12 each. You can order these from Cult Beauty.
DHC Christmas Beauty Bento Box (£13)*
DHC has created this uber-cute Beauty Bento Box filled with the Japanese skincare brand’s most-loved favourites from their Tokyo Collection. A great introduction for those who want to try DHC and equally a delight for fans as the travel sizes are just so convenient.
The gift set includes DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips for Eyes, which mould onto the eye contours to soothe, cool and brighten the area, DHC Blotting Paper (100 sheets) to absorb excess oil from the face, the classic DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Mini (30ml) and DHC Mild Soap Mini (10g), an ultra-mild soap for cleansing skin. Available from Escentual and Feel Unique.
Accessorize: Lovelily (£19)*
Sweet and vibrant, Accessorize’s Lovelily fragrance features notes of raspberry, orange, jasmine and sweet vanilla for a delicious concoction housed in a striking 75ml bottle with flower cap. The EDP is available from Accessorize.
Nuxe: My Dream Set (£20)*
This sparkling gift set features skincare gems in the form of Reve de Miel Baume Levres Ultra-Nourrissant Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm (15g), Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil (30ml) and Crème Fraîche de Beauté 24hr Soothing & Moisturizing Cream (30ml) to keep skin nourished all year round. Available from Feel Unique, Marks & Spencer and Escentual.
Tigi: Catwalk Haute Volume (£20.95)*
Tigi is most definitely in charge of haircare this festive season with a number of gift sets to pamper and preen hair. Catwalk Haute Volume comprises of two products designed to uplift and style hair. There’s Root Boost Spray for lift and support in creating dramatic styles and Firm Hold Hairspray to lock and load your hair in place. Originally priced at £20.95, it’s currently on offer at HQHair.com and Lookfantastic for £13.95.
You can’t go wrong with a L’Occitane hand cream and this trio of timeless floral scents is nothing short of superb with 30ml tube sizes of Cherry Blossom, Arlésienne and Pivoine Flora. Available from L’Occitane online and in store.
Tigi: S Factor Vivacious Lustre (£25.95)*
Tigi’s S Factor Vivacious Lustre is a powerful duo that combines a moisturising lotion and medium-hold hairspray. In this box you get S Factor Smoothing Lusterizer (200ml) and S Factor Vivacious Volume Hairspray (371ml). Normally £25.95 Lookfantastic has the set on offer for £18.15.
Temple Spa Go In Strength Energising & Strength Duet (£28)*
If there’s one name I could fill my bathroom cabinet with, it would be Temple Spa. Honestly their products are grossly underrated when they’re of an exceptional high standard. People need to get on board! This beautifully decorated box contains It’s A Wonderful Life, an energising shower scrub (200ml) and In Good Spirits, an energising bathing and massage oil (100ml). Don’t forget there are Temple Spa Retreats around the country for the ultimate spa experience. For more details and to check out their gift sets and other products, visit www.templespa.com.
Pixi Beauty: Ultimate Beauty Kit – 3rd Edition (£28)*
Back for its third edition, Pixi Beauty’s Ultimate Beauty Kit is an all-in-one fold-out palette that’s lightweight and compact enough to carry around and packed with all the essentials for eyes, cheeks and brows, ranging from cool to warm tones. In fact the total is 40 eye and brow shades, three highlighters, two bronzers, two cheek powders and one contour powder. This has everything you need to go from day to night, ideal for travel and perfect as a Christmas gift for someone as well as one for yourself. Available from Cult Beauty.
ARTDECO: Crystal Garden collection (from £5.70 – £29.50)*
ARTDECO’s upcoming Christmas collection Crystal Garden is aptly full of sparkles with products adorned with Swarovski crystals. Yes, really. From eyeshadows to nail polishes, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. Pictured above is the exquisite looking Crystal Garden Blusher (£29.50), a three-coloured blusher which can be used individually or mixed together. It’s free of lanolin, mineral oil and paraben. Also featured is the Crystal Eye Liner in Black Sky (£10.50). The collection is available from Beauty Bay. For more on Crystal Garden, visit www.artdeco.com.
Urban Decay: Junkie Vice Lipstick Palette (£31.50)*
Lipstick palettes aren’t just for pro make-up artists and Urban Decay has unleashed two blinding lipstick palettes showcasing 12 bold and neutral lip shades in gloss, shimmer and matte finish. There’s the Blackmail Vice Lipstick Palette, which in comparison appears to be tamer but equally packs a mighty punch. This one is the Junkie Vice Lipstick Palette. Both palettes feature Urban Decay’s six different lipstick formulas so it’s a great way to try them all out before investing in the ones you favour the most.
The gold-accented gunmetal case is dinky enough to carry in your handbag yet solid and secure with a plastic cover as further protection, and comes with a retractable lip brush and a large mirror.
From the top, there is Disturbed, 714, Carnal, Safe Word, Studded and Whip. From the row below there is Wrath, Big Bang, Firebird, Vanity Kills, Speedball and the eye-opening emerald green that is Junkie.
Urban Decay: Naked Ultimate Basics eyeshadow palette (£38.50)As someone who loves colour, I am not going to knock Urban Decay’s Naked Ultimate Basics eyeshadow palette because for a neutrals matte palette it packs a punch. Entirely made up of matte eyeshadows, there are 12 cool to warm neutrals in total and different from Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics. Get it from Debenhams, House of Fraser, Feel Unique and Urban Decay.
L’Occitane Advent Calendar (£42)*
When the first beauty advent calendar debuted, everyone thought it was clever and innovative. Leap forward to 2016 and apparently there are over 60 different kinds from the bargain-friendly to the sublimey ridiculous to choose from.
L’Occitane remains consistently on the ball with its offering of 24 miniature sizes of their bestsellers. A great introduction to someone who’s never tried L’Occitane and equally a delight for a fan because the gifts are so handy for travelling. You’ll find it at L’Occitane priced at £42.
Urban Decay: Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette (£43)
The best gifts are ones that you would give yourself. Ahem. Like Urban Decay’s Full Spectrum. I’m a fan of Urban Decay’s Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette but Full Spectrum is something else.
This rainbow range will easily satisfy the colour junkies and unicorns with 21 shades (the most ever squeezed into a palette for Urban Decay). Past Christmases may have been dominated by the humble neutral menagerie of eyeshadows but this year is firmly in the grasp of vibrancy.
Dermalogica: Power Rescue Masque Christmas Trio (£43.25)*
Worth nearly £60, Dermalogica’s Power Rescue Masque Christmas Trio is just the ticket when you’ve overindulged over the festive period and among its gift sets, this one is my pick of the bunch.
Suitable for all skin types, the set combines three nourishing face masks that leave your complexion feeling softer, purified and refreshed including my favourite Charcoal Rescue Masque, MultiVitamin Power Recovery® Masque and Skin Hydrating Masque. Available from Lookfantastic.
£50 or over
Kat Von D Beauty: MetalMatte eyeshadow palette (£50)
Having learnt from past mistakes, I am taking no chances with Kat Von D palettes and I suggest you do the same because her carefully curated colour crush combos fly off the shelves.
MetalMatte is (obviously) limited edition and is a powerful arsenal of 22 shades in two high-contrast finishes. Let me add that this palette is huge. I wasn’t expecting it to be so big till I unpacked it from the delivery box. In other words, you cannot carry this in your handbag.
The top row features Metal Crush Eyeshadow in 8 new shades plus ‘Synergy’ a bestselling bronze from the original collection. The bottom row has a rainbow array of buttery mattes with a range of new tones, from dark and moody to pastel neutrals. Find it exclusively at Debenhams.
Emma Hardie: Amazing Face All Stars Collection (£85)*
The gift of Emma Hardie is sure to brighten up anyone’s face in more ways than one. I know my mum would love this because the Moringa Cleansing Balm has done wonders to her dry skin. This specially curated gift set contains five Emma Hardie products for a dream anti-ageing skincare regime: Moringa Cleansing Balm (50ml), Midas Touch Face Serum (15ml), Age Support Face Cream (50ml), Brilliance Facial Oil (5ml) and a Dual Action Professional Cleansing Cloth. Available from Cult Beauty.
Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa in London
Elizabeth Arden recently opened its red door to the first Elizabeth Arden spa in the UK and it’s in Debenhams’ flagship store on Oxford Street. The spa is a little piece of the Big Apple in London and once the door is shut, not a decibel can get into the tranquil surroundings of the treatment room. Facials start from a very reasonable £50 to £70.
The spa also offers treatments on the go with their speed services in between shopping or a lunch break. I recommend the Oxygen Beauty Blast (£15) for a quick blast in refreshing your skin, which can be redeemed against Elizabeth Arden products.
To book a treatment, visit http://www.elizabetharden.co.uk/the-red-door-experience.list
*Denotes PR sample
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