Monday, 3 December 2012

The ultimate beauty Christmas gift guide

With Christmas little less than a month away, I have scoured the internet (and I mean all of it!) to bring you my round up of the best Beauty picks this festive season to suit any budget.

The 'Stocking Filler' Gifts

Clockwise from top left (Click link to shop):

Topshop Brush Gift Set - £12.00 
The perfect starter set, consisting of 5 pink handled brushes, a powder brush, two eyeshadow brushes, a small angled brush and a lip brush.

Lime Crime Velvetines liquid lipstick in Red Velvet - £13.00
Velvetines is described as a Long-lasting, waterproof liquid lipstick that goes on with the ease of gloss and dries to leave a completely matte, velvet finish. Perfect stocking filler and accompaniment to this seasons velvet nail trend. At the time of creating the post, the lipstick was on sale at, but they are currently sold out.

Benefit B.Right Radiant Skincare Set - £10.00
The 6 piece starter skincare set includes: Triple performance facial emulsion, Moisture prep toning lotion, Foamingly clean facial wash, Refined finish facial polish, Total moisture facial cream and It's potent eye cream.

Philosophy Hope in a jar - £10.00
The lightweight daily moisturiser is suitable for all skin types and comes in a Christmas box complete with present tag. For the ultimate cutesy stocking filler, no wrapping required!

Crown Brush blusher palette - £14.99
With a light and dark palette available and 10 shades in each, there is a colour to suit any skin type. Great for aspiring makeup artists and makeup junkies alike.

Ciate Velvet Manicure in Mink Cashmere - £14.00
Simply add two coats of polish, tip the crushed velvet over the nail, then sweep away excess into the enclosed tray for a finish unlike any other. Also available in Berry and Navy Blue shades.

Cath Kidston set of three emery boards - £5.00
With the nail art trend in full force, it would be a shame to ruin your hours of steady-handed work with a poorly manicured nail. Each spotted emery board had two different grains, hard and soft, and is a steal at £5 for a set of three.

Stila Positively Pink set for Breast Cancer Awareness - £12.50
The set includes a limited-edition multicoloured pressed powder and Stila's award winning Lip glaze. A portion of the proceeds go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, meaning you can shop while doing your bit for a worthy cause, who knew! 

Korres Tropical Holidays set - £12.00
This limited-edition set includes miniature Mango shower gel, Coconut milk body milk and Guava extra moisturising cream. All designed to moisturise and improve the skins elasticity, just what your body needs in these cold winter months.

The 'Cheap and Cheerful' Gifts

Clockwise from top left (Click link to shop):

An introductory set featuring Morroccan Rose Otto body wash, Morroccan Rose Otto bath oil and Morroccan Rose Otto body cream to relax and revitalise the skin. I use Ren's Hydra-Calm global protection face cream for sensitive skin on models when doing a photoshoot, and they always say how good it smells. I'm sure this set will be no exception, and I recommend to try any of Ren's skincare range.

The pretty wipe-clean bag features a contrast colour bow, Ted Baker logo and easy zip fastening to hold your makeup essentials. And if pink doesn't take your fancy, they have black and rose-gold versions too!

The first nail duo includes Throb, a rich festive red, and Spartan, an ultra sparkly glitter gold. The second includes Viridian, a vibrant peacock green, and my personal favourite Glitterati, a dark raspberry glitter. Can be worn on their own or together for a stand-out finish, as seen in Illamasqua's incredible 'I'm dreaming of..' Christmas campaign.

Clinique's Chubby sticks have reached cult status in the last year or so, with their combination of long-lasting moisture and just the right hint of colour. My chubby stick has been a staple product in my makeup collection this winter, and thanks to it's mix of Shea butter, Mango seed butter and Jojoba oil, my lips have yet to feel the effect of the bitter cold the UK is facing.
The set contains a selection of the most popular shades including, Richer Raisin, Bulky Blossom, Chunky Cherry, Oversized Orange and Super Strawberry.

MAC Holiday Guilty Passions pigments - £25
As with their 2011 Dazzlespheres Holiday collection, the kits feature four stackable pigment jars across three sets. The set pictured contains shades Ever Elegant, Silk Stocking, Dreamy Little Thing and Darling Coquette. The set comes in a overly glamorous pastel tin topped with a black bow. The packaging is too overly girly for my taste but for £25 for four pigments, I'd happily accept them in any packaging!

L'Occitane Happy Hands trio - £20.00
Designed to celebrate L'Occitane's thirty years of shea butter. A blend of shea butter, honey and almond create the three fragrances, capturing the essence of exotic flowers. The trio includes Cocoa flower, Desert rose and Hibiscus flower hand creams, boxed together with a design inspired by traditional african prints.

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl eye palette - £30
Containing shades perfect for the Christmas party season, the palette consists of 6 colours to help you create dramatic smokey eyes with the perfect amount of shimmer. The palette also contains a duel-ended shadow/liner brush for on-the-go application. Update: A promotion was running at the time of creating the gift guide, and the palette has now returned to it's original price of £37.80.

Diptyque Paris Holiday Candles - £25 each
Yes I know that £25 is expensive for a single candle, especially for a mini-candle, but look at them! The red, Amber Oud, is inspired by Arabian Nights combines rare spices to transport the user into an Oriental dream world. The blue, Oliban, showcases the precious resin Frankensence to transport the user straight in to the heart of the Arabian Nights. The green, Sapin Dore, pays homage to the Christmas tree infused with balmy, comforting and warming notes to transport the user straight to the heart of a forest of golden spruce trees. Their beautiful design means that once the candle burns out, it can still be used to decorate the home. How can you resist?

The Extravagant Gifts

Clockwise from top left (Click link to shop):

A set of four styling essentials handpicked by Bumble and Bumble, each featuring a limited-edition hand drawn label by their in-house illustrators. The set contains their cult Surf Spray, Grooming Creme, Thickening Hairspray and Shine on Finishing Spray to create any look you desire. The stylist editions kit is on my beauty wishlist for sure.

I'm sure those of you in the bloggersphere already know the deal with Glossybox, subscribe and you receive a box through the post each month containing beauty products specially selected by experts. The samples range from perfume, makeup, hair and body products by well-known brands, both full sized and travel sized, and no two boxes are the same. The £50 includes post and packaging (Beautifully packaged too!) and one free box. The gift that keeps on giving...for 6 months anyway.

A mini selection of Nails Inc's best-selling shades, neons, glitters and metallics. With a range of 15 shades at hand (Ha), it will be a long time before you'll be reaching for another varnish.
The Paparazzi set includes: Notting Hill Gate (Neon pink), Portobello (Neon coral), Holland Park (Neon purple), Baker Street (Cobalt Blue), Docklands (Bright red), Elizabeth Street (Cream nude), Porchester Square (Muted mushroom), The Thames (Classic grey), Bruton Mews (Forest green), Richmond Terrace (Rich plum), The Boltons (Metallic red), Chelsea Embankment (Gold glitter), Sloane Square (Charcoal 3D glitter), Park Street (Lilac glitter), Chelsea Square (Rose glitter).

The Devine Desire Exclusive face kit includes Powder blush in Born to Love, Cremesheen lipstick in In a Heartbeat, Lipglass in Pure Flattery, Technakohl liner in Photogravure and a 129SE Powder/Blush brush. A bit of a coral overload yes, but I have already fallen for the Born to Love blush, and the mix of the charcoal grey liner would give a subtle edge to the overall look. I'm already dancing around the subject of buying this for myself, I probably already would have if it was eligible for my Pro discount..sigh.

I couldn't help but put three of MAC's holiday products in to my Christmas guide, as each year they are such good value for money. MAC have a selection of eye, lip and brush set bags on offer for the holiday season, so it was quite difficult to pick only one to feature. 
The Sensual Peach set pictured includes eyeshadows Dazzle Me and Mulch in MAC's signature palette, Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown, Bad, Bad Black Opulash and a 275SE Medium angled shading brush. All packaged in a leopard-print purse.

Nearly £40 for six 100ml bottles of bath and shower gel may sound pretty insane, but if you've tried one of Molton Brown's gels before, you'll know what the big deal is. I've been bought their miniature gift sets before, and there has been not one that I haven't been infatuated with, they all smell seriously good. 
The box contains Travel-Reviving Cempaka, Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod, Heavenly Gingerlily, Relaxing Yuan Zhi, Blissful Templetree and Enlivening Toko-yuzu. The set also comes gift-wrapped in the lovely Christmassy box pictured, with tags and all included.

A perfect gift for the lipstick obsessed, this little compact holds your favourite lipstick in place, with a flip-out mirror revealing 'Don't forget your lipstick' in Guinness' handwriting. An essential for your night-out clutch, the compact is available in black or white and comes giftboxed with a dustcover.

I am a huge fan of Smashbox's palettes, I purchased their Shades of Fame palette on a trip to the US earlier this year and it has literally been used to death ever since. Their shades are so well pigmented and blendable they could easily rival some of the high-end luxury brands on the market. The Studio Pop Christmas palette includes 16 of their best-selling shadows and 4 cream eye-liners, packed together with a built-in mirror and a Get The Look booklet.
The Photo Op Eyeshadows include Nocturnal, Lunar, Emerald, Nude, Vanilla, Obsidian, Champagne, Bark, Cinder, Pastel, Orchid, Flamingo, Smoke, Amethyst, 24K and nutmeg. The cream liners consist of Bronze, Royal, Picasso and Nightlife.

The Blow-The-Budget Gifts

Clockwise from top left (Click link to shop):

The limited edition set contains 9 of Illamasqua's best-sellers, along with step-by-step tutorials on creating four unique looks, created by the School of Makeup Art. One gift set will also include a black winning ticket, the prize being a bespoke consultation with Illamasqua's Product Development Manager, David Horne.
The gift box includes powder eyeshadow in Obsidian, pure pigment in Zeitgeist, medium pencil in Sophie, precision ink in Abyss, masquara in Raven, false eye lashes in 13, eye brow cake in Thunder and sheer lip gloss in Artifice. The RRP if bought seperately is £133, saving over £30.

The set includes two customisable palettes, one filled with a hand-selected assortment of shades, the other empty, enabling you to customise your own. The assortment includes eight eye colours, two eyeliners, a cheek contour and a bronzing pressed powder. The set also comes with a 4 piece brush, housed in their own zip-up travel case.

I doubt there would be many people who would spend nearly £100 on a perfume, but this was too pretty to resist putting in my gift guide. The perfume contains an unusual blend of berries, rose and liquorice, and comes with a travel spray for on the go. And how could I not mention the packaging?! Probably the best I've seen from a perfume in years, so many come with ugly packaging that ends up in the bin, but I'm sure this one would have it's pride of place on the dresser. And if you really love it, you can purchase a 1.5L bottle of the stuff here. No? Thought not.

Bobbi Brown's Caviar and Oyster sets are probably the most sophisticated Christmas collection of all the big makeup brands this year. Housed in a sleek leather-like case with oyster pink satin, the travel size brushes include a Face blender brush, an eyeshadow/ Ultra fine liner brush, a Smokey eye liner brush and a Lip brush with cap. The travel sized brushes and ultra-chic case is perfect for keeping in your hand bag for touch ups throughout the day.

Inspired by Andy Warhol's Silver Factory studio and accompanied by a deluxe cosmetics bag, the set includes Silver Factor multiple, Silver Factory Shadow trio, Chelsea Girls Pure Matte Lipstick, Desire blush, Via Veneto larger-than-life long wear eyeliner, number 13 eyeshadow brush and number 8 blush brush.

Everyones loves the novelty of a cracker at Christmas, no-one however, likes the novelty gifts inside. Thank God for Lancome, who's Christmas crackers include Hypnose mascara, Bi-Facil, mini juicy tubes, Vissionaire, Genifique youth activating concentrate and mini L'Absolu Rouge lipstick. Yes, the males of the house won't approve of these makeup filled crackers, but I'm sure they don't keep the pens and spinning tops found in normal ones anyway!

Last but not least, I bring you a ridiculously expensive product that no-one would ever be able to ask for for Christmas unless they want a dirty look from their loved ones. The Tom Ford Luxury Vanity Case features four pouches containing a wardrobe of products, from nail varnish to eye palettes and lipstick. The case contains 16 products in total, and unless you are insane or extremely rich, I would stick to the rest of my gift guide.

So there you have it, the ultimate beauty Christmas gift guide. If you end up buying anything from here as a sneaky early Christmas gift for yourself, I won't tell. I've probably already done so myself...

Have you braved the madness of Christmas Shopping yet? What's on your wish list this year?


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