Hooray! It’s the 2nd December and my first gift guide for the Christmas season has arrived. I waited until December to launch the present idea blog posts as I wanted to focus on a number of different categories – unique gifts, stocking fillers, fragrances, miscellaneous and beauty – when everyone really starts to think about what to buy. I know the majority of you will have made a start on your Christmas shopping (I’m halfway there… slowly making a dint in my list!), so my series of Christmas Gift Guides will hopefully give you that little bit of inspiration if you have come to a bit of a brick wall.
The angle with this particular gift guide post is a more ‘unique brand’ focus: we all LOVE receiving a bit of MAC makeup, Eyelure lashes, No7 Skincare… etc, etc. But what about the more undiscovered brands? The one’s us beauty bloggers are uncovering, the one’s proving themselves in the UK market, and the one’s tipped to become new favourites in 2016? Take a look at my gift ideas below for some hair and beauty up-and-coming stars…
Look Fantastic Beauty Box
You may have seen my recent blog post about the Black Friday Beauty Box I received from Look Fantastic, which was actually to showcase the brands Black Friday deals, and sadly wasn’t for sale. Well fear no more, Look Fantastic do actually have a Beauty Box subscription service, which delivers a box of lovely treats to your door step every month, depending which plan you take up. Why not buy a 3 month plan for a friend, which works out to be £13.33 per box, and you definitely get more than that packed into the box!
Or you can take up a 6 month or 12 month subscription too. The box I have is the Christmas Box, packed with gorgeous products from Elemis, Murad, Percy Reed, Nuxe, Balance Me, Monu and Look Good Feel Better. The Elemis Hydra-Balance Day Cream and the Eye Shadow Brush are the real treats personally for me in this box, I would pay the price of the box for these products alone!
Ideal For: If you have a beauty addict friend or family member, then this is a truly unique and thoughtful gift to surprise them with at Christmas.
Vichy Dermablend Makeup
Words cannot express just how much I love Vichy Dermablend makeup – it truly is my favourite. The Fluid Corrective Foundation is just brilliant, it cleverly covers all redness, blemishes, open pores, discolouration and pretty much anything that needs to be hidden, in just one sheer application. The coverage is phenomenal, and the foundation stays put all day. Not only that, the finish is dewy, fresh and provides an airbrushed look (in my personal opinion anyway!). I wear this everyday, and I will never go back to my old foundations now. I have also recently discovered the solid foundation compact and the setting powder to add to my growing collection of Vichy Dermablend products. The compact is to be applied with a sponge, which again gives fantastic coverage and an even, smooth application, and the setting powder ensures that the foundation is not budging all morning, noon and night. So in other words – this foundation isn’t sliding off anywhere!
Ideal For: Friends or family who struggle with acne, and need a non-pore clogging foundation for super coverage, yet doesn’t make their skin condition any worse. It’s also good to gift people who wear makeup for long hours, and want to look their best, with glowing, clear skin all day. This foundation has totally boosted my confidence, and I would love to see more of these products to stock up on in my Christmas stocking!
Cinerex Lifting Serum
This Anti Gravity Intensive Lifting Serum is from a new brand called Cinerex – a brand who use state of the art research and ethically sourced ingredients to create premium quality products. The range is focused on retailing paraben, mineral oil, silicone and sulphate free hero products, so they contain no nasties, just herbal extracts, essential oils and other bio-active elements.
One of the best products in my opinion is one that would be fantastic to gift to Mum’s this Christmas (or anyone else who is concerned about aging skin) called the Cinerex Anti Gravity Intense Lifting Serum. It contains Hyaluronic Acid, taking results to a cellular level. It’s aimed to improve skin firming, tightening, lifting, texture, tone and moisture, as well as stimulating collagen and improving elasticity.
Ideal For: The ladies in your life who may be 30+ and really care about what they are putting into their skin. It costs £55 per bottle, so it could be that luxury stocking filler you gift your Mum or Mother-in-law this year…
Madame LA LA Tan
Everyone loves a little bit of a false tan, but with such an over-saturated market, which one do we go for? I recently came across a stylish packaged brand of self tan called Madame LA LA – which straight away looks cool, hip and professional. I’m a bit of a package snob, and I knew this tan would look great on my beauty shelf, so it;s a definite purchase for those who their trendy looking products. The tan is available in 2 shades- tan and tan light, in which the tinted lightweight mousse contains a quick dry formula infused with hydrating skincare benefits Coco Water, Green Tea and Aloe, plus built in skin finishing perfectors to keep skin glowing all Winter. Madame LA LA Tan develops into a light even golden colour in just 3 hours, lasting up to 10 days as if you have spent a week on Malibu Beach! With it’s ingredient list consisting of Coco Water and Vitamins A & E to name a few, it’s no wonder this is a celebrities favourite.
Ideal For: The girls in your life who like the hippest, coolest, most reputable new tanning products on the market. £36 for 200ml.
Irish beauty brand THREADS has launched a collection of handmade strip lashes in Harvey Nichols for those who want to wear the very best quality strip lashes. Tailor made with ‘flexibands’ for a perfect fit, Threads false eyelashes are so light and comfortable, you’ll forget you’re wearing them. .The collection of lashes are called Angel Lashes, and come in styles called Angel Eyes, BeBop, Celestial, Charleston, Emiloo, Red Cherri, Rock Chick, Sex Kitten and Vavavoom, which all sound very exciting lashes to start with! All lashes are handmade, with a very flexible lash band for a comfortable wear. Costing £9, the Angel lashes are fragrance free and Latex free, drying in under 5 minutes with an invisible finish.
Ideal For: The girls who want the most natural fitting and feeling lashes, at the best quality.
Sienna X Gradual Glowing Self Tan
Keeping in line with the false tan theme, here is another self tan brand I’m personally loving right now, which I feel makes a brilliant gift for ladies this Christmas. Sienna X products are one’s I feel would make a fantastic addition to someone’s stocking, a little ‘pick me up’ product to pop in whilst we are all feeling rather pale and pasty. One of the first main points to note is how pretty the bottles look – the shimmering gold and baby pink bottles with shiny purple lids are super adorable. They say you shouldn’t judge on appearances, but at first glance, this attractive product range certainly gives a good impression. It’s also a cheaper alternative to the Madame La La above – just £15.95 per bottle. The Gradual Glowing Self Tan lotion is so lovely to apply – it sinks into skin effortlessly and evenly, and even has a sweet coconut scent too. I was dubious at first with it’s ‘streak free’ claim, as I find I do have trouble seeking out a gradual tan that doesn’t create even the smallest of streaks, but I seem to be streak free up to now!
The second product of theirs has also impressed me lots since using it – and that is the Sienna X Radiance Body Balm. What a beauty of a lotion this is, I apply it during the days I don’t apply the gradual tan (I apply the gradual tan around 3 times a week) and this certainly adds that shimmering, glowing touch to my skin, plus prolonging my tan. Both of these have been a joy to use up to now, and I’m definitely going to put together a dedicated review.
Ideal For: Most people! Any one who appreciates a good quality gradual tan and loves a bit of skincare indulgence.
Murad Essential C Cleanser
If you are looking to gift someone with a cleanser which really treats the skin and makes a difference, then look no further than Murad. Murad are one of my favourite skincare brands I only discovered this year in 2015 – and since then I have become a firm fan. I recently blogged about their fantastic product ranges and facials, so do take a look here if you need convincing. The most recent product I’ve been using is the refreshing Essential C Cleanser ,which I kid you not smells just like a freshly opened pack of Jaffa Cakes (so your already convinced now, yep?). Scent aside, this cleanser is packed with vitamin C to brighten the skin, exfoliate, soothe and remove impurities, so it’s a little bit of a hero face wash in my opinion. There is also an Intensive C Radiance Peel mask, which is ideal to use once a week if you have a dull, spot prone complexion which needs brightening and clearing. Both products are amazing at clearing up redness and looking after skin health in general.
Ideal For: Again, most people! This product is the perfect ‘wake-me-up’ face wash, so why not buy it for your friend/family member who is useless with their morning regime?
MERUMAYA Mud Marvels Mask
This is another stocking filler favourite of mine I’m putting forward for this beauty gift guide, and it is certainly from an undiscovered brand who produce fantastic skincare products. The Mud Marvels Mask from MERUMAYA is a deep cleansing and detoxifying face mask, which focused on nourishing and brightening the skin. It’s powered by activated charcoal, ground volcanic ash and AHAs to detoxify and clear out the skin. The thick textured mask deeply cleanses and draws out any impurities, promoting a clearer and de-congested complexion. I’ve used this a couple of times myself, and my skin has never felt so clean afterwards. Like a real ‘squeaky clean’ result. A brilliant stocking filler for those who want to make more of an effort with their skincare in 2016
Ideal For: Beauty lovers, those who need to make more ‘me’ time, those who want to treat their skin more, or anyone who appreciates excellent skincare.
Christophe Robin Regenerating Hair Mask
Your hairs saviour in a tub! This is a fantastic hair mask from celebrity hair colorist Christophe Robin, which is designed to completely regenerate dry, damaged and dull hair (in which I definitely sit in this category.) My hair is over coloured and dry, therefore lacking moisture and shine. I find that an application of this miracle mask left on for 10 minutes and washed out thoroughly leaves me with soft, shiny and nourished hair that feels completely moisturised and deep-treated.
It’s said to contain a ‘rare prickly pear oil‘ – sounds good to me! In my opinion, it’s an ideal conditioning treatment mask if you want to strengthen your hair – mine is broken from lots of bleaching over the years, but I’m finally finding my hair is feeling a little more stronger and thicker after using this to try and re-build on the damage. I love just digging my hand into this well sized tub and massaging in the creamy texture to my damp hair. Looks like it’s not just me who loves using this – I’m noticing it sells out often on the website, so maybe keep an eye on this luxury product!
Ideal For: Friends/family with dry/coloured/lack-lustre hair.
Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser
This is a little premium suggestion I wanted to pop in this Gift Guide, as it is a marvellous gift for those who want to dive into the world of premium and high-end cleansers, but not sure which brand to go for. Eve Lom is fairly expensive, but is appreciated my many who want to really look after their skin, and the Morning Time Cleanser is one of the most raved about products.
It’s a convenient wash-off balm cleanser to de-congest and invigorate morning skin. The rinse-off balm uses a signature blend of plant oils that gained the original Eve Lom Cleanser cult status, and combines with papaya enzyme extract and carrot oil to refresh sluggish skin. It is said to reveal an instantly brighter, clearer complexion after just a few uses, plus delivering de-congested, exfoliated and toned skin too. Older skins love it due to it’s effectiveness with minimising pore size is minimised and boosting collagen production is boosted. £40 for 125ml at Space NK. A nice little treat for the Mother maybe?
Ideal For: Luxury and high-end skincare worshippers.
Julie Pawson Aesthetics Refine Intensive Eye Serum
Everyone needs an eye serum – it’s one of those products you just have to keep on your bedside table as part of your skincare regime. It can be quite difficult to pick the right one, so I wanted to share this new one that I have been using with you all as I feel it would make a real nice gift. The Julie Pawson Aesthetics Refine Intensive Eye Serum prides itself in treating the delicate skin area around the eyes with it’s gentle serum, which so far is really helping my eyes look much more awake and soothed. Due to a lot of late nights and staring at my laptop, I noticed an increase in dark circles and fine lines recently, but since using this before bedtime for the past few weeks, the lines seem much softer and the dark circles a touch lighter. I haven’t been getting any more hours sleep, so it can only be the serum that is helping!
Ideal For: Anyone who needs sleep in a bottle/ Mum’s/ Skincare lovers.
So there we have it; I hope you have enjoyed part one of my Christmas Gift Guide and it has gave you some new inspiration. Part two is coming very soon!