I’ve not done any kind of wishlist or gift guide before! Mostly, I just like to stick with things that I’ve bought and road-tested, and give thorough reviews of those. Inevitably, I have been gripped by Christmas shopping fever and got a bit happy with bookmarking all sorts of beauty-related gifts – mostly for me to be honest (treat yo self 2k17). I’ve compiled all the things that I think would be worth gifting to the beauty-lover in your life, from loads of different retailers and all different price ranges – Christmas costs a small fortune anyway, so you don’t have to spend loads of £££ to get something special and high-quality. Keep reading for everything from stocking stuffers, to proper all-out luxury presents.
Stocking Fillers – Under £20
These are my favourite kind of gifts – the cutely packaged and not overly obscene presents that are perfect for pretty much everyone. There’s an increasing amount of these on offer every year, including travel-sized products that come in “crackers” and “baubles” (so festive).
A few of my picks this year include this little Sleep Tight Bauble from ThisWorks (£13), which containers a deep sleep pillow spray, a sleep+ pillow spray and a stress check breathe in – all designed to aid relaxation and sleep using aromatherapy (which you probably need at Christmas, let’s be honest).
For those looking to perk up winter skin, Pixi has released a 100ml mini of their Glow Tonic for £10, an effective and much-loved exfoliator containing Glycolic Acid – to hydrate the skin after this step, the Caudalie Hydration Essentials Christmas Cracker (£10) includes three travel-sized Caudalie favourites such as the Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet and the Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum, all gorgeously packaged in a festive cracker.
As we approach Christmas, we’re also blessed with (wonderfully) dry and cold weather which inevitably leads to chapped hands and lips. This Coconut & Pear Gift Set (£6.99) from Burt’s Bees features a lip balm and cuticle butter in a bauble (that you could totally hang on the tree) to naturally remedy any cracked skin. For those more keen on lip care, Burt’s Bees also have a Honey Jar Gift Set (£9.99) that includes a Beeswax Lip Balm with Vitamin E and Peppermint, a Pomegranate Lip Balm and a Tinted Lip Balm for a bit of colour.
Skincare lovers will probably also go mad for NUXE’s My Dream Set (£20), a collection of three of NUXE’s best-selling products – a Huile Prodigieuse® Dry Oil, a Rêve de Miel® Lip Balm (major favourite) and a Crème Fraiche® Cream Moisturiser – all perfect for the frosty weather.
If you think makeup might be a better option over skincare, Bourjois also have a cracker on offer this year – Makeup Essentials (£15) contains some of the French brand’s best beauty products, including the Little Round Pot Blush, Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick, Kohl & Contour and Volume Reveal Waterproof Mascara – everything you’d need for a simple and smoky look.
Fans of the amazing (and affordable) brushes from Real Techniques will fawn over this itty-bitty Mini Medium Sculpting Brush (£6), which has a festive shiny pink ferrule – I have the regular one, and it’s great for applying liquid foundations as well as buffing out contour or blush.
These gifts push the budget a little bit more – you might be getting more products, or those products might just be of a more luxury persuasion. I like to think these are the kinds of things you might get for your mum, or a close relative (or, again, yourself).
Firstly, on the skincare front Origins are offering a set with miniature versions of seven different best-sellers (Superstar Minis, £32) including products from their Ginzing and Clear Improvement ranges – this is great for anyone wanting to try the brand out, or someone who’s just a good old-fashioned skincare junkie.
While it’s not quite a lip kit, this Ultimate Pair Lip Duo from Urban Decay is paired up perfectly AND it’s excellent value for money (£22 for two full-sized products – £30 value). Comprised of a comfort-matte lipstick and matching lipliner, this set comes in three different shades – an excellent gift for lipstick lovers.
German brand Zoeva not only make gorgeous brushes, but their eyeshadow palettes are also stunning and incredibly well-priced. I own the Cocoa Blends palette (find a full review here), which makes up ⅓ of this stunning set – the Plaisir Box (£48 for three palettes – £54 value). Also included are the Caramel Melange and Blanc Fusion palettes (check out those names), so you get plenty of luscious shadow options.
NYX isn’t exactly a high-end brand, but the £25 price tag on this palette does push it out of the stocking filler category. The relatively new In Your Element Palette comes in four colourways – the Metal edition is totally the most festive, with 12 sleek metallic eyeshadows in modern and muted tones. The packaging is pretty snazzy as well.
While I don’t own much from the brand, I know that Benefit is really good at gift sets – especially for Christmas. The Beauty and the Bay Gift Set (£34.50) includes four products to create a glowing and fresh look – Hoola Bronzer and the They’re Real Mascara are two of Benefit’s best-selling makeup products, and this set includes both (in full-sized versions!)
Lancome have also brought out some really well-tied together gift boxes this year – my personal pick is this Classic Mascara Gift Set (£24.50), which includes a full-size Hypnose Mascara, a mini Khol Eyeliner and a mini bottle of Bi-Facial Eye Make Up Remover. Lancome’s mascara range is renowned for its quality, and with this set you can both create an inky-blank smoky eye, and take it off with ease at the end of the night.
Most brands have released fragrance gift sets this year, with many featuring a standard bottle of perfume along with a body lotion or something similar – I think this set of miniature bottles from Armani is perfect for someone who maybe doesn’t have a favourite scent (or who likes to have more choice). The Women’s Miniature Gift Set (£30) includes travel-sized bottles of Si Eau De Parfum, Si Eau De Toilette, Acqua Di Gioia Eau De Parfum and Code Eau De Parfum – I really love Si, so I could be biased with this one, but it is a gorgeous fragrance.
Talk about pushing the boat out – this category of gifts is definitely way more spendy (I mean, they’re luxury brands), but still manage to work out as good value. If you really want to spoil your loved ones – or again, yourself (!!!) – then these will probably do the trick.
Part of the Charlotte Tilbury brand is that many of their products can correspond to a specific “look” – Charlotte has a list of these looks on the website, and they range from soft and pretty, to extreme glamour, to grungy chic. The Dolce Vita encapsulates the classic and glamorous look of smoky and warm eyes paired with a nude-pink lip. This set (£165 – a small saving of £5.50) includes eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, lipliner, lipstick and lipgloss – everything needed to put together a stunning face. The set also comes in different variations – one for each look – so if The Dolce Vita isn’t for you then there’s plenty of colour options and styles.
The 2017 Holiday Collection from Marc Jacobs isn’t exactly your standard fare – animal print is reigning supreme here instead of gold and red glitters. Still. The Wild One Eyeshadow Palette (£79) offers loads of shimmery colours in and amongst creamy mattes – there’s 20 shades in total, which don’t seem to follow any particular theme (other than super extra and stunning). Going beyond just eyeshadow (and bringing things down a notch) is the On The Prowl Gift Set (£99) – a neutral toned collection that includes one of their Eye-Conic Palettes in Glambition, two Highliner pencils, a mascara and a lipstick.
Moving away from makeup, Fresh are serving up some of their most popular products in this Rose Hydration Heroes Gift Set (£60) – including the Soy Face Cleanser, Rose Face Mask, Rose Deep Hydration Cream and Sugar Lip Rose. Perfect for anyone who needs to treat their winter skin to some rosy pampering.
Last up is the only tool or electrical I’ve included on this list – the Foreo Luna Mini 2 (£119), a “T-Sonic” pulsating face brush made from silicone (supposedly more hygienic than nylon bristles), to get rid of all the residue and skin impurities that might not be removed by a traditional cleanse. The Mini is compact and a great size from travelling – it’s also easily recharged on the go via USB, and it comes in loads of cute colours (and you can use it with the Fresh cleanser!)