Christmas Shine Beauty Gift Ideas UPDATE
1. Kérastase Elixir Ultime Serum Solide (18g) £22.80 Look Fantastic
This solid serum is a blend of 15 hair rejuvenating oils. You are advised to warm it in the palm of your hands and smooth over hair.
But, no, don’t do that because you’ll end up with very greasy hair. This is highly concentrated, use two fingers, keep them flat, and gently swirl them around on the surface of the serum and then warm between palms – you need just a tiny amount of product.
I really like this serum. I had been looking for ages for a serum to keep in my handbag for those sudden frizzes and so many of the liquid ones – even my all time favourite, Fekkai Anti-Fade Top Coat, have leaked. This serum is contained in a little glass pot, which isn’t really that heavy. It has that distinctive Kérastase fragrance and as well as calming hair down (especially after rain), it leaves hair very shiny and de-fluffs the ends – perfect.
2. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or Amazing Dry Oil 100ml £27.20 Beauty Expert
Still one of the best dry oils around. Definitely more of a summer use product to enhance real or fake tanned legs with a soft shimmer.
3. St. Tropez Skin Illuminator – Gold £12.26 Look Fantastic
Now this is a product you can use in winter months. I reviewed it a while ago and find that when mixed with a rich moisturiser, it really helps disguise crepey lines on my chest.
4. Bold Metals Collection by Real Techniques 100 Arched Powder £25.00 Boots
I use this for loose/setting powder only, it’s far too delicate and soft for foundation.
I love this brush for applying a setting powder. It’s so soft and gives such a light application giving a lovely finish and the size means you can cover the whole face quickly.
The bristles themselves are so super soft and have angles, leading to a tip which gets into the areas of your face.
5. Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow, Metallic Dusty Rose £33.50 (yikes!)
I was going to add the wonderful Charlotte Tilbury’s Long-Lasting Easy Cream Eyeshadow (see review here) to the list – which I still love by the way, and use in the centre of my eyelid every day over NYX Milk Pencil (as a primer), which really pops this creamy, shimmery gold shadow.
But then I saw an ad for this Stila metallic eyeshadow with separate primer and I thought, what a great idea. It’s horribly expensive, but I assume you’re not going to use much. You can apply it as a wash of colour or layer and build it up for more intensity.
Plus, I like the idea that you can use the liquid primer with any eye shadow. Rose-Gold looks particularly flattering, although it comes in a huge array of I WANT THEM ALL! shades.
I’m not sure why this body wash isn’t marketed solely towards men, this is a very masculine fragrance. I can’t imagine any woman would want to smell of this spicy, woody scent after a shower, but you would certainly want to smell it on your man.
It is absolutely gorgeous and looks gorgeous too, with tiny 24 carat gold flakes suspended in the rich amber liquid.
There are layers of delicious fragrance wafting around the bathroom after this has been used. Forget about Black Pepper, buy this for your guy at Christmas and you’ll benefit too!
It smells luxurious and the price is too at £20.00 a bottle. I bought mine much cheaper at Bicester Shopping Village. They were selling them in dual packs with a bottle of matching body lotion, which I knew Mark wouldn’t use in a million years, so I asked for 2 bottles of the body wash instead and they obliged. I then went back and bought two more.
7. L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil 125ml £9.88 Quartz hair and beauty
I’m on my second bottle of this lovely light hair oil. Sometimes your hair needs a rest from heavy styling products. The fragrance is perfumed but it’s not cloying or synthetic the way some oils tends to be. Hair looks a little shinier afterwards, but I use it mainly to tame my hair before blow drying, especially if I’ve used a sulphate free shampoo, and it makes my hair feel softer but not weighed down.
There are more products in the (reasonably priced) Mythic Oil range: An oil for coloured hair, deep conditioning masque, heat protection cream and the one I’m interested in, Mythic Oil Milk.
This versatile spray can be used as a post-wash detangler, a pre-blow dry conditioner, or a finishing spritz. For fine to normal hair types, the conditioning milk will leave your hair looking smooth and sleek.
8. Elegant Touch Press On Nails in ‘Rose Gold’ Constellation £7.95 Elegant Touch/Superdrug
The most perfect quick fix when you want your nails to look glamorous, but without the hassle and expense of a full on manicure.
I was surprised by how robust they are when glued on (although they will last for up to 10 days). The nail shapes are well thought out and fit naturally onto the nail bed and at the sides. The underneath is an opaque real nail shade and they’re not ‘silly’ long.
The metallic shades are well named – Constellation is a flattering rose-gold and would suit all skin tones. Galactica is a bronze toned purple and would look stunning on darker skin tones.
9. Kate Spade New York “It’s Written in the Stars” Mini Notebook £12.00 Amara
Sooo expensive, but so glamorous. I know it’s only a notebook and a tiny one at that, but it’s lovely to keep in your handbag, even though you may never use it. I have lots of lovely notebooks I’ll never write in.
It’s not weird at all.
10. Sequinned Cushion Cover H & M £12.99
I didn’t know H & M had a home range! This glam cushion cover is 40 x 40 cm with sequins on the front, cotton twill backing, and a concealed zip. The gold one is sold out (boo!) but the copper one is beautiful and surprisingly well made, although it obviously has to be placed where no one will ever sit on it, it’s purely for decoration only. There is a silver one, but it doesn’t look as expensive as the copper coloured one.
The iPhone case is by Marc Jacobs. It’s the Gold-tone Metallic iPhone 6 Foil Case and costs £30.00. I couldn’t test it because I have an LG G3 – which I do love, even though the battery life is stingy and the volume is a tiny bit on the low side.
I do like the look of the case though, it’s (just) on the right side of bling and it looks as if you’d be able to get a good grip on it. I would hope the gold doesn’t wear off though.
UPDATE: 5th December 2015
It’s always worth checking out the Christmas offers at Boots.
Real Techniques Bold Metals Essentials with clutch bag. Down from £64.00 to £30.00. Considering the 100 Powder Brush which is a similar size to the gold one here is £25.00, this is a decent price. I’m not sure about the other Real Techniques’ brushes, but the bristles on these are soft, but not flimsy.
I’m not too
arsed bothered about the clutch bag, it looks a bit tacky and plasticky to be honest, and I certainly wouldn’t use it to store my brushes .
I think it’s worth investing in a proper make up brush roll when you’re travelling to keep the bristles flat. We all know that once bristles bend out of shape, it’s impossible to straighten them up. Mark once ‘helpfully’ put my wet, newly washed brushes, bristle side down in a pot to dry…
I have two Chanel brush rolls, I think both were free gifts with purposes, because I can’t remember buying them.
For everyday storage I use a couple of these this cheap (but once quality) brush holders from Amazon UK (£3.50) Search for Cosmetic Organiser – Lipstick/Brush Round Holder Clear Acrylic.
Although I am toying with something I’ve seen a lot on Pinterest:
Take a glass or a clear, acrylic pot (Muji have nice quality, cheap ones)
Fill up to a third of it with tiny plastic pearls (commonly called ‘vase fillers’ – although don’t mix them up with the ones that expand in water)
Position brushes in pot – Ta dah!