Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Advent Calendars

It's my favourite time of the year again - Christmas! I've pulled together a few gift guides for beauty nuts - these are just few of the things on my Christmas wishlist. This here post is my advent calendar picks (yes, they are such a thing now that they merit a post all of their own), but I'm also pulling together a stocking filler gift guide and a round up of my favourite luxury beauty gifts this year also. I love Christmas beauty gifting - new limited edition packaging, a chance to try products you might not have ordinarily picked out for yourself and the potential to find new favourites. I know these lists are subjective - because I would not mind receiving any of these advent calendars - but these are just some of this year's offerings that have called out to me.

NYX Kiss and Tell Advent Calendar

The lip product fanatics amongst us would only be delighted to get this advent calendar this year - it's jam packed with an assortment of NYX mini lip products including matte lipsticks, butter lipglosses and lipsticks and some of the lip lingerie line. €60 from Feelunique / €65 from Arnotts - one for every day of advent! 

Look Fantastic Calendar

This advent calendar from Look Fantastic has gotten more hype than any other advent calendar this year I think - so many people have said to me that this is the only one they are getting this festive season. I guess the reason why is not only the very fancy, reusable packaging (with a built in mirror) but the array of products - 9 full sized, 16 deluxe samples and a worth value of £300. I won't give away what is in the box exactly for those of you who got this and want to be surprised but it contains a nice mix of haircare, skincare and beauty products. €98 from the LookFantastic website.

L'Occitane Advent Calendar

Of all the advent calendars on the market this year, this l'Occitane one might be up there at the very top of my wishlist. I'm not hugely familiar with L'Occitane, I've tried a few products over the years, but I think this calendar which contains 24 bodycare treats would be a perfect dive into the brand. Also, at €59 I think it's pretty good value. Available from L'Occitane directly or Debenhams website.

M&S Beauty Advent Calendar

This advent calendar is outrageously popular every year and I can see why! This contains 25 treats, some full size, some samples, spanning across skincare, bodycare, makeup and haircare. Brands include Stila, Nuxe, Emma Hardie, Ren, Alpha H. This calendar has a worth value of €339 and costs just €40 when you spend €40 on womenswear. Good value indeed but I can't help but think the design and packaging of this one could be a bit less cumbersome and more environmentally friendly. 

The Body Shop 24 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar

The Body Shop can always be relied upon every year to deliver a decent advent calendar and this year, they've brought us three! This one is the 24 Days of Beauty calendar or the most budget friendly of all the offerings - I haven't been able to find this on the Irish Body Shop website but it's £45 on the UK website (which means it will probably be €70 here given the usual exchange rate The Body Shop applies). Edit I have since found it on the Body Shop Ireland website and it was in fact €70 - not impressed TBS

Clarins Advent Calendar

Clarins is another of those brands that I feel like I do not pay enough attention to (though in my defence it's hard to give equal attention to all the brands!) but this advent calendar containing 24 products seems like a brilliant introduction, especially as it contains full sizes of Beauty Flash Balm, Mascara Supra Volume and Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, along with travel sizes of many of their other most popular products. I think this would be especially popular with mothers, aunties and grandmothers this advent season. Also, at €120 from Brown Thomas, I think it's a pretty good deal for what you get.

Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Advent Calendar

Now y'all know I'm going to qualify this by saying that I think practically all Charlotte Tilbury products are completely overpriced and overhyped (all style and no substance) and I don't think this box will be much different - however, if you handed this to a die hard Charlotte Tilbury fan, they would probably snap the hands off you! At €185 it's pretty pricey, especially considering it contains just 12 products, four of which are full size (Colour Chameleon pencil, Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow, Lustre Lip Gloss and Matte Revolution lipstick). Most of the sample sizes are skincare which I think is a little bit of a cop out unless you love Charlotte Tilbury skincare. I personally don't have much time for beauty brand skincare offerings so I would have hoped to see a little more makeup in this for the €185 this will set you back in Brown Thomas.

Lancome 24 Days in a Parisian Wonderland


This is another contender in the beauty advent calendar stakes this year. It's €130 from the Boots website and contains 24 treats include makeup, skincare and fragrance from the L'Oreal Luxe brands we all know and love including YSL, Viktor & Rolf, Lancome and Ralph Lauren. Again, there is a lot of Lancome skincare included in this one.

Rituals The Ritual of Advent Calendar


I love Rituals as a brand and I was delighted to see that they have brought out an advent calendar this year containing sample sizes of their candles, bath and shower gels, shampoos, serums, shower oils. If you know someone who loves luxurious baths and showers, this is the advent calendar for them. €71 from Debenhams.

ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar 2017


Not surprisingly Asos have jumped on the beauty advent calendar bandwagon and this year they have brought us 25 treats of "beauty goodness" with brands including The Ordinary, Caudalie, Korres, Nip and Fab, Ren, Rodial, NYX, Pureology, Smashbox and more. The 25th present is a 20% discount code so if you find yourself in the mood for some shopping after your turkey and ham, hit this one up. £55 from ASOS.

The Estée Lauder Companies Advent Calendar 2017


This, in my mind, is the creme de la creme of advent calendars this year. I'm not sure if this one is even available to purchase anymore as I haven't been able to find any online - it's been out a few weeks now so is probably almost guaranteed to be sold out. This one contains 25 treats from across the Estee Lauder brands including MAC, Smashbox, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bumble and Bumble, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Aveda, Glamglow and Michael Kors. It has a mixture of skincare, haircare, fragrance and cosmetics, a worth value of £200 and costs (if you can still get your hands on it) £125.

Lush 12 Days of Christmas


Lush are bringing a 12 piece advent calendar to us this year - containing 12 limited edition festive holiday treats including Golden Wonder, Never Mind the Ballistics and Christmas Sweater bath bombs, Snow Fairy, Bubbly and Twilight Shower Gels, and other soaps and bath time treats. Folks really love to bathe around the Christmas period so this is definitely worth picking up for the Lush fanatic in your life. £67.50 from Lush UK website.

I know there are loads more of calendars available this year (is it me or does it seem like every single brand jumped onto the advent calendar bandwagon this year?) but these are the ones that stuck out to me. I've only a few weeks to decide which one to pick up so I can enjoy some advent self gifting! Which one of these stuck out to you and would you be tempted to purchase any of them?
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Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Stocking Fillers

It's my favourite time of the year again - Christmas! I've pulled together a few gift guides for beauty nuts - these are just few of the things on my Christmas wishlist. This here post is my stocking filler beauty gifts picks, but I'm also pulling together a luxury beauty gift guide and a round up of my favourite advent calendars of the season also. I love Christmas beauty gifting - new limited edition packaging I know these lists are subjective - because I would not mind waking up to any of these lovely presents on Christmas day - but these are just some of this year's offerings that have called out to me. Also - when I refer to these as stocking fillers, I am quite aware that your usual stocking filler would not set you back more than €30, so I mean smaller, less expensive beauty gifts than what is included in my luxury beauty gift guide.

This Works Sleep Tight Set


Is there a greater gift you can give to someone who has trouble sleeping than the gift of sleep? I think not. I'm a long time fan of the This Works Deep Pillow Spray and this set contains a miniature of that, a miniature of the Stress Check rollerball and a miniature of the Sleep Plus + pillow spray. I am going to buy a couple of these for some folks I know who struggle to fall asleep at nighttime. €17 from Boots.

MAC Mini Lipstick Kit 


Three mini MAC lipsticks in a little sequin bag - what's not to love. There is a warm, cool and pink variety of these so you're sure to find something to suit your designated gift recipient. €30 from Brown Thomas.

Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes


These palettes are something special (I should know, I ordered two!) and they are perfect for makeup lovers looking to dip their toes into the world of Huda Beauty, which has only just been made easily available to us here in Ireland. From my experience of using these so far - yes they are small (think palm of your hand) but the actual shadows themselves are about the same size as the shadows in the Rose Gold or Desert Dusk palettes. £25 from Cult Beauty / €28 from Brown Thomas.

Meet Matt(e) Hughes Mini Lip Kit


I've long time loved the Meet Matt(e) Hughes liquid lipsticks - they are so longwearing and comfortable on the lips that I find them perfect for long days in the office or nights out. This is the newest incarnation of these lipstick sets - volume 3 - and you get 6 mini liquid lipsticks in an assortment of colours to try out. What I love about this kit in particular is that is has a little bit of everything - nude, pink, red and berry tones - a perfect little travel set or introduction to the brand. €29 from Cloud 10 Beauty.

Liz Earle The Winter Revival

Every Christmas, Liz Earle bring out a limited edition version of their Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and this year they have re-released the Sweet Orange and Mint version. I picked this up two years ago and was obsessed with it - not only was it as gentle and effective as the regular Cleanse and Polish, it smells incredible. €27.30 from Feelunique.

The Body Shop Mask Sampler Set 


This set contains nine sachets of different masks from the Body Shop line up (Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask and Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask) as well as an adorable bunny headband and will set you back €15 in The Body Shop. Everybody I know loves a bit of masking so I'm sure this would make a very welcome gift in anybody's Christmas stocking.

Sleek Matte Me Must Haves

Sleek is one of my favourite budget beauty brands and this set which contains four mini Matte Me liquid lipsticks is just €8 from Boots and contains four of my favourite shades of the Matte Me Liquid Lipsticks - Birthday Suit, Rioja Red, Velvet Slipper and Old Hollywood. This is a lovely kit for a makeup lover - I've already picked one up for my sister! 

Stila Written in the Stars Liquid Eyeshadow Set

The Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows took the world by storm earlier this year when they were released so it was a no brainer that Stila would release some sort of Christmas set this year. This contains the shades Kitten Karma (my personal fave), Smoky Storm and Diamond Dust. Perfect for the festive season I'm sure you will agree and only €27.95 for the set from Cloud 10 Beauty.

Pixi Best of Bright Kit


Pixi Skincare is one of the hottest brands on the skincare market now and people have been losing their lives over the Pixi Glow Tonic in particular. This set contains a mask, cleanser and miniature bottle of the toner so it's a perfect introduction to the brand. £20 from Cult Beauty.

Frankie Chatome Brush 


This brush comes in two varieties - hard bristles and soft bristles - I picked up one of each from Pelo Hair Design in Newbridge the last time I got my hair done. Between the two, I much prefer the soft bristle brush as it just glides through my hair after a shower - I don't have extensions in but I do have long, tangly hair and this hairbrush is a pleasure to use and would make a great gift. The soft brush is ideally suited to hair extensions and the hard brush is suited to blowdrying. At €18 a piece from Pelo Hairdressing, they won't break the bank.

I could spend days talking about all the lovely beauty gifts on the market this year but I don't have the time and I'm sure you don't have the time to read it - this summary of my fave picks will have to do instead. Do any of these picks appeal to you? What are you hoping Santa will leave in your stocking for you this year?

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Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Beauty Gifts

It's my favourite time of the year again - Christmas! I've pulled together a few gift guides for beauty nuts - these are just few of the things on my Christmas wishlist. This here post is my luxury beauty gifts picks,  but I'm also pulling together a stocking filler gift guide and a round up of my favourite beauty advent calendars this year also. I love Christmas beauty gifting - new limited edition packaging, a chance to try products you might not have ordinarily picked out for yourself and the potential to find new favourites. I know these lists are subjective - because I would not mind waking up to any of these lovely presents on Christmas day - but these are just some of this year's offerings that have called out to me.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette

Long time readers of this here blog will know that I am not Charlotte's no 1 fan, and I certainly don't think her eyeshadow palettes are anything to rave home about, but I can't deny that the Instant Eye palette, with it's four trios of colour combinations, looks rather lovely. Like all Charlotte Tilbury products, it's steep and, dare I say it, overpriced at €75, but it would make a lovely Christmas gift. Available directly from the Charlotte Tilbury website or Brown Thomas.

MAC Snowball Mini Lipstick Kit

This is potentially at the top of my Christmas wishlist this year and it's probably the only thing from the MAC Snowball Christmas collection that jumped out at me this year. 12 mini lipsticks - all with colour co-ordinated packaging - in 12 shades including some of their most iconic shades like Velvet Teddy, Whirl, Stone, Rebel, Flat Out Fabulous, Diva and Ruby Woo. This is the perfect kit for MAC lovers or lipstick lovers and at €95, I don't think it's bad value at all. It's currently sold out on the Brown Thomas website but is available from LookFantastic.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Kit

Laura Mercier's Ambre Vanille scent is the stuff that dreams are made of in my mind - I'm obsessed with the stuff and I don't know how many pots of the body cream that I have gone through and how many times I've been asked what perfume I'm wearing and I'm not actually wearing any perfume at all but body cream. This set is incredibly luxe and contains the whole Ambre Vanille family. £55 from Space NK or €72 from Brown Thomas.

Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Candle


Flowerbomb is one of my favourite perfumes - I'm not mad into floral scents but there is something about Flowerbomb that is just iconic. I'm also a candle nut so the opportunity to get one of my favourite perfumes in candle format would be very welcome indeed. There is also a version available in the other infamous Viktor & Rolf scent, Bonbon. €45 from Debenhams.

Dyson Hairdryer


Let's call a spade a spade, I would never ever voluntarily part with €400 of my hard earned money for a mere hairdryer, even if it does boast Dyson technology. I've heard so many good things about this hairdryer but I just can't but feel that after spending €400 on a hairdryer that you would be absolutely convinced no matter what that your hair looks better. That said, I've recently bought a cordless Dyson hoover and you wouldn't believe how much I have been enjoying it. Whilst I wouldn't buy one, I wouldn't be put out to see one under the Christmas tree. €399 from Boots.

Becca Cosmetics Eye Lights Palette Apres Ski Glow Collection


I'm a huge fan of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector highlighters and I've amassed quite a few over the years, and one of the Becca Christmas offerings this year is a neat little palette containing seven shades of Shimmering Skin Perfector, including the already famous Pearl, Moonstone, Opal and Rose Quartz. As an eyeshadow palette on it's own, it's lacking a few matte shades for me as I like the mixture, but I do think this would be a deadly palette to give as a gift because it would be so useful for travelling as the shadows could double as highlighters. £40 from Cult Beauty.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3


I love Hourglass, and much and all as I love Hourglass, the last few limited edition palettes haven't really appealed to me. I'm not sure whether it is the rose gold packaging on this one or the fact that all of the colours look dreamy, but this has piqued my interest in Hourglass again and I love the rose gold compact. £69 from Space NK.

Nima Brush - the Naughty or Nice Gift Set


This brush set is one of the best starter level brush sets on the market this year and would make a perfect gift for someone looking to either start or build their brush collection. It has all you need to apply your full face of makeup from perfecting your foundation to doing some detailed eye work, along with a Nima Mitt, Nima Egg and Nima nets all for €105 - check out the Nima Brush website.

Inglot Holographic Rose Gold Mini Case


I'm not a pro MUA but I love makeup storage and the minute I first clapped my eyes on this holograph, rose gold loveliness, it gave me so much joy. €65 from the Inglot Ireland website.

Nars Les Amoureux Mini Audacious Lipstick Coffret

I've said it before and I will say it again - the Nars Audacious lipsticks are my all time favourite lipsticks ever - other lipsticks come close but nothing has captured my heart like these bad boys. This lovely little set is available from Brown Thomas and contains two limited edition shades and two shades from the permanent line, all in miniature sizes, for €49.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set

The Stila Stay All Day liquid lipsticks are amongst my all time favourite liquid lipsticks for longevity without drying the bejaysus out of your lips, so I would be only delighted to receive this set for Christmas. This set contains three of my favourite shades - Patina, Perla and Aria - as well as some exclusive shades. They are not full sizes but the whole set is just €49.95 from Cloud 10 Beauty.

I could spend days talking about all the lovely beauty gifts on the market this year but I don't have the time and I'm sure you don't have the time to read it - this summary of my fave picks will have to do instead. Do any of these picks appeal to you? What are you hoping Santa will drop under the Christmas tree for you this year?


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