Tis the season, Pretties! Sandra here, and we’re definitely in the middle of December here in Switzerland… it’s snowing outside as I write! I love this time of year, when your after-work beer gets replaced with a steaming cup of Glühwein at a Christmas Market near you. The combination of sticky-sweet alcohol, fairy lights and bad Christmas music can, on occasion, lead up to some maudlin moments (or am I the only one?) and weird gift shopping experiences.
That’s why I think Christmas Markets like the ones we have here in Europe are a pretty dangerous thing: Get distracted for a second, and BAM! you’ve already bought tool kit made of chocolate, two oil-diffusing lamps and five of those incredibly calming (yet really ugly) liquid sand pictures.
To make sure that gift-giving-excitement doesn’t get the best of you, we’re going to help you make good decisions with these beautiful and useful beauty gift ideas!
1. Vichy Slow Âge Gift Set, approx. US$ 40.00
I know, I know… Vichy isn’t the sexiest beauty brand out there… but today isn’t about sexy gift ideas, but useful ones! Having said that: This gift box contains Vichy’s bestselling Slow Age Moisturizer, which protects your skin from premature signs of aging with an SPF 30, anti-oxidants and thermal water AND a miniature of Minéral 89, the clever hydration booster that you can use underneath the moisturizer. Smooth, plump skin at a great price!
2. Giorgio Armani Holiday Color Collection Face & Eye Makeup Palette, approx. US$100.00
Wait, did someone say «sexy»? Gotta go with Giorgio Armani! The key piece of 2017’s Holiday Limited Edition is a palette for face and eyes, which is not only super practical, but also saves up a lot of space in your make-up kit and therefore is
A TOTALLY SENSIBLE GIFT.
On the bottom level of the compact, there are two shades of the (lovely) Maestro Fusion Makeup Foundation, along with a Luminous Silk Compact Powder. The upper level is a bit more exciting, with ten new shades of eyes shadow, of which half are matte, the other half shimmery. In all honesty, this is a really well thought-out and luxurious product!
Steffi, this would be a fabulous Christmas bonus!
3. L’Occitane Luxury Travel Treasures, US$ 40.00
L’Occitane, the beautiful skincare brand from Provence always has a huge selection of gift sets in every size and price range. This gift set is a great present for travellers, as the pretty canvas pouch contains nine travel-sized (and luxe) containers of L’Occitane’s bestsellers. Among others, there’s the delicious Almond Shower Oil, the Verbena Body Lotion and Shea Butter Hand and Foot creams. Très chic!
For the more, um… luxury-oriented amongst us, Yves Saint Laurent is always a go-to for festive gifts. This palette is pretty much made to be shown off (and carried around in your party clutch), both to creative a complete festive make-up, but also for touch-ups during your glamorous nights of partying. It contains four eye shadows, two shades of lipstick and a lovely, shimmery blush.
As a make-up artist, I can confirm that these shades are super-versatile and can be used both for a daytime and a night look.
As if you needed an excuse to buy this for yourself, tee hee!
5. By Terry Preciosity Baume de Rose Duo Gift Set Collection, approx. US$ 50.00
This festive little gift contains two of French skincare brand By Terry’s bestselling Baume de Rose products – the hand cream and a shiny, moisturizing lip gloss. A great present for rose fans!
By the way: Gifts like these are always a great way to treat yourself, and to discover new brands!
Another good example of my rationalizing?
6. Estée Lauder Blockbuster, approx. US$ 80.00 (Europe exclusive)
Ahhh, this «Blockbuster» collection is always a treat! Estée Lauder’s yearly «super-treat» contains miniatures and special editions of a huge range of make-up and skincare products… this year’s version contains two eye shadow palettes, a blush palette, two lipsticks, one mascara, an eye make-up remover, the Advanced Night Repair Serum and a miniature of the Revitalizing Supreme+ Cream.
The well-made travel case is pretty chic, and even if the products inside aren’t quite as luxuriously packaged as the standard Estée Lauder products, it’s a wonderful gift.
(check out our Instagram for a real-life look at the contents)!
Sadly, the Blockbuster seems to be a European exclusive, and in the UK, it’s only available as a purchase-with-purchase, if you know what I mean!
7. Acqua di Parma Coffret La Collezione, approx. US$ 130.00
You really can’t go wrong with Acqua di Parma: These fresh, natural colognes are real people-pleasers, and the bottles are beautifully made. This gift set is available in select stores, containing three 30ml sizes of Bergamotto di Calabria, Arancia di Capri and Fico di Amalfi, and online, you can even pick and choose your three Acqua di Parma favorites!
The only downside is that you may have to follow up with a trip to Italy, because these scents will definitely stimulate your wanderlust!
NARS just can do no wrong with their limited edition gifts! This time, photographer Man Ray was the inspiration for the entire Holiday collection, and this set here is the perfect present for the cultured beauty lover (which is ALL OF US). This decorative little set contains two NARS classics in miniature formats: One is the Hot Sand Blush in Peach Champagne, and the other is Rita Audacious Lipstick in Scarlet. A fab color combo for the holidays, and it can be found at various department stores.
9. Cire Trudon Classic Scented Candle Abd El Kader, approx. US$ 95.00
I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard to find a «practical» angle here… but Cire Trudon’s scented candles are such a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL gift that I simply had to include one in my roundup! A few years back, I worked at the Zurich department store Jelmoli and sniffed each one of their candles a thousand times and pictured myself (the poor student) nonchalantly buying one and actually lighting it at home…
That hasn’t happened (yet!), but I can guarantee you: If it’s going to be a scented candle, it’s gotta be Cire Trudon! Their limited Holiday editions are always lovely, but my favorite by far is still «Abd El Kader», which smells gorgeously of fresh mint leaves. Ahhhh…
10. Pai The Landmark Collection, approx. US$ 45.00
Last but not least, I just had to include something for my fellow organic beauty lovers (I have a reputation to uphold, after all). Pai is a great brand from the UK that I’ve been testing my way through for the past few years, and I really liked everything I’ve tried. What’s more, the products are formulated for even the most sensitive of skins.
They also have some lovely gifts this year, inspired by Pai’s hometown of London, and this one here contains an entire skincare routine: The Camelia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser with a cleansing cloth, the Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream and the much-praised Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. Easy on the eyes and good for the skin!
Whoa… that just really kept your scrolling finger busy!
I think we’ve just earned ourselves a nice piece of chocolate from our Advent calendar… Oh wait, maybe you guys don’t actually have them? In that case, let’s don a festive hat!
I hope my beauty gift suggestions aren’t too late, and that you haven’t already bought one of those liquid sand frames… and if you did, I’d really appreciate some photographic evidence that they actually CAN look stylish, if arranged accordingly.
Have a great week!
P.S. from Steffi: Sandra had nothing to do with the fabulously inept Photoshop fail, but she can’t stop me!