Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide For Her: £15 to £30

In the third feature in my 2016 Christmas Gift Guide series, I'm talking Christmas gifts at the mid-range price point at £15-£30. If you're looking for something a little more budget friendly, head to my stocking filler gift guide and budget beauty gift guide but if you're looking for something a little more luxurious then keep your eyes peeled for a couple more gift guides coming your way soon. 

While 2016 may not have been the best year for the world, when it comes to Christmas beauty gifts it truly the greatest year yet for the industry. Some of the gifts on offer are insanely exciting and I've rounded up a few of my favourites. 

Makeup is probably one of the most wow-factor presents at Christmas time. You can pick up a luxurious lipstick etc. and it still be affordable and fit into this guide which generally is always my go-to. YSL do Christmas so well. This year the YSL Holiday Sparkle Edition collection is so dreamy and if you're looking for beautiful packaging and great quality product, then you need to keep your eyes out for this. Unfortunately most of the collection is now sold out but the cult favourite YSL Sparkle Edition Touche Eclat, £25 is still in stock and looking more beautiful than ever. 

Burberry is also another great option and has some great options within this price bracket. Anything gold and sparkly is a favourite of mine at Christmas (as you can probably tell from my love of the YSL Christmas launch) and Burberry have absolutely nailed it. They have their sparkly nail polish offering the Burberry Nail Polish in 451 Gold Shimmer, £15 from the Festive 2016 collection. It's a beautiful gold glitter polish and on the other end of the spectrum, something very similar in lipstick form. I never thought I'd wear a gold lipstick, in fact I didn't even realise it existed, but the Burberry Kisses Lipstick in No. 224 Gold Shimmer, £25 is beautiful. I'm not usually one for glitter on the lips but this adds a beautiful glow that I can't get enough of for festivities. It also looks beautiful when layered over the top of a red lip. 

Sisley are also one of my go-to's when picking up gifts as their packaging can be super fun. My picks this year is their Sisley Phyto Lip Twist in 16 balm, £29 to hydrate the lips and the new shade, Sisley Phyto Lip Twist Matte in 18 Tango to add colour. It's a beautiful bright red and the perfect festive shade for this time of year. 

If you don't want to go for one product or don't know specific shades that the person you're buying for might like then going for a set or palette is a great option. The Make Up For Ever Artistic Essentials kit, £30 features 5 makeup essentials (primer, setting powder, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick) all in adorable smaller sizes. These products are brilliant and they would be great for just about anyone. If you're looking for a do-it-all palette then my go-to is always Pixi's Christmas offering. This year the Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit 3rd Edition, £28 has some beautiful festive packaging and the palette is as good as ever. Featuring 40 Eye & Brow Shades, 3 Highlighters, 2 Bronzers, 2 Cheek Powders & 1 Contour Powder - this palette really does have it all covered. The powders are brilliant and I really can't recommend enough. For lips, the High Definition Lip Essential Collection, £29 is great option as it features three wearable lip gloss shades that work perfectly all year round.  

A bit of a skincare/makeup hybrid and it comes in the form of the ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment Trio, £29. ESPA are a beautiful and luxurious brand and is one of my go-tos for a bit of a pamper. At this time of year, I really suffer with dry lips (and I know this is also a trouble for most!) too so this beautifully packaged cracker is a great gift this year. It features three hydrating lip treatments in natural, pink and red shades. They hydrate really well and leave a beautiful tint on the lips. 

I love getting products at Christmas that give me a chance to have a good ol' pamper at home. Whether that be with skincare, body care, hair care or home fragrance, I love a bit of it all as it feels s luxurious and special. 

On the skincare front, there are some beautiful sets this year. The Ole Henriksen 'A Lil' Love A Lot O' Radiance gift set, £21.50 is a pick of mine this year. From the pretty packaging to the radiance boosting products inside - this is a perfect pick me up at this time of year when Christmas parties are a plenty. 

If you know someone that travels a lot, Christmas is the perfect time to up their travel mini stash. I love the Bee Good Youth Enhancing Travel Trio Gift Set, £20. This set features a mini serum, moisturiser and eye cream and is the perfect trio for adding hydration on the go. Bee Good is free-from nasties like parabens, synthetic colour and SLS etc too. 

Onto looking after your body, and one of my favourite gift sets this year comes from REN and is the REN Neroli & Grapefruit Duo, £29 (currently £20.30 at ASOS). This beautiful gift set features both full-size Neroli & Grapefruit body wash and body cream. These products are incredibly luxurious. They feel beautiful against the skin and smell incredible too. I love using these in the morning as they are super refreshing! It's the packaging this year of these sets that get me though. They are created in collaboration with London based textile designer, Kangan Arora and I absolutely adore it. 

If you're looking for something a little less everyday and something for more of a pamper, then the ESPA Moments Of Peace Gift Set, £20. ESPA body products are incredibly luxurious and I find it super relaxing to apply. This little set features a body oil and mini candle. Its perfect to pamper yourself with or is a perfect set up from a partner too as the body oil can double up as a massage oil. 

Along the same lines, gifting someone else with products that can help them relax is always something really beautiful. Life's stressful and a little something to help that can go a long way. Aromatherapy Associates is always my go-to brand for this as they have some really beautiful scents. At this price range, I'd recommend picking up the Aromatherapy Associates Instant Wellbeing set, £18. It features two roller balls (which I swear by) in the fragrances Revive Morning and Deep Relax. These are two of my favourites from the brand, they're perfect for a morning pick me up, especially if you're feeling a little worse for wear or to get you deeply relaxed and ready to sleep in the evening. I love the handy rollerball packaging as they are perfect to pop in your handbag or keep on your bedside table. 

Onto hair, and I always buy these gift sets at Christmas time. Shampoo and conditioner is one of the things I resent buying throughout the year (unless I've really fallen in love with something) so I always try and pick it up for my loved ones at this time of years. Plus, it really gives you a chance to have a full on 360 degree pamper. 

The Schwarzkopf Repair Rescue for Damaged Hair set is a really great option. Its super hydrating on the hair and features a shampoo, conditioner and treatment too all in a lovely wash bag. Similarly, if you know someone that loves to travel (or wants to grow their hair) then the 3" More Inches Travel Set, £24 is amazing. This set includes a pre-wash treatment alongside a shampoo and conditioner all in a plane friendly see through travel bag. The 3" More Inches range from Michael Van Clarke is super restorative and really gives the hair a treat. I've been hooked ever since I gave it a go. Maybe I should pop the full size on my Christmas wish list this year? 

Personalisation this year is key, with The Body Shop letting you pop your name on their famous body butters and Boots letting you engrave and wrap just about anything, the element of choice and beauty and personalisation is where it's at this year and Aveda, one of my favourite haircare brands have completely got on board with that. This year Aveda are helping you make the difficult decisions with a handy quiz to help decide what products will be best for who your buying for and at what budget. With price points from under £20 to £50+, this gift finder really is suited to you personally. You can choose whether you'd like hair products or body products, which scent family would be best, and you also get the opportunity to add their name in for personalisation on the gift wrapping. If you're struggling to decide what to get a loved one, this is a great option. 

Taking the travel that bit further, I'd also really recommend the Sonic Chic Deluxe Gold Toothbrush, £30 (currently £20 at Boots). These toothbrushes have been an absolute saviour of mine for travel and festivals this year. I use an electric toothbrush all year round but when it comes to travelling, I don't really want to lug my big one around. That's where Sonic Chic comes in. It's a battery or USB powered toothbrush with a travel friendly lid. They are super sleek, and fit in nicely to your travel bag. The power lasts incredibly well too - I'm obsessed! 

For a further pamper, recently I've been obsessed with using an eye mask when I go to sleep at night. I have to say I've got a bit of a collection going on but one of my absolute favourites is the Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask, £25. The mask has a silky texture and sits on the head nicely. Its comfortable and the fact that the woven copper fibres are working on anti-ageing my skin as I sleep is a massive bonus. A really unusual product compared to the other eye masks out there and I really recommend picking it up for yourself or someone you know. 

Fragrance is a great option at this time of year. I love stocking up my fragrance at Christmas and discovering new scents I didn't know about before and with some beautiful sets on the market, it's really difficult not to be eyeing them up. I love the Monsoon Rose Gold Gift Set, £29. It smells lovely and I mean, it's rose gold. Who doesn't love rose gold?! 

If you fancy something a little more festive then I always love The Library of Fragrance at this time of year as some of their scents are incredibly festive. I'd recommend The Library of Fragrance Christmas in New York, £15 or The Library of Fragrance Blue Spruce, £15 if you're after something festive but if you want something that's perfect all year round then I'd recommend one of their favourites. Apparently their best selling scent is The Library of Fragrance Gin and Tonic, £15 and I can see why. If you've got a G&T fiend in your life, definitely look into picking up this one this year. 

If you're not sure on which fragrance to get, then home fragrance is a little less personal and in fact for many it's a favourite. My house is dotted with candles and reed diffusers everywhere but I never stop picking up more. One of my top picks this year is the Orla Kiely Orange Rind Gift Set, £20. It smells incredible. I love orange scents and this is a festive version of that and I'm hooked on it. The affordable set features a mini candle and reed diffuser all in the signature Orla Kiely packaging. Crabtree & Evelyn are always a great option for candles. They smell incredible and look beautiful. My pick this year is the Crabtree & Evelyn Noel Botanical Candle, £25. It's wax embellished with cinnamon sticks and apple slices and I've adored adding this into my Christmas decoration this year. 

Okay, I know I've listed SO many things and it all can still be a little daunting. If you're still left not really knowing what to buy, then picking up a beauty box subscription is a great idea as it takes the element of choice out of your decision making this Christmas. Glossybox is generally my go-to and you can pick up a three month subscription for £28.50 but if you bump it up to a six month subscription at £54 you also get a free NARS Blush thrown in too - and these are blooming great. 

So that's my pick of the best beauty gifts for her at the £15- £30 mark. Keep your eyes peeled for my luxury gift guides coming up soon... 

Lorna x

This post features products that were gifted to me for review but as always all thoughts are my own!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide For Her: Budget Beauty Under £15

On a budget this Christmas? Looking to pick up some delicious beauty gifts without spending too many pennies (or pounds in this case?). Well you're in the right place. Like I said in my budget stocking filler gift guide, there are so many incredible beauty gifts out this year but narrowing them down and working out what to buy and who to buy it for without breaking the bank can really be tricky. 

When it comes to makeup at Christmas, I want beautiful packaging and the wow factor when I look at it. I get that you shouldn't always judge a book by its cover, but when you unwrap a gift at this time of year, you want it to be blooming beautiful and exciting. The Rosie for Autograph makeup range is perfect for this. Hubba, hubba - just look at the rose gold packaging. The quality of this range is also really great for the price point. The Rosie for Autograph Cream Eyeshadow Sticks are super easy to apply and when swatched, they literally blow my mind. The pigmentation is incredible and they blend out really beautifully. Just make sure you pop an eye primer on first to ensure it lasts. I've got the shades Almond Eyes, Feline Fox and Movie Star Crush and they all work beautifully together. Wow indeed. If you know more of a blush kinda gal, then the Rosie for Autograph Cream Blushers are amazing too. 

Eyeshadow palettes are a go-to for Christmas. I usually get an Urban Decay Naked Palette every year from my Dad (though this year I've had to stop the tradition to my new found obsession and overflowing palette collection... Oopsie!) and I love giving them to friends too. On the budget end of the spectrum, the best all-rounder palette has to be the Makeup Revolution Fortune Favours The Brave palette. I mean, just look at it. This is the palette that was created with British Beauty Blogger and I can see why! It's under £10 and features 30 beautiful shades - I still can't quite believe it. Don't worry, the quality is great too. If you know someone that's always on the go and is more likely to take their makeup with them, a great option is the Bourjois Eyeshadow La Palette Les Nudes. This palette is great for day wear and it's super pretty with a great mirror for applying on the go. 

Christmas is always a time for pampering, I mean I'm already dreaming about the amount of face masks I'll have time to apply and mani's I'll have time to paint over the break. So treating someone to something that they can do this with is ALWAYS a great shout. The Dirty Works Beauty Stack is a great place to start. This budget friendly beauty gift is truly beautiful for the price. It features a mini pack of bath caviar, a bath fizz and some body butter - but it's the packaging that really gets me with this one. For Lush fans, the Lush Rudy Gift set is great. Cute packaging and two bath bombs inside!

If you've got someone that's a little older (or perhaps just loves taking care of their hands) then I'd really recommend picking up the Crabtree & Evelyn Feast For The Senses Hand Therapy Cracker. These are really incredible quality and how adorable is the packaging? The English Soap Company's soaps and candles are a great option too. The packaging is super festive and I'm obsessed. The candle says Merry Christmas and smells great too! 

If skincare is more their thing, then I'd recommend having a look at Caudalie's options. They have the lovely Caudalie Divine Bauble and Caudalie Hand Cream Trio but my top budget pick is the Caudalie Vinosource Face Cracker. This features some of their most raved about face hydrators which is perfect for this time of year when skin needs a little extra help. If you're looking for something that covers a few more bases on the skincare front then the Bee Good Award Winners Gift Set is a great shout. This affordable set includes a cream cleanser and lip balm that works well for all skin types.    

Hair is always a go-to of mine if I'm unsure of the route to take. I fell in love when I saw this Toni&Guy Ashely Williamson Limited Edition Washbag Gift Set. For one, the bag is super cool and a great addition to to any gals washbag/makeup bag stash but the products inside are great too - a mini volume boosting shampoo and conditioner and a full size 3D volumiser spray

The Body Shop has always been a go to for me at Christmas time. In fact for as long as I rememeber I'd always pick up gifts there for my friends. Throwing back to the cube gift sets with mini shower gel days... But it's the Christmas product releases that get me every year. This year I've fallen in love with the Vanilla Chai range and the The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Scrub, The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Candle and The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Hand Cream. All at great price points and they smell delicious. If you prefer something a little frutier, then the Spiced Apple (here) or Frosted Berries (here) ranges are great options too.

Lorna x

This post features products that were gifted to me for review but as always all thoughts are my own!


Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide For Her: Budget Stocking Fillers

Oh hello Christmas. You are so nearly here and I have to admit, I'm so blooming excited. This year, there are some of the best and most exciting gifts I've seen and I am so excited to be (finally!) writing up my beauty picks. 

This year really is the year that so many beauty brands have upped their Christmas game. With so many releases from beauty advent calendars to christmas gift sets, there really is just SO much to choose from this year and stocking fillers are no different. There are obviously a couple of ways you can look at a stocking dependant on your budget - but for me, a stocking has to be budget friendly and of course fit in a stocking. 

I like stockings for women to be filled with little pamper treats and Mandara Spa has some great options. It looks a whole lot more luxurious than the price point and the products inside are great too. If you know someone that loves to have a bath then the Mandara Spa Honey Milk Dreams Softening Bath Milk, the Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream Bath Powder or the Mandara Spa Indulgent Bathing Rock are all really great options. All under £10 and they smell lovely. I know a lot of people that aren't into baths however, so if that's the case for you too then the Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream Conditioning Shower Cream or the Mandara Spa Shimmering Lip Butter Treats set in a beautiful bauble also work incredibly well. These are also super friendly on your pockets!

Day to day products are lovely to find in a stocking. Especially when they are brands you might not have tried before, or are favourites in pretty Christmas packaging. The Bee Good Lip Balm Christmas Trio is a great option for a set like this. These lip balms are a little more targeted than the Mandara Spa ones as they are created to enhance youth with essential amino acids and anti-oxidants that revive mature skin and fight any signs of ageing - but don't worry, this isn't plastered all over the packaging so if you know someone (or you too!) that isn't in the mature bracket then these still work great. There's three scents/flavours in the packet. My favourite is the Vanilla and Honey

Onto hand cream and there are two brands that are always my go-to at Christmas as they always have beautiful festive packaging. This year I recommend the Balance Me Rose Otto Hand Cream Christmas Angel and the Roger & Gallet Bois D'Irange Hand Care Mini Gift. Both come in beautiful festive packaging, and what's inside works (and smells!) a treat. I think I ALWAYS give someone these at Christmas time as they are such a handy size for travelling or throwing in your bag! 

Minis of favourite beauty products of mine are something I always like to get my hands on in a stocking and Weleda have hit the nail on the head with this cute little Weleda Skin Food and Pomegranate Hand Cream set. It's adorable. You can either pop it in the stocking as it's super tiny and cute or you can hang it on the tree with the hanging ribbon at the top. The hand cream is brilliant and there's a tiny do-it-all skin food cream that is perfect for popping in your bag and taking with you on the go. 

If skincare is their thing, then I'd really recommend Kiss The Moon. The brand is beautiful, in fact I've got an 'Introducing' post coming up on them soon with an interview with the founder so keep your eyes peeled for that as you need to the lowdown on them for sure. For a stocking filler, the Kiss The Moon Mini Moment Calm Face Oil is a beautiful addition. It comes beautifully wrapped with their signature ribbon and the product itself is perfect to give the product a go, or take travelling with you. It's incredibly relaxing and is perfect for the person you know that just doesn't stop. 

Calming products are something I'm obsessed with picking up at the moment and one of my favourite brands is ThisWorks. Their products are so incredibly relaxing and are a staple in my bedtime routine. The ThisWorks calm to go set, is adorable and I fell in love as soon as I saw it. This little set features a mini Deep Sleep Stress Less roller ball with a keyring case to pop it in to take it on the go with you at all times. I love this product and highly recommend picking this up while it's still available. 

I love putting food and drink in stockings. Tea especially is my go-to and I love including brands that I know they won't have heard of. This year Dragonfly Tea is my go-to for this. The packaging is so beautiful and the tea feels incredibly luxuriois which is just what you want for Christmas. Pick up a box of this as a treat for a tea-lover you know (or just for yourself, I won't tell, promise). Pukka teas are also a great alternative, I love their Pukka Night Time Tea!

 Finally, if you know someone that loves makeup the the Laura Geller Color Lustre Lip Gloss Duo or the Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick Tree Ornament are must-buys. Both incredibly affordable, in beautiful packaging to pop on the tree or add into a stocking but its the mini versions of the products themselves that make it so worth buying. 

So that's the stocking sorted... Watch this space for the rest of my gift guides from budget favourites to luxurious recommendations. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting festivities! 

Lorna x

This post features products that were gifted to me for review but as always all thoughts are my own!