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We still don't entirely know what Christmas 2020 will look like but I know that, whatever changes we have to make this year; we'll still make the most of it! I recently ran a little poll on Instagram and the majority of you wanted to see Christmas gift offerings ahead of Black Friday, which is usually when I do 90% of my Christmas shopping, so we're nice and early with some luxury gift inspiration...
- HAIR, BATH & BODY -
First up; we have the Fresh Body Care Duo Set* | £34. This set comes in the zingy, sweet and refreshing scent of brown sugar mixed with hesperides grapefruit (I personally find these slightly more citric scents appeal to the most people and therefore make a safe gift) and you get the body wash and body lotion in this set. The body lotion has a lovely light texture but really softens the skin and combined, these two give a gorgeous personal fragrance that's noticeable for hours after use!
A great option for super-luxury bath and body (that's been a new discovery for me this year) is Jo Loves, founded by Jo Malone following the selling of the Jo Malone London brand. I actually find the fragrances by Jo Loves to be a little more fun than those of Jo Malone, so it could be a nice way to switch it up for someone who you know is a fan of Jo's work. I have the Jo Bath & Shower Gel* | £35 | and Body Lotion* | £40 (also available as a set) and also the Fragrance Parfum* | £70 (50ml). Obviously the red and black packaging is beautiful and the products are sheer bliss; a treat to use every time. The Jo scent contains notes of grapefruit, lime and guaic wood, so is fresh but also has an underlying woodiness. It's the sort of fragrance I see most people enjoying, which makes it perfect for gifting. If you want the full-strength scent then definitely go for the parfum; it's long-lasting and the most noticeable on the skin, but if you're looking for bath and body products then the bath and shower gel and lotion also linger nicely on the skin. I also have this stunning limited edition version of the Jo Loves Pomelo Fragrance* | £115 | for Christmas. This packaging is beautiful and I think I might love the scent even more than Jo! It's a zingy, refreshing grapefruit scent with pomelo and vetiver. I'm obsessed... This packaging is really special, so I'd get it while you can.
I have another fragrance that I love and actually got for Christmas last year, so of course I think it's great! It's the Maison Margiela Replica by the Fireplace Eau de Toilette | £98. It's a gorgeous scent for this time of year; this fragrance range is designed to evoke memories and By the Fireplace is reminiscent of burning wood and chestnut in a Chamonix ski lodge; warm, full, comforting and woody with a tiny hint of sweetness.
A stunning bath and body option with full-sized products would be the Elemental Herbology Water Soothe Bathing Ritual* | £50 (15% off with code JASMINETALKSBEAUTY). This set contains a candle, one of their gorgeous moisturising bath and body oils (also great to use for massage) and their more lightweight body lotion. All are in the Water family (Elemental Herbology is themed around aromatherapy associated with different elements, if you hadn't guessed from the name). Water is gorgeous and scented like rose damask and neroli.
I pretty much buy a Rituals set for someone every year and I usually buy it from Look Fantastic, as they have an amazing range for my beauty Christmas shopping and some of the best discount codes in the game! So, a massive thank you to their contributions towards my gift guides this year. My 2020 pick from this brand is the Rituals Ritual of Ayurveda Rebalancing Ritual* | £29.90. This set is worth £33.50 and comes in a beautiful gift box, which I like (as someone whose wrapping skills are frankly embarrassing...!) In here you get the shower foam, a mini of the moisturising body lotion, the body scrub (which is great on dry winter skin) and also the hand wash. This is a new scent to me from the range (I think, though they did rebrand them all a couple of years back) and I absolutely love it; there are notes of Indian rose and sweet almond for a deep, heady floral-sweet blend.
Molton Brown is always on the menu for Christmas and this year's collection is called Juniper Jazz. It's all very art deco 1920s gin speakeasy! I was actually sent over the body wash and lotion by the brand and also by Look Fantastic, so you can buy there or directly and the products are available as sets or individually. The notes include, of course, juniper berry (this botanical is what turns vodka into gin, for those interested!) alongside a note I couldn't describe until I read up the description: 'metallic'. It's that sort of scent that just makes things feel festive! There are also some underlying warm notes of guaic wood and sandalwood. For my luxury edit, I have the Juniper Jazz Bath and Shower Gel* | £24 | which has this beautiful royal blue glitter running through it. There's also the Juniper Jazz Body Lotion* | £27 | which is lightweight, not overly rich but still very moisturising. Finally, I also have the Juniper Jazz Single Wick Scented Candle* | £42. The scent is lovely, though I wouldn't say it's as long-lasting on the skin (in respect of the body products) or as strong in terms of the candle (once lit) as other Molton Brown scents I've tried. I know a lot of people find really strong scents a bit overwhelming or migraine-inducing, so a more subtle fragrance profile like this could be great for them.
Philosophy is another brand I gift to family members pretty much every year. Here I have the Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette Fragrance Gift Set* | £45. The EDT is £35 on its own typically, so if you know someone who's a fan; this is great value because not only are you topping up their favourite scent but you also get two nice, 240ml body products that have the same fragrance. Amazing Grace is one of those feminine floral blossom-based scents that isn't fresh and light but isn't dated or old-fashioned either. This set comes with one of their fantastic bath and shower gel / shampoo and the body essence, a lightweight hydrator you can use after a nice soak in the bath.
- SKINCARE -
The gift for the true beauty junkie this year has to be the Foreo UFO 2* | £249! This masking device is what you get for that person who's never without their sheet masks, because that's effectively what this does; you simply load it with whichever Foreo mask you want (so you could gift a few different options alongside the device itself) and it takes the concentrated serum effects to the next level using microcurrent, LED and temperature technology to firm and lift the skin. Like I said; not everyone in the world needs this device (duh, it's £250!) but it would be such a treat for the true skincare nerd who loves their gadgets and devices.
Next we have another Look Fantastic gift in the Aurelia Probiotic Skincare 3-Step Daytime Routine Set* | £46.50. I am personally not really into the whole 'natural beauty' movement, but I know some people are and love their essential oils and (from what I've tried from the brand so far) Aurelia do solid products (and this packaging is beautiful), so this is a great option for that person in your life. I've tried both their day cream and their cream cleanser before and they were seriously luxurious. The cream cleanser can be used as a moisturising option in the morning or also does a great job of removing makeup. The moisturiser softens and smooths my skin beautifully too. I've not tried this serum yet, but I do have a few bits from this brand now, so let me know whether you'd like to see an overall review, because probiotics (live bacteria in products to encourage a healthy balance and improve barrier function) are a really interesting area of skincare. I personally think this trio is a great little overview of the brand and contains the basics you need for your morning skincare routine.
Next, we have something from one of my favourite brand discoveries of 2020: the Biossance Uplifted & Bright Gift Set* | £55. This is incredible value! It contains the full-sized Vitamin C Squalane Rose Oil which is £55 individually, so you're effectively getting two minis for free with this. Biossance is a great brand (my full review is here); their products work and they're also committed to their sustainability mission, so this would be a great gift for the conscious beauty-lover. Alongside the oil you have a mini of their Phyto-Retinol, which I look forward to trying, and also their Squalane + Omega Repair Cream, which I love as an antidote to dry winter skin. Overall, this is a fantastic set from a brand I love!
I'm just updating this post to add in the Murad Love at First Bright Set* | £75. It arrived just after I published this guide and is worth £116 if you were to buy the products individually. Of course, I haven't had a chance to try it yet but wanted to share it as it's great value and you can get an extra 25% off in Black Friday. Murad is a fantastic actives-driven science-focused brand with fantastic ingredients and products to target signs of ageing, protect the skin and give you a smooth, even complexion. In this set you get a full-sized bottle of their Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum with Vitamin C and niacinamide and minis of their SPF30, their vitamin-powered cleanser and their Vitamin C glycolic acid serum so I can't wait to test it out.
I also have the Volition Beauty Bright Besties Duo* | £54 | which offers a 20% saving on two of the brand's best-selling products (both are full-sized). The concept behind Volition Beauty is that their product line is built by their customers; anyone within the community can offer up an idea, and if it's innovative enough they can have it brought to market. The Strawberry-C Brightening Serum is a lovely hydrating product formulated with Vitamin C to give the skin a healthy glow and the Turmeric Brightening Polish is one of the few physical exfoliators I like! It gently buffs away dead skin cells and turmeric also has its own antioxidant and brightening properties. If you, or any of your loved ones, have been dying to try this brand; I think now is the time.
Next is the Dr Dennis Gross Peel. Glow. Be Merry Gift Set* | £92. I see this as being the brand for the true skin science nerds who want to maintain their skin between treatments or get professional results at home. Whilst this set isn't cheap, it's actually incredible value for the contents inside. There's a 21-pack of the game-changing Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel (reviewed here) and a 30-treatment pack will set you back £89 on its own, plus you get a full-sized bottle of their Collagen Vitamin C serum, worth £79. I'm so excited to try this because I've had my eye on it for ages - I'll be doing a brand review of Dr Dennis Gross in the new year, so keep an eye out for that! Then, you also get a mini of the Collagen and Vitamin C face cream, which I'm really excited to try. This is such amazing value that if you're a fan of the brand; you should definitely check it out whilst it's still in stock!
One of my favourite luxury-feel brands that offers staples I can trust is Pestle and Mortar. An amazing gift they have on offer this year is the Pestle & Mortar Erase and Renew Double Cleansing System* | £45. I've reviewed both of the products included in this set here, but I'll give you the 'in a nutshell' version in this post! This comes with two decent-sized minis of their cleansing balm and their morning or second cleanse. The cleansing balm is lovely and removes makeup really effectively, as well as nourishing the skin. Then their other cleanser is a sort of gel-to-emulsion (very similar to Oskia's formula if you've tried that). Both are luxurious and effective products and this is a great little introduction to the brand.
Next, let's talk about the Ameliorate Winter Kit Gift Set* | £72. This set is stuffed full of full-sized products that would cost £103 if purchased individually, making it amazing value for money. You have their lip treatment (I use this overnight), their legendary smoothing, exfoliating body lotion, their moisturising shower gel (perfect for use alongside the lotion), their multipurpose dry skin balm, the foot cream, the hand cream and an exfoliating mitt. If you know someone who has very dry skin or suffers with KP; this is a great gift. There are some incredible nourishing products for dry winter hands, feet and bodies, alongside the exfoliating treatment and the mitt to remove dead skin cells. Perfect for taking a bit more care of yourself during the colder months, which is a great gift to give to someone.
Another great luxury option for the skincare junkie in your life (or yourself, probably, if you're reading this blog!) is the Gatineau High Hydration Duo* | £49 | which is also available at Look Fantastic. This is such good value; you're getting two full-sized products worth £92 in total and this set is really going to be suitable for most people, because I honestly don't know anyone who doesn't want more hydrated skin. Inside this lovely pouch you get the Aquamemory Moisture Replenish Cream, which is a lightweight, melting gel-cream, and the Aquamemory High Hydration Cream Mask, designed as a hydrating skin-barrier-replenishing treatment. The ingredients include antioxidants to protect the skin and hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate. I'll definitely give an update once I've fully tested out this duo, but so far I really like these products and think they'd be ideal for someone with dehydrated skin.
One of the best-value sets I have here is the Espa Replenishing Collection* | £75 | because there are a bunch of full-sized products in here which have a value of £109 individually. Espa is, of course, a spa brand used at facilities across the country. Something I quite often do is gift people like my mum some products that we've had used on us during a spa experience, so this is perfect for that. I'm writing this at the start of November and I have no idea if spas will reopen this year, to be honest, but something like this is a great way of recreating that experience at home. This comes with the Hydrating Cleansing Milk, which is an absolute treat to use! It's a lightweight lotion cleanser that smells beautiful and is incredibly moisturising on the skin. There's also the 24-Hour Replenishing Moisturiser in here (also full-sized) which is a great versatile moisturiser that's enough for my skin in both the morning and the evening. There's also a nice, big bottle of the Hydrating Floral SpaFresh Mist, which is pretty fragrant (so one for those who like scented products) but also does hydrate with ingredients like rosewater. Finally, you get a mini of the Replenishing Face Treatment Oil, which seems pretty promising so far! Again, it contains some fragrant essential oils, but also some great nourishers like macadamia and avocado oils.
Another of my Look Fantastic picks is the Omorovicza Perfecting Duo* | £45. If you know someone who's really into their luxury skincare or already loves Omorovicza and their famous Queen of Hungary mist; this is for them! The mist that comes in this set is in stunning limited edition rose gold packaging. I think it's a beautiful mist, albeit a pure luxury item. But, for me at least, when it comes to Christmas presents: I don't want something I need, I want something I want! There's something quite nice about treating someone you love to something they'd never buy for themselves but would really enjoy. Alongside the generous 50ml bottle of the mist, you also get a full-sized tub of the lip balm, which is packed full of omegas and hyaluronic acid to plump, hydrate and moisturise the lips.
- MAKEUP -
For makeup, we only have one pick, but it is a gorgeous one! The Zoeva Share Your Radiance Brush Vault* | £78 | is perfection for the makeup-lover in your life. Zoeva brushes are high-quality and this set comes in a gorgeously-festive burgundy and gold design that would look beautiful on any dressing table. Zoeva brushes are amazing quality and really last for me; they're pretty much all I use these days! There's also a really great mix of brushes in this particular set for: foundation, concealer, powder, highlighter and contour / bronzer, as well as every eye brush you could possibly need to create a look (from detailed crease work to liner to shading under the eye). The eyeshadow brushes are so easy to use; I'm pretty useless at all the blending and detailing stuff, but these are fool-proof.
- STYLE & LIFESTYLE -
My more lifestyle-based pick from Look Fantastic is the Neom Limited Edition Real Luxury 3-Wick Candle* | £46. I love Neom as an aromatherapy brand and the fact their candles aren't made with paraffin makes them a clean, non-smoky burn. This comes in a stunning festive glass jar at the exact same price as the original candle, which I love. The scent is also beautiful with notes of lavender, Brazilian rosewood and jasmine.
A fantastic gift for just about everyone is the Ion-Sei Sonic Toothbrush (Day White)* | £130. This has been a bit of a revelation for me (and my partner, who also has one!) This toothbrush uses ion technology to clean the teeth but also repel bacteria. It has different settings depending on how intense you want it and also vibrates so you brush each quadrant equally. Not to mention, it's pretty sleek and stylish to look at.
Finally, I have the Mejuri Croissant Dome Hoops* | £120. These are beautiful statement earrings that are still classic and nothing too over-the-top. They're made from gold vermeil so don't irritate my skin and they aren't overly heavy. I think these would be perfect for anyone who loves hoops, as they're on-trend and amazing quality.
Have you done any Christmas shopping yet? Are any of these brands or products on your wish list?