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Today we're talking the best of beauty Christmas gifts! It's a more edited single guide this year and I will be sure to link full reviews wherever I can, but hopefully this overview will give you an idea of what's on the market this year ahead of the sales...
Let's jump in with Fresh Beauty who have a number of gift sets available this year, but on the smaller, more affordable side of things, we have the Soy & Strawberry Cleansing Duo Gift Set* | £21 | and the Advanced Therapy Holiday Edition Gift Set* | £21. In the cleansing set you get 50ml of my beloved hydrating, non-foaming water-based Soy Cleanser (reviewed here) and 50ml of their jam-like physical exfoliation cleanser. These are really generous sizes and should last you several weeks; I personally will keep these for travel, but they're also a great way to test out these two and see which you might want to invest in. The other ornament has the Advanced Lip Therapy in here; one of my favourite lip products of all time. This is full-sized and so worth picking up, because the nourishing formula is fantastic for the winter months.
Next, we have the Versed Calm, Clear & Holiday Cheer Skin De-Stressing Gift Set* | $15.99. This would be so lovely for a teenager just trying to get into skincare for the first time and it's really great value! The products are around 2/3s of the standard sizes and you do get a facial acupressure tool to play around with in here too. The Just Breathe Clarifying serum is a gentle anti-blemish option, with some willow bark extract (a salicylic acid precursor), zinc to calm inflammation and niacinamide to help with oil production. The Dew Point Moisturiser is a light, breathable gel formulated with humectants (water magnets) and soothing antioxidants like aloe and green tea.
Something that crops up in my gift guides basically every year are the Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Baths* | £16 each. I feel like I can rely on Philosophy to bring back the classics each year and these are both old favourites that can be used for the hair and body or to create amazing bubbles in your bath (which is my personal favourite way of using these!) The Snow Angel scent is hard to describe without just reverting to the packaging and product colour, but it is just like glittery frosting, sparkle and crisp snow. Whereas Cosy by the Fire is the opposite; it's warm sweet spiciness. Think of it like Christmas outdoors vs. Christmas indoors!
Sanctuary Spa is always a festive favourite for me; they offer luxury-feeling sets at a really reasonable price point. This year I have the Little Spa Retreat Gift Set* | £10. There's something I just love about their signature warm, sweet scent! You get four mini products in here that are perfect for cosy nights in when it's cold outside - the lovely, buttery hand cream, the light-but-nourishing body lotion, the body wash and the body scrub (which is kind of like a scrub and wash in one). This is great for a Secret Santa or a stocking-filler as you get 4 decent-sized minis within a £10 budget.
I also wanted to mention the Kayali Rollerball* | £23 | which you can find at Cult Beauty. It's dual-ended, so gives you the opportunity to try both scents, layer and also this is great to throw in your bag for on-the-go. Vanilla on the one end is already a favourite of mine with a creamy, indulgent quality to it, then the other side is Musk, but a more modern twist on it blended with florals.
Lastly, on the more affordable and mini side of things, we have the Polaar Genuine Lapland Cracker* | £16. There are 3 mini products in here. We have a lovely, light-but-nourishing lip balm-come-cream that works really well overnight but also in the day under lipstick. It's lovely for dry winter lips. I am also really enjoying the hand cream; again, it feels quite light on application but really does give moisture that lasts through multiple hand washes (plus I love the light, winter berry-like scent). Then we have a sensitive cream for the face that melts down nicely - I've been using it on dry patches like my nose during the cold weather and it's helped moisturise and calm my skin. Definitely a good pick for someone suffering with dry winter skin.
I was also sent over the Fable & Mane HoliRoots Discovery Set* | £20 | by Cult Beauty and really enjoyed the products inside. I love the oil from this brand (I use it as a pre-wash treatment and it makes my hair feel so soft and moisturised) so it was great to try minis of the shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. They leave behind the same warm, spicy scent on my hair and are actually heavy-duty enough to provide the deep moisture it needs. I will definitely be checking out the full-sized versions and this is a great option for someone with thick, dry or curly hair so they can dabble in the entire routine.
- MID-RANGE GIFTS UNDER £45 -
Moving onto more mid-priced sets, I first have the Alpha-H Glow Kit* | £44.95 | which is worth £60 and comes with 3 deluxe mini 30ml products and a wash bag. This is pretty much your simplified routine (though I wouldn't use the Liquid Gold glycolic toner every single day because it's strong stuff! And, of course, you wouldn't use the SPF at night) for when you're away over the Christmas period.The Balancing Cleanser is a creamy formula with aloe; an amazing option for a moisturising morning cleanse or you can use it in the evening on lighter makeup days. The Liquid Gold is really the brand's hero product; an intense chemical exfoliant with glycolic acid. Used once or twice a week, it can give an amazing glow-boost and really resurface the skin. Then you get the Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ lotion, which is obviously a must if you're using chemical exfoliants.
Next, I have the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm Trio | £45. I reviewed the original here and it's one of my all-time favourites; I use it day and night and it never fails to soften and smooth my dry lips with all of its oils and butters. This is worth £19 alone so with these three full-sized products you're getting an extra one for just £7. There's the clear original one, a sort of nude-y pinkish-brown (Vanilla Beige) and a deeper brown-plum shade (Brown Sugar). They're obviously sheer compared to a lipstick but they're great as everyday options that you can throw into your bag for a wash of colour on the go.
This is another classic making a return, the Ecooking Christmas Hand Cream and Overnight Foot Cream Set* | £29 | which is just perfect for anyone suffering with dry winter skin. The hand cream is deeply-nourishing but surprisingly non-greasy; like sliding your hand into a lovely, softening glove! This one has a slightly fruity scent and the foot cream has a kind of menthol vibe. That has more of a lotion texture and if your feet need a bit of TLC, I recommend giving them a good coating with this before bed and popping on some old socks. By morning, your feet will be lovely and soft!
A great premium-feel gift that doesn't cost the earth is the Typology Daily Skincare Routine* | £38. You're getting 3 full-sized products in here plus a wash bag, which is pretty great! The only thing I haven't tried is the Peppermint Hydrolat but you can see my full reviews for the Hyaluronic Acid Serum and 9-Ingredient Moisturiser here, but in short: I enjoyed both of these products! They're simple but work and will suit just about any skin type, making it a pretty safe bet for anyone interested in skincare.
There are several gift sets out this year from Keys Soul Care, and I have two of them here (you can check out my full brand review here). The Skin Recharge Ritual* | £31 | is your top pick for facial skincare, containing the cleanser, face mask and moisturiser. The cleanser is worth a shot, though it's not my personal favourite due to the foaming action, the clay mask is cleansing without being too drying and the moisturiser is amazing; light, buttery but deeply nourishing and replenishing. It's a great way to check out the range with three 30ml tubes of product that I think will work for most skin types. The Soulcare Ritual* | £22 | contains the cleanser, the mask and their delicious body lotion. This is such a treat to use with it's beautiful aroma and it always leaves my skin soft and moisturised after use.
I also have to mention this beautiful Elizabeth Scarlett Tiger Makeup Bag in Teal* | £24. There are a bunch of prints to choose from in her velvet embroidered makeup bag collection, they're all beautiful and really not that expensive (you can pay extra for monogramming though). This looks as beautiful as when I first got it many months ago and this is pretty much my perfect weekend makeup bag size.
- LUXURY GIFTS OVER £50 -
Molton Brown is just a Christmas staple for me at this point and each year they bring out a Limited Edition scent. This year it's Jubilant Pine and Patchouli, which is basically Christmas bottled! It has this refreshing pine fragrance that you get an instant hit of when you spray the Eau de Toilette* | £85 | but if you let it sit on the skin for a couple of minutes, you notice the sweeter aspect of this scent which will be the notes of juniper berry. There are also notes of cinnamon, suede, amber and musk for this woody quality, and of course the floral of the patchouli. This smells quite full-bodied and lasts really well on the skin, especially for an eau de toilette. If you want a more affordable take on this: try the Bath & Shower Gel* | £24 | from the same line. The scent still lingers nicely on the skin after a shower or a soak and how beautiful is this glittery green formula?!
Next up, we have two sets from REN. REN are known for their focus on sustainability, so is a great pick for someone who enjoys beauty but doesn't want to be wasteful; the products come in a recycled reusable bag and the products are all full-sized (made with REN's recycled post-consumer plastic packaging). We have the All is Calm* set | £56 | which is worth £80 and features the Evercalm range and the All is Bright* set | £57 | which is worth £76 and features their exfoliator and brightening cream (I loooove the names!) In the All is Calm set, we have the Evercalm day cream (reviewed here) - this is like a nourishing hug for your skin without feeling heavy, so again, I do think it will suit most skins - and the Evercalm balm, which is a winter hero for me, making quick work of dry or irritated patches of skin (reviewed here). Hopping over to the All is Bright set, we have the Ready Steady Glow lactic acid toner (reviewed here) which is an old favourite of mine for softer, smoother, move even and more radiant skin. Then, we also have Dark Spot sleeping cream, which is a new one for me, but it sounds promising with ingredients like fatty alcohols and antioxidant plant extracts.
Another highlight for me is the Biossance Unstoppable Glow Set* | £45. This is amazing value being worth £93. The full-sized Squalane + Omega Repair Cream in here is £45 on its own, so effectively you're getting the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil at 12ml and Squalane + Lactic serum at 15ml for free. I reviewed all of these products here if you'd like more detail, but they're all standouts from the brand for me. The moisturiser is beautiful for dry winter skin that needs all the help it can get, the Vitamin C oil is a gentle way of adding antioxidant benefits into your routine and feels incredibly luxurious, then the resurfacing serum will have your skin feeling its softest ever! If you hadn't noticed already, Biossance's thing is squalane, a a skin-similar plant oil that's the perfect nourisher to go alongside all of your favourite actives. As a more sustainability-focused brand, they take that into account with the sourcing of their ingredients through to the packaging. This set comes in a streamlined box that's still pretty enough for under the Christmas tree!
Of course we have a candle in here, because I personally love candles! A recent favourite of mine has been the Boujee Boujies Succulent Candle* | £55 | which just arrived at Escentual (who always have great deals, so I'm sure Black Friday will be no different). It's not at all festive, in fact, quite the opposite: it's keeping me hopeful for spring. But, I love it with gorgeous notes of cactus and tomato leaves giving this fresh, juicy, fruity, delicious scent that fills the room effortlessly.
I also wanted to mention the Jo Loves Christmas Trees Candle | £55. Obviously I only have a mini of this but it's just gorgeous and has amazing throw, like all the candles I've tried so far from this brand. Christmas Trees blends together notes of crisp pine with a woody, spicy aroma. It's kind of a mix of warm and cosy with frosty undertones. Festive perfection!
Last - but certainly not least - is the Elemis Pro-Collagen Face & Body 8 Piece Gift of Skin Radiance* | £104. I wasn't going to mention it, as it's no longer half price on the QVC TSV, but I don't know what discounts are in store for Black Friday so there's a good chance you could still get this on offer. Inside your velvet wash bag you have four full-sized face products, one mini face product, two full-sized body products and one mini body product. The Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is in here (obviously!) which is a wonderful treat for the skin, as a morning boost of nourishment or to effortlessly melt away the makeup and sunscreen at the end of the day. The Energising Marine Cleanser is a new one for me, an exfoliating gel formula, as is the Apricot Soothing Toner with hydrating botanicals. The classic Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is another fantastic addition, working for most skin types and in the daytime or the evening. Then there's a mini of the Pro-Collagen Marine Oil which looks really promising with lots of jojoba and sunflower seed oils. For the body products, there are three scent options - the festive Ginger & Lime, Frangipani Monoi (an old favourite of mine, which is indulgent, sweet and yummy) and Skin Nourishing version, which I have, that's perfect for dry winter skin. You get a 100ml tube of the Velvet Body Butter, which feels so nourishing and delicious, their famous Hand & Nail Cream to throw in your bag for on-the-go and the rich, luxurious, moisturising Shower Cream.
Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?