Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Doing it for the kids!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 21 - 2012

What with Christmas supposedly being for kids and all… I thought I’d better give them at least some kind of nod in this year’s gift guides. I mean, it’s not like they don’t get enough stuff bought for them ALL YEAR ROUND is it?!

I have been having a huge clear out of Leila’s toys in advance of the 25th December, and she won’t let me actually get rid of anything – we’re currently playing the game of moving things from one pile to the next as she pretends to fall in love (all over again) with the left leg that fell off her Poundland dolly I bought to keep her quiet at a wedding two years ago. I am losing the both the battle and the war.

Which is why, I’m very pleased to announce, that my kids/teens gift guide contains products that are either actually incredibly useful… or at least, completely use-upable.

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01:  Oral-B PC600 Limited Edition Pink Power Toothbrush (£24.95)*

Since when has a toothbrush been anything other than indispensable?  We’re talking about kids/teens though…  so what do we do?  Give it a 3D cleaning, oscillating action with a two minute timer and it gets better.  Make it pulse at 7,600 rotations and 20,000 pulsations per minute and it’s looking quite tempting.  Paint it pink and put it in the half price sale at Superdrug?  SOLD.

02:  Paul Mitchell Kids Duo Gift Set Holiday 2012 (£15.75)

Kids have stupid hair don’t they?  If you’re not trying to flatten it down with a bit o’ spit – then you’re trying to stop it from soaking up the contents of the soup bowl.  Paul Mitchell have released this very cute kids duo containing: Baby Don’t Cry Shampoo 300ml and Taming Spray 250ml to make our lives easier when it comes to bath-time.  Even more importantly, check out the free rubber duck!

03:  Mason Pearson Bristle/Nylon Handy Brush (£47.50)

I was bought my MP brush when I was 2 years old, and I bought Leila’s MP brush when she was just over a year old.  You may have already read about my love affair with Mason Pearson brushes… but all I can say is that mine is still in daily service (despite how mangled it looks!) and Leila won’t be parted from hers either.  Escentual.com carry a really good range but my one tip would be to buy the nylon/bristle mix – the bristle is great for toddlers but at the price you pay for MP brushes, you really don’t want them to grow out of their brush too quickly.

04:  Benefit POREfect Radiance Skincare and Primer set (£6.34)*

What teenage girl wouldn’t like to open their stocking on Christmas morning and see a Benefit set looking back at them?  The Benefit POREfect Radiance Skincare and Primer Set is currently on offer on the Benefit website, although I don’t expect it to remain in stock for long!  Featuring, three skin-perfecting products including: The POREfessional (deluxe mini), It’s Potent! Eye Cream (deluxe mini), and Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15++ (deluxe mini). Grab it quick at this price!

05:  Soap and Glory Bubble Time (£18.00)

Leaving things to the last minute is hellish, so while you’ve still got time – set an alarm and head down to your nearest Boots store.  Talking of alarms, the Soap and Glory Bubble Time duo features a rather cool, retro-styled alarm clock!  But if your teenage daughter is all about the relaxation, she’ll be pleased to hear that the set also contains the brand’s Rich & Foamous Super Creamy Body Wash & Smoothie Star Deep Moisture Body Milk.  Bliss!

06:  LUSH Magic Wand Bubble Bar (£4.95)

When you swish upon a star, you’re guaranteed a bath-full of bubbles!  These reusable bubble bars are probably my favourite things of all time from the British brand.  They offer really great value you for money as your little Miss will get around 6/7 baths (or more) from each product.  Leila made her Easter carrot one last around 2 months!  Still missing that special stocking stuffer for your little princess?  At under £5, you just won’t beat this gift!

07:  Kaloo Lilirose Maxi Fluffy Set (£14.35)

Whilst you may not agree with scenting babies (they do smell rather lovely all by themselves), I’ve always scented Leila’s clothes in her drawers… I used to store my LUSH goodies in amongst her baby-grows and every so often, I give her cupboards a quick spritz of Kaloo Lilirose which is a very pretty, and importantly, delicate scent that’s completely hypoallergenic and alcohol-free.  It stops her from going gooey eyed over my perfumes and we enjoy a shared love of smelling “pretty”.  A perfect gift for little ladies, complete with fluffy soft toy.

08:  Weleda Mini Calendula Baby Starter Gift Kit (£12.99)

The Weleda Calendula range is a wonderful gift for new mothers and their tiny tots, the set features a comprehensive range of minis from the lineup including: 1 x 20ml Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash, 1 x 10ml Calendula Face Cream, 1 x 10ml Calendula Oil, 1 x 10ml Calendula Nappy Change Cream, and 1 x 10ml Calendula Baby Lotion.  If you’re not a fan of the high-street brands for baby-care, do check out this range – I still use the Weather Protection cream on both mine and Leila’s skin in this weather.

 

Phew, that’s the lot!  My 2012 Christmas Gift Guides are done-didded!  I hope you’ve been inspired or helped with the daunting task of buying a gift for that difficult someone! 

Or perhaps you’ve just enjoyed reading about some new ranges or products that you’ve never encountered before.  Have a wonderful Christmas, can you believe that the sales start in approximately 3 days?  Blimey.

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Cosmetic Cravings…

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 20 - 2012

Ahhh, it’s time for the pretties. As much as haircare, skincare, mancare, and all that other “care” is great… it’s these lovelies that rock my Christmas stocking. There’s nothing *quite* like un petit cadeau of cosmetics to put a smile on your face is there?

Even more enticingly, you can go a tiny bit wild with your choice without rocking the boat too much – introduce a friend to a red lipstick this year, go on – she’ll love you for it. And if not? Screw her… keep it for yourself.

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Cosmetic Cravings...

01:  Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Set (£26.00)*

Smoke out any look with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Set and give your gift receiver a full choice of shades for every look.  There’s nothing too eccentric here, and all pencils will work brilliantly for neutral or smokey eye looks.  It’s a workhorse gift that she’ll never get tired of using.

02:  Bare Minerals Fired Up Face Palette (£36.00)

The most beautiful, plummy winter palette I’ve laid eyes on this year – isn’t she stunning?  Featuring four BareMinerals READY eyeshadows, one blush, a mini eye primer, mini eyeliner, and a mini lipgloss.  It’s a full-face palette that doesn’t mix up the creams and the powders (pet hate).  I only have one more thing to say: cute bag much?

03:  Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro (£25.00)

I have literally, been on tenterhooks waiting for the UK release of these since I heard about them last June.  Who doesn’t love the convenience of a great liquid lipstick?  And when it comes to gifting, you don’t get much more luxe than an Armani liquid lipstick.  I’ll admit that I haven’t swatched these myself yet, but if you’re looking for a tip – I’d bet on #504 being the one that will take you into Spring with a smile on the receiver’s face.

04:  Aerin Holiday Style Palette (£45.00)

Sold out from most retailers, the Aerin Holiday Style Palette contains some beautiful, soft, shimmering neutrals that seem to straddle the Winter/Spring divide with elegance.  This seven-colour palette from Estee Lauder’s granddaughter contains six eyeshadows and a highlighter to inject some luminosity in these days were there is none.  A real “girl” palette from a grown-up brand.

05:  Smashbox Studio Pop Palette (£36.00)

If you know someone who suffers from the age-old dilemma of always wearing the same look, day in, day out – treat them to the gift of variety with the Smashbox Studio Pop Palette.  Featuring 16 Photo Op Eyeshadows in a wide range of shades and four of the brand’s famous cream eyeliners, they’ll be spoilt for choice!

06:  NARS Andy Warhol Edie Set (£54.00)

Oh NARS, every year… at some point, you undo me.  My pennies sadly didn’t stretch to this wonderful Andy Warhol Edie Gift Set inspired by the inimitable Edie Sedgwick but for £54, you actually get quite a lot of bang for your buck here.  The set includes: Film Star Pure Matte Lipstick—60s nude pink, Edie Eyeshadow—cream with a little bit of shimmer, Carpates Eyeliner Stylo—black, and a mini Blush Duo in Deep Throat and Amour—flirty, sheer peach and peachy pink. Everything you need to create the “Edie” look.

07:  Illamasqua Lip Palette (£34.00)

Featuring four of Illamasqua’s best-selling lip shades in: Fable, Plunge, Over and Corrupt – this lip palette would be all you need to take on your summer holidays next year wouldn’t it?  That, and some fake tan of course!  A great gift for anyone even mildly obsessed with lip products.  Use the palette to mix and match your own new shade or stick to the tried and tested formulas for a perfect pout.

08:  ELF Small Stipple Brush (£3.75)*

Following on from the release of their larger stippling brush, ELF have unveiled a mini-counterpart!  This smaller brush is perfect for applying cream blusher to the apples of the cheeks, blending foundation around the nose area or smoothing out concealer to ensure a flawless finish.  For the price?  It makes an unbeatable stocking-filler.

 

Are you all prepared for Christmas?  One last gift guide coming up tomorrow – hope that you’ve been inspired my lovelies!

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Hair, there, and everywhere! (groan)

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 19 - 2012

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01: Instyler Rotating Iron in Purple 32mm (£99.99)

A revolving barrel and brush combo that promises to both smooth the hair and add shine as you pull the brush from root to tip. Potentially, the perfect solution for those who want both volume and smoothness.

02: Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash (£13.99)

The latest addition to the Tangle Teezer family which has been specifically designed for use in the shower. A hollow structure, “drying” feet, and the patented detangling design make this a great tool for combing through conditioning treatments.

03: Philip Kingsley Take Comfort Jet Set (£17.00)

Not a great choice for the secret Santas out there but if you know someone with a problem scalp, this is a great kit for providing a targeted solution. The kit contains three hard-working treatment-based formulas to soothe the itch and rebalance the scalp.

04: Charles Worthington Salon at Home Secrets Collection: Moisture Seal Overnight Hair Healer (£14.99)*

We all like to see results and Charles Worthington’s Salon at Home Secrets Collection promises tangible results after one application. The Overnight Hair Healer is a deeply moisturising treatment to help replenish, restore and nourish dry hair. Particularly good for coloured locks.

05: Percy & Reed Quintessential Quick Fix Travel Pack (£17.96)

Following on with the quick-fix theme, the Percy & Reed Quintessential Quick Fix Travel Pack offers a selection of travel-sized goodies to perk up your tresses without the palaver of changing your entire hair routine. Available online at Beauty Bay.

06: CHI Touch Screen Dryer (£150.00)

Know a gadget girl? if you thought that touch-screens were purely for smart phones, think again. Head to Urban Retreat’s Beautique for a gander at CHI’s Touch Screen dryer which offers a wealth of settings and configurations to ensure that you get the exact drying power and temperature that you need for your style.

07: Orgnx Brazilian Keratin Range (from £9.95)*

For barnets that are shamefully wilder than their owner’s, take comfort from the Orgnx Brazilian Keratin Line which promises to tame frizzy hair and leave it looking silky-smooth thanks to a blend of complex oils and proteins. The range includes shampoo, conditioner, serum and a 14-day treatment.

08: Stone Bridge Octopus Large Hair Claw (£16.50)

Every girl needs a great hair claw in her life, it’s the most reliable of hair tools that requires no fussing or coaxing to achieve a perfect updo in seconds. The Octopus Large Hair Claw promises to grip every strand with a uniquely clever design that’s both elegant and effective.

Tomorrow’s penultimate gift guide indulges in some of the most tantalising cosmetic cravings around…

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: It’s not the size that matters…

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 18 - 2012

They say that a little of what you fancy does you good, and there’s something rather lovely about a beautifully presented selection of mini treats.

Choosing a set of miniatures is a great way of exploring a new brand, getting a feel for the different formulas and scents before splashing big bucks on full-size versions. There’s definitely something to be said for a decent miniature set.

Here are the minis that have caught my eye this festive period…

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1: Thierry Mugler Miniatures Gift Set (£31.00)*

Change up your signature scent with this wonderful coffret of four iconic Thierry Mugler masterpieces. The set includes: Angel Eau de Parfum (5ml), Womanity Eau de Parfum (5ml), Angel Eau de Toilette (3ml), and Alien Eau de Parfum (6ml). Each fragrance is individually boxed inside, making it perfect for stocking fillers too!

2: Espa Little Box of Calm (£12.50)

The ultimate in mini relaxation from Espa’s hard-working bath and body oil duo. Featuring a blend of myrrh, frankincense, ylang ylang, and sandalwood to revive and unwind. A perfect gift to treat overworked Mums!

3: Dr Hauschka Mini Rose Trio Gift Set (£8.95)

Come up smelling of roses with this stocking-filler from natural skincare brand Dr. Hauschka. This mini trio of antioxidant-packed goodies promises to be suitable for all skin types, leaving your skin feeling pampered. Perfect for a post-Xmas skin pick me up!

4: Bodhi Assemblage Bath & Shower Gift Set (£40.00)

Perfect for the gym bunnies in your life, the Assemblage Bath & Shower Gift Set is the ultimate shower treat for post-workout relaxation. The set includes seven 50ml shower gels from Bodhi’s indulgent range of botanical body care.

5: REN Moroccan Rose Otto Mini Gift Set (£16.20)

A great opportunity to gift the cult classic Moroccan Rose Otto to a special someone. The heavenly-scented set contains: Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil, and Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream – all in generous 50ml sizes.

6: Benefit Sexy Little Stowaways Gift Set (£25.00)*

If you’re buying for the girl who has everything, why not buy her a little bit of everything! Benefit’s Sexy Little Stowaways is a comprehensive selection of the brand’s best selling products. From lips to cheeks, eyes to skin – this set will make sure it’s got you covered.

7: Cowshed Limited Edition Mini Candle Collection (£16.50)

Know a wild cow? How about a knackered one… be honest, we all know a couple of moody moos don’t we? This lovely limited edition trio of candles from Cowshed contains a scent to suit all variety of bovine moods… just don’t let on that your recipient inspired you quite so literally!

8: Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint Minis (£15.00)

Introduce a friend to this luxury cosmetics line via their extremely good value-for-money set of Luminizing Moisture Tint Minis. An all-in-one skin solution that promises to moisturise, even, brighten, and protect all skintones. All for just £15 at Cult Beauty? It’s a mini miracle!

Hair today, gone tomorrow… but at least tomorrow’s gift guide will ensure Christmas disappears with a shiny swish!

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Face Lace Limited Edition Christmas Offerings and Giveaway!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 18 - 2012

The wonderfully inventive Face Lace have created two special sparkly and incredibly festive Christmas editions that are just perfect for your New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Would you like to win a full set?

Of course you would… be the belle of the ball all year round!

Not sure how to wear them? Check out this post for some inspiration.
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Face-Lace-Limited-Edition-Christmas-2012
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To win a set of these beautiful, limited edition Face Laces, simply leave a comment and tell me your plans for New Years Eve!

I plan on getting a takeaway, a nice bottle of wine, and challenging my husband to some old-skool Grand Theft Auto!

T&C

This competition is open worldwide, one winner will be chosen at random and will receive the Face Laces pictured above / One entry per email address / Competition closes 26th December 2012 / Lipglossiping.com is the sole promoter and no personal details will be stored / If the winner fails to claim their prize within 5 days, I reserve the right to choose another winner.

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Scentsational Gifting!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 17 - 2012

It’s only in the past year or so that I’ve developed a real passion for fragrance. I suppose that there’s always been an underlying appreciation but it wasn’t until I met like-minded bloggers and fragheads that I realised it was possible to create dialogue and debate over scents without sounding like a mental.

I’ve since become convinced that it’s perfectly normal to lie awake at night thinking of the scent that you sniffed on the counter at Selfridges in passing… Right? Right?!

Without further ado… here are my picks of some great scenting gifts for loved ones…

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1: Creed Spring Flower Eau de Parfum (£92.95)

A fruity floral that smells clean and bright as opposed to syrupy or cloying. An “after-rain” scent without the rain. Youthful but sophisticated, fresh yet warming with a musky dry down. A perfect gift for a special young lady who wants a signature scent all to herself.

2: Rituals Mini Under A Fig Tree Fragrance Sticks (£11.00)

Perfect for smaller spaces, the mini version of Ritual’s best selling home fragrance will transport you to out of the everyday realm and into warm, Mediterranean climes. A great home-scenting gift for people who aren’t comfortable with candles burning in their home.

3: Neom Harmonise Home Candle (£39.50)*

With the uplifting scent of eucalyptus, pine, and cedarwood, the Neom Harmonise Candle takes the brand’s unique take on holistic fragrancing to the max. Clear your mind and soothe your spirits with this scented winter-wonder.

4: Bella Freud Incense Wood & Oud Candle (£38.00)*

New to SpaceNK, elite fashion designer Bella Freud’s range of luxury candles include: Fig Leaf & Tomato, Tiger Lily, and the delightful Incense Wood & Oud featuring a smoky, resinous accord. With notes of cedar wood, amber, and myrrh, it doesn’t get much more Christmassy than this.

5: Miller Harris La Fumee Eau de Parfum (£62.00)*

Bonfire night may be over for another year but put the whizz-bang into someone’s Christmas with this heady concoction from Lyn Harris. La Fumee is burning embers on an Autumn night, the calming interior of a incense-filled church after midnight on Christmas Eve. Dry, warming, and hypnotic.  Available from Escentual.com.

6: Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Frankincense Pure Essential Oil (£24.50)*

If you know someone who has a tendency to let trivial things get the better of them, treat them to the sensuous pleasure of Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Frankincense Pure Essential Oil. A few drops on a tissue or diffused in a fragrance burner will help bring calm to any situation.

7: Penhaligon’s 2 piece Orange Blossom & Fragrance Compact (£55.92)

A beautifully-presented fragrant set from British brand Penhaligon’s. This set available at QVC contains a 50ml flacon of Orange Blossom EDT and a complimenting solid fragrance compact which will leave a slight shimmer on the skin wherever you apply. Perfect for layering and intensifying a truly classic scent.

8: Oscar de la Renta Espirit d’Oscar Eau de Parfum (£38.35)

Bring back the glamour of the early 80s with this reincarnation of Oscar’s original. This scent has everything with a fresh, effervescent opening, a big, bold heart of warm florals and a powdery dry down that leaves behind a creamy, nose-nuzzling softness. A grown-up choice for grown-up ladies.

Think the best things come in small packages? Come back tomorrow to hear my musings on the best minis!

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Many for men!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 16 - 2012

Buying presents for men should come with a health warning.  How difficult do they make it?  I don’t know about yours… but mine isn’t hugely materialistic, which means that he only really has use for super expensive technology, or the boring basics (socks, pants, that kind of thing).  This usually results in me over-spending on mid-range crap with a novelty twist in an attempt to raise a genuine smile out of him on Christmas morning.  I’m making him sound like the Christmas grinch, which is totally unfair, he’d never let on that he thought my presents were crap, he wouldn’t need to… I already know.

What would make things one-hundred times easier would be if he were an avid male groomer.  That didn’t come out right, I don’t want him grooming other men, oh… you know what I mean!  But between you and me, I have the least interested man ever.  Soap, razor, 2-in-1 shampoo, and he’s done.  He does like my bath puffs though…

Having said that, there is one chink of hope in this toiletry-free zone.  Fragrance.  And even better, we share a similar taste for woody scents with a hint of the oriental (not too much of that mind).  Anything that smells resinous, earthy,  leathery, a little bit incensey or even herbally and we’re over it like a rash.  Thank god for that.

Now, seeing as I can’t buy half of the stuff below for my fella, how about you treat yours?

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Many for men!

01:  Molton Brown Polaris – Re-charge Black Pepper Gift Set (£57.00)

Want to put a bit of fire in his belly?  Spice things up with Molton Brown’s Black Pepper Gift Set which includes some of the brand’s bestselling male grooming products: 1 x Re-charge Black Pepper Bodywash, 1 x Re-charge Black Pepper EDT, 1 x Re-charge Black Pepper Scrub Bar.  Perfect items for men who prefer their toiletries to be fuss-free – there’s nothing fluffy here, just modern, good-smelling MAN things!

02:  Yves Saint Laurent Heritage Collection M7 Oud Absolu EdT (£49.30)*

All men should smell like this.  I have nothing else to say because I reviewed it here – other than that £49.30 is a really good price for this scent.  Really good.

03:  Malin + Goetz Essential Kit (£20.00)

Give the gift of NY chic this Christmas with the Malin + Goetz Essential Kit featuring a range of the brand’s bestselling miniatures for face, body and hair.  The kit includes: grapefruit face cleanser, vitamin E face moisturiser, bergamot body cleanser, vitamin b5 body moisturiser, peppermint shampoo and cilantro conditioner.  Perfect for travel, the gym and dirty weekends.

04:  Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap (£14.00)

Who says that it’s only girls who get to have soft skin?  Scrub up your fella with Kiehl’s “ultimate man” (whatever that is!) body scrub soap.  The bar contains pumice, skin-softening oat bran, and oat kernel meal to help relax fatigued skin and exfoliate the rough areas.

05:  ManCeuticals Dark Circle Eye Treatment (£39.00)

Whilst skincare may be an alien concept to some men, others will appreciate the thought that goes into treading the delicate line between careful gift-buying and accidental offensiveness!  Been dating a guy for 3 months?  Stick to aftershave and remote controlled cars.  Been married for 20 years?  Let’s face it, you’re gonna need more than dark circle eye treatment.

06:  Clarisonic Mia 2 (£130.00)

Unite your man’s love for gadgets with your love for beauty and indulge his technological side with the hi-tech skin-cleaning system from Clarisonic.  The Mia 2 features two speeds, a timer and a protective travel case for on-the-go sonic cleansing.

07:  Jack Black Balm Squad – Lip Quad 4 x 7g (£19.95)

Kissable lips are soft lips and Jack Black’s lip balms employ some top-quality ingredients to perfect your pucker.  Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Lanolin work together to nourish the delicate skin on your lips whilst the fine, almost-silky fomula coats lips evenly without feeling too heavy.

08:  L’Occitane L’Occitan Men’s Collection (£48.00)*

French men are renowned as some of the world’s most expert male groomers and it’s no surprise when you understand the kind of high-quality brands that they would have grown up with in their native country.  The L’Occitan Collection from L’Occitane offers an all-in-one bathroom solution featuring some of the brand’s best-selling products.  The collection includes: L’Occitan Shower Gel, L’Occitan Shaving Gel, L’Occitan Eau de Toilette, L’Occitan Soap, and L’Occitan After-Shave Balm.

 

Got a nose for a great gift?  Tomorrow’s scentsational gift guide will keep you heading in the right direction!

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Nailing it!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 15 - 2012

I’m not really a trends girl, and I don’t do much in the way of nail art – when it comes to my talons, I like shiny manicures with a side of sparkle whenever appropriate!  I have a heap of nail art “implements” that I sometimes have a play with when I’ve got more than five-minutes to myself (the problem with being self-employed is that you’re still plagued by the things that you should be doing on your day off!) and have been comtemplating picking up some of those el-cheapo nail plates from Hong Kong.  Good idea/bad idea?

Nail products make perfect Christmas gifts, especially in stockings!  They provide a little bit of instant “oooh!”, are far less expensive than something like skincare and even if you get the colour wrong – it’s the kind of product that can be passed on to family and friends so it never goes to waste.

Here are my top gifting picks for all you nailistas out there!

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Nailing it!

01:  Colour Me Bu Polish Pack (£36.95)

Have you got a Sophy Robson-in-the-making?  Always trying to steal your polishes, sticking their little heads in your good light when you’re trying to paint your nails (you can tell I’ve got one!), and generally making a nuisance of themselves?  This cute pack of non-toxic, water-based polishes from Little BU will make the perfect distraction – the only problem will be deciding which colour to choose first!

02:  Jessica Little Gems Gift Set (£17.55)

Jessica are a top-quality nail brand that for some reason, don’t seem to get a lot of love in the blogosphere – back in 2008 I was in love with almost every release the brand put out, but they’ve fallen off my radar somewhat in recent times.

03:  Leighton Denny Large Crystal Nail File (£15.50)

If you get one gift for a nail polish addict this year, make it this one.  Crystal nail files have revolutionised the way I care for my nails and have enabled them to grow stronger and longer than ever before.  Sadly, my addiction to nail polish undid all that good work BUT I wouldn’t be without mine.

04:  ELF Nail Polish Set in Nice & Natural (£4.00)**

Treat a loved one to prim and polished nails this winter with this sophisticated trio of neutral nail shades from bargain brand, ELF.  Be a total darling and include a plain white/black polish to the gift and introduce them to the world of ombre!  The fun is set to continue.

05:  DIOR Vernis Diorific Nail Enamel (£17.00)

Style over content?  Apparently not this time as most reports seem to suggest that the formula is almost as lustworthy as the packaging with DIOR’s adorable Vernis Diorific nail polishes from their Christmas Grand Bal collection.  They’re also completely crying out for a bit of upcycling once emptied – baubles anyone?

06:  Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit (£22.00)

This bijou box of tricks is designed to rattle about in your handbag, patiently waiting until disaster* strikes.  Broke a tip?  Pulled a hangnails?  Got a snag?  All these things can ruin a girl’s day (sort of), so enlist some help from this trio of mani-managers and make use of the contents which include: Tweezerman Mini Hangnail & Cuticle Snipper, Tweezerman Pocket Sapphire Nail File, and Tweezerman Mini Pushy & Nail Cleaner.

07:  Butter London Cuticle Miracle Kit (£21.00)

Know any nail pickers? cuticle-chewers?  Give them the gift that keeps on giving with this Cuticle Miracle Kit from Butter London.  The Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator promises to banish dead skin without the need for cuticle cutters (ouch), while the Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil will keep your fingers looking fine!

08:  LAQA & Co Nail Polish Pen in Squid Ink (£10.95)

Three reasons why you know someone who needs this in their lives.  A). It’s an awesome Spring shade! B). It has the most adorable packaging, ever! C). It’s NAIL POLISH IN A PEN FFS!  Just how much more fun do you need whilst applying your nail lacquer huh?!

 

Come back for tomorrow’s installment in my gift guide series!  It’s got his name written all over it…

* first world problems

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Crazy for Coffrets!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 14 - 2012

Coffret.  A.k.a box.  Coffret sounds better though doesn’t it?  Especially if you say it in a french accent, roll the “r” a bit… but not too much – you’ll sound like you’re having a seizurrrrrre.

You know what I like about coffrets?  They’re easy to wrap.  Because I’m a bit cheap, I dug my old Robosapien out of the loft for Leila this Christmas (we’re in a recession ok?) and I couldn’t find the box for it.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to wrap a Robosapien in Primark-quality wrapping paper?  It’s basically IMPOSSIBLE.  Especially when the thing starts fucking moving ‘cos you’ve left the batteries in and managed to turn it on through the sellotape.

So, yes, anything housed in a box is alright by me.  As long as it’s not a really obvious box… like a Toblerone because let’s face it, the gift receiver can pretty much see that “surprise” coming from the other side of the room can’t he?

Here are my favourite Coffret gifts available for your wrapping pleasure this year, hope you like them:

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Crazy for Coffrets!

01:  Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Christmas Limited Edition (£19.75)

If limited editions are your thing, team it up with the cult classic cleanser from Liz Earle.  The Christmas wreath presentation case will ensure that your gift looks the business, even if the recipient’s face, doesn’t (that’s what the cleanser is for!)

02:  Hourglass Holiday Coffret (£59.00)

This four-piece collection of best-selling products from U.S. cosmetic brand, Hourglass comes complete with: Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (10G), Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss (7G), Veil Mineral Primer Spf 15 (10Ml), and No. 28 Primer Serum (5Ml).  It’s all anyone needs to introduce them to the brand (and probably keep them coming back for more!)

03:  Acqua di Parma Colonia Coffret (£74.00)

If you partner has a nose for scent, gifting them this beautiful coffret from Acqua di Parma would be an act of supreme kindness.  Colonia is the timeless Italian classic, and this set contains: Acqua Di Parma Colonia Eau de Cologne 100ml,  Acqua Di Parma Colonia Shower Gel 75ml, and Acqua Di Parma Colonia Body Cream 75ml.

04:  Melvita Apicosma Discovery Gift Set (£15.00)

“And it’s all about the honey, honey, honey!” sang no-one, ever.  But for Melvita, it really is all about the humble bumble, without whom they would be unable to employ their patented 3-Honey-Complex to enrich and nourish our skin.  This coffret is another great brand-introducer and contains: Skin-softening nourishing body milk, Apicosma Extra-rich Hand cream, and Apicosma Repairing lip balm.

05:  Elemis Energising Treasures Gift Set (£25.00)

At no point in time does one need more energising than in the early-January lull.  With all the excitement of Christmas over, we’re simply faced with the prospect of yet more bitterly cold weather and a potential tax-bill.  Awesome.  Elemis’ Energising Treasures Gift Set contains four face and body treats that promise to uplift and boost hydration.  Now if only they’d sneaked a bottle of vodka in there too…

06:  Roger & Gallet Ginger Soap Coffret (£11.70)

I don’t generally have much use for soaps… but my husband (the ifty-fifties binman that he is) loves ‘em.  I have issues with them sitting, slimily on the side of my sink but I must compromise.  As-long as he has to compromise too, meaning that I get to choose the soap and these ones sound particularly lovely without being too girly.  The packaging is girly enough to please my senses and the soap is… soapy enough to please his, sorted.

07:  Philosophy Winter Escape Set (£22.00)

No one does cute coffrets quite like Philosophy and this year’s Winter Escape Set does nothing to disprove my theory.  The lovely coffret features a playful winter-scene (why doesn’t it ever actually look like that on Christmas morning?), and three tantalising treats, each one employing a delicious musky-vanilla scent.  Live the (fanciful) winter dream.

08:  Diptyque Holiday Coffret (£60.00)

From Body Shop home fragrance oils to my Annick Goutal candles, I do like me a bit of home fragrancing and when it comes to woody, winter scents – you are hard-pushed to beat the harmonies that arise from the flame when you burn a Diptyque candle.  This set contains 3x 70g candles in the form of Feu de Bois, Opoponax, and Oliban – a genuinely, perfect counterpart to these long, dark nights.  If you’re not sure why da bloggerz are going Diptyque mad at the moment?  Just go sniff Feu de Bois and come back to me on that one…

Nailistasistas?  Tomorrow’s your day…

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: The Sparkle & Glow Set

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 13 - 2012

From top-to-toe, let’s face it… Christmas is all about sparkle, shine, glitter, and glow (I’m a poet, DontchaNo).  It’s the one time of the year that we – as grown ups – get to indulge our inner 6-year olds and go bat-shit crazy about all things thoroughly innapropriate for our age.  If you have children, it’s even easier because you can totally blame them for your temporary insanity.

Why, just today, I had to divert accusatory looks from my husband as I picked out yet another set of fairy lights for the flat.  I don’t know where I’m going to put them, or whether the national grid actually has enough power to supply the electricity to my flat anymore, but dammit – I want my flat to resemble a grotto for the next couple of weeks, is that really too much to ask?  Is it Santa?  Is it?!

Today’s gift guide is all about introducing our nearest and dearest (and us!) to a little bit of sparkle.  It may be subtle or it may be in your face with a bling-a-ding-ding – either way, there’s plenty of glow to go around!

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: The Sparkle & Glow Set

01:  Benefit Away We Glow Gift Set (£29.50)*

This face set from Benefit promises to bring on the glam just in time for Christmas with a full eyeshadow palette of neutrals, a cream highlighting duo in the form of Sun Beam and High Beam, a glistening lip shine, mascara, and Coralista blush.  Making it the complete kit to inject some radiance into your makeup looks through these dark months.

02:  The Body Shop The Sparkler in Enchanting Gold (£14.00)*

Brushing on your highlighter is sooo 2011… opt for the ultimate in decadence and start spritzing on the sparkle instead.  The Body Shop’s limited edition atomiser releases a fine-textured shimmer powder that will brighten up your complexion in no time.  Perfect for bare arms and an eye-catching decolletage this party season.

03:  Murad Radiance Rescue 4 Piece Collection (£58.50)*

If your quest for radiance lies beneath the surface of the skin, you might want to try a new skincare routine that promises to work to improve your skin’s natural radiance.  The 4-piece collection from the hi-tech U.S. brand contains: Active Radiance Serum 30ml, Complete Reform Serum 3.7ml, Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture 7.5ml, and Essential C Eye Cream SPF15 4ml.

04:  Laura Mercier Petit Baked Eye Colour Trio (£20.00)

For pint-sized perfection, you can’t beat this super-cute eye colour trio from Laura Mercier featuring three glittering shades that are sure to put some sparkle in your stocking this year.  Use them dry for a sheer wash of shine or wet the brush before application for a more vivid, metallic shimmer.

05:  L’Occitane Verbena Energised Hands Duo (£30.00)

Verbena, my favourite line from L’Occitane with its sparkling citrus aroma that brings to mind those warmer months that seem like a distant memory at this time of the year.  This nourishing hand duo will uplift your spirits with a long-lasting zingy freshness that will keep you sneaking back to the sink for another sniff.

06:  St. Tropez Catwalk Glow Set (£20.00)*

Hands up if you haven’t shaved your legs for more than a week.  More than two?  Saving on the heating are you?  Well, if your legs have got any New Year parties to attend, treat them to a sun-kissed glow from St. Tropez’s Catwalk Glow set which includes two tubes of their everyday Gradual Tan formula, one for the body and one for the visage (that means face, hairy Mary).

07:  O.P.I The Man With The Golden Gun Top Coat (£26.00)

Remember that bling-a-ding-ding I talked about?  Well this is it – the ultimate in 18-carat glitz, for your nails!  This clear top-coat from O.P.I will take any manicure from dull to dazzling in the blink of a glittering eye.  Just one warning, times are tough out there… don’t get your fingers lopped off by a Bond baddie down a dark alley, I hear gold fetches a pretty penny nowadays.

08:  NARS Foreplay Orgasm (£39.50)

Even though I don’t recommend asking your Dad (or indeed any male relative) to get you this one for Christmas, it should still remain firmly on your wishlist.  This glitzy palette of four cheek shades will soothe the souls of any NARS fans out there taking its inspiration from the best-selling Orgasm blush and featuring a peach matte, gold highlighter, pink matte, and peach pink with gold shimmer blush.  Orgasmic.

 

If you go crazy for coffrets, look out – the next gift guide’s got your name on it!

* press samples

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: The Beauty Bargains!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 12 - 2012

Let’s start this season’s gift guides off with some beautiful bargains shall we?  You know me, I’m just as happy swatching on the counters at Harrods as I am trawling the clearance section at CheapSmells, my makeup snobbery gets treated to a regular kick in the teeth each time it tries to raise its ugly head.  Sure, I’m no MUA girl (that neutral palette is pretty/too SHINY SHINY for my slowly-ageing eyelids) but I still get all clappy excited when I spot a bit of a bargain.

Here be my pick of the gifts for next to no pennies at all… heads up skinflints, this one’s for you (and me).

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: The Beauty Bargains!

01: Umberto Giannini Painted Lady Beatrice Palette (£8.00)

Part of Boots 3for2 on Christmas gifts, this striking palette from Umberto Giannini (better known for their hair range) offers a wealth of grungy glamour and rather cool illustrationd to boot.  Four eye colours, two lip shades and a butterfly stencil should the desire to flutter yourself up become too much to resist.

02: ELF 48pc Little Black Beauty Book – Warm Edition (£5.00)*

ELF are the kings (and queens) of affordable gifts this time of year and there’s no better place to look for achieving the biggest bang for your buck.  A veritable menagerie of neutral-toned eyeshadows presented in book form, complete with a mirror ensures that this is a gift that will delight all makeup fans.

03: LUSH Sweet Christmas Gift Set (£6.95)

Everyone has a Lushie in their life and whether they’re big or small in stature, you’ll be sure to melt their icy heart with the LUSH Sweet Christmas set containing a Candy Mountain bubble bar and Rockstar soap.  It’s a win-win situation, not only will they smell sweeter, you don’t even have to do any wrapping.

04: SEN Energy Gingko and Mandarin Energising Mist (£4.95)

Embrace the reinvigorating scent of the far east at a price that will uplift your wallet and splash out on this posher-than-average body mist from SEN.  It promises to refresh, revive and revitalise – something we could all do with once the Christmas shopping is over.

05: Yardley 3-Piece Body Spray Set (£4.99)

A boxed set for under £5 is not something to sniffed at (haw haw), we all know someone who would appreciate this timeless set from iconic British fragrance house, Yardley.  The set contains three 75ml body sprays including: English Lavender, Royal English Daisy, and English Rose.

06: Essie Tour de Finance Nail Polish (£1.99)

Hold the stampede!  Yes, you can get a fabulously hot pink polish from cult NY nail brand, Essie for less than £2!  I see some fabulous stocking fillers in your future!  Not only that… but if you stick on-site a little bit longer, you might come across the £5.00 OPIs… just sayin’.

07: Soap & Glory Wowed Mouth (£12.00)

The most expensive item in today’s selection but for your pennies, you’re getting a 6-piece lip palette that contains all six shades of S&G’s Fabulipsticks.  The perfect gift for any lipstick fan, or ideal for someone who owns all the lipglosses in the world and just doesn’t quite know where to start with lipstick.

08: The Body Shop White Musk Shower & Moisture Set (£6.00)

A classic fragrance from The Body Shop that has stood the test of time, and worn it elegantly.  A duo of mini bath-time treats that are great for travel or taking to the gym – the set contains: 1 White Musk Shower Gel 60ml, 1 White Musk Smooth Satin Body Lotion 60ml, 1 Ultra Fine Lilac Bath Lily.

 

If you’re a glitter fan, look out – the next gift guide’s got your name on it!

* press sample

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! *throws tinsel around*…

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 21 - 2012

…This year has seen a festive epidemic in the form of beauty-filled crackers, baubles and advent calendars! Whilst some of them were destined to sell out quicker than a One Direction tour (and I refuse to blog a Christmas gift guide in Sept/Oct because you beat me up last time), there are still some lovely goodies available in this rather novel format.

Their diminuitive size make them ideal for Secret Santas and Stocking Fillers, so without further ado, here’s my pick of the best of the Beautiful Baubles….

beauty baubles

Some may look a little unconventional but all of the beauty gifts can be hung on the tree for a little festive fancy!

01: The Body Shop Mini Shower Collection (£8.00)
02: Cath Kidston Bluebell Soap in Egg Shaped Tin (£5.00)
03: This Works Beauty Ball Gold Shimmer Balm (£10.00)
04: Rachel Vosper Fragranced Christmas Hangings (£14.00 for set of 3)
05: Crabtree & Evelyn Fine Foods Festive Bauble (£7.00shh fudge/beauty same thing)
06: Aromatherapy Associates Little Treat (£12.00)
07: Sanderson Spiced Pear & Ginger Scented Sachet (£3.50)

and the Craveworthy Crackers

beauty christmas crackers

From the bijou to the bold of cracker-creations, this lot will ensure that your Christmas festivities go off with a bang!

01: Marks & Spencer Autograph Cracker Gift Set (£9.50)
02: LUSH Crackersnap Bath Bomb (£7.00)
03: Cowshed Cracking Cow Christmas Cracker (£10.00)
04: Kiehl’s Christmas Cracker Gift Set (£35.00)
05: Estee Lauder Christmas Cracker Gift Set (£45.00)
06: Lancome Christmas Crackers Gift Set (£50.00)
07: Weleda Men’s Moisture Cream Cracker (£9.95)
08: Jo Malone Christmas Cracker (£28.00)
09: Bomb Cosmetics Crackerjack Xmas Cracker (£19.99)

…and finally, the Adorable Advents!

beauty advent calendar

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that only two calendars are left, props to these guys for having more than eight available ;)

01: The Latest in Beauty/You Advent Calendar (£59.95)
02: 24 Days of Christmas with Liz Earle (£100.00)

Phew! That’s my rather exhaustive (and exhausting!) guide to the best Christmas beauty (with a little bit of fudge thrown in) novelties. I can only see this getting more and more crazy each year, let’s face it – we all love fancy packaging and irresistable cuteness is sure to prevail.

Do you have an alternative advent calendar this year? A special kind of Christmas cracker up your sleeve? Which are your favourites from the selection above?

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