Friday, 21 November 2014

Gift Guide 2014 - Beauty and Grooming

I think that there are few things as lovely a surprise and wonderfully decadent as beauty or grooming products as gifts. Especially when they are things you would never justify buying for yourself. High-end cosmetics and skincare are a nice gift idea for people already obsessed or even those not yet converted. Particularly skincare, taking care of your skin is important for everyone and the sooner you get started, the better. Christmas also means cute gift sets and special edition products.

Here's the stuff I picked out after a lengthy trawl all over the internet.

Beauty and Grooming

There's a mixture of types of products here. I didn't want to go down the route of "for him" or "for her", "for dad" or "for mam", etc. I personally think there's something a wee bit...condescending about that? Like, I don't know what your mother would like, if your sister wears makeup or if your brother likes to smell like fancy bath products. Obviously there is some traditional gendering present or insinuated but I didn't want to impose it on others. So, instead, I present things I thought were cool to do with as you please (or don't). The only thing I would say is that when it comes to skincare, men and women do have different needs and would suggest buying the prescribed sets for the indicated genders...even if your male friends are well jealous of your Eve Lom moisturiser.

Makeup suggestions come from a range of brands and price points. The Topshop Smokey Eye Kit has since sold out online but is available in stores at £22.00 and is not only sweet because it comes with an eye palette, mascara and kohl but also is sold in a box which makes it perfect to give as is or easier to wrap. The Nars lip pencils are not only dreamy colours but pretty damn good value at £32.00 for five high end lip products. And, while the Charlotte Tilbury palette may seem pricey at €50.00, it's the ultimate luxury palette in screen siren shades and uber-gorgeous packaging. More wallet-friendly options under twenty quid are the Etude House lipsticks, The Balm face palette and the super-sweet novelty lip glosses from Urban Outfitters in the shape of a mince pie and gingerbread man. Another inexpensive idea is the eye makeup keyring from H&M which makes for a really cool stocking filler and the nail polish cracker set from Urban Outfitters which I'd like as a pleasant change from ones with crappy plastic toys inside. My last pick here is the exceptionally gorgeous brush set from Bobbi Brown which is less affordable, more drool-worthy.

I've chosen two makeup bags/wash bags which really could be unisex - more so in the case of the Herschel wash bag and less so in the case of the ASOS makeup bag. I think both are simple but cute enough to also work for a range of different people and age groups in your life.

The remaining items are all grooming or skincare. The Eve Lom kit is a stunner, packed with awesome skincare, while the Clinique Good Skin for men is less aesthetically pleasing but equally effective. Speaking of stunning, the Baylis and Harding set is a steal with an amazing weekend bag and five products for under forty euro! This a seriously good deal and won't go remiss in anyone's life - whether it be a slightly out-of-touch dad in need of a little chic in his life or a boyfriend looking to make his wardrobe a little more grown up...or a Colette in love with the bag. The L'Occitane Shaving Tradition set is less good value but equally chic and adult - a serious touch of luxury for a dude in your life. More luxury is present in the form of the Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille bath set. It's one of my favourite scents for good reason and this set is pure decadence. Lastly, RJR John Rocha at Debenhams are offering these lovely little manicure sets and making the mundane seem wantable.

So, see anything you want...I mean any good ideas for gifts...heh...heh.

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