Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Last Minute Christmas Gifts from Kiko

I do love a Christmas set from Kiko - their prices are already pretty damn good for the quality of the products, and their Christmas gifts make things even better value by adding in truly lovely festive packaging.  This year is no exception - the Cosmic Starlets collection features a huge selection of gift boxes, each packaged in glowing red with constellation and star motifs.

The Magnetic Gaze Eye Pochette is a bit utilitarian - I've never really seen mascara as an exciting gift - but it's great value for money.  £18.90 gets you a black volumising mascara, a double ended black kajal eyeliner / golden highlighter, and a red satin makeup bag.  I love the word pochette, by the way.  It means 'small bag', but sounds so much more elegant.

The Twin Stars Nail Lacquer and Lipstick set is much more my thing.  A matte lipstick (Kiko make great lipsticks, and this one is no exception) and a nail lacquer with a gel-shine finish.  This shade is Radiant Mauve, and it features cool, mauve toned pinks - there are also nude, coral and red variations available.  At £10.50 it's a bit of a steal - and it's also presented in a cute box with a ribbon, so you can hang it on a tree if you so wish.

Finally, the Innocent Dreams Lipgloss Set is my pick of the sets I've tried - it contains a very cute red satin case with a popper to keep it closed, and three mini twist up lipsticks (mini lipsticks are the BEST).  Kiko call these lipgloss, but I call them sheer, glossy lipsticks - either way, the colour selection is neutral toned and sheer, making it a good match for most skin tones.  At £15.90, it's also a good deal - just over a fiver per shade, which isn't bad for something which such a lovely, balm like texture.

And here's a swatch of the Radiant Mauve lipstick (left) and the three glossy lipsticks.  Lovely, eh?

If you want to see the full range of Cosmic Starlets gifts, you'll find a giant list on the Kiko website.  If you want to buy me something, I'm quite smitten with the very cute and excellent value Angel Kiss set - a sugar scrub and tinted balm, which'll set you back a mere £11.90.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The best of Christmas gift sets

It's that time of the year again!  Here are a few of my favourite gift picks, starting with Boots' gloriously kitsch Hello Kitty Bath Confetti.  At just £5, this makes a great little present for small kids and big kids alike, who'll appreciate having a Hello Kitty tin to hide things in once the sherbert bath confetti within has been used up.

On a slightly more grown up note, this Box of Delights from the Sanctuary contains nine bath and body treats, with six full size products.  It's also a mere £22.50 in Boots' Black Friday weekend sale - usually £45.

Any bath lover would be pleased to receive this box of ten miniature Aromatherapy Associates bath and shower oils.  Granted, each oil is good for only one bath, and at £35, this makes for a slightly eye-watering cost of £3.50 per bath, but these silky, fragrant oils are well worth it.
Less luxe but more fun, this Soap and Glory set features bright, festive packaging, a pun-tastic name, five travel sizes featuring the brand's most popular products, a bath puff, and a pair of snuggly socks (presumably for wearing whilst your foot cream sinks in).  At £20, you get a decent amount of product for your money, and Soap and Glory's slightly quirky retro appeal means this is a sure bet for any age.

Everyone loves a Philosophy 3-in-1 - and this Christmas Cookie variety is no exception.  480ml costs a very reasonable £14,  Who doesn't want to smell of freshly baked cookies this winter?
If you're lucky enough to be heading over the pond, have someone who can send you stuff, or are happy to order online from Sephora and brave the wait, this Chroma Eye Palette contains a whopping 54 eyeshadows and 12 eye pencils, as well as a double ended brush.   Sephora's in house makeup line is often overlooked in favour of the brands they sell, despite being very well priced for the quality - and indeed, this set is only $65.

 I really, really hope I find one of these NARS Virtual Domination blush palettes under the tree on Christmas morning - three natural blush shades, a super size bronzer, and a shimmering highlighter make it everything you could need for cheeks in one palette.  At £45, it's pretty expensive, but it's also very, very pretty (and NARS blush lasts for ages, so you know, quite economical really).
 It feels like the whole world has been singing the praises of Hourglass' Ambient products - and this Ambient Blush Palette looks gorgeous.  It's rather eye wateringly expensive, at £56 for three shades of blush, but you know... Still want it.
I'm including Sephora's rather excellent Give Me More Lip set because I bought one, and I absolutely love it.  I pretty much guarantee that any lip lover will adore it too.  You get seventeen mini lip products for just $59, which is a bargain, and the cute sample sizes are guaranteed to cause cooing.
For the more adventurous lip lover, this $56 set of twelve mini Lip Tars in matte and metallic finishes promises endless creative opportunities as they can be mixed and layered for a really interesting and artistic lip.  Or, you know, just applied for a highly pigmented pout.

By Terry's Baume de Rose is a bit of a cult classic, and the new tinted ones have proven themselves pretty popular too.  Normally a single jar costs £35, but you can get five mini-tubes for £55 - still incredibly expensive, yes, but for the Baume de Rose lover it presents a great opportunity to play with the new colours whilst ensuring soft lips all winter long.

And on the topic of soft lips, this Kiehl's lip balm set contains two tubes of the original Lip Balm #1, and a single tube of Mango flavoured Lip Balm #1.  At £19, this is begging to be broken up into stocking stuffers for beauty lovers, or given to someone with a serious lip balm addiction.

Nails Inc's Christmas sets are surprisingly thin on the ground this year given the well-priced bunper sets they've offered in the past.  This Be Gelous set, £42, contains six shades of their very popular gel-effect polish in classic suits-all shades.

Finally, this No 7 12 Colours of the Year features twelve shades picked to follow the seasons.  At £25, each polish costs just over £2, making this a bit of a bargain, whether you give it as one gift, or split it up between multiple stockings.

What are you wishing for this Christmas?  What are you buying for others?  Let me know in the comments!

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

British Beauty Blogger + M&S; Lip Trio Set

British Beauty Blogger, beauty journalist turned blogger, has recently collaborated with Marks & Spencer and Nuno da Costa to produce a small range of reasonably priced colour cosmetics in fashion-forward and classic shades.  The Lip Trio is a take on the ever-popular crayon format, and it blends great pigmentation with a glossy, plush, lip-loving finish.

As you'd expect for something with a balm-like texture, they need touching up every three hours or so, as they wear down to a soft stain.  Lips are kept hydrated thoughout the wear time.  I don't mind the need to top up given that these twist-up crayons are so cute in size - they're finger-sized, and fit well into my stuffed lipstick bag.

Shade wise, I find Heartful and Selfie flattering, and Cami awful - Cami is a little too warm to work on my pale-cool-skin-and-pink-hair combo, but it's more flattering on warmer skintones (as tested by my Mum).  Heartful and Selfie are definitely suits-all shades.

At £15 for a set of three, they're reasonably priced and perfect for Christmas giving (yes, I went there, I'm sorry), either as a set or split up as a stocking stuffer.  And they're part of M&S' 3-for-2 offer on gifts.  Find the set now at M&S online.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 16 December 2013

KIKO Sugar Mat Nail Lacquer Gift Set

Another part of KIKO's un-Christmassy holiday collection.  This is the Sugar Mat Nail Lacquer Set, which contains eight shades of limited edition KIKO Sugar Mat nail polish, which dries matte and textured for a sand effect.

The eight shades are Apricot, a soft peach; Watermelon, a bright, clean pink; Cherry Red, a bright, err, cherry red; Wine, a deep purple-plum; Light Taupe, a silver-taupe; Teal Green, a greenish teal; Royal Blue, a rich mid-blue; and Anthracite, a pewter silver.

The shades have varying amounts of shimmer in them, with some being ultra sparkly, and some being a little more low key.

Teal Blue, Wine, Royal Blue, Anthracite
And here's what they look like on the nail.  The textured effect isn't as stark as, say, Nails Inc Concrete, but it's definitely textured.  These shades also look good with a good dollop of topcoat on top of them, which makes them look more like normal shimmery polish.

At just £19.90 for a set of eight polishes, you can afford to experiment with textured shimmering shades without shelling out a fortune (ahem, OPI Liquid Sand).  Find the set now at KIKO's website.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

KIKO Ultra Glossy Stylo Gift Set

KIKO, Italian purveyors of reasonably priced high quality makeup, have released a Christmas collection which isn't very Christmassy at all.  The Digital Emotions collection contains a variety of limited edition products, and some gift sets perfect for the makeup fanatic in your life.

This set is the Ultra Glossy Stylo Lipstick Set.  Inside the very pretty and not at all traditionally festive (I approve) packaging, you get five lipsticks in shades of neutral beige, rose, red and hot pink.

This is where the reasonable price point makes its compromises - inside the prettily printed box, the lipsticks nestle in a plain old moulded plastic tray.

Pearly Natural Sand, Pearly Calypso Rose, Pearly Poppy Red, Pearly Peach, Pearly Hot Pink
Whilst KIKO might have skimped on the packaging, they've not skimped on the lipstick (good prioritisation, KIKO).  The Ultra Gloss Stylo lipsticks are in limited edition opalescent white tubes (making them a bugger to photograph), with the lipstick bullet having a flat, angled top.

Pearly Natural Sand, Pearly Calypso Rose, Pearly Poppy Red
Pearly Peach, Pearly Hot Pink

The lipsticks aren't super-high pigement, more giving a wash of semi-opaque, soft colour with a healthy gloss and shimmer.  The colours are pretty wide ranging and most have a neutral base, meaning that they'll match most skintones.

And here I'm wearing Pearly Calypso Rose, a medium rosy pink with pretty shimmer.  I'm not entirely sure that I'd agree with the 'ultra glossy' moniker - there's definitely a sheen to these lipsticks, but they're not by any means super shiny.

At just £16.90, this set would make a lovely gift for any makeup lover.  Or, at just £3.40 a lipstick, you could distribute them across five stockings, and give everyone a little colour and shine for Christmas.  Either way, this set is damn good value.  Find it now at KIKO's website.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Review & Competition: Too Faced A Few Of My Favourite Things Holiday Set

Too Faced are good at palettes - and one of this year's Christmas offerings is an absolute corker.  A Few Of My Favourite Things may be quite wordy, and even worse put a certain annoying song in your head, but it's full of gorgeously soft eyeshadows and well pigmented cheek products, and comes with a mini mascara and a lipstick.  What more could you need?  Read on for an in-depth, picture heavy review and EVEN BETTER!  A competition to win one of your very own.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Boots Star Gift: Soap & Glory The Yule Monty Gift Set - Just £27!

This whopping great Soap and Glory set goes on sale at Boots on Friday for just £27.  It contains a ton of product for such a tiny price:

·         HAND FOOD™ Hand Cream
·         SUGAR CRUSH™ Body Wash
·         THE RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™ Body Butter
·         PEACHES AND CLEAN™ Deep Purifying Cleanser
·         HEEL GENIUS™ Foot Cream
·         BUTTER YOURSELF™ Moisture Lotion
·         THE SCRUB OF YOUR LIFE™ Body Buffer
·         THICK & FAST™ Super Volume Mascara
·         SEXY MOTHER PUCKER™ XL in Pink Out Loud

Run, don't walk, down to Boots on Friday to snap this one up.  Soap and Glory specials always sell fast, and this one's a great deal.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Eight Gorgeous Gifts

There are some wonderful gift sets out for Christmas this year.  Here's my pick of the most gorgeous gifts any beauty lover would be pleased to find under their tree.  Kicking off with one of Boots' mega-value weekly deals, this Nails Inc capsule collection includes eight mini colours and a full size Gel Effect topcoat.  It's a bargain at £25, particularly when you consider that the topcoat is £12 by itself normally.  Find it at Boots.

I love Aromatherapy Associates - their oils are gloriously luxurious, with uncomplicated scents which are truly relaxing.  At £35, this little box contains 10 3ml bottles of their famous Bath and Shower Oils, each good for one bath or shower experience.  Yes, that works out at £3.50 per bath, but that's not far off the average price of a Lush bubble bar nowadays, and these are infinitely more luxurious.  Find it at Space NK.

As usual, Stila have a set of Lip Glazes - this time there are nine of them in one box, and what's even better is that they're packaged in sets of three, so you can give them as separate gifts, or as one whopping great set.  Colours range from reds to pinks to neutrals, and they're just £29.50.  That's under a tenner a gift if you split them up!  Find them at the Stila site.

It wouldn't be Christmas without a Soap and Glory set.  Relax Station contains everything you need for a smoothing shower experience - it contains The Scrub Of Your Life body scrub, Clean On Me moisturising body wash, The Righteous Butter body butter, Hand Food hand cream, Heel Genius foot cream, a bath puff, and a hair turban, all for a rather bargainous £20.  Find it at Boots.

This clever Bare Minerals palette features twelve READY pressed eyeshadows in an ingenious packaging system - you can pop out the middle part of the palette and take it with you!  The eyeshadows also pop out of the whole palette, so you can choose which three shadows out of the twelve makes it into the portable three-pan.  It also includes a double ended eyeshadow/liner brush, and costs a mere £45.  Find it at the Bare Minerals site.
Smashbox also have an impressive palette - the £49 Wondervision palette contains a whopping 30 eyeshadows and four cheek colours, with matte, metallic and shimmer finishes.  Find it at the Smashbox website.

This Elemis Indulgent Treasures collection contains Relaxing Bath Elixir and Nourishing Shower Cream, a full size Quiet Mind Temple Balm and a tube of Pro Radiance hand and nail cream.  This is the perfect body gift set for me, because I rarely use body cream and I always feel like any set with it will go to waste somewhat.  At £25, it's very reasonably priced for something from Elemis.  Find it now at Time To Spa.

And finally, for the lipstick lovers out there... this Perfect Pout set contains six full size Illamasqua lipsticks, in shades of red, pink and violet.  At £60 this isn't a budget gift, but you'd be looking at £99 for six Illamasqua lipsticks on their own, so if you're a fan of their high pigment, long lasting shades, it's a worthy investment.  Find it at Illamasqua's website.

What are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree this year?  Let me know in the comments!

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.
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