Christmas gift guides – the skincare fanatic

Following on from my previous gift guide post, this one is for the skincare fanatic. I’ve created this one so that there are options for all budgets because hyped up skincare can often fall in the premium budget category, and frankly that isn’t accessible to everyone. So here’s a mix of my high and low skincare suggestions suitable for a mixture of skin types!

REN – Stop Being So Sensitive kit – Β£22 (Cult Beauty, Fabled, Selfridges, Naturisimo)

I’ve tried a few things from the REN EverCalm range now, and it’s all amazing. It’s so nourishing for the skin and is amazing quality. In the UK, REN is not an overly expensive brand, and this little kit gives you a great introduction to the brand. The EverCalm range is their line that targets sensitive skin, but anyone with normal-dry skin can also use it and love it. The day cream will become your new favourite, and their cleansers look absolutely beautiful. I’m pretty convinced that after trying something from this line, you will repurchase the full size.

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Emma Hardie Skin Cleansing Kit – Β£30 (Cult Beauty, ASOS, Marks & Spencer)

If you have never tried the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and have always wanted to, this is a great way to test the product out without shelling out for the Β£50 full size. Not only do you get the cleansing balm and a super soft cloth (which will change your life), but you also get the Rosehip exfoliating seeds that even out texture and tone the skin.

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Fresh Beauty – Masks for Miles – Β£69 (fresh.com/UK)

If you are a mask obsessive, you will love this gift set by Fresh. This set includes the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, the Lotus Rescue Mask, the Rose Face Mask and the Sugar Face Polish. These are the mini size products that are 30ml each, and if you were to purchase these individually, it would come to Β£92 (Β£21 each for Lotus, Rose and Sugar Polish, Β£29 for Black Tea). So you get a massive saving of Β£23! You basically get a mask for free which is fab!

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Yu Ling – Jade Facial Rollers – Β£12 (Cult Beauty)

I have been wanting one of these for ages! Rollers have loads of uses, from helping to boost circulation and de-puff the eye areas to eliminating toxins and relieving stubborn headaches. I’ve seen a lot of people use these rollers over sheet masks to work the essence a little deeper into the skin and to add to the self care element and give yourself a little massage – joining skincare and self-care!Yu Ling Rollers Jade Facial Roller (Small)OMOROVICZA – Christmas Intro Set – Β£65 (Cult Beauty, Space NK, Lookfantastic)

Omorovicza is a super high end Hungarian skincare brand that looks absolutely beautiful, but lets face it, is not accessible to everyone. BUT, this minis set lets you try out a lot of their products and get a good feel for the brand without going bankrupt! In this set, you get the Thermal Cleansing Balm, Deep Cleansing Mask, Cleansing Foam, Elemental Emulsion and the famous Queen of Hungary Mist. The set is valued at Β£112, so it’s pretty good value! If you are someone that likes to dabble in high end skincare but have always been priced out, then here is your opportunity to give it a go!

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Sjo Skin – Happy Honey Mask – Β£42 (Sjoskin.com)

If you spend any time at all on the gram, you will 100% recognise this mask. Beauty addicts across Instagram and the world swear by this and herald it as the best mask out there. This Swedish brand really encourages love and positivity in the beauty community and is one of the nicest, socially aware brands on Instagram at the moment. This is definitely one on my wish list!natural skincareOskia – Deluxe Travel Collection – Β£55 (Spacenk.com)

Oskia is another one of those brands that look gorgeous and are faves for people in the beauty industry… and they have the price tag to match! I love gift sets for trying out more high end brands as it gives you a great chance to try more products for a really good price. I really want to pick this one up for myself! This set contains Nutri-Active Day Cream, Renaissance Cleansing Gel, Micro Exfoliating Balm, Renaissance Mask and Super 16 Pro Collagen Serum, all in travel size and it comes in a really lovely bag.

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Mario Badescu – The Brightening Kit – Β£34.50 (Beauty Bay)

Mario Badescu is a really great brand for people with acne prone skin and loved by loads of celebrities. When I had acne, their Glycolic Foaming Cleanser was my go-to product to keep my acne in check and I would always notice it worsen when I didn’t use it. I chose this kit specifically because it had the glycolic cleanser, also because it’s a brand that I had so much faith in when my skin wasn’t at its best. The products in this kit can be used by any skin type, especially the glycolic products and the vitamin C serum.Mario Badescu The Brightening Kit

Kiehls – Holiday Skincare Set – Β£47.50 (Kiehls.co.uk, Selfridges, Feelunique)

If you’re a newbie to Kiehls, or are a harcore lover (like me), this is a great gift set for you, your mum, your auntie, your hairdresser, ANYONE. It contains loads of amazing minis to try, including my faaaavourite product ever (Midnight Recovery Oil) which you definitely need in your life. Kiehls’ products are so beautiful and high quality, and if you have never tried them before, they are GREAT with samples if you order from them directly. There are a few other sets on the websites for your body and hands, so pick the one that’s best for you!

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Dr Jart+ – Ceramidin range – Β£5.50 – Β£35 (Selfridges, ASOS)

If you are a dry skin babe, then Dr Jart’s Ceramidin range is perfect for you. It has been developed for extremely dry skin and whenever you apply anything from them, it feels like your skin is saying ‘aaaaaah’ with a cocktail in a bathrobe. If you are on a bit of a tighter budget, then the Dr Jart Ceramidin face mask is only Β£5.50 and will give your skin an instant moisture boost. Alternatively, if you’re after a great, fairly thick moisturiser, then the Ceramidin Cream is your gal.

Beauty Pie (beautypie.com)

I know the idea of a subscription service can leave some people cold, but Beauty Pie is exceptional. If you are a self-proclaimed skincare addict, this is definitely something you want to try out. You can cancel your subscription for free after 3 months and you get access to an amazing range of top quality products. The Japanfusion line is heralded as the best one (which I’ve tried and it is good), but my absolute favourite is the Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm.

BEAUTYPIE_Plantastic_Apricot_Butter_Cleansing_Balm_968500_460_1I hope this guide has been useful for all you skincare fanatics out there! Maybe don’t buy anything until Black Friday now, because I’m sure you can get a better deal then! Let me know which skincare bits and pieces you’ll be picking up this Christmas!

Xo

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Sephora haul and testing

So this month I went on holiday to Italy… and Europe means SEPHORA! If you don’t know, the UK does not have Sephora. We used to be able to order from the US site but you now can only order from the French site, which has far fewer brands. Regardless, as soon as I found out where I was going I looked up where Sephora was…

I ended up going to 3 different Sephora’s – 2 in Venice and 1 in Verona. Here is what I got and my impressions after using them a few times:

Farmacy – Honey Potion mask

This mask is a firm cult favourite among beauty bloggers on Instagram, and this purchase was definitely a ‘Insta made me do it’. The packaging and the product itself are gorgeous! The texture is much more solid than I expected – I thought it to be goopy like honey but it’s more waxy. I didn’t realise the mask had a warming effect until I had bought it. It’s worth noting that it’s not an intense warming sensation like some cheap packet masks can be (the ones that burn your face), but it’s gentle. When you apply it, the mask is orange like it is in the pot, but you have to massage it into the skin to turn it white. It doesn’t take too long to turn the waxy orange goop into white foam. After washing it off, my skin feels super smooth. Other than the immediate feeling of smoothness, I can’t really say that I noticed much more of a difference in my skin. It did feel hydrated and not desperate for moisturiser unlike some of the other masks I’ve used (Sand and sky I’m looking at you). I’m going to keep using it and see if I can spot any improvements from sustained use.

Marc Jacobs – Dew Drops in Dew You

This was such an impulse buy! I’d seen this around and always thought it looked lovely. I was a little unsure whether the colour would be too dark for my skin tone, but after walking towards it and away from it about 5 times, I put it in my basket. The first time I tried to use it was over the top of my Hourglass stuck foundation, and rather than looking like a subtle glow it was so apparent that something was on my cheek bones. It ended up looking like a dry, dull yellow on my skin and I had to go over it. Maybe it was the stick foundation? It did the same with my Charlotte Tilbury magic foundation, and I used much less. HOWEVER, this works AMAZINGLY well underneath my Vanish foundation. I coated myself in a full pump of it, and it made the foundation look dewy (I find the formula to be very try and can really emphasise dry patches). I also really like to wear a small amount of this when I’m not wearing proper makeup for work as it gives me that healthy glow!

Sol de Janiero – Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I’ve had this before and liked it, but let’s be honest it’s the smell that brings you back for more. I do plan on doing a little science experiment with this one so stay tuned! The smell, of course, is to die for and in my experience it does deliver in removing or reducing the appearance of cellulite. I am not usually someone who bothers moisturising their entire body (because I HATE the feeling when your clothes get stuck to you) so I forget to apply this a lot.

Foreo – Luna Play

I have had my eye on Foreo’s for aaaaaages, but they’ve always been a bit out of my price range. I had never used a cleansing tool before and was a little unsure whether I’d get much use out of it, or even like it for my skin type! The difference in the smoothness of my skin is definitely noticeable – and I already have smooth skin. It doesn’t feel like it’s doing to much when you manoeuvre this around your face, but when you remove your cleanser, that’s when you really feel the difference! If you are interested in trying out this type of product, I’d definitely recommend the Luna Play because it’s much more affordable than the other versions they offer. After having had this one, I’m just going to keep changing the battery when it runs out rather than purchase a rechargeable. The battery allegedly lasts 100 uses, but I’ve probably been using it once a week? Mainly because I forget but also because I like to use this when I’ve worn quite a lot of makeup, and at the moment I’m wearing minimal makeup all the time.

Patchology – Rejuvinating Eye Gels

I have never used eye masks before, but I see so many people using them on IG. I only got the small pack where you get 5 sets, so I’m reluctant to use them even though I really want to! I liked them when I first used them but I wouldn’t say they’re revolutionary. I’d definitely be tempted to put them in the fridge before I use them again to get that cooling affect. I didn’t notice a visible difference in my under eye area, but I’m not someone who has really dark under eye.

Dr Jart+ – Vital Hydra Solution

This was actually the first thing I picked up from Dr Jart (before I went a bit crazy in Verona). I haven’t tried this yet, but have really high hopes for it. People only seem to have good things to say about Dr Jart, and I have faith that this is going to be really good.

Sephora – Cucumber Eye Mask

I went a little eye mask happy on this trip, but again I’m trying to space out when I use these. I’m expecting these to be a thinner jelly to the psychology ones, but I’m interested to see the benefits of using cucumber on the eye area!

Sephora – Shea Lip Mask

I’ve done a lip mask before (from Sephora) and as far as I can remember it wasn’t anything life changing, but I’m such a sucker for all the Sephora masks (can you tell?)

Sephora – Aloe Vera Hand MaskI’ve used the hand masks from Sephora before, and while I don’t usually notice a massive difference, they’re just fun to use My hands get dry very easily, so I think it takes something a little stronger than essence to repair my hands.

Dr Jart+ – Ceramidin Cream

OH. MY. GOSH. We have a holy grail ladies and gentlemen! When I tried this out in store, I was like yeah I think I’m gonna like this and I absolutely adore it. I somehow managed to get this for free? I accidentally picked up the tester (because it wasn’t labelled!) but it was completely full and unused! Couldn’t believe my luck! It’s a beautiful thick cream that is an amazing moisturiser. It has a really pleasant smell that isn’t over perfumed like some other brands. I really like a thick moisturiser, and this has replaced all moisturisers in my routine, morning and evening. My mum had a really sore dry patch on her finger and asked if I had a good moisturiser for it, so I put a bit of this on there and by the next morning her hand was back to normal. I think I’ve tempted her to buy it too. I stopped by Selfridges a week after I got back from Italy and SO NEARLY bought a back up of this, despite being NO. WHERE. NEAR. The end of the tube. It is going down quickly though…

Dr Jart+ – Cicapair Cream

I really like the idea of this because I have a lot of redness in my skin naturally. I had been eyeing this one up too and had been planning on buying the mini version from Selfridges. That went out the window when I spotted this in Verona and got he full sized. It is a bit of a weird consistency and I’m not sure that I’m a fan. It feels like I am pulling on my skin a lot, which I’m not in to at all. However, the result is really good. I notice a definite reduction in redness, and the green cream changes to a beige when you start to work this into the skin. I don’t know whether it matches to your skin tone somehow but it is not to dark for my very fair skin (for reference I am usually the lightest foundation in most ranges I’ve tried). I’ve been wearing this for work underneath my tinted SPF (which also seems to reduce my redness), so I have a really nice even base and even a little bit of coverage. I’ll definitely be using up the pot, but I’d consider another version from the Cicapair range instead.

Beautyblender

I absolutely love beautyblenders and wouldn’t really consider another beauty sponge. I used to use the real techniques one, but it’s so much more dense than BB and I feel like the blend is far superior with BB. The last time I bought a new beauty blender was in Rome last year, so I figured it was time for a new one!

I need more trips to Europe this year… OR SEPHORA COULD FINALLY COME TO THE UK!? Though if it did do that, I’m not sure I’d ever have any money in my bank account…

Xo

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