December 9th 2017
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and everywhere you go, there seems to be a constant reminder that the number of opportunities to get your gift shopping scanned, packed and wrapped are counting down at an alarmingly fast pace (we’re convinced that it was just August a second ago). Whether you’re on the hunt for last minute gift ideas or looking for something that fits into the self-gifting category (it’s a stressful time and frankly, you deserve it), here are the new season beauty, wellness and fitness buys that fit the bill very nicely indeed.
Why we love it: “A handy and stylish gym bag addition for all your post-workout essentials.”
Review: “This new gym clutch from Sweaty Betty is the perfect last minute Christmas gift for the fitness enthusiasts in your life (although, a little self-gifting doesn't hurt anyone either). A cross between a clutch/toiletries bag/phone and key case (I've been throwing everything in it!), it’s designed to hold your essentials when on the go. It's the perfect little treat for when you, like me, lose everything at the bottom of a huge gym bag. Made from durable scuba fabric in a bright neon red, it's cool, fun and useful for toiletries and post-workout touch ups, and it has a separate internal phone pocket to keep valuables apart from that emergency deodorant. The ideal option for when you don't want to lug around a big gym bag with you.”
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Available exclusively at Nars’ new Kings Road boutique from the 16th of December 2017 and nationwide from the 15th of January 2018.
Why we love it: “A palette that’s brimming with eye makeup possibilities.”
Review: “I think I may be a little bit in love with this palette - the shade range, the colour payoff, the different finishes...you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who it wouldn’t suit. Containing 12 shades ranging from rich mattes to silky satins, eye-catching shimmers to glittering metallics, it gets the creative juices flowing and as for the textures - they’re the palette’s biggest selling point. Buttery and easy to blend, they layer really well on top of one another, with only a little needed for even and smooth coverage. My favourites include the sparkling champagne Shooting Star, matte deep brown Coconut Grove and satin paprika Temptress however, I’ve got my eye on a number of other combinations that I look forward to trying in the coming weeks - it’s like New Year’s Eve in a palette and a great celebration of both colour and creativity.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “Delivers a subtle hint of actual gold that helps to put life back into particularly tired faces.”
Review: “Launching golden skincare on the first day of advent could well be viewed as a festive gimmick, but Shiseido owned bareMinerals has a lot of of research and development resources to call on, and while this mineral gold infused serum hasn’t been long out of the gate, I’m giving it a road test in possibly the most dermatologically challenging month of the year - the great booze-fuelled, chronically sleep-deprived Christmas run-up. Light textured and rich in restorative peptides, with a hit of cell regenerating vitamin A, it’s got long-term skin health going for it, but the instant effects are impressive too - it’s got an incredibly subtle golden glow to it, which when you’re grey of face thanks to late night online shopping and one too many glasses of prosecco, is helpful. While it does contain encapsulated retinol (i.e, the vitamin A content), you can benefit from the golden boost during daylight hours, but make sure you team it with an SPF of 30 or over. As for night time repair, your skin will lap it up all the more. You’ll have to wait until the beginning of Jan for the serum to roll out across retailers nationwide, but for now check stock in bareMinerals stores and via the brand’s website.”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “Musky scent is getting a modern makeover thanks to this stylish retro inspired candle.”
Review: “Encased in a stylish glass holder with a bronze and blue metallic ombre effect, this candle has reinvented 'disco' into something cool and edgy for your interiors this festive season. Delicately combining aromas of bergamot, cedar and musk, the scent is strong and envelopes the whole room, turning it into a warm and heady cocoon. Musk is most definitely the prominent feature here, but with cedar grounding it, it balances out into something cosy and wintry. It's four wick so burns evenly and with a burn time of 60 hours, it doesn't look like it’s going to be running low anytime soon. The most beautiful table centrepiece for your festive gatherings - and the scent will make everyone feel at home.”
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “A sparkling shadow that nails grown-up glitz.”
Review: “These limited edition shadows in Kiko’s Arctic Holiday collection remind me of an old favourite, L’Oreal’s old shimmer Chrome Shine singles, which devoted makeup fans may remember (I spent most of my teens wearing them). Metallic, intense and very sparkly, this Frozen Gold shade is perfect for this party season - it has a slightly gritty, rather than velvety finish so personally I layer it on top of a nude base or my trusty Urban Decay primer potion to give it extra staying power and pigment, but there’s no question it leaves a pretty, glimmering gold for a grown-up glittery eye. Applying it with a wet brush builds the intensity if it’s too sheer for you too - because at this time of year, you can never have too much glitz, right?”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Why we love it: “A daily perk for tired skin.”
Review: “This gel is a whole new product category in itself – it feels like a serum but goes over your moisturiser rather than under it. It claims to provide an immediate lifting and tightening effect via skin-tightening peptides and wrinkle-smoothing ceramides and to be non-comedogenic, if you’re worried about the pore-clogging effects of yet another layer of skincare.
“There’s hyaluronic acid for plumping and moisturising as well as hibiscus seed extract to support collagen and elastin production over time. The gel goes on with a cooling aluminium roller, which itself has an instant manual lymphatic drainage effect. In a half-face test, I noticed a definite feeling of tightness (although not uncomfortable) as well as a lasting coolness, which does shrink pores - like going outside on a cold day. The gel side of my face looked more moisturised and a tiny bit perkier.
It creates a dry ‘satin’ base without stickiness and my foundation went on smoothly and stayed put. What I liked best was using it for quick top-ups throughout the day when my winter face felt dry or my eyes felt hot and tired as it didn’t overly mess with my makeup.
“At £57, it’s a premium product, but you can use it in a targeted way on the areas that need attention. You’ll be able try before you buy in Arden’s new range of 15-minute facials in Debenhams from January 2018. Look for the treatment called ‘Tone It Up Town’ which also features microcurrent and produces a more visible lift – I’ve tried it, it works. And if you like it, the cost of the facial is offsettable against purchase.”
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor
Why we love it: “A stunning, christmas edition of a fragrance favourite.”
Review: “I’m a bit late to the party but I discovered this fragrance when browsing the duty-free beauty offerings over the summer and I immediately added it to my wishlist. I fell in love with the fresh scent, with top notes of juicy fruits and white florals. It’s not your typical fruity fragrance offering though - there’s something different about this that gives it an underlying muskiness, making it perfect for transitioning from day to night. So when the limited edition Christmas version landed on my desk to try out, I was over the moon. I was blown away by the glitter firework design of the collector’s edition packaging - it really catches the eye and encapsulates the festive season of sparkles perfectly. The bottle looks absolutely stunning sitting on my dressing table and is definitely one to keep long after the fragrance is gone. This is the perfect Christmas gift in my eyes for any woman who loves her fragrance and enjoys a little sparkle too!”
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Administration Assistant
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