Festive gift ideas to make your holiday season bright and beautiful
If there was ever a Christmas where we needed some real sparkle and glow, this year would be it. The gatherings may be smaller in numbers but that doesn’t mean our enthusiasm for celebrating needs to be scaled back. In the gift giving department, thoughtful should be the important deciding factor for both budget and the intended feel-good result. The beauty of giving and receiving skincare and makeup is that those gifts keep on giving long after the holiday season. Here are some special seasonal offerings to inspire your gift giving or to add to your own wish list.
From the brand that aims to make you look just like you but even better, comes the limited-edition IT Celebrate Your Beauty Book, Vol. 4 filled with a number of the brand’s popular, high-performing products. The all-in-one makeup palette for complexion, eyes and lips has many of IT’s problem-solving products that create a polished look in shades to suit a range of skin tones. The kit includes under-eye concealer, pore minimizing powder and bronzer, hydrating lipstick, blush, eye lid foundation, nine eyeshadows, eyeliner and brow powder.Blurred Lines Lipstick: Effortlessly glides over your lips to hydrate and add lush, full colour.
British beauty icon Charlotte Tilbury has created a whole collection around Pillow Talk — her best-selling and oh-so flattering colour. For the holiday season, she’s put together a luxurious, rose-gold-hued gift box filled with 14 full-size products in the Pillow Talk Dreams Come True set. From multiple shadow palettes to illuminators and blush for creating a luminous look, the collection has everything to please the most serious of a beauty enthusiast. If the price tag is a bit too rich, there is also the Pillow Talk Lip Secrets gift set for the more budget conscious types at $60.
$450 | charlottetilbury.com, Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom
Benefit is a beauty brand that embraces holiday gift sets in a big whimsical way — ranging from an advent calendar brimming with mini versions of their best-selling products to a super value-priced collection of brow products. The Magnificent Brow Show, aimed at those who insist on perfectly presented brows, has five full-sized brow shapers and tamers. The set includes Gimme Brow Plus, Precisely My Brow Pencil, Goof Proof Brow Pencil, 24-hour Brow Setter and K-Brow.
$66 | Sephora, Sephora.com
Bella Essence, the recently released Oscar de la Renta fragrance, is an undeniable holiday bedazzler. Housed in a glamorous, glitzy, gold bottle encased in three-dimensional gilded flowers, the top notes of this eau du parfum reflect the sparkling fruitiness of grapefruit, red currant and raspberry. The heart is warm with rose, jasmine and vanilla. While the base is grounded in the earthiness of musk, ambrox and patchouli.
$85-$119 | Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart
This year Estée Lauder released a reformulation of their popular Advanced Night Repair serum.
Patented until 2033, their proprietary Chronolux™ Power Signal Technology allows the serum to penetrate skin faster and maintain hydration for 72 hours, leaving skin smoother, less lined, firmer and more even toned. Lauder’s studies found the skin barrier strengthened and over time pores appeared diminished. This gift set includes a travel-sized Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex and Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion.
$138| Sephora, Hudson’s Bay
Better than chocolate?
The only thing possibly better than 24 days chocolate is 25 days of bath and beauty treats. The Body Shop is offering three different sizes of Advent beauty calendars this year: The Ultimate Advent Calendar is packed with 25 full-sized products; the Big Advent Calendar has a mix of full size and mini items and while the Advent Calendar is all minis. The festively packaged sets offer a mix of the brand’s classic items and specially formulated holiday offerings. The Ultimate set features skin care, bath and body, makeup and accessories to indulge yourself or a favoured one during the holiday season.
$69, $99, $169 | The Body Shop
Amandine Botanicals’ Inner Glow Face Oil is as much a luxurious aromatherapy experience as it is a gift to parched or tired skin. This young Canadian brand launched with just this one product that reflects its beauty ethos. Formulated with only natural oils that include calendula, squalane, carrot seed, jasmine and seabuckthorn, the treatment is non-greasy and absorbs into skin quickly leaving it feeling soft and supple. It works well for all skin types, including oily or acne prone. Use it overnight or incorporate into daytime beauty routines.
$120 | amandinesolbotanicals.com
Canadian skincare brand Cake has a yummy hand cream gift set trio that would serve perfectly as a stocking stuffer for one … or for three. The selection includes Cake’s deliciously-scented Heavy Cream Hand Repair Cream, Milk Made Velveteen Hand Cream, Deserted Island Velveteen Hand Cream.
$17.98 | cakebeauty.com, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall
If, anyone knows how important the right tools are for a polished makeup application, it would be former film and TV makeup artist JoAnn Fowler. As the founder of the Vancouver-based green beauty brand Sappho New Paradigm, Fowler made sure to include professional quality and cruelty-free brushes in her collection. The holiday set boasts seven brushes for eye and face applications: an angle brush for liner and brows, blush brush, concealer brush, eyeliner and eyeshadow brushes, foundation brush and shader. The standout star of the set has to be the Perfect Finish Buffer Brush. It creates virtually a flawless finish helping to minimise pores, even on mature skin. Use it for to apply full foundation or to just “buff” the foundation for a perfect finish.
$98 | mysappho.ca
The holiday season is all about sugary treats and this Sugar Lip Treatment Set from Fresh Cosmetics fits the bill but without the calories. It consists of two mini-sized, blush-tinted lip balms and a full-sized Coconut Hydration Balm guaranteed to keep lips soft and chafe-free for those New Year’s Eve kisses.
$38 | Sephora