Christmas gift guide time is finally here, and I thought I'd start off by going big or going home, so first up is beauty gifts over £30. Prepare yourself because there are some seriously luxe palettes and other things of beauty here that you're going to want to add to your Christmas wish list immediately! Also stay with me until the end of this post as with this and all of my gift guides this year, there'll be a giveaway to win one of these gorgeous gifts :)
Ciaté Chloe Morello Beauty Haul / Chloe's beauty box
If you don't happen to know, Chloe Morello is a rather famous beauty youtuber and she's teamed up with Ciaté to bring out am amazing Christmas gift set called the Chloe Morello Beauty Haul or Chloe's Beauty Box as the UK sites are calling it... as if we don't know what a beauty haul is! I fell in love with this set the moment I saw the gorgeous eyeshadow palette, but I also really wanted to get my hands on this sleek navy and rose gold makeup bag. The packaging is absolutely amazing on this gift set, and I think it's so well thought out and excellent value too. As well as the eye shadow palette which has matte and shimmer shades from neutral through to bold purples, you also get a mini Wonderland mascara and Liquid Velvet lipstick in the shade pin-up.
Christmas beauty is something I always really look forward to because I feel like it's when the brands bring out their biggest and best reveals of the season, and this palette from Hourglass sums that up perfectly. Everybody loved the original Ambient lighting palette, and then the first Ambient lighting edit was a huge sell out and now we have this marble patterned palette which is what Instagram dreams are made of! I literally feel like this was made for the bloggers and despite the eye-watering £69 price tag, I made a pre-order for this as soon as it became available. I'm surprised that these haven't sold out yet - maybe they stocked up better for the demand or maybe those that have the first edit don't feel they need this? As I have the first Ambient lighting trio and a blush, the first edit didn't appeal to me as I'd be getting dupes, but this second version spoke my name - just look at all that glow!
Now it wouldn't be Christmas without something from the Nars holiday collection under my tree. Every year without fail there's something I want, and just when I'd got to the point of banning myself from buying any more Nars blush palettes, they go and bring out a combo eyeshadow and blush palette in the dual intensity formula. This counts as different enough for a place on my Christmas wish list and when you compare the amount of product you're getting here to the single eyeshadows and blushes, this is the most economical way to purchase.
When I spotted this Velvet Lip Glide gift set I was so excited, but on closer inspection, the colours personally aren't for me. There's one lovely nude pink shade, but the rest are all varying shades of red - they're beautiful colours, but I don't wear reds often enough for this to be worthwhile. If you're into your berry shades, or like me, know somebody who is, then this is a gorgeous gift set, and again really good value compared to buying the full sizes individually. This is currently showing as out of stock online at Space NK (not sure if they will be re-stocking) but I managed to find this easily in store.
Every Christmas list has a perfume on it somewhere right? I think most of us prefer to get fragrances as gifts as they can seem like a bit of a splurge to just buy for yourself during the year. YSL have added to their classic Black Opium range this year, so for Christmas as well as Black Opium EDP and Black Opium EDT (yes they are different scents!) there's now Black Opium Nuit Blanche too and they're all in gorgeously glitzy bottles which feel perfect for this time of year.
The original YSL Black Opium Eau De Parfum is a deep and interesting fragrance combining black coffee with white florals and vanilla. It's not your usual floral fragrance at all, it's a much more unique scent which falls into the 'gourmand' category, I think because of the coffee base. To me it's spicy, sweet and woody all at the same time and is totally different from anything else in my collection.
YSL Black Opium Eau De Toilette is a spin off fragrance from the original, which confused me slightly as the name is the same - the difference being whether it's EDP or EDT - but actually the scent is different! This one's a more floral leaning fragrance, and although I'd agree it's still the same type of scent overall, it has its own very unique qualities. The coffee base is still present, but this time it's green coffee and blended with jasmine tea and patchouli, white wood and musk - this one to me is a much more musky fragrance and I don't detect the same spiciness as the original.
And the newest of the bunch is YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche Eau De Parfum (meaning white night in French). I'd say all three of these fragrances are quite evening appropriate, but Nuit Blanche is specifically designed to be a night-time scent. This time white coffee is blended with white florals, vanilla and musk with the addition of spicy pepper and orange blossom. I think this is my favourite of the three - it seems to combine the best of both of its sister fragrances - it's intense, complex, edgy and a little bit sexy.
This palette makes me so happy. I've been eyeing up Laura Mercier's dreamy illuminators for some time now, but at around £32 each, they're a splurge, although to be fair they're huge and would last forever! Saying that though, I've never hit pan on a highlight type product so far, so it makes much more sense for me to purchase this palette which has four shades in a smaller size. I wish more brands would bring out limited edition palettes like this - I always go for palettes over single, individual products.
I own a couple of Tarte amazonian clay blush palettes, and I've never been disappointed with them. The only reason I stopped buying them each year was because you used to get six colours I think, but they didn't change enough from palette to palette. Fast forward to 2016 and Tarte have upped their game massively with this ten pan double sided wheel of blush magnificence! Sadly this one hasn't made it into the QVC range so far, but you can buy direct on Tarte's website.
The award for most colourful product in my gift guides this year easily goes to Urban Decay - just look at that rainbow of shades! I imagine this is on a lot of Christmas wish lists this year and I'm not surprised because you get such a range of colours in this palette - a full spectrum in fact! With no beige shades anywhere to be seen, this is a palette for those who really know what they're doing with makeup, and for those who just love to experiment. Personally I'll never be touching those frightening yellow shades, but the rest of the palette is stunning and something I can really get on board with. The packaging is stunning too with a rainbow bejewelled UD on the lid - so fabulous!
I love my Scholl Velvet Smooth and you couldn't separate me from it! Initially I thought these were a bit gimmicky, but don't knock it until you've tried it as they say! The Scholl Velvet Smooth is the only tool you need to keep your feet super soft and looking socially acceptable in strappy shoes and sandals. I have the original version, but I'm rather feeling the need to upgrade considering this Christmas gift set includes a much more funky purple handle, plus you get a nail polish, nail oil and spare heads all in a sparkly gift box. This set comes in pink sparkles too and they're both available on the three for two deal at Boots.
Urban Decay Ultimate Naked Basics palette
This palette needs no introduction - if you're a nude / neutral eyeshadow lover then this is going to be one of the first things you put on your Christmas wish list - it certainly was for me. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with any of the palettes in the Urban Decay Naked range - they're all among my favourites and have kept my Mum in Christmas gift ideas for me for years! If you want to buy someone an eyeshadow palette but you're not too sure on what they like, then this is probably a fairly safe bet as this palette is filled with completely wearable, easy to blend shades that all compliment each other.
Another gorgeous fragrance to gift at Christmas is Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb. It's one of those fragrances that in my experience, nearly everybody likes. Fragrance can be such an individual of course but if you know enough about someone's tastes to know that they like floral fragrances, then I'd say you're on to a sure thing with this beautiful, feminine scent. If you've not tried Flowerbomb for yourself then I really recommend that you get that rectified asap! The scent is a truly gorgeous floral combining freesia, rose, jasmine and patchouli.
If you know your gift recipient likes Flowerbomb, maybe get them an unexpected treat by going for the Precious Oil. This is the strongest and most long-lasting way to experience the scent, so a sure hit with a Flowerbomb addict. Viktor & Rolf are known for doing some rather spectacular gift sets and limited edition bottles too, so keep your eyes peeled for those if you're planning to gift Flowerbomb this Christmas.
More Urban Decay - aren't they just killing it right now? This lip palette is something that I expect to be the first of many with other brands probably following suit and bringing out a similar concept. Lip palettes used to have a reputation for being a little old fashioned - I remember some of the first makeup palettes I experimented with containing lipstick pans, but I think these went out with the nineties! Everything makes a come-back eventually of course, and I think now's the perfect time for lip palettes as lips are such an obsession at the moment. I also love this for the same reasons I mentioned about the Laura Mercier palette - it's a perfect way to try multiple shades without committing to a full size lipstick in every colour. They're aren't many of us who could casually pop out and drop the cash on twelve of Urban Decay's Vice lipsticks (that would be £180 if you're wondering!) but here you get to try a dozen of the most popular shades all in one handy palette for £31.50. No brainer!
Onto something small but perfectly formed, this is one of the new eyeshadow quads from Smith & Cult. I have a blog post coming up on their new launches, but I couldn't resist popping this palette into a gift guide as the shades are just so party season appropriate, as well as this making a gorgeous gift of course. I love the luxe mirrored packaging of these, the unexpected off-centre positioning of the shadows and of course the beautiful, velvety, glitzy shades. There are four different quads available, and this one's called Soft Shock.
I have one more fragrance to share with you in this gift guide, and it's one that's completely new to me, but hey, if it's good enough for Kendal Jenner...! I've not previously tried any of the Modern Muse scents, so my first experience with the range has been with this new edition which is a night-time fragrance. It's described as a glamorous and mysterious fragrance, and I would agree - it's very woody, which I always associate with mysterious for some reason when it comes to describing fragrance, and I can clearly detect the vanilla and jasmine too. The other notes at play here are mandarin, cassis, amber and sandalwood. A great choice for someone who likes their fragrances to look as sophisticated as they smell.
My final suggestion in this gift guide is to personalise a gift by mixing and matching products from their favourite brand. I've found when looking at lots of the beauty gift sets out this year - particularly those from Benefit - that they have different combinations of products where there always seems to be one item included that wouldn't suit the person I'm buying for. The obvious solution to this is to DIY! If you know the kinds of products and brands someone uses, then stocking them up on their staples and favourites is a really thoughtful gift, and it totally takes the risk out of gift giving! Here I have three Estēe Lauder essentials including the Set + Refresh Perfecting Makeup Mist, Little Black Primer eyelash primer for under mascara, and the Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara. All I need now is a pretty makeup bag to put them all in and my gift is ready - easy and so much more thoughtful than a gift voucher!
As promised, I'm giving away one of the gifts from each gift guide, and the first one is a double giveaway as it's both the Estēe Lauder makeup I mentioned and the Modern Muse Nuit fragrance! To be in with a chance of winning this gorgeous bundle in time for Christmas, pop over to my twitter to enter. All entries for this giveaway will be via twitter - to enter you need to follow me on twitter (@fluttersparkle) and retweet the giveaway tweet. This giveaway is open to the UK only and will end at 11.59pm on 4 December 2016. The winner will be chosen at random and notified through Twitter.
I hope that's given you lots of Christmas shopping inspiration! What's on your Christmas list?