Hello fellow wedding lovers – and SEASON’S GREETINGS!
I cannot tell I lie. I love Christmas. I truly do.
I am actually the most sentimental person you will probably ever meet, so for me, Christmas is all about getting the tribe together, celebrating the blessings that the year has brought, remembering those who can’t be with us, eating tonnes of calorie free (!) food, and going wild with a highlighter on the Christmas edition of the Radio Times (people still do that, yeah?)
I love how every family has their own Christmas traditions that are so intrinsic to who they are and what they are all about. For me, when I’m wrapping presents I love to dig out the video camera, and watch old home movies of myself and my brother as children, back when my grandmothers were still alive. Even though they’ve been gone over 20 years, it wouldn’t be Christmas without them, and taking a little time to remember the joy they brought into our lives is very important to me.
I am also, much to the detriment of my bank account, the world’s most excitable Christmas shopper. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than searching for the perfect gift for all those special people in my life. Is there anything more satisfying than making a loved one smile with a gift, as a way of saying thank you for all they have done over the last 12 months.
However, this year, because of the impending nuptials, my Christmas shopping is going to be seriously curtailed. We’ve decided as a family that we should curb the spending this year, so we can save money for the wedding pot – and not get ourselves stressed over Christmas shopping when we are already knee deep in organising elements for next year’s bash. If I’m totally honest, at first I was feeling really sad that I wouldn’t be able to spoil people this year, but, actually, it’s been so nice to focus on making plans to spend time with people over the Festive season, rather than setting time aside for endless shopping trips and days and days fighting with a roll of Sellotape.
Ian and I have also decided to spend Christmas morning together at home this year, and make a lunch for two. We’ve never done this before! I’m seriously excited by the thought of Christmas Pyjamas, a mince pie and a mulled wine by the fire – and some down time with my dearest, reflecting on what promises to be the biggest year of our lives together so far.
Aside from Christmas, my spending ban has also stretched into other areas of my life – most notably – my obsession for all things beauty. Everyone who knows me knows that my true vice is beauty products. Makeup, hair care, skin care, bath products, you name it – I lust after it! I cannot be left alone in the beauty section of any department store, bad things happen to my bank balance. So, I’m actually really proud of how well I’ve done to curb my enthusiasm for all things beautifying – for the time being at least!
However, I wanted to put together a list of my top 5 beauty gifts to get your hands on this Christmas – who knows, some of them may even feature in my pre wedding beauty regime!
All these gifts would make a fantastic present for someone special, the prices range from super reasonable to mega splash out – but all are by brands that I love and have used as part of my beauty routine for years!
Enjoy, and have a truly wonderful, relaxing and fun filled Christmas.
Ever since my hairdresser introduced me to Milkshake hair products, they have without doubt become the staple in my hair care regime. Not only are they all super nourishing and leave my hair in great condition, but they are also really fun to experiment with, and encourage people to experiment a little more with their hair!
This set includes the famous Milkshake Whipped Cream leave in conditioner which I use every day without fail. It gives my hair protection from the elements of the day, keeps my hair soft – and it also smells AMAZING! Alongside the Whipped Cream is a 100ml bottle of direct colour, which comes in 20 vibrant shades. I think I’m going to go bold and opt for Fuchsia over Christmas – but I’ve also tried pink, deep red, copper, lilac and golden blonde, and they’ve all been fab. The colour isn’t at all damaging to the hair, and washes out quite easily – perfect for the Christmas Holidays.
If that wasn’t enough you also get a cocktail glass and mixer, perfect for sipping a sloe gin fizz as you show off your new hair do!
Oh Huda Beauty, how I love thee. Just when I thought nothing could compare to last year’s Rose Gold textured palette, this year’s follow up ‘Desert Dusk’ takes us on a magic carpet ride right into the Kasbah with the most beautiful Arabian Nights inspired shades and tones.
Within this palette are eight mattes, six pressed pearls, three duo-chrome toppers and one pure glitter – all in the most gorgeous tones – and as ever with Huda’s super blendable formula, each can be worn alone or layered for the perfect office to Christmas Party look. I mean if you can’t wear a jewel tone and some serious glitter at Christmas, then what even is life?!
As part of my attempt to get glowy and blemish free skin for my wedding day, over the last year I’ve been getting microdermabrasion treatments every 1 to 2 months. These have been really effective in keeping my skin exfoliated and fresh – but of course to maintain the great results, I’ve had to keep a consistent routine at home too. I can’t speak highly enough of Elemis products, and I think the gift sets they do on QVC are some of the best value I’ve ever come across.
This particular set includes (amongst other things) three of my staple skin care products – Pro Collagen Marine Cream, Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm, and Ginseng Replenishing Toner. I would be lost with the Pro Collagen range during the cold winter months – the Marine Cream is honestly like a big old drink for the skin at this time of year and keeps it feeling plump and nourished.
You also get three body care items – and I can’t tell you how excited I am to try the new fragrance Tropical Blooms. If their Lime Blossom and their Frangipani ranges are anything to go by, I just know it will be exquisite!
Talking of Christmas traditions, one thing I adore doing at this time of year, is spending a morning out and about getting Christmassy with my mum. We have done the Marks and Spencer Christmas knickers run since time immemorial, but in more recent years we have also enjoyed browsing the Jo Malone store in Cardiff, indulging in all their glorious scents, and sometimes treating ourselves to a signature Jo Malone hand and arm massage.
I think once you’ve experienced the joy of a JM perfume, candle, or body product – it’s really hard to go back. The products are of such a high quality, feel like such a treat, and actually last such a long time – they have become a staple of gift giving in our home.
This year, to add to the divine ‘Orange Bitters’ scent, Jo Malone has added a new limited edition festive fragrance, Green Almond and Redcurrant.
I am already a sucker for anything remotely fruity or sweet, and this fragrance – with crisp, juicy redcurrants mingling with the warmth of Tonka – is both. However, the introduction of zingy citrus and earthy almond make this perfume truly delectable, with a new joy to be unwrapped under every scent layer. Merry and bright indeed.
Oh, and the Candy Stripe inspired bottle is darling, and would look beautiful on any vanity table.
Ending on a high note, my last gift suggestion is for anyone looking to inject some serious Hollywood Glamour into his or her Yuletide.
What better way to treat someone who lights up your life, than with a signature lip collection from one of the world’s hottest Makeup artists? Charlotte Tilbury is probably the most in demand MUA in Tinsel Town at the moment, so much so, the lipstick shades in her ‘Hot Lips Luxury Wardrobe Collection’ are actually named after some of her best known clients (Kim K, Nicole Kidman and Liv Tyler to name but a few).
This collection contains 12, yes 12, Hot Lips Lipsticks, and a super cute holder to keep them all in. There are a great variety of shades from the nudiest of nudes to the brightest of Fuchsias, and having tried Hot Lips in the past, I can testify that they are the most hydrating; plumping and longest lasting of any lipsticks I have tried.
This is a serious statement gift to give your loved one, and will no doubt result in a big lipstick imprint on your cheek all season long.
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