If you’re stuck what to buy your mum, girlfriend or friend then this gift guide I’ve put together has an array of lovely gifts. I’ve deliberately not added too many beauty bits because I’ll be doing a gift guide dedicated specifically to all things beauty so if the person you’re buying for is a bit of a beauty buff or a makeup lover then don’t forget to check that out!
1. Kiehls Skincare Heroes Gift Set (£32.40) – Debenhams
2. Cashmere Gloves (£35) – John Lewis
3. Diptyque Baies, figuier and roses mini candles (£60) – Selfridges
4. Cath Kidston Provence Rose Cosmetic Roll Case (£22) – Cath Kidston
5. Olivia Burton Watch (£65) – John Lewis
6. Hotel Chocolat Christmas Goody Bag (£18) – Hotel Chocolat
7. Not That Kind of Girl -Lena Dunham (£8.45) – Amazon
8. Clarins All About Eyes Collection (£21) – Escentual
9. Babyliss Curl Secret (£99.96) – Asda
10. Zoeva Vegan Brush Set (£52.95) – BeautyBay
11. Urban Decay On the Run Palette (£37) – BeautyBay
12. Friends Season 1-10 Complete Collection (£43) – Amazon
13. YSL Black Opium Gift Set (£52.70) – Debenhams
14 Malibu Pina Colada Mix (£10)- Boots
15. Eiffel Tower Ring Holder (£10)- ASOS
This month’s Degustabox is a slightly more Christmassy themed box, in that I feel it contains more seasonal products you would indulge in over the Christmas period. As it was the last box before Christmas, I couldn’t help but join in with the festivities and snap a picture on my new Christmas fair isle bedding. I was, on the whole happy with my box that I received and here’s what I got:
Kettle Chips- Stilton and Port Flavour
I was very excited to see these in my box. Port and Stilton is one of my favourite combinations so to get these in a crisp sounded fabulous. I was slightly disappointed with these however as they weren’t as cheesy as I was expecting and Harry thought the same. Perhaps we just like really strong cheese flavours but I don’t think I’d buy these again.
Cool Dawn Recovery drink
When I first saw these I wasn’t sure about this addition to my box as I don’t drink caffeine and I don’t like energy drinks, but upon closer inspection I saw that these weren’t energy drinks but herbal detox drinks that help prevent and cure hangovers. They contain no stimulants and aren’t carbonated and contain yuzu juice and other healthy ingredients. I really want to try these out but I’m saving them for when I’ve had one too many vodka soda’s and these are perfect for the upcoming party season when people tend to overindulge.
Lindt Lindor My Melting Moment
I love Lindt chocolate so I was pleased to see this in my box, although I was a little surprised to see five! However they were tasty nonetheless and I have to admit I’ve already demolished the lot #sorrynotsorry.
Having received a curry kit from this brand in last month’s Degustabox I’d heard of them before. There were four flavours to choose from and I received Garlic and Coriander which I’m pleased with as I think it’s more versatile than perhaps fajita or BBQ seasoning and I’m looking forward to giving these a go.
Branston Caramelised Onion Chutney
For years I’ve been averse to Branston Pickle but I’ve recently come back around to it, so I would have been pleased even if it’d been regular Branston Pickle but as it’s a caramelised onion chutney it’s something a bit different and I will be saving for Christmas to put on my cheese and crackers.
Pip Organic Juice Drinks
I really like getting drinks in my Degustabox so I was happy to see these Pip organic apple juice drinks in my box. I drank both of these in one go one thirsty afternoon at the weekend and they were good, but at £1.50 a bottle I’m not sure I’d repurchase. I’m not big on drinking juice on a regular basis because of the sugar but it was a nice treat and lovely to try something new.
I’ve never tried an Italian cider before so I was excited at the prospect of this Montano cider. I did enjoy it and polished this off in a couple of sittings. I did offer some to Harry but he didn’t want any, stating that he didn’t think cider would be something the Italians did well. However I enjoyed it, it’s drier than other ciders such as Stella Artois Cidre and Kopparberg but delicious nonetheless.
Holy Cow Indian Curries
Although these were different to the curry kit I received last month I was a little disappointed to see I’d got something curry related again this month, especially as I’m not a big fan of curry. I received a korma and malabar which are both not too spicy so these will get used eventually and they are gluten free and contain natural ingredients. In all honesty though I won’t be repurchasing, purely because I don’t eat curry very often and also I tend to make curry’s with curry paste which I don’t think has anything nasty in it anyway and is cheaper!
I’m pleased with my box this month, it’s very apt for the festive season with festive treats and drinks to help you when you’ve overindulged, although I feel like I’ve not received as much this month and I’ve got some similar things to last month with the Kent’s Kitchen brand and also the curry sauces.
I put together this gift guide to hopefully provide inspiration for those partaking in Secret Santa at their work which usually involves a small budget, or buying little bits and bobs to finish off their Christmas shopping. Everything is £10 or under and is catered to a wide range: for beauty lovers, fashionistas, gifts for him and for teens too. I had to include a couple of mugs as I thought the Game of Thrones one was too cool to leave out! Want!
1. Burts Bees The Natural Necessities Collection – Burt’s Bees
2. Gold Tone Rings Pack – River Island
3. Baileys Indulgent Hot Chocolate mug – Boots
4. Anatomicals Smacker in a Cracker – ASOS
5. One Line a Day Memory Book – Book People
6. This Works Sleep in Progress Duo – Beautybay
7. Gone Girl Book by Gillian Flynn – Amazon
8. Nuxe Reve de Miel Discovery Gift Set – Escentual
9. Game of Thrones Stark Ceramic mug – Play
10. Pop up Pint Glass – Debenhams
11. Moustache Bottle Opener Keyring – ASOS
12. Christmas Pudding socks – Topman
13. L’Oreal Men Expert The Action Hero Gift Set – Boots
14. Dark Blue Polka dot Chambray Tie – Burton
15. The Wolf of Wall Street DVD – Amazon
16. Beer Pong Game – ASOS
17. Green Mushroom Mug – Topshop
18. Weird Shit Book – ASOS
19. Iggi Smartphone Touchscreen Gloves – Amazon
20. Handbag Hook – John Lewis
21. Baylis & Harding Beauticology Trio in a Bag – Boots
22. Vo5 Extreme Style Ultimate Style Tin – Boots
23. Seventeen Lipgloss Library – Boots
24. Monochrome Fairisle Beanie – Burton
25. Elegant Touch Christmas Jumper Nails – ASOS
26. Meowwy Xmas Iphone 5 Case – ASOS
This month’s must have is one of my all time favourite face masks – Origins Out of Trouble mask. You might baulk at the price, and yes it is a lot of money for a mask, but I promise you it’s worth it. I’ve been using mine consistently for over a year and I’ve just started on a new tube, so it’s long lasting too.
It’s one I not only reach for when I’m having a spot crisis, but the rest of the time too. It does a fabulous job of clearing out pores, leaving your skin smooth and soft and stopping those blemishes from even getting a chance to take hold.
It’s a lovely thick texture and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I personally love its scent, with the camphor coming through and clearing your sinuses as well as your skin. Despite the scent it’s not heady or overbearing and always a pleasure to use.
If you want a mask to help clear and prevent blemishes then there is no better one than the Origins Out of Trouble mask, it is definitely one to invest in this month.
A couple of weeks ago I went to the Ideal Home Show Christmas at Event City in Manchester. This year was the first time it came to Manchester with the first show in June, and having enjoyed it I definitely was up for going to the Christmas show.
Having learnt from our previous experience of being stuck in the Trafford Centre car park for the best part of an hour, we set off early in order to get a parking spot at Event City itself and eagerly queued up. It was quite a brisk November day but the cold was bearable as they played Christmas songs and had fake snow tumbling down as we waited to go in. As it got closer to 10am they let us in to watch a choir sing a few songs whilst admiring all the beautiful Christmas decorations. It looked truly magical and felt very Christmassy.
Whilst we were there we did buy a few things, one of the first items I got was a magical speed peeler thing. We were watching a demonstration and it looked really good, and as I have a really crappy speed peeler I decided I wanted one. It came with a julienne peeler and a mandolin as well so I’ve definitely got the tools I need now. I’ve even used it on pumpkin since I bought it and I can peel pumpkin with ease now! Life changer!
I also bought some candles from Root candles. I’d never heard of them before but the candles were half price and I found some gorgeous votives called Hosta.
My mum decided she would finally indulge and splash out on a Vitamix. She fell in love with them in June and I already think they’re amazing, so I was super happy she got one, and the best bit is she said we could share! She also bought some Christmas presents, including a gorgeous petrol grey cashmere poncho for me (I’m not bothered about knowing what I’m getting for Christmas) but I’m not allowed it before Christmas, boo!
While we were walking around the stalls I fancied a nice hot Christmas drink, but instead of opting for mulled wine, I fancied a mulled cider, which was delicious, even my dad enjoyed it and he’s not a big cider fan.
We took our own lunches as it’s cheaper and we can choose the healthy option, but they did have a wide variety of food stalls which I could easily have eaten from, particularly the hog roast and the alternative meats one, which was selling venison, ostrich and more.
After lunch I did grab some churros as up until a few years ago I never saw them over here, so whenever I see a stall it’s a bit of a novelty. However despite buying a small pot, I couldn’t eat very many before I felt sick from the grease, so I passed these on to my parents to finish off.
After 5 hours and numerous kilometres walked we trundled back to the car with bags in hand, tired but happy knowing we’d had a great day out.I definitely recommend going to the Ideal Home Show if you live near Manchester or London, it was very enjoyable and I’ll definitely be going again in June.
One of my must have skincare items is Lush Tea Tree Toner Water (£4.25 – £7.50). It just happens that as well as being super effective and it comes in at a bargainous £4.25.
It only has six ingredients so it isn’t likely to irritate your skin with unnecessary colours and fragrances and it has antibacterial properties help to keep skin clear. I’m onto my second bottle of this since I discovered it earlier in the year and although it has currently been pushed aside for Serozinc, I definitely wouldn’t be without any in the house in times where I’m having a blemish catastrophe.
I even introduced a friend to this, she loves it and was amazed at how it helped her when her skin was going through a bad patch.
It’s refreshing, non-drying and helps balance things out post-cleanse whilst keeping those pesky spots at bay. This is one toner that you definitely should have in your arsenal, it’s definitely one I wouldn’t be without so if you need help with blemish control, or something to perk you up in the morning, this is one to try!