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Beauty wrapped up
7:00am Saturday 24th November 2012 in NewsXtra
Treat your beauty addict friends and relatives to a festive treat. Lisa Haynes rounds up the best beauty stocking thrillers.
By Lisa Haynes
Beauty used to get a bad wrap at Christmas: soap on a rope, redundant bath salts and selection boxes of revolting mini fragrances.
These days, Christmas lists are packed with pampering requests.
From dazzling beauty sets and designer fragrances to spa-style toiletries, it's like the 2012 equivalent of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Here's what Santa Beauty has to offer your Christmas shopping list.
Make her Christmas complete with lashings of glitz, gold and labels.
:: No party girl's outfit is ready without a dazzling accessory, and Estee Lauder delivers with its Swarovski Evening Bag Collection. The set contains a lipstick and crystal mirror for touch-ups in an eye-catching clutch, £38 (House of Fraser).
:: Forget Christmas trees, even nail polishes have been sprinkled with bling. Presented in a gift box, Nails Inc's limited edition polishes with crystal caps are the ultimate in decadence for manicured fingers, £15 each (www.nailsinc.com).
:: Combine jewellery with fine fragrance by wrapping up Chloe's Signature Solid Perfume Necklace. The precious locket houses a blend of rose notes that can be applied to pulse points on the go, £45 (0800 083 6312).
:: Make-up mavens with a penchant for labels will love Yves Saint Laurent's limited edition Pure Chromatics Collector. The palette is slipped into a sparkly sequinned pouch resembling a designer vintage dress, £39.50 (www.yslbeauty.co.uk).
The pamper queen
Switch her regular bubble bath for a more exotic pamper with these indulgent me-time treats.
:: What better gift for bathing beauties than a mini gold roll-top tub filled with festive offerings? Baylis & Harding's Limited Edition Bath Gift Set includes Spiced Orange Body Wash, Plum Pudding Body Butter and Frosted Cranberry Lip Butter, £4 (www.baylisandharding.com).
:: If she's more concerned with keeping fine lines at bay than kicking back, look to Elemis's regal Pro-Collagen Queen kit. Presented in royal purple vanity case, this gift of glowing skin is packed with Pro-Collagen anti-ageing gems, £195 (0117 316 1888/www.timetospa.co.uk).
:: Bring the spa to the bathroom with Sanctuary Spa's Deluxe Retreat box. There are five pampering essentials with puff to lather up with, £25 (Boots).
:: Guarantee silky smooth skin with some added Christmas sparkle. I Love's Nourishing Body Butter Christmas Collection contains four seasonal tubs, £4.99 (Superdrug).
The fragrance fiend
Follow your nose to a sensational scent that will make her think of you every time she spritzes.
:: If all that festive chocolate is bringing on the guilt, indulge in a beautifying apple. DKNY Golden Delights Holiday Set includes DKNY Golden Delicious eau de parfum and Shimmering Body Lotion, £48 (nationwide).
:: Those who can't be without their fragrance will adore the handbag-friendly Angel Luxury Purse Spray eau de parfum. The gem embossed bottle is a star gift for on-the-go spritzes, £81.50 (0207 307 6700/www.muglerstore.co.uk).
:: Forget winter layers and indulge in fragrance layering - designer style. Go for gold with Balenciaga Paris's luxurious gift set containing eau de parfum and matching body lotion to intensify the scent, £63 (0800 652 1615).
:: The little black dress of perfumes, Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire eau de parfum is made up of intoxicating notes of black cherry, almond and rose, from £42 (House of Fraser).
The girly girl
Pink, fluffy and cute, these adorable sets are the next best thing to a puppy/kitten/bunny rabbit.
:: Festive cuties won't be able to resist The Body Shop's Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub & Moisture Collection. The reusable tin houses four spicy ginger-scented limited editions, £15 (www.thebodyshop.co.uk).
:: Boudoir style and bursting with pretty products, MAC's Divine Desire Paramour Pink is ideal for fans of retro glamour. Containing Powder Blush, Cremesheen Lipstick, Lipglass, Technakohl Liner and Powder/Blush Brush, this powder pink bow pouch is sure to please, £45, (0870 034 2676/www.maccosmetics.co.uk).
:: Keep the dentist happy and indulge a sweet tooth with Philosophy's candy cane shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath. The whipped butterscotch and vanilla creme scents should satisfy cravings, £14 (www.philosophyskincare.co.uk).
:: With its polka dot shower cap and cupcake soaps, make bath time the dessert of your day with The Pampery Bakery Tin Hat Box Set, £8 (Asda).
The grooming guru
Make sure the boys aren't left out of the pamper action with a man-friendly kit.
:: Make him follow the North Star to the bathroom with Molton Brown's London Via The Stars set. The galactic-themed shower time box contains four body washes from citrus to spicy scents he can swap to match his mood, £49 (www.moltonbrown.co.uk).
:: Fitness buffs and sports fans can (pretend to) work their biceps with every spritz of Davidoff Champion. The gift set contains eau de toilette, and hair and body wash for his gym bag, £38 (www.areyouarealchamp.com).
:: Celebrate the Jubilympic year of 2012 with Wahl's limited edition London print hair clipper and trimmer, £35.73 (Boots).
:: Let him dive into L'Occitane's Verdon Men's Collection. The box set contains eau de toilette, Fresh Water Shower Gel, Invigorating Shave, Energy Moisturiser and soap for an exhilarating freshen-up on Christmas morning, £42 (0207 907 0301/www.loccitane.co.uk).
Tried & tested
When it comes to mistletoe kisses, you can't go wrong with a classic Santa-inspired red. Our testers put three lipsticks to the pout test:
:: Rimmel Kate Moss Kate Lipstick Collection Shade 1, £5.49 (nationwide)
The tone of this matte lipstick is vibrant and best reserved for glam evenings. Beautifully creamy when applied, and although it was long-lasting, my lips felt slightly dry afterwards.
:: Revlon Cherry Blossom Lipstick, £7.49 (0800 0825 2716)
A bright and bold red with a tinge of pink, this is a fun, girly colour that's perfect for parties. It glides on easily and, although the colour didn't stay strong for long, it fades to a pleasant, just-been-kissed sort of look.
:: MAC Russian Red Lipstick, £14 (www.maccosmetics.co.uk)
This lipstick goes on smoothly and, with a bit of blotting and reapplication, lasts all night. The colour is a beautiful cherry red which flatters most complexions and adds a foolproof touch of Hollywood glamour to your look.
Buy it now
Give the gift of gorgeous with Paul & Joe's limited edition holiday season kit. Decorated with mythical unicorns featuring names like Kiss of Snow, Sleigh Ride and Frozen Lilac, it's the glam way to enter into the festive spirit. Priced £36 for printed make-up bag, face powder and creamy cheek powder (www.beautybay.com).
:: Beauty sleep
Brits are spending millions on beauty miracle-workers to cover up a poor night's sleep. Women spend an average of £52 a month on beauty products to disguise the signs of ageing, eye bags and fine lines, according to a Silentnight study. Despite the big beauty spend, fewer than a third of people (30%) believe they do the job. Respondents believed sleep, staying hydrated, healthy diet and exercise beat face creams for staving off the ageing process.
Try before you buy with The Fragrance Shop's Discovery Club. Sign up to a quarterly subscription box at £5 (four issues per year), and you'll receive five samples of the latest fragrances and money-off vouchers. Visit www.thefragranceshop.co.uk/discoveryclub