Best beauty presents UK: make-up and skincare gifts from Boots, Allbeauty, LookFantastic, FeelUnique
If you’re looking for the best skincare and make-up gifts to give to your loved on this Christmas then look no further
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Giving a beauty lover a gift can seem like a high-risk strategy. After all, most women who thrill to the glamorous will have their favourite brands, and know all too well what make-up products suit them best.
But choose a present that is thoughtful, lovely, and effective, and the risk is mitigated. All the suggested products below are selected, first and foremost, for being great at what they do. Densely pigmented eye shadows, creamy lipstick formulations, silky textured powder - every choice is a winner.
A note on purchasing strategy. You may think it best to go for volume - i.e. an enormous palette of eye shadows, rather than one very good single shadow. This is a fallacy. Better to buy one lovely, effective small thing than a big gift comprised of dodgy product. It will just end up landfill and any discerning beauty fiend will prefer a quality gift to loads of sub-standard bits, anyway.
Oh - one final word - self-gifting is terribly chic and will always be in fashion, so feel free to dive in.
It’s also not too late to treat them - or yourself - to a beauty advent calendar. It may be December - but it’s ideal for perking up a gloomy January (we won’t tell!)
Our favourite mascara of 2022 - and it will only set you back £7 right now. This is nothing short of a wonder product. A ‘two-in-one’ lash curler and mascara, don’t fret even if you have lashes straigther than a flagpole - this will effortlessly coax them into fluttery, bambi doe eyes. The colour is soot-black, doesn’t clump, and layers beautifully so you can amp up your lashes to transfer from day-to-night. A winner.
Origins were doing ‘clean beauty’ for decades before it became popular, so if you’re conscientious about what you put on your face or how skincare is tested, they’re the legacy brand for you. This trio of masks is ideal for a friend who wants to practice some festive season pampering: three face masks created from natural-origin ingredients to help your skin look hydrated and plump (even if you’re drinking or eating too much).
Suitable for all skin types - a perfect at-home spa treatment.
There are brands that are synonymous with certain products - Hourglass just knows blush. This is one of the finest on the market. Unlike other blushes that can often appear flat, this clever lighting blush uses photoluminescent technology to exhibit depth and dimension. The result? Cheekbones to die for.
Most of us would flinch at spending £39 on a blush for ourselves - making this a gorgeous gift option for a special friend who would never chose to indulge themselves. They’ll look all the prettier for it.
There are red lipstick, and then there are red lipsticks, and this is the latter. In fact, the tester of this product has in excess of 100 red lipsticks crowding her dresser - and this is her absolute favourite.
Why? It’s a brilliant, true red, guaranteed to make teeth look whiter, complexions more clear. It smooths on easily and feels cushiony soft, with impressive staying power (even when eating).
The leather-texture packaging is ultra-cool and distinctive. In a word - perfect.
We’re skeptical of beauty gadgets - our gua sha tool and LED face mask have long since being handed onto charity shops, not worth the faff involved - so we were pleasantly surprised by our trial of the Foreo UFO device.
It’s a fabulous bit of kit, offering a 90 second facial. Chose the skin complaint - the mask to solve it - attach, and use your phone to press start. It’ll alternately heat and cool the skin, vibrate, and help work the mask’s serum into your face. Relaxing, rejuvinating - the cooling function is particularly delectable. It left our skin glowing - refreshed and revived.
One word of caution though - we’d advise you to keep use to 2-3 times a week. We got a bit over keen and our skin got agitated. As soon as we scaled back use, our skin looked - and felt - Just Lovely.
Google trends shows that the Dyson Airwrap continues to be THE hotly hunted after hair tool - but let us let you in on a secret, having tried the Dyson Airwrap: the Shark FlexStyler is cheaper - and better.
Yes, you heard it. Quieter, lighter, and with more reliable results, we adore our FlexStyler. It comes with five attachments - to dry, straighten, curl and boost volume. First and foremost, it’s a high-tech, fast working hairdryer - impressively fast at drying our long tresses - but with a press of a button it transforms it into a hot brush, curler or diffuser. And it packs neatly into a compact box. What’s included? In detail:
- The base styling wand (which converts into a hair dryer)
- Auto-wrap curlers
- Oval brush
- Paddle brush
- Concentrated nozzle (for drying)
- Diffuser (for defining curls)
As a hairstyling idiot, it took precisely 10 minutes for us to figure out - the curling barrels take a little knack. But once you master it, it’s as easy and reliable as can be. Luxurious, beautiful, lightweight, multi-tasking, quiet, reliable - it may look pricy, but this a very, very sound investment.
A beauty loving tween or young teen in your life? This is the gift to pick up for them. This flattering blush appears in almost every ‘Get Ready With Me’ video on TikTok. It’s fab, inexpensive product - scoop a small amount and the heat of your hands to warm it. As it melts, the pigment intensifies - perfect for big impact blush lewks if you’re filming a vid or Insta post.
An amazing collab between the coolest chanteuse, Grace Jones, and cult candle manufacturers Boy Smells. This is a gorgeous scented candle - heady, spicy, musky, a sexy, seductive blend of black pepper, bergamot and cedarwood. Jones designed it to be redolent of her home in Jamaica: it’s the next best thing to visiting.
If you want to flash the cash for a serious beauty lover, nothing is more likely to bring Christmas cheer than a eyeshadow palette - and this is our favourite of 2022.
This doubledecker palette of 10 shades is described as take on “antique rose, bold berry and pearlescent pink shades” for smoky evening looks. Boy, does it deliver. With creamy, blendable colours, gliding on smoothly and then Staying Put. The fill (industry term for portion size) is also huge for a multishadow, 3.1g a pan, so although it’s a costly palette, you get a great deal of bang for your buck.
(on that note, a single shadow from Channel can cost £42, so this is arguably a bargain - these shadows are every bit as good, performance wise).
There’s a decent-quality, well-sized mirror too.
The full shade range:
‘Peony’ (a gentle, pale peachy-pink that creates the perfect canvas on eyelids); ‘Finery’ (a brilliant, crushed gold pigment); ‘Mystic’ (a cool-toned, transitional lilac-leaning shade); ‘Regal’ (a ‘50s-inspired shimmering purple hue); ‘Beau’ (an everyday pink-brown); ‘Divine’ (a champagne shimmer); ‘Love’ (a warm pink); ‘Source’ (a deep terracotta pink); ‘Merlot’ (a rich burgundy that Jamie’s personal favourite) and ‘Velvet’ (a plush, matte purple).
If you know someone who adores hitting the gym and still wants to look kempt afterwards, this will blow them away. These cloths from hair-styling guru Sam McKnight will absord sweat and help tame errant hair post-workout. They’ll cut their post workout clean-up time in half. Also fab for long-haul flights and festivals.
Beauty legend Bobbi Brown returned to the game with her new brand Jones Road (she has long since sold her self-titled brand). Their flagship product, the Miracle Balm, had beauty writers all a titter and it’s a fun peice of kit - essentially a sort of gleaming, glowy blusher. Apply atop of foundation to give your face a healthy glow - it’s very moisturising, so perfect for dry or older skin. It won’t look like you’re wearing make-up - just make you look healthier and prettier.
We don’t know anyone (outside Make-Up Artists and beauty professionals) who clean their make-up brushes enough - it’s necessary to keep them hygienic and to help them smooth product on easily. This gadget takes the tedious task of cleaning brushes and makes it fun, and effortless. It uses centrifugal force to clean, then instantly dry make-up brushes. Fix your brush handle into the rotating holder, dip the bristles into the cleanser, spin, then spin again to dry.
Yes, that’s too much to spend on bubble bath. But this is - quite simply - the most sumptuous, cosseting, best-smelling bubble bath you can find. If you know someone who loves long, indulgent, lingering baths, and you can splurge, this will make their day (or year - a jar lasts and awfully long time)
We wouldn’t risk buying scent for someone unless we knew them and their preferences extremely well. But if they adore fragrance, this is a sure-bet. Ten mini fragrances that are uncannily redolent of gorgeously scented locales - from a smoky Jazz Club to a sea-spray fresh Beach Walk, or a Springtime Walk in the Park. Gorgeous.
If you know someone just getting into make-up, we would always guide you towards Revolution - their make-up is extremely keenly priced, fashion forward, not badly formulated, and hence perfect for playing around with and learning what colours suit. This festive gift set has 30 fun eye shadow shades, and two lipglosses.