A Holiday Gift Guide

A good three or four times before, I’ve actually intended to write a gift guide kind of post but have never gotten my act together to post. This time, I’m throwing together a hodgepodge of items that I think would be great ideas for women in your life. There’s definitely some beauty picks but with my recently rekindles interest in style (thanks to my wardrobe clearout and attempts at the capsule wardrobe), there’s some fashion as well. Let’s get to it before I get entirely sidetracked:

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  1. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter ($54 CDN): While Charlotte Tilbury’s packaging screams luxe indulgence as a gift, the product here is actually the best part. Enriched with squalene, this liquid illuminator creates the look of dewy skin under the most flattering lighting impossible. The shades have a sheerness that makes them easier to choose for someone else and are flattering with their lack of actual shimmer particles.
  2. Zara Menswear Style Coat ($159 CDN): In a sense, outerwear is something rather difficult to buy for someone else. However, I feel comfortable with the sizing of this classic Zara coat enough to recommend it. It’s a wool-nylon blend that has held up rather nicely – I have last years version – and has a classic fitted tailored silhouette. It runs a touch small but the sizing is fairly standard, especially for Zara. It has flattering tailoring, a single breasted closure and a slightly nipped in waist. It’s also warm enough for below-zero temperatures. The quality is impressively good, too.
  3. Fossil Elle Crossbody ($198 CDN): This was actually a gift I received maybe three holiday seasons ago that I love. It’s a good quality leather purse that isn’t exorbitantly expensive or trendy. It’s the perfect cross body size, with two different zippered comparments that have the dimensions of an agenda roughly but are deep enough for all of the essentials. I have a beige one that I reach for often without thought. It straddles the line of being classic but also cool.  The leather holds up well and the bag is surprisingly versatile.
  4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Carli Bybel Eyeshadow Palette ($60 CDN): If you are someone who loves their neutrals but wants to incorporate some metallics and jewel tones and just generally have some fun with eyeshadow, I think this palette is worth a shot. The one thing that I’d say is that the metallic shades can have severe fallout but that’s kind of expected. I like the balanced mix of warm and cool toned shades and neutrals and more fun shades. Also, I appreciate the mix of mattes, shimmers and metallics. The quality is good but the real gem is the colour selection which is great for neutral, amped up and looks with some colour.
  5. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask ($12/ 30 mL): While this mask is among my absolute favourite deep conditioners for my waves and curls, I think it actually holds universal appeal. I don’t really know of anyone who couldn’t use a masque or deep conditioner during the cooler weather and this is an excellent one for all hair types and textures. It has a good balance of moisture and protein, is nourishing while being lightweight, has slip and is concentrated. The ingredient-conscious crowd will also appreciate the composition.
  6. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo with Brush ($99 CDN): It appears that my makeup picks are very Charlotte Tilbury heavy, here. This was unintentional. I can say that this limited edition holiday packaged set would be an excellent pick for anyone kind of fair to medium in skin tone. The bronzer is so smooth and easy to apply, kind of light to medium in depth with neutral undertones that can provide sculpting action and a touch of warmth. I’m not usually one to wax poetically about packaging but the compact is lovely and the brush looks great. The highlighter is soft and golden in tone as well, on the subtler side of the spectrum.
  7. Zara Double-Faced Biker Jacket ($159 CDN): Motorcycle jackets are some of my favourite pieces of outerwear and they had a major moment this fall. However, they are usually reserved for Fall and Spring. This season, shearling lined aviator styles are trending for the winter and they give effortless cool girl vibes.    The cream version might not be super practical but looks great and the easy fit would make it an easy gifting pick.
  8. H&M Off-the-shoulder Sweater ($29.99 CDN): I think sweaters might be the easiest item of clothing to gift to someone else and they are one that I always appreciate. This is actually I sweater I picked up when H&M was having a sale event and I’m wearing it non-stop. It’s super soft and non-itchy – with a little bit of stretch and some wool content – that’s cozy without making me overly warm. It looks great with a front tuck into jeans and I also like wearing it as a cowl-neck kind of sweater, also. It runs a little oversized.

 

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Birthday Beauty Acquisitions

Short story even shorter: I just had my twenty first birthday and because my friends and family know me so well, there were a fair number of beauty gifts and I thought I would share them…

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Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX04 ($58)

I’ve always wanted to try the famous Kevyn Aucoin SSE so as soon as it was available at Sephora, I knew that I was serious about this uber concentrated and oil-infused concealer pot. I’ve been pleased with this concealer despite the praise that the product consistently gets. I do have to say that this shade runs a bit darker and more orangey than I would expect a fair shades with golden undertones to run – but it does work with my bit of a tan on my fair skin. And it might just be even more concentrated than everyone boasts in the best way possible.

Living Proof Extending Curl Memory Travel Kit ($36)

I’ve always wanted to try the sulfate and silicone free products from the brand,Living Proof, so this trial set of their curl range was right up my street so obviously it was added to my list. I must say that all three are rather nice but the Curl Defining Rinse is fantastic – it detangles my hair like nothing else with it’s unique gel texture while adding lightweight moisture.

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave In Defining Cream ($23)

Briogeo is one of those other brands that has made sulfate and silicone free products for curly hair that has always intrigued me, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to try out their curl cream. It’s even more interesting that it has some hold to it and is designed for looser curls as well that works to define them with a lightweight texture.

Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter ($35)

Moisturizer (particularly for the body) is not something that one normally gets excited over, although with my eczema and general sensitive skin issues, I’m more disposed to considering investing more money and time into. Regardless, I loved receiving this fragrance-free nourishing body butter. It’s not exactly miraculous but the concentrated balmy cream is all kinds of lovely and soothing.

OPI x Coca Cola Take 10 Set

Lauren, my nail polish loving bestie, continued her tradition of giving me these exciting 10 piece mini polish kits from OPI and I couldn’t be more happy about it – and I admit it, no matter how materialistic that it sounds. I love the OPI formula and these colours are right up my alley and different from all my other shades, consisting of reds, a corally hue and some nice darker offerings. I’m thrilled to have another tube of Nail Envy and to try the Top Coat, too!

Revlon Nail Enamel in Revlon Red ($7)

Along with a gorgeous scarf and maxidress, my friend, Laura (generously) gifted to me this traditional red polish and while I have not applied it yet, I’m excited about it for three reasons; one being that I’m a red kind of girl, two being that I’ve always wanted to try the classic Revlon formula and three being that I don’t have many colours in this shade family. Will report back.

Sephora Lotus Mask ($8)

I’m a face mask kind of girl so sheet masks have caught my attention once or twice, especially those with beneficial ingredients such as this one but I tend to be put off by the price and the fact that they are a single-use product. I’m really excited to try out this “moisturizing and soothing” one, though. It contains only a tiny bit of fragrance as potential irritations and is full of emollients and soothing ingredients.

Any new purchases to share?
Maggie, x.