“Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, please put some make-up in the beauty blogger’s hat!”
I LOVE all the Christmas beauty collections that come out this time of year – forget buying for others, I’d like them all for myself please! As usual, the make-up companies have brought out the big guns for their seasonal collections, with a massive range of beautifully packaged and great value gift sets available for your perusal.
To help with your festive beauty browsing, I’ve rounded up my Top 10 Christmas Beauty Collections available this year in the ‘Kong… and whether you’re feeling sharing and caring or just want to buy them all up for yourself, there’s plenty to pick from! *Friends and family, I hope you’re reading this!*
You know how most beauty companies make do with just one Christmas collection? Well, not MAC! They have not one, not two, but FOUR amazing holiday collections set to hit the shelves in time to make their way into Santa’s stocking. Divine Night is your more standard holiday collection, full of party perfect make-up (think lots of rich colours and shimmery metallics; I’m eyeing the jewel-toned kohl pencils), whilst Stroke Of Midnight includes gorgeous Art-Deco packaged palettes for your eyes, lips and face, plus some make-up brush kits too – both are available at counters now.
Don’t blow your entire budget on these two just yet though – the Nocturnals Collection boasts loads of gift-ready kits filled with sparkles, glitters and pigments, whilst the best might just be saved ‘til last (13 December 2013, to be exact)… the RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection! Yup, Rihanna is back with more make-up goodies – look out for the amazingly-pigmented lippies in particular.
See all MAC locations in Hong Kong here
Whenever I need a bit of a spa-style indulgence at home, I always turn to Bliss – I just can’t get enough of their ultra luxurious pampering products (although, of course, it’s always better when other people buy them for me *wink*!). Their Christmas gift sets are always worth a look as they’re usually really great value compared to the usual retail price of their products; this year, I’ll be asking Santa for the divine-smelling You Butter Watch Out trio of silky-soft body creams ($530) the Let It Glow set of Bliss’ hero face products ($1,080 – and if you haven’t tried the Triple Oxygen Mask yet, it’s a life-saver!), and the Two Turtle Gloves kit of softening gloves and hand cream to help mend my so-dry-I-no-longer-have-fingerprints hands ($660). P.S. The failed tabloid journo is me always appreciates a good pun, and Bliss Spa are total masters of them!
See all Bliss Spa stockists in Hong Kong here
If you’re a sucker for cute packaging, your wallet is going to take a beating at Shu Uemura’s counter this season – their 6 Heart Princess collaboration with Japanese artist Takeshi Murakami is just too adorable for words! Every piece in the collection comes adorned with Murakami’s trademark colourful artwork; the Eye & Cheek palettes ($550) would make great gifts for any spunky teens on your Christmas lists. Meanwhile, true make-up junkies should head straight for the Lip & Cheek Fun-tasy tints ($230) these two-in-one products give a light, pretty and long-lasting injection of colour to your complexion in a flash.
See all Shu Uemura locations in Hong Kong here
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend… and so is make-up! Clearly bareMinerals were listening to a lot of Marilyn when they created their holiday collection, as all their pieces are set to dazzle with prismatic packaging and shiny silver hues. A contender for my product of the year has to be their super clever Mix Master Convertible Eye Shadow Palette ($450); containing twelve shades of their fabulously pigmented and cashmere soft READY eye shadows, this palette also includes a brilliant pop-out compact of three eye shadows, which you can mix and match from the selection, click into the travel-friendly compact, and then sling in your bag for extra convenience. Clever stuff!
Meanwhile, if you want to channel RiRi and shine bright like a diamond, what better way of doing it than with a giant diamond-esque pot of foundation?! Their Deluxe Original Foundation ($350) features a super-sized version of their signature “swirl, tap, buff” powder foundation, in a gloriously chunky, bling-tastic pot that would look fab on any dressing table. Something tells me Elizabeth Taylor would have been all over this one!
See all bareMinerals locations in Hong Kong here
If you find most Christmas beauty collections too glittery and kitschy for your liking, then the cool simplicity of Aesop’s gift sets should appeal. Intriguingly inspired by the Italian Futuristic movement (which I sadly remember studying at university… a loooooong time ago!), I love how sleek, modern, and striking these kits look. Packaged in convenient tins, they’re great for travel – go for the Alacrity Kit ($1,150) for a classic skin quartet suitable for all complexions or the moisturising Sonority Kit ($850) to combat the season’s drying climate.
Thanks to their slick but simple look, these sets also have a great unisex appeal – tick off any blokes on your list with the Intensity Kit ($720), which should cover all his grooming needs for the next few months at least!
See all Aesop locations in Hong Kong here
Benefit are always a winner for cute, girlie packaging and this Christmas, their sets are all illustrated with fun 70s/80s inspired cartoons (which I get a bit of a Jem & The Holograms vibe from… but then again, I’m Jem obsessed – outrageous!). I’m mightily taken with the Love At First Shine lip gloss set ($280), the It’s A Love Fest pretty-in-pink kit ($560) and the Groovy Kind-A Love tin ($390), which basically has everything you need to create a quick, easy, ready-to-go make-up look – face, eyes, lips, cheeks, lashes… it’s got all your bases covered! These are some of the best value make-up gift sets around town, so fill your boots girls!
See all Benefit locations in Hong Kong here
NEAL’S YARD REMEDIES
Fancy going green for your Christmas stocking? Well British brand Neal’s Yard Remedies firmly delivers on the organic beauty front! Made from only sustainably sourced natural ingredients that are 100% free of synthetic fragrances, silicones, mineral oil, parabens, GMO and any other nasties you can think of, their Christmas gift sets are ideal for any green queens on your list. My top picks are the DELICIOUS smelling Ginger & Vanilla Organic Body Collection ($390) or their Frankincense Organic Spa Collection ($780), a handy starter kit filled with their signature cleanser, toner and moisturiser.
See all Neal’s Yard Remedies stockists in Hong Kong here
Winner of best packaging of the year has to go to NARS Guy Bourdin Collection – the Fling Set ($490) includes four gorgeous lip products all packed up into a totally rad lips keepsake case (shown at the top of this article)! LOVE! The rest of the collection is inspired by photographer Bourdin’s cinematic use of strong, bold, powerful shades, so look out for the bright eye shadows and colour-pop lippies in particular.
See all NARS locations in Hong Kong here
CRABTREE & EVELYN
If you want total no-brainer Christmas pressies that just about everyone on your list will love, Crabtree & Evelyn’s beautifully-packaged options have to be top of the tree here in Honkers (well, if the number of people toting massive C&E bags on the MTR is anything to go by!). With dozens of kits available in nearly all their different varieties, you’re spoilt for choice here (and did you know they do delish foodie sets too?!); my personal fave is the Pomegranate Daily Essentials Kit ($495), which comes in a lovely reusable tote bag. The Nourishing Lip Butter Trio ($245) is sounding mightily tempting too – vanilla crème brulee lip butter? Sign me up!
See all Crabtree & Evelyn locations in Hong Kong here
GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY
Looking for a little bit of sophistication in your stocking this year? Then check out Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Eccentrico Collection, which takes a step away from the festive norm by opting for an unconventional, fresh, pastel palette of colours. My must-have product is the simply beautiful Eccentrico Star Palette blush ($650), which frankly, might just be too pretty to use. Swoon. I predict sell-out, so get thee to the counters quickly!
See all Giorgio Armani Beauty locations in Hong Kong here
…Plus one extra for luck, BURT’S BEES
I never can stick to a word limit… and these were just too cute to resist! These Quick Fix Christmas Ornaments ($49.9) contain one of Burt’s Bees 100% natural signature lip balms in a choice of flavours and would make for great stocking stuffers, or for buying up to distribute amongst friends… and all at an ultra affordable price point too. You’ll also find plenty of sets devoted to keeping your skin soft, supple and moisturised this winter – the From Garden To Hive set ($335.9), including lip balm, body lotion and foot cream, should have you covered from top to toe!
See all Burt’s Bees stockists in Hong Kong here