So, seeing as I’m such a huge beauty junkie myself, I feel it’s only right that I compile a list of the Top 10 Beauty musthaves for all of your impending Christmas wishlists.
To give you a brief background in my history of beauty, I trained with Kate Synnott (who now works for Charlotte Tilbury in London) at the age of 19, almost 10 years ago!
Following on from my basic training with Kate, I went on to LA Makeup Academy where I underwent intensive one-on-one training in airbrushing, high-fashion, bridal, era makeup (40’s/50’s/60’s/70’s/80’s) and male makeup.
From there, I secured a contract as a Pro Artist in Make Up For Ever and worked there for about a year before going back to college to complete a masters in Journalism.
So I’ve lots of experience using all kind of products having dabbled with lots of different brands over the years!
- UD Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette
Number 1 on my list obviously has to be the new Gwen Stefani Palette by Urban Decay! I’m a HUGE Urban Decay fan and I get every palette that they release!
They carefully crafted the shadows with Gwen, filling a void by creating the exact shades she always wished she had in her collection. The makeup fanatic in Gwen had a hard time narrowing down her favourites.In the end, they loaded the palette with Gwen’s 15 must-have shades of Eyeshadow (12 are NEW, and three are from the UD shadow collection).
With a huge range of neutrals and a few jewel tones to mix things up, this is Gwen’s go-to kit to achieve her most iconic looks.
Each Eyeshadow in this palette features the signature Urban Decay Pigment Infusion System™, the proprietary blend of ingredients that gives every shade its velvety texture, rich colour, serious staying power and blendability.
The palette is priced at €46 and can be purchased from Debenhams Department Stores nationwide and House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre.
You can also purchase the palette online and have it delivered straight to your door! Shop here: http://bit.ly/1NIWINl
2. Artistic Brush Sets by NIMA Brush
As a beauty blogger, one of my most asked questions is: “what brushes do you recommend?”
As I’ve been working in the makeup industry for almost 10 years now, I’ve compiled quite a collection and have picked up lots over time.
One of my most favourite brands to use however is NIMA Brush.
NIMA Brush was established by long time Irish makeup artist, Niamh Martin, after over a decade working as a professional in the Irish and UK market. The aim was to provide fun, professional grade tools at an affordable cost.
The Artistic Fabulous Face Set is the perfect kit for your base application ritual. With these brushes you can apply liquid, powder & sculpting products and blend for a perfect result.
They are made from both natural and synthetic, high-quality bristles.
The Fabulous Face Set includes:
- Rosie (large powder)
- Blaithin (tapered blush)
- Jane (duo fibre foundation)
- Grace (synthetic tapered)
- Georgie (synthetic angled)
- CJ – (synthetic contour/blush)
- Patricia – (synthetic buffer)
- Erin – (Fan Brush)
It’s priced at €85 and you can shop here: http://bit.ly/1QgqxVN
Now that you have the face perfected, you’ll need a little help on the eyes! The Artistic Eye Complete You Set is exactly what you need!
It comes complete with tapered precision brushes designed to create that perfect blend, diffuse any powder or cream products and get that fine detail into any eye design.
The Artistic Eye Complete You Set includes:
- Nichola (tapered crease)
- Debs (tapered blender)
- Danielle (precision eyebrow)
- Ali (synthetic smudge)
- Yvonne (bent fine liner)
- Jennie (soft crease)
- Lisa (duo fibre fine)
- Patricia (synthetic buffer)
It’s priced at €70 and you can shop here: http://bit.ly/1jPbNib
3. Master Series, Palette One by Blank Canvas Cosmetics
I got my hands on this palette a couple of weeks ago and it’s most definitely a musthave for Christmas.
The palette features 11 velvety matte shades ranging from a gorgeous vanilla base colour to the darkest of browns, perfect for creating depth and shadow. It also contains 1 shimmery champagne highlighter shade, perfect for highlighting the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and cupid’s bow as well as the brow bone.
The Master Palette also contains the bestselling, vegan friendly, E40/41 Double Ended Tapered Crease Blender/Smudger. The stiff flat shader end (E40) can be used dry or damp to apply eyeshadow. The fluffy dome side (E41) can be used to blend seamlessly.
This palette is an absolute bargain too at €34.99 which means each of the eyeshadows work out at almost €3.20 each AND you get the brush worth €11.99 FREE!
Shop the palette online here: http://bit.ly/1lNMMFJ
4. Frosted Plum Collection from The Body Shop
I’m a big Body Shop fan, always have been! You’ll find lots of other reviews on The Body Shop products here on the website, the most popular of which are the reviews on their Ionic Seaweed Clay Mask and the Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Scrub.
But at Christmas time, they always release the most amazing Christmassy themed gifts and my favourite this year is their Frosted Plum Collection!
The range includes a Shimmer Mist (€14.50), Body Butter (€21.95), Bath Fizzers (€20.50), Sugar Scrub (€24.95) and an amazing Frosted Plum Scented Candle (€17) to name but a few,They contain plum extracts from Turkish plum orchards and have hints of magnolia and peony throughout. As you can imagine they smell utterly divine.
You can pick up the Frosted Plum Collection at The Body Shop stores nationwide. For a list of locations, follow this link: http://www.thebodyshop.ie/storelocator.html
The palette features 10 best-selling Eye Shadow Shades from the Freedom System Collection, in a range of colours from subtle everyday to dramatic smokey.
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The palette has a mix of neutral creams and gold, burnt orange, warm browns, rustic burgundy and bold purple making it an all-rounder, perfect for creating day-time AND night-time looks.
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The texture is so velvety and crumbly and the pigment is extremely intense! The above swatches were created with just one stroke of a finger!
The palette is priced at €75 and you can shop online here: http://bit.ly/1Plfie4
6. Large Classic Nylon Makeup Case from Inglot
I know this is expensive and some of you might be too afraid to ask santa for it, but if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, you may just be in luck!
It only took me about 8 years to find good makeup storage and last year, luckily, my ship came in.
Inglot introduced a whole new range of makeup storage recently and after much deliberation, I decided on the Large Classic Nylon Makeup Case.
The larger of the two cases features 8 drawers, which I use to seperate and store some of my products. For example, I use 1 drawer for lipliners, 1 drawer for lipsticks, 1 drawer for cream shadows, 1 drawer for glitters, 1 drawer for pigments etc etc…
It also features a deep base at the top of the drawers that I use to stand all my foundations in and attached to the lid is a detachable brush holder.
The smaller of the two cases or “upper” part features another really deep base and I use this section to store all my palettes and some more foundations. There are trays to the left and right that retract inward and outward, maximising space. I use one side to store all my concealers and the other side stores all my eyeliners, brow products, mascaras etc. The upper part also has another detachable brush holder.
As I said, it’s not cheap but worth every penny! The Large Classic Nylon Makeup Case is priced at €350 and I promise you, they will sell out coming up to Christmas!
Shop online here to avoid any disappointment: http://bit.ly/1VfYXuU
7. MAC Cosmetics Holiday Gifts
The MAC Cosmetics Holiday Gifts do it every year for me! I’m obviously big enough to buy all my own makeup now but for years, my mom put MAC Holiday Gifts under the tree for me and stuffed them in my stocking!
So, in honour of tradition and all that, I thought I’d list just a couple of what my musthaves are this year.
The first of which is the Limited Edition Irresistibly Charming Pigments and Glitter/Blue Collection.
It’s priced at €35, now considering pigments are €22 each, this is a BARGAIN! The Holiday Gifts are available to purchase from Brown Thomas but I would recommend purchasing online because they sell out like hotcakes! Shop here: http://bit.ly/1Q1n8KB
Next up, I’d recommend the Limited Edition Enchanted Eve Brush Kit which includes 5 essential brushes: 168 Large Angled Contour Brush, 133 Small Cheek Brush, 221 Mini Tapered Blending Brush, 239 Eye Shading Brush, 219 Pencil Brush.
All brushes feature bold metallic ferrules and the set come with a matching chic black ribbed clutch.
It’s priced at €60 and you can shop here: http://bit.ly/1YUJfUr
And lastly, I’d recommend the Limited Edition Irresistibly Charming Lip Gloss/Violet Set.
The set features a mix of Cremesheen Glass in beautiful hues of violet and Dazzleglass with glitter-flecked purples.
MAC lip glosses have always been my favourite! I love their chocolate scent, their pigmentation, durability and longevity!
I love the clutch they come with too!
The set is priced at €35, but considering a full-size lipgloss is priced at €22, albeit these are smaller sizes, it’s still a saving of €53. Let’s be real, who ever gets down to the bottom of a full size lipgloss without something happening? It being replaced by a newbie or getting lost somewhere?
For me, it’s like you’re getting a little sample of everything and that’s what I like.
Shop the Limited Edition Irresistibly Charming Lip Gloss/Violet Set here: http://bit.ly/1mbwOp6
8. Fero Professional 17 Piece Make-Up Brush Set
Another brand of brushes I always recommend to followers is Fero Beauty. I was gifted a set of these brushes when I first started out as a makeup artist but on receiving so many requests I tracked them down and turns out, their 17 piece set is not too badly priced at all!
It’s priced at £139.20 which converted to euro is approx €191.76. Certainly not going to be everyones cup of tea but if you are seriously thinking about a career in makeup artistry, I would recommend investing in a set like this to get you started!
It features all the essentials and that flat headed foundation brush is to die for! It’s not like all the other skinny ones you’re familiar with, it’s really wide and covers large pans of the face.
The set includes:
1370 Super Powder brush (Natural Hair)
1371 Super Blusher brush (Natural Hair)
1372 Super Face/ Body brush (Natural Hair)
1389 Foundation Brush (Taklon)
1387 Concealer brush (Nylon)
1388 Lip/Concealer Brush (Nylon)
1382 Midi socket brush (Natural Hair)
1381 Large Socket brush (Natural Hair)
1383 Small Socket brush (Natural Hair)
1375 Blender brush (Sable)
1376 Super Blender (Imitation Sable)
1377 Contour Blender (Sable)
1378 Contour brush (Sable)
1379 Shadow brush (Sable)
1380 Angled Shadow brush (Sable)
1385 Eyeliner No 1 (Sable)
1384 Lip Brush (Sable)
I still have every single one of these brushes in tact for almost 10 years now and that’s saying a lot! It’s a serious investment but worth every penny!
When I was a beginner I also bought the Cranked Eyeliner Brush:
It’s a great buy if you’re finding it really tricky to get your winged eyeliner on fleek! The cranked part of the brush enables you to rest the brush on your eyelid as you drag the eyeliner along, rather that suspending the brush in thin air! It minimises shakey lines A LOT!
The Cranked Eyeliner Brush is priced at £4.50, which converted to euro is €6.20. Not bad at all for a good quality eyeliner brush! You can shop here: http://bit.ly/1Qgmg4C
You can shop the full Fero Professional 17 Piece Make-Up Brush Set here: http://bit.ly/1M43Ego
9. Bobbi Brown Holiday Gifts
I nabbed one of the Bobbi Brown Holiday Gift Palettes back in October when they first hit the stores but I’m eyeing up a few of the others! You can check out the one I got over on my Instagram by clicking here.
One of the other ones on my wishlist however, is the Limited Edition Deluxe Eye & Cheek Palette.
This luxe, two-tiered black palette is packed with a mix of eight iconic and all-new Eye Shadows in matte-to-metallic finishes, plus neutral and pop Blush shades for a super-flattering, natural flush.
The silver interior compact includes a large mirror and Dual- Ended Eye Shadow/Eye Liner Brush for flawless application.
It’s priced at €74 and you can shop here: http://bit.ly/1HVJOcq
I’m also eyeing up the Limited Edition Art Stick Trio Christmas Set.
Art Sticks are formulated with modern emollients, glide on easily and provide rich, creamy colour that stays put. Plus, they double as a liner, so lips are perfectly defined every time!
The set includes Includes a NEW, limited edition Brown Berry, THE first nude Art Stick shade, plus fan favourites Harlow Red and Electric Pink plus a sharpener for perfect-every-time precision.
The Limited Edition Art Stick Trio Christmas Set is priced at €56 but considering each Art Stick is priced at €26.50, you’re saving €23.50 overall so basically you’re getting one for free! Shop the set here: http://bit.ly/1lQxGiy
Lastly, I have to recommend their Rich Caramel Eye Palette.
This rich palette is packed with five warm cream, caramel and brown shadows in matte, shimmer and sparkle finishes. I think this is a great palette for mom because it’s simple, and has just the right amount of sultry, nothing too severe!
The palette also includes a large mirror and Dual-Ended Eye Shadow/Eye Liner Brush.
It’s priced at €49 and you can shop here: http://bit.ly/1HVKrTi
10. Make Up For Ever Holiday Gifts
This would obviously be a dream if this was under the tree for you but can we just take a minute to appreciate the amazingness of the 12 Artist Plexi-Gloss Collection!
The set features 12 full-size Artist Plexi-Glosses in a variety of sheer and opaque shades.
The innovative, non-sticky Plexi-Gloss formula creates looks ranging from sheer to opaque with a high shine that stays put. Its pigments are packed with Plexi Color Technology that delivers up to five hours of colour impact while reflective shine beads maximize shine.
The exclusive, artist-designed superflex applicator features a lip-hugging shape that allows for precision and control and the super-loaded split-tip has a unique contour to sweep on the ideal amount of lip lacquer.
It’s priced at €166 and is available from Make Up For Ever on Clarendon Street, Dublin 2. The set isn’t appearing on their website but you can call them on 01 679 9043.
The advanced gel-powder formula is blended with ultra fine pigments which provides vivid colour payoff and superior blendablilty.
Artist Shadow leaves a smooth, even finish that gives lids super-saturated, lasting colour.
What’s really clever about this palette is, it’s arranged into five easy-to-apply colour trios, ranging from soft, subtle neutrals to daring bolds and brights.
It’s priced at €80 and again, you can call Make Up For Ever on 01 679 9043 to purchase.
So there you have it, my Christmas Gift Guide for all the beauty junkies out there! I hope santa brings you guys everything you ask for! If you have any further questions or need any advice, don’t hesitate to drop me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org