Christmas is just around the corner now (yay!) and I've already started to purchase Christmas presents. I bloody love Christmas, and decorating the house and wrapping presents is just pure joy to me. I will admit that I don't have many Christmas decorations (yet), I've been house sharing since I moved to London so it was never really a priority until last year when I had my first own flat. Christmas decorations are also quite expensive, considering you are limited to when you can use them, and I therefore try to buy them after Christmas, when they go on sale. 
Anyhow, this post is not meant to be about Christmas decorations, but about Christmas presents! I mentioned earlier that I've already started buying Christmas presents, and for those whose presents I have bought yet, I've got most of them figured out. I can't disclose what I've bought others (for obvious reasons), but I can talk about what I wish for! If you are struggling to think of Christmas presents for your girlfriend/sister/daughter/friend, then this might be of help (hi mum, hi dad!). 
I'm a massive beauty junkie as you probably already now, and I do think that beauty products make perfect presents. I've lately started obsessing about Zoeva, and bought their Caramel Melange palette on Black Friday. I hope it will arrive early this week, as I can't wait to start playing around with it. It looks so beautiful! I also really like their Cocoa Blend and Blanc Fusion palettes - all three has got really good reviews and work wonderful together. An eyeshadow palette is a great Christmas gift, not only are they super useful (especially during the holidays), but they are also really good value. These palettes are £17.50 each. 
Zoeva also do some lovely brushes, which are of really good quality. Brushes are one of those things that I rarely treat myself to, which is why they are such a good gift! A good quality brush can make such a difference, and is well worth the investment. This set is a bit on the pricey side (£105), but Zoeva (and many other brands, such as Morphe Brushes) offer plenty of different sets at various price points. 
A blush palette is another thing I might not buy for myself, but would love to get as a gift. I'm not very adventurous with blushes, I like a nude/peachy/pinky, very subtle blush, which is what I love about the palette above. Some of the darker, more tanned one would definitely work as a bronzer for me - and if you've been following this blog for a while you'll know that I love a good bronzer. This palette retails for £14,50, which is a very reasonable price for a palette of this size!
I've been using the ABH pressed powder one contour kit for almost a year now, and I still haven't hit the pan on any of the colours! I did recently start to experiment with a contour stick, and I'm now sold on the cream contour as well. I love to first use the stick, and then set it with a bit of the powder. One of my next beauty purchases (or Christmas gifts?) will therefore definitely be the ABH Cream Contour Kit. This one is also a little bit on the pricey side (£39), but it lasts for ages which makes it worth the money. 
When you've got skin like mine (dry, flakey, sensitive and eczema prone) you need base products which won't budge for anything. Earlier this year I tried Pai's Rosehip Oil, which is for hypersensitive skin. It helps reduce redness and fine lines, and keeps your skin moisturised and plump. When products normally promise this, that's not always the case on my skin. It sometimes feels like nothing can make the sandpaper which is my skin soft and comfortable, but this is a true miracle worker! I'm completely converted, and everyone I speak to, regardless of skin type, seem to love rosehip oil too. Those who have I've spoken to with more oily skin than me have sometimes said that they've replaced their face cream with rosehip oil, but I just use it as part of my skin care routine, before my face cream but after my serum.
Not only do I spend a lot of time and money on serums and face creams, but I also like a good primer and foundation to make sure that my skin looks its best. I've heard nothing but good things about the Glossier Moisturizing Primer, which is also anti-redness (be gone eczema!). The packaging is also super cute, which is always a bonus. I would also love to try out the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation. The foundation has got a full coverage, which isn't what I'd normally wear for day to day use (I'm more of a medium kinda gal), but for long nights and early mornings it might be a life saver. I love all of my other UD products, but I'm yet to try one of their foundations. 
Another UD product that I would like to restock on (yes, this is a product I've had before, but sadly I've run out of it) is their All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. I know from experience that this product is amazing, not only for setting your face before a long day (or night), but also for when your makeup needs a refresh during the day. 
Another great Christmas present is perfume, which shouldn't come as a surprise. My current favourite is the POP by Stella McCartney. Earlier this year we helped out at the launch for this perfume, which is when I first discovered it, and I've been obsessing about it since then. 
Last but not least on this list is the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, which was originally created for Audrey Hepburn. It's the brand's hero product, the first pre-shampoo treatment. Philip Kingsley specialises in sensitive scalp and hair loss (great if you're battling eczema), and got plenty of exciting hair masks which can help if you are suffering from any kind of scalp problems. I tend to get eczema in my scalp from time to time, but they have plenty of products which really helps. I've been using the Elasticizer before, and love it, but I've run out and would need a new one. It makes my hair so soft and bouncy, when used regularly it makes my hair look so healthy. 
I hope you enjoy this post, please let me know your thoughts in the comments. I will try to get another wish list posted this week, to give you some more inspiration and gift ideas. Speak soon! x
christmas - christmas gift ideas - gift guide - wish list


BEAUTY. I have been wanting to subscribe to a few beauty boxes for a while now, trying to figure out which one I'd like to start with. I used to subscribe to Glossybox when I was living in Sweden, it was the only one available there and I was really happy with it, but unsubscribed when I moved to England. Over here there is so much more choice, but I've decided to start with Birchbox. Birchbox is one of the few boxes which I had heard of even before I moved to the UK, it's a classic and have overall very good ratings and seem to be very consistent in the quality of the products. I plan on subscribing to a few others over the next few months, to see which ones I like the best. I love beauty subscriptions and the whole concept of them, that you get to try out new products but it has also got that element of surprise to it. I think it's a really nice way to treat yourself, and most of them are really good value (like the Birchbox).
Birchbox is £12.95 /month (including p+p), and contains five beauty products per box. You get to set up a profile, which means that the boxes are (more or less) curated to you and your beauty preferences, which I think is nice. It means I will actually get products that fits my skin type and skin tone. 
My first box was the November box, which arrived on Friday. Additional to the five products that comes with the box, I also got a mascara as a pressie for signing up. 
My box contained:
♥ NUXE Crème Prodigieuse - RRP £21*
♥ Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow Illuminator - RRP £25*
♥ Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle - RRP £18.50*
♥ Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Primer - RRP £15*
♥ Midi Wet Brush - RRP £11.99*
♥ bbrowbar Mascara (Full Size) - RRP £18*
I only got the box a couple of days ago, but my first impressions are all quite positive. What I was most excited about was the BB Cream Golden Glow Illuminator from Marcelle, as I'm running low on foundation at the moment and BB creams generally work really well with my (dry and sensitive) skin. As it's been the weekend, I haven't put it to the test of a full day of work and London living, but for a quiet weekend it's been working really nicely. It has a nice coverage which I'm very pleased with, much better than I woud've thought, and is easy to apply. What I was also pleasantly surprised with was the Protect & Detangle spray from Beauty Protector. It smells exactly like my all time favourite hair oil from Argan Secret, and they seem to be very similar and give pretty much the same result - so I don't mind a little sample that I can keep in my bag. The Lip Tar Primer is really quite moisturising and it's got a nice, minty smell, but once again I haven't really put it to the test yet as I have had a mostly quiet weekend. 
NUXE is a brand I know and love, and this day cream was no exception. It's very moisturising and creamy, without being too heavy. The only thing I'm not completely on board with is the smell, it doesn't in any way smell bad, I'm just not a fan. I personally think it's a bit too perfume-y, if that makes sense. 
I was in need of a new mascara, so when I knew I was getting the bbrowbar Mascara in this month's box I was really happy. I'm struggling a little bit with it, as it is a bit clumpy, but I think we will become friends eventually. I'm a fan of a lot of mascara, but not lumps of it hiding between lashes. I'm not sure if it will get better or worse as it gets a bit drier - and I guess only time will tell. 
The only thing I was a bit disappointed with in this months box was the hair brush. Don't get me wrong, the Midi Wet Brush is actually quite good, but I would prefer something else. I don't mind tools such as makeup brushes in the subscription boxes, but a hair brush is one of those things that I only own one of, and I don't feel like I need another one. I'm happy to spend a little bit more money on a good hair brush, which is what I have done with the one I already have, and therefore this one will only be laying around. Also, I think the beauty of a subscription box is that you get to try products you wouldn't normally buy, but there is nothing too exciting about a hair brush. 
Overall, I'm very happy with the box and super excited to see what will come in my next box! I was cautious to get back in the beauty box wave again, I thought that maybe I remembered it to be better than it was, but now I'm hooked again. 
What beauty boxes do you subscribe to, and which ones would you like to subscribe to? Let me know and I will check them out! Also, if you subscribe to Birchbox - what did you get in your box this month and what do you think? 
*RRPs correspond to full size
Beauty Subscription - Birchbox - Birchbox UK - Lip Tar Primer - Marcelle - NUXE - bbrowbar - beauty blogger