It’s December 2019 and you know what that means! Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is on repeat, my Christmas tree was up two weeks ago, and I’ve already done 50% of my shopping. I flippin’ love Christmas in case that wasn’t clear.
This isn’t my first Christmas Gift Guide, but a new year always brings new toys, so I’ve done a list of 19 of my absolute favourite beauty buys for 2019 to suit all budgets in no particular order. Enjoy and post in the comments what you chose!
1. Revolution Eyeshadow Palette $8 – $25
This new brand available in Priceline has some incredibly gorgeous products, shades and pigments for such a low price. My friend and I discovered this last week and we stocked up in the half price sales. Their eyeshadows blend seamlessly, colours pop, and packaging is professional and hardy enough to include in my professional makeup kit.
2. Jalyd Professional BIOPHORMA Drops of Silk $24.95
A client handed this to me from her own makeup bag last week to add shine to her hair after styling. It is HEAVEN. Feels like silk on your hands and gives an instant soft satin sheen to the hair. We used this as a finisher through soft GHD curls, but it would be stunning on any kind of up-do too.
3. Essence Plumping Nude Lipgloss $4.50 and Soft Contouring Lipliner $2
With these prices it’s hard to believe this is my favourite liner/gloss combination. The lip gloss isn’t a huge plumper but gives a little tingle and the shine makes lips pop, while their nude lipliner in 08 Big Proposal is my go to nude lipliner for under most lipsticks. Available from Priceline and Target.
4. Morphe Eye Palettes from $17 to $64
I was skeptical of they hype over this brand especially seeing as the palette I had my eyes on with all of $36. The hype is REAL! Colours are bright and strong, blend beautifully and the packaging and pricing just says “PROFESSIONAL RANGE” all over it. I chose the 35 Colour Burst Artistry Palette but they also do some smaller gorgeous nude palettes for your personal kit!
5. Lush Scrubee Body Butter $16.95
I was given this last Christmas as part of a honey themed gift pack and it is delishhh. It works as a body scrub and body butter best used in the shower and your skin will feel like actual butter by the time you step out.
6. Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm $13.95
On the topic of Lush and honey – in the same gift pack came this little gem which is possibly the best lip balm I’ve used in years. Non-sticky, doesn’t do that thing where you eat it off or it just disappears and leaves your lips feeling like they need more. This is long lasting, and Lush has probably done themselves a disservice by making this so effective I only need to use it every few days now. Also weird tip, mine was flown from the US, and had this grainy sort of texture that melted in – my friend bought one new and she didn’t find it as effective until she accidentally left it in her hot car one day and it took on the same grainy, super effective texture. Maybe a *hot* insider tip??
7. Bobbi Brown Brushes from $46
On the more $$$ end of the list are any/all brushes by Bobbi Brown. I used to work on the counter at David Jones Chatswood and there’s a reason this is still one of my favourite brands. The quality is absolute top-notch. If you’re looking for a present that will last a lifetime, invest in any of their brushes or their mini brush set. I purchased mine 10 years ago (several full size brushes and one Christmas Limited Edition travel brush set) and they feel and look brand new a decade later. Not for vegans, these are real hair, but when carefully looked after with shampoo and conditioner, you’ll never need to buy brushes again.
8. Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm $40
My all-time favourite cream that I tend to use as a hand cream. This smells like straight up oranges fresh from the tree. I originally purchased this as a Christmas present for myself, promptly left it overseas at my sister’s house and had to wait 12 months to get it back. It was worth it.
9. Hawaiian Tropic Sunless Tanning Milk $16.99
As you know from my earlier posts, I’m a little self-tan obsessed having not inherited my mother’s incredible dark tanned skin of her teens. I normally religiously use either the ModelCo Ultra Dark Tanning Mousse or the Moroccan Tan Instant Exotic Tanning Mousse. But knowing I’d be poolside for most of summer and self-tan + pool/beach/sunscreen is not a winning combination for a lasting tan I thought I’d try a ‘tan extender’ as we used to call them. Hawaiian Tropics Tanning Milk smells like heaven and tops up my natural tan (ha) nice and evenly without an orange streak in sight. I found the tanner in it strong enough to not need to apply every day and have since been using this as my go to self-tan!
10. MCobeauty Just Peachy Highlight Palette $20
News.com.au was to thank for my purchase of this after a rave review from their beauty editor. I waited patiently as I do for a sale to strike and bought this for just $5 (!!) along with their Just Peachy Eye Palette. Not a fan of the cardboard packaging but the highlighters themselves are bright, pigmented, and instantly noticeable. On summer makeup days I just use the bronze shade as my contour with a golden pop on the cheekbones.
11. Revolution Roxxsaurus Highlight & Contour Palette $20
Another incredibly priced palette, this was one of my haul from Priceline’s half price sale as I mentioned. LOVE these contour shades and they apply so softly it’s like there’s no product on my (*cough* Bobbi Brown*) brush. Heaven for makeup artists looking for combined highlight and contour shades in the one set without the mix of powders and creams which we know can be a nightmare. AND they make a full cream version too.
12. GHD Original IV Styler $178
For someone you really really like, go all out and get them the gift that never stops giving – a GHD. I use this religiously and barely ever pick up my old tongs, wavers, and blow dryer because this does it all. I’ve found in my experience the limited edition GHDs don’t have the longevity of the classic styler so save them having to replace it in a couple of years and stick with the original and the best.
13. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Pot in Blackest Black $16.95
This one doesn’t seem very exciting but either paired with something else from this list, or with the following disclaimer, it’s actually very exciting. This is THE gel liner to use. I can personally vouch that I have confirmed this with a number of makeup artists, plus rave reviews from my clients and constant use by yours truly. Most artists will turn up their noses towards ‘drugstore’ brands, but most have tried and failed to find a gel liner that is as good as this one. Waterproof, smudgeproof, brush included, and cleanest lines that look like a liquid or smudge like a kohl, this is the best on the market.
14. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium EDP from $99
Ohhh this perfume is life. Not for everyone but if you are looking to spoil someone with an incredible date night perfume go no further. Sexy, delicious, keeps you wanting more…Keep an eye on Chemist Warehouse where their crazy perfume and cologne sales can make this much more affordable.
15. Manicare Glam False Lashes in 43. Adrianna $12.99
False lashes are back in and with all the YouTube tutorials and nifty tools and applicators they are easy to learn to use and surprisingly durable and reusable. This is my favourite pair that I get about 10-15 uses out of before I decide to get a fresh set. Also, the Manicare Glam glue that is included has a UV type shine when wet that provides better staying power than the industry standard DUO lash glue.
16. Pretty Frank Limited Edition Christmas Candles $39
In the body and wellbeing department comes these incredible Christmas edition candles. I’m biased as this business is owned by my good friend but having been a big candle buyer before she started her range, I would never go back. Her Christmas collection includes Gingerbread, Pine Tree and Christmas Pudding but they are selling out quickly! (Candy Cane is already gonnnee!)
17. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Asia $12.95
I’ve raved about this before, this is the lipstick I use on about 92% of my clients and almost 100% of the time for brides and bridesmaids. Long lasting, sweet smelling and the perfect pink-nude shade for almost all skin tones.
18. OPI Hello Kitty Infinite Shine Let’s be Friends $22.95
As a beauty therapist I’ve tried a lot of ‘standard’ nail polishes without entering the realm of gels, shellacs and powders. OPI remains the best to apply and longest lasting and this pretty in pink nude shade is nothing but class. Check out all the little sets OPI does year-round or in the lead up to Christmas for a few more colour options.
19. Makeup Lesson by Morgan & Elwood from $95
And of course I have to do a little self promotion here… with all those gorgeous products above you guys surely want to learn how to use them! Instead of gifting something physical, experiences are always more memorable and a makeup lesson for one, two or group of three or more will give you skills for life, memories and each lesson comes with a special gift – it could even be something from this list!!
All my love,