Don’t get distracted at the beauty halls. You don’t have time for that. Here, we help you navigate the maze of festive shopping, from makeup brushes to limited-edition scented candles, collectibles everyone will love, travel-size beauty products, and no-wrap gift sets.
Diptyque Incense Tears Scented
Candle, $55 for 70g, $105 for 190g.
Cinnamon and incense – so apt for the season. This is soothing, warm and earthy.
Guerlain Cuvee Secrete Candle,
Powdery, woody, spicy and slightly sweet all at once. Let it grow on you.
THE DEAL: LIMITED-EDITION CANDLES
It’s the best time to buy a scented candle. Why? The scents are specially created for the season. And the beautiful jars can be reused.
Jo Malone Green Almond &
Redcurrant Christmas Candle, $380.
A happy, uplifting and sweet scent (might be too sweet for some).
Byredo Rose Water Candle, $110.
Rose water with a bit of green so it doesn’t smell synthetic or overpowering.
THE DEAL: THE SLEEKEST CAR DIFFUSER
The Diptyque Car Diffuser is sleek and chic. You’ll want to show it off rather than hide it in the dark recesses of your ride. You can control the intensity of the fragrance with the lever on top. And there are seven scents to choose from so your car always smells different. Each scent insert lasts three months and costs $66. The diffuser costs $90.
THE DEAL: GOOD-QUALITY MAKEUP BRUSH SETS
These should always include brushes for loose powder, blusher, eyeshadow and brows. The best brushes are soft, not poky, and are full of bristles. Buying them as a festive set can save you 30-60 per cent off the regular a la carte prices.
Travel Essentials. Bobbi Brown Travel Brush Set offers a face brush, a blusher brush, and three eye makeup brushes, packed in a maroon clutch. $196.
A Basic Starter Kit. Smashbox Drawn In. Decked Out. Multi-use Brush Set has a foundation brush, three eye makeup brushes and a fan brush that’s good for blushers, and contouring and highlighting powders. Comes in a roll-up pouch. $69.
For Touch-ups. M.A.C Snow Ball Brush Kit / Mini gives you a powder brush, eyeshadow brush and an angled liner/brow brush in a cute rose gold pouch. $57.
THE DEAL: NO WRAPPING NEEDED
These items are already gorgeous on their own, and this saves you the hassle of wrapping them.
That means you also save money, time and the environment.
Crabtree & Evelyn Comfort & Indulge
White Cardamom Body Duo, $80.
The hardy flip-top box can be reused as pretty storage on your dresser. What’s in it: a body scrub and body cream that smell subtly spicy, nutty and woody.
Innisfree Winter Skin Care Puzzle
A box that looks like a book – a hideaway for all your precious trinkets after. What’s in it: a serum, face moisturiser, two face masks and a face mist.
Cle de Peau Beaute Holiday Essential Radiance Set, $185.
Designed by American painter Kathe Fraga, this box’s watercolour-painting print could pass as artisanal wrapping paper. What’s in it: a cleansing foam, softening lotion and two emulsions.
L’Occitane x Rifle Paper Co. Shea Dry Skin
Essentials Set, $45.
The tin case is a collab with stationery company Rifle Paper Co. What’s in it: Shea Ultra Rich Body Scrub, Body Cream and Hand Cream.
Fresh Zodiac Oval Soap
Collection, $25 each.
12 star signs, 12 soaps. Fresh worked with popular American astrologer Susan Miller to tailor the scent for each sign/soap. Bonus: Each comes with a mini booklet with your sign’s 2018 horoscope forecast.
Crabtree & Evelyn
Frosted Spicewood Reed
This is the brand’s signature festive scent for 2017. It’s spicy-woody, and reminds us of fresh Christmas trees. What’s in it: a reed diffuser.
THE DEAL: THE GIFT WRAP YOU CAN USE AGAIN (AND AGAIN)
Stop fumbling with sticky tape and scissors, and dealing with the heartbreak of watching your giftee rip away your hard work in seconds. The alternative: Lush’s Knot Wraps. The fabric wraps come in three sizes: 50x50cm ($17), 70x70cm ($24), or 100x100cm ($30). The beautiful part? They’re reusable.
THE DEAL: TRAVELSIZE BEAUTY: TRIAL SIZES, PORTABLES & MINIS
During the festive season, you can get almost any beauty product in a mini size. It’s super convenient for the gym and your travels.
1. Sephora Collection La Pinata has 10 mini items: one-portion sleeping mask, lip stain, body wash capsule, fizzing cube, mini liquid eyeliner, eye mask, lip mask, mascara, nail buffer and ribbon hair tie. $49.
2. Jurlique Hand Rescue Mini Treats gives you four 15ml hand creams in rose, lavender, citrus and jasmine. $50.
3. Tarte Posh Pout Quick Dry & Glossy Lip Set offers mini liquid lipsticks in matte and glossy finishes. $52.
4. Laneige Holiday Sleeping Mask Set includes its Water Sleeping Mask in Lavender, Water Sleeping Mask and Time Freeze Firming Sleeping Mask in 25ml tubs. $39.
5. Make Up For Ever Lustrous Must-Haves has what you need for a classic makeup look. $49.
6. Ouai Haircare Ouai To Go Kit comes with a dry shampoo foam, wave spray, hair oil, and a pack of three hair ties. $38.
7. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Night Owl Holiday Cracker has a mini eyeliner and liquid eyeliner, and a full-size mascara. $50.
THE DEAL: BEAUTIFUL CENTREPIECES
We all squealed in delight when we received these from Benefit Cosmetics. The psychedelic colours, the ’60s vibe, the snow globe-meets-crystal ball design. What’s not to love? Each contains Benefit’s best-selling skincare and makeup. After you’ve emptied the coffret, use it as a table centrepiece (and conversation starter) for your party. $33-$86.
TEXT DIONE CHEN