Last-minute choices: Holiday gift sets from The Body Shop

Need some last-minute gifts? I’m going to throw you a bone here…

My absolute favourite store for those hard to buy for, or for those who you have no clue what to get them, is The Body Shop. Since everyone always needs moisturizer, body wash, or body lotion, these gifts are not only safe to give, but they are also fun to receive since the British brand always comes out with some festive sets.

This year’s theme for their gift sets is “kidulting”, that is to infuse your adult life with creative play, games, and childhood fun. This has clearly made its mark on some of the sets since they have some fun offerings this year that can be transformed into fun activities, such as quizzes and spinners, mazes and dice, and more.  Best of all, every purchase goes to a good cause since they have partnered with International Alert to help Syrian refugee children heal through play. Each gift set purchased will support the charity’s Peace Play Program in Lebanon, which provides a safe place for refugee children to play.

the Body Shop x House of Holland Limited Edition Matte Liquid Lips Collection The Body Shop Frosted Plum Tin of Delights.

So what do they have to offer this year? Ton and tons of items!  I was most excited over their collaboration with fashion brand House of Holland.  There are six sets available that are filled with some Body Shop faves, but I personally love the Limited Edition Matte Liquid Lips Collection (C$30), which is a lip-shaped tin filled with three of The Body Shop’s long-lasting best-selling shades of Matte Lip Liquid in Nairobi Camella, Mauritius Dahlia, and Windsor Rose. It doesn’t look like any of the actual Body Shop items are different for this collection, but I think House of Holland just did the packaging for these limited-edition items (the White Musk EDT Gift Set is also a showstopper).

For actual bath and body items, a fabulous option is the Frosted Plum Tin of Delights. For C$28 you get a giant round ornament that opens up to four Frosted Plum-scented goodies. Included in the set are mini sizes of the shower gel, body scrub, body butter, and hand cream.

True to the “kidulting” theme, The Body Shop Dial-a-Flavour body butter set includes five minis of their popular body butters in the scents Strawberry, Almond Milk & Honey, Mango, Shea, and British Rose. Gift this as one set, or you can split it up amongst friends (which is what I did). Since the packaging features a spinner, you could even have this at a holiday party where guests can spin to pick a flavour of the body butter. It looks like this particular set is sold out online, but check your local Body Shop store to find it.

For the perfect stocking stuffer, the Shea Butter Soft Hands Warm Kisses set ($10 USD, not sure on Canadian pricing) is great since it contains a travel-sized hand lotion and lip butter. This one is in the Shea scent, however, I believe that The Body Shop has this duo available in a variety of their different scents. This is the perfect Secret Santa gift, or something to give a teacher, coworker, or as something a little extra to round out a gift you already have for someone.

Finally, and I saved the best for last here, remember when I talked about The Body Shop advent calendars last month? Well the brand also has an advent calendar for New Year‘s as well. Starting on December 25, open a box everyday until January 1.  This retails for C$69 but has a value of C$91 and included in here are the following items:

  • Moisture Cream Vitamin E 15ml
  • Glitter Dust Pink 1g
  • Body Cream Hawaiian Kukui 50ml
  • Night Cream Vitamin E 15ml
  • Matte Lipstick Sienna Rose 430 4.1g
  • Bunny Headband
  • Glitter Dust Gold 1g
  • Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask 75ml

I’m actually keeping this for myself and although I did ruin the surprise by opening some of the boxes for the photos, I cannot wait until December 25 when I can start digging into this set. I’ve never seen a New Year’s advent calendar before and love the idea behind this (plus, it’s shaped in a star and doesn’t take up a whole table like the other ones do.

If you’re still scrambling for gifts, I would seriously consider stopping by The Body Shop and stocking up on presents since these are such easy gifts that anyone would love (especially that New Year’s advent calendar).  Best of all, everything is currently 40 per cent off online and in stores (although it would be too late to get it shipped by Sunday), so it’s the perfect time to stop on by.

Will you be picking up any gifts from The Body Shop this holiday season?

Please note, I was sent these products from PR. All opinions are my own.

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Plan ahead! Holiday items from Too Faced Cosmetics

When I saw Too Faced’s holiday collection earlier this year, I just had to get my hands on it.

I always get so excited over the different themes that Too Faced puts out every holiday season. Along with Tarte, I always get so excited to see what the blockbuster set will be every year, and just like years past, this one does not disappoint.

Now if you’re like me, you absolutely need to have an agenda. I actually have two, one for home and one for work, that get used constantly since I’m always doing something and need to keep organized. Yes, I use my phone as well, but it’s nice to just open up a book and see what’s planned for the week. I used to be really into the Kate Spade agendas but for the past two years I’ve picked up the Ban.do ones and absolutely love them since they are so cute and trendy (plus they have the cutest stickers).

Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda

If you love the Ban.do agendas, then you’re going to fall in love with the Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda, the creme de la creme of holiday collections from the American beauty brand. This limited-edition collection comes in a zip-up folder complete with a large palette filled with eyeshadows, a blush, bronzer, and highlighter, and an actual 12-month planner. And yes, the planner comes with stickers.

Okay, so before I get into the most exciting part (the planner, obvi), the actual palette in here contains 24 matte, shimmer, and glitter eyeshadows that are all holiday themed. In terms of shade range, you pretty much have every colour you would need to do a natural eye, smoky eye, purple, pink, blue, green, etc. kinda eye. There is also a luminizer in the shade #Blessed, a bronzer in Chocolate Soleil (I feel like they include this bronzer in every set they do), and a blush in the colour Will You Merry Me?, a shade similar, but a touch more on the pinky-red spectrum, to NARS Orgasm (AKA it will suit any skin tone). There is also a deluxe-sized Better Than Sex mascara and a deluxe Melted Matte Long Wear Lipstick in the shade Sell Out, an apricot nude.  It all comes housed in a leatherette mini zip-around agenda cover with built-in mirror that says “Don’t Let Today Be a Waste of Makeup” (words to live by).

Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda Makeup look using the Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda

Just like other Too Faced shadows, a little goes a long way as every colour is incredibly pigmented. Although there is a vast shade range in here, I do wish that there were more staple colours, or more everyday shades, like a couple more matte browns, a stark-white highlighter, and more neutrals. I’m a huge neutral gal, so I tend to wear those colours quite often. Since this palette is definitely geared towards the holidays, as opposed to everyday wear, you can create an abundance of different looks in here.

Okay, so as for the most exciting part, the actual planner, although I do love this, and I would pick up the set solely for the planner, I wish that it was a day-by-day one, instead it’s just a monthly calendar. Aside from that though, each month has little tidbits about the brand on certain days and there are 12 tutorials using the palette.  And of course let’s not forget the stickers. There are two pages of those as well. If you buy the Ban.do planners, you’ll find this one to be very similar to those. I’m not sure who created the Too Faced one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in fact Ban.do.

Too Faced Cosmetics Beat Year Ever set

Now of course, this isn’t the only set that Too Faced has for the holidays.  If you’re looking for something a little more on budget, the Best Year Ever makeup collection is currently on sale at Sephora (C$46 compared to $62, with a value of C$353) and contains three palettes and a deluxe Better Than Sex mascara in a little zip-up pouch.

Each palette in here is geared towards three different makeup looks. There’s ones with nudes, suitable for everyday looks, another has pink shadows for something romantic, and the third has bold shades for the perfect going-out smoky eye. In total, there are 18 matte and shimmer shades (six eyeshadows per palette). Each palette also includes a face product, so you end up with a blush, bronzer, and highlight (one face product per palette).

Too Faced Cosmetics Best Year Ever palettes

Too Faced does a similar set like this every season and although these are great to split up between friends, since this comes in a cute little pouch that says “I have way more makeup at home”, I highly recommend gifting this as one set. I was never blown away by these sets in the past, but I actually like the shade range in this particular set more than the Boss Lady one.

Finally, if you have someone who collects the brand’s famous Chocolate Bar palettes, there’s a new one for the holidays (well actually a couple, they also released a Chocolate Gold one recently), that will surely be on their list.

Too Faced Cosmetics White Chocolate Bar palette

The White Chocolate Bar palette (C$59) is a full-sized palette with 16 cocoa powder-infused eye shadows in matte and shimmery finishes. House in an all-white palette that looks like a chocolate bar, this opens up to the most beautiful set of eyeshadows. Since these are cocoa powder-infused, they actually smell like white chocolate which is always such a treat when applying your makeup.  The shades in here are very pastel-y, which to me would be more suitable to springtime, when I tend to wear more of these colours, however, there are some gorgeous shades in here that will have you making the White Chocolate Bar palette your new go-to.

Very rarely does a product blow me away, but this palette is a must, especially if you are fair skinned. The shade range in here is so wearable and the formulation, like other Too Faced shadows, is just so creamy and blendable. This would make anyone’s heart skip a beat if they opened it. I’m truly in love with this.

Makeup look using the Too Faced White Chocolate Bar palette

There are also many other options available as part of Too Faced’s holiday collection, as well as stocking stuffers and more splittable gifts.  Like I said, the brand is one of my favourites during the holiday season since they always come out with the cutest sets.  If you are looking for a real showstopper though, the Boss Lady Beauty Agenda is a must since it’s so unique. Although I don’t love the palette, the agenda more than makes up for that. Of course, that’s just personal preference. I would have preferred more neutral shades in there, but to each their own.

Are any items from the Too Faced Holiday collection on your list?

Please note, products provided by PR, all opinions are my own.

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Both sides of the spectrum: Holiday skincare sets from Fresh & Burt’s Bees + a giveaway!

One week left!

So although my holiday is actually pretty much over (it’s the last night of Hanukkah tonight), I’m going to assume the vast majority of you celebrate Christmas, and since the holiday is happening this Sunday, if you haven’t found the perfect gift yet, let me help you out.

Here’s a hint, if you’re absolutely stuck, a skincare or bath & body gift is always a good idea. I do like to think of it as a “I didn’t know what to get you, but this is safe”, but when it comes down to it, who doesn’t need another lip balm or a face cleanser? These everyday gifts are always a good thing to gift, even for the gal or guy that has it all.

So I present to you a couple options from two brands, Fresh and Burt’s Bees. Both are phenomenal and offer up a ton of sets at different price points to choose from.

Fresh Sugar holiday gift sets

First up is are the various Sugar lip balm sets from Fresh. I’ve gifted these every year and always find them to be great gifts since the Sugar formula is very luxurious and doesn’t dry out your lips. They have a ton of different sets available, but I love the Sugar Lip Beauty Box (C$54) that has six shades of the Sugar lip balms, plus little pencil crayons that you can use to colour in the tin. Another great option is the Perfect Pink Lips set (C$23), which is more affordable and has a Rose Sugar lip balm and a Sugar Cream Lip Treatment in Blush, which is essentially a creamy formula that nourishes the lips and leaves a rosy pink shimmer. The Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment has SPF 15 in it, making it perfect for vacations, whether you’re lounging on the beach or skiing the alps.

As for actual skincare, they have a ton of different sets available and their skincare products are top notch! My favourite set is the Holiday Glow Skincare Set (C$56), which contains a 50 ml of their bestselling cleanser the Soy Face Cleanser (I’ve used this and love it!), a FreshFace Instant Glow Luminizer, and a Sugar Face Polish. All three of the products in this set are larger sizes so they will last you awhile. I have used the Sugar Face Polish a couple times and it kinda acts like a mask. Slather it on your skin and then leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off for radiant-looking skin.

Fresh skincare sets for holidays 2017 Fresh skincare sets for holidays 2017

If you want something for someone who lives and breathes Fresh, then the Best of Beauty Bundle is the way to go. Retailing for C$90, this five-piece set includes a 50 ml of the Soy Face Cleanser, a 30 ml of the Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, a 15 ml of the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex, a 5 ml of the Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate, and a Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy. This set has everything you need for skincare, morning and night. Start first with the cleanser, then use the eye concentrate, then the face cream, before slathering your lips with the Sugar Lip Treatment. For something extra special a couple times a week, use the face mask.

If you’re on a budget but still want some fab gifts from Fresh, they have some smaller options available as well. Like I said, I absolutely love their Soy Face Cleanser, so the Skincare Cult Classics set is a great choice as for C$26 you get a 50 ml of the cleanser, plus a Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy. If you want to gift something that would introduce the brand to a friend, then the Facial on the Fly set (C$41) is a great option as well. This set includes a 50 ml of the Soy Face Cleanser, a 15 ml of the Rose Face Mask, and a 15 ml of the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex. This set provides the basics for great skincare.

Fresh Best of Beauty Bundle gift set for holidays 2017

If you’re looking for some great stocking stuffers, then Burt’s Bees has some wonderful options as well.

I carry around lip balm wherever I go and there’s often a stick of it somewhere in every room of my condo. Since I love anything gingerbread, I couldn’t wait to slather my lips in the Ginger Spice Lip Balm (C$4.89, also comes in peppermint), which is made from 100 per cent natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any parabens, phthalates, or petrolatum. This stuff is super moisturizing, and best of all doesn’t dry out your lips afterwards like other lip balms have the tendency to do. They also have the Beeswax Bounty Fruit Mix set (C$12.99), which contains four of their lip balms in Wild Cherry, Pink Grapefruit, Coconut & Pear, and Strawberry. There is also the Kissable Colour set (C$9.99 in warm and cool), which includes three natural lip shimmer shades. These are similar to the balms but provide a little bit of colour and shimmer to the lips while nourishing and moisturizing them with Vitamin E and beeswax.

Burt's Bees holiday sets for 2017 Burt's Bees Beeswax Bounty Fruit Mix set, Ginger Spice lip balm, and Kissable Colour set

As for actual skincare, since I travel so much I can totally relate to the Travel Essentials kit (C$14.99), which contains carry-on-approved sizes of the Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion, a mini Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, a 10-count of the Facial Cleansing Towelettes with White Tea Extract, a Beeswax Lip Balm, and a Coconut & Pear Lip Balm.

The Facial Essentials kit (C$22.99) is also a fab gift as it contains a pack of the White Tea Towelettes for removing makeup, dirt, and oil; a Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub; a Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream; and a Coconut & Pear Lip Balm.

Finally, for the hands and feet, the Mani Pedi set (C$22.99) makes the perfect Secret Santa gift (I actually gifted this for Secret Santa). It has a Peppermint Foot Lotion, a Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, an Ultimate Care Hand Cream, and an ecoTools footbrush and pumice. This is perfect for that guy or gal that loves hosting at-home pedicure nights, complete with some vino, a face mask, and the newest episode of Riverdale.

Burt's Bees Mani Pedi set Burt's Bees Face Essentials kit

When it comes to skincare, you don’t need to fork out an arm and a leg to get a great gift. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the holidays are the perfect time to stock up on your skincare faves or introduce a family member or friend to your favourite brand since the companies always come out with special gift sets that are reasonably priced this time of the year.

Now for the fun part, if you’re still stumped on what to get a certain someone, or if you’re just frazzled from all the holiday shopping, another fabulous drugstore brand, Garnier partnered with me to host a giveaway to one lucky Instagram follower of mine.

Garnier Canada holiday beauty giveaway

Up for grabs are the following all-star products from Garnier:

  • 1 x Clear Brighter Skin Active Daily Moisturizer
  • 1 x Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water with Argan Oil
  • 1 x Miscellaneous set of Fructis Shampoo and Conditioner
  • 1 x Miscellaneous Skin Active Sheet Mask

To enter, head on over to my Instagram account, follow me, follow @GarnierCan, and tag a friend who would love these Garnier goodies in the comments featuring the above photo. Contest is open to Canadian residents only and closes December 22, 2017.

Good luck!

Are any sets from Fresh or Burt’s Bees on your list this year?

Please note, I was sent these products from PR. All opinions are my own.

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