My Christmas Beauty Gift Guide

Well, it’s that time of year again, my favourite time! I have to admit, I do love Christmas, and I’m one of those annoying people who starts getting excited about it in October. Anyway, as a result, I have been thinking about the perfect gift guide for a couple of weeks now, and have decided to put together a quick post on some of my favourite items and recommendations for you this Christmas.

I’m sure you’ve been inundated with gift guides on social media, and I understand sometimes too much bombarding of information can be a bad thing. But just in case you’re looking for a few last minute ideas, and given that it’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, I thought this might come in handy…

Beauty

theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Lipstick Set

€29 but on offer for €26.10 this weekend in Debenhams

Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a gift guide from me without a few lipstick suggestions after my year of Simply Lippy! These liquid lipsticks from theBalm were my favourite liquid lippies of the year and this mini set is brilliant value. It contains six gorgeous shades from light to bold, and will transform any makeup look.

Benefit 3 for 2

Available from Debenhams, Brown Thomas & Boots all weekend

Benefit are running 3for2 offers in several department stores and online beauty sites over the course of the weekend. Obviously, they have a lot of great products to choose from but I’ve put together my top three favourites to help you decide:

  • That Gal Primer, a gorgeous brightening primer which gives the face a glow
  • Galifornia Blush which has a lovely coral tone for lifting the cheek bones
  • They’re Real Mascara, is one of my favourite mascaras for giving life and volume to the lashes

Needless to say, you can’t go too far wrong with any Benefit products, but these are the ones I’ll be treating myself to over the weekend!

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Palettes

Naked 1, 2 & 3 Palettes – €47.50 but on offer for €40.37 in Debenhams

When it comes to eyeshadow, you can never go wrong with a good palette and Urban Decay palettes are my favourite. Debenhams currently have 15% off Naked 1, 2 and 3 palettes, and my top choice is definitely Naked 2. It’s a great all rounder palette for different skin tones with a mixture of matte and shimmer shades.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette

€47.50 but on offer for €42.75 in Debenhams

Of all the Naked palettes, Naked Ultimate Basics has been my go-to since its release last year and includes some gorgeous shades from nude to bold. This is a full matte palette and is a great alternative to Naked 2 for those who don’t like or use shimmer shadows.

Kiehl’s Tumeric & Cranberry Seed Radiance Mask

€35 but on special offer for €28 this weekend in Arnotts

Some of you may have caught my review on this Kiehl’s mask last year – I fell in love with it the first time I’ve tried it and it has remained one of my favourite face masks since. If your face is feeling a bit tired, dull and dry with the cold winter weather, then this is brilliant for brightening skin and giving it a boost of hydration.

YSL All Hours Foundation

€42 but on offer of 10% off this weekend in Debenhams

This purchase may be more a treat for yourself than a gift for someone else, but if you like a medium to full coverage foundation then I definitely recommend. I have a review post coming shortly, but in a nutshell, I am in love with it! You’ll need to get colour matched before purchasing, but if you do decide to buy, then you’ll get it for 10% cheaper in Debenhams this weekend than you normally would. It’s pricey at €42 so as the saying goes, every little helps!

This Works Deep Sleep Lavender & Chamomile Candle

€33 from Meagher’s Pharmacy and selected pharmacies nationwide

I’m a huge fan of This Works’ products; apart from smelling incredible, they are packed full of great ingredients and more importantly, they work too! Their Deep Sleep range has been a go-to for me for quite some time; I use their Deep Sleep pillow spray almost every night and love it, and have recently discovered their Deep Sleep Heavenly candle which is divine too.

Candles are always a great gift in my opinion, I love receiving them as well as giving them, and this one not only looks lovely, but will help keep you calm and relaxed all winter long, as well as helping you catch up on some well needed zzzz’s. What better gift than the gift of sleep this Christmas!

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Bath Oil

€54 from Brown Thomas

This beauty is a bit pricey, but if you can’t indulge a little at Christmas time then when can you?! Jo Malone bath oils are so luxurious; they leave your skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth, not to mention how amazing they smell too. They come in a variety of different scents, but Lime Basil & Mandarin is my personal favourite.

StylPro Rose Gold Makeup Brush Cleaner

€69 but on offer for €51.75 from Meagher’s Pharmacy

This limited edition rose gold version of the original StylPro makeup brush cleaner is so pretty and perfect for anyone who has a multitude of makeup brushes like I do but doesn’t always have the time to spend hours cleaning them. The StylPro takes the hassle out of washing and drying your brushes, and is so easy to use too.

Gift Sets

MAC Mini Lipstick Snowball Kit 

€95 in Brown Thomas

You all know my love for lipstick by now, so just in case you have any fellow beauty lovers in your lives then this set of MAC lippies is the perfect present. It contains 12 shades including three of my all time favourites; Mangrove, Velvet Teddy and Rebel.

Sleek Bring on the Night Makeup Set

€39 in Boots Ireland and also part of a 3for2 offer

Sleek is one of the better budget brands out there and their products are such good quality for the price point. This set contains some of their best products including their Solstice Highlighting palette which is a gorgeous trio palette. This, along with the eye shadow and blush palette, will have you makeup ready for the entire festive season.

Clarins Holiday Anti Aging New Double Serum

Was €72 but on offer for €57.60 this weekend in Brown Thomas

Let me tell you, this is one of the best Christmas gift sets I’ve seen on the market so far. It’s amazing! It contains a 30ml bottle of Double Serum which is my current favourite skincare product and usually retails for €72 just on its own.  If you buy this set however, you get the 30ml bottle of Double Serum as well as a 30ml bottle of their Instant Eye makeup remover and one of their deliciously gorgeous lip oils – which I’m sure most of you already know, is one of my favourite ever lip products. This is definitely one not to miss out on if you’re a Clarins fan!

For The Men

Kiehl’s White Eagle Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream

€17.50 but on offer for €14 this weekend in Arnotts

Kiehl’ss do some incredible products as we all know, and their men’s range is equally as good as their women’s. This shave cream is their most popular men’s product and contains menthol to sooth the skin while shaving.

Clarins Men Moisturising Essentials Kit

€38 but on offer for €30.40 this weekend in Brown Thomas

This Clarins Men set is a brilliant option for men on the go and contains some of their best selling products. There are three products in total; a 50ml Super Moisture Balm, a 30ml Active Face Wash and a 30ml Shampoo & Shower Gel in one.

Happy Socks Gift Box

€30 but on offer for €24 this weekend in Brown Thomas

If the man in your life is anything like the man in mine, they will love these quirky and very comfy socks from the Happy Socks company. These gift boxes are a staple each year in our house and come in a range of styles and colours too.

So there you go, a few ideas to get you started this weekend. I hope it helped, happy shopping!

Sorcha x

*None of these links are affiliate links. I have just added them in to make the shopping search a little easier for you!

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 258 | Benefit Hydrating Tinted Posie Balm 

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn one of Benefit’s lip balms and I almost forgot how much I liked them until I decided to wear Posie Balm today.


Very excitingly, today we hopped on a plane to come away on our holidays, so I wanted something very easy to wear that would also keep my lips hydrated while flying. I don’t know about you, but I always get very bad dry lips on flights, so Posie Balm was the perfect travel choice.


These balms have a very slight tint; this one gives the lips a soft peach-pink tone which is lovely for a natural, understated makeup day. The colour is subtle so don’t expect a pop, but it does give them a nice soft lift.


Jojoba is one of the main ingredients in these balms making them super hydrating and moisturising, and my lips felt amazingly soft all day long.


The formula is thick enough to let you know you’re wearing a balm, and has a lovely richness to it while also being very smooth and easy to apply.


Now that I’ve remembered how much I like these, I’ll definitely be repurchasing some of the other shades for my challenge. They are the perfect lippy for a day when you want something easy, low maintenance and moisturising.


What do you guys think, have you ever tried one of these balms? They are the perfect addition to any autumn makeup bag, especially if you’re prone to dry lips from the colder weather!

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 157 | Benefit Double The Lip Lipstick in Shade Revved-Up Red

If you’ve read any of my earlier posts on the Benefit Double The Lip lipstick and lip liner duo, you’ll know that I haven’t been impressed by them overall. Of the four minis I tried from a set I bought, I only really loved one of them, and overall just felt a little underwhelmed by the range.

Now let me explain. It’s not the this is a terrible lipstick, and in fact, I like the colour of this particular shade, but it is meant to be a duo lipstick with a distinction between two shades, and in two of the four I’ve tried, I just couldn’t see any real distinction.

As you can see by both the swatch and the lip application, this one looks like one solid red colour and not two shades of red as you might think from the look of the lipstick tube. So really, it just isn’t what it claims it is and that’s annoying.

The formula is fine, it feels creamy on application, but overall, it just doesn’t really do anything for me. Plus, the lasting power isn’t great either so I’ve just felt a bit irritated by these lipsticks in general.

I’ll use the rest of this shade and one other which I really liked called Lusty Rose, but I definitely won’t be repurchasing these in the future.

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 144| Benefit Double The Lip Lipstick in Shade, Pink Thrills

The Benefit dual, double the lip lipsticks were one of the hottest beauty releases of Spring this year, and if you’ve been following my challenge up to now, you’ll know that I have tried two so far, one of which I really disliked and one of which, I really loved.


So in a nutshell, it’s pretty safe to say that I have a love/hate relationship with them.


The first shade I tried Flame Game, was a complete let down: I didn’t like the shade and for me, there was no distinction between the liner and lipstick. However, Lusty Rose, the second shade I tried, had a much bigger impact.


Because of my conflicting feelings, I didn’t know how I would get on with this shade, Pink Thrills, but I’m happy to say, it was pretty good.


First things first: there is very clearly both a liner and a lipstick element which is the whole point of these lippies, so obviously I was happy with that. It also blended very nicely, and felt quite creamy on the lips which was also good.


Where this falls down a little for me though is the shade, and that purely comes down to personal preference. It’s nice, but I just found the lighter part, very ‘pink’! 

I’ve never been a pink kind of girl, but I have tried several pink lippy shades over the past few months which I’ve really liked. This one I’m just not that sure about though.


My other slight gripe with this is that Benefit claim it has lasting power of 8 hours, but for me, it just doesn’t. I got a couple of hours max before having to reapply; granted, I did have a cuppa or two in between, but still, I think the claim is a little over-reaching.


Aside from that, it is has a very smooth consistency and it does feel lovely on the lips as you wear it. I wouldn’t call it hydrating but it is moisturising and that’s always good when it comes to lipstick.


This is my third lippy to try from the mini set I bought and I’m still trying to decide whether I think it’s worth the investment. Right now, I’m veering towards no, but I’ll wait until I try my final shade to make my decision.

As always, I’ll keep you posted!

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 131 | Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip Lipstick in Shade Lusty Rose

Hallelujah ladies, hallelujah! If you’re wondering why I’m celebrating today then let me tell you, the Benefit They’re Real lipsticks redeemed themselves in a big way today and that makes me very happy.


You may have caught my previous post that I did on their double the lip lipsticks a few weeks ago in a bright orange shade called Flame Game. Well, without going over old ground, I was so disappointed by that lipstick; there was no distinction between the liner part and lipstick part, and the colour just wasn’t really that nice.


I hadn’t been so let down by such a big, hyped up release in such a long time, that I honestly was devastated when I tried it the first time. But, and I mean, BUT, I tried it out again today in a different shade and it was just gorgeous!


As you can see from the photos, there is a string distinction between liner and lipstick, and the formula is lovely and creamy too. It looks so nice on the lips both before and after it is blended, and for some reason, the lasting power was so much better this time around.

HALLELUJAH!


The shade itself is a lovely rose pink, and is very similar to the Rockabilly Rose Wood shade from Catrice’s ombré lipstick range which I absolutely loved when I wore it.


I think I might still ever so slightly prefer the Catrice option because of its gorgeous vanilla scent, but I have to say, Benefit have redeemed themselves in a big way today and totally won me over once again.


I now can’t wait to try the other shades I have from the range and see if they too, live up to my new found love for these lippies.

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 113 | Benefit They’re Real Double The Lip Lipstick in Shade Flame Game

You all know by now how much I love lipstick; wearing it, trying out different shades and textures, discovering new favourites, and I always get a little excited about trying something new to the market.


But it’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a new lipstick release, and this disappointed.


Today for the first time, I tried out the new They’re Real lipstick and lip liner duo lipsticks from Benefit and all I really have to say is that, it was a big disappointment. 


Duo lipsticks are big at the moment, and I’m a huge fan of Catrice’s Ombré range, but given that Benefit are usually so good at what they do, I had very high hopes for this.


I chose the shade Flame Game as my first shade to try: it has a deep red liner and a vibrant orange lipstick, or so I thought. You’d be forgiven for thinking as such anyway because the shades look so fab on the stick.


Sadly however, the lip liner was almost non existent when I applied it on my lips – I thought there would be an obvious difference between the red and orange, but there was nothing. And, the orange is not the vibrant pop I was hoping either. It’s a nice enough shade but to be honest, it just seemed a little dull compared to what I was expecting.


As you can see from my pictures above, there really is no distinction between the two colours. The first one is the lipstick first applied, and the second photo, is the lipstick blended… Spot the difference?! You can’t really, can you?

It’s been a long time since I have been so deeply underwhelmed by something and to be honest, I just feel so sad! I had read lots of great reviews about these lipsticks, and although I did like the texture, the pigment didn’t last particularly long on my lips.


I suppose if I just bought an orange lipstick I wouldn’t feel so disappointed, but this definitely did not give a liner / lipstick duo look.


I’m hoping that the other shades in the range will be a little better than this, I bought a set of four minis which is really handy, so I have some more to try. But, if I hadn’t bought the set, I really don’t think I’d be rushing to try these again.

What a major let down!


Ps. Are you following my Simply Lippy journey on social media? I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so make sure you come follow me over the for all my latest pictures and updates.

Sorcha 💋

Review: Benefit Dew The Hoola Liquid Matte Bronzer

When Benefit launched the new bronzing additions to their Dew The Hoola range back in March I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more. While I’m not a big fake tan user anymore, I am very partial to a good bronzer and so was very excited by their new Liquid Matte Bronzer offering for the face.

When I was travelling to London a few weeks ago, I decided to do a beauty haul and stock up on some new products that have been on my list for a while now and this was at the top. Apart from reading some great reviews online, as with most Benefit products, I was totally obsessed with the packaging too and couldn’t wait to get it home and put it to the test.

The bronzer comes in the most gorgeous gold bottle which has a pump at the top for easy application. When I first used this I put about three pumps on to my hand but it ended up being far too much so you really only need one pump which equates to roughly a pea size amount. As the formula is so light, you wouldn’t expect the pigment to be as good as it is, but it really is brilliant.

It has a gorgeous brownish gold tone which is quite dark, another reason why you only need a small amount, plus it blends so easily into the face. For application, I used a small angled stippling contour brush and dabbed it lightly along my cheek bones and on the outer sides of my nose.

The best thing about the formula is that it is very build-able meaning you can wear it as light or as dark as you want – so whether you’re looking for a soft glow for daytime or a strong contour for a night out, either way this product is going to work for you.


It’s not only great for contouring, I’ve also used it in the same way as I would a cream blusher and lightly applying directly on to my cheek bones. Because it is matte based with no shimmer, it has that ability to give your cheeks a natural glow without making you look shiny which is a major plus for me.

The only slight, and I mean very slight, reservation would be the fact that the smell is very sweet, in a perfumed kind of way. It’s not a bad thing, the smell is nice, but I’m just not one for very sweet scents.

But really that doesn’t even matter because this is already a new favourite of mine. I’ve applied this first thing in the morning and by evening time it still looks as good as when I first applied it.


If bronzers aren’t your thing however, this may not be for you as the pigment is quite dark and it does need to be blended well. But if like me you can’t resist a nice bronze glow, then this is a winner. I was worried it might be tricky to use being liquid but its light formula means it really is so easy to apply. Just make sure you start with a small amount and build up, that way you can’t go wrong!

The €31 price tag seems quite reasonable to me given I needed such a small amount, so I’m pretty sure this is going to last me quite a while. But only time will tell so I will keep you posted on that.

All in all this gets a solid 9/10 for me.

Sorcha x