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…


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 264 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Shade Romantic

Today’s lipstick was my last mini lipstick from my second Meet Matt(e) Hughes mini set that I bought a few months back. I’ve now tried twelve shades from the collection, liked them all, and loved quite a few.

I was saving today’s shade as I had a feeling it would be one of my favourites; it is rich and bold, and as with all the lippies in this collection, has the most amazing pigment.

As far as shades go, I was actually expecting this to have more of a raspberry undertone than red; for some reason I thought it looked slightly raspberry in the tube. However, even though it didn’t have the tone I expected, it was still lovely nonetheless – I just might have saved it for a more autumnal day and not for holidays!

The formula, as I’m sure you know if you’ve been keeping up with my posts, is very long lasting and you get an incredible pay off from just one layer. It is blendable, creamy, and the peppermint addition to the formula gives your lips a nice tingle on application too.

Of all the liquid lipsticks I’ve tried over the past year, these are definitely my favourite, and so many of the shades I will wear over and over again.

They don’t dry out your lips, they don’t crack or flake, and some of the shades are just to die for! 

What do you guys think? Hands up if you’ve tried one of these! And if not, then what’s your favourite liquid lipstick? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts so comment below and let me know…

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 250 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Last Liquid Lipstick in Shade, Faithful

It’s no secret how much I love theBalm liquid lipsticks so I feel like I don’t need to go over all the same points again and bore you all to tears! However, today’s shade is definitely one of my absolutely favourite of all the shades I’ve tried so far.

I love a berry toned lip, particularly at this time of year when we’re coming into colder days. There’s something so lovely and rich about the pigment in this shade, Faithful, that is giving me all the Autumn feels and I love it.

As always, the formula is blendable with amazing colour pay off, and a little goes a very long way. The liquid element dries quickly to leave a very matte finish, but doesn’t dry out your lips at all.

One of the things I love most about these lippies is the fact that they don’t crack or peel throughout the day, even though they have dried in, and the lasting power is really one of the best I’ve come across in a liquid formula.

Liquid lipsticks are having their time in the spotlight right now, they are just everywhere. But without a doubt, for me, theBalm have the best offering of all the brands, so if you’re looking to invest in a liquid formula then I really don’t think you could go too far wrong with one of these.

For the purposes of the challenge, I bought these as part of a mini set of six, but they all come in full size too if you’d rather not spend on several different shades. Either way, I definitely recommend these.

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 243 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Lipstick in Shade Charismatic 

If you’ve been following my lipstick challenge over the past eight months, you’ll already know what a huge fan I am of theBalm’s liquid lipsticks. They can do no wrong in my eyes and therefore I have nothing bad to say.

Today’s shade, is probably not my favourite of all the shades I’ve tried up to now ( I think I’ve tried ten now in total!), but it’s still nice nonetheless and has the same gorgeous formula.

These liquid lipsticks have all the goods in my opinion; they have great pigment, are long lasting, wear very well and smell gorgeous. What else do you need?!

Although I only discovered the range at the beginning of the year, I have become completely obsessed with some of the shades and will definitely be wearing them for years to come.

There’s been a lot happening recently so blogging had to take a little bit of a back seat, but I’m back into the swing of things now and I’m looking forward to discovering my last 122 lipsticks of the challenge!

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 228 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in Shade Reliable

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I just love theBalm lipsticks. In fact, I think they might just be my favourite ever liquid lipsticks. Ever!

No matter how many of these I try, no matter what shade, the formula, pigment and staying power is exactly the same; just brilliant. Out of the nine I’ve tried so far this year, including today’s, I can honestly say I like every single one of them.

Of course, some shades I love more than others and that’s just down to personal preference more than anything, but they are all as good as each other when it comes to formula and finish. Not to mention, their peppermint scent makes them smell A-MA-ZING!

Today’s shade is a very autumnal shade, with some brown tones that are perfect for this time of year. It’s not a shade I would normally go for, but found myself really liking it and getting excited for the autumn months ahead.

If you’re a fan of theBalm, these mini sets are great for throwing in your handbag, and especially good for travelling if you want to bring a few different shades away with you.

If you missed my earlier posts on these lippies, you can catch them all below by title:

And if you’ve tried these then let me know what you think! I love hearing your thoughts on the lipsticks I try because not everything suits everyone, and what I might like, others might not like so be sure to comment below and let me know.

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 220 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Lipstick in Shade Brilliant

It’s no secret by now that I’m a big fan of theBalm liquid lipsticks – I love everything about them from the pigment, to the finish, to the peppermint tingle they give your lips and until last week, I hadn’t worn one for ages.

I bought my first set of minis back in January and loved every shade in the range, so when I spotted a new mini set with different shades a few weeks ago, I obviously had to buy it and try out the other shades.

Today’s shade, Brilliant, is a gorgeous rich pink red shade which has amazing colour pay off as you would expect from theBalm – they are just so good at pigment in all their products, and I love the colour pay off you get from just one layer.

The forumla is creamy on application with a gorgeous peppermint tingle, and though the finish is quite matte, I don’t find it drying at all. I have read some reviews that do find them a little drying, but in my experience they aren’t at all, and I have become a big fan over the past few months.

These sets are great for the purposes of my challenge as I get to try six shades for about €4.50 each – so although they are small, they are very good value in that respect, However, if all the shades weren’t up your street, they are also available in full size and can be bought individually. 

I don’t think a matte liquid lip is everyone’s thing, but if you like this kind of look then these lippies are definitely worth a try!

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 213 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Lipstick in Shade Affectionate

Some of you may remember me trying out theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes liquid lipsticks back in the first few months of my challenge and absolutely loving them. And today, I’m trying out another shade from the collection which I haven’t tried before.

Affectionate is a purple toned lipstick that is probably a bit daring for a day in the office, but as we all know, that’s never stopped me before. It only took a few minutes after applying for me to remember why I love these lippies so much, and I don’t know why I left it so long to try another shade.

The formula is creamy enough to keep your lips smooth and soft, even when the wet formula dries in to its matte finish, and the staying power in these is probably one of the best, if not the best, long last formulas I’ve ever come across.

When you apply this lipstick, you get incredible pay off from just one layer and once it’s on, it’s not going anywhere. I applied this first thing this morning and by 5pm hadn’t needed to reapply it at all – and that was after eating breakfast and lunch, and having numerous cups of tea!

Another thing I love about these is the peppermint element which gives the lips a nice tingling feeling on application, and also makes it smell amazing too.

I’m so glad I still liked this lipstick as much today as when I first tried it back in January, and can see all of the shades having a firm place in my makeup bag for a long time to come.

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 65 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes in Shade Doting

Eeek, I know, I know; I’m very late with today’s Simply Lippy challenge post but I just had a crazy day today because well, Monday. But better late than never as the saying goes!

Anyway, today to brighten up a chilly Monday, I decided to wear one of my trusty favourite liquid matte lipsticks from theBalm’s Meet Matt(e) Hughes mini range.

Now, I’m sure by now y’all are so sick of me talking about how much I love these lippies, but I have to admit, this one was the last in my set of minis, and I haven’t quite ended on the high I thought I would with it.

First things first, the formula is perfect. I love the drying time, I love the pigment and colour pay off, I love the lasting power. I love everything about every shade I’ve worn up to now, but today’s shade, Doting, was just not quite as fabulous as I’d hoped it would be.

I love coral shades and orange tones, and I guess I was hoping that there would be a bit more of a bright pop with this shade, hence why I left it to last. But it just felt a little dull, and didn’t have the same great impact that the other shades have had for me.

As many of you will have seen, I’ve worn all the other mini shades: Charming, Committed, Loyal, Dedicated, and Sincere, and had glowing reviews for every single one. So it saddens me to not have a glowing review for this shade too.

Don’t get me wrong, I like it, how could I not when I love the formula so much? But, in this case, I think maybe the matte formula has dulled the shade a little too much taking away any Pop there might have been. There’s nothing wrong with that really, it’s fine, it’s just not what I was hoping for.

Is it just me or what do you guys think? Could it be better, brighter?!

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 47 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes in Shade Sincere

Today’s lipstick needs no introduction, mainly because I’ve worn these lipsticks so much already during the challenge already, but yet I find myself reaching for them again and again.

I’ve been thinking about why I keep wearing these and have come to the conclusion that it’s down to two reasons: firstly, the formula is so good, and secondly, the colours are just so easy to wear.

In case you missed my first post on these Meet Matt(e) Hughes liquid lipsticks, I bought a set of six minis over Christmas, and have been hooked ever since trying out my first shade, Charming, on Day 16. I’ve also worn shades Dedicated, Loyal and Committed.

Anyway, for today I’m wearing a soft brown nude shade with a red undertone called Sincere, and once again I’m really loving both the shade and formula. Once you apply this lippy it really doesn’t budge unless you want it to, and doesn’t dry out your lips either. 

Have any of you tried theBalm lippies? I hope some of you are as obsessed with them as I am! If you like a matte lip then I’m pretty sure you will be.

Only one more sleep until the weekend begins, and I for one can’t wait! In the meantime why don’t you come follow me over on social media – I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Sorcha 💋

Simply Lippy Challenge Day 42 | theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes in Dedicated

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I’ve been trying to shake off a cold/flu for the past few days but when I woke this morning, it had well and truly taken hold and I’ve been feeling pretty under the weather. But what’s my point I hear you ask?

Well, perhaps it’s the cold sleety Dublin weather or, maybe it’s just because of my cold, but my lips are so dry and sore that I really didn’t know what lipstick to choose today. The sides of mouth have dry slits and for some reason my lips are a little swollen too, so all in all, it hasn’t been the best day for Simply Lippy.

In the end, because I knew a creamy or glossy lipstick just wouldn’t work today, I decided to wear one of my trusty matte liquid lipsticks from theBalm because once applied, they really don’t budge off your lips unless you want them to.

Today’s shade, Dedicated, is my favourite of all the Meet Matt(e) Huges shades that I’ve tried so far, and is the most delicious rich, raspberry shade. Exactly the kind of shade that I love to wear!

Now I don’t know whether it’s just this shade, or my swollen lips, but my lips look so plump and full with this lipstick on: I wish it was in a good way but I think I look kind of weird?! Lol… 

If you’ve read my previous posts on the other shades in this range that I’ve tried, you’ll know I absolutely love them: the pigment is insane, the lasting power second to none, and the shades are to die for. Every time I wear one, I seem to like them more and more, and today’s shade gets another major thumbs up.

Are you enjoying my challenge? Today marks six weeks since I started and the weeks seem to be flying by!

Don’t forget, I’m sharing all my challenge updates over on social media too so come follow me over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook when you get a chance.

Sorcha 💋