Sunday, 13 October 2013

Top 10 picks from Boots Christmas 3 for 2 (2013)

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a good old covet of the Boots 3 for 2 beauty offerings. And although it's only October, the nation's favourite chemist already has shelves groaning with must-have (and perhaps not-so-must-have) beauty gift sets of all descriptions. Whether you're purchasing Christmas gifts for a beauty aficionado in your life, or eyeing up a treat for yourself, I hope these picks will help steer your search in the right direction.

Since Boots' website is not the most comfortable or convenient to navigate and use, I decided to use the print catalogue to choose these picks, which may mean I've missed some online-only offerings. However, most of these are already available on Boots' website, and where possible, I've included a link to the product page where you can buy online.

1. No.7 Glitter nail collection, £10
Ten pounds buys you five adorable little No. 7 polishes, including the Particuliere-alike greige Beanie, a seasonably dark base colour, Temptress, and three big-particle glitters in gold, silver and pink.

2. Umberto Giannini Beauty revealed hair kit, £18
A good-value kit of hair-nurturing products, including full size shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner and hairspray. It comes in a white washbag decorated with the brand's interesting pen and ink/watercolour illustration style.

3. Seventeen Eye palette, £8
A great-value drugstore eyeshadow palette with 8 shades, including some deliciously cool neutrals and a dark jewel blue. Comes with instructions for smoky eye and natural looks.

4. Soap & Glory Loved and glossed gift set, £16
Three very wearable-looking chunky lip crayons in a Soap & Glory tin. Fun fact: all Soap & Glory's packaging artwork uses original 20th photos, not model shots. Apparently you just can't replicate that vintage charm. 

5. Sanctuary Mande lular bubbly bath box, £18
A classic Sanctuary scent, supplied in full size bath creme, body polish and body souffle (i.e. body lotion). They have also thrown in a body brush, just to guarantee absolute smoothness.

6. Seventeen Eyeliner collection, £12
This staggeringly-good-value set includes two strong performers from Seventeen's excellent eyeliner studio; High drama intense liquid liner, which has a polymer (smudge-proof) formula, and the felt-tipped Make your mark precision eyeliner pen. You also get a limited edition smudgy kajal liner and a gel liner with mini brush thrown in too. The set includes hints and tips for application to help you create flicks etc.

7. Salonniere Eye colour compact, £14
I don't know who Jenny Packham is, but this is a rather handsome palette. It's a bit like a luxier version of the Seventeen palette above, with lovely cool neutrals and a bit of jewel blue. It comes in a reasonably robust-looking case with a mirrored lid. I haven't tried this brand so I can't vouch for the product quality, but the colour choice and presentation look promising.

8. Ted Baker Shimmering days, glittering nights palette, £16
Yep, another palette. But this one's for your whole face, so it's different. (Yes it is.) I mainly love the tiny little lip-glosses that you pull out of their wells with a little ribbon. So cute. You (or your giftee) will probably use one side of this palette much more than the other, depending whether you like your makeup to deliver a rosy flush or a bronzed glow. This palette gives you a chance to break out of your routine and try something new.

9. Joules Brilliant bath fizzers, £6
Full marks for cute novelty presentation go to these bath fizz eggs from Joules, wrapped in pretty paper and packaged in a playfully authentic egg box. Guaranteed gift-opening-moment win.

10. Boots Extracts Super cranberry collection, £10
Scents have a wonderful way of locking in memories, creating positive associations with happy times. So I figure why not make Christmas 2013 smell of festively delicious cranberry? OK, it's not Jo Malone, but it's good drugstore quality with nice gender-neutral packaging. This kit provides a scent layering opportunity with body wash, body butter and sugar scrub, all full size.

And the luxury stuff...
Boots' 3 for 2 offer sadly doesn't extend to their premium beauty lines, but here's a handful of high-end treasures you might like.

1. Clarins Essentials palette, £35
I already squee'd over this in a previous post, but since I'm rounding up beauty options for Christmas, it gets a second mention.

2. Estee Lauder Holiday blockbuster set 2013, £50 with any Lauder fragrance purchase
Interestingly, this is priced at £250 on the Boots website, but according to the catalogue, you can, as per previous years, scoop up this gratuitously enormous collection of cosmetics for just £50 when you buy an Estee Lauder fragrance. (I recommend Sensuous Nude.)

3. Liz Earle Cleanse and polish kit, £18.25
Woo, Boots points on Liz Earle! This kit contains a standard size Cleanse and Polish, a 30ml toner spray and an always-handy muslin cloth. The kit isn't online so sadly I don't have a good picture, but it is in the print catalogue, and should be findable at Boots branches with a Liz Earle counter

4. Smashbox Wondervision mega palette, £49
It's a massive, massive palette of high-end eyeshadows, with a few blushes thrown in. Is there anything more to say?

5. Ojon Restorative hero trio, £34.50
Full size 175ml Revitalising mist, mini 15ml Rare blend oil (the new three-layer oil), and mini 50ml Damage reverse (the no-longer-as-pungent buttery stuff in the jar). Again, this is not on the site, but is in the catalogue, and should hopefully be track-downable in larger stores.

Did I miss anything? What are your picks?

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