Festive ’14: Here We Go!

What few standards I have, I stick with, one being: no mention of The Christmas until after Thanksgiving. So Happy Black Friday, everyone: let the gift shopping begin.

FESTIVE 14!Let’s try that again: let the gift shopping begin!

I’ve got a load of ideas for lady-beauty prezzies, and even some stuff for dudes, that won’t tax your pocket or your brain. In the best possible sense, of course.

Gift packages have improved enormously over the past few years, and many of my favourite products are being presented beautifully this season. I’ve been shooting {‘shooting’} them this morning, and in a fit of meta-tasticness, above please find the pre-shoot non-styling.

I’ll have offerings from The Body Shop, Lush, Bulldog, Roger & Gallet and more, including some Guaranteed Irish products. Stay tuned!

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Festive Form: All the Things in LUSH

First of all, Mr Punch soap has gin in it.

6092-Mr-Punch-Full-640-x-587It’s €4.25 for 100g, which, depending upon your relations, may be just right, or… or not. In addition to the gin, there are cucumbery, melony notes, that all activate once you hop in the bath.

Gin is made from juniper berries, which are no-brainer ingredients for the natural cosmetics company, since juniper berries are natural and grow on… bushes?*

Here are some samples from the extraordinarily comprehensive, beautifully-wrapped line. Funnily enough, two out of the three contain a gin-based product!

01 CHRISTMAS PARTY

Christmas Party {€10.25} has no gin in it. But still, it looks fun, and would be perfect for a young lad, or a Secret Santa work thing.

02 JOLLY HOLLY DAYS

Jolly Hollydays {€32.95} comes with six products, including an Each Peach massage bar, and 100gs of our ould pal, Mr Punch.

03 TWAS THE NIGHT

‘Twas The Night {€64.95} is so, so pretty. It is the essence of a sophisticated Christmas, via its packaging alone. Your loved one can re-purpose the box as well, it is so well made – which it would have to be, since it is chock full of stuff. I’ve raved about the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner in the past, and there’s a massive Angels Delight soap moon, too. And! you guessed it: the thing that has the gin in it.

No gin was partaken in the writing of this post, which I am sure you were wondering.

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*Bushes and trees.

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I don’t even like gin.

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Festive Frontage: Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless

My shoulders have gotten some lovely definition from the horseriding, and I’ve gotten my collarbones back, too, which is: wha’? I don’t know, but I’m happy enough, and want to show them off this holiday season.

At this stage, I revisit the horror that is the strapless bra.

If it’s not one failure, it’s another. It feels too loose. It feels too tight. The cups don’t stay up. The cups are squashy. It digs into that place under your arms. It either feels like some kind of medieval torture instrument, or you don’t trust it. If you can’t trust your strapless bra…! Total nightmare.

Here’s a dream come true.

WONDERBRA 2The Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless packaging boasts that it ‘feels like you’re holding yourself in place’. I immediately thought to myself WTF, that is ridic — Oh, right.

It must be some function of that extra X chromosome, but I admit to hoiking up the ladies every now again, when debating a boob lift. They always look so nice that way! So the notion that a bunch of scientists did a bunch of Science to replicate this action makes me think that Science is finally making good use of Its time.

Quit searching for the God particle, lads! Make me the perfect strapless bra!

And so they have. Now, this thing is structurally sound in the extreme, in that you can’t fold it into itself to stick in the drawer. I tried and I felt like I was compromising its architectural integrity. So I’m keeping the yoke it came upon, because I don’t want to do anything bad to this, ever.

WONDERBRA pack

It really fits. It doesn’t pinch, it feels like it’s going to stay in place, and in fact, it does stay in place: in the interest of my own scientific inquiry, I danced around the flat and the shizz did not budge.

The thing is, those scientists — or was it engineers? — anyway, the brassiere boffins made these polycarbonate hand-shaped structures that are moulded into the cups, negating the need for that pesky, pokey underwire. Wearing the bra is exactly like you are cupping your own boobs*. Don’t dwell on it too much, trust me; and trust me on the fit of this thing, it is spectac.

I do feel that it doesn’t really do the pushing-together thing that I need for optimum cleavage, but it makes up for that in stupendous support and comfort.

Hmmm, I guess this isn’t really a gift for anyone but yourself? Whoops!

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The Wonderbra sizes from A to F! €46/£24/$54

* Helen Mirren, Oscar dress, felt like boobs were cupped by the hands of angels? How far back in time is that event? My brain, and its cray cray storage system.

Festive Flippin’ Amazing: Hampers & Co Christmas Selections

Hampers & Co The Ultimate B 1

Look. At. That.

Before I go any further, okay: it costs a grand. That would be One Large in The Wire-speak. But! If you have many siblings, or close cousins, and you all want to club in together, depending on how many you are, it could cost you only €100 to get your parents, or your parents + aunt & uncle, this massive, flippin’ amazing hamper.

Look at it! There are eleven bottles in it, and I am not talking bottles of spring water. Bollinger Champagne! Jameson! Red and white wine, and port, and creme liqueur!

Coffee, tea, jam, cakes, choccies, cheeses, biscuits for cheese, nuts, decorations! Christmas crackers, relish, mustard, dressings, Fancy Serviettes — a Fancy Serviette holder! I could go on and on, because I adore this thing, this inanimate object. An inanimate object, that in fairness, is animating me beyond all sense.

Plus: THE HAMPER ITSELF with which you can go somewhere pastoral and pretend that you are in an episode of Downton Abbey. OMGGGGG.

What is that little tin, bottom right, the one that looks like a wee suitcase? I love it. {I suspect it is the Walker’s Shortbread Fingers.}

I love everything here, unconditionally, and with the whole of my heart.

So, yeah, I know, €1000, but seriously, embark upon my plan and you cannot fail. And there is enough to share out, frankly, amongst three pairs of parent-y/aunt’n’uncley adults, the ones who always so hard to buy for, you just have to legislate for who gets the hamper, which could get ugly — but if you bring it forward as your idea, I’d say that’s all the argument you need.

The hamper is, essentially, your intellectual property. You can tell ’em I said so. {However, I am not available to mediate any negotiations. Nor would you want to hire me, because my fee would be the hamper. Bwahahahaha.}

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Hampers & Co interactive brochure is here. I could ‘leaf’ through it all day long.

Festive Fillies: Nieces and Cousins and Sisters, Oh My!

Like you didn’t see this coming.

ZHU ZHUThese Zhu Zhu ponies are adorbs, and come in many colours and styles, and were unknown to me until I got a bunch of press stuff from Boots. Now, I know that when I was a girl, I loved mooching about in a pharmacy, looking at all the beautiful things — what am I talking about? I was mooching about in Boots, like, last Thursday!

Anyway, many may have a mental block about shopping for gifts in a chain of chemists, but honestly, there is nothing like brightly and beautifully packaged objects to appeal to young girls. Or older ones. Ahem.

Pictured is Cruz, and she is all about peace, man. You can go here and check out the other ones — I am torn between Blackberry and Rumer. I do object to the latter mainly because of the misspelling, and isn’t that the name of some Hollywood child?

These make noise and spin! {?} Eh, listen, they are adorable, there is a stable house too, and a corral!

Um. Yeah! Gifts for the young girls in your life! Look no further!

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Boots are doing 3 for 2 Christmas Gifts! Zhu Zhu Ponies are €12 [approximate]/£10

Festive Fellas: L’Homme Sport Coffret from Roger & Gallet

I wrote about Bulldog back in September. What was I thinking??!? Sheesh. Anyway, good stuff, and I had a dude try out the Original Shave Gel, and his  review consisted of, ‘Yeah, it’s good, I like it,’ which in dude-speak = overwhelmingly positive. So enter the way back machine here to see the whole line. {September?!?! What was I thinking??}

Let’s think about this, instead.

R&G HommeSport Coffret RRP€39.00This is very sophisticated packaging, which is not surprising as Roger & Gallet routinely produce gorgeous containers for their products.

L’Homme Sport has that fresh, citrus-y top-note thing happening, which makes it sporty, I guess, but it’s also got peppercorn hanging out in the blend as well, which is terribly exciting, for those of us who like things to be rather… savoury.

Back to the package {LOL}. It’s really clean, and the designers did a great job of making this fresh and manly, just like the fragrance. The fella in your life that might like to smell good, but feels self conscious unwrapping toiletry-type stuff, will be completely gratified by this gift.

As will you!

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€39

Blog Imitates Life: In Denial About The Christmas

Yeah, so I’ve got a bunch of plans, as usual, about a theme thing for Christmas shopping, and — well, too many plans, I guess, and I can’t settle and figure it out. You know, just post, for cryin’ out loud!

It has to be right, at least in my mind.

There will be plenty of stuff for the women in your life — your mum, your sister, your cousins, your pals — there is going to be a special category for nieces! — and there is stuff for dudes, too. Also: aunts/uncles, and your parents as a duo.

Oh, I’ll figure it out tomorrow. Until such time, I will leave you with this: the World Famous Supermodel Thumbnail™ sporting Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Cha-Ching! Suitably festive!

Seriously, though, some truly excellent stuff coming this way, including some of the most amazing hampers I have ever seen.

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Sally Hansen Gem Crush comes in eight shades and retail for €8.95