Gift Guide 2015: Happy Holiday Gift Sets II

Make your giftee clean and bright…

LUSH
Selection of gift sets ranging from €11.95 to €220
LUSH gifts
Any Lush outlet takes on the atmosphere of Aladdin’s Cave at this time of year, and they’ve truly cornered the market on thoughtful, beautifully presented gifts. From the smaller boxes that contain two well-matched, full-sized products, to the massive collections like Wow! that comes with 36 samples from across their Christmas range — or the Winter Wonderland {117.50}, for the serial bath-taker in your life: 20 bath additives of the bomb, melt and bubble variety are sure to make someone happy for months.

LUSH winter wonderland

Here’s that magical box, and at right: the barest tip of the festive bathing iceberg. I know that people have widely diverging opinions related to the scent of Lush stuff — I heart it big time, personally. The best part of this particular gift set? The artwork on the box was created by ARTHOUSE Meath, a collective of art instructors who work with people who suffer from severe epilepsy, and those with learning and physical difficulties. This is just another indication of Lush’s commitment to outreach, and to involving local artists and artisans in their process. That’s the true spirit of the season, right there.

BENEFIT
Party Poppers €46 Get Your Party On and You’re So Party €56
BENEFIT GIFTS
This brand get it right year after year, and they’ve surpassed themselves in 2015. These two are my faves: Party Poppers is designed along the lines of an Advent Calendar, but celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas — along with a song that belts out when you open it… or even walk past it with too much vigour. It’s full of minis of Benefit’s greatest hits, and it’s well worth the fright you get when you hear someone singing and you don’t know where it’s coming from.

As far as collectible tins go, both Get Your Party On and You’re So Party are the proverbial gifts that keep on giving — I can’t even imagine how much stuff you could stash in these tins, once you gleefully decant the prizes inside. As regards the former, your amazed love one will find They’re Real Mascara and Hoola Bronzing Powder as well as a bottle of High Beam, and Gimme Brow in mediUm/deep. The latter will discover full-size They’re Real Mascara and Hoola Bronzing Powder, and mini POREfessional and Ultra Plush Lip Gloss Mini In Hoola. Like Lush, there are many choices to make based on your budget — it couldn’t be easier to shop.

ELIZABETH ARDEN
Original Eight Hour Set €30, available @theloopdublin in Dublin Airport
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Original Set €30.00
It’s unheard of for a brand to have a product that retains its cult status — for 85 years! — but that’s exactly what Elizabeth Arden have in their Eight Hour Cream. Originally developed by Miss Arden herself to doctor her thoroughbreds, it was the very first product to be released under the now classic name. For an astonishing price, you get Face Cream, Skin Protectant — which literally is useful from top to toe, for shaping brows to soothing rough heels — and a lip balm. A great introduction to a versatile product — and seriously, that price!

AVOCA
Medley Of Soaps €17.50, also at The Loop
Avoca Medley of Soaps €17.50
Everything about this is exquisite, which is one of my favourite words. The packaging, the variety of scents, and the price all combine to make this an terrific Irish gift for someone with excellent taste and fancy spare loo. Oh, forget that! Encourage your giftee to treat themselves and use them everyday! Just because something’s exquistie doens’t mean that it can’t be quotidian.

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OML*: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Gloss!

*Oh My Lips!

The latest addition to my stable of lip balms is one that Eight Hour Cream fans are going to die for.

‘Stable’ is not merely a canny way to allude to my other blog: the original Ms Arden did in fact base her miracle cream on a treatment that was used routinely on her horses.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Gloss is a sort of a cross-breeding between lip balm and lip gloss, with emphasis on the latter. It is shiny, which is the cause of much joy in B&B! HQ, but with balm-like qualities, so that one ends up being both attractive and virtuous. Even better: it’s the first make up product in the Eight Hour line, so one will be beautiful, virtuous, and cutting edge.

And, magpie that I am, I loved the equally shiny packaging.

Is the eight hour aspect merely a connection to the brand’s most famous element, or is this meant to last eight hours? Not in my world, it won’t: between talking, eating, talking, drinking, and talking and talking, there’s no way. Most importantly, the habit of applying, which may indeed be the root of my lip balm addiction? It’s too ingrained, and automatic. Go eight hours without reapplying? You must be joking.

How will I use this? I’d count the ways, but I think this is a going-out kind of jawn, the sort that I use on top of my long-lasting but slightly-drying new fave lippys, and then as the evening wears on and I get tired of touching up, I’ll just apply this and leave it. So, great companion to The Smoky Eye, as well.

It feels light, and has a light, citrus-y scent, which is unexpected? It’s fine with me — it doesn’t taste like oranges or anything, which may be a disappointment to some, perhaps.

This is too fancy to use when just sitting around, catching up on Homeland. It’s part of a limited collection that includes Skin Protectant and Moisturzing Hand Treatment. Those look good, but for me, as ever, it is all about the balm — and so far, so good.

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€22.50/£20/$17