Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cosmetics Contemplations: Christmas Collections 2011

And on that highly alliterative note, let's begin.

 Giorgio Armani's Madre Perla Collection
Aiming to epitomise the glamour of the 1930s, this collection takes the art deco movement as its inspiration, exploiting pure lines, sophisticated colours and luxurious details to their fullest extent. The £95 Madre Perla palette evokes silk lingerie and is set off by lacquer and metal, while the more affordable Eyes To Kill eyeshadows (£24.50 each) come in glistening taupes, golds and silvers. The Gloss d'Armani capitalises on bolder colours - shown above are shades Rouge 404, Pink 507, Plum 603 and Plum 604, which at £21 each, would make a glamorous yet not bank-breaking gift.

Bath and Body Works All I Want Liplicious Collection
Despite being unavailable in the UK (sob), these look just too delicious to not feature here. Bath and Body Works' festive glosses combine holiday flavours with Vitamin E and jojoba oil, and are available in five cheekily-named variants: Gingerbread Giggle, Candied Smile, Peppermint Hug, Snickerdoodle Squeeze, and Cranberry Kiss. At $8 a pop (or $16.50 for the whole set of five), they're the perfect stocking-filler.

Get ready to party with MADARA Skincare
MADARA's Flower Dust Shimmering Body Lotion (£22) promises to turn heads at Christmas parties with its light-reflecting particles, as well as protecting skin from winter cold with its nourishing ingredients (including calendula, camomile, seaweed and rosehip). Its £25 Tinting Fluid uses St John's Wort, cocoa and plantain, among other ingredients, to allegedly help give you a natural dewy complexion while disguising imperfections and fine lines - but with only coming in two shades, I'd say that this tinted moisturiser is a bit of a gamble. The brand's Tinting Lip Glosses, priced at £9.90 each, may be a better bet, combining natural colours with moisturising properties using plant minerals, mica, soy beans, sea buckthorn and more.

Luxurious gifts from Chantecaille
Chantecaille's Swarovski-studded bottles and compacts are sure to glitter under the trees of those willing to cough up. Its Crystal Fragrance (of which there are 5 scents: Pétales, Tiare, Vetyver, Frangipane and Kalimantan), whose bottle was designed by artist Cimon, retails at £500, but even those with more modest budgets can also partake: its South Sea Pearl body highlighter, enclosed in a flow-through brush, costs £46, which while extravagant is not totally out of reach. The £75 Evening Duo contains two exquisite new eyeshadow shades, and is adorned with crystals aplenty.

Holiday Gifts from L'Occitane
The Holiday Confiserie comes in two different variants for L'Occitane fans this Christmas. The Rose and Violet collection (Délice des Fleurs) contains violet and rose leaf absolutes, and includes an eau de toilette, a solid perfume, a shower jelly, a body milk, a hand cream, and a lip gloss. The Délice des Fruits variant smells of lemon and clementine and offers customers a lip balm, shower jelly, body cream, perfumed soap, bath ball, hand cream, sweet candle, and home perfume diffuser. Prices start at £3.50.

Ellis Faas Winter Gift Set
To celebrate the season, Ellis Faas has devised a £60 gift set, comprising three best-sellers: Milky Lips L201, Creamy Eyes E103 for an easy smoky eye, which can also double up as a liner, and Milky Eyes E209 for fresh accents. Their bullet-like pens and refuse-to-budge hold never fails to impress.

With all of that to choose from, you certainly shouldn't be short of ideas now *cough*guys*cough*. There's something here for every style and budget, whether you prefer the edgy expense of Ellis, or the affordable offerings from L'Occitane. Wishing you a happy shopping season!

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