Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1

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So you’ve decided to give yourself or a loved one the gift of great skin this year (and who wouldn’t want that?!) but with practically every brand offering a variety of gift sets, limited edition products and holiday specials, it can be a bit overwhelming. When it comes to holiday shopping, skincare gift sets are what I look forward to the most. They’re cute (hello, minis!), include multiple products and are the perfect way to test a brand without spending a lot of money. I personally think they make the best gifts, which is why I have decided to do a gift guide series focusing on the best skincare sets out there for every beauty lovers preferences. First up – the “Strictly Science-ists”. These consumers love the high-tech, scientific approach to skincare and are looking for performance over purity so if that’s you or someone you know, then these are the perfect gifts.

NIOD SET No.1 £50

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INGREDIENTS: LOW- VISCOITY CLEANING ESTER, FRACTIONATED EYE CONTOUR CONCENTRATE, MULTI- MOLECULAR HYALURONIC COMPLEX, PHOTOGRAPHY FLUID OPACITY 12%.

NIOD are easily the most innovative and impressive high-tech skincare brand out there. What they are doing is just so far ahead of everyone else that no matter what type of products you prefer (green or non), they are an absolute must try. I fell in love hardcore when I discovered the incredible Copper Amino Isolate Serum (review here) earlier this year and since then they have released a slew of high science products that are like nothing else. As with any new skincare brand, it can be confusing to decide what to try first or even to take the plunge when there’s not that much information out there about the products, so that is where this brilliant set comes in. It contains four of the core products in the range, all conveniently packaged together in a perfectly arranged trial kit. This is a great way to dive head first into the brand without committing to full sized products and I only wish they had included CAIS in this kit because that is the number one product I think everyone should try.

(currently sold out from NIOD but available on preorder from Victoria Health.)

BRAVURA LONDON CHEMICAL EXFOLIATORS £9.59 each

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INGREDIENTS: 10% LACTIC ACID, 10% GLYCOLIC ACID, 2% SALICYLIC ACID.

Bravura London has quickly become my most favourite discovery of 2015 and I have talked about them in great lengths here and here, as well as on my Instagram. I think they are amazing products that perform above and beyond their price point and on top of that, they are just beautiful. I was reminded again of just how great these are this weekend when a week full of holiday overindulgences (lots and lots of sugar) plus not sleeping plus not really doing my routine properly gave me my first real spot in weeks. Thankfully, with the combination of the glycolic and salicylic peels, it was massively reduced overnight, to the point where it is barely visible now. Because of this, I think they would make a much welcomed gift – if only for the stellar results. They work so well one their own but together, they are something else and because they are such a great price, all three would make for a beautifully colorful but highly effective skincare gift set.

SKYN ICELAND SKIN HANGOVER KIT $25

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INGREDIENTS: HYDRO COOL FIRMING EYE GELS, ICELANDIC RELIEF EYE PEN, THE ANTIDOTE COOLING DAILY LOTION, FRESH START MASK.

I have recently re-fallen in love with Skyn Iceland and in particular, have really enjoyed using the Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. I used a pack this weekend after an exceptionally long day which preceded a hectic night flight and they just feel so incredible on my tired, irritated eye area. I think this kit would make an excellent gift as the holiday season hustle and bustle leaves most of us feeling (and looking) worse for wear. It comes with the Eye Gels, Eye Relief Pen (also great), The ANTIDOTE Cooling Daily Lotion (a favorite from my college days) and their Fresh Start Mask, which I have yet to try but have heard great things about. Skyn Iceland’s whole purpose is to create products that will help alleviate stress and promote wellness and this kit will definitely help you do that as everything here is relaxing, soothing and restoring.

OMOROVICZA INTRODUCTORY CHRISTMAS SET $95/£59

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INGREDIENTS: THERMAL CLEANSING BALM, DEEP CLEANSING MASK, BALANCING MOISTURISER, CLEANSING FOAM, QUEEN OF HUNGARY MIST.

Definitely a splurge set here but one that will surely be loved and happily received. Omorovicza do excellent products and enlisted a nobel prize winning laboratory to create a skincare line based on the healing thermal waters from Hungary. This amazing set includes 5 of their most popular products like the beautiful Queen of Hungary Mist, which now comes in a refillable glass bottle (something I have been wanting for years) and the awarding winning Thermal Cleansing Balm and Deep Cleansing Mask, both favourites of mine. This set is a great introduction to the brand and I only wish they had updated the selection and included a mini of the new Hydra Melting Cleanser and Miracle Facial Oil because they are both on my wish list. If you have never tried anything from this amazing brand then this is the perfect set to get.

HYLAMIDE SERUMS AND BOOSTERS $18-$30

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Another brand you can create a personalized skincare set with is Hylamide (NIOD’s little sister, if you will). This is a great range that allows you to fully customize your skincare routine and focus on exactly what your skin is needing. I love the C25 Booster (although my sister, claiming to love it more, has now rehoused it to her beauty cabinet) and I have friends who have tried practically every other product and love them all. You can combine these products in a number of ways to fully address every need your skin has. If you are dry/dehydrated, you could do SubQ Anti-Age, SubQ Eyes and the Glow Booster or if you have hyperpigmentation issues you could mix the Glow and C25 Boosters and use a Photography Foundation to create a luminous, even base – it’s entirely up to you and I think that is such a fun thing to do!

GIVEAWAY: I have teamed up with the wonderful people over at Deciem to help you get in on the holiday spirit with a chance of winning the 3 products pictured above from Hylamide! Head over to my Instagram now to find out how to enter. Good luck!

Arly

P.S. – Check back here tomorrow to see Part 2 with my picks for the “Nearly (All) Natural-ists” skincare lover out there!

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6 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1

  1. Hi Arly,
    Thank you so much for the gift suggestions with mini review! They are very helpful. I follow you on Instagram and here on WordPress, and your reviews have convinced me to try Hylamide’s C25. I love it very much, it really does brighten my face and lighten my PIH scars (a.k.a. signs of my naughtiness)!!! I just got the subq serum and loving it so far. Have you continued using NIOD CAIS? I am eyeing that one as a further “step up”, and I was wondering whether you notice a continuous effect from CAIS even after you stopped using it? Although perhaps you might not notice that big of a difference considering all the other stellar products in your lineup! 😀

    By the way, your love of Bravura convinced me to buy the salicylic acid peel along with the lactic acid peel during their Black Friday sale, and I have just gotten them in the mail! I am so excited to try them!
    I have Pixi Glow Tonic but it irritates my skin, that’s why I was hesitant to get the glycolic acid peel and the toner. I now only use the Glow Tonic before triple masking so the impact is not as severe as using it daily. Do you think it will work as the pre-peel toner? Or something gentler like Nip+Fab glycolic fix pads?

    I didn’t mean to write such a long novel but I am just so excited and thankful for your succinct yet thorough reviews! Thank you again for that! Looking forward to more awesome reviews and eye candy photographs 😀

    Best,
    Silka

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