The Beauty Gypsy’s last minute Christmas gift guide for literally everyone on your list: Part 1

Let’s get real: Have you finished started your holiday shopping yet? If you’re like me, there are miles to go on that list before you can actually begin to enjoy the festive season. But no worries… with a whole week left till Christmas, there’s plenty of time to find the perfect gift for everyone (yes, I am not kidding). Simply traipse through The Beauty Gypsy’s curated lists, which cover everyone from your minimalism-loving BFF to that jet setting boss and you are sorted.

And I am definitely not judging if some of these gorgeous goodies end up on your personal shopping list as well!

beauty giftsBeauty gifts for the beauty junkie who has everything

Dior Diorific Illuminating Pressed Powder, $80: Pretty and luxe… who wouldn’t want to find this beauty treat under their tree?

Butter London Gears & Gadgets Ultimate Lacquer and Tool Trunk, $150: This one’s going to keep her happy for days, weeks and months, creating bespoke nail effects.

Jo Malone Scented Bauble, $40: Pine & Eucalyptus? Or Frosted Cherry & Clove? Whichever one you pick, it’s sure to be the star of any beauty junkie’s Christmas tree.

GHD V Rose Gold Hair Styler, $160: It’s rose gold. And it’s GHD. What’s not to adore?

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence with Printed Bottle, US$205: What’s better than the glowy-skin goodness of SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence? One that’s dressed up in the season’s limited edition art print. This year, the theme is natural flowers by modern Taiwanese artist Po Chih Huang. Take your pick from red tulips (for passion), yellow freesias (elegance) and purple hydrangeas (compassion).

Rouge Louboutin Starlight Nail Polish, $675: With 1,500 two-tone Strass crystals hand-applied to a sculpture-worthy bottle of Christian Louboutin’s iconic red nail color, this one comes with an inbuilt dilemma: Wear it? Or keep it as a collectible?

Rae Morris Signature Kabuki Brush Set, $249: Every beauty junkie needs a fabulous set of brushes and it simply doesn’t get better than makeup artist Rae Morris’ kabuki collection. Hello, flawless makeup!

Burberry Beauty Charm, $95: A beauty junkie’s dream product? One that’s too pretty to remain hidden within the depths of a handbag. This glossy lip colour doubles up as a handbag or key charm, with metallic leather and cube details in the signature Burberry House check.

beauty-gifts-2Beauty gifts for the world traveler

Glam Glow Gift Sexy, $69: With a face mask for every skin concern – whether it’s hydration, exfoliation or deep cleansing – neatly packaged into one streamlined set, this is basically every globetrotter’s dream.

Fresh Skincare VIPs Set, $70: It has a cleanser, scrub, oil, lip treatment and eye gel all packed into one pretty package, making it perfect for covering all bases.

Tata Harper Globetrotter Gift Set, $100: The Hydrating Floral Essence and Replenishing Nutrient Complex keep skin moisturized and glow-y despite dehydrating airplane air, while the Aromatic Irritability Treatment helps keep your cool despite long lines and delays. Win-win all around.

Bobbi Brown Travel Brush Set, $100: The eight-strong kit of luxury brushes is packed inside a gorgeous croc-print clutch – perfect for dropping into the suitcase or carry-on!

Make Up Forever Makeup Station, $300: Not only does this set house 30 must-have products, including everything from lip colours to fake eyelashes, the box also doubles as a makeup station (complete with pop-up mirror).

Fresh Face Mask Essentials, $120: Three of Fresh’s cult face masks – Rose, Black Tea and Sugar Face Polish – packed into a travel size kit for easy portability.

beauty gifts 4Beauty gifts for the minimalist

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare Kit, $75: With five essentials – No Foundation Foundation Serum, No Blush Blush, No Mascara Mascara, No Lipstick Lipstick and Face Finishing Moisturizer – it’s perfect for even the most fuss-free minimalists.

Tata Harper Very Naughty and Very Nice Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint Set, $65: These limited edition lip and cheek tints can be dabbed on lightly for a soft flush or built up to a bold look. And they are tiny enough to fit into the tightest clutch.

Too Faced Everything Nice Set, $74: With all the shades a woman could desire, this miniature makeup kit is both cool and comprehensive!

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Limited Edition, $19.50: Take a cult multi-tasker, add extra-special packaging for the festive season and what do you have? A gift that even the most stringent of minimalists will want in their stocking.

Formula X Paint Party 24 Press Pods, $20: 24 cream and pearl-finish nail polishes, each of which adorns 10 nails in two generous coats – all stored in a fun paint bucket.

Tory Burch Lipstick USB, $148: She’s organised enough to pack all her documents in a tiny USB key, so why not let her do it in style?

Chanel Give It Shine Glossimer Trio, $90: Shimmer, shine and sparkle… all with this one gold-pouch-encased lip trio.

beauty gifts 3Beauty gifts for all the men in your life

Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Refueling Set, $60: So you get to keep your own moisturizer and soap!

L’Occitane Men’s Soap Trio, $24: Gorgeous yet non-feminine soaps that are sure to be a hit with the guys.

ESPA Smooth Encounter Kit, $72: Shaving mud, moisturizer and shower gel… it’s his own personal spa.

The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil, $25: Stubbly beards and razor burns, banish thyselves!

Commes Des Garcons Pocket Set, $330: Sexy and gorgeous in equal measure, these cult-status scents stand good for all seasons.

Czech & Speake Leather-Bound Travel Manicure Set for Men, $306: From the nail scissors to the cuticle care tools, he’ll be well stocked for years.

C’mon ‘fess up: What’s YOUR gifting cred this year? All done with the shopping? Or still struggling?

Drink your hair healthy (the super-easy, expert approved way)

While I have become pretty good at eating my hair healthy, the super-lazy super-busy side of my personality much prefers an easy shot of liquid nutrients that can be prepared in about 60 seconds. So, when I chanced upon the Instant Energizer at the iconic Juice Bar in Hari’s salon, it was like all my hair dreams come true at the same time.

Time then to play detective and figure out what’s in this and other hair-expert-approved drinks that are popping up in the poshest salons across the world. Two discoveries made the quest sweeter: each of these potent, hair boosting blends are divinely delicious and their ingredients are probably already sitting in our refrigerators. Added bonus: smoothies and juices are much easier to digest, hence the body absorbs their nutrients more rapidly. The payoff? Thicker, shinier, healthier hair from the inside out… painlessly and effortlessly.

how-to-drink-hair-healthyHari’s instant hair energizer

Ingredients: 1 apple, 2 carrots, half a stem of ginger

How-to: Roughly chop all ingredients; then blend or juice them together. Drink up!

Why it works: Apples contain Procyanidin B-2, a natural compound that metabolizes proteins in a way that makes new hair grow. They are also rich in antioxidants, making them great at cell renewal. Similarly, carrots are loaded with beta carotine, which helps the scalp produce sebum (natural oil) that keeps strands moisturised, preventing breakage and brittleness. Beta carotene also promotes blood flow to stimulate hair growth. And then there is the ginger, which has traditionally been used to protect and condition hair, reduce dandruff and speed up hair growth because of its stimulating qualities.

Neville’s biotin booster

Ingredients: 1 cucumber, 1 apple, 6-8 almonds, quarter bunch of spinach, quarter cup of wheatgrass juice or 1 tablespoon of wheatgrass powder

How-to: Blend or juice together all the ingredients; then drink up!

Why it works: The ‘Biotin’ in this Neville’s Salon hair booster comes from almonds, which are rich in natural biotin – a strand strengthener that will make tresses less prone to split ends and breakage. Cucumbers contain pantothenic acid, while spinach is rich in beta-carotene, both of which promote healthy hair development. And then there is wheatgrass for protein, vitamin E and other nutrients that can help repair dry, brittle or damaged hair.

Which of these hair-healthy drinks tempts you the most?

Chillies and vodka… for longer, stronger hair?

jalapeno hairWould you dare to try this hair mask? Mexican fashionistas swear by its hair raising benefits! And it’s simple – chop one jalapeño pepper into tiny pieces and place in a small ceramic bowl. Pour half a cup of vodka over the peppers and let soak for several days. Then strain out the jalapeños and rub a small amount of this tonic into the scalp every night for longer, stronger and shinier strands.

Why does this work? Jalapeños stimulate the scalp and boost circulation, thereby encouraging new hair growth.

Vodka, in the meantime, cleanses the scalp, removes product build-up and stimulates the growth of healthy tresses. It also de-frizzes and closes the hair cuticle by lowering its pH level.

What other miracle recipes do you have for healthy hair? Drink a little vodka every night, while flipping through my Kindle?

How to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel (from the neck up, at least)

Through many a gut-wrenching confrontations with reality, I have realised that trying to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel from the neck down is simply not going to happen. This kind of superhuman feat requires some sassy genetics, a starvation diet (remember Adriana Lima confessing that she ate no solid food for 9 days before the Victoria’s Secret show and then had no liquids at all for the final 12 hours?) and daily dates with a bootcamp-style personal trainer.

And the kicker is that after all this military-style approach, even the Victoria’s Secret Angels don’t look like Victoria’s Secret Angels without piles of body make up. As Selita Ebanks once put it: “People don’t realise that there are about 20 layers of make up on my butt alone.”

Thankfully, though, above the neck is a different matter altogether. Think for a moment: when was the last time you saw heavy, theatrical, OTT makeup on the Victoria’s Secret runway. Never, in my memory. Because nobody would want the makeup to steal the show (that’s what the boobs and the butt are for!). And because wearing a deep red lip when you are dressed in just lingerie and shiny sequins would be just skanky. Right?

Which bodes well for us mere mortals since even if we can’t emulate those lithe (strangely cellulite free) limbs and sensuous curves, at least we can pull of an Adriana Lima or Candice Swanepoel with the trademark sultry brown eyes, rosy-bronze cheeks and a balmy nude pout.

Let’s do this! @alessandraambrosio, @angelcandices & rest of the Angels are ready to fly. Watch the #VSFashionShow Dec 9 on #CBS! 💋✌️

Una foto pubblicata da Victoria’s Secret (@victoriassecret) in data:

Prepping the base

Makeup artists always take a couple extra minutes to massage the face and get the blood flowing. This also works to bust puffiness, especially when you need to step out early in the morning. You can easily do it at home, with moisturiser. (Hilary Rhoda)

Glow… naturally

For the prettiest and most believable flush, makeup artists dabbed on a touch of red cream face paint by Kryolan (popular in children’s theatre) BEFORE blending foundation on top. Finally, he added just a tiny bit of bronzer. The result? Healthy, alive, youthful-looking skin. (Makeup maestro Dick Page)

Soft focus eyes

Makeup artists illuminated eyelids with highlighter on the inner corner of the eye – this catches the light and makes eyes pop with a soft focus effect. (Dick Page)

ALWAYS use eyelash curlers

Eyelash curlers really open up the eyes. Sometimes, you can even skip the mascara afterwards! (Jessica Hart and Doutzen Kroes)

Faking fake lashes

Skip the falsies. Instead, place a credit card or a playing card behind your lashes when you apply mascara and push against the card – this will give you thicker and longer lashes, naturally. (Jourdan Dunn)

Photo: Getty Images / Samir Hussein

Photo: Getty Images / Samir Hussein

Colour it right

Bronzer works in every season – yes, including winter. And it’s not just for contouring. Models apply a soft bronzer to eye sockets and cheekbones to look “more fresh, awake and refined”. (Hilary Rhoda)

Light it up

Another Victoria’s Secret Angel makeup must-have: highlighter. Put it high up on the cheeks, under the eyebrows and on the nose. (Toni Garrn)

Lip love

As for that signature pout – that’s kissable without being tacky – Page layered a lip gloss over a pink Victoria’s Secret lip stain. To replicate, use a balmy lipstick that’s just a shade or two lighter or darker than your natural lip color. Nix anything that’s too shiny or shimmering. (Dick Page)

Hydration is important

You will always see the Victoria’s Secret Angels chugging away at bottles-full of water because keeping skin hydrated is an important part of any beauty regime. (Lindsay Ellingson)