Our Top Christmas Gifts

Now that we’ve overdosed on sugar for Halloween, and frozen our toes off on bonfire night, we can focus all our energy and excitement on Christmas! And what better way to kick off the season than with a sneaky peek at what Liverpool’s Metquarter has to offer?

I’m going to put it out there right now, I’m a complete and utter jewellery addict, and you will inevitably find me lurking under the spotlights in the likes of Mococo, Olivia Divine and Links of London, making endless Christmas lists for my friends and family (to buy for me, not the other way round!).

At the top of my wish list is Links of London’s pretty little sterling silver snowflake charm. Beautiful set on a delicate chain necklace, or added to a collection on a charm bracelet, at £45 it’s not eye wateringly expensive and would make the perfect gift for your bestie. If asking for this yourself and you have varying degrees of expectations, there is also the silver and diamond pave charm for £195, or the 18K yellow gold charm for £395.

#INSPO’s favourite ChloBo has just launched her Love Revolution collection. Perfectly timed for Christmas, I’m in love with the vast use of smokey quartz and white agate for some wintry wonder. The collection is still ideal for the boho lovers out there – I can’t wait to get stacking the beaded charm bracelets – but there’s been a serious injection of glamour into this 70s-inspired collection, with the Revolution necklace (available in gold or silver) as the hero piece.

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Paperchase never fails to deliver at Christmas, and as ever, they have the most fabulous collection of kitsch, vintage-inspired and quirky decorations. I love the nordic-inspired designs, and have my sights set on these wooden snowflake tree decorations (there seems to be a theme this year) along with these copper cookie-cutter fairy lights. If you want something a bit less traditional, check out the surprisingly vast array of flamingo designs (who knew the bird of the summer would still be going so strong at Christmas?) and pair with fluoro baubles and multicoloured owl lights. As ever, I’ll be spending most of my christmas budget on wrapping, wrapping accessories (bits of string with silver jingle bells and a London bus peg, anyone?) and cards. I always ease my spending guilt by opting for sets of the charity cards.

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LK Bennet, Armani Exchange and Hugo Boss will all be here for your Christmas clothing needs, taking you through from Christmas Eve glam, to Christmas day comfort and New Year’s Eve party attire. I’m already dropping hints to the boyfriend about about L K Bennett’s Starla Mini Star Suede Court shoes. Who doesn’t love a star motif at this time of year? The studded design adds a subtle rock chick edge to a classic design, which will amp up my look on NYE. And I’ll be treating myself to the Holly Glitter Flats for the walk home. I may be in agony but I’m still going to look fabulous!

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Don’t fret boys, Metquarter has an abundance of choice for you too. I’m not going to lie, I came over all a flutter at the sight of the Gieves & Hawkes look book at the press day. I do love a man in a well fitting suit. With the likes of All Saints, Jack Wills, Hugo Boss and Armani Exchange on offer, there’s a style to suit every man. And don’t be afraid to embellish over the Christmas season. I’m loving the selection of ties, pocket squares, bow ties and cravats (oh my, this is why my boyfriend refuses to let me style him!) available at T.M.Lewin, the perfect finishing touches to any self respecting party look.

MAC and Illamasqua are my one-stop shop for stocking fillers. Who can resist the pick and mix choice of eye shadows and lipsticks? Suss out your recipient’s favourite shades, or lead them out of their comfort zone with an exciting new pop of colour. I can spend hours testing out MAC’s Mineralise Eye Shadows and Pigment powders for intensely rich colours (*cough* teal *cough cough*). For myself, I always request a fresh new mascara. This year I’m going to give the Maybelline a rest and try out Illamasqua’s mascara in Raven.

Let’s not forget one of the most important aspects of Christmas… Food! I’ve always loved Harvey Nichol’s food hall, with their iconic grey and vintage-inspired photographic printed packaging. When I worked for the company in my twenties, the almond biscotti was a staple gift for everyone in my family – whether they liked it or not. Looking back, I should have shown a bit more creativity and mixed thing up with the christmas spiced biscuits or some turkish delight, but hey, we live and learn. My sisters, cousin and I chip in together every year to get my grandparents a fancy food hamper from old British favourites – Fortnum and Mason has featured heavily in the past. This year the Harvey Nichols Party Starter Hamper is looking like the winner (no, they won’t be hosting Christmas, they just like a drink. Or 10…). If a pre-prepared hamper doesn’t have quite the personal touch you’re after, then why not hand pick a selection of your favourite products and make your own?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to beat you lot to the shops while everywhere is still fully stocked!

Kerryn Grady

Know your beauty ABC’s

Grab a pen and paper and listen up class, today we’re swatting up on our beauty basics! Pop Quiz – do you know your BB’s from your CC’s?

BB creams –  you will be no stranger to the ever popular Beauty Balm, a trend originating from Asia. Efficient and gentle, the BB
cream will give you a moisturiser, primer, SPF and foundation all in one go. If you are a “less is more” kinda gal, this is the product for you.

CC creams – taking the next step in the fast paced business of beauty, CC stands for Colour Correction. With the promise of delivering all that a BB cream does, CC creams provide extra vitamin C to brighten dark spots, balance out red undertones and conceal blemishes.

Look out for…

Benefit’s ‘Big Easy’ – for light to medium coverage. I love how this “bigger than BB” cream has a powdered finish once applied – two products in one! It’s also easy to reapply during the day. I would certainly want to take this product away on holiday with me.

Mac’s range of CC creams. For a girl with uneven skin tone, “Adjust” was the CC cream for me. I was very impressed with the coverage of dark pigmentation under my eyes, and redness in my cheeks.

Arbonne’s CC cream. With a choice of 4 shades, this colour correcteur is lower in SPF than most of the CC creams that I have used, which I love, because I know I won’t get flashback in pictures. Arbonne gives a full coverage look without the feel of a foundation.

And if that’s not enough, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming DD creams!

Darryl

American Beauty VS London Chic

Kim Kardashian

Eyes – All about the lashes, Kim’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic cuts up several strip lashes mixed with individual lashes to create this iconic look.
Skin – The Queen of Contouring loves a matte finish and to be lighter under the eye.
Cheeks –  Kim’s MUA Mario uses Trace Gold (£18, Mac) to highlight.
Lips – Keeping it Natural, Kim often sports a nude lip with a little gloss.

Victoria Beckham

Eyes – smokey and beautifully blended to exude a ‘thrown on’ feel.
Skin – Sarah Lucero, Victoria’s MUA, only uses Stila’s CC cream on Victoria’s skin to keep it looking dewey and natural (£18, www.stila.co.uk).
Cheeks – A matte bronzer is often used to gently accentuate the cheekbones.
Lips – Like her fashion label, Victoria sticks with nude and monochromes for her makeup pallette, and has been wearing a nude lip with most makeup looks.

Darryl