If there’s ever an appropriate time to gift generously, Christmas would be it. Although there’s seemingly an endless list of gifts to buy, with careful budgeting and planning, everyone can be spoiled equally! You only need some great gift ideas.

I’ve rounded up some of my favourite luxury splurges for a quick guide of what’s available this season. Some in gorgeous holiday packaging like the Clé de Peau La Crème!

Chanel No 5 – This year the iconic No5 celebrates a 100 years! If you love the packaging of the limited edition Holiday No 5 bottle, you’ll also love that it’s recycled glass. Happy to see high end brands like Chanel adopt a more sustainable approach.

YSL Couture Clutch (Holiday 2021)– Has been my go-to palette this season. I’ve used it non stop. The packaging is just stunning with a foiled gold overlay that screams Christmas. For me it’s the shimmers in here, they are ultra fine and perfect one-and-done shades for a subtle sparkly lid. There’s also a good mix of deeper tones for adding dimension. Available at all YSL beauty counters.

111 Celestial Black Diamond Neck & Décolletage Serum – It’s my Christmas gift to myself this year & also a great gift idea for mom! Essential for nourishing the delicate skin of the neck & décolletage and encouraging cell regeneration. Available via Net-a-Porter.

Byredo Metal Boots in the Snow eyeshadow palette – … it’s the perfect dinner conversation starter! Ideal gift for that beauty junkie friend. Also ticking the box of luxury but not forgetting the sculptural packaging that looks so cool. Linking it here.

Byredo Mad Red Lipstick – I really can’t get enough of Byredo packaging. This red lipstick will be a sleek addition to any recipients makeup bag.

111 Precious Liquid Masking Edit – this luxurious kit comes packaged in a chic woven pouch. Inside you have three (75ml) face masks. For Healing, Hydration and Energizing. Available via 111 website .

Givenchy Prisme Libre Highlighter – Possibly the best holiday highlighter to launch this year. Surprisingly, very few luxury brands offered highlighters for Holiday 2021. This year Givenchy was my favourite. Beautiful packaging, flattering customisable colour in a makeup bag friendly size.

Clé de Peau Beauté La Crème – Hands down the most gorgeous holiday packaging this year. If you love novelty items that’s limited edition, this would be the BEST you could gift mom & yourself (if your budget allows).

Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick – A luxe gift in gorgeous packaging. Westman Atelier did a whole range of gift sets in gold packaging that’s ready for gifting. No wrapping required. Have you seen the brush collection? Available via Net-a-Porter here.

Jo Malone Wood, Sage & Sea salt – One of the most interesting Unisex perfumes i’ve tried. I love this years LE Holiday packaging. A great gift for a husband, brother, or a sister!

Angela Caglia Gold Cryo Facial Set – Is for the girlfriend you know could use a little pampering. Beauty gadgets can be a simple treat to indulge and relax after a long day and this set of ergonomically crafted rollers will depuff and firm skin. Keep it in the fridge for an even more invigorating treatment. Linking it here.

Chanel Sublimage Mask – Perfect for mature or dehydrated skin, or skin that’s lack lustre, Sublimage combines the very best of actives (Madagascan Vanilla Planifolia) known for it’s anti-ageing properties. Not only does it feel velvety and luxurious, the Sublimage range smells divine!

Hèrmes Les Mains Collection – Of all the exciting beauty releases this year, Hèrmes steals the show with their new nail colours and hand care collection. I was lucky enough to receive a selection of the gorgeous new launch and fell in love with the brands iconic shades. Rouge H, Orange Boite make the most perfect gifts for the H lover in your life. Their cuticle oil is one of the best luxury oils i’ve tried. As is the hand cream.

Chanel Body Oil – Is hands down one of the best gifts i’ve received in recent years. This 250ml bottle practically lasts forever & will be cherished everyday. Comes in three versions; Jasmine, Rose and Vanilla.

Dior Holiday 2021 Nailpolish – You know a brand repeats it’s products when it’s a winner. Each year Dior does this cute bauble shaped nail polish in three festive colours (I feel like every year the colours are the same too). These make the best luxe stocking stuffers for your girlfriends and also a special treat for anyone who loves nailpolish.

Oribe Haircare sets – Are a common feature in each years gift guide. Already packaged ready for gifting, it’s for that girlfriend who has everything, or a really wonderful boss? Available via Beautylish & Net-a-Porter.

Sustainable Gifts for Christmas

It’s just barely a week to Christmas and i’m here to help with any gifts that need buying; this time with a guide less focused on ‘things’.

I reached out to my friends from Sortorial to help break the cycle of last minute gift shopping with some sustainable gifting ideas that are kinder to this planet. If you aren’t sure who Sortorial is, click here!

For the minimalist

The first thing you put on while you get dressed, you can’t underestimate the importance of good underwear. We love the range from Knickey made from non-GMO, certified organic cotton which is handpicked at harvest (this creates jobs for local communities and prevents high energy use from traditional machinery). If you live in the States, you can send in your ready-to-retire intimates to be turned into new materials like insulation and carpet padding. The bonus? Get a free pair of Knickeys with your next order. P.S – They do gift cards too!

For the fashion lover

Grounded by the principles of considered design, relentless quality, honest value, and positive impact, Kotn has womenswear, menswear and home furnishings sourced directly from the Better Cotton Initiative and small-family run farms in Egypt. In partnership with a local NGO, with each Kotn order, up to 100% of proceeds are donated to fund and build primary schools in the Nile Delta and Egypt. Kotn started with the basic t-shirt, and they’ve done it even better by making it size inclusive.

For the environmentalist

To have an unforgettable experience, experience urban beekeeping and enjoy a cup of honey craft beer after. Honey bees are vital to our ecosystem, acting as highly efficient pollinators of our food crops as well as for wild flora. Effective pollination increases the amount of agricultural produce, improves their quality and enhances plants’ resistance to pests. Learn how to care for and kep bees in an ethical and sustainable way, and you might be motivated to harvest your own beehive and be rewarded with some honey.

For the thrill seeker

Soak up the sun and the views while you zip line through the mountains of North Wales at 100 mph. Zip World Velocity is the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. Available to anyone aged 10 years and above, and doesn’t weigh more than 120kg, this suspends you 500 feet high. A gift card is valid for a year, so the recipient can find more friends to go on this adventure, as there are four parallel zip lines – that means you can go as a group of four! The more the merrier. 

For the dreamer

We spend more than a quarter of our lives sleeping, so make sure you #hustlehardsleepeasy with luxury organic cotton bedsheets or loungewear from Sojao (which means ‘go to sleep’ in Hindi and pays tribute to the Indian smallholder cotton farmers the company works with). With worldwide shipping available, you can gift bed sheets and towels certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard to your friends and family. We love the versatility of the Classic mix and match bundle set – pairing navy, forest and white is so chic.

P.S – Free delivery in Singapore!

For the design enthusiast

The Citizenry establishes relationships with artisans who use local materials to craft the best homeware goods – all without a middleman. Which is how you can get handmade goods at more reasonable prices than traditional luxury boutiques. We’ve got our eyes on the San Cristobal brass wall hanging set which is cut by artisans in Santiago, Chile. Made with higher standards, The Citizenry pays wages that average twice the fair trade requirement. 

Need help with styling or shopping? Book a shop session with sortorial. We can help you shop in-store and send your purchases over, or curate a list of items that you can shop online. 

Louboutin Beauty Abracadabra La Palette Review

Let’s talk about the latest in luxury beauty; Louboutin Beauty has expanded it’s portfolio with a new range of palettes for the eyes and cheeks. The compacts and refills are sold individually, which adds up to a total of SGD 216 per palette. There’s a red and black compact to choose from… and then three eyeshadow palette refills + three blush trio refills to mix and match.

It’s quite the splurge considering each empty palette is SGD108 and another SGD108 for the refill. Still cannot get over how much it costs to have just one palette with the case! But I do appreciate the effort to be environmentally conscious even though I might never really pan these palettes.

The empty palette is a stunning compact with a magnetic closure. The top is studded with signature Louboutin spikes (that surprisingly don’t seem to add a load of weight) and the bottom of the palette has an equally pretty ‘red sole’ .

Each palette assembles with a satisfying click thanks to the magnetized case. Perfection! Honestly wish Hermes got it right that first time.

My picks from the eyeshadow palettes were Rose Pigalle & Bronze Eloise. These look like the most likely combinations I’d normally wear. I wish the two had a bit more variation of colours. Unfortunately BOTH contain a gold shade with one palette containing TWO. I honestly didn’t see the point in releasing similar shades when the launch is such a small one. Also there is room for some matte shades in the palettes. Bronze Eloise had one matte brown, luckily!

Unfortunately the variety of looks from Rose Pigalle is limited to shimmery, sparkly ones. I really hoped the brown in this was matte. But at least the palette didn’t contain two golds!

Rose Pigalle is a mix of, a pink with gold shimmer, a warm gold with micro glitter, a shimmery copper, a rich metallic orange, a satin brown with gold shimmer and a rich metallic maroon.

The formula between these vary, the two shades bottom left and right (orange & maroon) swatch like baked (wet and dry) formulas. I tried them wet and they really do POP. The only shade I wasn’t loving was the satin brown, the gold shimmer in this ends up in the eye when I use it to line the lower lash line and irritates. Personally I prefer darker shades to have minimal to no shimmer (especially when the formula is a powdery one and tends to escape while applying). Overall the pigmentation in these shadows were pretty good. I wouldn’t say they are crazy pigmented and buttery like let’s say… the Pat Mcgrath shadows, but I do think they are good. I also actually like the gold in this palette. It has a gorgeous high shimmer glittery finish that can be worn on it’s own for a statement eye look. I’d use it patted and pressed on all over the lid with fingertips for maximum effect.

My only gripe is that the palette isn’t well balanced. The addition of some matte shadows would definitely allow more variety in terms of the looks.

If you really want to try out the Louboutin formula and enjoy luxury palettes, I definitely feel this would be the one to go for. Of the three palettes Rose Pigalle had a better colour mix in my humble opinion (read, no repeat shades).

Bronze Eloise is the ‘neutral’ palette that …. wasn’t quite neutral. I really didn’t get the need for two golds. I feel this missed the mark in that sense since the launch didn’t have a single true ‘neutral’ palette that many of us tend to use on a regular basis. What was lacking was a matte cream or a simple beige that would really kick up the versatility of this one, minus the gold. The 1st gold really wasn’t needed. Who needs a pale gold that’s pigmented ‘ok’ at best and a incredibly warm but well pigmented, VERY yellow gold too?

Anyway.. the shades in here are a shimmery rose, a satin gold, a medium matte brown, a rose bronze, a warm saturated gold and a deep metallic bronze. My favorite shade in the palette is the 1st one, the beautiful satin rose. It’s formula is silky smooth and just the kinda shade I love to use as a one and done colour for daily use. It’s so pretty.

The first gold in the palette is more of a muted pale gold, the second a warm saturated one. The matte brown swatched ok, but did perform much better with a brush. I feel overall these pick up with brushes really well and blend out nicely! They look very smooth on the eyes.

Bottom line, the palettes weren’t extraordinary. I do think they create a glamourous eye look as the brand intended. It’s all about drama. If I had to pick, I can’t say I love one more than the other.. except where wearabilty is concerned I guess you would be better off with Bronze Eloise.

Of the blush palettes I pick up one.

I ADORE the shades in this. Plus it’s a baked Gelee type formula. Silky smooth, amazingly pigmented and wears like a second skin with no powderiness. This almost melts and fuses with the skin for a luminous glowy finish. On me they wore well for over 5-6 hours after which they faded considerably.

The colours in here are definitely more for medium to deeper skin tones and I love that the brand kept this launch more inclusive.

Left to right there is a berry with a subtle blue shift, a warm gold highlighter and a bronze. I was curious to swatch this along with the NARS blush Dominate and to be quite honest they are very similar (almost like a mix of the two blush shades in the palette). However NARS is a little bit more bolder, more saturation and also contains a little micro glitter that catches the light for a dazzling look.

Lastly a look with the palette.

I used Bronze Eloise and the So Prive blush palette for easy glam makeup. The blush shade is a mix of the two colours in the palette. I skipped the highlighter as I didn’t want the look to end up too warm. I’m happy the palette does come together rather nicely.

Bottom Line

The eyeshadows apply smoothly and are well pigmented. They also blend easily and can be used with or without primer, (I tried both). There wasn’t much fallout during application except for the deeper shades. I like that overall they do come together to create a beautiful eye look.

For what they cost, the quality and formulation should be exceptional and truth be told, I could achieve this look with other palettes with possibly better formulations. However as far as overall execution, they are very nice. I feel the attention to detail for the packaging alone is pretty amazing and they nailed it as with their lipsticks which look and feel equally luxurious!

Btw these palettes contain 6g of product , 1g per pan. I cross checked with a Chanel eye palette and it contains 2g. The average Dior palette contains 3g and a NARS 4.8g . Depending on whether a powder is baked or pressed the weight varies. But overall 6g is pretty generous.

For me the real winners were the blushes, and they are lovely! I feel if you are on the look out for some luxury retail therapy these are wonderful. Personally I wouldn’t mind adding more to my collection… but the price… I really find it hard justifying it.

Chanel Les Beiges 2021 – Summer Light

The highly anticipated Chanel Les Beiges collection just launched. Packaged in signature beige for the season, the collection embodies the lightness it represents. Elegant textures, subtle flashes of colour with a signature Chanel touch.

The collection consists of ;

Two bases, Water Fresh Tint & Healthy Glow Foundation both reviewed previously here & here.

Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palettes in two colour ways : Tender , Intense

Rouge Coco Flash in Dawn (le) , Heat (le) , Flame & Sunbeam

Nail polish in shades, Glimmer (le) , Sunlight, Golden Sand (le) , Solar

The western markets will also be retailing the Soleil Tan Bronzer in a NEW darker shade Deep Bronze.

The lipsticks for Les Beiges 2021 are my favourite Rouge Coco Flash formula. If you follow me on instagram you’ll notice they make a regular appearance in my makeup bag.

The formula is essentially a semi-sheer one with conditioning ingredients. They are the perfect no fuss formula for everyday & summer holidays ensuring the lips stay juicy and hydrated throughout the day.

For 2021, the palette is a shimmering sand, a peach, a warm rose and a hot red.

Flame – Is a medium warm rose

Dawn – Is a light neutral nude with the slightest hint of shimmer

Sunbeam – Is a muted peach with silver shimmer

Heat – Is a warm spicy red infused with specks of gold shimmer

My favourite of the collection is Dawn. There’s a subtle shimmer finish that is invisible when worn but adds a sheen to the overall finish. If you enjoy your summer lipsticks neutral, this is gorgeous.

Sunbeam is a muted peachy apricot. I noticed a chunky silver shimmer dispersed throughout the lipstick, though hardly noticeable on the lips. It’s a very cute colour for summer. Should suit most complexions except deeper skin tones since it doesn’t lean too warm or too light.

Flame is a stunning warm rose. This one’s more pigmented in comparison to the others of the collection and would suit medium and darker skin tones beautifully. It’s the one shade that’s a true cream finish & contains no shimmers.

Heat as the name suggests is a spicy warm red. The formula of this is somewhat sheer with noticeable golden shimmers (if you look closely in the swatch you can spot it). Even though the Rouge Coco Flash is a balmy, emmolient formula, this ones extra balmy! I find the pigments in this settle into lip lines and doesn’t give you an even finish. Of the 4 lipsticks, I liked this the least. I’m sure it’ll work better over a lip liner if there’s a drier base for it to hold on to.

Overall the wear is what’s expected of a glossy formula (maximum 2-3 hours) but they do fade evenly, which is good.

I’ve put together some comparison swatches of formulas and colours that I felt would be similar. I don’t have any possible dupes. But in terms of formula, and texture, the YSL Rouge Volupté Shine’s are very similar. The Chanel Le Rouge Crayon formula has similar slip but infinitely more pigmented!

Moving on to the eye palette, I have Tender to share with you. The colours are meant to be more on the sheerer translucent side hence the name Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow. I do find these excellent for a natural everyday makeup look (which I guess what they are intended for anyway).

Each of the Les Beiges palettes come with 5 shades. Tender contains a pale pink, a deep reddened brown, a sparkling champagne nude, a glittery pink, a medium pink rose.

The shades come together perfectly to create a soft blown out eye look. For more payoff I use my fingers to add more colour, but overall these are sheerer but blend like a dream. It embodies the lightness and carefree nature of this summer collection.

The only shade I really found hard to work with was the glitter. It struggled to stay on, even though I used my fingers to apply. The palette in general would most certainly benefit from a primer pre-application. I use my Chanel eye primer to get the best staying power for all my eye looks.

.. swatches!

Within the collection I feel the nail polishes were some of the BEST offerings. Firstly I am not a fan of pearly satin finish nail polish.

But…. these two shades are amazing! I’ve always had trouble achieving a streak free application with shimmer polishes but Chanel has nailed the formula. Two coats is all it takes for a opaque application. Top coat optional since these dry so glossy anyway.

I love Sunlight. It’s a gorgeous shade for brides. The colour is a neutral rose. Golden Sand is a warmer gold toned nude. They both apply so evenly I was tempted to pick up a backup of Sunlight. I’ve already ordered Glimmer in the hope it’s this exact formula. Fingers crossed!

I feel the nail polishes were perfectly executed. Both colours outstanding. I love the lipsticks too. Must-haves to me are Dawn & Sunbeam. Beautiful colours that’ll transport you to warm sunny days.

The eyeshadow palette is pretty; I feel the overall looks that can be created are rather muted since the formula is on the sheerer side. As much as I want to love it, there are definitely better palettes for your money. Though I do enjoy wearing this one, it’s not a must-have.

Have you purchased anything so far? I think Dawn will be a staple in my makeup bag regardless of season. Hoping Chanel realeases more nudes and mlbb shades within the Rouge Coco Flash range. I can never get enough!

Collection currently available at all Chanel Beauty Counters and Beauty Boutiques.

*This post contains PR gifts sent for review.

Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick Review

Victoria Beckham recently launched 9 new lipsticks. They are priced at $38 each and described as “buttery soft lipstick in a clean vegan formula with rich colour payoff and natural shine”. 

I blindly picked up 6 directly from the Victoria Beckham site which is where the entire beauty range is available. The collection can also be found in-store in Victoria Beckham boutiques with some bits of the range at Cult Beauty and Net-a-Porter where I purchase more frequently since the VB site doesn’t ship worldwide and only select countries.

The lipsticks are mailed in a cream drawstring bag, perfect for reusing as a wash bag for when you travel or repurposed as a nifty little pouch to keep maybe your cables and chargers etc. I do enjoy these little extra touches that add to the luxury experience when you buy high end makeup.

The lipsticks come packaged in a slim, twist up tube with a gorgeous tortoise shell finish. Absolutely stunning! Hands down my favourite lipstick packaging so far. It’s also weighty and feels substantial like most luxury lipsticks.

The finish of these are almost a creamy balm. If you were hoping for full coverage lipsticks, these are definitely not it; and I do see them more as an easy to wear balmy lipstick formula that can be applied without a mirror. They feel very comfortable on the lips, which I really like, and don’t feel heavy on. They are truly hydrating and condition the lips.

The payoff of these vary between shades, the best ones so far have been Play & Sway. There’s noticeably less slip in these two and a slightly drier formula. Also happen to be my favourite shades within the range.

Fringe – A chocolate brown

Play – A deep merlot

Pose – A muted mauve

Sway – A soft mauvy pink

Spice – A light true nude

Girl – Pale nude with a hint of pink

My favourites are Play and Sway as mentioned earlier as well as Girl which is a nice easy to wear shade for daily use. It’s actually the most perfect nude for light to light medium complexions.

The only colour I didn’t like, actually two.. was Spice and Fringe. With olive complexions, the best shades are lipsticks that don’t lean too yellow, and these just emphasise my golden/green undertone making me look sallow.

Overall I do like the lipsticks. It’s right up my alley and just the kind of thing I use day to day. I do wish they were slightly more pigmented and come in a wider shade range though. Right now I feel a majority of the shades are geared towards the lighter skin tones and the medium to deep complexions are left with only a handful of options. The paler shades such as Spice & Girl will not work on anyone NC 35 and up, most likely would need to be layered over a lip pencil. I myself always tend to line my lips whenever I wear nudes since I already have pretty pigmented lips; and a cleaner look can be achieved by ensuring the whole lip is ‘neutralised’ with the help of a pencil. The formula most certainly benefits from a pencil and luckily VB does some good ones too. The shades I have are 2, 3 & 4 which I feel would match a majority of the lipsticks I own.

As much as I love the attention to detail on the packaging and overall purchasing experience, I feel the lipsticks themselves could have been better. They are lovely, but not exactly WOW… if you know what I mean. Especially at a time when masks cover 50% of the face, it’s important to have lipsticks that actually last, the timing of the product launch is just off.

Anyway the best buys would be Sway, an excellent pink for everyday and Play, a gorgeous lipstick for a bolder look. Those two, I LOVE & highly recommend, but the colours themselves I feel can be easily duped if you are a lipstick lover.

Overall my opinion is, if you love sheerer lipsticks and usually gravitate to a nourishing & clean formula, these will be perfect for you. Colours like Girl, Sway and Pose are great for daily use and feel luxurious, which is what we ultimately look for in a luxury lipstick.