This year, I shall be shopping for beauty gifts from my arm chair, glass of vino in hand, whilst watching Strictly. Thank you Boots for all the ideas, the help, the great deals and best of all, the Advantage points, so I can continue to treat myself into 2016!
For my boss and work buddy Clodagh:
No7 Brush Set, €36.50
The No7 brushes were my personal ?find? of 2015, so I want to share them with my friends; I'm addicted to the foundation brush, and use it every day. This gift set of five also includes a powder brush, lip brush, smuder brush and eye colour brush ??everything you need for a flawless, faultless face. Plus, there's a fab, bonus makeup bag in my favourite colour combo of red and vivid pink, so Clodagh can dump the briefcase and go from desk to dinner in a flash. I'd also get her a No7 Glamour Cracker (?11.50), not just for the cute packaging and handy eye-mazing gifts (mini mascara and black eyeliner), but also so I can spend the whole of January asking Clodagh if she ?pulled a cracker? over Christmas.
For my office Secret Santa:
Soap & Glory, Once Upon a Lime, €14.95
Our budget is €15, so this immediately fits the bill. But even better, it will have any IMAGE-ite, from intern to elder lemon (me!), quite literally, in a lather. Inside the sparkly hat box are four fruity body products, all in a smashed brown sugar and lime scent (Mojitos anyone?), plus a massive pink body polisher for maximum suddage. Sweet.
For my multi-tasking pal Caroline:
No7 Mini Eye Palette, €14.50
Who doesn't love a really great palette? And this No7 box of tricks houses eight really great, wearable shades - a mix of matte and shimmer. Even better, it comes with a proper, double-ended brush (no naff sponge applicators here) and a generous mirror in the lid, so making up on the move, which PR supremo Caroline seems to do on a daily basis, need no longer involve the rear-view mirror.
For my bubbly friend Triona:
French Connection High Impact Lips, €17.50.
Everyone knows beauty guru Triona McCarthy (or Christmas Tree-na, as I call her), for her signature bright lip. So, this set of four hi-beam lip gloss crayons will keep her shining throughout the festive season. Not only are the colours as bright has Triona's lovely self, but the handy chubby pencils are great when you're in a rush, as this busy mum of two inevitably is. Simply swoop over lips and you're gleaming.
For my creative friend Cassandra:
Champneys Bathing Basket Collection, €43.50
Cake maker and decorator supremo, Cassandra is about to have her second baby, so she needs a well-deserved bit of pampering. I'd love to spoil her with a trip to Champneys, but in the meantime, perhaps this beautiful wicker basket of indulgent treats will whisk her off to blissful relaxation. In addition to bubble bath, shower cream and body lotion, there's also a super soft face cloth and guest towel, and I might also pop a chocolate truffle or two in with the wrapping.
For Flumpy's minder Blathnaid:
Origins Ginger Essence Sensuous Skin Scent, €55
Blathnaid is so kind to Flumpy, my precious Miniature Schnauzer every day, and as a natural beauty herself, she loves natural (but luxurious) products. This delicious ginger fragrance might help her forget about doggies for a while, and waft around like Aphrodite.
For my sister Melissa:
Reiss Nail Paint AW Collection, €29
When Triona McCarthy and I made the Christmas gift video with Boots for image.ie (can you imagine the craic we had??), this stuck in my mind as a real hero gift. I love all four featured shades - they'd bring you from work to wild! The packaging is also properly premium, so I want this for my wonderful sister, who's busy 24/7 as a wife, a mum, a granny (!), a daughter, an artist, a PhD candidate and a doggy enthusiast. She needs a nail wardrobe to match each persona, and this has it all.
For my mum:
No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced collection, €74
They say mothers know best? but sometimes daughters have something to add in to the mix. My ever-youthful mother owes a lot to good genes, but she looks after her skin too. So it's time for her to try my little secret? the rejuvenating regime that keeps on giving - or rather taking - those fine lines away. Magic, miracle stuff.
Pantone Universe Lip Set, €22
I'm not checking out until I get myself a little treat too, and with Boots 3-for2 deals, I feel fully entitled to pick up something my heart desires. I'm a sucker for a good nude lip, and this little kit should give me the perfect, fleshy pink pout. I love the shades, the Pantone theme is slick and the cute travel mirror will save me from possible lipstick-on-teeth disasters.
Christmas shopping is easy with Boots! Boots has 80 stores across Ireland and delivers nationwide via Boots.ie and The App