I dread to think how long I spend looking at beauty products online but at this time of year it’s actually rather handy. Whether you’re struggling with inspiration for your mum, sister, girlfriend or friends, I’ve gathered the best high street beauty gifts that every woman will love.

  1. Zoeva, Basic Moment Palette – £18.00 – There’s nothing quite like unwrapping a good eyeshadow palette on Christmas Day, and Zoeva are my go-to brand for high quality eyeshadows without breaking the bank. The Basic Moment palette has a great combination of everyday colours so it’s a safe bet but if you want something more glam, try their Cocoa Blend or Rose Golden palettes.
  2. Nails Inc, ‘Wishes and Kisses’ Nail Varnish Gift Set – £29.00 – Christmas nail varnish sets can be a little hit or miss but this Nails Inc set ticks all the boxes, and the quality of their polish is fab too. The shades in this set are really wearable, and the glittery shade would be perfect for New Year.
  3. L’Oreal, Read My Lips Christmas Cracker Lip Kits – £7.99 each – I’ve been OBSESSED with L’Oreal lipsticks lately and the beautiful nude shade in this kit (shade 630) is one of my all-time favourites. If you’re buying for a red lip lover, there’s a set for you too. The kits include a matching lip liner as well as the lipstick, which for £7.99 is such good value, and the cracker packaging is adorable.
  4. Glossier, Cloud Paint Duo – £25.00 – Chances are every beauty addict will be over the moon to find Glossier goodies under the Christmas tree this year. The cloud paints are a fab option as they’re so versatile – you can pop them on your cheeks for a cream blush and use them as lip balm. You get to pick which shades make up the duo so you’ll never be left with a dud colour.
  5. Being By Sanctuary Spa, Chilli Mango & Tonka Bean Bag – £10.00 – Every woman needs a cute makeup bag to pop in her handbag and the entire Being by Sanctuary bag collection is gorgeous. Each one has a different expression but the mango one is definitely my fave. If you’re looking for a cute present for a friend or a stocking filler, these are not to be missed. If you’re feeling generous, you could always wrap up a few makeup bits and put them inside the bag as an added surprise.
  6. The Ordinary, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – £5.90 – There’s no denying that The Ordinary have had an incredible year. They’ve really made a name for themselves as a high quality, affordable skincare brand, and with good reason too. Hyaluronic acid is a universal ingredient so you can’t go wrong with this as a gift – I mean, who doesn’t want youthful, plump and hydrated skin? It’s a fail-safe beauty prezzie.
  7. Real Techniques, Holiday Eye Set – £16.00 – Real Techniques are by far the best makeup brushes on the high street, so if you’re looking for an amazing gift set, then look no further. Whether you’re buying for someone who’s new to makeup or simply building on a collection, this limited edition set includes all essential face, eyes and lip brushes. For £16.00 this is an absolute steal!
  8. So…? Sheer Illusion Perfume* – £4.99 – I was reunited with the So…? brand recently and I’m so glad I was. Affordable fragrances aren’t always looked upon as favourably as their higher-end counterparts but the Sheer Illusion perfume is classy with just the right mix of floral and fruity. This is a perfect gift for any fragrance lover and the packaging is beaut. If you’re looking for lovely gifts under a fiver for Secret Santa, the So…? collection is well worth checking out.
  9. Embryolisse, Lait-Creme Concentre – £13.30 – If you’ve read my blog for a while, you won’t be surprised to find Embryolisse here. You can read my full review here but lets just say, this is the best base for makeup I’ve ever used. It’s a product you don’t realise you need until you try it, so it’s one of those gifts your friends and family will massively thank you for long after Christmas. Trust me!
  10. The Body Shop, Drops of Youth Liquid Peel – £18.00 – This is another product that may look unassuming but it packs a serious punch. It’s incredible! If you’re after youthful, smooth skin (and come on, who isn’t?) this is a hero product. Regardless of age, this product is another winner for anyone into their skincare.
  11. Neutrogena, Visibly Clear Light Therapy Mask – £59.99 – Skincare isn’t all about products. Light therapy has proven benefits for anyone prone to acne and breakouts, so Neutrogena deserve serious props for making this treatment so accessible! The Visibly Clear Light Therapy Mask is the first high street version on the market and compared to other higher-end options, this is such good value for money.
  12. Nugg, Mask Trial Kit – £15.00 – Masks are still having their ‘moment’ in the beauty world and with the cold winter nights drawing in, this trial kit is a fab present for anyone in need of some ‘me time’ and a good pamper. The kit has masks for everything from brightening to nourishing your skin so would suit women and men of all ages.

I hope these picks have helped you tick a few more people off your Christmas list. Let me know which presents you love in the comments below, and which you hope you find under the Christmas tree.

Sincerely, Sarah xx

If you’re a planner, chances are you look forward to holiday prep. You probably have multiple lists for things to do, items to pack and last minute purchases and if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy every organised second! That said, the one part of holiday prep that never changes is my beauty regime.

With holiday season approaching, I hope some of you will find my trusty beauty routine helpful. Here goes…

2 WEEKS BEFORE

  • Dry Brushing: Whilst scrubbing your dry skin with a scratchy brush doesn’t sound hugely appealing, the benefits make the effort totally worth it. Dry brushing is detoxifying, it boosts blood flow, exfoliates and for some, can reduce the appearance of cellulite. I spend 5-10 minutes before every shower dry brushing in the two weeks before a holiday with my Superdrug brush.
  • Exfoliation: For a beach holiday I really up the ante when it comes to exfoliating. I do it twice a week in addition to dry brushing, to really ensure my skin is as soft as possible and ready for a holiday. If you’ll be looking to prolong a tan, exfoliation really is key. I’ve been using, and loving, The Body Shop Honeymania scrub – it’s in the sale at the moment too!
  • Gradual Tan: If I’m going to a sunny destination I always use a gradual tanner before I jet off. I’m rather pale so this step is purely for aesthetics. Let’s face it, nobody wants to be the translucent pale girl in a bikini! I’ve tried so many over the years but I keep going back to Dove tanners. They’re the brand I find to be most natural looking and least smelly – an important combo. I’m currently using the Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived (Light to Medium).
  • Face Masks: If part of my holiday involves a flight, I use the two week window as a marker for increasing my commitment to face masks. It doesn’t take much for my skin to become dehydrated and flying really is the thief of moisture and hydration! I normally use a sheet mask every Sunday so I simply add in another two throughout the week. The Tony Moly masks are still some of my favourites, and the Hydraluron ones are fab too!

1 WEEK BEFORE

  • Foot care: I am hugely ticklish so I always do my own pedicure – I can think of nothing worse than paying for someone to touch my feet! *Shiver* I did a blog post about my DIY pedi routine so check that out if you want to give it a go yourself. I like to be thorough but I don’t paint my nails until the night before I go.

3 DAYS BEFORE

  • Hair Removal: My least favourite part of being a woman – it’s just such a faff! Whatever your chosen method, doing it a few days before you leave ensures your skin has plenty of time to recover and isn’t red or sensitive. I’m a big baby when it comes to waxing and always dread my appointments but I can’t praise Strip Wax Bar highly enough. Their hot wax treatments are less painful than any others I’ve had, their boutiques are beautiful and the girls are always super friendly.
  • Brows: It’s probably not a surprise to know I’m a tad picky when it comes to my brows. I’ve been a loyal customer of Blink Brow Bar for as long as I can remember and I will always prioritise having my thread and tint over any other beauty treatment. If you’re particularly sensitive give yourself a few extra days before you leave, and don’t forget to have a patch test!
  • Lashes: Eyelash extensions are more hassle than they’re worth so I opt to have my lashes tinted instead. I find this works so well for defining and opening your eyes without a drop of makeup. I wouldn’t say it’s a total necessity but it’s definitely a ‘nice to have’. I go to Blink Brow Bar for this too and have never been disappointed.

The night before

  • Nails: The night before I go on holiday is my time to relax and get excited for the adventures to come. I tend to pour a glass of wine, get out a nail file and take care of my nails. I always go with bright colours for my toes and if I’m off on a hot holiday I normally go with reds for my fingers. I’ve got so many posts about my favourite nail polishes so take a look here if you want some inspiration.

… and that’s it! How do you get ready for a holiday? Do you do things in stages too? Wherever and whenever you’re off, I hope you have an amazing time!

Sincerely, Sarah xx

The Red Nail Edit Sincerely Sarah SincSarahSnaps

Red nail polish is my ultimate favourite. It’s classic, can be sexy and definitely has the potential of giving any look an added injection of glamour. I’ve been a fan of red nail varnish since I was about 15, so I’m very confident with the 8 ‘best’ I’ve collated for my red nail edit.

In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “There is a shade of red for everyone” and I hope this collection will help you find yours. In no particular order, here are the red polishes you need in your life…

The Red Nail Edit Sincerely Sarah SincSarahSnaps

Left to right:

Barry M Nail Paint, 262 ‘Bright Red’ – £2.99 – If you’re looking for a classic bright red, look no further. This is a perfect red shade packed with shine, it’s just stunning. The clue is in it’s name really; it’s a must have postbox red for any nail varnish collection.

Nails Inc for Glamour, ‘Tate’ – £14.00 – This is one of my favourite polishes in this edit, and it came free with a copy of Glamour Magazine! Tate is a rich, vampy shade of red with a super glossy finish that’s great on all ages, long and short nails and just fab all year round. It’s beautiful.

OPI Nail Lacquer, 72 ‘Red’ – £11.25 –  This is one of OPI’s classic collection and with excellent reason; it’s a pure red with a frosted and slightly metallic finish. The light red mixed with the shimmer makes this a go-to, timeless polish – it’s uber festive too.

Barry M Nail Paint, 273 ‘Raspberry’ – £2.99 – The deepest berry red in this collection; ‘Raspberry’ is a gorgeous rich colour that I have and will continue to buy again, and again. With dark pink undertones this is a versatile polish and it lasts really well.

The Red Nail Edit Sincerely Sarah SincSarahSnaps

Left to right:

PS Nail Polish, ‘Va Va Voom’ – 80p – No that’s not a typo, this beautiful nail varnish is just 80p from Primark! ‘Va Va Voom’ is a rich cherry red and it’s incredibly good value for money. I would recommend two coats of this but for 80p you can’t moan. Also the packaging is lovely – very similar to the Butter London polishes.

Nails Inc, ‘Piccadilly Circus – £14.00 – Now I may be cheating slightly with this one – I always think of this as a red but it’s definitely made up of some deep pink undertones. It’s a berry shade that oozes class, it shinier than shiny (in a good way) and lasts a seriously long time with a top coat. It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Nails Inc, ‘Ayelsford Street’ – £14.00 – A fantastically quirky matte finish, Ayelsford Street is a red with a twist from Nails Inc. It’s a beautiful shade, applies nicely but the real kicker is the textured finish – it’s a must try.

Essie, ‘Fishnet Stockings’ – £7.99 – Essie describe this shade as a spicy, dark red and that summarises it perfectly. It’s a cult favourite of many a beauty lover and it’s pretty easy to see why. It’s a staple, classy red and the Essie formulations are just epic for longevity and a quick dry.

Have I missed your favourite polish from my red nail edit? Let me know what your go-to red nail polish is in the comments below, and whether you’ll be trying any of my top picks.

Sincerely, Sarah xx