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Hello there.

It's nice to meet you.

I'm Jessica.

Once upon a time, I wrote a lot on this blog.

Now, not so much. But I haven't quite gotten around to totally delete it from the internet just yet. So, here it remains, collecting dust. 

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Monday
Nov302009

Shop the holiday pop-up boutique + tips for beauty gift buying

Since we can't actually go out and buy or make you all gifts for the festive season, Beauty Woo Me have created a series of guides and editorial to make your holiday season easier.

Starting tomorrow, read our daily beauty Advent Calendar for gift ideas. Browse the holiday pop-up boutique and shop throughout the entire month. And below find our quick and dirty guide to buying beauty gifts. Some say it's a no-no, but that's just because people do it the wrong way. Follow some simple guidelines, and just say no to that cello-wrapped Brit Brit perfume set.

HOW TO SHOP THE HOLIDAY POP-UP BOUTIQUE | We've compiled an edit of the best beauty (with a few cheeky non-beauty exceptions) gifts out there, full stop. Why? To save you time by presenting you a collection of the things worth buying. Some are expensive, some not. Some are for him, some for her. Some for under the tree/menorah, some for the stocking. Each image clicks through to an e-commerce site. And we make no money off of your purchases... we've done this as our gift to you this holiday season! Without any more nattering on, here's how to shop and gift beauty the correct way:

1 | GIVE GIFTS THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE BUMPF IN A HOTEL LOO

By this I mean (with very few exceptions) do not gift 'travel size' (meaning, really, single use) product sets as gifts. I've added a few to the pop-up boutique because people seem to like them but, in all honesty, they just feel cheap and there are SO many wonderful gifts you can find for a similar price that feel quality.

2 | APPROACH COLOUR COSMETICS AND SKINCARE WITH CAUTION

Most people are crap at figuring out what colours look good on them... finding the perfect shade of red lipstick for someone else is even harder. Plus, do you really know what colour cosmetics your mates swear by? Probably not. If you have to buy someone colour cosmetics, make it a universal palette or set that all can use. And skincare will -- unless someone has explicitly said directly to you that they are LONGING for a certain cream/serum/whatever -- sit on a shelf collecting dust. Handcare, nailcare, bodycare and some skincare (party SOS stuff or maybe a cult classic) are okay.

3 | SCENT IS GOOD... SEASONAL SCENT IS EVEN BETTER

Perfume can be very personal (so I will concede that perfume sampler sets can be okay if you know someone in the market for a new scent), but with a bit of investigation, you can pretty much figure out what people love and loathe... and if you buy candles, diffusers et al in seasonal fragrances, the gift will last longer (as they're probably only use it once a year) and they'll think of you when they pull it out of the cupboard every holiday season.

4 | THINK DIFFERENT

There are so many cool products out there that people simply wouldn't buy on a regular basis, but which they might really like to have. For me, drawer liners and scented paper fall into this category (as do expensive, scented candles). I ADORE the idea of lining my wardrobe and drawers with gently scented paper so that my clothes always carried a whisper of scent. I just can't bring myself to allocate part of my monthly beauty buget to it.

5 | THINK QUALITY VS. PERCEIVED LUXURY

By this I mean buy things that are of true quality instead showy, excessive, disposible 2007-style 'luxury'. Too frivolous or poorly constructed, no matter how expensive, is just a waste. That's why the pop-up boutique has so many lovely, high-quality things! If I am going to buy presents, chances are I'll just buy one incredible thing for each person instead of a load of tat that ends up in the tip on Boxing Day.

6 | KNOW WHEN TO NOT GIVE A BEAUTY GIFT

Some people just don't care about beauty products or gifts the beautify, relax, soothe, etc. Fair enough. I don't care about shoes or reality TV. I find them inane and many folks no doubt think the same about the whole beauty thang. So gift them something that's beautiful in its own right instead. Museum shops and Etsy are notoriously good hunting grounds for beautiful gifts. Some of my favourites are conventional items with a twist, like coffee cups and bookmarks.

7 | SETS USUALLY TRUMP SINGLE PRODUCTS AS MAIN GIFTS

But this only applies if the sets are full sized! The Kiehl's Creme de Corps set looks wonderful, as does the Fresh Brown Sugar Set. It's a bit weird to wrap up a bottle of shower gel on it's own, no? If you're giving beauty products (this excludes expensive candles and the like. A full-sized set of those would be VERY expensive) as a main gift and not as a stocking stuffer (where single prods and smaller items are a-okay), then go with a set or go with something else.

8 | IGNORE THE RULES

Really, they're just here as guidelines from years of giving beauty and home products at the holidays. If you have a system that works for you, fine. If your niece is obsessed with hotel-sized mini products, buy 'em up. If you're buying gifts (instead of making them, say), and those gifts fall into the beauty category, we hope the above help you reach your end goal, which is getting gifts that people like and will use without draining your wallet (we are, after all, still in a recession... probably not going to splurge on that case of Guerlain perfumes then...).


Let the festivities begin! Look out for our daily Advent Calendar, starting tomorrow.

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