Beauty 101

Luxe or Less: Get gorgeous for Christmas

For some of us, Christmas is a time to splurge on luxury products and reward ourselves for a year of hard work and sacrifice, for others, despite deserving a reward it’s a time to tighten the purse strings in anticipation of the mounting cost of gift giving and entertaining.

But it needn’t be a complete drought of well-earned treats, because we’ve found some great products from luxury to budget that can help you look and feel your absolute best.   And when we say LESS we are definitely not talking about performance!


December can be so stressful!  Balancing social and work obligations at a time when we most need a break means taking small pleasures when you can.  Enjoying a relaxing bath at night and soaking in some soothing elixirs can be just the remedy to relieve those end of year tension.


LUXURY: Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Bath and Shower Oil $62.80

A silky blend that leaves your entire bathroom smelling like a luxury spa and leaves your skin incredibly soft and supple.  Breathe it in deep for totally aroma-therapeutic relaxation.

LESS: Lush Amandopondo Bubble Bar $8.50

A rosy, citrus bath bar that crumbled under running water releases foamy bubbles to lift your spirits and help you feel like a queen. Smells gorgeous and feels so good on the skin.


With Summer in Oz we’ll be showing off a lot more body during the silly season than our neighbours on the other side of the world, so it’s important to keep body skin nourished, soft and supple.


LUXURY: Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Body Butter $68.80

An at-home spa treat that leaves your skin luxuriously soft and hydrated with a delicate silky sheen.  The scent is a sophisticated, herbal spa scent with a blend of pure essential oils.

LESS: Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter $24.95

Super nourishing with shea butter and aloe and with a sweet, fresh girly scent that makes you want to dive into it. This is seriously addictive!

In summer we lose a lot of vital moisture from the skin through sweating and artificial cooling. Therefore it is important to replace that lost moisture in order to keep skin looking soft and dewy and to prevent premature skin ageing.  Hydrating serums are a wonderful way to provide deep moisturisation without overloading the skin with clogging oils.


LUXURY: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair From $95-$140

Even though it’s called Night Repair this is a perfect serum for both day and night.  With moisture binding hyaluronic and a huge menu of anti-oxidants this is still one of the greatest environmental protection serums on the market.  Use a few drops under your moisturiser for the dewiest, softest skin.

LESS: Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron $27.99

Pure hydration in a tube, this cult gel sinks into the skin completely yet acts like a magnet for moisture keeping the deeper layers hydrated all day.  Helps to elevate the effectiveness of your moisturiser with moisture binding hyaluronic in it’s pure and most potent form.


Finding a foundation that will see you through hot days, late nights, air conditioning and lots of running around is a challenge.  These two measure up in every way and both look and feel lightweight, satiny and luminous.


LUXURY: Chanel Perfection Lumiere $88

This has great flexibility on the skin and seems to move with it.  It applies on the skin like a light velvet and makes the pores look much finer.  It  wears well though all sorts of weather.  The finish is soft and airbrushed and very natural yet the coverage is moderate.

LESS: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation $32

Enriched with fruit extract this seems to enliven dull, dehydrated skin like no other foundation.  If there was an ideal “hangover” foundation this would be it.  Lightweight its fine texture looks satiny and soft on the skin and it has a subtle glow.  Bourjois seem to bring out some of the greatest drug store foundations on the market that rival more expensive offerings, the new Healthy Light Foundation is another great one and ideal for those looking for lighter coverage.

A few late nights, dark circles under the eyes and some unexpected eruptions on the face in the form of post-party pimples and you are going to need a good, dual action concealer.


LUXURY: Nars Radiant Cream Concealer $35

This really is amazing and deserves it’s cult status.  It covers anything from under eye shadows to blemishes and seems to melt into skin to leave it flawless.  Use it sparingly though, too much and it becomes caked under the eyes, a little and you’ll fall in love.

LESS: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer $14.95

An amazing concealer and in my opinion the best multi-purpose concealer from the drugstore. Lightercoverage than the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer but buildable so a few layers will achieve the same result.  The texture is super fine and blendable.

A touch of glamour on the eyelids with just a hint of sparkle is a “must-have” for Christmas!  We love cream shadows for their ease of application; just a quick sweep on the lids and blend out the edges with a soft shadow brush and you are done.  they last for hours and hours and suffer little or no creasing. Great for those times when your makeup needs to go from day to night.


LUXURY: Mac Paint Pot $35.00

One of Mac’s most popular products and for good reason.  The texture is ultra-fine and easy to apply and it sets to a consistent finish that won’t budge.  They seem to get the shimmer just right with these shadows, rather than looking glittery on the eyelid like many cream shadows, they look wet and shimmery and the range of colours is amazing.

LESS: Maybelline Colour Tattoo $9.56

An amazing product for the price and a great dupe for many of the high end cream shadows, they are super creamy, last well and still give you plenty of time to blend.  The colour selection is excellent and there is something for everyone.

Long, lush lashes are mandatory and very on trend.  Finding mascara that lengthens, adds volume, doesn’t clump or smudge and is easy to remove is a big challenge but we’ve found them!


LUXURY:  YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils $52.00

Effortless to apply, the brush is quiet narrow making it easy to reach even the smallest lashes.  It  doesn’t seem to clump at all though it becomes a little gluggy after regular use (a few eye drops in the container keeps the formula fine).  The colour pay off is amazing making the lashes true black and it lengthens the lashes beautifully without smudging.

LESS: Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara $10.95

The curved brush, fine bristles and the texture of the formula all combine to create great mascara that rivals the most expensive on the market.  Great to sweep on several coats for a full, long lash look without it clumping.

Glossy, soft, well-conditioned lips are the perfect companion for a Summer evening Smoky Eye look and double up as the perfect “barely –there” swipe of colour for daytime.


LUXURY: Dior Addict Ultra Gloss $47.00

Simply divine texture and great shade range.   So  lovely to pull this gloss out of your purse and touch ups; the packaging is pure luxury!  The texture is light, non-sticky and lasts well.

LESS: Covergirl Wetslicks $9.95

Delicious and fruity glosses with a hint of colour.  Great texture and  non-sticky and while not the longest lasting gloss,  it is easy to touch up with from the tube.

I hope this helps you find some great products to treat yourself or maybe someone else with over Christmas. If you have any great suggestions then let us all know, we love to hear from you!