The Grooming Guru’s Christmas Gift Guide For Her

Stuck for a present idea for the woman in your life? How about these glorious gifts?

03102012042806There are scented candles and then there are Fornasetti scented candles, which don’t just smell great but turn the humble room fragrance into a mini work of art. This one, the Flora di Fornasetti candle, fills the room with gloriously intoxicating notes of lily of the valley, jasmine and tuberose and comes in the most exquisite ceramic vessel and gift box. £99 from Selfridges.com
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Face facts, how a bottle of fragrance looks is just as important as how it smells when it comes to gift giving. And who could not be won over by this orb-topped fragrance from Vivienne Westwood? Deliciously feminine, with notes of bergamot, red english rose and heliotrope, Boudoir is a no-brainer when it comes to gifting so go buy! £34 for 30ml eau de parfum from escentual.com

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I always think that Molton Brown products look like colourful little jewels. And if that’s the case then this Orion Gift Set, featuring six colourful bath and shower gels is a veritible treasure trove for beauty magpies. Looks fab and best of all, is easy to wrap! £36 from nivenandjoshua.com

ren-gift-set-05I love REN as a brand and suspect she’ll love you if you gave her this Neroil Duo Gift Set featuring a Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash and Body Cream. They smell  fantastic and the great thing is that, once they’re on the side of the bath, you can can proceed to steal them for yourself. £28 from renskincare.com

Tidy_All_PurpleLizThough the contents of a woman’s handbag largely remain a mystery to me I’ve seen enough friends rummaging around in them to know that they’re clearly a bit like the Tardis inside (i.e big and very messy). This dinky little Aspinal Handbag Tidy solves part of that problem by safely housing a few essentials like lipstick, lipgloss and contact lenses. £65 from aspinaloflondon.com

black orchidYou probably know by now how much I love Tom Ford fragrances. Well, Black Orchid is one of his best selling signature fragrances for women and this gift set, featuring a 50ml bottle of the rich, sensual fragrance along with a 75ml body lotion, is guaranteed to make a big impression on Christmas morning. £75 from selfridges.com

whole lotta colourI must confess I don’t know much about make up (the last time I wore any myself was back in the Eighties when it was de rigueur for men to slap up) but what I do know from reading the posts and tweets of my fellow beauty press and beauty bloggers is that Clinique’s Chubby Sticks* have been a bit of a sensation this year. So much so that this Whole Lotta Colour gift set has sold out on their own website and it’s pot luck whether you’ll be able to find a store near you that has a set. But since it’s clearly one of this year’s must have gifts you’ll get extra points if you do find one. So what are you doing reading this? You’d better get shopping! £30 from a store near you (hopefully).

*they’re lip colour balms in case you were wondering

Daniel Sandler launches bronzer brush for men

When it comes to giving skin a bit of colour I’ve always been a fan of powder bronzers over liquid ones, tinted moisturisers or self-tanners. I think this is for two reasons: growing up in the early Eighties I was never afraid of using a bit of slap and, being a control freak, I like to be able to have total control over the end results.

One of the problems with them, though, is that it’s so easy to overload the applicator brush which can lead to a too-strong effect, patchiness and a shirt dusted in powder. Make-up artist Daniel Sandler has very cleverly tackled this problem, however, with this brand new bronzer brush.

Taking its cues from the silver tipped badger shaving brushes most men are familiar with his ultrafine, supersoft High Speed Bronzer Brush is supersized, made from a mixture of goat and synthetic fibres and features more sparse hairs than regular brushes making it almost impossible to overload. Having given it a go myself I can vouch for its effectiveness and its large surface area means you can get the job done in a matter of seconds.

If you’ve never used a brush (or a bronzer) before don’t worry, I asked Daniel for a few expert tips: “For the best results, gently sweep the tip of the brush hairs over your bronzer powder to pick up colour, tap off any excess then gently sweep over face making sure you apply beyond the jaw line so your tan looks natural,” he says.

“To get the best out of the brush itself, always apply without pressing the brush tip too hard on skin and use quick light, circular motions for a speedy, even-finish.” If you’re applying over moisturiser he recommends waiting for it to be fully absorbed before using  the bronzer – that way you’ll avoid streaks. Easy, no?

You can use the brush in conjunction with your own bronzer (I’ve just tried it out with the Jean Paul Gautlier one I regularly use) or why not try it with Daniel’s Mineral Bronzer Powder? Go on! Don’t be a scaredy-cat – give it a whirl!

Daniel Sandler’s High Speed Bronzer Brush is available from 1st Feb and costs £26. For stockists, or to buy online go to www.danielsandler.com.