Christmas 2016 Gift Guide- We are doing our first Christmas ever!

15 December 2016

karen murrell true love lipstick review

Have you sorted your Christmas gifts yet? Did I tell you we are celebrating Christmas for the first time ever this year and that the struggle is real? Never before did I understand the rush to sales and the amount of thought and energy that goes into each gift. Never before have I felt so baffled with the umpteen choice of ornaments for a pine tree. Never before have I investigated and compared tree prices and never in my life I had to think of what we'll be eating on that day when all shops will be shut and there's no restaurant where I can hide and just eat my heart out without worrying about the dishes.
We do not have much family here in NZ but whatever we have is a cool bunch. No oldies so I'm kinda the decision maker and the actual enabler of things. We have no traditions to guide us and no experience to fall upon. Think of it as a European trying to celebrate Diwali. Its weird right? But I really wanted to get on board this year. Having been in NZ for 8 long years, I really wanted to feel the thrills of this day for once. Who knows we like it so much that we end up making our own little traditions!

Gifts! Lets just talk about gifts today because OMG the amount of stalking and personal attention they require. I literally hear every word that my flatmate says so I can make out what she really wants as a present. Hey! I'm a very practical person and more of a thrifty one too so I want to give people gifts that they'll actually need and use. I have no problem in asking what the person needs so I can give them that exact thing. Yes! There's no surprise but then there's no chocolate box either. Me and husband have got each other what we really NEEDED (scroll below) and will wrap them on the day to put under the tree. My brother-in-law paid for my Anastasia Beverly Hills haul from their Black Friday Sale so I get to have the exact eyeshadow shades I always wanted. I think we are doing pretty good in this department.

But hey! if you are clueless of what to gift to a makeup, lipstick or skincare addict like me, I have a list of things that may help make your mind a tad relaxed.
Here are my top picks from this season-

oh natural nz
Greetings & Freebies from Oh Natural

1. Vouchers- Oh yep! the good ol' vouchers. Farmers, Westfield, Mecca Cosmetica, Rebel Sport, Briscoes, Plant Barn, Sketchers...the list is endless for the physical stores. However its the online store vouchers that get me all the more excited. Giving someone the gift of choosing a lil something for themselves hassle-free, browsing the store aisles in the comfort of their PJ's...priceless!
And why not support a local business while you do this? My favorite online store for all things natural is Jenna, the lady behind the site, mum of 3 wee bubs is one passionate woman and I love supporting her ethical & environmentally conscious business. I once read a quote on the lines of "When you support a local business, you are paying for a child's education, their dance lessons, helping a dad to put some food on the table. When you buy from multinationals, you are paying for their CEO's third vacation home". For me, this says a lot. Whenever I can, I support local. In fact, most of my favorite skincare brands are either locally made in NZ or in India, because for me, they are both my home countries that I'll continue to support.

oh natural warpaint teeth whitener

Oh Natural website has your every health & beauty need sorted the eco way, be it tanning products, bamboo toothbrushes, kids makeup, the famous Warpaint teeth whitener, solid natural deodorants, skincare or the hundreds of perfumes & soaps. They have everything from local brands like Clean Green Skincare to the very global Weleda. My sister is crazy for Soapwalla's cream Deo so she's getting one. My husband is a hard out Weleda fan so I'm treating him to some Citrus lotion and Lavender Body Wash this festive season. Weleda's Wild Rose has to be favorite skincare range ever. I have previously reviewed it on the blog as well. So this creamy body wash is a lil treat for myself. Oh Natural had all my gifts sorted!

soapwalla deodorant cream citrus review

weleda creamy body wash review

Fret not addicts of Global Cosmetic brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills or NYX, you can still support a local business by buying makeup from kiwis sourcing them. has to be my favorite NZ site to do so. Its so cool that both these stores do gift vouchers too!
Vouchers has to be my best pick because this guarantees a useful hassle-free gift.

2. Skincare Sets- Going with my support local theme, here's one of the best gift sets of this season.

savar nz skincare review

Savar Ultra Brightening Face Pack
Savar has to be one of my top skincare brands. I love their personal attention to each product. The products and packaging are not your usual run of the mill. They are luxury. The packaging look very much Chanel-isque on your vanity shelf. I've been able to re-use so much of their packaging too. Black on white will always be a classic.

savar ultra brightening face pack review

I was sent their Ultra Brightening Face Pack (RRP $99) for consideration- 3 products in a stunning black premium Cosmetic bag (worth $68 alone). The set has their famous Rosehip Brightening serum which I already own and have been loving for over an year now. Also in the face pack is a light-weight broad spectrum SPF 15 Rosehip Advanced Protection Mosituriser. I've raved about this one in my recent Insta Story. Its best for normal to dry skin as it gives me a beautiful dewy finish without any white cast. A perfect addition to your summer skincare! Now only if summer would hurry up.
They've also included a complimentary travel size 30 ml spray of my absolute favorite skincare product, the Instant Boost Multi Toner in this pack. Geez! I can't survive without this bud. If you have dry skin, you've gotta try it to believe the magic. I highly recommend this set for the lady in your life. This face pack has no age bar and will suit anyone with normal to dry skin type. The Rosehip serum is suitable for all skin types.
Savar Ultra Brightening Face Pack retails for $99 from selected stockists (list on their website) or online from

Savar travel minis set review

I have another pick from the many sets that Savar does. If you have a traveler in your family, Savar's 4 piece travel mini set is a perfect gift. This pack has beautiful 50ml travel-friendly pottles of their amazing shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion. Basically all the holiday bodycare one needs, packed in neatly. The set is available on their website for $39. Damn good buy I say! While you are there check out the Ultimate skincare gift pack. That pack will literally make anyone's day. Droool...

3. Lipstick Sets- A lipstick addict like me would love nothing more than lipsticks! The brighter the better. I love this 3 lipstick set called 'Color Me Vibrant' from Living Nature. Beautiful packaging, stunning universal shades and 100% natural, made in NZ lipsticks. What more could I ask for? The set retails for $75 saving a whooping $24 if you were to buy the lipsticks individually.
They also have Color Me Romantic & Color Me Natural sets for softer & romantic shades. So there's something for every lady in your life.

living nature lipstick review

living nature color me vibrant gift set

living nature pure passion lipstick review

living nature wild fire lipstick review

I've used their lipsticks for the first time and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality. They are so moisturizing and I love that they have no discernible smell at all. The shade Coral Sea has my heart!

For more lipstick goodness from New Zealand, Karen Murrell is a sure shot winner. Their Keychain Pouch Gift Set (RRP $60) has two of their best selling lipstick shades, True Love (a warm red) and Camellia Morning (A beautiful soft pink) in a stunning pink watercolor packaging. Check out that lipstick charm on the rose gold pouch! It's all in the details as they say. KM has many more giftsets on their website. I love the Bracelet Gift Set (RRP $60).

Karen murrell lipstick review 
karen murrell camellia morning lipstick review

karen murrell true love lipstick review

karen murrell christmas lipstick set

4. MAC Nutcracker Sweet Collection- You can always count on MAC for an elaborate holiday collection. This year it's's the hugest I've seen. The Nutcracker Sweet Collection features everything from brush sets to mini lipstick sets to blushes & powders...literally everything! The gold and pink packaging screams festivity. MAC's limited edition collections always get sold out fast so get in quick for this one. The eyeshadow palettes have gold embroidery artwork on them. Now that's my kinda gift.

MAC nutcracker sweet collection review

MAC so good for you lipstick review

I was sent Kingdom of Sweets lipstick (Milky Pink, Cremesheen), So Good For You lipstick (Intense cool red, matte), Magic Dust Eyeshadow in 'Dark Lullaby' (Midnight purple) and their Eye Kohl in Prunella (Purple shade) to try out. The quality is MAC like aka top notch. That red lipstick is a steal! I know this one is going to be my Christmas day red. Watch out for a makeup look with these babies.

MAC magic dust eyeshadow dark lullaby review

5. - I've discovered this shop in Auckland by chance. While searching for a good water floss system, I came to find that these guys are the cheapest in the market for all things personal grooming. Think Shavers, epilators, Electric brushes, personal massage equipment and the likes. The cheapest I could find my Waterpik flosser in NZ was $235 (Harvey Norman- $285!!) and these guys are selling it for $179. This is my Christmas gift from husband this year. I've wanted it for the longest time as flossing with a wire running at the back of my teeth is hard work. Its ideal for those with braces too!

wahl lithium ion trimmer review

Waterpik waterflosser ultra review

I got my husband a Wahl trimmer set as Christmas Gift which was $169, the cheapest we could find in NZ. Its awesome that these guys do online shopping as well. I recommend you check them out. and hey! I'm not being paid to say any of this.

6. Lush Cosmetics
Hands up if you can sense a Lush store from a mile away by its scent? 100% everyone can. Its their trademark. Lush always do elaborate Christmas Collection and gift sets. I don't think any other brand comes even close to their offerings. With tons of sets on offer, I'd be running out of space if I mention each one of them. You just have to visit them this holiday season to grab gifts for any budget whatsoever (from $10+ & beautifully packaged!). They are literally a one stop skincare and bodycare shop.
Their fresh facial cleansers are a treat, bath bombs an indulgence.

lush christmas collection review

lush rose jam shower gel review

Some of my favorite sets from Lush this season are Snow Fairy (RRP $49.90), Garden Party (RRP $40.90), Pretty Woman ($220, this set is a dream) & Satsuma ($13.50). Did you know they take phone orders too?

Keep an eye out for these delicious Lush products as they'll be coming soon to the blog..

7. Fragrance
This has to be the easiest one and the most expensive. Nothing makes a girl more happy than a gift of her favorite perfume. Here are my favorites! All 4 of them are my babies that I actually cherish whenever I put them on. 2 of them are gifts too!

best floral perfume for women

Lancome La Vie Est Belle EDP is the most gorgeous perfume ever created. I used to sniff it on my workmate everyday when one fine day I finally asked her. The scent just followed her everywhere! I do not wear this to work though. Its my feeling fancy perfume. The notes are Patchouli, Iris and Gourmand...exotic!
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy EDP is a gourmet floral fragrance, with notes of wild berries, mandarin, vanilla and jasmine, this perfume is one juicy mix!
Versace Bright Crystal EDT- This is my HG perfume. Its the one I've finished bottles of and I'll keep on buying till I fade away. This clean sweet scent with notes of Pomegranate, Magnolia, Peony and Amber, is one sweet delight.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb EDP- You've figured out my taste right? I'm more of a floral scent kinda girl and Flowerbomb is up there in floral fragrances. This fragrance goes with every occasion. The burst of Rose, Patchouli, Jasmine and Freesia give a unique freshly floral kick.

lancome la vie est belle review

These 4 are my favorite perfumes from my personal collection. I'd definitely be repurchasing them. If I get gifted one, it'll be one perfect present. I'm sure Farmers NZ will have some perfume giftsets that you can check out.

That will be wrap of my Christmas Gift guide for 2016. I hope you enjoyed this picture heavy post! I certainly enjoyed creating it, liaising with all these passionate NZ brands that contributed to this post generously. Shout out to Oh Natural, Media Jam, Living Nature, Savar and Lush for being extra amazing this year! I look forward to working with you all again in 2017.

Warm Greetings

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