There's nothing like Christmas to inspire a whole 'nother level of consumer frenzy. The material temptations around this time of year are vast and unrelenting. In an effort to filter through the excess, I've picked out a select few items that are top of my festive wishlist. These are all fairly luxe in nature (blame it on escalating "tastes"), so I'm not planning on a crazed spending spree any time soon, but one can always dream.
1. Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassées Eyeshadow Palette
Until about 3 months ago, there wasn't a single Chanel item in my makeup collection. While I now have one of their Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks in Évasion, Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder and their Soleil Tan de Chanel cream bronzer, I've never tried any eyeshadow offering from the brand. This 5-shade limited edition neutral palette seems to be the perfect opportunity to change all that. Yes, it's hideously expensive at $98, but it's not too far off American ($80) and UK prices (£48), certainly less marked up than something like the Bobbi Brown Smokey Warm Eye Palette which retails for $48.50 in the US but $80 here. We can lay the blame firmly on Lisa Eldridge for raving about the Charming palette in her videos and Instagram, no doubt setting off pangs of want deep in the hearts of beauty fanatics worldwide.
2. Urban Decay Naked3
Do I really need the third installment of Urban Decay's Naked eyeshadow palette series? Probably. This time around there's a focus on "rose-hued neutrals" (read: pink), and while I'm not entirely convinced with the first half of the palette (too light, too pink), most of the shades in the second half are calling my name. Urban Decay rarely disappoint when it comes to eyeshadow and on a cost-per-shade basis their Naked palettes are excellent value for money. I'm holding off for now while the hysteria surrounding this new release dies down, but totally see myself welcoming this palette into my Naked family somewhere down the track.
3. Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque
This mask has been on my radar for quite a while now and is one of the more achievable acquisitions on this list. I was prepared to buy it while holidaying in London, but discovered it's actually cheaper at home ($39 vs. £27 or about $48). I'm trying to use up my existing clay mask first, the super affordable Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask Orange + Bergamot which I purchased earlier in the year to qualify for Priceline's massive skin care goodie bag, but the Aesop is more desirable in every way. The lower half of my face tends to easily breakout, so I'm naturally drawn to a mask that claims to purify the skin and unclog pores.
4. Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille
I'm at a stage where I'm tentatively exploring slightly more "niche" brands when it comes to perfume, moving away from celebrity or designer fragrances. I bought my first Jo Malone and diptyque perfumes while on vacation in Europe, but have yet to add a bottle of Serge Lutens to my collection. Their popular Fleurs d'Oranger reminds me so much of Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia which I already have, but I don't own anything like Un Bois Vanille. I haven't traditionally been drawn to vanilla scents, previously dismissing them as uninspired, generic and too food-like for my tastes (geddit?), but I'm increasingly beginning to see the simple genius in a vanilla scent done right. Alluring, feminine and plain delectable.
5. Wayne Goss The Collection
Seeing this gorgeously soft limited edition Christmas brush on Wayne Goss's Instagram reminded me how much I wanted to try the brushes from his collection. If you watch his YouTube videos, it's easy to conclude the man knows what he's talking about when it comes to brushes. I'd always thought that gossmakeupartist was a "guru" that genuinely valued integrity, honesty and independence, and it sounds like crafting this brush line was a completely hands-on labour of love for him. While the whole 8-piece set is certainly steep (£140), I'm inclined to believe you're paying for the quality of the craftsmanship and materials involved.
6. Charlotte Tilbury Colour-Coded Eyeshadow Palette in The Dolce Vita
When Charlotte Tilbury first launched her cosmetics line, I could hardly contain my excitement. I remember stalking a test site that essentially replicated her relaunched website before it officially opened, and watching all the embedded, then-private YouTube videos that she had made to showcase each individual product in the range. The amount of work that Charlotte put into each of the videos is phenomenal and she's a natural, persuasive salesperson. I was eager to check out the line in person while in London in September, but I managed to resist purchasing anything when I came across her counter at Selfridges. If money were no object, this Dolce Vita eyeshadow palette would be mine. I adore the packaging and the warm, reddish, bronzey, chocolatey shades are right up my alley.
7. diptyque Feu de Bois Candle
A recent discovery while casually browsing Mecca Cosmetica on Friday. I'd never thought I'd be drawn to a scent like Feu de Bois, but there was something unique, comforting and refined about it. Described as "the warm, familiar, sophisticated accord of rare woods throughout the long winter days", I can see myself thoroughly enjoying burning this at night in my room. While I've tried a couple of other candles after my purchase of diptyque Roses, I've decided they simply don't compare. Yes, they're expensive, but I personally find them worth it. Diptyque estimate their standard candle (190g) burns for 50-60 hours, which even if the lower end was optimistically stated, is about 20-25 sessions of 2 hours burn time. Say you light your candle two times a week, that's roughly 3 months of diptyque goodness for $78, and in the end, you get a gorgeous jar that doubles up as a container for makeup brushes, cotton pads, Q-tips or lip crayons. I've read complaints that the jar can get sooty but I always trim the wick before relighting and haven't experienced any issues. The only problem I have with my Roses candle is how unevenly it's burned. Lesson learnt for next time.