|"Presents for All" by Kris Mouser-Brown is licensed under CC BY 2.0|
Every year, there are always so many Christmas Gift Guides up on blogs and Youtube channels which are really helpful (my own are coming to my blog from tomorrow) but I know that some people still struggle when it comes to buying gifts for other people.
Every time November/December comes around, I always receive lots of emails and messages from concerned relatives who are unsure of what to buy their loved ones, especially from the beauty market, because there's just far too much choice out there and they're unsure of what will suit the person they're buying for. I totally see where they're coming from because whether you're spending £5 or £50, you want the person to love their gift and to get some good use out of it.
I also understand how they feel from a personal perspective because every year my dad always says to me that he doesn't know what to get me for Christmas and while I don't want to lump everyone into the same boat, from experience of the questions I'm asked, I think a lot of men feel the same way when it comes to buying for their daughters, wife, girlfriend, sister etc. For many men, beauty is an unknown territory and even a lot of women are put off buying beauty for others for fear of not knowing what to get them.
|"Christmas Presents" by Mike_Fleming is licensed under CC BY 2.0|
1. Listen and Look Out
Listen to what the girl in your life is raving about through the year. If she's anything like me, she'll be telling her hubby about the latest product that she's loving and while you might usually yawn out of boredom while trying to concentrate on Match of the Day, make a note of it in your phone. Its something that she really likes as she's talking about it positively so the chances are, when Christmas rolls around, you'll be able to pick up that product in a gift set alongside complimentry products that she can try out too. Then if she tells you she likes them, you know what to get her next year!
Similarly, look out for they types of products that she's using most frequently; does she always use a creamy looking cleanser to take her makeup off each night? Do you notice the same shampoo and conditioner type or brand by the side of the bath every month? Does she love painting her nails particular colours? Does she never leave the house without mascara on? These are all giveaway signs of the types of products that she likes to use and if you get her a product like this, regardless of the brand, she's got a higher chance of liking it because its already the same type of product that she likes to use.
Another tip is to have a good snoop around in her existing beauty stash, without being too invasive of course.
Perfume is a great option for this one as if she keeps hers together then you can have a look at the different ones she has and see which ones she uses most frequently.
You have a couple of different options here as you could either buy her one that she already has (and loves) but is running really low on, perhaps as part of a gift set with complimentry products, or you could make a note of the different fragrances that she has and take them along to a perfume counter.
The chances are the perfumes that she likes will have a theme running through them as they may all be woody, fruity, floral, oriental, etc scents. They may also have similar notes, for example the fragrances may smell different to one another but they may all have white musk as a base (most of my favourites do!).
When you take your list along to a perfume counter, they'll be able to look at the perfumes that she already likes and give you some options of different perfumes that she might like based on the type of fragrance and the notes of the scents she already wears. It might be that they give you the option of the same style fragrance that has had a twist put on it, for example Daisy Dream and Daisy Dream Forever by Marc Jacobs, or they may choose perfumes that have similar notes, for example Gucci by Gucci and YSL Black Opium both have fruity top notes, floral heart notes and musk and patchouli as a base.
|Much used hair product: Milk_Shake Whipped Cream|
My third tip when asked how to buy beauty products for someone else is to go to a beauty counter. I always say to my dad, just pop into a department store, go to one of the beauty counters, explain that you're wanting to buy a gift for your daughter and the sales associates will help you. Tell them I have blonde hair, hazel eyes and fair skin, or better yet, show them a photo of me and they should be easily able to match up a lip gloss to suit me or an eyeshadow palette that will compliment my colouring.
However I have recently come to notice a flaw in that final tip. While heading to a beauty counter will be alright for some, for many it will be a really daunting experience. Many beauty counters can seem difficult to approach, a lot of sales associates can be quite pushy and many have targets to reach on specific products or a monetary target so you may find that they'll push you into a particular product because its right for them, not necessarily the person you're buying for (some not all I hasten to add!).
The vast majority of counters don't have the prices of their products clearly displayed which can be very off putting for some, especially if you're shopping on a budget and if you're buying multiple items, it can very quickly get out of hand which is what happened to me last year when I went in to buy a Chanel lipstick and came out with a perfume, hair mist, body cream and body oil.
Not only that but I think it is important to mention that not everyone has the time nor the inclination to actually go out shopping. Some work away from home, some lead very busy lives and for some people, the absolute last thing they want to do when they have a day off is trail around a shopping centre and to be honest, I don't blame them as I do the vast majority of my own shopping online.
With that in mind, I have actually discovered a fourth tip to share that will surpass all of the others and that's a website called My Beauty Matches.
4. Make Your Christmas Shopping Easy with My Beauty Matches
My Beauty Matches is still a relatively new website but I still can't believe that I hadn't heard of it until now as it is literally a genius idea.
It is a straight forward online tool that anyone can use help them to pick out personalised gift recommendations for the women in their life, whether that be for their wife, auntie, sister, mam, girlfriend, etc. All of the products are beauty related from every category imaginable; skincare, makeup, body, hands and feet, hair and fragrances. They cleverly match products to you based on your profile (or the profile of the person you're buying for) which includes your time of life, what you look like and your skin, hair and beauty concerns.
From there, you can see the top 3 products that are recommended for your, browse others and shop them all direct from the My Beauty Matches site. This makes Christmas present shopping SO simple because you can do it all from the comfort of your own home, on one site and you can shop from a wide range of brands from MAC, Nars and Charlotte Tilbury to ORIBE, OGX and It's A 10 with over 300,000 across the site. There are products from all different price points on there from drugstore through to high end but what I was most impressed to see was that there are plenty of brands that we would otherwise struggle to get a hold of in the UK on there too.
To get your own beauty recommendations, you simply sign up and answer some questions about the person that you're looking to buy beauty products for. Now of course this could be any lady in your life but it could also be for yourself if, for example, you've finished up lots of your skincare products and you're looking for some new recommendations that are going to be suitable for your skin type; we all know how confusing beauty halls can be at times as there's that much choice available nowadays and this can really be a bit of a headache when you're trying to narrow down your options. My Beauty Matches does this for you so not only is it a site where you can have Christmas made easy, but you can use it at any other time of the year as well whether you're buying a gift for someones birthday or treating yourself.
To use the free beauty matching service, all you need to do is to sign up to their website and answer some questions about the person that you're shopping for. They're very straightforward but if you get stuck, just answer them to your best ability.
The questions start with the age group and skin colour (complexion) of the person you're giving a present to and then move on to asking if they have sensitive skin, their skin type and skin concerns. This is where I selected wrinkles, dark circles, dehydrated and large pores. If you're unsure, I'd suggest always selecting wrinkles as the vast majority of women look for anti-ageing products to help their skin to maintain a youthful appearance for as long as possible.
The quiz then moves onto eye colour, hair colour, hair texture (e.g. thin), hair type (e.g. oily), natural hair (e.g. straight, wavy, etc), length (e.g. medium), hair concerns (I selected frizz, damaged hair and lack of volume and there were plenty of other options available) and the typical type of scent that they prefer (e.g. floral, sweet, etc which you could find out my giving a few of their perfumes or body products a sniff. Usually if someone hates floral scents they'll not use strong floral smelling products, etc).
What I loved about the profiling questions is that they make it really easy to answer them as each answer option has a large accompanying photograph that represents the different responses alongside the text, for example photographs of eye colours, hair lengths etc.
Once you have completed the quick questionnaire, you have the option of either selecting your favourite brands first or going straight to the matches. The first option will narrow down the responses further whereas the second option will give you a wider choice of brands.
From there, My Beauty Matches will give you their top 3 picks for you in each category (cleanser, exfoliator, face wash, etc). They'll tell you what is the best match for your category, your second best match and your third best match. The service claims to be completely unbiased which I found to be true as I found there to be a great mix of brands and price ranges. I really like that they don't just go for the most expensive option as that isn't always the one that is going to be the best for you.
I found that it works really intuitively and you can tell that the selections are really based on the answers you put into the questionnaire. For example, I said that I was concerned about my dark circles and it matched me to some fantastic concealers that are good for covering dark circles. In fact, the best match concealer that they picked out for me is the one that I already use, the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.
After trying out My Beauty Matches for myself and seeing how accurate it is with recommendations, I'd definitely recommend it as a place to head to when looking for a gift for a female loved one this Christmas. The idea that it is a completely free one-stop personalised product matching service is fantastic and having the option to purchase each item through the site is what really takes the stress and hassle out of shopping for others.
My Beauty Matches really does all of the hard work for you and it saves you the hassle of going into town, navigating beauty counters and listening to sales patter. It is quick and easy to use which gives you more free time to put your feet up and watch your favourite Christmas film with a mince pie and a bottle of beer.
Why have a stressful Christmas when you don't have to?
You can sign up to My Beauty Matches on their website here.
What are your tips for making Christmas shopping easy? Which beauty products are you hoping to receive this year?