Tried & tested: Christmas party essentials

With the silly season officially in full swing, that means endless holiday invitations are probably still rolling in.

To help you prepare for every event, and to take out all the guesswork, BD road-tested these Christmas party essentials.

Circa Home Cinnamon Sticks Soy Candle - Sam
What it is: A limited-edition candle for Christmas that helps bring to life the festive atmosphere in a home.
My experience: Anyone who knows me knows I have an equal but OTT passion for candles and Christmas so thank goodness for the little elves at Circa Home who have created this festive filled cinnamon soy candle to spread some Christmas cheer. This beautiful hand-made candle makes me think of freshly made gingerbread and is the perfect gift (or gift to one’s self!) this Christmas season.

Saya Skincare Noosa Refresh - Christmas Pack - Dragana
What it is: A Christmas pack that includes: Saya Skincare Lime & Lemongrass Body Wash, Hand & Body Lotion and Detox Face Exfoliant.
My experience: So excited to receive this Christmas pack with Body Wash, Hand and Body Lotion and Detox face exfoliant as a present from a friend. As soon as I unwrapped it and saw the brand Saya I instantly knew that I would love it. Such a well put together pack with exactly what is needed for your everyday shower routine and I absolutely love them. The Body Wash / Hand and Body Lotion are made from only the very best ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera and almond oil, peppermint and lemon to mention a few, leaving my skin feeling fresh, clean, soft, smooth and hydrated. The Detox Exfoliant made out of Australian native botanic ingredients left my skin feeling completely renewed and refreshed! This pack is my favourite!

Mellow Cosmetics Nude Velvet Liquid Lip Collection - Tamara
What it is: A collection of six Mellow Cosmetics Velvet Liquid Lipsticks in the Milan, Ibiza, Tehran, Budapest, Auckland and Shanghai shades.
My experience: The Mellow Lip Collection includes six liquid lip shades from the nude range which means that I have a look for every occasion. These Liquid Lipsticks are highly pigmented and apply really smoothly, giving me a matte finish that stayed put for most of the day. They feel creamy on the lips and the colour didn’t crack throughout the day at all which is likely due to the high quality of this Vegan and cruelty free product.

Ultraderm 12 Days of Radiance Advent Calendar - Alicia
What it is: A limited-edition advent calendar for Christmas, containing 12 carefully curated skincare products to help skin become Christmas-ready.
My experience: This is the epitome of skincare advent calendars! It includes Ultraderm’s Christmas Lights Candle, Face & Body Polishing Cream, All In One Bronzer Stick, All In One Micellar Cleanser, Essential A Body Serum, Silky Soft Facial Cleansing Chamois, Nutri Lip Complex, Absolute B3 Serum, Skin Recovery Mask, Skin Karma Cleanser, Active Hand Lotion, and Absolute C Serum. All the products are the perfect travel size so your skin can be Christmas-ready wherever you are. The Body Serum, Nutri Lip, Skin Recovery Mask, and Hand Lotion are absolute stand outs. This curation of skincare has thought about every inch of skin, and it really delivers on its promise of twelve days of radiant skin.

L'OCCITANE Light Hand Cream - Deb
What it is: A limited-edition hand cream that is part of L'OCCITANE's Christmas collection.
My experience: This hand cream comes in a sweet red box with Christmas designs on it, so it is a fantastic Christmas gift. The hand cream itself comes in a sleek silver tube that has a red lid to match, and the Christmas imagery is carried across the tube as well so that it is completely Christmas themed. The cream is fragrant and is a light texture, almost like it has been whipped. It glides on the skin easily and I found the absorption really fast, leaving no oily residue on my skin. 

Ultraceuticals Hydrating Trio - Tiarne
What it is: A limited-edition skincare gift set for Christmas.
My experience: I started using all three of these products in conjunction a couple of weeks ago, and so far my skin is feeling so much softer, smoother and more nourished. All of the products are super hydrating, but lightweight enough that they don’t break out my acne-prone skin. They have a pleasant but subtle scent and don’t leave a greasy feeling behind. I also found that the serum and cream both absorbed into my skin really quickly, meaning I could move onto the rest of my skincare routine in no time at all. I am loving the results and am sure I will see even more improvements with time.

DMK YOUNGER YOU Christmas Pack - Issy
What it is: A limited edition Christmas pack including Vitamin C Serum, Eye Toner and Fine Line Face Cream.
My experience: This is the perfect pack for at-home or travelling. This pack came at the right time as the products target signs of ageing, in particular fine lines, evening out skin tone and skin dullness. The formulas for all products have been gentle on my skin, leaving my skin rejuvenated, hydrated and above all evening out my skin tone, brightening my overall complexion. 

Hask Watermelon Lemonade Anti-Frizz Gift Set - Rhianna
What it is: A limited-edition Christmas pack containing Hask Watermelon Lemonade Anti-Frizz Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave in Conditioner Spray.
My experience: The Limited edition Hask Watermelon Lemonade Anti-Frizz Christmas Pack comes in an eye catching pink and yellow box, and would be a great Christmas gift idea for anyone as it’s suitable for all hair types. Not only is the packaging and the bottle design beautiful, but the moment you pop open the bottle of the Hask Watermelon Lemonade Anti-Frizz Shampoo you know you are in for a treat! The combination of the sweet watermelon and citrus lemon scents are divine, and it leaves your hair smelling heavenly. It’s the perfect level of sweet, without being overpowering.  

I reach for heat styling tools on a daily basis so it is essential that I use a shampoo and conditioner that is both nourishing and hydrating for my long and thick hair to avoid breakage and split ends. I love that these products contain vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your hair against free radicals, and also helps create collagen which is an important part of the hair structure. Vitamin C also helps promote longer and stronger hair which is always a big A+!

After using this shampoo and conditioner I found that my hair looked and felt softer, more hydrated and I had no frizz or flyaways in sight. I love that this shampoo and conditioner gave my hair a really beautiful shine without looking oily. A little also goes a long way with these products. I used the spray in conditioner while my hair was still damp after washing it and it definitely helped to detangle my hair while brushing it.

If you’re looking for a sweet christmas idea for a fellow beauty lover (or yourself), this limited-edition Christmas pack would be perfect.

Mavala Switzerland 60’s Travel Make Up Pouch - Maree
What it is: A Red polka dot makeup pouch that includes a nail polish, nail polish removing wipes, micellar water and a lip gloss.
My experience: This red and white polka dot makeup bag is filled with lots of goodies and would definitely make a beautiful Christmas gift. The makeup pouch is a great travel size that easily fits inside your handbag. It contains a gorgeous soft, neutral pink nail polish and a small travel size container filled with nail polish remover pads. The nail polish remover pads now live in my handbag for on the go use – there’s nothing worse than chipped nail polish! The pink high shine lip gloss is super creamy and comfortable on the lips, and doesn’t feel sticky. It’s super easy to apply and stays on your lips for quite a while. I really like that it’s high shine without chunky specs of glitter. I also love the micellar water. I have really sensitive skin and I find micellar water extremely gentle and non-stipping on the skin. This Christmas pack gets a big thumbs up from me!

jane iredale Be Rosy Kit - Hayley
What it is: A limited-edition gift set for Christmas that includes: Queen Bee PurePressed® Blush, D2O Mini Hydration Spray, White Fan Brush Rose Gold, Pink Glace PureGloss® Lip Gloss and Honeycomb Bag.
My experience: I was so excited to receive this kit. What I love about jane iredale is that their honeycomb makeup bag was created to help our threatened honeybees. The bag and product packaging has a beautiful gold colour which makes it feel very luxe and festive for Christmas. The blush in Queen Bee is a stunning pink with gold glitter which transfers beautifully with the brush. The hydration spray is in a great size to keep on hand throughout the day to set my makeup and hydrate my skin. The lip gloss is a sheer pink with gold flecks that plumps up the lips and feels moisturising. A fantastic gift for Christmas with products to keep on hand throughout the year. 

Nutrimetics Scented Soaps and Hand Crèmes - Eleni
What it is: A matching hand soap and hand cream duo.
My experience: Rose and Patchouli scented hand crème and hand soap is a natural and dermatologically tested product. The crème absorbed and sunk in quickly to my hands providing hydration and smoothness to tired and dry hands. The sweet floral scent lingers long after use and your hands remain soothed/hydrated and not greasy. With the infusion of Wild Pansy, IInden Flower and shea butter, it would make the perfect christmas gift and the hand crème is the perfect size to keep in your hand bag.

Ella Baché BOLD Collection - Bon Bon - Caitlin
What it is: A limited-edition Christmas bon bon that includes: Crème Jojoba and Special Eye Cream.
My experience: In a vibrant pink Bon Bon packaging it certainly stands out and great to give as a gift to introduce a loved one to the Ella Baché brand. Inside it has the softening Jojoba Cream which is enriched with jojoba oil, coconut and lanolin which protects and deeply moisturise my skin which is perfect for this time of year. It blends out smoothly and gives my skin that extra moisture boost to let me have a bit of a glow throughout the day. The Special Eye Cream is paired with it, containing squalane, lanolin and lecithin which helped alleviate the dryness under my eyes as well as minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A perfect stocking filler for this Christmas time.

The Body Shop Dream Big This Christmas Deluxe Advent Calendar - Aja
What it is: A beauty advent calendar filled with 25 goodies from The Body Shop.
My experience: We may be used to a good old chocolate advent calendar, but this beauty from The Body Shop is taking my excitement for Christmas to a whole new level. Themed around inspiring girls all over the world to dream big, each day highlights a different woman who has shaped history, proving we can achieve whatever we set our minds to. Filled with 25 products from the brand's favourite collections, including skincare, makeup, bath and body, this is the ultimate gift for a fellow Christmas lover, or the perfect treat yourself moment.