LuxeList Gift Guide 2020: The Botanical Candlemaker – Study*

When it comes to winter evenings, there is nothing which can compare to an evening spent cosy indoors, snuggled up with a book, leaving the to-do list until tomorrow. A big part of the enjoyment is lighting the perfect candle – there’s nothing better than snuggling down and enjoying a heavenly scented evening. During the recent cold blast, I’ve been absolutely loving the Study candle from local favourite The Botanical Candlemaker.

Designed with the studious in mind, the candle mixes together Lavender, Peppermint and Rosemary in a blend which is gorgeously fresh and soothing. Within a couple of minutes of lighting the candle, the whole room smells gorgeous, and it creates the perfect backdrop for a snug evening in. The brand describe the scent as ‘like taking a deep breath in’, and honestly, they’re spot on. Lighting the candle makes everything feel so gorgeously calm and serene – it would make the perfect gift too!

The Botanical Candlemaker’s Study candle is priced from £20 and is available here.

LuxeList Gift Guide 2020: Isa Lazo Body Scrub*

When it comes to festive treats, I’m not sure you can get anything quite as indulgent as a luxury body product. I always love to get people something they probably wouldn’t indulge in themselves, and Isa Lazo products are among some of the most glorious I’ve tried.

Presented in a thick velvet box inside a sturdy gift box, the jar of Body Scrub feels more like unearthing a jewel than a regular scrub. The jar it comes in is similarly glam, all black glass and crowned with a golden lid. This isn’t the type of product you’re going to want to hide at the back of the cupboard!

Using the body scrub is a treat from start to finish. The formula is blended with tea tree oil and cranberry seed, so it works to slough dead skin, whilst smelling beautifully fresh. The formula boasts 100 active components as well as anti-microbial properties, so your skin is left both silky soft, hydrated and absolutely glowing. Crucially, there are no micro-plastics in the formula – all the buffing comes from cranberry seeds – so it’s eco-friendly as well as lovely to use!

My favourite method for using the scrub is apply it directly to dry skin, working it into areas which need a little TLC. To keep mess to a minimum, I usually do this in the shower, then I hop into a pre-run bath. This means my skin gets to drink in all the goodness from the formula, rather than just hosing it down the drain. It feels like a spa treatment thanks to the aromatherapy benefits from the Tea Tree Oil. As the scrub melts off in the hot water, it leaves behind a hydrating layer of oil, which feels absolutely incredible, and once I’m finished in the bath, I make sure to moisturise well and then head to bed. It’s such a glorious product to use, it would make the loveliest gift this holiday season!

Isa Lazo Body Scrub is priced at $96 and is available here.

LuxeList Gift Guide 2020: Craft Whisky Club*

With under six weeks to go until Christmas, it’s fair to say that the Festive Season this year is going to be rather different from normal. Whether you normally spend it surrounded by friends and family, or perhaps you treat yourself to a few days away in a luxe hotel, it’s not going to be ‘normal’, and as a result, the way we get to treat our nearest and dearest is going to feel a little odd too. To make up for the weirdness (and the general WTF which has been 2020), I’m going hard on finding the best bits to gift, and I thought I’d share my finds with you too.

One of my favourite finds has been the Craft Whisky Club – a members club, which treats your giftee to a full-size bottle of the finest small batch and artisan whiskies the club can find, delivered to their door every two months. The whisky comes beautifully packaged, and delivered to their door in eco-friendly packaging. As if that wasn’t enough, there are extras in every box – mine came with an etched crystal whisky glass, alongside a box of delicious savoury crackers – perfect for snacking on alongside the whisky of choice.

The first box from the Craft Whisky Club features The Lakes Distillery The One Orange Wine Cask Finish. I always think orange is such a festive flavour, so this feels lovely as a Christmas gift, and I’ve heard such amazing things about the distillery, and since it’s quite small, there’s a good chance that whoever you’re sending this too, still has it on their ‘to try’ list.

I absolutely love how a subscription introduces you to new distilleries, and in addition to all the goodies in the box, there is even a voucher to enjoy a tour the distillery (obviously when life gets back to normal). In the meantime, there’s the whisky to enjoy – finished in orange wine casks from Andalucía, there are notes of fresh lychee, marmalade and hints of tobacco on the nose.

Sounds like the perfect present? You can choose your perfect level of membership here

Memberships: 1 bottle every 2 months (£29.95 / Month) or 2 bottles every two months (£55.95/ month) 

Winter Skincare Treatments

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The winter is here, and if you want to have shiny, healthy-looking skin at Christmas, you need to learn how to protect it and treat it throughout this damaging season. Because the atmosphere is so dry during winter, your skin can take some severe punishment, especially if you maintain the same habits you used in summer. Below you’ll find the best practices for treating your skin in winter.  

Use Lukewarm Water

It can get cold in the winter, and after coming in from it, you might want to take a piping hot shower. Although this might seem appealing, it’s one of the worst things you can do for your skin. A hot shower like that will strip away your skin’s natural moisture barrier and leave it exposed to the cold, dry atmosphere. This is when cracks in your skin start to appear, and conditions such as eczema develop. Instead, treat your skin with lukewarm water and apply a moisturizing product soon afterwards. This will trap the moisture in your skin. 

Stay Hydrated 

The atmosphere in winter is not only cold, but it’s also dry. This dryness is what causes your skin to crack, resulting in unsightly damage. The way to avoid this is to stay hydrated from the inside and from the outside. Throughout the day, make sure you drink plenty of water and install a humidifier in your home. Drinking water will give your skin that extra bit of moisture in the dry air, and a humidifier will help to reduce the dryness of the atmosphere in your home, at least. 

Choose Skin Care Products

Choosing the best skincare products for your skin type and for the season is vital to navigating the winter and keeping your skin healthy successfully. In general, regardless of your skin type, you want to protect the natural moisture barrier your skin produces. You can do this by avoiding hot showers and trapping the moisture with moisturizing products. Cleansers are also OK as long as they contain moisturizing agents. 

Protect Your Skin 

If you want to avoid cracked, broken skin during the winter, one of the best ways is to protect it against the dry atmosphere. As well as using the best practices above, it’s a good idea to wear a hat, gloves, and a scarf. Suncream is also useful, even in the winter. Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean the UV rays won’t damage your skin and cause breakouts, learn more about how to treat rosacea and other conditions at the link. 

Avoid Exfoliating 

Exfoliating the skin can be a good idea, especially in the summer if you have oily skin; at other times, however, and with the wrong type of skin, the treatment can cause severe damage and leave your skin exposed to the elements. Although exfoliating can be good at times for removing dead cells and encouraging regeneration, it will remove your skin’s protective barrier in the winter. If you have oily skin, you can exfoliate once a week; otherwise, it’s best to avoid it. 

Ladurée Mince Pies*

When it comes to festive treats, the best ones are always the most unexpected. Last Friday, after a seriously busy week, which involved multiple 14 hour days and all sorts of ups and downs, I came home exhausted, only to find a parcel left on the doorstep. Inside was possibly one of my favourite care packages I think I’ve ever had – a seasonal gift from one of my favourite ever brands – Ladurée.

I’ve been obsessed with their iconic macarons for as long as I can remember – no trip to London or Paris was ever complete without a trip to one or two of their tearooms, so to find a box of their mince pies was such a treat. Packaged up in their signature packaging, the pies were just the pick-me-up I needed.

Without a doubt, Ladurée’s mince pies were some of the most delicious I’ve ever tried. Crisp, buttery pastry was filled with a boozy mix of nuts and currants. Topped with a rich crumb, we popped them in the oven for a few minutes to heat them through, and honestly I couldn’t think of a better Christmas treat!

I think the pies might be an in-store only purchase, but you can treat yourself to all sorts of treats here

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