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Curating luxury for the discerning traveller

The Beauty of Christmas

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Want a little Christmas magic? Take a tour of London’s best shopping destinations this festive season and uncover these must-have luxury beauty treats

London takes on a magical quality at this time of year. Its streets twinkle with spectacular lights, the sound of Christmas carols fills the air and glasses of mulled wine and plates of mince pies make a welcome appearance. The capital’s shops, meanwhile, thrill with their decorative window displays, enticing viewers with scenes of Christmas Day rituals (at Harrods) or Rock and Roll, guitar-playing Santas (at Selfridges). Once through the doors, visitors find that the magic doesn’t stop and, for beauty fans in particular, there is much to get excited about: limited-edition products, personalised gift wrap and pampering beauty treatments are just some of the extra special touches that make this the most wonderful time of the year.

Beauty
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Jo Malone: White Moss & Snowdrop Cologne 100ml, £96.00

ALL THAT SPARKLES AT JO MALONE LONDON

Inspired by the very first Christmas lights that dazzled London in 1954, the winged figures that currently light up Regent Street have been named the ‘spirits’ of Christmas. But if there is one place that embodies the spirit of Christmas on Regent Street, it’s the Jo Malone London flagship boutique. Opened in 2015, the store sparkles with festive decorations and the helpful Mandarin-speaking staff are dedicated to finding you the perfect fragrance. Whether it’s one of the many highlights from the current collection, such as the new White Moss & Snowdrop Cologne – a light and sensual scent that takes its wearer on a brisk winter walk – an archive perfume (the boutique stocks iconic fragrances that are no longer available anywhere else in the world) or a bespoke scent created by Fragrance Combining (layering fragrances to create something new), there is something here for every taste. In the store’s Artisan Studio, bottles can be engraved and coloured caps and ribbons added for a personal touch, while gift boxes can be embossed to create a gift to treasure. Advice on scenting your home is available too; the festive aroma of the Pine & Eucalyptus Home Candle is an excellent choice at this time of year, while the House of Jo Malone London collection is perfect for anyone looking for room fragrances to suit every occasion.  

101 Regent Street, W1B 4EZ. 0370 192 5021. jomalone.co.uk

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Bumble and Bumble: Bb.Holiday Set: Volume + Texture Trio, £30

AN ENCHANTED SEASON AT LIBERTY

A wander up Regent Street brings you to one of the capital’s prettiest department stores. It is the interior, specifically the animals carved into the wooden panels and pillars, which has provided the inspiration for Liberty’s Christmas windows this year. Back inside the store, a hot air balloon suspended in the atrium has monkeys swinging from it and giant frogs jumping in to deposit gifts in to the balloon’s basket – it’s an enchanting focal point. But what makes Liberty unique is the reputation it has gained for offering coveted beauty products, such as those created by Bumble and bumble. For lush, party-worthy hair, the Bb. Holiday Set: Volume + Texture Trio is this season’s must-have gift set, perfect for those with fine and flyaway hair. Packed full of ingredients that will add volume, moisture and softness, the Bb. Thickening Volume Shampoo, Volume Conditioner and Dryspun Texture Spray ensure ‘happy hairdays’ are guaranteed. Find it at the Bumble and bumble counter in the beauty hall on the ground floor.

208-222 Regent Street, W1B 5AH (note: the main entrance is on Great Marlborough Street). 020 7734 1234. libertylondon.com

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BECCA: Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Rose Quartz 7g, £30

THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS AT JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS

Leave the twinkling lights of Regent Street behind and head down Oxford Street to a department store with a Christmas message that promotes the idea that a gift can change the course of someone’s life. John Lewis might have used the story of Elton John, who as a young boy received his grandmother’s piano as a Christmas gift, as the basis for its Christmas advertising campaign, but the idea that a gift can become so much more than a gift is worth remembering. The right beauty product, for instance, can transform how someone looks and feels in an instant; a concept at the heart of BECCA Cosmetics, a brand iconic for their clever glow and complexion products. At the BECCA counter in John Lewis, a dedicated Glow Guide is available to take you through BECCA’s unique three step Glow Ritual, which includes hero glow products such as the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Rose Quartz. Feeling virtually weightless on the skin, its creamy texture delivers a flattering pale pink glow thanks to its ultra-fine multi-toned luminescent pearls. Use it to highlight the high points of your face, or dust lightly on top of foundation to fix it in place – it’s your skin, but radiant. While at the counter, take advantage of the complimentary services offered at BECCA’s Glow Bar or enjoy a paid tutorial that will take you through a bespoke ‘Glow How’ routine tailored to your skin tone and face shape. 

300 Oxford Street, W1C 1DX. 020 7629 7711. johnlewis.com

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Clinique: Fresh Pressed 7-Day System With Pure Vitamin C, £25 & Estee Lauder: Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup 30ml, £33.50

 

CHRISTMAS ROCKS AT SELFRIDGES

When Harry Gordon Selfridge opened his shopping emporium in 1906, he made it his mission to surprise, amaze and amuse his customers. More than a century later, you only have to look at the Rock and Roll feel within the store this Christmas to see that Selfridges is still delivering on its founder’s promise. Pushing the boundaries is something that Clinique is very good at: it was the first brand to launch a skincare line developed by dermatologists. Today, it continues to innovate with products such as the Fresh Pressed™ 7-Day System With Pure Vitamin C. From the very first use, skin appears more radiant and even thanks to the system’s ability to deliver vitamin C at its freshest and most active. The system includes the individually-sealed, single-use Renewing Powder Cleanser and the Daily Booster – a serum-like fluid which can be added two drops at a time to your moisturiser both morning and night. If your skin is in need of a brightening boost, this is the answer. Of course, radiant skin may need the perfect foundation during party season, and what better than Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup? Its long-lasting yet lightweight formula has been proven to deliver 24-hours of coverage and its matte finish helps maintain a flawless look all day long. If you’re not sure which of the 61 shades suits you best, the Mandarin-speaking staff at the counter will be only too happy to advise with the Your Perfect Shade Match service – in just three clicks, you can find your foundation match. The Estée Lauder and Clinique counters are located in the beauty hall on the ground floor. The Estée Lauder and Clinique counters at Selfridges are at the centre of high-end luxury shopping experiences in the UK and are renowned worldwide.

400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB. 0800 123 400. selfridges.com

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La Mer: The Eye Concentrate 15ml, £160

SURPRISE AND DELIGHT AT HARRODS

From Oxford Street, it’s a short journey to Knightsbridge – home to Harrods: ‘the world’s most famous department store’. You can always expect something special from a store that once sold an alligator to actress Beatrice Lillie as a Christmas gift for the playwright Noël Coward, and this year is no different. A calendar of festive activities means that visitors could be listening to a performance from the musicians of the Royal Academy of Music one moment and personalising a gift the next. Indeed, visit the La Mer counter in The Beauty Apothecary on December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, and you can have La Mer make your purchase extra special with beautiful calligraphy on their exquisite gift boxes. One highly recommended purchase is La Mer’s The Eye Concentrate. This hydrating cream minimises dark circles and fine lines around the eye thanks to iron-rich minerals and three different forms of the brand’s famous Miracle Broth™ – it’s the perfect way to revitalise tired-looking eyes. In the Colour Hall meanwhile, Bobbi Brown ensures its customers are ready for any occasion by offering complimentary How To services. Including tips on how to look less tired and creating the perfect lip, there is something for everyone. Of course, for that you’ll need a hard-working lipstick. Bobbi Brown’s Luxe Lip Color comes in 43 shades – from subtle nudes to intense pops of colour – and each one delivers a hit of moisture to ensure the finishing touch to any look shines.

87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 7XL. 020 7730 1234. harrods.com

 

Photos courtesy of: Retailers; Andrew Meredith; James Petts via Flickr; iStock.

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