The Best Vegan/Cruelty Free Gifts For Christmas

The Best Vegan/Cruelty Free Gifts For Christmas

Vegan beauty is on the rise and gone are the days where you had to buy all your vegan products from health food shops. Vegan Beauty brands are offering a whole host of products including skin friendly formulas in makeup, skincare, haircare and fragrance. Vegan beauty products mean they are entirely free of any animal derived products and cruelty free means none of the products or the ingredients have been tested on animals throughout the development process. Brands that are Vegan or Cruelty Free don’t necessarily mean they are both but this tends to be the case a lot of the time.

If you’re looking for Vegan or Cruelty Free gifts this Christmas then keep reading to get some inspiration from our favourite products and brands available at Fragrance Direct!

Dermalogica UltraCalming Treatment Kit for Sensitive Skin

Many of the Dermalogica Products are vegan which is great if you’re looking to up your skincare game. They focus on providing products that deliver results using the latest scientific formulas and natural ingredients. This starter set is perfect for skincare beginners who have sensitive skin, it offers everything you need to keep your skin cool and calm. Containing a UltraCalming Cleanser, UltraCalming Serum Concentrate, Calm Water Gel and an UltraCalming Mist.

Rose & Co Patisserie De Bain English Tea Room Bath Melts

Rose& Co offer a gorgeous range of unique bath, shower and bodycare products. The Patisserie De Bain range is inspired by the colourful French patisseries, a refreshing splash of sweetness, fun and bright pastels to brighten up any bathroom! This gorgeous gift set contains 2 bath melts that release cocoa and shea butters into the bath to moisten, soften and nourish the skin. A perfect treat for those who love to unwind and pamper themselves.

Australian BodyCare Gift Set with Tea Tree Oil

Australian BodyCare uses the highest-grade natural Tea Tree Oil in all their products, well documented for its antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties. Their products deliver the reassurance of knowing that your skin is left clean and blemish free. This skincare gift set contains Pure Tea Tree Oil, Face Wash, Facial Cream, Hand and Foot Cream and a Blemish Stick. Perfect for those who suffer with breakouts or blemishes.
Royal & Langnickel Makeup Brushes

If you’re looking for a gift for the beauty obsessed, then a beautiful set of makeup brushes is bound to be a winner. Royal & Langnickel makeup brushes are 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free so you can be reassured that these will impress. Our favourite brushes are the Precision Contour Brush and the gorgeous big, fluffy Powder Brush. These brushes are also really affordable!

NKD SKN Tanning

The NKD SKN tanning products use entirely natural, organic and cruelty free ingredients to give you a gorgeous bronzed glow. Combining nature and technology to bring you no-compromise products that work for every skin tone. All the tanning products in the range are super easy to use with no tell-tale fake tan smell! For all those tanning addicts, NKD SKN is the best range to try… our favourite products are the Natural Tanning Mousse and the Gradual Glow Daily Tan Moisturiser. Make sure you pick up a Tanning Mitt to keep application clean and easy!

The Organic Pharmacy Discovery Kit

The Organic Pharmacy are the first pharmacy dedicated to all things organic, their skincare products offer exceptional performance that delivers results you can see. All their products are free from artificial colourants, fragrances, petrochemicals and preservatives. They also never test on animals so are completely cruelty free. The Discovery Kit is the perfect starter kit for anyone who wants to try the brand, it contains a Carrot Butter Cleanser, a Herbal Toner, an Antioxidant Face Gel, Antioxidant Face Firming Serum and a Double Rose Rejuvenating Face Cream.

Skincare Routine for Oily and Combination Skin

Skincare Routine for Oily and Combination Skin

Skincare isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like. We all have different skin types, so we all require specific care to suit our needs. Whilst some of us are blessed with ‘normal’ skin, which requires less maintenance, many of us are stuck with oily or combination skin which needs to be shown more TLC.

To identify oily or combination skin, check for enlarged pores, spots and shininess. Combination skin can also be dry in some areas. Whether you’re oily or combination, you’ll need to choose the best products for your skin type – enter Fragrance Direct!

Firstly, it’s important that you understand the cause of any changes to your skin’s condition. Oiliness can change seasonally, and can also be exacerbated by hormone imbalance, diet and stress. Dryness can be the result of these factors, as well as of genetics, UV exposure, indoor heating, long baths or showers (which can strip the skin of natural oils), and the ingredients found in some cosmetics, cleansers and medications.

Luckily, we’ve got a range of products that’ll help you to figure out the best skincare routine to suit your needs.

Moisturisers and Creams

Choosing the right moisturiser for oily or combination skin seem like a tricky task. It’s important to choose a cream that won’t clog your pores and cause further oiliness, but that will also help to moisturise any dry areas you might have. If you can’t find the perfect cream for your skin, it’s ok to use a combination of products that work for you.

Guinot Hydrazone Toutes Peaux Moisturising Cream 50ml
This moisturiser is great for oily skin – it lightly hydrates using water-filled-micro-spheres, leaving your pores clog-free and your skin feeling soft all-day long. It’s great for ensuring the right balance and helping your skin to glow without appearing oily.

Derma V10 24/7 Dry Skin Cream 100ml
If you have combination skin, this cream is great to use on dry areas. It helps to rehydrate and keeps skin looking and feeling soft and supple. It’s great for sensitive skin, too, and can help to prevent dryness after washing or showering in hot water.

Face Wash, Cleansers & Toners

If you have oily or combination skin you need to be sure you’re using the right cleansing products as a base to your skincare routine to avoid increasing oil production or dryness. Our favourite face washes, cleansers and toners for dry and combination skin can be found below.

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash
This face wash is one of the best on the market for oily skin, having been specifically designed to remove dirt and balance excess sebum, which is one of the main causes of oiliness. Even better, it’s packed with Spruce Knot and Grapefruit Oil, which are anti-oxidant rich ingredients known to help purify the skin, as well as Moringa Oil, an anti-inflammatory which makes this face wash a great option for those with acne.

T Zone Charcoal Face Wash 200ml
This face wash has been designed to unclog pores, ultra-purify the skin, and treat dry areas gently, so it’s great for combination skin. It promises to leave you shine-free, and to help prevent the build-up of dead skin cells which can lead to blemishes.

Guinot Demaquillant Hydra Sensitive Gentle Cleanser
If you have oily or combination skin, you should consider using a gentle cleanser to remove makeup and excess dirt. This one has been designed to maintain balance whilst gently removing impurities, without damaging, drying or irritating your skin.

Dermalogica Multi Active Toner 250ml
This ultra-light toner has been specially formulated to leave oily and combination skin looking fresh, bright and clear. It cleans and preps skin, ready to absorb a nourishing moisturiser.

Face Masks and Treatments

Face Masks and treatments are particularly beneficial for those with oily and combination skin; they can add some much-needed moisture to dry areas, help to unclog pores, reduce blemishes and improve smoothness. Treat yourself to a little R and R and help your skin to look and feel amazing at the same time, with our picks of the face masks and treatments for oily and combination skin.

Stendhal Hydro Harmony SOS Anti Shine Mask 75ml
To purify your skin and absorb excess sebum, choose this anti-shine mask. Designed to be used just once or twice a week on oily or combination skin, this mask has been formulated using Captinine H, which helps to lock in moisture, and infused with Detoxinase, which detoxifies skin.

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum 50ml
Our favourites Clinique have brought us the perfect skincare product, not only for oily or combination skin, but for every skin type. This serum addresses the appearance of uneven skin tone, lines and wrinkles, promotes firmness and radiance, works wonders on dry patches, helps to unclog pores and reduces the appearance of blemishes – we think it might be just a little bit magic!

Tips for oily and combination skin

Tips for oily skin

• Wash your face at least twice a day (morning and night)
• Exfoliate to clear your pores – a good scrub once a week can work wonders
• Eat a healthy diet – fresh fruit, vegetables and lean proteins (avoid greasy food)
• Carry blotting paper in your bag in case you have a breakout
• Never skip moisturiser – it might feel counterproductive, but using the right type of moisturiser for your skin can actually help to reduce oil

Tips for combination skin

• Use a mix of products that have been created for both dry and oily skin – don’t be afraid to experiment until you discover what works best for you
• Wear sunscreen or make sure your foundation has at least SPF 20 in it (to reduce the effects of UV)
• Maximize the benefits of your routine with a night cream – let it work its magic overnight
• Don’t touch your face too much – our hands carry a lot of germs, so try not pick or squeeze your skin

For more great skincare advice, check out our 15 Minute Morning Skincare Routine, which has all the information you need to get your skin glowing in no time. Once you have your skin sorted, why not let your hair down – check out our guide to Heat Free Hairstyles.

Top Packing Tips for Travelling Light

Top Packing Tips for Travelling Light

Choosing the right carry-on hand luggage is half the battle when it comes to short-haul or weekend travel. Most airlines have strict regulations around the size and weight of your bag, but getting it right and packing smart can not only save you money, but also save you valuable time in unpacking and finding everything quicker when you reach your destination.

We’ve teamed up with Storksak to share top tips on how to keep travelling as light and stress free as possible.

Choose The Right Bag

A soft bag or case allows you to squeeze in lots more than a harder case. If you’re travelling by plane, don’t forget to make sure that you adhere to your airline’s regulations by checking weight and dimensions in advance to ensure your luggage fits into the overhead compartments. Storksak’s Cabin Carry-On wheeled bag not only looks great with its unisex and contemporary design, but it also fits into most airline overhead compartments. The Storksak Travel collection has been designed to work cleverly together; the shoulder bag features a back slip pocket which conveniently slots over the frame of the Cabin bag.

Find the Cabin and matching Shoulder Bag here

Roll, Don’t Fold

Rolling your clothes can save space and prevent creases – it takes a bit more time, but allows you to pack more in. For added storage, place rolled socks, belts and smaller items inside your shoes and see how much space you can save.

The unique packing organiser system comes included in the Cabin and Duffle bags. Shop the Cabin and Duffle here.

Keep Organised

Using packing cubes are a great way to save space and stay organised; perfect for separating your clothes and smaller items, so that you can find everything quickly and easily. Storksak’s Cabin Carry-On bag comes with a unique smart fold-away hanging organiser system, complete with matching packing block. The organiser system allows you to pack your clothes into each compartment separated into underwear, clothes, toiletries.
You can even create your own bespoke compartments using the easy to adjust velcro shelves. Once you arrive at your destination, you just lift out the internal organiser system and hang inside a wardrobe or door. Simply pack, remove and hang up!

Shop the Cabin here

Scale It Down

Swap those heavy books for a kindle and keep all your entertainment on a tablet which take much less space and weight. Don’t forget to make sure all your electronic devices are charged – there’s nothing worse than realising you have low battery when travelling. It goes without saying that you need to pack the different chargers for each of your devices.
Make sure you keep all your cables neatly stored away in your bag’s pockets so they don’t get tangled and are easy to find when you’re on the move.

Shop the Storksak Travel Collection which has plenty of pockets to keep you organised.

STORKSAK TRAVEL – The Smart Way To Travel from Storksak on Vimeo.

Spicy, Oriental Scents for Winter

Spicy, Oriental Scents for Winter

Seductive, spicy, mysterious… welcome to the world of oriental fragrances. For a scent that evokes mystery, exoticism and sensuality you need to open your eyes to a spicy or oriental perfume. Perfect for this time of year when you’re looking for something a little headier, warmer and longer lasting. Oriental perfumes can be quite intense, often featuring warm and spicy notes such as musk, vetiver or gourmand.

Oriental, spicy scents make great evening scents, so perfect for all those Christmas parties coming up! Keep reading to check out some of our favourite Oriental scents available at Fragrance Direct…

Hugo Boss BOSS The Scent Private Accord
BOSS The Scent Private Accord is the newest addition to The Scent range and it’s the most seductive yet! Infused with sophisticated mocha and magnetic cocoa absolute that vibrates at the heart of the fragrance. Exquisite spicy notes of ginger and exotic Maninka fruit enhance the addictive quality. An elegant, masculine fragrance that will seduce the senses!

Paco Rabanne Olympea Eau de Parfum
If you’re looking for something oriental but a little fresher then Paco Rabanne Olympea is the one for you… a crossroads between the sensual salty vanilla accord and the freshness of floral tones. Olympea starts with green mandarin, boosted by the floral and aquatic essences of ginger lily and hydroponic jasmine, awakening the senses.

Acqua Di Parma Colonia Assoluta
A unisex fragrance for both men and women, Assoluta is a fresh, vibrant and sensual oriental scent. Combining sparkling top notes of Sicilian bitter orange, bergamot and verbena with warm and spicy base notes of cardamom, pink pepper and pimento. A sophisticated composition.

Calvin Klein Euphoria for Women
Inspired by an orchid about to bloom, Calvin Klein Euphoria is a spicy/oriental scent with top notes of pomegranate, persimmon and a lush green accord. But the spicy notes come through in the dry down and this is when it gets really exciting, with strong notes of liquid amber, black violet, cream accord and mahogany wood. The perfect evening fragrance.

YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum
Black Opium is inspired by the dark and mysterious side of the YSL brand. A gorgeous, heady scent that is perfect for evening wear. The fragrance opens with notes of coffee, complimented by accords of pink pepper, leading you through to a heart of vanilla, jasmine and orange blossom, drawing to a close with base notes of cedar and patchouli.

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male is a classic fragrance that is popular with many, fresh and charismatic. The perfect fragrance for everyday casual wear as it is not too overpowering. Still with the oriental accords of wormwood, bergamot, cardamom, lavender and orange it is super wearable throughout the day.

Carolina Herrera Good Girl
Good Girl is a sensual, evocative fragrance born from beautiful contradictions, representing the duality of the modern woman. Both fresh and light and moodily dark, the innovative fragrance captures a woman’s complexity. The sweet, alluring qualities of jasmine, give Good Girl its brightness and femininity. The darker side of Good Girl is created with richly fragrance cocoa and intoxicating tonka.

Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men
The final fragrance in our oriental and spicy round up is the gorgeous Armani Diamonds for Men. Described as a fresh, daring scent it opens with top notes of bergamot and guaiac wood, blending with a heart of vetiver, cedar and Sichuan pepper, rounding off with a smooth base of cacao and amber.

Hair Masks For Dry and Damaged Hair

Hair Masks For Dry and Damaged Hair

We are all missing the summer months of longer days and warmer weather and now that the weather has turned, and temperatures have dropped, have you noticed a difference in your hair? We all struggle to maintain a good hair day when the weather is against us. Trying to get through your day without the wind giving you knots and the rain producing a head full of frizz, is a full-time job.

Dry hair can be caused by the cold weather, and exacerbated with the extreme difference in temperatures from outside to inside, hotter showers, and as the party season starts we increasingly use heat to style our looks.

Here are a few easy tips to help – Have your shower on a lower setting, a lukewarm temperature will help prevent drying hair out. Making sure you towel dry can make a big difference, as the less heat used on your hair the better.

Now we are in November add hair masks to your routine. There is a bit of a buzz around hair masks just now, so there are plenty to try. Giving your hair a good intensive condition regularly will protect it and keep it feeling soft and luxurious. What every girl wants! Oils such as moringa oil, coconut oil and black caster oil have become an essential addition to our hair care routines too, and running a few drops through your hair once towel dried will help to strengthen hair as well as delivering healthy shine.

We have put together a list of products we recommend, to get you through the festive season with fabulous locks!

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque -If you are looking for a complete hair solution this miracle maker reconstructs dry damaged hair. The combination of Macadamia and Argan oil interacts with tea tree, aloe and algae extracts to rebuild hair leaving it deeply nourished for improved elasticity and shine with lasting benefits.

Natural World Coconut Milk Hair Oil – This product provides thirst quenching, lightweight hydration and luscious shine to the hair leaving it soft and shiny. It absorbs instantly leaving no oily residue, so it is a quick and easy solution.

TIGI Catwalk – This shampoo and conditioner twin set is our personal favourite for revitalising hair. This duo contains oatmeal and honey and is comfort food for damaged hair.

Charles Worthington Colour Revive Mousse – no time to get to the salon before that big night out? Then this colour revive mousse from Charles Worthington is a must have. The new formula has been developed to help reduce colour fade, maintain your lustrous colour and enrich depth and tones.

Osmo Blowdry Potion – This product is your best friend, trust me you need it for those plans this Christmas! It’s a specifically formulated styling lotion designed to thicken and hold all styles. Enjoy an effortless blow-drying experience while reducing friction and breakages caused by heat styling. Leaving your hair full, static free and healthy!

If you want more advice on perfecting your autumn/winter look take a look our make up tutorial!